If you’re in pursuit of the ultimate race replica, the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade is a machine that commands attention. With its staggering 201 bhp of power and razor-sharp precision, it’s a bike that’s purpose-built for the track. In this review, we’ll delve into the details of this high-performance marvel, assessing its ride quality, engine prowess, reliability, and value compared to its rivals.
The Fireblade is a testament to Honda’s commitment to crafting uncompromising race replicas. This 1000cc inline four engine, though lacking standout tech, is a powerhouse. By mimicking the internal dimensions of their MotoGP machine, Honda has achieved a mind-boggling 215bhp, translating to a dyno-tested 201bhp at a jaw-dropping 14,000rpm. The rush of power beyond 10,000rpm is a sensory overload, propelling you into a realm where surroundings blur and the horizon is swiftly left behind.
However, it’s worth noting that this top-end ferocity comes at the expense of midrange tractability. Unlike its predecessor, the Fireblade lacks the rich midrange punch, requiring higher revs to truly awaken its beastly nature. While you can cruise on a fraction of the throttle, the real magic happens in the upper echelons of the tachometer.
Ride Quality & Brakes: A Tale of Firmness
Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade’s ride quality is a double-edged sword. The firmness of the front forks and rear shock translates to a race-ready chassis that excels in corners. The steering response is razor-sharp, and once in its element, the Fireblade dances through turns with precision. However, at legal speeds, the conventional Showa mechanical setup can be unforgiving over bumps, demanding a rider’s full attention.
Brake enthusiasts may be surprised to find Nissin calipers instead of the more common Brembos. Rest assured, the combination of Nissin calipers and a radial master cylinder delivers ample bite, exceptional feedback, and the ability to lift the rear wheel under heavy braking.
Reliability & Build Quality: Honda’s Signature Excellence
Honda’s reputation for exceptional build quality holds true in the Fireblade. From subtle machining marks to refined components, the attention to detail is evident. While there were initial delays due to con-rod issues, these were promptly addressed. Based on Honda’s track record, reliability is expected to be rock-solid.
Value vs Rivals: A Calculated Investment
In terms of insurance, the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade sits in the upper echelon of group 17, mirroring its high-performance counterparts. While it offers better fuel economy than its predecessor at 41.3mpg, it still falls short of more practical options. With a 16.1-litre fuel tank, expect a typical range of 146 miles.
It’s worth noting that while the Fireblade offers a visceral experience, there are rivals like the BMW S1000RR that boast additional electronic features and creature comforts for a similar price.
Equipment: A Symphony of Precision
The Fireblade boasts a suite of modern features, including a color TFT dash packed with data and lean angle graphics. The controls, though logically placed, may feel a tad fiddly due to the compact layout. It’s worth mentioning that the quickshifter is an optional accessory.
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Specs of HONDA CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE (2020 – on) Review
- Engine: 1000cc Liquid cooled, DOHC, 16v, inline four
- Frame: Aluminium twin spar
- Fuel capacity: 16.1 litres
- Seat height: 831mm
- Bike weight: 210kg
- Front suspension: 43mm forks, adj. preload, rebound, compression
- Rear suspension: Monoshock, adj. preload, rebound, compression
- Front brake: 2 x 330mm discs with four-piston calipers. ABS
- Rear brake: 220mm disc with two-piston caliper. ABS
- Front tire size: 120/70 ZR17
- Rear tire size: 200/55 ZR17
- Average fuel consumption: 41 mpg
- Annual road tax: £111
- New price: £19,999
- Used price: £14,800 – £20,000
- Insurance group: 17 of 17
- Warranty term: Two years
- Top speed: 187 mph
- Max power: 201 bhp
- Max torque: 81 ft-lb
- 1/4 mile acceleration: 10.3 secs
- Tank range: 146 miles
Final Verdict: A Track-Ready Beast
The 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade is a no-holds-barred race replica that demands respect. Its blistering performance, coupled with Honda’s hallmark quality, makes it a standout in its class. While it may be a tad unforgiving for everyday use, it’s a machine that truly shines on the track. For riders seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush, the Fireblade delivers in spades.
In summary, if you’re a dedicated track enthusiast looking for a race-ready companion, the Fireblade is a top contender. With its uncompromising power and precision, it’s a machine that doesn’t just push boundaries—it shatters them. Embrace the intensity, and you’ll be rewarded with an experience that’s nothing short of extraordinary.