Monday, 17 March 2014

Living with the Honda CBR1000 RR

Well after what feels like an eternity, I’m back at the keyboard with an update on the Blade!

A time to ride

Its hard to believe that since buying the Blade back in November 2013 I’d only ridden a paltry 900 miles up until this week. I know my plan was to reduce my milage but 900 miles in five months is just no good. Or is it?

I’ve had a few ride outs, when the weather has permitted, taking in Derbyshire, Shropshire, the Lake District and a few local roads, every mile of which I’ve enjoyed thoroughly. However this week I put my riding head back on and headed North to Scotland for the day, but more about that in my next Blog.

Heading North of the boarder

As for the Blade, well what can I say? The easiest way of describing the Blade I can think of is this:-

“It is the best bike I have ever ridden in my life”. It’s that simple.

In the garage manoeuvring the Blade around is so easy, light, compact and no where near as hard work as the Super Tenere, it is brilliant. As for working on the Blade, well, you can access everything in a matter of minutes and anything that needs to be checked is straight in front of you.  Removing and refitting the subframe is a breeze as is stripping off the side covers, seats and pretty much all the fairing panels. The nose cone takes a little care but once your tuned into what your doing that to comes away with minimum fuss.

Once out and about there is just nothing that can compare to the adrenalin rush when you twist the throttle. Staying this side of legal is the biggest challenge I’ve found. The Blade corners as if its on tracks, never budging and inch and always wanting more. The brakes so far are fine, not as instant as I would have expected but best described as progressive. The KTM 990 used to want to throw me over the bars and would have you stood on end in a blink. The Blade is a little more sedate but solid as a rock. My rear brake is no wear near bedded in but has required a little adjustment already, so as the clutch cable which I’m struggling to get just right but we’re getting there.

I’m a little shocked at just how flimsy the plastics are for a bike costing upwards of £10k and they mark so easily its frightening. Even my tank bag as left  marks after just 2100 miles which has surprised me. Still I can alway buy a new tank cover in a few years time if the need arises.

The Bridgestone Battlax S20 R tyres are proving to be solid, hard wearing and grippy so far. However I’ve not done any track day work on them as yet. I’m  waiting until I’ve been on the Ron Haslam Race School course before I venture around a track. Although I have been tempted a couple of times with Novice Track Days at Oulton Park, which is just down the road. 

Next time 'Novice Class Track Day' Honest

So to date I’ve fitted a whole host of R&G Crash protection and guards, my trusty Garmin 350LM Sat Nav, heated jacket lead (as yet unused), Optimate lead which is used daily and the SM Motech Tank Bag. All of which are working out perfectly.

During my ride up North I noticed how inaccurate my speedo is out by an alarming 7%. So I decided  to buy and fit a SpeedoHealer which took all of 15 minutes to fit and set up. I’ll give more feed back on that bit of kit once I’ve had chance to evaluate it over a decent amount of miles.

Just a 15 minute job

Fitted and working

So all in all its fair to say I’m loving the Blade, all except for one element that is. It’s been a while since I was on a sports bike, the last one being the Triumph Daytona 675 back in 2009/2010. So can anyone tell me why the Blade  attracts so many “race me, race me” type folk. 

I have had everything from skidding / wheel spinning white van men nearly driving over me at the lights on the way to the Rocket Centre to Corsa screaming girl racers to Subaru drivers sniffing my exhaust whist I had Ben on the back. What is with these people?

Being overtaken in a 50 mph zone with double white lines heading into Blackpool town centre by a Kawasaki 600 on the wrong side of both the legal limit and the white lines just does not impress me. Maybe I’m being a little naive or just showing my age but is it really necessary to ride and drive like total “wazocks” when in the presence of a Honda CBR1000 RR?  

Fine if your in a hurry or just plain stupid then fair enough but do me a favour, leave me out of the equation. I’m just not interested! Plus with my luck as with white van man in Blackburn, as he wheel spun away from the lights. If I’d bitten and shot off at the speed the Blade is capable off I’m sure the police car that was two cars back would have nabbed me not the plank in the van! 

However to end this update on a more positive note I’d just like to pass on a heart felt thanks to all the folks who frequent the 1000RR Forum for all the help and assistance. When it comes to information about the Blade, touring, track days and just all round good banter I’ve just got to say “It’s one of the best forums I’ve had the pleasure of frequenting in years”. Cheers Guys your combined knowledge about the Blade is astounding. 

180.3 Miles on one tank of fuel
Now that's impressive

As with all my bikes I always draw up a dreamers ‘Wish List’ and the Blade is no different. So here is ‘Raymondo's Wish List’

and that, as they say in all the good movies, is that!

So with 'Raymondo's Wish List’ costing in the region of the Blade it’s self I think I’ll be happy sticking with my Blade just as it is for some considerable time to come. "Or will I?"

“Ride well & stay safe. It’s a jungle out there”. Bye for now.

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