• Number '10' of the limited edition
• Present ownership since June 2001
• 5,917 miles from new
• Honda main dealer serviced
In 1998 Honda won its 100th Isle of Man TT race when Jim Moodie rode a FireBlade to victory in the Production event despite stiff opposition from Yamaha's newly introduced R1. Knowing that things would be much tougher the following year, and with a new FireBlade some way away, Honda Britain commissioned Mick Grant and Russell Savory, the men in charge of its production racing programme, to develop an evolution of the stock Blade that would keep them in the hunt. The result was the FireBlade Evolution TT100.
First seen towards the end of 1998, the Evolution Blade featured a Marchesini single-sided swinging arm, Öhlins rear shock absorber and USD forks, Brembo brakes, 'ram air' induction, restyled bodywork, Stack instrumentation, HRC close-ratio gear cluster, gearbox quick shifter, Dymag wheels and a 22.5-litre fuel tank, the latter essential for two laps of the TT course. Savory's RS Performance tuned the engine, which retained the stock 918cc capacity but incorporated a balanced bottom-end, special camshafts, an up-rated ignition system and Keihin 41mm flat-slide carburettors. RS Performance quoted power as 165bhp at the crankshaft with 150bhp at the rear wheel; this compared with a standard machine on the same dynamometer giving 118bhp. In short: no expense was spared in building the Evolution FireBlade, a fact reflected in its £22,350 price tag.
It was intended that 250 Evolution models would be made to meet the homologation requirements but actual production fell far short of that, estimates of the numbers built ranging from as many as a quarter to as few as 20.
This example was delivered new by RS Performance of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire to Thunder Road Motorcycles of Bridgend, Glamorgan in May 1999, and was purchased new from Thunder Road by one Mark Dunlop in January 2001. A few months later, with 599 miles recorded, the Honda was sold back to Thunder Road, from whom it was purchased by the current vendor in June 2001 (sales invoices on file).
Serviced and maintained by the same dealership throughout the vendor's ownership, the machine has covered 5,917 miles in total and is completely original, with no repairs or restoration. It has the limited edition plaque on the top yoke and comes complete with its original supplied extras: alternative rear shock spring; sprockets (15T and 43T); dual-seat kit; road exhaust can; short gear change rod; rear footrest hangers; Öhlins spanner and manual; rear paddock stand; bike cover; and relevant data sheets.
Accompanying documentation consists of a current MoT certificate, V5C Registration Certificate, and the aforementioned sales invoices.