Honda @ INTERMOT 2016

Honda @ INTERMOT 2016: New 2017 CBR1000RR Fireblade leads Honda’s charge in Cologne.


The mighty Japanese powerhouse that is Honda made a dazzling debut in its pavilion at the on-going INTERMOT 2016 show. Here’s what Big Red were up to in Cologne, Germany.


2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP & SP2
At long last, the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade was unveiled for the first time, and its arrival was timed with the model’s 25th anniversary year too. Plenty of good news here starting with the fact that this isn’t the old bike in a new dress as we initially feared – phew!


Launched by Honda’s WSBK stars led by Nicky Hayden, Honda’s new flagship litre-class fighter comes in two forms starting with the base CBR1000RR SP followed by a racier CBR1000RR SP2 homologation special.

2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP

Power comes from a heavily revised 1,000cc in-line four-cylinder that makes 190hp and 111Nm of torque – the former marking a 11hp increase over its predecessor in fact. Not only 2kg lighter, the mill now revs higher too with a 13,000rpm red line thanks to a higher 13:1 compression ratio as well.

2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP

Complementing the mill are both selectable power and riding modes made available from the fully revised on board electronics. At the epicentre of this is the Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), allowing Honda to prime Cornering ABS, Rear Lift Control (RLC), traction control, as well as Selectable Engine Brake.
2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP

The chassis, on the other hand has undergone a huge diet, allowing the new Fireblade to tip the scale at 197kg (kerb) – 14kg lighter than the bike it replaces. With that, Honda promises the new superbike will have exceptional handling abilities as well.

2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP

Reinforcing that promise besides the revised electronics too is the presence of Öhlins S-EC semi-active suspension front and rear, using a NIX30 fork and TTX36 shock. The 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP is the first production bike to feature the Swedish suspension specialist’s S-EC suite in fact.

17YM CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2

On paper at least, the base 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade model looks rather steady against its seemingly advanced and powerful rivals – read R1, S1000RR, GSX-R1000 and Ninja ZX-10R. Nevertheless, Honda has upped the ante with the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP2 homologation special.

17YM CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2

Just 500 units of the SP2 will be built for race use, with this variant boasting an even racier spec sheet. For starters, its screaming litre-sized four-pot is tweaked even further to offer a higher torque output of roughly 114Nm.

Forged Marchesini wheels allow the SP2 to weight 1kg lighter than the base model at 195kg. On top of that, the electronics suite are enhanced further with a programmable launch control, pit lane limiter plus a five-level power selector added in the mix too.

17YM CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and SP2

For the SP2, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) has even prepared an optional sport or race kit too. The HRC kit adds a race ECU plus titanium exhaust, cylinder components and swingarm and minimal wiring harness (sport kit). Also included in the Race Kit are HRC camshafts, valve springs, race ECI and exhaust kit too.

17YM CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and SP2

Completing the revamp is a new TFT digital instrument display primed on both bikes, as well as the signature HRC tri-colour scheme with the racier SP2 benefitting with carbon pattern insets and interwoven gold striping as well.

17YM CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2

In short, the new Fireblade is the last of the flagship superbikes to receive the heavy revisions it sorely needed over its ageing predecessor. It will be interesting to see how Big Red’s litre-class screamer will stack up against current contemporaries.


2017 Honda CB1100EX
Moving along to something less racy, the 2017 Honda CB1100EX also debuted with a host of updates plus a new sibling. With the market’s growing interest in the retro and classic segment, it was only natural Big Red updated its rival against favourites like the BMW R nine T and Triumph Bonneville T120.


The CB1100EX’s air-cooled 1,140cc in-line four has been updated to meet Euro 4 emission standard. Honda also added an assist slipper clutch and the Showa-sourced dual bending valve front forks and rear shock too.


Completing the update is a redesigned fuel tank that’s curvier, steel-spoked 18-inch wheels, as well as LED head- and taillights. All in all, this lightly updated standard classic looks set to compete against its BMW and Triumph rivals.


2017 Honda CB1100RS
New to the CB1100 range, the 2017 Honda CB1100RS stands as the café racer offering from Big Red’s classic/retro line up. This café racer’s Euro 4-compliant 1,140cc air-cooled four-pot benefits with a revised inlet and exhaust system plus an assist slipper clutch in its transmission too.


Other notable hardware include 43mm Showa dual bending valve two-piece forks and remote reservoir shocks, 17-inch cast aluminium wheels and dual radial-mounted Tokico four-piston brake calipers.


The CB1100RS also gets a more compact riding position, with the ergonomics designed to shift the rider’s weight forward. Another notable trait with the RS is its tank design, which is even more curvier over the standard EX version.


Whilst the EX variant is stacked up against the Triumph Bonneville T120 and BMW R nine T, the RS café racer’s natural rivals here are the Triumph Thruxton R and newly launched BMW R nine T Racer instead.

2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP Fireblade

2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP2 Fireblade

2017 Honda CB1100EX

2017 Honda CB1100RS

Co-founder of Bikes Republic and a motoring journalist by night. He is a self described enthusiasts with a passion for speed but instead rides a Harley and a J300. A man of contradictions, he is just as passionate about time off in the quiets as he is about trail braking into turn one at Sepang Circuit on two or four wheels.

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