Practical Sportsbikes November 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

1 min

It was good to see plenty of you at the MCN Festival (aka the Peterborough show) last month. It’s always good to haul a few bikes out and shoot the breeze over a plastic pint pot. Emails, Facebook posts and the odd scarcely-legible bit of snail-mail are all very well, but face-to-face is always the best way to make sure we’re on the right track. So thanks for taking the time to come over (especially the two Fen boys who’d had a few, you were superb value), take a few stickers, and be the umpteenth person to cock their head at the ZX-990 and ask ‘Is it finished?’ No, but thanks for asking... On to this issue: we’re juicing over two-strokes. You can go for years without riding or owning one, but…

1 min
strokes of mediocrity

Damian Smith Art Editor Once upon a time, Damian was a happy, carefree youth with an RD50MX. Now he’s grizzled, grumpy, and doesn’t have a two-stroke. Coincidence? We think not Mark Graham Production Editor An absolute stroker – and no mistake. Currently procrastinating over the rebuild of his RM370, despite the numbing simplicity of the task. Alan Seeley Technical Editor Opts for two-stroke machinery whenever it’s an option. You should see his coffee machine: it makes a terrible cappuccino, but sounds great. Gary Hurd Workshop Consultant Claims a Suzuki DS185 is on its way to him from Canada. It’s taking some time: we’re considering the possibility he’s been had by a Canuck scammer. Contributors this month... Mick Grant, Rob Mac, Keith Huewen, Mick Abbey, Mat Oxley, Mark Forsyth. We’d like to thank our sch-lebrity contributors. No doubt they get…

4 min
return of the whippet

This is the SALT two-stroke: a KTM 300 EXC TPI (more on those on p41) stripped of its enduro identity and transformed into a snappy little cafe racer. Ex-GP rider and BEARS champion Paul ‘Loopy’ Lewis has lent his experience too, ensuring the dirt iron’s transformation to back-road weapon is full. The engine, frame, swingarm and suspension are all taken from the KTM. The suspension is lowered and shortened at both ends (the rear has 130mm of travel, down from 300mm and the front is reduced from 310mm to 125mm of axle movement). The wheels are swapped for spoked Excel-Tagasako rims, with road rubber in 110/90-19 front and 130/80-18 rear sizes. A handmade aluminium tank and subframe, plus a carbon seat unit, mudguard and side panels replace the KTM plastics. The riding position…

3 min
specials we like

★ JB POWER HONDA VFR1000R Former Yoshimura and HRC technician Jyo Bito is the brains behind Japanese specials shop JB Power in Toyooka, on the north coast. Bito-san’s masterplan for this Honda VF1000R was to elevate its ride and handling, while maintaining the bike’s character and ‘homologation’ status. JB Power are clearly adept at tweaking just the right number of components so as not to detract from the bike’s original look, while at the same time enhancing what’s already there. If you want to lift a VF1000R to an RC30 level of desirability, JB Power’s lead is the one to follow. See more of their work at ★ EXHAUSTS The stock VF exhaust system is a weighty bit of kit. This JB Power, hand-bent set-up in titanium, with titanium mounts, removes a fair few…

1 min
sauce expert pours scorn on ps’s choice

Unfortunately I need to write in (again) to complain about the content of your magazine. While you have good understanding of all sport things two-wheeled (well, sometimes a bit off the mark: Neval Minsk, issue 116) may I suggest you stay out of other areas of expertise. While the soy sauce bottles mentioned on page 105 of your September issue are indeed quite useful for brake bleeding applications, the contents are a woeful, industrialised stodge. If this is ‘the best’ then you may as well declare a mass-produced 300cc commuter bike the pinnacle of sportsbikes. Just saying. And yes, I would take quite big bets on this one! The best would need to be anything that is naturally brewed in open cedar casks, hand-stirred once a week over at least a period…

4 min
ps mail

Write a letter to The PS and if it’s Star Letter material you win a full year’s subscription to the very same. Aye Follow your dreams Like most, I’m an anorak when it comes to wonderful machines. Over the years, I’ve found, repaired, trashed, and collected some of my teenage dreams. I began to buy cheap to keep a budget for maintenance. My rule was 1 €uro per cc at purchase time. In the good years I bought some 750s. I was able to stick to my rule until I went onto European bikes. Even with my wonderful husbandry (see In Your Shed, The French Collection, PS January 2021), I searched for an MV Agusta F4 for ages. Five years ago I spotted a relatively low-priced MV F4 312R for sale. The seller…