The first day of Summer has finally got here and so, I decided to go for a nice long jaunt on my new bike. What a journey it was too.
For those who do not know, I now live in a little place called Stokesley, about ten miles south of Middlesbrough, in the UK. We have been here since last August when I was given a bungalow in my retirement.
In late November 2016, I bought this new, to me, bike, a Honda CBF600S and boy, is it a revelation. I have had thrills and spills on everything from a 50cc Garelli, to a GSX1400 Suzuki [see other blog pieces on here] but the first real jaunt has so far been the best and a taster of what is to come through this summer I hope.
I set off to Thirsk, to start with, because I had issues with a box and rack that came with the bike. The box was damaged. It looks like some over zealous ferry official had strapped the bike to a load of others, either on the ferry to the TT, or some other boat, causing all sorts of scrapes and damage, mainly to the box, but in minor places, to the fairing as well. So I removed the box and then could not get the damn rack off, which just happened to be the wrong rack for the bike! So I went to Thirsk today, down the A172 and onto the A19, where I was able to open the throttle somewhat and find out what she was capable of.
Reviews of the bike use words like “planted” when referring to the CBF600 and this one is no different. I was enjoying myself in seconds, now that I am used to the bike. It has taken a while, due mainly to the inclement weather and the few times I have had opportunity to get out on the thing. But today was a revelation indeed and by the time I got to Teasdales Bike shop, in Thirsk, I was beginning to have too much fun.
A short stop there, to remove the offending rack, left me with no grab rails, or sissy bars, as we know them to be named where I come from, a bit weird, but I thought they would be cheap. I was wrong! A rack costs the same as two grab rails for heaven’s sake, and that is ebay prices, not dealer prices. And so, once all was secured and the rubber things put under the seat for safety, I decided to head off to my favourite bike haunt, the Squires Cafe Bar in [or near to] Sherburn In Elmet. I did not know it, but the trip to Thirsk is 20 miles and then the one to Sherburn would add on another 45 or so.
But the ride was incredible!
I have had fun before on bikes, most notably the Deauville I had and the 1400, especially for speed, but for handling, I have never been so relaxed on a bike than on this little 600. It handles beautifully. It eats up the road once you get past 7k revs and behaves like a hooligan once you get past 8k revs. Now I can be a bit of a maniac when it comes to riding. I like the speed. But this little bike had me laughing my ass off half way down the A1M as I was heading to the Squires. By the time I had got there, albeit with a numb bum and an aching back due to my two hernias, I got the shock of my life.
The place was rammed with bikes of all sorts of varieties!
A cuppa later and a short trip to the local parts store round the back and I was off again, this time back home, via Tadcaster and York, the country way, the scenic route. Little did I know this route would be the harder way to get home but it was still a joy. The little bike surprised the hell out of me; surprised a few endorphins out of me as well and made for one very enjoyable ride. It was, in a word, remarkable!
I am now looking forward to being able one day to going down to Doncaster to see my Mother, just so I can get on the bike and take her further. What started out as 10 mile round journeys have now extended to 142 mile round trips, not bad on half a tank either. It is so much fun owning a CBF600, but I still need to get the rack and box situation sorted; then, I shall be very happy indeed.