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rating is 2.5

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

John Westlake, 22 December 2011 16:00

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 ...

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rating is 5

Staff bikes: Moto Guzzi Griso SE - V7 Classic snaffled by actress

John Westlake, 25 August 2011 17:16

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 ...

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rating is 3

New Honda CBR250R: how fast?

John Westlake, 18 March 2011 16:50

At first glance, Honda's new £3688 CBR250RR is a lot of bike for its price. Which might sound a little odd from the standpoint of being ‘just’ a single-cylinder bike with power output capped to just 26bhp. But a comparison with the competition speaks volumes: Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R costs £861 more at £4549, and Hyosung’s capable GT250R is £3799. And ...

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rating is 3.5

Near-standard S1000RR hits 202mph

John Westlake, 24 September 2010 17:12

A standard BMW S1000RR with an off-the-shelf Akrapovic exhaust, a smaller rear sprocket and some gaffer tape over slots in the screen cracked 202mph from a standing start in one mile. The speed run was part of an experiment by Performance Bikes magazine to discover the new BMW’s ultimate speed potential, and is featured in this month’s issue, out October ...

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rating is 4

New Zonda-inspired MV F4

John Westlake, 12 August 2010 17:40

The Sultan of Qatar has a new toy. Inspired by the Pagani Zonda Una supercar, Italian MV specialists Alka Design have produced this eye-melting MV Agusta F4 special for the hyper-wealthy Sultan. Dubbed the MV Agusta F4 Libeccio, it’s a standard 2010 F4 with full carbon bodywork. The price is apparently top secret and almost certainly quite big. Standard 2010 ...

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New Husqvarna TE310

John Westlake, 12 August 2010 15:54

Based on the super-light super-revvy TE250 (which currently leads the E1 world enduro championship), this bike found universal approval at the launch. While a 450 dirt bike can be a bit of an animal to all but the professional and a 250 can be a little too small (especially for the stouter rider), the 310 plugs the gap, just right. ...

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New BMW-powered Husqvarnas ridden

John Westlake, 12 August 2010 15:35

The new flagship in Husqvarna’s range is the 449, which has taken the engine from BMW’s now discontinued G450X enduro and given it new life. Made in two variants, the TC is the motocrosser, the TE an enduro. It’s brand new this year, a complete ground-up exercise that takes up where BMW left off and pushes the 450X motor forwards ...

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rating is 3

New Bimotas tested

John Westlake, 28 May 2010 17:37

To celebrate the announcement of a new UK importer, Bimota brought along the DB5S, DB6, DB7 and Tesi 3D to Brands Hatch for us to ride, to refresh British riders' memories of the exotica they hand-build. Here are our verdicts in brief – for full details, see next week’s MCN out on Wednesday June 2. DB6 - £16,605Easily one of the ...

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rating is 3

First ride: Honda VFR1200F DCT

John Westlake, 05 May 2010 15:53

Phil West, Executive Editor, is near Frankfurt testing Honda’s new VFR1200F DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) which is Honda’s much vaunted and radical new auto gearbox. Phil – a confirmed techno-sceptic – has just phoned through this report “After Ducati’s Multistrada, I thought we’d had enough new radical mode systems for one year but Honda’s new gearbox system matches it in ...

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rating is 3.5

New Norton Commando v Triumph Bonneville

John Westlake, 09 April 2010 13:48

MCN testers have just returned from riding the new Norton Commando 961 SE alongside the latest Triumph Bonneville. It’s the first time the Norton has been road tested against another bike. There’s a hell of a price differential (Norton: £15,995, Triumph £5899), but MCN’s riders still came back buzzing about both British machines. Chief road tester Trevor Franklin said: “Surprisingly, ...


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