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NitroBlade

Published: 23 September 2001

Joe Pleterski was one of the very first British FireBlade disciples – but that doesn’t mean he just sat back and worshipped the bike he has owned since August 1992. No, he reckoned he could improve on it.

He recalls: " After a couple of years I wanted more power. Now whenever a new bike comes out, like the R1 or GSX-R1000, I do a little bit more to keep up. I sold a house and after all the bills had been paid off I was left with a lump sum of money. I spent it all on the bike. "

The Honda’s engine has been bored out to accept 945cc pistons. Pleterski says: " We could have gone bigger, but I wanted to fit nitrous injection and tuners TTS said this capacity would offer the best balance of power and reliability. "

Cosmetically, the NitroBlade has been beefed up, too. The frame has been polished until it’s shinier than the arse of a bus driver’s trousers and the standard rear swingarm has been replaced by a Harris single-sider suspended by an EMC adjustable shock. The view of the rear wheel is unobstructed by an exhaust, thanks to the Harris system that snakes up and feeds into a single large CCC carbon-fibre oval can.

With power increased to more than 230bhp when the nitrous kicks in, it would be a little foolish to persevere with the stock brakes, so Pleterski didn’t. Now PFM six-pots grip skinny PFM racing discs.

That hasn’t slowed it down, though. Pleterski says: " It’s been clocked at 210mph, and Sean Emmett clocked the fastest ever time down the straight at Goodwood on this bike. "

As Smith blasts past on the NitroBlade (using just pump fuel as the Blade’s twin nitrous bottles are unfortunately empty) the bike’s owner smiles and says: " I love to see it eat newer Blades. "

MCN’s Kev Smith comes in impressed by the mid-range and the powerful brakes, but complaining of a hard rear end. " I stiffened it up for touring, " says Pleterski, who is not only a good few kilos heavier than our diminutive road tester, but also turned up with his girlfriend on the pillion. " It doesn’t just sit in the garage. I go touring on it as well. " Well, what else would you use a 200bhp nitrous-injected FireBlade for?

Bike: 1992 Honda NitroBlade

Owner: Joe Pleterski

Cost: £16,500

Time spent building: Nine years and counting

Engine: 945cc, Cosworth big-bore kit, gas-flowed head including big valves, reprofiled cams, one-off Harris exhaust with CCC oval can, modified carbs, K&N filters, nitrous-oxide injection, heavy-duty clutch springs

Brakes (front): PFM six-pot calipers, PFM discs.

Brakes (rear): Brembo caliper and disc

Chassis: Standard beam frame in polished aluminium,

Harris single-sided swingarm

Suspension: FireBlade forks with Ohlins internals, EMC

adjustable rear shock

Other modifications: Ducati 996 rear wheel, 1998 digital

FireBlade clocks

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