Sunday, 27 July 2014

Featured Bike - Honda NM4 Vultus

Today I made my biennial visit to Victor Devine Motorcycles - Glasgow's Honda Dealer - to buy a new helmet.  While I was there I saw the new NM4 Vultus - a kind of scooter/cruiser hybrid.

It's a striking motorcycle, more like a concept bike or prop from a science fiction movie, than something you can buy. The seat height is very low at 650mm (25") It is powered by the 750cc twin engine from the NC with Honda's DCT (dual clutch automatic transmission) Novel features are a passenger seat that folds up to become a backrest & storage areas on either side of the large fairing. A version of the bike has also been shown with rear panniers.

According to Honda the bike is inspired by manga cartoons and aimed at "The young social media-engaged urbanite living a digital existence in a fast moving world" So not me, then. Keita Mikura of the design team said: "Honda is a big company. We make every kind of motorcycle. It’s great that sometimes we make a certain machine simply because we can and because we want to, not because we should". It's a bold move especially since Honda have been here before with the DN-01 that sank without trace but Honda have the resources to do this and not worry about it being a commercial success.

Honda are making good use of the NC700 (now 750) platform producing the S - roadster, X - adventure sport, Integra - scooter, and in the US the CTX - cruiser/tourer.  

Vultus with panniers
CTX 700N

CTX 700

Monday, 21 July 2014

Run to Ardnamurchan

The roads in the Highlands are choked with dawdling tourists at this time of the year but I found empty roads and great scenery by taking the Corran ferry to…well the peninsular on the other side of Loch Linnhe that doesn't seem to have a collective name. Ardnamurchan is the area at the end of the peninsular but seems to be used for the whole thing but I didn't go that far..... Anyway here's the pics.

I took the my old FJ. Over the years on this blog I've claimed to be about to starting riding it again but haven't so this time I just started doing it. 

Ben Nevis at Fort William. This is Britain's highest mountain but never looks that high to me especially given it rises from sea level. 

I couldn't resist taking a few pics of Rannoch Moor on the way home.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Johnny Winter RIP

It is with sadness I hear of the death of Johnny Winter - one of my favourite guitarist. The albino Texan died in Zurich, Switzerland yesterday during a European tour. My favourite album is "Captured Live" from 1976 - I think Johnny is best live. The first time I became aware of Johnny was probably this appearance on the BBC music show "The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1974.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Past Bikes - How Much?

Having told you about the bikes I've owned I thought "how much would it cost to buy the lot of them now?" Well let's find out through eBay & Biketrader. I've priced the best examples I could find.
 BSA Bantam D7 - £1,595 - 40 years ago I flung one into a skip (dumpster)

Yamaha YCS5 - £2,995 - wow! 25 times what I paid for mine.

Yamaha RD350 - £5,289 - for this '70's classic - a bit silly

Suzuki TS100 - £875 - this is a later model than mine

Suzuki GT500 - £3,995 - Considered a budget bike in its day - not now though

MZ TS 150 - £1,250 -  I gave mine away

Suzuki GSX750 - £2,795 - not generally considered a modern classic - but this seller obviously disagrees

Honda CB250RS - £1,399 - Seems to becoming collectable

Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo - £4,995 - Strong prices for this '80's cult bike

Yamaha RD350 YPVS - £3,999 - They don't come much more cult than this - for wealthy hooligans

Yamaha FJ1200 - £1,799 - a lot of metal for the money

MZ ETZ125 - £800 - Yikes!

MZ 250 - £1,250 - an earlier model than mine - I couldn't find any Saxons for sale

CBF 250 - £1,950 - for this sought-after commuter

Total - £34,986

Monday, 7 July 2014


Down in beautiful Dumfries & Galloway today I was buzzed by an RAF jet & I caught it on my helmet camera. At 43s on the video you can see the shadow of the aircraft flashing past.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Featured Bike - Ariel Ace

After Lotus & Caterham, Atom are the latest small British sports car manufacturer to move into bikes. The Ace is scheduled to appear next year and is powered by the Honda VFR1200 V four engine. This had shaft drive and the option of automatic transmission. It's a bit of an ugly brute especially with the girder fork option. The factory is known for its Atom sports car and the bike mimics its lattice frame.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

FJ Silencer Re-Spray

I fitted a pair of MIVV silencers to the FJ for the riding season (here) I bought these cheap (£50 new, from eBay) a few years ago. They look & sound like the originals and the bike runs fine with them. But the finish isn't great - just painted. They eventually started to tarnish and I decided to paint them. I've used a satin finish high temperature paint on the CBF's "winter" silencer (here) and it survived a winter so I was happy this would work. The problem is that it is a brush paint and this doesn't give a great finish. I have a spray gun I bought at an autojumble so I though I'd try that. I thinned the paint about 3:1 and the finish looks pretty good.