2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R SP Fireblade Ridden On Track
It took the most iconic of all the modern-era sports bikes into the 200bhp party, chucked in some MotoGP rider ergonomics, race-bred aerodynamics, and wrapped it in one of the slinkiest fairings the two-wheeled world has ever seen. But time marches on, and so does the competition. We’ve already had a go on the new Panigale V4 S at Jerez last year and it is the most stonkingly fast road-ready sports bike I’ve ever ridden. To combat this, Honda has given the ‘Blade a bit of an update. It’s not a huge change in any respect, but the tweaks seem to have all been made off the back of rider and racer feedback, and they go some way to address some of the points I made in my 2020 Fireblade launch report.
Before we get into it though, this is more a case of evolution over revolution. The latest 2022 ‘Blade takes on some of the areas that have been noted by those I mentioned above. That means the effort is put into increasing the mid-range punch, changing the gearing to make the engine more rideable on the road and tweaking the Honda Selectable Torque Control. Oh, and let’s not forget the stunning 30th-anniversary paintjob. Because that’s pretty bloody sweet looking!
To get to grips with the new ‘Blade
Honda asked us along to the bike’s birthday bash at the Donington round of the British Superbike Championship. Aside from the on-track action, there was a sea of bikes parked on the un-used Melbourne Loop, all of them Hondas, 99% of them Fireblades and some of them FireBlades – if you know the difference! It was so nice to see so many nicely turned out early 90s bikes there, still being used. Most weren’t show-ponies either, and many had a nice, well-ridden patina.