New Bikes

Next-gen 2020 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade to get active aero?

Some patents filed by Honda indicate the next generation of CBR1000RR will include moveable aerodynamic winglets

AERO DEVICES have been an intrinsic part of MotoGP for some years now and as with any trickle down in tech from the top-flight, we are now beginning to see aero winglets on the road bikes we can buy today.

Now, Honda looks like it’s about to launch into the aerodynamically enhanced fight, with a new sportsbike that we think is the next CBR1000RR. We’ll have to wait to find out for sure but, the patents do reveal the machine is an inline four-cylinder comprising of 1000cc, sadly this isn’t the V4 superbike the people are crying for!

From the drawings we can clearly see the winglets are not the large external style items (as seen on the Ducati Panigale V4R) instead, the winglets are an integral part of the fairing. They are almost shrouded in small pods that help to conceal some of the mechanical workings of the system.

With the two winglets on each side are active (moveable), and it seems sensible that the wings will either deploy when needed or when a certain riding mode is selected. Active aero in the past has referred to automatically deployed devices. Ones that are utilised when the bike requires an extra bit of front-end load, under hard braking, acceleration or fast corners maybe.

What’s really interesting about the system is how Honda are planning to deploy the wings. They could’ve gone with some slinky looking pneumatic actuators but no, a clutch cable is the chosen method for unleashing the winglets!

When deployed, a small spring in the forward hinge of the unit pushes the winglets out into the fairing shroud and the airflow around the bike. Once the wings are no longer needed, a small servo tensions the cable attached to the rear edge of the winglets, pulling them back into the fairing and out of the airflow.

The Wings could also be forming part of a homologation project for Honda to help get them back on top in race series like WSBK and BSB. We haven’t seen a Honda consistently at the pointy end in WSBK for some years now, not helped by Jonathan Rae and Alvaro Bautista’s whitewash of the past few seasons!

Whatever the outcome, the prospect of a new and improved superbike from Honda is a truly exciting prospect. If only they’d push on in the race to catch the likes of Ducati, Kawasaki, and Yamaha in the outright power race. A bike with Fireblade ergonomics, Honda reliability, active aero and 200bhp? Where do we sign up?

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