Special Build of the Year is go. Out of a sackful of entries, we’ve whittled them down to 10. And what a 10 they are: MotoGP and WSB replicas, a flat tracker, cafe racers, 2T hybrids, a brutal Turbo, and a seriously funky ‘moped’. All very special in their own right.Read More
When is enough, enough? Or indeed too much? Former Florida bike dealer Earl Harrington Jnr became the owner of more than 2000 bikes before he – or more accurately his wife – decided to call time on his commendable but nonetheless unregulated habit.
Earl built up his ‘collection’ over 40 years, primarily due to his reluctance to sell on trade-ins that came through his shop. And what came through the doors was anything and everything: Brit iron, early fours (CB750s, Z1s, Z1-Rs, GS1000s), twostrokes (air-cooled RDs, Kawasaki triples, sports ’peds), turbos (XJ650Ts, CXs and home-brews), race replicas (GSX-Rs, FZRs, CBRs), dirt bikes and more. The collection is mind boggling. There are enough projects in Earl’s yard alone to last 100 lifetimes. Now it’s for sale – every last bike.
We were granted access into Earl’s world; what we saw left us speechless. We’ll bring you the results from the sale in the next issue. Earl’s collected his fair share of Kawasaki Ninja 900s too (GPZ900R to us) and in this issue you share your stories, experiences and life-long love affair with the first truly modern superbike. From commuting and touring to scratching and racing, the 900R rocked your world.
Also in the issue Simon Hargeaves pits Ducati S4 against Triumph Speed Triple and Aprilia Tuono, I swing a leg over a period restored Kettle and Gary dreams of candyfloss.
Enjoy your PS.
Jim Moore, Editor
Inside this month's issue
Three naked sportsbikes at three different price levels. But which would we choose in 2018?
Full Kettle Jacket
Gary Jay wanted a GT750 for years but somehow the opportunity passed him by. Then a chance conversation in a bike shop put a Kettle his way
Earls Yard of Gold
This is what happens when 40-years-worth of bikeshop trade-ins are left in the backyard instead of put up for sale. Prepare to get lost in wonder at a 2000 bike timewarp
World Superbikes has become tediously predictable in the last few years, with only Kawasaki and Ducati having any chance of lifting the title; the former taking the top prize in four of the last five years... Zzzzzzz. But it hasn’t always been so. Go back 25 years and WSB was about to begin its most exciting and unexpected season ever. US tuner Rob Muzzy was about to step onto the world stage for the first time, bringing with him some amazing facial hair, a quick Kawasaki and a crazy young gun from Georgia, Scott Russell.
Up against the might of Ducati and a legion of factory 888s, Muzzy and Russell achieved the impossible – winning the top prize first time out, and on just a fraction of Ducati’s race budget. Real David and Goliath stuff. It would be 20 years before Kawasaki won the title again. Come relive that glory year in this issue.
If WSB had begun three years earlier it’s fair to say that Suzuki’s GSX-R750 would have done a lot of the winning in the series’ formative years. A winner out of the crate, the GSX-R was the first and remains the standard of the quarter-litre superbike class. But which model should be on your radar?
Also in the issue you’ll find the Ducati ST2 that’s found its sporting mojo, a TR2 replica RD350B, how 3D printing will be the future of spares, a Honda MVX250 buyers’ guide, how to repair crankcases, and loads more.
Enjoy your PS.
Jim Moore, Editor
Twelve years of GSX-R750 development, from 1985's Slabbie to the SRAD in 1996, spanned three generations of classic sportsbikes. Today, can all three show how form might be temporary, but class is permanent?
3D Printing the Future
The need to re-manufacture rare or obsolete parts will stay with us. The means of doing it is about to get a whole lot easier - and cheaper. But there's still a way to go
Take one beer-fuelled eBay 'opportunity', remove 30kg of excess bulk, raid Yamaha's late-60s/early-70s style book and revel in a right, raving result
Buy now >>
Kawasaki missed a trick. Had they complemented their excellent 1100 and 1200 ZRX retros with a punchy middleweight, they may well have knocked Suzuki’s Bandit 600 right out of the park. They even had the tools to do it, too, as proved by PS reader and serial ZRX owner Mark Glitherow.
Having already restored a ZRX400, and owned an 1100, Mark figured what was really needed was something in the middle. So he built his own one-off ZRX – an uprated 400 with a 636cc hybrid motor. It’s so good it could, and should, have rolled off Kwak’s Akashi City production line. See it in its full glory in this issue.
American Ed Erlenbach knows a thing or two about improving on an original. Through trial and error, plus a huge helping of sheer undiluted engineering genius, Ed has transformed his once humble Yamaha RD250 into the fastest of its kind on the planet – 143.77mph, to be exact, as we reported in last issue’s PS World. This issue we bring you the full story on exactly how he achieved his extraordinary record. He’s not stopping there either, he says 150mph is this year’s target.
In the spirit of achieving dreams we also show you in this month’s mag how to get a 350LC in your shed, and a leg over a Tamburini Ducati or Laverda triple, all for sensible money. Stop dreaming, get buying.
Enjoy your PS.
Jim Moore, Editor
Inside this month's issue...
Noughties and Nice
The 1990s produced some of our favourite sportsbike legends. But, as we moved into the 2000s, Honda’s SP-1, Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 K1 and Ducati’s 999 proved all machines that went before were just the appetisers. This lot take the cake.
Kevin Luckhurst’s 1977 Kawasaki Z1000 A1 has got to be one the best Zeds we’ve seen so far. Original where it matters, authentic where it counts, and immaculate - everywhere.
Into the Blue
Ed Erlenbach holds several World Speed records. And maybe the most remarkable of them is 143.767mph on an unfaired Yamaha RD250. His tuning ethic is simplicity itself: do the science stuff and then the speed takes care of itself
Mick Jagger may have struggled to get any satisfaction, but here at PS we’re burning it by the tankful. In my case it’s all down to my now much improved DT125R. Having spent a day last month at tuner Mick Abbey’s place fitting a Zeeltronic ignition to my Yamaha, and fine tuning it on his dyno, I’m now basking in the satisfaction of a 19 per cent power increase and 160bhp per litre from my 125. Pleased? Hell no, I’m delighted. See how we achieved it in this issue.Read More
Good and evil. Can something be both? This month I’ve found the proof: Kawasaki’s KR-1R. A what, you say? Less than 200 of these SP two-strokes were built so they may not be familiar but, trust me, it’s a bike you most definitely need on your radar...Read More
Welcome to the newly fettled PS. All the things you love about PS are still here, plus a raft of new stuff too: more in depth resto stories, bigger and better buying guides, new projects and amazing specials, plus more top tech advice and inspiration to help you get the best out of your bikesRead More
In the October issue of Practical Sportsbikes our reader resto is a Suzuki GS750 gets modern makeover with GSX-R hardware. There's a European 40th birthday bash for the Kawasaki Z1000 and we ride a the sharpest Yamaha FZR400 ever.
Plus there's a head to head between a Bimoto SB4 and a Suzukli GSX11 and 20 pages of workshop wisdom to help you keep your ride alive.Read More
In the September issue of PS, we meet Dave Thompson, a certifiable Kawasaki nutcase and find out why his H2 resto had the potential to drive anyone insane. We find out what the best Aprilia sports tourer is and why the Suzuki GSX11 street bruiser packs monster punch.
We learn the inside story about the 1907s movie Silver Dream Racer, find out how to restore Hickly/Daytona/Speed Triples and of course there's 20 pages of workshop wisdom.Read More
In the August issue of Practical Sportsbikes, reader Karl Spenceley shows us his immaculate '92 CBR900RR-N Fireblade, that after three years of painstaking work has turned from a bent, bodged streetfighter into a machine that looks like it's popped out fresh from a crate.
Two-time AMA winning rider Wes Cooley tels us how he and Pops Yoshimura made the GS1000 (and Suzuki) into legends in the late 70s and early 80s and we go head to head with the FJ1100 and GSX1100, the old school sports tourers, on a test in Wales.Read More
In this issue we announce our SBOTY winner, our own two-stroke hybrid, Project X7 Gamma has been in a shoot-out against two other takes on the RG-X7 theme. Plus find out how our 2-T trio got on in their head-to-head battle.Read More
Find out how well our two-stroke hybrid performs – or not. Lusting after a 200mph hyperbike or building a one-off special are both completely understandable aims, but why would anyone ever go to the trouble and expense of restoring Kawasaki’s much-maligned GPz305?Read More
Special Build of the Year 2017 is go.This year’s finalists include everything from a 150bhp, 950cc ZX-7R, a Roberts replica RD500LC, and Sanctuary style Z1100R to a Guzzi Le Mans cafe racer, Cooley rep GS1000 for the 21st century and a MotoGP inspired FireBlade. And more.Read More
Not two restos are the same. Our brace of builds this month are as different as our Gary and and an olympic sprinter. Granted both builds are Hondas – a VTR1000F special and a back to standard CX500 – but all similarities end there...Read More
Inside this issue, Alan bites off more than he can chew with dog of a TDR250, see if he thinks all that hard work was really worth it. One thing that was most definitely worth it, is Roy Mayne’s magnificent Z1B/Z1-R hybrid – that thing on the cover that stopped you in your tracks...Read More
For this issue we’ve brought together an original LC and the best YPVS – the 1985 F1 – to see whether Yamaha really did improve on perfection plus we look at Honda’s gem-like CBR400RR, Kawasaki’s ballistic ZZ-R1100 and loads more...Read More
In this issue, Phil West reveals the V-Max’s remarkable story and finally gets to try Japan’s original quarter-mile king for himself. We look at the Kawasaki Z1300; Bandit-powered Z1000; Suzuki GT250 and GSX-R750LE; Honda CBR600F vs ZZ-R600. Sportsbikes of all shapes and sizes…Read More
Last month we gave you our guide to some of the best trail bikes to buy for winter fun and frolics. In this issue we couldn’t resist taking a couple of likely candidates out for a spot of greenlaning. Neither fellow tester Si Hargreaves nor I had ever tried a Yamaha DT200R or a Honda XL200R. But we’re glad we did. They’re brilliant...Read More
It’s that time again; the newsagents are calling. The new issue of Practical Sportsbikes is packed full of old bike tech, inspiration, info and nostalgia. We look at the Honda VFR400R: Arguably the finest sub-500cc four-stroke sportsbikes ever built and the golden era superbikes. Plus get part 2 of our top 10 must have sportsbikes.Read More
In the October issue we meet Mark Wateridge whose P&M Kawasaki, using one of only two frames of its kind in existence and with an ultra-rare swingarm and wheels, redefines ‘special’, there’s a Honda MBX80 restoration: 2000 miles in a week on rebuilt 2T tiddler and we take a look at the superbike legend that saved Bologna, the Ducati 851/888. Plus, FREE with this issue is part 1 of The Top 10 Must-have Sportsbikes, featuring 48-pages of the best sportsbikes. EVER.Read More