Yes the Super Blackbird is one of those aging bikes that is good at everything it does. Sure it won't out do a GSXR1000, but for real world comfort and class, it has few rivals.
Super smooth engine and power delivery, along with good handling and brakes. As capable of maintaining a 150mph cruise all day, as it is at riding through traffic at 10 mph without a snatch.
This machine has performed flawlessly for me over thousands of kilometers. My last big trip took me from Nova Scotia to New Orleans via Deal's Gap (Tail of the Dragon) in North Carolina, and never once so much as stuttered. Having combining the machine with hard luggage (Givi bags), the bike has become a complete, comfortable and reliable sport-touring package.
The only fault I've encountered over the past five years has been chain-wear. This, however, is most likely due to extended days of driving in moderate to heavy rains. (Yes, the chain is lubricated at every fuel stop during these periods). I am on my third chain in 65,000 kms.
I have a 2004 model. Riding large bikes for the past twenty years, I was talked into the Blackbird by a quiet mannered bike salesman. It would be the most exceptional all rounder I have ever had the pleasure of owning. I haven't made any mod's to the bike, and never will. With 11000 km on the clock in all weather conditions in Australia, this beautiful machine places no demands on my time for costly maintenance.
Any person looking for a smooth, high powered brute, that is tamed by the rider, this is the bike for you.
There is not very much to add, the Blackbird will have its place as one of the best all round bikes ever built. I have a 1999 and have now decided to only ride it on special occasions, while I cruise other model bikes daily. That's how much I love and cherish this beauty.
I run a motorcycle tour business and I have owned nine Blackbirds, one after another. Can't find a better bike to cover 25,000 miles a year two-up.
The chain and sprockets need to be replaced at 18000 miles - deal with this as a service item as wear accelerates dramatically in the last 1500 miles.
The camchain tensioner is also something that needs to be replaced around 25-30,000 miles.
I use Continental Road Attack tyres and get a bit more tyre life, but 5000 miles on a rear tyre is optimistic. Front tyres last 8-10,000 miles.
Linked brakes work well and pads should be replaced when the brakes start to lose their efficiency (depends on your use of the brakes!). I get 15,000 miles out of a set of pads, but then I am touring most of the time.
I change the oil and filter regularly (usually after every tour) and air filter at 12,000 miles - that's an expensive item.
Replace the battery after three years - they are cheap, and when they go flat, it can be a nuisance as your guy in Norway (above) found out!
The bike does everything, and as it's a Honda, parts are readily available. I have had NO warranty recalls on any of the Blackbirds I have owned. They got it dead right first time.
Alastair McFarlane of mcitours.com
The guy in Norway's battery did not fail prematurely, he left the heated grips on all night. This in turn led to the flat battery you are talking of.
I have just bought another - Blackbird number TEN! Yes, they really are that good...
I bought a Superblackbird in May of 2005. It now has 13,500 miles on it. I have had zero problems with this motorcycle. You will find as an owner of a Superblackbird in the United States, that nobody knows what these fantastic bikes are. I don't like riding what everyone else has parked on the apron of the garage.
I am a rather small stature fellow that does have a problem touching the ground when on a hill, while wearing shoes without heels, etc. This bike is an excellent choice for people that are tall, portly, or even a little of both.
My only complaint of this motorcycle is the seat. I'm a member of a very large forum dedicated mostly but completely to this bike (cbr1100xx.org). Most people on there do not like the design of the seat for long distance riding, and opt for an aftermarket seat.
The market has softened up on these bikes in the last couple of years to where they're much more affordable to purchase. If you don't like fooling around doing maintenance procedures and riding instead, find a Blackbird!!
I own a CBR1000FF, the predecessor to the Blackbird. I love it and I am thinking about upgrading to the Blackbird, but I am having a hard time parting with my Hurricane, as it has 30k on the odo, and I have had no problems with it at all.
Hi there! Here's where I am. I've driven cross and enduro bikes before, nothing exceptional, not for too long. A sudden hunger for a street bike has somehow taken over me. I've fallen for a 1998 CBR1100 Super Blackbird naked! Beautiful beautiful thing. My question is this, and please don't hold the bluntness, am I gonna kill myself in five minutes in that monster of a machine, in other words should I buy a 250cc or something first? Or, can I take it real easy, and actually make it out alive on this one? Thanks email@example.com
I owned one in Hong Kong, and let it rip everyday on the highway from the airport. It is FAST and reliable, big and comfortable (no big distances in the SAR!), but surprisingly agile on the mountain road over Lantau Island. A bit scary on bad surfaces, but I never crashed it; I guess if I had, I wouldn't be writing this.
Fuel economy leaves something to be desired, but that could be due to the Akrapovitch aftermarket cans. They sounded nice though, as I got bored with listening to the camchain on the standard system!
Linked brakes for me is a no no, so I invested in steel braided hoses and went back to the traditional set up. I just prefer having absolute control over both ends. I like to be able to slide the back tyre with all that power and stability, something that is dangerous with a linked braking system when cornering, as the front can slide too easily. Luckily the sheer weight kept me upright, and after a couple of months I decided to go traditional.
It's a bit of a pig on really tight twisties, but it makes up for that as a point and squirt machine. Tyres wear out quickly with this sort of riding style, but that is a minor sacrifice to be endured when astride its magic engine. It's better than a Busa, maybe because the wheelbase is a tad shorter (correct me if I'm wrong!), but it's still a stable bike at all speeds.
I'd buy another one, but I have a feeling there are other newer bikes out there that might be better now. Back in '98 it was King, but it is a bit dated. Besides, I'm older too and the big adventure bikes like the KTM are beginning to seem to make more sense...