13 July 2020

And now for something completely different! Crosstourer to CB1000R+

I bought Holly our Honda Crosstourer Highlander back in 2014. Kim & I have loved our trips out on her - many local, but also Ireland, Wales & our Camino. However to every thing there is a season, and I felt that it was now time for something different...

As you may have noticed, I like to test bikes from the various dealerships around us, and came to a shortlist of two models: Indian FTR1200 and Honda CB1000R+. Although the Indian was a fab ride, I decided that the Honda was the bike for me. The CB1000R is (sort of) a naked FireBlade - which makes it a "cheeky little number"! The "+" is a special tricked out edition with a quickshifter, heated grips, rear seat cowl & some added aluminium bling. Usually "+" bikes are only available in black, I have one of the only CB1000R+ bikes in stunning metallic "candy chromosphere red".

Discussions were had with four Honda dealerships, and Paul Styles at Doble Honda came up with the best package. So on a distinctly wet Wednesday (8th July) morning I rode up to Coulsdon & traded in our lovely Holly for a very shiny CB1000R+ in red! The ride back was also wet, which (literally) took the shine off my lovely new bike. 1st thing I did when I got home was hose down the bike & dry her off!

I managed to get out for a spin at the weekend - on a sunny, warm Sunday afternoon - and enjoyed every second. Of course this is a hugely different motorcycle from the Crosstourer: over 60Kg lighter, faster, lower centre of gravity, sticky sport tyres, etc. What a blast!

Kim & I are going to miss the comfort of the Crosstourer (and the ability to do big distances), but ironically, getting a faster sportbike might save my license! Wind protection is much better on adventure bikes, gearing is much higher, so it is very easy to end up going "quickly" without realising it. On a naked sportbike, any speed feels quick - which oddly enough tends to slow one down!

Holly's new owner will hopefully enjoy her as much as we have: ~19k miles of wonderful, trouble free riding (of course - it's a Honda!). Over my ~6 years of ownership, I tweaked her significantly from original spec - so Holly's next owner should be able to enjoy adventures as soon as they can turn the key!

I've Christened the new bike "Ariel", and have so far added ASV C5 clutch & brake levers a Givi tank bag (that allows my phone to double as a SatNav), more farkles to follow! Watch this space...

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