Decent riding kit is fantastic. The first time I rode up the A686 to the 1900 feet summit of Hartside Pass I was wearing an orange cagoule, jeans and a Griffin Clubman crash helmet with a rattly visor. It was a long time ago, but the soaking I got is still a vivid memory. Great view from the top though. This month I travelled the same roads wearing proper gear from Bell, Halvarssons, Dainese and Daytona. And some long johns, though they’re now called ‘technical base layers’. It snowed – but I was dry and snug, but still pleased to make it to the cafe at Hartside top for a rejuvenating sausage sandwich.
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; from the outside lane of the M6, from trackdays at Cadwell Park, trails in Wales and traffic jams in London.
Fortunately the sun shone for the first proper UK comparison test of the new Triumph Thruxton R, BMW R nineT Sport and Yamaha XSR900 on page 68. They’re all fantastic feel-good bikes on which I really want to ride the Teesdale road again. I won’t be wearing a cagoule.
Plus free with this month's issue is a 56-page Royal Enfield mag: an entire magazine devoted to the marque, featuring Enfields around the world, Continental GT road test, Bullet engine stripdown, new Enfield revealed, plus much more.
Inside this issue
Not just a naked R1
Power wheelies, gadgets, comfort and affordability – Yamaha’s MT-10 proves performance and functionality can go hand in hand and not cost the earth.
The Café racer is at the heart of the retro revolution. Triumph's new Thruxton R races the BMW R ninT Sport and Yamaha XSR900 for a cuppa and a bacon bap...
The big kit test
Every year Bike tests all kinds of bikes in all kinds of weather. Kit is important to us. Here’s what our testers wear, day in and day out…