The launch buzz around the Honda Fireblade was electric! It was released in ’92 – to rapturous applause, from press and public alike. In the unlikely event that you saw one stationary, it was sure to be engulfed in a gaggle of onlookers. Months of speculation had induced a feeding frenzy of interest in the new Blade. Tadao Baba was the boffin in charge of its development. The Fireblade – or CBR900RR – was the first Honda to sport the ‘RR’ nomenclature. The bike’s racing traits were duly declared!
The Fireblade screamed street-fightin’ bike! Squat – and barrel-chested – it looked like it would be up for a ding-dong at the drop of a hat. Steep steering geometry – and a super-short wheelbase – meant the Blade cut corners to ribbons. Suspension settings were decidedly ‘firm’. 407lb dry was no weight at all for a bike of its size. Factor in 113bhp – at 10,500rpm – and the result was explosive. Top speed for the Blade was an eye-watering 167mph. How much the drilled holes in its fairing helped is not documented!
Visually, too, the Blade was well up to speed. Blessed with eye-catching graphics – and a super-big tank – it was a brilliantined bobby dazzler of a bike! A beefy twin-spar frame – and braced swing-arm – visibly signalled the strength of the cycle parts. The sunk-down seat – and bulbous tailpiece – lent rock-solid support. Too solid for some, no doubt. Padding was minimal. Very minimal! But then, comfort was never the name of the Blade’s game. The Fireblade was a single-minded superbike. High-speed hats off to Honda!