August 12, 2003

Corrections - Bike Magazine Test

In the September issue of Bike Magazine there is a comparative test of the Yamaha FJR1300 ABS, BMW K1200GT, BMW R1150RT and Honda Pan European. I've spotted a couple of things that I disagree with and a couple of errors (eg. No one checked the information). This bit of correction is obviously biased as I don't know if there were any mistakes in the article relating to the other bikes.

First the errors;

The Pan comes with Bridgestone BT020 tyres, not Dunlop 220's as mentioned in the Living With It section, in other sections of the article it does say the Pan has Bridgestone tyres. No proof reading then?

Again in the Living With It section it states the service interval as 6000 miles - wrong it's only 4000 miles. Perhaps this was a figure that the author thought it should be, as I do! The 'Really Useful' section of the same magazine has the correct figure, again where's the proof reader?

Now the disagreements - facts first;

I get well over 200 miles before the reserve segment flashes. I don't think about fuel until I've traveled 200 miles since a fill up. We regularly travel over 230 miles between fill-ups and the reserve isn't flashing. I know that fuel consumption has lots of variables, but the range they have of 151 miles before the reserve light flashes is just plain wrong compared to what I regularly achieve.

The estimate of the tank range is also miles out. They thought only 187 miles. My 'normal range' is over 230 miles before reserve, adding Mr Honda's conservative 50 mile reserve range figure this gives a tank range to empty of at least 280 miles. I'd be prepared to bet I could do this distance with no need to change my riding style.

My bikes 'computer' displays an average fuel consumption of 10.1 miles per litre (yes I know it's a strange measurement unit, but you do get used to it. Just multiply by four and a half) which equates to about 45.5 miles to the gallon. Using my last fill up as an example I traveled 234 miles on 21.14 litres of unleaded (the fuel guage had two segments left lit). That's 50.3 miles per gallon. The article said a pathetic 35 mpg.

The test also mentioned the Pan jumping out of gear. I've never experienced this.

Now the personal impressions;

The tester didn't think the Pan was comfortable because the seat was too hard and the bars set too far forward. Well, I'd agree with the bar position statement they are a bit forward, but the seats not hard.

The impression of the pillion seat is also wrong Katrine strongly disagrees with the tester's opinion that it's not as comfortable as it looks. She feels it is. Over eight months of 'sitting on the back', I'd trust her judgment! Though she does confirm that leaning on a top box is hopeless, not because it's too low (we have a Givi box) but that it's too far back.

The testers also thought the Pan to be bland, to be fair they weren't over excited by any of the bikes on the test. Perhaps they were looking for something that none of the bikes have? None are intended to be sports bikes and their expectations should have reflected that. I have endless fun on my Pan. I've never felt that I'd have ridden anywhere with a bigger grin had I been on another bike. The Pan isn't bland but, is isn't a sports bike and shouldn't be measured against one.

My version of the conclusion;

The Pan is definitely NOT 'some kind of super-scooter' it's a superb bike that does exactly what I bought it to do; Carry Katrine and me all over the place quickly, comfortably and enjoyably (with all our stuff too!).

I don't know if the other bikes would do the same job so well as I've not tried them but, I doubt it, so I'll probably never find out!

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