Honda ST1300 Pan European

After a year or so trying to live with my R1100S Boxer Cup replica I gave in, sold it and bought a Pan European which I still have.

What can I say about it? At first I was still using my R100RS but decided to temporarily retire it and put some miles on the Pan.

First of all - the disadvantages. It is a big heavy bike. Once you are moving you don't notice it but a few times when slowly manoeuvring I have ended up with the bike on its side! This has not been a big problem usually as it has substantial crash bars but the time it landed on a nearly new car in a motorway service station car park was embarrassing and expensive!

The engine is smooth, with more than enough power to go fast enough to not only lose your licence but could get you locked up. It is very economical on motorways and fast A roads and if you keep below 5,000 revs it will always do 50-55mpg. Fast acceleration in the lower gears comes with a price as does heavy braking, tyres are expensive. Years of having to ride properly on my R100RS are paying off and I usually manage over 10,000 miles from my rear tyres now.

The bike has done over 80,000 miles so far and although not trouble free, on the whole it has been a good bike. The most expensive replacement part I have had to buy was a motor for the adjustable screen. Mirrors and mirror pods are expensive too - don't ask!

I would recommend anyone who owns one to change the clutch fluid regularly. Eventually the clutch slave cylinder can corrode and start to leak if the fluid is allowed to collect water. This is an awkward job to do, Honda recommend engine removal but luckily it is possible in situ - just!!!

One of my most memorable rides on it was going up to the Antler rally, when I had to work Friday. I made up the lost time by pretending I was on the Autobahn, not the M6. 260 miles to my first fill up at an average speed of 82 mph and 52 mpg, two up with full camping gear.

Another time was when I had to get home from Porto in a rush. I set off in the afternoon and stayed in Biarritz that evening then after an early start made it home in one go from there, about 1500 miles in less than 36 hours. Pan European is a good name for this bike!

On another trip up to the Antler I tested the fuel range to the extreme. With a 29 litre tank, from Bradford you can get to just before the Ballahulish bridge before you run out of petrol. You can actually see the garage at Onich and probably get there if you had kept your speed down through Glen Coe. I was so lucky I had just abandoned trying to push the thing when a brakedown truck stopped and offered me a gallon of petrol - at pump price too.

This is my newest bike but it's 19 years old now, maybe I should buy a more modern one next or drag the R100RS out of retirement, who knows?

- Ted Trett