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Practical Sportsbikes

Practical Sportsbikes March 2020

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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

I was happy to finally try a Honda SP1 after them eluding me for 20 years. I like a good V-twin: and it’s arguably one of the best. Much as I have an affinity for the bikes from Bologna, a touch of HRC class and the kudos of Col Edwards’ first-time-out title on one makes Honda’s superbike very attractive. Simon Hargreaves had the fun of the full test, but a stolen afternoon on the Honda, even in chilly midwinter, was superb. It’s crisp, direct, refined yet urgent and exciting too. You could add uncomfortable, thirsty and abrupt to that, but who cares? The joy of a truly brilliant superbike is something you can never tire of. All this was mere days after I’d been tarting around on the new Ducati V4 –…

1 min
the team

Damian Smith Art Editor Single again: pitifully so. Any lonely females aged 18-85, who like long moans on the beach and are willing to settle for less, can find him on dating apps. All of them. damian.smith@pspb.co.uk Mark Graham Production Editor Now subject to a restraining order from the IT department. He may not call, email or approach them with technical issues – usually of his own making. Fool. mark.graham@pspb.co.uk Alan Seeley Technical Editor Had the pleasure of visiting Duxford’s historic aeroplane restoration workshops. The plane-fettlers within were grateful for his advice on all things technical. Yeright... alan.seeley@pspb.co.uk Gary Hurd Workshop Consultant The medium man is on the verge of a gross misconduct sacking: more than once he has been heard expressing the desire to build a hardtail chopper. He’ll only be warned once. editorial@pspb.co.uk John McAvoy Road…

4 min
triumph best of british

Triumph’s Street Triple RS (the one with all the blingy bits) is great on a track, but it’s the more cooking R that properly cuts it on the road. This year’s R has been comprehensively worked over to produce more power and better sounds all within the limitations of the latest Euro 5 regs – some achievement. Knocking out 116bhp at 12,000rpm and 57lb.ft at 9400rpm the connoisseur’s middleweight fairly nips along. With this year’s model vending at a very reasonable £8900 otr there’s rarely been a better opportunity to buy into the John Bloor product. And mercifully no one lost their pension to build it. Fast Freddie CB1300 Tribute A Japanese bike shop is offering Spencer-esque CB1300s in a variety of guises to suit people who can’t be arsed to build a CB750/900…

2 min
specials we like

YAMAHA 350LC 3MA HYBRID Simply upgrading an old bike’s rolling stock can be enough to elevate it from great to amazing, as this tastefully altered RZ250 Yam demonstrates. The fitment of early TZR 3MA wheels, brakes and suspension really fattens up this LC’s presence yet without taking away from its original, striking lines. Double-sided spannies don’t always work on RDs, especially stacked one on top of the other, but this Japanese fettler has got his bang on, one silencer sneeking out atop the other like a Roberts era YZR500. Subtle, effective and ripe for inspiring just such a build here in the UK. Fingers crossed. YAMAHA RZV500 YZR TRACK REPLICA Regular viewers may remember Paul Springthorpe’s fantastic restored and upgraded RD500LC that featured on the cover of our December 2019 issue. Well this is his…

6 min
in your shed

Yamaha RD350LC Builder: Sam Green Owned for: three years So far: 95% finished What’s next: running-in dyno shake down A good friend bought this 21 years ago when he was 17, he laid it away for university and then it was left to rot. I convinced him to sell it to me with the promise of bringing it back to life. The engine went to Stan for a full and costly refurb. Frame, wheels and anything not bodywork was painted by Whites Bodyworks. Tank and bodywork by LV Custom – all paint, no decals. I decided to keep the non-original colour choices rather than produce another standard LC. It’s a bit of a bitza so it was never going to be a purist’s cup of tea. It needed many new parts, sourced mainly from Norbo, then…

5 min
bikes of your life

As a young lad back in the 1970s, Phil Wears lived through a golden age of rock music, sport and motorcycles – all of which captured his youthful imagination. “I remember hearing the sound of an old British bike, heralding its arrival,” he says. “I must have been around 14 years old and I promised myself that as soon as I could leave school I would have a motorcycle.” “I got myself a bricklaying apprenticeship. I now had the chance to buy a bike. I told my mam I was going to buy a motorcycle; she blew her top. Dad was not fussed as his dad had motorbikes. Me and my grandad used to watch scrambling together on a Saturday afternoon on a black-and-white television. “First bike, if you can call it that, was…