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fiRst RiDe: Bmw’s New R1200Rt
If it’s happening, it’s here.
The clever rider’s super tourer gets even more sophisticated.
fiRst RiDe: yamaha’s mt-07
The new wave from Yamaha continues at a pace. Last year it was all about the impressive MT-09 triple. For 2014, it’s the sibling MT-07’s turn to show us its potential.
fiRst RiDe: hoNDa’s NC750X
And in the Honda corner we’ve got the revised NC. Bigger and better, John Milbank reports back after the parallel-twin’s debut ride.
sUBsCRiBe to msl!
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fiRst RiDe: DUCati’s moNsteR 1200
It’s been 21 years in the making. See what we make of Ducati’s latest Monster incarnation.
fiRst RiDe: Bmw R1200Gs aDveNtURe
sUspeNsioN iN 2014
It’s probably BMW’s most important motorcycle and it’s all-new for 2014.
We take a considered look at the latest developments in motorcycle suspension.
fiRst RiDe: the DRysDale v8
Home-built specials don’t get much more special than this Australian-built V8 beast.
Bimota tesi 3D NakeD
What do you call a Tesi without its clothes? A Naked, of course. Alan Cathcart travelled to Italy for a ﬁrst ride.
iN ClaNCy’s Boots
Geoﬀ Hill’s a well-known motorcycle adventurer. He set oﬀ in the tracks of an equally brave motorcyclist, who navigated the world more than 100 years earlier.
Experienced tour guide Richard Millington talks packing, time wasting and essentials in this month’s informative piece.
tRiUmph to teNeRife
A Tiger owner’s tale of his bike’s retirement ride from the UK to an island oﬀ the west coast of Africa.
Things to see and do on your motorcycle over the next month. There’s plenty going on, including a great route for you to ride too.
kNow yoUR toUReR
We take an informative look at BMW’s middleweight F800ST
loo’s BiG tRip: paRt thRee
Final part of the tale of a woman, a sidecar outﬁt and a dog, who set out on an epic ride.
RiDDeN aND RateD: hoNDa paN eURopeaN
It’s perhaps one of motorcyling’s best known tourers. Chris Moss gives us the lowdown on the sizeable Honda.
RefleCtioNs: hoNDa CBX1000
In the year of the naked, Roland Brown fondly reﬂects on perhaps the most iconic inline-six cylinder of all. mslmagazine.co.uk 5
DUCATI STRIKES A DEAL WITH SUPERBIKE SCHOOL
Okay, you might see Facebook as an annoying anti-social fad for the younger generation, and the idea of sitting on your phone, tablet or laptop when you get home might push you to tears... but actually MSL’s presence on social media is growing and we’d love you to be a part of it. For a sneaky peek behind the doors of MSL, for the chance to interact with our team and even
get a mention on the pages of the mag from time to time, and prove to your kids that you’re just as cool as they are, come on over and join us. You don’t have to tell us what you had for breakfast or put a pretty eﬀect on your photos (although you can if you really want to!) just join in the banter between issues. We look forward to chatting with you soon.
Ducati UK has come to an agreement to supply the UK branch of the California Superbike School with Ducati Motorcycles. e two companies have long been associated with each other through Superbike School Limited (SSL), the event division of California Superbike School. SSL has over a number of years been responsible for operating the Ducati UK Roadshow in the UK as well as a number of successful track events. Ducati UK will supply the school with its ﬂagship 1199 Panigale. Released in 2012, the bike features an L-twin motor with a claimed 195bhp on tap. School pupils will be able to alter the output and traction using the
three power-adjusting rider modes. For those searching for a less intense ride the school will also oﬀer experiences on the highly acclaimed 899 Panigale, which boasts 148bhp. e third machine option is the recently launched Monster 1200, which promotes an upright riding position and harnesses a 135bhp output. e ﬁrst opportunity for students to experience a Ducati on a California Superbike School day will be April 27 at the Stowe Circuit, Silverstone. e agreement is for the UK speciﬁcally and there will be a total of 15 California Superbike School dates in the UK this year to choose from. To book online visit www.superbikeschool.co.uk
Summer range kit from Alpinestars
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Two new products have been released by Italian clothing company Alpinestars. The £189.99 T-Jaws Air Jacket is made from an advanced poly-fabric main shell which the company claims gives exceptional abrasion and tear-resistance. A removable wind-breaker liner means that the T-Jaws Air Jacket can be worn to suit a variety of diﬀerent weather conditions. The ﬁrm’s £84.99 GP-Air Gloves is a summer street riding glove.
It comes with a robust carbon knuckle guard in a multipanel and extremely robust main shell that is reinforced in critical areas. Sizes for both garments range from S to XL.
Germany on the up next Germany is Europe’s largest motorcycle market, and therefore represents a valid barometer of the state of the market in northern Europe, at least. Figures newly published by the IVM/German Motorcycle Industry Association reveal that motorcycle registrations in 2013 registered a modest 1.31% increase to 129,357 units – as compared to 127,680 machines in 2012. Within that total, registrations of motorcycles above 250cc were up 2.65% with 87,423 units sold,
up from 85,169 in 2012, marking the fourth consecutive year of modest growth for the German motorcycle market. is has now climbed back above the 86,305 ﬁgure seen in 2009, the ﬁrst full year of the global economic downturn, out of total registrations that year of 137,045 units – by way of contrast, 2008 saw a total of 166,282 bikes registered in Germany. If Germany is representative of the European bike market as a whole, this is positive news for the UK too.
rnineT Ridden and
McGuinness to ride Hailwood’s Honda at festival John McGuinness riding Mike Hailwood’s Honda Six? Yes please… Stick this in your diary now, book the weekend oﬀ work and make sure you get along to the Castle Combe circuit in June because a pretty unique event is happening. Headlining the festival will be 20-times TT winner John McGuinness who will ride the ex-Mike Hailwood 296cc Honda Six. He’ll be joined on track by Steve Parrish on
the 500cc Honda Four, as ridden by John McGuinness in the Mike Hailwood tribute alongside Giacomo Agostini as last year’s Classic TT, where the pair famously recreated the battle in the 1967 Senior TT. Returning to the popular two day format, Castle Combe circuit’s only motorcycle meeting of the year promises something really special. Run by the NG Road Racing Club, the packed
race schedule features just about every solo class including the return of the British Historic Championship after a two year break. Practice, qualifying and racing will take place over both days with the ﬁnal timetable still to be announced. However, a special Honda parade will take place on the Sunday during the lunch break. For further information on the meeting go to: www.castlecombecircuit.co.uk
Cadwell Park celebrates 80 years is August you can see some of the greatest ever riders as part of the Cadwell Park 80th anniversary event Cadwell Park circuit in Lincolnshire will be celebrating the milestone with a special event on Sunday, August 3, which will feature racing and displays spanning the venue’s history and its legendary status within the motorcycle community. Race content at Cadwell Park’s 80th Anniversary Celebration will be organised by Auto 66. As part of the festivities there will be three special celebration races. e Classic King of Cadwell will be a 10 lap race for pre-1972 machinery from 251cc to 750cc, recalling the King of Cadwell races from the past.
e Charlie Wilkinson Trophy is named in honour of Cadwell Park’s former custodian, who ﬁrst persuaded his father Mansﬁeld to develop the land for motorcycle racing in 1934. e 10 lap race will be contested by 175cc to 750cc pre-1990 Grand Prix twostroke bikes. e Tommy Wood Trophy is another 10 lap race, for pre-1992 Superbikes from 400cc to 1100cc. Wood, who died in 2003 aged 90, was a Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and the trophy named in his honour was last awarded to a Cadwell Park competitor in the 1990s. Past winners have included some of motorcycle racing’s biggest names. Celebrations will also include ‘Champions of Cadwell Parades in
association with Classic Racer magazine’, which will feature a selection of famous bikes ridden by big names of the sport. Oﬀ circuit attractions range from bike and car displays, a bike trial display, plus live music. “Auto 66 is one of motorcycle racing’s biggest champions, and has nurtured the careers of some of the sport’s biggest names,” said circuit manager Jon Rush. “e club’s continuing association with Cadwell Park will provide us with superb race content for the venue’s 80th anniversary celebrations. “We’re looking forward to working with them to make this event a real highlight of the 2014 season.”
We get to grips with the ultimate naked that’s taken 90 years to perfect.
We built this bike. Read how.
YaMaHa Super Ténéré Ze
High spec, competitive price
On Sale april 4 mslmagazine.co.uk 13
First Rides BMW R1200RT
World class on tour
More power, more tech and simply more brilliant. BMW’s latest R1200RT is a tourer which will make the opposition wince. Here’s why… WORDS: Bruce Wilson PHOTOGRAPHY: BMW
’m parked on a hill waiting my turn to run past the photographers on the bends up front. It’s something of a novelty, you see. I’ve just engaged an all-new BMW rider aid; Hill Start. No brownie points if you can guess what it does, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Basically it’s a handbrake, actuated by a hard squeeze of pressure on the RT’s front brake when the bike’s at a standstill. Using the ABS system the rear brake is automatically applied and not released until you either stop the motor, put the sidestand down or accelerate away with the bike in gear;
the operation I’m a matter of moments away from trying for the ﬁrst time. I ease up the revs on the watercooled boxer twin and feed the clutch out slowly, feeling the rear of the bike squat as the drive builds pressure against the invisible anchor which has until this point held me rock solid, despite gravity’s best eﬀort. Aer what seems an eternity and a few more revs, the chains are released and I ride oﬀ bewildered by this compelling and quirky feature. I’m eager to stop again to give it another go, but there’s a good stretch of Tarmac to ride before our next scheduled break. I’m not complaining; this bike is fantastic. A masterpiece of evolution.
First Rides Speciﬁcation YAMAHA MT-07 Price: £5199 (£5599 with ABS) Engine: 689cc, liquid-cooled inline twin, four valves per cylinder Power: 74bhp @ 9000rpm Torque: 50lb-ft @ 6500rpm Transmission: 6 speed Weight: 179kg (182kg with ABS) Wheelbase: 1400mm Frame: Diamond-type Wheel: Front 120/70/17 Rear 180/55/17 Seat height: 805mm Fuel capacity: 14 litres Contact: www.yamaha-motor.eu/uk
Soft suspension was noted on the launch.
Oliver Grill – Motorcycle product planning manager at Yamaha Motors Europe Oliver Grill explained how a bike this good can be made so aﬀordably… “Versus parallel-four and threecylinder engines, the twin has many advantages, being the most compact and lightweight solution. It’s got fewer parts, so it generates less friction, but is also very cost-eﬀective and easy to assemble in various factories, so we are looking forward to a more global scale of production. At the moment, the engine is being produced in the Japanese Iwata factory.
“This is not a cheap bike, and there are no cheap components in it. We set very high targets for reducing the number of parts in the entire bike, and ﬁnding the simplest layout through design eﬃciency. Compared with the four-cylinder engine like that in the XJ6, we reduced parts by 18%, which saved 7kg. In the body, chassis and wheels we used 22% fewer parts than on the XJ6, and saved 18kg, for instance by linking the rear shock directly to the engine.
“Sometimes it’s not the way we build the bikes, but the way we produce the parts. Yamaha has developed a new way of pressing steel, which combined with our own super-accurate high-speed welding technology allows us to produce parts like the swingarm in a very short space of time. “The speed of putting the parts together is basically setting the price, so welding at double speed cuts the cost of such a swingarm almost in half.”
NEW Closest rival
TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE ABS – £7349 It’s one of those bikes you just have to ride. As close to perfect as any streetbike can get. It’s simple, it’s agile and it’s a hoot regardless of your riding ability. Simplicity is its key strength, made overly enjoyable by a pliable and torquey triple motor. The seat height is low and the wide bars are a comfortable reach away. The latter make this bike easy to throw around in the corners, where you’ll sample the bike’s commendable stability and fantastic ground clearance. Ridden less enthusiastically, it’s also very economical, making it a worthy consideration for commuters too.
e MT-07 always feels under control, inspiring conﬁdence. In fast bends the bike can feel a little so, and while we were shooting the cornering photographs, it didn’t feel quite as accurate as some more sophisticated suspension set-ups. To criticise it at this price-point for having average suspension is maybe a little unfair though, as it easily out-performs anything most of us road-riders will throw at it. It might be a bike designed to help reinvigorate the 25 to 35 year-old market, but that shouldn’t put oﬀ older or more experienced riders. It is, however, A2 licence-friendly thanks to a 47bhp restricting kit. So with its agile chassis and easy-to-ride nature, this would make an incredible ﬁrst bigbike, with the kit removable when riders pass their A test. Don’t think of this as a beginner’s bike though. It might not sound like that much these days, but 74bhp and 50lb- of torque
The MT-07 feels under complete control, inspiring huge conﬁdence.
Digital dash is a similar design to the one used on the bigger MT-09.
put a big smile on everyone’s face on the launch. e same can be said about the impressive range of accessories. ere are more than 50 genuine Yamaha bolt-on bits available, including Gilles’ rear-sets and levers for sports riders, so luggage, a 12v socket and heated grips for tourers, as well as a top-box and screen for commuters. Neat touches as standard include a small amount of storage under the pillion seat, and a fullfeatured dash with a gear indicator. In brief, you can customise it whatever way you like, which is bound to broaden its appeal to a wide variety of potential owners. With this and the price, it’s hard not to anticipate this model being a sensational seller in 2014. I want one.
ABOVE: The parallel-twin motor features a 270-degree crank. RIGHT: Dual petal discs oﬀers plenty of stopping power.
Searching for adventure
In ClanCy’s Boots Meet Geoﬀ Hill. A two-wheeled explorer, whose most recent exploit saw him retrace the footsteps of a 1912 around the world adventure. WOrdS & pHOtOGrapHy: Geoff Hill
stood in front of the 1912 Henderson in the National Motorcycle Museum of America, my arms full of boots and my mind full of wonder. For this was the only surviving example of the type of machine on which a man called Carl Stearns Clancy became the ﬁrst to ride around the world more than 100 years ago. If you’ve never heard of him, you are not alone: I hadn’t until three years ago, when a Dublin biker called Feargal O’Neill told me that Clancy had set oﬀ from there on his epic ride. And the boots I was holding were the ones he had worn, which former TT racer Gary Walker and I had just carried around the world a second time in a recreation of that incredible journey. When Clancy died in Virginia in 1971, his housekeeper had given the boots to Liam O’Connor, the 16-year-old son of neighbours. With the help of Dr Gregory Frazier, the American author who’d turned Clancy’s original magazine articles and photos into the 2010 book Motorcycle Adventurer, I’d tracked Liam down to the university in Western Australia where he was now a professor. He didn’t need to be asked twice to donate the boots for another global adventure, and they were tucked securely into a pannier when Gary and I set oﬀ from Ireland last year in the worst snow in living memory. Clancy had picked Dublin as his departure point to honour his Irish parents, and as we followed his journey down through England, the blizzards were so bad that at times we could hardly see our front wheels. In Holland, it was the coldest March since 1922, torrential rain
Above: Old versus new. Geoﬀ on the GS pairs up with co-adventurer Gary Walker on the vintage Henderson. below: Carl Stearns Clancy made history with his around the world motorcycle ride in 1912.
followed us all the way down through France, and the day we crossed the border into Spain was the ﬁrst time we saw the sun since starting. Still, at least our BMW R1200GS Adventures had heated grips which Clancy would have given both arms for. As it were. ey could hardly have been more diﬀerent than Clancy’s 1912 Henderson – a 934cc seven horsepower inline four with one gear and no front brake which was advertised at the time as the fastest motorcycle in the world. at alone made the Henderson the bike of choice for many US police forces until the factory closed in 1931 at the start of the Depression. Clancy would, I suspect, have been pretty amazed, not only at gizmos such as an electronic suspension system you could toggle on the move between normal, comfort and sport, and within those modes set it for every riding load from Victoria Beckham on a diet to Two Fat Ladies with kitchen sink, but the fact that his Henderson averaged 60mpg. Yet the Beemer, with 110bhp and a top speed approaching 130mph, reached 55.4mpg at a trip average of 51mph, giving me a range of almost 400 miles to a tank. And even more amazed by the fact that ﬁlling the tank of his Henderson at the start of the trip in Dublin cost him about 5p, compared to 46 quid for the GS. Since the Henderson regularly broke down as a result of the punishing roads, Clancy would also have had his
Clancy struggled and swore at the roads which were little more than mule trails. 74 mslmagazine.co.uk
Soaking up the sun in Tunis, capital of Tunisia.
Kitted to cope, Geoﬀ could only imagine how Clancy endured the elements.
mind slightly boggled that the only maintenance we had to do apart from a service was to top up the oil and the air in the tyres. In Algeria, the roads were so good that he took it up to its top speed of 65mph, until his eyes watered so much that he decided speed wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and returned to a gentlemanly pace more suited to his riding gear: a three-piece suit with shirt and tie, topped by a ﬂat cap which in the Far East was replaced by a pith helmet he bought in Port Said. In Sri Lanka, we could have done with one as we were soaked daily by monsoon rain, and aer we had made our way from Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai to Nagasaki, we followed the route that Clancy had taken as he rode north to Tokyo. Back then, he met no motorbikes and only a single car in his time there. It is, of course, much the same today. In San Francisco, we met up with Dr Frazier and a bunch of Clancy fans, and rode north then west with them through country where Clancy struggled and swore at roads which were little more than mule trails. Today, they could not have been better, as under blue skies, we rode with kindred spirits across a country
above: Paparazzi monks in Rome. below right: Clancy’s retired Henderson is now displayed in the National Motorcycle Museum of America. below: Marketeers made the most of Clancy’s proving trip.
OveR packeD is unDeR pRepaReD
Packing for a tour is a perennial challenge. We all take too much stuﬀ, here’s how to make sure it doesn’t ruin the ride. words: Richard Millington photography: Joe Dick/Richard Millington
ack in the day a toothbrush and a credit card would suﬃce for touring. No GPS, no map, no sensible kit just a bike, passport, toothbrush and a credit card. Truth be told, this is the right way to think about packing and most of us today have it wrong. Start with the real necessities and then add a few things that will make life more comfortable and enjoyable. Maybe just packing a credit card and toothbrush is a bit extreme, but it’s a good place to start. If you begin with all the stuﬀ you would take in a car or have available at home, you are doomed. First your lovely motorcycle will start to resemble and handle like the caravan you stripped that kitchen sink out of. What’s the point of taking a bike that doesn’t handle like a bike? We all ride to experience some degree of excitement and if you hamper that chance before you leave home then you may as well stay there. Secondly, if you weave and wobble your way through the journey, every stop will turn into its own trial. I travelled once with a great guy from the States, who I shall call Tim. Baby V-Strom, aluminium panniers, top box, roll bag, backpack, tank bag, tank-side pannier bags and carrier bags strapped to the top of the panniers. All essential, absolutely essential kit. Every night, everything came oﬀ the bike and was unpacked in the hotel. If you ever went into his room it was like entering a teenager’s bedroom aer a small bomb had gone oﬀ. e guy he shared a room with was oen found cowering in the corner with six inches of clear ﬂoor around him. e following morning it all had to be repacked, strapped and bungee’d on to the bike. He lost hours of his trip, missed meals, saved a fortune at the bar; all due to his over packing. And did he have anything that he really needed that we didn’t? Not really. It just seemed like stuﬀ to me. Tim put himself under unnecessary stress and lost days of his trip to packing. On the same trip at the other end of the scale were a couple riding two up with two panniers and a roll bag. No tank bag or rucksack, etc. Overall, I know who had the easier and more enjoyable ride. What qualiﬁes as essential kit depends on the individual but at the end of the day it’s what you need to enhance and beneﬁt your journey. And, it is your individual journey. If you want to have every GPS track
Above: Tour guide Richard Millington believes in enjoying the ride, not endlessly packing and repacking.
He put himself under unnecessary stress and lost days of his trip to packing. Meet Richard… Richard Millington has been riding for more than 30 years and touring for over 25. His two-wheeled passion for travel kicked oﬀ in the 1980s, with a memorable ﬁrst trip on which his Suzuki GSX1100EFE’s exhaust set ﬁre to his soft panniers. Since then, he’s never looked back, fuelled by his involvement in the motor industry.
Richard has turned his passion into a business, founding Motorrad Tours. He’s ridden on ﬁve continents and guided motorcycle tours in Europe, Africa and North and South America. www.motorrad-tours.com oﬀers a range of tours throughout Europe and around the world with something for every taste.
for every mile you have ridden then you will need a GPS and a laptop. If you enjoy photography then your gear is going to take up some space. But when your journey starts becoming about the kit, the clothes, the cameras and the wi-ﬁ availability, then the journey is getting lost. It is amazing how one bit of kit begets another. Camera begets a battery and spare battery; battery begets a battery charger, camera also begets camera case and spare memory cards. Don’t want to risk losing the photos though, so memory card begets laptop, which begets a charger and so it goes on. But before you think about packing and what to take, you should ﬁrst get the right method of carrying it all. Panniers are a winner for me every time. Lockable and so reasonably secure, unlike so luggage, with the weight low down they present the best compromise. Get good ones. If your bike comes with them ﬁne, but if not, spend some time not just looking at costs but reading reviews and talking to people who have used them or who don’t use them anymore. Investigate the ease of packing and waterprooﬁng; not just when new. Look at the style and material of the inner bags; it can make a huge diﬀerence, I know from experience and from the experiences of people I have ridden with. But the most important thing when choosing your bags or panniers is not to buy all of them. If you buy panniers, top box, tank bag and a roll bag for the back seat, you will need an incredible amount of self restraint not to end up ﬁlling them. If you are a solo rider, a pair of panniers and a small tank bag, really just to hold a map (and the glasses to read it if you are like me) is more than enough. Touring is, aer all, supposed to be about the freedom of travel; it exposes us to the environments we travel through in so many ways, so don’t waste the precious time you have unpacking and repacking; use your time to ride. mslmagazine.co.uk 81