November 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm #14522RadarModerator
I am a very luck lad: This is the third Honda Fireblade that I have ridden and perhaps my favourite. I loved the 1995 model and the stunning jet black 2007 example was massively impressive. But this edition hailing from 2003 combines much of the crushing performance of the newer bike with a hint of the raw edged appeal of the earlier Blade.
My first ride was rather spoilt as the bike has suffering from a common Blade malady: Namely a dodgy gearbox meaning I had to avoid 4th gear. However I blagged a second ride while over in France recently and it was a really enjoyable experience. The bike bike was now fitted with a ex HRC close ratio box. This has straight cut gears, a tall first ratio and whines like a b@st@rd, but this somehow adds to the experience rather than detracts from it.
Strong performance and a raw edged feel
Great performance is a given with a big superbike, and the fruity pipe fitted gives it another edge and dimension. However it was the suspension on this Honda that really suited my riding style perfectly and gave confidence straight away. I felt at home almost immediately despite a riding position way more extreme than my Yamaha FZ1s. The Blade has a taut, alive feel that belied the 20,000 miles on the clock. This where Honda’s fabled quality really shines through. The brakes were also very impressive and the bike was just a fun way to cover ground very quickly. Ok the later models are 30/40 bhp up on this bike, but the pace would have to be extremely serious before this bike would be embarrassed. Overall a great bike to ride that belies its’ 8 years and 20,000 miles. Thanks for the blast Matt!
The other blades that I tried:November 29, 2011 at 7:34 pm #62904ses310Moderator
My pleasure mate, glad you enjoyed it!
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