Cars & Motorcycles


September 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

1 min.
more than just a numbers game supernakeds

If your heart loves a superbike but your head and body are less keen it’s time to think supernaked. And while a supernaked’s performance will still blow your brains into the next county your poor back will love you tor its posture. And a supernaked is as happy cruising to the shops as it is demolishing a B-road. The supernaked class of 2020 has shifted up a gear: Ducati have their new 205bhp Streetfighter V4 S - basically a stripped- bare Panigale, Kawasaki have wedged their sensational 197bhp supercharged motor in a trellis frame to create the Z H2, and KTM have given their 1290 Super Duke R a significant overhaul. To figure out which supernaked is pole position to cure the COVID blues we’ve spent two weeks riding them head-to-head with…

4 min.
ktm 1290 super duke r

Ranged against the radical Ducati and chirping Kawasaki it’s easy to overlook KTM’s supernaked contender. It also doesn’t help that the new 1290 Super Duke R looks similar to the previous model. However, the truth is the big V-twin has undergone a transformation for 2020 including a new frame and significant changes to the engine, electronics and suspension. And because of this little lot the Super Duke R has come of age. The revised 1301CC V-twin has a fraction more power, at a claimed 177bhp, which hardly seems worth the bother when compared with the Ducati and Kawasaki, at 205bhp and 197bhp respectively. However, we aren’t playing Top Trumps here, and out on the road the Super Duke is utterly thrilling because its engine delivers its good stuff at far more…

4 min.
yamaha mt-10sp

Aclaimed 158bhp from a retuned version of a five-year- old R1 engine really isn’t a good start in this company. Neither is the fact it doesn’t have a supercharger or a crank that spins the wrong way. Yet Yamaha’s MT-10SP’s engine is a thing of wonder. Yamaha’s brilliant 9980c crossplane-crank inline manages to be both gruff and vibe-free. It’s like the unification of a V-twin and V4 in the midrange, which explodes like a screaming four up top. It’s responsive, flexible and always willing, and the racket it makes at full throttle is like having your head in a super-club bass bin, with just a chainsaw for company. This belter of an engine separates the MT-10 from more humdrum four-cylinder alternatives such as Suzuki’s GSX-S1000, Honda’s CB1000R and Kawasaki’s Z1000; more…

3 min.
yamaha xt1200z super ténéré

GET ONE FROM 2014-ON There was an updated for the 2014 model, and it got a new LCD dash with gear position indication, trips, fuel level and assorted electronics information. Extra switchgear controls were added too, meaning you can play with the dash without letting go of the bar, which is always good. These later bikes also let you adjust the (optional) heated grips from the switchgear. CRUSTY WHEELS Although they’re nickel-plated the spokes can corrode quickly - some bikes were looking unsatisfactory after just 600 miles from new. Not ideal if you’re feeling brave and plan to leap about on your Super Ténéré. Yamaha will replace the spokes of any bikes still in warranty. Owners often replace them with stainless-steel parts; nice touch, but don’t get sucked into paying too much extra…