Tag Archives: ST1100 Pan Euro

Honda Pan European ST1100

Pan 1Its that time again – the Pan has been sitting under dust covers all winter.

She’s a big heavy bike – I’ve got a birthday coming up this weekend that declares me another year older.

Perceived wisdom says ‘sell the brute’ – you know it makes sense.

But when did ‘sense’ play a part in motorcycling decisions where the heart invariably rules the head.

No worries – she’s gotta go!

The sun is shining – the river bank by the workshop door should give a scenic backdrop.

The Samsung will take a decent photo when everything is in it’s favour.

So – blow the dust off her and get on out there.

Full frontal in the thumbnail for starters and nary a blemish.

Front discs look set for a few years yet —

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Clean enough to eat off —

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Not a scuff nor oil leak to be seen down the near side —

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Mmmm — lookin good —

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Nothing that a good polish and clean duster won’t bring up good as new —

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After all – she’s only just come of age —

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Yup —

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She’s got the key of the door —

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never been twenty one before —

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Original cases —

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all lock with the same key —

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and ofcourse there’s two original keys and toolkit with the bike —

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Never been raced or rallied Sir —

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and at under thirty thousand miles she’s barely run in —

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Why am I selling ???

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Y’know —

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the more I look at her —

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from every angle —

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The more I ask myself —

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that self- same question —

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It would be hard to find another like her —

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best put her back in the shed then Danny Boy 🙂

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Posted by on March 16, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Christmas comes Early

Salt all goneChristmas can come early when you have a Tenere in the shed.

She has been on Sorn since August while I tried to love my Pan Euro ST1100.

I failed muchly in that respect.

The proof is in the pudding .. and what a pudding!

Even manouevering the bikes in the workshop the Tall Tenere feels like a lightweight compared with the solid Pan Euro …Honda ST 1100


Built in 1994 at a time when Mr Honda had transformed the 1000cc sportsbike world with a pocket-sized  lightweight ‘Blade – their Pan Euro was still an overweight behemoth.

I was riding the first incarnation of the BMW1100GS back then – good bike though she was – an indicated 100mph aboard her on a dried up river bed in southern Spain will remain one of the biking ‘highs’ in my life – she was still a heavy ‘ol mutha when the wheels stopped turning … Four Seasons

I should have stuck to ‘dried up’ riverbeds for a few days later — high in the nountains — I realised just how heavy that big BM was when I went backwards off a high riverbank landing flat on my back in the rushing waters with the hot Beemer still throbbing away on my lap!

To quote Billy Connelly during his brief foray into wrestling when his Turkish opponent had poor Billy tied in a reef knot and all he could see were a big pair of nuts dangling in front of his nose —

‘It’s amazing how much power a man can find when he bites his own pretzels!’ shock

Something similar must have happened to me on that river bed!

Without a soul in sight for miles I somehow wrestled mesel and that big GS onto what passed as terra firma and back to civilisation.

A few years later BMW realised the error of their ways and transformed the overweight 1100GS into what is now the much lighter – state of the art – top selling 1200GS.

Honda are made of more stubborn stuff and present day Pan Europeans aren’t any lighter than my ol’ 1994 version .. which is why she will remain under wraps till Spring has sprung and I will celebrate an early Christmas present to mesel …

Tiree 168

Yup!  I have just put Road Tax on my Tenere from 1st Dec for her 7th year out there in my hands 🙂


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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Pan at play in Rhinns of Galloway

After studying form on Friday night weather forecast it looked like an early start on Saturday would be the best bet in the sunshine stakes for the weekend.

With a new shock to try out two up on the Pan —


and 30mm risers fitted —

sepia risers

we were in Portpatrick for breakfast —

shiny pan

followed by a sunbathe on the rocks in the bay. We didn’t hang around too long in case I got as rusty as that ol’ bit of ironmongery nailed into the rock —


So we made a quick gettaway and managed to dodge the rain all the way down to sun drenched Mull of Kintyre where we coffee’d up and had a natter about lady riders with the Kawasaki Team from Ardrossan who had decided to dodge the raindrops by coming down by car.


Apart from a ticking off by the restaurant management for chosing the wrong spot to park things were going well with the bike and a heavy hand on the throttle saw us stay ahead of the next big shower all the way up into the back country as we took the long way home 🙂

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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized



Pan gets a Shock

shockYes the old Pan Euro got a shock – and so did the wallet when a new Nitron was ordered and duly arrived Friday morning.

It was a job for the quickfit fitter and soon it was in there – smart as a rat up a drain pipe..

No fiddly setting up required either as it had been specially built for the rider’s weight – plus a wee bit extra – just to be on the safe side.

Even pushing the bike off the centrestand was more of a pleasure. No more squish squish or boing boing – instead the back wheel hit the deck and settled nicely.

I was looking forward to testing her on the road.

Friday night weather forecast was watched anxiously and Saturday looked likely to be the best day but it wasn’t too promising out my bedroom window next morning.

A sneaky peek from behind the curtains saw wet tarmac with the temp just above freezing. Our promised sunshine was still hovering over Northern Ireland.

No worries – by the time chores were done and bike gear on – blue skies had arrived from the west and that was the direction I pointed the big Pan.

Wigtown Martyrs 002

If ever there were roads to test a shock they are to be found in Wigtownshire and that’s the way I was headed. The bike was a pleasure to ride on the twenty five miles of A75 and even more so after turning on to the undulating twisties that run down to Wigtown.

Wigtown Martyrs 001

The little track with grass growing down the centre that leads to the Wigtown Martyrs Memorial above the town is well hidden but I have local knowledge from a previous life and the track is still there.

Wigtown Bay

It was well worth the visit for the views across town to Wigtown Bay and beyond.


Next port of call was to be Port William on the other side of the penninsula but a large herd of Jersey cattle stopped me in my tracks before I reached there.


They are lovely docile animals. The first time I saw Jersey calves as a boy over in Berwickshire I actually thought they were deer. I had no idea cattle could be so delicate and bonnie.

in black

Must have been a hundred or so – but I didn’t stop to count ’em.


Instead I trundled down to Port William and must confess I did manage to ground the centrestand on a nasty bend which had a vicious dip at the apex.

It was the sort of touch down that would have delivered a sphyncter shredding grr-aunch with the tired original shock but today the Nitron kept things in check. The controlled scuff was just a gentle reminder – if it was needed – that the chubby ol’ Pan isn’t exactly a modern sports bike in the handling stakes although – now with the new shock she does give a good account of herself till she runs out of ground clearance.

Wigtown Martyrs 004

We said ‘hello’ to the old boy by the harbour – a big mistake. Once he starts reminiscing you are here for the duration.


His old dog has heard it all before – many times – and just switches off.


I wished I could and went off to show an interest in the signpost that gave directions and distances to all sorts of strange places. Three thousand four hundred and fifty miles to New York for instance.

new york

Well – not strange places if you live in them but not what I expected to find on the shores of Luce Bay.


And what shores they are!

pan bay

Best of all there is an ‘interesting’ road that skirts the shoreline – just don’t look over the wall at the rubbish dumped there. A frustrated owner of an old Dyson vaccum cleaner had spread it’s innards with other litter all over the clifftop heather.

A case of life imitating art – or – perhaps Damien Hirst really did park in this small layby overnight in his motorhome while on his way to the Wigtown Book Festival..

Best to concentrate on the twisties instead – they are magic – especially with the new Nitron shock controlling the rear of the bike as a decent Sports shock should.


I ended up in Portpatrick where I bumped in to an old Busa riding aquaintance with some guys from places north who I have ridden with before. It was nice to catch up and even sketch in vague plans for some future ride – as you do 🙂


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Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Uncategorized



Honda ST1100 Pan Euro

otter pool 007My twenty one years old Honda ST1100 Pan Euro. I want to like her – in fact I do like her for there are some things she is absolutely brilliant at. As a main road charger she can be sublime – some of the time – but unfortunately – not all of the time.

otter pool 005

The fact that she carries a lot of her weight in her fat butt doesn’t help.

Instead of being up-front – the heavy 28 litre capacity fuel tank is mainly under the seat. Only the filler cap is hiding under that shiny little lockable flap where most bikes carry their fuel.

otter pool 008

Her huge old fashioned heavyweight battery – it would probably start a tractor – nestles behind a panel under the rider’s left bum cheek.

otter pool 004

Add the well fed rider and carry an occasional pillion – or a weekly shop from Aldi in the panniers and there’s a lot of weight for the tired old single shock fitted under the rider’s right cheek to handle. I like my corners – but not with sparks flying from some heavy metal down below when the saggy-ass Pan is heeled over.

Which is why I’m out on the Tenere today —

rain or snow - we don't know 011

riding my favourite back roads including the dirt track down to Otter’s Pool —

otter pool 009

where I contemplate the cost of having to order a new shock for the Pan.

otter pool 012

The sun may be shining on the righteous – but it’s bl**dy freezing out here 🙂

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Posted by on April 26, 2015 in Uncategorized



Scrubbing the Bridgestones

Scrubbing the Bridgestones? Somebody has to do it and it might as well be me. At least this post has nothing to do with getting rid of grafiti – but – I must admit I’ve been tempted to stop and try to clean the many Yes’s and Saltires which now adorn each stone of a fine old bridge parapet in one of my favourite remote places. The recent Referendum has left it’s mark on Scotland in more ways than one.

Straiton 003

No worries. I had better things to think about today as I scrubbed in the new Bridgestone 023’s on the Pan but I was at the A75 roundabout on the outskirts of Newton Stewart before I had decided on a route for the afternoon ride.

Straiton 008

The church on the first photo is on the Girvan road but I didn’t reach the Ayrshire coast today. Instead I hung a ninety right after the  bridge at Bargrennan and took in Glen Trool on my way over the hills towards Crosshill and Maybole on single tracks.

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The heavy morning rain that hit south west Scotland had gone for the day leaving clean dry roads over the hills.

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And I couldn’t resist the odd stop to take in the views.

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It was a beautiful day to be out there – better still – the new Bridgestones had transformed the big Pan European.

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She was amazing. Fast or slow – she did it all with minimal of effort on my part.

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A twitch of the knees had her dodging potholes and I could savour the effortless drive of the big V4 or just trundle along smoothly at low revs as the mood and road dictated.

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Judging by this ancient milestone the road I took over the hills and through the forests was the main link between Newton Stewart and Ayr in days of yore – but I wasn’t heading for Ayr today.

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Instead I took a sharp right onto a potholed farm track that led me over another hill to Straiton.

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Yup – the Buck was the attraction in Straiton. A nice wee tearoom that serves a fine scone with a pot of tea and home made raspberry jam – just what I was needing by mid-afternoon. From Straiton it was a nice blast on yet another unfenced single track that dropped me onto the main Ayr to Castle Douglas trunk route.

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Any bits of tyre that hadn’t been scrubbed on the way to Dalmellington were certainly taken care of on the inviting fast sweepers as the Pan and I swept back south down that wonderful ‘A’ road.

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I’ve seen a new set of tyres transform the handling of many a bike but never as much as these Bridgestone 023’s have done for the Pan Euro. She has improved beyond my wildest dreams and I’m definitely looking forward to our next ride  🙂


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Posted by on April 15, 2015 in Uncategorized



Bridgestone 023’s for Pan Euro

battlax_bt023_closerlook3The Pan had it’s new rubber boots fitted this morning and what a difference they have made already…..

No more hopping sideways on the overbanding which is part and parcel of every stretch of road these days. No sooner is new tarmac laid than another utility company comes along and digs it up again to bury cables or water pipes. Sometimes both – only weeks apart.

The 023’s also provide a better cushion against the inevitable potholes too as the sidewalls appear to have more flex than the hard old rubber of the ancient 020’s that were only fit for the skip. The pliant 023’s provide the extra shock absorber the Pan needs as the front forks are quite firmly sprung.

No more steps in the transition from upright to lean angles either. A ‘must’ for a cornerhound like mesel. Not that lean angles approaching the elbow scraping antics of Mark Marquez came into play today as I adopted the prescribed ‘go gently till scrubbed in’ approach for the first time in my life. Mold oil and cold damp tarmac have put more than one budding racer on his ass on the way home from the tyre bay and there’s acres of expensive plastic to scrape if a Pan goes down.

The Honda ST1100 Pan European came out on Bridgestone 020’s as Original Equipment and by all accounts did okay on them. Just as well because you won’t find much alternative choice for it’s 110/80/18 front and 160/60/17 rear at your local tyre shop.

Mr Honda's Magic Carpet 003

No worries – Bridgestone 023 is the new number and if the sixty mile ride back from the the dealer’s this morning is anything to go by – I’m sure that the big Pan and I are going to be very happy with our new boots 🙂

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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Uncategorized



Pan Euro Whispers into Kielder Forest

Wasn’t my intention to go anywhere today. A few hours in the workshop followed by F1 Qualifying from China – then the Grand National from Aintree and the last few rounds of the Melrose Sevens should have been enough for any normal bloke.

Well I never claimed to be ‘normal’ and with sporadic bursts of sunshine through the threatening clouds I got the notion to do the two hundred miles round trip to Kielder. Some of us do things the easy way and some don’t. I started off with what I thought was enough fuel in the tank for sixty miles or so.

Eighty miles later I was high in the Border Hills with the ‘low fuel’ warning light flashing.

whisper 001

I was heading for Hermitage Castle although I already knew that there were no petrol pumps in that remote spot.

whisper 002

I had hoped there was still a petrol station in Newcastleton – the nearest town of any description. No such luck and although there was an extremely helpful young lady who did her best for me – Newcastleton remained a ‘dry’ town.

It was strange to hear the distances to the three nearest petrol stations estimated in ‘minutes travelled in her car’ – rather than miles from each place. We were standing right on the Border with England so maybe that’s the way they do things over there 🙂

whisper 006

No worries – Kielder wasn’t the closest but it was where I wanted to go so I took a chance on the ‘thirty minute’ trip and whispered over to the Forest Park using high gears on a smidgeon of throttle. There in Kielder Village I found an unmanned pump accepting cards only. It wasn’t the cheapest petrol I ever bought but I was grateful it was there and that the pump was working because I don’t think I could push that big Honda far.

whisper 004

It was trying to snow and managing hail by the time I reached the biker’s tearoom on the lake shores but sitting on tha Pan Euro, now with full tank in these conditions is as good as it get’s so I wasn’t too bothered and the well worn tyres did everything asked of them..

whisper 005

The ride back turned even rougher with nasty crosswinds to contend with as well but that bike and I are beginning to gel and I found myself singing into my helmet all the way home.

I hope this estimate doesn’t come back to bite me in the bum but I now reckon that Pan Euro will do around three hundred miles on a tankful of gas 🙂


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Posted by on April 11, 2015 in Uncategorized



ST1100 Catches the Sun

What a difference a week makes. Perhaps I tried to go ‘too far – too soon’ on Easter weekend for I definitely struggled with the big Honda ST1100 Pan European.

Now that I’ve adjusted the rear suspension settings to something like they should have been in the first place and burned a few years worth of WD40 and bike polish off the brake pads, discs and tyres during an ‘interesting’ first thousand miles, she is becoming the relaxing ride I had hoped for in the first place.



Her current average of 47mpg is not to be sniffed at for a big V4 motor and it can only improve as I get accustomed to her low down torque and – unusual for a motorcycle –  fuel saving high top gear that I sometimes overlooked in the early stages.

Yup – with the sun breaking through the mist we were out there again this morning just enjoying the ride 🙂

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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Uncategorized



The Pan Comes Alive

The Pan has come alive at last. Just a few clicks here and there on the rear shock has made such a difference. She is no longer behaving like a half-dead slug and is now kicking up her heels like a frisky teenager.

Spring time 002

My first move was to reduce the rear damping which helped but handling still wasn’t that great and when the centrestand grounded on a bend on my way up from Wigtown I thought ‘more needs to be done’.

Spring time 015

A coffee stop by Clatteringshaws reservoir saw me shake the toolkit out on the grass and luckily there was a ‘C’ spanner so I stiffened the spring a notch. Compression is now one click away from maximum preload and the damping ended up half turn from Fully Hard. Probably as good as I’m going to get with that old shock – but at least the bike is now rideable..

Spring time 013

By this time my mate Phil had appeared from somewhere with his new for 2015 – all singing – all dancing – water-cooled BMW 1200GS. Phil was on a late shakedown ride before shipping his bike off to Spain for a thrash round some of the best twisties in Europe with the BMW Owners Club.

Who ate all the scotch pies? I confess – it was me. That will be another click on the rear shock 🙂

Spring time 018

We also have some of the best twisties in Europe here in the south-west so it was a no-brainer to test my new settings with a blatt along the challenging Queen’s Drive to Newton Stewart – stopping on the way to check out the wild goats.

Spring time 020

There were a few new kids on the block and views to take in. We enjoyed it so much that when we reached Newton Stewart we turned around and did it all over again.

Spring time 017


A note on the tyres: They are a matched – wornout pair of the original Bridgestone Battleaxe 020’s. That means they are probably twelve to fifteen years old – at least.

I had them on my first XJR around 2001. Although the rear was as good as any at the time in the early days of dual-compound tyres. The front just wouldn’t work for long on a heavy bike. Especially when they are well worn like the front hoop on my Pan.

No worries – I have a set of modern tyres on order. The 020’s will get their just desserts and go for recycling next week.

There goes the holiday money 🙂




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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Uncategorized