Written on: 16/06/2006 by dorianxh (1 review written)
Agile in traffic, good fuel economy, easy to ride, priceless drive shaft , brilliant overall bike
Ocassionally clunky gearbox, no fuel gauge, a bit nervy in bends
I went today on the 16th of June 2006 to test ride a 2000 model Deauville from Motoden Honda dealer in Shoreditch. The ride was only about 40 minutes in busy London traffic. I have ridden many scooters, cruisers, adventure bikes and finally the pan (ST1100 ABS/TCS) which I had to sell as I moved abroad for a while, so my previous experience gave me some good material for the comparison.
The Deauville was quite agile in traffic, I was able to squeeze through many tight gaps I could not otherwise on a pan, its handling was beautiful and the bike very forgiving. I thought the bike was quite light, but that is maybe because I am used to heavy bikes. About the height of the seat, I am 5'5'' and could reach the ground comfortably. Brakes work very good and gearbox although a bit clunky, didn't throw any false neutrals from the second. Power was smooth and progressive, but in a relaxing way rather than sporty. Very unfortunate for Honda not to introduce a fuel gauge, why should riders keep an eye on the trip meter, or try to "feel" when is that time of turning the reserve switch on.
The pockets (one locked, one not) I thought were a bit flimsy, but maybe that was because of the model I tested. I didn't have the chance to take it for a short spin on a stretch of a motorway or dual carrigaway, but maybe that wasn't a good idea after all, since the screen fitted on the bike was the standard short one. The panniers looked about adequate for a spot of touring. But then, speaking about luggage space, I remember even on the pan the space the panniers and the top box provided were never enough when touring (which means, if you need more space than that - you might need to upgrade to a Goldwing or a car).
But this was only nit-picking. I simply loved the ride and it has convinced me I want to buy a Deauville more than ever before. Although I am waiting to get my hands on the STX1300 pan after it is tried and tested for a few more years and become more affordable, till then, the Deauville will be a pleasant ownership with no surprises, other than the routine servicing. So, how to define the Deauville? - A pleasant and happy commuter and a light tourer.
Many thanks to Motoden Honda for the test-ride, highly recommended for their superb customer service