Fast Bikes UK – May 2023
English | 101 pages | pdf | 65.42 MB

I’m writing this on a plane, heading to Spain to test Ducati’s new Streetfighter V4S. It’s an exciting proposition, not least of all because I’m keen to see how this already mesmerising motorcycle has been made better than what’s come before. It already had ridiculous amounts of power, ticked the lithe handling box and pioneered impressive aerodynamics. The tech was faultless, the brakes too, and if naked bikes are your thing, it wasn’t exactly lacking in the looks department. Of course, I daresay most manufacturers know it’s a slippery slope to sit back and rest on your laurels. History has shown that the minute you let off the throttle, someone else will come out with something smarter, faster and sexier. That’s the way this game works, and I’m pleased that’s the case. Evolution is a necessity in all walks of life and especially so in the world of two wheels, where innovation, passion and pure excitement are prerequisites for consumers. It’s been said a trillion times over, but it’s only when you look back a decade or two that you realise just how far the pillars of performance have been pushed. In a few pages’ time, you’ll come across my latest purchase – a 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7R. It’s a bike that once ruled the roost, winning races at world and domestic levels. Who can ever forget the likes of Yanagawa on the factory Kawasaki? Or the impressive efforts of Glenn Richards and Scott Smart on their Hawk Kawasakis, taking on the litre bikes that entered the BSB series in 2002? Those scenes are etched in my head, which is why, despite acknowledging just how drastically outgunned this used icon is, it still appeals to me. And that’s the beauty of motorcycles. In a similar vein, Tim got his first taste of a two-stroke 250 recently and loved the thing. For perspective, it makes about 190bhp less than the Yamaha R1 he’ll be racing at British Superbikes this year, but that didn’t dull his experience. I guess the point in this piece is to celebrate what’s come before, but to also embrace change and hope for more… which is exactly what I expect to experience from my imminent V4S test. I don’t doubt for a second it’s going to prove an absolute beast around Almeria, the track I’m testing it at, and I’m genuinely hoping
that it proves better than the already impressive model that came before it… for the sake of evolution above anything else.

Enjoy the mag…

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