Coffee a go-go turns out to be a plain no-no on my new ride!
ALLOW ME TO introduce you to a modern-day bobber with loads of muscle. A bike that you can happily hustle and bustle on, cruise and add street cred to every journey. Yep, welcome to my new long-termer, courtesy of Honda, the CMX1100 Rebel, for which I will be posting regular updates of my travels.
You may recall my recent review of the six-speed Dual Clutch Transmission option. If you happened to miss it, there is a link below. If you read it, you will note how much I enjoyed that bike, and was sorry to see it go. It was a doddle to ride, and most of the time I used the automatic mode, only reverting to the paddles to downshift when overtaking.
If individuality is to your taste in two wheels, then the Rebel (honda.co.uk) has it in abundance. It is one great-looking, muscular bike; an eye-catcher with a contemporary design, kind of bobber meets roadster, if you get my drift.
Previously I have ridden the Rebel CMX500, only briefly, but enough to grab my attention. Now stepping forward is big brother, a torquey, parallel twin-cylinder powerplant with Throttle By Wire management, four riding modes, Honda Selectable Torque Control and Wheelie Control. Also standard is Cruise Control. Honda treats you to 43mm cartridge-style front forks, piggyback rear shocks and a radial-mount four-piston front brake calliper. The engine offers 64kW peak power with 98Nm peak torque. It didn’t take me long to wind on the throttle and enjoy all that power. With its low centre of gravity and a seat height of 700mm, I found flat-footing to be simplicity itself.
My bike came with a touring pack which included a rear rack, fabric saddlebags and screen. Nothing blingy, just commonsense as I plan on covering a good few miles this year.
I have also had wired in a new Garmin Zumo XT (garmin.com), the latest rugged motorcycle navigator with its ultra-bright 5.5-inch display which is both glove-friendly and rain-resistant.
I asked Karl at RWH Motorcycles in Clifton Street, Lincoln (01522 523820, rwhmotorcyclesoflincoln.co.uk) to carry out the fixing, as I am certainly no wiring wizard. Also, I like to use a satnav rather than having to drain my iPhone battery.
For one of my first run-outs, I thought I would pop out to the Coffee Cup Café on Main Road in West Keal, near Spilsby. I had been there previously on a ride with the IAM, and noted that they serve a lovely breakfast. So off I bimbled through the Lincolnshire countryside on a glorious, sunny morning. Upon arrival, the barriers were down. The bloody place was closed. I bet you knew that was coming! Since checking on the website, it states the café is now PERMANENTLY CLOSED. Such a shame; a nice location, plenty of parking space, and always popular with bikers. Ah well.
I travelled onwards towards Spilsby and then cut across the Wolds, stopping at Winceby, famous (or infamous) for the First English Civil War battle which took place on October 11, 1643. This was where a Royalist relieving force under the command of Sir William Widdrington was defeated by the Parliamentarian cavalry of the Earl of Manchester. There is a nice walk you can do around the lanes, across the fields, and round to the woodland where the Royalists were trapped and engaged in a fierce battle. It was also on these rolling hills that Oliver Cromwell almost lost his life when his horse was shot from under him.
It’s a shame that this hamlet with its little cluster of houses on a quiet B-road goes pretty much unnoticed, unlike other Civil War battlegrounds that trip off the tongue, such as Marston Moor, Edgehill and Naseby. I guess the residents don’t mind so much, though.
This area is actually riddled with history. Not far from Winceby lies Old Bolingbroke, where a now ruined castle was once a defensible base for a Royalist garrison and was besieged by Parliamentarian forces in 1643. The Royalists surrendered that winter, and the castle was subsequently destroyed. You can still make out the remains of what was once a magnificent 13th century hexagonal castle, the birthplace of Henry Bolingbroke in 1366, who later would become King Henry IV.
Continuing westwards on the B-road, I soon joined the A158 where I headed towards Hagworthingham, on to Horncastle, and home… a most enjoyable day out on the Honda, with plenty more to come!
By the way, in the next report I’ll include all the specs on the bike as I once again head into the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds in search of the home of Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who, perhaps more than any other Victorian-era writer was the embodiment of his age, both to his contemporaries and to modern readers. A bit like the Honda is to other bikes, if you like.
Here’s the link to the DCT review… http://www.bikersnod.co.uk/ridden-honda-cmx1100-rebel-dct/