The creator of modern sportsbikes is now a reserved classic in the world of it's offspring, Niall Mackenzie takes a look at the orginal Honda Fireblade
Click to read: Honda CBR900RR Fireblade owners reviews, Honda CBR900RR Fireblade specs and to see the Honda CBR900RR Fireblade image gallery.
We could bat on here about how the Blade changed the face of modern sportsbiking, how it gave us 1000cc power and 750cc handling for the first time thanks to Honda's mass-centralisation concept, and how it came with an unorthodox 16-inch front wheel which can make tyre choice an issue. But rather than do that, we'll credit you all with some intelligence and assume you've perhaps read this kind of thing a few (hundred?) times before.
Instead let's look at the Blade from today rather than 10 years ago. Ride one now and you'll find it's not shockingly fast (only 122bhp you see) and really rather comfortable thanks to that flat seat and fat stretch across the mammoth tank to the wide bars. You'll also find it's still seriously cool.
Somehow, despite losing power and gaining weight next to the bikes that have come since, the Blade has remained timelessly cool in a James Dean sort of way, and it never had to get splattered across the side of a hay lorry to make it there either.
If you want to buy one you'll find there are good 'uns still to be had. Sure plenty were thrashed, trashed and pinged into hedgerows around the country by hard-riding owners, but being Hondas those that weren't written off have, by and large, stood up far better than just about any other sports bike of the same vintage. Even better, in recent years plenty have fallen into the hands of more caring owners wanting a modern classic and have even had TLC lavished on them already.
All in all, a used FireBlade of this vintage is a rare and beautiful thing. Providing, of course, it's still beautiful. Beware garishly 'personalised' bikes with tacky add-ons spoiling this maturing classic, or god-awful aftermarket paintjobs. Also question carbon frame protectors hiding possible frame dents, mismatched bodywork doing the same, and budget on a few hundred quid for a suspension and chassis bearing overhaul and you'll be laughing.
Key ID: twin headlights - not behind extra glass, lots of holes in the fairingWalk away: from shoddy DIY 17-inch front wheel conversions. It can be done well using the right parts, but the chances are it won't be
Posted: 17/01/2013 at 22:24
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