Blades of Glory - One man's pursuit for perfection
What do you get when you cross a Honda Fireblade with a man who knows no limits? You end up with a fabulously styled 90s classic that Honda can only wish they’d built...multiple times over! Take a read of our brief question and answer session with Mark Conrad Reeve, a man who has been building and modifying bikes for two decades so is well equipped to build a jaw dropping special.
Mark's favourite Fireblade. His truly special NSR900RR in the beautiful Rothmans colour scheme
Q. What was your first bike? A. Garelli 50 Tigercross
Q. What is the favourite bike you’ve owned? A. Suzuki GSXR1100K – I owned it from 1992 until 1994, I only sold it to buy a 'blade! Haha
Q. What do you wish you had the chance to own? A. I’d like to own an MV Augusta, one of their F3 series Q. What does your current garage have in it in terms of bikes? A. I’ve got four Fireblades at the moment. It includes the NSR900, An Evoblade build for a customer and also my Erion Fireblade. Q. When did you first get into building bikes? A. It probably started when I was riding pushbikes. I don’t like standard but it’s important for me to make something slightly original
An ode to a rare beast. An Evoblade! Note the Dymag wheels and airscoops through the fuel tank.
Q. What makes you want to keep building special Fireblades? A. It’s mainly because they are a fantastic base. It’s a solid, great handling bike, well made and I now know them inside out.
Q. What bike are you building right now? and when do you expect it to be finished? A. Erion Fireblade – It’s a tribute to Nicky Hayden’s Formula extreme bike that he raced in 1998. It's using Triumph Speed Triple Öhlins Forks, an Öhlins steering damper, Erion racing exhaust system, DBR rear sets, Aprilia RSV1000 Brembo wheels and a Ducati Multistrada rear shock. Q. What made you want to build this bike in particular? A. I had a spare Fireblade so I thought why not? Q. What do you do after building them? Do you sell them solely to collectors or owners who want to use them or do you not mind who purchases them? A. I’ve had multiple people offer to buy some of my bikes but I’m not ready to yet, they’re staying with me for a while.
Q. What does the dream Fireblade special look like for you? A. I’ve already built it, it’s my Rothmans Fireblade/NSR900rr
The Erion Fireblade. Mark's current build
Q. Do you only modify them cosmetically or do you undertake any engine or supporting intake/exhaust modifications? A. This does make me laugh, why try and tune an engine that Honda likely spent millions developing? I’ve seen many people throw thousands of pounds on cams & big bore kits etc and then end up with a peaky unusable motor on the road. My thought is you may as well have just started with a faster bike. All I do is shave excess weight typically
Q. What does your wife/family think of you building these bikes? A. They’re happy with me tinkering and building. Though my Daughter doesn’t like bikes it’s just me!
Q. What advice would you give for someone wanting to build their own “special”? A. I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice so I daren’t give any.
Q. Where can people go to keep up to date with your builds if they want to know more? Forums/Instagram etc A. I’m most active on Facebook and I post on the practical performance bikes group
Thanks very much for taking the time to talk with us and share your specials. Do you have something interesting lurking in the garage and would like to be featured? Head over to https://www.ilikemotorbikes.com/contact and get in touch
Enjoy a selection of a few more photos of Mark's incredible handiwork