speedy 40km on it. Also note that from

Mr Honda San’s mouth, the bike is

specifically NOT made for a comfortable

ride, it is a racing machine.

As for the ride, Redstar Raceway is the

one race track that will teach you how

to corner properly, many, if not all of the

corners, have decreasing radii and forces

you to square them off and apex as late

as possible. The CBR was an absolute

pleasure and never once got out of

sorts, noting that I’m not by any means

the fastest rider out there, and well, you

know, it’s not my bike either.

I have the 2009 derivative that has

served me well for one hundred

thousand kilometres, without any

rider aids or ABS or fancy trickery.

It has also served me as a fantastic

commuter, holiday bike, weekendblitz

and track machine. I can barely

articulate the world of difference

between ten years of development.

The machine is as civil as they come,

and will not put you in a place of fear

and loathing. Moreover, it makes you

want to go faster to enjoy the rev range.

As far as what I could see, the changes

made to the demo unit we were fortunate

enough to be invited to test, had some

minor changes to the final drive and was

also fitted with the optional quick shifter

device. The sensitivity on the quick

shifter, for my technique in ‘race-shift’

setup was probably not as sensitive as I

would like to have had it, but you know,

the settings are fully customizable, as

with the steering damper.

The stopping power on the machine also

has a noticeable change in the form of

an increased 330mm diameter disc, also

thickened to 5mm, from the previous

320mm 4.5mm thick discs.

Going around Redstar in the anticlockwise

direction allows you to get

the straight along the highway on the


The final drive ratios, for this test, were

adjusted to DRASTICALLY shorten the

gearing, to avoid the excessive use of first

and second gears in places where some

would prefer a shorter ratio, in a higher

gear. This unfortunately does not give a

good representation of the power delivery

and character as the gear ratios were

absolutely too short for the road and to

feel the delivery over a longer internal gear

ratio. According to the speedo on the bike,

I had managed to get around the 260km/h

mark, while my GPS registered only

207km/h. I can’t recall if there was a one

or two tooth smaller difference on the front

sprocket, but I know for sure that the rear

sprocket was increased by five teeth. This

works on the circuit, but unfortunately not in

every-day riding. It would be a completely

different animal on the street, say, cruising

up and down “the 22” or Franschoek pass.

The brakes are super and the ABS enjoys

different modes for street and track. The

Pirelli 55/200 rear tyre size increase also

gives a planted feel in the corners and

sucks up the traction control adjustments

like they weren’t even there.

It is not my point to compare apples with

oranges, but this machine, I believe, is

going to be tough to beat.

It has already shown promise in the BSB

and we would do well to watch the results

at the Suzuka 8hr, JSB and the WSBK

series. This is nothing short of an epic

machine and I have to make mention of

Riaan Fourie and Paul Jacobs from Honda

South Africa, Quintin Coetser from Redstar

Raceway and Glenn and Sean at Ridefast

for the amazing opportunity to review the


Thank you and watch the excellent

feedback pile in on what is nothing other

than the sharpest Blade as yet.

The long and short of it is; go sell a

kidney or re-mortgage your house and

buy the bigger box. It’s worth every cent!


for your closest dealer

Shado Alston

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