Used Bike

Blackbird Owner Manual p2

The ultimate buyers guide to the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird written by the people who actually own the bike…

The nuts & bolts


  • Top five tyres

Avon Storm ST 38%
Bridgestone BT020 19%
Bridgestone BT021 13%
Avon AV45/46 Azaro 13%
Continental Road Attack 6%

Avon’s Storm STs romp away with loads of owners raving about their longevity and good grip in the wet and dry. Bridgestone’s BT020 and its successor the 021 are always good sellers for sports touring bikes and owners who use them are pleased with them. The Continental Road Attacks have a few fans but a similar number of other people said they’d tried them and didn’t like them. Dunlop Roadsmart (a new, cost conscious tyre), Pirelli Diablo Stradas (a good sports touring tyre), Michelin Pilot Road IIs (another quality sports touring tyre) and Pirelli Diablo IIIs (the sportiest rubber in the survey) were fitted by a smattering of owners.

Tyre life is pretty good for such a powerful, heavy bike. Fronts lasted an average of 7,808 miles and rears 5,296 miles.

Running costs
Fuel consumption’s not brilliant – but this is a big, heavy, fast bike that often lugs two people plus luggage. Injected bikes in our survey averaged 39.8mpg and the earlier ones with carbs did a slightly better at 41.3mpg. Gentle motorway cruising will see both getting near to 50mpg while track day thrashing can get this below 20.

Servicing is due at 4,000 with the average cost being £111, a larger one at 8,000 miles, typically £160 and the biggy with valves every 16,000 miles average cost £271. Quite a few owners are using independent mechanics.

EBC HH brake pads are more popular than original Honda ones and owners say they’re cheaper and work better – although those with OE say they’re perfectly fine. A few use Ferodo with no complaints and one chose Carbone Lorraine and says they’re excellent in the wet. Owners seem to care for chains and plenty are getting 20,000+ plus miles from them – although quite a few have Scottoilers. Insurance is group 16 – one down from the highest so get a quote before you buy as this can be steep. Equally, we’ve heard of fully comp for less than £90!

Continue the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird Buyer Guide


Owner Case Study: "I liked the Blackbird so much i set up a business selling parts for them."

John ‘Jaws’ Smith 

“I’m on my third Blackbird. I must have owned 100 to 150 bikes in my life and I’ve never bought a second one of anything, let alone a third but these are brilliant. There’s not enough superlatives in the language for me to say how good they are. My first one was a 1996 bike. I did 30,000 miles on it, got knocked off and bought a 2000 one.

“I tried a lot of tyres on it. Bridgestone were very good at the time but I don’t think they’ve moved on much. I rate Avons. The Azaros were good and now the Storm STs are too. I sold that one as the injected ones are slightly slower and use more fuel than the carbed ones. I’ve just got another carbed one. Doing a steady 80 or 90mph it’ll return high 40s to low 50s mpg.

“I now own a business selling parts for Blackbirds, Jaws Motorcycle Services (01842 754415). Officially we only sell parts but unofficially we do some service work too. I seem to beat Honda on price by about 2/3. I think this is because I only work on Blackbirds and know them so well, what a Honda dealer mechanic will book four hours labour takes me one and a half or two.”

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