Honda has unwrapped the brand new 2020 Fireblade in a new video starring some guy called Marc Marquez. As good as it was, the previous Fireblade, was being left behind by the competition. It has struggled both on the road and the race track.
Honda decided to go big for 2020 with a new bike, and superstar line up for World Superbikes. With Alvaro Bautista already signed, and Leon Haslam being touted for the vacant seat, and no doubt a queue around the corner for BSB and IOM rides.
As with the Ducati V4R last year, the new blade features Aerodynamic wings which help both braking and cornering stability. Honda claims they make as much downforce as the 2018 Moto GP machine.
With the latest generation of superbikes all making north of 200 horsepower, the previous generation blade made a lowly 189. This has been addressed with the new 2020 Fireblade making 215. More than all of its rivals, bar the ultra-exclusive V4R which makes 217 in standard trim.
To make this power figure, Honda has used identical bore and stroke as the Moto GP RCV213-V at 81mm and 48.5 respectively. Other changes include the use of finger cam followers instead of the previous bucket method. The cams have a Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating which reduces friction, used on the ultra-ultra-ultra exclusive RCV213V-S.
We get a full suite of electronics including adjustable rider modes, traction control settings and launch control. The SP gets an up and down quick shifter. Slightly disappointing the standard does not. This was a gripe on the previous standard edition, this should be a standard on sports bikes.
A new dashboard layout shows more info than we will ever need to see. This includes a lean angle gauge, which reads up to only 60 degrees, not Marc’s now famous 70! Electronic keyless ignition also smartens up the top yoke area.
The SP retains its electronic Ohlins like the previous generation SP, with Brembo brakes and master cylinder. One noteworthy point is the positioning of the Brembo rear brake caliper. Positioned at 4 O Clock to the brake disc this should make for easier wheel changes on the track, but also helps to get mass lower down.
2020 Fireblade. Hooray for proper belly pans and wings!
We get wings, and better yet a proper belly pan covering the underslung exhaust downpipes.
SP blades have always looked the part, the new one is no exception. The new HRC paint job looks sublime, something just by seeing it, you realise how special it is, while the standard version comes in a rather saucy black number.