There has been no shortage of rumors about the “new” Honda CBR1000RR superbike. It is a story that pre-dates even the start of this publication, ever since Honda updated its liter bike offering for the 2008 model year.
And now, we seem finally set to see a new chapter in the Fireblade story, with the 2020 model year widely tipped to see the introduction of a new superbike from Big Red.
The machine has been rumored through movements in the WorldSBK Championship, the FIM Endurance World Championship, and other domestic series, and those stories have been supported by a series of patents found worldwide.
Now today, the eagle eyes of Ben Purvis at Cycle World have spotted another patent, one with an intriguing proposition – active aerodynamics.
In the patent, we can see Honda taking its winglet design from MotoGP one step further. Using a shrouded fin design, like we saw early in the 2018 season, the rumored 2020 Honda Fireblade hides a set of four spring-loaded winglets that are actuated by a pulley mechanism that is computer controlled.
This allows the new Honda CBR1000RR to increase downforce during hard braking, while still streamlining the machine for high speeds when the wings are not needed, similar to what has been proposed by Aprilia through its RS660 concept.
The rest of the machine shown here though looks very similar to the Honda RC213V MotoGP race bike, and like its street-going sibling, the superbike shown here has its headlight hidden inside the intake opening.
The inline-four engine is very obvious from the patent drawings, along with the new shape to the twin-spar aluminum fairing.
This rules out rumors of a V4 superbike, yet again, though we doubt that will do little to stop the internet speculation that has been fueled by a certain British weekly magazine for the better part of two decades now.
That this is a road-legal bike is obvious from the patents as well, as we can see the mounting points for a license plate, as well as mirrors, headlight, and turnsignals.
What is most interesting about all this though is that the WorldSBK rules do not stipulate that aerodynamic aids have to be passive in nature – only that the aerodynamics on the race bike must be the same as the production model.
By bringing active aeros to the next generation of superbike, this patent allows Honda to have a considerable advantage going into the next season of the WorldSBK Championship.
Rumors have Honda close to signing Alvaro Bautista to the factory HRC team in the WorldSBK paddock, which is being managed by Moriwaki.
The 2019 season has been said to be a development year for the Japanese squad, in preparation for the new superbike, and a proper bid at the WorldSBK title – all of which fits with the idea of bringing a game-changing technology to the superbike segment.
Don’t look now, but things just got interesting in this space. Could technology like active aeros be the shot in the arm to get motorcyclists excited again about superbikes? As we are fond of saying, only time will tell.
Source: Cycle World