BIKES Q&A

RiDE (UK) - - Bikes -

Q Since pass­ing my DAS in March I’ve been rid­ing my Honda CBF600. I’ve loved it but think I should be mov­ing onto some­thing big­ger for next sum­mer, to start tour­ing. What would you sug­gest?

A If you like the CBF600, why not move within the fam­ily to the CBF1000? Sim­i­lar er­gonomics but im­proved han­dling and much greater per­for­mance from the re­tuned Fire­blade en­gine. It’s a great all­rounder and a log­i­cal pro­gres­sion.

If you want to look at some­thing slightly dif­fer­ent, per­haps con­sider the Honda Cross­run­ner — more up­right and built around the V4 from the VFR800 (see p78). Or out­side the Honda fam­ily, we’d think about the Yamaha Tracer 900/MT-09 Tracer.

Q I’ve picked up a slow punc­ture in a new tyre. A friend sug­gested just putting one of those tyre-plug­ging liq­uids in­side to stop it. Is that a good idea?

A All of the lead­ing tyre man­u­fac­tur­ers will tell you it isn’t. The fear is that the slow punc­ture is caused by a hole. The tyre-plug­ging ma­te­rial may fill the hole from the in­side and stop air es­cap­ing but it won’t stop dirt get­ting into the out­side of the hole and wear­ing away at the tyre. Es­pe­cially with high­speed tyres (H-rated or Z-rated), you don’t want the car­case be­ing da­m­aged to the point that it sud­denly blows out. Bet­ter to have the tyre checked and ei­ther re­paired prop­erly if pos­si­ble or re­placed. But start by get­ting the valve re­placed: that might be the source of the leak and it’s a cheap, easy fix.

Q I’m look­ing to slow down: cur­rently I ride a Kawasaki ZZR1400. I’ve tried a few cruis­ers and quite liked them… but I’m not taken with the Harley-david­sons I’ve seen. Es­pe­cially the prices. What are the Ja­panese cruis­ers like?

A The only prob­lem for the Ja­panese cruis­ers is that they don’t have the ea­gle on the tank. That’s not a prob­lem for you. As a gen­eral rule they look good, han­dle well (for cruis­ers) and most are un­stressed and re­li­able. Our pick would be a Suzuki M1800R In­truder, but the huge Kawasaki VN2000 is an­other great choice.

Honda CBF1000 a good step up from 600cc si­b­ling

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