After selling my Triumph Sprint ST I spent all my spare time reading Internet forums, searching eBay and even looking in local newspapers in search of inspiration for a new bike until eventually, I found a very nice looking Honda CBR1100xx Blackbird that was being advertised on the Honda Blackbird Owners Club forum by a well-respected forum member, and it was only about 50 miles away. After a few emails and telephone calls with the owner, one Thursday night after work my lovely wife and I drove over to have a look at the bike.
After checking the bike out and chatting to the owner a deal was struck and I rode home on my new bike.
It’s obviously way too early to tell as I’ve only done about 150 miles but my initial impressions are that I’m delighted with the bike, clearly, loads have already been written about this bikes amazingly powerful engine and everything I’ve read is very true.
Well, I’ve had Flo (all my bikes and car have their own names, given to them by my lovely children) for just over 3 months now and covered 1,790 great miles including a few weeks commuting into the centre of Birmingham, a few long days in the saddle and a number of quick blasts out for fun and I’ve found the bike to be extremely comfortable, stable and most importantly I’ve loved every minute of it and boy what an engine!
As the mileage has just gone past 24,855 Flo was well due for her 24K mile service which has just been done to perfection by John at Jaws Motorcycles.
While out for a late-night run on Flo I managed to run over what I think was a block of wood that was lying in the middle of the road, being late at night and the fact that there weren’t any street lights meant that I didn’t see it until it was too late and I ended up clipping the edge of it. Luckily the impact wasn’t severe enough to knock me off Flo but I could hear a noise coming from the front end, so I stopped in a nearby lay-by and examined the bike but in the limited light I could see nothing wrong, I was only a couple of miles from home so I turned around and headed home at a very slow pace so I could examine them at home.
Once I got home and was able to have a proper look I found that my right-hand brake disk had been damaged and was now badly warped – crap – A quick email to John at Jaws Motorcycles asking for advice and the following day I picked up a new set of Armstrong front brake disks, not only do the Armstrong disks look much better than the original Honda ones I’ve also noticed that the braking has improved, BONUS!
While out on a run-up to Scotland riding in some of the worst and heaviest rain I’ve ever encountered poor little Flo’s engine stopped working, I also just happened to be in a major traffic jam, fortunately, I managed to paddle (no pun intended) Flo to the side of the road and after attempting to start her and having no success I decided a call to the RAC and see what the professionals could do to help, hopefully, it wouldn’t be anything terminal that would put an end to our long weekend away.
Luckily the RAC man found that the connector to the fuel pump under the tank was loose and after he re-crimped the connector Flo started, great news at the trip was back on!
MOT time again for Flo and I took her to my local bike shop aptly named ‘The Bike Shop‘ in Tamworth (10 Aldergate, Tamworth B79 7DL, Tel:01827 66767) – unfortunately Flo failed as the rear wheel bearings had too much play in them so a quick email to John at JAWS Motorcycles and a new set of wheel bearings as well as the rear sprocket carriers bearings (might as well change them all at the same time) were ordered. The plan was to get the bearings from JAWS and fit them myself, the bearings arrived the next day but due to work and other commitments I wouldn’t be able to get around to fitting them for a while, so a quick telephone call the ‘The Bike Shop‘ in Tamworth and the rear wheel was delivered to them along with the new bearings and an hour later the wheel was done and ready to be fitted back into Flo. The following day Flo and at 44,721 miles had a brand new MOT certificate.
Unfortunately due to family commitments and setting up my own Karate club (www.atherstonekarate.co.uk) I’ve not had the time to get out on my bike as much as I would have liked, but as the mileage was getting higher and I just felt like I had to so something I decided to replace the cam chain tensioner (CCT) so a quick email to JAWS Motorcycles and a few days later a nice shiny CCT was delivered along with a new gasket.
Replacing the CCT is a very simple and quick 15-minute job and most of that time is spent removing the plastics to gain easier access to the CCT, I know some people who have replaced their CCT’s without taking off the plastics but seeing as I had the time and wanted to do the job correctly I removed mine. The Honda owners club forum (B.I.R.D – www.superblackbird.co.uk) is a fantastic resource for everything Honda Blackbird related and in this case, it was very useful to find loads of advice on how to replace the CCT.
Once the CCT was replaced I was amazed at how much smoother the engine felt, don’t get me wrong, the only reason I replaced the CCT was due to the mileage and nothing to do with hearing any rattles but the replacement CCT was obviously doing a better job than the original 46,616 mile one, now if only I could find the time to test ride the bike more…
Wow, I can’t believe the date, time seems to fly by so quickly, almost as quick as Bob on his Blackbird when it’s Bonzo’s turn to buy the breakfast!
I’ve just gotten around to replacing the radiator on Flo as it well past the point of holding onto it’s coolant, big thanks to the people at East End Radiators in Glasgow for their help and advice.
After 2,433 days or to put it another way, 6 years, 7 months and 30 days of ownership, covering 28,251 miles I’m sad to say that Flo has been sold, I’m going to miss this bike, it’s taken me all over the UK and I’ve got some fantastic memories but I’ve decided that I wanted something with a little more comfort so I decided to replace it with a Yamaha FJR1300, only time will tell if this is the right decision.
|Buztech bar risers||Jaws Motorcycles fairing ‘shrooms|
|Oxford heated grips||Givi rack and E52 Maxia top case|
|Ermax rear hugger||Pyramid fenda extenda|
|P&P Viper seat||Scottoiler|
|Telferizer GPS mount||Venom stainless steel exhausts|
|Powerlink USB socket||Armstrong brake discs (front and rear)|
|Fabbri double bubble screen||Ultimate Addons Mobile Phone Mounting Kit|
|Stainless steel wheel spacers||Garmin Zumo 550 GPS|
|SW-Motech EVO Sport tankbag|