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True Violent Few


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True Violent Few
True Violent Few

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Since almost a dozen and a half years ago (in 1992) the CBR900RR marked the beginning of the category of almost “liter” sportbikes, about 250, 000 fireworks found their owners around the world. However, the CBR1000RR (it appeared at the beginning of the new millennium) did not achieve outstanding success either on the track or in the sales of the big "CBS", even in its "completely liter form". Today its competitors claim the championship in sales - Yamaha R1 and Suzuki GSX-R1000. For the reason that is now understandable to everyone: their “anatomy” is more in line with the requirements of those who like to drive on track for their own pleasure. Already if only because the mass of this pair is 15 kg less than Honda. That’s why they pushed the heavy Fireblade to the backyard in the Superstock class. But can you imagine that Honda put up with the backyard? And then the designers snapped - put an advanced Blade.


How “Motor Company No. 1” succeeded, I realized after a day in the saddle of the new Blade on the new Losail GP track in Qatar. I rode a couple of times on the Ten Kate's CBR1000RR - the very one that Chris Vermelen came second in the Superbike World Championships. And before leaving, they told me this.

Project manager Noriaki Nakata and his development team finally took into account the criticism of Fire 05, which Honda has so far completely ignored: "It is too focused on the street." Indeed, who needs it here if the traffic police at each intersection poked radar cameras? Yes, and you will not be able to accelerate on it, speeding through the streets clogged with traffic jams. Again, for traveling around the city, the device should be insured, and sports bike insurance costs such a lot of money!.. That is why more and more often on “fires” appear on tracks and less often on the streets.

What did Mr. Nakata and his big-headed guys do in light of the installation: to reduce weight, “sharpen” handling and increase power, but not to the detriment of recognized “Fire” advantages? The generator covers, timing and clutch were made from magnesium, and thus lightened them by a valuable 100 g. Another 0.45 kg was won when the camshaft walls in the updated cylinder head were thinned. The intake channels were also redone in it - through them the mixture flows more freely. Increased the compression ratio from 11.9: 1 to 12.2: 1. The diameter of the throttle valves remained the same - 44 mm. The engine control unit is a proprietary Honda PGM-FI, it is such a small box, but it also weighs less now. Plus, it completely reconfigured its contents - in order to more linearly “respond” to the rotation of the gas knob. They cut it off, thinned it here, and as a result, Nakata and his guys helped the fatty Blade lose 3 kg. But up to 173 kg, like the Yamaha R1, "fire" is far. There is another advantage with Honda: the composition of its exhaust meets Euro-3 requirements (Yamaha does not). And all thanks to the use of an active catalyst with three hundred holes. If I’ve already talked about the exhaust system, then I note that it is laid under the seat and includes a power valve. The appearance of the muffler is changed - so that the motorcycle looks more expressive.

The engineers at Ten Kate told me that under the new rules of the championship (the clutches of the regulations are all shrinking!), The crankshaft should be standard. So it should be strengthened! And techies reinforced the lower heads of the connecting rods, the crankshaft itself was made of a harder alloy grade - this increased its rigidity and wear resistance. This did not reduce the mass, but okay: getting a doublet into two birds with one stone is a rare success.

The size of the valves remains the same. But the shape of the inlets has changed - with it the inlet efficiency has increased. Now the inlet valves are closed under the influence of two springs - this is so that they are not guaranteed to “hang” at high speeds. (Graduation is still with one spring.) This allowed the designers to "raise" the red line on the tachometer from 11, 650 to 12, 200 rpm. The limiter softly operates at 12, 500 rpm. I want to note (I consider the remark significant) that this figure is much lower than that of the more resourceful competitors of Honda, especially the new R1. Another thing, the power of the "fire" has increased to 172 hp. at 11, 250 rpm (with a maximum torque of 114.5 N.m per 10, 000 rpm) - so, in any case, the press release says. However, says Nakata, the maximum level of torque can already be obtained at 9000 rpm. I checked how true this statement was when testing a motorcycle in Qatar, and made sure: the project manager did not exaggerate.

He did not make a mistake in that he managed to maintain that amazing driving ability that has always been characteristic of all Fireblade: on acceleration, the motorcycle pulls absolutely evenly and equally strongly practically from idle up to the speed limiter. Along the way, I note: on the dashboard the tachometer is analog, but a digital speedometer and temperature gauge. I am not happy that there is no lap timer and gear shift indication. And not ashamed? But in competing machines there is a blinker. What prevented putting it on a tidy Honda? After all, the task was to “specialize” the motorcycle mainly under the track …

Fireblade’s power is growing very nicely … I don’t know, maybe then, during the test, I was still captured by old ideas about it as a bike adapted enough for the city, but for some reason I was waiting for me to be allowed to mix at rush hour a motorcycle with a stream of white Range Rovers and Mercedes limousines in the streets of Doha, the capital of Qatar. Why not, if the city is only 20 km from the track!.. It didn’t happen: the organizers of the test found such an excursion unnecessary. Once again they made it clear: the new version of Fireblade is a track version, here along the asphalt ring and wander around as much as you like …

What was left? Well, I drove two (if not more) Superbike race distances along the Losail highway and was able to fully appreciate how the updated engine is gaining momentum, giving serious power after the "7500". At this “boiling point”, the motorcycle accelerates much better than on the previous model.

Reaching the maximum torque mark of 9000, you will not feel a burst of power - rather a light burst. And he went to accelerate!.. At the exit from one of the many turns of the track, which must be passed in second or maximum third gear, the front wheel reached up in a lazy "willy". Class! The torque curve, according to the standards of the ultra-sport bike, is almost horizontal - this should be the “tween”, but not the “four”, and here - have fun! Thanks to the correct selection of gear ratios, switching up, when the tachometer needle approached 11, 500 rpm, you again find yourself in the “sweet” range between 9, 000 and 12, 000 - here the engine produces the most “thick” power (in low gears it’s not even you have time to "get" into the "red zone"). When you spin a motor on a long straight track above a peak of 11, 250 rpm, the power does not drop. And then you’ll figure it out: in short straight sections you can move in low gear so that you don’t have to switch again … Ah yes engine!


It turns out that the designers made the simplest changes to the new Fireblade, but they turned out to be the most effective. From the category of such "simplicity", the decision to add two teeth to the rear sprocket is to reduce the overall gear ratio. And as a result, the acceleration became much, I would say, piquant, acceleration in higher gears - more energetic. This energy has not completely changed the maximum performance - just the engine now develops higher speeds. It sounds paradoxical, but for myself, I outlined the new properties of the device with this formula: Fireblade remained, but became better: the same - in terms of dynamic parameters, better - in achieving them.

In the list of technical characteristics, its compilers omitted the maximum speed indicator (let's not guess why). I tried to install it empirically - and on a direct accelerated to 281 km / h. If the line were longer, it could have reached a higher speed: until the limiter was supposed to work, about 1000 revolutions remained. But the line ended too soon. Then I went down and hit the brakes 200 meters from the turn. One way or another, but the bike is very fast.

When accelerating at the exit from the bend, a strong kick in the ass is felt - I was satisfied with the reduced main gear. The kick suggested that the magnificent motor clearly deserves a better chassis - a lighter one. Oh, that engine on a motorcycle weighing another 10 kg would be lighter - such as that of the R1 and ZX-10R …

A tricky question plunged into my brains: is Honda really unable or consciously unwilling to lose the weight of a motorcycle to the level of competitors? Again, why, I don’t understand, is there no lap timer and blinker in it? Suspicion was born and began to grow: the designers (and therefore the company’s bosses) simply did not want to completely and irrevocably distance the “fire” from the “street”. It seems that this is a marketing ploy: competitors amicably “drove” their “liters” to the track, and Honda, a cunning beast, will sell his motorcycle to those who want to get to the track, and even to work, on two wheels.

But be that as it may, the fire is a participant in the race of excellence. Then why in the list of nodes and systems I did not find slipping clutch? After all, now it is even installed on the "six hundred" Supersport, and they, I note poisonously, are a third cheaper than Fireblade!

However, frustration is emotion. If you immerse yourself in naked pragmatism, then cut it on the nose: crashing into the brakes on the approach to the “slow” turn of the track after intercepting in a straight line in 6th gear with a completely “hole” and switching to four gears “down” (reader, did you manage to digest all these “introductory” ones?), try not to go too far in braking using the engine - otherwise, when you slow down, the rear wheel will go into the chatter *. I especially do not recommend (checked on myself) to stick in second gear until the speed drops to the desired level. Read about these levels in the instructions, memorize them and follow the instructions strictly!

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