I met up with my mate Brian recently in Bergamo in the north of Italy. We planned this trip two months before when Brian decided to purchase my 2012 Honda VFR, he had been without a bike for several years and finally decided that he wanted one for trips with mates. Of course he can always borrow a demo bike from the shop but I guess that he cannot take them abroad AND having and looking after your own bike is another world, in my humble opinion.
Last year good old Martin at Alf England found me this Honda at my specific request. The VFR1200F was never a sales success for Honda and thus Martin never sought to purchase any but he found me this low mileage, manual version (Honda also offered a DCT version) with a full service history and Brian brought it down to France and from being very cynical Brian arrived VERY impressed!! As a long distance powerful motorway steed she takes some beating, 170 horses and shaft drive!. So when he finally decided that he wanted another bike he called me and made me an offer that I could not easily refuse, I loved that bike but I was also VERY keen to see him return to riding. Barnes is an excellent and passionate long distance rider and he and his missus have always enjoyed bike holidays around Europe including race weekends so hey, why not!
We agreed on the date and Brian booked an air ticket from UK East Midlands to Bergamo, a lovely city in the north of Italy about 40km to the northeast of Milan. I drove up with the VFR in the back of my Vito van and I arrived first, his flight was one hour late and then he took a taxi to our stunning Best Western Hotel in the city centre. We spent that evening and some of the next day walking around Bergamo and people watching before Brian left for France and then I left heading south. GREAT trip indeed.
Wisely when we studied the weather forecast Brian decided to head north on the Friday afternoon instead of waiting till Saturday as the forecast was looking very grim so on Friday after a light lunch we unloaded the big Honda from my van and he set off for Sallances (Ibis Style) through the Mont Blanc Tunnel, then Troyes (Brit Royal Hotel) and then Calais before taking the Chunnel back to the UK and he reports that the bike ran faultlessly, he just needs two new tyres before he plans another trip. Here are a few of his photos, Happy Brian!!
PS. Brian just fitted two new Bridgestone tyres to the Honda and he says that she now corners MUCH better!!!