What Bike Next? Episode 7


Hello and welcome to What Bike Next? This is Episode Seven in the series, in which BikeSocial experts Michael Mann and Simon Hargreaves go head-to-head to find a BikeSocial Member their ideal next used bike.
This week, BikeSocial Member Tom Lindley has written in asking for help with What Bike Next?

As usual, Tom has told us what he wants in his next bike, what he doesn’t want, and how much he’s got to spend. Michael and Simon will each choose a bike they think could fit Tom’s criteria, and a third ‘mystery bike’ is chosen by Aiden French from Superbike Factory, the UK’s leading used bike dealer.

Tom will then take each bike for a test ride, to see if we can find his perfect What Bike Next? And, as usual, Tom has no idea what bikes have been chosen for him until the day of the test-ride.

Then, at the end of the test-rides, we find out how close we got to choosing the right bike – or whether we missed the target completely.

And of course in the next episode, it could be YOU – so long as you’re a BikeSocial Member!

Apply to take part by emailing equiries@bennetts.co.uk 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?

Meanwhile, enjoy the show!


What Bike Next? (Ep 7) – Tom’s 6’4” and is after a new bike
20 stone, BikeSocial member, Tom Lindley, is looking to replace his Tracer 900 GT but can Simon and Michael find his perfect next bike?


Meet BikeSocial Member Mr Tom Lindley, who needs a bit of help choosing his next bike. Tom, 36, and a father of three from Derbyshire says:

“I had a scooter at 16 and passed my test at 18, and rode a Suzuki SV650 for a good few years and toured a fair bit of Europe. But I sold the SV in my early 20s.

“Then, in summer last year (2022), I bought a Yamaha Tracer 900 – which got stolen. So I replaced it with my current Tracer 900 GT. I’ve had it since last October – so about 10 months. I’ve done just short of 10,000 miles on it and I love it. It’s a great bike, I adore the triple engine – but the problem is the bike is just a bit too small for me. I’m 6ft 4in and weigh 130kg (over 20 stone) so I could do with something a bit bigger to accommodate my long legs and big feet! I feel I don’t fit on the bike all that well.”

To help solve Tom’s problem and find his next bike, BikeSocial’s Michael and Simon have invited him to the Donington Park branch of the UK’s finest used-bike emporium, Superbike Factory. With thousands of used bikes to choose from, it’s a proper pick ’n’ mix of motorcycles.
So Tom, tell us a bit more about what you want and don’t want...



Tom explains a bit more: “I like to ride all year round, I’ve got my ROSPA gold and I’m a volunteer blood biker. I’ve no preference on engine type, but I really love the engine braking and torque I get from the Tracer. I’m not overly worried about engine size but to be honest I wouldn’t want to drop performance, so would prefer something with more torque and power. 

“If I had an adventure style bike, I’d perhaps do the odd green lane – but 99% of the time it would be on the road. I like gadgets and use heated grips, quickshifter, and rider modes on the Tracer all the time. I wouldn’t want to lose that. I’d also like a TFT dash and wouldn’t want to go back to analogue clocks.

“I don’t regularly carry a pillion but may do in the future – and luggage (or the ability to take luggage) is an essential. And fuel economy isn’t a worry so much, but the bigger the tank range the better! I use the bike for pretty much everything, from short trips into town to long rides – and often do 200 to 400-mile days.”

Finally, Tom concludes his wish-list: “I’d prefer blue as the colour but nothing green, or any green on it. Budget-wise, I’m, looking between £12,000 and £17,000.”

Is there anything you don’t want?

“A Harley or cruiser-style bike is probably not for me. And did I mention I’m not a massive fan of green? But other than that, I’m really open.”

So Tom has given us a challenge. What bikes will Simon, Michael and Aiden, Superbike Factory’s sales expert, come up with? Let’s get shopping.



Simon’s choice: 2020 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

Simon says:

“KTM’s 1290 Super Adventure R grants all but one of Tom’s wishes: it’s a big adventure bike, with lots of room for his 6ft and 4in – strange dimensions for a human; I wonder if he comes from the Fens? And there’s plenty of room for a pillion in the future, too.

“The 1290 also has plenty of grunt and power – we’re talking up to 160bhp and a stack of torque. It’s also got bags of V-twin charisma – the performance should impress the heck out of him, if nothing else.

“So okay, this isn’t the very latest 1290 Super Adventure with the newest TFT dash, updated suspension and electronics (or a radar) – but as a 2020 model with 5000 miles on it, it’s got pretty much everything else. Apart from luggage – but this 1290 is so under-budget, at just under £11,000, Tom can afford to kit the thing out from top to bottom and still have change for a car.

“Now I know what you’re thinking – why not choose a BMW GS? I’ll tell you why; it’s too easy, too obvious and sooooo predictable. Come to think of it, it’s exactly the sort of bike Michael would choose. I bet you a tenner that’s what he’s gone for! But I suppose maybe that’s why Tom doesn’t seem quite so up for the KTM. Perhaps he’s disappointed with a bike that literally is everything he wants! Let’s find out what he says when we get back from the test ride...

Tom’s reveal reaction,

“It’s a big bike – ah-ha! Team Orange! Love it. It’s definitely on my radar to try one and experience it. They get brilliant reviews. I’m looking forward to riding it!”



Tom’s riding reaction:

“Mixed feelings, to be honest. Great power, quite an aggressive delivery took a bit of getting used to at lower speeds, but I really enjoyed the engine. You could definitely have some fun with it. The brakes are great with loads of power. But the seating position didn’t feel overly different to my Tracer, if I’m honest. My knees felt quite high up and I was getting a lot of vibration through the tank. So yeah, it was kinda cramped. I didn’t sit on it and think I could ride it for hours. It’s not uncomfortable, just not as different as I thought it would be.”



Michael’s choice: 2020 BMW R1250 GS Adventure

Michael says:

“I think I’ll give Tom what I know he really, really wants – a fully-spec’d BMW R1250 GS Adventure. Big bike, big tank, 134bhp and a massive reputation. Comes with every bell and whistle – luggage, semi-active suspension, quickshifter, heated grips, engine modes, sat nav-ready, keyless and – importantly for Tom, a bigger tank for extra miles. It’s one owner from new, done 10,300 miles and costs £14,500.

Tom’s reveal reaction,

“I’m really excited to ride it. Always wanted a GS, feels like it’s just right for me. It ticks all my boxes.”



Tom’s riding reaction:

“That is pretty much everything I thought it would be an everything I wished for. Can’t lie. The mystery bike is going to have some trouble beating it. It’s brilliant. Plenty of power – not as much as the KTM but plenty for me and what I need – amazing brakes, and really, really comfortable. Not quite as much ground clearance as the KTM (!) – had the pegs down a couple of times. The suspension is much softer than the KTM, but feels much more suited to what I’m looking for.”



Mystery Bike choice: 2019 Kawasaki H2 SX SE Touring

“My name is Aiden and I’ve worked at Superbike Factory for a year and a half. The bike I’ve picked is a really unique beast. It’s got a lot of the touring features Tom will be looking for – cruise control, panniers, comfy riding position – but it also has an incredible unique engine. A lot of power behind it, with an interesting power delivery and a unique sound. I reckon he’s going to love it – it’s a weapon of a bike. The bike I’ve chosen for Tom is a 2019 Kawasaki H2 SX SE Touring with just under 8000 miles for £11,600.”

Tom’s reveal reaction,

“Wow, well, it’s got green on the wheels so that’s a bad start! But yes – it’s clearly a great bike; they get great reviews. Looks good – apart from the green – but I’m really excited to get out on it. Certainly be very different to what I’ve ridden so far. It’s a great choice!”



Tom’s riding reaction:

“What a machine. Unbelievable. Great fun – there’s no bad thing to say about the performance. The only problem with it is I just don’t fit it. I haven’t got the mobility to be able to operate the back brake properly, my feet don’t fit under the gear lever properly... I just don’t fit it. It’s the kind of bike you’d have alongside the GS in your garage so you could nip out for 45 minutes for a blast. Unbelievable performance, but as a practical bike it’s not for me. But I’d have one in the garage if I could!”


Spec comparison


KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

BMW R1250 GS Adventure

Kawasaki H2 SX SE Touring






5707 miles

10,300 miles

8000 miles





Average Bennetts insurance premium





1301cc V-twin

1254cc flat twin

998cc inline four


160bhp @ 8750rpm

136bhp @ 7750rpm

197bhp @ 11,000rpm


104 lb.ft @ 6750rpm

105 lb.ft @ 6250rpm

101 lb.ft @ 9500rpm

Seat Height





215kg (dry)

268kg (kerb)

256kg (kerb)

Tank size

23 litres

30 litres

19 litres


Tom’s needs are pretty simple – so straightforward, he’s already figured it out... and it’s not hard to guess where his money is going to go!

Just two days later, Tom went to look at a GS Adventure he’d seen advertised locally to him at a commercial vehicle dealership, it was identical to the one I’d chosen except it didn’t have luggage but did have 3000 fewer miles on the clock. Tom bought it and is planning a ride to Spain next month.

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 enquiries@bennetts.co.uk

If you’d like to chat about this article or anything else biking related, join us and thousands of other riders at the Bennetts BikeSocial Facebook page.