Sunday, January 30, 2011

Honda bikes images

It was Honda's original FireBlade, in 900 form, which heralded the era of the modern superbike, back in 1992. The first 'Blade began the trend towards lightweight full-bore machinery without which we'd all still be riding around on Kawasaki ZZ-R1100s and Yamaha FZR1000 EXUPs.

But the original bad boy of the litre sportsbike class only stayed on top for half a decade. By 1998, Yamaha's R1 had stolen the Honda's thunder, and its crown, and over the following nine years, both the R1 and Suzuki's GSX-R1000, in turn, offered the real pinnacle of sportsbike performance.

But for 2008, fifteen years after the original 'Blade started the superbike revolution, Honda's put the 'Blade back on top. An all-new model, with hardly any parts shared with the previous 2006-7 model, the '08 Fireblade offers an unbeatable mix of outright power and control - both on track and on the road.

For 2008, the Fireblade engine returned to a separate cylinder block design, with electro-coated bores, titanium valves, and a new slipper clutch. The engine is an incredible 2.5kg lighter than before, and lives in a new four-piece cast frame that was also 2.5kg lighter than the one it replaced. There's an updated dual-injector fuel injection system too, and a neat underslung exhaust improves aerodynamics, centralises mass and incorporates a host of clever valves and catalysts to reduce emissions while boosting performance.

The brakes feature all-new monoblock four-piston radial calipers, and there's a second-generation electronically-adjusted steering damper that alters damping effect depending on speed and throttle position.

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