Bike News (Jan - Dec 2000)

  • The scooter with an identity crisis

    01 December 2000

    The scooter with an identity crisis

    IT looks like a scooter, behaves like a motorcycle and has the kind of name you’d associate with a giant-sized hot beverage from a burger joint. Say hello to Yamaha’s Tmax – a new concept in...

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  • Harley tweaks to suit Europe

    01 December 2000

    Harley tweaks to suit Europe

    MOUNT ETNA in Sicily is an active volcano and, at 2000 metres high, it’s also the tallest in Europe.It erupted only last year and almost always has a plume of smoke boldly rising from its crater. So...

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  • Move over Colin, it’s my turn now

    24 November 2000

    Move over Colin, it’s my turn now

    THE rider in front disappears from view. I lean the bike into the chicane before the start-finish straight, feeling the racing wets digging in. The bike boots it out of the first-gear corner, lifting...

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  • Spot the family resemblance

    10 November 2000

    Spot the family resemblance

    PRETEND for a moment you’re a race bike – no, don’t run away, I haven’t gone mad. I just want to try and explain to you how tough a season’s racing is.The chances are you own or have ridden a bike in...

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  • Tuck in, hold on and go flat-out

    03 November 2000

    Tuck in, hold on and go flat-out

    YOU’RE stood at the side of the track. It’s quiet other than the rustle of the wind in the grass. The people around you have all fallen silent in anticipation. Away to your right you hear the familiar...

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  • Semi-automatic for the people

    03 November 2000

    Semi-automatic for the people

    THEY’RE used in World Superbikes and Formula One racing cars, and your road bike could have one in a few years. What are they? Semi-automatic gearboxes, that’s what. We know that Ducati will be using...

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  • A bike is only as fast as its rider

    01 November 2000

    A bike is only as fast as its rider

    THERE’S an orange bike, a red bike, a purple bike, a green bike and, of course, a blue and white bike. They’re all parked up on paddock stands with mechanics milling around them, fitting tyre warmers...

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  • Give us a go, Mr Walker

    01 October 2000

    Give us a go, Mr Walker

    I’VE ridden plenty of Suzuki GSX-R750s in my time. But the number two on the front of this one marks it out as being Very Special Indeed. And I’ve never been so scared in my entire life.You see, the...

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  • All that glitters... is almost gold

    15 September 2000

    All that glitters... is almost gold

    FEW people in the world will ever get to look at, let alone hear, ride or even own an MV Agusta Series Oro. Only 50 of the magnesium-laced " gold " series bikes have ever been built. All...

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  • Britain’s answer to the R1

    15 September 2000

    Britain’s answer to the R1

    THERE have been some great British motorcycles over the years. Triumph’s Bonneville, Norton’s Commando, BSA’s Dandy (well, maybe not). But, even in light of the very latest machines like Triumph’s...

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  • A little bit of what you fancy

    08 September 2000

    A little bit of what you fancy

    IT was all a bit ironic. Here I was in the middle of Germany, howling along on an exotic FireBlade-engined bike I had travelled halfway across Europe to ride. But along with its Japanese-made engine,...

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  • Beyond reason

    08 September 2000

    Beyond reason

    I’M sitting in a jammed-up one-way system, snicking the gearbox into neutral. The idling engine’s heat is starting to make its way through my jeans.Traffic jams are an annoyance on most bikes,...

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  • Tale of the unexpected

    01 September 2000

    Tale of the unexpected

    TRACKDAY bikes – R1s, Blades, GSX-Rs, 916s, BMWs. Er, excuse me? Let’s try that one again. Track day bikes – R1s, Blades, GSX-Rs, 916s… BMWs?Surely Munich’s big Boxers are designed to clock up the...

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  • Casting light on the secrets of the black box

    01 September 2000

    YOU know what the problem with that is... that’s your cerebral oscillator confounding your collectivisor, that is...Modern bikes can be such conundrums of electronic complexity that you won’t be alone if your eyes start glazing over when your mechanic begins explaining why yours won’t start.It’s easy to give up, hand over the key and wander off in the hope that there’s a taxi rank nearby, without...

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  • The sum is greater than its parts

    01 September 2000

    The sum is greater than its parts

    IT was just like gazing at the stars. The more I looked, the more I saw. Except this wasn’t the sky. This was a very special Honda SP-1. And instead of seeing planets, I was gawping at a machine which...

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  • Why exhausts are left to the experts

    25 August 2000

    Why exhausts are left to the experts

    FITTING an aftermarket silencer or complete exhaust system is the most common modification we make to our bikes. We do it to add a bit more power and personality, and to shed a bit of weight.But, as...

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  • What have you done wrong today?

    18 August 2000

    What have you done wrong today?

    MISTAKE: ASSUMING DRIVERS CAN’T/WON’T ATTEMPT THE SAME OVERTAKE AS YOUHOW many times have you gone to overtake a slow-moving vehicle only to have a car pull out from the queue behind it to attempt the...

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  • The real deal on wheels

    18 August 2000

    The real deal on wheels

    LIGHTWEIGHT wheels are standard equipment on race bikes. But how much difference could they make to our own machines? They are certainly more than an expensive pose. They can reduce the unsprung...

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  • Why no YZR500i?

    11 August 2000

    Why no YZR500i?

    WE’VE become used to seeing fuel injection replace carburettors on bike after bike, and the electronic system is now nearly as common a sight on road bikes as disc brakes.But if fuel injection is the...

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  • 250 v 600 = no contest

    11 August 2000

    250 v 600 = no contest

    THE CBR600 rider in the distance is scything through the pine-lined canyon switchbacks.His mind is set on one thing – trying to put as much distance between himself and the bike screaming up behind...

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  • The people’s champions

    04 August 2000

    The people’s champions

    WHERE were you on Sunday afternoon? If you were sat beside a certain track in Kent, or glued to the BBC’s Grandstand, you don’t need telling how big the World Superbike series has become. The...

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  • Just nipping out to buy another RC30, dear

    01 August 2000

    Just nipping out to buy another RC30, dear

    SOME people collect stamps, others collect beer bottles. Some are even lucky enough to own a few bikes. But there’s one man for whom only the very best will do – that’s why he’s got a collection of...

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  • It’s important to be pumped

    01 August 2000

    It’s important to be pumped

    TYRE pressures are a crucial factor in determining how your bike handles and how quickly you wear your (not exactly cheap) tyres.There are lots of myths and misconceptions about what pressures you...

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  • Only if you’re Carl Fogarty

    01 August 2000

    Only if you’re Carl Fogarty

    IT’S the number plate that gives it away. The legend " T4 FOG " just above the chunky rear tyre reveals that this is no ordinary Ducati Monster.Yes, the owner of the machine glinting...

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  • Be prepared to change your mind

    21 July 2000

    Be prepared to change your mind

    IT’S good to challenge yourself, to take yourself aside and question your beliefs from time to time. It’s even better if you can do it in glorious sunshine. As I sit reflecting on my newly-shifted...

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  • Somebody pinch me

    14 July 2000

    Somebody pinch me

    I’M sitting on a bike I once only dreamed of touching. This seat is usually reserved for genuine racing heroes. Kenny Roberts and his son are among the very few who have graced it.The mid-day...

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  • The queue-jumper

    14 July 2000

    The queue-jumper

    THE sweet smell of two-stroke wafted around me as I waited for the lights to turn green on a gridful of impatient, wide-eyed loons. My senses were wound to maximum. The instant I saw green I was ready...

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  • Fancy going for a blat, Bazza?

    07 July 2000

    Fancy going for a blat, Bazza?

    AS a kid growing up in the ’70s, like many of my peers, I had an Evel Knievel wind-up toy Skycycle, complete with stars and stripes-clad Knievel doll.After about a year of playing at Knievel, I...

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  • Prepare for an Indian summer

    07 July 2000

    Prepare for an Indian summer

    THE scenario had been acted out many times before. A V-twin Harley-Davidson was locked in combat with a four-cylinder Indian, their riders crouched over the tanks with the throttles at the stop...

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  • Blades: The Gathering

    01 July 2000

    Blades: The Gathering

    CULT status is usually accorded to things which aren’t actually that popular. Red Dwarf, for example isn’t anywhere near as big as Neighbours. Honda’s FireBlade is a glaring exception to this...

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