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Am test riding a 98 Blade on the weekend

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Gezza24, May 21, 2008.

  1. Hi All,

    As the title says, I've decided to sell out to the 4 stroke crowd and buy a 98 CBR900RR or a GSXR600 or 750. I'm leaning towards the blade because of their reliability reputation and excellent reviews they got in their time. Also they've been around for a while meaning more parts.

    Does anyone have any tips for my first test ride? I've been riding on the road for 2 years and have been riding dirt bikes most of my life. Trouble is the only 4-strokes I've ridden have been a WR426 and a VTR250. Obviously neither of them had 130 horsepower, so am a little, how should I say, trepidatious :shock: I know it's going to have a fair bit more engine braking than my RGV and also will be a hell of a lot more responsive.

    Also it's got 46,000km's on it and it's $6,000 with rego till march. Is that unreasonable. I've heard these engines will last a good long time witout ever opening them up. That most of the appeal of it. Push button and go. Also it will suit my weekend trips out to the country and I like a bit of sportiness too.

    Any tips would be much appreciated :grin:
  2. Mate if you can ride an RGV, an old blade will be a piece of piss.

    There's some bloody cheap ones around, hold out until you find one that's in great nick, with all the fairing bolts and everything in good condition. You know the type; never ridden in the wet blah blah blah.

    Comfort factor isn't exceptional - maybe throw in a test ride of a 98-onwards ZX9R, there's some excellent niners out there with similar power and nice handling but genuine all-day comfort where a blade or gixxer might get a bit challenging.
  3. As what Loz says:

    These superbikes only produce the horse power way up the power band. For most road legal speed riding they are as tame as a wombat. Just don't piss it off and spank the throttle, otherwise she bite's :wink:
  4. What Loz says is pretty good advice IMHO.

    I on the other hand found both my blades (95 & 99) to be quite comfortable on longer rides.

    The $6K asking price ia a bit much unless it is exceptional, often a 2000 929 with similar or less km in great condition can be had for a fraction more. I bought and sold a 97 blade with 30km on it in 2003 for $5K (cost) and sale $7K, and it was in pretty good nick, no damage at all, just minimal tyres. It was cheap for me at that time and sold fairly easily, so a 98 some 5 years on with 46km is no bargain.

    I would keep looking unless this is an exceptional example.
  5. TWEET, perhaps you're not factoring in the price differences between states? There looks to be a nice and clean '99 model with 2k kms for $6.5k on bikesales. You should be able to talk them down to $6k.
  6. I'm really after a 98+ model as the reports of the early one's say the steering is very aggresive and prone to headshaking. They tamed that out a bit on the later model bikes. I've had a few of those on my RGV, but I'd hate to have one on a 180kg bike. I'd imagine it would be quite a wild ride!

    I've always noticed Victoria seems to be a bit more expensive to buy bikes. QLD seems to always be the cheapest too for some reason. This price is from a dealer so I expect to pay a little more for the convienence.

    I haven't really seen much below this price at all unfortunately. Also I think the colours of the bike make a difference too. I'm a bit of a show pony so normally go for the prettiest colour scheme. I could probably knock a bit off that $6,000 if I try or maybe even get a new jacket chucked in. My thoughts are it's reasonable, but probably not a bargain. Assuming there's nothing knackered like the engine, headstem bearings or rear suspension bushes, I'm fairly keen. Really excited about it actually :twisted:
  7. The earlier models had a 16" front rim, making them a bit more prone to headshake, but you really had to give them stick to induce it, my 95 was fine, and there was not much diff to the 99....
  8. Can you still get reasonable tyres for them? i.e. sports tyres not tourers
  9. Plus 1 have a look at zx9s after having mine for 2 1/2 years and doing 100,000 ks on it they are the goods.If possible go for models 2000 upwards as there was a lot of changes in the later models
  10. Well had my test ride and learned I had nothing to fear at all. This bike is so well mannered, it's incredible compaired to the rgv. It give no indication it will do anything stupid unless you make it. The engine seems to run like a well oiled sewing machine, with no smoke and it's ultra responsive. It's looks pretty big, but it's fairly light on it's feet. Didn't get a chance to get out of 2nd, but the acceleration was blistering and the torque curve was very flat, with 1st gear hardly being needed.

    I probably could have got the SRAD gsxr if I wanted a sportier bike, but from the reviews I've read say if you can scrape the 'blades pegs on a public road, you should consider racing. The blade is more comfortable, has been evolving since 92 and has a reputation for reliability.

    I decided to slap down a deposit and will pick up my first Fireblade mid next week. All for $5,900 including on roads, stamp duty which I think is pretty good value, considering some 91 model cbr250's go for that. Can't wait until my first decent ride of it out into the country.
  11. Congratulations mate, they are a great bike, I had 2 of them and loved every km. CBR600 front wheel 17" will fit straight on.
  12. well done, you wont be disappointed.
  13. I've got the same bike and mine handles exactly how you described the one you testrode. You will scrape the pegs suprisingly easy as they're quite low compared to later model bikes. You've got it for a good price and they are solid, reliable bikes. There are a few good fireblade forums about which have heaps of info. Pm me if you have any questions.
  14. Yes, congrats on the new bike. If you are looking for a CBR600 front, I have one I'm selling, PM for details.
  15. great buy mate..

    I would have at least used all the gears though to suss out if any are noisy..

    nice bike.. what colours.. ?? or did I miss that :eek:
  16. Ah well the riding was inner city, which included crazy taxi drivers, tram tracks and the usual assortment of aggro, clueless people looking for a park. I couldn't really stretch it's legs as it's got verrrry long legs, and I'm too used to 2-strokes which would no doubt stall or bog down if I put it in a high gear at sane speeds. Was actually shocked when I came out of a round about at 60, pulled the throttle and there was power right there! the engine was barely ticking over too! Also how controllable the power is. You want 65% power? you got it. 60% just as easy.

    It's got a strange mix of super sport and tourer about it. The steering is lightning quick (almost quicker than my rgv) and the throttle response is amazing. You just look at the throttle and barks to 6,000rpm before you know it. The suspension is racetrack hard, however the riding position is comfortable and the pegs are relatively low. Will have to soften up the dampening a little and run less preload as I don't think I'd make it 70kg even with all my gear on.

    I wonder if the old model rearsets would fit the later models? This might mean a bit of extra ground clearance, though it's not really a consideration at the moment. The handle bars could probably be dropped a little too for a more racier position. At the moment the riding position feels quite comfortable and lends more control over the bike in my opinion.

    P.S. I will keep that 17" rim in mind, as I'm told my choice of rubber will be limited severly with the standard rim. Hopefully there's a least one decent model of tyres I can use. I'll probably wait until the old tyres wear out first though. Most people say the main reason for changing would be just purely for rubber choice.
  17. My old Hornet has a 16" wheel at the front, and tyre choice is limited, but not impossible. Bridgestone make the BT-014 in 16", the Michelin Pilot Sport is available in 16", the Pirelli Diablo is also.
  18. I think I'm in love with this bike :cool: It's just brilliant. There were a few handling complaints. It felt a bit skittish at first, so I check the tyre pressure. 36psi in both tyres! I change it to 29psi front and 31 rear. It felt much better after that. The rear tyre is quite badly squared off, so the front turns in lighting quick, but the rear wants to go straight. Will have to get a new BT-14 for the rear shortly, as it's upsetting the otherwise great handling.

    My impressions are this is more of a learner bike than my RGV!! No wonder RGV's are being banned for new riders as despite the fact this bike is 130hp and my RGV was 62, the blade is so much easier to ride and forgiving. I havent had a chance to really stretch the legs on the CBR as anytime I try the speedo winds up as some crazy speed, but it's fair to say it's a rocket. It's very nimble and has loads of grunt. It's kind of like the equivalant of a V8 car down low and a modified turbo up top. The extra weight is barely noticable (probably due to the very quick steering of the blade). I could imagine they would be a bit tank slapper happy.

    All in all I'm very happy with the bike. It's a bargain for what you get. It has 47,000km's on it, but it's like brand new in some many way. It speaks volumes for Honda's build quality, and it certainly inspires brand loyaty. The yoshi pipe sounds really tough and has a very menacing howl up top.

    P.S. Did I mention I love this bike :)
  19. Great to see you are enjoying the new bike. I suggest a re-think of your tyre pressures, those are track pressurs you are running, particlarly the rear.
  20. Lucky you mention about the tyres pressures. It appears after more research that 34psi front, 36psi rear would be the minimum for the road. I was just going by what the RGV was recommended to run. Being a lighter bike I guess it could get away with lower pressures, but a bigger bike would require more to withstand the extra forces.