MAIL­BOX

Performance Bikes (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Dear John, By the time you read this let­ter, I’ll be gone...

I CAME ACROSS this chap to­day at a pack­ag­ing ex­hi­bi­tion at the NEC. He has built this land speed record bike in his shed! Its an amaz­ing bit of kit and is pow­ered by a steam rocket. It works by heat­ing the wa­ter in the pres­sure ves­sel to 250°C then dis­charges the steam out of the two fun­nels at 1.5 mach. This pro­pels the bike to 200mph in six sec­onds (the time it takes to empty the tank)!

I work in en­gi­neer­ing and the qual­ity of his work is ex­cel­lent, with some re­ally clever touches. (I am re­minded of John Brit­ten from New Zealand) He has even made the car­bon body work; the more you look, the bet­ter it is. He’s doesn’t pro­mote him­self so I thought I would drop you a mail. Not sure if it fits into PB but maybe you can think of some­where that could use the story? John Roberts CN: Great find: we’re on with a fea­ture. See that next month – have some oil in re­turn for the tip-off.

Reg­u­late your out­put

With ref­er­ence to Mau­rice Hog’s let­ter about Chris’s MV, I seem to re­call Honda and Suzuki and Tri­umph all hav­ing charg­ing is­sues, which if not caught early enough would cause very ex­pen­sive prob­lems. So con­sider that be­fore con­demn­ing MVs. Nigel East­land CN: My thoughts ex­actly. It’s been no more trou­ble than I’d ex­pect any other 15-year-old bike to be: the only is­sue can be less-than-im­me­di­ate parts avail­abil­ity, but it’s all re­solv­able. Buy one; live a lit­tle.

Cream for the Kat

As it goes, I think Suzuki’s new Katana is bet­ter than the orig­i­nal. Ev­ery­one seems to have for­got­ten that the orig­i­nal bike was hor­ri­ble to ride in any­thing like stan­dard con­di­tion. I made the mis­take of buy­ing one; I didn’t keep it long, and ended up buy­ing a GPZ900R in­stead. Much bet­ter. At least the new Kat starts with a rea­son­able enough bike as its ba­sis, though it looks a bit dull as it comes. Hope­fully they’ll sell it cheap enough to leave some cash for a Rac­e­fit pipe, a ni­trous kit and some spoked wheels. Now we need a GPZ-styled H2 to com­pete with it. Gareth Hurt

Ut­ter filth

Ref: Suzuki SV650 Mod Squad (PB Novem­ber 2018). All rea­son­able enough bikes, but maybe the rider in the photo would be bet­ter handed a bucket and sponge first? That yel­low SV caked in mud is a dis­grace. Shaun Marks CN: Thank­fully, that’s ar­chive pho­tog­ra­phy: it’s an his­tor­i­cal act of mo­tor­cy­cle ne­glect.

Face only a mother could love

Johnny’s test of the new KTM Su­per Duke GT last month nearly con­vinced me to buy one. My back’s knack­ered and I’m go­ing to have to part with my Fire­blade soon. There’s only one prob­lem – the looks of the thing. I quite like edgy mod­ern de­signs, but the way it has the head­light from an­other bike just sort of tacked into the fair­ing, it looks like it’s had some cut-price plas­tic surgery in a third­world coun­try. I can’t spend that much on a bike with a £50 nose job. Rob Fer­rino

WSB: zero f***s given

I think I’ve fig­ured out the prob­lem with WSB. I was read­ing all the fall­out from Gre­go­rio Lav­illa’s TV in­ter­view where he said Johnny Rea didn’t have per­son­al­ity. I didn’t see it, be­cause I don’t watch WSB. But I used to – when Foggy got his fourth ti­tle, I was well in to it, and it was in­cred­i­ble. Now Rea has sur­passed all of his records, but I’m still not ex­cited. The prob­lem is the rider per­son­al­ity, or rather the per­son­al­ity they’re pre­pared to share with us. Whether you liked Foggy, Corser, Kocin­ski, Ed­wards, etc, you knew they wanted to win, and bad. The pas­sion was clear – be­ing a role model, a pro­fes­sional and a spon­sor­pleaser didn’t come in to it. Why not un­gag the rid­ers, let them wear their heart on their sleeve? We’d prob­a­bly stop blam­ing Johnny Rea for be­ing too good, too pre­dictable and ru­in­ing the se­ries then. Alex Shan­non

200mph on a steam rocket? Count us in...You’ll have no time to pay the boost di­als any at­ten­tion

New Katana: at least it’ll han­dle

Brakes. Yep, they’ll be com­ing in handy

Charg­ing prob­lems aren’t unique to MVs

‘Nose job’ KTM: would you buy it?

PB knows the busi­ness end of a sponge

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