July 26, 2002
Dropped the bike in for a service last night and picked up the courtesy bike: a Honda Deauville.
If you're not familiar with the Deauville, it's a 650cc entry-level tourer in a broadly similar style to the Pan European. And this one is, I hope, a dreadful example of the bike.
Three years old with 28k on the clock, it's quite the worst bike I've ridden in at least 10 years. I suppose it's a good example of the reasons I bought a new bike and why I chose the Pan.
Reason the Deauville isn't a pleasant ride due to its age:
The clutch is appalling. It's really sloppy and everything happens in the last few mm of lever travel.
The gearbox isn't any better. You get no feedback on whether you've changed gear or not and neutral is difficult to locate.
The panniers don't fasten firmly on one side. God knows what would happen if it came open at speed, so I've tied it off with a bungee cord.
Reasons I prefer the Pan to the Deauville:
The riding position on the Deauville is, er, cramped. And my left foot always presses gently up on the gear selector.
There's no automatic choke.
The screen is inadequate and non-adjustable.
Oh, lots more stuff including power delivery, lights and all sorts of stuff.
Ah, well. It's only for a day. I get my bike back tonight...