Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1983 03 02

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 38 of 39

14 (Continuedfrom page 12) stowed behind the seat. Easing out the clutch, the bike pulls smoothly and the revs come rushing up as the tach needle swings past the high noon mark and towards th e red zon e. A quick row of the gear lever gets yo u through th e six-speed gearbox and without even thinking you 're going an indicated 90mph and th e thing's just getting warm. You pray for fast corners. Airassisted interconnected forks take ca re of the suspension up front with 5.5 inches of travel and the recommendation is for 11-18 psi according to rider preference. It was set up in about the middle by the folks at Honda Benelux, where we borrowed the bike, and it proved a good compromise. It would soak up the bumps on the cobblestone streets of Brussels, yet perform well once out of th e ci ty limits. The Honda's TRAC anti-dive control is em p lo yed up front a lo n g with th eir unique i n board ventilated twin iron dis cs a n d t w i n -p iston ca l i p ers. Although the brake is slig h tly sensiliv e, th ere wa s littl e complaining heard and it sto p ped sure and straight, The single rear inboard dis c lo cked up a few times before we gal u sed to it, but o nce accustomed it worked perfectly with no fad e. They're excellent in th e wet due to th eir faired design. The CBX inspires confiden ce. A cu ta way generator co ver on the left and cle an right sid e leave th e lean limits up 10 th e skill of the rider. Only the truly talented or trul y daffy will be able to touch down and send any sparks flying . Eighteen in ch Bridgeston e tires front and rear, mounted o n three-spoke Com-star wh eels , are predictable, wet or dry. The Pro-Link sin gl e shock rising rat e rear suspension, in accord with . th e alu m in u m swingarm on needl e roller bearings, tak es the bumps in stride. A littl e ripple exac ts a little travel and the bigger bumps are worked on by th e top pan of th e shock 's escalating scal e. It 's air adjustable, but the air nozzle is a little inconveni ent to reach so it was left set for an all -around compromise. An air gauge is provided with th e tool kit which is stashed behind the seal. About th e seal. With a gentl y slop. ing forward incline it puts you where it wants, NOl much choice here. You can tr y sitting farther back, bUI in a matter of minutes you 'll be down in th e vall ey. And if yo u' ve brought a pas sen ger a lo ng they'll be slid i ng vou r wav a lso . H ow ever, th e end ~esu lt isn :t bad and th e dens el y packed foam provided a com fona ble pod for hours. . Th e sporty half fairi ng, being a n integra l pan, ad ds 10 t he loo ks and does the job wh en deflecting wi n d. T he top of the windscreen is fl u ted and t he ai r h i ts the rider, dependin g o n the size of the rider, just above the chest. Alth o ug h the wea ther was ideal fo r rid ing a nd we d idn ' t ge t a cha nce to test the co ld weath er p ro tection. it does a good job of keep in g th e cold off yo ur hands, but H ip po Hands or suc h would be needed for truly fri gid weather. So wh ere's the pro blem? The problem is th at th e back edge o f th e fairin g exten ds slig h tly too far back a n d mak es co ntact with th e rider's kn ees. Every time yo u get 0 11 the brak es and slide fo rward, if vou 're taller th an 5'7", th ere it is. \\;h en yo u're out in th e twi sri es iI'S n ot enoug h 10 break yo ur co ncen tra tio n, but aro u nd town , and esp eciall y with a passenger, you 'll know it 's there, The fairing is sturd ily mounted around a bird cage fram e with rubber gromm ets a t pressure points, We had th e mi sfortune of droppin g th e CBX o ff th e centersta n d (o u r fault , no t th e bike's) a nd cracki ng th e fai ri ng in two places. As with a ll fairings, if' yo u pitch thi s down th e ro ad, it's going 10 co st yo u . This is a sport bike, no doubt ab out i t, but every o nce in a whil e yo u hav e 10 ge t o n the highwa y and this machine is eager 10 ge t yo u th ere. There a re man y m yths a bo ut Eu ropea n spee d limits. West G ermany is th e o n ly co unt ry wi th no speed lim its, a lt hough in a few others the law is taken ligh tl y, In Belgiu m th e speed limit is posted as 120 kph (a bo u t 74 mph ), but th ey'll give yo u the 10% margin o f error and cruisi ng a,t 140 kph is co m mon p lace . It doesn 't tak e long to ge t th ere with the CBX. an d o n th e wa y th ere a t about 55 mph yo u noti ce th e engine spi n n in g a t 4500 rpm . Rolling on th e th rottl e will get yo u past th e slug in front o f yo u , bu t a downshift into fifth a nd th e engine sp rings to lif e. The p ower co mes on at about 5500-6000 a n d pulls 10 th e 10,500 red line, Gettin g up in the 150160kph range brings visions of Franco U nci n i dancing into yo ur head a nd ducking under th e fairing, where a ll yo u get is th e sensati on o f spee d and th e so u nd of th e mot or working effortlessl y, mak es yo u wonder if a ny th i n g th at much fun cou ld be legal. It 's not, an d just in case you didn 't know that, th e helmeted co p in th e Porsch e Targa will tell yo u so; in at lea st four languages, After an ep isode like that yo u get th e feeling th at yo u' re be ing watch ed and ba ck in th e ci ty that feeling .gro ws. But yo u are being watched because lik e only a handful of bikes, this one turns head s a nd solicits wideeyed gawkers. Even in cafe-crazy Europe this bike a ttrac ts attention, At virt ua lly every sto p lig h t the guy in the car next to yo u is giving you an eyeful of envy, Park it in front of a cafe and, if th ey don 't sto p to admire, they'll sure tak e notice as they go past , Honda did their homework when it came to cos m etics, in addition to the performan ce. The paint scheme whi ch runs down th e fairing, onto the ga s tank , and climaxes at the tail of the seat is about as subtle as Limburger. Th e crosso ver four-into-two exhaust system and ventilated discs on Comstar wheels add to 'th e image along with the highlighted black engine: You ca n ' t ignore it. But it's best to get a good look at it sitting still, because when it flies by you out on the open road you won 't have even a chance to think, ยท Wha t was thaI?" .

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