Honda fired off one of the first EICMA salvos by unveiling its 217.5 horsepower 2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP on the eve of the Milan show’s opening. From its frame to its engine, Honda’s latest superbike is infused with plenty of MotoGP technology thanks to help from Honda Racing Corporation (HRC).

The 999.9cc Inline-Four engine features titanium connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons, and finger-follower rocker arms. Honda says the design reduces the inertia weight of the valve system by approximately 75% compared to a shim-and-bucket system, and contributes to the Fireblade SP’s higher redline. It also has DLC (Diamond Like Coating) on the cams, a first for Honda, which helps reduce friction and boost durability. Its 81.0mm X 48.5mm bore and stroke is identical to the RC213V and its 52mm throttle bodies are 4mm larger than the previous CBR engine. The superbike’s new engine has a cooling system which sprays the pistons with oil to help cool them down at high rpm. It sports a titanium Akrapovic exhaust with a special valve claimed to boost torque at lower revs and increase horsepower at higher rpm.

"From our earliest days, Honda has been committed to developing class-leading motorcycles capable of winning races," said Chris Cox, American Honda's Manager of Experiential Marketing/Public Relations. "Developed around technologies and information gleaned from Honda's Grand Prix racing efforts, the 2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP highlights the brand's competitive spirit, and we're excited for riders to experience the latest in our storied line of sport motorcycles."

The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP uses a new twin-spar aluminum diamond frame said to provide an 18% increase in vertical rigidity and a 9% increase in torsional rigidity while decreasing horizontal rigidity 11% to provide maximum levels of grip and feel. The new frame sports a longer wheelbase than before, a couple inches longer at 57.3 inches. Rake has also been kicked out a degree to 24-degrees.  The swingarm is 30.5mm longer than before and is stamped from aluminum of 18 different thicknesses, another trick HRC brought to the table. The changes did add approximately 15 pounds to the superbike though, the 2021 Fireblade SP tipping the scales at 443 lbs. (201 kg).

Another trickle-down feature from its factory MotoGP team are winglets incorporated into the inner fairing. Each of the right and left ducts features three wings designed to generate downforce at track speeds, which will also boost its braking capacity. The Fireblade SP features big 330mm discs coupled with Brembo Stylema front calipers. The rear caliper is the same as the Brembo used on the RC213V-S. Brembo master cylinders and front-brake lever make it a complete Brembo package. Suspension is top-notch thanks to a second-generation Öhlins electronically controlled NPX fork.

Speaking of electronics, the 2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is loaded with them. The package includes a Bosch 6-axis IMU to manage Honda’s 9-level Selectable Torque Control that includes Power, Engine Brake, and Wheelie Control among others. The sophisticated Fireblade SP also has a three-level Honda Electronic Steering Damper and Öhlins Smart Electronic Control which can dial in the NPX fork on the fly. All of this is accessed through a full-color TFT display. A new Honda Smart Key rounds out the long list of electronic goodies.

For the first time ever, Honda is using the name “Fireblade” in the U.S., which has been the name of the CBR overseas for a long time running. The 2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP will come in a striking HRC Tricolor scheme and will be available in June 2020. No price has been released yet.