Honda’s FireBlade was a revelation when it was launched in April 1992. With a single stroke, Honda’s CBR900RR had cut the opposition down to size and Yamaha’s FZR1000 EXUP, Suzuki’s GSX-R1100M and the smaller-capacity 750cc sportsbikes had been pushed back a whole generation. Photo: Mortons Archive/Drive-My EN/UK
In this issue we cover the later RR-R/S model in both a road test and buyer’s guide ± all celebrating the ` Urban Tiger’ colour scheme which has become legend.
If there’s a colour scheme that also defined the first versions of the Blade, it was the original 1992 launch colours of white/red/blue and this one ± the black/gunmetal version, which was also later seen on later models.
Depicted here is a legendary shot, originally published in our sister title Fast Bikes. It shows future 500cc GP rider, British Superbike race winner and then-road tester Sean Emmett at the original Phillip Island launch.
At the launch Emmett said: “As I rode the track the bike embarrassed me by turning in so quickly. What amazes is that this bike is 30 kilos lighter than an EXUP, 20 kilos less than the new GSX-R750 WN, it’s only two kilos heavier than the Ducati 900SS but with 50% more horsepower! The new CBR900RR is destined to become the new benchmark, large capacity sportsbike. And so it was, until 1998 and the arrival of the Yamaha YZF-R1.