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: Mission to make ZX-10R sharper

MCN Fleet: Mission to make ZX-10R sharper

My mission this year is to make my ZX-10R just that little bit sharper. I've manged to shed 9kg, increase bottom end power and boost powe from 191bhp to 197bhp. Check out my latest video update to see...

MCN Fleet: A lap of the TT course by SV650

MCN Fleet: A lap of the TT course by SV650

Mad Sunday. Not as mad as people tell me it used to be, but there’s still plenty to suggest it’s a big event. I couldn’t come to the TT and not at least attempt a lap of the course, so the SV and I...

MCN Fleet: SV650 in biking paradise

MCN Fleet: SV650 in biking paradise

If the Isle of Man is a motorcycling paradise outside of TT fortnight then only the word ‘utopia’ can conjure up the feeling of being on the Island during these special two weeks. This is my first...

MCN Fleet: SV650 makes a relaxing companion on a TT trip

MCN Fleet: SV650 makes a relaxing companion on a TT trip

My longest day yet on our Suzuki SV650 long-term test bike turned out to be a belter. Up and at em at 6.30am to give myself plenty of time to get from Lincolnshire to Heysham in Lancashire for the...

MCN Fleet: Having a high old time on the new Ducati Multistrada Enduro

MCN Fleet: Having a high old time on the new Ducati Multistrada Enduro

My colleague, Liam Marsden, burst out laughing as we clapped eyes on the Multistrada for the first time. “You’re going to need a stool to get on that,” he said. My jaw dropped. Forget a stool, I’m...

MCN Fleet: BMW R1200RT LE's range countdown is addictive

MCN Fleet: BMW R1200RT LE's range countdown is addictive

Is it only me or does everyone with a range countdown on their bike push it to the last mile? It’s been a while since I’ve owned a bike with one and I’m starting to find it slightly addictive. I now...

MCN Fleet: Triumph Thruxton R’s Beauty secrets

MCN Fleet: Triumph Thruxton R’s Beauty secrets

When I first saw a picture of Triumph’s all-new Thruxton R, it was love at first sight. When I found out it was going to be my long-term test bike, I was over the moon! The night before I went and...

MCN Fleet: Is 93bhp for Honda's Africa Twin enough?

MCN Fleet: Is 93bhp for Honda's Africa Twin enough?

Honda claim 93.8bhp from their new 998cc flagship Africa Twin. Compared to its 1200cc, 150bhp-plus adventure bike rivals it’s clearly down on capacity and power, so we wanted to find out if the Africa...

MCN Fleet: The sun doesn't have to shine for the BMW F800GS to thrill

MCN Fleet: The sun doesn't have to shine for the BMW F800GS to thrill

The 800 eats the miles like a buffalo at a buffet so I can spend hours in the saddle without an ache or pain; thanks to its relaxed, upright riding position. I just stick the electronically adjusted...

Long term update: New rearsets on the ZX-10R are the bee's knees

Long term update: New rearsets on the ZX-10R are the bee's knees

After riding into the side of a VW Polo in 1994, my knees aren't what they should be. The pegs on my Kawasaki are the highest of all the 1000s, which can be uncomfortable. I've been to Reactive Parts...

Long term update: New Remus Exhaust on my Harley Street 750

Long term update: New Remus Exhaust on my Harley Street 750

I’m on a quest to personalise my bike so the first step’s have been to fit a new Remus Exhaust pipe (http://www.performanceparts-ltd.com). Not only has it improved the power, it’s improved the looks...

MCN Fleet: 'The RT's little touches really make me smile'

MCN Fleet: 'The RT's little touches really make me smile'

It’s strange how the little things matter and become more apparent the longer time goes on. My RT’s qualities are obvious: class-leading comfort, excellent rider aids and a punchy, partially...

MCN Fleet: The Street Twin's fantastic plastic

MCN Fleet: The Street Twin's fantastic plastic

Over the past forty years plastic parts have become the norm on Motorcycles. Fairings, clock surrounds, mudguards, coolant tanks all now go unnoticed. The material was once treated with contempt but...

MCN Fleet: Husqvarna 701 Supermoto questions answered

MCN Fleet: Husqvarna 701 Supermoto questions answered

I've covered 2000 miles on my long term Husqvarna 701 Supermoto since taking delivery of the bike in March and while it's taken some getting used to after last year's bike, I now feel much more at...

MCN Fleet: S100XR's positive vibes

MCN Fleet: S100XR's positive vibes

Search the internet for info about the S1000XR and the subject of vibration will quickly surface, but it does seem to be an inconsistent theme. What some owners and those on test rides have perceived...

MCN Fleet: All about the looks with the Yamaha XSR900

MCN Fleet: All about the looks with the Yamaha XSR900

Coming from a misspent youth of smoke-belching two-strokes, Yamaha was the brand I turned to most frequently as a spotty teenager in search of cheap thrills. An RD200, led to a 350 Powervalve which...

Long term update: ZX-10R gives miles of smiles on MCN rideout

Long term update: ZX-10R gives miles of smiles on MCN rideout

I’ve been taking it easy on my ZX-10R for its first miles and the upside of the tentative riding is the fuel economy. I’ve squeezed up to 49mpg out of it − not exactly racy, but good for the wallet.

MCN Fleet: Street weathers the storm

MCN Fleet: Street weathers the storm

Peering out of the window of the Hotel Kyriad in Etaples, the rain was lashing down and the trees bent in half. We were about to set out on day two of our mini break to France, heading to a town just...

MCN Fleet: Dishing the dirt on the KTM Freeride 250R

MCN Fleet: Dishing the dirt on the KTM Freeride 250R

Nearly four months later, this diminutive KTM Freeride 250 R is still making my pulse race like a Ducati Panigale S on slicks.  In years to come I will remember it as the bike on which I dropped...

MCN Fleet: Should you splash extra cash on the XDiavel S?

MCN Fleet: Should you splash extra cash on the XDiavel S?

Ducati’s 1262cc space-age belt-drive super-cruiser comes in two guises, the entry-level £15,795 XDiavel and the range-topping XDiavel S at £18,395. I’m running the S as a long-term test bike this...

MCN Fleet: ‘Have I just made a costly mistake?’

MCN Fleet: ‘Have I just made a costly mistake?’

My first ride on the BMW S1000XR was a little nerve-racking because I’d chosen the bike based on the promise of what it would be like, rather than experience.I’d not ridden an XR before, so was a...

MCN Fleet: Pleased to meet you (again) Africa Twin

MCN Fleet: Pleased to meet you (again) Africa Twin

Having attended the launch of the Honda Africa Twin in South Africa at the end of last year, I knew what I was getting when my long-term test bike arrived, but that didn’t make me any less excited! It...

MCN Fleet: The Street Twin serves an ergonomic masterclass

MCN Fleet: The Street Twin serves an ergonomic masterclass

If there’s a single word that sums up Triumph’s Street Twin it’s ‘simplicity’. From riding to customising, everything about the bike is designed to be fuss-free and as simple as possible.  In...

MCN Fleet: Rain starts play on GS

MCN Fleet: Rain starts play on GS

This is my first year with an adventure bike and rather than give myself a gentle introduction, I headed to the Highlands. The idea was to face a five-day baptism of fire (or rain as it would turn...

Long term update: Can I ‘Un-Euro 4’ the ZX-10R?

Long term update: Can I ‘Un-Euro 4’ the ZX-10R?

For 2017 new bikes will have to be Euro 4 compliant – cleaner and more efficient. It’s the reason so many manufacturers have compliant bikes this year and we’ll see even more rolled out at the bike...

MCN Fleet: Husqvarna 701 Supermoto's extreme weight loss

MCN Fleet: Husqvarna 701 Supermoto's extreme weight loss

Having spent 2015 on a Kawasaki 1400GTR, an armchair of a motorcycle that weighed 305kg and could easily carry the weekly shop, 2016 will be a little different. This year’s bike – a Husqvarna 701...

MCN Fleet: Life in the HOG lane

MCN Fleet: Life in the HOG lane

Here I am after just a couple of weeks into riding the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and I’ve discussed it more with passers-by than I’ve chatted about other bikes in a whole year. Is this going to be...