1000cc sports bikes go ballistic to Majorca. Does the water taste like what it oughta?
The French copper is looking confused. "Accident?" It's more of a question than a statement. His bemused gaze passes over the four brand new-looking bikes parked in front of a petrol pump. "There has been a crash?" Some fast-fingered motorist has obviously got on the blower and reported a bike sliding down the fast lane of the motorway. Our rozzer must have hurried to the scene expecting to find a tangled heap of metal.
Keen to avoid an extended interview with the authorities, I try to confuse him with a spot of bad French."No, non problem, Monsieur," I try, while still smiling, "C'est okay, bon." He seems pacified, if still a little baffled, and slips his blue and white Peugeot into gear and prepares to pull away.
Unfortunately it's at this point he spots the elbow of my jacket is worn away and the red leather suit underneath is poking out.
"You crash," he says. Definitely a statement now, not a question. "Yes," I say, "but only very slow, no problem," adding another nervous smile and a quick thumbs up for good measure. He may not be entirely satisifed but he scoots off anyway, no doubt reluctant to leave the warm and dry sanctuary of his car.
Only 400 miles or so into our mini-epic trip to Majorca and I've thrown a brand new Fireblade down the road. A schoolboy braking error on a very wet motorway locked the front wheel, precipitating a long and graceless slide. Considering the, um, speed at which all this occured - or at least began - the Fireblade came out well. When James Whitham himself describes your crash as 'spectacular' you know you've had a big one, but the Honda limped away with nothing more than minor scratches, a missing bar end and a neatly polished engine case (thanks to the Emery paper-like effect of water and Tarmac ). No holes, not even a bent bar, and still rideable. While at this point its mega sharp front brake wasn't high on my list of likes about the Honda, the rest of it was really growing on me.
Even before we'd left the office the Honda had scored. Tail pack in hand I'd approached first the R1, then the GSX-R1000... not a chance of securing it to either (although somehow Tim managed it with his GSX-R1000 last year), so I tried the Blade. Bungee points and fantastic pillion pegs with cut-outs for bungee hooks made it easy. Top marks, Honda - practicality in a sportsbike, what next?
Continue the 2006 1000cc Test
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk