1999 Honda CBR900RR FireBlade Evolution TT100
Registration no. T125 LLD
Frame no. JH2SC33A0XM306843
Engine no. SC33E2311116
In 1998 Honda won its 100th Isle of Man TT race when Jim Moodie rode a FireBlade to victory in the Production event despite facing stiff opposition from Yamaha's newly introduced but not yet fully developed 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 latter featured a Marchesini single-sided swinging arm, Öhlins rear shock absorber and USD forks, Brembo brakes, 'ram air' induction, restyled bodywork, Stack instrumentation, 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. It was intended that 250 Evolution models would be made to meet the homologation requirements but in the end only around one quarter of that number was produced.
Interviewed by Superbike magazine, Savory reckoned the Evo Blade would be good for 180mph, while tester Alan Cathcart clearly enjoyed his time aboard one of the prototypes: 'Suddenly, you're aware above the glorious howl from the Micron exhaust that the digital speedo is registering 150mph and you're still in fifth gear! Equally impressive is the roll-on performance, especially between 60 and 100mph in fourth gear, when the Evo sets new standards for muscular pick-up coupled with instant throttle response.'
Signed by FireBlade designer Tadao Baba, Russell Savory and D Wood, this example was first registered to Honda Motor Europe Motorcycle Division in London and first privately owned by Allan Pearse of Blackawton, Devon, who acquired it in February 2001. The machine is offered with various instruction manuals, assorted literature, two expired MoTs (most recent issued in May 2008 at 1,190 miles), dynamometer printouts (143.5bhp) and Swansea V5 document.