Still one of the finest trackday bikes around
If we’re really honest with ourselves, the Fireblade has more than enough power for the circuit. When did we all start needing 200bhp for trackdays?
BMW started the big bhp race in 2010, but before that we were all happy and maybe even a little bit fearful of Japanese superbikes like the Blade, which made 160-170bhp
at the rear wheel.
The Honda is as superbly balanced on track as it is on the road – the steering is light, precise and there’s feel aplenty through the chassis, so you know exactly how much grip you have. You never miss not having traction control, even in slippery conditions. The Öhlins, Brembos and free-revving SP engine add an extra layer of control and a dash more fun to proceedings, too.
But since the launch of the S1000RR, the superbike landscape has changed. We’ve got used to acceleration that pins you relentlessly in the seat and enjoyed a new dawn of almost crash-proof electronic rider aids. So while the Blade doesn’t actually need more power, traction control, antiwheelie or fancy rider aids, they will undoubtedly enhance the riding experience.
The new Blade has all the ingredients to be 2017’s top superbike dog, but that doesn’t make the current Blade an old hound – it still has plenty of bite.
You don’t actually need 200bhp on a trackday – even at Snetterton