BIKE June 2020

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BIKE is packed with road tests of new bikes and inspirational riding stories, with fantastic places, amazing races and extraordinary people. Created by a passionate and expert team of motorcycle riders, Bike makes you feel part of the amazing motorcycling world. Our three main areas of content are... Road tests: We ride and test all the latest bikes, from tourers to retros. Riding: We take motorcycles to the four corners of the UK, and the four corners of the world Extraordinary travel stories: amazing races, extraordinary events and astonishing bike people.

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United Kingdom
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2 Min.

We live in strange times, though riding a 2458cc, 322 kilo, £20,200 bike around the office carpark to do photographs for the Triumph Rocket 3 test was one of the less bizarre aspects of the new reality. In fact it was a gloriously surreal moment of pleasure before the full implications of the Corona situation really hit home. This issue of Bike was loosely planned about four months ago, but it was put together in four weeks during which the world changed completely. Suddenly, after spending all winter waiting for the arrival of spring, everything was on hold and the magazine’s content, and the way we needed to make it, continually shifted along with the Coronavirus situation. The team that make the magazine haven’t ridden a motorcycle or been to the…

1 Min.
made for motorcyclists...

...by these motorcyclists (Working from home and in accordance with government guidelines on social distancing)…

2 Min.
bmw goes big

This is BMW’s new 1802cc R18, the company’s most important new model since the S1000RR superbike launched in 2009. Just as that bike stunned the sportsbike market by immediately pummelling rivals, the R18 is intended to dish out similar treatment to Harley-Davidson. BMW knows how difficult this is. The company’s last foray into cruisers – the R1200 C in 1997 – showed that plonking a nice engine in a cruiser chassis is no guarantee of success. BMW sold over 40,000 of them, but barely made a dent in the vast American market. To do that requires lashings of style and heritage, which is what BM have tried to apply to the R18. Much of the inspiration comes from the 1936 R5, a revolutionary tour de force that’s regarded by classic buffs as…

1 Min.
rutter’s tt2 ducati

‘Tony was a hugely successful racer who will be best remembered for his association with the TT2 Ducatis’ Tony Rutter passed away in March, 35 years after his last TT win Tony Rutter’s racing career spanned over 25 years and a huge variety of machinery. Modern race fans might know him as Michael Rutter’s dad, but Tony was a hugely successful racer who will be best remembered for his association with the 600cc TT2 Ducatis that netted four of his seven TT wins, and four World Championships on road circuits. At the 1981 F2 TT he raced a Ducati Pantah entered by Sports Motorcycles and built up from a written-off road bike. He won the race and for the Ulster GP round of the two-race championship Ducati provided a factory built machine featuring…

2 Min.
radar for multistrada

Spy shots of the new Multistrada show it not has the mighty V4 engine, but features self-adjusting radar cruise control too. One of the photographs – taken outside the Bologna factory just before the Italian lock-down – shows a box between the headlights that appears to be the radar unit needed for adaptive cruise control. Ducati have been talking about this Advanced Rider Assistance System setup (ARAS) since 2018, and until recently the company stated it was going to debut in 2020 (they still do on their website). The system would adjust the bike’s speed to keep a constant distance from the car in front, and use haptic feedback (vibrations through the bar and saddle) to warn the rider of cars in blindspots and any impending collisions. However, it’s thought Bosch,…

2 Min.

‘As firm as possible, but with enough control’ For the last 13 years, Toni Bou, 33, has won every single indoor and outdoor world trials championship. When he took the latest indoor one just before the Covid-19 shutdown, that brought his total tally to 27 world titles. The Spaniard is without question the greatest trials rider the planet has ever seen. His weapon of choice for every world title has been a Montesa Cota 4RT. It’s a four-valve single made by Honda (who own Montesa) and is based on the production 4RT, the latest of which you can buy for £5999. In some ways Toni’s bike is remarkably similar to the production machine you or I could go out and buy – the frame, swingarm and geometry are identical, for example. But…