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Press launches - the ugly truth. Part 3

Sun, 03 Apr 2011

So with an afternoon of sightseeing completed (a rare luxury on most launches) it's back to the hotel for the press conference. These are you usually long winded, tooth pulling affairs with Japanese technicians insisting on speaking their bestest engrish which only serves to elongate the proceedings. Nothing kills a presentation more than reading every word of a powerpoint slide verbatum, even thought the viewers can read exactly the same words (and probably a lot faster). 

The Crossrunner presentation was mercifully brief and snappy followed by dinner in the hotel and a reasonably early night as everyone had already been up for twenty hours.

Thursday - riding day - dawned bright and sunny with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze. Perfect. After a fairly nuts ride to the coffee stop led by The Motorcycle News' correspondent Mr Phil West, I went solo for the rest of the day as I really don't like riding in big groups.

All the roads on Majorca are twisty, possibly something to do with the mountains. All the roads are surfaced with special low-grip tarmac and all the roads are infested with cyclists. It's as if you encounter the leading group of the Tour de France every few hundred metres. Pedalling Pests. Great way to test the ABs and how easy it is to change line, mid-corner, though. The Crossrunner is no lightweight on the scales but it feels light to ride. You notice this when you're about to take out five-abreast cyclists, half way round a blind bend. Big bars really help to chuck it around like a trail bike.

So, despite half our group coming down with a weird vomiting/fainting bug the day's riding went pretty well with no offs, no disasters and no arrests. Well, they have to catch you to arrest you, don't they?

We're under strict instructions from Honda's press dominatrix Fiona Cole not to pull any wheelies or do any skids and stuff for the pictures. There are a few quivering bottom lips about this which only adds to the piss taking currency against those who are sulking. As members of the International media we must portray a sensible and responsible attitude. This is fine by me as I always ride like an IAM instructor, anyway. 

Next week sees your faithful correspondent in Sicily on the Ducati Monster launch. If you're at all interested I'll report back from there, too...

By mark forsyth

See also: Video: Honda Crossrunner v mountain pass, Press Launches - the ugly truth. Part 1, WSBK Racer Maxime Berger Losing His Rear Wheel at Donington Park.