Monday, May 03, 2004


Honda CBR100XX Super Blackbird

I've had the bike for 6 months now so I thought it was high time I went for a serious fang.
After going to the horse riding comp with Miranda this morning I took the long way home via a local mountain ride. You know its a good ride when you come across lots of red signs with Motorbikes on them and the warning "Fatal Crashes next 4 Km" and "REDUCE SPEED NOW".
I decided to see if I could keep the bike in lower gear and a higher rev range and see how it went. Being a sports tourer with an awesome spread of power one tends to drive at the lower end of the scale. So I spent most of the next 30 odd kms of twisty mountain roads in 2nd and 3rd gears at around 7000-10000 RPM. AWESOME!. The smoothness of the power delivery is amazing. There is a slight power surge at around 8000 RPM but it is even and not jerky.
I have a lot of respect for this bike now. If you are a novice rider and don't go too hard, it is very forgiving and will corner with ease. IF you want to go harder it will respond effortlessly. By the time I was coming down the last 5-6 kms of switchbacks I was out of the saddle, with all my weight on the pegs shifting my body from side to side over the seat and swinging into the switchbacks at around 95km an hour. These were hairpins marked at 40 km. The handling was smooth, the power was kept on an even RPM around 7000-8000 with a burst between hairpins. 2nd gear sounded crisp and the odd small straight got treated to a burst of 3rd gear. Mind you 2nd gear at 10000 RPM is 140kmh! The brakes never faded off once, even under heavy load (although I never really taxed it with emergency braking) and the suspension took the corners really well. The front did chatter a bit on the rougher stuff but not enough to bother and could be softened a little if riding on that sport of stuff regularly.
Attention getting too. Every small gathering of picnickers or sightseers all had their heads twisted towards the road as I came past and swivelled as I went by. That's quite a funny thing to watch.
Finally I treated myself to about 6kms of gravel road on a shortcut back to my place that cuts of 10kms of boring stuff (boring = frequented by cars with lights on top). Here the bike also performed very well with the front end only squirming a little in the pea size gravel at 80-90 kms an hour. It is fun twisting the throttle hard to get a rooster of gravel out the back!

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