Phil West's top three videos of 2009

Published: 23 December 2009

Executive Editor Phil West chooses his three favourite road test videos of 2009.

BMW S1000RR unveiling, Monza, May 2009

For a sense of occasion, they don’t get much bigger.


BMW shipped in the world’s press to the Italian World Superbike round at Monza where, in the paddock on the Saturday before the race, race teamsters Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus, officially unveiled the most eagerly-anticipated – and squint-eyed – superbike in years.

I felt massively privileged just to be there. There was a genuine sense that something very, very special was happening.

Then I did a walk around video of the bike and got it up on the website while, seemingly, all the other journos were happy to stand around sipping BMW’s champagne and vol-au-vents.

Still, least I got Troy Corser’s autograph…

Norton Commando 1st ride, November 2009

Again, one of those moments that don’t come along very often.

Norton had granted me world first ride aboard the new production Commando 961 SE and, though inevitably a little rough around the edges (it had only been put together the day before, after all) it still impressed hugely.

It looks beautiful, feels comfortable and familiar and yet enticing at the same time and goes decently.

No, it doesn’t set your pants on fire – that would be missing the point. But nothing else I’ve ridden this year made me feel as good…”

Viper bike hits 207mph

A home-built (but beautifully done) 9-foot long motorcycle with a 500bhp V10 Dodge Viper car engine as a powerplant is ridiculous, we know, but Allen Millyard’s unique and brilliant creation remains mesmerising both for its engineering – and the way it goes.

MCN speed tester, in our video, eventually coaxes it up to a boggling 207mph, but going fast on the single-speed machine wasn’t the problem – going slow or stopping was.

Millyard is planning to top 250mph next spring. Should be, er, interesting…