2016 Long Term Fleet

The ultimate road test

Welcome to MCN's 120,000-mile test of 2016's key new machines. From Triumph Thruxton R to Kawasaki J125, it's the UK's most comprehensive bike fleet. 

MCN's 2015 Longterm Fleet - we present the most important collection of bikes in 2015.

Honda CB500F 

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT – the long goodbye

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT – the long goodbye

In my 21 years, and 300,000+ miles, of riding motorcycles on the road, there have been very few bikes that I’d credit with having changed how I feel about riding – but this is one of them. I can’t...

MCN Fleet: Bye-bye Beemer

MCN Fleet: Bye-bye Beemer

Time for the BMW F800GS to return I’ve had a fantastic experience with BMW's middleweight adventure option, but the time has sadly come for the F800GS to return. I must admit, when I took delivery of...

MCN Fleet: LED headlamp a clear winner for NC750X

MCN Fleet: LED headlamp a clear winner for NC750X

While the NC750X only got minimal upgrades from Honda for 2016, including an extra litre of storage in the tank compartment, a re-designed muffler and a slightly taller screen, it’s easy to...

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT's Imperfect 10

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT's Imperfect 10

Few other bikes have impressed me more than KTM’s mongrel genius GT. Its ability to be whatever your mood wants it to be is infectious and endearing – but it’s not faultless. After 10,000 miles in the...

MCN Fleet: NC750 disco dash driving me dizzy

MCN Fleet: NC750 disco dash driving me dizzy

When Honda gave the super practical NC750X a face lift for 2017, included on these updates was an all-new colour changing eco dash to inform you of just how economically you are riding at any given...

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT brakes for itself

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT brakes for itself

This is definitely one for the list of ‘things I never knew I needed’: Hill Hold Control. I’ve always taken great pleasure in trying to learn how to do things for myself, and will be forever grateful...

MCN Fleet: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

MCN Fleet: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

You know they say absence makes the heart grow fonder? I rode the NC750X for the first time in three weeks yesterday – I’d been away on an epic scooter adventure to Valenica with our MotoGP reporter...

MCN Fleet: Street 750 passes with flying colours!

MCN Fleet: Street 750 passes with flying colours!

What a cracking way to round off my year of riding the Harley-Davidson Street 750, I’ve just passed my IAM Advanced riding test and I’m pretty chuffed. I took ownership of the Street 750 in...

MCN Fleet: (nearly) 18,000 miles later on the F800GS

MCN Fleet: (nearly) 18,000 miles later on the F800GS

The ODO actually read 17,300 miles when the service indicator appeared again on the dash of the GS. Bringing the 12,000-mile service forward to coincide with a trip to Germany back in August has meant...

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT burns rubber

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT burns rubber

“You won’t get more than 800 miles out of those,” said MCN’s tyre fitter as he expertly manipulated a set of Pirelli Diablos Supercorsa SPs onto the 1290 GT’s rims. “They’ll be fine for at least...

MCN Fleet: Street 750 helps turn the M25 red!

MCN Fleet: Street 750 helps turn the M25 red!

I’m just home and having a cuppa after a great day of riding. It’s not the most ideal biking weather and with no weather protection on the Harley-Davidson Street 750, it’s not the best bike for winter...

Ducati XDiavel S: get ready for launch

Ducati XDiavel S: get ready for launch

With its 160bhp and super-long wheelbase, there's no denying Ducati's XDiavel is born for the dragstrip. Which is why the Italian manufacturer thought it right and proper that the S model of the super...

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT has a reflective moment

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT has a reflective moment

Somewhere between Heathrow and Stamford there’s a highly reflective rectangle of KTM littering the roadside, jettisoned while using the GT as my airport taxi, and making the Super Duke GT just a...

MCN Fleet: A dim view of the F800GS

MCN Fleet: A dim view of the F800GS

It’s reached that depressing time of the year when the clocks go all topsy-turvy and night encroaches a lot sooner than it should. The extra riding about in the dark has highlighted that the headlamp...

MCN Fleet: DIY chain oiler for the Street Twin?

MCN Fleet: DIY chain oiler for the Street Twin?

I’m a big fan of chain oilers. On all the bikes I’ve owned and most long termers (although not on the belt drive Indian and Harleys!) an automatic oiler is usually high on the list of mods. They’re...

MCN Fleet: When will I ever feel comfortable?

MCN Fleet: When will I ever feel comfortable?

So, I've been on a voyage of discovery this year with my Harley-Davidson Street 750 and become firm friends over the 7000 miles covered. When I say firm friends I do mean it quite literally, the...

MCN Fleet: The F800GS and the Scottish spectacular (Part 3)

MCN Fleet: The F800GS and the Scottish spectacular (Part 3)

I stumbled across a small hand-made sign for a lighthouse that led down a tiny road that disappeared into the distance. With the day getting on I thought it best to think of somewhere to shack up for...

MCN Fleet: The F800GS and the Scottish spectacular (Part 2)

MCN Fleet: The F800GS and the Scottish spectacular (Part 2)

Glencoe led me through to the Isle of Skye, continuing north on the A82 before peeling off to the equally incredible A87 as it snakes alongside Lochs Duich and Alsh. I stopped at a café for some lunch...

MCN Fleet: Five things I love about the 701 Supermoto

MCN Fleet: Five things I love about the 701 Supermoto

If you've followed my articles both here on the website and in the paper you'll no doubt be aware my feelings towards the Husky flit between love and loathe quite regularly. But after a week riding a...

MCN Fleet: The F800GS and the Scottish spectacular (Part 1)

MCN Fleet: The F800GS and the Scottish spectacular (Part 1)

The first thing I did when I got the F800GS in March was take it to a trip to the Scottish Highlands. The trouble was, with only a long weekend, I didn't get to see as much of this vast and beautiful...

MCN Fleet: How much luggage can an NC750X take?

MCN Fleet: How much luggage can an NC750X take?

Two weeks ago I set off for the Netherlands on the NC750X, a six-day round trip to the TT Circuit at Assen to cover the penultimate round of the MCE British Superbike series.  In preparation for...

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT gives you wings

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT gives you wings

Truly exceptional motorcycles change your life. Horizons seem to stretch that little bit further, the mundane becomes an excuse for entertainment, and when you’d normally stop – they inspire you to...

MCN Fleet: 2017 KTM 300 EXC - a cause for celebration

MCN Fleet: 2017 KTM 300 EXC - a cause for celebration

MCN’s Sport Editor Michael Guy takes delivery of 2017 KTM 300EXC enduro bike I can honestly say that I love riding any type of bike, but my enjoyment levels reach new heights when it comes to...

MCN Fleet: Street 750 goes back to school

MCN Fleet: Street 750 goes back to school

I’ve not taken the usual route with my IAM training, rather than join my local group and have weekly or fortnightly rides out with my observer, I opted to join the Thames Vale group. Throughout the...

MCN Fleet: Is the NC750X's tank too small?

MCN Fleet: Is the NC750X's tank too small?

One thing that excited me when I took on the NC750X as my MCN Fleet bike for this year was its excellent reputation when it comes to fuel economy.  And it’s true, the 745cc parallel twin is...

MCN Fleet: F800GS is getting tired of tyre changes

MCN Fleet: F800GS is getting tired of tyre changes

I fitted a set Metzeler Karoo 3s on the F800GS the other week ready for the Sweet Lamb Adventure Bike Academy in Wales. The Michelin Anakee IIIs I was using before were predominantly road focused...

MCN Fleet: R1200RT is perfect rehabilitation

MCN Fleet: R1200RT is perfect rehabilitation

After I broke my collarbone in three bits in a racing incident at Oliver’s Mount my RT has spent the last six weeks untouched. But finally the doctors at orthteam.com gave me the all clear to get back...

MCN Fleet: Can the Husqvarna's flame be reignited?

MCN Fleet: Can the Husqvarna's flame be reignited?

Thu Husqvarna has sat in the lock ups at the MCN office for the last week as I eloped to the south of France on a Suzuki GSX-R1000. Normally, when it comes to long term test bikes, there's a small...

MCN Fleet: The F800GS does the dirty, again

MCN Fleet: The F800GS does the dirty, again

One of the things that I’ve been adamant that I wanted to do while I have the F800GS this year is learn to ride off-road. Having never taken to the dirt previously. I’ve done this by attending a...

MCN Fleet: No pain, plenty of gain on Yamaha XSR900

MCN Fleet: No pain, plenty of gain on Yamaha XSR900

I'm fed up with people looking longingly at my accessorised Yamaha XSR900 and then muttering: "Looks good but it must be really uncomfortable." So I decided enough was enough and embarked on a two-day...

MCN Fleet: How a laptop makes my ZX-10R even smoother

MCN Fleet: How a laptop makes my ZX-10R even smoother

One of the things I most enjoy about my ZX-10R nowadays is its glassy-smooth power delivery and peachy throttle response. And it keeps on getting better.  When I fitted my Akrapovic exhaust...

MCN Fleet: Is it time to swap the Street 750

MCN Fleet: Is it time to swap the Street 750

I’ve been riding the Harley-Davidson Street 750 for the last few months, after almost 30 years it’s taken over from the XL Sportster 883 as the baby of the Harley range. I was curious to see how the...

MCN Fleet: New tyres but my F800GS soon feels deflated

MCN Fleet: New tyres but my F800GS soon feels deflated

I managed a grand total of 26 hours with the new Metzeler Karoo 3s on my F800GS before they started feeling a little strange. I had been getting on well with the tyres. Though billed as an off-road...

MCN Fleet: The GS is booting up to go off-road

MCN Fleet: The GS is booting up to go off-road

Back in June I took the F800GS and myself off-road for the first time at the Sweet Lamb Adventure Bike Academy. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done on a motorcycle and is something I promised...

MCN Fleet: XDiavel tours on cruise control

MCN Fleet: XDiavel tours on cruise control

The XDiavel has proved it's the cruiser that thinks it's a sportsbike, but on a recent 250-mile ride-out recently, I found that the belt-drive behemoth also does a fair impression of a tourer,...

MCN Fleet: Bouncing around Rockingham on the Husqvarna 701

MCN Fleet: Bouncing around Rockingham on the Husqvarna 701

Living with the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto has been up and down since the keys landed on my desk. Any journey that lasts an hour or more is always a low point, but getting on the Husky after a couple of...