Mountaineers climb Everest because it’s there. Similarly we mod our longterm bikes because we can. You’d have to be the lovechild of Valentino Rossi and, er, Jenny Tinmouth to need any more talent from a modern sportsbike – but needs and wants are two very different things…
We don’t need to trick up our fabulous fleet – but as a man, we all want to do something to stamp our mark on each longtermer. Every bike is built to a price – even if it’s a high one – and if money were no object then every component on every bike would be better. That rings true whether we’re on about a scoots or superbikes.
So if a manufacturer isn’t going to treat a bike, then it’s down to us. But what do you change? Which aftermarket parts are best? That’s what this month’s big test is all about. It’s not another showcase of the bikes, but rather an evaluation of the extras that have been added and their effect. Buying a bike, new or used, is a big decision – but sourcing the right bits for it is crucial.
Attracting new riders into biking is key to biking’s health. As Al finds out this month, new licensing laws means learners have many more hoops to jump through before getting on a big bike – but BJ uncovers that life on a new class of modestly powered machinery might not be so bad.
And there’s plenty more of these sub 47bhp bikes in the pipeline – as seen at the Milan show. Honda, KTM and Kawasaki have all built bikes to satisfy the new laws – and have integrated them into their range. This makes the transition from the likes of the new Ninja 300 and CBR500R to the ZX-6R and CBR600RR much easier. And who wouldn’t want to trade up from a KTM Duke 390 to the new Super Duke 1290 R – it’s one hell of a prospect…
Have a happy Christmas and a great New Year!
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