August 2019

The sensations of summer; insects splattering themselves onto the visor of an Arai, the smell of haymaking wafting across the hedgerows, the coolness of a freshly filled fuel tank between your legs, the feel of handlebar grips through lightweight gloves, hot, grippy tarmac, the surprising and satisfying grind of a hero blob on tarmac. It feels like it’s been ages coming…

Long evening rides and gratuitous deviations on the ride home from work, the aroma of methanol and fried onions at a speedway meeting, the sun on your neck when you’re working on a bike in the yard, the distant drone of an inline four on an Akrapovic, the taste of that glorious post-ride beer. Outside. In the beer garden.

The clang, and then the whine of a winch as the ferry docks and the deck door opens onto foreign soil and an adventure really begins. Or an ice cream at Hunstanton/Poole/Rhyll (delete where not applicable).

Blobbed up rubber on sticky tyres, a perfectly executed corner, then the frustration of a missed apex. Roundabouts ridden with gusto. The shocking sensation of Hickman, Harrison, Dunlop or any other TT hero passing, inches from your face, on a superfast section of the Isle of Man course.

Or, if you didn’t make it to The Island, earphones in, at your desk, listening to live race coverage, ‘and now over to Roy Moore at Ramsey Hairpin,’ on Manx TT Radio.

So far my summer is living up nicely to these expectations. I can think of little better than waking up in the campsite next to The Tan Hill Inn, north Yorkshire. After a great ride the previous day and the glorious evening that followed (and let’s gloss over the issue of the missing keys) the prospect of another day’s entertainment in Yorkshire sprawled before me.

Further tastes of summer are provided by Triumph’s revelatory Speed Twin on B-road and dyno. The data doesn’t lie. By now you would think that every amazing TT picture has been taken, yet Dave Collister continues to drop jaws. Sportsbikes on roundabouts… remember that. 600s make a comeback, while Gary Inman and Geoff Cain tackle 1000 non-stop British miles on Kawasaki’s H2 SX SE+.

Enjoy the issue.

From spreadsheets to groundsheets

Leave the office early, tomorrow’s Saturday: the Bike team bunk off work…

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9 on a Tén scale

Lighter, more agile and more affordable, the most eagerly awaited adventure bike in years is finally here…

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3000-mile test

We know Royal Enfield’s new Interceptor is a great price and that it is equally impressive on the road…

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