The beauty is in the detail. The huge swingarm and shock linkage allow more room above the swingarm pivot for the tank, the factory Nissin brakes are stunning and I even get excited about the shrink-wrapped lockwiring. It was tipping down so the team dialled in a wet map, making it very gentle below 7000rpm – but after 9000 it has real bite. The Motec quickshifter is one of the fastest I’ve used – you struggle to hear the revs fluctuate between changes. But I could hear and feel the air-bleed system working, as it chucked fuel in on a closed throttle to reduce engine braking. The chassis doesn’t feel as rigid as you’d expect, in fact the suspension is remarkably plush. The Nissin brakes are equally friendly, and boast good feel, but I didn’t like the two-finger short levers that Linfoot favours.
It’s being replaced next year but the squad have extracted every last ounce of performance.
Tech spec 225bhp, 165kg Race record and four One win, 13 podiums pole positions. Why it matters It’s the ultimate Honda Fireblade.