2012 Honda Fireblade and NC700X launch


Posted: 21 November 2011
by mark forsyth
Just a little sketch I rattled off earlier
Weight paring where it matters...
Ye gods. Was that really two decades ago?

I'm chucking a few essential items into my massive stuffa bag, ready to go to Portimao tomorrow for the International launch of not just the Honda NC700X but also the new Fireblade, too.

You couldn't fathom two bikes at further ends of the scale. One all about performance and speed, the other about user-friendliness and thrift. I'm intrigued by the NC700X, though, because I genuinely have no idea what it'll be like to ride. The Blade - having used one all year - I can imagine all too well how it'll feel. It's a very strange feeling to think that I was also on the launch of the very first Fireblade way back in 1992 and here I am, twenty years on, attending another and still enjoying (and getting away with) the best job in the World. The bike may have got faster but I definitely haven't...

On paper the NC700 looks heavy and - by conventional measuring sticks - underpowered but that lay-down parallel twin engine, so the bumf says, has been tuned for low-down torque and fuel economy. It's also a very nifty modular platform that could save Honda's customers hard cash in the long run by cutting down on development costs and tooling. My mind is open. 

Day one (Wed) is devoted to the NC700X and the perfectly surfaced roads around Portimao in Portugal. Day two (Thur) is all about the Blade and that immaculately tarmac-coated motocross track, otherwise known as Portimao race circuit. You could ride a Hesketh Vampire round Portimao and still have a good time. Actually, no, you probably couldn't - that was a metaphor too far. It's a mint track, though. Possibly the minitiest in Europe.

If there's anything any of you would like to ask the designers, the engineers or the marketeers, I'd only be too happy to ask on your behalf.

As long as it's not going to offend, of course...

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Honda Fireblade, NC700X, Portimao, 2012, launch

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MF, Ive got a question i want asking: I've heard mention of my 2008 Fireblade having whats known as "Gear-change Assist" mechanism. This was told to me by my local Honda Technician while doing its first MOT but i didn't get anymore details. I know the gearchange is very good up and down the box but i can't find any reference anywhere to the system on the net. Believing that the 2012 Blade is the same engine etc ! See what you can find out please. And,!! ask if the Repsol will be available for 2013 as a second year addition. Cheers T7.

Posted: 21/11/2011 at 21:27

"You could ride a Hesketh Vampire round Portimao and still have a good time."

Only if you could get it to complete a lap! (Its a cheap shot I know)

Posted: 23/11/2011 at 17:18

Never did get an answer to my Blade question! And its been a while now.

Posted: 07/02/2014 at 07:26

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