The Honda Fireblade is often cited as one of the bikes that redefined the superbike category when it was released in 1990, sweeping aside sales for the Suzuki GSXR1100, Yamaha FZR1000 and Kawasaki GPZ900R and ZX10. One of the biggest differences between the Fireblade and the competition was the weight, which was 34kg lighter than the closest rival FZR1000.

This made the Fireblade class leading with weight comparable to 600 supersport bikes with around 110bhp and a usable amount for torque. The Fireblade still lives on today with the latest 1000cc versions nudging 200bhp, including all the latest electronic rider aids such as traction and launch control.

The most popular colour schemes are the original white, red and blue, however the urban tiger paint scheme was also very popular.

Honda’s popular original CBR900RR colour scheme

My only complaint on the original Fireblade was the gearbox which most found clunky and occasionally hit some false neutrals. As you would expect with Honda these issues were ironed out with later variants of the bike, which also included a gradual capacity increase to keep pace with the competition and changes to world superbike homologation requirements.

Buying a first generation Honda Fireblade

Finding an original unmolested example can be very difficult with many being crashed damaged which usually resulted in cheap resprays or being converted to street fighters. The original exhaust was usually replaced with an aftermarket system and some replaced the original front suspension and wheel from later models to use a 17 inch wheel, rather than the 16 inch wheel on first generation model.

Owner forums can be a great resource for finding rare parts and importantly verifying the originality of the bike, and also help steer you away from buying a bike which has been heavily repaired. Tired mechanicals and chassis with gleaming bodywork is usually a sign of bike which is hiding some history.

Improvements which aren’t visible ie suspension revalve shouldn’t impact the value of the bike if it still looks stock, and if you are planning to ride the bike these type of modifications make perfect sense. Many people mistake the front forks as upside down (USD), however they are fairly conventional right way up (RWU) forks, and known to become a bit twitchy at high speeds.

1992 Honda Fireblade

This 1992 example was originally registered in mainland Europe before being imported to the UK in 2020. The only aftermarket items visible are the tank protector and the dark screen. Both of these items can be replaced for complete originality if required.

The simple black livery still looks modern today and someone who doesn’t know much about motorbikes would probably be surprised to learn the bike is 40 years old. Also improvements in tyre technology over years means that handling and tyre wear is more manageable, however finding decent tyres for the 16 inch front wheel could be challenging.

If you are looking to bid and potentially buy this lovely example we wish you the best of luck and please let us know your plans for the bike by keeping in touch via our social media channels. If you are looking to undertake any restoration and servicing yourself you may want to look at our workshop tools article provide a few ideas for setting up your garage area and essential tools.

Another consideration is the impact of modern fuels on classic and new timer motorbikes, especially bikes with steel fuel tanks and carburettor systems which can suffer from excessive corrosion due to ethanol. We suggest having a read of our ethanol in fuel article to identify potential ethanol damage and measures to prevent damage over time.

Ride safe,

Al (barnfindmotorcycle.com)


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