Ducati’s Superleggera, BMW’s HP4 Race and Norton’s V4 SS are the new poster bikes of our generation. The latest family of superlight, superpowerful, super-trick superbikes are truly something to behold, and I’ve travelled all over Europe to find out more about them. Despite being mega-money beasts, all three could have a direct effect on the shape of mainstream sportsbikes to come. I headed to Milan to speak to the Ducati and BMW design bosses about their new bikes. Both of them raved about carbonfibre and its use in chassis construction, and both of them expressed hope that in the future carbon-framed sportsbikes will be as common as aluminium is now. Then I headed to the NEC to have a look at the Norton V4 – an amazing, beautiful thing. It’s a bold move by the small-ish Donington company, but if they can pull it off, satisfy orders and customers, plus build a brilliant bike, they will be part of the best story in British biking since the resurrection of Triumph 25 years ago. I’m rooting for them.
Enjoy the mag!
Inside this issue...
THE UK’S BEST USED SPORTSBIKE
A third of the price of new, just as fast - and with potential to be faster. A 2008 Fireblade is a great used buy...so we've just bought one!
NEW OLD STROKERS
Meet the racing two-strokes that refuse to die. This ex-Kevin Schwantz RGV500 was consigned to show-bike hell while Bruce Anstey’s TT-winning 250 was little more than some parts on a shelf just a few months ago.
THE ORIGINAL SUPERLEGGERA
Ducati weren’t the first company to come up with a low-volume, low-weight version of their production superbike. Aprilia did it first with the RSV1000R Nera. We sent PB’s biggest rider to ride Noale’s lightest ever roadbike ...