Getting under the skin of our Fireblade.
If our twenty year old Fireblade could talk I’m pretty sure it would have plenty of tales to tell.
This was a new bike once, someone would’ve counted down the sleeps until the 1st August 1998. The new S plate index on the number plate would have been worth a few kudos points back then. The list price was an eye popping £9.394! Our long lost first owner would also have been pretty pissed off in 1999 when Honda slashed the price by almost two grand to a more acceptable £7,524.
The late 1990s was when the motorcycle industry had to listen to the bike buying public who had flocked to buying new grey import models that carried massive savings over official UK models. The usual scaremongering clap trap about invalid warranties etc was trotted out by the industry, true maybe but it took them a while to trim their lumpy profit margins.
Many owners caught a cold, bikes purchased from your local dealer were suddenly worth a lot less than they should’ve been. By the new millennium it had all calmed down.
Over the years this poor old Blade saw 13 different owners, then it arrived in my life.
I have spent a few hours getting under the skin of this scruffy race rep.
There’s plenty of clues that indicate that she’s had a tough time. The non standard paintwork is the biggest sign that she’s probably been up the road. The fairing and tail piece have been resprayed, the panels are genuine Honda items, the metal flake sparkle definitely isn’t. The upshot is it’s pretty shiny and not overly offensive. The petrol tank is were it all goes wrong. We’ve all experienced orange peel finish on poor resprays, well this Blade sports a finish on the tank that’s got more cracks in it than a camels ball bag. It’s so bad I feel the need to do something about it. My options are both budget solutions, either find another tank, or have a go at painting this one. The only thing I’m any good at spraying is my urine, painting skills are not something that I own. Being positive though, how hard can it be!?
There’s no end of corroded metal, the parts effected range from the lower fork legs, through to the spring on the rear shock. I will try my best to cheer it up, honest.
Those pesky frame protectors look crap, like entering a cheap B&B room I know that if I take them off I am going to be disappointed with what awaits me. Yup, sure enough my gut instinct was spot on.
The righthand side of the alloy frame was all ok, but when I pulled the left hand one off I was greeted by a dented frame spar.
It’s the result of the handlebar end kissing the frame, my new bike just keeps on giving.
I am not too fussed, I’ve been here before with other bikes I’ve owned.
I could just stick the gloss black painted carbon frame guards back on, instead I leave them off.
Next job, get the tank up and have a dig about, wish me luck!