TTHATHAT ARE WAWANNABESNNABES We’ll tell you what they’re not (what they’re re­ally, re­ally not) Neil Mur­ray makes a liv­ing buy­ing & sell­ing pre-loved metal – and he’s on your side

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - By Neil Mur­ray

Honda CBR1100XX Black­bird (1996-2007)

Honda de­cided they’d had enough of the Kawasaki ZZR1100’S claim to be­ing The Fastest Bike Out There and so built… um, a ZZR1100 with care­ful im­prove­ments in ev­ery as­pect. So it had Honda’s build qual­ity and fin­ish, slightly bet­ter aero­dy­nam­ics, slightly more power and as it was a Honda, slightly less char­ac­ter. Make no mis­take, though, the ’Bird is a blind­ingly good bike and like the Pan-euro­pean 1100, Honda’s not been able to re­place it prop­erly. It’s un­break­able, goes like stink, and can be thrashed round a track or loaded with hard lug­gage for a transcon­ti­nen­tal twoup high-speed tour. Go for the later EFI model.

£1500£3000 will find you a truly su­per Su­per Black­bird.

Bluntly, yes. It’s one of the best Hon­das of the last 20 years.

Kawasaki GTR1000 (1986-1999)

BMW K100RT built by Kawasaki. Known as the Con­cours in the US, it was the en­gine from the GPZ1000RX re­tuned to 110bhp and with more low-down torque, mated to a shaft drive, and with a big flat seat, large fair­ing and fac­tory pan­niers. Re­ally heavy, and the rid­ing po­si­tion was just wrong (seat too low, foot­pads too far for­ward), but was bloody quick and every­thing else did its job, es­pe­cially the fair­ing. Very, very cheap used. You could buy one just for a trip then throw it away. What you’ll pay to­day £500-£1500. But should you? If you’re on a bud­get, yes.

Yamaha Ven­ture Royale (1983-1993)

Gold Wing 1200 equiv­a­lent from Yamaha. First in 1200cc and then 1300cc V4 sizes, the en­gine was de­vel­oped into the V-max. It’s a bloody mas­sive thing, with ev­ery chrome frip­pery and ex­tra you could think of (air sus­pen­sion that’s ad­justable on the move, ra­dio, cruise con­trol etc, ex­actly like a Wing). They were very torquey, won­der­fully smooth, and han­dled bet­ter than you’d be­lieve.

Yamaha TRX850 (1996-2000)

A Yamaha par­al­lel twin in a Du­cati frame. Well, a Yamaha trel­lis frame that was ex­actly like a Du­cati’s, and an 850cc en­gine with a 270° crank that made it sound and feel like a V-twin. It could have been great, but it was the same price as a 900SS. Yamaha soon slashed the price, and dis­count deal­ers slashed it

Tri­umph 1200 Tro­phy (2012-present) Kawasaki W650/800 (1999-cur­rent)

Kawasaki’s take on the Bon­nie is one of the best ‘Bri­tish’ par­al­lel twins made by the Ja­panese. Styling is pure clas­sic but with­out the ex­tra bulk of the Hinck­ley Bon­neville, and with more thought­ful engi­neer­ing, such as a bevel drive to the cam. They’re fash­ion icons in Ja­pan, and ev­ery tun­ing and chop shop

has had a go at them.

What you’ll pay to­day


Yamaha XV950 (2013-cur­rent) But should you?

If you wear a tweed jacket and have an open-face hel­met and gog­gles, yes. even fur­ther – you could have a new one Lord knows the Ja­panese have copied Amer­i­can cruiser mo­tor­cy­cles in the past (re­mem­ber the Kawasaki Drifter; the dead ringer for an old In­dian?), but they’ve never made any­thing as close to a Har­ley 883 Sport­ster as this. If you took off the badges you wouldn’t know. Same shape, same bobbed rear guard, same lack of chromed bits, and (un­usu­ally for a Ja­panese bike th­ese days), the en­gine is even air-cooled.

peo­ple re­turn­ing to mo­tor­cy­cling af­ter a break. Now, I don’t fit ei­ther of those cat­e­gories and was ner­vous that it would all feel too tame. But I’m re­ally en­joy­ing the bike so far. Climb on and the Yamaha is small but not cramped – I’m 5ft 9in – and it’s proved fru­gal on the gas so far at around 68mpg. Right now it’s be­ing pressed into back-road com­mut­ing du­ties and it’s de­liv­er­ing me to work with a smile and a very small petrol bill.

Go­ing back to that Sun­day morn­ing spin and my chum was slightly less im­pressed when I thumbed the starter. “Oh, bit of a sewing ma­chine!” Now, I don’t think that’s quite fair and the par­al­lel-twin ac­tu­ally sounds fine when you’re on the move. Bet­ter still, Yamaha’s ac­ces­sories list in­cludes an Akrapovic can for a fairly rea­son­able £364.99. It’s road le­gal and prom­ises to cre­ate ‘an ex­cit­ing sound’. I’ll have a bit of that! Do you have an MT-03? Email si­mon.brown@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

3It’s well-suited to UK roads. Af­ter de­cid­ing to visit my late grand­mother’s old house in Bridg­north in Shrop­shire, I did a lovely 200 miles round-about route that kept me off the main roads. The bike dealt with faster A-roads with ease, shrugged off some patches of heavy traf­fic by be­ing ma­noeu­vrable and thanks to a de­cent ad­justable screen, heated grips and hand­guards it kept me com­fort­able de­spite cold weather. The Dy­namic Elec­tron­i­cally Ad­justable Sus­pen­sion (D-ESA) and quick­shifter make easy work of rid­ing although the quick­shifter is tak­ing some get­ting used to.

ZZR clone with more re­fine­ment What you’ll pay to­day But should you? W650 packs the added cred of kick start What you’ll pay to­day But should you? What you’ll pay to­day But should you? What you’ll pay to­day But should you? When is a Du­cati not a Du­cati? T

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