Honda have brought the new version of the CBF 1000 to the UK, and it's appearing in the bike shops now, so I've taken the opportunity to take a demo bike for a spin. Mrs T was going to as well, but was feeling under the weather, so she'll go for it in a few weeks time.

It was a brand new machine, with only 16 miles on the clock, so though I doubled its mileage (!) I took it really steady. From such a brief ride it's obviously hard to form a decent impression, but the first & most obvious one was the seat - it's soft!!! It also felt slightly smaller, and I think it's not as flat as the one on the Mk1, inclining the rider toward the tank, and with less width at the front. At 6'1", I found it a little snug for me, albeit it was set on a lower position than on my bike.

The cockpit view is very modern, with that central rev counter in a nice blue with a very tasteful red needle.  The tank seems to rise higher than on the Mk1, and with the fairing integrated to it, reminded me of the current Transalp. The screen was set quite high on the one I tried - personally I'd probably go for a lower setting.

On the road - well, straight away, I turned out behind a Police car, so things were rather sedate! But I did half a dozen miles on the lovely Bridgwater - Minehead road  before turning back, and very nice it was too. The new bike seemed to steer a little quicker than the Mk1, - I've not seen a spec sheet, but it feels like Honda have sharpened the geometry a little. The engine - well, I was limited to 5k out of the 10k rev range, but it felt as smooth as the Mk1 to me.

The brakes worked, and the suspension did its job fine - it seems to be more adjustable than on the Mk1, though if I'm not mistaken it's no longer rising rate on the back.

I was only on the bike for half an hour, but the overall impression was favourable, and I formed the view that it is a little sportier than my Mk1, though obviously by no means an outright sports bike. Myself though, I'm really pleased with my current CBF, and I like it's big, roomy characteristics, with a comfy seat for long distance travelling and loads of luggage space too, so I'll be sticking with the Mk1!