1992- 1997 Honda NTV650

Published: 05 August 2002

Heroic riders: A ghost like race that move in and out of peoples lives unseen, unwanted and some would say unclean, but necessary; rather like a colostomy bag……… They do this so that all of you are able to carry on the modern day fiasco of, ‘ needing everything yesterday’.

Motorcycle couriers – By 5.00pm each day a rider will have done more miles than the average vehicle does in a week. Then, they’ll double that by 9.00pm or later; and go home too exhausted to do anything, except sink a few pints and fall into bed. (That’s my excuse.)

These 1000 to 1500 mile a week riders could probably keep a haemorrhoid company rich for many years……They ride for 10 – 14 hours a day, 40000 to 50000 miles a year. Their concentration levels are staggering and they would probably make great endurance racers. They do this in all types of extreme conditions.

Take note of these riders in the city as they cream down the middle of the traffic queues ripping of car drivers’ arms as they nonchalantly flick ash into the couriers upturned visor. (Slight exaggeration…..)

Try and catch them as they belt the wing mirror off your car when you via around aimlessly because you’re too busy using your mobile. Watch them stop on a pin when some pedestrian who left their brain at home; walks through the traffic without looking and then tells them to F*** O***.

Lets face it this is Luke Skywalker taking a gritty dump in the Deathstar; every day…….

Now, what kind of bike does a courier need to go through this haemorrhoid hell. A bike that can come up clean,( Once a year; usually.) Start every morning. Take all the abuse and not end up looking like Frankenstein’s monster? (Nylon ties, sticky tape, oil leaks, ‘crazy paving’, cracks in the fairing)

A bike that can take shit in town and then cruise reasonably happily up the motorway for a couple of hundred miles; all year round? With very little servicing.

Believe me, if I had my way it would be the GSXR 1000 or an Aprilia Mille or even a BMW 1100 or Honda Pan. The first two couldn’t cover the every day mileage without the rider needing a chiropractor and the last two don’t hustle that easily through traffic. And, if you drop any one of them the insurance and spares costs will give the bike, and you severe depression.

AND THE WINNER IS……

The Honda NTV650. Yes…., I said the Honda NTV 650. No, honestly, I said the Honda NTV650. Yep, Honda NTV 650.

Shaft drive. 80 - 90 mph all day. 50mpg. Nothing drops off as long as you regularly oil and water it and put new tyres and brakepads on. It has no expensive fairing and can be fitted with after market – cunningly ripped off a C90 – leg guards that fit directly on to the down tubes for extra comfort in midwinter.

I love to hate this bike but, I have the deepest respect for it because nothing presently on the market can beat it.