Honda VTR1000 Firestorm Overview
In the mid-1990s, everyone wanted a big-bore V-twin. The huge success of Ducati – both on the road with its Monster naked bikes and on track with its legendary 916 Superbike – made the other firms sit up and pay attention. Aprilia, Suzuki and Honda all built 1000cc V-twin engines, with various levels of success, and the Firestorm was Honda’s first attempt at a big twin sportsbike.
Honda VTR1000 FirestormThe engine is a corker, with loads of grunt, decent 110bhp peak power (the FireBlade at the time only made about 18bhp more) and very slim, compact construction. The only downside is rotten fuel consumption – which is probably down to the old-school massive carburettors which feed it with gas and air. The little half-fairing looks smart but gives modest weather protection, and added to the small 16 litre fuel tank and scant pillion accommodation made it a poor distance machine. Later bikes had a larger fuel tank, but it was always a handicap for the bike.
Never mind the fuel range though – it’s a fast little bike. Over 170mph is easily seen on the clocks in the right place – and it handles well for a road-biased sportsbike. The pivotless frame design was a little flawed for hard track use, and race teams like Moriwaki in Japan would add serious bracing around the swingarm pivot area. The ultimate answer for the track was to come later though – the VTR1000R SP1 and SP2 which won the WSB title under Colin Edwards.
Nowadays, we reckon it’s set to be a future classic. Pick up the best standard early model you can, in black or yellow, and tuck it away safe…
Look at the Honda VTR1000 Firestorm in action…
Honda VTR1000 Firestorm Spec
- Top speed144mph
- Average fuel consumption35mpg
- Seat height810mm
- Engine8v, V-twin
Honda VTR1000 Firestorm Insurance
Honda VTR1000 Firestorm Photos
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For a big bike, it's very flickable, and you never feel the weight
Engine is amazing - effortless power from anywhere at any time. It was the fastest bike 0-60 when it first came out, and is still no slouch. I find I do hit the limiter sometimes after riding 4 cylinder bikes, but you soon get used to it.
Build quality is ok, but over time the plastics have got a bit brittle. Make sure you put some manual cam chain tensioners on it, or you might suffer a massive failure from the originals...
Brakes are sharp but nothing special. The front gives a lot under braking but it's never really an issue.
Smooth, light, amazing around the corners and planted during acceleration/braking. Just what you want really.
1000cc V-twin, so loads of torque. If you like twins it's a great engine.
Fuel efficiency and the smallish tank is the only downside, but like I say I ride it all year, lots of miles, long trips and commuting and I love it.
Honda build quality is always good.
Standard brakes are pretty good but not the best as its quite old now
A firm but not uncomfortable ride. with a really nice balance between comfort and chassis response.it is a bike you can learn to trust with no unwanted surprises in the handling department and it is easy to flick into corners for a 1000cc bike. solid stable and stops as well as it goes.
!00 bhp big v twin torque once above 1500rpm it pulls like a train .its plenty fast enough for roads .Only on the track do you find it may be lacking just a bit in comparison to some other sports bikes.
Bigger tank and sort the choke positioning out. Maybee more power if you like track days
Typical Honda build quality nice finish on the chassis and paint only one real quibble and that is the placement of the choke. It can be awkward if you are sitting on the bike .could have done with a bigger petrol tank ,although the later models did correct this.
Really nice feel to the brakes and powerful if you really need to stop in a hurry. i didn't notice any fade on the track either
Relatively Low weight makes it managable , I suffer short a---e syndrome so cornering allows me to get it over with no chance of getting the knee down
Pulls well enough but power down compared to the TO and it can be felt
Not so much the cost, just having to get to garage every hundred miles. A pain in the .......
It's a Honda
Tuned for torque and BHP
Many many mods but Honda build the best to start off with
Standard calipers stealth discs Bec pads