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Practical Sportsbikes August 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.

United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min

Power, speed... it’s why most of us are here on two wheels, to some extent, right? Whether it’s two-stroke zing or big twin grunt, the visceral thrills from the light/powerful combination only a motorcycle offers is for everyone with a yen for velocity. Performance Bikes was created, evolved from Motorcycle Mechanics (just called Mechanics at the end), to react to the shift in culture in motorcycling from one largely driven by the need to be mobile, to one driven by fun, and desire. Manufacturers reacted by developing faster bikes evermore quickly. Three decades of incredible development, 30-odd years of asking ‘where will it all end?’ as bikes repeatedly raised the bar to where we are now: sportsbikes with over 200bhp at the wheel, for the price of a base model Ford…

1 min
goodbye pb, it was a blast…

Damian Smith Art Editor Road test down to St. Tropez in France with Gus, Ronnie, Kenny P, and Alex Hearn in about ’98. We were there a week. You can only begin to imagine… damian.smith@pspb.co.uk Mark Graham Production Editor Has to be some Edinburgh MP asking questions in Parliament about the legitimacy of our subs ads. We’d get locked up for some of those today. mark.graham@pspb.co.uk Alan Seeley Technical Editor Honda Gold Wing on test. “Reckon I can wheelie that,” says Ronnie Smith. “Colin (Alan) Seeley, hop on the back to stop the rear wheel spinning.” alan.seeley@pspb.co.uk Gary Hurd Workshop Consultant Gotta be the Katana Frenzy at Bruntingthorpe in the ’80s. It was mental… looped wheelies, the lot. They kicked us all out. Obviously. editorial@pspb.co.uk facebook.com/groups/practicalsportsbikes editorial@pspb.co.uk…

1 min
contributors this month

Mark Forsyth GSX-R750 launch Misano 1995. Superbike’s Gordon Ritchie playing ‘The Scotsman’ and downing everyone else’s single malts after dinner only to later mushroom soup the marble foyer of the hotel. Waiter carrying champagne flutes skidded and crashed in it, Buster Keaton-style. Jim Moore 1998: me, MG, MF, Trev, and Bob Gray on a PB trackday at Folembray, France. We got bored. We decided it’d be better to ride the track in reverse. The French marshals went mental. That night we drank enough to comatose a herd of cattle.…

4 min
specials we like

★ SRC APRILIA NS400R SRC 475 V3 Great specials don’t have to be in-yer-face, or immediately obvious. In fact, some of the best builds use subtlety to their distinct advantage. Like this silver and black stroker that, at first glance, looks like a tidy 250 – an NSR250, perhaps. But look closer and you’ll see that it’s far more interesting than just another production machine, even if the quality of its construction and detailing suggest otherwise. What you’re actually gawping at is the union of Aprilia RS250 and Honda NS400R, expertly put together by Sunday Ride Classic – hence SRC – organizer Jean-Pierre Bonato. The ‘factory built’ vibe was deliberate; Jean Pierre wanted to create a modern sports two-stroke that could be the work of a major manufacturer had 2-Ts not been…

3 min

Many interview hours went into Mark Forsyth’s feature with Spondon Engineering co-founder Stuart Tiller (p38). It’s an absolute pleasure for us to tell the story, as much of it is either untold or forgotten. But it is tinged with sadness, given how it was brought to an untimely, unjustified end by dealings with Stuart Garner’s Norton operation. Tiller has fought to prove his allegations of Garner’s financial impropriety in acquiring and dissolving Spondon: to no avail so far, with little hope of making them stand up in court it would seem. In spite of this, Spondon’s reputation and legacy remains strong; complete bikes still regularly sell for deep into five figures, incomplete projects for only a little less. During Mark’s interview, Stuart mentioned that the jigs, the designs, and the company records…

4 min
ps mail

Dress up your container. It’s a real no-brainer Great magazine as usual, and after reading the issue with the shipping container garage in it (PS, June 2021) I thought I would share the solution to Duane’s only problem with it. I live in Australia and have friends who store their classic motorbikes in shipping containers, but the heat inside can be something else. So when we got a shipping container to store stuff in (GSX-R1100 and postie bikes only go in when holidaying away) I wanted to make sure it stayed cool. Also, we didn’t want the look of a shipping container near the road in the front garden. It gets a lot of looks from passing traffic. We call it the pioneers’ hut, and it definitely keeps the inside nice and cool.…