Honda Fireblade to gain new fairing with no wings

The 2024 Honda Fireblade may have been an update in itself, but Honda is preparing something more visually impactful

2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP

A new fairing for the 2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R SP Fireblade has appeared in patent filings, with the Japanese brand looking to find the balance between drag and downforce.

Since the Ducati Panigale V4 R arrived in 2019, aerodynamic wings have been growing in popularity among performance bikes. In 2020, they arrived on the Honda Fireblade in its then-new CBR1000RR-R form, and that aerodynamic profile was updated for the first time at the end of last year, ready for the 2024 model year. 

Patent filings, published by Motociclismo, have revealed that Honda is working on a further update to the Fireblade’s fairing. The objective is to balance downforce and drag, or performance and economy, in other words. 

The wings currently used on performance bikes are conventional, in that they utilise an inverted wing shape to generate an area of low pressure underneath the wing which increases load over the front. However, they also increase surface area, increasing air resistance, or drag, which reduces straight-line performance and increases fuel consumption.

Honda’s solution is quite radical, but not totally new. It follows somewhat in the line of Kawasaki, which brought its own version of downforce aerodynamics to the ZX-10R in 2021. That bike doesn’t use wings, but instead sends air through internal channels within the fairing. The effectiveness of this solution is debatable, considering the lack of success found by the factory Kawasaki WorldSBK team with the latest generation Ninja, but the patents filed by Honda show it is working in a similar direction.

The fairing shown in the drawings passes air through channels positioned at a similar height to the handlebars, and then out and over and around the rider. The channels are shaped in such a way as to create the same effect as the conventional external wings but without the negative impact of drag.
We will only see with time whether Honda will continue with this design all the way to production.

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Read our 2024 Honda CBR1000RR-R SP Fireblade review here.