July 2019

This is me enjoying the sound of the off-beat engine rhythm with subdued background gear whine of a Honda V4 at tickover. The fact that the old VFR750F has got gear driven cams makes me very happy. For a mass-produced motorcycle they’re an over-the-top engineering solution, but they’re what makes the VFR really special.

This issue of Bike began as a conversation in a van with deputy editor Mike Armitage. Scudding across the East Anglian Fens in a Mercedes Sprinter we marvelled at the fact that bikes we’d tested a few years ago, when they were new and we had more hair, now cost (relative) peanuts. A frenzied internet search, conducted via smartphone from the Merc’s passenger seat, revealed an impressive amount of pre-loved temptation close by.

Diverting our journey to King’s Lynn could have netted a promising-sounding Suzuki GSX-R750, while in Thetford there was an attractively priced Ducati 749. Our detour plans were thwarted only by an immediate lack of ready money (and the need to be home for tea).

Obviously you have to be careful buying used, but secondhand bikes and the buying experience can get you some amazing machines at astonishing prices. It’s hard to resist. We might have come back from Norfolk with an empty van, but two weeks later I bought the VFR.

Enjoy the issue.

Hugo Wilson, Editor

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