Hurrah! Spring is finally here! All the signs are there: new bikes in dealerships, new tours being planned (maybe even venturing abroad this year?), and if we whisper it very quietly, can we suggest that the weather is finally getting more biker-friendly too?
But all that is mere background music to the surest sign of Spring: the April edition of MSL hitting the shops. As always, the magazine is full of bike and kit tests, thought-provoking articles and the best of touring in the UK and beyond. Here’s a taste of some of the things we have lined up…
First ride: BMW K1600
The bike is not new, but it has been updated for 2022 in all four forms that it comes in: the B (for Bagger), the GT (the Grand Tourer), the GTL (like the GT but with an extra pinch of Luxury), and the Grand America (based on the B, but with full-on tour trim).
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We tested the bikes in Spain at the world launch, and came back home wanting to spend more time on them. If you like your big tourers, they don’t come much better than this.
Reality check: are leccy bikes saving the planet?
Climate change is a fact, and we all need to be mindful of how we live our lives to try and keep the world turning. But are electric bikes the answer to the problem from a personal transport perspective? We looked into them in a bit more detail to see how much greener they are than petrol bikes, and what contribution they make globally.
What we found out might surprise you…
To Iran with no map
We all like to think that we are happy-go-lucky bikers, independent and carefree, ready to point our front wheel towards adventure without hesitation. But whereas for most of us that means taking the bike for an unplanned Sunday bimble, for the Marshalls it meant riding to Iran without even bothering with trivialities such as a map. There’s a word for people like that: legends!
Heavyweight tourers: Honda vs. Harley
While the BMW guys rolled out the new K1600 in Spain, we took a couple of the big competitors out for a test. The Honda Gold Wing and Harley Ultra Limited are both fighting in the heavyweight category of touring, but their approach to the task is not identical by any means. Both of these bikes are great at what they do, but for such different reasons.
Dave had a proper job in his hands trying to explain how they can both even exist in the same niche of motorcycling.