Motorbike Inspiration

Welcome to MCN's Inspiration section, where you'll be able to read about everything that makes us tick as bikers. Catch our guides to top classic motorcycles, long weekend reads and much more.

Chasing perfection: Honda’s oval-piston NR750 at 30

Chasing perfection: Honda’s oval-piston NR750 at 30

In October 1991, the most exotic and most expensive production bike ever been produced by any Japanese brand was launched, embracing a level of tech which – even today – seems extreme. The Honda...

Try an electric trials bike at Inch Perfect Trials

Try an electric trials bike at Inch Perfect Trials

Sweat is pouring down my face as I focus every ounce of concentration onto negotiating the rocky river bed, desperate to keep my feet up and avoid a 'dab' whilst my fingers tickle the throttle just...

Test your riding endurance in an Iron Butt Rally

Test your riding endurance in an Iron Butt Rally

The Iron Butt Association is dedicated to the pursuit of safe, long-distance motorcycling. Sure, most of us have done extended days on the bike, but to class yourself as a genuine 'Iron Butter' you...

Experience riding as fast as you want on a German autobahn

Experience riding as fast as you want on a German autobahn

With sixth gear engaged and the throttle open to the stop, the three-lane-wide autobahn funnels ever narrower into a tiny apex in the distance. Accented orange by the rising sun on the horizon, every...

Learn the art of bike control: California Superbike School will teach you the secrets to speed

Learn the art of bike control: California Superbike School will teach you the secrets to speed

Riding in the company I keep at work can be a sobering experience. The wider MCN team have hundreds of years of experience of riding every type of bike on the roads, runways, trails and racetracks –...

Now is the time to design your own helmet

Now is the time to design your own helmet

Hello. My name is Richard, and I’m a shameless hypocrite. OK, so this isn’t group therapy, but I felt it would be wrong not to share with the group that this rampant self-indulgence is spectacularly...

24hr party people: MCN join in the action at the first 24hr Freetech Endurance race

24hr party people: MCN join in the action at the first 24hr Freetech Endurance race

It’s 4.30am. We’ve already been racing for 16.5 hours, and I’ve just woken from an exhausted hour’s slumber at the back of our race awning, a face mask over my eyes and earplugs rammed firmly home to...

You meet the nicest people on a Honda: 60 years of the HOC

You meet the nicest people on a Honda: 60 years of the HOC

The carpark is abuzz with broad smiles, excited chatter, and gorgeous bikes. Despite the threat of rain, members of the Honda Owner’s Club (HOC) haven’t shied away from an opportunity to come together...

Seconds from glory: How close is Honda’s latest Fireblade to a full factory racer?

Seconds from glory: How close is Honda’s latest Fireblade to a full factory racer?

In 1992 Tadao Baba created the Honda FireBlade with the sole intention of making the best possible sports motorcycle. Deliberately opting for a 893cc rather than a 750cc motor, as demanded by the...

Yamaha mark 60 years of GP racing as the second most successful manufacturer of all time

Yamaha mark 60 years of GP racing as the second most successful manufacturer of all time

Yamaha may not have won as many grand prix races as Honda, but the Hamamatsu manufacturer is arguably still the greatest racing brand of them all. The company contested its first grand prix in May...

Viva Vespa! Celebrating 75 years of the scooter that changed two wheels forever

Viva Vespa!  Celebrating 75 years of the scooter that changed two wheels forever

Seventy-five years ago this spring, motorcycling – or, to be precise, powered two-wheelers – changed forever when the very first scooter was launched. Spawned from the rubble of post-WW2 Italy,...

Michael Laverty’s all-new riding academy is all about developing the British stars of tomorrow

Michael Laverty’s all-new riding academy is all about developing the British stars of tomorrow

For the first time since 2010 there are no British riders in MotoGP. Three-time race winner Cal Crutchlow’s departure at the end of 2020 has left a void, with no obvious candidates waiting in the...

Marvellous Motobirds: The story of the UK’s first all-female biking stunt team

Marvellous Motobirds: The story of the UK’s first all-female biking stunt team

In 1972, 17-year-old lab technician Mary Connors was idly flicking through a local newspaper when she spotted a small ad: Girls required to ride motorcycles, full training given. "I honestly thought...

Now's the time to try off-road riding

Now's the time to try off-road riding

I always thought that handling a bike at high speed on a circuit represented the very pinnacle of skill, not slithering around a field getting mud sprayed up my back. Oh how wrong can a person be? "I...

Make 2021 the year when you take control of your own touring destiny

Make 2021 the year when you take control of your own touring destiny

With destination set to ‘Home’ the satnav tells me there’s a little over 1000 miles ahead, and just before midnight I’ll be back in moonlit Peterborough. It’s at this point, a lightbulb flickers and a...

Ride your own adventure: It’s time to take your first steps off-road

Ride your own adventure: It’s time to take your first steps off-road

Leaving the tarmac behind on a £20k fully loaded BMW R1250GSA is the elephant in the adventure bike showroom. Every manufacturer spends millions developing bikes capable of handling the rough stuff,...

Share your biking obsession: Get someone back on two wheels

Share your biking obsession: Get someone back on two wheels

I’m sure we all know someone who, for one reason or another, holds a motorcycle licence but has given up riding. A dormant biker, just waiting to be gently awoken back to the world of two-wheels. In...

Creating a Monster: Has the 2021 Ducati Monster turned its back on tradition?

Creating a Monster: Has the 2021 Ducati Monster turned its back on tradition?

We recently got the chance to ride the all-new 2021 Ducati Monster, almost three decades after the firm took the wraps off the original prototype at the 1992 Cologne Motor Show. Entering production...

MCN legends: Kawasaki Z1

MCN legends: Kawasaki Z1

If the CB750 was Japan’s first large capacity four, the Z1 was the world’s first superbike; raising the performance bar to unforeseen heights; leading a new era of big Japanese multis and setting the...

Why you need to own a two-stroke... or two

Why you need to own a two-stroke... or two

The world is changing. Fossil fuel powered vehicles now have just nine years left before manufacturers stop producing new petrol and diesel four-wheelers. Bikes will follow suit, and in time the...

From Wimbledon to F1 and the Olympics... Suzi Perry has done it all

From Wimbledon to F1 and the Olympics... Suzi Perry has done it all

In a career that has spanned more than 20 years, Suzi Perry has weaved her way into the fabric of motorcycle racing. Having interviewed riders from Carl Fogarty and Mick Doohan to Valentino Rossi,...

The Great Malle Rally offers two-wheeled escapism without a passport

The Great Malle Rally offers two-wheeled escapism without a passport

Raindrops on hairpins and cold sandy beaches, bright chrome air cleaners and damp tyre screeches, hiding your smartphone so it never rings, these are a few of my favourite things. Cream-coloured...

Twin peaks: a history of Ducati's iconic V-twin engine

Twin peaks: a history of Ducati's iconic V-twin engine

This year is a milestone for Ducati’s iconic, Desmodromic V-twin – or ‘L-twin’ as the Italian firm call their 90-degree engine layout. Related articles from MCN 75 years of MV Agusta Two tribes go to...

Captain Sir Tom Moore, 1920 – 2021

Captain Sir Tom Moore, 1920 – 2021

Former British Army despatch rider, motorcycle racer and charity fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore has died after contracting coronavirus. Capt. Moore burst into the public conscious in April 2020,...

The rise, fall and rise of Aprilia: 50 years of motorbikes from Noale

The rise, fall and rise of Aprilia: 50 years of motorbikes from Noale

Just weeks after its world launch, the most eagerly anticipated bike of 2020, Aprilia’s RS660, is proving to be well worth the wait. The 100bhp twin, complete with mould-breaking, ultralight 169kg...

Bucketlist: Ride a classic banked circuit

Bucketlist: Ride a classic banked circuit

Most bikers have experience of race circuits, either through racing, trackdays or simply spectating. It’s an experience that  rings a far greater appreciation of the adrenaline-fuelled thrills...

Watch: Nick Sanders on the Snowdonia 360

Watch: Nick Sanders on the Snowdonia 360

In this week's special 5-in-1 MCN we have a supplement about inspirational things you could plan to do in 2021. Among them is Nick Sanders MBE's trip around the Snowdonia 360 - Wales's answer to the...

Ohvale UK Cup: How Peter Hickman is nurturing the next generation of UK racing stars

Ohvale UK Cup: How Peter Hickman is nurturing the next generation of UK racing stars

Peter Hickman is one of the most versatile British motorcycle racers of the modern age. Having won the National Superstock 1000 Cup championship 16 years ago, he’s since become a multiple British...

Evel Knievel Laverda leaps back into the limelight

Evel Knievel Laverda leaps back into the limelight

A bike used by Evel Knievel has been discovered, restored and put on public display. Knievel, who died in 2007, is best remembered for using Harley-Davidson XR750s in the 1970s, most notably for his...

So long supersport: A history of the Yamaha R6

So long supersport: A history of the Yamaha R6

The supersport class has been struggling in recent years and now the Yamaha R6 has become the latest model to fall foul of dwindling sales and ever-tightening emissions regulations. Hard to believe...

Boxer goodies: Polish custom house create stunning café racer BMW R100RT

Boxer goodies: Polish custom house create stunning café racer BMW R100RT

A Polish motorcycle custom house have transformed a 1982 BMW R100RT into a modern café racer. Warsaw-based Eighty Six Gear Motorcycles spent a year-and-a-half turning the 49,700-mile classic into the...

The Tesi H2 marks Bimota's return – but where did it all begin?

The Tesi H2 marks Bimota's return – but where did it all begin?

With orders now being taken for the supercharged, hub-centre-steered Bimota Tesi H2, it’s worth revisiting the Italian brand’s glittering, yet chequered, history. Related articles on MCN Bimota KB4...

Our bikes: Richard Newland's Ducati 996

Our bikes: Richard Newland's Ducati 996

There’s something exceptionally pleasing about big V-twins. The flatness of their delivery, their deceptive speed and gluttonous dollops of torque. The way they build power with a surging tide...

Dream Ducatis: Michael Neeves tangos with a trio of Superleggeras

Dream Ducatis: Michael Neeves tangos with a trio of Superleggeras

Ducati’s Superleggera is a rare, exotic beast. Only 1500 have ever been built: 500 magnesium-framed 1199s in 2014, 500 carbon-framed 1299s in 2017 and new for this year 500 carbon-framed V4s. They’re...

Celebrating Black History Month: As one of the few mixed race riders in bikesport, Asher Durham hopes he can inspire others

Celebrating Black History Month: As one of the few mixed race riders in bikesport, Asher Durham hopes he can inspire others

Asher Durham is a BSB Junior Superstock 600 racer who started in motocross and then became the youngest ever rider to compete in the 125cc British championship at the age of 13. He went on to be a...

Celebrating Black History Month: Ex-bike journalist Jane Omorogbe is one motorcycling's rare high-profile black riders

Celebrating Black History Month: Ex-bike journalist Jane Omorogbe is one motorcycling's rare high-profile black riders

Most people first became aware of Jane Omorogbe as 'Rio' in the late-90s TV phenomenon that was Gladiators (she was also in the film epic, Gladiator). She went on to present a wide array of TV...