‘Clas­sic Blade? Best go ana­logue’

MCN - - THIS WEEK - NEIL MUR­RAY Our used bike dealer re­veals this week’s smartest buys

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.

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