March 2016



Tackling and finishing a restoration project is a brilliant thing, and we’re constantly amazed by the quality of your bikes that we feature on the pages of this very magazine. But when reader Nigel Griffiths contacted us to say he’d built his own Suzuki XR69 replica from scratch – and all the tools needed to undertake such a project – we were left speechless. Literally. What Nigel has achieved is simply breathtaking.

Having clapped eyes on Graeme Crosby’s factory XR at the 2010 Festival of 1000 Bikes, he decided right there and then he had to have one. And that he’d build it himself. Using only photographs he’d taken of Croz’s bike and a book about bike building Nigel, over the following five years, transformed a pile of steel and aluminium into an exquisite dead-ringer for Suzuki’s works TT-F1 machine.

There’s always an amazing tale to be told when in the presence of a top engine tuner. So we got together with many of the biggest names in engine fettling this month – Stan Stephens, Tony Scott and Jack Valentine to name but three – to discover what makes these speed sorcerers tick, how they transformed the sportsbike landscape in the ’80s and ’90s, and why tennis balls can be good and bad for engine compression. Find out from page 52. 

The rest of the issue is packed too, with RD125LCs, XBR500s, GPZ600Rs and unmissable tech tips to make your bike fettling even more pleasurable.

Enjoy the mag

INSIDE This Issue...

GPZ600R Kawasaki

Unleashed in 1984 and introducing bikers to a new supersport 600 class, Kawasaki’s liquid-cooled middleweight wrapped innovative technology in GP-style packaging. And now, it’s a bargain buy...

"I made the XR69 from scratch... inclunding the tool"

Nigel Griffiths had one central ambition when bringing this Suzuki race-replica to life: make as much as he could himself. That meant building a homemade frame, swingarm, yokes and fuel tank – using just 12 photos and a book for reference 


As long as there have been bike engines,
there have been men pulling them apart
to make them better. This is their story