2002 NEC SHOW GUIDE WE MOURNED THE ‘DEATH’ OF THE TWO-STROKE
Hislop was heading for GPS, we were sportsbike mad and Ducati’s V4 journey was just starting ‘It was the first model on the market to have real Motogp influence’
Bike sales were soaring and with a mainstream motorcycling public in their late 30s and early 40s, sportsbikes were the order of the day. Manufacturers couldn’t make enough of them, with the biennial updates and new models being developed all the time. MCN had an insatiable appetite for them, too. Each week there was news of scoops featuring the latest bikes under development and head-to-head shootouts of competing models.
Most popular were middleweight sportsbikes – which at the time were cheaper and largely more practical than their 1000cc brothers. But that was about to change though – our cover bike was the CBR600RR, the first of the revvy, miniaturised 600s and it was just about to be joined by the similarly-lairy Kawasaki ZX-6R B1H. As exciting as all this it was, it was to prove the death-knell of the class – the bikes got madder as the riders got creakier…. the We were getting very excited about packed forthcoming NEC show – which was of the with exciting new machines. The star show was Honda’s CBR600RR – developed project, in parallel with Honda RCV Motogp to have it was the first model on the market one up real Motogp influence. You can pick now for £3000.
Ducati told us the secrets of their newfor-2003 Motogp racer. The bike, which was to be ridden by Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss, which had a 220bhp V4 and was experiementing with a V-twin-aping ‘twin-pulse’ engine set-up. With a steel trellis frame, too, differed from everything else on the grid. But the original Desmosedici was a success – Loris was on the podium first-time out.