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Road & Product Tests

This category contains 16 posts

BMW’s G650GS – feel the vibes

Sometimes you ride a bike and just fall in love. My first Honda CB400-F was like that. I loved it at first sight, rode it all over Europe, and never fell out of love with it till the day – crashed, bashed and despatched – it was stolen 80,000 miles later. Some you appreciate for … Continue reading

Quick Spin – Yamaha’s MT-07

Motorcycles are – obviously enough – the sum of their parts. You need an engine, a chassis, some suspension and wheels to connect them to the road, and the ergonomic package that allows the rider to control the bike itself. The weird thing is that sometimes manufacturers put a bike together in a way where … Continue reading

Triumph’s Tiger 800 – tested

Although it was launched late in 2010 and appeared in Blighty in 2011, it wasn’t until a month ago that I got the chance of an extended test ride on Triumph’s Tiger 800. The machine’s an important one for Triumph because along with its cousin, the Tiger 800XC, it allows the British company to tap … Continue reading

Fun, functional, frugal… or flawed? Honda’s NC700X tested

Let’s start with Honda’s own PR: “The NC700X redefines the multi-role motorcycle by uniting a strong, fuel-efficient engine with a comfortable riding position and a versatile chassis. Ideally suited to commuting during the working week, the bike also inspires an adventurous spirit at the weekend. A long tour, a leisurely ride into the countryside or … Continue reading

Open Source Mapping for Garmin

We’re continuing Garmin week here on Survival Skillls by looking at some alternative GPS technology that can be used on a motorcycle and today’s topic is how to get hold of some top quality maps for free. Yesterday we looked at one of the cheapest ways of getting GPS-enabled on a bike, getting a Garmin … Continue reading

Sport-touring tyres on road and track – Conti Motions

Continental’s tyre range somehow isn’t as ‘sexy’ as the other major manufacturers, but I’ve been familiar with their range since the late 70’s, when I first fitted their tyres to replace the truly awful tyres on my Honda 400-four. Through the 80’s, I often used their grippy (for the time!) TKV11 front tyre, pairing it … Continue reading

Yamaha XJ6 Diversion – 3000 miles on

There’s a word that sums up Yamaha’s XJ6 Diversion – competent. I did a write up of one I test rode back in October on my blog here and I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed… you can definitely see it’s built down to a price – steel parts like the rear brake lever where sports bikes have … Continue reading

Dunlop Roadsmart – sport touring tyres that struggle to tour

        UPDATE 12 October 2011 I had an interesting conversation about the Dunlop Roadsmarts fitted as original fitment to Yamaha XJ6 Diversions on a forum the other day. Mine wore out in under 4,500 miles, and other XJ6 owners report the same. Yet riders who’ve fitted their bikes with the Roadsmarts are … Continue reading

Honda’s V twin and V four compared – SP1 vs VTEC VFR800

I’ve recently had a spin on two very different Hondas with a V configuration; a VTR1000SP1 (sometimes known as an RC51) and a VFR800VTEC. Let’s start with the VFR800 first. I’ve caught a lot of flak over the years for being honest online and saying that I didn’t like the original non-VTEC incarnation of the … Continue reading

from the archives – Triumph T100 Bonneville

(First published on the Survival Skills website November 2007, the Bonneville has gained a steady following and has proved to be a reliable motorcycle, appealing to women as well as men. The bike is even forgiving enough to be used for rider training. Here’s my review of then-new 865cc model.)   “I turned out onto … Continue reading