HOOK NOR­TON BREW­ERY – Lo­cated in Hook Nor­ton, which is just off the B4035 to the west of Ban­bury. Tours cost £12.50, last two hours and in­clude a beer tast­ing, so get your rid­ing done first. A fishy des­ti­na­tion One day 55 miles Great day in the Cotswold

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - Dis­tance De­scrip­tion

There are two great rea­sons to ride this route – su­perb bends and the prospect of a trip to a brew­ery! What more could you want?

Our route is in­tended as a rough guide be­cause it’s only when you veer off the beaten track and start to ex­plore the charms of the lit­tle vil­lages that you re­ally get a feel­ing for this idyl­lic lo­ca­tion. That said, you need to in­clude Fish Hill for a set of bends so bril­liant you’ll want to do them twice.

Fish Hill leads into Broad­way and is a firm favourite with the area’s bik­ers. On the way out of Broad­way it is a dual car­riage­way climb around a set of banked hair­pin bends. Fast, flow­ing and with a good sur­face, you can throw a bike into them and lean it over as far as you dare. And once at the top you can turn around and do it all over again!

Down­hill gen­er­ally re­quires more cau­tion than up­hill as it is only a sin­gle lane and the na­ture of the in­cline puts a lot of pres­sure on a front tyre. Don’t get car­ried away as the bends can bite, but Fish Hill is there to be en­joyed and once you have had your fill, head to the Hook Nor­ton Brew­ery via ei­ther Ship­ston-on-stour or Chip­ping Nor­ton. Just watch out for cars with blacked­out win­dows if you go via Chippy – both David Cameron and Jeremy Clark­son live there and nei­ther is par­tic­u­larly par­tial to two-wheel­ers!

when you hit danger ter­ri­tory. Nat­u­rally, the idea is to keep the red light glow­ing all the time. Full-power ones are re­ally rare, sadly, so the best you can hope for is prob­a­bly a tuned-up 12bhp model. Be aware that this was one of the most stolen 125s of all time, so be­ware of ringers.

£700-£1400. If you want a road bike you might be bet­ter off with a KMX.

Aprilia RS125 (1992-2005)

Where the Mito is a 916 replica the Aprilia is a real 125 race replica. You have to go all the way back to Honda's CB92 to find a 125 that is so equally at home on road and track. It also re­mained a two-stroke all the way to 2012, which is some go­ing. For­get the 12bhp learner ver­sion we’re talk­ing the full-power

Yamaha RD125LC (1981-86)

Ca­giva Mito (1991-2004)

It went through a num­ber of changes and is re­mem­bered for three things. Num­ber one, it was one of the first 100mph 125s. OK, so that was the full-power model, but ev­ery­one con­verted theirs to full power. Two, it was orig­i­nally styled ex­actly like the Du­cati 916. I mean, down to the fi­nal de­tail, ex­cept for the ex­haust note. You pressed the but­ton and in­stead of a basso pro­fundo and a dose of clutch rat­tle came a ring-ring-ding and a plume of blue smoke. Three, it had a seven-speed gear­box. No­body else has ever done that on a road bike. It needs metic­u­lous ser­vic­ing, top-qual­ity syn­thetic oil, and reg­u­lar pis­ton and ring changes. It doesn’t usu­ally get them.

What you’ll pay now


But should you?

Toughie. I’d say yes were it not for the Aprilia RS125.

28bhp model here. Stun­ning styling, fab­u­lous com­po­nents, and the cer­tainty that it is some­thing spe­cial. Like the Mito, the Aprilia needs su­perla­tive main­te­nance: never buy with­out ad­vice.

£700-£2250, but never buy at the cheap end.

Un­equiv­o­cally yes. The last of an era.

Honda CB125T (1978-82)

Honda de­cided they needed a sporty 125 twin again, and had to com­pete with two-strokes like the GT125. They came up with this sleek-look­ing rocket. Be­lieve it or not, the en­gine is ba­si­cally a CD125/200 Benly, tuned to the max. It pro­duced 17bhp and was ca­pa­ble of 85mph on a good day. It han­dled well too. But the 12bhp learner-le­gal CB125T Su­per Dream is a slug and best avoided. What you’ll pay no £550-£1500. But should you? Yes. It’s a jewel.

do­ing some­thing wrong.

Last year our 16 riders cov­ered a to­tal of 120,489 miles in pur­suit of that knowl­edge – and this year we have 17 bikes on the fleet, so ex­pect an even big­ger num­ber.

Our 2016 riders in­tro­duce them­selves here and talk about their plans, then the first re­ports on our new fleet ap­pear over the page. Each bike will ap­pear in the pa­per ev­ery four weeks, with fre­quent up­dates on our web­site and ex­tra snippets through MCN’S so­cial me­dia chan­nels. There will also be video up­dates on ev­ery bike.



MICHAEL NEEVES Kawasaki have cre­ated a blis­ter­ingly quick su­per­bike but I plan to make my ZX-10R bet­ter still over the sum­mer by chop­ping off some ex­cess weight and re­leas­ing even more power.

TONY HOARE I was on the SV’S press launch and I reckon it is the ba­sis for a crack­ing lit­tle bike. My mis­sion is to find out if there’s any­thing the mid­dleweight V-twin can’t do – by ask­ing it to do ev­ery­thing.


PED BAKER The ap­peal of the Street is the 160 Tri­umph parts you can get for it. De­cid­ing on which di­rec­tion to take the bike is ex­cit­ing and ag­o­nis­ing in equal mea­sures but I’ve set­tled on the Scram­bler kit.


ANDY DOWNES The prospect of an S1000RR en­gine in a road­ad­ven­ture bike chas­sis seems al­most too good to be true. Time to see if re­al­ity matches the prom­ise with con­ti­nen­tal trips and maybe even a hill­climb.


ANDY DAVID­SON I love Du­cati’s promo video which fea­tures a su­per­cool rider do­ing a jump which sucks you in and makes you think it could be you. Well, I’m go­ing to have a go at learn­ing to be that guy. andy.david­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

For­get fish­ing this week­end, go to Fish Hill in­stead

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