In your MCN this week: ‘The ultimate fast tourers’

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Dear MCN reader,

It was a moment I’ll probably never forget – having the great privilege of standing on the start/finish straight at Oulton Park as the entire BSB family of teams, marshals, organisers and fans came together to remember Paul Bird, two weeks after his untimely passing, aged 56. As BSB mastermind Stuart Higgs and the voice that accompanied thousands of races, Fred Clarke, led the eulogies, the sense of loss amongst the gathered masses was huge, and the minute’s silence that followed witnessed Oulton Park plunged into a heavy silence. It was a powerful and emotional moment that undoubtedly also fuelled the fire burning in Glenn Irwin and Tommy Bridewell, which was only fanned further by some of the most hard-fought on-track action all year. Read all about the weekend’s fallout as MCN’s Josh Close gets into the stories beneath the race results.

Going further

Ducati unveiled their new Multistrada V4S Grand Tour earlier this week, but rather than just showing you what it is, we flew to Italy to get an exclusive first ride on the new model so we can tell you how it performs dynamically on the road. Is it just a parts bin special, or the best tall-roader you can buy?

And if nudging £24k is too salty for your purse – you might want to dive into this week’s group test, where we pitch three more affordable magical middle-capacity options against one another: Yamaha Tracer 9GT+ meets BMW F900XR and KTM 890 SMT.

MCN DIRT special edition

With the drab dullness of Autumn looming on the horizon, the allure of leaving damp roads behind and getting our kicks in the dirt pulls ever stronger. But it can feel like a big move – so how do you take the first steps away from tarmac? What bike should you buy? Should you buy one at all? What kit do you need? How can you learn the skills you need? There are so many questions, but there are also just as many answers, and we’ve pulled a stack of them together in our first MCN DIRT special.  Go on, get dirty.

Enjoy the ride,

Richard Newland, Editor, MCN

You can read all of this week’s new edition without even going to the shops by getting full access with MCN Membership via our microsite or app

1 – The Grand Tour

Ducati’s Multistrada V4S was already a phenomenally impressive bike, and now there’s a Grand Tour edition that boasts pretty much everything you could want on a bike to take its continent-shrinking duties takes it to another level.

2 – Going the distance

The travel theme continues this week as we grab KTM’s new 890 SMT and pitch it against the 2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ and BMW F900XR. They promise high-mile comfort and riding thrills, with less of a burden on your wallet – but which is best?

3 – Indian takeaways

The MotoGP circus rolls into India this weekend for the first time at the Buddh circuit. But with the circuit still not FIM homologated, will they even be able to race? Josh looks into the challenges and threats for this weekend’s race.

4 – Three degrees of dirty

So you want to buy yourself a dirt bike? Who doesn’t…? But how extreme should you go? We pitch the Yamaha Ténéré 700 against the Honda CRF300 Rally and KTM 300EXC on road and off-road to see which offers the perfect balance.

5 – State trooper

Big skies, big roads, big bikes… MCN’s Saffron continues her Stateside touring odyssey as she heads from Sturgis out into the wilds of Wyoming to discover the stunning landscapes of Colorado and Yellowstone National Park. 

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