2015 MCN Long Term Fleet

After months of careful planning and delicate negotiations, we present the most important collection of bikes in 2015 – the MCN long term test fleet.

Interested in one particular bike? Click on that bike and you'll find all updates from 2015.

Yamaha R1 KTM RC390 Ducati 1299 Panigale S Suzuki GSX-S1000FA Ducati Scrambler Triumph Street Triple RxKTM 1050 Adventure Yamaha MT-09 Tracer Kawasaki 1400GTR Honda VFR800X Crossrunner BMW S1000RR Indian Scout Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Kawasaki Versys 1000 BMW F800R BMW R1200RS

  • Long term update: Farewell faithful friend

    29 March 2016 by Andy Downes

    Long term update: Farewell faithful friend

    My time with the Yamaha MT-09 Tracer has come to an end and I’m already missing it. The term ‘all-rounder’ can often paint a picture of a bland bike that’s alright at most things but doesn’t...

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  • Long term update: Missing you already!

    22 March 2016 by Simon Relph

    Long term update: Missing you already!

    Where did that year go? One minute I'm waiting for the arrival of the Honda VFR800X Crossrunner, and the next I’m giving it a wash and brush up ready for it to go back to Honda. When it did arrive I...

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  • Long term update: End of the winding road

    10 March 2016 by Michael Guy

    Long term update: End of the winding road

    After nigh-on a year and more than 13,000 miles, it’s time to say goodbye to the Versys. I’d like to tell you it’s been emotional, but it hasn’t and that’s because it’s been the most competent,...

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  • Long term update: Green gremlin strikes

    18 February 2016 by Michael Guy

    Long term update: Green gremlin strikes

    It’s taken 12,000 miles and seven months of riding, but I’ve finally found a fault with Kawasaki’s brilliant all-rounder. Well when I say ‘fault’, what I really mean is ‘minor glitch’. 2000 miles ago...

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  • Long term update: That's screwed it up

    16 February 2016 by Andy Downes

    Long term update: That's screwed it up

    Perhaps I spoke too soon about being ready for the winter onslaught – things have not gone to plan recently. First of all the weather changed from the mild and wet pre-Christmas climate to a much...

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  • Long term update: The going gets muff

    11 February 2016 by Simon Relph

    Long term update: The going gets muff

    I had to ride down to Cambridge the other morning and when I set off the Honda Crossrunner’s dash told me it was minus three. Even with heated grips, thick gloves and Acerbis hand guards to deflect...

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  • Long term update: Protection plan

    09 February 2016 by Adam Child

    Long term update: Protection plan

    Just when I was dreaming about the welcome arrival of Spring, dry roads, new kit and fresh tyres, it seems winter has finally decided to bite me on the arse.  Mid-January delivered a series of...

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  • Long term update: Is XT worth extra?

    03 February 2016 by Andy Davidson

    Long term update: Is XT worth extra?

    The V-Strom seems to be a popular bike and I often get sent questions from owners or potential owners. Here are the most recent and my answers. Bill: I find there is a lot of buffeting, have you...

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  • Long term update: Can sensible be fun?

    28 January 2016 by Michael Guy

    Long term update: Can sensible be fun?

    The digital display on my Kawasaki Versys 1000 clicked past 11,000 miles on my way to work last week and it occurred to me just how much my biking habits have changed over the years. Eleven years ago...

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  • Long term update: A triple challenge

    26 January 2016 by Alison Silcox

    Long term update: A triple challenge

    I fear change. I can’t help it, it’s the way I am. As far as I’m concerned there’s no music better than that of Erasure circa 1986! If an outfit is clean I’ll carry on wearing it – and when choosing a...

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  • Long term update: GSX laughs at winter

    22 January 2016 by Adam Child

    Long term update: GSX laughs at winter

    If you’ve packed your bike away for winter then you’ve been missing out. I can’t believe how mild it was throughout December, and we even had some kneedown-dry days on the run-up to Christmas, plus a...

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  • Long term update: Ready for anything

    21 January 2016 by Andy Downes

    Long term update: Ready for anything

    Half a winter’s worth of commuting on the MT-09 Tracer is providing some forensic analysis of the bike’s talents – and almost all of them are providing even greater proof of how good the Yamaha is. I...

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  • Long term update: 10,000 miles and counting

    15 January 2016 by Michael Guy

    Long term update: 10,000 miles and counting

    You learn a lot about a bike riding it through winter. Cold, wet rides give you plenty of chance to get serious about your evaluation of a bike. In the  summer months rides go past in a blur of...

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  • Long term update: 'I got away with it'

    12 January 2016 by Tim Thompson

    Long term update: 'I got away with it'

    Suddenly the rural roads of East Northamptonshire fell quiet. Dogs out for a morning walk no longer threw themselves to the pavement as it passed. The man in beige slacks with the caravan on his drive...

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  • Long term update: How fast can I actually go?

    08 January 2016 by Alison Silcox

    Long term update: How fast can I actually go?

    I’m not a speed demon but I’ve found the Triumph Street Triple Rx to be the nippiest middleweight I’ve ridden. My previous fastest speed was just over an indicated 120mph on my Ducati Monster, but my...

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  • Long term update: Winterproofing the Strom

    07 January 2016 by Andy Davidson

    Long term update: Winterproofing the Strom

    Everyone’s doing it. I look around and it’s bar muffs here, heated grips there and cold kit everywhere. And if riders aren’t doing it then it’s because they’re busy tucking their prized possessions...

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  • Long term update: Sold on the Scrambler

    05 January 2016 by Simon Brown

    Long term update: Sold on the Scrambler

    Honestly, I’ve not grown this attached to a bike in years. Yes, I have been lucky enough to spend time with a wide range of long term test bikes and I’ve owned a few cantankerous machines of my own...

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  • Long term update: Service reveals chain pain

    26 December 2015 by Andy Downes

    Long term update: Service reveals chain pain

    I was almost caught out by the rate with which the 6000-mile service approached, and only just managed to get the Tracer booked into a dealer in time for it to go on an MCN group test. Our road test...

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  • Long term update: Searching for the BMW's soul

    23 December 2015 by Richard Newland

    Long term update: Searching for the BMW's soul

    In this time of scientific analysis and empirical knowledge of almost everything in our universe, there are very few intangibles left to define. Avoiding the minefields of politics and religion...

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  • Long term update: It's time to get picky

    21 December 2015 by Andy Calton

    Long term update: It's time to get picky

    Picking the R1200RS this year came after a bit of soul-searching. It took a lot of looking in the mirror and admitting those really are grey hairs. The time had come for something a little more...

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  • Long term update: Stick or twist?

    19 December 2015 by Simon Relph

    Long term update: Stick or twist?

    The likes of Honda spend a lot of time refining their bikes so we as customers can get the most enjoyment out of them. Clearly I will never be able to build a bike as well as they can – but I do like...

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  • Long term update: RC390's hidden skills

    17 December 2015 by Emma Franklin

    Long term update: RC390's hidden skills

    Three-and-a-half-thousand miles on KTM’s learner-friendly RC390 have taught me one or two things. The first thing I learned was, despite the Austrian firm’s brace of Moto3 titles and the RC’s ‘Ready...

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  • Long term update: Winter warrior

    15 December 2015

    Long term update: Winter warrior

    For the first time in years I’m without a car over winter, which means the GTR is my sole form of transport no matter how cold it gets. Having covered 10,000 miles on the GTR since it arrived in early...

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  • Long term update: Bad vibes banished at last

    11 December 2015 by Tony Hoare

    Long term update: Bad vibes banished at last

    Finally, just as my time with the 1050 Adventure draws to an end, I get to the bottom of a disconcerting vibration through the handlebars. It came to prominence after a tyre swap and my initial...

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  • Long term update: What the dyno saw

    10 December 2015 by Adam Child

    Long term update: What the dyno saw

    One of the issues that’s confounded me most with the GSX-S1000F is the way it makes its power – and this is further compounded by its throttle response. So I took it for a dyno run at BSD Performance...

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  • Long term update: R1’s been a blast

    08 December 2015 by Michael Neeves

    Long term update: R1’s been a blast

    My time with my brilliant R1 is almost over. Summer’s all but a distant memory and those scorching days riding through Europe and blasting around racetracks seem a lifetime away. But I’ve still been...

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