We were very lucky to get the Honda CBR1000RR SP2 for review. While this is the homologated for WSBK version of Honda’s Fireblade, with only 500 units produced in the world and only 2 in Malaysia. This road bike is Honda HRC top of the line version so test is very special and it’s also getting quick enough to feel the electronics doing their stuff and to discover the top-end-friendly engine changes that the SP2 has in to gear than the ordinary CBR1000RR. We found out 15 things that you should know about the CRB1000RR SP2
On the Honda, brochure describes the SP2 as ‘Fast’, ‘fun’ and ‘safe.
We were lucky enough to ride pretty much every sports bike of the last 10 years and, in my opinion, the current Fireblade SP2 is the best all-around road package of any CBR series.
Small, light, unfeasibly easy to ride with simple-to-use electronic aids and semi-active Ohlins suspension that does ride quality and high-speed handling control at the same time. In theory, turning something this good into a TT winner should be simple, but as we all saw so dramatically last summer, theory and practice can be very different things. On paper, at least, it looks very special indeed. The SP2 comes with the lighter Marchesini wheels which makes the bike turn faster with the Ohlins suspension and plus the traction control. The SP2 is a track bike and I shall ride it on the roads is simply an awesome feeling!
The HRC project focus was to develop the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP to be much more precise and powerful. To do that, Honda has lowered the overall weight, reduced inertia by concentrating the mass to the machine’s center of gravity, increased the engine’s power, and incorporated a suite of electronic control systems that include semi-active Öhlins suspension.
1. There are actually two 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP models—the SP and SP2. The SP2 is for race homologation purposes and comes with lightweight aluminium wheels. The HRC race kit for the SP2 will be available to qualified race teams with only 500 SP2 will be produced in the world
2. Just about everything on the flagship CBR has changed. 68 percent of it is new.
3. This is the most gorgeous Fireblade ever made; the aggressive yet sophisticated lines are accented by a deep, liquid red/white/blue paint scheme that is both elegant and exotic. The beautiful new five-spoke wheels are slightly lighter than the six-spoke ones they replace.
4. The new SP is sharper, narrower, and looks more aggressive. The differences between the new and current model are obvious when viewing from the front.
5. The 2017 SP2 is around 16kg lighter than the 2016 spec SP. Yes, you read that right—16kg! That is an almost unheard of weight reduction. It comes from items such as the world’s first production titanium gas tank that saves almost 1.3kg, strategically thinner sections to the walls of the frame and swingarm, magnesium used for the oil pan and ignition cover (saving 2kg), a titanium muffler (over 2.5kg lighter), and there li-ion phosphate battery.
6. The CBR1000RR SP2 will be much easier to ride. The current model is supremely light and flickable, but because the yaw moment of inertia has been reduced by 15 percent, and the roll inertia by 10 percent, it will translate to a lighter and more compact motorcycle that will move even more easily to the will of the rider.
7. The 2017 SP2 engine produces 10 more horsepower. The rev limit is raised from 12,250 rpm to 13,000, and power to weight ratio is improved by a whopping 14 percent.
8. Öhlins electronically controlled suspension is high-end. This is the first Honda that comes with semi-active suspension, and it has three levels of adjustability. Fitted to the SP are Öhlins 43mm NIX 30 EC forks and a TTX 36 EC shock.
9. The 2017 CBR1000RR SP2 comes with a full suite of customizable electronics developed directly from the RC213V-S. All electronic functions are individually switchable on the fly. As on the RC213V-S, there are five preset positions with factory recommended configurations—two of presets are open and fully customizable by the rider.
10. Rider aids are abundant. The 2017 CBR1000RR gets nine levels of Honda Selectable Torque Control (aka traction control), and that includes Rear Wheel Slip Control. Wheel speeds and lean angle are measured using technology developed for Honda’s amazing ASIMO robot, and rear wheel spin and slide are controlled. There are 3-levels of engine braking control, from aggressive to mild.
11. Wheelie Control mitigates front-wheel lift based on the difference in wheel speeds. Despite using a Bosch IMU for pitch, roll, and yaw data, Honda chose not to use the pitch (back and forth) data for wheelie control. Wheelies are a complex phenomenon with some riders wanting lots of front wheel elevation, and others wanting very little or none. It was easy to control the machine with a little back brake, and the Honda reacts so well to rider input. But make no mistake, this is an expert-level motorcycle and as far as wheelies go, in normal circumstances, with smooth throttle input out of slower corners, the wheelie control built into the 9-level traction control floats the front nicely in a low-height wheelie that allows maximum drive from corners. This system is inherited from the RC213V-S exotic that we tested last year, and that bike in turn got those electronics from Honda’s MotoGP machine. So it works well as designed; it aids rider control instead of interfering with it.
12. The CBR1000RR motor is now throttle-by-wire, and there are five levels of power. Level 1 is full power with each other level reducing both power and level of aggression. The system is, again, developed from the RC213V-S, and there are no cables to be seen; the throttle position sensor is in the twist grip.
13. Intelligent ABS has been developed. The CBR1000RR SP’s ABS includes rear-lift control that subtly reduces braking force as rear wheel lift is detected. This allows maximum brake force without the SP becoming overly unbalanced. The ABS also allows for smooth, maximum effect braking on corner entry by controlling brake force according to lean angle. Hard trail braking right to a corner’s apex is claimed to be easier with this system.
14. The CBR now comes with a quickshifter that includes a blip-downshifter. The feel can be adjusted between three levels on upshifting and downshifting, and benefits include shifting up or down without the throttle or clutch, as well as reducing the load on the transmission during shifting.
15. The instrument cluster is full-color TFT liquid crystal display, and from the RC213V-S. Three selectable displays include Street, Circuit, and Mechanic. Turns dark when low light is detected and white back light when there is lights. All switches, except the start/stop, are now integrated into left handlebar switch module. This includes the lap-timer switch, while the mode and selector switches are moved from the instrument cluster to the left handlebar.
The Honda CBR1000RR SP2 is completely and radically different from the current CBR models. It is much lighter, more powerful, and it has all the de rigours electronic goodies to help riders. The current model is an amazing motorcycle, despite forgoing any updating for several years. We found out how good the Honda CBR1000RR SP2 is. Special thanks to Madani Bikes owner En Hairi Jasadi for his CBR1000RR SP2 for our review.
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