February 2016

Practical Sportsbikes February 2016 issue

Last year we celebrated 30 years of the GSX-R750 - a defining line in the sand for sportsbike design. But 2016 is the big one, in more ways than one; three decades of the mighty and majestic GSX-R1100. Designed alongside the race-bred three-quarter-litre GSX-R, the 1100 is everything the 750 is and more, and as a result is arguably better suited to us road riders.

All GSX-R11s deliver the sportsbike experience in its most full fat and high calorie flavour, but which 1100 - original Slabbie or later Slingshot - tastes the sweetest in 2016? We indulged in a man-sized portion of GSX-R goodness (or should that be madness?) this issue to find out, pitting an '87 H against the much-maligned 1989 K. Get stuck into our 11-page GSX-R feast from page 60. We love a thrifty project here at PS, whether through shrewd negotiation and purchasing prowess or ingenious engineering and restoration techniques.

This month we meet the restorers, home fettlers and all-round clever sorts who've refurbed, recommisioned and rebuilt their rides for £1000 or less. How about a Suzuki TL1000S bought and back on the road for less than £750? An ingenious GT550/Z550 hybrid all-in at £370? Or a pair of early FZ750s - one stock, one modified - for £1500? Find out how and why these guys, and others, are enjoying sportsbikes on a shoestring. If you'd rather keep an eye on the pennies by simply buying a bike that's fun to ride and ready to go for little more than that magic £1000 mark we've taken a look at and a spin on a Honda CB-1 400 this issue, too. This 16v, dohc inline-four with gear-driven cams and CBR tech is one the best - and best value - imports to make it here from Japan. So good, in fact, we want one too.

Enjoy the mag!

Inside this issue...

'I accidentally knackered the bushes with a hacksaw and hammer...'

As a man whose day job is doing NHS transplants, Oliver Beames is more used to working with blood than oil. But occasional hiccup aside, he's done a top job with his first ever resto - this Benelli 2C.

Suzuki GSX-R1100

In 30 years the GSX-R1100 has lost none of its raw, aggressive appeal, but which odel - Slabbie or Slingshot - deserves your coin in 2016?

Reader Restoration

'The wife said I'd never finish it. That was my motivation...'