June 27, 2003

Why you should ride another bike from time to time

Ok so we all know how good then Pan is, but its surprising how you forget this until you ride another bike for a while. I've just spent three weeks running around on another bike (shock horror), suffice to say its an oldish two stroke race rep. Answers on a postcard please...

Anyway, I had to give it back this week,it was used to take away in the van as a holiday run-around, and I kept it for a week when I got home. Now I've been riding the Pan nearly every day for the last 5 years, so you kinda get used to it, its "normal". The stroker was tiny, noisy, rattly and has an on-off kind of power delivery, but it was good fun and a hoot down the a-roads round Cognac. We met two Brits down there, one on a Pan who had ridden from Glasgow to Cognac in a day and a half, he must have had a shock to see a Brit registered stroker that far south!

The first thing that struck me as I rolled the Pan off the centre stand is how big she is. Shes huge ! How on earth do I ride this behemoth through traffic? Firing her up, she started first time having been sat outside for three weeks, no choke required, but I didnt expect any problems - its a Honda after all!

Pulling away, I instantly remembered why I fell in love with the Pan the first time I took it out. She is just so smooth, the engine purrs gently as you pull away with minimum revs, the gear change is clean, and the power delivery just oozes. On the morning commute, I dont think I revved her over 3000rpm, the stroker's rev counter only starts at 3000!
Sat up looking over the traffic, the view is great and the bars felt high and wide, and that seat is so comfy.

The traffic ? - well it was a bit of a shock at first but you soon remember how to do it - after all it's only been three weeks. Coming back home from work that day was the real pleasure, swinging the Pan's low slung weight into the twisty corners, power out of them smoothly and enjoying every moment of it. She just feels so solid, so dependable, so comfortable.

There was a time, not so long ago, that I had begun to wonder why I rode this bike. If that happens to you, go beg or borrow a completely different bike from a buddy and ride it for a bit. Then get back on your Pan and remember why you love it so much. For me, it took me back to that first test ride, and its great to have that feeling again.

Safe riding all, and smiles through the miles!


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