A couple of test rides...

So I’m in the process of working off my notice to start a new job, the exciting thing about this is I’ve started thinking about my bike, and the possibility of moving onto my next bike.

I’ve got 2 options I could either sell the F650 to raise some funds for a super duper bike or I could go cheap 2nd hand and keep the BMW.

When I bought the BMW I was very green with big bikes and didn’t really spend any time test riding other bikes. So now with hindsight, I’m going to do some test rides.

I started today with 2:

  1. Was originally a test ride on an XT660 out of Colin Collins in Kenton, but after a conversation with the sales guy he suggested the Fazer as a more appropriate bike for the kind of riding I do. They only had an FZ6 as a demo with a couple of mods, Remus cans and lower bars. The cans were fine (if a little noisy) but I found the lower bars and more forward sitting position made my left wrist hurt quite a bit. I’m very tempted by the Fazer but would have to ride a Fazer proper before knowing for sure.

  2. Was a CBF500A out of FirstLine Motorcycles in Arnos Grove. I wanted to have a go on a Hornet but they didn’t have one in that was ready to ride. Again I had the wrist issue, which is a real pain, my gloves were not too tight, I guess I must just be weak wristed.

I’ve learnt alot from these 2 rides, my F650 is pedestrian compaired to 4 pot sports bikes, neekid isn’t always better - too windy, Remus pipes sound best when you’re in control.

There are still a few bikes on the test ride list; Monster, Hornet, SV, ER6, TDM and Bandit. If anyone has any other suggestions, let me know.


I got an sv650s and your weight is all on the wrists…i heard that the naked is better but not riden one so cant comment on it, ridden the father in laws 05 bandit and its much more comfitable as your in a more upright position.

How about the 650 V-Strom, or the Z750 ?

If you want to stick with BMW, there’s their new 850 twin as well.

The 650 'Strom is one of the most comfortable bikes I have ever ridden. You could go 400 miles a day with no aches (400 miles a day on my 'Blade is possible, but I’m bloody stiff for a while afterwards).

Also, look at the new CBF1000. It may be a litre bike but it’s less than 100bhp and with a very, very flexible engine. Comfortable and lot’s of multi position settings (seat, bars, screen), it may be worth checking out. Chiswick Honda have one on demo…


Suzuki GSR600,
MV Agusta Brutale 910/750 pure F**king Sex

The V-Strom is a very nice bike, might have to track down a demo somewhere.

Had a bit of a grumpy day yesterday, sorted out a 4 point route,

  1. Private eBay Bandit, very very VERY nice, if anyone’s in the market for one there ain’t no finer for the age, t’was a beaut’…but no test ride, understandable from a private seller. Although I got to test ride my F650.

  2. Was Metropolis. The first thing was the place was absolutely dead, maybe 1 other guy in the shop, and what a show, WOW!!! There are some beautiful bikes in there. So after drooling all over the Ducati’s I finally work my way round to finding a Fazer, it’s got a tag on it that ends “Ask about our demo.” So I go and walk up to the sales guy at the desk. “Hi, I’m interested in your FZ6 Fazer, do you have a demo?”, “Which one?”, “The Fazer faired Fazer on the stand over there”, “Oh, yes”, “Do you have a demo”, “Err, no sorry, we don’t”, “Riiiiight, do you have any demos at all”

At this point I’m thinking, how can you not have a demo Fazer, surely they’re a top seller and you’d want to have a demo out on the road all the time, I’d also quite like to take a Monster out for a spin. Sadly the sale guy took my innocent question “Do you have any other demos” to read, “Do you have any other bikes I can nick” and started getting oddly aggressive with me.

I’m almost walking out the shop he’s so rude to me, he point is “Well we can’t just let any body out on our bikes or we’d have a cue round the corner”, err, you shop id F***KING EMPTY!!! It’s a Sunday afternoon and there is NO-ONE else in the shop. It’s not as if I’m asking to take the Triumph F***KING Rocket III out.

I’m practically by the door “I’m also interested in a Monster, but I suppose you wouldn’t let me test one of those either”, “Well lets see, we have a demo…but it’s out.”, “Right fine”, “And they’re very different bike you know,”, “Yes, I know, that’s why I want to test ride them”, “Well, it’s obvious you haven’t done any research, I suggest you go and read up on which bike you really want before you start test riding”.

Well, I’ve done a bit of research and whichever bike I decide on I know I don’t want to buy it from there. Maybe I should have called ahead, but bearing in mind how busy they weren’t I would have thought they would be much more obliging.

  1. Was Infinity Clapham, smaller show room, 1 sales guy busy doing the paper work with another customer, I was pretty fed up by this point.

  2. Was going to be Rex Judd but I was too pissed off by then so went home and watched the end of the GP.

So today I called ahead to Rex Judd and asked what was the best price they could do on a new Fazer and asked if I they had a demo, they did so I popped over and had a ride. I was very surprised at how much more comfortable the faired version is, the power is still there, but I was more prepared for it this time. Took a blast down the A41, A406 round the Ikea car park, nice bit of slow speed handling/filtering then back up the A41.

I’m really very temped by it.

I can’t see any of the others bar the V-Strom being as comfortable, thoughts?

The next thing was insurance, phone up Bennetts and got a quote for a new one, without a garage they wouldn’t touch me, garaged they still wanted to take me for £1898 TPF&T!!! I could get a 2nd hand Fazer for that!!!

So I went online and did a dummy quote on a '99 V reg off eBay, which came in at £417.67, that’s £160 cheaper than the insurance on my F650!


I could go mad and get something like this:


…or this…



Bloke at Metropolis could have been more helpful, but in his defence asking “Do you have any other demos ?” rather than specifying a particular model does make you sound like someone who’s just messing around rather than someone genuinely interested in buying a bike.

As for the FZR400, great bike for country lanes &/or trackdays, but if you had wrist problems on a CB500, you can’t begin to imagine how much worse it’ll be riding one of them in town !

You’ve got a point there Pat, I think phoning ahead helps quite a lot too.

Didn’t have any trouble on the faired Fazer today with the wrist, looking at the angles of the SV it’s likely to cause the same problem as the CBF. See that’s the sort of thing that only a test ride will tell me, no journalist in any magazine or web article is going to tell me whether my wrist will hurt on a particular bike.


I’ve got the gsr600… very good bike for commuting and ride outs!!!I Would’nt change for another 600cc!!! Very confortable, smooth, and good power!!!