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Old 23rd January 2008, 17:04   #1
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Default Honda FireBlade 2 years +

She's all red and my first SBK. I bought her with 30K on the clock, new company-spec Bridgestone tyres, and a slew of new parts fixed including front brake rotors and pads, mirrors, indicators, clutch plates, battery and more.

This report talks more of my riding experience on her as in terms of maintenance she has performed as expected of a Honda product, ie. impeccably: in 2 years, all I needed to do above and beyond regular servicing where we changed fluids etc., was to service the front fork and replace the oil seals.

Riding the Beast
My first day -actually week- astride her was, guess what...tentative. She generated far more power than anything I'd ever been exposed to AND I was terrified of pushing her beyond my limit. In week 3 or 4, her turbine-smooth delivery was becoming more familiar and my reflexes were now in sync. This is about the time I found she'd wheelie thru gears 1-3 without my even trying to pull a wheelie...and the anchors slammed her back to pedestrian reality ...on a dime. Boy, was I in love.

But while she had the oomph, she lacked sorely in the bells and whistles dept: yup, the stock aluminium silencer was just too quiet for a maniac copywriter on his first superbike. How I longed for a Yoshimura.
So, a heap of Uncle Sam's greenbacks later, yours truly joins the band of anti-social elements on Bangalore's roads with a carbon fibre job, air filter and jets to match. And was it worth all the expense.

Potter along below 3K revs and she purrs with just a hint of the tigress. Wind open that throttle and she's suddenly a very angry tigress, not one of those neutered critters in your average zoo but a real in-your-face-full-zebra-for-lunch feline. Beats all the other aft/market silencers I've heard on friend's bikes: Micron, Leo Vince, Akropovic etc. hands down. Biased? Sure :-)

Twas only recenty that I ventured out on highway blasts with a bunch of SBK riders, and I can honestly say I've just begun enjoying her. Yup, I did do 2 long distance rides to Chennai- one of which was 2-up, but these dedicated hi-speed runs on Sundays are at another level altogether: firstly, it's the competitive inspiration, the sight and sound of 4-20 SBKs in sports mode...more importantly, being in the company of capable and V FAST riders. I learnt that the best way to hold speed thru fast corners was to hang off the bike with my derrier near tarmac. I learnt that a 160km corner can turn and bite you in the bum if you have a change of mind mid-stream and hit the brakes. I learnt that what I thought were but mediocre rubber turned out capable of handling everything I've thrown at them so far...so Bridgestone do know their onions even if other riders in my gang swore by their Pirellis and Michelins.

More later. Watch this space.
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Old 23rd January 2008, 20:20   #2
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Fantastic review! And happy to know you're enjoying the time on your first SBK!

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Potter along below 3K revs and she purrs with just a hint of the tigress. Wind open that throttle and she's suddenly a very angry tigress, not one of those neutered critters in your average zoo but a real in-your-face-full-zebra-for-lunch feline. Beats all the other aft/market silencers I've heard on friend's bikes: Micron, Leo Vince, Akropovic etc. hands down. Biased? Sure :-)
And those lines above really made me laugh, your copyrighters can't help yourselves can you?

Keep the good stuff coming!
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Old 23rd January 2008, 20:24   #3
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some pics please?
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Old 23rd January 2008, 20:27   #4
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lovely writeup netchef! brings back memories of the 97 900rr i had.. ive ridden a lotta sbks in my life but not a single could match the character the 900/919 had.. for me, a sbk had to be big in size and the 900 was just what i wanted! it was completely stock except for a full acro exh system and bigger jets.. the bike would sing and the power was great. 1st and 2nd gear always scared the crap outta me! im sure urs does the same to u!

would love to see coupla pics of ur 919..
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Old 23rd January 2008, 20:44   #5
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Netchef,

Great writeup.. Enjoy the blade . she is a good one.

With the Yoshimura, I can imagine the transition from purring kitten to angered tigress.

Hope to ride with you on one of these sundays.

Vijay
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Old 23rd January 2008, 20:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netchef View Post
So, a heap of Uncle Sam's greenbacks later, yours truly joins the band of anti-social elements on Bangalore's roads with a carbon fibre job, air filter and jets to match.
Well written netchef glad you're enjoying your ride.

BTW What year is ...up until the above line i was assuming its a CBR 1000RR but since you said jets i'm thinking its a 900rr? Am i right?

Ride safe !
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Old 23rd January 2008, 21:05   #7
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Nice report,netchef!
Makes me want to drive out right now and get myself a bike (ah..if it only was that simple).
I remember seeing some pics of your bike..but please don't limit the number of pics here.. keep 'em comin..!
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Old 24th January 2008, 13:19   #8
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Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Fantastic review! And happy to know you're enjoying the time on your first SBK!



And those lines above really made me laugh, your copyrighters can't help yourselves can you?

Keep the good stuff coming!
Thanks, Sir. Yeah copywriters...totally mad :-)
Imagine getting the last word in and one soaked in 97 octane at that.
Pics coming.

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lovely writeup netchef! brings back memories of the 97 900rr i had.. ive ridden a lotta sbks in my life but not a single could match the character the 900/919 had.. for me, a sbk had to be big in size and the 900 was just what i wanted! it was completely stock except for a full acro exh system and bigger jets.. the bike would sing and the power was great. 1st and 2nd gear always scared the crap outta me! im sure urs does the same to u!

would love to see coupla pics of ur 919..
I've not had the luxury of many SBKs...my Blade, well she has heaps of character and scares the Hell out of me too. BUT she's lovable and v rewarding. Friends have since offered me hot, new 600s, but once you hit the magical 900, there's no looking back, is there?

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Originally Posted by prabhuav View Post
Netchef,

Great writeup.. Enjoy the blade . she is a good one.

With the Yoshimura, I can imagine the transition from purring kitten to angered tigress.

Hope to ride with you on one of these sundays.

Vijay
Thks, Vijay. See you soon...au revs :-)

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Originally Posted by highwayblaze View Post
Well written netchef glad you're enjoying your ride.

BTW What year is ...up until the above line i was assuming its a CBR 1000RR but since you said jets i'm thinking its a 900rr? Am i right?

Ride safe !
Thanks. 1999, carburetted- you are right. Saw pics of the 08 1000RR and she's a looker.

Nitin- thanks. I made a whole lot of sacrifices for this BIG indulgence, and certainly cannot afford her even now, but ...
I hope your dream comes to fruition soon. Pics coming soon as I figure how :-)

Last edited by Samurai : 24th January 2008 at 14:30. Reason: Kindly use multi-quote feature. We can see through post-count boosting tricks :-)
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Old 24th January 2008, 14:55   #9
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Pics
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http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/7107/img2546uq8.jpg
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Old 28th January 2008, 11:56   #10
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Default FireBlade scratch 2






Dear Sir, the wind howled, the cam chain tensioner whined (don't know if my Blade even has one, but makes me sound like I know things), the needle flicked into a nervous-plum region somewhere north of Yokogawa...

and the bleedin highway to Mulbagal has no sign posts to tell you where the road went. So, you peel out of a 140 km turn right into the sternum of a puzzling fork in the road. Decisions decisions. Dab on the brakes, chop two gear ratios till Honda-san grumbles, say a prayer in FFWD, dive into the left road. Wrong move: it's not the highway any more but some bleedin side-kick road masquerading as the genuine article...and there was no way you could have known it. Unless, of course, you were doing a stately 15kmph. So, you're still at 100+kmph, and suddenly find a horrible, anthill of a speed breaker inches from your Stanley lights. Roll the eyes till the whites show, see fleeting pics of your youth, cigarettes smoked behind bushes, girl-friends...(well, none of your business, young man)...and you run out of film. Hit the bump at 80, struggle to control the beast which is behaving like a gymnast with a rattlesnake in her leotards....CURSE the Govt, the signage people, the Communists... vent some serious expletives, BUT she holds on. She pulled thru. The tarmac returns to below your Bridgestones from a position somewhere near the canopy of tamarind trees. The gawking villagers scrambling for cover do NOT have to descend to scrape you out of their paddy fields. You live for another cigarette behind bushes, another gal, another crazed ride on crisp Sabbath morning.

Well, it's all part of growing up and getting white hairs they say (prob the Hell's Angels marketing Dept.). Many white hairs (how are the signs of multipe fear doses manifest on a chap with a clean-shaven cranium, I ask you?). Shaken and stirred, you roll up to the gang. All it takes for the macho effect is to pluck the skeins of Congress grass you got stuck in your helmet strap, and, "A strong coffee, please".

Yeah, you belong. You might have voted Congress but you're one of the guys. Mad, reeking of petrol, and quite likeable.
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Old 29th January 2008, 11:31   #11
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Rajeev,That is one helluva writeup. Now you make me really feel bad about missing the ride. Will definitely make it next week Vijay
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Old 29th January 2008, 13:39   #12
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man chef, amazing writeup.. just love it! i must confess, i had to lookup most of the words in the dictionary..lol.. ur mastery of the english lanuage never seizes to amaze me..
wish i could get my hands on a blade again..
hey, do u work on ur bike yourself? in the sense normal servicing stuff, cleaning carbs n all?
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Old 29th January 2008, 13:42   #13
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is the RR on the mid fairing silver or white in colour? nice colour combo.. can i get a pic of the front please?

heres a pic of the colour combo of the 97 900 that was with me..
Image - TinyPic - Share the Experience!™

Last edited by james : 29th January 2008 at 13:43.
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Old 29th January 2008, 13:56   #14
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netchef, awesome bike! how much did it cost you and how much is it still costing you to maintain
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Old 29th January 2008, 14:22   #15
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Wonderful additional review Netchef! Keep them coming!
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