It's bright but bitingly cold here, and not the day for a pleasure ride, but I passed the Honda sitting on the back drive and felt a little pity. It has been motionless there, in rain and snow and ice, since before Christmas, while I have been fixing, riding and generally enjoying the XT. So I rolled it out of its niche between the wall and the garden table and propped it up in the sun. I gave it a wipe down and then inserted the key and pressed the starter.
Click - whirrrrrrrrrr.
With a Honda V4, the 'whirr' is not the sound of a knackered starter - it's the engine running. It whistles a bit like a turbine. The engine started in the blink of an eye, so I rode it to the front of the house and left it idling for five minutes, until it was properly warm. I gave it a quick healthcheck in the meantime - everything still works - and then shut it down. The brake discs have a little surface rust and the whole thing needs a good wash down, but otherwise it's good to go.
I wonder what the forecast is for tomorrow?
UPDATE: I couldn't resist. Anna wanted a daily paper and was busy. I wanted a few minutes me-time and wasn't busy. So I hopped on the Pan and went in search of a Times. The bike felt a little stiff after such a long time idle, but I warmed it up and then let rip on the A40 for a while, taking it to 8,000 rpm through the gears and trying out some hard braking. All good. As it says in the side-bar, I admire and respect this bike. It is awesomely good at what it does.