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,

Fe­bru­ary 2018

‘That bird on that ridicu­lous chop­per.’ Can he say that…?

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