Thinking back about the winter is akin to remising about the time you had to have your toes chopped off using an old piece of garden fence. You wince at the notion while simultaneously being grateful that you are not longer in that position. Currently my 2007 Honda Deauville is resting in the garage in a state of bliss knowing that the worse has passed.
In its relaxed stance (lent over on its left side) it looks positively serene. Though like a drunk sleeping it is only in that state because of the carnage that came before. As the weather disintegrated the centre stand there is no other choice. In protest the right pannier is currently on strike and refuses to open since a particularly dark day in January; frayed cables maybe, a stubborn unwillingness more likely. The bike moans as I push it around the garage from corner to corner. The grime and dirt from the roads and hedgerows have filled the brake callipers. Despite chipping paint and neglected electrical connections we had a good winter together.
So now it is spring and the bike remains steadfast. Thanks to the shaft drive not once during the winter was a chain adjusted, cleaned, checked or bought. The hidden V-twin sings, the brakes anchor well and the steering is smooth. I ride at least four days and 250 miles a week and was thinking of changing the Deauville for a bike that had more handling and braking qualifications that would offer me more confidence. Now I see that no matter what bike you are on if it is below zero and raining corners bring about a new found fear.
I push the Deauville out into the sunshine and give it a clean and we are off again. On a bid to enjoy the bike a bit more I am riding for pleasure today. Seeking out unridden roads and taking on a calm demur knowing that I do not have to be anywhere today nor do I have full day of work ahead of me. The roads are smooth, the traffic is dithering and the roadways are filled with deep greens and shinning yellows following two weeks of strong sun and driving rain.
Over taking cars in satisfying, lorry’s more so. The roads stretch on, the miles pass and the fuel gauge dips. I notice my concretion fluctuating and the temperature of the day steadily rising. The sense of danger remains ever present. This is one of the first and best days of the year so you know someone is pushing their luck somewhere. I cover 160 miles over 3 hours with 3 stops.
The Deauville is demonstrating to me that it really is a jack of all trades. I would not want to be going any faster nor am in need of stronger brakes. For my riding style it suits. The only only thing I would consider would be a scooter. Average speed seems to be in the mid to high forties. But when I need to make a 60 mile dash down a dual carriage way the extra engine capacity is welcome. Seldom do I and the Deauville travel at an indicated 70 mph for any length of time but when we do it is calm and well measured. The engine spins at a refined unstressed 4700 rpm. I am reminded of the speed yet not overwhelmed.
Thinking back, for the price, there is not other bike that I would of wanted to be on. So it appears that when the sun comes out so do the Ducati’s, Harley’s and the inner sole of the Deauville.