‘Classic Blade? Best go analogue’
You know you’re old when you realise that a Fireblade is now eligible for classic insurance. The earliest ones came out in 1992: more than a quarter of a century ago. There are some used bikes that are just hallmarked, attested, certified and guaranteed good used buys, and the Blade is in that pantheon.
The trick is to work out what offers the best bang for your buck.
Forget the original 1992 model, with its fairing full of holes like someone discharged a shotgun at it. They’re very collectable and silly money: up to four grand for a minter with its original pipe (unobtainium, practically). The Urban Tiger version isn’t much less. The RRX model from 1999 (the end of the original 918cc engine) is maybe £3500. But that’s still two decades old, making it a risky purchase.
The latest models (one, maybe two years old) are expensive. Go back three years, and you’re looking at £7500-£8000 for something like a Repsol replica. That’s still quite pricey. I reckon the sweet spot is the RR6 or RR7 (the last one with the underseat exhaust). Yes, just pre-ABS, but decadeold ABS systems can fail, expensively, due to neglect and that applies to other fancy electronic aids which the later models also got. The RR7 is the last ‘analogue’ Blade. Make it as low mileage as possible, and pay between £4200-£4500. Add £500 for a Repsol or something truly exceptional.