Written on: 29/02/2012
What can I say about the Blackbird that hasn't been said already!! Here goes.
After being off a bike for 20 years I had the urge to get back to biking so I purchased a CBR600, after 14 months i went looking for an upgrade, I spent quite some time researching many different bikes, I had made my mind up that I needed to pick the right bike from the outset because I could not afford to change bikes on aregular basis. It soon became clear that the Blackbird would be on the shortlist. After testing a VFR800, FJ1300, R1, Fireblade, Bandit 1200 all good bikes in their own right, I got to ride a Blacbird (carbed), from then on their was only one bike to get. I went to a Honda dealer to look at a couple of early injection Birds for sale only to be dissapointed that when I got there they were all sold. I took out a demo Bird and came back and bought a new matt black Blackbird.
In the last 8 years I have only clocked up 20k with a smile on my face for all 20k. I have taken it round Mallory, Silverstone and Donnington on track days and the looks I get are second to none, I got round Donnington in 1min 58secs and even the instructor came over and shook my hand. The bike is completely standard in terms of engine output, I have fitted Scorpion Street Extreme short stubby cans which sound amazing with or without the baffles in. Very often set of car alarms in towns when riding at 30mph such is the resonation from these bad boys.
I have been all over the UK and have got 200mpg on one tank of fuel whilst doing a charity ride a few years ago, normally and consistently getting 170-180mpg.
I usually ride with some mates, 2 Fireblades, 1 ZX1400, 1 GTR1400. The Blackbird is like a Rottweiler on a lead most of the time.
I have put on a pair of VFR800 bar for a little extra height, easy mod looks standard, a custom gell seat lowered 40mm coz my little legs can't get planted firmly with the standard seat, full Autocom comms unit pillion to pillion & bike to bike, garmin Zumo 660. absolutely brilliant at any speed.
Standard original chain and sprockets, HID unit that I fitted to the dipped beam only as this stays on all the time, this does have a slight problem in that when I switch from main to dipped it does interupt power enough to cause the dipped bulb to go out, looking to sort this out this month (not sure how so any ideas would be greatly appreciated). I will be buying a new battery this year as it did let me down on last trip out (oct 2011).
I will be looking at lowering both front and rear footpegs this year as the old legs are starting to complain after a long trip, my kidneys take a pasting when the wife want's me to stop, even with the autocom system she prefers to use the punch in the kidney's to comunicate with me, she say's I tend to stop when she want's to stop rather than when I think we should stop using the PTTK method.
After 8 years the only thing I don't like is the front forks, no matter how often I clean them they look grubby, i have thought about super polishing them to a smooth finish and laquering them, again any idea's are welcome. The power delivery is smooth and precise, handling is spot on as standard, build quality is typically Honda, superb. I tried some Michelin Pilot Road 2 tyres in 2010 but they came off after 1k and I went back to Bridgstones, currently using 023's and I will never stray from Bridgestones again.
Like so many Blackbird owner's what do you buy next, I can't see anything out there that even comes close so I will be running mine into the ground, with 20k on the clock it's just run in compared to a lot out there, with the build quality this bike will just get better with age.
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