Tony found a '92 Blade on the other side of the country. Instead of using a courier, he packed up his things and rode the retro machine 4000km home! Words & Images: Tony Cole/BikeReview

Open roads and searing heat, every rider has had the thought “Maybe I should ride across Australia?” Tony couldn’t let it just stay a dream, putting his plans in motion while feeding his bike addiction, making the Perth to Dubbo trip on a 1992 Honda Fireblade!

No country for an old Fireblade! Tony road his latest purchase across Australia instead of playing a bike courier.

No country for an old Fireblade! Tony rode his latest purchase across Australia. What an adventure!

Tony Cole is an avid bike collector and we just happened to catch him in the comments of a post on Aussie Sports Bikes 1970 – 2000, chatting about his epic five day trip from Perth, WA, to Dubbo, NSW. For some of you, 1992 might seem like yesterday. In reality, riding a thirty-year-old bike just under 4000km in five days seems a bit silly to Gen Z but for the Gen Xers out there, it’s a dream. There was no way Tony was going to get a bike courier to take his new machine home. Where’s the fun in that?



The bike in question is the 1992 Honda Fireblade CBR900RR, arguably the most famous and best looking era of Fireblade to come out of the Honda factory. Those twin circular headlights with the thick frame on display, and you can’t forget those iconic graphics! The first Fireblade is a true favourite of ours here at BikeReview.



Making 90kW@10,500rpm from the DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder, 893cc powerhouse, the early Fireblades were never the fastest bikes in a straight line but man did they have an awesome chassis and lots of grunt. Lighter and more rigid than other bikes in the it’s class at the time, the CBR900RR would dominate on the roads more than on the track…


Read our retro CBR900RR test here…


Making the journey across Australia on a brand new bike is admirable enough, but add into the equation of a high km, decades old sportsbike and you’ve got yourself a story to brag about. 40 hours in a hunched over riding position isn’t for everyone, but you’ve got to hand to it to Tony!

The Cross-country Fireblade Ride – Tony Cole
I’m always on the lookout for Japanese road bikes from 1990 to 2000 (I’ve had older and newer but have decided that this decade is for me) and I didn’t have a black 1992 Honda Fireblade that my collection desperately called for! In May 2022, a spur of the moment purchase from Gumtree was had and with the days getting shorter and also colder, an asap trip was needed.


Kawasaki

The new bike had 105,000km on her but being a Honda I believed she would be right for a road trip, no insurance, no roadside assistance, just an unregistered vehicle permit. Like everyone else, I prefer low km bikes BUT unlike others, if I have a choice of a high km bike and no bike, I’ll take the high km bike every time.



Paying a motorcycle courier is way overrated, it can’t be that hard to ride a 1990s sportsbike from Perth back home to Dubbo right? Splitting it over five days, I’ve got plenty of tips to pass off to anyone else thinking about doing the same! 

Always rock up prepared! Tony headed to his new machine with spares and years of Fireblade knowledge!

Always rock up prepared! Tony headed to his new machine with spares and years of Fireblade knowledge!

Already owning Fireblades, I found a rack/bag setup and test fitted to one of mine to confirm I had all parts required to take. I packed a tent should the worst happen and I was required to camp on the side of the road or couldn’t find accommodation, I also took a toolkit.


My toolkit (A large pencil case):

  • Zip ties 
  • A couple of metric spanners 
  • Shifter
  • Pointy nose pliers 
  • Four way screwdriver 
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Fuses
  • Solder & solderer
  • Tiewire
  • A few Allen keys 
  • Three way socket 
  • Tyre pressure gauge 
  • Alumaseal (radiator stop leak)
  • Multi meter 
  • LED test light 
  • Rescue tape

The plan was to ride in daylight hours only, no accommodation arrangements, and stay wherever I could find, hopefully not needing to use the tent. It wasn’t my first time at flying somewhere to ride a new (used) bike home. In December 2018 I flew to Hobart to ride a Honda RC45 home and I’ve also flown to Cairns back in August 2019 to ride a 1993 Fireblade back, which I purchased to use as a parts bike after struggling to find a fuel tank.

I think it's safe to say Tony loves his Honda's. Currently sitting on 11 of them, future goldmine we reckon!

I think it’s safe to say Tony loves his Honda’s. Currently sitting on 11 of them, future goldmine we reckon!

If you’re thinking that I have a thing for Honda’s, then you would be right. Probably stems from my dad being a Honda car mechanic back in the ’70s to ’90s. My first bike was a Honda MR50 and first big road bike a 1993 Honda Fireblade, which I traded in on a new 1998 Fireblade, I still have that bike!


CFMOTO 450MT

I actually currently have six Fireblades, four runners and two future projects. Add to that an RC45, a CBR400RR, an SP1, an SP1 project and an MC21 project, makes 11 Honda’s. Also currently have a couple GSX-R750s (89 &91) and a couple RGV projects.



Friday the 13th of May started with an alarm at 4:30am, Dubbo airport at 5:30am for an 1hr flight east to Sydney to jump a plane for a 5hr flight west to Perth!



The guy I bought the Fireblade from picked me up from the airport, and within an hour of getting to his place, I had the Ventura rack bolted up as well as the Quadlock phone mount and USB charge lead sorted (have to have a phone mount for Google maps, GPS speedo, the odd phone call and of course music to the SENA 30k Bluetooth in the helmet), and most importantly the Unregistered Vehicle Permit in place. During this time he offered me accommodation for the night, which I gratefully accepted and we headed to the pub (The Left Bank Fremantle) for beers and a meal.


Day 1 – Fremantle to Kalgoorlie, 630km.


Had troubles getting out of bed this morning after last night’s drinks (must have been that bad pizza I had for dinner).

Up earlier in the morning. First stop, Maccas. It wouldn't be a roadtrip without copious amounts of fast food.

Up early in the morning. First stop, Macca’s. It wouldn’t be a roadtrip without copious amounts of fast food.

First stop was Macca’s for breakfast followed by Supercheap Auto for a couple tins of tyre inflator, a new light globe (one low beam was blown) and 5L jerrycan.


I’d never been to Kalgoorlie before so went and had a look at the Super Pit. Caught up with a mate who is into bikes that I had never met before for beers and a feed and to show me what Kalgoorlie pubs are about at night.



Day 2 – Kalgoorlie to Nullarbor Roadhouse, 1090km.


First stop was again Macca’s for breakfast. Plenty of road works before Norseman, maybe 50km worth. Had to stop and get the 90 mile straight picture, as you do. Lunch was $11.80 for a packet of chicken chips and a Red Bull!



Had to disconnect the speedo drive, the speedo had a small 5km/h needle bounce, which turned into a 60km/h bounce so better off unhooking to save it from killing itself, bit of a shame as I use the trip meter to keep track of fuel stops.

Where else can you stop on a highway and just see absolutely no one else around!

Where else can you stop on a highway and just see absolutely no one else around!

I arrived right on dark, so it was time for some beers and a feed. The cycle continues. It’s safe to say I’m already loving this old ‘Blade.



Day 3 – Nullarbor Roadhouse to Manna Hill, 1021km.


I was hoping to make it to Broken Hill on day three so got up early to get away before sunrise, only to find it raining, which after a while turned into a decent fog on the Nullarbor.



The bike was still travelling perfect but did notice that I lost the front centre fairing screw/bolt. Can’t complain with how well this thing is put together…



I was beaten by the light and wasn’t keen to push on with the amount of road kill that was littered from Peterborough onwards, so I pulled up at a little place called Manna Hill. I had a small feed and a few beers, hot shower and time for bed.



Day 4 (the final day) Manna Hill to Dubbo – 910km.


That makes 3651km for the four days. I knew it was fresh before getting out of bed this morning and the weather app confirmed it, so it was double socks, long johns, tee shirt and jumper for today.



Plenty of pictures of “A lot of nothing” which I absolutely love seeing when travelling Australia, there’s so much of it around. Headed the approx 150km into Broken Hill and straight to Maccas for breakfast, along with another tank full of fuel.

Australian bliss and a "whole lot of nothing". Sometimes nothing is beautiful!

Australian bliss and a “whole lot of nothing”. Sometimes just a flat plain of nothing is beautiful!

From there it was onwards to Wilcannia (more fuel), Cobar (more fuel and late lunch) Nyngan and home. The dogs were happy to see me as they always are, and I just parked her in with her long lost relo’s (’92 & ’93 Blades).

Parked in the 'Fireblade" section of the garage. We are serious jealous of Tony's collection...

Parked in the ‘Fireblade” section of the garage. We are seriously jealous of Tony’s collection…

Would I do the same trip next weekend? No, but if I could, I’d probably go again the weekend after! I was looking for a fuel stop about every 300km and I did not require the 5L that I carried the whole way, but it’s good to know that it’s there.

"For around $1000 to freight the bike across, it would have been a cheaper option when compared to plane flights, fuel, accommodations, beer and food BUT that defeats the purpose of the trip."

“For around $1000 to freight the bike across, it would have been a cheaper option when compared to plane flights, fuel, accommodations, beer and food BUT that defeats the purpose of the trip.”

For around $1000 to freight the bike across, it would have been a cheaper option when compared to plane flights, fuel, accommodations, beer and food BUT that defeats the purpose of the trip.


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