Staying power and endurance is the accidental theme of this issue: across the pages of both PS and PB we’ve ridden bikes and met people who’ve gone the distance. Take our cover stars: Andy Wade’s restored Slabbie 750, and John Neate’s Harris CB1100 classic endurance bike. One is a production bike so right to start with, we’re still salivating over it today (especially in the sort of condition Andy’s is now in), and it can still get your blood pumping decades later.
John’s Harris Honda is a tale of endurance not only on track, but in the workshop too: its success has been hard-won with plenty ofblow-ups and setbacks, but now it’s a piece of racing art ploughing a slightly different furrow to the XR69 hordes.
Ex-editor Jim’s interview with racing stalwart Jack Valentine is a great read too: it’s easy to forget the bloke on TV in the team shirt is a championship winner and bike builder in his own right, with more experience than some of his peers put together.
Sure, the bikes in PB aren’t quite as long-established, though the FireBlade is now 27 years old, and pleasingly back on top form after a brief blip with the electronic nightmare of the 2017 model, as our back-to-back test proves. The BMW S1000RR is the best part of a decade old too: we’ve ridden the first totally new one and it’s set to be almost as spectacular and as memorable a riding experience as the first. If we’re still allowed to burn petrol in motorcycles for fun in 34 years’ time, nodoubt it’ll stand the test of time as assuredly as the GSX-R has.
Chris Newbigging, Editor