Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade (2008) review

Details
Manufacturer:
Honda
Category:
Sportsbikes
Price:
£ 9299
Overall
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
As fast as hell but has the feeling of Honda reassurance.
Do you really need 160bhp?

Honda has chosen to buck the recent trend of high tech on board gadgetry and gone back to basics with the new Fireblade. There is a feeling within the company that sales could be lost if it continues down the full blown race replica route. So, for 2008, Honda claims to have built a more user friendly Blade that will appeal to the maturer rider.

When the Blade was first launched in 1992, original designer Baba-san’s philosophy was to build an uncomplicated motorcycle with sharp handling and a good power to weight ratio. Recently the other three Japanese manufacturers have introduced the likes of traction control, variable intake systems and a choice of engine maps, but Honda has chosen to keep things simple by revisiting and improving on their original concept. Its main focus has been on weight loss, mass centralisation and cleaner contours, which now transfer into a stubby look for the fairing and a very slim feel once on board. All sports bikes seem to be shrinking and the Fireblade is no exception as it appears (especially from the front), to be morphing into a CBR 125 both in size and looks.

All the bikes on the launch were shod in the conservative Candy Glory Red, which to me says ‘sensible and touring’ so it would be my least favorite colour. The other options are Graphite Black and Winning Red (isn’t that a bit premature), but my choice would only be the stunning Pearl White.

The minimalist front and rear looks blend well with the chunky middle section, which now houses a four-into-one exhaust exiting under the engine. The silencer is cleverly disguised to look like the belly pan, which is fine, but the Microns and Scorpions of this world will have to work hard on this when it comes to making good looking aftermarket product. The race bike with a factory exhaust on display looked fine but it had a fairing fitted with an odd full-length bottom cowl.

Incidentally, the HRC kitted race version will be available to customers from February and can include a 23% power increase from standard. Up top the new design dash might not be as cute as the Yamaha R1 but the big analogue tacho and digital Speedo does a more than adequate job.

At last November’s NEC show I asked quite a few visitors to our stand what they thought of the new Blade as this was the first time it had been shown in public in the UK. I found a very mixed reaction. The die hard Honda fans couldn’t wait to get their hands on one where as other potential buyers were undecided as some didn’t like the colours, stubby looks or even the new plastic tank badge. One Geordie couple I met said he had seriously considered the 2008 model but after his wife tried the pillion seat (her rump was of ample size) said it was way too small.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/first-ride-2008-honda-cbr1000rr-fireblade/5908.html#ixzz0xchYayYR

Honda has chosen to buck the recent trend of high tech on board gadgetry and gone back to basics with the new Fireblade. There is a feeling within the company that sales could be lost if it continues down the full blown race replica route. So, for 2008, Honda claims to have built a more user friendly Blade that will appeal to the maturer rider.

When the Blade was first launched in 1992, original designer Baba-san’s philosophy was to build an uncomplicated motorcycle with sharp handling and a good power to weight ratio. Recently the other three Japanese manufacturers have introduced the likes of traction control, variable intake systems and a choice of engine maps, but Honda has chosen to keep things simple by revisiting and improving on their original concept. Its main focus has been on weight loss, mass centralisation and cleaner contours, which now transfer into a stubby look for the fairing and a very slim feel once on board. All sports bikes seem to be shrinking and the Fireblade is no exception as it appears (especially from the front), to be morphing into a CBR 125 both in size and looks.

All the bikes on the launch were shod in the conservative Candy Glory Red, which to me says ‘sensible and touring’ so it would be my least favorite colour. The other options are Graphite Black and Winning Red (isn’t that a bit premature), but my choice would only be the stunning Pearl White.

The minimalist front and rear looks blend well with the chunky middle section, which now houses a four-into-one exhaust exiting under the engine. The silencer is cleverly disguised to look like the belly pan, which is fine, but the Microns and Scorpions of this world will have to work hard on this when it comes to making good looking aftermarket product. The race bike with a factory exhaust on display looked fine but it had a fairing fitted with an odd full-length bottom cowl.

Incidentally, the HRC kitted race version will be available to customers from February and can include a 23% power increase from standard. Up top the new design dash might not be as cute as the Yamaha R1 but the big analogue tacho and digital Speedo does a more than adequate job.

At last November’s NEC show I asked quite a few visitors to our stand what they thought of the new Blade as this was the first time it had been shown in public in the UK. I found a very mixed reaction. The die hard Honda fans couldn’t wait to get their hands on one where as other potential buyers were undecided as some didn’t like the colours, stubby looks or even the new plastic tank badge. One Geordie couple I met said he had seriously considered the 2008 model but after his wife tried the pillion seat (her rump was of ample size) said it was way too small.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/first-ride-2008-honda-cbr1000rr-fireblade/5908.html#ixzz0xchYayYR

As fast as hell but has the feeling of Honda reassurance.
Do you really need 160bhp?