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Essential contacts Want to get in touch with us? Ride, Media house, Lynchwood, Peterborough Pe2 6ea tel: 01733 468 000 Fax: 01733 468 290 Email: Want to subscribe? Call 0845 601 2672 or go to Want to advertise? Call 01733 468892 Got an editorial enquiry? Call 01733 468081 Can’t find RiDE in the shops? Call 01733 555161 Need a back issue? Call 0845 601 1356 (UK) or 0044 1858 438828 (overseas)

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WELCOME ho’d be a motorcycle dealer? They’ve never had it so tough. Sales are low, and many riders are doing low mileages so they’re not spending much on servicing, repairs and tyres. as customers, our expectations are higher than ever. In this internet age, we want everything NoW, preferably for free, and we demand a lot of bike for our money. So praise be that there are still some good dealers in business. People like World of bikes, featured in our used sportsbike story. Many of those who’ve survived the recession (so far) have done so because they’re very good at what they do, and


because they enjoy what they’re doing, rather than caring more about the size of their Mercedes. In the short term it may cost a couple of quid more to buy from a dealer rather than online, but in the long term we’ll be glad we made that small contribution to keeping them afloat.

Colin ovERland EDitOR SEPTEMBER 2012




My new Triumph Street Triple R on my first trip up to the Lake District. Saying I’ve fallen in love with the both of them somehow doesn’t quite cut it – Phil Clark My grandsons Jack and Louis on board the Harley – Frank Hart The famous hedges near Armoy, in Joey country – Frank McDowell

Going through the Italian Alps as a touring virgin with my best riding buddy Phil, one month after getting my Honda VFR800 VTEC. What a ride: Birmingham to Venice and back in 10 days taking in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps – Ian Moyse

Triumph Sprint ST 1050 outside Colditz Castle during my two-and-a-half-week trip with a WWII theme: Arnhem, Berlin, Auschwitz, Dresden, Colditz, the V1 caves at Mittlebau-Dora and the Mohne Dams. A fantastic trip – Peter Davies

My BMW R1150RT next to the memorial to 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards at Creully, Normandy, near the end of my 2000-mile trip to France – David Neale Six lads from Teesside on tour in Normandy. Three of us on Fazer 1000s, one on a 1250 Bandit, one on a Tiger 1050 and a fool on a CBR1000 – Jim Walton SEPTEMBER 2012




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t all comes down to purse strings at the moment,” says John Roberts, co-owner of World of Bikes in corby, Northamptonshire. “People are very cautious about spending money so if they want a superbike they’re sticking to those that cost less than £5000. that’s my most buoyant market. For most blokes who just like to have a bit of fun at the weekend and treat their bike as a toy, it’s too difficult to justify spending more than £5000. also, sub-five grand, people can whack a bike on their credit card.”

Buying secondhand doesn’t mean buying second best; there are some incredible bikes available for the kind of money that Roberts is talking about. “the Kawasaki ZX-10R is an awesome bike for under five grand,” he says. “the Fireblade is also good if you want something a little softer. and Yamaha R1s are always popular. You’d also be able to pick up a nice aprilia RsV1000 mille or even an ’04 mille Factory. “I’d have something like a Ducati 999, but I love things like Honda’s sP-1 and sP-2, suzuki’s tl1000R – you could get

any one of those for under £5000. If you want to use it for ragging around and bouncing it off the rev limiter then you need a Japanese bike. But if you want something that’s a little bit different and a bit quirky, I’d definitely go Italian.” the fact that relatively few people are buying new bikes at the moment means that secondhand prices are fairly high because demand is too. “You’re paying strong money for any 1000cc,” Roberts says. “With new superbikes costing about £12,000, secondhand values have shot up

Brilliant used sportsBikes We spoke to six owners of the kind of pre-loved litre bikes you can expect to buy for less than £6000 to find out what they’re like to ride, own and live with Words Stuart Barker pictures Jason Critchell 26 |

september 2012

because people are holding onto their bikes for longer. even a 1999 Yamaha R1 is fetching £3500-£3800 because they’re hard to find. Hondas always tend to sell for a little bit more, simply because of their reputation for reliability and build quality, even though the others are just as good.” Despite the strong secondhand market, there are still bargains out there and Roberts says there are even better deals to be had by thinking out of the box a little and playing to the strength of the pound against the euro. “Don’t be put off going to

southern Ireland to buy a bike. Because of the euro, you can get them cheap and it’s very easy to bring them back. as long as they have a certificate of conformity then they’re easy to register in the UK. But if you buy private, make sure you do an HPI check because there are a lot of bikes out there with a bit of finance on them. a full service history is always a good thing too.” If you’re still not convinced about buying a secondhand bike, consider this sobering tale: “I just sold a year-old R1, with a couple of grand’s worth of bits on it, and

just 2000 miles on the clock, for £11,000. they’re just under £14,000 new so it had lost £3000 in a year. and bear in mind I didn’t give the owner £11,000 – I gave him £10,000, so really he lost £4000 in a year.” that four grand in depreciation would buy you a very nice secondhand superbike. there’s no denying the appeal of a being the first owner of a shiny new motorcycle, but if you just don’t have the cash right now read on to discover what it’s like to ride, own and live with some of the best secondhand superbikes on the market. R1 and Fireblade borrowed from World of Bikes in Corby: both up for grabs for less than £5000

september 2012

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Kawasa Ki ZZR 1400 > ÂŁ11,499 > 190bhp > 186mph > 268kg fuelled Economy on test: best 46mpg, worst 33mpg, average 39mpg

ZZR140 0 in How owners rated the previous model: Brakes, engine, headlights Running costs OvErall pOsitiOn 13tH



B M w K 1 30 0 s H P > ÂŁ15,580 > 175bhp > 175mph > 254kg fuelled Economy on test: best 48mpg, worst 41mpg, average 44mpg

B M w K 1 30 0 s i n How owners rated the base model: Brakes, build quality, engine, handling, reliability, rider comfort OvErall pOsitiOn 2nd

Is there more to Kawasaki’s new ZZR1400 than the world’s most powerful production bike engine? We took it to the Nürburgring with the benchmark high speed sports tourer, the BMW K1300S Words Simon Weir Pictures Mark Manning

The ulTimaTe sporTs Tourers Y

ou can keep the Black Forest, I think to myself as I tip into yet another perfect corner – this is better. not that I have much spare brain power for comparing German riding regions. all my concentration is taken up with the absorbing, beautiful, brilliant road. I’m tackling the unbelievably good B266 from the Bikers Ranch cafe in Simmerath. The tarmac is immaculate and grippy, draped in seductive curves across a hillside that drops down towards the obersee lake. Roadside pine trees part to give teasing views across wooded hills, sometimes with a flash of the road ahead, before closing in again to leave me entirely focused on the next bend. This is my first trip to Germany’s eifel Mountains and I’m blown away. Being on the right machine helps, of course. In this case, it’s kawsaki’s flagship ZZR1400 hypertourer. For a big, long bike it’s amazingly light on its feet, turning quickly and accurately – at 268kg with a 15480mm wheelbase it’s too huge to be a sportsbike, but it does a very convincing impression of one. The heart of the ZZR is the 1441cc inline four, pumping out a monstrous 190bhp with 116 lb.ft of torque, most of it on tap from as low as 2000rpm. Yet the throttle is so accurate and the transmission so silky that there’s nothing brutal about the AUGUST 2012



If you’re wanting a paint scheme that says ‘retro’ and ‘racing’, you couldn’t do much better than the legendary Gulf colours

Gentlemen prefer W800s Motorcycle racing? In Switzerland? With their reputation? Words and pictures Kev Raymond

ell, yes. It’s true that most motorsport’s been banned in switzerland since 1955, initially as a reaction to the disastrous le Mans event of that year which saw more than 80 spectators killed when Pierre levegh’s Mercedes flipped the barriers, disintegrated and scythed through the crowd. It’s also true that there are no purpose-built permanent racetracks. But there is a thriving motocross scene, and because some tarmac racing’s allowed as long as there’s also a dirt element, supermoto has been able to fill the void le ft by the abse nce of normal club racing. As of last season though, swiss supermoto tracks have been echoing to a lazier beat, courtesy of the latest - and most unlikely - single-make series we’ve


seen for ages. Which is why I find myself wandering around an enormous quarry at Bürglen in the north east of switzerland, a few miles from lake Constance, on a sunny weekend in May, watching the Kawasaki W800 Gentlemen Cup. Originally dreamed up by Kawasaki sales manager Marcel Kellenberger (who also administers the series and acts as chief scrutineer), the format’s simple: one bike, limited modifications, and five rounds with a variety of challenges. this year that includes three supermoto races, one grasstrack and one hillclimb, which is run as a reliability trial (you have to get both runs as close to each other as possible) rather than an out and out race, due to switzerland’s strange rules on pure tarmac racing.

Switzerland doesn’t like tarmac tracks. They’re dangerous. Racing retro Kawasakis on shale, however....


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Cornering by numbers How the California Superbike School help you understand and master the art of cornering Words Simon Toyne Pictures Mark Manning

California Superbike School Who are they? CSS have been teaching road riders and racers for more than 30 years in 12 countries What does it cost? From ÂŁ399 What do I need ? An open mind More info call 08700 671061 or visit SEPTEMBER 2012

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in association with GlobeBusters

Keep calm and carry on The one predictable thing about border crossings is that they’re unpredictable Words Kevin and Julia Sanders e take it for granted in Western europe: the freedom to cross borders. France to Spain to Portugal; the Netherlands to Belgium; Luxembourg to Germany. Other than the oddity of the Swiss, we’re free to pass through unhindered. Outside the euro comfort zone, though, traversing a frontier with your bike becomes a game of chess: a long process and, to the ill informed, unfathomable. Don’t prepare yourself for it – physically and mentally – and it can quickly turn your trip sour, or halt it altogether. in essence, passing between two countries comprises four basic steps. First, you enter yourself into the country at immigration. Secondly, you enter your bike with customs. thirdly, on leaving you get yourself stamped out. and finally, you exit your bike. in theory it’s simple, but in practice every border you come across will be different. Faced with masses of locals, being jostled for money, and a random collection of anonymous sheds to trawl through, you’ll forget it all instantly. Rule number one: push the very english concept of queuing out of your head and ride straight to the front. Before you get off the bike, chances are enterprising youths will be chatting 10 to the dozen, pointing at your documents and the faceless windows, offering their services as a guide. Using fixers at borders can be a more efficient way of getting yourself through. they will charge, but if you gain a few hours and avoid tearing your hair out, then it can be money well spent. it’s easy to rush in, but take your time to suss out your surroundings and make sure your bike is as secure as possible: borders attract a strange array of characters, and foreign travellers on big, heavily laden bikes attract them all. accept that part of the system will be under-the-table payments to the man with the stamp. taking a stand on principle and refusing to pay will mean a prolonged and tedious experience. Stay calm, smile, try to communicate in their language and offer a cigarette or a drink, and things will go much smoother. immigration is the easy bit. the only time we had an issue was entering the USa. the officer flicked through our passports and 120 |


ThinGs you’ll need To cross a Border Passport Mandatory for all borders. It needs to be valid for at least six months after your date of departure from the country you are entering. Vehicle registration document (V5) Mandatory for all borders, although blagging your way across with good copies is not unheard of. uK driving licence Often requested. The photocard will normally do, but it’s worth taking the part two just in case. international driving Permit Occasionally requested, but normally the UK driving licence suffices. You can get one from the RAC. Third Party insurance for your bike Sometimes requested by police. Some countries require obligatory purchase of country-specific insurance at the border (it’s normally cheap and covers you for very little). carnet de passage for your bike (depending on country) Required by many African and Middle Eastern countries. Also available from the RAC.

Rule number one: push the very English concept of queuing out of your head and ride to the front found iranian visas. Why had we gone to iran? When did we go? How long were we there for? What was our business there? know your international disputes and get a new passport before any big trip. there’ll always be some variations on a theme to get your passport stamped: fill out a tourist visa, or go to a different office to buy a stamp. in any event, border officials are significantly better at pushing people across countries than they are private vehicles. experience has taught us that to avoid problems you need to get your paperwork spot on. Have your original documents to hand (see box above) and carry sufficient copies for every entry and exit. We’ve never been to a border that didn’t require an original passport and V5 to get through, but that’s not to say that we haven’t blagged

without the originals, and the further away from home you are, the more you can get away with. an iranian border guard doesn’t know what an original Uk V5 should look like, and a good colour copy (although it’s technically illegal to do this) can do the job. Certain countries also require a carnet de passage too: an import/export guarantee that the bike will leave the country. in the Uk, you can get one from the RaC. Before leaving home check all your documents. Make sure the chassis number on the V5 matches your bike, as they will look at this. the other check they normally do is that the name on the V5 is the same as on the passport. taking your mate’s bike, or a company vehicle, will land you in all sorts of trouble. to let your bike in, customs issue you with a local temporary bike permit. Double check this; the chances are there will be an error. On our first Central america trip, our Costa Rican permit had the number plate incorrectly typed. We were two hours and three checkpoints in before the police spotted it and sent us back. if a customs officer really wants to be seen to be doing his job, he’ll want to go through your luggage. Some borders will also check for food and you’ll find yourself binning dairy products, fresh meat and fruit. a good way to ward off a search is to have smelly laundry at the top of panniers, or toss them a few dollars. Before completing formalities of the permit, there can always be another amusing procedure: bike fumigation. this is supposed to prevent nasty bugs and insects getting into the next country (the logic escapes us…) and will consist of a man spraying insecticide over the wheels of your bike; “that’s $5, please.” Just when you think it is all completed, there can be a final police check of all your documents and then another by the security man in charge of raising the barrier. Now, your instant reaction is to get the hell away as soon as possible before they change your minds, but that’s when documents can get mislaid and items lost. So ride far enough away for people not to bother you, then stop and sort out all your paperwork ready for the next crossing. take a breather, crack a smile of relief at getting through unscathed and then grin at having another country to ride in.



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