New Model

Jonathan Rea and John McGuinness unveil 20th anniversary Fireblade

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In carefully-coordinated presentations, Honda riders Jonathan Rea and John McGuinness took the covers off the 2012 version of Honda's CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Rea is racing for the Castrol Honda team at Imola in Italy in round eleven of the World Superbike championship this weekend, while McGuinness is competing for the Honda TT Legends World Endurance championship team at the iconic 24-hour race at Le Mans in France.

Both riders will contest the weekend's races on the current version of the Fireblade but officially revealed next year's model, which will also be on public display at the forthcoming EICMA show in Milan (8-13 November), for the first time this evening.

The iconic Fireblade will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2012 and the new model maintains the original's ethos of 'total control', a philosophy that has been continually refined and evolved during the past 20 years.

The 2012 Fireblade features a number of innovative features including new wheels and front and rear suspension enhancements to improve handling, traction and braking performance. The advanced Balance Free Rear Cushion rear suspension is a world-first for a production motorcycle.

The design team has also created a new, even more aggressive styling to better communicate the dynamism and sheer speed of the new CBR1000RR. In addition, the already comprehensive instrument panel has additional functionality making the bike more user-friendly, helping riders get the most from Honda's most exciting and advanced supersport machine yet.

"This is a stunning-looking new Fireblade," said Jonathan Rea, after revealing the bike in Imola. "But it's not just cosmetic changes on this model ‰ÛÒ there's some clever new technology on the bike, too. I'm looking forward to these final three rounds of this year's World Superbike championship, but I can't wait to begin testing for next year on the new machine.

Main Photo: Jonathan Rea and the 2012 CBR1000RR Fireblade
John McGuinness got in on the act

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