Saturday, October 29, 2011

My New Little Scoot

May I introduce my newest member of the family... A classic 1981 Honda CB900F.

She is an ancestor of the entire current Honda sport bike line. They were only sold in the states in 1981 and 1982 but marketed in other places from 1979 to 1983. That was the first generation; there was a second generation in the mid to late 2000's that was also known as the Hornet in Europe and the Honda 919 in the states.


1981 Honda CB900F -vs- 2004 Harley XL1200C
The ride is a LOT different. With my Sportster, almost every bump and rock in the road causes a minor tremor. With the CB, the suspension just absorbs the energy. It can still be felt, but the feeling of being slugged in the backside with a 2x4 isn't there.

While I am not necessarily one to ride fast around corners, the CB does make it fun. Where the Sporty would dive into corners, needing pressure to keep her from laying over all the way, the CB just glides into them while maintaining wonderful balance. AND, in tight corners I could feel the Sporty's rear tire slide ever so slightly. Quite disconcerting. And it isn't the tire. Several rear tires have been on my bike with the same feel.

There is no sliding sensation on the CB. It's as if there were steel claws on the tires. She takes hold and doesn't let go. Heck, I was doing the motorcycle range at the local college parking lot and was able to do the figure-eight at 15 to 20 MPH. THAT was fun.

Honda didn't design the CB series to be fast from the starting line but get that engine to 4500 RPM and she could eat my Sportster for breakfast. Yes, the torque from the Sportster's V-Twin makes for fast starts, but after about 40 MPH, the CB could leave her in the dust.

Balance... wow what a difference. My Sporty is pretty stable, but the CB can creep along at 5 MPH all day without a problem.

And speed... I have pegged the Sporty and it is a scary thing to feel. The CB speedo only goes to 85 MPH and the engine cranks at about 6200 RPM for that. Her red line is about 9000 RPM. Plenty more speed than the max on the speedometer. And, hunkering down close to the tank gives a nice stable, safe feeling ride.

Here is where the Sporty beats the CB. Hard or moderate riding both yield a mileage of about 55-65 MPG on the Sporty. On my CB, it is 40 - 45MPH. Not so good.

Yes, this is subjective, but going to throw it out. My Sportster has been mistaken for several different Harleys. There have been compliments here and there. However... I have only owned my CB for one week and people will just be walking by, stop, look and start up a conversation. Yesterday a neighbor stopped on his way to work and bet me he could tell me what bike it was. He lost. While the paint job doesn't agree with the sensibilities of some, the looks are classic.

No more numb ass!!!!! Riding the Sportster was akin to motorized flogging on trips over 200 miles. Today I put about 175 miles on my CB with no uncomfortableness at all!

So... Please don't disown me... and please don't tell my Sportster (although I think she already knows), my old little grandpa of a Superbike is without a doubt my riding favorite.

If you see me on the road, and who could miss a bike painted like this, just give me a wave. See ya all out there!


Lady R (Di) said...

I for one, would be sure to wave!
Great looking ride, and it certainly sounds like your going to enjoy the actually riding of it as well.

Congratulations on your new baby. She's certainly a looker!

mq01 said...

fun! enjoy!

Dirt Bike Accessories said...

Looks great..sure hope riding it is as good as it looks.