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A Letter from David Hatch - Motorcycle Experience

Hi everyone,

A couple of brand new Honda’s (CB1100A and VFR1200X) were dropped off here recently and my buddy Gilbert and I couldn't resist going on a pre ride with both motorcycles over the long weekend. 

A lot of folks have been asking me what I thought of the VFR1200X. Well, the big impression with this motorcycle, has got to be the terrific engine. Hands down. I mean, the V4 engine sounds great in this configuration (new cams and ECU programming) and the torque is terrific everywhere up and down the rev range. The fly by wire throttle delivers superb feel and the sound from the single pipe is sweet. The adjustable suspension pieces are a nice touch here and the handling is superb. Everything has been nicely calibrated to allow both single and two up riding. I really like how this bike handled. Linked anti lock braking is standard and totally up to the job while the crossed laced spoke wheels were perfect for the pavement.  And they managed "ok” on the hard-packed dirt roads we explored.  To make your touring life easier, the VFR1200X comes with a really nifty adjustable, on the fly, windscreen, heated grips, hand protectors, a hand 12 volt power socket for your GPS. You can also order the optional hard bag luggage system with internal liner bags. The system is top drawer, however there were a couple of minor gripes. The saddle was a bit of a let down - it’s been sculpted to allow for riders with a shorter inseam to be able to reach the ground. Great for shorter riders.. not so great for my glutes! After a couple of hours of riding, I found myself thinking that if I owned this motorcycle, I’d probably swap the saddle our for something with more cushion. The other tiny pet peeve?  I don’t know if it’s my aging eyes, but I really found the instrument pod a tad lacking.  Maybe it was because I was jumping back and forth with the CB1100A. A retro standard motorcycle with two great sweeping analogue gauges. I dunno. Not a huge deal. But I’d love to see a bigger info screen on this puppy. Overall though, I loved the VFR1200X. If you are looking for a bike that can pretty much take you anywhere as long as the road is mostly paved. A motorcycle with lots of room to stretch out and move around. A motorcycle with a great suspension set up that delivers great handling when the road turns twisty. If you like throaty, torque loaded engines with unique character that delivers plenty of power across the width of the power band, then this is the bike for you!

Also, don't forget that we will be once again throwing a party for fans of our TV show at the end of September and you are all invited to ride out and join in the celebration! That’s right, our Prince Edward County based motorcycle television show will play host on Saturday, September 24 at the Hillier Creek Estate Winery just south of Trenton, Ontario in the heart of the County’s wine region. As you know, our long running TV show, which is shot primarily in Prince Edward County has been on the air for over 27 years, and as the show's presenter, I’m looking forward to playing host down in the County from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Once again the Honda Canada demo ride crew will be on hand providing motorcycle demo rides and party favours. Plus this year I’m happy to announce that we’ve partnered up with the local, Eastern Shield chapter of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group and they will be on hand with a large vintage motorcycle display.

Meanwhile in Episode 4, my riding buddy Norm Wells and I ride through the valley of fire east of Las Vegas, Nevada and wind up stealing home plate. Then during this weeks “Red Adventure”, former professional road racer turned expert enduro rider, Toni Sharpless looks at under armour. While on the subject of body protection, our resident riding Instructor Clinton Smout will stop by this week to discuss the riding shoulder seasons. Plus motorcycle journalist, Colin Fraser will roll up with some advice on shopping for a used set of wheels while looking back at a 2007 Harley-Davidson Night Rod.

Hope you like the show!

Keep your right hand cranked,