It all started with the VFR1200. I've been trying to get a test ride since it was launched in February, but each time the weather got in the way. Last week, we had a few days to spare, so I popped into Fowlers and arranged a ride on Friday. Fowlers also kindly obliged with a ride for Janet on Yamaha's latest middleweight, the FZ8. Truth be told, I'm not really looking for a new bike, as I'm very happy with the CBF1000, but Janet, though happy with the Hornet, is open to the idea of a change if the right machine comes along.

The VFR turned out to be a nice bike, but not really quite to my liking - perhaps it's just that I'm not crazy about V4s, as I've found in the past that I've come close to liking V4 bikes, but never quite as much as straight 4s.

Talking of straight 4s, Janet seemed a little underwhelmed by the FZ8. While it had no glaring faults, it just didn't seem to offer many advantages over the 600 Hornet that she currently rides.

We retired to the cafe for a snack, to compare notes. At which point a chance conversation reminded us that the FZ8 has a big brother, the FZ1. And what's more, it looked like we could get a great deal on one.

So, to cut a long story short, Janet took one for a ride yesterday, and next week she'll be the proud owner of a brand new white FZ1.

It's going to be great, having both of us on 1000cc machines. The touring will be easier on Janet, and it'll be a good long termer too.