Up in smoke

Fast Bikes - - WELCOME -

T hey say smok­ing’s bad for you, but surely two-stroke fumes don’t count, right? I spent a day rel­ish­ing the stuff at Suzuki’s re­cent Clas­sic Track­day, buried in a cast of bikes so ex­otic they made the Ba­hamas look bland. From GP bikes to Chris Walker’s fac­tory WSB GSX-R, the col­lec­tion was un­real, but the pick of the lit­ter had to be Kenny Roberts Ju­nior’s RGV500R; the V4 jobby he won his first 500 Grand Prix on way back in ’99. It looked a treat, and it cost a small for­tune, but for some rea­son its gen­er­ous owner thought it a good idea to let me out on it for a thrash around Cad­well’s tantalising curves.

In the thou­sands of laps I’ve done around that place, none have ever felt so spe­cial. How come? Skip a few pages and you’ll soon get the gist. But don’t skip too fast or you’ll miss out on our epic naked shootout. Tack­ling roads, track, top speed runs and wheel­ieabil­ity (I’m sure that’s a real word), we left no stone un­turned in our search for the big­gest, bad­dest (there we go again) and bestest (one more for luck), naked on the planet. Well, on the Eu­ro­pean side of the map. It was some­thing of an eye-opener, es­pe­cially when I nearly wheel­ied straight into Boothy… but we don’t need to talk about that. We even brought along a chap called Rob who’d only ever owned sports­bikes. He too had his eyes opened, and you can read what he made of them in this very is­sue. Let’s just say he wasn’t dis­ap­pointed.

In other news, we’ve got all sen­si­ble this month. No, re­ally! With the on­set of the bleaker, colder and gen­er­ally much wet­ter months, we thought a guide to mas­ter­ing mois­ture was in or­der. There’s loads of ad­vice to in­dulge in, plus re­views of es­sen­tial kit we’ve been us­ing to tackle the el­e­ments. Our other ‘must read’ piece of guid­ance comes from the tight­est bloke we’ve ever known, the es­teemed miser Mr Alan Dowds. If you’re look­ing to buy a bike, new or used, make sure to in­dulge in his penny-pinch­ing tac­tics – you could save your­self a for­tune.

With all this, plus our guide to buy­ing a used GSX-R750 and what it’s like to own and live with a ZX-10R, we’re hop­ing you’re go­ing to find your­self with plenty of great read­ing ma­te­rial to tackle the on­set of win­ter. En­joy.

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