New Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Honda CBR1000RR SP Fireblade Specifications

Posted: 8th February 2017

New Models to be Raced at Le Mans 24H – Fly-by-Wire for Honda – Variable Valve Tech for Suzuki – More Power, Less Weight for Both...

Rumour has it that the launch of new models from Suzuki and Honda was partly to blame for the cancellation of the Portimao round of the FIM Endurance World Championship, as two of the leading teams in the championship – SERT Suzuki and Honda Endurance Racing – did not feel they could prepare the significantly updated bikes in time for the race. So we've pulled together a summary of the key changes to these two models.

Suzuki GSX-R1000R

It's been seven years since the last new GSX-R1000 but the 2017 model has some significant changes. A completely new engine uses technology taken directly from the firm’s GSX-RR MotoGP racer and features a variable valve timing system system. The Suzuki Racing Variable Valve Timing (SR-VVT) system uses a simple small device that is attached to the outside of the intake cam and uses centrifugal force to push steel balls along grooves to rotate the sprocket and retard intake valve timing at a specific rpm, resulting in additional power at high rpm.

Suzuki GSX-R1000R

More MotoGP-inspired technology is seen in the new valve train, which uses thinner-wall, hollow camshafts operating pivoting finger followers. The F1-style finger followers are lighter than the previous bucket tappet (10 grams vs. 16 grams per assembly) for a total reduction in weight of 96 grams. The result is a lighter moving mass, which in turn results in higher rpm and increased valve lift, response, and control.

Ride-by-wire throttle bodies are new to the GSX-R and are much more compact than the previous generations. They are 19mm shorter, but they do feature a bigger bore (46mm vs. 44mm). Each cylinder is fuelled by two injectors, including one primary injector that continuously functions as the engine is running. A secondary injector, named the Top Feed Injector (TFI), only delivers fuel at high rpm to increase top-end power.

GSX-R1000R variable valve train components

The engine is not only more powerful, but smaller as well. The engine is 6.6mm narrower despite having a bigger cylinder bore, increased by 1.5mm from 74.5mm to 76.0mm. The stoke is reduced by 2.2mm from 57.3mm to 55.1mm, and the forward angle of the cylinders has been reduced by four degrees to centralised the engine’s mass and allowed it to be moved closer to the front wheel for more front end feedback.

The bike also features a three axis, six direction inertial measurement unit (IMU) and other sensors that will send data to a 32-bit Electronic Control Module (ECM) that controls the new ten-level traction control system called Motion Track TCS. The ECM will analyse data from the IMU and sensors every four milliseconds (0.004s) to continuously adjust ignition timing and throttle valve position to reduce power when traction is lost.

The chassis is also revamped. The frame is 10 percent lighter than the current generation frame, and is 20 percent narrower at its widest point. There's also a new swing arm that is 40mm longer and comes with “optimized rigidity” to improve racetrack handling.

Honda CBR1000RR SP2 Fireblade

Honda’s new-for-2017 CBR1000RR will come in three versions: the base model, the SP, and the SP2. The SP2 is a racing-only model with a limited run of only 500 being produced. The SP will be more widely available and features a titanium petrol tank, lithium-ion battery, quick-shifter, and so on.

Honda CBR1000RR SP2 Fireblade

The engine's Internals have been heavily reworked, even though the 76mm bore and 55mm stroke are the same as the outgoing CBR1000RR. The pistons, crankshaft, connecting rods, cams, valves, and cylinder head are new. Compression ratio is up to 13:1 (from 12.3:1), and maximum power now arrives at 13,000 rpm, up from 12,250 on the previous model, thanks in part to cams that provide more lift. The throttle bodies are 2mm larger, the airbox has been reshaped, and for the first time ever on a Honda inline-four the engine is controlled via a ride-by-wire system. The electronics borrow much of their tech from the RC213V-S MotoGP street bike. There's a 5-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) from Bosch, to monitor roll, yaw, and accelerometers for up/down, front/back and side-to-side movement, and engine readings, drivetrain data, and wheel speed sensors to adjust traction control, wheelie control, and ABS.

Honda CBR1000RR SP2 Fireblade

The thickness of the frame has been reduced and, combined with the updated subframe and swingarm, bring the total weight savings to around 1,5 kilos. A new ABS system is a bit lighter, while the new 6-spoke wheels are both lighter and more rigid. The bodywork is made from 1.8mm-thick plastic as opposed to 2mm panels, which saves more weight.

Words: Martin Gelder - Photos: Suzuki, Honda