From the original Super Cub to bikes like the RC30 and Gold Wing, Honda’s products have strongly shaped the motorcycle world. And if you’re a fan of modern sportbikes, you owe a lot to the original Honda Fireblade. When it launched in 1992, the CBR900RR Fireblade represented a fundamental shift in sportbike thinking. So, Honda is celebrating the bike’s 30th birthday in style with some choice updates for its current incarnation, the CBR1000RR-R.
Honda subtly sharpens the CBR1000-RR Fireblade for 2022
|2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, Fireblade SP|
|Engine||1000cc liquid-cooled inline-four|
|Front suspension and travel||Fireblade: 43mm fully-adjustable Showa BPF inverted fork; 4.7”|
Fireblade SP: 43mm fully-adjustable Ohlins NPX S-EC inverted fork; 4.9”
|Rear suspension and travel||Fireblade: Fully-adjustable Showa BFRC-Lite mono-shock; 5.4”|
Fireblade SP: Fully-adjustable Ohlins TTX36 S-EC mono-shock; 5.6”
|Curb weight||443 lbs|
On paper, the 2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP seem nearly identical to the 2021 Fireblade at first glance. And in terms of engine output, they are. Honda also hasn’t changed the 2021 Fireblade’s chassis, base Showa suspension, or its standard steering damper. What it did, though, is address some criticisms of the outgoing CBR1000RR-R Fireblade with a few careful tweaks.
Although the 2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade’s output hasn’t changed, its engine has a revised airbox, intake, and exhaust. Together with the revised throttle-by-wire system, this should make the bike more responsive, especially at lower speeds, Cycle World explains. And to further improve mid-range throttle and engine response, as well as acceleration, Honda installed a new rear sprocket for a shorter final-drive ratio. Plus, because the new sprocket required a longer chain, the 2022 Fireblade’s wheelbase is slightly longer.
But wait, there’s more. Although the 2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade still has Nissin disc brakes with adjustable ABS, they have new piston material and surface treatments to improve heat management. Also, the 2022 Fireblade has new MotoGP-derived winglets to improve stability and braking performance. And besides these hardware changes, Honda also tweaked the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade’s electronics for 2022. The bike’s adjustable traction control, which Honda calls ‘Torque Control,’ is updated with feedback from Honda’s World Superbike racers.
The 2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP 30th Anniversary Edition celebrates three decades of the ‘Blade
All of those changes also apply to the 2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. And just like the 2021 SP, it swaps the standard bike’s Nissin and Showa components for Brembos and electronically-controlled Ohlins ones. Also, it comes standard with an electronic quickshifter. But that’s not the only upgrade that the SP offers for 2022.
Besides its overall design and performance, one of the most iconic things about the original Honda Fireblade is its white-blue-and-red livery. So, to celebrate the 1992 CBR900RR’s 30th birthday, Honda had the OG livery’s designer, Hiroaki Tsukui, create a modern homage. And this modern homage appears on the 2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP 30th Anniversary Edition.
Mechanically, the 30th Anniversary Edition is identical to the regular 2022 Fireblade SP. But in addition to the tri-color livery, the special-edition superbike has a blue passenger pillon as well as ‘30th Anniversary’ logos on its key, gas tank, and titanium Akrapovic muffler. And its 5” full-color TFT display gets a trick ring-of-fire start-up graphic.
When will these sharpened celebratory superbikes hit the US?
As of this writing, Honda hasn’t revealed pricing details for the 2022 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade lineup. For comparison, the 2021 Fireblade SP starts at $28,500.
We also don’t have a US release date for either Fireblade model. But given its model-year designation, it likely won’t be here until at least Q1 2022. Still, the anticipation should make the Fireblade’s 30th birthday party that much more fun.
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