I blame Javier – he raved about the Honda Blackbird and I happened to think he could be right — untill I sat on one in the showroom. I found the suspension was set hard with no givinit whatsoever and the reach to the bars didn’t feel right either..
Quite a shock to the system – so I turned down the offer of a Test Ride on the low mileage Blackbird and opted for the bike sat next to it.
A V4 Honda ST1100 Pan European from the early nineties with a meagre 24,000 miles on the clock.
The Pan Euro was standard issue for many police forces back in the nineties but a tendency to beat up a few unwary riders with fatalities in some cases saw the boys in blue move over to BMW for their ride.
If there was any unstabilty out there today it was in the head of the rider when he chose that hill road instead of sticking to the well treated main roads.
No worries – we make the best of what we’ve got and at least I wasn’t going to have to clean the big V4 after my test ride.
That’s if I get the thing round my chosen route.
I remember when the Pan Euro was first produced in the early nineties.
It was supposed to be the latest thing in Trans Euro touring and the first advertisement showed it barn-storming it’s way across Spain – France and Germany in a day —
So I know it can do the touring bit with oodles to spare.
I knew she can also do the hustling bit too when I saw the Travelling Marshalls at the TT give her stick around the island. She can also catch out the unwary as illustrated by highly experienced Travelling Marshall ‘Kipper’ when I saw him drop his ST while attempting to perform a feet up ‘U’ turn on the Southern 100 course at the post TT meeting. At least it proved that these stubby little ‘wings’ on the fairing lowers do their job and help prevent major damage in the event of a minor spill.
I had no ambition to bring those wings into play today where my mission was to see if she could hack what passes for everyday life with givitsum in rural Dumfries & Galloway.
The muddy – oft times snow and ice bound farm roads and the stop starting here there and everywhere for photos.
Oh yes she can! The heavily trafficked main roads were taken in her stride while the varying conditions on the side roads weren’t a problem either. I was surprised to find that I could swing my leg over from either side of what appears at first glance to be a big bike making mounts and dismounts a doddle.
Nice one! 🙂