The 2017 Honda Fireblade SP is a bike begging to be taken on a track day.
One of the most hotly anticipated sports bikes released in the last few years, it may lack the 200bhp+ figures claimed by some of it’s rivals, but Honda focused on making the new Blade’s power far more easy to exploit than ever before.
But does the original tyre size hold the bike back on track?
Fresh from the factory the Fireblade SP is fitted with a 190/50 ZR17 rear tyre, but no manufacturer makes a 190/50 track tyre!
With the introduction of the 190/55 rear, racers soon discovered that the taller profile offered increased side grip and traction when driving out of the corners. Since then, things have come on even further with the development of 200/55 and 200/60 rear track tyres.
The most extreme tyre you can get in a 190/50 is known as a ‘Racing Street’ tyre.
Some of the best known examples include:
- Bridgestone Battlax RS10
- Continental ContiRaceAttack Comp Endurance
- Metzeler Racetec RR K3
- Pirelli Supercorsa SP V2
They are essentially one step down from the various manufacturer’s treaded race tyres, and with no need for warmers they offer a great option for riders who want to use the same set of tyres for both road and track riding.
If you’re serious about your track riding and feel the need for some full on race rubber, then you’ll have to up the size on the rear.
As per an article in this week’s issue of Motorcycle News, some riders have reported that this plays havoc with the bike’s road-focused traction control.
However as MCN’s Chris Dabbs says, the key is to ease off the throttle and then get back on it again rather than rely on the traction control all of the time. MCN have even tested the bike with a 200-section Bridgestone Battlax V02 Slick with no noticeable change in performance.
If in doubt, always ask your local motorcycle tyre dealer for advice!