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frame has been polished until it’s shinier than the arse of a bus driver’s trousers and the standard rear swingarm has been replaced by a Harris single-sider suspended by an EMC adjustable shock.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
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