Crowdsourcing the Fireblade
MCN’S website boss uses the internet to make his modding decisions
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 performanceparts-ltd.com.
‘No 11 is something I think the 954 does need, a gear shaft support’