Or bits of it, anyway
Well, after several months of eager anticipation, that day has arrived. My 2011 Repsol Blade has finally rocked up. She'll be accompanying me this year on a voyage of track days, real road racing spectating and on my 200 mile commute between the office and home. Come on spring!
I opted for the ABS model, largely because I was bullied into it. Oh, and the fact that we really need to put this system to the test. Yes, I know the German IDM Superbike series was won by an ABS kitted Blade but I'm an old traditionalist weirdo who likes motorcycling to be as difficult as possible. Don't ask me why. I have no justification but it's probably something to do with deeply-rooted ingrained behaviour. Or potty training. Or something.
In Hondas defence, their sports bike ABS is an immaculate system, really. Unless you start ripping the bodywork off there aren't many clues that an anti lock braking system is even present. There are some obvious front and rear wheel sensors and the necessary wiring but after that, you have to really squint a bit.
The super-tidy steering damper is just as obscure. Stashed under the front of the plastic dummy tank, the damper is barely visible, connected to the top yoke by a rose jointed linkage. How neat?
I have simple plans for our time together. I'm not going to do the usual journo-blag of fantastically expensive parts. I'm after definite improvements but I'm also keen to keep a lid on the cost. Firstly I need to sort the fuelling out to circumnavigate the noise/emissions blips that appear in any modern bike's power curve. I want three things from this - improved throttle response, a nice shape to the power and torque curves and better fuel consumption.
The stock exhaust system is staying put on the grounds that it looks better than any stock system (ever) and I want to do all my speeding extremely covertly. The very real threat of a jail sentence for (getting caught) hitting the red line in second gear means that steps need to be taken to minimise any possibility of prison food.
Relative silence is obviously a good thing but I was pretty shocked at the cost of full systems and end cans for this bike. Yes, I'm assured the very best make a difference to the Blade's power output but I'm sure that £1300 will be better spent on other things. Like me. I'm sure 170bhp will do me just fine.
So I'm going for a freer flowing air filter (more induction noise - nice) a 520 chain conversion (less drag) and careful suspension set up. The latter may take me some time but it's for free.
Just checked the forecast and things are beginning to look up. I'll report back very shortly.
Lucky. Barstard. Yes, I am jealous. Nice bike Mark, very tasty. Enjoy.
Posted: 01/03/2011 at 15:13
Posted: 01/03/2011 at 22:19
Posted: 02/03/2011 at 10:29
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