Can I handle a Bird?

Discussion in 'Rider Skills Help' started by Biker, Mar 13, 2018.


Can I handle it?

Poll closed May 13, 2018.
  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  1. Biker

    Biker Member Club Sponsor

    I've just signed up to this forum (yeah, I know my display name is a bit lame, but I chose it in a hurry - surprised it wasn't taken to be honest) because I'm looking for my next bike.

    I had been riding for 5 years every day for work in all weathers and most weekends in anything but the worst winter conditions on my first ever bike, a Honda Hornet 600 S (the one with the half fairing). Then some wa**ker half inched it.

    I've been waiting (really patiently) to move to somewhere with a garage before getting a new bike. That has been two years! but finally the time has come.

    I really like the older Hondas - and the price - and was thinking VFR800 fi, but am now considering a Blackbird. Haven't had the chance to test ride one and to be honest am a bit apprehensive about doing so since some of my mates who I used to ride with on 600 sports bikes reckon I'm mad to go from a Hornet to a Blackbird, only being my second ever bike and all.

    What do you lot think? Is it too much of a jump? Did any of you make a similar move?


    'Biker' (apparently)
  2. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    The Bird is a pussycat to ride if you want to ride like a gentleman. But mad as a sack of frogs if you want to go nuts.

    Quite a lot heavier than a 600 but even I slow moving London traffic I only had to put a foot down at a standstill.

    They are as cheap as chips, pretty bulletproof, ultra reliable other than some known electrical issues that are easily identified and rectified.

    Oh, and a brilliant winter bike - massive fairing and the FI in particular keeps the legs pretty warm.

    If I was stupid enough to want a bike then I would happilly go for a Bird, despite having owned two and done over 160,000 miles between them.
    • Cool Cool x 2
  3. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    Ipsmi had a succession of 'small' bikes then a Fazer 1000 before moving to a Bird - no issues, don't worry about the transformation.
  4. Biker

    Biker Member Club Sponsor

    Thanks Andy, that is encouraging. Good to think I can ride in winter with it too. I've only got a few pennies, so can only get one bike for everything. Need to travel from East Midlands to Northumberland every few months, but down country roads and through towns every day.
  5. johnboy

    johnboy rather fond of a cream bun Club Sponsor

    Size may be an issue, if you're a bit on the short side or indeed if you're rather tall. At 6'3" I had to get the foot pegs lowered and the bars raised. Slow maneuvering ie pushing it back into a garage/parking space might be a bit daunting for some but once on the move no problem at all. Remember the throttle goes both ways :). Take one for a test ride I guarantee you'll come back with a massive silly grin.
  6. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    conversely, I am 6'2" and the standard set up on my first Bird was just fine. Second one had peg lowerererers and bar liftererererers, didn't really make any odds to me.
  7. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    My commute was a 50 mile round trip, country lanes, Norway and eventual lmdon traffic. Munched it all up.

    Did Kent to Manchester and back in a day a couple of times, no drama.
    • Cool Cool x 1
  8. Me!

    Me! Utterly retired Club Sponsor

    Breathe Andy, breathe....
  9. johnboy

    johnboy rather fond of a cream bun Club Sponsor

    I'm sure Norway is far further than 50 miles from anywhere in Britain.:D
    • Cool Cool x 1
  10. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    Er.......I blame the autospell thing.

    I meant 'sweden'.
  11. ScottyUK

    ScottyUK Filtering Through Club Sponsor


    I 'd been riding a CBR600F for 3 years when I bought the 'bird. No problem at all. In fact with the folding mirrors it might even make getting in and out of standstill traffic easier than the 600. You don't have to pin it the day you get it....although it is fun :)
  12. Biker

    Biker Member Club Sponsor

    Now this sounds good. I want a bike I can control but grow into as well. Cheers for that Scotty.
    • Cool Cool x 1
  13. slim63

    slim63 Never surrender Club Sponsor

    Hi biker, welcome to the forum

    I don't know if this will help but a good mate of mine passed his direct access while I still had my bird but couldn't afford a bike after paying for the test so I stuck him on my insurance & let him take it out a couple of times with me following on another bike

    Before that he had only ridden field bikes & 600's for his test but he didn't have any problems with the bird except for pushing the heavy thing around (he's a short arse of about 10 stone)

    They are a pussycat if you are gentle with them, good handling & stable at all speeds but I wouldn't advise wacking the throttle open through the gears unless you want to be going way faster than you intended in 0 seconds :)

    300 miles a day on a well sorted one is easy enough & as long as you can handle the physical size/weight when moving it around the shed you shouldn't have a problem ............ just treat it with respect out on the road mate they may look like an old mans plodder but definitely are not if you take the pee with the throttle

    Search the forum for the well known problems birds have & if you go for it look at the most sorted one you can find first, they do appear here from time to time & most will have any problems already sorted
  14. Biker

    Biker Member Club Sponsor

    It is sounding appealing

    Thanks Johnboy. I'm 5'11. As you say, a test ride is probably in order. I think I'm finding the confidence to give it a go. Just need to find one local enough (got to drive a car there :().
  15. Biker

    Biker Member Club Sponsor

    Thanks Slim, good advice. I'll want to learn about it before buying. Want to have fun, but not sh** my pants, so would definitely take it steady.
    • Cool Cool x 1
  16. Cougar377

    Cougar377 Express elevator to hell Club Sponsor

    Don't hesitate for a second, Biker. It'll be the best bike you've ever owned. Proof of the pudding is how many on here have a Bird and A.N. Other bike (me included) or have two Birds (Yep... s'true) or worse still, sell theirs only to realise that the Bird can't be bettered and come back to the fold. Many Birds change hands on here (some even end up back with their original owners) so this is the place to buy. Be a wee bit patient and you'll bag yourself a prime piece of Honda engineering with all the extras and mods already done....and for not a lot of money.

    Plus, the advice that you'll get on here is worth the entry price.
    Size isn't an issue either..I'm 5' 7" and with a lowered seat it's not a problem.

    Now the real question is this.....who the f*ck has hacked AndyB's account...? Cos his first post is way too complementary about the Bird to be the real AB. Not a single comment about "you're better off with a car".
    It's truly scarey. :eek:
    • Cool Cool x 2
  17. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    Surely it goes without saying that 'you are better off with a car'. Only a total tol would think otherwise.

    A Bird is a good choice as there are only about five moving parts in the engine and spare parts for the charging circuit are cheap as retailers sell them by the million every year.

    Anyway, it is all relative. The Bird is actually useless, just not as useless as every other bike out there.
  18. noobie

    noobie Clueless in most things Club Sponsor

    The build quality is such that quite a few have used them as a commute all year bike. I've always liked the bird because it is a grunt monster, no fancy electronics and it will poodle all day with ease but open her up and the smiles come easily. It will tour, single ride and commute.

    Once on the move the weight is not an issue. Some may say (in an old top gear stylee) that the bird is too heavy to flick, I've met some of the folk in here riding round the backroads of Hunstanton to Wells next the sea and I can assure you, they rode in a way quite a few power rangers on their ninjitsu's would struggle to keep up with. I've also used one in the mountains in Italy doing the constant 90 and 180 degree bends near Mugello when we went to watch the moto gp a few years back and kept up with a naked hornet 900 all day long.

    I prefer the carbies, failing that pre cat's 2002's but in all honesty any of them would be fit for purpose.
    • Cool Cool x 1
  19. Cougar377

    Cougar377 Express elevator to hell Club Sponsor

    What's a "tol"...? :nusenuse:
  20. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    An 'o' short of a tool - it's a Swedish word.

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