Well it's been pissing down with rain in Sydney for the last couple of weeks and I really haven't felt like riding much. But when a mate that owns a bike shop calls up and says "You wanna try the new Honda Cross-Tourer mate?" I couldn't refuse.
Late yesterday afternoon I took the new Honda Cross tourer for a quick 90km ride. First up was the normal crappy Sydney traffic, then onto one of the best bikers road in Sydney, the Royal National Park. (A regular testing ground)
First impressions were quite good. The bike feels well weighted and slipping through traffic was effortless. Ergonomics were good, and I felt pretty comfortable. The engine is Honda smooth but almost boring. (I guess I am used to a V-twin now)
On the fast twisty roads it felt good and even on the wet roads the suspension was very confidence inspiring. ABS was really good but you can't switch it off. (Not good if you were to take it off-road). I had to pull up quickly at one stage with a stray deer on the road and the brakes were very very good!
The engine is very quiet until you take it up to around 5500-6000 rpm. Then it sounds pleasant and sporty. Clutch was light and easy to use.
Switching is normal Japanese, easy to find and use. Headlights were average, however not what I expected for a 2012 bike.
The rear rack was designed to take a top box, although the bike I rode didn't have one. It looked solid and well designed.
Overall, I liked it for what it is. It's not a bike I would take into the really wild stuff and to be fair it's not designed for this. The occasional dirt road would be fine if you could fit a switch to the ABS. The power delivery was strong and pleasant, but something was missing which I couldn't put my finger on. (A bit more growl perhaps?) For touring, this bike would shine. It's quite comfortable and easy to ride.
To look at it from some angles, you would think it was a 1200 Multistrada, but dumbed down. But that's Honda isn't it; conservative at times, or a wolf in sheep's clothing. The Cross tourer is more the leaning more towards the conservative side.