Tadao Baba is a force of nature. Even now, his energy fills any space he inhabits. He is also the Honda Large Project Leader (LPL) behind the very first FireBlade – the seminal 1992 CBR900RR. Thirty years ago, large capacity bikes were fast, but big. Unwieldy. Baba-san questioned this orthodoxy and the result of his vision was litre-bike power in a middleweight package, and an amazing motorcycle that genuinely changed the game.
Now, as part of celebrating 30 years of the Fireblade, Honda has done what only Honda can do: bring the long-retired Baba-san to the famed Honda Collection Hall museum, flanked by ‘92 and ‘22 Fireblades, and alongside three LPLs who followed in his footsteps. The resulting 15 minutes is insightful, educational and downright enjoyable. It’s also packed with rare archive action that rarely sees the light of day.
View the video The Bloodline of the Fireblade: Three Decades of Continuous Challenges here:
And Honda is also marking 30 years of sports bike innovation with new hardware: the limited edition CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP 30th Anniversary, which proudly wears the Tricolour paint scheme of the 1992 original. It’s no mere computer-generated facsimile, either. The Design Project leader of that first model’s unforgettable paint work, Hiroaki Tsukui, is also responsible for what you see for 2022. In a real behind-the-scenes look at his work, with rare access to a designer’s process, he takes us through the inspiration for the unmistakeable design of the first ‘Blade, and how it translates to the latest, the Fireblade SP 30th Anniversary.
View the video The Bloodline of the Fireblade: Re-imagining the Classic Colours here: