Trevor Franklin's top three videos of 2009

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£1500 adventure bike challenge

MCN’s £1500 Challenge made a return in 2009. This time the ‘Challenge’ was for three MCN staff to buy a large capacity trailie for £1500 or less.

They then had to undertake several tasks to prove the aged (obviously) bikes were reliable, could still deliver our biking kicks and prove to be cost effective.

The Challenge was reported over three issues of MCN, with three videos coming off the back of each part of the challenge.

But it wasn’t until the off-road section (part 3) that the humour from the hopelessness of three road riders having to ride off-road really shone through.

If you have no interest in Suzuki’s old DR800 aka DR Big, Yamaha XTZ Super Tenere or Honda 650 Africa Twin then view the third and final instalment purely for the laughs.

Yamaha R1 2WD

In 2000, Yamaha and its then sister company Swedish suspension experts Ohlins developed a prototype two-wheel driven (2WD) WR426 off-road machine.

In 2004 Yamaha released a small batch of 2WD WR450 machines for competition use. Around the same time Ohlins was developing a 2WD system for road use.

The development bike was a 2000 Yamaha R1 and although spied over the following years, no one outside of Ohlins got to ride the bike.

After years of badgering by MCN, Ohlins eventually granted MCN permission to ride the 2WD R1 at a Swedish circuit.

The passion and belief of the 2WD project is plainly obvious when you listen to the project engineer. And how I get on with the bike? Bloody loved it, mate.

On an unknown circuit in damp conditions, the R1 simply rocked.

BMW S1000RR group test

MCN videos are generally tasty tit-bits before the main course story within the pages of MotorCycle News.

But in the case of the world’s first test of BMW’s S1000RR against the established Japanese superbikes, MCN blew all of its 2010 £25 drinking budget on a producing a quality video of the test.

What makes a good video? Camera angles, sound, action, opinions and a result in a condensed package – and this is exactly what MCN’s Ian Jubb successfully delivered.

All in all, not a bad job for six blokes whose collective brain power would achieve the same level of a four-year-old.

Trevor Franklin

By Trevor Franklin