December 2018

Sunny afternoons spent razzing about on a Honda Monkey bike should be available on prescription. There’s no better way of wasting time than zooming(?) along at 58.4mph (rising to 61.3mph down hills) enjoying the countryside. No modes, no TFT screen, no power and no worries. Well, except possibly the gutter seeking wobble induced by the draft of a Mercedes Sprinter van passing

Simple entertainment is part of the attraction of Royal Enfield’s new 650 twins too. No modes and no TFT screen, but analogue instruments, gleaming chrome and enough power to stay well ahead of that pesky Mercedes Sprinter. Enfield’s ambition for their new bikes is massive, and for the first time in recent history they’ve got a machine that can compete in the mainstream. If it’s priced aggressively, and apparently it will be, then it could shake up the whole market. Here’s hoping.

Meanwhile the Yamaha Niken, which provoked a bile filled inbox after the launch, has also been entertaining us on UK roads. Given the hostility its launch provoked we asked TT racer Gary Johnson and cynical Mark Edwards to have a go. Gary’s stand-up wheelies and footrest atomizing cornering entertained Bike readers at our Rockingham trackday. He was impressed. I’m not sure we changed Mark’s mind though.

There’s more silly stuff in this issue in the form of our crazy Catalan friends exploring Albania (page 82) and 1000bhp drag racers on mud (page 63). Now that really is a good thing. More sensible stuff too, like John Westlake’s first test of the new BMW R1250GS.

Enjoy the issue, and keep the mail coming. Even if it’s about Nikens.

Hugo Wilson


A ride with Dan Linfoot and his dad

Father and son take a break from British Superbike responsibilities to enjoy Lincolnshire aboard Honda’s finest. Ben Lindley tries to keep up…

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The Enfield of Dreams

Royal Enfield’s new 650cc Interceptor and Continental GT retros are looking good, sweet handling and well made. And we’re expecting them to be stupendous value. Time to put an Indian made bike in your garage?

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Close encounters of the three-wheel kind

Three riders with three preconceptions meet one of the most controversial bikes in decades. But what have they got to say when they have actually ridden Yamaha’s three-wheel Niken?

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