This is one of the most awaited weeks because the top teams are taking the covers off their new bikes. The first, on this Monday, was Honda. In Austria, Stefan Bradl and Nicky Hayden presented the 2017 version CBR1000R. The Fireblade SP2 is without a doubt the most awaited of the season for the factory derivative World Championship.
The latest arrival from the Japanese manufacturer is a true unleashing of power, especially in terms of the engine. In fact, the intake valves have been revamped, increased in size by 1 mm, and the exhaust valves are now 27 mm instead of the 25.5 that were on the SP. Another change is the angle between the valves themselves, 10° for the intake valves and 12° for the exhaust. The valve lift, on the other hand, remains the same, as does the width of the big end.
The compression ratio is the same as the current SP (13:1) but on the SP2, thanks to the different shape of the valves, there is a "cleaner" configuration that favours consistent combustion performance. The pistons exploit an exclusive design with thermal treatment that reinforces the area around the small end, where a pin is secured that is 2.5 mm shorter and 8 g lighter. Ready to house camshafts with greater lift, the external diameter of the tappet has been increased by 2 mm (28 mm on the SP), whereas the total lift and thickness have been reduced in order to cut down on weight. Lastly, the lighter weight Marchesini rims stand out.
Just after the clock struck 2 in the afternoon, Hayden and Bradl unveiled the latest arrival. It is a true turning of the page for the livery as well, where the Red Bull brand dominates on the fairings along with the yellow, red and blue colour scheme. Just like the Formula 1 single-seater driven by Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. So the white from past seasons is no more, and an intense blue was used for the riders’ numbers on the top fairing, both visibly excited on one of the most awaited days before flying to Phillip Island.