The Honda FireBlades have always been a good second-hand motorcycle because they're well built and reliable. So far the biggest killer of the sporty Honda FireBlade's has been crashes because, otherwise, they're almost bulletproof. Arguably the best used Honda Blade today is the 2000 to 2002 FireBlade 929cc model. It's a much more modern motorcycle than the ones that came before it, and is still young enough to be in very healthy condition, with little wear and fairly low kilometers.
The Honda FireBlade 929 was Honda's first major overhaul of engine the model had ever had and a completely new chassis featuring Honda's pivotless frame. It finally brought a 17-inch front wheel to the Honda FireBlade as well, so front tire choice, especially another few years down the track, is much broader.
Honda was a bit naughty in claiming more power than the Yamaha YZF-R1, but the fact is the Honda FireBlade 929 engine was never that strong, and the Honda FireBlade remained the least potent motorcycle of the class, though it was then, without doubt, the best handling sportsbike among its Japanese contemporaries, and required little setting up to be a sweet ride on the road or track. It was also a fraction lighter than the bigger motorcycles, and just one kilo heavier than the Suzuki GSX-R750.
So it could use more of its power more often than most motorcycles, and that's a good thing now, too, as suspension wears and the whole motorcycle begins to feel daggy at this stage, because the quality and construction were good enough to go the distance.
One good sign when buying a Honda FireBlade is if the long feelers on the ends of the footpegs are in place and unscuffed. It indicates the motorcycle has been ridden fairly gently, at least around corners, and probably hasn't done track days. Mind you, make sure the feelers aren't brand new.
A noisy engine is a worry, because the Honda FireBlade 929 is a smooth, pretty quiet thing. It has not inherent weaknesses, but neglected oil changes or servicing will harm it. Best to steer clear of one that is suspect, because at this stage there's no excuse for it.
Steering head bearings need to be checked, as they're a bit a problem point. Wheel-standing hurts the bearing even more. Look for free-play in the rear swingarm and suspension bushes, too, although you shouldn't find wear here yet.
The FireBlade gearshift action is fairly smooth on the Honda, but don't be concerned if it feels a little loose at low revs; that's typical of many motorcycles.
As you would for any motorcycle, check the brake pads for wear and the discs for warpage. The chains and sprockets should be in good condition, clean and lubricated. I know, chain and sprockets are easily replaced, but it tells more about the owner and the motorcycle service history. You want tires with more than half their tread left, or you'll be up for paying for tires sooner than you may want.