By Troy Siahaan and Suzuki, with their CBR1000RR and GSX-R1000, respectively, had held out on introducing riding aids (beyond differing power modes in the Suzuki’s case) until this year. Meanwhile, the rest of the competition has leap-frogged ahead, introducing highly advanced traction control, wheelie control, launch control, slide control, and all kinds of other controls previously only seen on MotoGP machines.
Today, all of this power is available to the common man – or woman – to do with as they please. Whether it’s finding a way to lap a racetrack as fast and safely as possible, or simply having the safety net there when the unexpected happens on your Sunday ride, modern sportbikes have now become highly advanced computers on wheels.
We’ve been waiting to see how Honda would incorporate electronics into the next generation Fireblade. Now that time has come and we can’t wait to see how it stacks up against the rest.
Of course, we wouldn’t even need all this wizardry if these bikes weren’t pumping out close to 200 hp. But in this land of excess we’re glad such motorcycles exist, which is why we’re hard at work putting together Motorcycle.com‘s 2017 Literbike Shootout – not only to see how the new Honda and Suzuki stack up against the competition, but also to see how small revisions have affected certain models, and to see how other models that haven’t changed still perform.
We’re shooting to bring that test to you in the coming months, but for now the best we can do is bench race based on the specs provided by the different manufacturers, and from our past experience riding (most) these bikes during the Street, Track, and Overall portions of our 2015 Literbike Shootout.