7 BEST USED LITRE
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
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
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 Superseded, mostly by the electronics, on the new, 2016 version but still a cracker.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’