• The 2020 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade was spied being tested at Suzuka.

  • It didn’t debut at the Tokyo Motor Show as expected.

  • This is an all-new bike.

Okay let’s move away from Ducati for a while (yes, there are more) and head over to another great sportbike — the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.

We were expecting its launch at the recent 2019 Tokyo Motor Show but it didn’t turn out that way. Instead, the new model was caught testing at Suzuka by a Japanese photographer, who then uploaded the pictures and video to his Twitter account @n_mode_log.

Honda has said before that this will be a new CBR1000RR, rather than a mere update.

At first glance, you can see a new fairing which is more enclosing compared to the outgoing model’s. Besides that, there are gills at the bottom.

However, look closer at the front and you’d spot something which resembles a large inlet with winglets in them. This is the “aerobody” which the manufacturer patented a few months ago. They’re enclosed, rather than hanging out in the breeze unlike the Ducati Panigale V4 and V4 R’s. Honda also patented “active aerodynamics” for the rear in the form of foldout winglets, but they don’t appear in these photos.

Photo credit n_mode_log

But these pictures showed the race version of the bike, signified by the front fork set up. The purple-coloured slider tube shows that its coated with titanium nitrate and the true giveaway is the thin plunger-like travel sensor.

However, bear in mind that superbike racing dictates no modification to the frame and bodywork over the streetbike.

Peeking through the fairing’s opening also reveals what seems to be a new frame. The cutouts in the swingarm also look different.

Honda brought along a 2019 CBR1000RR for comparisons and the uploader also shot its pictures.

Photo credit n_mode_log

There was also a video and the bike has an inline-Four engine, quashing rumours of a V-Four.

Hope to see it at EICMA 2019.

All pictures credit @n_mode_log

  • A German magazine reported that the all-new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade will debut in October 2019.

  • The date puts it at the Tokyo Motor Show, instead of EICMA.

  • The new bike may prove to be the world-beater in WorldSBK.

A German magazine reported that the all-new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade will debut in October 2019.

If what Speedweek magazinesaid was true, the bike will be introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show instead of at EICMA in November.

Lending credibility to the rumour is rider Alvaro Bautista purportedly signing a two-year deal to ride for the HRC factory team in WorldSBK from 2020. There was “news” that the bike he will ride is the all-new CBR1000RR.

The Honda CBR1000RR is the best-handling and easiest to ride superbike we’ve tested thus far but the current model is lacking in top-end horsepower, at least on paper, anyway. However, superbike buyers are always looking at the specs sheets and the CBR’s 189 hp “isn’t enough” when compared to its peers.

As such, the new ‘Blade may have the most powerful naturally-aspirated roadgoing inline-Four.

It may also feature the “active aerodynamics” shown in a patent filing. The system features ECU-controlled winglets in addition to “aerobodies” seen in MotoGP.

The news should bode well for the WorldSBK team, as well. The riders are at the deep end of the field, finding themselves outgunned and unable to mount any serious challenge to the top runners.

Honda and CBR1000RR Fireblade fans will likely rejoice at the news too.

  • Patents show a Honda roadgoing sportbike with active aerodynamics.

  • It could be the next-gen Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.

  • The next bike ought to be unveiled in the next two years.

While Honda may not fill certain gaps in different motorcycle market segments, they sure are busy with coming up with new stuff and patenting them. The latest patent to leak shows a superbike – which may be the next-gen Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade – with active aerodynamics i.e. winglets.

The bike in the patent has the profile of the RC123V MotoGP racer, but it’s complete with mirrors and a number plate holder. It must therefore be a street bike.

No. 52 on either side are the aerobodies – Picture credit Bennets UK

Back to the “winglets,” there aren’t mounted firmly in place. Instead, the wings swing out and retracts. We can assume that the wings retract at slower speeds when there isn’t need for more downforce. Having them open in the airstream all the time increases drag.

As such, the aerodynamic devices should be ECU-controlled, not unlike the sweeping wings of the F-14 fighter jet.

On another note, the patent submission shows an inline-Four engine. It’s been rumoured that Honda will bring back a V-Four performance motorcycle but that doesn’t like it. At least in these patent drawings.

No. 57 at the tail is the flip-out aero device – Picture credit Bennets UK

However, equipping the new CBR1000RR with variable valve timing or lift technology should be a bigger possibility. VVT/L can liberate more power while cutting back on polluting exhaust gasses.

We shall see!


  • Jentera Ducati Panigale V4 R akan dikurangkan sebanyak 250 RPM dalam kejohanan WorldSBK 2019.
  • Honda CBR1000RR pula akan mendapat tambahan 500 RPM.
  • Ducati dan Kawasaki juga tidak dibenarkan untuk melakukan penambahbaikan enjin pada jentera mereka.


  • The Ducati Panigale V4 R will lose 250 RPM in WorldSBK 2019.

  • While the Honda CBR1000RR will gain 500 RPM.

  • Ducati and Kawasaki are also not allowed to bring engine upgrades to their bikes.

It’s bound to happen as per Dorna and FIM’s rules. The Ducati Panigale V4 R is set to lose 250 RPM off its peak from the next round in Assen.

The decision was made after Alvaro Bautista won the first six races and three Superpoles of the season on the Panigale V4 R. Besides docking its peak RPM (to reduce peak horsepower), Ducati will also lose their concession to bring further engine upgrades for the rest of the year. Consequently, Bautista and teammate Chaz Davies, as well as Eugene Laverty will have to compete on a bike with the same specs as it started the season.

A reduction of 250 RPM will not make a difference to Bautista. In fact, his Ducati team had tested a bike with 250 RPM less in Aragon earlier.

On the other hand, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR will not have its revs cut but they are also not allowed the concession to upgrade their engine, since the gap between Ducati and Kawasaki are only 7 points (below the 9-point threshold).

Other manufacturers are allowed concessions, including BMW and Yamaha (who are racing), as well as Aprilia, Suzuki and MV Agusta (who are not racing).

As for Honda, the CBR1000RR will receive a 500 RPM upgrade. The increase will take effect over two rounds i.e. 250 RPM at Assen and another 250 RPM at Imola, Italy.

Such “revisions” is not new. Kawasaki had their ZX-10RR’s rev limit cut last year after Jonathan Rea’s dominance. The idea is to keep the field competitive for close-in racing.

You can view the FIM ruling here.

The rev limits for different manufacturers are in the table below (Credit: WorldSBK/FIM).

  • Honda telah memfailkan paten bagi teknologi ‘variable valve timing’ (VVT) baharu mereka.
  • Adakah teknologi ini bakal dilengkapkan pada model CBR1000RR Fireblade baharu mereka?
  • VVT menawarkan kuasa dan juga pematuhan kepada piawaian emisi.


  • Honda filed for a patent for their new variable valve timing technology (VVT).

  • Could this be fitted to the new CBR1000RR Fireblade?

  • VVT offers both power and adherence to emissions standards.

Honda filed for a patent for a new variable valve timing (VVT) technology recently. Could it be for the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade most probably due in 2020? Or could it be fitted over other ranges of models, as well?

Honda’s new VVT system is akin to the BMW ShiftCam system which switches cams.

Each cylinder is fitted with two distinct cam lobes, one for low revs and another for higher revs. Like BMW’s system, the camshaft is slid back and forth to allow the appropriate cam to act on the finger followers, which in turn push open the valves. However, Honda’s system differs by having the system on the exhaust cam, as well.

This new system is different from Honda’s own iconic Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control (VTEC). It engages or disengages one set of cam lobes depending on engine load, whereas the new system’s cam lobes all spin at the same time.

Variable valve timing technology is not new in the world of motorcycles. As emission standards become tougher while the demand for more power grows at the same time, VVT is the only way to go. (Please click here to learn more about VVT and DVT.)

Almost all manufacturers employ VVT technology nowadays, although it is starting to be a trend among sportbikes. Heck, even the Yamaha N-Max, NVX and X-Max scooters feature VVT.

But it was Honda who first introduced VTEC to the in the 1989 Integra. It took another decade before it was adopted by the Honda CB400 Super Four VTEC in 1999. Since then, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and its successor the Multistrada 1260, Kawasaki 1400GTR, Suzuki GSX-R1000 employ one form of VVT or another.

Imej hasilan komputer sebuah Honda CBR1000RR – Sumber imej: MCN
  • Motosikal Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade telah dikritik oleh pasukan dan penggemar perlumbaan atas kerana kekurangan kuasanya dalam kelas terbuka.
  • Khabar angin telah tersebar mengatakan Honda sedang membangunkan sebuah enjin V-4 bagi motosikal baharu itu.
  • Adakah motosikal yang baharu itu akan tampil dengan lebih banyak kuasa atau Honda akan mengutamakan pengurangan beratnya?


  • Honda’s CBR1000RR Fireblade has been criticized by race teams and enthusiasts for lack of power in the open-class.

  • Rumors are circulating that Honda is working on a V-4 engine for the new bike.

  • Will the new bike get more power or Honda will stick with less weight?

It’s perhaps the relentless march of the competition or the manufacturer’s philosophy, but whatever the cause, it’s odd to see that the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade being outclassed for a long time. Affectionately known as the “Rabbit” locally, it is still very popular among sport riders.

2017 Honda CBR1000RR

Ironic isn’t it? For it was its predecessor, the CBR900RR Fireblade which made its debut in 1992, which showed the way to build superbikes. It outsold every sportbike all the way until Yamaha introduced the YZF-R1 in 1998. Yes, more people actually bought the CBR900RR despite Ducati stomping the World Superbike competition with the 916 from 1994.

But now that the CBR1000RR is eligible for Superbike (production-based) racing, it’s getting trounced by its rivals such as the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and BMW S 1000 RR.

Racing teams have complained about the Honda’s lack of power, top speed and front-end grip in high-speed corners. 187 bhp was awesome 5 years ago but it is now too large a gap. When the current Fireblade was reveled in 2016, project leader Masatoshi Sato said, “We could easily give the bike 200 bhp; we could give it 300 bhp if we wanted, but we think it’s the lack of weight people want to feel more.”

1992 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade

Ah, we see. It means the development team was adhering to the original CBR900RR concept of “light is right.” Indeed, the bike weighed 205 kg, just 2 kg heavier than Honda’s own CBR600F2 at the time. The next lightest 1000cc motorcycle (Yamaha FZR1000) was a whopping 34 kg heavier.

MCN has revealed that more power is on the cards for the new CBR1000RR which will be unveiled at EICMA later this year.

The rumour of a V-4 engine continues to circulate, although Honda is tight-lipped about it. It’s also speculated that the new bike’s aerodynamics may draw from lessons learned in MotoGP.

Till then, let’s keep our fingers crossed for the new “Rabbit.”

2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade base model offshoot rumoured for EICMA 2016 debut.


Former MotoGP rider Nicky Hayden takes maiden WSBK win in wet Race 2 of WSBK Malaysia 2016.


National rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin scores his maiden WSSP podium finish on home soil.



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