Used Bike

Honda Honda Fireblade review: Old vs New - page 2

Back to the future...

£ 14999
Not rated

SO – what did we learn? Well, there's little to be said about a direct back-to-back comparison with the 2017 and 1992 bikes really. Quarter of a century is a long time in anyone's book, and while it's not quite on par with a week in politics, the differences between the two Hondas is massive. The new bike's electronics give a safety net that's totally absent on the old Blade, and while the old 'un is still a fine handling tool, the 2017 machine, especially the SP, is in a different place in terms of brakes and suspension. In terms of engine output, 70bhp is 70bhp, and the 2017 bike obviously trounces its great-grandaddy.

But where the 1992 bike wins out is in its significance, and its epoch-making performance relative to its peers. The 2017 Fireblade sits a little behind its competitors for me on performance: the Suzuki GSX-R1000 is faster and better value, the Kawasaki ZX-10R is stronger on track and has oodles of WSB-winning kudos, while BMW's S1000RR offers more all-round utility and performance.

As I leave Rockingham on my super-trick Monster 1200S, though, I realise that my riding brain has definitely been altered a little by modern performance bikes as a whole. Electronic aids like ABS, traction and up/down quickshifters are common across the sector, especially the litrebike class. And once you spend a few thousand miles using them, you do get used to them, and miss them if they're absent.

Could you go back though? Hell yes! That 1992 FireBlade is much closer to modern biking life than my mundane 1992 existence of faxes, Kodacolor canisters, BT phone boxes and the local library reference section relates to modern working life. Honda's revolutionary nineties superbike definitely still has the cojones to do the business, even for an internet-enabled, smartphone-toting, 50-megapixel modern rider…



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