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The Women’s No-B.S. Beginning Guide to Motorcycles – Part Two

The next question new riders often ask is, “What kind of bike should I get?” This question has a zillion possible correct answers, depending on your comfort-level with riding at the time you’re ready to shop, the type of bike you want to own (sport bike? cruiser?), your budget, your personal tastes, brand appeal, etc. For simplicity’s sake, though, I’ll take a stab and answer the question directly assuming you want a cruiser that’s similar to what you used in your MSF course.

The three major manufacturer bikes I would recommend for absolute beginners are:

The Yamaha Virago 250 – a great-looking, easy to handle V-twin. Read More »

Classic Motorcycles – Kawasaki Z1

The powerhouse of the Japanese motorcycle industry was already starting to dominate the small to mid capacity range by the mid 1960s.

Despite famously believing that the Japanese would never enter the last area of motorcycle manufacture they did not already almost dominate, the 500cc+ class, the British motorcycle industry suffered a body blow in 1968.

Triumph had just released their new big bike, the Trident, a 750cc in line triple, which they hoped would open up a new era in motorcycling, moving as it did away from the popular and accepted twins of the day.

In one sense they were right, bikes were set to get bigger. Where they got it spectacularly wrong however, was in underestimating their Japanese competition, to their supreme cost. Read More »

Classic Motorcycles: The Honda VF1000R

Ever since 1969, when Honda introduced the CB750 and established themselves as serious players in the superbike market, Honda have been often leading the way in innovation. One of the niches they have dominated since 1983 is in the V4 engine niche.

1983 saw the launch of the Honda VF750F. This was the machine that put Honda on the path of V4 ownership. At the time the engine was a revelation. A 90° liquid cooled V4 engine pushed out an astonishing 86 bhp which gave it the highest top end speed in its class but not only that, it had a remarkable mid range.

The great thing about the VF750F was that it wasn’t just the engine that was exciting. The bike had mono shock rear suspension and anti-dive front forks. A 16 inch front wheel and brakes that were considered to be amongst the best in the world were additional technical details which combined to make a fantastic overall package.

When the VF1000R was launched in 19 a four, Honda already had six models in the VF range ranging from 400 to 1000cc. The VF1000R was completely based on the VF750F but without any of the weaknesses of the 750. Read More »

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