Old flame keeps embers lit
IREGRET SELLING TWO BIKES IN MY LIFE. The Yamaha XT500 thumper I rode to Australia went to a born-again Christian in Guildford. This SP2 – the original V-twin, not your Johnnycome-recently top-spec Fireblade – went to a lavatory engineer three years ago. I sold it for £5100 with 33,000 miles on the clock and bought it back for £5500 with a mere thousand miles added. That 8% rise in value is half that of the FTSE 100 over the same period. ‘Appreciating classics’ my arse. The previous owner undertook some top-quality fiddling, including LED tail lights and undertray and switched the thin braided brake hoses I’d fitted back to the original rubber ones. The first job in our re-acquaintance was a like-for-like replacement of the aged Metzeler M7 RR tyres. The M7s on my S1000RR made the four-year-old rubber feel like teak. A 140-mile hoon from London to Chichester and back was about the best it can get. Stability-to-die-for, unflustered pace and a gearbox to shame the Beemer. She’s good. But weight and brakes got me thinking and back on went the braided hoses and a replacement master cylinder kit. I’ve yet to get an aftermarket hose kit where the angle of the unions is right. Disappointing. I’ll get them tailor-made next time. Big bikes of the noughties tended to be fitted with beefy 530 chains and sprockets but if 520 is good enough for the 190bhp S1000RR then it’s good enough for the SP2 with 60bhp less. And, wow, what a saving in weight. The 530 chain and steel sprockets front and rear totalled 3.475kg. The 520 set (the aluminium rear sprocket is unsprung weight and is 42-teeth vs the steel one’s 44 teeth) was 1.433kg. Now all I need is the XT500 back. If its owner is out there, well, it’s what God wants you know.
Honda SP2: back where it belongs