10 things you should know before buying a Honda FireBlade
In the early 90s, almost all manufacturers were focusing their attention on the 750 class. This was an obvious angle because it was there that they could homologate their road bikes for SBK competition, still the only series approved. by the FIA where legitimate road bikes compete.
Bikes with a capacity of over a liter were powerful, but incredibly heavy and virtually impossible to handle on a track, or a canyon road for that matter, as a result, they remained in the market as a niche product. for those who don’t care too much about bends. Honda broke the mold with its first 900cc FireBlade, speeding up 1000cc class freight trains and weighing as much, and in some cases less, than 750cc class motorcycles.
what’s in a name
In the end, the FireBlade name was more of a happy accident than something that has been thought about long and hard by a brand team.
It was supposed to be called the “Lightning” but the name was incorrectly translated from Japanese and the sticker read “FireBlade” (that makes sense if you think about it). However, he never seemed out of place on the bike and has since become one of the most iconic names in the superbike world.
Round eye revolution
Launched in 1992, it was ahead of its time. They took their planned 750 and reamed it to 893cc, which gave the bike a lot more traction.
In an era when most sports bikes struggled to produce 100 horsepower, the FireBlade made 122. It was lighter and more maneuverable than any 750cc motorcycle available to the public.
Second generation more refined
The first generation was more focused on raw energy, so it was anything but civilized. Although today you would pay a lot more for a first generation bike in good condition (good hunting), the second “foxeye” bikes are much more usable.
While the explosive nature has been slightly tamed, it actually has slightly more power, so if you don’t mind losing the round and light look, this should be the 900 for you.
Well, healthy for the consumer, not necessarily good for sales. In 1998, Yamaha once again changed the game, as soon as the R1 (pictured) hit the market Honda lost its crown.
From that point on, they became almost obsessed with beating the R1, it forced them to improve their bikes and push the limits of performance in the quest for sales.
Baba says goodbye with the 954
By the early 2000s, they had a reputation for still being the finalists, with the R1 being able to stay ahead of them in the superbike arms race. Tadao Baba and his team were determined to beat the R1, and with the 954 they most certainly did.
It was lighter, faster, and in many ways easier to ride than the R1 and is arguably the most underrated FireBlade. It would also be the last that Baba, the man who developed the first FireBlade, would have a helping hand before his retirement. Unfortunately for Honda they had become so obsessed with beating Yamaha that they pretty much forgot the rest, Suzuki took advantage of that when they released the GSX-R1000 that same year, the first truly modern superbike, the same year.
A different Fireblade is born
Not only did the name change a bit, but the whole design and feel of the bike changed with it, as it was pretty much a clone of the RCV racing bike.
Once again, Honda had developed something quite special, but the competition, this time the Yamaha R1 crossplane, K5 Gixxer (pictured) and the Kawasaki ZX-10R, stayed well ahead of them in 2005.
For the first time since the launch of the first Blade, Honda had apparently stopped paying attention to what the competition was doing.
As a result, they focused more on what they do well and came up with one of the finest superbikes one can buy. In 2007, James Toseland would win the SBK world title on this bike, finally giving Honda bragging rights.
One thing that always sets Honda motorcycles apart from others is their commitment to quality, everything about their motorcycles looks solid and useful.
Even these super-stretched superbikes are incredibly reliable, more reliable than any other manufacturer by far. They are built to last and can withstand severe abuse in their stride.
The safest used superbike
High-performance bikes are terribly difficult to justify buying second-hand, there is always a part of the risk because these are the machines generally subject to the greatest number of abuses.
If you’re going to do that, the safest way to go is still Honda and by extension the FireBlade. These are incredibly durable machines, and if you go in that direction look no further than the 954. It’s a really special bike that will one day be recognized as a classic, for now they remain affordable.
Too many Rs
The new Fireblade or CBR1000RR-R is by far the most advanced and by far the most powerful version of the bike. It will come standard with several safety features and will dominate on the track.
It is, without a doubt, a very good bike, but it just feels like it is once again trying too hard to compete. Honda is generally the best when they focus on their own thing; everyday conviviality.
Designed to deliver superb track performance, the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP features a new engine and chassis derived from Honda’s RC213V-S race bike.
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