Just got the new Fireblade after trading in a Yamaha R6, 2005 model.
Took it out on a country ride where the road is very sharp and lots up and down hill tight corners, some up to 180 degrees, signposted at 60Km/h.( no cops out this day as it had just rained ).
Due to the bike being a little new kept the Rpm below 7000 meaning around 145km/h tops.
I was absolutely blown away with the level of confidence it inspired, for me particularly on right hand corners where the R6 was very twitchy, possibly my poor cornering style on RH corners, ( I started racing on a LH race track many years ago, I test rode the R1 and it too was very easy to ride fast in RH corners, could be due to the steering dampers on both ).
The Fireblade was unbelievably stable and felt as if it was on rails.
Even when pushed in the corners, some have very bumpy entries, from heavy trucks breaking etc. nothing unsettled it.
The road was damp from rain, and the Bridgestone BT015 tyres were outstanding, not a single hint of sliding or stepping out.
All in all a very " safe " ride compared to the 600, which I felt I was always on the edge and gear selection was critical for high speed corner performance.
On the Fireblade not as critical, as it has mind blowing torque, so even when you enter in too high a gear, it is able to pull very strongly.
My reason for buying it was the outstanding design, the neat tucked exhaust and a modern one at that, the Suzuki guy's seemed to be getting it right with the GSX 750 and then screwed up the new GSX1000 with those horrible drain pipes on both sides, ( ditto Kawasaki )and I think Yamaha is about to drop the under seat exhaust (as well as do a full redesign)for the same reason Honda just has, centre of gravity and better handling.
The new exhaust "growls" and has a very unique sound, I do not know if an after market unit would make a lot of difference, if it is sound you are after ( The R6 was very quiet by comparison).
My bike is Red and Black, the only other color here is Yellow which is nice but the red is stunning.
I looked at a lot of videos and pics of the Honda and not a single picture or video did it justice, in the daylight it is a modern, new design, and that was my main reason for buying it, the first of a new generation, I hope.
So in closing if you want a great, new fresh designed 1000 you cannot go past the Honda Fireblade, and I am sure it will win many super bike races