In 1993 I was sent on my first major motorcycle launch for Bike, and I was nervous. The ZZ-R1100D was, Kawasaki claimed, the fastest production motorcycle ever, and I had spent most of my time on a Zephyr 550. But the big ZZR was a joy, looking after the tentative with its silky throttle response and linear power, while allowing maniacs to go very, very fast. I seem to remember one Dutch journalist spending a night in the cells after being caught doing 172mph – the cop (we were in America) was in no mood for leniency as he’d just let off two Brits clocked at 178mph.
Twenty five years later and here we are again: off to test a new Kawasaki intergalactic battlecruiser, the H2 SX. And despite a supercharger and a blizzard of electronics, the similarities between the H2 and its grandpop are remarkable. The comfortable, mildly sporty riding position, the docile response at the bottom of the rev-range and the oh-my-giddy-crap top-end… Obviously the H2 SX is superior in every way, but not by as much as you might imagine.
The difference between a 25-year-old sportsbike and the Panigale V4 is likely to be a tad starker. In fact, according to Bike’s uber-fast test rider James Haydon, the new Ducati is so fast it’ll distance itself from current sportsbikes, never mind old ones. You can read James’ verdict this issue.
If such exotica is not your thing, there are plenty of other options this month – from new Triumph Tiger 800s to toused adventure bikes. Here’s to the next 25 years.
Plus this issue includes your 2018 Holiday guide - From Cuba to Scandinavia, the USA to New Zealand Bike’s Holiday Guide brings together the best biking destinations on the planet and the tour companies who can make your dream holiday come true…
Putting the SX into sports touring
Kawasaki take their ballistic supercharged H2, fettle, add panniers and hey presto sports touring gets a SX change…
Ride to the end of the World
Patagonia - It’s a cliché, but Patagonia will take your breath away again and again and again. A true wilderness destination with a vast spectrum of landscapes and cultures.
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'I could have won BSB races on this!'
A shift from twins to V4 makes the new Panigale Ducati’s most important sportsbike since the legendary 916. Has the gamble paid off? And will it change our ex-GP star’s mind about Valencia?
32-page 2018 Event guide in this issue for you to plan all your action for 2018 so you don't miss the events that matter to you the most!Read More
This bumper issue of Bike has become an annual event. We add extra pages to the magazine and fill them with extraordinary stories of Bike readers’ rides from around the world, but we’ve still got room for a group test (Bobbers), the first and most authoritative rides on the new bikes (Kawasaki Z900RS, Triumph Tiger 1200),, and there’s also a trip inside the British motorcycle industry.Read More
This month we reveal 79 new bikes for 2018 including all the tests and insights to ensure you know what's ahead for the world of motorcycling. Plus your FREE guide to Wallonia, Belgium - one of biking’s best kept secrets. Explore this hidden treasure on 1300km of great routes.Read More
You can blame the 1980s for lots of things. Shell suits, Chris DeBurgh’s Lady in Red and the Morris Ital, for example. But the ’80s also saw rapid development that shaped today’s bikes...Read More
This issue in Bike we will be reviewing 100 best buys. Whether its a retro, sportsbike or adventurer that rev's your engine we got them all covered!Read More
Find out which machine wins the 2017 Bike magazine Bike of the Year crown!Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
In this issue we take a close look at the new chrome-finish carbon-fibre Norton V4 SS and the first test ride on the massively entertaining new Triumph Bobber...Read More
In this special 164-page issue we’ve got together some great tales of motorcycle travel to inspire you to make a trip next summer - from Yorkshire to the Congo!Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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,
inside this issue...
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…
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.
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…Read More
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.Read More