In response to the motion I made in this column in our September issue, Robert L. Saal, Director of Field Services for the National Trail Riders Association, contacted me and filled me in on their activities up to date and explained a few details.
ONE OF THE least-understood aspects of engine design is the manner in which a piston ring does what it does. Most people seem to have the idea that the ring's sealing action is provided by natural radial tension, which holds the flat surface of the ring pressed out against the cylinder bore.
I have a 125cc Honda Benly Super Sport of 1961 vintage. According to the manual this machine is rated at 15 hp @ 10,500 rpm and will attain a top speed of about 85 m ph. My particular bike has a tach (no speedo) red-lined at 10,000 rpm. The problem is that the engine will reach 10,000 only in the first two gears.
The present motorcycle "boom" in this country has brought new publicity to the dangers of motorcycle riding. A television station in Detroit recently presented an editorial which cited the increase in motorcycle registrations and accidents in the State of Michigan.
TELL US, if you can, who built the world's most powerful road racing motorcycle? Should the names of famous Italian multis come to mind, then try again; you aren't even warm. As a matter of fact (and this will make Count Agusta's jaw muscles tighten) the bike in question is a Harley-Davidson, with elaborations by the Milwaukee firm's racing department and that little old California Speed-Tuner, Jerry Branch.
For the riding sport; not the sporting rider GENTLEMAN'S SCRAMBLER." That's the Honda CL-77. A motorcycle people buy even when they have no intention of indulging in serious scrambles racing. It is, in fact, the appeal of scrambler-type styling that sells the CL-77, and Honda has done the dealers a good turn by recognizing this.
AT LAST, the Benelli has grown into a full-fledged 250. Remarkable, in a way, because back in the days when it carried the name "Motobi" it originated as a 125. The 125cc engine had bore and stroke dimensions of 54mm, and these have been altered in successive steps to raise the displacement first to 175cc, and then to 200cc, and finally out to 250cc.
The electrically operated tapes have just gone up and riders put their weight over the front wheel as the power at the rear wheel bites home. Left to right, Bjorn Knutsson (Sweden), Reg Luckhurst (England), Antoni Woryna (Poland) and Bengt Jansson (Sweden), who inflicted the only defeat of the night on the champion-to-be.
ON THE OCCASION OF our road-testing the first 5-speed version of the Ducati 250, we remarked upon the bike's obvious road racing potential. Just fit clip-on handlebars, a megaphone and racing tires, and you can have a low-budget bash at racing.
Two-HUNDRED AND NINETY-NINE starters, eighty-two finishers. Only eighteen gold medals awarded. All the American riders out by the end of the third day. Only one manufacturers team unpenalized. East Germany miles ahead in both the Trophy and Vase contests. All five BSA factory entries out with the same ignition fault, all the BMWs retired. Weather played havoc on that fateful third day accompanied by poor sportsmanship and bad machine preparation. But the most difficult course for years made the 1965 International Six Days trial one to be talked about for a long time.
WHEN SOME FORGOTTEN NEWSMAN hung the nickname "Cannonball" on Erwin G. Baker, back in 1914, it stuck because it symbolized an irresistible force; and that was Baker whenever he sat on top of a hot motorcycle that could take it as well as he could.
IN JANUARY, 1965, CYCLE WORLD'S spies reported that there was to be a new, big-displacement Honda, and we risked the wrath of the Mysterious East by blabbing the. whole thing to our readers. Later, our Tokyo-based 007 supplied photographs and we published those as well - as you will recall.
IF YOU LIVE IN AN AREA where motorcycles are ridden (which is everywhere today except certain inner regions of the Gobi Desert) then you've probably seen the following sights a time or two. The first consists of two large people aboard one small motorcycle wobbling down the street with the rear tire bulging, the front wheel barely touching the surface and the engine gasping under the overload.
THE SOUNDS IT MAKES resemble an English-built 650. The appearance it makes resembles few other machines. Performance changes very little with the transformation, if at all, but the feeling it gives is quite deceptive. It does make a dual-purpose bike of a very single purpose machine.
WORLD'S BIGGEST SELLER, is the claim of Honda; we cannot deny they sell an awful lot of motorcycles. Large and small, the word Honda is almost generic in this day of motorcycles, appearing on the pages of all of the national magazines (and even in fashion advertisements in Vogue).
BILL MARTIN OF Burbank, California, used one of the Yamaha 250cc RD-56 engines in his previously Triumph powered streamliner, to establish a new world's record for two-fifties, properly designated by the Federation Internationale Motorcycliste (FIM) as Category I, Group A. The record was accomplished on September 25, 1965 at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.
WINNING THE 8-Mile National at Ascot Park is nothing new to Sammy Tanner. He did it in 1959 and again in 1964. But never has his mastery of track and machine been more breathtakingly evident than at this year's seventh running of the California classic, promoted by J. C. Agajanian.
TUCKED IN CLOSE, power curves sweepingly evident as they drafted one another down the long straightaways, the mightiest of the countrv's dirt track racers battled fiercelv. It was the final race of the season — the Sacramento 20-Mile National — and the Grand National Championship huns in the balance.
WE TRAIL TESTED THE Hodaka Ace 90 in October 1964 and when we see one from time to time (there are quite a few around), it appears there have been no changes; they all look alike. This fact does not bother us in the least, as we liked it just the way it was and saw no need for a redesign job.
Latest model from Parr of Arizona, makers of motorcycle riding clothing, is this version of the Parr-Suit. Made in onepiece of stretch material, the Parr-Suit is claimed to permit a fit not available in two-piece outfits. The fabric is 6% Lycra Spandex, and is tailored for the active sportsman.
For those who are always looking for people in the motorcycle industry to point at as being the really "good guys," I offer the Reverend Ray Lieber of Schenectady, New York. Better known as "Rev' Ray," Pastor of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, and owner of Honda of Schenectady.
Start of the 250 race. Buckner (53) is already on board, CW's Wagar (1) has the engine running; winner Murphy (40) fights a dragging clutch. All are on Yamaha TD-l-Bs. Located between Los Angeles and San Diego and better known for its Drag Racing, Carlsbad Raceway now boasts a full-fledged road race course.
THIS HAS BEEN THE dead month in reportable motorcycle activities from Japan. With the annual Tokyo Motor Show coming up next month, makers are all playing it close to the chest as is the custom around this season. Several new prototypes, which will give a good idea of what to expect from the various factories next season, are expected to be on display at the show.
FOR THE FIRST TIME in motorcycle sport history the USSR has faced another country in a single team competition and won. This interesting meeting was organized in Italy during the month of September, being divided into three "specialties": speedway, scrambles and road racing. The teams were composed of six riders each.
MAN WITH A POCKET FULL OF GOLD is John Cooper, who has won the two richest prizes given for short circuit racing in England. On both the Cadwell Park and Mallory Park circuits he beat Phil Read to win first £500 ($1.400) and then £1050 ($2.940). John had been having a pretty lean time of it up until the Cadwell meeting, but the tide turned when he got Ray Petty to tune his big Norton for him which he rode in both the races. Read was on the 254cc factory Yamaha twin which, though quicker than the Norton at Cadwell, had a brief period of misfiring at a crucial moment that relegated him to second place. At Mallory, much to Cooper's delight, it rained, and the superior handling of the Norton and John's knowledge of his home track gave him a really popular victory.
The following item, in its entirety, appeared in a Lubbock, Texas, newspaper column for sportsmen. Editor of the column is Louis Howsley; it describes a skit that was staged by a group of friends around a campfire on one of their trail bike fishing trips.
A ONE HOUR JET FLIGHT from Tokyo takes one to Hokkaido, which is Japan's "new frontier." Hokkaido, the sparsely populated, northernmost island of the Japanese chain, is noted for its deepest lakes, its newest volcano (1944), its original aborigines (the Ainu) and for its most ferocious bears.