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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 322 January 2017 > 2016 THE UNTOLD STORY


Have a sneaky peak behind the scenes of the year at Fast Bikes…
If a bomb went off now and destroyed the cream of the UK press, it’d be the waste of a good bomb...

Launches, tests and shenanigans galore was the story of 2016. We thought it would be a shocking season, Lwhat with Euro4 throwing its oar in, but as it turned out the year morphed into something seriously special. From the January launch of the Kawasaki ZX-10R in Sepang, getting us out of the cold of winter, to the Tracer 700 launch in the summer, to compiling our New Bike of the Year tests, we’ve had nothing but a blast, riding bikes as hard as we dare, abusing hospitality as much as we can and getting away with it for yet another year. This is our album of the year, a little look behind the scenes of Fast Bikes. It may not be pretty, but this is the life we lead…


It’d been years since my last trip to the Cat and Fiddle and not even the speed cameras could scupper this year’s trip aboard a pair of 125s. Glorious sunshine, the best stretch of Tarmac in the UK, throttles pinned and hideous corner speed; a fine day out with Beaky.

We’re still putting Beaky to good use...


Hats off to Yamaha for hiring a little runway for the location of the wheelie shots on the very badly behaved MT-10 launch. We’d been wheelieing the cock off the bikes all day, but Yamaha refused to take any pictures of us, saying that this would all be sorted at the end of the day. It was tempting to give in to beer after we’d been taken back to the hotel, but we had a job to do and had to act professionally. So we rode off to the strip and duly performed – before being asked by the snapper to do a group shot for posterity!

Night riders


As far as posh locations go for launches, this one takes the biscuit. If you’ve never been to a place like Abu Dhabi, that alone is an experience. Staying in a seven-star hotel (seven!) with a race track for views is also bananas, as is the fact that the establishment lives in this peculiar bubble cut off from the rest of the country and, for most of the year, is absolutely dead unless Formula 1 is in town. And then there’s the track, which was my first experience of a race track under the lights. With a decent tyre shod on a raft of top sportsbikes it was absolutely brilliant, and I even liked most of the circuit too, despite it being first and foremost a car venue. Every time the hotel (resplendently lit in multiple colours) homed into view you’d catch your breath for a moment before cracking the gas underneath the bridge/nightclub. Watching revellers watch you wazzing around was surreal to say the least!

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Fast Bikes is home to the best sportsbike tests on the planet and is packed with new bike launches, technical insight, hardcore action, masterclasses, racing, reviews and loads more.