Eleven years ago, this was the middleweight sports bike to have. With 44,000 miles on it, this one is a good demonstration of Honda’s quality. The engine sounds superb and it runs with a purring smoothness I had forgotten since swapping to a large V-twin. The head bearing could be replaced, but the suspension is still taught enough.
Great as this Honda is, I find the KTM more enjoyable on British roads. With its enduro suspension, our tired, frost-damaged minor routes are barely an inconvenience. The upright, unfaired riding position keeps weight off the wrists and discourages speed — which is good — but the torquey engine thumps you up to the legal limit with satisfying might.
So, top marks KTM and Premier Bikes. And well done plucky Honda.