Finally! A New Bike!

I put it off for a long time, but I finally cracked. My bike, the CBR650F, is fine. It does lots of things well, but I was never happy happy with it. I like it, it’s pretty, modern, and reliable, but there was no spark of passion there. As is my way I started idly perusing motorbikes. It soon became apparent that what I really wanted was a VFR750. I’ve had loads of them and they are just about the perfect all rounder.

They are not under powered, they are not so fast as to be unusable, they handle brilliantly, they have a massively over engineered engine that makes them bulletproof, they are comfy… The only thing wrong with them is they are old, have carburetors, and the styling is a smidge dated. If Honda made a new model with fuel injection I would pay top dollar for it. Honda lost sight of their “sports tourer” designation with the VFR800. I’ve only had one, but it was a bloated bike that, although it had more power and speed, felt lost in the corners.

The VFR750 I got last year was old and worn out. It took the shine off the love affair. That’s why I got a modern (2017) bike that, according to the reviews “could serve as a sports tourer”. It’s OK, but it’s no VFR750.

Then a few days ago I saw an advert for a 1994 VFR750, 26,000 miles (in 30 years!) with a ton of upgrades. It’s had the suspension, brakes, and clutch upgraded. And it’s red. Red ones are faster. Science. The guy was selling it for less than some tired looking bikes with over double the mileage. And it was only 20 odd miles away! Unheard of!

I went to look, liked it and Wendy and I went to Wirral to pick it up today.

Wendy had to brave two motorways to follow me back home. Bless her. She’s was scared but she did it. Luke had offered to run me, but he is working nights as a lorry driver now, the last thing he needs is to get up early to do more driving, so Wendy insisted that she would do it. I drove there, she drove back. She was fine, I don’t know what she was worrying about.

Anywho, as soon as I got riding I was a happy bunny.

The upgraded brakes are fierce! My CBR has ABS, so you can grab the brakes if you want, but they don’t seem as bitey at the VFR. Not having ABS makes that something of which you have to be aware. But it’s better to have too much braking on tap than not enough, in most instances.

There are things I’m going to have to keep an eye on. It still has the original, 30 year old, exhaust system! Because it’s done so few miles it’s not rotted through. Every other VFR I’ve had has had the stainless steel replacement exhaust system. My strategy is to not throw money at it though. When the pipes need replacing I’ll do it, and I’ve factored that into the price, but they could last years yet.

I had to just potter along on the motorway so Wendy could follow without scaring herself too much, but even pottering, in the freezing conditions, the VFR was a joy. I just didn’t get that from the CBR. Then when we got back to Warrington, and Wendy was on familiar ground, I had the chance to twist the throttle.

Like. A. Rocket!

It was only a few degrees above freezing and the roads were still wet so I didn’t try chucking it into corners, but it just felt right. Love my VFR!

Then I had the stress bit. I had to clean my CBR, take off the practical bits (rack and topbox, satnav mount) and refit the seat hump to make it look pretty, then put it up for sale. I dread it. You just know you are going to get a thousand questions and tons of insulting low offers. I got it listed this afternoon. I put on the advert “Priced to sell. No offers, thanks.” 20 minutes later I got an email “I know you said no offers… I’d give you £200 less”

Of course I did. I hate it. I went on Twitter to have a moan. I was half way through typing out said moan when I got another email, “Sold.”


I was very dubious, but the guy immediately contacted me and he’s coming from London village tomorrow to pick it up! I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but this could be the best bike day ever! If he comes tomorrow, pays, and takes my bike I will be stunned. It’s January. Everyone is skint and it’s too cold for most people to be thinking about biking. I thought I might have to wait until spring. If I’ve picked up a great condition, low miles VFR (26,000 miles, when the engines routinely do 100K) *and* sold my other bike within half an hour of listing (for the price I paid for it!) well, it’s a good job this is my Forever Bike, that will never happen again.

Now I’ve got a bike that does everything, and does it well. I can potter back and to to work. If I get the tanker job I can commute in comfort for 50 miles a day. And next year, if I get in any European marathons, I could ride there. VFRs are that good. I always say it, but this might actually be my Forever Bike. I’ve tried the bells and whistles modern bikes, the racers and the posers, but a VFR750 remains the best real world bike. And at 26K miles it probably has more years in it than I do.

In other news I’ve been getting odd calf cramps during and after running. I was wondering if running is a quad based exercise, and seeing I’ve not been cycling for a year, my calves were getting weak. I dug out my smart bike turbo trainer from the shed, put my cheapo pushbike on it, changed the gear cog (cassette) to the appropriate one, and gave it a go.

It works a treat! Better than the last time I tried to set it up, oddly. They have apps that you can ride virtual races on you PC or ‘phone. They are about £15 a month. While I was looking for one to which I could subscribe I came across a free one! Excellent.

They have a different courses, you can race against other people, and each course has different elevation changes. The app tells your smart trainer that you are going uphill so it makes it correspondingly harder to pedal. My first go in a year and I was stood on the pedals, sweating and panting, trying to get up a slope. I was impressed* (*wished I was dead).

The next day I did an 8 mile run with 12x 80 second sprints, home and straight onto the trainer for a tough 10 mile ride. Since then I’ve been absolutely smashed with plague weakness. I’ve missed two day’s training.

So that was a massive own goal. I’m not sure how to proceed. I need to work on my calves, but more importantly I need to be well enough to run.

There’s always something.



PS, I was worried when the buyer got in contact and it turned out he was a trader. I thought he’d get here, pick faults, and try to barter on the price. But the next day he sent someone in a van, he looked it over, gave me the full amount and went. He didn’t even come indoors.


I’ve had a few teething problems with my new bike. Not the bike itself, but for practicality I need a luggage rack and top box. The trouble is, being a 30 year old bike, the company that made them no longer does. I was searching everywhere. You cannot get a new rack. Luckily last night I came across a second hand one on eBay. So that’s sorted. The only other immediate thing is the guy who I got the bike off was a freakishly tall six footer, so had raised the back up. eBay again, I got the bits to put it back to standard. £12! That will do nicely.

There are other things I would like; heated grips, hand guards (to keep the wind/ cold off your hands), and further down the line a stainless exhaust system, and a full service with a valve timing check from the garage. But unless I need to travel I don’t need the first two, and unless I’m damned certain I’m not going to get a different bike I don’t want to lash out on the latter two.

Other good news, last night (Sunday) I started to finally feel better from the plague weakness. I’ve recently read an article saying that people with Long Covid should avoid strenuous exertion. They said there is a physical change in the body. I can’t see that, in my instance, as I have periods of being fine. Anyway, the point I took from it was the “strenuous” thing. My plan said 15 miles for today. I gave it a go at a really easy pace. I did it, no problem, and I seem to have gotten away with it. Yay!

I’m going to have to see if there are any really easy workouts on the bike, if not, I may have to pause that until I’m over this bout.

Also today I managed to cancel my old insurance policy, get proof of no claims, and send the documents to my new policy. That should all be boxed off now.

After giving the scam property time to respond, Wendy rang them today. It went through to an automated message in America. That was all the means of communication unsuccessfully attempted, so I got on to

They wanted a picture of a bank statement showing the payment, which I’ve provided, then they said they would refund the fee. Fingers crossed.

It’s all good.