Cars & Motorcycles


December 2020

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.

United Kingdom
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

Maybe the Honda Fireblade didn’t actually invent the modern sportsbike class, but for the past 28 years (yes, really) it has defined the category. It has always been a bike that was accessible, affordable and has consistently proved to be the most road focused of sportsbikes. When it was launched it didn’t even fit with any established race classes, Superbike racing had to adjust its rules to suit the Blade (and its imitators), rather than the other way around. We bought them in huge numbers in the 1990s and early 2000s when Britain was sportsbike crazy (and that’s partly why it’s such a brilliant secondhand buy now. There are loads on the market). But that’s all changed; the sportsbike market has shrunk, and if those buyers who remain want a bike…

2 min.
gs goes gadgetastic

‘… plenty of efficient ways to slosh money BMW’s way’ BIKE’S FULL-SPEC GS R1250GS TE £16,940 40 Years GS Edition Pack £1990 Anti theft alarm £225 Engine protectors £300 Sports silencer £875 TOTAL:£20,330* *And that’s before you start on panniers… Headlights that peer round corners, heated seats and a tasty retro paintjob are the highlights of next year’s BMW R1250GS. While Britain’s best-selling big motorcycle remains fundamentally unchanged - no engine or chassis tweaks - a swathe of new gadgets give buyers plenty of efficient ways to slosh money BMW’s way. The cornering headlight is the most cunning new gizmo, both technically and financially. It’s a completely new system that uses sensors to detect the direction of the headlight (eg angle and tilt) and then adjusts the reflector to point the beam in the right direction. Besides aiming into corners,…

2 min.
bimota’s new era

‘In terms of riding, it is a big step ahead compared with the previous Tesi with Ducati engines’ This is the final production-ready form of Bimota’s Tesi H2, which bolts Kawasaki’s almighty 998cc supercharged motor to the Tesi’s traditional hub-centre front end. With the bike now on sale (a snip at £58,500), Bimota have revealed it will make the same power as a Kawasaki H2 - 228bhp - but weigh 24kg less. Bimota also told Bike how the Tesi H2 came about: ‘It was an idea of Hiroshi Ito [Kawasaki Executive Officer] and Pierluigi Marconi [Bimota MD and designer of the original Tesi] during the negotiations for the sale of the Bimota company,’ says Gianluca Galasso, Bimota’s marketing chief. The deal - which gave Kawasaki 49.9% of Bimota - was announced in November…

4 min.
great used buys

Harley-Davidson Forty Eight Power: 55bhp Engine: 1202cc V-twin Economy: 45mpg When someone says ‘Harley-Davidson’ it’s a Sportster model that pops into your head. In production since 1842, its air-cooled pushrod V-twin, traditional lines and direct sensations are the American brand’s signature. Which is probably why the Forty Eight is Harley’s best-selling UK bike. Feel, rumble and quality are spot-on, its hot-rod styling is on-trend – and at £9995 the Forty Eight is keenly priced too. If you’re willing to admit that secretly there’s always been space for a Harley in your garage, now is the time to buy a used one. For many reasons. First, the Forty Eight fits perfectly in today’s retro-loving biking world. Second, it’s a super-safe buy as they don’t go wrong. And third, you won’t lose money – you’ll…

18 min.
smart money

There are various ways to look at what makes fine value. It could be a huge warranty, the guarantee of not suffering catastrophic depreciation, or having a bundle of extras thrown in for free. But nothing gives a greater sense of value than a solid old-fashioned bargain. And these four bikes all represent a staggering amount for your cash. With a huge discount, KTM’s 790 Duke has an unbeatable Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) offer. Royal Enfield’s Himalayan is amazingly affordable for those who prefer tried-and-tested Hire Purchase (HP), while if you’re fortunate enough to have folding stuffed in your pocket there’s no better place to put it than Triumph’s Speed Triple S. There’s superb preloved value from BMW’s R nineT too. So much choice, so much value… KTM 790 Duke Class-leading Austrian…

4 min.
great new buys

Triumph Thruxton R Power: 96bhp Engine: 1200cc parallel twin Economy: 50mpg » Don’t think retro, think classic supernaked. Triumph’s Thruxton R might look like it’s designed for folk who favour flat caps and roll-ups, but you shouldn’t be fooled. Beneath the Monza filler cap, fuel tank strap, shiny bits and old-school plug cap is an exciting, engaging and thoroughly modern naked motorcycle. Though 96bhp might not sound a lot these days, Triumph’s big twin is a superb high-performance road engine. With short gearing and tightly-packed ratios it pulls hard from bugger-all revs, cannons out of corners on its bulbous midrange and delivers a wheel-lifting top-end sparkle. It’s an equally willing chassis; the Thruxton R feels up on its toes and ready to turn, its sporty geometry giving fast responses and accurate steering. And…