When it was introduced in 2008, the brand-new Honda CBR1000RR, known as Fireblade across the pond, won accolades from the the press and regular riders alike. Considering its market domination over the last year, we wouldn't be surprised if Honda simply left things pretty much alone for '09. There is one new feature, though, and it's a biggie: optional ABS brakes. This will be the first application of anti-lock brakes in a machine of this caliber, and early reports indicate that people are seeing improved lap times as a result. In addition to the brakes, expect to see some color changes and a Repsol race edition.
Moving on to Honda's smaller-bore machine, the CBR600RR will also get optional C-ABS along with engine changes designed to improve torque right in the middle of the power band, between 8,000 and 12,000 RPM. Along with these changes comes revised styling with flashy colors pulled straight from the mid-'90s. Apparently, neon green and electric blue are back. Why didn't somebody tell us sooner? Update: Title fixed. Thanks!
First of Honda's 2009 Motorcycle Models Announced
Honda today announces the first of its exciting motorcycle model line-up for the 2009 model year.
New and updated models include the class-winning and still breathtaking CBR1000RR Fireblade and CBR600RR Supersport machines, both of which will be available with Honda's all-new electronically-controlled Combined ABS as an option.
Meanwhile, in the Off-Road category, the new 2009 CRF450R raises the bar further with an all-new lightweight fuel-injection and ignition system, while the 250cc version, the CRF250R, offers even greater technical refinements and style.
The 2008 CBR1000RR Fireblade has astonished the media and public alike since its unveiling and launch last year. During 2008 it has won national and international races and magazine awards for its unique mix of power, performance, poise and controllability – qualities the Fireblade has been famous for since it was first launched back in 1992.
For 2009, Honda's engineers were charged with extending the Fireblade's capabilities even further by adding increased safety to an already impressive level of dynamic ability and control – but without losing the Fireblade's razor-sharp edge. Honda has achieved this goal thanks to the addition of its all-new electronically-controlled 'Combined ABS' on the CBR1000R Fireblade C-ABS version. Developing a Combined ABS system capable of matching the performance demands of a bike such as the Fireblade was always going to pose a challenge, but it has been met and exceeded with no loss to the Fireblade's ultimate sporting philosophy and, with a minimal weight penalty.
This marks the first time a Supersport machine has been capable of delivering the highest levels of speed and performance, while also benefiting from the confidence and peace of mind provided by Combined ABS. Tadao Baba – the designer of the original Fireblade used to strive for 'Total Control' for the CBR-RR. This now comes with the enhanced safety feature of Combined ABS, adding up to a new era in sportsbiking.
The compact engine now sports an intense matt black colour, enhanced with a new shape-hugging black engine cover, and features new black brake callipers (standard version only). The Combined ABS version's engine is also black, with new Sherry Topaz Brown Metallic brake callipers.
The C-ABS model also integrates additional bodywork features to neatly cover the ABS system components. The independent front power unit near the engine is housed by a sleek continuation of the front fairing. Similarly at the rear, an attractive, black underseat cowl covers the ECU unit.
The CBR1000RR Fireblade for 2009 comes in the stunning Pearl Sunbeam White HRC Tri-colour, Repsol Race Replica livery, Achilles Black Metallic and Pearl Siren Blue.
Now in its fourth generation, the 2009 machine builds on the heritage of blistering pace and supreme control set in 2003 by the first CBR600RR. When the all-new CBR600RR was launched in 2007, Honda once again was at the forefront of the 600cc Supersport class – the most intensely fought in motorcycling – with a machine which was the most advanced in the category.
For 2009, the goal for Honda's development team has once again been to enhance a machine capable of fast, intense track riding while also delivering a controllable, easy-going road-riding experience. Adding to this experience is the inclusion of Honda's Combined ABS on the CBR600RR C-ABS version. The highlights of the technical enhancements to the 2009 CBR600RR include:
* Changes to piston, cylinder head and exhaust which lead to improved torque from 8,000-12,000rpm for increased engine flexibility and driveability
* Fairing improvements to enhance stability and reduce wind noise
* Electronically controlled Combined ABS for better braking performance along with increased safety and all-round rider confidence (optional)
* 184kg kerb weight to keep the machine the lightest in its class
To enhance the new performance and mild aesthetic update, a new colour range has been introduced to make the most of these changes, to include a limited-edition Pearl Sunbeam White design with electric blue fairing and front and rear cowling graphics, a Pearl Sunbeam White design with white/red/blue Tricolour, as well as Graphite Black with Bright Lime Green Metallic and Graphite Black with Italian Red.
The amazing CRF450R has impressed in Supercross, Motocross, desert racing, enduro, flat-track and Supermoto – now the updated 2009 model is ready to raise the bar further still. The new-for-2009 CRF450R is slimmer, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor and includes an all-new and lightweight fuel-injection and ignition system, which features a revolutionary fuel-injection indicator with engine stop switch to show the pre-race condition of the fuel-injection system – a first for Honda.
The fuel-injection system also delivers the same engine characteristics at all altitudes thanks to new settings, as well as improved fuel consumption, which allows the fuel tank size to decrease by 1.5 litres. Chassis changes include a fifth generation cast aluminium, rather than two-part forged frame, which gives less weight and increased stiffness, a longer swingarm and wider rear tyre, HRC settings for the suspension, along with a new steering damper – which has been re-valved for more linear damping – and changes to the overall dimensions of the CRF, which allow for better traction out of the corners, improved acceleration and increased ground clearance.
In addition to the performance, there are new plastic body parts, which feature new Honda Racing inspired colours and graphics and thanks to their slim, aggressive styling, this allow the rider to move easily around the bike. Overall the new machine is around 1.8kg lighter than the 2008 machine and has proved its impressive speed and agility in recent track tests. The colour sports Honda's Extreme Red with white number-boards.
Honda's CRF250R is further refined for 2009, with improvements coming directly from its bigger brother - the 450R. To allow its commanding presence to continue in both the Motocross and Supercross arenas, the CRF250R welcomes an even smoother power delivery from its updated and advanced 249cc Unicam engine. The whole engine itself is lighter and more compact and has a newly designed cylinder head for improved power delivery – especially in the low to mid power range.
Gearbox modifications will provide smoother changes with less clutch action needed, while suspension and steering damper settings have been altered as well. Updates to the brake disc covers and the design of the front and rear discs reduce weight further, all contributing to the '09 model being 100g lighter than its predecessor.
The styling is edgy with more compact lines to reduce weight wherever possible along with 'works' style handlebars with longer grips for slip-free operation. To complement the increased performance and styling, in comes a new limited-edition black version with black seat, rims, engine cover and front mudguard. The black shroud also features a unique flame graphic.
Prices and UK availability dates are yet to be finalised for each of the 2009 models, but these four new models will be on display on the Honda stand (1D20 – Hall 1) at the International Motorcycle and Scooter Show at the NEC in Birmingham, from 28 November – 7 December.
For further information about Honda's great range of scooters and motorcycles call 0845 200 800, visit www.honda.co.uk, or visit your local dealer. Honda motorcycle dealers can be located using the 'Dealer Search' facility within the motorcycles area of www.honda.co.uk, where you can also find all the latest news and information, offers, genuine parts and accessories and forthcoming events.