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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw this in the Pit area, had to post it here.



Superbike Magazine

New Fireblade big on control as well as power
Honda has been launching its 2004 Fireblade at Arizona motorsports park, Phoenix, and Big Al has been there to sample the delights of the new machine. His full launch report will be in the March 2003 issue, out in January, but here are his first thoughts on Honda’s new superbike contender.

The biggest concern for the 2004 litre-sports class has to be control. Currently, Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 has gone probably about as far as a roadbike can go in terms of light weight and sheer horsepower. And while Honda could probably top those numbers for its new CBR1000RR, it decided instead to focus on controlling those numbers. So while the figures are not unimpressive – 172.5bhp shoving along 179kg – the factory bods at the launch were keen to stress that the main point of the new machine is ease of use.

So, wazzing round the twisty Arizona track, I was keen to check it out. The first session is always tricky, especially on a new track, but the CBR was a breeze to just wobble around on, finding my way. The track only really uses second and third gear on a full-bore litre bike, so you could just leave it in second for most of the complex bends, and dip into third on the straights. The new bike has a really progressive power delivery, and the balancer-equipped motor is smooth all the way.

After the first session, I started to push a little harder, and the impressive show continued. The new radial-mount brakes are easily powerful enough to lift the back wheel at the end of the straights, while the new electronic steering damper didn’t seem to affect the slow-speed turning, while keeping flaps to a minimum over the surface changes between the various track layouts.

The new CBR wears some new rubber too, in the shape of Bridgestone’s BT-014. These, too, were super, with absolutely no grip worries, even on the hot track.
But it’s the ease of use which really impresses. On the narrow, twisty Phoenix track, something like a Suzuki GSX-R1000 would be a handful. But the CBR handles and steers so well, and feels so well balanced, that there was no drama, even riding as hard as I could.
Sounds all too good doesn’t it? Well yes. I managed to flip the new CBR in spectacular fashion while shooting some wheelie pics.
 

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Yeah Jim posted that pic a while ago, but we wont' hold it against u, Kazz!;) :redflip

Thanks for the article though, I definitely hadn't read that.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
lol, yeah, the pic did seem familiar. haha


Good artical tho.
 
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