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Staff bikes: BMW G650GS - Bye-bye Beemer

Like many motorcyclists I'm sure, every day I'm watched through my window by my little lad as I get on my bike and ride off to work. So I'm not the only one who will be a little sad that BMW has asked for the G650GS back early. Readers of my recent updates may remember me complaining about the early ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 13 October 2011

Staff bikes: Ducati Diavel - No pain, no gain

As with all my motorcycle adventures, it started with poor timing and a torrential downpour. The panic to make the 8.15pm Brittany Ferries sailing from Portsmouth to St Malo meant I had to average more than 60mph over the 195-mile journey, which meant some swift progress on damp roads. This was the first truly wet journey on the bike which ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 13 October 2011

Staff bikes: MV Agusta Brutale - Brutale turns storm chaser

The plan was simple enough. The reality turned out to be a tiny bit different thanks to the howling gales that affected the North of England courtesy of Hurricane Katia. It was supposed to be a two-day trip on the MV Agusta Brutale to Moffat in Scotland to stay at the brilliantly biker-friendly Buccleuch Arms Hotel, taking in five National ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 13 October 2011

Staff bikes: Ducati Monster 1100 Evo - Monster's hot in the city

The first Thursday of each month is Italian night at London's Ace Cafe, so before the 160-mile round trip becomes a teeth-grittingly sub-zero affair, I made the effort to head down after work a few weeks back. The promise of clear skies and good company kept spirits high on the 5.30pm slog down the A1, thankfully against the tide of London's ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 05 October 2011

Staff bikes: Honda VFR800X Crossrunner - It's time to retyre

Time for a change. The turning of three-thousand-odd miles has seen both the fading of Crossrunner's OE Pirelli Scorpions' ability and my faith in them. Don't get me wrong: the Scorps aren't a bad tyre. They've been consistent and predictable enough (in a humdrum sort of way) in all sorts of riding, from routine 30-mile work commutes in all kinds ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 05 October 2011

Staff bikes: KTM 990 SMT ABS - Retuned to perfection

Although the KTM 990 SM-T looks the same black and white bike I'd left at BSD Performance for a dyno run and fuelling check, the bike I got back now runs like a completely different machine. The KTM's low-rpm throttle snatch around town is now nothing more than a memory. Throttle response in first and second gearis smoother with the ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 05 October 2011

Video: Long term KTM 990 SMT ABS

Trevor Franklin talks through the finer details of his KTM 990 SMT ABS long term test bike, his plans for the bike and explains why it's helping him to 'still feel like a teenager'. We suspect it could have something to do with the "V-twin engine that is so punchy it defies belief; up on the back wheel, fast out of ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 29 September 2011

Staff bikes: Suzuki GSX-R750: The surprise tourer

It's fair to say my GSX-R750 has lived most of its short life with the rev needle pinging against the redline on track. It's a sensational-handling bit of kit, devilishly fast and intoxicatingly involving. But most surprisingly it's really good at long journeys, too. So far I've been to Le Mans, travelled over to the TT and been to Le Touquet. ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 26 September 2011

Staff bikes: Yamaha Super Tenere - Here we go again

Having clocked 4500 miles on the big Super Tenere so far this year, life is good. It's not the sharpest-handling or most exciting big adventure bike out there, but as an all-round package it's certainly grown on me. The chassis is incredibly well balanced and combined, the engine civilised, it's comfortable and easy to ride, which is ultimately what a ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 26 September 2011

Staff bikes: Victory Cross Country - Chelsea tensioner

So we’re hanging around outside the Ace Café, waiting to head out on the run down to the Autolegends Show at Chelsea’s Royal Hospital. The Victory is lined up with 30 or so other bikes, waiting for the order to head off. But there’s no sign of ‘face of the Ace’ Mark Wilsmore. He was due to lead the run, ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 14 September 2011

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