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Staff bikes: KTM Duke 125 - If you ask an expert...

In my hands the MCN award-winning 125 Duke has proved to be a reliable commuter, tourer and general muck-about bike. It has impressed me. But would it impress a half-decent rider? I handed the keys to MCN senior road tester and NW200 veteran Adam Child. After a quick blast, a few stoppies, a burn-out and valiant attempts at a wheelie, ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 27 October 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: Moto Guzzi Griso SE - V7 Classic snaffled by actress

Just when I was learning to love the V7 Classic and its gentle take on motorcycling life, it has been snatched away from me. Moto Guzzi have reclaimed it, and sent it on a far more glamourous mission: it must now provide post-test transport for a celebrity. Yes, my humble V7 is currently ferrying Gill Halfpenny between her beautiful celebrity ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 25 August 2011

Staff bikes: BMW G650GS - Corrosion sets in

I really like my G650GS. So I’m massively disappointed to report that the paintwork doesn’t seem to be up to much. Corrosion is already beginning to appear in places and it’s not yet had to endure a single winter. A BMW spokesman said: ‘Obviously I can’t really comment on the cause of the corrosion until the bike has been inspected. ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 09 August 2011

Staff bikes: Triumph Tiger 800 - Fitting an eSystem Scottoiler

Last weekend I fitted an eSystem chain oiling system to my long term Triumph Tiger 800. Unlike traditional vacuum valve operated oilers, Scottoiler’s eSystem uses a small electric pump to dispense measured droplets of oil to the chain Pic 1a It’s a complex piece of kit that uses a dashboard, temperature sensor and accelerometer to control flow. You can throw ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 15 June 2011

Staff bikes: Ducati Diavel - A few tentative laps at Silverstone

This weekend was Ducati Days at Silverstone and it would've been rude not to attend and take the Diavel around the GP circuit. The first session of the afternoon arrived and I headed out with Maria Costello MBE to get some idea of where I was going. Silverstone is so huge, I was truly lost, no idea when, where and at what speed to turn ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 23 May 2011

Staff bikes: Ducati Diavel - First impressions

A slow three hour train journey from Kings Lynn to Coventry allowed just enough time for the nerves to build up. I say nerves I mean more apprehension about the 162 horses waiting to be unleashed. The Diavel was without doubt going to be the most powerful bike I'd ever ridden. Luckily it's got traction control to help me when I get a bit ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 12 May 2011

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