March 27, 2003

A choice of colour?

If you want to choose what colour your Pan is, don't buy one in the USA.

In a bizarre Henry Ford kind of style, Honda US sells 'em in any colour you like as long as it's Silver.

March 26, 2003

Clothing & my love of ebay

You will soon know all my secrets�..

For the unknowing ebay is an internet auction site. Thanks to my brother, Mark, (there, I have given you a mention) I have spent in excess of �6,000 on this site in the last 8 months. I have also made a bit of cash along the way.

For those who have not used ebay � DON�T � you will be hooked.

As I bought my bike through ebay it was only natural that when I needed some new biking gear that I should use the thrill of the auction. Bearing in mind that clothing is a matter of taste and each to their own.
Pre-Pan I had a pair of leather trousers (shrunk? over time), black leather jacket, an excellent black Frank Thomas �Aqua� jacket (with armour that weighs an absolute ton), black FT leather gloves and a pair of matching FM helmets for my wife and I so we look the part. I also had a pair of black Doc Martens with steel toe �tectors which performed well for 6 years but had to go in the bin with the leather trousers.

From ebay I have now bought a full set of �Weise� armoured and waterproof clothing for �52, a new pair of leather trousers for �40, belstaff leather gloves for �12, and a NEW flip front lid for �72. Two pairs of boots: new �Harley D� with steel toes for �45 and a �26 pair of worn-in racing boots, again with steel toes (with a �free� pair of leather gloves) � So fully decked out for less than 200 quid!!.

All in black so on top of that I always wear my HV vest and with full lights nobody should say �I never saw you�

AND, because of the excellent luggage on the Pan, all including 2 helmets will fit in the machines boxes�..Who said biking was an expensive game?

March 24, 2003


Hands up those who took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a ride at the weekend ! Is it me or do car drivers disengage brain on a Sunday?

I clocked 200 miles riding my Pan and am really getting to know her now.

Few things of note:

1) I am starting to notice the weight in slow moving traffic and am aware that the bike is not slim enough to go in-between our 4 wheeled friends at traffic lights. Bit of a shame but there you go. On a plus side cars DO move out the way when they see you coming (apologies to the Fiesta I came up behind on the Derby ring-road yesterday. I know I was doing �ton twenty� but you didn�t need to swerve quite so much)
2) I do get noticeable wind noise over the front screen above 50mph. Not buffeting � in fact my arms feel totally in tact � but at times my neck stretches several inches. I have had no problem with side winds � perhaps weight does have its advantages. I would be interested to hear from anybody who has upgraded from the standard to the tall screen and how much of a difference it has made. Is there not an �extension� I can add to the top? It may well have been my old helmet � I will tell when I try my new lid out next weekend.
3) The tyres (Goodyears � I checked) appear capable of riding all roads and even the dreaded white lines. No problems to report there though, unlike my colleagues, it is too early to comment on wear.
4) And finally the brakes. In my early biking days I was a 99% rear braking � never using the front brakes as I had fond memories of tugging on the front brake on a push bike and projecting myself head first over a car bonnet. I am now wise to the laws of physics and momentum and use rear brakes below 20mph and front at other times/speeds. Much more faith in the Pans front discs now and I think I know her limits.

Even starting to take corners at speed now�.

I really like this bike������

March 22, 2003

A Professional Point Of View

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a local riding instructor;

I was drawn to his ST1300 as it wasn't wearing it's panniers, it looked really skinny. After introducing myself, we started discussing the merits of the 1300 over the 1100. He'd had four 1100's and this was his first 1300.

He didn't like the colour (blue) because it never looked the same, the other colours were worse apparently. He didn't like the dash as it was difficult to see in bright (Spanish) sunshine. The indicator repeaters are invisible. He'd got overheated by the poor ventilation, pre-modification. His friend had cracked the sump on his bike while they were on holiday. This was fixed with Araldite to get the bike home. And finally, the bike looked odd without the panniers (the 1100 had some kind of flap which apparently made it look better).

He did like the extra power. He said that it cornered better.

Perhaps familiarity breeds contempt, when you ride or drive something day-in day-out I suppose the niggles seem worse.

Me, I'm lucky, I ride for fun!

March 21, 2003

A couple of questions

Can somebody please explain to me what Honda were thinking of when:-

a). They put a thumping great knob at the front of the bike to adjust the headlights with. It was as if they could not think of anything else to put there. I would suggest a volt meter or something else that might be used daily rather than once in a blue moon.
and b) There are two, shall I call them for ease of discription, glove boxes on the panniers - one on either side- the right one being lockable with a rigid lid and the left being unlockable with a flimsy lid. What do Pan owners use the left hand one for? The lid is easily "nickable". It is not safe to open whilst moving so if you keep a rag or whatever in there you need to stop to remove it in which case why is it not rigid and lockable like the other? What do you keep in yours?

Summer's coming....summer's coming......summer's coming.......

Biking into London after the Congestion Charge.

As described here you now pay to enter London during the normal working week. This was done with a view to reducing the amount of traffic in and around the capital. Transport for London (TfL) report a reduction of just over 15% in traffic levels.

Well, I've noticed little or no reduction in traffic at all around the City. This isn't necessarily a Bad Thing, though, as the monies levied are apparently to be ploughed back into the public transport network around London. So, if there's not a great drop in traffic, they must be making a fortune...

According to their own figues, the system is taking �2.5 million a week though I've no idea what the running/capital costs are.

Related link: Official TfL Congestion Charge site

March 20, 2003


Well fellas' - have made a decision. I'm having both the Pan and Goldwing - although I have to sell the other bikes. My kwak Z1 will pay for most of it - even without an exhaust together with the little 600 Divvy. So there we are, two big tourers. Good decision - or not?

March 18, 2003

None Stop

This weekend we've done loads of travelling on the Pan. With the summer like weather it would have been a shame not to!

As a kind of land mark we've managed two point-to-point journeys none stop! There's no doubt it was only nicotine cravings that stopped us. The bike's so comfortable we could easily have gone twice as far before we stopped. I've concluded that Motor Cycling is good for my health - It reduces my smoking!

Saturday night was cold on the M5/M6/M54 route home though, we had to stop to thaw out! 1 degree motorcyling needs electric clothing really.

When we went to my Mum's she didn't even notice it was a different bike! (My Pan is silver, my Bandit was red), but she still didn't spot the difference! Just what I wanted! No earache! I had been expecting a bit of fuss when I introduced her to my expensive toy, but it was fine.

I'd remembered to bring my Mum's sewing machine back. Sewing machine's make interesting luggage, heavy and bulky. The little rack coped better than I'd thought, though the tags for hooking bungy's to are too rounded, so my cargo net just slid off them. I had to do a bit of messing about to get it secure, but it didn't move despite my best efforts to shake it loose on the sixty five mile journey.

If this weekend is anything to go by then, Roll on summer!

March 17, 2003


I've done just over 11000 miles (that's nearly 18000 kilometres) and the tyres are starting to look a bit worn. The rear was replaced at just over 5k following a puncture, so tyre life would seem to be around 12k front and 7k rear.

At least, it is the way that I ride.

That's using the UK standard fitting of BT 020 tyres, by the way.

March 14, 2003

Very tempted!

Well Guys I reckon its time to come clean. I picked up a Goldwing for a weeks free trial and went for my first four hour ride. I have to say I'm impressed.
Nigel did say "have you ever seen a Goldwing go round a roundabout"?
I have to tell you that it goes round one like it was made for roundabouts - very smooth as long as you accelerate - and fast.Slow speed will take some getting used to - but it goes like the wind and in total comfort.
If I have any doubts then it is not like riding the Pan - or any other motorcycle - which is a little worrying because my riding skills will depreciate to the point of being so laid back as to make me fall over!!!
Anyway - one week of trials - then i'll let you know.


We had a question about how to lock up a Pan when there's nowhere to chain it to as the method he used for his current bike wouldn't work with a Pan because of the fairing and other body work. (Sorry the response has been slow Lee)

Here's what I do; Disc lock through front disc the rear disc is a bit awkward to get to), a big chain through front wheel and another big chain though the rear wheel. As with any security measures if the thief is determined there's nothing much you can do, but this method is as good as I get. This method works 'cos there's plenty of space to put chains on a Pan when you're riding it. There is a 'U' Lock space under the seat, Mr Honda should have supplied one. Locks are supplied by some scooter manufacturers, why not for a �10k motor bike?

I suppose that you could just use one chain through the front and rear wheels - passing it through the centre stand to stop that folding up but, I would always suggest more than one chain as it takes the 'git' more time to deal with individual chains. As with all locking up outside, try and vary where you put your bike. Routines are easy for thieves to identify and prepare for. Using a waterproof cover is also a good security measure as it camouflages your bike. Obviously it's a big bike but the thief won't be sure what bike it is until he's spent time looking under it. Shiny things attract thieves!

I'm not too happy discussing my domestic security where the world can read it. I'm not going to tell the b*st*rds what tools to bring!

According to reports from insurance companies and the police, bigger bikes don't tend to be stolen by opportunists. The theft is usually planned in advance; find out the security measures and bring the tools and lift it into a van. Alarms are ignored by 99% of people so they are ignored by 'professional' thieves too.

The ST1300 has the HISS immobiliser system which uses a transponder in the ignition key to confirm the correct key is being used. (Break or bend a key, say goodbye to �50+ !). I don't know if this system would deter the 'professional' thief but, it seems to be respected by insurance companies. The ST1300 also comes with Smart Water as standard. This system uses a special paint that is applied to various 'bits' of the bike so that it can be identified if found. Of course the part has to be found first.

I hope this depressing article helps.

March 13, 2003

Instrumentation and controls

Well, the move from ST1100 to STX1300 has resulted in a very different cockpit. Honda have generally done a good job although (as ever) not everyone is a fan.

Moving from left to right:

That dial? That raises/lowers the headlight. Meaning that, for example, when you have a pillion it's no longer obligatory to blind oncoming traffic. Gee, we're just so polite...

The cluster of four buttons controls the display and the trip computer. From here you can adjust the display brightness, the way that fuel utilisation is displayed, toggle between (and reset) trip meters and set the clock.

Next come the rev counter and speedo and above those are one of the weak points. The turning light indicators. Unfortunately, if you're tall you need to look carefully as this may be the last time you see them.

The next panel, from top to bottom comprises of the fuel gauge, fuel consumption meter, trip meter and odometer, air temperature and clock. The two areas of complaint with this panel have been visibility in strong light (not a problem in my experience) and the bizarre units of measure for fuel consumption. Miles per litre anyone? The Air Temp gauge is only any use when you're under way as when stationary, it is rendered useless by the heat of the engine affecting the sensor. Not a big problem but, hey, you should be told.

Not shown in the picture is the engine temperature readout. Don't ask me why but I can assure you it's on my bike, honest! I don't know whether this is any good as it never goes beyond half way, even in stop/start traffic on hot summer days. Still, maybe when I go through France, it'll budge beyond there. Then again, maybe not...

Lastly, the light on the right have the Neutral indicator, Fuel Injection, Oil, High Beam and ABS warning lights. The Beam indicator is very good, indeed. The ABS light remains on from the moment you start the motor to just after you get under way.

Lastly, that Pan European log on the far right? It's backlit. Unlike the panel of buttons on the left. Duh! What were they thinking!!!

All in all, I find the cockpit gives me all the information I need and in such a way that I don't end up searching about for it. I've no idea whether it warns you about stuff in a good way as I haven't had a major failure yet.

March 12, 2003

Links Page

The links page has been updated with, er, a lot of links.

Well, what did you expect? Chickens?!

Its time to confess

Are you sitting down?

I thought it was about time I told you where I got my bike from.....

No, it wasn't my mates and he gave me a good deal......

No it wasn't from either a local or distant garage who gave me options of extra's and credit etc......

No it wasn't from a reputable Honda dealer with the comfort of full support at a price...

I bought my bike on the internet.......on an auction site.....on EBAY to be exact.........I went on one picture, a 40 word description, and after 7 days of bidding became the proud owner of a bike I had never seen or even ridden for the total sum of THREE GRAND !!!!!

Wreckless?....... Maybe........Paid less than market value?......I think so........Am I happy?.....TOO BLOODY RIGHT !!!

March 11, 2003


After a few rained off attempts Waggy finally had a ride on my bike (as a pillion, I would never let anyone else actually drive).

I've finally done it! I have found someone who is heavy enough to make it necessary to adjust the rear suspension! And it did make a difference this time. We didn't go far as he'd forgotten his big coat and the wind has been very gusty today. Only a few miles down the dual carriageway, but it was far enough for him to be very impressed.

His first comment as we left the car park was "It sounds like a car". My response was to reassure him it didn't perform like one!

As we left the industrial estate I think I heard him yell "You're right it's not a car!". Because of the terrible side winds and the fact that he's only a learner passenger I accelerated very gently and only achieved normal cruising speed for a couple of miles each way. When we got back he had the following to say.

"It didn't feel like we were going that fast!"

"The fairing really protects both the driver and the passenger from any wind blast."

"It's a really comfy seat."

"The wind didn't seem to upset it too much." - There was more weight on the bike than usual!

"She would never let me have one."

When my other work mates questioned him later his main comment was;


JOKE - No offence intended

An engineer, of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Corporation, died and went to heaven.
At the gates, St. Peter told him, "Since you've been such a good man and your motorcycles have changed the world, your reward is, you
can hang out with anyone you want in Heaven".
The Engineer thought about it for a minute and then said, "I want to hang out with God."
St. Peter took him to the Throne Room, and introduced him to God.
The Harley engineer asked God, "Hey, aren't you the inventor of woman?"
God said, "Yes, thats right."
"Well," said the engineer, "Professional to professional, you have some major design flaws in your invention.
1. There's too much inconsistency in the front-end protrusion.
2. It chatters constantly at high speeds.
3. Most of the rear ends are too soft and wobble too much.
4. The intake is placed way to close to the exhaust.
5. Finally, the maintenance costs are outrageous."
"Hmmmm, you may have some good points there," replied God, "hold on" and God went to his Celestial super computer, typed in a few words and
waited for the results.
The computer printed out a slip of paper and after reading it God said "Well, it appears that both our inventions have the same problems, but according to these numbers, men are still riding my invention more than yours."

March 10, 2003

The Top Box

I've been accused of having some sort of unnatural relationship with the luggage on the Pan. Truth is, I'm just trying to go over each significant feature in turn. Doing this bit-by-bit means that new buyers should be able to get (albeit biased) information on whatever their key areas of interest are.

So, on to the rest of the luggage...

The top box is an optional extra. Bearing in mind some of what I have to say below, you may want to consider whether to fit it very carefully indeed.

To fit the box, a plate is fitted to the luggage rack, extending its length but not obtrusively. It's a shame that this is in black plastic as it doesn't really match the rest of the bike that well. The box uses its own, separate key unlike the panniers and (again, unlike the panniers) is very easy to remove and re-attach. The hasp to open/close the box is simple, effective and easy to use as well. There is a built in carrying handle making the box easier to carry about when full though it's a much more awkward shape than the panniers.

Inside, it's huge. Even more deceptively vast than the panniers. You'll be amazed just how much junk can be crammed in. I can (and do) put a small suitcase straight into it when travelling about, leaving room for odds and sods around it.

There are elasticated straps to limit the movement of loose items and a rigid carpet to flatten off the bottom. This covers two small gaps just large enough to hide, for example, a cargo net and some luggage straps.

Then the bad bit... The new Pan has a reputation for weaving at high speed. My experiments have shown that this is a combination of riding solo, screen at full height, top box fitted and travelling in excess of 110mph. Change any one of these (you have to completely lower the screen and adding a pillion is still untested) and the bike remains stable till at least 130mph. In the vicinity of legal speeds, there is no problem but, hey, you have been warned.

Me? I wouldn't be without it when I need it but most of the time the top box lives in the garage.

March 09, 2003

Oh-oh .......problem

Early morning � donned my gear � wheeled her out the garage and down the drive � climbed on board and pressed the starter button � nothing � not a sausage. A press on the horn confirmed my thoughts as it let out a pathetic whimper � I had a flat battery.
The neighbour�s curtains were still drawn. They were still asleep. Nobody saw me as I wheeled the bike back up to the garage to perform surgery with the side panel to get at the battery. She started first time as I connected her up to my car.

Surely the ride the previous day didn�t drain it even though I had headlights on full (as usual). I smelt a problem but couldn�t be bothered to look deeper � I needed a fix and off I rode into the morning air.

I hit the B roads and country lanes this time and soon found that whatever tyres I had on my bike gripped the road well � no problems there. The torque is quite incredible and I think I learnt today why the Pan is such a popular tourer. From 40mph in 4th I wound her back and was touching 100 plus without a groan � this is what this bike does best (where�s the cruise control?)
Taking the country bends (I was going to say �dropping her into the bends� but I am not that confident yet) was the same story and she coped admirably with all I threw at her. The brakes did give me a few scary moments as I battled to stop/slow down the beast in time but I guess I will get use to them. I do forget sometimes just how fast I am going.
Before I knew it I was back home (after doing just one more ride round the block) and in time to make the wife her breakfast.

By noon I was itching for another go and did a second ride and another 40 miles round the Derbyshire countryside. The petrol gauge has visibly moved and that reminded me to set the trip meter when I fill up to check the 200+ miles I can apparently get from a tank full.

I saw a lot more bikers this time, all out for a play on their toys, and I tried, successfully I think, to look like I had been riding my Pan for ages. She was growing on me and I squeezed my thighs on the tank in appreciation (read into that what you will !!)

Until the next time � battery permitting

March 08, 2003

Oh....Sod it !!

My new "biking" boots were delivered this morning (more about clothing later).

The sky was overcast and the forecast was heavy rain but the roads were dry.........."Sod it" I thought and donned my gear and decided on my maiden voyage.
I manouvered her backwards down my 20 foot drive without problem, started her up, into first and away.....

This was never going to be a long trip. I had already decided that. Along the A52 to the M1 and then back again. A round trip of 18 miles.

First thing, as I have mentioned before, were the mirrors. As I settled down in the seat to find my best position, the mirrors stood out as being nothing short of brilliant. I am a police trained advanced driver (though not a former policeman-more later))and I know it is just as important to know what is going on behind as in front, and the Pans mirrors gave me a perfect view of what was creeping up behind me.....Not that much did !!

The sound of the engine was..I don't know..disappointing ?. It purred sure enough but more like a large sewing machine. Is this really an 1100 engine? Perhaps the particular exhaust on my bike toned it down. I did feel the vibration at 4-5 thousand revs that I had read about on various reviews but it was not uncomfortable, infact it reminded me the baby was still alive....All in all surprisingly quiet.

Through the country road, 3 roundabouts and a set of lights and onto the dual carriageway.

WOW !! Bit of wind noise coming over the short-version screen I thought....until I looked down at my speedo....110mph and I didn't even notice. That must have taken me a few seconds, very little effort, and the Pan wanted more. No wonder the cars were pulling over as I approached them with my headlights on. This bike CAN move and just to make me feel better I pulled hard on the brakes and came down to 60mph without a flinch.

I was impressed and repeated the exercise after turning at the A52/M1 roundabout.

Back home as the first drops of rain fell and my wife knew from the grin on my face that I was happy with my Green Goddess.

Roll on a dry Sunday tomorrow.

March 07, 2003

Still dreamin'

I am back from 5 days at Centre Parcs in Sherwood Forest and boy did I miss my "goddess". We had some fine dry weather and I was rubbing my hands in anticipation at my maiden trip on Saturday, however, having seen the downpour that is forecast I will have to postpone until Sunday now.

I may sound like a wuss but the roads have to be dry for our first "date" together and what you will all get is an honest, thorough review of the things that matter to an average guy with a more than average bike. Insurance is sorted so COME ON BABY !!

Welcome to Brian. I am no longer the new kid on the block but there must be somebody else out there like me who can't afford a new Pan and has to make do with an old boy (girl). Talk to me somebody !!!!!

March 06, 2003

Let's go... Off-Road!!!

I went to a LARP event (don't ask) a few weeks ago that was held at a Scout Camp.

I arrived well after sunset in sub-zero temperatures.

Apart from spending too long finding the place (as there were no signs) I had no trouble with getting down the mile or so of road to the camp itself. OK, the road was very icy but gentle throttle control and the ABS made this into a non-issue.

Leaving two days later was another story entirely...

During the time we were at the event, the birds sang, the blossom began to appear on the tress and the sun shone brightly down upon us all. Which was nice.

Except that the frozen ground thawed out and turned into an inch deep layer of thin mud. For the first (and so far, only) time I bemoaned the fact that the TCS (Traction Control System) from the 1100 hadn't made it onto the 1300. Just turning the bike round was a bit of an epic undertaking as neither I nor it had any grip. I ended up having to ride the bike slowly (oh, so,slowly) down the side of the building we'd stayed in and into the field beyond so I could turn it. Turning circle: In excess of 40 feet. The trouble was that the back wheel would just spin, no matter how gently I slipped the clutch and the the back end would try to slide out, canting the bike over. I couldn't donut a turn 'cos the front wheel was equally without grip.

Having got turned about, I then had to ride about a mile down what had been a dirt track and was now just a muddy sheet. This would have been OK but for the potholes which led to several very-near get-offs. After almost an hour, I cleared the end onto the public highway emotionally drained and with quite sore ankles. This was the first time I'd really had to come to grips with how heavy the Pan really is.

Trail riders: Buy something else. But then you already knew that, didn't you?

March 05, 2003

Hello and Welcome

I wasn't aware we were coming apart but, thanks for joining us Brian.

Happy belated birthday and happy new bike!


Did I mention that Brian was joining us?


Ah, well...


I few weeks ago I asked if anyone could give me some advice on whether to buy an FJR or a Pan as a replacement for my 900 Diversion.

I'd like to say thanks to Mike, David and Nigel for your helpful information. I had a test ride on both bikes and went for a Pan - no need to go into the reasons why the Pan came out top! The deals done and I picked up my new bright red ABS Pan on Saturday 1 March (it was my 50th birthday present to myself!) I'II let you know how I get on.

I've been following the website messages with interest. Obviously Pan owners are a funny (peculiar) lot. Nigel rides his Pan to work although its only 2.5 miles. David has a close relationship with animals (I understand the police have interviewed the sheep in question and all charges have been dropped). Mike has a fixation with stuffing panniers. And now there's Richard whose trying to sex his bike. I really don't know what to make of it all!!

Thanks again for your help. If you see a Pan crawling around the Dartford area, don't worry its only me running the new bike it.

Take care.


Pan vs. Gold Wing

Actually, I'm not all that dogmatic about this question.

Ultimately, any bike is simply a tool which performs a number of jobs. Each bike is better at some stuff than at others.

The Pan, whilst versatile, suffers from the lack of a speciality to some degree. You can do huge distances on it but it's not as much of a sofa as the GL or the big Beemers. You can stomp about on it but it's certainly no sports missile. You can have a lot of fun but, let's face it, the Pan is not going off-road. (Yes, I've tried it but that's another story.) And, yes, you can use it in heavy traffic but it's hardly the slimmest of machines.

Ultimately, what drew me towards the Pan was that I needed a bike that could do almost anything (except off-road) and do so safely, comfortably and with confidence. My days of pushing performance envelopes are well behind me. If Davids needs have changed meaning that the long-distance main-road work is now much more important then he's wise to reconsider. Equally, I'd urge him to make sure he considers what the Gold Wing is less able to do.

Mind you, if he does change, I can see I might have to help him to set up a new site...

PS Glad you're back with us Nigel.

March 03, 2003

Just Daft!

Think of what you'll miss, corners, leaning, bends, grins, leaning, corners, B roads, corners, grins.

Have you watched a Goldwing go round a traffic island? - Imagine a motorbike and sidecar without the sidecar then you're close.

Think of the benefits, CD, radio, tv, armchairs, kichen sink - You may as well stay in the house!

I had a motorbike and sidecar for a while, may as well have had a car. All the disadvantages of a bike and a car rolled into one. - I bought a car.

Honda Goldwing - Two Wheeled Car!

Imho, Don't Do It

Turncoat? Traitor? or just daft?

This is going to stir up a PANacea of PANtastic proportions.
I am travelling about a 1000 miles a week on average on my Pan. I have decided that maybe the time has come for me to have just a little more comfort. I'll say the next bit quietly.................
Today I was offered a GL1500 SE Goldwing Aspencade with 1900 miles on the clock for �9000. I had to take it out - didn't I?
What a machine!
I have deferred purchase until I come back from Malta - but I am very tempted.
I realise that purchasing this would bar me from contributing to this site and incur howls of derision from the rest of you.
My Pan has been fantastic for the work I do - so come on - talk me out of it or tell me to buy it and never set foot on your site again.

Limo Bikes

What a wonderful day Sunday was! Off to Wales for a 'bimble' through the hills. Sun shining blue skies, with just fluffy white clouds timed perfectly to take out the glare on tricky bends. Took the mileage up to 888. What we didn't understand was, was why all the bikes we saw were going the other way. Were they on their way back as we were setting off? Mmm, probably :-) The best ride yet. They just keep getting better.

Today I collected my daughter from work. It was only her second time as a pillion passenger. She had a short go (2 miles) on the Bandit just after I got it. This time she had to be really brave and travel about 15 miles! She followed my instructions perfectly (as she did before) and sat still. What I didn't realise until we got back was that she was actually frozen, both with the cold and a little with fear. Oops! This highlighted two important things.
The first and perhaps most important is 'proper gear'. She borrowed Katrine's helmet, gloves and 'big coat', but not Katrine's boots and trousers. She's too big for them. Consequently her legs were 'quite chilled'. The other is of course just how quick the Pan is. I thought I'd ridden quite gently, but it was still too quick. She closed her eyes on the motorway, apparently this made her less scared. Caroline thought the Pan was much more comfortable than the Bandit, though I'm not certain she'll want another go in the near future. This kind of thing makes you appreciate a good pillion passenger. Sure, Katrine gets cold, but a cup of tea soon sorts that. She's never mentioned being scared while on the Pan. This means I can get on with enjoying myself, since the Pan doesn't care if it's carrying one or two.

More grins per mile than any other bike!

Normal Service Resumed

Ok I can relax again, I've got another job sorted. The factory where I worked closed last Friday consequently I've had to concentrate on getting a job over the last few weeks. Under the circumstances it was hard to be positive about anything, but now that's sorted. Onward and upward!

Welcome Richard! Another voice off into the wind.

I hadn't really thought about sex. well, not while riding my bike. Mine's still an 'it'. 'IT' hasn't got a name either. I'll set Katrine on a mission to come up with a name, and maybe decide if 'IT' is a boy or a girl.

March 02, 2003


I have decided upon a sex for my bike - "it" now becomes "she" and as she is green I will call her the "Green Goddess"

(Now how tacky is that?!?!?!?!)

Yet more Cosmetics

I will soon know every inch of this bike and I haven't even taken the panels and fairing off yet !
Pleased (again - how happy can one man be?) to say that I got my bike onto the centre stand at the first attempt. Am I convincing myself too early that the weight will not be a problem? I therefore had the opportunity of sitting on it and going "vroom,vroom" (tempted to start her up but thought it would annoy the neighbours)
Aren't the mirrors incredible? They sort of wrap themselves around you. Best I have seen on any bike.
Interesting to see the parts of the bike that are showing cosmetic (I like that word) wear:- The general condition of the paintwork is very good with only a few minor surface scratches. The current "protection pads" on the tank appear to have helped over the years. There is no obvious sign of rusting anywhere - though there is discolouration of various nuts around the wheels. The most obvious sign of age on the bag are the side catches that hold the panniers to the bike. These are or were chromed pieces of metal 2 inches square and the chrome has badly deteriorated.
So after 12 years of wear, all I can find wrong is a bit of chroming. Get my point - this machine was built to last

My bike had a non-Honda stainless steel exhaust fitted last year which does not retract from the overal look of the machine and will give me one less thing to worry about. According to my research the Honda non-stainless version comes in at 100 quid dearer which doesn't make sense to me

The Pan has what they call a fairing protector on either side positioned some 18 inches from the ground. These bricks of plastic (basically) are there to,yes, protect the fairing if it is dropped on its side at which time the bike should come to rest pivoting on the protector and the wing mirror on whichever particular side therby restricting/preventing damage to the whole fairing. In extreme circumstances the mirror will collapse and break away - ingenious idea - if it works !?
Well I think it does because when I noticed scuffing to the protector on the right side of my bike I thought "'s been dropped" and sure enough I discovered repaired damage to the wing mirror on that sign where the two mentioned parts of the bike had obviously taken the brunt of the bikes weight in a previous life. Reassuring don't you think as there is not a scrath on the side fairing.
Anyway, I have rambled on again. Five days break in Centre Parcs ahead of me and my first ever ride and (wait for it) full honest and critical review of The Pan European comes next weekend....I can't wait

March 01, 2003

Cosmetics (Part 2)

OK, so mine is not a new bike unlike my other new found friends on this site. I have the MOTs to prove it has done just 8,000 miles in the last 5 years and at 59k it is only just run in. I will, perhaps, encounter problems that new Pan owners might not and so it will be interesting to exchange issues/thoughts.
Don�t buy a house until you have seen it twice ! � well I don�t think I can fall into that category after buying my Pan without etc etc (see before)
When I checked my garage this morning the bike looked better than before. I had better tell you that the reason I am putting off riding it is I am waiting for my insurance to kick in so all I can do at present is check out the cosmetics again and �play with the buttons�

I have extra�s that I wasn�t expecting. The side panniers have the removable bags (thankyou). The bike was fitted with a Datatool alarm 18 months ago (thankyou) and the bike is Datatagged (thankyou very much)
Furthermore, the top box that I spoke of yesterday is, once I had removed the hideous stickers on, a 45 litre Givi which is what I would have chosen anyway � so that is now staying. Unfortunately the back rest has been removed so I will have to look for a replacement.
All in all I think I have a better deal than I first thought and I just hope the mechanics don�t let me down. I have a �180 receipt for an oil & filter change with carb balance 500 miles ago so I get the feeling this bike has been looked after in the past and could probably tell me a few stories.

I already feel I want to give the bike a name !! Is it male or female? I will go and have a think���


A big hello to Richard - although I didn't realise we were allowing youngsters of 43 on the site. Getting to be quite the little community on here and I'm pleased for Mike who set this up.
I came back from Pontypridd last night - told you the weather would change. It was like riding blind down the M4 - absolutely no vision from the rain and spray - but the Pan never falters, does it. I think Richard is in for a big shock once he gets out there. The Pan is the ultimate bike - it does everything and he is right - the perfect woman on two wheels. She's fast, lovely curves, responds well to the gentle touch but loves a bit of rough occasionally and wants to look after you. What more could you want?
I've got Saturday to clean the bike and prepare it for another trip to Nottingham on Sunday. I'll be back Monday night - then fly out to Malta for a weeks break. Bless her! She'll be all alone in the garage for a week, sulking!
Safe riding.