2017 Long Term Fleet

Welcome to MCN's 120,000-mile test of 2017's key new machines. From Suzuki‚Äôs new GSX-R1000R and the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to the BMW R nineT Racer and the KTM 125 Duke, it's the UK's most comprehensive bike fleet. 

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

MCN's 2016 Longterm Fleet - we present the most important collection of bikes in 2016.

 

V-Strom 1000 XT 

 

MCN Fleet: Commuting is a piece of cake on the Yamaha XMAX 400

MCN Fleet: Commuting is a piece of cake on the Yamaha XMAX 400

This time of year depresses me - the days are grey, nights are long and winter feels like it’s never going to end. There is one ray of sunshine though, my daily commute on the Yamaha XMAX 400...

MCN Fleet: End of the road for the GSX250R

MCN Fleet: End of the road for the GSX250R

When I took delivery of Suzuki’s A2-compliant GSX250R last August, I was full of interest. This was the smallest capacity bike I’d ridden since the unreliable (but beautiful) Aprilia RS50 I had at...

MCN Fleet: XMAX 400 seat height woes

MCN Fleet: XMAX 400 seat height woes

An email from MCN reader Jim Scott struck up the thought about the Yamaha XMAX 400’s seat height, something I never took a second look at before. Perhaps because I’ve ridden a few bikes now which I...

MCN Fleet: How costly is the R6?

MCN Fleet: How costly is the R6?

The term ‘Man maths’ refers to using semi-rational reasons, rather than the actual figures, to justify  your purchase. It’s an expression I use at home all-to-often. For example, last year I...

MCN Fleet: Slow burning love affair with the Honda X-ADV

MCN Fleet: Slow burning love affair with the Honda X-ADV

It’s an age since I first set eyes on the Honda X-ADV. Like all good love affairs I remember the exact moment in time, the MCN Show in London last year is etched on my mind for eternity. A three-month...

MCN Fleet: Can you tour comfortably on the XMAX 400?

MCN Fleet: Can you tour comfortably on the XMAX 400?

From my previous update, you’ll know I can fit three bags full of food under the seat of the XMAX. Now I was going to France for a weekend, could the 33bhp scoot hack going aboard? And be comfortable?...

MCN Fleet: Winter weekender on Honda X-ADV

MCN Fleet: Winter weekender on Honda X-ADV

I love the D940, it hugs the coast from Calais to Le Touquet, the undulating sweepers and fabulous final destination make it my obvious choice for a winter weekender. I’m sure a 500 mile trip in near...

MCN Fleet: Two up fun on the Honda X-ADV

MCN Fleet: Two up fun on the Honda X-ADV

The Rider’s View I’ve been riding for 13 years and whenever asked to take a pillion I’ve always dodged the bullet. The great ‘what if’ makes me twitchy and someone else’s safety being in my hands...

MCN Fleet: Learning to enjoy winter riding with the V-Strom

MCN Fleet: Learning to enjoy winter riding with the V-Strom

I’m proud to be an all-year-round rider. Britain’s winter might throw crappy weather, greasy roads and that lovely salt-laden sludge that seems to get just about everywhere at us, but there is still...

MCN Fleet: The XMAX 400 – 'A scoot for all seasons'

MCN Fleet: The XMAX 400 – 'A scoot for all seasons'

You may remember I was considering winterising the XMAX. You know the sort of thing: looking at different tyres, extended screens and hand guards, keeping on top of the grime... In truth, however –...

MCN Fleet: No light at the end of the tunnel for the GSX250R

MCN Fleet: No light at the end of the tunnel for the GSX250R

After two blown bulbs in 5450 miles and a two-week trip back to Suzuki to try and diagnose the problem during its 6000-mile service interval, it looked as if the GSX250R’s electrical woes had finally...

MCN Fleet: Winter with the Street Triple RS

MCN Fleet: Winter with the Street Triple RS

Winter hack or garage ornament?   I have been guilty of being a fair weather rider I must admit so it’s time to man up and brave the elements. Chances are most naked sporty numbers are left...

MCN Fleet: the longest of days on the Honda X-ADV

MCN Fleet: the longest of days on the Honda X-ADV

It’s midnight as I pull into the services just south of Stafford on the M6. My X-ADV needs fuel and more importantly, I need to warm up. There’s a Days Inn Motel that looks welcoming but home’s only...

MCN Fleet: Back to school for the Suzuki GSX250R

MCN Fleet: Back to school for the Suzuki GSX250R

Late last year, I embarked on a 190-mile journey down to West Sussex from my home in Lincolnshire to visit Advanced Riding Techniques (ART) in Crawley. The trip was primarily for a feature on how to...

MCN Fleet: V-Strom 650 XT - Your questions answered

MCN Fleet: V-Strom 650 XT - Your questions answered

Having covered just over 8,000 miles on Suzuki’s V Strom 650 XT since April, I thought it was about time I answered a number of your questions! Here are just some of the questions I’ve been sent on...

MCN Fleet: Hooray for the Honda X-ADV

MCN Fleet: Hooray for the Honda X-ADV

This morning didn’t start well. I glance out of my kitchen window and a fallen fence greets me, annoyingly it’s the one we’re responsible for. Loads of branches from the trees at the bottom of our...

MCN Fleet: Can the XMAX 400 cope with motorway miles?

MCN Fleet: Can the XMAX 400 cope with motorway miles?

Until last month, the KTM’s 125 Duke was my main mode of transport. It was lovely, but after I passed my test, the urge for more power took over. And to be honest I needed it – my 62-mile round trip...

MCN Fleet: V-Strom 1000 XT defies the cold

MCN Fleet: V-Strom 1000 XT defies the cold

My first 500 miles with the big XT have mainly been a baptism of ice and snow, rather than fire. Against a landscape of monochrome chilliness, there's nothing more comforting than a simplistically...

MCN Fleet: A second blown headlight bulb on the Suzuki GSX250R

MCN Fleet: A second blown headlight bulb on the Suzuki GSX250R

In just under 5500 miles of riding, the Suzuki GSX250R’s main headlight bulb has blown twice; once at just over 3000 miles and a second time on my way home yesterday evening, at around 5450 miles. The...

How does the Glide compare to the Bagger?

How does the Glide compare to the Bagger?

Ten years ago if you wanted a bagger a Harley was the only option but now there are plenty. The nearest rival is the Indian Chieftain but the formula (big twin + fork mounted fairing = American...

MCN Fleet: On track with the Street Triple RS

MCN Fleet: On track with the Street Triple RS

Opening the curtains and seeing rain drops cascading down my window meant the last thing I wanted to do was take a bike to the track and put in some laps. But this was the first real opportunity I’d...

MCN Fleet: Is the GSX250R the ideal winter commuter?

MCN Fleet: Is the GSX250R the ideal winter commuter?

After a three week break from riding during the recent spell of sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice, the Suzuki GSX250R has returned as my go-to method of commuting. In my time away from the saddle, I...

MCN Fleet: X-ADV meets the family

MCN Fleet: X-ADV meets the family

My Honda X-ADV is definitely the motorcycling equivalent of Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Me, I love it (I mean the X-ADV, I despise Marmite with a passion!). I discovered Honda had sold 211...

MCN Fleet: Winter tyre time for the R6

MCN Fleet: Winter tyre time for the R6

The Metzeler Racetec RRs are off the R6 and they’ve been replaced by Bridgestone’s Battlax T30 Evo. The Metzelers were still legal and despite over 3000 miles which included a few track sessions they...

MCN Fleet: Faulty sensor halts progress on the 250

MCN Fleet: Faulty sensor halts progress on the 250

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a recent absence from social media and online updates for the Suzuki GSX250R. Unfortunately, the bike developed a fault exactly on the stroke of my 5000th...

MCN Fleet: 7500 mile service for V-Strom 650

MCN Fleet: 7500 mile service for V-Strom 650

The V-Strom headed to Suzuki for its 7500-mile service the other day and I was quite proud as the bike clicked 7503 as I rolled up to Suzuki’s Milton Keynes workshop! Sad, I know, but that was...

MCN Fleet: Suzuki GSX-R1000R end of term report

MCN Fleet: Suzuki GSX-R1000R end of term report

After 11,000-miles, four sets of tyres, a new chain and sprockets, two oil and filter changes, six trackdays and trips to Mettet, the Nurburgring and Aragon, it’s time to say goodbye to my...

MCN Fleet: 8000 miles with the Triumph Bobber

MCN Fleet: 8000 miles with the Triumph Bobber

My time with the Triumph Bobber has come to an end. It arrived in the middle of May with just a couple of hundred miles on the clock, and leaves having covered over 8000 miles. If you've read any of...

MCN Fleet: Four maxi scooters in one week

MCN Fleet: Four maxi scooters in one week

When I tell people I’m MCN’s Office Manager, they assume I’m tied to my desk and most of the time I am but not this week. My daily ride is a Honda X-ADV and over the last seven days I’ve had the...

MCN Fleet: New rubber for V-Strom 650

MCN Fleet: New rubber for V-Strom 650

I’ve just reluctantly parted ways with my trusty Metzeler Roadtec 01s after almost 4000 miles on the V-Strom. I can see why they’ve been named tyre of the year in the MCN awards for the last couple of...

MCN Fleet: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 XT arrives for winter

MCN Fleet: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 XT arrives for winter

Having spent the summer of 2017 riding 6500miles on BMW's excellent R1200GS Rallye, I've now swapped it for Suzuki's V-Strom 1000 XT – making the move from boxer twin to V-twin, and a...

MCN Fleet: Metzeler ME888s transform the Street Glide

MCN Fleet: Metzeler ME888s transform the Street Glide

One of my big criticisms about the Street Glide was the tyres. In the dry they were fine and if I wanted to do thousands of miles, I’m sure they’d have managed it but in the rain they were pants. The...

MCN Fleet: BMW R1200GS Rallye reaches the end of the road

MCN Fleet: BMW R1200GS Rallye reaches the end of the road

I’m not a monogamous rider. It doesn’t matter how good a bike is, I really struggle with the concept of only having one. I currently own four (a Ducati 996, Suzuki GSX-R750 ‘Slabby’, Honda VFR800FiW...

MCN Fleet: R6 Dyno results

MCN Fleet: R6 Dyno results

  Just check out that power curve! A full race Akrapovic exhaust system has transformed my R6. Peak power is up 7bhp and torque has increased from 45.51ftlb to 47.38ftlb. This may not sound much,...

MCN Fleet: Triumph Bobber takes to the night

MCN Fleet: Triumph Bobber takes to the night

I can’t really remember the last time I went for a ride just for the sake of it. It certainly hasn’t been in the past 12 months. It's a terrible confession to make, I know, so having realised this,...

MCN Fleet: BMW R1200GS Rallye's rubber rings

MCN Fleet: BMW R1200GS Rallye's rubber rings

I’m not shocked very often these days. But Pirelli’s Scorpion STR Rally rubber has absolutely blown me away over the last couple of months. They appear to suit BMW’s GS Rallye so well that it makes...