Honda to unveil new 2008 CBR1000RR
The excitement around the official unveiling of Honda’s new CBR1000RR Fireblade is at fever pitch with the first public appearance to take place at this weekend’s Australian Motorcycle Expo in Melbourne
The excitement around the official unveiling of Honda’s new CBR1000RR Fireblade is at fever pitch with the first public appearance to take place at this weekend’s Australian Motorcycle Expo in Melbourne. The latest release is a big departure from previous models in the best possible way with distinctly unique looks, stronger performance and astoundingly responsive control. Everything about the new Fireblade stakes out a higher standard in motorcycle performance and design aesthetics, much as the original CBR900RR did when it fired the first shot sixteen years ago. With such advanced features as its mass-centralised fuel tank, Unit-Pro-Link rear suspension, radial-mount front disc brakes and revolutionary Honda Electronic Steering Damper, it should come as no surprise that the CBR1000RR has been a strong contender in World and AMA Superbike racing since its 2004 debut.
Representing the next innovative leap in this proud tradition, the 2008 Fireblade features innovative performance-enhancing developments such as a new underslung exhaust system and "Honda Assist Slipper Clutch" designed to allow for aggressive downshifts to be ‘smoothed-out’ while simultaneously lightening the clutch action; all of which translates into smoother and quicker cornering control. The eye-catching symbol defining the new Fireblade’s simplicity of form is evident in the two newly designed Honda Wing emblems that grace the shoulders of its tank cover. Drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese cloisonné motifs while providing a visual link to Honda’s historic roots, these subtly stylish emblems give profound expression to the craftsmanship that abound in the new CBR1000RR Fireblade.
One can clearly see that the ’08 model is slimmer and more compact than its predecessor, as well as every other bike in the litre class. More effective aerodynamic design also extends to the new Fireblade’s performance-enhancing ram air intake with new intake ports moulded into its front cowl. Further contributing to the fairing’s more compact form was the elimination of its front indicators, which are now cleanly and beautifully integrated into the upper portion of the CBR’s rear-view mirrors. The new Fireblade’s seat and tail have also been drastically shortened and lightened, and now seemingly hover in the air above its fat rear tyre.
This radical reduction of size and accompanying weight was made possible by the total redesign and elimination of the ‘Blade’s distinctive Centre-Up exhaust system, which now resides directly underneath the engine. In order to achieve stronger, higher-revving power output, a larger bore and shorter stroke were called for. The end result is a 2.5 kg lighter, more compact engine with sleeveless plated cylinders and lighter internals for stronger, faster power delivery. Concurrently, the number of component parts used in the construction of the bike’s frame was reduced from nine pieces to only four main castings, and in order to provide clearance for the new underslung exhaust system, the hybrid aluminium swingarm was redesigned with a new ‘gullwing’ apex.
The Fireblade’s superbly responsive radial-mount front disc brakes now feature new four-piston brake calipers of a stronger and lighter new monoblock design. These combine with narrower brake lines and a modified brake lever ratio to increase braking performance with a livelier, more responsive feel. Virtually ignored in most performance evaluations, motorcycle batteries always tend to be weighty problems but on the new Fireblade, the engine’s starter ratio was revised along with other starter motor characteristics making it possible to use a smaller 7AH battery that is over 1kg lighter than the conventional 10AH battery it replaces. Honda Australia will be making a number of accessories available for purchase including a selection of lightweight and stylish carbon fibre parts, protective rear tank pad and fuel lid cover set adorned with the HRC logo, a colour-matched rear seat cowl, a taller, tinted windscreen, racing sticker set and much more.
The 2008 CBR1000RR will be available from authorised Dealers in the first half of next year.