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A dull day for a test ride


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Yesterday I drove over to Andy's place , to meet up with him and Sheila as they had booked a test ride on a Honda Deauville in Nottingham .

The idea was to meet up with George and Kathy at the dealers , and they would accompany Andy and Sheila as they put the Honda through it's paces to see if it met their requirements .

It was bitterly cold , Kathy can testify to this more than most , as she looked FROZEN when we arrived at the dealership [ having made a " smart turn in the road " when Andy realised he was not going the right way - no GPS in the car grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif ] .

After greeting George and Kathy [ great to see you both again ] , the guys set off on their test ride .


I remained at the dealers , drinking their coffee , and checking out their stock whilst awaiting the return of the gang .


A few photos I took of the guys .........




Upon their return , Andy told me it was not the bike for him for various reasons , handed the keys back and we chatted with George and Kathy [ still FROZEN ] , before saying our farewells and making our way back to Andy's place , stopping off at a little Italian place [ Andy will explain ] , where I availed myself of their hospitality [ ie - ate their food - Sheila - great ham sandwiches thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif ] before driving home .


All in all a cold day , but great to share it with friends .


Thanks guys ,

See you all soon ,



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Hi Steve, it was great to see you again mate thumbsup.gif


Yeah it was a little cold up there, Mapperly Plains is the highest point in Nottingham, and that wind was raw and from the east. Kathy was freezing, I was OK, it was great to meet up with Andy and Sheila too, even the camera shutter speed was slow, looking at a few blurred heads, I was clear in all your shots though, as I never move TOO FAST lmao.gif


I will wait for Andy's report on the Honda, but I can tell you it was quiet noisey, and that first gear had a whine worse than a 20 year old Transit's differential

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Great, I see George is planning on using all that money he made off me for those two thermometers to buy a new bike. I figured he would go for a villa in the south of Europe. thumbsup.gif

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'twas a cold day indeed but an interesting one on many levels to me. As always, good friends make the difference. Steve drove a long way to watch me ride - the original plan was to have him ride as well but for insurance reasons that could not pan out. Thanks for the pictures and the support as always Steve. Thanks also to George nad Kathy, whose local knowledge allowed me to give the little Honda a decent workout.


The bike is a 700cc V-Twin with a bullet-proof engine developing 65bhp, developed fron the NTV600/650/Bros/Africa twin unit. The bike is a lot smaller than an RT and vitally for me, lower with a lower C of G. The remarkable thing though is that it weighs 10kg more than a R1200RT. The test bike had covered 650 miles and was shod with the OEM Michelin Macadams.


On the road the poor power to weight ratio shows - you need to rev the unit hard to get any go, and I was constantly stiring the gearbox to keep the bike on the boil.

Before the ride I cranked the preload up to compensate for my bulk and Sheila's svelte frame. Despite this the bike never felt well-balanced. There was a distinct tendency to drop into slow corners and more than once I had to catch it on the throttle. In faster corners, the front felt light and vague lacking the planted feel I am used to from my RT.

The suspension worked well enough, coping with uneven back-roads at speed without unsettling either bike or passengers. The saddle, both front and rear, was excellent and comfortable - there was no sign of discomfort over a decent length test. Sheila however, was not comfortable as the leading edge of the panniers dug into her legs, the lack of space on the bike being a real issue, with her feet also hitting my leg when moving off from a stop.


The cold spring day also demonstrated the comparative lack of wind protection afforded by the heavy plastic, with Sheila also complaining about wind noise and buffeting.


The gearbox has five well spaced ratios and changed in typical Honda fashion, slightly clunky but precise. The noise the gears themselves made however was unacceptable in a modern machine. First gear sounded like a clapped-out London bus, the higher gears were less noisy but the whine was constant and intrusive.


On the more open stretches the bike was pushed about quite a lot by gusts of wind.


The bike felt faster than it was - 70 mph feeling like 110. The ride took us through a good mix of twisty back roads and fast four-lane main roads and whilst the Deauville managed it all, it was hard work for the rider and the bike had a frenetic feel to it.


All in all, I think this is a good one-person tourer or commuter. The fixed luggage would not cope with two peoples gear and the bike justs lacks the grunt to cope with two adults.


Having taken leave of George and Kathy, we headed for North Leicester Motorcycles, an Itallian bike specialist. More especially a Moto Morini specialist. The show-rooms are worth a visit for the sheer joy of inspecting the stock, from 1920's vetrans to the latest moto Morini Corsaro's. A Bimota Tesi a snip at £27,000 graces the shop, squeezed in amongst Gileras, Moto Guzzis and Moto Morinis. I came to see a very tidy V65SP but Sheila did not like the look of it. So now we looked at the bike I have dreamed of owning since I was 17 - a Moto Morini 3 1/2. Stuart has about a dozen to choose from. I sat on a K2 'Classic' - and looked at a much more practical K2 with 'Export' fairing.

The practicality of the Morini is calling me - good fuel consumption and great handling. The K2 is practical but I prefer the earlier 3 1/2 looks. I want one - but Sheila is councelling me to wait. She would prefer I trade my R1150RT against an ex-demonstrater R1200RT-SE with 6K miles on it at only £10K and get the earlier Morini next year.


Watch this space.


Cya, Andy


Morini 3 1/2 K2



Early Morini 3 1/2


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Great, I see George is planning on using all that money he made off me for those two thermometers to buy a new bike. I figured he would go for a villa in the south of Europe. thumbsup.gif


Sorry to dissapoint you George, this George is not after another bike, it is Andy that's after a new one.




Have to sell a few temp units more yet thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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