CBR 1100XX "Super Blackbird" 1998 - 2003 CBR 1000XX

About to buy a '97 Bird.

  #1  
Old 06-28-2011, 03:17 AM
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Default About to buy a '97 Bird.

Hello,

I have a '99 CBR600F4 that I love (and will keep) but I've been craving for a second bike for quite some time now. I was going back and forth on the Bird, some naked bikes etc. I also really want a '04/05 1000RR but that's another part of the forum.

I'm going to see a '97 Blackbird with 30.000km for a very good price (and they aren't that rare where I live so parts are plentiful). It has some slight fairing damage (it fell over judging by the scratches) but my current bike has a slight cracked fairing which I also still need to repair so it isn't a big deal.

The owner is expecting a baby and doesn't have time to ride it. He put a new chain and sprocket kit on it two seasons ago (plus a full service) but only rode it for about 500km. He said he was going to ride it again this season so he put new tires on it and a new battery but hasn't been able to yet. The R/R has been replaced. It also comes with a higher screen (that I'll be replacing) and the VFR bars (which I would have put on it myself anyway). The reason I want this bike is because of the extra power and because I want a long distance touring bike that can handle long 2 up trips. As a matter of fact I'm going on a 5000km 2up trip through Europe this August.

Besides the R/R and the CCT (which I'll replace with a manual one just to be sure), does the bird have any other common gremlins I should look out for? It might have been sitting for a while but that's ok. Worse case scenario is that I might have to clean the carbs. I ride all year and my bike doesn't sit in the winter time.

Any advice?
 

Last edited by UnderAssumedName; 06-28-2011 at 03:19 AM.
  #2  
Old 07-03-2011, 01:49 AM
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Morning. I sold my 97 Bird a few weeks ago, and now own a CBR600F4 (with a CB500 in between, but we won't go there).

Check the suspension - the Birds are quite heavy, and my front forks were awful after 18000 miles. The rear shock also had the damping quality of a housebrick, so I got it refurbished by Jaws - if you need stuff for the Bird in the UK (or anywhere really), he knows his stuff. He also provided a set of modified front springs/spacers, which improved the ride quality no end.

They also don't like aftermarket racing air filters, stick to OEM, and the same with the cans. Several friends with BB's say they ran better as standard, and I kept mine that way, and it ran flawlessly.

Other than that they are bombproof. I did my own servicing, including valves etc, and they are easy to work on yourself (at least that way you know the works been done).

They are solid bikes, and good fun on the open road. Very fast too, but not that much faster than my CBR6 on the straight bits, and harder to manhandle around corners - but that's probably just me.

The carbed version (so yours) is better on fuel than the injected, and a lot of riders prefer them. Just try and get a black one, as they are faster...
 
  #3  
Old 07-03-2011, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CBR77 View Post
Morning. I sold my 97 Bird a few weeks ago, and now own a CBR600F4 (with a CB500 in between, but we won't go there).

Check the suspension - the Birds are quite heavy, and my front forks were awful after 18000 miles. The rear shock also had the damping quality of a housebrick, so I got it refurbished by Jaws - if you need stuff for the Bird in the UK (or anywhere really), he knows his stuff. He also provided a set of modified front springs/spacers, which improved the ride quality no end.

They also don't like aftermarket racing air filters, stick to OEM, and the same with the cans. Several friends with BB's say they ran better as standard, and I kept mine that way, and it ran flawlessly.

Other than that they are bombproof. I did my own servicing, including valves etc, and they are easy to work on yourself (at least that way you know the works been done).

They are solid bikes, and good fun on the open road. Very fast too, but not that much faster than my CBR6 on the straight bits, and harder to manhandle around corners - but that's probably just me.

The carbed version (so yours) is better on fuel than the injected, and a lot of riders prefer them. Just try and get a black one, as they are faster...
Thanks a lot for your reply. I got it y esterday evening and put 500 miles on it with a passenger. I love it! I also saw a relatively cheap second hand corbin for it (hot spots are killing me) so I'll be good to go as it came with the VFR clipons. . She's a keeper, I love the torque! Yeah she's heavy but it has enough grunt not to notice the passenger on the back. More info in the post below (thanks again!):

https://cbrforum.com/forum/off-topic...2/#post1074642
 
  #4  
Old 07-03-2011, 07:22 PM
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I've never heard anyone else say to stay away from aftermarket exhaust on the XX. I like the look of the stock stainless steel torpedoes, but they weigh a ton. An aftermarket 4-2-1 system will shave a huge amount of weight. That plus the 6mm rear shock shim makes a world of difference in the handling.

Racetech springs and new fork oil are the cheapest upgrades for the front suspension. From there you can add the gold valve kit, preload adjusters, and even custom brackets for Brembo calipers. Once you get to that point though I think it's more cost effective to just do a whole front end swap.

An aftermarket seat is a must, I had serious numb-butt after an hour or two on the stock seat. My Corbin Smuggler is worlds better, even though I hate how heavy it is. It cancels out the weight saving from my lithium-iron battery.

Oh, and don't forget the XX's greatest weakness -- the rubber strap that holds down the toolkit is almost certain to fail
 
  #5  
Old 07-05-2011, 03:19 AM
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I heard it was something to do with the sensitivity of the carbs to changes on airflow, so if you put in a higher flow air filter (like a K&N), coupled with aftermarket cans, it can run roughly. Never found out personally, as I left it standard, but a lot of the riders on the BIRD Blackbird forum swear by using the OEM air filter, rather than racier ones.I imagine it wouldn't be an issue on a FI bike, what with all those fancy electrics etc.Anyway, enjoy the Blackbird. They are great bikes!
 
  #6  
Old 07-05-2011, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CBR77 View Post
I heard it was something to do with the sensitivity of the carbs to changes on airflow, so if you put in a higher flow air filter (like a K&N), coupled with aftermarket cans, it can run roughly. Never found out personally, as I left it standard, but a lot of the riders on the BIRD Blackbird forum swear by using the OEM air filter, rather than racier ones.I imagine it wouldn't be an issue on a FI bike, what with all those fancy electrics etc.Anyway, enjoy the Blackbird. They are great bikes!
I am enjoying it! I took it for a short spin around the city and I don't think it's a good city bike (too heavy, even my F4 feels heavy where there are a lot of traffic lights though) but I like how it just gulps km after km on longer trips.

I decided not to get the Corbin but will get an Airhawk instead (thought it made more sense considering I still have another bike) and use the money I save to get the bubble screen, Buell pegs a MRA vario spoiler and some levers. My passenger is super comfortable as is but I might lower her pegs with the Buell's as well. That combined with the triboseat (anti slip cover. I use it on the F4 too) and a backrest will make her very comfortable for our trips.

I'm not going to change the pipes (besides painting them black for now. I might look into a 4-2-1 setup if I come across a cheap one too) and I have also read about using the stock air filter. This will be my long distance bike so I'm not interested in getting more power from it.

Next on the list is getting the APE CCT for peace of mind, synching the carbs and checking if the air/fuel mixture is correct.

A question comes to mind. Is the Bird's cooling system just excellent or is something weird going on? My F4 will get up to temp and pretty much stay right in the middle of the temp gauge when I keep moving. Stop and go will make the fan kick in and it sometimes seems to run a bit hot (nothing out of the ordinary though). When it's cool out (at night, or when it's raining) and I'm on a stretch of highway it will drop to slightly below mid level. The Bird's temp gauge will drop to almost 'off' when I'm on the highway and come back up to mid level when I hit a bit of stop and go. On the highway again and it will drop significantly. Is the cooling system just really good?
 
  #7  
Old 07-05-2011, 06:45 AM
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Mine is the same way, runs very cool. The only time the fan comes on is when I'm sitting in traffic. If you can handle the occasional carb cleaning and synching, and rejetting for aftermarket pipes, the carbed Birds are real gems. They're a bit quicker than the FI Birds, get better mileage, and run a lot cooler
 
  #8  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:47 AM
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My old Bird too - rarely got above the bottom of the temperature gauge, even during relatively slow riding. The fan cut in when stuck in heavy traffic, but otherwise it ran very cool.
 
  #9  
Old 08-23-2011, 10:34 AM
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I've owned my 2002 Blackbird for just over 3 years now and am awaiting another one (a 2003) that I just purchased - if anyone has questions feel free to ask me since I think I know quite a bit about them and bikes in general...I just passed my 30th anniversary of riding on the street.

As a side note, I will be selling my 2002 Bird but cannot post it on the forum until I have the required # of posts.
 
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