If Only Icarus had real Wings :2008 Fireblade First Impression
text and Photography : Sunny
There it was. Gleaming in the sun with a purposeful meanness that only a very capable contender could exude. I was in front of the direct descendant of the 900RR, which, 16 years ago demonstrated to the world how Superbikes should be. The 2008 Fireblade also has the DNA of the RC211V, which many say was the ultimate motorcycle to ride. It was such an incredible motorbike which actually got Rossi to change over to Yamaha, just because he needed to prove that he did not win because of the fantastic machine underneath him. A machine which was lightyears ahead of the competition. The 08 Blade had the the same DNA, but for the real world - the road and the track days.
Restarting its four years development cycle the Blade is back with a bang, it looks different and it behaves different. The only think which perhaps constant is the unbelievable modesty it defines itself as the champion of the road and the track in many a journalist's and test's books across the world.
Now then, I have personally ridden a Blackbird and a 05 Blade for decent number of miles and I know how smooth and reliable they were. I was also a sucker for how the Blade 05 looked, specially its ultra sharp profile.
When Honda released the first pictures of the 08 Blade I was disappointed. It looked just short of a fantastic design if the nose had been a little more sharper. But then, my disliking stopped there and then. In my heart I knew that superbikes were more about the performance and real life riding than just looks (which are subjective anywhich ways). Delivering more on looks, I have started liking the new blade even more than the previous avatars. Why? Because its radical, a deviation from what the norm would be. The front a tad bit taller than the rear, which in superbikesense, shouldn't be. The exhaust side stump looks fantastic, the minimalistic graphics coupled with sanely done cutwork on the panels and plastics looks fantastic and graspable. Its simple yet very complex at the same time and often defies the way superbike should be looking from some angles.
Going further from the looks, the performance and reviews further rationalizes the reason why lots of people swear by the Blade - its the overall package which matters.
My first impression of the Blade in flesh confirmed this and more, it is one hell of a talented motorbike and the sheer number of research and grey substance gone into developing this machine coupled with the incredibly rich lineage its got shows through. And if that wasn't enough, its performance in the WSBK championships are a testimony of what it is actually made of.
And of course, as usual it was pointless taking the Blade and doing anywhere the crazy stuff it can do in Delhi for in every square meter there lies a mass of humanity, some dressed in khaki, some in white!
The color to get would be Black or the European white and black - just stunning!
So now we have to wait and watch till January 2009 comes by and Honda India launches and infuses the Indian motorcycle scene with this incredible DNA.