RACING THE BEST USED SPORTSBIKE
Honda Racing’s BSB bike is one of the world’s most refined Fireblades. They showed us the new tricks they taught their old dog to keep it competitive...
ASWEET CHASSIS AND a strong midrange make our roadbike a still-capable underdog. The same is true even at national level: Honda Racing’s BSB and Superstock bikes are still getting on with the job of winning way beyond the normal shelf-life of a superbike. The last year of the SC59 saw Dan Linfoot finish up fourth in the championship, with Jason O'Halloran just behind him. That’s in front of a fair few ZX-10Rs and S1000RRs...
The long-standing basic design has its advantages – while teams using rival manufacturer machinery have had to start from scratch with three different models within the life of the Blade, the team in Louth have eight years of data and knowledge from Superstock, BSB, World Endurance and road racing bikes to build on and fine-tune.
In 2016, at the Donington and Assen BSB rounds, their bikes set comparable lap-times with the HRC-backed Ten Kate bikes ridden by Hayden and Van Der Mark in WSB – in spite of more restrictive rules for engine and electronics.
Paul Williamson has been Jason O’Halloran’s crew chief since his Supersport season in 2013, then overseeing the prep of his 2014 British Superstock-winning Fireblade SP and his 2015/16 BSB bikes, too.
He’s seen the bike subtly evolve, improve and defy obsolescence in one of the most competitive series in the world. PB visited him at Honda Racing’s workshops for an exclusive look at how the BSB bike has moved with the times.
Words Chris Newbigging Photography Jamie Morris, Honda Racing