Honda Fireblade RRY - David Ellis_2016

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History:
I bought a Yamaha Fazer 600 in 1999 and kept it for 2 years. I decided I wanted a sportsbike......

I picked up the new bike on 3/11/01 from Brian Gray's in High Wycombe. My bike was pre registered in October and is in 2000 colours as you can see from the pic.
During the month I've fitted a NWS hugger, Renntec grab rail, Scottoiler, and a MRA double bubble screen, all excellent products and I can highly recommend them. The bike's had it's first 600 mile service and I'm starting to open it up a bit. The dealer recommends keeping it below 6000rpm before the first service and then increasing by 1000rpm for every 100 miles. Mr Honda reckons taking it easy for the first 300miles.
At the first service they put Castrol R4 in it, the jury appears to be out on whether to use fully synthetic oil on new engines as they may not bed in properly - dunno really.
I chose the blade for it's build quality, price, performance and comfort. As I have to hack through London area traffic I didn't want a bike that was too extreme in riding position or power delivery. Although the riding position is more stretched than the Fazer, I haven't taken too long to become used to it. In heavy traffic the blade's a pussy cat and because of the torque, reduced weight, and balance of the bike I've found it easier to ride than the Fazer.
The gear selection isn't as positive as I'd like but I expect this may improve as things bed in. The brakes are awesome having larger discs than the Fazer but having to pull up less weight by about 20Kg.
The acceleration brings a smile everytime and I'm having to use clutchless or 2 finger changes up or else I can't hang on to the bars!
My bike came with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres which I'm quite taken with as they don't seem as jittery on overbanding as some I've had. Bridgestone BT010's appear to be the favourite tyre at the moment though, they appear to be the other make that UK Blades are supplied with.
After the first service when I started to open the bike up more I found the wind blast at speed quite uncomfortable compared with the Fazer at similar speeds (I had a flip up screen on the Fazer). The MRA screen appears a lot better but it's only been on a few days and I've only been commuting. The MRA screen is well finished and obviously a quality product. It takes about 10 mins to fit the screen but the trim is a bit tight and takes another 10 mins or so.
Shirley and I went to the NEC bike show and suprisingly she finds the pillion more comfortable than the Fazer. I think the seat is more padded and the footrest positions suit her better. Later Fazers had modified seats and so it would seem Yamaha had a few complaints.
Space under the seat is quite generous with ample space for a U lock and waterproofs etc. I miss a fuel gauge - as the first indication of low fuel is a yellow led which when it comes on is a always a surprise and is a bit too bright. So far I'm getting around 140 miles between fill ups.
Overall, I'm very pleased and although the press have demoted the blade behind the R1 and GSX-R1000, for mere mortals like me, for everyday use this bike makes perfect practical sense. 24/11/01
February 2002:
2600 miles approx, the back tyre is squaring off a bit but theres still quite some mileage left in it yet.
I bought myself an Abba Pro Stand at the Ally Pally show. I'd seen them at the NEC in November but being on the bike I couldn't transport it home safely. I paid just under £80 which included the blade adapters which was quite a saving over the normal list price. These stands lift the bike at the swinging arm pivot which means you have full access the rear and also means you can easily lift the front up as well. The stand is well made, takes seconds to fit and is very stable and secure.
 
As I plan to go to the TT this year, I needed some decent luggage and so I also purchased some Oxford Sport Panniers at the Ally Pally show at just under £80. The rear indicators on the blade are a bit bulbous and maybe they will have too much pressure on them when the panniers are fully loaded. Might have to fit some smaller ones... The panniers themselves are well made, cavernous when fully extended and supplied with everything you need.
I'm very pleased with the Scottoiler, it's been reliable and fuss free. The chain stays fairly clean as it doesn't attract dirt and grit like the normal spray on greases.
March 2002:
We went to the London Bike show at ExCel. On the way back , only 400 yards from home a youth in a car turns right across my path leaving me about a yard to take avoiding action. Needless to say I didn't. The bike was off the road for a frustrating 7 weeks while being repaired. The repairers did a lovely job and put it back as good as new.

July 2002:
Finally received the replacement MRA screen. They've changed the design. I'd noticed around January that I had a burn mark on the clocks which I figured could only have been caused by a magnifying glass effect of the screen. I'd also heard about Powerbronze screens doing this in certain conditions. After the accident I put the original back on whilst waiting for the new one. The bubble on the new one is squarer:
 New MRA screen
Hopefully now I won't come back to the bike one day to find a pile of ash!
Going to the GP at Donnington.
September 2002
Fitted a Sprint steering damper with a Harris mounting kit which makes the bike less twitchy when accelerating hard on uneven road surfaces.
October 2002:
I went to Donington for my first track day on Sunday. When we arrived the weather was dry but bitterly cold. Waiting to go out on the first session I was quite calm really, I expected to be quite nervous. 
On the first session I took it easy so as to learn the track and also the 010s hadn't really been scrubbed in properly at the edges as they were new.
On the second session I started to wind the bike up a bit, the way the front wheel lifts under the Dunlop Bridge is quite a buzz.
I found the entry into Coppice very deceiving as you can't really see the turn in until your just about on top of it. Quite a few people found it even more deceiving and had to opt for the gravel detour.
I never really mastered Craner Curves to Mcleans as there always seemed to be a mass of other bikes in front which made it difficult to pass more than a couple at a time.
Down Starkey's Straight the blade could pass nearly all other bikes except for an R1 and a Mille but even then I could out brake them going into Goddards which was nice.
After lunch we while we were waiting to start session 5 it started to rain and became heavier during the session, the track became quite slippery and so everybody took it fairly easy. With the rain now really coming down hard I decided to finish the session and then call it a day.
All in all a great day, I was pleased with the blade's performance and handling and I was chuffed that I managed to aquit myself OK and not bin it either.
February 2003:
Fitted a stainless Scorpion Can, sounds nice and should stand up to the salt better than the standard Alloy Can.
Went to Hein Gericke's new shop in Slough where they were dyno testing for free. Well you've got to haven't you? It's making 124bhp at the rear wheel. Another chap with the same year blade had similar results so it's nice to know everything appears to be OK.


October 2003
On Monday morning I set off to work, whilst gently passing a couple of cars about a mile from home, there was a knock from the engine area and the bike sounded like the header pipes had fallen off. I limped back home.
Back at home it was obvious the noise was coming from the top of the engine. Investigation revealed thet the spark plug on no. 1 cyl had blown out stripping the thread. Fucking Great[1].
Having used thread inserts in the past with great success I decided to repair the sod myself. Also, I wanted to make absolutely sure no swarf dropped into the engine.
The problem on the blade is accessibility, even with the camshaft
cover off the the thread is around 4 to 5 inches down the hole and
there is a frame cross member above just to make things awkward.
Raking through my toolbox, I found a 1/4 inch socketed tool that I
could modify. The Recoil kit I bought had a tap with 2 cutters on. The bottom is a standard 10mm plug size and the upper one is for the thread insert, this makes aligning much easier.
I plastered the tap in grease and cut down about 3mm deep before removing and and cleaning the tap of swarf collected by the grease. I repeated this until I was through to the bottom.
With the aid of a mirror and torch I could see that nothing had
dropped onto the piston top. Result.
The tool provided was not long enough to screw in the insert and so I was going to make my own tool but longer. Then I had a brainwave. I used the the blown out plug with the thread turned off in a lathe. I sawed a slot down the end of the plug to accept the tang on the insert. The idea being that the plug electrode that was also slotted could be nipped to hold the tang and prevent it falling into the engine when it was broken off after insertion. The plug also has a stepped, non threaded part which seats down the hole, so this method would make sure the insert was put in far enough. I screwed in the insert until the plug seated and then yanked it out to break off the tang. Unfortunately the tang fell into the engine.
Bugger.
A small magnet [2] taped to piece of copper wire soon extracted the foreign body [3].
Job finished, the new plug now tightens down nicely.
Well chuffed I am.
A bit boring I know but it might help someone one day.
[1] Obviously I hadn't tightened the thing enough, although it's
probably 6 months since I last had them out.
[2] Well actually, a larger 12mm dia magnet smashed to bits with a hammer
[3] I'd checked before that the stainless insert was actually magnetic just in case.

April 2014
Well, it's been a long time since I updated this page!! I still have the bike but haven't used it as much as I would like recently. Its now on 48K miles and still going fine. The general condition is good but I am on the lookout for a LHS fairing panel as mine is a bit marked in places. In it's early days I put a higher mileage on as I commuted the 70 mile round trip to work a couple of times a week but over the latter years I did not do this so much as I had a company car and the mileage was racking up. I took early retirement in 2012 and had to buy a car as I lost the company car. I bought a BMW Z4 and so this has taken up most of my tinkering time...The original Power Commander went faulty on the bike and so I ran it without for a few years but bought a new one in 2012. It runs better with one. It now has a Micron can fitted as the Scorpion was damaged trying to remove it one day. Last year I took it to the TT on the IOM. We went from 2002 - 2007 and so 2013 was the first time for a while. This month it is making it's first trip to the continent as I am going to Normandy for a week. I went up to Yorkshire on it recently to 'acclimatise' myself to longer distances and to try out some new kit I'd bought. I fitted a USB charger to the dash area so that I can power the sat nav in France. Bye for now.

January 2016

In the last year I've used the bike a lot more having joined a couple of bike groups. Last year I did a couple of camping trips and numerous one day rides. I did a valve clearance inspection and they were all in spec. Changed the clutch springs, new clutch cable, new stator and battery. The tyres were changed to Michelin Pilot 2s on the front and a 3 on the rear and they do seem pretty good. Coming up to 59000 miles now.

 
 
 
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