I was looking for something cheap, preferably something I could also fix up after using it as a bit of a winter hack. I don't commute on my bikes as I work close to my house, so it didn't have to be super practical. I didn't want anything too big or heavy and I wasn't looking for anything with loads of power. An old Transalp or something would be ideal.
Looking through ebay and gumtree revealed zero Transalps. There were a couple of XT600s, but they were just out of my budget. There were plenty Bandit 600s, which could be promising and a few bikes I thought could be "interesting" which may have also translated to "shite".
Narrowly avoiding an old Jawa 350 and a 600 Diversion, a bike I had previously described as "the erectile dysfunction of motorcycling", I opened up Gumtree and seen a Hornet 600 for sale locally. It was a 1998 model which meant it had the 16 inch front wheel and weaker brakes. Still, it looked not bad in the photos.
I'm quite tall and the Hornet is a wee bike. I was initially concerned that it would be a bit too wee. Despite my 6'4 bulk dwarfing the bike I didn't find it too uncomfortable. I'm definitely going to fit wider bars to free up some space.
Tyre pressure. It has to be.
My assumptions were correct. They were way out. 15 extra PSI in both ends sorted everything out. Doug had also given me a wee screen which, once fitted, helped keep some of the cold air off my chest. Another bonus was the heated grips to keep my paws toasty. A quick wash and I was ready to get out.
New tank bag attached, I set off on the Hornet into the hills. I've recently taken to making pizza at home in a big way. I wanted to try sourdough and the friendly folk up at the Riverside Bakehouse at Abby St Bathans had offered to give me some sourdough starter. It's also a really nice run up there. Worth choosing as a food stop on any spin through south east Scotland. The wee Hornet performed well. It couldn't pull your foreskin back, but rev it up and it's a quick wee bike! Keep the revs a bit lower and you'll have no concerns about greasy autumn roads as the engine doesn't produce much torque.
My exhaust solution arrived. Since fitting it much less wildlife jumps out at the last minute to admire the Hornet as I'm riding by. It wasn't the most secure fitting modification, but hopefully that's been remedied with the help of my uncle Greaser. The crash bungs are fitted too, which should save the vital organs if I drop it.
Now all I need to find some better bars. Anyone got any renthals kicking around that you don't want anymore?