Five sea­soned Fire­blade own­ers take a ride on Honda’s long-awaited new su­per­bike – and tell us what they think

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature - By Michael Neeves SE­NIOR ROAD TESTER

Honda’s new Fire­blade has fi­nally landed in the UK af­ter years in the mak­ing. It’s lighter, more pow­er­ful and for the first time packed-full of elec­tronic rider aids.

We tested the £19,125 SP against the old SP in MCN a few weeks ago and al­though at 179bhp it only made 5bhp more than the old bike, we were im­pressed with the new mo­tor’s 13bhp in­crease in the mid­dle and its will­ing­ness to rev. We also loved its mag­ic­car­pet ride, sump­tu­ous build qual­ity and while its ri­vals have all be­come bloated by Euro4 regs, the Blade SP weighs a true 195kg, full of fuel. That’s a mas­sive 16kg less than the out­go­ing ma­chine. No sur­prise, then, that it won last week’s seven-bike group test.

The base-model Blade you see here is £3900 cheaper than the SP. It comes with Showa sus­pen­sion, rather than Öh­lins semi-ac­tive, has To­kico calipers, not Brem­bos, and ba­sic Dun­lop D214 tyres, in­stead of Pirelli Su­per Corsa SPS. It also does with­out a quick­shifter/ au­to­blip­per and is a sin­gle kilo heav­ier.

Fancy bits aside, the Blade’s new breathed-on in­line four-cylin­der 999cc mo­tor and chas­sis are the same, as are the rid­ing modes, trac­tion and wheelie con­trol. This is the Blade most peo­ple will buy, so who bet­ter to put it through its paces than cur­rent Blade own­ers? Five mem­bers of the Honda Fire­blade Own­ers Group joined us for a test on a va­ri­ety of roads in Cam­bridgeshire and Northamp­ton­shire.

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