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Staff bikes: Suzuki V-Strom 650 - Brussels: Further than you think!

I thought Brussels was an easy day’s ride from MCN’s Peterborough HQ, so was first to agree to join senior reporter Steve Farrell on his rabble-rousing EU protest ride last month. In my brain, I foresaw a quick blat to Dover, a tootle down the E40 from Calais, chips and mayonnaise for lunch followed by some shouting at MEPs then ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • First rides & tests
  • 22 December 2011

Staff bikes: Triumph Tiger 800 - Taming the Tiger's thirst

Since returning from Spain a while back I've had numerous emails from Tiger owners concerning fuel consumption. It appears that quite a few are finding it a little on the thirsty side compared to their BMW F800GS-owning friends. On French and Spanish autoroutes at a steady 85mph with pillion and luggage, I got a reasonable 45mpg from my Tiger. Dropping ...

  • Motorcycle News
  • 27 October 2011

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: 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

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: Ducati Monster 1100 Evo - The modern cafe racer

Over the months that I've owned the Monster, many have asked me "What's it like?" My default answer is "A real, good, honest motorcycle". Which sounds like damning it with faint praise; that's far from my intention. What I mean to say is that this stripped back, stylish, air-cooled Italian V-twin, punting out a modest 100bhp at the crank, is - for ...

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

Staff bikes: Ducati Diavel - It's almost time!

My excitement is mounting by the bucket load as after a few weeks of waiting I have finally been given the date for collection of my Ducati Diavel long termer for 2011. On Monday I'll be getting the train to Ducati Coventry for a 12 o'clock pickup then straight on to Road Angel at Silverstone to start the ball rolling ...

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

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