A pair of Hondas - ride review
The CBR900 Hornet
Honda's new naked musclebike - featuring a retuned version of the superceded 919 Fireblade engine - was a pleasant surprise. The motor was wonderful, with a beefy mid-range and beautifully crisp throttle response offering some serious acceleration. While the test bike I was riding had modified gearing and a set of aftermarket exhausts, I was still impressed by the basic package. The brakes were great too.
The bike felt nowhere near as heavy as I expected, and steered surprisingly well.
Yet something about the bike just didn't gel for me, despite it's obvious strengths. It basically boiled down to the problem I had with the ZRX1200 - ergonomics. Something about the seating/handlebar/footpeg position feels very awkward to me, and I never really felt 100% in control of it. For starters, the handlebars on all naked bikes should be wide and close to the rider - like a trail bike. It greatly enhances confidence with the bike's handling and feels more natural when you're in the upright position. Yet for some damned reason, the Hornet, ZRX1200 & Triumph Speed Triple have handlebars that seem far away and close together. Why is this? It reduces leverage and serves no purpose at all. The footpegs felt like they were in the wrong place too.
Kawasaki's glorious z1000 managed to stick a big motor into a chuckable, comfy nakedbike frame, with close & wide handlebars. Why can't anyone else do this?
A pity really. The Hornet has so many strengths, yet it just doesn't feel right.
Now this was an odd experience. The brand-spanking new & "advanced" version of Honda's legendary V-4 sports-tourer is something I've wanted to ride for ages.
Let's start with the positives: it looks great, handles beautifully and is super-stable. And those oft-criticised linked brakes (which I've never used before) were a thing of wonder: offering fast emergency braking ability with so much more confidence. As an all-rounder, the bike is a dream, and the passenger accommodations are great.
Now, for the big negative: that stupid fucking engine.
What in God's name possessed Honda to stick a VTEC engine in this bike? Within 10 minutes I wanted to smash the bloody thing to pieces.
What's wrong with the VTEC system? Essentially, below 7000rpm the bike runs on two valves per cylinder, and once you hit 7k it switches to four valves per cylinder. God knows why - it seems to add little performance and gives a ghastly "spluttering" as you pass 7000rpm, where the engine seems to stop then restart, giving the bike a big "jolt". This was a nightmare when accelerating out of corners and just a plain pain in the arse when riding in a straight line.
they'd ditched the VTEC system. Without it, the VFR might have damn near
been the perfect motorcycle.
At the bottom of the right-hand column of this page, I've added links to some fine little organisations who need your help in their brave fight against the forces of darkness.
and show your support to these brave souls!
behind in my e-mails. Apologies to those still awaiting a reply.
Check out this lovely communist artwork.....
From a Marxism FAQ....
Economic growth of 20% a year!! Heh. Sure, if your growth industries are gulag inmates. Because it'll be hard to make your economy grow when you won't let your consumers buy what they want, let alone let your industries respond to that demand. Ah, but wait, they're gonna buy what they "need" aren't they? Problem is, you commies haven't been too good at providing for needs either.
Funny how evil capitalism can produce more of these goods of "need" than any socialist utopia was able to manage, and their marxist economies were built for it, for chrissakes. Agriculture built around "need" which could never deliver enough food. Industry built around "need" which could never produce anything anyone wanted.
Marxists have always, however, managed to produce (or at least, procure) a great many weapons, which The Party needs for shooting it's own proletariat....who are supposed to love them...but they don't...even though they're now getting what they need in this new utopia....why won't the ungrateful bastards ever cooperate? (hey!! Stop thinking you imperialist-collaborating pig!! A bullet in the head for you!!)
how things work out.
Non-Burqa'd women playing chess!!! Someone re-install the Taliban and restore non-american morals immediately.
Matthew Engel's weekly "America Sucks" Guardian column is no more. Two years, and he's just as patronising, moronic, simpering and clueless as ever.
Engel - who's deep insights into American culture have included whinging about the tea, evil poultry conspiracies, the monolithic stupid american voter, and a lot of screeching about Dubya - bids America a patronising farewell.
Apparently, our little paragon of wisdom is teaching brainwashed americans how to have fun again because he purchased a trampoline, braving the fearless hoardes of litigation lawyers. No really. Such selfless courage. Then he gets on to his usual macro-mumble:
It wouldn't take an American to tell this unhinged sadcase how wrong he is, but it's unlikely anything could penetrate Engel's Euroweenie delusions and prejudices.
Dude, you've lived their for two years, and you still don't have a clue.
What level of rank stupidity is required for this level on cluelessness and disconnection about his surroundings after two years in the place? An illiterate, blind cattle-herder from the Mongolian Steppes could have done more.
And yet this idiot, this snivelling gimp, was employed by the Guardian as their American correspondent, and chose to retain him despite week after week of sub-juvenile insights which seemed to be culled from watching too many cop shows.
ever needed to know the depths of stupidity that modern "acceptable"
anti-american intellectualism can reach, you will find few better guides
Naturally, some weenies in the online feedback section on the footer of the page are upset by Milne's heresy:
No stupid, we prefer to elect people to speak for us.
Somebody get this
twit a copy of the constitution.
One thing is for sure:
Milne makes a welcome alternative to the drones on the ABC, or worse still
the wretched Channel 10 political retard Paul
Bongiorno, who described the Woomera detention facility as "looking
Remarkable article in FrontPage today.
But dammit, the W.O.T. was supposed to be a big failure wasn't it?
Find out your Geek Rating.
12%. How did you fare?
English racer David Jeffries has been killed in a practice session at the Isle of Man TT. A multiple IOM TT race winner (and current lap record holder), Jeffries died after crashing his GSXR-1000 into a telegraph pole.
This comes only a month after the death of Daijiro Kato, who crashed into the barrier at the Suzuka MotoGP race.
There has been much talk of removing Suzuka from the MotoGP calendar for safety reasons. Yet that racetrack is a kids playground compared to the IOM road circuit, which on average kills around three racers every year. The brutally unforgiving nature of the place means an accident - which might not even cause a bruise on a closed racetrack - may mean certain death when the rider collides with one of the countless poles, buildings, brick walls, trees or fences which line the entire circuit.
this festival will be legislated out of existence. If you're interested
in making the pilgrimage, you'd better go next year, because something
tells me the TT wont be coming back to the island in 2005.
Former Governor-General William Deane - hero of the left and insufferable windbag - is shooting his mouth off about the Howard government's "human rights abuses", and reciting the old leftie chestnut: we are losing our way.
Like many Australian political has-beens (Keating, Hawke and Mugabe's bum-boy Malcolm Fraser), Deane isn't enjoying his time out of the limelight, and has taken to offering his wisdoms to the populace to ease his Influence Deficit Disorder.
Deane was the left's wet dream: an unelected individual who could stand before the nation and lecture us all on meaningless feelgood gibberish like 'reconciliation', 'multiculturalism' and pretty much any other load of crap nobody outside the Radio National crowd cares about. In doing so, he gave every Phillip Adams listener the momentary illusion that divine wisdoms were being decreed, and the ignorant nation would surely rise up and actually give a shit.
Sadly, the Howard government kept winning elections thru appealing to issues that actually mattered to people - like the economy and national security - and this ageing farthose realised that maybe we weren't listening to him after all.
But like all the lefties suffering Irrelevance Syndrome, Deane has put this rejection down to an evil, nasty, racist government, and not the fact that the Australian people - the most decent of all on earth - actually don't care.
The person I was watching TV with tonight offered perhaps the best final statement on Deane:
over at the libertarian.org.au
site, has a brilliant post on just-convicted stockbroker and high-flyer
Rene Rivkin who has just received a
ludicrously excessive penalty for making three hundred and fifty
dollars on a share deal.
I think I just found religion.
Sometimes you wait for things and they let you down.
Around 1991, I read about a whole series of Led Zeppelin concerts which had been recorded on film, but never released. As a Zep fanatic, I was desperate to see these, and hoped they would be released eventually, though the chances never looked that great.
All we had to document Zeppelin's live career was the abysmal The Song Remains The Same concert film-cum-conceptual art. A dull performance, weedy sound and lifeless visuals made that an endurance test.
So, twelve long years, and finally the news I've been waiting for: the Led Zeppelin DVD is coming out. A double-disc set of the legendary but never heard gigs at the Albert Hall, Earl's Court and Knebworth.
I finally picked this up tonight. I've watched it. My verdict?
Genuinely great performances, sound so sharp and crunchy you could cut thru it with a knife. Wonderful visuals. Incredible to finally hear so many great live versions of their songs. I haven't watched much of the Albert Hall gig yet, but disc 2 along is worth the price of purchase. The version of Kashmir will just make you shit.
If you've ever been a Led Zeppelin fan, you need to buy this DVD - now.
blows away the memory of Page-n-Plant's godawful Unledded project.
In today's Guardian, the loony president of South Africa says Zimbabwe's problems are to be blamed on "colonialism".
President Mugabe, is - apparently - not to blame for any of the current woes. Mbeki actually fawns over the Zimbabwe prez's great achievements!
And he gives us this stunner:
Right, it's all just a bunch of rounding errors resulting from delivering the poor black folks from the clutches of evil whitey's legacy.
Curiously though, Mbeki seems unconcerned by the "black poor" Mugabe is starving to death, or having tortured by the police, all for living in areas friendly to Mugabe's political opponents. (This line of reasoning is popular in the west with lefty psychos who apologise for Castro's bouts of represion & murder)
Nor does Mbeki seem to think any economic woes are caused by the mass corruption and nepotism, the 'reclaiming' of productive farms by armed ZANU-PF thugs, or pretty much any of Mugabe's current policies designed to cripple economic activity.
Funny post by Ken Parish.
Islamist freakazoid Sultaana Freeman - the idiot who demanded to have her driver's licence photo showing her hidden by her burqa - is a child-abuser. Of course, it is we non-muslims who are the corrupt ones...
Idiot of the day award
Aussie commie twitblogger Niall:
Whatever you say comrade.
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