Bike accused of ‘fake news’ by an American. But not The Donald, it seems.
In the light of the despatch riders feature in the February issue of Bike, I thought that this would interest you. It’s a framed copy of a Triumph publicity poster from 1918 that I bought at auction in December. Julian Ryder, ex-bike features editor, email Thanks Jules. For those of you as short sighted as the Bike team here’s an excerpt from the copy printed underneath Julian’s incredible picture: ‘Despatch riders have already won admiration from all branches of the Army; and the account of a deed of real heroism performed recently by a motorcyclist will be universally applauded. It was of urgent importance that a message should be carried from the British to the French lines. This could only be done by crossing land that was being swept by rifle and shell fire from the German positions. A motorcyclist made the attempt, but was brought down by a bullet. In a moment two more volunteered, but both met the same fate as the first. A fourth made the desperate attempt, and, crouching over the handlebars, he drove the machine all out and succeeded in crossing the danger zone. The commander of the French troops was so pleased with the exploit that he removed the decoration of the Legion of Honour from his own uniform and conferred it upon the brave motorcyclist.’ The extract signs off: reproduction, by permission, from ‘Motor Cycling,’ England, the English Motorcyclists’ Newspaper.
It's a family affair
I have been riding for over 38 years, most recently a 1990 Kawasaki GTR1000. Our youngest son David is fanatical about anything with an engine and last year bought me a Yamaha FJR1300 as a present, so I said he could have the GTR. The problem is my wife, who used to get on the back of mine until recently, now doesn’t like motorbikes. She voiced her concerns. I said I would pay for his CBT and DAS, plus I would pay for the best safety equipment I could afford. She wasn’t happy but agreed. David has been riding for a few months now and is already a pretty good rider, and we often go out together which is great. His mum still worries, but she is happy that he has had proper training and the correct gear. So, in conclusion, listen to the wife’s concerns, don’t get angry, be pleasant and put forward your plan of training clothing etc. You never know, you too may be enjoying the roads with your kids. Colin Batchelor, email
Bike: fake news
Bike is fake news. Stories like the Africa Twin being a 10/10 bike or how great the new Blade is due to ‘mass centralization’ make me laugh. Fact is a R1200GS was already better and more fun to ride in 2005 than the 2017 Africa Twin due to its stronger engine and much better handling. The Blade still has less power and has a worse electronic package than a BMW S1000RR, that is almost ten years old now. Same with Honda’s VFR800 which is a completely outdated bike. What is mass centralization anyways, except for Honda propaganda? Chris Geuting, Ca, USA
Whatever it is, it seems to work for them in Motogp. HW Weather, what weather? I rode 100 miles today. ‘So what?’ I hear. Well it was pouring with rain and there was sleet too. The thing is I didn’t have to go out, I chose too. Just for fun my wife, and mother of our three, came with
me and the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT… Thanks to technology it was a blast. The ABS and traction control kept me safe, rain mode helped my ham-fisted throttle action, the heated seats, grips and jackets kept us warm as toast, the suspension (on comfort mode) kept the ride smooth, and the tyres found grip without a slide all afternoon. So now the only limiting factor to all year riding is your mind set – we didn’t see another bike out there on the road. Michael Harris, email
The end of the world
I’ve been reading your magazine since that bird sitting on that ridiculous chopper (Bike, issue no.1). Am I allowed to say that in 2018? I always looked forward to it, but in the last few years you’ve been turning into Dirt Bike Monthly: the February 2018 issue had nothing but off-road machines, adventure (old fart) machines and Harleyfergusons. The only superbike in it was the Blade – a failed overpriced machine. How much did Honda pay you for the bandage job you did? Kawasaki’s Z900RS (Feb again) could have been great, but that ugly 4-into-1 system ruins the whole thing. Then there was the news the bike world has been bullied into throwing in the towel on speed with the end of the Hayabusa, which has been so castrated in recent years it can barely clear 180mph. Bikes are regressing. We don’t need Star Wars-style gadgets that have raised the price of modern machines into orbit. And while the smug car world orgasms over 250mph supercars, bikes suffer from more and more restrictions. Could you at least produce an edition where all the bikes are de-restricted? Rocky, Bath
200bhp sports tourer on page 36, 226bhp sportsbike on page 44. HW
Wot, no CCMS?
Over the last few months I have been thrilled to see you feature CCM and their Spitfire range. My reasons are selfish as I was one of the first people to put a deposit down on the very first model last February. However, do you know no bikes have been delivered yet! The bikes that were ordered last February and paid in full for in spring. I’ve not seen this fact mentioned in your articles. As Britain’s best-selling bike mag should you not report this? Spitfire production has been plagued by supplier delays, but I can’t see why any part (fuel tank is apparently the last issue) should take 12 months. Name withheld by request
Thanks for keeping us on our toes; ‘We’ve got 75 bikes assembled and waiting for fuel tanks.’ says CCM’S customer experience manager John Drogan. ‘They have to be individually made, but some were more individual than they should be. We now have a small batch of tanks, so the first bikes should be going after the London Motorcycle Show (late February). A larger batch of tanks is on the way, and we have sent a guy over to Italy with a naked bike so that they can match it perfectly.’ HW
Le : Julian’s incredible picture. Below: Bike,
‘That bird on that ridiculous chopper.’ Can he say that…?