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MCN Fleet: Winter weekender on Honda X-ADV

Published: 21 February 2018

Updated: 16 February 2018

I love the D940, it hugs the coast from Calais to Le Touquet, the undulating sweepers and fabulous final destination make it my obvious choice for a winter weekender.

I’m sure a 500 mile trip in near freezing temperatures isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but our Online Editor, Maria, wants to be my wingman on her Yamaha X-MAX 400. Maria’s yet to venture over (or under) the channel and her little Yamaha’s the ideal choice for her first foreign adventure, a perfect match to my Honda.

Our 150 mile motorway drag from home to the Eurotunnel gives us chance to get used to riding together. With 100 miles under our belts our quick fuel stop turns into a warming coffee stop.

I love the Eurotunnel, just 30 minutes after we head underground we’re on French soil. Maria’s into her technical gadgets and her intercom’s useful for me to impart my knowledge. I point out the French white lines to her, like the famous Bon Jovi 80’s album title they’re  ‘Slippery When Wet.’ I’ve been caught out before so am glad of my newly fitted Dunlop Roadsmart III tyres (£240 per pair), they inspire confidence.

We have a great day of exploration and as we approach Le Touquet’s famous beach it’s a mass of man-made jumps and burms from the recent races. For a split second I think about taking the X-ADV for a sandy spin but know I’ll break it or more likely me, so settle on an early hotel check in and a glass of local rose.

All too soon it’s time to head back to Blighty and worryingly I have my first technical glitch with the X-ADV in 7000 miles. We’re held on the platform before being waved aboard our train, as I start the bike I notice a glow from the PGM-FI (Programmed Fuel Injection Malfunction) light.  I can’t select any gears, getting hotter under the collar than I’ve been on the whole trip, I turn the bike off and fire it up again. It clunks into gear and I ride into the carriage. I’ve got half an hour to read the manual and worryingly it says to head to a dealer if the problem persists. Luckily for me, as we pull into Folkestone, the light doesn’t flash back on but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Three Products Used on the Trip

Keis V501 Heated Vest and X2i Trousers, £149.99 each

What a revelation! With a wind chill factor below freezing, set on the middle of three heat settings, the combination of heated vest and trousers kept me toasty warm. Wired into the X-ADV battery and with a dual heat control, they were easy to fit and use.

Sena 30K Headset, £499.99 pair

My last experience of intercoms was ten years ago and I don’t have fond memories, luckily technology has moved on. It took minutes to fit, was easy to pair to Maria’s unit and for a technophobe like me, was simple to use. Sound quality was clear up to a mile range. I’m not sure I’m a convert but for this trip they came in handy.

Givi B34N Monolock Top Box & rack, £137.04

Fitted to the existing X-ADV rack, the sturdy  34 litre box clips into lugs and locks onto the base plate, the same lock opens the box. It’s large enough to hold my full faced lid and there’s ample space for the luggage for my weekend trip. There was also plenty of space to add a few French foodie goodies to take home.

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