John Robinson dies

 05 August 2001 00:00

It’s with enormous sadness that we report the passing of John Robinson, Performance Bikes’ technical editor. He was 56.

John died peacefully in the evening of August 6, in the BUPA Hospital, Leicester, of complications related to the bowel cancer he contracted between Christmas and New Year 1999.

It is some small comfort that he died peacefully, without pain, surrounded by friends and family.

John’s passing will be felt throughout the motorcycling community.

His ability to brilliantly convey the hardest of technical fact in an accessible and often downright hilarious tone and style, was unique and irreplaceable.

As a graduate engineer John didn’t enjoy a short spell in the commercial world, but found his true calling in the sphere of motorcycle journalism.

In 1967, aged 22, he joined Motorcycle Mechanics, the magazine that would mutate into Performance Bikes, and the success of which was in no small part thanks to his brilliance.

34 years of devoted service on the same magazine made him the consummate bike journalist. As a writer, rider and technical authority combined, John was peerless. It is a widely accepted fact that JR was the finest of his, and indeed any other, generation.

John even brought his tenacity and analytical mind to bear on his illness. If one doctor wrote him off he’d find another. A lesser man would have been dead a year ago.

John had two major bouts of surgery in the past 18 months and was undergoing experimental chemotherapy when he died. Throughout, he never lost interest in biking, the mag and the people involved. He was still writing fantastic copy and working on various cutting edge projects to the end.