SUPERBISUPERBIKEKES Spring is ap­proach­ing fast. Time for some used bike speed, says Phil West Neil Mur­ray makes a liv­ing buy­ing & sell­ing pre-loved metal – and he’s on your side

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5/6 (2005-06)

With an all-new, Mo­togp-in­spired GSX-R1000 due later this year, now’s a per­fect time to re­mem­ber the last time Suzuki were at the top of the su­per­bike tree – over a decade ago, with the awe­some K5. Now re­garded as some­thing of a mod­ern clas­sic, the K5 (and 2006’s largely

Kawasaki ZX-10R (2011-15)

The dom­i­nant Ja­panese su­per­bike of the last five years un­til Yamaha’s all-new M1-alike R1 ar­rived last year. All-new in 2011 it blended rak­ish, ag­gres­sive styling, a scream­ing, all-new en­gine putting out a BMWri­valling 197bhp, top-spec chas­sis with clever Big Pis­ton Fork and hor­i­zon­tally-mounted rear shock and

BMW S1000RR (2012-14)

Al­though most recog­nise how revo­lu­tion­ary the orig­i­nal BMW S1000RR was, many for­get how big an ad­vance the se­cond gen­er­a­tion was in 2012. Fa­mil­iar, asym­met­ri­cal bodywork hid a smoother power de­liv­ery, ex­tra low-down torque, an im­proved chas­sis and sus­pen­sion and much more re­fined elec­tron­ics. This all makes the Ger­man con­tender much more re­fined and us­able but still as po­tent as ever. It was up­dated again in 2015, but this is still a

bench­mark bike.

What you’ll pay to­day

£8800-£13,000. But should you? Only just start­ing to date. As­ton­ish­ingly able, po­tent, classy and with great dealer back-up. the best trac­tion con­trol sys­tem of any Ja­panese of­fer­ing. It was enough to make it far and away the best from Ja­pan both on road and, es­pe­cially, on track where it be­came a race and track­day favourite.

What you’ll pay to­day

£6500-£10,500 But should you? Su­per­seded, mostly by the elec­tron­ics, on the new, 2016 ver­sion but still a cracker.

would not ad­vise you to take it off road; I went down a green lane for a pho­to­shoot once and found my­self wrestling the Cross­run­ner all the way — not good!

As a day-to-day bike it ex­cels. In the 11 months and 8000 miles we’ve spent to­gether the Cross­run­ner has re­ally proved it­self. I’ve racked lots of miles on my daily com­mute to MCN head­quar­ters, which is a round trip of 26 miles, in all weath­ers, and the qual­ity of the Honda’s build has shone out, es­pe­cially af­ter en­dur­ing the wet and salty roads through­out the win­ter.

When I’d fin­ished the fi­nal clean prior to its re­turn I was suit­ably im­pressed. Once the road grime was re­moved it re­vealed all the dif­fer­ent fin­ishes still look­ing as good as new, with only a lit­tle tar­nish­ing on the odd hose clip.

One of my favourite things about the Cross­run­ner is the rid­ing po­si­tion; it’s got a real com­mand-post feel about it, like you get when rid­ing a big trail­lie. Sit­ting very upright with legs slightly swept back, and the wide bars make for a very com­fort­able ride. This po­si­tion also works well for rid­ing two-up. I took my dad all over the Lake District on the back and, for some­one who has spent his life rid­ing mo­tor­cy­cles for a liv­ing, he was a good can­di­date to put to the test. He was most im­pressed with the Honda’s com­fort, even though like most rid­ers he prefers to be on the front.

What re­ally makes the Cross­run­ner stand out is the V4 en­gine, which has enough grunt to take off like a rocket, while also be­ing beau­ti­fully smooth. The only thing that takes a bit of get­ting used to is the VTEC sys­tem. The first time I ex­pe­ri­enced it was on a VFR800 and it came as a bit of a shock, but af­ter a year of rid­ing the Cross­run­ner it’s now just the norm. In the 8000 miles I have done the en­gine has never fal­tered, and is only just com­ing up for its se­cond ser­vice (the first was at 600 miles). One lit­tle de­tail I have no­ticed, but not found any­thing writ­ten about, is the anti-stall fea­ture. I dis­cov­ered this when I was sat at a red light for a ridicu­lously long time, and as I re­leased the clutch to­wards its bit­ing point I no­ticed that the revs crept up as I let it out a nice touch.

The Cross­run­ner pack­age I was sup­plied came with a top­box, Tomtom sat-nav, Akrapovic ex­haust can and quick­shifter. The top­box makes a great prac­ti­cal ad­di­tion and I also added a pair of Honda pan­niers, which have made it uber prac­ti­cal. Whether tour­ing or just go­ing shop­ping at the week­end, there is stacks of room.

So back to my orig­i­nal ques­tion at the be­gin­ning ‘what pre­cisely is it?’ I will tell you what it is it’s bril­liant, a re­ally good all-rounder that has put a smile on my face. Well done Honda!

‘ What is it? I’ll tell you what it is — it’s bril­liant, a re­ally good all-rounder

that has put a smile on my face. Well done Honda’

Great­est GSX-R1000 of all time? Let's see if the new bike can steal its ti­tle What you’ll pay to­day But should you? What you’ll pay to­day But should you? What you’ll pay to­day But should you? First gen­er­a­tion was a rev­e­la­tion and the se­cond wave was even

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