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Practical Sportsbikes June 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

1 min

It’s good to be back out there. Out there, in the obvious sense – out there, riding motorcycles for leisure, without it being (a) cold and miserable, and (b) a lockdown where you’re not supposed to be tooling around on motorcycles for kicks anyway. I’ve ridden my old 996, the new Speed Triple, and tested a bunch of tyres on your behalf too. Safe to say, I’m dialled in and the cobwebs blown away after that lot. But it’s also nice to be back out there – ‘there’ being the garage, a luxury I’ve not had much time to indulge myself in since last summer for various reasons, to the constant derision of one Mark Graham, who chuckles to himself captioning up the ongoing Project ZX990 saga every month, the sod……

1 min
seriously out there

Damian Smith Art Editor Damo made noises about going out to buy himself a bike. It didn’t happen, so he threatened to just put the Thundercat on the road (hasn’t happened, either). damian.smith@pspb.co.uk Mark Graham Production Editor MG is our most out-there employee, ever. So far out, we’ve no idea exactly where ‘there’ is. Probably just as well, the truth is likely to be mind-boggling. mark.graham@pspb.co.uk Alan Seeley Technical Editor Old Al has been out and about on his Fazer: nothing drastically exciting, just the simple charm of riding a simple motorcycle, for a simple mind. Simple. alan.seeley@pspb.co.uk Gary Hurd Workshop Consultant Nu-G’s ‘out there’ was outside the garage, emerging from a cloud of extinguisher dust, after a set of leaky flatslides started a garage fire. No harm done. editorial@pspb.co.uk Contributors this month Jim Moore Big J made himself very useful this month: not…

1 min
jim lindsay 1954-2021

It is with sadness we report the death of Jim Lindsay, who died of cancer last month, aged 66. Jim wrote for PS, but way before his contributions to this magazine, he was instrumental in the launch of Performance Bikes, when it successfully morphed from Motorcycle Mechanics. He was also editor of Motor Cycle News in the late Eighties, before becoming publisher of PB, and other EMAP titles (as they then were). So much for the CV. Jim should be remembered chiefly for his huge appetite for life, and his unquenchable enthusiasm for anything with two-wheels. Aside from his skills with the spanners, Jim was also a computer king. He was an early adopter of all things Apple Mac, and set up Macmasters, a successful systems installation business in 1990. And it’s…

1 min
triumph and yamaha plan electric lumps

It’s not going away, is it? This month, Triumph announced they’re working with Williams to adapt washing-machine motors (we think, we didn’t read it that closely in all honesty) for a bike, that’s a bit like a Speed Triple, minus the triple bit. TE-1 they call it. They make claims for the battery being lighter, longer lasting, all the usual guff. Mean while in Iwata, Yamaha are a step ahead and offering electric motors on a commercial basis for all manner of vehicles – from bikes to cars. They’re inviting outsiders to cough up for their parts and expertise. You’d have to think they’ll wheel out something from their own stable with it too. Again, they make claims of power density, blah, efficiency, yawn etc. Just give us a bike, and…

1 min
new gsx-s thou’

There’s an updated GSX-S1000. If you haven’t been paying attention, that’s Suzuki’s supernaked, at the cheaper/more road-oriented end of things, but still perfectly adequate. And that’s been the problem: it’s competent, good value but with a few niggles, and little sparkle. The new ‘un looks like it could have made a better fist of it – still the same frame, the same GSX-R1000 K5-8 derived mill, but with some updates we reckon will make it better to ride. Unusually, Euro 5 can be thanked for that: it’s an old-ish motor that needed to be cleaner, so the valve overlap has been reduced, fattening the midrange (it was a bit top-endy before) without too much impact up top. It’s also ride-by-wire now, where before it had cable-actuated throttles, which just doesn’t cut it when…

3 min
specials we like

YOSHIHITO YAMASHITA SUZUKI GSX1400 Some people have just got it when it comes to visualising and executing an outstanding update of an already saucy model. Yoshihito Yamashita from Koganei City, Tokyo, is one such visionary. He doesn’t own a specials shop or a bike building empire. No, Yoshihito-san is just a bloke with a passion for his GSX1400 whose subtle and beautifully executed upgrades have elevated his Suzuki to a level way beyond that of the stock bike – and above many pro-built specials. Obviously, and quite rightly, his 1400’s chassis is home to high end engineering and top shelf parts, and the motor’s had a healthy injection of extra grunt too (we’ll come to that), but Yoshihito-san’s decision to reference the criminally under represented HB colours from Suzuki’s early ‘80s GP and…