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Practical Sportsbikes

Practical Sportsbikes November 2019

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Practical Sportsbikes magazine is about buying, fixing, restoring and riding sportsbikes from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Every issue of PS – the magazine home of new-wave Japanese and Italian classics – is packed with: - The most inspiring and ingenious reader restorations - The most in-depth road tests and buyers’ guides - Unmissable workshop tips and how-to features Practical Sportsbikes gets under the skin of the bikes that really matter to our readers and explains how best to maintain, rebuild and enjoy them. So if you’re in to sportsbikes from the 1970-1990s, PS is essential reading.

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United Kingdom
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1 min
practical sportsbikes welcome

If you’ve not tried a bike with a turbo or supercharger, you’re missing out. More than a means to simply go faster, they’re an experience: a rush, and an addictive one at that. It doesn’t take long on a blown bike to start looking for reasons to start building up pressure in the plenum. I’ve ridden a few, and they’ve all left a deep impression: one that inspired our ZX990 project. While that’s still ongoing, we’ve been enjoying some other blown Kawasakis, not least Peter Reilly’s stunning GPz. Peter has form for classy, thought-out to the last detail builds, but the Turbo is a cut above: seamlessly blending the Kawasaki’s brutish 1980s style with stunning British engineering, sensitively-chosen modern upgrades and a 156bhp shove in the backside. We’ve been watching the…

1 min
the team

Damian Smith Art Editor Damo was forced to attend the trackday. his first since 1996. Despite looking like a binbag in a tornado with his baggy leathers, he had a ball on the Wondercat. damian.smith@pspb.co.uk Mark Graham Production Editor MG is under pressure to open his wallet: the RM370 is proving to be long overdue a rebuild, and really needs proper brakes to be competitive on the hills. mark.graham@pspb.co.uk Alan Seeley Technical Editor Alan and drag strip partner Gary are still smug about getting the £1000 drag bike in to the 10s. We’ve heard enough. Amazing what a bike can do with the fuel tap on… alan.seeley@pspb.co.uk Gary Hurd Workshop Consultant Gary’s efforts to exit his van and drain off six cans of Guinness at 3am were blocked by a broken latch. He managed to escape and…

1 min
bazza’s bikes to get nec restos

Even if you’re not a Sheene fan (and some people aren’t) the lure of seeing inside these factory gems is surely too strong to resist for anyone with even the slightest interest in messing about with old bikes. Gasp as these top ex-GP mechanics lose circlips into the crankcases, thrill as they forget which way round the rear wheel spacers went, and marvel as they forget where they put the 10mm socket. More seriously, it’s a joy to watch this stuff happen, and better still the things will be fired up when done too. Shame old Barry’s not here to see it. You may, or may not, be aware that the NEC prohibitively expensive cheeseburger show happens at Birmingham’s prestigious NEC venue 16-24 November. Although nearby Corley Services remains a far…

1 min
kawasaki in bid to buy bimota

Industry gossip hints strongly that Kawasaki Heavy Industries are in negotiations to take over the Rimini-based specialist constructor Bimota. The firm has had its ups and downs since it began in 1973, but its levels of invention and quality of execution (in-house, at least) have never been in doubt. Quite why this move makes sense to Kawasaki is the big question: perhaps they see the name as a the most valuable asset. Maybe they have small volume manufacturing ambitions in Italy.…

1 min
ps book club win opportunity

Having alerted you to the delights of Simon Smith’s fanzine-style self-printed book, we now have a copy to give away to ONE lucky PS reader. All you have to do is answer one simple multiple choice question (correctly, though). The first correct answer ‘out of the hat’ (an electronic hat) will receive a well-thumbed copy of Wasted Reflections On Fate + Chance, which would ordinarily cost £7.99 by cheque or postal order from Simon Smith, Box 214, 21 Clarence Street, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4SU. So here we go… Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear is a song by… A) Jeff Leppard B) Jeff Lynne C) Alan Morissette D Alan Price E) Don’t know Answers by the email to our new fully-up-to-speed special address: mark.graham@ pspb.co.uk . The winner will be announced in the December issue of PS,…

1 min
airbrushes with greatness

The Aprilia Futura and Kawasaki ZZ-R1200 are perfectly competent, but ultimately forgettable turn-of-the-century sports tourers that played second fiddle to something else, usually a Honda. But these owners might have hit on that missing certain something to make them stand out… The Futura, found on Facebook Marketplace, is made complete by those dolphins and mermaids adorning the screen, fairings and tank, we think you’ll agree. Meanwhile, the ZZ-R1200’s staid image is made altogether more youthful by Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster grinning maniacally from the panels. Artful type Damo has been inspired: he was last seen with a tray of oil paints, a picture of Lion-O and the key to the Thundercat.…