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.

Op Banham ready to roll: Restored WW2 despatch bike set for commemorative ride to Berlin

Op Banham ready to roll: Restored WW2 despatch bike set for commemorative ride to Berlin

Military veterans flocked to Birmingham’s National Motorcycle Museum last week to witness the reveal of a restored 1944 BSA M20, which is set to be ridden from Normandy to Berlin in June 2022. The...

Where it all began: Prototype Triumph from 1901 unearthed

Where it all began: Prototype Triumph from 1901 unearthed

A veteran collector has restored the first-ever Triumph to running order – and it’s a prototype which predates the company’s official first production bike by a year. It’s generally accepted that...

How Mutt Motorcycles are taking on the big dogs with their small-capacity retros

How Mutt Motorcycles are taking on the big dogs with their small-capacity retros

British bike manufacturers are beginning to dominate the headlines once more in a modern reflection of the past, with the likes of BSA and Norton announcing all-new metal for 21st-century bike...

Going the distance: 120 years of Royal Enfield adventures

Going the distance: 120 years of Royal Enfield adventures

In the world of YouTube and Instagram and massive machines with satnavs, spotlights and metal panniers, it’s easy to imagine that adventure-biking is a modern phenomenon – but that’s not true. Royal...

MCN's Jordan Gibbons finds battery bikes are the perfect pal for city life

MCN's Jordan Gibbons finds battery bikes are the perfect pal for city life

No matter how much some people might yearn for carbs, induction roar and the sweet smell of Castrol R, motorcycles are only going to get greener. The world is getting hotter, our air is becoming...

Riding a trio of special Honda RC30s and meeting the men who still use them as Honda intended

Riding a trio of special Honda RC30s and meeting the men who still use them as Honda intended

For many of us, Honda’s RC30 has been an object of desire since it was released back in 1988. With around 3500 made, they’re not as rare as you might imagine, but they were expensive – twice the price...

Royal Enfield’s Dean Coxson talks exclusively about their record-breaking expedition to the South Pole

Royal Enfield’s Dean Coxson talks exclusively about their record-breaking expedition to the South Pole

On December 16th 2021, Royal Enfield rode into the history books when employees Dean Coxson and Santhosh Vijay Kumar reached the South Pole on a near-stock Himalayan, becoming the first people to...

Go off-road in a sidecar: We get a taste of outfit life by riding Ural’s latest three-wheeler in Portugal

Go off-road in a sidecar: We get a taste of outfit life by riding Ural’s latest three-wheeler in Portugal

How many riding situations are there in motorcycling where you effectively need to forget everything you know? Trials maybe? Ice racing perhaps? For me it’s riding a sidecar. It’s the single hardest...

Try trials with the family for a one-of-a-kind shared experience

Try trials with the family for a one-of-a-kind shared experience

What’s a better idea than trying trials for the first time in the depths of winter? That’s easy – taking my 59-year-old dad along for the ride. Off we both ventured, fuelled by nerves through pouring...

The youngest person to ride around the world... during a pandemic

The youngest person to ride around the world... during a pandemic

Although still being verified by Guinness World Records, Jack Groves is the youngest person to ride around the world on a motorcycle. At just 22, Jack finished his studies and set out to break the...

Charge of the light brigade: Army Parachute Regiment trial electric bikes

Charge of the light brigade: Army Parachute Regiment trial electric bikes

It’s a frigid November evening and I’m standing in a muddy field in the middle of rural France, as diesel generators shake the air around me. The area is abuzz with activity as military vehicles move...

100 years of Moto Guzzi: we trace the up-and-down history of one of biking’s most important brands

100 years of Moto Guzzi: we trace the up-and-down history of one of biking’s most important brands

2021 will inevitably be remembered most for the worst of reasons – Covid-19, the retirement of MotoGP GOAT Valentino Rossi… but 2021 also marks one of the biggest anniversaries of all – the 100th...

Fat Boy wonder: How a bold take on the cruiser put Harley-Davidson back on the map

Fat Boy wonder: How a bold take on the cruiser put Harley-Davidson back on the map

‘I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle…’ It’s been 30 years since we first heard Arnold Schwarzenegger utter those immortal words in the film Terminator 2. Little did anyone know then...

Continuing the racing legacy: At home with Tarran Mackenzie

Continuing the racing legacy: At home with Tarran Mackenzie

Tarran Mackenzie followed in his dad’s footsteps this year by taking the BSB title for the first time. 25 years after Niall became the first champion of the modern era, Tarran came of age and topped a...

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...