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2012 Yamaha R1 - first impressions

Michael Neeves, 12 October 2011 09:56

We're in Spain riding the 2012 Yamaha R1 at the Valencia MotoGP circuit. Aside from a few very minor tweaks the main change to the Yamaha is its new six-stage traction control. We've just done our first session and the TC is on max. It's so intrusive you can hold the throttle to the stop out of every corner, not ...

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Vyrus 986 M2: First Moto2 racer for the road

Michael Neeves, 25 February 2011 17:02

Exotic Italian manufacturer Vyrus is planning a road-going version of its new 986 M2 Factory Moto2 racer - yours for £21,000. The 124bhp, 155kg hand-built 986 M2 SL Replica will go into production by the end of the year. The first shake-down tests for the actual Moto2 racer, which weighs in at just 235kg, are taking place now in Italy. ...

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First impressions: Husqvarna SMS630 and TE630

Michael Neeves, 31 March 2010 10:12

We’re in Italy riding Husqvarna’s two new road bikes: the SMS630 supermoto and TE630 enduro-styled machine. Both bikes have new motors with twin-cam heads a capacity hike from 576cc to 600cc and a hydraulic clutch. The chassis and bodywork are all-new and the plastics have their graphics impregnated into them, so gone are the days of blowing off your stickers ...

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Australia blog: Day 7 - 500cc Grand Prix heaven

Michael Neeves, 21 January 2010 09:30

For me, the last generation of premier class GP machines are the most awe-inspiring ever built. The 500cc two-stroke weapons from the late 80s all the way to the beginning of MotoGP in 2002 are the ones that capture the imagination the most and Yamaha’s mighty YZR500 is probably the coolest, although thanks to Doohan and Rossi and their NSR500s, ...

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Aprilia RSV4-R first ride!

Michael Neeves, 27 October 2009 11:39

The Aprilia RSV4-R costs £12,449 and is available in dealers now. The compact V4 engine is exactly the same as the Factory’s, it’s only the chassis components which have been altered, with Ohlins suspension replaced by Showa forks and a Sachs rear shock.  Aprilia RSV4-R launch cut short Wheels are cast aluminium rather than forged, and some of the Factory’s ...

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How to turn your 848 into a superbike-killer

Michael Neeves, 16 October 2009 15:23

In standard form the Ducati 848 is one of MCN's favourite sports bikes. It has all the grunt, style and the bombastic soundtrack of its bigger brother the 1198, with added agility and a revvier, more involving engine. It was born for corners – it’s the exotic, twin-cylinder take on the legendary Suzuki GSX-R750. You don't have to spend the ...

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First Ride! 2010 MV Agusta Brutale 990R and 1090RR

Michael Neeves, 30 September 2009 10:08

MCN Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves is in Italy and has just had his first ride on MV AgustaBrutale 990R and 1090RR. Here are his initial riding impressions: “The first thing I noticed is how much more refined this super-naked is. Despite looking the same as the old model the bike is completely new from its chassis to its bodywork. ...

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Britain's best specials!

Michael Neeves, 07 September 2009 13:34

These stunning home-built specials are among the finalists of our Britain’s Got Biking Talent contest with Carole Nash to find the best bike in Britain.    Vote for your favourite bike now We picked out these four bikes from the finalists to highlight the quality of the entries into this year’s competition and to remind YOU to vote for the machines ...

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Jack Lilley special Triumph Scrambler

Michael Neeves, 04 December 2008 10:53

MCN Senior Road Tester, Michael Neeves has just ridden a very special Triumph Scrambler, built by Triumph dealers Jack Lilley. Here are his first impressions: “At the beginning of this year Triumph updated its Scrambler, giving it fuel injection to keep emissions nice and clean for the tough Euro 3 regulations. For 2009, the 865cc parallel twin-cylinder Scrambler remains the ...

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Picture special: BMW's 800 and 1200GS take on Honda Transalp

Michael Neeves, 08 May 2008 10:17

Thanks to its many appearances on the telly over the past few years, BMW’s big adventure bike is one of the most recognisable bikes of the modern era. Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor’s trips up and down, and round and round the globe, with their trusty BMW R1150GS and R1200GS Adventures have inspired the explorer in many of us; bikers ...

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