In the April issue I said I was concerned over the safety aspects of the scheduled Daytona American Motorcycle Association road races; I felt that the use of the high speed banked course would be dangerous for some riders. Fortunately I was proven wrong as there were no serious mishaps.
I have a 1961 Matchless Typhoon and a gearbox problem. When going into low gear, and with each shift up to 4th, there is a slight grinding of the gears. I have adjusted the clutch and push rod according to the book. When disengaging the clutch and pushing the kick starter through, there is no drag.
FOR REASONS that are not really clear, Americans tend to think of England's speed-tuning wizards as being some sort of supermen, privy to all manner of secrets not known to mere mortals. And, to complete the picture, there is a regrettable tendency in England to think that the barbarians across the Atlantic are still operating on a rather primitive level.
Motobecane, the world's largest manufacturer of motorbikes, recently exhibited six of its "Mobylettes," or light motorcycles, at the New York International Bicycle Show at the New York Hilton hotel. Since the early 'fifties, Motobecane has sold more than 5 million Mobylettes in Europe, and anticipates duplicating this in the U.S.
MANY MOONS AGO, when we tested the then-new BSA Royal Star, the first "Beezer" with the short-stroke, unit-construction 650cc engine, we were enormously impressed with the machine's potential. The Royal Star's engine was very mildly tuned, with a mild cam and single 1 ⅛" carburetor, yet it proved to be one of the faster 40-inch bikes we had tested.
BRITISH MOTORCYCLES can be credited with making the 250cc class in scrambles racing the hot-bed of activity it is. True, the terribly fast Spanish two-strokes are becoming a force to reckon with, but it was the Villiers-powered English machines that first demonstrated that a really light lightweight could beat everything with wheels — and they are still among the best scramblers the world has to offer.
QUOTE: "It's a road racing bike, so why don't you go road racing?" So said Henry Koepke, Sales Manager for Pacific Basin Trading Company, who are importers for the Cotton motorcycle. We had been out at Riverside Raceway trying a rather tired Cotton Telstar (then the only one in the country) and as the bike's engine was too limp to give really representative test figures, it was decided that we should get a fresh new machine, direct from England.
OUTSTANDING performances by Triumph motorcycles in our TT races are nothing new, but recently the crowd at Ascot Park witnessing the 100-lap TT was treated to a performance by one such Triumph that they will never forget. Clark White, riding a 650cc Triumph twin, moved up through the field (which included some exceptionally good bike/rider combinations) to take the lead on the 3rd lap and was never in any danger of losing it from that point to the finish.
IT HAS BEEN SAID that you cannot get too much of a good thing, and since the Yamaha YG-1 80cc got such a warm reception from the CYCLE WORLD staff in our April issue we thought we had better look into Yamaha's trail version of the same machine.
MARKEL LEADS Resweber, crossed up in the south turn. Joe Leonard, tucked in on the backstretch, battles Ralph White for first place. Action is all over the track. The TV camera is busy, the flag flies. Complete even to the rest rooms, this little track is going great guns.
WITH HONDA scooping seven world championships in the last three years, it seems incredible that their debut on the Western race scene was as recent as 1959. They came with a team of 125cc (44 x 41 mm) twins — the more famous 250cc fours weren't seen in Europe for a further year; and the full-blown 350cc machine pictured here has been on the go for only 18 months.
ANYBODY LOOKING for real speed thrills in the years before World War I automatically had to be a motorcycle fan. The motor bikes were going faster than their four-wheeled rivals in motorsport by then, and it took the 45-degree banks of motordrome board bowls to hold them between the fences.
ITALY'S INFLUENCE on the motorcycle industry is profound and Italian bikes possess a set of virtues found only in machines from that country. It is a compliment, to the knowing, to refer to any motorcycle as "typically Italian," because what you are saying is that it is usually smooth, quiet, very sporting in appearance, handles excellently, is particularly well made, and has a hard seat.
WINNING DESERT RACES is what this machine was set up for. It is the mount of actor Steve McQueen, who recently won the novice class in a one-hour desert scrambles. The victory only proved what a close look at his Triumph-Bonneville suggests: McQueen takes his motorcycling seriously.
WHEN OKLAHOMA-BORN Gary Nixon was an 89-pound 15-year old in 1956, he won his first-entered motorcycle competition aboard a 40-inch Triumph — the 40" Street Class in a National Drag Race at Dodge City, Kansas. After repeating this performance the following year, he moved on to scrambles events late in the season and wound up 2nd in the 1957 Oklahoma Scrambles Championship.
A familiar sight at race tracks all over the country is Charger, the motorcycle dog, who travels everywhere with his owner, Class C Amateur #83x, Mike Van Ness. Of course, not all the traveling is done in as spectacular a manner as shown in the accompanying shot of Charger enjoying a wheelie performed by Mike on a 50cc Honda.
ONCE AGAIN the weather was the focal point of a race meeting and conditions for practice were dry but bitterly cold with a strong wind blowing that severely affected the handling of bikes, especially the little fifties. John Hartle was sidelined during the practice session and this was a bitter disappointment to both John and the fans for it was to be his first outing on a Steve Lancefield-tuned machine.
Your very literate prose and your forth-right views on the issues which from time to time tend to cripple the sport of motorcycling have interested me for many months. As an English teacher I have peculiar affection for CYCLE WORLD'S literary style, and as an owner-rider of a rather rapid Harley-Davidson CH I find great satisfaction in your staff's technical acumen.
THE DOMINANT FEATURE of the month is the weather which has truly put a damper on the sporting side of life. It started off quite well although bitterly cold and in the national Kickham Trial won by Malcolm Davis (Greeves) we had snow as well as sunshine.
FIRST, the motorcycle races at Sebring, which were not fully international after all, but which were run by the American Association of Motorcycle Road Racers. They sponsored the race at the last minute and the entry was small and rather spotty as far as competition is concerned.
THE 1964 ANNUAL Tokyo Motor Show will display only Japanese products again this year after all. Since the first of the shows 11 years ago, it has been restricted to Japanese products. Foreign automobile importers have banded together to hold their own show, but foreign motorcycle manufacturers have been left out in the cold, although a few have displayed in the past at the annual international trade fairs in Japan.
THE 1964 EUROPEAN racing season got off to a fine start with the Modena, Italy meeting, run as usual on the twisty 3.800 km (2.36 miles) long "aerautodromo" course in very overcast weather conditions, with a bit of rain at the beginning of the 500cc event, and a large attendance.
HISTORIC RACING MOTORCYCLES — By John Griffith, Motor Racing Books, 1316 Centinela Ave., Inglewood, Calif. $3.25. JOHN GRIFFITH recounts the histories and examines the technical features of forty-three machines of special interest built between the years 1906 and 1939.