The Honda FireBlade CBR900RR as Secondhand Bike

The Honda 2002 FireBlade. The last '900' FireBlade. It's also arguable the most complete, all-round superbike of its time - if not all time. A notable evolution from the previous 929cc model, rather than a clean-sheet creation, the 2002 CBR900RR-2 saw a bigger 954cc engine, lighter wheels and swingarm, a stiffer frame and slimmer subframe. Styling was sharpened, while the much-criticized fueling was smoothed out with larger throttle bodies featuring smaller jet holes, all controlled by a brainier ECU.

The CBR900RR, what's it like to ride?

'Ten,' we scored it on the launch. 'It could be the first perfect sportsbike.' The compliments continued in 2003: 'Officially the best road-going superbike.' It was never the most powerful liter-class bike - Suzuki's GSX-R1000 K3 had 20 horses more - but it was the mix that impressed. Honda's aim was 'Total Control' - accessible performance rather than headline numbers. Still, occasional shakes and shimmy's led many owners to fit the steering damper Honda thought would have been admitting a fault.

What is the built quality of the Honda CBR900RR?

Catastrophes are rare. Like the Honda Fireblade 929 models, some gearboxes cause trouble - popping out of second gear on the power, or falling out of fourth after rolling off the throttle. Check both on the test ride - it could be an expensive fault to correct. Honda issued a recall on fuel-injection FireBlades, from, from the first 929cc RR-Y models to the last of the RR-3s, to fit different fork leg lowers. Some were prone to corrosion, which led to cracking - ensure this has been done, especially if the bike has spent time near the sea.

The Honda FireBlade CBR900RR has been my dream bike since 2002 - a sporting legend that could commute and tour. As one of the most popular bikes in modern motorcycling, it's easy to get help from the wealth of other Honda Fireblade owners. The first Honda FireBlade in 1992 revolutionized modern motorcycling. Updated in 1994 and given an overhaul in 1996 that saw a new frame, swingarm and 918.5cc engine. More tweaks two years later, including Honda's HISS immobilisers and new brakes. 2000 saw the all-new RR-Y machine, featuring a fuel-injection 929cc engine, upside-down forks and titanium exhaust. This became the 954cc machine in 2002.
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