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Category Archives: honda pan european st1100

Honda X-ADV 750

The new Scoot on our block.

She may look a bit like an electric milk float from head on – but – those angry-eye type headlights tell a different story.

Underneath the plastic she is all motorbike – until you get to the rear wheel which for sum sad reason is a 15 incher! The ADV is generally based on Honda’s NC750 motorcycle which also carries it’s fuel under the seat and what looks like a fuel tank twixt rider’s knees is in fact a luggage compartment. The swingarm has been lengthened on the ADV in comparison and coupled with the smallish diameter rear wheel thus allows for provision of a reasonable sized luggage compartment under the seat without restricting suspension travel.

To be honest I don’t even think about the size of the rear wheel when I’m riding – until of course it’s diminutive diameter exaggerates the surface ripples and minor potholes that a bigger diameter wheel would ride over. For the un-initiated a roadgoing motorcycle rear tyre is usually 17 inch and experienced off-roaders will have an 18 inch dia wheel in there wherever possible..

But that is the only ‘scooter’ type aspect of the bike – the way she spins up on the gravel in the yard and picks her way up our rough old farm track that is more suited to the local farmer’s four-wheel drive tractors is a revelation!

I did have my concerns about the amount of electrics at play with this machine – that dash for instance can do everything except cook my breakfast but then I can be quite fussy when it comes to the main meal of the day.

My morning ride into Oban for coffee and newspaper was carried out in torrential – and I mean TORRENTIAL rain showers and she never missed a beat. Looks like Mr Honda has got things right in that department.

Despite flooded roads I was a few minutes early for the ferry on my return leg – this lil scoot can be deceptive over a distance and what feels like a steady ride tells a different story on the clock. Yes she covers the ground without fuss much quicker than expected.

While the bike was getting most of my attention on the ramp it was a different story once aboard the good ship Belnahua on the crossing. The Cuan Sound appeared to be full of dolphins with two separate schools making their way through! It was quite a sight but the rain ensured my phone/camera stayed safely in the dry in my ‘man-bag’ under the seat.

So the morning two-hour dry spell promised by the weather forecasters didn’t happen – but – I’m not made of sugar and didn’t melt in the wet.

If I had been really worried about getting wet I would have taken a tip from our Seamus and spent the morning curled up on the couch in the dry.

 

Pan Euro ST1100 gets new boots

The old girl sported a set of worn out Bridgestone tyres when she came into my hands a few years back.

With about 21000 miles of light use on the clock at around twenty years old they may well have been her original tyres – they certainly looked and felt as if they might be.

I’ve managed to put another 12000 miles on her since then without really going anywhere in particular – like a tour down to the Balkans or Spain and Portugal like I’ve done in former times.

She is a heavy ol’ girl tipping the scales at around 340kgs and certainly feels it on worn tyres. Having a surplus of bikes at the moment she is in the forefront when I make my half-hearted attempts to sell one to help balance the books. So far I have been offered buttons for the ST1100. During my period of ownership she has had a new purpose-built Nitron rear shock shoved up her chuff – a new battery and two sets of Bridgestone tyres. In fact – make that three sets for last week she got a another set of Bridgestone BT03’s.

I bought the Pan in the first place for her comfy seat as after a series of op’s on the bit I sit on I needed some comfort in that department and despite it’s after-market gel pad and neat leather seat cover I still didn’t find the perch on my other bike – the Tenere easy to live with over a distance.

Saturday saw me heading for the supplying dealer on the 650 V-strom for her first service. She has proved to be a lovely bike in all departments but one – with a peach of a v-twin motor giving honest performance even at running-in revs.

If she has a fault it’s in the seat – it’s too low for 32-33ins inside legs and lacks support. The penchant these days is for low seat heights as the under-nourished – vertically challenged brigade have convinced the manufacturers they are losing sales by not catering for the short-arses amongst us.

My early morning rise on Saturday saw me catch the first ferry from the island at 7.30 and with a brief stop in Oban to garner funds at the hole-in-the-wall – a further stop in Callender for fuel plus a hot choc and to bring the circulation back into my lower limbs – I was  in Edinburgh booking the V-strom in for her first service by 10.30.

My legs may have recovered in the hour I spent at Saltire booking her in and enjoying a crackin bacon roll with added black pudding washed down with plenty of coffee but 615 miles in a week on the V-strom saddle had taken their toll. To think I have been known to do that mileage day after day on my trans-European rides not-so-long ago puts things into perspective.

No worries – I left the Strom for her service and the fitting of some free extras that had formed part of the original deal then rode home on the big Honda – resplendant on her new ‘boots’. The Pan European ST1100 may be built like a bus but she does have the saving grace of that comfy seat 🙂

 

 

Pan Euro to get a Chance to Shine on the NC500

With that good allrounder – the Tenere XT660Z once again Sorned as a result of the CRF 250 RAL taking over local and off-road duties – the ST1100 Pan European will get another chance to shine on the serious stuff.

Who knows – it might cover itself in glory on the NC500 this summer if we can string a few dry days together.

Yes my long distance rides in any weather are probably a thing of the past.

But I have suggested to H that we look at heading up there this summer – should we get one – and the rider stays fit.

Shouldn’t be a problem really as I did it clockwise as far as Bettyhill back in 1995 on my BMW 1100GS.

Now there was a bike for any occasion – she could tour two-up complete with the kitchen sink on the back – plus – give a good account of herself while scaring punters on their new Fireblades as she scraped her pots round the Isle of Man TT course on Mad Sunday.

I seem to remember clocking up 42000 miles in her first year including an all-time high when I galloped her down a dried up river bed in Andalucia – stood on the pegs – whooping like a wild thing with 100mph showing on the speedo. Judging by that sheepskin on the seat I was bothered with a sore butt way back then too. For once I couldn’t argue with the dealers when I tried to trade the GS in the following summer. Their standard pitch – ‘but your BMW is above average mileage sir’ had a ring of truth in it 🙂

 

No worries — if there’s one thing the Pan has it’s a comfy seat —

After all – it is why I bought her in the first place 🙂

 

 

Honda ST1100 Pan European – leccie fault

My very low mileage 1995 ST1100 had an obscure electrical problem when I bought her two or three years ago and they have come to the fore on a few occasions since.

She looks good and generally is good but occasionally refused to recognise that I had pressed the starter button. The supplying dealer’s answer was to throw a new battery at it – and it helped – but not forever. Last time I was on the ferry with her I had to suffer the ignominy of being pushed off and bump starting her down the ramp. That was on the awkward Grey Dog where a reverse gear would have been useful.

So – it was a relief to see that our regular ferry – the drive on – drive off Belnahua was back in action after a three week sabbatical while it underwent it’s annual service. She is at the North Cuan jetty across the water but will be over in a few minutes. The little motorboat passing down the sound is our Passengers Only ferry for Sundays and evenings. Looks like it’s heading for Easdale where they have a similar ferry. They can be temperamental little things and often break down.

No worries – there was no pushing heavy Pan Euro today – my time spent on battery maintenance seemed to have done the trick – sort of. My multi-meter still showed an unexplained voltage drop when I switched the headlights on even with the battery charger connected. My friend Ali at West Coast Motorcycles in Oban had his theories and I had mine. I saw it as a cheap fix – if we could find the obscure fault – which could take hours on a Pan with so much bodywork to remove.

I thought I was dropping into WCM on a social visit with thoughts of blagging a cuppa before heading for the return ferry with my panniers laden with cat food. Before I could greet Big Ali with the magic words – ‘how’s it gawnn Big Man?’ he had the sidepanels off the Pan and was playing tunes on his own multi-meter in the wiring. Frighteners were thrown around like ‘700 quid for a new alternator’ or ’70 -90 quid for a pattern rectifier’. Hell doesn’t he know I’m getting married next week and all those fish suppers at the prosecco lunch will cost a lot.

Thankfully – after much head scratching and beard pulling the main items were passed as fit for service leaving thoughts of a wiring fault as being the culprit.

And there they were – a hidden bunch of connectors that had been subject to a botched wiring repair leading to overheating  long before the Pan came into my life.

In the time it took me to dander round to Tesco Hole-in-the-Wall for some folding stuff Ali had renewed all the connectors and pronounced himself satisfied the job was a good ”un.

As for me – I was more than happy that the wedding will still be on without having to tell H that prosecco is off the menu as Ali’s bill for the electrical repair on the Pan was well below what I expected for the work 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

An Evening Ride on Luing

With less than ten miles of tarred single-track on our Isle of Luing it’s hardly worth bringing the Pan European out but that was the weapon of choice for an evening ride – here she is with Caledonian MacBride’s Hebridean Princess in the background in the Sound of Luing —

The old jetty at Blackmill Bay is always worth a picture —

or two —

but three is pushing it – just a bit —

The old rusted Diahatsu still earns it’s corn by putting the rib in the water for trips to Scarba and beyond  —

Did someone mention Scarba? There she over there in all her glory —

That will be the mountains of Mull in the distance —

To finish – a shot from earlier in the day – over the sheltered bay where my son moors his boat – with views to the mainland —

Thanks to Helen who was riding pillion – she really does take some lovely pics 🙂