your favorite five #16


It's been a long time since the last YFF, but the column isn't dead, and today we welcome the second half part of brillant and always fun Sideburn magazine, Ladies and gentlemen ... Mr Gary Inman. As he describe himself:
Age: 40
Married with two kids.
Lives in Lincolnshire, England.
Moto journalist for 15 years, a draughtsman (engineering drawing) before that.
Columnist for Rolling Stone Italia, Cafe Racer France and Bike UK.
Very ordinary dirt track racer.
Once rode a Benelli TnT through the Sahara and took two bikes to the Isle of Man in a dinghy.
Co-founder of Sideburn magazine.

Here's Gary Selection

Vyrus 985 C3
I visited Rimini back in 2006 to find out more about this company of Scientologists who built incredible hub-centre steered Ducati-powered UFOs. I had the 999R-powered bike for the weekend and fell in love with it. It cost £38,000 back thenand made 157bhp. The air-cooled version was something like €23,500 and I started thinking what I could sell to get one. The shot of me riding it, taken by my friend James Cheadle, has featured in Kriega's advertising and people still get in contact to ask me things like what boots I'm wearing.

Gary riding the Vyrus

Lambretta SX200
There's a lot of sneering directed toward scooterists, but they're some of the most hardcore two-wheelers in the Western World. These Lambretta-riding idiots don't think twice about scooting 1800 miles to Italy and back on a 45-year-old woman's shopping bike. I've had mine SX200 for nearly 20 years and I'll never sell it. It's beautiful. I hardly ever ride it either, but next summer I'm going to get it sorted so I can take my 9-year-old boy on the back.

Racefit Spondon Kawasaki GPz
This bike, and the first three Wrenchmonkee Kawasakis, turned my idea of what was a great performance special on its head. I love everything about it, even if Jon Racefit was never happy with the gap between the back of the engine and the rear loop of the frame (caused because the Spondon frame was designed for the older and larger Z1000 motor). Racefit and some of their elite customers are building incredible 1981 style AMA superbikes with the highest spec components. I'm trying too.

Wood Rotax
The simplicity of an air-cooled dirt track bike does it for me every time, and Ron Wood's classic design for the Rotax takes some beating. Harley-Davidson bought a bunch and rebadged it as an H-D 500R, much to Wood's chagrin. There is nothing superfluous on the bike and they're close to indestructible. Wood Rotaxes have won dozens of top US races in the hands of Chris Carr and others, too.

RSD Glory Stomper
I love the majority of Roland's bikes and he rides the crap out of them. This is my favourite though. I'd already been over to see Roland in California and then met him again when he brought this bike to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The mix of high-spec Öhlins suspension, huge V-twin, swooping composite frame and swingarm and that MotoGP style exhaust seemed so fresh back in 2006 (2006 was a good year). The paint was inspired by a pattern dunhill were using on the wallets and bags, showing how diverse Roland's inspirations are. It even made brown anodising cool. Who ever saw that coming? The wheelbase is a bit long, but I'll forgive it.

See also Ben Part Favorite five selection