Fireblade is one of the most popular and successful Superbike lineups in the world. It all started in 1992 when a certain CBR900RR was launched by Honda as their first Superbike with the RR moniker. It was also their first Superbike to be called the â€˜Firebladeâ€™. Just thinking about it raises all the hair on the skin, isnâ€™t it?!
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While we couldnâ€™t get a CBR900RR, what we could get our hands on is one of the earliest Fireblades, the CBR929RR, which is basically Hondaâ€™s third Fireblade. It was launched in the year 2000.
The CBR929RR marked a remarkable improvement over the first two Fireblades, it was the first in the series to come with the fuel-injection and lighter aluminium chassis which brought down the wet weight of the motorcycle to under 200 kg.
In a way, the 929RR was the first step by Honda in making major updates to the Fireblade. The exhaust system was also new and made of Titanium to save weight. The motorcycle had a top speed of around 283 km/h. The series starter, CBR900RR, became famous for its low weight which added to its performance. The 929RR was even lighter. Hondaâ€™s biggest quest was always to keep the weight of the Fireblade as low as possible.
The CBR929RR with a difference
The 929RR we spent time with was far from a stock motorcycle. Itâ€™s ridden and used by the Ghost Ryderz which is one of the most popular motorcycle stunting groups in India. The motorcycle they use is modified to suit their requirements.
The fairing has been removed to reduce weight because a lighter motorcycle is easier to throw around. Then thereâ€™s the flat single-piece handlebar in place of the 2-piece unit. On the left hand side of the handlebar, thereâ€™s a custom rear brake lever. This makes it easier to operate the brake when doing certain stunts. Also, the rear sprocket is much bigger to increase the initial torque to the rear wheel resulting in easier wheelies.
This is all fine, though. Whatâ€™s important here is to realize the longevity of this motorcycle given the manner it is being used. By all means, it would be considered an absolutely outdated motorcycle today, however, that it is still considered as the motorcycle to have by many people is a testament to its quality, reliability and above all, performance.
Minimal, Raw and Nostalgic
Keeping a motorcycle like the CBR929RR has its own flavours as long as you can maintain it well. It is like going back to the basics of Superbiking. While itâ€™s a relic compared to any modern day litre-class sportbike, the performance is still more than satisfactory by all means of logic or no logic. I mean, letâ€™s get real, 0 to 100 acceleration that could rip the arms off the shoulders, a quarter-mile time of less than 11 seconds and a top speed of over 280 km/h. These performance numbers canâ€™t be considered as relic even by todayâ€™s standards.
Another perk of owning the 929RR is the unadulterated performance. No Traction Control, no ABS, no ride by wire and definitely no riding modes â€“ itâ€™s as close to being raw as it can get. If you can master this bike, youâ€™re a very good rider indeed. It will also likely not hurt very much in your pocket if you drop it. And then thereâ€™s the ever-present feeling of old school â€“ nostalgia. It is like a father who has been there and seen it all, full of exposure, rugged by the experience itâ€™s got. Youâ€™d want to listen to it when it tells you something.
It is a no-brainer that the CBR929RR is long gone. But the market of second-hand bikes is always there and today getting an old one is easier than before, thanks to OLX. So try finding one on OLX and you just might get lucky.
Lastly, we would like to thank Ghost Ryderz group for their time and letting us spend time with a special Honda CBR929RR.