Up in smoke
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.