Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New Riders Should Go Naked

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New Riders Should Go Naked

Article excerpt


THE number of people drawn to motorcycling because of low travel costs is growing. But it's not just about looking cheap and cheerful - two wheels are about looking cool too, without defeating that initial purpose by busting the bank.

While the big Italian and Japanese brands produce striking machines, owners pay a premium for the name and quality. If you want to go cheap, there are plenty of Chinese brands to go for that rip-off the design of the better-known manufacturers at a fraction of the cost and quality.

Or you could go Taiwanese. Kymco has been around a while now and has mastered getting the balance right with good-looking small capacity bikes with a decent finish and quality and an inexpensive price tag.

Take Kymco's brand new for 2010 KR Naked 125 street bike that I've been riding around lately.

It's the manufacturer's first aluminium-framed machine that seriously looks the naked part with its ample headlamp that screams big bike, minimal fairing putting the engine on display, wide tank lending it a gym-toned look and bright paint scheme.

Little wonder Kymco wanted to add a naked bike to its range. This is the most popular kind of bike in Europe, never mind the UK.

And with 125 machines all the rage at the moment, you can't go wrong with a 125 naked machine. Every manufacturer with half a nose for business has got one.

Naked machines are ideal for learners. They look street-wise so you don't feel like a pansy on a 125, and there's not much expensive plastic to damage in an inevitable dropping of the bike. I don't mean do be a prophet of doom, but I've yet to meet an incident free learner.

Indeed everything about the KR builds learner confidence. The low 800mm seat height, comfortable upright riding position that gives you a good view of the traffic ahead, and ample steering lock for easy U-turns - the bane of the learner's life. …

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