Staff Bikes.......................................

THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… Mak­ing up for lost time.

Fast Bikes - - CONTENTS -

For the best part of a month my Blade was out of ac­tion, caus­ing me to luck out on the re­main­der of 2017’s kinder weather. Win­ter’s a crap time of year. You prob­a­bly don’t need me to tell you that, but I’m go­ing to any­way. If it’s not rain­ing it’s freez­ing, and if nei­ther of the afore­men­tioned pests are do­ing their best to blight your ride, chances are it’s bloody dark!

You re­ally can’t win, though at least the Blade’s got some de­cent head­lights on it. I’ve come to de­pend on them ex­ten­sively these past few weeks, be­cause ev­ery jour­ney’s dab­bled with a bit of night time rid­ing at some point or other. I’m gen­uinely im­pressed by the SP’s main beam, and I’ve known far worse per­for­mances than this bike’s dipped beam of­fer­ing. Lights can make or break a bike in the win­ter months, but the Honda’s well equipped for the job. The auto-switch­ing dash face is an­other neat fea­ture, which au­to­mat­i­cally changes to a black­backed dis­play with white char­ac­ters when sen­sors pick up that it’s dark – it does the same for tun­nels etc. This means you’re never daz­zled by the light of the dash, which is pretty im­por­tant if you’re get­ting a lick-on. Yep, the weather might be crap and the nights pitch dark, but that’s not stopped me giv­ing the Honda a good thrash­ing on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. It’s the bike that makes me do it; it’s just so fun and easy to ride hard on the roads. I trust it im­plic­itly and it now feels so in­tu­itive to me, as if I’ve been rid­ing it for the last few years. In truth, I’ve only clocked a frac­tion of the miles I had planned this sea­son, but they’ve all been good ones. In that time I’ve come to learn how to get the best from the bike’s setup, so I mostly ride ev­ery­where with a cus­tom sus­pen­sion setup at all times – though the Auto func­tions (A1, A2, A3) are good to switch to when cer­tain roads de­mand dif­fer­ent damp­ing to what I nor­mally run with. That’s the beauty of the Blade; it’s ver­sa­tile, and ef­fort­lessly so. Don’t get me wrong, that’s what you’re pay­ing for in its £19k price tag, but at least it de­liv­ers on its prom­ise.

Some­thing else to praise is the Dunlop GP Racer D212 tyres I’ve been run­ning. They’re past their best now, be­ing a lit­tle squared off and hag­gard on the tyre edges, but they’re still warm­ing up quick and com­ple­ment­ing the Honda through the twisties. What’s im­pressed me more so is how well they grip in the wet con­sid­er­ing how lit­tle tread they have; they’ve def­i­nitely been a wel­come ad­di­tion to the pack­age. I think my other favourite bolt-on is the Scor­pion RP-1 GP Ex­haust. Man, that thing’s loud. Even with the baf­fle in it makes the Honda sound so good, and look so much bet­ter also. I only wish I’d put it on sooner, but the games not up just yet. I’ve got the Blade for an­other month, so I’ll keep clock­ing up the miles and as­so­ci­ated smiles.

I just hope the road salt doesn’t get to the bike. I’ve been on a mis­sion to wash it down af­ter ev­ery ride, and so far there’s no sign of fur­ring or such­like. Still, it’s a ball-ache hav­ing to be so ac­tive with the Fairy Liq­uid and sponge, but leav­ing the bike to cor­rode sim­ply isn’t an op­tion. Last but not least, I fi­nally got round to fit­ting the Evotech Per­for­mance ra­di­a­tor guard to the bike, so hope­fully there’ll be no chance of an­other duff rad be­fore it’s time to wave the Honda off. It was a quick and easy item to fit, and a damn sight cheaper than buy­ing a new ra­di­a­tor. What­ever you run, you should get one fit­ted.

The leaves might be gone, but the Honda’s throt­tle’s still get­ting pinned.

Win­ter’s crap. Al­most as crap as hav­ing to wash your bike af­ter ev­ery ride.

Fit­ting Evotech's rad guard sooner would’ve saved a lot of pain.

Dunlop D212GPs have been great tyres for the Blade.

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