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Lurker in remission…

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by Lambchop, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Greetings and thank you for the welcome. So first let me explain, and then I want your advice.

    The login name I use was my grandmother’s nickname for me. For anyone who remembers Shari Lewis. I look nothing like that damned sheep. Anyways.. I’m male, fifty…burble… years old and six foot tall and a few too many pounds overweight - and I’ve had an itch to get back on a motor-sickle for over five years now.

    So much so, that despite not having sat on anything more powerful that my old Yamaha XS250 twin back on my early 20’s in the UK (aaaah… those were the days – cold, wet, drizzly, high hedges, country lanes, slippery gravel roads…) gzhrrrizhip…. Ahem …back to reality.

    Being a good new Australian, like all Pom’s trying to fit in, I took the full Australian motorcycle test in Victoria. It was like getting back on a horse again, just slipped right onto that saddle, flicked the key, and grabbed the clutch, pushed the start button, snicked the left foot down, twist the wrist and …away. Easy. Like I’d never been away. The burble of the 250 twin at the test centre was my friend.

    …I passed.

    Over a year ago.

    So what’s the rub here, you ask..?

    Well….. And this is embarrassing. (...pauses to clear throat and bows head in shame) I’ve not got a motorbike.

    Not bought one. Not for want of looking and thinking and idle dreaming, but not bought ….yet.

    I’ve lurked here and read avariciously of tales of new rider trepidations, and of cagers and their dangerous exploits. Of the successes and frights, and of the camaraderie that exists amongst everyone here. It’s both terrifying and heartwarming at the same time.

    I’m naturally a cautious type, noted by the old Yamaha twin – it chugged up and down the country, thousands of miles and got me where I needed to go, albeit rather slowly sometimes. I longed for more power back then, to fight the wind and the car’s acceleration and a hopeful ability to get out of near scrapes more easily. The upgrade never happened. I got a Ford cage …. and foolishly never looked back.

    Which brings me to today. I gave googly eyes at a pre-loved CB400 and she smiled back, but I couldn’t afford her champagne startup lifestyle. I winked at a CB500F, but the slick lines and well-fitting cat suit breathed race demons at me and I slunk away. I sidled up to a CBR1000 with all the touring trimmings and she burbled lovely words to me, but we were not to be friends.

    One idle weekend recently, whilst working away in Sydney I trotted round to the Motorcycle show at the Olympic Stadium and sat on a few of the shiny chrome monstrosities and some slightly more sensible Japanese offerings. Nothing made me stare or wink..or drool. Somewhat dejected and on the way out from the exhibition and walking across the bike-park as the many thousands of bikes started up and cruised to leave, I saw common sense.

    I didn’t know what it was, apart from the Honda sticker from afar. Candy Apple Red colour as I recall. It had high up exhausts tight into the seat tail, obviously a 4 cylinder and water cooled too. It looked a touch boring, but it had its pedigree act together. I stopped to look it over. I saw a few of the same nearby too. It said Hornet. As I looked at this bike the owner strolled up in full leathers and we shared a few positive words. “If you like the look mate, get one, it’s rock solid.” He nodded as he hit the start button and this machine sang to me. It flicked into gear and hardly dropped a semitone as it moved off and cruised slowwwly graciously across the car park. I think I’ve found my mate. Nooo, not the rider, the bike.

    So here’s my question - now you know a little about me. Is this going to be a sensible marriage, or will it be war in the countryside and hell on the streets together?

    I counting on you, because this could be a new heaven for me, or a ride into hell.
    • Like Like x 5
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. Interesting tale mate. Welcome to NR, there are some folk on here with Hornets which shall be able to give you the low down on the bike. Obviously, they'll tell you it's a great machine and you'll love it if you get one - which you probably will if for nothing else than the fact you're riding a motorcycle. Generally though I think if it speaks to you, you should listen!
  3. Awesome introduction..

    Bette late than never, as they say so just do it.

    There are a few Hornet owners here and they'll all tell you that they are awesome bikes.

    Have fun bike (and gear) shopping... Keep us posted. Best of luck!
  4. G'day Lambchop and welcome, as soon as I saw your avatar it took me back to Shari Lewis and B&W telly, we're a similar vintage, as you have done, sit on as many bikes as possible, if one winks and purrs back at you, you may have found your new bestie, any jap bike is going to be reliable, its just a matter of what the heart wants. Good luck with your search
  5. #5 kneedragon, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
    First, welcome to NR. It's nice to have you here. And yes, it's been a while, but being a similar age and gender, I do remember Lamb Chop.

    Is a Hornet a good choice to come back to? Well, they're a good bike, yes. Would it suite somebody who has been in remission for a time? ... It would do a better job than many. I can think of many other bikes that are less suitable, let's say that much. As big bikes go it's fairly innocuous and quite easy to use. I have ridden one and quite liked it, but I've not owned one. It is a Honda, so it should work ok for the immediate future...

    Do share your return with us, we're all on the edge of our seats now...
  6. welcome aboard :) A hornet you say seems like you've been stung :)
    so go for it
  7. Go find and ride one, see what see says to you.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. G'day and welcome, LambchopLambchop. I know of two people who either currently or have previously owned Honda Hornets and both speak highly of them - comfortable, plenty of power, very reliable and excellent value for money.
  9. Welcome, cool intro :cool:

    Go for some test rides if you can, try a few varieties if you can, ask a good amount of questions, lurk here on the forums and then buy and you'll be free :)
  10. I think they sell those lambs in the sex shops in NZ
  11. Really? I haven't been in one, myself. Are they nice?
  12. cuddly
    • Like Like x 1
  13. If it feels good.......and tastes like lamb, go get it. Happy riding
  14. I don't know anyone who has or who has had a 900 Hornet who didn't (doesn't) love it, or wish they hadn't sold it. I had its little brother, the 600 version, bought it with 58,000kms on it and sold it with 178,000kms up.
  15. I don't have one, but looked at them seriously a few years back - had a ride. The Seller had two, a 600 and a 900. Used for a weekly commute of 150+ km each way to work in the city. They wanted to sell the smaller one. Compared to the 600cc single I was riding at the time, they both seemed so smooth and sophisticated; both made way more power than the SRX600 and did most things better.

    I got to ride both of them for a while one afternoon. My impression was that the smaller of the two would perhaps make a better fun toy in the hilly twisties, and the 900 would be a better "mile eater" out away from things and would work busy roads more easily, due to a significant difference in poke. Mind you, the smaller of the two was not really "dead", but I had to work the gears a bit more to use what it had. The seller was a friend. We just went out for a ride together and swapped a couple of times for some samples of different sorts of roads. Practically the ideal sort of test ride, with some clear cut and varied terrain samples chosen to ride. They wanted to sell me the bike.

    Liquid cooling made engine longevity pretty much a given, and while the bike in question had some km on it, somewhere around 60K km, The bikes had been very well maintained. This might have been a choice between fun factor and capable cross country tool/traffic animal, but the larger one was not for sale and that was more like what I was really looking for, so passed. I know why they kept it, and why they had two, but one had to go. The price was right.

    Worthy of a look. I think there is some good value in the model. I can see why the owners of the 900 often love 'em, though I've never heard anything really negative about the smaller model.

    The afternoon reminded me of a day in the 70s when I went to a Honda dealer and took a 350-4, a 500-4 and a 750-4 out for a test ride, in that order and went home with the 750. The seduction of power works on one a bit.
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  16. I had one of the early 600 Hornets to make it to Oz, with the 16" front wheel.

    I loved it! It was, if I decided I wanted to work at it, very fast, but it could, perfectly happily potter along gently.

    But, if you did want speed, you paid for it in petrol, consumption got quite silly when on a track day.

    I had spent a few bob on tricking up the suspension, so, when I got a test ride on the 900 Hornet, I guess it wasn't a fair comparison, but the bigger bike just felt BIGGER! :confused: Certainly not as nimble, and, to my mind the power wasn't as smoothly delivered......<shrug>

    After I eventually sold it, I had to cause to ride it again (I sold it to my mechanic) and it was still working really well, with something in the order of 150 thousand kms. on the clock.
  17. The thing that struck me about the 900, was it did have big bike torque, but it still seemed to come across as a middleweight. It felt like and reacted like a smaller bike. It was easier to ride than a bike that size usually is. Exactly how that would play out if you put the hammer down, I don't know. I was a bit sceptical about that exact point. But if you used it as a general purpose daily commute sort of proposition, it'd be lovely. It was a very easy bike to ride and use.
  18. I had a 1998 Hornet 600 for a few years, it was a bloody tank of reliability. I never did much more than put petrol in it and the thing just kept going. Then I discovered that these motorcycle thingos actually need preventative maintenance and maybe it's not such a good idea to wait for things to actually break before spending money on them. The only thing other than normal consumables that ever went wrong on mine was the Reg/Rec went which is a very common problem and easily fixed.

    I just checked Vicroads VRE and the bike is still registered, it's now 18 years old.
  19. Welcome. I haven't had any experience with the Hornet, can't go too wrong with a Honda but being tall and with a bit of mass I'd also consider something like a Suzuki DL650, v-twin, relaxed riding position. But like others have said, enjoy the shopping, throw a leg over plenty of different bikes and see how you go.
  20. Just remembered something, I wouldn't recommend the 98 or 99 hornet 600s now because the 16 inch front wheel is a pain in the arse to get tyres for. Later models have a 'normal' 17" front wheel.