Posts by tag: Tadao Baba

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Honda January 8, 2023 posted by

Buffed ‘Blade – 1994 Honda CBR900RR

No new FireBlades are coming off the assembly line, so maybe a restoration of a classic sportbike could push someone’s particular button.  This SoCal example looks reasonable all around – not too many miles, fairly clean, not overdone, and substantially original.

1994 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Designer Tadao Baba slipped the Blade in between classes, shoe-horning the 893 cc’s into a middleweight’s chassis, and keeping it just a few pounds heavier than a contemporary 600.  The right side up forks were styled to look usd,  and while the 16-inch front wheel was a solution from the previous decade, it still worked to reduce mass and ease turn-in.  The shift drum was redesigned for 1994, and sometimes fox-eye headlights are seen, but this one has the dual sealed-beam lights and beaucoup “speed holes” in the fairing.

Though there aren’t all that many close-up pictures, this CBR900RR looks very good for its 27,392 miles.  Some bits have more patina than others, but the fairings look complete and correct.  The rear mudguard has been truncated, but some original turn signals were found and mounted.  Still waiting for the proper grips, a nice list of mechanical work is in the eBay auction –

  • 27k miles
  • D&D exhaust
  • new petcock
  • NEW alternator case cover gasket
  • replaced alternator case cover
  • choke cable and bracket replaced 
  • OE chain guard
  • carbs rebuilt and split replaced manifold o rings
  • carb synced
  • new plugs
  • oil & filter
  • air filter
  • coolant flush
  • brake fluid flush
  • seat  re-upholstered
  • detail /degreasing
  • OE windscreen
  • new grips
  • new rear sprocket 
  • fuel pump
  • fuel lines
  • OE blinker

Having stood the sportbike world on its ear, the FireBlade went on to five more generations, with three new engines.  The ask is up there, but if a pre-buy indicates everything here is for real, it might save the new owner a lot of the detective work expected in a new 30 year-old sportbike.

– donn

Buffed ‘Blade – 1994 Honda CBR900RR
Honda October 6, 2022 posted by

Seeing Things – 1995 Honda CBR900RR with 5,587 Miles !

Thought I might’ve covered this 90’s gem back in 2020 – here – but beside the requisite purple and the same garage background, this Fireblade is quite a bit nicer, and pretty spendy to boot.

1995 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Just the RSBFS contributors have written so much about the CBR900RR over the years that new observations are hard to come by.  The model has entered legend territory, helped by supersport weight which made its almost open class power more usable.  1995 was a second generation Fireblade, with the 893cc engine but improved shift mechanism, some new alloy parts to save weight, and added suspension adjustments.  Speed holes in the fairings remained, but the dual sealed beams gave way to fox-eye reflector headlights.

Clearly from a careful collector, this Fireblade is almost more notable for what it still has, like factory signals and rear fender, though its lack of the usual faux pas is surprising.  Not sure how the clutch and alternator covers could get abraded with no other evident damage, but they are the widest part of this compact package.  Notes from the eBay auction –

This is a rare bike regarding mileage and condition. It’s not perfect, but it’s one of the nicest I’ve ever had in my collection and fires right up. 

Picking this bike apart, here’s what I see. A scuff on the crankcase and stator cover (replaceable / still in stock), a scratch on the right side of the tank under the clearcoat on the decal, you can’t feel it. Overall, she’s in amazing condition and in one of the most beautiful color schemes ever put on these bikes.
The only non-original part that I’m aware of is the 2 Brothers full exhaust, which sounds awesome and everyone has tried getting from me. It sounds amazing. Other than the exhaust, it checks all the boxes for collectors and most are going to want the 2 Brothers. I do have the original pipe (great shape) without the headers that I will send with the bike.

And hardly off idle, the Two Brothers muffler does have a nice sound in the cold start – video -.

Those more modern headlights won’t attract the attention or cubic bucks of a first year Fireblade, but this is a great year and almost perfect example in period technicolor.  The ask wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow last year and still looks worth it.

-donn

Seeing Things – 1995 Honda CBR900RR with 5,587 Miles !
Honda May 31, 2022 posted by

Stoney End – 2002 Honda CBR954RR

Wrapping up Honda’s FireBlade legacy was left to the CBR954RR, with the engine closest to the full liter and the lowest weight of the series.  Here’s a Colorado example that looks carefully tended, despite the gravelly background.

2002 Honda CBR954RR for sale on eBay

The 2002 ‘Blade might look a little chunky with its twin alloy chassis spars, massive-looking fabricated swingarm and 330mm brakes.  But its 154 horses were given less resistance by trimming weight wherever possible – the crankshaft and engine cases are lighter, titanium was used for the exhaust plenum valve and muffler, the valve cover is magnesium, and even the starter motor magnets were made of a new material to lose almost a pound.  PGM fuel injectors used laser-drilled holes to maximize dispersal of the go-go juice, and the curved aluminum radiator cools with less frontal area.

Though it has extra-sized frame sliders, this CBR hasn’t challenged that rocky driveway.  Just 8K miles over twenty years, with just a magnetic tank pad, Micron muffler and trimmed rear fender to show for it.  Very good pictures allay most fears.  Enjoy the few comments in the eBay auction –

Exceptionally clean Honda CBR954RR FireBlade Sport Bike.  Always garaged; always covered; always loved. Great, fun ride! I just don’t ride it anymore. Micron exhaust – Mag Knight tank cover – always used synthetic oil. Needs tires. One small chip in front fairing. Pit Bull Rear Wheel Stand and Battery Tender will go with the bike. Comfortable ride! Very smooth! Personalized fairing. We have the book and the tool kit.

A 1000RR took the took spot soon after, but made the upstart 900’s all the more special.  Just up I-25 from Santa Fe, this RR might benefit from an owner with access to more paved back roads.   Still several days to run, but consider your choice of new rubber and get going.

-donn

Stoney End – 2002 Honda CBR954RR
Honda January 27, 2022 posted by

Holy Bat Signal! 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade

If you’ve been following any of the CBR-RR craziness lately, there have been a few that recently crossed the auction block on Bring A Trailer (BaT) for BIG money. Like 50 Large Grovers (as in Grover Cleveland, not Grover the Muppet) big money. Like always, these were pristine, relatively low-mileage examples of the breed. They also shared the same Red, White & Blue livery – which might make one speculate that this is THE color to have. Other completed auctions on the same site of the same bike but different livery did not fare so well. To be fair, some of those were not original, had much higher mileage and/or showed some level of damage. Today’s find, a 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade is now running the gamut on the BaT site. What needs to be discovered is whether this Black/Red livery can live up to the hype brought on by the earlier sales.

30 years ago (yes, you read that right) the double R made its debut. Designed by legendary Honda Engineer Tadao Baba, the CBR900RR followed all the same recipes as the milestone performance steed that have come before: stuff the biggest motor you can into the smallest, stiffest suitable frame, drizzle liberally with hi-po components and wrap it in something sexy. Like Kawasaki did a decade earlier with the original 900 Ninja, Honda redefined the big-bore category by offering a true hyperbike with dimensions closer to a 600 than the 10000cc machines of the competition.

To say the RR was hit is an understatement. A dedicated following developed, and today these remain revered and climbing up the collector want list. Like most sequential series, the first generation models lead the way in terms of pricing. $50k seemed like a bit of an anomaly when it first happened in December. But within the same month it happened again. That was clearly an indication of direction, if not an outright trend (yet). Since that time we have not seen quite the same heights, but nor have we seen as clean an example. Today’s 1993 Honda CBR900RR sports 14,000 miles and looks relatively untouched save for the Yosh pipe.

There may be those that don’t understand the collectability of the 900RR model, but one cannot argue about the performance. These were truly cutting-edge sport bikes and demanded full rider concentration. By comparison to modern rockets this might be a bit tame, but that might just make it the perfect platform for some personalization. Personally I really like the look of this half fairing option. What do you readers think? It might be sacrilege to consider modifying such a clean, stock bike such as this, but wouldn’t that look pretty unique in a world of 90s plastic? Good Luck!!

MI

Holy Bat Signal! 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade
Honda September 10, 2021 posted by

Nine Tenths – 1994 Honda CBR900RR

1994 brought new fox eyes to the CBR900RR, but didn’t increase the weight or sporty intent.  Today’s example is destined for back road fun, leaving the show stand to others.

1994 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Almost superbike sized, the Fireblade is more of a beefed-up supersport than a lightened superbike.  Its 122 hp, 43mm cartridge forks, and 296mm four-piston brakes are stretched over a 55-inch wheelbase and lightened to just 454 lbs.  Compare that to the liter-size GT’s and see why it did well at the more technical AMA venues.  But it was most at home on the canyon road, with plenty of usable power and easy-to-access handling.  Just one update was advertised for 1994, a redesigned shift drum for smoother action.

Though this CBR would be a project to restore, it appears to be clean and free from any career-ending incidents.  Though it has a carbon muffler, almost conspicuous by their presence are the rear mudguard, droopy turn signals, and clear windscreen.  No info on why an available model was imported, but more knowledgeable readers will please weigh in.  Notes from the eBay auction:

The color scheme is awesome and it goes like stink and handles as well as any modern sportbike. It only weighs 185K dry. It put out 111HP to the shaft and for a 25-ish-year-old bike, that was game-changing. I got this one a few years ago out of Gary’s collection, but just don’t ride it, as I have two others and an RVF. When we do ride it up the canyons, it keeps up with everyone. It’s a head-turner too. Anyone who knows motorcycles knows this bike and how it changed the game in the early 90s. Lots of people stop and take pictures, just warning you. There are VERY few of these around, but if you are looking at this listing, you already know that. This thing is stock and has a Yoshi carbon slip-on. Sounds amazing and runs perfectly.

Everything works and the tires are only a few years old and in great shape. Always garaged. There is a chip in one of the fairings around the clutch plate (see pics) and a few love bumps here/there, but the body is in perfect shape. Clean fluids too. A couple of rips in the seat, but they are super small. Anyway, again, you know what this is if you are looking at this listing, so I don’t need to list any specs…you already know. If you are a beginning rider, DO NOT buy this bike. Just because it is old/vintage, it is a lot to handle for a beginner This bike is in amazing shape…I’m not going to say museum quality, but it is beautiful, and I hate to get rid of it, but I need to clear some motorcycles out of the garage. Odometer is in Kilos btw, which is about 8,500 miles here in the lower 48. Very low for a 27-year-old bike.

Hard to believe this CBR900RR was right across the showroom aisle from the CBR1000F, fully enclosed and around 550 lbs ready to ride.  Different missions, product managers, and designers – and really different roads or tracks in mind.  Probably better to choose another if a scratchless creampuff is your goal, but this one could be the go-to bike, close by the garage door.

-donn

 

 

Nine Tenths – 1994 Honda CBR900RR
Honda August 4, 2021 posted by

No Replacement – 1993 Honda CBR900RR

Update 8.4.2021: Previously listed on eBay in early July for $11k, this RWB 900RR is back on eBay and reserve is met. Current bid is $6,375 and reserve is met. Auction ends Friday afternoon. Links updated. -dc

Almost 30 years old and last seen on RSBFS ten years ago, the FireBlade was a revolution when new.  Updated with a 1000 cc engine and recent service, this CBR900RR is a classic sportbike with attitude.

1993 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Designer Tadao Baba’s path to superbike performance was more along the weight saving route than adding engine displacement.  The all-new 893cc four was nestled in an alloy chassis no larger than its 750cc stablemates.  122 hp were complemented by a lighter and easier to turn 16-inch front wheel, and lighter conventional forks that were finished to look like hipper upside-down jobs.  Brakes for a -90’s liter were generally over 300mm, but engineers and reviewers found 296mm adequate for the FireBlade’s middling weight.  Even the body moldings are perforated for air flow and less mass.

Seeming to be unchanged since our original – review – in 2011, this FireBlade has acquired only a few thousand more miles, and still looks excellent.  Evidently the engine kit, front suspension update, and brake lines were done circa 2003 but still have low miles.  Comments also mostly come from the earlier eBay auction:

The particular bike up for sale here is an interesting one. As if the 900RR in stock trim wasn’t fast enough, this bike has been fitted with a Wiseco R997 Big Bore forged piston kit which bumps the displacement up to 997cc and compression to 12:1 (up from 11:1). This engine also features re-sleeved cylinders, new crankshaft, and a ported and flow-benched cylinder head. This rebuilt engine has less than 3,000 miles on it. The bike also happens to be one of the first 100 of the 900RR’s produced with VIN ending in 00097 and a manufacture date of 01/92. It also has some updates to the triple clamp to alleviate some of the twitchiness due to its 16” front wheel.

This is one of the most desirable CBR’s in the collector bike market, and yes it’s a 93’, and yes its Red, White and Blue !

This is an early production number, one the first 100
produced, its Number 97.

Excellent condition, Runs Excellent, Very Clean, Very well maintained and serviced, garage kept, never crashed, clean FL title.

30,442 original miles, professionally built 1000cc motor with less than 3000 miles.

Wisceo R997 Big Bore forged piston kit, 1000cc [997cc], re-sleeved cylinders, 12:1 compression [runs on premium pump gas] 74mm bore,
spring steel head gasket. New crankshaft. Cylinder head ported and flow benched by Davis porting. ‘Factory’ shift kit.

Micron ‘Race’ stainless steel exhaust.

Stainless steel braided brake lines front and rear.

Updated triple clamps from 96’ to increase trail and fork stance 10mm, as you may know the pre 96’ bikes are known to be ‘twitchy’ – original clamps are included. New fuel pump, new front rotors, chain and sprockets with less than 5K. Just serviced including: oil and filter, cooling system flushed and refilled, brake fluid flushed and refilled.

From one of the sweet spots of sportbike history, a quieter exhaust could allow this CBR900RR to really surprise its next acquaintance.  Even though the FireBlade eventually grew to a full liter and a little more GT, the original concept of compactness and lighter weight, requiring less power to compete is still a winner.  The up-to-date ask might be challenged with an offer, this superbike-engined Blade in classic sportbike livery looks worth the effort.

-donn

 

No Replacement – 1993 Honda CBR900RR
Honda March 26, 2021 posted by

Performance Redefined: 1998 Honda CBR900RR

In 1992 Honda lit the world on fire with the introduction of the FireBlade. The original project was headed up by legendary designer/engineer Tadao Baba, with the design goal of reducing or removing every ounce of weight possible while also ramping up horsepower. The 900RR was to the current sport bike world what the original Suzuki GSX-R750 was during the previous decade. It redefined what a sport bike should be, sharpening all of the inputs and edges until what existed was practically a new category: the lightweight superbike. It helps to think of the FireBlade design as a scaled up 750, rather than a liter bike on a diet. Imagine adding 4 pounds and nearly 30 ponies to a CBR600F2 and you have the general idea.

1998 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

From the seller:
This 98 Honda CBR900RR is in excellent condition with no signs of damage. The bike has 29K miles on it and runs great. Very strong and crazy fast! Just installed a brand new racing clutch and battery last week. Also did an oil change. The tires are both brand new. Aftermarket red C&C levers, red CBR engraved foot pegs, red chain. This bike has been very well kept. Please contact me with any questions and/or offers. Thank you!

Honda evolved the FireBlade continually during the next decade, upping the displacement and power while adhering to the hyper-light-superbike idea. Based on the year of manufacture, today’s example appears to be a 4th gen RR, making it a 919cc model (Honda continue to punch out the power plant, first to 929cc then to 954cc before debuting the 1000RR in 2000). There are not too many pictures of this bike, but the few that are posted show a clean, used bike. Legendary Honda build quality applies here, and the nearly 30k of mileage should not be a huge concern if scheduled maintenance was performed. The FireBlade was never on the collector list quite like more exclusive homologation machines, but today these are fantastic motorcycles that retain a bit of mystique. It is likely that values will appreciate in time, especially for the first-gen bikes. Check out all of the details here (such as they are) and Good Luck!!

MI

Performance Redefined: 1998 Honda CBR900RR
Honda January 15, 2021 posted by

Have One Curated for You – 1993 Honda CBR900RR

Though designed more for the road than the racetrack, the CBR900RR FireBlade had a long and winning competition history.  This Oregon example was ridden initially, then displayed for many years, and is now ready for its next rider.

1993 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Design engineer Tadao Baba had a new kind of superbike in mind, and worked up a 750-sized chassis to fit a stroked engine displacing 893cc’s.  With four 38mm Keihin carburetors and double overhead cams, the almost-liter-bike engine delivered 122 hp.  Weight saving was always on page one, with an all alloy chassis and swingarm, and conventional Showa cartridge forks which were said to be lighter.  The 16-inch front wheel was a bit easier on the scale and turn-in effort, and areas of the fairings are perforated to reduce drag and maybe a gram or two.  The final tally was 454 lbs. ready to ride, startlingly close to the CBR600F2, and 65 or so lbs. lighter than the next lightest superbike.

Evidently coming out of a private or maybe dealer’s museum, this CBR is almost spotless and the “never down” claim is believable.  Even in the alternate livery, the colors are bright and the lowers are so shiny the tarmac’s reflection looked like a defect for a moment.  Just a few marks on the generator cover might touched up.  The owner has a good video walkaround – here – and some comments from the eBay auction –

1993 Honda CBR-900-RR – 1st Year – 

-Only 6 lbs. more than the CBR600RR of the same year

-This bike is in 9.9 out of 10 Excellent condition – never down/crashed etc. 

-I am the 2nd owner. Delivered from the factory in the rarest of the two multi-color options

It was perfectly mothballed before going on museum display about 10 years ago. I’m out of floor space in the museum.

-All OEM Bodywork in excellent condition

-Comes with OEM tool kit & owners manual

It’s been pulled off the museum display floor, and over the last month, as time permitted I have had the following service items performed by my mechanic –

-New AGM battery installed

-New oil & filter change

-Front & rear calipers serviced – cleaned & brake fluid flushed from the long time on display

-New non-ethanol fuel installed

The CBR900RR wasn’t a WSBK or AMA SuperBike weapon, but Honda saw that “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” brought customers in, where the FireBlade could win them over.  Winning ways in AMA Formula Extreme and GTO Endurance racing didn’t hurt.  Honda nudged displacement up slowly through the -90’s, and kept weight under control.  But the first year, when the bike was on everyone’s 10 best list, has an undeniable appeal.  This CBR is already attracting a lot of attention, at least bid-wise, and it’ll be interesting to see how the bids compare to the reserve.

-donn

Have One Curated for You – 1993 Honda CBR900RR