October 2019

I think I might have picked up a speeding fine this month: caught out by a newly-installed camera on a familiar road. No point moaning – there’s a sign with the limit on it, it’s up to me what I do with that information... and I enjoyed the throttle of a powerful bike a little too much.

While I nervously await an NIP, I contemplated how I might avoid getting in the same situation again, while still enjoying being on a bike. Let’s face it, if you wanted to go at 50mph in a line of traffic crawling across the landscape, you may as well be in a box with the radio and air-con blowing. I concluded I’d been making less and less effort to find decent roads – it’s too easy to consult Google Maps, find the quickest route to your destination and just get there.

I had the privilege of riding the three bikes for the road test this month: none of them face-ripping monsters when it comes to the motor, but it only takes a small deviation off the trunk roads to the less-used back roads of Britain for bikes of modest value and spec to come alive, and plant a bigger grin on your mush than you could ever get chancing an SP30 on an A-road. Tooling around on a 60bhp 400 on a sunny day and a twisty road will put a smile on the face of anyone. Saying that, I still made sure to swipe the keys to the 205bhp RSV4 1100 starring in PB this month.

It made a refreshing change to ride something of such stupendous ability that still feels like someone in R&D gave a damn about road riders and at speeds still in double-figures. A rare case of having your cake and eating it – enjoy one of the best handling road bikes ever made, with the most power, all without getting big numbers flashing up on the speedo. Still worth avoiding the fun-killers in yellow though.

Chris Newbigging, Editor, Practical Sportsbikes

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