Niall's Spin: 2000 Honda Fireblade CBR900RR

With an exciting family pedigree the 2000 Honda Fireblade had the unfortunate moniker of the 'sensible 'Blade'. Niall Mackenzie gives his feedback of the CBR900RR-Y

Click to read: Honda Fireblade CBR900RR owners reviews, Honda Fireblade CBR900RR specs and to see the Honda Fireblade CBR900RR image gallery.

This version isn't as hairy as previous or later models - but it's still an exceedingly fast motorcycle. Problems are pretty rare and it's even comfy enough to tour or take a pillion a reasonable distance.

A ground-up redesign over the previous model, the 2000 RR-Y offered a new, bigger engine (up from 918 to 929cc), fuel injection, upside-down forks, (at last) a 17-inch front wheel and much reduced weight - just 170kg (dry, claimed, of course).

Development had focused, as ever, on making the bike user-friendly, which Honda certainly achieved. But alas, it was never a match for Yamaha's R1 of that year and so this wasn't a Blade on which to capture TT
victories; David Jefferies on his R1 had the beating of Milky Quayle's RR-Y in 2000, while foot and mouth had everyone beaten in 2001.

Fuel injection lacks the smoothness of earlier carb'd models ('01 are better than '00 machines) especially low-down. And the handling could still be twitchy like previous Blades - fast riding track day types will favour a steering damper.

It's worth checking carefully for crash damage as this was the FireBlade where the swingarm mounts to the back of the engine cases rather than the frame ('semi-pivotless' they called it, as per the FireStorm). Consequently a rear-ending could damage the crankcases. Likelihood is such damage would result in a write-off, but it's worth checking for some sneakily welded-up cases.

Mechanically the engines are robust. If the engine isn't running 100 per cent it's worth checking the condition of the spark plugs first. These are expensive iridium units (c.£65 a set) and require the radiator to be moved for access, so they don't always get seen to as often as they should. Chain adjustment makes a big difference to gear change, as do the cush drive rubbers which can die as early as 20,000 miles.

Loads of 2000 machines are registered on '01 plates - the most obvious difference is colours, so make sure you know what you're looking at.

Still, a vast improvement on previous models, with a ride that feels up-to-date.

Key ID: USD forks distinguish it from earlier bikes. Later ones had a narrower headlight
Walk away: if it's got a dodgy old alarm fitted - there's plenty without

2000 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade Specifications

Engine 929cc, liquid-cooled, in-line four
150bhp @ 11,000rpm
76 ft/lbs @ 9,000rpm
Dry weight
Seat height
Fuel capacity
18 litres
Top speed
Blue/red/white, Blue/yellow/white, Black