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Practical Sportsbikes March 2021

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
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
practical sportsbikes welcome

ISSUE 125 MARCH 2021 “The K1 is still a big, bad GSX-R and the current one is upholding that spirit” GSX-Rs: like them, loathe them, or own a shedful, they’re part of the foundations of the House of PSPB. And they’re at their best packed with cubes and horsepower – the 750 might have got the ball rolling, but when the Hamamatsu folks are on top form they have a habit of maintaining near-middleweight chassis poise when they add big-bore grunt. Just in case you weren’t feeling old, 2021 is the year the GSX-R1100 celebrates its 35th birthday, and even the seemingly-fresh K1 1000 will blow out 20 candles this year. The MotoGP GSX-RR is reigning world champ, and for good measure the Big Daddy of the GSX-R family, the Hayabusa, is revived…

1 min
the team

Damian Smith Art Editor Unable to spend his salary on pedicures, Damo has some spare cash knocking about. He fancies a K1 1000 now. damian.smith@pspb.co.uk Mark Graham Production Editor MG is a kindred spirit of the 1100K: bit tubby, likes a drink, and can sometimes be found buried in a hedgerow, or lying in the field beyond. mark.graham@pspb.co.uk Alan Seeley Technical Editor One of Alan’s career highlights is riding a Holeshot turbo ‘Busa. He’s joined the queue (the very back of it, that is) for a go on the new one. alan.seeley@pspb.co.uk Gary Hurd Workshop Consultant Now ‘converted’ to the modern world with a 2020 Katana (see page 96), Gary has brought disgrace and shame on the air-cooled community. Heathen. editorial@pspb.co.uk Contributors this month Mat Oxley One-time racing somebody loves nothing more than bothering entire race teams in the off-season. He talked to most…

4 min
suzuki makes new kat tanks…

Suzuki Vintage Parts recently commissioned a production run of brand-new tanks for the original Katana to sell to the general public. A hundred were pressed using the original tooling, and they’re sold painted and ready to attach taps and caps to. However: it’s a one-time deal. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Of the 100, 80 were kept for Japanese buyers, the UK getting a small allocation of the rest. Nor are they quite correct for UK Katanas either — while the GSX1100S was dropped in the 1980s here, it ran until the early part of the millennium in the homeland, with a few minor tweaks that include the exact shade of silver. The new batch is closely matched to those of the final domestic-market bikes. The good news is that may not be…

1 min
bikes reunited

One. One solitary submission for Bikes Reunited this month. Maybe you all know better than to try and trace the pups you’ve heartlessly sold in good faith to another unsuspecting motorcyclist. Or maybe, like Gary, you’re spending lockdown all liquored-up, and can’t remember your own name, let alone a numberplate from 20 years ago. In any case, we’re still happy to offer our contact-tracing service for motorcycle sales since regretted – if you can help Dan Burton find his brother’s Gamma (below), or are curious what happened to your own former ride, email us at editorial@pspb.co.uk with the reg number, at least one picture, and any other relevant details. Be sure to indicate you’re OK to pass your details on to fellow readers if we get a result. Dan and Tony Burton’s Suzuki…

3 min
specials we like

deBolex ENGINEERING KAWASAKI ZRX1200R This ZRX1200R special is indeed ‘deBolex’. The Croydon-based specials shop have created something truly unique and striking with this Kawasaki for owner Alex Shepard, who wanted a bike with muscle bike/AMA racer flavour plus a distinct twist. The fellas at deBolex have delivered on all counts. Looking part futuristic brute, part retro racer in a genius coming together of in-yer-face detail and stylistic understatement, this hand-built Kwak is genuinely different to every other ZRX special we’ve seen. “PART FUTURISTIC BRUTE, PART RETRO-RACER IN A GENIUS COMING TOGETHER OF IN-YER-FACE DETAILS” BODYWORK There’s more than a hint of Ballington and Mang’s KR tandem-twin GP racers to the bullish upper fairing. All the bodywork is hand-made – hewn from sheet metal into business-like lines from back to front; the quick-release headlamp cover being one…

5 min
ps mail

STAR LETTER Stuff the rest, The PS is the best – by far During the last six months of 2020 a combination of Covid-19 and ill health kept me confined to barracks. Knowing in advance that I would not be well enough to spend time in the shed fettling my FireBlade RR-X it seemed a good time to add a couple of new magazine subscriptions to my longstanding PS sub. The two I chose dealt in the new market and what I read there left me deeply disappointed. I discovered that vast swathes of text are now dedicated to in-depth analysis of a bike’s TFT and connectivity, woe betide any manufacturer whose new model still uses steam-powered LCD and what column inches remain are dedicated to a homily of the various on-board electronics.…