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Suddenly you’ll be smitten – especially if riding in the twisties, where it’s racing pedigree shines through in its chassis. Couple this with a far more user-friendly engine than the 1098 version and you get a modern, sporty, naked Ducati that works.
The go anywhere BMW, the well known R1200GS Adventure! The adventure model over the standard features a 33 litre tank, a boxer engine packed with torque, shaft drive for smoothness, ultimately this creates a class leading package in the adventure market.
Take Triumph’s superb Sprint ST and make it more adept at touring and also pillion friendly and what do you end up with? A Triumph Sprint GT. Sounds easy enough but in practice Triumph had to revise the Sprint’s chassis in a major way. So with a longer swingarm and steel subframe the GT becomes uber-stable when decked out with 117 litres of luggage, a pillion and 20 litres of juice. It goes further than that, though. Lower seat height, a wider, more comfortable pillion seat, built in grab rails on the topbox mounts and revised footpeg positions… and more. It is comfy for pillion and rider – good enough for Triumph’s claimed 200 miles between fuel stops – the engine is flexible and grunty, steering is agile but stable and it can carry a week’s worth of clothing with ease.
The Ducati Hypermotard 796 is an exhilarating road machine. The bike weighs a massive 12kgs less than the 1100 but not only that is also 20mm lower, they cost less than the 1100 and from A to B they are no slower. Wrap this exciting package in with Ducati styling and whats not to love?
Long before the recent range of Harley streets and street rods there was the entry level 883. With its useable size, yet traditional Harley character it was and still is a favourite of the UK market. Much like all good things this bike the 883 Sportster has gone through minor evolutions rather than major revolutions even if you took the badge away from the 883 you’d certainly know its a Harley.
For 2007 Honda had to lift their game to compete and thats exactly what they did. With midrange increased and weight reduce the CBR was the lightest in its category and a pleasure to use on the road and track.
Yamaha have hit the nail on the head with the XSR900. It looks great with its on-trend retro styling and, thanks to Yamaha’s extensive catalogue of accessories, is easy to personalise too. It’s both versatile and fun with everyday usability, very impressive for a bike that comes in an affordable price bracket. The inline triple has come from the highly popular MT-09, with revised fuelling map and also comes with the added benefit of traction control and ABS as standard.
Kawasaki ZX6R R9F In terms of chassis and handling this generation Kawasaki ZX-6R is a big step forward over the old ZX-6R (P7F/P8F). The new big piston forks use MotoGP technology and make a huge difference. They take a little getting use to at first but enable you to brake devilishly late yet the bike remains stable. Engine wise 115bhp at the back wheel makes it the most powerful standard 600 for that era, say no more.