First rides & tests

Motoz Tractionator first ride

Motoz Tractionator first ride

Of all the questions we get here at MCN, ‘what tyres should I buy?’ is easily the most common. Everyone wants the magic combination of good grip with decent wear, perfect in the wet and in the dry...

MCN Bike of the Year Awards 2018

MCN Bike of the Year Awards 2018

2018 has been another bountiful year for new machines, so the best-of-the-best below are very special indeed. Let’s kick things off with our Bike of the Year. Bike of the year Best innovation Best...

Gallery: Harley release more details about the 2019 LiveWire

Gallery: Harley release more details about the 2019 LiveWire

Of all the new Harley-Davidsons we’ve seen in the past few months, the LiveWire is arguably the most forward thinking. For a brand that trades on American muscle, 115 years of heritage and that...

Exclusive: Indian FTR1200S prototype ridden

Exclusive: Indian FTR1200S prototype ridden

After a year of teasing, Indian’s all-new 2019 production FTR1200 has finally been unveiled to the public at the Cologne show, converting much of the promise from the FTR1200 Concept of twelve months...

Paton reveal 60th anniversary S1R

Paton reveal 60th anniversary S1R

Paton have launched a special version of their S1R Lightweight to celebrate their 60th anniversary as a bike constructor and Michael Dunlop’s Lightweight TT win. It features a new matt black and green...

First ride: Velocity-Moto 900LC

First ride: Velocity-Moto 900LC

Velocity-Moto's Hag Hughes was a paddock-jacketed hooligan back when the Yamaha RD350LC was king. He rode, raced and modified them and now three decades later, this 900LC is his homage to the iconic...

Video: Our first ride with Yamaha's TY-E electric trials bike

Video: Our first ride with Yamaha's TY-E electric trials bike

Yamaha are no strangers to electric power. They’ve been building electric bicycles for 25 years, but this new TY-E electric trials bike is different. Their first proper electric motorcycle is billed...

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport: 'Costly but cool'

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport: 'Costly but cool'

I'm having a good day. The sun is out and it’s close to 30 degrees. I’m comfortable in a leather jacket, jeans, an open- face helmet and shades on-board Ducati’s very cool Scrambler 1100 Sport.

First ride incoming: Aprilia's new RSV4 gives you wings

First ride incoming: Aprilia's new RSV4 gives you wings

We’re riding Aprilia’s new RSV4 RF FW at Mugello on Tuesday. Revealed at the EICMA show last year the road-going ‘Factory Works’ is lighter and more powerful than its RR and RF (Factory) stable...

First ride: MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso's new 'Smart Clutch System' isn't daft

First ride: MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso's new 'Smart Clutch System' isn't daft

MV Agusta's new £17,590 Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS has everything from sultry looks, to electronic suspension, sharp handling, barking Brembos, comfort and the most evocative exhaust note in...

First ride: Is the Aprilia RSV4 RR a bargain sportsbike or a false economy?

First ride: Is the Aprilia RSV4 RR a bargain sportsbike or a false economy?

When Aprilia’s sportsbike was a V-twin, the firm used to sell far more of the higher-specification Factory models than the base model. However recently this has all changed, so much so in fact that...

MCN first ride: Yamaha Tracer 900 and Tracer 900GT

MCN first ride: Yamaha Tracer 900 and Tracer 900GT

Impressively, to date Yamaha have sold 30,000 Tracer 900 models in the three years since it was launched in 2015. That’s not bad going and makes it the firm’s best selling sports tourer, equating for...

New tyre review: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II

New tyre review: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II

Many sports tyres will tolerate the odd trackdays and some trackday rubber can be used on the road, but here at its world launch in South Africa on the road and at the Kylalami circuit near...

First ride: Yamaha WR250F

First ride: Yamaha WR250F

It’s 5-degrees below zero and I’m getting kitted up in a cow shed – but I couldn’t be happier. Normally I'm full of anxiety before a day’s enduro riding, but not today. I’m in the safe hands of the...

First Ride: Kymco AK550

First Ride: Kymco AK550

Kymco’s new AK550 is the Taiwanese firm's largest capacity scooter and at £8879 the new addition is priced to compete with the market leading Yamaha TMAX. We’ve been living  with the AK550 and...

First Ride: Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

First Ride: Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

The Vitpilen uses exactly the same basic platform as the Svartpilen, however where the urban enduro comes with high bars and chunky Pirelli tyres, the café racer wears Metzeler M5 tyres and has...

First Ride: Husqvarna Svartpilen 401

First Ride: Husqvarna Svartpilen 401

This is the second time in six years that I have been at the unveiling of a new range of Husqvarna street motorcycles. The last time, which was in 2012, involved BMW talking about the Nuda 900. Now,...

Tyre review: Bridgestone Battlax SC2

Tyre review: Bridgestone Battlax SC2

Tyre: Bridgestone Battlax Scooter SC2 Rain £252.00 per pair (120/70 x 15 & 160/60 x 15) Where was the test: 1200-miles commuting and touring in UK and France. Modern day maxi scooters are...

Tyre launch: Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T31

Tyre launch: Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T31

Bridgestone’s new Battlax T31 tyre, which is already available for purchase, promises to deliver improved wet performance and feel. Bridgestone haven’t concentrated on dry performance, instead they...

Video: We ride Honda's Africa Twin Adventure Sports

Video: We ride Honda's Africa Twin Adventure Sports

The overnight snow has thankfully disappeared and the sunshine is out, and there’s a satisfying bark from the exhaust on Honda’s new flagship as we ascend one of the many twisty mountain roads that...

New tyre review: Dunlop SportSmart TT

New tyre review: Dunlop SportSmart TT

Dunlop’s new SportSmart TT occupies that largely untapped no-man’s land between an all-purpose sports tyre and trackday rubber, aimed at rapid road riders and trackday fans, in equal measure. They'll...

Tyre launch: Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41

Tyre launch: Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41

Whilst in Morocco for the launch of the new T31 Sports Touring, we will also get the opportunity to test Bridgestone’s new Battlax Adventure A41.  The A41 is Bridgestone’s all-new tyre aimed...

First ride: Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 'a change of heart'

First ride: Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 'a change of heart'

Despite being launched across Europe in 2017, Aprilia UK decided not to import the Dorsoduro 900 into the UK last year. Supermotos are Marmite bikes and it was felt that rather than chance unsold...

New tyre launch: Michelin Road 5

New tyre launch: Michelin Road 5

Already available for purchase, Michelin’s new Road 5 sports touring tyre replaces the firm’s hugely popular Pilot Road 4. With the original Pilot Road launched back in 2002, this fifth-generation...

Big scooters - why would you need anything else?

Big scooters - why would you need anything else?

If you want the ultimate large-capacity maxi scooter such as Yamaha’s £9799 TMAX or the £9199 Suzuki Burgman 650, you need deep pockets. However, the middleweight, 400cc versions here offer just as...

Triumph's Moto2 765 ridden!

Triumph's Moto2 765 ridden!

In 2019 Moto2 will be powered by three-cylinder 765cc Triumph engines. It’s out with Honda's peaky CBR600RR screamers and in with the angry rasp of Britain’s best triple. It’s the biggest shake up in...

First ride: Chris Walker Kawasaki gives the Versys 1000 a mean makeover

First ride: Chris Walker Kawasaki gives the Versys 1000 a mean makeover

Winter can be a tricky time when it comes to new bike sales, but Chris Walker Kawasaki have come up with two tempting reasons for riders to part with their cash over the festive period. Taking the...

MCN Bike of the Year Awards 2017

MCN Bike of the Year Awards 2017

What a brilliant year we’ve had for new bikes. With well over 100 new models, facelifts and updates, the sheer quantity has been overwhelming. All that riding has kept MCN’s Road Test department...

First ride: Motorini MT125RRi ‘a viable alternative to Japanese 125s’

First ride: Motorini MT125RRi ‘a viable alternative to Japanese 125s’

If you’re in the market for a cheap 125 that looks the part and delivers generous fuel returns, then look no further. Priced at just shy of £2200, the Motorini MT125RRi sits in direct competition with...

First ride: Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0 'effortlessly cool'

First ride: Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0 'effortlessly cool'

At this time of the year we are bombarded by adverts from perfume companies, all promising a Hollywood lifestyle if you buy their fragrance. Backed up by glamorous movie stars, these marketing...

First ride: Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

First ride: Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

Rounding off Harley’s all-new 2018 Softail range is the Softail Slim, which, despite what its retro looks suggest is actually one of the most recent additions to Harley’s line-up. First introduced in...

First ride: Harley-Davidson's FLDE Deluxe

First ride: Harley-Davidson's FLDE Deluxe

While Harley’s most brashly styled newcomers such as the Fat Bob and Breakout might be the headline bikes from the all-new 2018 Softail line- up, more traditional cruiser buyers haven’t been forgotten...

First ride: Peugeot Speedfight SF4-125

First ride: Peugeot Speedfight SF4-125

Peugeot pulled the covers off the original Speedfight back in 1997 and it was an instant success – topping the sales charts across the late 90s and into the early 2000s. Related: Peugeot Speedfight...

Video: Supercharged Kawasaki H2 speed test

Video: Supercharged Kawasaki H2 speed test

To celebrate the impeding arrival of the new supercharged Kawasaki H2 SX, here’s an on-board video of MCN’s Bruce Dunn speed testing its bigger H2 brother. Although top speed is limited to 184mph...

Gallery: ‘R’ motorcycle SP-ecials really that special?

Gallery: ‘R’ motorcycle SP-ecials really that special?

Suzuki’s £13,599 GSX-R1000 is 2017’s best-value superbike and drips with the Japanese firm’s latest technology. A new VVT motor overflows with explosive torque and screams with mind-melting power, it...

2017 cruiser of the year: Triumph Bonneville Bobber

2017 cruiser of the year: Triumph Bonneville Bobber

With so many bikes wowing us in 2017 it’s easy to forget the new Bonneville Bobber was one of the most-eagerly anticipated. The Triumph is styled to mimic those pared-to-the-bone 1940s-style bobbers,...