How to spot a blade model from a mile away.


There are some people around that can tell a bike simply by looking at the tyres. I don’t know about you but these people really get on my tits with their train spotter eye for details that most of us simply cannot see. I find the best way to deal with these people without resorting to violence is to, if not beat, at least get level with them on a particular subject. My chosen subject is of course Fireblades. J


In the Fireblade family there are four different models. Each model typically spans a two year period and includes 2 designations. I will go through the four types then tell you the easiest way to spot them even if they have been extensively modded.


1992-93 Model RR-N/P


This was the first Fireblade and had the original twin headlamp fairing with the essential drilled holes in the front near the lights. Individual characteristics of this blade are that it’s the only blade to have a speedo cable. I know its not a lot but take the bodywork off and that’s the only visible difference between this and the next model


1994-1995 Model RR-R/S


This was the first blade to feature the now famed ‘Foxeye’ fairing. Other than the loss of the speedo cable the bike cosmetically was largely unchanged.


1996-1997 Model RR-T/V


This was the first time that the blade had actually changed but to the untrained eye this bike looks more like the previous model than the earliest model ever does. The first thing to notice is that the seat unit has gained an extra hole, early models only have one. The front mudguard has changed to a more wrap around style and the forks have gone from gold/bronze over to silver. The fairing bracket has also changed so it mounts from the centre of the frame rather than part the way down the side and has gone from silver to black. The legendary holes in the bottom of the fairing are now gone although the top ones remain. The engine has sprouted a oil window rather than the original dipstick. The clutch cover now has three bolts in the centre and is no longer convex.


1998-1999 Models RR-W/X


The final Fireblade that shares the same basic look as the original. The easiest to spot differences are that the whole bike has gained a softer rounded look. Smaller detail changes include upper fairing holes that are upside down. The front brake callipers have changed colour to silver as has the exhaust can (a blade with the original exhaust is a rare beast indeed). The fairing bracket still remains mounted in the centre but has reverted back to silver in colour. The mirrors have lost their cheap n nasty rubber boots and now sport a nice clean F1 look. The rear seat unit has lost it’s two holes which have been replaced by one much smaller hole nearer the seat. The clocks have become an all in one unit and also incorporate the idiot lights as part of the unit. The rear brake calliper has also changed from black to silver. The front of the bike now possess an air intake underneath the headlight. The exhaust system is now silver.


SO how do you tell a blade in three easy steps?


  1. Has it got a speedo cable?
  2. Does it have a window for the oil level?
  3. Are brake callipers silver?


92-93 N/P = yes no no

94-95 R/S = no no no

96-97 T/V= no yes no

98-99 W/X= no yes yes


So there you have it, that’s how to become a blade nerd without actually knowing anything but three questions. J Take a look through the gallery and see if it works!