‘My best summer in years…’
Wazzing home from work last night, the hedges a blur of green, the last of this year’s suicidal flies splattering themselves on the visor of my Arai, I decided that this has been my best motorcycling summer in years. There are two reasons. First, the weather. It’s been fantastic. Day after day of dry tarmac and tinted visors have turned the ride home from the office into a glorious 90-mile detour enjoying the twists and turns of the very best of midlands B-roads. When the weather finally broke a couple of weeks ago it was a shock to realise that I actually needed waterproofs. Where are they anyway? Second, my regular ride during this amazing heat wave was a KTM 790 Duke. We like the KTM, that’s why we made it Bike’s Bike of the Year, but for my summer of fun it could just as well have been any of the bikes in this month’s group test (well, assuming I could soften the MV’S suspension). Middleweight nakeds are ace. The weight, power, handling equation makes them brilliant bikes for the kind of roads that wriggle around the countryside – great corners and lovely scenery, but iffy surfaces and dodgy drivers. These bikes are engaging, encouraging, entertaining and fast. But without being crazy. Affordable too. £1000 down and £110 a month? Do you really need any more than this? Well, I don’t. Read the group test on page 34. The whole summer was spectacular, but the best single day of stand-out comedy was our 50cc Motogp. Idiots on mopeds buzzing across Northamptonshire to Silverstone, smelling the hedgerows, admiring the view and marvelling that our ’peds were actually working (although Ben Lindley’s wasn’t). What a lovely way to see the scenery. The story is on page 58. Further encouragement to provide yourself with some sub-£1000 frivolous bikes entertainment can be found on page 102. Write and tell us what you’ve been up to. And enjoy the issue.