Have you ever stopped to think how many of your mates you’ve met through bikes? If you’re anything like me, that shared interest will form the basis of your relationship with most of the people you know and knock around with. Motorcycling is bloody fantastic, we all know that, but it’s also a great way of getting to meet folk and make long-lasting friendships that seem to weather the challenges of time and distance like nothing else. I bumped into an old mate the other day. Well, technically he bumped into me as we fought for supremacy on the run into Barcroft corner at Croft circuit, where I was racing endurance with my brother (which you can read all about in this issue).
It was a proper sketchy moment. One of those times when you shout the first swear word that comes to mind so loud you wonder how the whole world didn’t hear it. Of course, I laughed about it post-race with this aforementioned megalomaniac, who’d now grown up, had kids and decided, like me, to give racing a second stab. It was great to catch up, talk bikes and reminisce about the nonsensical goings-on from a decade earlier when we raced one another in the GSX-R Trophy. If I don’t catch him for another 10 years, it won’t matter. We’re mates and that’s that, all thanks to power of some sticky tyres, a fistful of throttle and a common love of going round and round in circles as fast as we can.
While we’re on with reminiscing, you’re likely to have clocked the R1 on the cover. What a beautiful thing that is. If you’ve owned one, I’m jealous. If you haven’t, you ought to. It’s perhaps the most iconic production bike from the turn of the noughties, and despite being over a decade and a half old, it still delivered lots of LOL moments for Fagan and co. who went about trying to relive their misspent youths on this, plus three other great bikes from the turn of the millennia. You’ll see what was made of them, along with some expert used buying advice on what to know before setting some moths free from your wallet.
The only thing not covered in our ten step buying guide is the best excuses to offer the better half when they see you turning up with yet another bike, but we’re sure you can master those one on your own. You could always throw in the ‘investment’ word, as bikes such as those we tested are slowly starting to climb in value. Yeah, that should do it. And don’t miss out – I’d suggest you ‘selflessly’ treat yourself sooner rather than later. Enjoy your read, and your future purchase.