The Honda CBR1000RR hasn’t had a major overhaul since 2008 and so like its competitor in the Suzuki GSX-R1000, it’s well overdue for some radical upgrades. Honda is clearly thinking the same thing as a number of patents have quietly been filed over the past six months showing that they are making plans for the next generation Fireblade.
Similar to Suzuki, it appears that Honda intends to not go down the path of Yamaha and Ducati and fit the Fireblade with the latest and greatest technology and gadgets. Rather, the Japanese giant wants the to make the Fireblade simple, practical and affordable. To that goal, Honda is looking to make the bike both lighter and smaller than the competition.
One patent has shown Honda inventing an airbox that is in part incorporated into the frame to save space (not unlike Buell’s use of the frame to hold fuel). Another patent lodged discusses a new design of lightweight alloy wheels for use on a motorcycle. And the most recent patent shows a new cam-driven system that will provide both space and weight savings (albeit marginal) for the engine.
The patent goes into detail about how only one camshaft is directly connected to the crank while the second camshaft gets its power from gears connected to the first. It means that only one large sprocket is used instead of two. The design would probably mean the overall width of the bike becomes somewhat narrower.
It’s not expected that Honda will announce an all new Honda Fireblade until next year at the earliest, with Honda instead focusing considerable energies towards the rebirth of the new Africa Twin. But with the Honda Repsol MotoGP team looking to have a much tougher time this year, a brand new Fireblade will be essential to take some of the market share away from the newly released Yamaha R1 and R1M.