Reader Rides- Rasik Narula’s Fireblade RR 929

David

David David,

Asst. Vice President Retail Banking Axis Bank Ltd, and a huge fan of Indian Autos Blog, Rasik Narula stands first in IAB’s ‘most passionate riders’ roll call. Having grown up with an assortment of bikes, Rasik can’t cease talking about them. We interviewed him on his experiences on two wheels and comprehensively quizzed him on his Fireblade RR 929, and this is what he had to say.

First of all I’ll talk about the Fireblade’s comfort rather than the power, performance:

As I am just a short arse. 5’7″ I found it to be a perfect bike for me as far as comfort goes. Tall enough to reach the bars without having to transfer all my weight to my wrists, so no problem there. As for the seat, I was fitting in just fine,as if it was made for me ! Rating given by me 10. A bit scary for the pillion. Just sat out there in the hurricane blast while I hid behind the screen.

As for the handling:

There had been nothing like the Blade before. It turned so sharp, if you were not giving it full concentration. It’s got Ohlin’s up-rated fork springs as a treat and I dropped the fork oil. Then spent the next week riding up and down the same stretch of road while I got the front and rear set how I wanted them. Its amazing how many different combinations of set up there is to suit ur style & comfort.You can really screw it up big time if unlike me you did not keep a log of every setting, both before you alter and when you alter. When I had got it how I wanted it, it would go round just about anything as if it was on rails, and the harder I pushed the more firm it felt. A true thoroughbred.

Smart Tip:

I ran the tires at the manufacturer’s pressure settings. Just slightly different to the Honda settings. On really hot days (do you remember them) I would run the front at a bit lower than recommended. This gave a more stable ride, less lightly to skip. So I gave handling top marks. (If yours don’t handle then get it set up properly, you don’t know what you are missing)

Also you have the option of filling Nitrogen in your tires, currently I am doing that and i feel a better grip on the road.

Braking:

I had always wanted one of these bikes from the first time I saw it. I am so pleased I was lucky to have owned one of the first models. This bike took the world by the throat and gave it a good shaking up. We should all be grateful to the HONDA FIREBLADE for making biking what it is today. And even more thankful to Tadao Baba for the vision and ability to think outside the box.

The HONDA FIREBLADE is everything to its owner. Be you fat, thin, tall, short, man or woman. You should all at least experience the bike that started it all for the sports fans.

I had ridden may super bikes that stopped better than the Blade. (Hanging head in shame)That was  R1 & R6 and the Suzuki’s. It stopped on a dime. Besides that one, the Blade did all I wanted and more as far as the brakes were concerned. It had braided hoses when I got it so I cannot say how it was before. The one thing I have to say is that it was very forgiving on the brakes.

Fuel economy:

It is not really the right word when talking about the blade. Although you could return about 150 miles on a full tank if you were careful, we have to remember it’s a sports bike. They don’t lend themselves to just popping along. Why buy a race horse then just canter it? If I used it how it should be used, I would have to fuel up at about 100 miles, which considering, was not that bad. (Not that I ever broke the speed limit, honestly) If you want good returns on fuel buy a MOPED.

Reliability:

What can I say? It’s a Honda. Solid as a rock. Just do the daily / weekly things and get it serviced when it needs it. Beside that mine ticked on endlessly. Although I am a bit of a fiddler, always checking things. What cost safety?etc etc……….HONDA RULES FOR ME!

Performance:

I know it’s an old cliche, best fun you can have with your clothes on. It was the only bike I have ever felt butterflies in my stomach as I was about to get on! I just did not know what adventures we would have next. All I knew for sure was it was going to be exciting, no matter how far I was going, I always knew it was going to be great. It could nearly rip your arms off or it could be gentle as a lamb. Just about always forgiving, but sometimes it would shake its head just to let me know I needed to not get complacent with it. Every ride was full on focus at all times, no time for daydreamers here. Leaving the world behind as you wind the throttle open was such a rush, it could become addictive. (Not good if you want to keep your license).

Really every part of the whole biking experience was a pleasure. Brakes, tires, ride ability, suspension, balance. Fun factor.

Quiz section

IAB – Tell us about your Riding history.

Way back in school, i always admired my Dad’s “BIG IRON STEED” the ENFIELD BULLET. I just couldn’t wait to grow taller to take control of it. Then, I inherited the bullet way back in my school days and then bought another one way back in 96. I then bought a brand new 500cc bullet – post MBA and then there was no looking back. I then  bought two RD 350/HTs one second-hand and one brand new. The latest addition is my dream machine, a HONDA FIREBLADE RR 929CC.

IAB – Any Memorable road trips?

Oh boy! I rode non stop for 800 KMS, the day I got my New Bullet 500, Pune, Bhimashankar,Lonavala you name it!. Then one fine day I formed INDDIETHUMPERS, the Mumbai Bullet Club.

IAB – Tell us more about your FIREBLADE- your clocked distance,top speed,price,the lot!

Always wanted one of these from the first day I saw it new. I first came across this bike when I went to check it out with a friend who was looking to buy it. It was like LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! Amongst so many super bikes parked,the Honda stood apart for me. I had the sparkle in my eyes, after seeing it for the 1st time, my dream machine HONDA FIREBLADE RR 929CC. Since then, i have clocked 24000 kms already! On the Blade, 190 kph is as fast as i could get in India.

IAB – How does your bike compare with its rivals?

I know it’s an old cliché, best fun you can have with your clothes on. I have ridden the Yamaha R1, R6, MT01, Suzuki HayaBusa and Honda CBR 954……of all these bikes i find the handling of Honda and Suzuki to be super best and dam efficient.

It was the only bike I have ever felt butterflies in my stomach as I was about to get on! I just did not know what adventures we would have next. All I knew for sure was it was going to be exciting, no matter how far I was going, I always knew it was going to be great. It could nearly rip your arms off or it could be gentle as a lamb. Just about always forgiving, but sometimes it would shake its head just to let me know I needed to not get complacent with it. Every ride was full on focus at all times, no time for daydreamers here. Leaving the world behind as you wind the throttle open was such a rush, it could become addictive.

The HONDA FIREBLADE is everything to its owner. Be you fat, thin, tall, short, man or woman. You should all at least experience the bike that started it all for the sports fans.

IAB – Tell us about the Maintenance part of your bikes. Any maintenance tips?

The Bullet hardly requires any maintenance. The RD 350 requires regular maintenance.

HONDA FIREBLADE – maintenance purely depends on the state of the bike,my bike is always clean and requires no maintenance, nonetheless the bike goes to Johny in Bandra for regular check ups.

Just a tip, I ran the tires at the manufacturer’s pressure settings. Just slightly different to the Honda settings. On really hot days (do you remember them) I would run the front at a bit lower than recommended. This gave a more stable ride, less lightly to skip. So I gave handling top marks. (If yours don’t handle then get it set up properly, you don’t know what you are missing). I never use Synthetic oils,one can use the normal Castrol range of oils,coolants etc

Recommended fuel is – any high octane petrol.

IAB –  What is your take on safety? Which Riding gear brand do you wear?

Safety is the most imp thing to a sane rider, riding on any kind of 2 wheeler.To begin with u must have a decent head gear,proper riding shoes, gloves with protection,riding suit!

I personally use a customized riding suit,which is a local make and is made to order.

IAB – Your point of view on bringing Sports bikes to India. What are the problems one could face?

Super/Sports bike getting down to India as of now may not be a VERY welcoming idea for me, as the masses still talk about average, spare availability etc. Plus the cost of maintaining it, the kind of average(mileage) these machines give, may not be very appealing.

Besides all, cost is also another great factor, i really don’t know people who would like to shell out 9-11 Lacs for super bikes, it is still a very niche segment.

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