October 2017

October 2017 issue - Bike of the Year

Bike magazine Bike of the Year - October 2017 issue

Bike of the Year? What, already? But it really is 12 months since we did this last time. That was well over 100,000 road test miles,
2400 gallons of petrol and 107 road test bikes ago (we’ve not got any exact figures – this is being conservative, small ‘c’).

Bike’s Bike of the Year issue isn’t an especially scientific event. We ask motorcycle testers, racers, designers and engineers to vote
for their top bikes among the new models introduced for 2017. These are bikes that they’ve ridden, admired and envied. But they can’t vote for brands they represent.

There are a few anomalies, but we left them in anyway. The Yamaha T7 is still a prototype, CCM haven’t started making production
Spitfires yet and Vespa’s electric scooter is only a concept too.

Most of the new bikes fit into an existing genre and many are updates of an existing model. They justify a vote on the grounds of
improved performance, increased sophistication and better value. Some offer a uniquely different approach; who knew that adventure
scooters would be a thing?

Trends this year? Retros got better with more authentic detailing and improved dynamics, sportsbikes got ever more intelligent with
electronics packages that allow mortals to control 190bhp, and three electric bikes made it to the top 50. With the government’s new commitment to a 2040 cut-off for petrol power there will be more in future and we’re looking forward to the first alternative fuel
Bike of the Year.

My choices? The Suzuki GSX-R 1000RR because it represents the pinnacle of sportsbike technology, the Energica Eva because it’s the best of the electric bikes, and the Ducati Desert Sled because it turns every ride into an event. Plus it allowed me to ride the length of the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Ambition fulfilled.

Enjoy the issue, and feel free to email us and tell us what you think about the countdown.

 

What's inside this issue of Bike magazine

Bike magazine Bike of the Year

Bike of the Year

We countdown the top 50 bikes that were launched this year and give our verdict on the best of the bunch. 

 
Bike magazine - used bike of the year

Used bike of the Year

What if you want the self-satisfaction of a blistering used bargain? That's why we've put together our choices for used bike of the year.

 
Ducati Desert Sled

It's even better dirty

A seven day trail ride from Atlantic to Mediterranean along the Pyrenees is the perfect antidote to 21st century life, and a perfect opportunity to test the new Ducati Desert Sled.

September 2017 - on sale now!

In the September issue of Bike magazine we get an exclusive test of 2018’s best adventure bike, Yamaha’s top secret T7.

We go racing with some Lincolnshire boys in Belgium, when Guy Martin and Pete Boast race at Spa on a Suzuki Katana and this month’s group test features mid-size nakeds, when find out which has more fun per pound from the Triumph Street Triple R, Kawasaki Z900 and Yamaha MT-09.

Plus free inside this month: 36 pages of our sister custom bike magazine, Built.

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August 2017

In the August issue of Bike magazine we test the two new variants of BMW’s ever successful GS – the Urban GS (an RnineT in disguise) and the R1200GS Rallye. We get our lean fix from the 198bhp Ducati Panigale S whilst the sun was shining on Britain’s B-roads and Bike reader Zac Patsalides takes us with him (or at least via his camera) on his maiden bike adventure on a ridiculously small Honda through Vietnam.

Elsewhere in the mag we thoroughly test Yamaha’s splendid Tracer 700, we take a look inside the Guzzi museum and we take a look back at the original retro racers when they ruled the TT course in the late sixties and early seventies.

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July 2017

This month in Bike, we test the Yamaha R1 vs Honda Fireblade vs Kawasaki ZX-10R vs BMW S1000RR. We celebrate 10 years of the Street Triple and take the new KTM 1090R adventure biking on US trails. 

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June 2017

It’s a wonder that this magazine ever gets to the printer. The team that makes it (including me) are continually distracted by ‘purchasing possibilities’. A productive morning’s work can be derailed by the discovery of a £500 MZ, a £1495 Yamaha TRX850 or a tempting finance offer on a 2017 Honda Fireblade...

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May 2017

This month Bike’s writers and testers have experienced very many events. Life-long Ducati fetishist Rupert Paul went to Spain to ride the new SuperSport, Jonathan Pearson tests KTM’s new Adventure models in Corsica and Martin Fitz-Gibbons took the first new R1200GS Exclusive in the UK for a two-up adventure...

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April 2017

So obviously we’re hugely excited about the new ’Blade and GSX-R1000, especially after having to wait so long to see them. Good? Oh yes. James Haydon has tested the Honda, while JP has ridden the Suzuki. Now we can’t wait to see them in dealer showrooms, ride them on the road and watch them being raced at Donington Park and the Isle of Man...

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January-2017

This time of year you’ve got to make the most of any riding opportunity. \

Inside the 2017 new bikes issue: 82 new bikes including Norton’s new 200bhp V4 – the most advanced British bike ever.

In the January issue we take a ride out for a Sunday morning bimble with the Grand Tour star Richard Hammond and look into his amazing bike collection. We also take a look into the supercharged Triumph Thruxton: built so Carl Fogarty could win a sprint race. Triumph’s blown Thruxton R could be the future of performance...

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December 2016

In this issue we look at the new Honda Fireblade and Suzuki GSX-R1000, each loaded with enough electronic brilliance and engineering ingenuity to alter the laws of physics. Enjoy the technical insights about the new ‘Blade and GSX-R1000, but revel too in the astonishing 2016 Triumph 675 Daytona, Suzuki GSX-R750 and Honda Fireblade too...

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November 2016

Welcome
 
Making magazines can cause chewed fingernails. We’re putting this page together on deadline on Wednesday, before we know whether Triumph’s World Record attempt at Bonneville has been successful. The printers are letting us hold one page back till Friday morning and we hope the team have got the record by then. Apparently the weather in Utah is good, and the salt flats are in good condition too. Did they do it by Friday? I’ll stop biting my nails and just cross my fingers. Cal Crutchlow was more sympathetic to Bike’s production schedule. His win at the Czech GP is the first by a British rider in GP racing’s top class since Sheene, but was almost ignored by mainstream media in the frenzy of Olympics coverage. And that great ride was followed with a fine second place at the British GP. It’s been a while coming, but his success is richly deserved. Enjoy him enjoying the moment, overleaf. Lots more great stuff in this issue, from tattoo’d ladies to John Westlake riding what might be the USA’s best motorcycling road as part of our Hayab-USA adventure. Good roadtests too; there’s a 3000 mile test of Suzuki’s cuddly SV650 to the three bike group test of the mildly bonkers, but staggeringly useful KTM Super Duke GT, BMW S1000XR and Triumph Tiger 1050 Sport. Also last month we finally managed to organise one of our celebrated road bike only trackdays at Rockingham. Thanks to everyone who came, and to the sun for shining. We’ll do it again next year.

Enjoy the issue,

Hugo Wilson
Editor

 

inside this issue...

FLAT OUT

Back in 1956 Triumph grabbed the outright land speed record for a motorcycle. 60 years later they are at it again, aided and abetted by Guy Martin…


A RIDE WITH: THE LA LITAS

A biking revolution brought about by social media? It seems unlikely, but it’s true…


CRAZY SENSIBLE

Stupid power, sharp handling, comfort and practicality – Triumph’s uprated Tiger Sport and KTM’s new Super Duke GT square up to the defining upright sportsbike – BMW’s staggering S1000XR – on open roads, motorways and trackday.

October 2016

50 new bikes, 86 judges, only 1 winner. In the October issue we reveal the winner of Bike’s Bike of the Year 2016. This year has been another great one for new motorcycles; there’s the Honda Africa Twin, Triumphs range of Bonnevilles, two, three and four cylinder bikes from Yamaha and plenty more. We asked 86 experts from the industry to nominate their standout new bikes from the past 12 months and the winner is in. So what is it? Find out in the October issue of Bike magazine…

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September 2016

In this month’s issue we have the first test of the GS’s cooler cousin, the new BMW R nineT Scrambler and it’s rather fine. There’s a 28-page summer special where we celebrate two-wheel fun on the best day of the week – a Sunday; plus we ride the Yamaha 700 Tracer and there’s 32-pages of essential knowledge.

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August 2016

In this issue we head to Wales for our huge 2016 adventure bike test, where the seven most popular adventure bikes go head-to-head on trails and B-roads. We have one last glorious ride on the Honda CBR600RR and Bike's Mark Graham takes a passenger ride with new rising star of British sidecar racing Chris Walker - as they say, 'what could possibly go wrong...'

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July 2016

This month's issue is about decent riding kit. Every year the Bike team rack up thousands of miles riding all sorts of bikes in all sorts of weather, wearing all sorts of kit, from £19.99 Aldi gloves to fancy Rukka suits. The guide inside this issue is based on proper experience of leaking seams, broken zips and misting visors...

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JUNE 2016

This issue looks back at the heroic and hilarious past of what makes motorcycling cool in the 21st century.Triumph know the score - it’s what the brand new, stuffed with the latest technology but old looking Bonneville is all about. We’re older, but what’s great about motorcycling hasn’t changed in 40 years, even if the bikes (at least under the surface) have.

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March 2016

In the brand new-look Bike magazine's March issue we have a world exclusive test of the new retros; Triumph Street Twin, Yamaha XSR700 and Ducati Scrambler, plus we look at the alternatives available if you're looking for an adventure bike; BMW 1200GS, Triumph Tiger 800 and CCM 450. Plus there's a 32-page 2016 biking events guide inside too!

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