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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 343 - August 2018 > A (TURBO) SPONDON STORY

A (TURBO) SPONDON STORY

If powerful custom bikes are your thing, they don’t come much more powerful or more custom then Rob Bean’s Turbo Spondon.
It is big, and it is clever.
IMAGES: JAMIE MORRIS

TURBO SPONDON

It all started when I was a spotty teenager. I was taken in by the whole performance-custom bike scene, and I would spend hours flicking through Streetfighters magaz ine (it had nothing to do with the boobs in it, honest). I was completely blown away by the big tube aluminium frames with heavily tuned G SX -R Engines, then I saw the big lairy turbo bikes and my mind was made up – I had to have one, one day at least.

When I left school, I joined the RAF as an aircraft engineer and learnt how to build and maintain things properly, so over the next ten years or so I owned, built, modified and repaired all manner of motorcycles. Although I say ‘all manner of motorcycles’, it was almost always late-8 0s and early 90s sports bikes and, in particular, oil-cooled Suzukis. I had a go at racing, starting on an SV6 5 0 and then, after a season or two, I raced a Kawasaki Z X R7 5 0 H1 then a 198 9 Suzuki G SX -R7 5 0 in a class based on a power to weight ratio with a maximum bhp limit (as well as cut off years for different capacity bikes).

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About Fast Bikes

Gabrielle sang a song about dreams coming true, and do you know what, she wasn’t fibbing. After way too many hours, days and years of dreaming, I finally got that golden ticket to sample the delights of Italy’s finest race track: Mugello. And not on some battered C90 with spokes missing, I’ll have you know. Parked up in a pristine garage, packed with factory technicians and enough fresh rubber to keep a porn star happy, stood an audacious-looking winged wonder. Yep, this was my chance to try out Aprilia’ s112bhp Factory Works RSV4 on a circuit crafted by the gods. Let’s just say neither the bike nor the track disappointed, as you’ll know after you’ve read this issue’s report. The Aprilia’s the latest in a succession of new and exciting propositions that have made an appearance of late, squaring up to the likes of BMW’ sHP4 Race, Honda’s RC213V -S and Ducati’s 1299 Superleggera. And there will undoubtedly be more such steeds on the way, as rival brands flex their engineering muscles and throw everything they’ve got into topping the charts for the lightest, fastest and most innovative of motorcycles . But there’s also plenty of good news for financially humble mortals such as myself, as it looks like we’re going to be treated to some far more attainable metal in 2019.