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What Bike Next? Episode 12

BikeSocial Road Tester. As one half of Front End Chatter, Britain’s longest-running biking podcast, Simon H admits in same way some people have a face for radio, he has a voice for writing.





Hello ladies, gentlemen and inveterate used bike browsers, and welcome to What Bike Next?, the YouTube series in which BikeSocial’s used bike geeks Michael Mann and Simon Hargreaves try to find the perfect next used bike for a BikeSocial Member... and this week it’s BikeSocial Member John Reeve, looking to upgrade – substantially – from his Yamaha Tracer 9 GT.

Simon and Michael, along with a Superbike Factory marketing manager Lauren Cartwright, will be choosing three surprise bikes from Superbike Factory’s used bike showrooms – bikes we each think will tick all John’s What Bike Next boxes. Then, john will have the chance to test-ride all three on the What Bike Next Test Route.

Then, after all the riding is done, we find out how close Michael and Simon got to identifying John’s perfect next bike – and remember, next time we could be finding a bike for you too!

If you’re savvy enough to be a BikeSocial Member, why not come on the show by emailing with your riding and bike history, what you’re currently riding, and an idea of what bike you fancy next – and you could be chosen for a day test-riding three surprise bikes with Simon and Michael on a future episode of What Bike Next? It’s a cracking day out with free food and bike riding, so get involved.

And, meanwhile, enjoy the show!


What Bike Next? (Ep 12)

BikeSocial Member John is looking to move on big-time from his Yamaha Tracer 9 GT.


This week, BikeSocial Member John Reeve has written in asking for help choosing his What Bike Next? John is a 39-year-old train driver from Swansea.

“I’ve been riding for about 15 years, and I just sold my Tracer 9 GT. Loved it, really nice bike. But my wife didn’t love it so much. So I’m looking for something new – but I don’t really know what I want. So hopefully Simon and Michael can sort me out!”



John adds a bit more detail to his biking needs: “I sold the Tracer because I felt it was a bit of an older bike for me... I still want to re-live some youth and have a bit of silliness – but still be able to have the wife on the back at the same time.

“So I’m after something with around 150bhp plus, but not something too ‘over-the-tank’ because I’m getting older, with me wrists and that. But I want something I can throw around when she’s not on the back. So I’m thinking something sports-tourer; probably not adventure bikes because I’m not into the styling – I prefer a sportier look – but I’m open to and ideas you have!

So is there anything specifically you don’t want? “Cruisers,” says John without hesitation. “Anything cruiser. But I love gadgets,” he continues. “If it’s laser-guided cruise control, I’m in!” he says. “I’ll have absolutely anything on it.”

So the big questions is how much money have we got to play with?

“About £18 grand,” says John.

Wow, that’s healthy number. John could buy a new bike for that much.

“To be honest, I don’t really know what I want,” says John. “That’s why I’m here!”

Okay then, let’s see if Simon and Michael can find something to think about...

Simon’s choice: Yamaha MT-10 SP


Yamaha MT-10 SP spec:
Year: 2017
Mileage: 9063
Extras: topbox
Price: £9890 (£8110 under budget)


John’s reaction:

“Oh nice. Nice. This is a red herring. I’ve not ridden a crossplane crank inline four. It’s beautiful. Love the blue wheels – I had them on my old Suzuki GSX-S750. I’ve admired the MT-10 for a while, but never really thought of it as an option. Excited to ride it!”


Simon says:

“Ah Jon, let’s see – you want 150bhp plus, something upright but sporty, you love gadgets, and you’ve got £18 grand to splurge. But, as Michael pointed out, you could buy a new bike for that kind of dosh, and I’m starting to think you’re here just for the test rides ya cheeky monkey. Let’s see if a minty, nearly new Yamaha MT-10 SP can convince you to shave a whopping eight grand off your bike-buying budget. And mate, this bike fits you, I can already tell: having already experienced that loopy triple, why not simply add a cylinder, another 50bhp, chuck in that deliriously addictive crossplane crank inline four that thinks, feels and sounds like a V4... and a topbox for some token touring?

“Et voila! – a sporty not-a-sportsbike you can chuck around, stick yer partner on the back, stick yer sandwiches in the top box and take your brain out when you’re flying solo at the weekend. Because, unleashed, this bike is a proper riot on wheels. Tap the throttle and it comes out absolutely windmilling. Plus it’s got a load of the electronic gadgets you desire – including Ohlins semi-active – so, as a train driver, I reckon the fact it handles like it’s on rails might convince you...”


Michael’s choice: Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro (and Triumph Street Triple 765)


Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro spec:
Year: 2019
Mileage: 14,868
Extras: none
Price: £12,290


Triumph Street Triple 765 spec:
Year: 2019
Mileage: 3000
Extras: none
Price: £7000
Total: £19,290 (£1290 over budget)

John’s reaction:

“Oh, hello. Hmm... Multistrada. It’s a nice bike. The styling of it is nice. And you’ve added a Triumph Street Triple 765 as well – my wide could ride that! You’re really pushing this!”


Michael says:

“Talk about value for money! Just look at the amount of motorcycle John could ride away with if he opened his options up. With his criteria, it was always going to be tough to find one bike that does everything he’d like. But I get a feeling he’d be open to some ideas if two bikes were on the cards. So with this awesome Multistrada and its huge range of electronics, impressive comfort, not to mention that 160bhp – he could easily cross the planet as well as doing all the pillion rides and long weekends with his friends that he mentioned.
“But if he picked up a track-focussed Street Triple, ZX-6R or CBR600RR for example, for around six grand, he could have the perfect duo for all his needs.”


Mystery bike: Kawasaki H2 SX

As chosen by Superbike Factory’s Lauren Cartwright

Kawasaki H2 SX spec:
Year: 2018
Mileage: 7000
Extras: none
Price: £10,090 (£7910 under budget)


John’s reaction:

“H2 SX! Phwoar nice. Wow. Not really thought about one of these. The supercharger has piqued my interest, just a little bit. My wife will like the seat – and I guess it’s a little nippy.”



Michael says:

“If John needs to get from A to B in a seriously quick time, then he can always take the train... or take the supercharged Kawasaki. With 197bhp available, plus a pair of panniers, there’s little else on the market that matches the madness of the H2 SX. Of course its stablemate the ZZ-R1400 perhaps – but that didn’t come with launch control and heated grips.

“This is a 2018 model that was the first year that Kawasaki strapped a supercharger to a sports tourer, after the birth of the H2 three years earlier. This particular model’s relatively low miles and potential sub-£10k price tag gives it some real pros: the short seat-to-foot distance could hinder John’s comfort, and he might expect an adjustable screen and a more modern dash for this kind of budget.



John’s budget is the largest we’ve had so far on What Bike Next – and while we focus on used bikes, there’s no doubt John could pick and choose from a whole variety of new bikes too – even with his fairly specific shopping list requirements of big power, sporty ethos, upright riding position and pillion provision. Almost any used bike from Superbike Factory’s showroom stock will likely be well under John’s budget – but is that a good thing?

Simon’s MT-10 SP choice seems to fit the bill and John seems interested – and says his wife will like it too, which is always a good sign. He even sent her a picture of it! But will he buy a used bike MT when he could easily afford a brand new one?

Michael’s Multistrada 1260 Enduro is a brave choice, seeing as John seems lukewarm on adventure bike styling. But his idea of sweetening the deal with spare Street Triple 765 for John to use as a toy is a leftfield plan that might just work – and it’s hard for anyone to be impressed by the Ducati’s combination of comfort, practicality and sheer horsepower.

And then there’s Lauren’s H2 SX plan – it’s a lot of money for a non-SE model (without semi-active suspension) but the supercharger is a unique and intoxicating experience, and a rider can easily be seduced by the wastegate whistle and stupendous performance.

So what will be John’s What Bike Next? Watch the whole show to find out!

If you’re a Bike Social Member and you want us to choose your What Bike Next?, please get in touch with your contact details at