four bikes that attempt to fulfill these criteria in very different ways.First up is the Ducati Multistrada. Well, what can you say? When it was launched most people's first reaction was "what the hell is it?" Looking like the bastard love child of a
, Suzuki Hayabusa and Kawasaki ZX-12R obediently followed the cop car into a lay-by, a blue Honda Blackbird continued down the road on its merry way.This moment of police interference wasn't wholly unexpected. For the last 200 miles the four bikes had
and replaced it with the ST3. But instead of going the usual route of nicking another engine from its range Ducati has created a new motor with a three valve head, instead of the conventional four.As the theory goes a two valve head creates better torque low
. The buzz is now around 1000cc fours, so the rules were changed to allow these into the series, instantly spicing up the entry and so increasing spectator interest. Once again you could see your new road bike there on TV being raced around the world
.The problem is that the Japanese manufacturers are stuck in a four-year cycle when it comes to bikes. A new bike is launched, the next year it gets a new paint scheme, the year after a slight tweak, usually consisting of an engine mod and some chassis
, the Italians lead the way with the Japanese playing catch up.So for a test involving four of the most beautiful and exotic bikes Italy produces we decided on a pilgrimage to their home. A tour through the stunning scenery and roads of the Swiss Alps
, and decent brakes are a necessity for avoiding pedestrians and U-turning cabbies.So what better test of four very different city-focused bikes than to become couriers for the day? Could Honda's classic city tool, the CBF500, prove that size doesn't matter
Click to read: Benelli Tornado Tre owners reviews, Benelli Tornado Tre specs and to see the Benelli Tornado Tre image gallery."We have no gravel traps at Paul Ricard, just large run-off areas covered in abrasive tarmac," the circuit director proudly announced to the assembled jou...
"When I were training as an engineer, just after I left school, I had these safety boots, the kind with the metal protective bit on outside. All the girls used to hang outside the chippy, so I'd come steaming down this hill on me Fizzie, flat out at 40mph with my toes scraping on...
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