Friday, February 18, 2011

Notable engineer countdown - at #8, Tadao Baba – creator of the Honda Fireblade

Not to be confused with the guru known to millions as simply 'Baba', Honda's Tadao Baba brought sweet handling and smokin' performance together to create the modern 'liter-class'.
Thanks to the GSX-R750, Suzuki stole a march on Honda in the performance market. Then Suzuki introduced a larger and even faster 1100cc “gixxer.” That bike, however, didn’t handle nearly so well. Baba, an engineer working at Honda saw the opportunity to create a motorcycle with open-class power and 750-class handling. When it was introduced in 1992, the ‘blade amply reached those goals: it weighed about 410 pounds and produced nearly 125 horsepower. Baba’s creation completely changed the expectations of open class riders, who had always wanted acceleration and top speed but never knew they could have handling too.

1 comment:

  1. He's my favorite designer of all time. But not because of the RR. He's my favorite because I read a quote from him once saying the V4 was the perfect motor for both street and track. As an owner of an '86 500 Interceptor and '91 VFR who seemed to constantly find himself surrounded by people that thought my 500 was a twin with dual plugs, and that an RC45 was a V-twin, and quots like "what the hell is a VFR, oh isn't that like a Goldwing?"; it was so nice to have someone that smart and accomplished say what I already knew. :D