1988 Honda XBR500 from United Kingdom
Like others, having reached my eighties, I found many bikes too large and heavy for me to push around without dropping something. I like only large capacity single-cylinder machines, so the available choice was not great. I was fortunate in acquiring the SJ model, last iteration of the XBR with wire wheels and, having got used to it after decades of the archetypal "Britbike", I have come to love it.
It is small, narrow, light and very responsive, both in handling and engine behaviour. Roadholding is excellent and entirely predictable. In short - it is just a great deal of fun. But it is a "sports" bike and I think would prove less than ideal on longer, touring journeys.
At the moment the XBR remains affordable but, together with the GB500, at last they are being recognised as something a bit special and prices are increasing accordingly. Be quick. I cannot think that anyone would regret owning one of these little crackers. Mine's a keeper.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th September, 2021