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So... apparently i'm a tubby chaser?

Discussion in 'Biker's Cafe' started by Avalon, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 5,550

    When you mention the FireBlade, it's generally seen as the bike that changed sports bikes as we know them today, however everyone seems to wax lyrical about the much bemoaned 16" wheel and them getting less super sport and more sports tourer as they evolved, by the SC33 (98-99 the last of the carb'd bikes) the hate is seemingly strong.

    So obviously influenced by the advice of people who clearly know what they are talking about, I ignored the whinging and picked up a '99 SC33 in Repsol's finest. I must be an special kind of idiot because i'd swear when I read the spec, it's 5kg lighter, has more power and torque, improved stopping power and generally seems much more refined compared to the revered end of 'Blade development. Oh and did I mention it was cheap? Just need to move the ZX6R F3 on in a few months.

    So yea, i'm apparently a deluded tubby chaser... who knew?

    Pics to follow once I get it sorted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  2. Kreeeee

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jul 13, 2004

    Posts: 42,101

    Location: /* */

    Make sure you use a wide angle lens.
     
  3. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 5,550

    Thanks for the tip, I was thinking I could take multiple photo's, then stitch them together? Surely someone must have invented the TubbyCam app?
     
  4. Acme

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 29, 2011

    Posts: 31,818

    Location: Acme's chair

    :D :D
     
  5. Kermit

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 27, 2002

    Posts: 2,794

    Location: UK

    It was a 1992 or 93 Blade pottering along a busy street at a sedate 20mph in the town I grew up in that got me interested in bikes properly as it just looked so good and at 20mph...it had presence (at least to me).

    Took me a while to get one as had to progress from leaner KMX125 to GS500 (most boring 'big' bike ever) and onto a 1998 CBR600. I wanted a Fireblade before the CBR6 but in them days insurance companies I rang wanted at least 2 years NCD and which I didn't have as I took a break between the GS500 and CBR600 and stuck to a car. Long story short, finally got myself a 1998 CBR900RR at the first opportunity around late 1999. It certainly wasn't tame or tubby although I will say like the CBR600 of the same year I traded for it, it was flexible for commuting, touring (to Germany/The Ring/France...2000m +) and blasts out in the country and it had a good sized underseat storage unlike todays sportsbikes that can hold a spanner under the pillion seat. :D

    the 16" front wheel wasn't a problem. I think it got a reputation on the earlier versions but by 1996 or 1998 tyre technology had moved on and while it still was more flicable than a 17" wheel might have been, most of the drawbacks had been tamed or at least thats what I'm led to believe.

    Enjoy the bike, its a classic :cool:

    btw we used to refer to the various CBR900 and CBR600 models with the Fx suffix with CBR900RRT being 1996, (they skipped U), RRV 1997, RRW 1998 (the one I had and yours) with the final carbed Blade in 1999 was RRX. It then went to RRY for fuel injected 2000 model then moved onto numbers after that RR1, RR2 etc. Might be helpful that if every searching for parts on ebay for it although I doubt you'll need much as pretty much bullet proof build quality.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  6. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 5,550

    Thanks for the advice, it’s my first ‘Blade, but i’ve had a few Honda’s, I don’t recall any of them ever needing non service items (other than the retrofitted carb heaters on the ‘dero after it tried to kill me). I started on a GZ125, Varadero 125XL, Hornet 600, GSXR 750 SRAD that was anything but standard, then an F650GS as the perfect tool for 90 miles a day, year round for several years. Life changed and I didn’t need to commute that far, I took a few years out and then did something that in hind sight possibly wasn’t the best fit for me (literally), a ZX6R F3 which I would have had to throw more money at than it was worth to end up with something I hopefully got on with. The ‘Blade made more sense.

    I’ve already priced up front end wheel conversions (have a friend who does stunning custom alloy/billet C&C work) and a VFR single sided rear, the exhaust can is an A16 stubby that’s too short visually and just meh, a Yoshi or Arrow will fix that quite nicely, may as well drop a stage 1 kit in while cleaning the carbs, not sure about about a fork swap/upgrade, i’m treating it as a full recommissioning project at this stage over the winter.

    Now can anyone put me in touch with someone at Hubble so I can get a picture of it’s lardy perfection?
     
  7. Kermit

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 27, 2002

    Posts: 2,794

    Location: UK

    I honestly wouldn't bother with the front end conversion, I had no problem what so ever with handling when I had mine and that was on 1999-2000 era rubber. I've just done a quick check and Bridgestone still do 130/70 ZR16 tyres eg Battlax S20 & BT016 Pros and sure there must be some of the other manufacturers still catering for that size front so end so tyres shouldn't be an issue. I guess it depends if you want a project for the sake of having a project over winter but imo bikes too far removed from standard a) tend to be reduced in value, b) often don't look as good and c) handling may go the wrong way.

    Tastefull race inspired upgrades of course can look great but try not to go overboard and potentially spoil a great bike.

    BTW my mate had a ZXR6R F3 which he bought in 1998 a month or so after I bought by CBR600FW (also 1998). His did look a cracking bike compared my safe choice which was the last of the steel framed CBR600's but evidently mine handed better supported by the fact his failed to negociate a bend mine took seconds before with no issues :p Rider fine as went off to outside of corner with softish landing.....ZXR6 totalled at <12 months old
     
  8. Dogbreath

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 16,651

    Location: Devon

    Yes it's strange, despite being the lightest and most powerful of the carburettored Blades, plenty of people believe the 98/99 is lardy. I think there are two issues:
    1) The appearance. The front fairing is much wider and more bulbous than the preceding models, making it look heavier.
    2) The R1 was introduced in '98 and overshadowed the Blade with 20bhp more and 12kg less.

    However they are comfortable, proper man sized bikes with decent handling and plenty of performance, and as yet are not fetching the stupid money that the early blades or first gen R1s seem to be. I love mine, though I've done a fair few mods to make it a little more special.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 5,550

    Yep, the R1 launch certainly upped the game again (despite the gearbox issues), that combined with the change in fairing probably added to the myth of it looking big and therefore being big. I'm 6-4" and at 38 the prospect of folding myself into a modern sports bike doesn't fill me with happy thoughts, also got to put a pillion on occasionally (the kids), so this seemed a decent fit. It'll be sympathetically recommissioned/serviced, MOT'd and i'll see how we get on, I would expect it'll end up staying no matter what, it ticks pretty much all the boxes for me. Your bike looks great BTW, I prefer the clean factory look with tasteful improvements vs throwing Chinese eBay at it... twice.
     
  10. Dogbreath

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 16,651

    Location: Devon

    Me too, nasty anodised Chinese tat is not permitted near my bikes, quality aftermarket or OE only. I have all the original parts to get it back to factory if needed, but I really liked the wheels on the later CBR1000RR so decided I had to make them fit, which took a bit of messing around machining bits and pieces but not too bad a job. Biggest single improvement to the entire bike was the Nitron rear shock, transformed the handling and the original was only ~16,000 miles old. I can also recommend the Factory Pro shift star kit of you ever have some spare cash, the shift quality is not quite up to Suzuki standards now but a lot better than it was.

    If you want a 17" front then an early VFR800 front wheel with discs from the second generation (first fuel injected model) Blackbird is probably one of the easiest swaps that gives you a matching spoke design.

    Are you signed up on Fireblades.org?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  11. ttaskmaster

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Sep 11, 2013

    Posts: 9,752

    NVM
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  12. Avalon

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 5,550

    I’ll likely have read it at some point over the last 25 years, I suppose it depends on how you define ‘sports bike’, the genre keeps changing and means different things to different people at different times.

    Back when I was a kid it seemed to be all about going fast in a straight line, the early ninja (or GPZ) wasn’t my personal idea of fun, quality was also suspect, heck I still remember the look on a friends face when the clip-on from a later example snapped in his hand while moving it round the kitchen of the shock collapsed. The big GPZ’s were decent in a straight line, but that was about it, they were also quite cumbersome, even the 14R I share storage space with is a big heavy beast (though stunning). The R1, ‘bird and ‘busa (as well as the 14R) were all post ‘blade. I suppose you could argue that it was the first bike to focus on handling and understand power to weight as well as dispensing with the normal logic of what wins races sells bikes, as it had no race series initially. As a kid, it was the bike i’d likely have a poster of, the leery Kawasaki paint jobs weren’t my thing.
     
  13. Kermit

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 27, 2002

    Posts: 2,794

    Location: UK

    This was mine (excuse the quality, its virtually the only digital pic I have of it taken 1999 when that sort of quality was wow plus I've croped by ugly mug out of it)

    [​IMG]

    Reg was R414 BYG and I still have the old full sized plate hanging in my garage with many others from biokes over the years. Reg is ok to post as the bike was totalled by an idiot in a car on the wrong side of the road in 2000 or 2001 and payout for used to buy a 929 which despite riding newer bikes since (SP1, 2005 Blade and others) I bought a 929 again in 2007 or 2008 and thats still my main bike as like a 98 Blade, its flexible, as fast as I really need on the road and I can fit sandwiches and lots of other stuff in the boot :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  14. Dogbreath

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 16,651

    Location: Devon

    Yep, it's like the bike equivalent of an estate car :D I've had a bike cover, a set of waterproofs, puncture repair kit and a pair of trainers stuffed in the tail unit before.
     
  15. Kreeeee

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jul 13, 2004

    Posts: 42,101

    Location: /* */

    I'd love to have enough storage to leave a set of waterproofs on the bike.