New Toy Collected

Doodle

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The ST1300 has mirrors mounted lower than the handlebars that are very effective as “cat’s whiskers” when judging narrow gaps: if the mirrors will go through, then so will the rest of the bike. By contrast, the K1600’s mirrors are mounted on stalks and are above the ’bars and although the same principle of “if the mirrors fit the gap, then so will the rest of the bike” applies, it made it a little more difficult to judge the tighter gaps. On the subject of the bike’s width, I didn’t put a tape across it, but visually it looks a little wider than the Pan and the panniers are certainly slightly higher in relation to the seat which Angie found made the bike more difficult to get on and off.
This something the ST13, and the 11 before it, have been very good at. Recent touring bikes are sporting much wider rear tyres, through necessity or fashion, which makes it much harder to tuck the panniers in and therefore the width as a whole grows which hinders filtering. Unfortunately my friend's hand may be forced soon, his ST11 doesn't have much life left in it (it was getting on when I sold it to him 9 years ago!) but nothing else is quite fitting the bill.
 
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st13phil

st13phil

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Unfortunately my friend's hand may be forced soon, his ST11 doesn't have much life left in it (it was getting on when I sold it to him 9 years ago!) but nothing else is quite fitting the bill.
I understand his dilemma. Having ridden both 1100's and 1300's for many thousands of miles I can attest to what a good package they both are. If he wants another Pan, PM me as I still have contacts in the Owners' Club and good ones still come up every now and then.
 

Mactech

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Excellent write up again Phil. Thanks! You are much more experienced than me in 2-wheel European travel, but I have been to Spa on various bikes ranging from a 'Blade to a KT1300 BMW. I had shoulder ache on the 'Blade and a pain in the seat on the BMW. There is a happy medium!
Your comments on riding position and aerodynamics are spot on. My VFR1200 is 'Sports/Tourer' although how anything at 270kgs can be 'sports' is lost on me. To make the bike a real tourer I have had add some modifications to allow me to still comfortably in a still air bubble.
The low bars were changed for some LSL 'super bike' ones which allow me to sit with zero tension in the arms at motorway speed. The bike already had a Givi tall screen on, but now I am sitting a little taller, my helmet was in slightly turbulent air. The no cost solution was a redundant Shoei visor positioned to create a second laminar flow off the top edge of the screen and calm air now around my helmet.
Whilst the new bars had got me into a very comfortable touring position, they attracted some V4 Honda vibes (!), but high mass bars ends have cured 90% of that.

I'm sure my bike is no match for the luxury of the 6 cyl BMW, but it still allows me to regulary cover 300 mile plus trips in a day and is so much quicker than a car will ever be.
Not because I travel at wildly illegal speeds, but because bikes simply do not recognise traffic.
On a journey I do fairly often from the north west to the Home Counties, the bike can be up to 1/2 hour quicker....but as you rightly say, will never compare to the comfort of our Mercedes cars.
IMG_2380.jpeg

IMG_2378.jpeg
 
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st13phil

st13phil

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My VFR1200 is 'Sports/Tourer' although how anything at 270kgs can be 'sports' is lost on me. To make the bike a real tourer I have had add some modifications to allow me to still comfortably in a still air bubble.
The low bars were changed for some LSL 'super bike' ones which allow me to sit with zero tension in the arms at motorway speed. The bike already had a Givi tall screen on, but now I am sitting a little taller, my helmet was in slightly turbulent air. The no cost solution was a redundant Shoei visor positioned to create a second laminar flow off the top edge of the screen and calm air now around my helmet.
Whilst the new bars had got me into a very comfortable touring position, they attracted some V4 Honda vibes (!), but high mass bars ends have cured 90% of that.
A sensible collection of mod's there to make the bike more "distance friendly" :thumb:

I remember lots of potential owners of the VFR1200 at launch baulking at the relatively small tank capacity, and thus the limited range. Honda's response? "Our research shows that most riders want to stop after no more than 90 minutes riding, so it's perfect for that". No, when touring the enemy of progress is time spent stopped! Such a shame that they made stupid design decisions that hobbled what should have been a great all-rounder bike, but perhaps that goes some way to explaining Honda's abject failure in that section of the market?
 

Mactech

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Whilst I don't suffer range anxiety, it would be good to have the option of a little more range. I can get up to 180 miles, about 3 hours on anything but 100% motorway run, and I'm ready to 'stretch my legs' by that stage.
We both know that Honda can make brilliant motorcycles, but occasionally I think it's a culture thing that makes them drop the ball. You saw an example with the V4 vibes.

We have have just seen Toyota win it's 2nd Le Mans against not the toughest opposition in the world, but they have been trying a long time for that victories.
In the early 90's I was running the technical side of their Le Mans effort from Norfolk. Tony Southgate designed them a great car and they said they would do the engine and gearbox. The 3.5 ltr V10 was great and was being eyed up for F1, but then they insisted on building their own transmission. Heading up the project was the head of manual transmissions worldwide, and a big cheese at Toyota, but had never designed a racing 'box!
The gearbox was within the wheelbase but way behind modern racing transmissions. We finished 2nd in '92 but the gearbox was going to need major work. Racing designer John Barnard was at that time seting up an F1design facility in Norfolk, hoping to lure Toyota and their V10 into F1.
He offered to take a look at the 'box and gave it a right rubbishing as our head of Toyota manual transmissions seethed! At that level of management, they are not too good at taking constructive criticism......as you have witnessed.
We never got our British designed gearbox, Toyota took a good few more years prior to entering F1 and it took them another 26 years to move up to the top step at Le Mans.
Just sometimes the decisions seem perfectly logical to Japanese culture, but unfathomable to the Western World!
 

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