Honda Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP [2020] | First Ride Impressions

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The latest generation 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is finally here... but is it the greatest in a long line of Fireblade winners?

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There are sportsbike launches and then there are Honda Fireblade launches.

The world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer not only leads the way in terms of global sales but it has forged itself an unenviable reputation for producing well-engineered, high-quality and fun sportsbike products stretching right back into the 90s.

That makes the launch of every new generation Fireblade an event, which is why Honda has gone to the effort of unleashing the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP on the Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar allowing us to really stretch the legs of its most powerful sportsbike yet.

We’ve spent the morning tickling the rev limiter down Losail’s long straights and flat curves to give you our initial ride impressions as the first of the international media to get our hands on one.

We’ll be bringing you the FULL REVIEW very shortly but here is what we think so far after a few laps on track…


Any new Fireblade is important but the latest generation has a greater task ahead of it compared with its predecessors. Though Honda has resisted the temptation to go V4, it has the Ducati Panigale V4 firmly in its sights both on the road and on the track.

Indeed, a few lean years on the Superbike racing scene has prompted Honda to go all in with this model, raising the power output and refining the electronics without losing the rideability that made it such a success in the first place.

Drafting in its MotoGP-dominating HRC set up in to both develop the road bike and lead its renewed full factory WorldSBK efforts, if the previous generation ‘Blade was like taking a knife to a gun fight, then the new model is its unabashed sawn-off shotgun of a weapon.

Stay tuned to Visordown for our FULL REVIEW later this week…