Hornet shows its value

Published: 04 February 2005

You’ll be amazed by how much bike you get for £2000. Three months and 4000 miles with my 1999 Hornet 600 and I reckon it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.

It’s great for track days and weekend blasts as well as being a tireless commuting tool. The only thing it’s not so good at is motorways. Zero wind-protection means a couple of hours on the road really takes its toll on your backside and neck. A genuine Honda screen has made a big difference and deflects a lot of the wind and I’m happy to be riding a naked bike this year just because it encourages me not to go over 100mph and risk my license.

Pre-2000 bikes like this one have a 16-inch front wheel, which gives you really sharp handling. It does limit my choice of tyres, but then I reckon Bridgestone’s superb BT-014s are the only tyres I’ll ever need. They’re brilliant in all conditions and just as happy on cold wet roads as they were being frazzled on a Brand’s Hatch track day.

The bike was in really good shape when I bought it. My only indulgence has been a Remus Titanium race can, which really finishes the bike’s looks. It has a removable baffle, but I think it sounds gorgeous even with it left in.

I've ridden the Hornet all winter, through all the nastiest ice and salt. It’s standing up well to the worst of conditions, but if you have any tips on protecting it or want to chat about Hornets, follow the related topics link, right.