April 2016

Pratical Sportsbikes April 2016 

What is high mileage? And what does it mean for the bikes we ride? Some folk would purse their lips at a bike with 30,000 on the clock. If it’s barely seen a spanner in those 30K they may have a point, but if properly maintained it can be as crisp as the day it first turned a wheel. What about 80,000 or 100,000-plus miles?

To some that’s barely run-in. In fact we’ve been told of a Honda Blackbird that’s closing in on the magic million. Yes, one million miles. This issue Alan’s caught up with five owners who’ve piled the miles on their bikes. He reveals what goes wrong as the numbers rise, their servicing secrets and why it’s better to use a bike than worry about keeping the figure on the odometer low.

As well as being capable of covering huge mileages, Honda’s CBR1100XX Super Blackbird was also the original hyperbike – a blisteringly fast litre- plus multi that took sports-touring to a new level in the late 1990s. The Blackbird’s blend of polished civility and near 180mph top-end has kept its fans true, even in the wake of faster and more powerful opposition. But even we were shocked to learn just how little cash you need to hand over to acquire the keys to one of these seminal mile-munchers. Prepare to seriously want one.

Jim Moore, Editor


HERE’S JUST SOME OF THE GOODNESS THAT’S CRAMMED INTO THE MARCH ISSUE…

HONDA CBR1100XX - SUPER BLACKBIRD

Nearly 20 years ago, the Blackbird shook up the ‘hyperbike’ class. Today, it’s still a fantastic machine – and a bargain to boot.

"IT WAS MEANT TO BE A TWO-YEAR JOB, BUT I GOT A BIT OBSESSIVE…"

Three engine rebuilds, hanging barrels on the washing line… Russell Pilkington has certainly experienced the highs and lows of restos with his Suzuki GT250 X7.

WE WANT IT: DUCATI 748

Ducati’s baby 916 was always the connoisseur’s choice, and now the 748 is about to become a collectible classic. With good reason...