Slow’s nice.

I have a tendency to dismiss big cc bikes and those who ride them as being the product of ego, and the mine-is-bigger-than-yours egos being pandered too, but it’s absolutely true that speed can be exhilarating and addictive. (However, I’m still not convinced that you need anything bigger than 400cc for Japan, if anywhere, save a racetrack.) 

Moving up from the 37 horse powered Transalp to the CB400SB’s 53 horse power (and its Vtec loveliness) has offered me a lot more opportunity to experience that exhilaration and be tempted down the road of that addiction. Now that the engine’s broken in, full throttle acceleration is not going to damage the engine, and neither would pushing the needle towards the red line. But I’m never going to do it. I love speed, but I’ve been drinking from the cup deeply enough of late. That’s for sure.

The rules of the road in Japan are very rigid. Top legal speeds are slow, the fines high and chances of imprisonment too real to be ignored.  In saying that it seems that the police won’t pull you over for being 9km over the stated limit, so that’s a small reprieve. 49 km/h is a whole lot better than 40 km/h.

Since getting the CB400 I’ve allowed things to drift a touch to where I shouldn’t be in terms of road caution. I don’t split lanes between moving cars, or enter bends at unreasonable speeds, but I need to make sure that I’m keeping a level head in some other circumstances. It’s far too easy to get cocky on the roads you commute on on a daily basis. So at this moment in time, I’m slowing down. Slow’s nice. Being late for work is much more preferable than being early to your appointment with the Big Fella (and I don’t mean the police).

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