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Bike news

  • 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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  • What have you done wrong today?

    18 August 2000

    What have you done wrong today?

    MISTAKE: ASSUMING DRIVERS CAN’T/WON’T ATTEMPT THE SAME OVERTAKE AS YOUHOW many times have you gone to overtake a slow-moving vehicle only to have a car pull out from the queue behind it to attempt the...

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  • The real deal on wheels

    18 August 2000

    The real deal on wheels

    LIGHTWEIGHT wheels are standard equipment on race bikes. But how much difference could they make to our own machines? They are certainly more than an expensive pose. They can reduce the unsprung...

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  • Why no YZR500i?

    11 August 2000

    Why no YZR500i?

    WE’VE become used to seeing fuel injection replace carburettors on bike after bike, and the electronic system is now nearly as common a sight on road bikes as disc brakes.But if fuel injection is the...

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  • 250 v 600 = no contest

    11 August 2000

    250 v 600 = no contest

    THE CBR600 rider in the distance is scything through the pine-lined canyon switchbacks.His mind is set on one thing – trying to put as much distance between himself and the bike screaming up behind...

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  • The people’s champions

    04 August 2000

    The people’s champions

    WHERE were you on Sunday afternoon? If you were sat beside a certain track in Kent, or glued to the BBC’s Grandstand, you don’t need telling how big the World Superbike series has become. The...

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  • Just nipping out to buy another RC30, dear

    01 August 2000

    Just nipping out to buy another RC30, dear

    SOME people collect stamps, others collect beer bottles. Some are even lucky enough to own a few bikes. But there’s one man for whom only the very best will do – that’s why he’s got a collection of...

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  • It’s important to be pumped

    01 August 2000

    It’s important to be pumped

    TYRE pressures are a crucial factor in determining how your bike handles and how quickly you wear your (not exactly cheap) tyres.There are lots of myths and misconceptions about what pressures you...

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  • Only if you’re Carl Fogarty

    01 August 2000

    Only if you’re Carl Fogarty

    IT’S the number plate that gives it away. The legend " T4 FOG " just above the chunky rear tyre reveals that this is no ordinary Ducati Monster.Yes, the owner of the machine glinting...

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  • Be prepared to change your mind

    21 July 2000

    Be prepared to change your mind

    IT’S good to challenge yourself, to take yourself aside and question your beliefs from time to time. It’s even better if you can do it in glorious sunshine. As I sit reflecting on my newly-shifted...

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  • Somebody pinch me

    14 July 2000

    Somebody pinch me

    I’M sitting on a bike I once only dreamed of touching. This seat is usually reserved for genuine racing heroes. Kenny Roberts and his son are among the very few who have graced it.The mid-day...

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  • The queue-jumper

    14 July 2000

    The queue-jumper

    THE sweet smell of two-stroke wafted around me as I waited for the lights to turn green on a gridful of impatient, wide-eyed loons. My senses were wound to maximum. The instant I saw green I was ready...

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  • Fancy going for a blat, Bazza?

    07 July 2000

    Fancy going for a blat, Bazza?

    AS a kid growing up in the ’70s, like many of my peers, I had an Evel Knievel wind-up toy Skycycle, complete with stars and stripes-clad Knievel doll.After about a year of playing at Knievel, I...

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  • Prepare for an Indian summer

    07 July 2000

    Prepare for an Indian summer

    THE scenario had been acted out many times before. A V-twin Harley-Davidson was locked in combat with a four-cylinder Indian, their riders crouched over the tanks with the throttles at the stop...

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  • Blades: The Gathering

    01 July 2000

    Blades: The Gathering

    CULT status is usually accorded to things which aren’t actually that popular. Red Dwarf, for example isn’t anywhere near as big as Neighbours. Honda’s FireBlade is a glaring exception to this...

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  • It’s gonna get you

    23 June 2000

    It’s gonna get you

    UNRELENTING rain smacks off my visor. Somewhere in the pitch-blackness, in the turbulent air behind me, something evil has picked up my scent. I hear the unmistakable sound of a V-twin engine...

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  • Welcome back to the playground

    16 June 2000

    Welcome back to the playground

    LIFE is hard. There are those who can amble through it not worrying about the next big bill, but they are a privileged few. The rest of us have long forgotten that happy, simple land where children...

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  • This thing has grown bigger than all of us

    16 June 2000

    This thing has grown bigger than all of us

    IT’S official. Ducati is not just a motorcycle maker, it’s a cult brand, like Harley-Davidson or Caterpillar. They’ve reached a stage in their relatively short career where the name Ducati has become...

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  • Change your scenery

    09 June 2000

    Change your scenery

    SOME bikes create dilemmas. And this is one of them. You know you’re just nipping across town, so you put on your best trainers, polish your black visor and leave on your best going-out jeans. After...

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  • It’s been a hard day’s fortnight

    09 June 2000

    It’s been a hard day’s fortnight

    ROLL off the ferry for the start of your Isle of Man experience and it comes as no great surprise that everything is laid on for you.The racing goes off when it’s meant to (weather permitting) the...

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  • Big on the Island

    09 June 2000

    Big on the Island

    GETTING noticed at the TT gets harder every year. There are about 15,000 bikes parked along Douglas promenade on any given day and so many specials and rare exotica on display that your average...

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  • Made you look, made you stare

    26 May 2000

    Made you look, made you stare

    THE family of Mexicans sitting to my left in their old Ford pick-up are just plain staring. In fact, from the look on their faces you would think I had just pulled a gun on them.The bloke to my right...

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