Crowd­sourc­ing the Fire­blade

MCN’S web­site boss uses the in­ter­net to make his mod­ding de­ci­sions

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garagae - ped.baker@mo­tor­cy­cle­

One of the ben­e­fits of own­ing an older bike is that is there is al­ready a group of peo­ple who’ve tried all the boltons, done all the miles and made all the er­rors. With a pop­u­lar sports­bike like the Fire­blade, opin­ions can vary – own­ers will range from track­day ad­dict to the oc­ca­sional Sun­day morn­ing bim­bler and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. It’s a mat­ter of pick­ing out the ad­vice and mods that match your needs, and avoid­ing look­ing like you’ve cov­ered the bike in glue and rid­den it through De­mon Tweeks.

Last month I asked Blade own­ers across MCN’S so­cial me­dia chan­nels for the mod­i­fi­ca­tions and up­grades they’d made to their bikes and what, if any, they’d rec­om­mend to me. With over one hun­dred re­sponses the com­ments ranged from “leave it alone” to “car­bon wheels” and a “man­ual cam­chain ten­sioner” but there were a few mods that seem uni­ver­sally pop­u­lar.

As you can see from the pie chart, the most pop­u­lar sug­gested mod was a steer­ing damper with a whop­ping 20.2% of own­ers rec­om­mend­ing one. I might have only cov­ered 500 miles on this bike but I’ve yet to suf­fer any kind of tank slap­per, per­haps I’m not rid­ing hard enough. Af­ter a few more miles per­haps I’ll change my opin­ion.

The sec­ond most pop­u­lar mod­i­fi­ca­tion is ‘noth­ing’. A sug­ges­tion that’s mu­sic to my ears as it’s not only cheap, it’s also re­quires min­i­mal time and no spe­cial­ist tools.

Num­ber 11 is some­thing I think the 954 does need, a gear shaft sup­port bracket. The gear­box is both notchy and vague which is ap­par­ently due to an ex­tra-long shaft be­tween the lever end and se­lec­tor forks. Gilles Tool­ing make an alu­minium gear shaft sup­port for £62 that bolts to the side­stand lug and holds the shaft near the lever end. One is al­ready on or­der from per­for­man­

‘No 11 is some­thing I think the 954 does need, a gear shaft sup­port’

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