Officially, I was there to get an MOT test. While that was happening I had spent the time wandering around, checking out every single machine that appealed to me even in the slightest: Triumph Thunderbird, Triumph Sprint GT, Kawasaki Versys, Yamaha XV950, Yamaha FJR1300, Honda VFR800, Honda CBF1000, Honda CTX1300, Moto Guzzi Norge, Moto Guzzi Griso, Suzuki GSX1250FA, BMW F800GT, Harley-Davidson XL883R, and on and on. Fowlers has a lot of bikes.
Ever since the Triumph Bonneville episode I have found myself looking at a number of bikes semi-seriously, with the aim of getting one sometime in the next 12 months or so. And, of course, one of the underlying motivations in considering the purchase of a new motorcycle is telling yourself that you “need” it in some form or another, that it has something your present machine doesn’t.
So, I’ve got this bike that can easily go much faster than I’ll ever want to, that I have ridden to Scotland without problem, that has anti-lock brakes, heated grips, decent fairing, and great tires, and which presently has less than 14,000 miles on the odometer.
Yes, the bike is 9 years old, but thanks to MOT documents I can see that my its previous owner averaged less than 1,000 miles a year on the machine. Thanks to Google Maps and the fact he wrote his address in the owner’s manual, I can see that he lives in a very nice house that has not one but two garages, and a shed big enough to house a motorcycle. My Honda was kept well before coming to me. Add that how much I baby the motorcycle, and I feel it’s safe to say its age belies its condition.
So, again: do I actually need a different bike? The evidence seems to suggest pretty strongly that I do not. Especially in light of what I could actually get for my present budget. Sure, a Victory Cross Country is better than a Honda CBF600, but that purchase is just not going to happen any time soon. Anything I could possibly afford right now is going to be very similar to what I already have, or will require a step down in terms of features/power.
Such a realisation makes me a little sad because I still feel my Honda is so terribly uncool. It’s just so grey and plastic and, I don’t know, not cool. But is also so damned reliable and good and, quite frankly, superior to bikes that would cost five times what I could sell it for.
Damn you, Honda, for making a bike so good that I can’t force myself to realistically consider getting rid of it.