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Practical Sportsbikes July 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
practical sportsbikes welcome

DT50MX, Slider 50, TW125, MT-03, YZF-R6, TZR250 1KT, XTZ750 Super Ténéré, YZF-R1 and R1M. These are the Yamahas I’ve owned, or at least had custody of as long-term test bikes. Yamaha have been a big part of my motorcycling life, and that’s a good 40% of the bikes that have been in my shed over the years. Yamaha seem to have a knack of building influential, pioneering bikes, and there’s usually been something from Iwata that fitted my needs at stages in my motorcycling life. I’ll wager a good chunk of you had Fizzies, RDs and TZRs in your formative years, followed by FZRs, YZFs and the like. More than most manufacturers, they seem to be ‘in the moment’ consistently. Even now, their MT and R-families are on the money. Yamaha…

1 min
more than just a factory

Damian Smith Art Editor Damian’s favourite Yam is of course, his long-suffering Thundercat. The YZF600R in question does not reciprocate this love. damian.smith@pspb.co.uk Mark Graham Production Editor Contrarian MG bought an RD400E when everyone else wanted LCs. “Despatched on it, put loads of miles on it, never missed a beat. Sold it when it wore out” mark.graham@pspb.co.uk Alan Seeley Technical Editor Al has known and loved many a Yam 2-T, but he’s only limber enough to fit on an TDR these days: it’s probably the most fun, too. Great choice. alan.seeley@pspb.co.uk Gary Hurd Workshop Consultant Medium G will bleat on about his RD350B for hours if you let him. You’ll never get the time back: avoid. editorial@pspb.co.uk Contributors this month Tim Thompson: Ex-PB editor TT is on road test duties this month. The former KR-1S racer, and current Street Triple RS owner loves sharp-handling…

5 min
new r7 splits opinion

It’s a total coincidence that Yamaha’s new eight-grand, 70bhp parallel-twin sportsbike has arrived in time for our Yamaha special issue. But it does fit neatly. We hope you’ll go on to read about the models/technical innovations that have made the company what it is today – and there’s a bit of that with the new R7. It’s the MT-07 naked, but with a fairing, some upside-down forks, a new shock, a slipper-clutch and a quickshifter. Doesn’t sound a lot, but the MT-07 is sweet little bike anyway – the motor is peppy and free-revving, balancing newbie-friendly delivery with enough go to satisfy hooligans with a wheelie or ten. It’s light and agile too, but suspension is set up for decent pothole-absorption, rather than sporting feel. That would now appear to be addressed…

3 min
specials we like

★ SPEEDWERKS RGV/RG500 HYBRID Speedwerks have been modifying and upscaling sportsbikes for the best part of two decades, and RGV/RG500 hybrids have become something of a speciality for the Delaware, USA- based engineers. Some of Steve Long and Dave Trotter’s builds are distinctive for their visual impact, but others - like this 500 square-four powered RGV - are magnificent because of what lies under the plastic and carbon fibre exterior. A cursory glance may lead you to believe this orange RGV is little more than a tidily updated 250, given how close its silhouette mimics the original. But in terms of engineering and chassis spec this Suzuki is among the more special we’ve seen. On trackdays it’s the bane of many a litrebike rider, and that’s just how its owner likes it. Here’s…

2 min
lithium beats lead acid

I disagree with Ferret’s comment ‘don’t bother’ when it comes to lithium batteries in reply to Eric Watson’s problem (April 2021 issue, page 85). I have a ’97 FireBlade (bought in 2004) that I have modified over the years including fitting a lithium battery in 2012. I had always realised you have to be careful not to overcharge a lithium battery, and for that reason I made my own voltage meter. I replaced the reg/rec with one from Electrex World, did some more research into lithium batteries, and bought one in 2018 that had its own management system and internal over-charging protection circuit. This is a must for motorcycles originally fitted with lead acid batteries. I did two trips round Europe with this battery with no problems but through experience I…

3 min
ps mail

Don’t get your valves tangled Great magazine, I love the combination of PS with PB, but I have to take issue with comments on the GSX-R1000 engine in a few of the articles over the last few months; your project build in particular has referenced the titanium valves in the bike which were not fitted until the K5 model. The introduction of those valves allowed the rev limit to go up from 12k on earlier models to 13.5k and was a major change to the motor (not mentioned in the latest issue K5 review). The other thing is your guide to wheel alignment checks; it is important that the front wheel is checked to ensure it is aligned correctly within the forks/yokes, and not twisted, before checking the rear wheel – this…