Honda has been known for producing some amazing motorcycles over the years. The Honda Rebel and Honda Shadow are classic cruisers that Honda has produced for decades, while the Honda Nighthawk was a really fun sports bike and the first motorcycle for many riders due to its affordability and ease of riding. Today, however, we are going to be taking a closer look at the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. While it may be easy to find any old Honda CBR for sale, the Fireblade SP is something special.
There are sports bikes, and then there are supersport bikes. A supersport bike is essentially a high-end racing bike that has been adjusted in a few ways to make it street-legal. These host a potent combination of power, weight, handling, and aerodynamics, as Honda makes some of the lightest supersport bikes that can maintain a high level of horsepower for their weight, making them seem to all but fly down the road.
Honda CBR History
CBR stands for Cross Beam Racer, which is because the inline four-cylinder engine rests across the motorcycle’s frame beams. The first CBR was released in 1992 and had been developed as a racing bike, designed to win the Suzuka 8 Hours race against another Honda racing bike, the RVF750. It would take over a decade for a CBR to win the Suzuka 8 Hours race, however; in 2004, the CBR1000RRW won, followed by eight more wins throughout the next ten years—the highest number of wins by any motorcycle since this race first began in 1978. The Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP was the most recent victor of this race, having won in 2022.
While there are some single-cylinder and inline-twin models of CBR motorcycles, they are not super common, and the inline-four is considered the standard CBR engine. While the first CBR900RR sported an 893 cc engine, Honda has continued to increase this engine size over the years. For example, the 2004 winning CBR1000RR had a 998 cc engine; twelve years of careful engineering, adjusting weight, increasing power, and perfecting handling led to the development of this triumphant model. The 2004 CBR was the first CBR to feature a ~1000 cc engine, whereas the newest Fireblade has a 999 cc liquid-cooled inline-four engine with 13:1 compression—a powerful engine that can provide 215 hp.
The term Fireblade was introduced in 1992 when the first of the CBR900RR was released. It reportedly got the name “Fireblade” due to a mistranslation of the original name of “Lightning.” Despite being a poor translation, the term Fireblade stuck, and it has been the common name for these powerhouse bikes ever since.
The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is a special edition celebrating the 30 years of this supersport motorcycle stardom. The special graphics, fine-tuning, quick-shifting, new piston materials, and surface treatment makes this one of the best supersport bikes ever to be produced—and the striking red, white, and blue paint and graphics are sure to turn heads, should its speed not be enough. Of course, this bike can go fast, and it will disappear down the road in no time, so get your glances in while it’s still stationary.
CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Specifications
The Fireblade SP has some amazing specs, making it a blast to ride. We’ve already mentioned the 999 cc engine and 215 hp, but this bike is also incredibly lightweight for the amount of power it provides. It is only 445 lbs, ready to ride, including fluids. The six-speed transmission allows you to ramp up through the gears quickly, and it can do zero to sixty in 3.13 seconds and zero to a hundred in 5.39 seconds.
Its suspension system is designed well for a controlled and consistent drive down the highway with a 43 mm Öhlins NPX Smart-EC Front Fork with electronically-controlled preload, compression, and rebound adjustments. The rear suspension is a pro-link single shock, and the Brembo Styleme front calipers allow smooth and capable braking with its 330 mm brake discs. The rear wheel has a single caliper with a 220 mm disc, and these two wheels are both 17 in., each optimized for the front or the rear for peak performance.
The tuning on these impressive bikes includes dual-stage fuel injection (PGM-DSFI) with an ignition that is digitally transistorized with electronic advance. Your supersport will run smoother and start easier with these high-end features, and the 4.3-gallon fuel tank provides plenty of fuel for endorsing your lightning-quick motorcycle adventures.
The Fireblade SP is a decently-sized bike, but manageable because of its fine-tuned engineering, light curb weight, and quality handling. The wheelbase is 57.5 in., the seat height is 32.7 in., the trail is four in., and the rake (caster angle) is 24.0 degrees; these dimensions are actually pretty similar to the average supersport bike. The average supersport bike has a wheelbase of 56.85 in., only about an inch smaller than the Fireblade SP, and the average seat height is 32.21 in., about half an inch shorter than the Fireblade SP. Despite the slightly larger size of the Fireblade, it is still a very manageable bike because of how beautifully engineered it is.
Special Features on the Fireblade SP
The 30-year anniversary edition features several specialized features unique to this bike. The stylish racing lines call back to the first Fireblade, released in 1992; these graphics make the bike look as fast as it drives, even when it’s parked in the garage. Honda even designed a special badge to honor this CBR’s 30 years of high-level performance, both on and off the track, and this badge looks sharp atop the gas tank cover, making it look as unique as it is.
Honda has also customized the keyfob for the motorcycle, complete with the Fireblade and 30th-anniversary logos. Other fun custom features include a “ring of fire” video that lights up on the Fireblade screen when the bike is started up. A limited number of these special editions will be released with an engraved serial number on the top yolk of the front fork; even the muffler will be engraved with the Akrapovic logo, as well as both the Fireblade and 30th-anniversary logos. Every little detail of these special edition Fireblades has been well thought out.
Why the Fireblade SP Belongs to the Ages
The first Fireblade turned heads in 1992, and the newest Fireblade is continuing that tradition. After 30 years of perfecting the design of the Fireblade, Honda has proven itself by winning more Suzuka 8 Hours races than any other bike. Honda engineers have taken what they learned on the race track and translated it into this street-legal version of the Fireblade. The street-legal Fireblade still has great acceleration, incredible top speed, and peak aerodynamics; it starts fast, accelerates fast, and feels great to ride.
The special edition is chock full of great custom design elements that make it one of the most unique motorcycles to own. Its graphic paint job stands out on the pearl white base paint, and the design makes the bike look as fast as it is. With proper posture, the bike is comfortable to ride and fun to maneuver. Owning one of these is owning a piece of history, since—as a limited 30-year edition—there is a limited production run. Every motorcycle enthusiast understands how exceptional of a supersport bike the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is, and they’re begging to get a piece of it.