Honda GB 400 TT (Part 5)


March 26th 2004

    Well, the big day arrived today for me to take the GB for it's MOT.  This is one of the bits I feel slightly uneasy about - riding with no number plate.  I know it's the only way and I have now done it many times before, and as long as you have booked an appointment and they have your details and frame number, then it's perfectly legal.  The nearest station is about 4 miles away, but fortunately along some very pleasant and almost deserted roads across the 'Moss', so I had the chance to bed the brakes in and generally get the feel of it.  Andy, the MOT tester was well chuffed with the bike and there was nothing to prevent him from eventually supplying the certificate.  I cracked it up again on his forecourt and eased my way out onto another 'back road' home.  I felt a little better on the return, until when rounding one of the many bends, I encountered a Police Land Rover parked some distance ahead, with one of the local farmers having a chat with the driver.  Oh! sod it! I thought, I've got a certificate, so I just burbled past them and waited for blue light mayhem to break out.  No such misfortune - either he didn't notice, or perhaps he thought that the reams of paper-work needed were not worth the hassle.  Anyway, I waited for a while longer and then started playing tunes up and down the box and generally enjoying myself in the rapidly improving spring air.  I often wonder if I will ever grow up!

    First impressions - lovely sound, very precise handling, but the tyres still need scrubbing in, slightly over-braked (same disc as the GB500 and pads from GL1500!), and it feels like it might just need a slightly larger main jet.  The riding position for me at 5' 10" with old hips, will be fine for most trips and I can't really see me doing many 2 - 300 milers with a 1500 'Wing sitting in the Shed, can you?

    I arrived home and swapped the GB for the 1500 'Wing and trundled off to Preston and out to our  LVRO, to carry out the formalities of registration.  After the usual long wait (but don't worry, it will all be quicker when we get Computers!!) I handed all of the documentation to the very nice lady (V55/5 form + MOT + insurance + customs clearance doc + dating letter - for the bike not the lady!)  who assured me that all was in order and that I would receive confirmation and the all-important registration number (D plate) in about 4 days time.  Just when I though she'd forgotten, she turned all official and fleeced me of 68 (first UK registration fee is now 38, but the GB400 (398cc) just sneaks under the wire for the 30 per year VED.  A result!  I had a great ride back on the 'Wing to the strains of the Eagles' 'Peaceful easy feeling' and Eva Cassidy's 'Fields of Gold' plus a bit of UB40 thrown in.

    I still have a small wish list to make the GB a bit closer to standard - the indicators fitted at the moment were stolen from one of my 400 fours and I had to resort to painting the badly bubbled chrome instrument covers, so I'll keep searching for those items.  Also the crankcases need a little bit of paint fettling to get them to the standard of the rest of it.  I don't intend stripping anything down, it's just to detail it a bit more.  So that's another one rescued and allowed to fight another day!  If you have any questions about any of the processes involved in this fairly quick resurrection, then please feel free to email me,  but if there are any paint shade anoraks or rivet counters reading this, remember - it's only a hobby!


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