Honda Fireblade Range

Honda Fireblade Range

The best of the rest what’s the competition?

The Honda CBR900RR FireBlade changed the way sportsbikes were designed forever by being lighter and more agile, rather than more powerful than the competition. That’s not to say it lacked in the horsepower department, its 123bhp was plenty in 1992.

But the power was much less of a headline than the Blade’s unbelievable lightness and supersport esque handling. 05 cbr 600rr fairings The first FireBlade weighed just 185kg (dry) which was 50kg lighter than a Triumph Daytona 1000. To put that into perspective, the Triumph weighed the same as the Honda plus Dani Pedrosa!

The Honda’s closest rivals were the Yamaha FZR1000 EXUP and the Suzuki GSX R1100 and they were both at least 15kg heavier.

Tadao Baba

The Honda FireBlade was the brainchild of Tadao Baba, whose motto, motorcycle fairing ‘light is right’ permeated the first bike and all the subsequent tweaks to the 900 model. The capital ‘B’ in FireBlade which appears in the name of the CBR900RR versions is for Baba.

Baba worked his way up through the ranks at Honda having joined as a Machinist in 1965. By 1989 he was asked to lead a project to make a sportsbike to outperform the Yamaha EXUP and Suzuki GSX 11 and the FireBlade was born.

Baba employed a European test team who he thought would be more willing to speak their mind about the bike, but he did a lot of testing himself and was known for regularly crashing. hayabusa fairings oem

The FireBlade name is actually a mistranslation of the Japanese word meaning ‘lightning’. Everything on the original bike was designed for lightness, from the race style drilled fairing to the plastic engine covers and the 16in front wheel.

Standard telescopic forks were used in preference to USD ones because they weigh less. The outcome of all this weight saving is that the FireBlade handled like a 600 and obliterated the competition.

A side effect of the FireBlade’s 16in front wheel was a slightly twitchy front end which Honda addressed by adding compression adjustment to the forks. cbr600rr fairings

The aluminium head was replaced by magnesium and an extra 2bhp was squeezed from the engine.

This was also the first version available in the Urban Tiger paint scheme and had a specific space for a U lock under the seat.

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