I recently spent a pleasant time during a visit to the Rockford Scooter Company in Rockford, Illinois. Rockford distributes the Japanese made line of Bridgestone motorcycles in the U.S. and are fast becoming one of the top distributors. I was the guest of Lou Emery, President, Bill Morris, VP, and Bill Mueller, VP and Sales Manager.
No ONE is SAYING MUCH about it these days, but if all goes according to plan the AMA's change to a 45 cubic-inch displacement limit for overhead-valve engines will come into effect for the 1967 racing season. All of the indications are that the new rule, voted into being 23 to 3 at the 1964 AMA Competition Committee meeting, will become the law of the land right on schedule.
My 1962 250cc C-15 BS A started misfiring severely when 1 was in the hills recently. It became so bad that I couldn't accelerate or go over 10 mph. It finally quit altogether after about one mile. The timing has been giving me trouble as 1 have had to keep advancing the distributor after having it at one setting for a while, in order for it to start.
I am interested in scrambles, motocross, racing, enduros and cycle sports of all kinds. I am extremely pleased to hear you say in print that CYCLE WORLD is published for the enthusiasts and that the road tests in all honesty are for the rider.
AMERICANS admire and respect sheer muscle, and they get a lot to like in BSA's Spitfire. This big Birmingham Firebreather is almost too strong to be believed. Faster in the "quarter" than any other scrambler we have tested, and within mere fractions of being the fastest-accelerating motorcycle we have ever tested — period.
WE HAVE USUALLY been pleased with the Montesas we have tested in the past. Each new model that comes along continues to strengthen our faith in Spain's largest motorcycle manufacturer. Some design features (such as the unusual front forks) appear on all Montesas and we might often think that Montesas differ too little from model to model to be effective in their diverse tasks.
VERY CIVILIZED, that would be our capsule description of the Suzuki 150. This mild-mannered lightweight is actually one of the fastest motorcycles in its displacement class; yet, it was not the 15O's performance we found so appealing. Rather, it was the smoothness and lack of fuss with which it does everything.
AMONG THE MANY PEOPLE who realize the performance gains possible with speed equipment for the "little giant" Yamaha 80, is the Yamaha factory. Our search for various items in this area turned up "wonder-gadgets" costing a few dollars with some manufacturers' claims that would make your head spin.
A LOT OF WATER, as the awful old saying goes, has flowed under the bridge since our last contact with one of the products of Van Tech Engineering in Visalia, California. Van Tech now offers no less than five versions of their basic moto-cross / scrambler motorcycle; two models mounting McCulloch kart engines, one 99cc and a 125cc version; the newest, designed to accept the Honda 90cc fourstroke; and the subject of this encounter, the Moto-Cross 80, so named as it was laid out to take the 80cc (actually 74cc) Yamaha engine. Uncrating the little scrambler is like Christmas time as the jewellike machine comes into view.
...or, if the salt doesn't dry off tomorrow, I'm going home.
WHAT WAS, without doubt, the most frustrating week in the short history of Wendover, Utah, the mighty metropolis adjoining the Bonneville Salt Flats, ended when most of the competitors went home after waiting up to five days for the water to recede from the course.
MOTORCYCLE RACING'S QUEST for more and more power always seems to lead us along the path to more and more cylinders. The factories have been moving in that direction for a long time, and there are even a few private constructors building "multis."
A LTHOUGH MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN about the origins of the automobile, it is surprising how little is generally known about the men who pioneered the motorcycle and the machines they produced. Credit for the invention and very early development of the automobile is normally given to the Germans, but it is to the French that the laurels must go as far as the motorcycle is concerned, and this is primarily due to the early establishment of a bicycle industry in France.
FOR SOME TIME we thought we had actually seen the end of the growth in number of available motorcycles in this country. Seeing new makes appear on the scene is not always a pleasant affair, unfortunately. They cannot all be new sensations with fantastic features not even thought of yet by the existing available makes. Nor can they all be perfect, or superbly proven examples of the trends and displaying examples of attributes necessary for success on the highly competitive American market.
ADDING TO THE SUSPENSE before this year's running of the 50-Mile National at Illinois State Fairgrounds' dirt track was the imminent threat of rain. Thunderstorms had muddied the entire area and a giant helicopter, one of the fair's "rides," was pressed into service.
YOUNG Eddie Mulder, the T.T. whiz from Burbank, California, came through on the final lap to win his first national racing title at Peoria. The class for the big machines belonged to Mulder all the way as he set new records in qualifications and heat race events before holding of a last lap bid by Bart Markel in the final.
DICK MANN, in quest of his second Grand National Championship, really made his presence felt on the sun-baked 21/4-mile course at Meadowdale (near Chicago) for the 150-mile National AMA road race. By winning he added 86 big points to his existing lead in the season-long battle for national honors.
To FIND ANOTHER Italian Grand Prix as wet as this year's, one must go back to 1925. In fact the Italian GP, or Gran Premio delle Nazioni, run at the Monza autodrome, has traditionally been blessed by sunshine for years, to the joy of both riders and spectators.
TRIUMPH'S NUMBER ONE Tiger, Gary Nixon, scored his first national victory of the year at Santa Fe Park outside Chicago in the annual running of the short track championships. This was the third win on the national trail for the Baltimore rider; Nixon also won the short track title at Santa Fe back in '63 and was the Sacramento 20-mile national winner last year.
ADMITTEDLY, THE MAJORITY of motorcycle enthusiasts are of the sportingracing-competition school. On the other hand, touring is gaining. Actually, there is little if any purism among motorcyclists. Each group is interested in varying degree in the activities of the others.
ABOUT SIX MONTHS AGO I began thinking about getting a lightweight motorcycle; especially after riding a couple of real muddy enduros and having to manhandle my old six-fifty Triumph out of mudholes, while watching the lightweights come out with the greatest of ease.
Shown in the photograph is an experiment conducted by the CW staff with a product called Color-Hit, a liquid that can change the color of leather, vinyl and plastics. It is applied with a brush after rubbing the surface with a conditioner included in the kit, as is the brush.
To ASSIST OUR READERS who might be looking for performance improvement equipment for the increasingly popular Yamaha 80, we have gathered the following information. All these suppliers are regular CYCLE WORLD advertisers and for further information see Index to Advertisers on page 105.
Accurate Accessory Co. machines rotary valves from hard aluminum plate "to insure against pits or holes;" finished disc is then anodized to obtain surface hardness. Red anodized designates 4mm racing cut and gold, 3mm. Circle Industries lists a high compression cylinder head in addition to two rotary valve shapes (both have 3 or 4mm cutaway); a blank disc can be purchased from them to shape as you please. ExBHB Cyclery lists a high performance cylinder head as well as rotary valves and expansion chambers to fit the Yamaha 80. Distributed by Webco Inc., the AI Gunter Brake Co. "Fire Head." Combustion chamber shape was determined after extensive dynomometer testing. Not a modified or rebuilt head, the new casting uses a long reach plug and is red anodized "for the racy look." Information can also be obtained from AI Gunter, 518 No. Curtis, Alhambra, Calif. ternal items include a rake plate to change fork angle and a complete line of sprockets. Particularly interesting is the new 2-for-l sprocket assembly, which consists of a street and trail sprocket combination. Tabloc manufactures alloy sprockets (for all machines) in standard "overlay" pattern or the new pair configuration. An inexpensive chain breaker makes length adjustments much easier.
PROBABLY MOST OF us have thought of building a mini-bike at one time or another; very few ever reach fruition. Though they are always fantastic engineering masterpieces while in the dream stage, the finished product usually winds up little more than junk.
You CAN NOT KEEP Mike the Bike out of the news for long, certainly not when he puts on such a display of riding as he did at the Hutchinson Hundred meeting, which had been put back from April to August this year in an attempt to beat the weather and draw the crowds.
AS ALREADY NOTED in this column, in terest of the Italian industry toward trials events seems to have faded completely. (For the second successive year there will be no official Italian machines at the International Six Days Trial.) On the other hand, many new trials models, for sale to the general public, have been recently announced.
WITH EXPORTS OF Japanese motorcycles spurting around the world, it is nice to see the makers branch out into aspectsof the sport other than Grand Prix racing, where most of the budget has been spent up to now. Honda started it all by sending a team to the Isle of Man years ago and then later heavily advertising its World Championship crowns in Japan, boosting sales locally.
IN THE ABSENCE of Mike Hailwood and Jim Redman, Giacomo Agostini (MV) scored decisive wins in the 350 and 500cc classes of this year's Finnish Grand Prix, held at Imatra, near the Russian border. Big surprise of the meet was that Hailwood had been told by Count Agusta that the MVs would not run in Finland.