went on a 'quick' Saturday Breakfast Run (to avoid the fuzz) to Parys - Photo by Dewald

Let me start by saying that a stock Blackbird is already a great motorcycle. It's agile, comfortable, good looking and very powerful, one of the best all round bikes I've ridden. It'll tour, scratch or do a track day just as easily as it will take you to work and back.

A standard Blackbird features many of Honda's most innovative technologies, all integrated into a sleekly aerodynamic powerhouse, the CBR1100XX Super Blackbird projects an unmistakable image of a high performance machine that starts at its bullet-shaped nose and rockets through to its aerodynamic tail. The Blackbird is a seamless union of power, performance, comfort and practicality, combined with a hunger for devouring kilometer after kilometer of biking nirvana. Add to this an intercooled turbo... and you have all the attributes of the former, but with more than double the power.

The only big disadvantage of the horizon-bending turbo is that the fuel consumption goes for a ball. On a standard Blackbird I could easily ride from Johannesburg to Parys and back on a tank of juice, even at speed. Whereas, on Jack's beast I used four tanks there and back... thirsty hey. And it's almost impossible to ride slow, although I had to ride OFF boost for about ten Ks on the way back, otherwise I wouldn't have made the Blockhouse petrol stop.

Riding Jack's bomber was such a thrill, especially when the turbo comes in. The compression ratio has been lowered from 11.0 : 1 to 9.5 : 1, so there's a bit less power under 4000rpm, then you feel and hear the turbo start spinning at around 5000rpm (at which point you're doing 180kph), then as you zip past 200kph (6000rpm) the turbo really starts boosting, and all hell breaks lose. It's like... FUUUCK, HANG ON... Everything changes, the bike just takes off, it's like accelerating away in second gear. The speed just builds and builds, reaching over 300kph (on the clocks) is so easy.

When pulling off in First you have to feed the power in real slow, or it'll just flip. Second is slightly better, but still you have to exercise great restraint with the throttle or the front wheel will be in the air. Third-gear and it's still a battle to keep the front end down, it's only when you get past fourth that you can grab hands-full of power and then you need to make sure you have a clear road ahead of you... it all happens so fast.

This is one very strong, road-legal motorcycle, the power is truly AWESOME!   OH, and it handles great as well.

Advantages: Ultra smooth, ultra ultra quick!
Disadvantages: errr... fuel consumption?

left side of the Blackbird bomber - Photos by Kenn

on the bridge over the Vaal, in Paris... errr... Parys

intercooler replaces the stock Honda's twin headlights, with lights now in the old air-ducks, all very cleverly adapted and built by 'Dyno by Quint'

nice 'n clean looking without any pipes

Specifications: Standard Honda Super Blackbird CBR1100XX



Engine Type 

Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC inline-4 


Engine Displacement 



Bore & Stroke 

79 x 58mm 


Compression Ratio 

11.0 : 1 



Electronic fuel injection 


Max. Power Output 

150 bhp at 9,500 rpm 


Max. Torque 

119Nm at 7,250 rpm 



Computer-controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance, integral immobiliser 










Final Drive 

'O'-Ring sealed chain 


Dimensions and Weight


Length x Width x Height 

2,160 x 720 x 1,200mm 





Seat Height 



Ground Clearance 



Fuel Capacity 

23 litres (including 4 litre warning light reserve) 


Dry Weight 



Wheels, Suspension and Brakes



Wheels Front 

17 x MT3.50 hollow-section triple-spoke cast aluminium 


Wheels Rear 

17 x MT5.50 hollow-section triple-spoke cast aluminium 


Tyres Front 

120/70 ZR17 (58W) 


Tyres Rear 

180/55 ZR17 (69W) 


Suspension Front 

43mm HMAS cartridge-type telescopic fork, 109mm axle travel 


Suspension Rear 

Pro-link with gas-charged HMAS damper, stepless adjustable rebound damping, 109mm axle trave l 


Brakes Front 

310 x 5mm dual hydraluic disc with Combined 3-piston callipers and sintered metal pads 


Brakes Rear 

256 x 5mm hydraulic disc with Combined 3-piston calliper and sintered metal pads 

Specifications:         Jack Venter's Honda Super Blackbird CBR1100XX TURBO

Conrods:                          Standard

Pistons:                            Standard

Head:                               Standard

Compression ratio:           Lowered to 9.5-1

Fuel:                                T2-T3 Turbo with intercooler

Turbo:                             Netics dump-valve and wastegate

Fuel Management:           Dictator

Injectors:                         4 x 400cc

Boost:                             0.7 bar

Power:                            277.3 bhp    (Jack's Blackbird before conversion: 133.4 bhp)

Torque:                           213 Nm       (Jack's Blackbird before conversion: 109 Nm)

Brakes:                            Front: Bigger six-pot callipers,  Rear: Standard,  Braided hoses

Cost of conversion:          R45,000.00

Cost of CBR1100XX:     R55,000.00

dyno-graph shows before and after turbo-power conversion

a look into the turbo... check the burn mark on the fairing from the exhaust

top-speed 1st run                                       top-speed 2nd run

Sorry... couldn't get a photo of the clocks at these kinda speeds,

so pictures of GPS true-speed readings will have to suffice.

Thanks to Jack Venter for the use of his personal Super Blackbird

and to Quintin from 'Dyno by Quint' fame (Tel: 011 453 3873)

Jack's CBR1100XX-T is the fastest bike I have ever ridden.