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A sports tourer with the emphasis slightly towards touring.

Believe it or not, this is a pretty good starter bike. Granted, it is a bit heavy at standstill / parking speeds, but the weight soon disappears above 5-10mph. Even at these speeds, it is very stable and ideal for filtering through heavy traffic (central London in particular). Riding position, pillion capabilities, luggage carrying capacity etc are all very good - as you would expect. The motor is a bit slow revving, and is not particularly powerful (110bhp at the wheel), but keep it spinning above 3500rpm and short change at 8000 or so, and progress is pretty swift. At a push, it will hang with the big boys (fireblade etc) in a straight line, and if they are a bit wussy, you won’t lose them in the corners either.

 

 

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Running costs aren’t too bad. I got 7500mls from a set of tyre, although that is pushing it. Service intervals at 3000mls are not too good, but it is a bulletproof motor, and home servicing (except for shims maybe) is a real possibility.

The down sides? Well, it is not particularly up there on the fashion stakes, is it? But saying that, a lot of non-bikers think it is a nice bike. Also, it doesn’t handle crashes too well. A 40mph slide down the road resulted in a bent frame on top of 2000 of other damage – best to keep it shiny side up. Surprisingly, at an all up weight of around 260kg, I managed to pick it up quite easily afterwards. Embarrassment and anger no doubt helped.