‘PB’s Pro­ject Fire­blade is a gob­s­macker. I’d for­got­ten how nuts we’d gone’

Performance Bikes (UK) - - CONTENTS - Chris New­big­ging Editor, chris@pb­mag.co.uk

STUN­NING. THE agility, speed, noise and re­sponse are all sim­ply in­cred­i­ble. Noth­ing that has gone be­fore can match the sen­sa­tion I got when riding it for the first time. Sur­pris­ingly, I’m not waf­fling on about the Du­cati Panigale V4 again; I’ve left that to Rutter and Johnny. The stars fi­nally aligned this month for it to get a date at Don­ing­ton to find its place on our league table of pro­duc­tion bikes. Hype, fluffy road tests and even play­ing at the TT are all well and good, but it was over­due a di­rect com­par­i­son with its ri­vals. It’s done – have a read on p16. Pro­ject Fire­blade is my gob­s­macker of the month: with plenty of other dis­trac­tions, I’d for­got­ten how nuts we’d gone with the build. I’ve only done some shake­down miles to see what’s what and get a fresh MoT, but the mer­its of a road-le­gal sportsbike that weighs less than a car­bon-framed BMW HP4 are pretty ob­vi­ous from the off. It’s so light it’d fail post-race scru­ti­neer­ing in WSB... even with head­lights and a num­ber­plate. Talking of projects, be sure to pore over Mark Boxer’s 1998 R1 special on p59. The ef­fort it took to get the guts of a 2018 model work­ing in a bike that’s a full two decades older is equally im­pres­sive, and we’re proud to bring it to you as an­other great reader special in the pages of PB.

Pro­ject Blade fi­nally hits the road. It’s a bit naughty...

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