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Staff bikes: Kawasaki GPz550 - 'I want to throw it in the river'

Sometimes fixing bikes can be almost as satisfying as riding them. But lately I’ve felt like dumping my £300 ‘bargain’ GPz550 in the river. Which is where much of it appears to have come from. More competent fettlers have completed nut and bolt restorations in the time it’s taken me to get the back brake to work. It began when ...

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

Staff bikes: BMW S1000RR - Star of the 'ring

The moment I realised I’d made the right choice borrowing the BMW S1000RR instead of my regular BMW R1200RT arrived as the S1000RR hit an indicated 181mph down the main straight at the Nurburgring. I was left giggling like a little boy before realising I was going to have to lose some speed into Antonibusche, shut the throttle and sat ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 23 November 2010

Staff bikes: BMW R1200RT - End of a wonderful time

Giving back long term test bikes can be a mixed bag of emotions. On occasions you know you won’t miss the bike no matter how good they might be. Other times you know the bike is going to leave a big hole in your riding life. The 2010 BMW R1200RT I reluctantly had prised from my grasp is one of ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 17 November 2010

Staff bikes: Honda Hornet 600 - Braking the cycle of abuse

My plan to rejuvenate my much-abused Hornet 600 hasn’t progressed as fast as I would have liked. Getting married, a fantastic GSX-R600 and general laziness are to blame. Having said that, I have finally got around to sorting out the brakes. When I put the bike in for an MOT, I was given an advisory about the warped discs. So ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 27 October 2010

Staff bikes: Triumph Street Triple - Bits go on. Bits fall off

No sooner had I fitted a protective radiator cover to my Street Triple than my housemate backed his car into it. Forcefully. Lifting it from the mud and back onto its sidestand, surveying the bike in the Monday drizzle, there wasn’t much time to appreciate the irony. Luckily there wasn’t any apparent damage. Handlebars straight. Mirrors twisted but undamaged. No ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 29 September 2010

Staff bikes: Suzuki GSX-R600 - setting it up to suit

The GSX-R600 is great fun on the open road, but at slow speed the riding position can be torture - supersport 600s aren't known for their comfort and in fairness that's not what they're about. But that said I've managed to drastically reduce muscle ache in two simple steps - and without spending a penny.  The bars are low of ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 23 June 2010

Staff bikes: CBR600F - Carb cleaning brings it back to life

After buying my 1998 Honda CBR600F in the middle of the grim winter weather actually getting around to riding it had to wait for a while. When I did get to ride it, it was clear the carburettor would need some serious cleaning as the throttle response was jerky and stuttering. A can of Wynn’s carb cleaner was sadly not ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 23 June 2010

Staff bikes: Enfield Clubman - I can see clearly now

I have an addictive personality; I horde things, lots of things. There are approximately 30 pairs of shoes scattered around my house, my garage looks like a library, the loft is full of old C90 compilation tapes and LPs... and now that I own a bike which demands the use of an open-face lid I fear I might've started a ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 07 June 2010

Staff bikes: Yamaha TZR250 - On every other Sunday

You’ll probably think I’m a bit of a slacker for not starting my TZR250 blog until I’ve already competed in three rounds of this season. Which is fair enough, but in my defence, the start of the season has been a whirlwind – the first three rounds were separated by just 12 days each. Even pre-season, it was hectic – ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 02 June 2010

Staff bikes: Ducati Multistrada 1200 - The bike I've waited 10 years for

Picked up my new Ducati Multistrada 1200 Touring on Friday and I couldn’t be more delighted with it. With electronically-adjustable Ohlins suspension, changeable engine maps, heated grips, keyless start, an electronic steering lock, Ducati traction control, and panniers as standard on the £14,250 Touring version I chose, there’s not many more gadgets that you could throw at a bike. Thankfully ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 27 May 2010

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