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rating is 4

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

Steve Farrell, 14 February 2011 10:42

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 ...

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rating is 3.5

Staff bikes: Honda Hornet 600 - MCT suspension

James Keen, 21 January 2011 10:30

I don’t think I’m alone in being a little bit scared of suspension jargon. I’m in awe of the guys who can bounce a bike up and down and tell if it’s any good or not on feel alone. But despite not being able to describe the problem in technical terms, I’ve known for a while that my Hornet’s suspension ...

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rating is 5

Staff bikes: Honda Hornet 600 - pitted forks

James Keen, 18 January 2011 09:30

My Hornet's forks - which are actually used forks from a breakers, following a crash a couple of years ago - were pitted badly on the stanchions. The suspension is so tired that I want to get it looked at by a professional, but it's not worth doing this until that’s fixed.   I considered everything from biting the bullet and ordering new OE parts ...

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rating is 3.5

Staff bikes: CBR600F - getting it up to scratch

Andy Downes, 09 December 2010 11:08

Faults with the old Honda CBR600F-W are few and far between. They are renown for bulletproof construction, reliability and apart from camchain tensioners failing, there is really only rotting downpipes to look out for.  Find a Honda CBR600F for sale After buying a 1998 Honda CBR600F back in February as a bike that will do a bit of everything, I ...

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rating is 1

Staff bikes: VFR750 - that'll teach me for being smug

Simon Brown, 23 November 2010 09:38

That will teach me for being smug about my bargain VFR. Last year the £750 Honda cruised through its MoT with a couple of advisories and a cheery wave from the mechanic. My budget buy was vindicated and all was well with the Brown bank account.    5000 miles and 12 months down the line the bike didn’t feel any more ...

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rating is 4

Staff bikes: BMW S1000RR - Star of the 'ring

Andy Downes, 23 November 2010 08:51

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 ...

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rating is 2.5

Staff bikes: KTM 450EXC - shattered plans!

Marc Potter, 22 November 2010 16:46

Everytime I fire up my KTM450 EXC-F there’s a feeling that only a pure race bike can bring. The way it jumps on the sidestands responding to every angry rise and fall of the  revs, the way it barks angrily even out of the standard can just gets me going everytime.     Following a full service at Gear4 KTM in Market ...

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rating is 0

Staff Bikes: Ducati Multistrada - loan leaves an impression

Andy Downes, 22 November 2010 16:36

Getting my hands on the Editor’s Ducati Multistrada 1200 was meant to be for just one afternoon so I could do some advanced rider training, but after some begging it turned out to last nearly a week. The reason was simple…I bloody loved it and the thought of giving it back to Marc Potter, or indeed anyone, was horrible.    I’d ...

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rating is 4

Staff bikes: BMW R1200RT - End of a wonderful time

Andy Downes, 17 November 2010 11:37

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 ...

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rating is 2.5

Staff bikes: Triumph Street Triple - Conquering the capital

Dan Aspel, 17 November 2010 11:30

Street Triple 1 : London 0 London is a congested network of road works, cycle lanes, tight, un-filterable traffic lights, one-way systems and road rage, all vigilantly policed by a swarm of unblinking CCTV cameras. The perfect place to test the “Street” in Street Triple. On a rainy autumn night last week I leapt aboard the Triumph and ploughed down ...

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