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THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… Dis­ap­pear­ing into the sun­set.

My role in Bridge­stone is var­ied and of­fers plenty of trav­el­ling. Part of that is visit­ing Ire­land a few times a year. Ire­land is a beau­ti­ful and tran­quil place and has some awe­some roads, so most of the time I go by bike. Pre­vi­ously I’ve used the 1200GS, KTM 1290 SA S and the Ver­sys 1000. I am a bit of a fan of big Ad­ven­ture bikes, sim­ply be­cause they do it all in com­fort and usu­ally of­fer a tank range com­pared to those four-wheel tin top things. So none of this stop-start rid­ing and look­ing for fuel sta­tions ev­ery 100 miles.

Bruce knows I’m a bit of a girl when it comes to my crea­ture com­forts and ‘must haves’ on my bikes so when the big H2 showed nearly 200 miles range, I was happy… I’m a big lad at over 6ft and have more rolls in my midriff than the lo­cal baker’s, so the er­gonomics of sports bikes don’t suit me for long dis­tances. When Bruce of­fered me the op­por­tu­nity to test the H2 SX, my im­me­di­ate thought was: “Hmmm, a 1000-mile round trip to Ire­land and back on a bike that would have me dou­bled up like I’d been kicked in the man bits by a stiletto-wear­ing Rus­sian shot put­ter,” which left me a lit­tle un­sure. How­ever, I’ve liked the look of the H2 since its launch and fan­cied a crack on one from the off, so why not?

I jumped aboard as soon as it was de­liv­ered – in fact, I had my gear on ready so I could go straight out. It was ei­ther go­ing to be the Rus­sian shot put­ter or a pleas­ant sur­prise.

First im­pres­sions were pos­i­tive. There was more room than I ex­pected as I slot­ted in. Not the first time I’ve thought that when I’ve rid­den some­thing for the first time!

For me the first 20 or 30 miles are a good indi­ca­tor as to whether the two of us will get on and I re­turned home, parked her up in the drive­way, got off, and had a lit­tle smile to my­self. This is go­ing to be fun, I thought.

The first part of the jour­ney was to Holy­head for the ferry and I de­cided to take the mo­tor­way to Oswestry and then the A5 straight through Wales. This would give me some twisties and some bor­ing mo­tor­way work to start with. Be­ing the SE model it came with cruise con­trol and, be­ing the finicky rider that I am, l was again im­pressed. I per­son­ally think all bikes should come stan­dard with cruise. On long bor­ing mo­tor­way rides they are a god­send. Es­pe­cially be­ing left handed, my right hand doesn’t get the same work­out, so needs rest­ing.

As I en­tered the A5 (bike heaven) I stopped for a brew to re­flect on the ex­pe­ri­ence so far.

The H2 SX has sur­prised me all the way. The bars are some­where be­tween a Ver­sys and a ZZR1400. I would per­son­ally like them a bit higher, but in fair­ness, I’m be­ing prop­erly crit­i­cal here. I’m just used to my own GS and I judge ev­ery­thing against that in terms of com­fort.

As the A5 ap­proached the ride was about to change – twist­ing roads, fan­tas­tic scenery and some small vil­lages to test the bike’s all-round per­for­mance. The GS has be­come my fur-lined wagon rut, a bit of fur that I’ve never been tempted away from, de­spite the num­ber of dif­fer­ent bikes I’m very lucky to ride and test.

The A5 came and went and there I was, sat at the docks with the H2 SX draw­ing loads of at­ten­tion. “Su­per­charged?” Some old blokes were ask­ing. “Yes, it’s a damn quick mo­tor­cy­cle, this,” was my re­sponse. “Ag­gres­sive?” they asked. Hon­estly, no. I’d al­most for­got­ten it was su­per­charged. The power is lin­ear all the way through, and this smooth­ness is aided by a su­per slick gear­box, fea­tur­ing a quick shifter and down blip­per which, dur­ing the 1000 miles, didn’t miss a beat.

I’ve rid­den many bikes that cut the en­gine with the slight­est hint of pres­sure, but not here. The sys­tem on the H2 is ex­cel­lent.

There’s noth­ing bet­ter than get­ting on a ferry on a mo­tor­cy­cle. You know when you get off the other end that you’re on an ad­ven­ture. I had 600 miles in Ire­land ahead of me, the sat nav set to avoid mo­tor­ways and tolls... just the open road and mo­tor­cy­cle freedom for a whole week.

Ti­tanic in ev­ery way... apart from the sink­ing.

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