September 23, 2003

Service time again, corrosion, and Rider Power survey results

Service time again for me too, �215 for a 28,000 miler. Maybe not strictly by the book, but a good general service and check up at the correct interval from the local Honda dealer. As usual, everythings fine, it should see the Pan through the winter months and well into spring. I do a lot of stop start riding in traffic, so the Pan tends to eat front brake pads; they were changed at the last service 4000 miles and 8 months ago. Still, its a small price to be able to travel in comfort on two wheels !

I agree with you Nigel, 4000 miles is a short service internal in this day and age, I notice one of the other big four
have a 6000 interval, which is better but still nowhere near car standards.

Some work coming up on the Pan is to remove the pannier latches and strip them down and re-spray them. I have heard its a common problem that the latches rust, mine started to corrode when the bike was about 4 years old and I did them then, but its come back through, so another strip down is on the cards. The chrome ones that lock the panniers to the bike have also gone but I havent looked at how to get them off so they will have to stay for the moment.

The fork legs have also started to develop a few small rust spots, just beneath the bars, where the forks are hidden by the fairing. Its not in the suspension travel zone so the fork seals will be fine, it just looks a bit unsightly at the moment. A good polish up and protection with some light grease should sort it, and although its a shame that there is some corrosion coming through, the Pan

A) lives outside all year round,
B) is ridden in all weathers, all year round,
C) is past her 7th birthday
D) and apart from regular dealer services, doesnt get the care and attention it should (my fault that one !)

My previous bike was in a terrible state after a similar time span, but the Pan still comes up sparkling with a bucket of soapy water and some elbow grease, so a little corrosion on the shiny bits is the least of my worrys.

On a different note, readers of Ride magazine will know that the ST1100 has always been highly rated in the Rider Power survey. This year was no exception, coming in at no 5, another great result for the Pan. The survey is compiled by Ride from readers of the magazine who fill in a form every year, for those who havent seen it before here's the Pans results from previous years;

1999 - 9th new, 4th used
2000 - 1st
2001 - 1st
2002 - 3rd
2003 - 5th
2003 - 7th (STX1300)

Thats pretty, its excellent I reckon, especially for a bike that first appeared in December 1989 and remained relatively unchanged during its lifetime. In fairness, this years survey rated the ST by two different age groups; from 1999 onwards coming 5th, and pre 99 models posted down in 37th place.

The ST1300X, in its first year in the survey, posted a very respectible 7th, and judging on the 1100's past, expect to the 1300 to be up there with the best of them for many years to come.....

Safe Riding, and get your thermals ready for the Great British Winter!


September 19, 2003

New Toy

We went to the BMF Tail End Show last weekend and as usual the weather was perfect.

Whilst there I purchased an intercom from StarCom.

The StarCom 1 rider to passenger kit we bought has really surprised us both with the clarity of communication it provides. Even at 'excessive' speeds a normal conversation is possible. This kit is excellent.

Connect the power wire to the bike's auxiliary wire, the other power wire to an earth. Plug in the headsets, audio lead and phone lead and it's done. The unit sits nicely under the seat above 'a box' near the rear light cluster. Held in place with the strap that holds 'the box' in place. Little velcro pads that come in the kit, stop it sliding about and prevent it rubbing anything. Ten minutes and it's ready to go, ten more minutes to fit the headsets into our helmets and we were on the drive setting the volume and VOX sensitivity. Getting the headphones in the correct place was a bit of trial and error, but once the place was sorted more velcro stops them moving.

The phone lead was an extra to the standard kit and I thought it was a bit short. It was too short to reach my phone when it was in my pocket or in Katrine's, so I emailed the company and asked for a longer one. I had a replacement lead through my letter box the next morning (FOC)!

Excellent product, excellent service.

Now all I've got to get used to is talking and riding at the same time. Doing two things at once is not something I've mastered yet!