Bike news

  • ZX-9R to power new musclebike

    18 February 2001

    ZX-9R to power new musclebike

    KAWASAKI is planning to launch a naked musclebike using a retuned version of the ZX-9R’s 144bhp engine. The 899cc four-cylinder engine could be tweaked to make more torque than the ZX-9R’s formidable...

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  • Have your cake. And eat it

    11 February 2001

    Have your cake. And eat it

    THREE-and-a-half hours ago, this bike was sat in the palm-shaded car park of a Sicilian hotel. Its futuristic, angular lines and silver colourscheme couldn’t have been in starker contrast to the...

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  • Gilera plans September unveiling for 600

    11 February 2001

    Gilera plans September unveiling for 600

    GILERA is expected to unveil a new 600cc sports bike at the Milan Show in September. Italian scooter giant Piaggio, Gilera’s parent company, has confirmed plans to reveal its first big bike since the...

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  • Defy convention

    04 February 2001

    Defy convention

    IT’S not every day you get the chance to ride two new British motorcycles for the first time. And when they’re bikes like this, it’s an even more novel experience. The latest models from...

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  • Don’t call me boring

    04 February 2001

    Don’t call me boring

    THE sound of a race bike at full chat is pretty exciting when you’re stood behind one as it flies past in a race. It’s even better if you manage to wangle your way into the paddock and get behind one...

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  • Kawasaki’s big-bore response

    04 February 2001

    Kawasaki’s big-bore response

    KAWASAKI is working on a tourer which is destined to rival Yamaha’s all-new FJR1300. A new bike, thought to be called the ZZ-R1200, will be 2002’s answer to Yamaha’s 145bhp tourer, which has attracted...

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  • You can’t always get what you want

    28 January 2001

    You can’t always get what you want

    THERE are few things in biking more exclusive than an MV Agusta – apart from a limited-edition MV Agusta. Ever since the firm’s rise from the ashes in 1996 with the launch of the F4S and F4 Gold or ...

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  • Powervalves: the open and shut case

    28 January 2001

    Powervalves: the open and shut case

    IT’S more than a decade since the term EXUP (Exhaust Ultimate Powervalve) entered the bikers’ vocabulary. Back then, most riders knew it was something to do with the exhaust and that it helped power.

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  • A standard R1 just wasn't enough

    28 January 2001

    A standard R1 just wasn't enough

    MODIFIED R1s can be found at every pub meet in the country, but few are as desirable as QB Carbon's Yamaha. More than £12,000 has been lavished on the bike to turn it into the ultimate R1 - and it's...

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  • Suzuki’s biggest brute yet

    28 January 2001

    Suzuki’s biggest brute yet

    THIS is the first picture of the biggest-capacity four-cylinder bike Suzuki has ever made – the new 2001 GSX1400.The photo appears to have been leaked from Suzuki’s own press material, which is due to...

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  • A year’s mileage…in a week

    21 January 2001

    A year’s mileage…in a week

    HINDSIGHT is a marvellous thing. How many times have you bought a bike – or any product for that matter – only to find a glaring fault become noticeable after a few months? Wouldn’t it be great if you...

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  • The scooter with an identity crisis

    01 December 2000

    The scooter with an identity crisis

    IT looks like a scooter, behaves like a motorcycle and has the kind of name you’d associate with a giant-sized hot beverage from a burger joint. Say hello to Yamaha’s Tmax – a new concept in...

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  • Harley tweaks to suit Europe

    01 December 2000

    Harley tweaks to suit Europe

    MOUNT ETNA in Sicily is an active volcano and, at 2000 metres high, it’s also the tallest in Europe.It erupted only last year and almost always has a plume of smoke boldly rising from its crater. So...

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  • Move over Colin, it’s my turn now

    24 November 2000

    Move over Colin, it’s my turn now

    THE rider in front disappears from view. I lean the bike into the chicane before the start-finish straight, feeling the racing wets digging in. The bike boots it out of the first-gear corner, lifting...

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  • Spot the family resemblance

    10 November 2000

    Spot the family resemblance

    PRETEND for a moment you’re a race bike – no, don’t run away, I haven’t gone mad. I just want to try and explain to you how tough a season’s racing is.The chances are you own or have ridden a bike in...

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  • Tuck in, hold on and go flat-out

    03 November 2000

    Tuck in, hold on and go flat-out

    YOU’RE stood at the side of the track. It’s quiet other than the rustle of the wind in the grass. The people around you have all fallen silent in anticipation. Away to your right you hear the familiar...

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  • Semi-automatic for the people

    03 November 2000

    Semi-automatic for the people

    THEY’RE used in World Superbikes and Formula One racing cars, and your road bike could have one in a few years. What are they? Semi-automatic gearboxes, that’s what. We know that Ducati will be using...

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  • A bike is only as fast as its rider

    01 November 2000

    A bike is only as fast as its rider

    THERE’S an orange bike, a red bike, a purple bike, a green bike and, of course, a blue and white bike. They’re all parked up on paddock stands with mechanics milling around them, fitting tyre warmers...

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  • Time for a change of scenery

    13 October 2000

    Time for a change of scenery

    MOST of us go touring in summer. But if there’s one time when you should really try something different on your bike, it’s autumn. This is the time of year when heavy-duty gloves come out of the...

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  • Give us a go, Mr Walker

    01 October 2000

    Give us a go, Mr Walker

    I’VE ridden plenty of Suzuki GSX-R750s in my time. But the number two on the front of this one marks it out as being Very Special Indeed. And I’ve never been so scared in my entire life.You see, the...

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  • All that glitters... is almost gold

    15 September 2000

    All that glitters... is almost gold

    FEW people in the world will ever get to look at, let alone hear, ride or even own an MV Agusta Series Oro. Only 50 of the magnesium-laced " gold " series bikes have ever been built. All...

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  • Britain’s answer to the R1

    15 September 2000

    Britain’s answer to the R1

    THERE have been some great British motorcycles over the years. Triumph’s Bonneville, Norton’s Commando, BSA’s Dandy (well, maybe not). But, even in light of the very latest machines like Triumph’s...

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  • A little bit of what you fancy

    08 September 2000

    A little bit of what you fancy

    IT was all a bit ironic. Here I was in the middle of Germany, howling along on an exotic FireBlade-engined bike I had travelled halfway across Europe to ride. But along with its Japanese-made engine,...

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  • Beyond reason

    08 September 2000

    Beyond reason

    I’M sitting in a jammed-up one-way system, snicking the gearbox into neutral. The idling engine’s heat is starting to make its way through my jeans.Traffic jams are an annoyance on most bikes,...

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  • Tale of the unexpected

    01 September 2000

    Tale of the unexpected

    TRACKDAY bikes – R1s, Blades, GSX-Rs, 916s, BMWs. Er, excuse me? Let’s try that one again. Track day bikes – R1s, Blades, GSX-Rs, 916s… BMWs?Surely Munich’s big Boxers are designed to clock up the...

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  • Casting light on the secrets of the black box

    01 September 2000

    YOU know what the problem with that is... that’s your cerebral oscillator confounding your collectivisor, that is...Modern bikes can be such conundrums of electronic complexity that you won’t be alone if your eyes start glazing over when your mechanic begins explaining why yours won’t start.It’s easy to give up, hand over the key and wander off in the hope that there’s a taxi rank nearby, without...

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  • The sum is greater than its parts

    01 September 2000

    The sum is greater than its parts

    IT was just like gazing at the stars. The more I looked, the more I saw. Except this wasn’t the sky. This was a very special Honda SP-1. And instead of seeing planets, I was gawping at a machine which...

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  • Why exhausts are left to the experts

    25 August 2000

    Why exhausts are left to the experts

    FITTING an aftermarket silencer or complete exhaust system is the most common modification we make to our bikes. We do it to add a bit more power and personality, and to shed a bit of weight.But, as...

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