Never a believer in rumors, if I can avoid it, a recent, persistent one coming down the pike is that the mighty Ford Motor Co. is going into the motorcycle business. I won’t reveal my several sources, but “a reliable source of information” tells me that they have bought a large West German firm and will soon come out with a 125cc and 250cc four-cycle motorcycle.
Due to the tremendous volume of Service Dept. mail, we are unable to reply to individual letters. We shall continue to answer as many as space permits in this column. I am considering building a two-stroke wet sump lubricated engine. Instead of a fuel-oil-air mixture going into the crankcase before being sucked into the cylinder where it is compressed and ignited, a fuel-air mixture would be sucked directly into the cylinder on the down stroke of the piston.
NEARLY EVERYONE HAS heard of the Society of Automotive Engineers. What you may not have heard is that the SAE is very much more than a social club. It serves a valuable function in the interchange of ideas and information via the publication of engineering papers.
I happen to be the daughter of a college professor. I guess some kids would like this, but some kids don't like motorcycles. My father says, in one sentence, motorcycles are dangerous, only for boys, not for nice people, expensive and I want one for a status symbol and not for the investment, even though he has never ridden even a moped and he is scared of them, he refuses to look at any facts or figures about them, and the president of the college's son has one.
A TRAIL RIDE FROM Canada to Mexico, on motorcycles, is the background for a new color and wide screen film just produced for Paramount Pictures. In an interview with the producer, Bob Hinkle, I learned how, at long last, a film of this type was reaching the motion picture theater screens.
GREEVIES' TFS "Trail" motorcycle is badly named, if the name conjures up visions of under-lOOcc engine displacements and skinny little tires. On the other hand, the name describes very accurately the sort of use for which this Greeves is intended.
HAVING AN ENGINE DISPLACEMENT of 175cc (actually, 169cc) this Kawasaki model F1TR motorcycle is one of the "biggest" in that broad category of trail bikes. The natural result of the relatively large displacement is an extra margin of performance, and we found that this margin gives the bike a much wider range of usefulness than is customary among machines of the type.
THERE IS, it turns out, more than one way to build a Metisse. The "easy" way is to pull out the old checkbook and send off to the Rickman brothers in England and they will mail you one (1) Metisse frame kit into which you can stuff the engine of your choice with, hopefully, only a minimum of hacking and bending.
THIS MOTORCYCLE compares very closely with the catalog picture of the 1912 model Pope. The machine was manufactured in Hartford, Conn. by the Pope Mfg. Co. who started making motorcycles in 1908. Later, the company moved their motorcycle operation to Westfield, Mass.
SINCE THE BEGINNING of organized motorcycle competition in the United States, outstanding performers and great champions have appeared in all fields, and most of them were great on the mile and half-mile dirt tracks too; but on flat tracks there was one who was immortal.
ASK THE MAN who owns one. He'll tell you it's true. The person who rides a cycle or scooter gets more fun out of life. He has more adventures in a week of riding than he does in a whole year of driving the family’s four-wheel gas burner. He goes out on two wheels whenever he can.
THROUGH0UT THE YEAR, used motorcycles are bought and sold; some people find pleasure and utility in their purchase while others seem to buy nothing but trouble. Following the proper procedure in selecting a used motorcycle can greatly eliminate the chances of getting the proverbial “lemon.” Naturally, you are safer buying a used machine from a dealer who offers a warranty of some type than from a private individual.
THE TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE, like many of its other British brothers, had its beginnings in the bicycle industry. Founded in 1885 in London, the early history of the Triumph Company is very nearly lost in the mists of time. The founder of the company was, surprisingly, not an Englishman, but rather a German by the name of Siegfried Bettmann.
UNTIL LAST JUNE our friends and relatives would probably have described Jim and me as being a quiet, sober, middle aged, middle income couple, living an ordinary, somewhat withdrawn, rather uneventful life. That would have been a fairly accurate description of us too, that is, prior to June, prior to the day Jim became Suzuki-smitten.
MOTORCYCLES are photographic creatures. Sitting still or carving up roadway, no matter the model or year, they are alive, magnetic and they beg for you to get out that camera and record their beauty of line and motion. A good part of the in terest you get from CYCLE WORLD is in the photos, which make up a hefty part of the editorial and advertising content and draw you into a story or into the text on what a manufacturer has to say about his product.
SPEED IS BECOMING one of California's major exports and here, adding its mite to the gross national product is "The One-Timer," a dragster built to be sold. Putting it together for customer Ralph Smith of Columbus, Ohio, was almost like old times to Dick Rios, whose drag race experience with similar bikes goes back to the old Santa Ana (Calif.) strip circa 1956.
V-RROOM!" One seductive sound, one Wofian word — albeit trademarked — that says it all to a new generation of two-wheelers. To those of us who are older the ceaseless proliferation of new marques is sometimes confusing, but think back a bit.
AN ENDURO IS LIKE A sports car rally in that it is run for several hours — or days — over a course that does not repeat itself, and the winner is the rider who keeps closest to an official average speed. Two riders start every minute, and each is credited with 1,000 points.
THOSE INSCRUTABLE ENGINEERS at Yamaha have done it again. After convincing us, with the YG-1, that the logical approach to under-100cc two-stroke engines is a rotary-valve single, Yamaha has made a complete switch. Their latest model, the YL-1, is a 97cc twin, with piston-controlled inlet ports.
WHAT IS PROBABLY the fastest rising sun on the horizon (if you'll pardon the poor attempt at humor), is the remarkable line of Bridgestone lightweight motorbikes. Last month we fairly well covered the subject of the new 175cc Dual-Twin and the 90cc Mountaineer.
EXCEPT FOR A FEW minor flaws, the Gilera 98cc Town and Country may very well be one of the finest little trail bikes ever to come our way. We did not like the rigid footpegs, which led to getting trapped a couple of times in narrow places. The seat is too narrow, too hard and too slippery.
THE SMOOTH PAVEMENT of Cincinnati Gardens provided plenty of action for the growing crowd of short track enthusiasts in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tough competition was offered from many out-of-state riders such as Gary Nixon and former Grand National Champion Roger Reiman, riding for the first time since fracturing his leg in the 110-Mile National Road Race.
Headlining the 1966 Greeves line of motorcycles is the new 250cc Challenger, the model that has made quite a niche for itself in scrambles, TT and cross-country races. The all-Greeves engine has proven very reliable and now incorporates a new gearbox, strong enough for 650cc machines says the distributor. Primary chain is the duplex type, and a new three-gallon fuel tank is now fitted. Greeves now has an 8%-inch overall diameter head, designed to keep the engine cool under the most rugged conditions. Full-circle flywheels incorporate a strong racing-type rod assembly. Forks of Greeves’ own design has long been a strong point and have proven to deliver a smooth ride over the roughest surfaces. (See road test, this issue). We very much like the use of aircraft type locknuts on all models.The Moto-Cross model incorporates several changes, such as new fenders and braces, mufflers that will accommodate spark arresters, and now mounts the Challenger cylinder, piston, head and larger fuel tank. Simple removal of the muffler and installation of a tuned pipe converts this model for scrambles use. Subject of the road test in this issue is the 250cc Trail Greeves; full details are listed on page 45. Greeves, long a trials winner throughout the world, now offers the 250cc Trials “Anglian” with a new 63áinch travel front fork and ten-inch ground clearance, plus 21" front, and 19" rear wheels. The Anglian is a replica of the machine used by factory riders in England. For the road rider Greeves delivers the 250cc Sports Twin using the Villiers 4T two-cylinder engine and four-speed gear box, in-unit, of course. Riding comfort is said to be outstanding, and gas mileage is claimed to be 72 mpg with a high degree of reliability and low maintenance. Polished alloy fenders against a blue finish are standard. Greeves is distributed in the U.S. by Nicholson Mtrs., 11629 Vanowen St., Dept. CW, North Hollywood, Calif.
HONDA 450 CAMSHAFTS
Circle Industries, 9914% E. Rush St., Dept. CW, South El Monte, Calif. 91733, has just come out with a new camshaft for the Honda 450. It is priced at $59.95, exchange. Specifications read: 42-62 timing, 0.220" lift (0.180-0.187 is standard), and 284° duration (standard is 232°). According to the makers, power comes on about 6,000 rpm, making the 450 feel like a 650. ever seen, they form-fit to various hand sizes. More information can be obtained by writing the maker at 12435 Euclid Ave., Dept. CW, Cleveland, Ohio 44106.
Over 45 films recording more than a decade of racing history are now available for rental or sale from Associated Instructional Materials division of Associated Films, Inc. Many of the 16mm films are in either color or black and white, and are about one-half hour in length. The series, produced by Dynamic Films, Inc., features clips from some of the most famous stock car races filmed at Daytona, Indianapolis races, Le Mans, Sebring, and Monza, plus boat racing, and of course, motorcycles, the ones we are interested in. Rental prices for color prints is $8.50 Developed by Antenna Specialists Co., of Cleveland, it is an outgrowth of their line of “Colorguard” fluorescent orange antennas for. police, fire department, civil defense, and radio installations. It mounts quickly with a single bolt, and since it is not a functional device, there are no electrical connections. Packaged with the Cycle-Guard is a pair of vinyl encased riding gloves, also in international orange. Though not exactly the most chic we’ve per day, and $6.50 for black and white. Color films sell for $175.00, black and white for $100.00. To rent or preview films for purchase write to Associated Instructional Materials, 347 Madison Ave., Dept. CW, New York, N.Y. 10017.
According to one of the nation’s leading radio antenna makers, one of the most serious problems facing motorcycle riders in traffic is that of being seen by their four-wheeled enemies, the automobiles. Called “Cycle-Guard,” this new product consists of a vertical fiberglass antenna whip similar in construction to professional communication antennas, but made of brilliant fluorescent international orange material that can be seen for miles. Developed by Antenna Specialists Co., of Cleveland, it is an outgrowth of their line of “Colorguard” fluorescent orange antennas for. police, fire department, civil defense, and radio installations. It mounts quickly with a single bolt, and since it is not a functional device, there are no electrical connections. Packaged with the Cycle-Guard is a pair of vinyl encased riding gloves, also in international orange. Though not exactly the most chic we’ve ever seen, they form-fit to various hand sizes. More information can be obtained by writing the maker at 12435 Euclid Ave., Dept. CW, Cleveland, Ohio 44106.
1966 White 250cc SuperSports
In mass production and due here in early spring, the 1966 White 250cc SuperSports is designed for on or off road use. Attention has been given to obtaining good ground clearance and high power output, as well as attractive appearance. Price is $595.00, as pictured. The SuperSports is distributed by White International Motors, Dept. CW, 2405 South Broadway, Santa Ana, California.
Tab-Loc, Inc., Box 220, Dept. CW, Baldwin Park, California has expanded their large coverage of motorcycling needs to include such items as the new “Check-aLeak,” an ideal tool for tracing leaks, particularly crankcase seals in two-strokes. Price is $12.95, plus postage
“Safari” Helmet Hat
Besides being protected by the readily obvious apparel, this charming miss is using her head, so to speak, by wearing the new Buco “Safari” Helmet Hat. The Safari proves it is not necessary to sacrifice attractiveness for protection. Distributed by Joseph Buegeleisen Co., 21220 W. Eight Mile Road, Dept. CW, Southfield, Michigan.
Fiberglass fairings made to fit Harley-Davidson 74s and BMWs are now being produced by N. D. Wixom, 2455 Lewis Ave., Dept. CW, Long Beach, California 90806. “Ranger 74” is priced at $69.50, and according to the maker it will make a 74 behave like it has ten more horsepower. “Ranger Mark III” for BMW is also of fiberglass and uses an exclusive design innovation called a “heat siphon” that draws warmed air off the engine and bathes the rider with it. Lower unit is removed in warm weather. Custom pin striping is offered for $15.00 extra, and legshields are made for the Ranger 74 fairing. Price of the BMW system is $49.50 f.o.b. for the windshield fairing, and $79.50 for the legshield fairing. Optional windshield heights of 15", 18" or 21" are also available with 21-inch standard.
Enter a new winter sport, with a gadget that makes it possible to take a motorcycle onto snow. It is done with an attachment consisting of a tractor to replace the rear wheel and a set of skis to carry the front over the snow. Called the Cycle Sno-Go, it fits most lightweights, like the Triumph Mountain Cub, Honda Trail 90, Yamaha Trailmaster, and Suzuki Hillbilly. Speeds up to 20 mph are possible, with excellent traction. It can be used with bikes as small as 50cc if high speed is not desired. It should be a boon to the frustrated winter motorcycle enthusiast, and we can probably expect to see some form of competition come from it. Contact surface is 990 square inches with skis, with a per-square-inch weight of only 6 ounces. Each track has 7 x 34inch surface in contact with the snow; overall width is 32 inches; weight, including skis, is only 130 pounds. Conversion takes 30 to 40 minutes, and requires removal of the rear wheel.
JAPANESE MANUFACTURERS are looking forward to another roaring export season in 1966, with sights aimed dead at the United States. Hopes are to saturate the East Coast and the rest of the nation as thoroughly as California and the West Coast have been in past years.
RACE-WISE OR BUSINESS-WISE YOU cannot stop the Rickman brothers, for Don and Derek now plan to assault the road race game in a big way and offer for sale in 1967 Matchless Metisse road racing machinery. This year will be spent perfecting the machines and they will be working in close cooperation with Tom Kirby, Britain’s arch sponsor/enthusiast.
SCOOTER STORIES are usually not popular with motorcycle magazines, but this is a special case. The new Vespa “Super Sprint” 90, introduced at the recent Milan Show, is such an unsual scooter in both shape and performance that we believe these notes will prove interesting and refreshing even to the keenest motorcyclist.