Friday, July 30, 2010


Dropped the VTR into the bike shop this morning for a new front tyre, a warrant and now some unexpected suspension work (more on this when I know more) and the guys there gave me a nice little 600 Hornet for the day. When I first got on it, it was happily buzzing away as it warmed up for my short ride to work.

Climbing aboard, the ergonomics felt pretty good - a low seat height (both feet flat on the ground), nice wide bars with all the controls where they should be - it all felt pretty natural. The clutch was very light and as I idled out of the car park everything was feeling pretty good.

I guess this is the smallest capacity bike I've riding in a while and naturally I noticed the lack of torque after climbing off the VTR - it is a 600/4 not a 1000cc twin. Riding in early morning rush hour traffic I found that shifting cogs at around the 4-5,000rpm mark was ideal and easily kept me away from the cars. Not too bad at all.

With nice wide bars (wider than any other part of the bike by a long way) the handling around town was fine and it was a piece of cake lane-splitting up the side of a line of stopped traffic. Once again, it's smaller physical size and light weight made the handling feel "lighter" and it was a piece of cake to tip it into corners. Braking was absolutely fine with nice feel at the levers.

Unfortunately, my commute does not include any open road riding (or any delicious winding roads) but on a few occasions I was able to give her a little handful and the motor gives a nice little growl as the engine revs past the 5,000 mark. Revving higher than this results in reasonably rapid progress being made without any risk of whiplash - power delivery is nice and smooth and probably ideal for a learner coming off a 250 or someone wanting a very nice little commuter.

Overall I enjoyed my brief time on the Hornet and have to say that it is a very sweet looking bike and one that fits the the two roles mentioned above. I'm sure that it also would acquit itself reasonably well on a squirt through some nice twisties - particularly if the rider grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and gave it the berries.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew:

    It's always better to ride a small bike fast, than a big bike slow.

    Wet Coast Scootin