My neighbour isn’t a motorcyclist and has no interest in bikes. He couldn’t tell a Velocette LE from a Ducati 900SS. Yet there’s one machine that grabs his attention when it rolls up outside; not only that, but he can recognise it at 100 paces. Triumph’s Bonneville. Is there a more famous motorcycle?
Everyone knows the Bonnie, either through ownership, association or reputation, and 60 years after it was first seen at Earls Court the twin is still part of the fabric of biking. So we joined the Triumph Motor Cycle Owners Club for a knees-up to celebrate an icon.It’s not the only iconic metal this month as, for reasons best known to themselves, Suzuki decided to let me ride a couple of Barry Sheene’s race bikes. Not just any bikes, but the RG500s he took to the world title in 1976 and ’77. A boyhood dream come true, the experience was all you could imagine and more.
We also witnessed the rebirth of the Grimsthorpe Speed Trials, took part in Silver’s Honda CB750 bash (p6), and discovered how great Kawasaki Bighorns are. We’ve been making the most of the glorious autumn sun, too – and hitting the road with our own bikes, none of which broke down. Unprecedented.
mike armitage, executive editor
As far as Suzuki are aware, no journalist has ever tested Barry Sheene’s championship-winning Grand Prix bikes. Until now...
Six decades after the Bonneville was first shown, we meet owners still besotted with their British twin
Flat out up the hill
The Grimsthorpe Speed Trials aimed to recreate the racy romance of 1920s motor sport in the grounds of a stately home – and succeeded in achieving those heights