It’s September 26th, 2017. Through a series of events I still don’t quite understand, I’m sitting in the boardroom of the new Royal Enfield Technical Centre at Bruntingthorpe in the UK. Next to me is Siddharth Lal who’s the son of Vikram Lal, one of India’s richest men. ‘Sid’, as he’s called, is the CEO of Royal Enfield…
“THIS IS NOT A SCRAMBLER!” is what I shout to myself on repeat as I hit the first few corners of the famous Great Ocean Road in Australia’s south-east. Not a car in sight, my right wrist is only just warming up. Luckily, my hands are already comfortable thanks to the bike’s heated grips…
These bikes are nothing if not divisive. You’ll either think they’re the best looking motorcycles on the market or you’re just plain wrong. But what are they like to ride?
The reviews are in and the motorcycle industry has spoken. The new Kawasaki Z900RS is the best handling, best looking, most incredible retro bike ever designed. According to the throngs of fawning middle-aged journalists it can do anything. Such is the power of the new Z900RS. But is it really all that?
Wherever you go, whatever you ride you should always consider riding in gear that can protect you if you crash. Tobacco Motorwear Company is committed to producing stylish, yet protective motorcycle apparel that you can wear every day. Because looking like a motorcyclist doesn’t mean you have to look like a motorcyclist, if you catch my drift.
With the world’s motorcycle manufacturers feeling the enormous weight of progress and the ever-increasing pressure of emission regulations pushing down on their leather jacketed shoulders, it’s no surprise that many of the bikes we’ve been reviewing of late have bitten the Euro 4 bullet and made some fairly big changes to their powerplants in order to woo Mother Nature and please those pesky EU bureaucrats in Brussels. But Moto Guzzi are amongst a handful of the big makers who have buttoned down the hatches of their little air-cooled castles and dug in for the long haul to 2020 when Euro 5 rules will kill off the genre for good. Which brings us to this, Moto Guzzi’s latest release, their ‘youth-orientated’ V9s, the ‘Bobber’ and the ‘Roamer’. But are they just dinosaurs teetering on an ever-decreasing piece of sea ice, or buy-them-now-before-its-too-late motorcycling classics in the making?
The challenge Triumph gave themselves when redesigning the Bonneville was nothing short of Herculean. As a company whose entire brand rests on one hundred plus years of biking heritage, this is the bike around which their entire world revolves. How hollow would their references to legendary motorcycling heroes such as Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando sound if the new Bonneville missed the mark? So to this end, the brief from John Bloor, Triumph’s owner, was as clear as it was short. It had to be as good as the original ‘59 Bonneville T120, “and whatever you do,” he said “do not fuck it up.” Which begs the question, did they or didn’t they? To find out, Triumph Australia asked us to take the bikes on an epic journey over some of the most challenging landscapes in Australia to do battle with the weather and the road in a ride we’ll be telling our grandchildren about for years to come.
We recently tried to get our greasy little hands on a Harley-Davidson 883 to review. Unfortunately due to a long list of rules (who would have thought Harley was into rules?) we didn’t meet their criteria – and no it wasn’t because of our lack of pony tails. It was mainly due to the fact we hadn’t had years of experience on heavy bikes. Anyway, as luck would have it, one of our good mates Laurence Cronin recently purchased his very first Harley. He is no newcomer to riding, just hung up his riding boots for a few years while he raised a couple of kids. Now they are all grown up, he decided to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams – own a Harley. And like many, he fell for the ‘man magnet’ they call the 883. This is Laurie’s review after riding the Sportster for a few months….
READ MORE ►
Next time you walk into your local newsagent just have a look at how many crappy magazines there are crammed on all those busy little shelves. And let’s be honest, most of them were more useful as trees – and probably better looking as well. So when we were sent a copy of a new magazine called ‘Head Full of Snakes’ we were initially sceptical, to say the least. Until about 10 seconds after we opened up the envelope and pulled out a magazine that didn’t feel like the usual glossy motorcycle mag we’ve come to expect. This felt more like something that was made in the 60’s or 70’s. It felt handmade. It felt like an old friend; the way a motorcycle magazine should be. Not completely filled with advertising. Not overly polished or slick, but instead a solid collection of great photographs and honest stories. You can almost smell the passion and sweat that went into it. The magazine is the brainchild of motorcycle nuts and graphic designers Luke Wood and Stuart Geddes. Here’s how Stuart describes his magazine…
READ MORE ►
Everyone loves a shortcut. And everyone hates it when they find out that the way they’ve been doing something for years and years might have not been the best way to go about it at all. Take, for instance, washing you precious personal transport – a ritual handed down from parents to siblings for thousands of years. Or there abouts. And here’s how it goes. Wet the vehicle. Apply approved soapy substance with sponge. Rinse the vehicle. Chamois dry the vehicle. Wax if desired. Armour-All if anal retentive. Now what if there was actually a better way to do things? Namely, what if you could remove all the elbow grease involved in the process and jump straight to the chamois part? Sounds good, huh? Well there’s a fairly big chunk of the bike cleaning market now occupied by products that promise just that – a spray on, wash off, wipe down set of instructions that would have us believe that we’ve been wasting a hell of a lot of time in the past. But have we?
READ MORE ►