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: Swapping ZX-10R for ZZR1400

MCN Fleet: Swapping ZX-10R for ZZR1400

My ZX-10R has clocked up over 8000 miles now, so it’s been back to Kawasaki for another service.  While the ZX-10R has been away I’ve hung on to a ZZR1400 we’ve been testing for a ‘fun tourers’...

MCN Fleet: Street 750 becomes one of the girls

MCN Fleet: Street 750 becomes one of the girls

I’ve just spent a great afternoon combining two of my favourite things: riding my Street 750 and eating cake. I wasn’t alone as I was taking part in the Ladies of Harley Afternoon Tea ride, one of the...

MCN Fleet: XDiavel's badge causes blushes

MCN Fleet: XDiavel's badge causes blushes

The XDiavel always attracts plenty of attention wherever it goes. Park up anywhere and appreciative eyes admire its muscular flanks and sawn-off tail. The XDiavel entices hands too – they stroke its...

MCN Fleet: Stickers come loose on Husqvarna 701

MCN Fleet: Stickers come loose on Husqvarna 701

Before the Husqvarna 701 arrived I admit I had some reservations about the build quality and finish. The new KTM-owned Husqvarna was an unknown, although from my time living with a KTM 690 Duke in...

MCN Fleet: Bonding with the NC750X

MCN Fleet: Bonding with the NC750X

I’m now 900 miles in to life with Honda’s NC750X and over the last week or so I’ve had a bit of a revelation. I actually quite like it. It couldn’t be more different to the CB500F I had while waiting...

MCN Fleet: The GS takes a trip home

MCN Fleet: The GS takes a trip home

I arrived back to the familiarity of my small cul-de-sac at 1:30am after having ridden solidly for nearly 16 hours; tackling the 820-miles from Berlin on my trusty F800GS after attending the...

XSR900: Congratulations you've just come second in a beauty contest

XSR900: Congratulations you've just come second in a beauty contest

The better the XSR looks, the more a few little things annoy me. I love the look of the XSR900 now that I've bestowed unearly £2000 of lovely Yamaha accessories on it. The new seat, seat cowl, drop...

MCN Fleet: Kawasaki ZX-10R lands back from Space

MCN Fleet: Kawasaki ZX-10R lands back from Space

A couple of weeks ago I posted an update from Ibiza where I’d just arrived on my ZX-10R. Now, 2358 miles later, I’m back. To be honest the Ibiza part of my nine-day riding holiday is a bit of a blur,...

MCN Fleet: 5000 miles and counting for Street 750

MCN Fleet: 5000 miles and counting for Street 750

I’ve just taken the Harley-Davidson Street 750 to Sycamore Harley-Davidson where Trev, the technician, performed the 5000-mile regular service. With a 31-point tick sheet to work through it was a...

MCN Fleet: Spanish Scrambling adventure gallery

MCN Fleet: Spanish Scrambling adventure gallery

As you may have seen from my previous posts, I took the Street Twin over to Spain a few weeks ago to take part in Austin Vince's Twinshock Trail Finder event. With the stunning backdrop of the...

MCN Fleet: Ducati Multistrada Enduro gets the rough treatment

MCN Fleet: Ducati Multistrada Enduro gets the rough treatment

The day I had been waiting for since grabbing the Ducati Multistrada Enduro’s keys finally came – off-road training! But I was still a little apprehensive, due to the Multi’s bulky size… and the fact...

MCN Fleet: BMW S1000XR tyre update

MCN Fleet: BMW S1000XR tyre update

The XR has been treated to a new set of tyres as I wanted to try something new after being forced to remove the Dunlop RoadSmart IIIs because the rear got covered in oil when an inspection bolt worked...

MCN Fleet: Can Triumph Thruxton R soak up distance?

MCN Fleet: Can Triumph Thruxton R soak up distance?

I’m someone who hates getting up early – especially on a Sunday morning, the temple of the sacred lie-in. This one was different. When I opened the blinds at 6.45am I was greeted by bright sunshine,...

MCN Fleet: Bye bye CB500F, hello NC750X

MCN Fleet: Bye bye CB500F, hello NC750X

So, as I told you in my last update – the CB500F has gone back to Honda and, as I predicted, I’m definitely having withdrawal symptoms. In place of the sensible but great fun CB, I’ve got the even...

MCN Fleet: Street Twin trip out to Brackley Festival

MCN Fleet: Street Twin trip out to Brackley Festival

At the weekend I took the Street Twin on a short 120 mile round trip into Northamptonshire for the annual Brackley Festival of Motorcycling. If you’ve never been to the Brackley Festival you’re...

MCN Fleet: Husqvarna 701 goes the distance

MCN Fleet: Husqvarna 701 goes the distance

I've made some far-from-sensible decisions throughout my life, but choosing to ride home to Yorkshire, then to Swansea the next day and back to Peterborough the day after that on the 701 has to be up...

MCN Fleet: A long day done for the BMW F800GS

MCN Fleet: A long day done for the BMW F800GS

Yesterday was a long one aboard my BMW F800GS fleet bike. I’m headed to this weekend's BMW-sponsored Pure & Crafted festival in Berlin and decided it would be a good time for me to ride on...

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT finds its way home

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT finds its way home

This weekend should hopefully see me pointing the angular nose of the Super Duke GT south, making the short hop across the Channel (well, under it) before embarking on the schlep back to the...

MCN Fleet: A hard weekend leads the ZX-10R to Ibiza

MCN Fleet: A hard weekend leads the ZX-10R to Ibiza

I'm nearing the end of my week in Ibiza after riding here on my Kawasaki ZX-10R. It took the weekend to get here, topped off with an overnight ferry from Barcelona - and bloody good fun it was,...

MCN Fleet: Upgraded Africa Twin is a real treat

MCN Fleet: Upgraded Africa Twin is a real treat

It may be a new bike but there is no shortage of aftermarket parts available for the Honda Africa Twin. From performance-enhancing components to crash protection and panniers, a plethora of...

MCN Fleet: Time for the GS to get a refresh

MCN Fleet: Time for the GS to get a refresh

So the GS is booked in for its 12,000-mile service at Balderstons BMW in Peterborough. It’s a big milestone for the bike, and will see its valve clearances checked, air filter replaced along with the...

MCN Fleet: XSR900 gets the cafe racer treatment

MCN Fleet: XSR900 gets the cafe racer treatment

There's not a lot wrong with the XSR900, especially in performance terms. The 900cc triple motor is a beauty and provides punchy power right through the rev range. The handling could be sharpened by...

MCN Fleet: It's been a bumpy ride!

MCN Fleet: It's been a bumpy ride!

I’ve been having ongoing issues with the seating position on the Harley-Davidson Street 750. My preconceived notion that a cruiser would be more comfortable than bikes with a more conventional riding...

MCN Fleet: Multistrada Enduro prepares for Black Desert Training

MCN Fleet: Multistrada Enduro prepares for Black Desert Training

I’m heading to the Black Desert Training off-road centre in Wales next week for some one-to-one training from Dakar racers Craig Bounds and Tamsin Jones, and I can’t wait! The Ducati Multistrada...

MCN Fleet: Five things we'll miss about the CB500F

MCN Fleet: Five things we'll miss about the CB500F

This week I said goodbye to the CB500F we’d had on loan from Honda after 1400 miles in the last month. The CBF was only ever going to be a stop gap until our NC750X was ready for collection, but I was...

MCN Fleet: Street Twin goes scrambling

MCN Fleet: Street Twin goes scrambling

With Triumph’s official Scrambler Inspiration kit mounted to our Street Twin (exhaust, bash plate, seat, grips and indicators), and the excellent Continental TKC80 off-road tyres fitted we took the...

Video: MCN Fleet report on BMW S1000XR

Video: MCN Fleet report on BMW S1000XR

'I love this bike, but it's not been plain sailing.' MCN Senior Reporter Andy Downes gives the lowdown after 5000 miles on the BMW S1000XR. Click here for more updates about the BMW S1000XR Looking to...

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT springs a leak

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT springs a leak

That’s weird, I thought. My left boot looks a lot dirtier than my right boot. And it’s oily, too. Bugger. After a few moments on my knees staring up at the engine, the source of the problem was clear...

Ducati XDiavel S: total recall

Ducati XDiavel S: total recall

Last month, Ducati issued a recall notice to owners of the S-model XDiavel, the one with the fancy, curved-spoke wheels. And it’s those lovely rims that are the source of the issue. Ducati discovered...

MCN Fleet: Why a Suzuki SV650 is better than a 207bhp Kawasaki H2 (no, really!)

MCN Fleet: Why a Suzuki SV650 is better than a 207bhp Kawasaki H2 (no, really!)

Sometimes you need to ride other bikes to learn more about your own. It’s at the opposite end of motorcycling’s vivid spectrum from my Suzuki SV650, but a couple of days with Kawasaki’s insane H2 have...

MCN Fleet: F800GS is back on stable ground

MCN Fleet: F800GS is back on stable ground

The Continental TKC70s that have been on the GS have been replaced after 7000 miles of cautious road riding with Michelin's more tarmac-focused Anake III tyres. The difference between the two was...

MCN Fleet: Kawasaki ZX-10R - free parking

MCN Fleet: Kawasaki ZX-10R - free parking

You might have seen my ‘Facebook live’ video on our Facebook page recently where I talked about leaving my ZX-10R at Gatwick, while I flew away to top up my tan. I just rode down with a rucksack, so...

MCN Fleet: Husqvarna 701 gets new boots

MCN Fleet: Husqvarna 701 gets new boots

After covering 2500 miles on the standard fit Continental ContiAttack SM tyres, the rear was starting to square off and looking ready for replacement. The Contis performed well, taking all-weather...

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT gets a bum-bag

MCN Fleet: KTM Super Duke GT gets a bum-bag

My arse looks big in everything, so there's never any point asking. And the 1290 GT with its panniers fitted also has a fairly volumous back end, but with a few trips away planned over the next couple...

MCN Fleet: Triumph Street Twin battles Spanish trails

MCN Fleet: Triumph Street Twin battles Spanish trails

For the next two days, and without GPS just our brains to navigate, we'll be riding our two scramblerised Street Twins on the countless miles of farm tracks and trails in the Pyrenees as we take on...

MCN Fleet: Queue-busting Harley-Davidson Street 750

MCN Fleet: Queue-busting Harley-Davidson Street 750

How smug do I feel? I'm sat with a cake and cuppa waiting for my hubby, Mark, to arrive and I've already been here for about 40 minutes! We were going away for the night but needed to come home...