Category: Bike Reviews

Classic Bikes at the Classic Motor Show Looks Set to be a Roaring Success

Classic Bikes at the Classic Motor Show Looks Set to be a Roaring Success

The inaugural Classic Bikes at the Classic Motor Show, held from the 14th to the 16th November at the NEC, looks set to be a roaring success after receiving great support from classic bike fraternity. Everyone from enthusiastic bike clubs to the National Motorcycle Museum and the iconic Ace Café have rushed to support this exciting new hall within the show.

So it doesn’t matter which motorcycle era you like to throw your leg over, there’s bound to be something of interest for you to get all misty-eyed over; from the Association of Pioneer Motorcyclists to the UK Honda Turbo Association. There will be over 20 club stands alone as well as trade stands and a bike jumble.

Of course, that’s not all! In addition to the accessory and parts dealers, the National Motorcycle Museum is bringing along a few of its mightily desirable collection.

There’s the Texas Cee-Gar, which is a Bonneville streamliner ridden by Johnny Allen on the Salt Flats to set a world motorcycle speed record of 214mph in 1956. Powered by a Triumph Thunderbird engine, this very streamliner was the inspiration for the iconic Triumph Bonneville model – and the NMM will be bringing along a Bonnie from the bike’s first year of production (1958) too.

Other Triumphs include a 1968 Triumph 350 Twin prototype, which was the great Edward Turner’s last design and an early 1968 Triumph Trident. Also, whilst we’re talking triples, the NMM has loaned the Trident & Rocket 3 Owners’ Club a one-off BSA Gold Star 3; this was a concept produced by US dealers based on what a Gold Star Rocket Three would look like, but it never made production. Providing yet more food for thought about the British motorcycle industry.

Mention ‘Gold Star’ and you inevitably think café racer and the spiritual home of the ton-up boys, the Ace Café will also be putting on a strong display of alloy-embellished, clip-on packing lovelies. From Reg Allen’s TriTon and the Rickman Metisse Café Racer to the Triumph T140 Flat Tracker – this will be a stunning display. Then, bringing the Ace story up to date, Stonebridge Motor Company’s fantastic 1650cc Ace-inspired Little Miss Dynamite will be on show too.

If all this has inspired you, well, it’s not too late to enter your motorcycle into the Pride of Ownership competition, which is being generously supported by RealClassic magazine, and Classic Bike sponsors Meguiars and Footman James.

This display is open to all manner of bike from show pony to daily rider and has already attracted a large and varied selection of entries. There’s a Sunbeam S7 which is still being used daily; a fully-restored Kawasaki 750 Triple so shiny you’d better bring along your sunglasses; a selection of John Callow-built grass trackers; Paul Rantin’s unique Sunbeam XB9 Special; and Graham Gamble’s superb ‘Captain America’ replica.

So whatever your two-wheeled tastes or interests, there’s something to reel you in at Classic Bikes at the Classic Motor Show.

Classic Bikes at the Classic Motor Show is open from 10am until 6.30pm on Friday, 9.30am until 6.30pm on Saturday, and 9.30am until 5.30pm on Sunday. Ticket prices range from £15 when purchased in advance and all tickets include entrance into Classic Bike and the Classic Motor Show. For more information, the latest updates or to book tickets, visit or tel: 0870 060 3776. 

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Suzuki RM-Z Range Now on 0 APR Finance

Suzuki RM-Z Range Now on 0 APR Finance

Interest free finance landed in motocross this month, with the introduction of a 0% APR finance offer from Suzuki, on the world championship winning RM-Z450 and the iconic MX2 class campaigner, the RM-Z250.

Traditionally an offer only available to road bike customers, Suzuki bring this exciting deal to the market with immediate effect, giving buyers the chance to spread their interest free payments over a 12-month period.

Talking about the offer, Suzuki GB's George Cheeseman commented, "It may be common in road bike sales to spread the payments over a period without interest, but it's still unusual for motocross buyers to be offered such a deal. Suzuki is renowned for bringing exceptional value to the market, and so we are delighted to make the path to owning one of our four-stroke models even easier."

Typical Examples:

Model: RM-Z450
Recommended retail price: £4,799
Minimum deposit: £2,000
12 monthly payments: £233.25
APR: 0%
Total amount payable: £4,799

Model: RM-Z250
Recommended retail price: £4,499
Minimum deposit: £2,000
12 monthly payments: £208.25
APR: 0%
Total amount payable: £4,499

As well as the interest free offer, Suzuki authorised dealers are able to offer bespoke finance terms to suit individual customer requirements.

For more information on this or any other Suzuki model or offer, visit your local authorised Suzuki dealer, log on to, or call the Suzuki Contact Centre on 0845 850 8800.

Finance underwritten by Black Horse. Usual finance conditions apply. Finance subject to status. Offer ends 31st December 2008. 

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Ready to Race for 2009: KTM Presents its New Model Year Motorcycles at Milan

Ready to Race for 2009: KTM Presents its New Model Year Motorcycles at Milan

KTM is presenting its new model year motorcycles for 2009 at the EICMA, the world’s largest motorcycle trade fair. Next to the exclusive Superbike 1190 RC8 R, the high points of the new sports motorcycle pallet are the new Travel Supermoto and the 990 Supermoto R.

On the occasion of EICMA, the most important motorcycle fair worldwide held in the Italian metropolis, the Austrian sports motorcycle manufacturer presents the official KTM Model Year 2009 to the international media and the motorcycle-enthusiastic general public. The range is more comprehensive, has a higher quality and is sportier than ever before thanks to complex new development and a consequent model update.

Whether it is the 50 ccm offroad mini-cycle for the youngest motorcycle enthusiast or the massive displacement of the street Superbike, every KTM developed and produced in Mattighofen in 2009 stands more than ever for the deployment of the bundled engineering skills that match the company’s  “Ready to Race” philosophy.

The newly developed 1190 RC8 R, as the sports-oriented variation of the 1190 RC8, the first ever KTM Superbike presented just 12 months ago, is the spearhead of the latest model generation and represents spectacular benchmark data, the most elegant fittings and design right down to the last detail. With 1195 ccm displacement, an increased top performance of 165 hp as well as the enormous maximum torque of 123 nm, the ultramodern two-cylinder construction is best suited for sporting activities on closed racing circuits. An optional sport kit is available that lifts the engine performance to 180 hp to produce the most powerful KTM series model of all times.

High quality equipment like forged light alloy wheels and suspension components especially developed for motorsports use compress the weight and sharpen the lap time potential of the 1190 RC8 R. The Superbike, with the characteristic orange-coloured tubular steel frame, will be available from the spring of 2009 and therefore just in time for the new motor racing season.

The new 990 Supermoto T also with significantly sporty characteristics but at the same time there has never been such versatility concerning a targeted application. The new 990 Supermoto T is a product that enriches the market with the first ever Supermoto suitable for extended touring. The result is unlimited riding fun even on longer or touring stretches and that is the clear message of this new street bike also available from the spring of 2009. Based on the 990 Supermoto that was successfully introduced at the beginning of 2008, the 115 hp strong Travel Version features a modified chassis construction for increased use application – among which is the efficient, newly designed cladding with integrated multifunctional cockpit. Thanks to consequent development work and despite the equipment that makes it suitable for long distance use, the KTM technicians have still managed to keep the ready to ride weight of the 990 Supermoto T under the magic 200 kilo limit.

As an overall expression of the KTM model philosophy and as a signal of the clear market leadership in the Supermoto area, the new 990 Supermoto R is both the apex of the SM family and it’s most sporty example. From the well known 450 SMR, recently awarded with the world championship title, over the strongest mono-cylinders 690 LC4 Supermotos, right up to the travel ready two-cylinder, KTM is more intensively committed to the Supermoto segment than any other manufacturer.

?And to preserve its reputation as the most active manufacturer of sports motorcycles, the brand is also present with other innovations in the form of successful, added value Adventure models and the purist, sports 690 Enduro R. Whereas the Hard Enduro, powered by the highly praised LC4 engine demonstrates the entire sporting know-how of the world’s leading brand of sports motorcycles, the much loved LC8-two cylinder travel Enduros come with more power and improved equipment in 2009. The sporting and optical highlights are unmistakable in the KTM-typical R optics of the specially kitted out Adventure R. Around 20 percent more powerful that its successful pioneer, the 990 Adventure S, the “R” from 2009 and only available without ABS, gives sports-oriented two-wheel adventurers 115 hp at their disposal while the 990 Adventure with power increased to 106 hp also underscores the undisputed sporting competence of the KTM company.

Europe’s second largest motorcycle manufacture is present at the EICMA Motor Show in Milan to present its new innovations and with the model year 2009 offers the most attractive pallet of sports-oriented offroad and street motorcycles in the company’s history.

Images of the entire Model Year 2009 as well as KTM innovations at the EICMA Motor Show on the Internet at

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Portuguese Podium Delight for Checa

Portuguese Podium Delight for Checa

Carlos Checa took an impressive second place in today’s opening World Superbike race at Portimao in Portugal, while his new team-mate, Jonathan Rea, finished in fourth place in his World Superbike debut. Both races were won by Ducati’s Troy Bayliss, who will now retire from racing.

Starting from 11th place on the grid, Checa worked his way steadily through the field in the opening 22-lap encounter at the all-new Autodromo Internacional do Algarve to take his first podium since his double win in the USA in May. In race, two he looked set for a second podium finish when fellow Spaniard, Ruben Xaus, crashed directly in front of him, dropping Checa back down the field to seventh.

For Jonathan Rea, a front row grid position led to good starts in both races. The 21-year-old signalled his intentions for 2009 by battling with more established World Superbike riders and eventually finishing just off the podium. He was unable to repeat his performance in race two, being forced wide at turn one on lap 10. Rea rejoined in eighteenth place but fought back to fifteenth at the flag.

The team’s third rider, Ryuichi Kiyonari, started from 19th on the grid after difficulties during qualifying. The Japanese ace was able to match the leading riders’ lap times, however, as he got to grips with the new circuit. He finished in eighth in race one and 11th in race two.

Carlos Checa – 2nd and 7th

Overall I am satisfied with the weekend’s performance. We had some problems during qualifying but I was able to start well and had a great feeling from the bike in race one. In the second race, everything felt good again and I was able to fight my way to the front. Unfortunately, things happened that were beyond our control, but this track is fantastic because, in the tarmac run-off, I was able to avoid first Ruben and then his bike. When Dani Pedrosa crashes in front of you, you hardly notice. But when Ruben crashes in front of you, you can hardly see the track – it is just arms and legs everywhere!

Jonathan Rea – 4th and 15th

It’s been OK for a first weekend on the superbike and I managed to get back into the groove OK. In the second race, I got forced wide and ended up back in eighteenth. But I was strong enough to get back to fifteenth and to take fourth in race one was mega. Big thanks to both my supersport and superbike teams for making the transition so easy for me – and to hold on to second place in the World Supersport championship today was fantastic. I can’t wait to start testing in South Africa next month for next season.

Ryuichi Kiyonari – 8th and 11th

It’s been a difficult weekend, mostly because it has taken me too long to learn the track. Race one was OK though and I felt more comfortable. In the second race the bike felt better and I was happy to push a bit harder to catch the groups in front. But I pushed a bit too hard and nearly highsided twice.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

It’s been a good day for us really. When Xaus crashed in front of Carlos, he was unlucky to be forced off the track but lucky to be able to avoid the mess and it clearly cost him another podium. Jonathan did very well for his debut weekend, although a small mistake in race two cost him another top five finish. It was a bit of a struggle for Kiyo but that was mostly due to the problems he had learning the track, but all in all I am very satisfied and cannot wait for next season to start.

Results – World Superbikes, Portimao, Portugal

Race 1:

1 T Bayliss AUS (Ducati)
2 C Checa ESP (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda)
3 T Corser AUS (Yamaha)
4 J Rea GBR (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda)
8 R Kiyonari JPN (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda)

Race 2:

1 T Bayliss AUS (Ducati)
2 M Fabrizio ITA (Ducati)
3 M Neukirchner GER (Suzuki)
7 C Checa ESP (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda)
11 R Kiyonari JPN (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda)
15 J Rea GBR (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda)

Final championship points:

1. Bayliss 460,
2. Corser 342,
3. N Haga JPN 327,
4. Checa 313

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Suzuki Unveil New Bandit 650 Range

Suzuki Unveil New Bandit 650 Range

Suzuki unveiled a new Bandit 650 range at the Milan Show this week, with both the 650 and 650SA models receiving styling and practical updates, that bring a new sharp and dynamic look to the 2009 middleweight class.

With new edgy styling, the naked Bandit 650 is headlined by sleeker modern headlights, changing the face of the iconic Bandit. With newly styled mirrors, a slimmer tail light, new instrumentation, a black engine finish and newly shaped muffler ends, the Bandit 650 mixes proven reliability with great style.

For those that want added weather protection, the Bandit 650SA offers stylish practicality thanks to a newly designed fairing. Aerodynamically efficient, the new half fairing incorporates stacked high and low beam multi-reflector headlights, in a cowl that offers new storage bays on both sides, along with the styling updates of the naked 650.

Talking about the new models, Suzuki GB's George Cheeseman commented, "The Bandit 650 range is very popular for us in the UK and so we welcome the news of updated versions for 2009. At the same time, I'm pleased to confirm that these models will make their UK debut at the NEC Motorcycle Show later this month."

For more information on the new Bandit 650 range, visit

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German motorcycle engineers SW-MOTECH have developed a matching set of engine and bodywork crash bars to protect the 2008-model BMW R1200GS.

Designed to offer the highest level of protection for this popular adventure sport motorcycle, each crash bar is tailored for an accurate fit to ensure optimum performance and appearance.

Mounting locations are carefully selected, using the most stable points that will prevent damage to the bike in case of an accident.

While the engine crash bars help to shield the vulnerable cylinders that protrude at either side, the new upper / tank crash bars give extended protection for the upper front cowling that surrounds the 20-litre fuel tank.

Fitting the upper bars creates the possibility to install external fog lights too, which SW-Motech offer priced £126.93 including fittings.

No modification to the motorcycle is required and the bars are supplied with full mounting instructions and all necessary fixings. While the engine bars are designed to be fitted on their own, the upper bars can only be attached once they are in situ.

The engine bars sell for £131.24 including VAT, while the upper bars cost £159.55.

Call Motohaus Powersports on 01256 704909

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Dutch exhaust specialists BOS have developed an ultra-short silencer for the 2008-model Honda CBR1000-RR Fireblade that offers significant weight-savings and a racy exhaust note in a road-legal package.

Measuring just 250mm long, with a diameter of 100mm, it weighs in at a modest 4.2kg, which is 40% lighter than the factory fitted item (at 7.2kg).  Not only is the BOS silencer lighter than the original, it releases extra power (up from 165.9 to 167.9bhp @11500rpm when tested for BOS) with additional torque too (increased from 120Nm to 121Nm @8000rpm).

BOS had to design a special S-shaped adapter, both for performance and to fill the gap where the original silencer was placed.

Removable ‘dB eaters’ are fitted, which the Dutch company pioneered over a decade ago. These will release extra power (and noise) when taken out (for track use only).

The silencer is mounted using a unique mounting bracket that bolts directly into it, so there is no need for an unsightly metal strap to hold it in place.

Two versions are available, in shot-blasted stainless (similar in appearance to titanium) at £369 or in carbon fibre for £449.  Prices include VAT, adaptor pipe and fittings.

For more information please contact BOS Exhausts by calling 0800 369 537 or by visiting their site at

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Saxon Motorcycles Europe launches her new European model at the European Bike Week in Austria: the Henchman.
The Henchman is a slightly villainous, “hard-core” bike with a twinch of the dark side. It combines the looks of a classic old school chopper, but is built with modern technology. It is a new “oldschool”: a no-nonsense bike presenting a beautiful style of the old days, but with the comfort and quality of today.
Frank Vermeulen:

“It is fantastic to be able to launch a new model so quickly, mostly because the price of this new bike will be lower than our current models.” He adds. “Like our other models the Henchman can be custom built to the wishes of the buyer, herewith we offer the same possibilities as for our Warlord and Firestorm” adds Rinke Andringa.
The Henchman is a real hardtail in the bobber-style, equipped with a 96” (1566cc) S&S engine, a 200 rear tyre, 6-speed transmission and a spring seat. Optionally the Henchman can be equipped with a springer fork and the dealer can provide the seat with shocks or even a pneumatic seating system. Saxon uses Brembo brakes in front and rear, just like the Firestorm and the Warlord, current models of Saxon.

These bikes are bigger and built with a softail-frame, a 260 rear tyre and a right side drive.
Saxon aims to obtain the European Type Approval for the Henchman this year, so the bikes will be available in Europe and Switzerland before 2009.
All Saxon bikes have a 2-year factory warranty.
More information avout Saxon Motorcycles Europe and their models can be found on

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Three of Honda Motorcycles’ special offer deals – ‘Get Naked’, ‘Whatever the Weather’ and ‘Open Wide and Say RR’ – will end on 30 September, but there’s still time to buy the bike of your dreams and take advantage of these great deals before the end of the summer.


With the ‘Get Naked’ campaign, you could ride away one of the ten Honda machines included in the campaign for as little as 10% deposit, with payments spread over 24 months at 0% APR typical. The ten models include the great commuter CBF250, priced at £3588, as well as the trend-setting and stylish CB600F Hornet, offering both practicality and performance for experienced and new riders alike. The standard Hornet is priced at £5303 with the ABS version at £5653.

The retro styled and powerfully-built CB1300A and bikini-faired CB1300SA, both with ABS, add some serious muscle to the ‘Get Naked’ line up and are priced at £6921 and £7371 respectively.

Five versions of the exceptional Fireblade engine powered CBF1000 are also included – the standard machine, the ABS-equipped CBF1000A and both the standard and ABS-equipped Tourer version, which comes with colour-matched lower fairings. This great offer is also extended to the GT version, which comes with ABS as standard, as well as the Tourer’s lower fairing but with the addition of colour-matched 33-litre panniers and 45-litre top-box. Prices for the CBF1000 model options range from £6021 to £7371.


If you’re in the market for one of Honda’s class-leading sports-tourers then the ‘Whatever The Weather’ deal is perfect for you. The bikes included in the offer are the VFR800 and VFR800 ABS, as well as the NT700V Deauville, also as standard or with ABS. If you buy one of these models from new before the end of September then you will receive a free accessory pack.

The VFR800 is one of Honda’s most popular and capable sports tourers ever built and the enhancing free accessory pack includes a 45-litre top-box and pannier set colour-matched to your machine. Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for the practical and dependable Deauville or Deauville ABS then you will be in-line for free heated grips, the large pannier lid set and matching 45-litre top-box, also colour-matched to your machine.

The standard VFR800 is priced at £7,871, with the VFR800A featuring ABS and a more accessible rear suspension adjustment at £8,671. The Deauville NT700V and ABS versions are priced at £6,321 and £6,721 respectively.


Potential owners of Honda’s class-leading supersport machine – the awesome CBR600RR – can also benefit from the ‘Open Wide and Say RR’ campaign with three different low-rate finance options available until the end of September. This amazing machine celebrated its 20th birthday last year and has proved to be a winner in the showroom as well as on track. In 2007 Motor Cycle News crowned the CBR600RR ‘Sports bike of the Year’ and more recently it took top honours in MCN’s 600cc group test – for the second year running. The CBR600RR has also won the last six World Supersport crowns.

Included in the offer is the striking HANNspree World Supersport replica livery priced at £7,603 and the new 2008 colours including the stunning tri-colour pearl sunbeam white with graphite black and Italian red, Italian red and graphite black at £7,503. Further colour options for this middleweight missile, including Pearl Sunbeam White and Candy Tahitian Blue, weigh in at £7,303.


Honda Finance is offering finance over 24 months at a low rate of 2.9% APR typical, calculated on a minimum deposit of 10%. In addition, many Honda motorcycle dealers are also offering 36 months finance at 2.9% and 24 months at 0% APR typical, also calculated on a minimum 10% deposit. Customers should contact their local Honda dealer for information about availability of the finance schemes on offer. Prices quoted for all motorcycle models in the three campaigns include DVLA first registration fee and 12-months road tax.

For more information, or to take advantage of these amazing deals – available for just one more month until 30 September – you can call 0845 200 800, or visit

You can even visit your local dealer. Honda motorcycle dealers can be located using the ‘Dealer Search’ facility within the motorcycles area on, where you can also find all the latest news and information about the full Honda motorcycle range, offers, genuine parts and accessories and forthcoming events.

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Now that dream can be closer to reality with the launch of the Limited Edition MotoGP inspired Suzuki GSX-R1000*.

Suzuki has made this new limited edition GSX-R1000* available in special blue colour inspired by the Suzuki GSV-R to allow fans of the team, and riders Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen, to take to the road on a GP-inspired coloured version of one of the best sportsbikes in the world.

Only 800 units of this fantastic version of the class-leading GSX-R1000* will be available in Australia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, South Africa, UK, Spain and others. This awesome looking machine features the 2008 Grand Prix base colour. A set of both Capirossi and Vermeulen graphics is also available in certain markets.

More information can be found by visiting your local Suzuki website here visit for information on your local site. 

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