Friday, 22 November 2013

A return to my Honda roots.

These wings really do make you fly

When I showed Ben this photo he found it hard to believe it was me.

'Big Boots & Long Socks'
Munster, Germany 1987

“Is that really you Dad”
“It is sweet heart”
“It looks nothing like you, maybe around the eyes but thats all”
“Trust me, thats your Dad way back in 1987”
“WHEN?” The horror is his voice was palpable. 

26 long years ago there I was bursting with pride at the purchase of my very first ‘brand new’ motorbike. A gleaming black and red vision of perfection. I’d been in the Army 3 years and there I was sat astride the fastest bike on the road. Now, before the purists’ amongst you start quoting facts and figures at me I need to point out, the Honda CBR1000F had a ‘claimed’ top speed of 182 miles per hour in the magazines of the time. Making it, for a short period of time back in 1987, the fastest production motorcycle on the road. I loved it.

A thing of beauty Honda CBR1000F
Outside 'MY' Garage

All I knew at the time was it made me the happiest man on the planet! All my mates thought I was bonkers (some things never change) but I just did not care. I was charged numerous times for chaining it to my bed when I was sent away on exercise. The QM hated me, seeing my bike as nothing more than a fire hazard, even though I always emptied the tank. After my fourth charge, I was issued a garage! Funny really as I’d applied for one over a year earlier but was refused on the grounds of not owning a car.

After that my running costs dropped substantially, due to not having my wages docked. Plus I became extremely popular with all the other bikers on camp all wanting a slot in ‘MY’ garage. At one  point there were 8 bikes crammed in, the least used at the back and the broken down and mine at the front. 

One inside pocket of my leathers was for the 1000 Deutsch Marks I always carried. The other held the clip full of ‘Speeding Tickets’ accrued very quickly, needless to say ‘on the spot fines’ where far better than accruing points. Plus I knew it was possible to out run the VW Passat police cars on the right roads, as they topped out at 120 mile an hour. They were amazing times, how I survived is a question for another day. 

I could go on forever about my first CBR1000, trips back to Chesterfield from Munster in Germany, just to have a night out with the lads. Well it was only a 1200 mile round trip plus an hour and a half hours on the ferry. No big deal! I ran the CBR1000 for just over three years with numerous trips around Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and on. Selling the bike broke my heart but it’s impossible to fit a babies pushchair to a bike, trust me I tried!

Fast forward 26 years and here I am again, the proud owner of a 20th Anniversary Edition CBR1000RR Fireblade. It’s a 2012 model but with zero miles and on a 63 plate, the reason  being I wanted the all black new model. 

So without further ado meet…………. wait for it, wait for it……… ‘Jessie’ named by the ever helpful Lefty, after the amazing runner Jesse Owen “The Black Flash” but as my Blade is ‘female’ the spelling has been amended accordingly. 

Pure Perfection 
Honda CBR1000 RR Fireblade
Courtesy of Kevin at

There are a couple of tasteful extras added at my own expense but I’ve kept them down to the bare minimum.

My beloved Pazzo Stubbies
With matching blue adjusters

Honda Racing Rear Seat Hump

Honda Racing Full Length Hugger

Plus my "Freebie" Tank Pad

Now the wandering can recommence! 

I say, bring it on.

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