I’m not expecting sympathy, but making Bike in the middle of winter is a challenge. When we took this photograph the thermometer was hovering just above freezing and the Northamptonshire countryside didn’t look very inviting. Fair play to Mike, in leather jacket and jeans*, he’s doing a better job of trying to make it look like we’re on a pleasant spring time ride than me, hunched up and shivering.
Still, even in those conditions the new Royal Enfield 650 twins come across as feel good bikes. Thrumming engines, shiny chrome and simple pleasures. Great value too at just £5500 for a desirable bike with a three year warranty. That has to be a good thing, but there are loads of other value items in the motorcycling world. We’ve come up with 29 standout examples, and I’m still struggling to comprehend the current PCP offer on Honda Fireblades.
We try and make every issue of Bike into an event, with surprising stories, powerful images and great design. But the quality of the writing in this month’s issue seems better than ever; we’re blessed with some great writers. John Naish’s contribution on page 100 is superb. And Mark Graham’s final page is fantastic too. John Westlake (testing the new Triumph Speed Twin) and Gary Inman (visiting Japan’s Mooneyes Show) are at their usual brilliant best and Armitage is back (though he never really went away) delivering insight and expertise about the latest bikes (group test).
Bike readers are great too. David Gillett sent us a contribution from Canada that made us laugh out loud. We had to include it. Folks, you know you need this stuff every month, and you won’t find it on the internet.
Enjoy the issue.
*Turns out he’s got heated gloves on.
Hugo Wilson, Editor