In this week's MCN paper: McGuinness back on a Honda for the TT! Exclusive interview reveals all

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Dear MCN reader,

Welcome to this week’s new issue of MCN.

I never thought we’d see John McGuinness line up on a start line aboard a Honda Fireblade again. Ever. But that’s exactly what we’re going to witness in 2022 as the TT legend looks to further swell his trophy cabinet at what will be a momentous year of road racing at the NW200 and on the Isle of Man.

It’s an incredible move, one that speaks volumes for the respect that exists between McGuinness and Honda Racing UK boss, Havier Beltran. It also reveals how deep John’s love is for Honda – a brand that he is synonymous with, and on which he has recorded so many of his major career milestones.

One can only imagine how strong that bond is to be able to overcome the long-lasting effects of his NW200 accident and the ramifications of it which led to their split. While it will be inevitably tough to be back at the NW200 on a Fireblade, the fact that he’s willing to do it also underlines just how ferociously his road racing passion still burns.

The symmetry of lining up for his 100th TT start on a Fireblade is also poetic. Just imagine the emotions if he takes the win! Read our full exclusive interview with John in this week’s edition.

More new metal

Last week’s big European motorcycle Show, EICMA, revealed even more stunning new bikes to tempt us in 2022. And some of the sexiest come from Bimota. Back in the days when the Japanese could make great engines but all their chassis had hinges in the middle and were made of tin foil and cheese, companies like Bimota revolutionised what it meant to build a performance bike. Forty years on and the Japanese have got rather good at their chassis, too – but recently rejuvenated Bimota (ironically now 49.9% owned by Kawasaki) still have a few USPs up their sleeves. As the firm unveil their KB4 sportsbike and naked KB4 RC, we speak with the CEO to find out what’s coming next – including a new H2-engined sports-tourer.

That’s just a drop in the new bike ocean though, with a new Ducati Panigale V4 revealed, KTM’s updated 1290 Super Duke GT, a raft of Yamaha updates and a brash new Royal Enfield concept that signifies just how much the brand is on the move.

On test this week

We’ve waited a long time for this – a Speed Triple with a fairing and clip-ons. Yes, the Speed Triple 1200 RR has arrived, and we’ve ridden it this week on road and track. And it doesn’t disappoint – in fact, it’s arguably the better road bike of the Speed Triple duo. Find out why as Michael Neeves puts it through its paces.

We’ve also ridden Suzuki’s sharp new GSX-S950 naked this week – a bike that’s been created to be your perfect A2-licence friend, then derestricted to be your full-licence partner, too. Two bikes in one? That’s surely worth a look…?

And the big test this week is a small but mighty adventure bike. If you want the latest, biggest, most advanced adventure bike leviathan that money can buy (and you can afford one) then buy one, because nothing else will do. But if you’re simply looking for a bike that can circle the globe – on road and off it – with the same aplomb that it’ll conquer central London in rush hour, then you should be grabbing a test ride on Honda’s CRF300 Rally... It might just surprise you.

And there’s more…

Elsewhere in the issue we’ve got a Christmas gift guide aimed squarely at saving you from more novelty ties and awful jumpers this Xmas; workshop guru Bruce Dunn shows you how to beat the winter gloom with a lighting masterclass; we delve into the tech behind Yamaha’s Spin Forged lightweight wheels; find out why MSS boss Nick Morgan wants a ZXR750R-M; talk to the two brave lunatics who rode a scooter sidecar outfit around the globe; speak exclusively to new WSB champ Toprak Razgatlioglu, and find out about a tide of safety changes being implemented at next year’s TT to improve rider safety.

It’s a humdinger of an issue – I hope you enjoy it,


Richard Newland,

Editor - MCN

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Richard Newland

By Richard Newland