All Tests – The HRC in your garage! – Used HONDA

The HRC in your garage !

All Tests - The HRC in your garage! - Used HONDA

In the turmoil of hypersport production, the battle rages on. Kawasaki ZX-10R, Yamaha YZF 1000 R1, Suzuki GSX-R 1000 … In turn, Honda throws itself into the arena with this new Fireblade. Evolution ? Revolution? Test.

In the turmoil of hypersport production, the battle rages on. Kawasaki ZX-10R, Yamaha YZF 1000 R1, Suzuki GSX-R 1000, everyone has something new.

In turn, Honda throws itself into the arena with this new Fireblade. Evolution or revolution? On the way for a full test drive.

Thin blade

A reputation holds up! It is therefore not surprising to find some rather interesting innovations on this CBR 1000 RR, of which the three most striking are:

HESD: A new electro-hydraulic steering damper, slaved to speed and acceleration. The most obvious advantage is to keep a pronounced damping at high speed, without penalizing the handling at low speed..

Pro-link unit: the stated interest of this suspension sketch appeared last year on the CBR 600 RR is to limit the stresses exerted on the frame, by shifting all the kinematics on the swingarm. Which would allow, according to Honda, to design a lighter frame.

The detail that kills : the wheel balancing seals are made of zinc to protect the environment !

In addition to these innovations, the new version Fireblade presents its share of classic evolutions, from the cassette gearbox to the magnesium oil pan, through the intake and exhaust valves, braking "everything. radial ", forged pistons or double sequential injection.

In short, a clear technological advantage for Honda in the rather conservative world of motorcycles. The message is very clear: there is RC 211 in this CBR, developed for the World Superbike.

Mouth of love

No doubt, the marketing department has gone above and beyond: the Fireblade is the little sister of MotoGP. Same elongated and stocky line on the front, comparable dimensions, exhaust under the saddle: consistency is assured, just like with the 600 that appeared last year.

The black and red livery at our disposal further accentuates this visual sensation characteristic of the CBR family, so much so that it is difficult to distinguish the 600 from the 1000.

The finish is quite correct, no moving fairings, the assemblies are clean and nothing sticks out. On the other hand, big lack of taste for the optics which take the fog after only a few minutes under a shower..

The instrumentation set is easy to read and complete, apart from the tachometer, whose numbers are a bit small to be seen instantly. Important detail if any in these days … The tachometer needle falls well under the eyes and enjoys a pleasant illumination at night. And in the touching detail series, Honda offers shift light adjustment in intensity and flashing frequency. It’s nothing, it’s not really useful, but it’s nice !

Especially since true to its reputation as a manufacturer of user-friendly vehicles, Honda also offers lashing hooks for luggage and a location for a specific U under the passenger folding seat. Like what it is possible, contrary to what seems to believe the competition.

The commodos are in the current standard, amputated of the dipped headlamp switch, permanently on except during the starting phase. No "starter" either, the idle is controlled. The clutch control, hydraulic, is surprisingly smooth and precise while the braking, adorned with a radial master cylinder, offers good ergonomics. Both are adjustable in spacing by knobs.

The position is radicalized (replica requires), but remains sporty without being disproportionately uncomfortable. The "total control", specificity of the design offices of the mark, indeed seems to have presided over the design of the missile..

So what, do we watch it or ride? Contact !

In the city

First of all, let’s test the beauty’s ability to ride every day to go to work. The best surprise comes from the general smoothness of use. Very smooth controls, biting and dosable braking and impressive turning radius allow this CBR to pass the exam with flying colors. On the other hand, watch out for the engine which knocks at low speeds. No question of restarting in sixth within three thousand laps. And inevitably, the position quickly hurts the wrists, but this is no longer a surprise in the category. Mention very well for the tie-down hooks, the location for the anti-theft device and the coded immobilizer. And for the rest … A real pleasure to ride on the omnipresent torque of the four-cylinder! Sounds, precision and smoothness of the gearbox, liveliness, all combine to put the pilot at ease in traffic, including the powerful horn. And as soon as a little space emerges, gas: a small jump in space time makes you forget the pollution and the grayness. A pleasure machine, despite a concept unsuited to these conditions. It’s strong, very strong !

On track

Before starting a road trip, a detour is necessary by the circuit. We therefore take advantage of a cordial invitation from the Carole Moto Club to go do a few circles on the preferred terrain of the machine.

Easy contact, everything is done to reassure. The braking remains constant over the laps, the chassis is stable but remains a little heavy to throw in the curves, unlike the Kawasaki ZX-10R which has a much more playful behavior but also more impressive (read). On the Honda, no fear. The reports follow one another without breaking a sweat, the engine pulls everything it can in a linear fashion and benefits from a good extension in this restricted version.

Over the laps, we realize that an easy and linear motorcycle has the advantage of being reassuring. To the detriment of sensations, of course, but to the advantage of efficiency, at least with regard to a clamp like yours truly. No steering, no untimely nose-up, no mess when changing gears and good brake consistency allow you to concentrate on the important thing: driving. The engine lets go to mid-revs and we don’t feel the need to push the switch (100 hp version requires). And then what a feeling of a chest at mid-range. Impressive !

This motorcycle is therefore delivered to whoever wants it, without requiring special instructions. Gas, nothing but gas. Everything else goes without saying and allows you to have fun without a second thought, with the feeling that there is not much to complain about, except for this slight lack of liveliness in the rapid changes of angles..

For Philippe, a competitor in Promotion at the controls of a CBR 600 (n ° 47) and able to run regularly under 1’10 on the Parisian route, the discovery of the machine results in a particularly illuminated face after a few laps of Carole. : "the pleasure of a 1000 with the ease of a 600 !", he sums up, catching his breath…

On the way

After a few minutes in the heat of the Parisian circuit, nothing like a little walk in the countryside to refresh the spirits and the mechanics. Direction the small roads of the north of Paris to learn more about the road skills of the new CBR 1000.

Let’s start with bumps, holes, gravel, dung, whatever we like. Well nothing! Nada! The cycle part is simply unperturbed. Even on a local road (!) In good speed, everything is going well. The impression of absorbing the bumps without being subjected to them but while "reading" them is really reassuring. Surprisingly, this goes against the feeling of stiffness felt when you land in the saddle. Mr. Spock himself would raise an eyebrow in astonishment !

On the departmental roads of the Oise, where the bends follow one another on a correct surface, the machine only provides happiness. At each exit of the curve, a little voice titillates me: "you’re a tench, you could have gone with 20 better, you should be ashamed !". Once you get used to properly engaging your body inside to turn the bike, everything goes well. A real rail that you take pleasure in getting out of a curve with the torque at mid-range. The engine compensates. really good the bland side that its linearity could imply by a pleasant sound and an impression of disconcerting ease. Always earlier on the throttle, always faster in curves, always more the impression of being one with the machine, it is bluffing.

The only imperfection noted concerns the braking on the angle, which tends to straighten the motorcycle and make pull straight. The logical counterpart to the overall comfort felt and the "heavy" behavior on the track. No doubt now that the bike is deliberately tuned "road", and a little compression up front and a tilting of the trim would change all that. Personally, I find that it is better than the reverse, a tracker knowing more easily how to take advantage of a road setting than the reverse.

Finally, the editor himself sticks to it and comes down from his English supertanker for a small series of turns from which he will come back amazed, despite this tenacious impression of not mastering all the subtleties of the toad position….

Against employment

Well … And then since there are footrests and a semblance of a jump seat, a devoted passenger of a meter ninety has lent herself to the game. Not having wanted to use the strap (NES: ah ah ah, it’s for the two-seater homologation, it’s no joke, the passenger is REALLY supposed to hang on to this piece of string), she surrounded me with her delicate mimines for two or three turns in a curve at increasing pace. Pilot side, nothing to complain about. Without touching anything on the suspensions, the rear settles down a bit and that’s it. The overall behavior is unchanged and remains conducive to arson. There is no point in wanting to do anything other than share thrills for two. Given the discomfort of the rear seat, it is intended primarily for lovers of roller coaster. Logical on a replica, but you still have to report it. Those who do not have the spark necessary for this kind of event will refrain from driving more than a hundred kilometers on the backboard. For the others, sensations guaranteed, we become one with the driver as well as with the machine, the gaze can be placed far over the driver’s helmet and mobility is good for turns. The arms reach the reservoir to be able to undergo the braking.

Back by the freeway to make sure she isn’t cut out for that more than her sisters, a little adrenaline rush on all gears to make sure she drives fast enough to end up in jail on the field even if it is with absolute confidence in the chassis (it is all the same intended to collect the original power), and a last look in the garage to let the conclusion come.

A story of reputation

Love it or hate it … Like any slightly passionate object, this machine will have its share of detractors and defenders. But in all fairness, this is a mechanism designed for the track and very well suited to the road. A sort of squaring of the circle which only Honda seems to have the secret on the Japanese archipelago. All in efficiency, not too much window dressing: a tool that has sacrificed a few sales arguments for the benefit of driving pleasure. We love it !

And then after all, for wealthy amateurs and ambitious trackers, it is always possible to push the plug a little further by ordering the HRC kit….

Technical sheet (manufacturer data)
Type 4-cylinder in-line, 4-stroke, dual ACT, 16-valve, water-cooled
Displacement 998 cm3
Bore x Stroke 75 x 56.5 mm
Volumetric ratio 11.9 to 1
Oil capacity 3.9L
Carburetion PGM-DSFI electronic fuel injection
Injector bodies 44 mm
Air filter Dry, 2 cylindrical paper cartridges
Fuel capacity 18 liters
Electrical system
Ignition Digital microprocessor controlled
Start-up electric
Drums 12 V / 10 AH
Headlight 12 V 55 W x 1 (crossover) / 55 W x 2 (road)
Clutch Multi-disc in oil bath
Training Hydraulic
Box 6 reports
Final drive 530 riveted o-ring chain
Type Double beam in aluminum type Diamond
Cycle part
Length 2,023 mm
Width 734 mm
Height 1118 mm
Wheelbase 1,412 mm
Caster angle 23 ° 45
Trail 102 mm
Ground clearance 130 mm
Before 43 mm HMAS inverted cartridge fork, adjustable for preload, compression and rebound, 120 mm travel
Back Unit Pro-Link HMAS gas single shock absorber, adjustable in preload (13 positions), compression and rebound (worm screw), 135 mm travel.
Type 3-spoke cast aluminum
Front rim 17 x MT 3.50
Rear rim 17 x MT 6.00
Front tire 120/70 ZR17M / C (58W)
Rear tire 190/50 ZR17M / C (73W)
Before Double hydraulic disc 310 x 5 mm with 4 piston calipers and sintered pads
Back Single 220 x 5 mm hydraulic disc with 4 piston calipers and sintered pads
Max power 78 kW at 10,500 rpm
Max torque 91 Nm at 6,000 rpm
Commercial information
Colors Pearl White (with Winning Red and Matte Metallic Blue)
Black (with metallic silver)
Red winner (with metallic gun metal)
Price 13,600 euros including tax

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