LEGISLATORS ARE working feverishly these days, bent on protecting us motorcycle riders from ourselves, for the most part. Two bills now in the works are more than I can pass by without comment. New York State Senator Albert B. Lewis receives my newly created nit-wit award for suggesting the drafting of a bill that would force the installation of governors on motorcycles, limiting their speed to 35 mph.
I ATTENDED THIS YEAR’S annual Motorcycle, Scooter and Allied Trades Association (MS&ATA) and American Motorcycle Association meeting held in Chicago. On the agenda was a report from a committee selected last year, on its recommendations for a new organization to replace the AMA Competition Committee.
I recently purchased a Webco 350 kit for my Honda Hawk 305. Also, number 7164 cams have been installed. I purchased the bike new in 1965 and had 4,000 miles on the engine before the kit was installed. My questions are these: 1. Should the engine now be timed on the marks as the manual states, or is there some other setting?
I have enclosed a copy of an article by Sen. Vance Hartke which was printed in the October-November issue of Trial magazine, a publication of the American Trial Lawyers Association. Naturally, as a cyclist, I am concerned about the possibility of ill-considered, hasty regulations of our sport.
TO THE BSA SPITFIRE MARK THREE goes the honor of being the fastest street machine under 750cc displacement ever tested by CYCLE WORLD. Several machines have fallen into the 110 mph category, but very few will exceed 115 mph under carefully controlled timing procedures, despite what the brochures may attempt to make you believe.
A FEW YEARS AGO, Bultaco decided that they would like to have a world-beating trials bike in their line. They wisely began their project by enlisting the services of Sammy Miller, the young Ulsterman who had won every trials title and championship extant — and most of them several times.
MIDST ALL THE EXCITEMENT about the recent Super-trialer autographed by you-know-who, one tends to forget that the feet-up game originated in Britain, where — by dint of many winters of experience under the most atrocious skies in the world — the natives are still producing rather devastating weaponry.
Motorcycle manufacturers do not, unfortunately, schedule deliveries of new models to coincide with special issues of motorcycle magazines. That they are anxious to rectify this “shortcoming” of theirs was amply illustrated to us when Cotton Motorcycles urged Max King to send the manuscript and photos of his recently completed test of Cotton’s new trialer to CYCLE WORLD.
MANY MOTORCYCLES have their counterparts in the automotive world — the temperamental, expensive but very fast types, the comfortable and quiet long-distance tourers. Well, then, why not a two-wheel counterpart for the funny little car that is always the same while constantly improving.
IF WE WERE ASKED to speculate about the reasons for the current growth of observed trials competition in the U. S., we would reply that it can be attributed to the growth of motorcycling sports in general, and we don’t dodge into this niche because it is quick or convenient; interest in competitive motorcycling has grown tremendously.
WHEN MOTORCYCLE SPORT began to get underway after World War II, British motorcycle manufacturers were too preoccupied in producing normal road bikes to give more than sparse attention to the needs of sportsmen. It was not long, though, before the bigger firms took much more than a passing interest in trials and scrambles.
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE LEGENDARY GENTLEMAN WHO HAS CAREFULLY PICKED HIS PATH TO THE TOP —
RECENT ENTHUSIASTS to the sport of motorcycling will know the name of Sammy Miller only as the top trials rider in that rather specialized branch of the sport which flourishes in the British Isles, but which is gaining in popularity both in Europe and the United States.
PERSONALITY IS THE THING that makes riders famous, or infamous, and with Belgian motocross ace Joel Robert, you’re not quite sure which it is. What is certain is that, on or off the rough tracks of Europe, you can never miss this young man.
START OFF with a standard machine, decide you want it to go a little faster, and you’re faced with two alternatives. You either fit larger valves, special springs, high compression pistons, lightened rocker gear, high-lift cams and dual carburetors, etc., or simply fit on a supercharger.
WE WILL GO so far as to admit that motorcycling in America is an unusual pastime. But are we crazy? Heck, no. It has come to our attention, however, that we have several thousand distantly (very distantly) related brethren overseas who may have gone “round the bend,” so to speak.
THE CYCLE WORLD HONDA Super Hawk has been exposed to almost every kind of experiment on the American scene for the past three years, and to those who have seen it through the sometimes good and sometimes bad times, it has become affectionately known as “The Guinea Pig.” Invariably, when someone comes along with a new product or idea, we find a way to adapt it to the Super Hawk and proceed to tear one or the other to pieces.
Regarding the article, “The Lion's Loose in the Arena” (Feb. '67), I must say that it sums up all too well the threat of the anti-motorcycle movement that is becoming increasingly evident in our country. The threatening restrictive legislation being jammed down the rider’s throat is, for the greater part, drafted and presented by those people thoroughly unfamiliar with motorcycling and its basic safety problems.
LAST MONTH WE ANNOUNCED a new book in the marvelous series of Pitman books for the motorcyclist who prefers to do it himself, for any number of reasons. This month we added yet another new volume to the list, covering Norton Dominator twins, years 1955 to 1965, from the 500cc versions to the modern 750cc Atlas.
Short track racing takes many forms: it’s done indoors and outdoors, with basically production equipment (Class C) or with specially framed and powered machines (Class A). It’s also a sport that waxes and wanes periodically: perhaps because it's somewhat a step-child of the Great American Oval.
CECO, the motorcycle road fairing, is on the scene again, after reorganization of the manufacturer, Creative Engineering. The Corsair model is for small bike owners, and ranges in price from $44.50 to $69.50. Fairings made for BMW retail for $134.50; these feature a newly designed upper unit support shelf to hold small items. Units for 250cc and 305cc Yamahas and for the Suzuki X-6 retail at $89.50. All units are available in special metal flake colors of red, blue, and green and gold at extra cost.
R. G. Wilson
Anaheim Motorcycle Center, Inc. is the sole distributor of the Spanish version of the Amal carburetor, which needs little explanation, as these carbs are manufactured under strict English patents and therefore are exactly like the English Amals as to quality and interchangeability of parts. The Spanish Amals are priced competitively, says Anaheim, and vary in size from 20mm to 32mm in the Monobloc pattern, and 30mm in the GP pattern with remote float. Monobloc prices vary from $27.50 to $38 retail. The GP without remote float is $55, and the float costs another $9.50. For further information, contact Anaheim Motorcycle Center, Inc., Dept. CW, 127 South Manchester, Anaheim, Calif.
R. G. Wilson
A new fairing is on the market, designed by Craig Vetter, who uses an abstract variation of the Manx national symbol as a logo on his calling card, which should give some indication of his knowledge of motorcycling. It is a touring fairing, intended for use with standard bars, although these may have to be rolled back slightly to provide adequate wheel lock. The shell is shock mounted to shift under the impact of a fall, and the windshield pops off, intact, under impact. The headlight is pulled forward as a unit and mounted with its original bolts. The beam angle remains adjustable. The styling of the fairing speaks for itself; it's rather attractive. As Vetter says himself, it “does all the good things — protection, increased performance, etc. . . and the bad things, i.e., increased noise,” although he says he’s working on something to solve the latter problem. Cost for the fairing and everything necessary for mounting is $100. Write Vetter Design Works, P.O. Box 3014, Country Fair Station, Champaign, 111. 61820.
R. G. Wilson
This cute little feller, the SAAPE (sayape) Pitbike, is a quick-assembling machine and when dismantled, takes up so little space that two of them may be fitted in the trunk of an average-size American car. Manufactured by Trans-Dapt of California, and designed by the Powell brothers, the SAAPE uses a 10.42-cubicinch displacement Briggs and Stratton 4cycle engine, rated at four bhp at 3,600 rpm. It weighs only 105 pounds, and its overall length assembled is 52 inches. Other specs: 36-inch wheelbase, 25-inch seat height, 16-inch traction tires (outer diameter), 36-inch handlebar height, telescopic forks, sprung rear wheel, automatic clutch, multiple speed transmission, and built-in approved spark arrester. The pitbike is available at speed shops and sporting goods stores throughout the USA.
R. G. Wilson
BMW, of course, is renowned as a sidecar machine, but outfits for the big German twins paradoxically have not been available in the U.S. for the last two years. Happily, this has changed and the importers, Butler & Smith Inc. of New York, are now accepting orders for a new Dutch sidecar specially made for the BMW. It has a torsion-spring wheel suspension and rubber-suspended body. Black color and white pin-striping match the traditional BMW decor, and the upholstery is blue. Rubber matting, tonneau cover and fender lights are provided with the unit. Naturally, if you're lacking a machine to hook it onto, you can order that from Butler & Smith, too, geared and equipped for the job.
R. G. Wilson
R. G. Wilson
Webco Inc., the thorough-going California accessories firm, has issued an attractive, meaty 1967 catalog, which is available to readers for $1. Numbering 80 pages in length, the book is copiously illustrated (including some photos from CYCLE WORLD) and well organized. It shows suggested retail prices for a wide range of items. For example: carb components, Dellorto carbs, air cleaners, socket head screws, special competition tanks, levers, valve spring testers, valve spring kits, Harman & Collins cams, heads, 350cc conversion kits for Hondas, Steen and Francisco oils, additives, nitrates, books, custom exhausts pipes, handlebars, wheels, hubs, skidplates, instruments, helmets, etc. BSA Gold Star owners have a wide range of engine components from which to choose, as do owners of Triumph, Honda, Ariel square four. Matchless 500, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson, Velocette and others. A veritable gold mine of information. in other words, from Webco Inc., Dept. CW, 218 Main St., Venice, Calif.
R. G. Wilson
A variety of pre-made and labeled forms of the sort that would be useful to motorcycle club secretaries and treasurers is printed by Club Records Co., P.O. Box 93, College Park Station, Detroit, Michigan 48221. These include forms for minutes, dues, membership lists, financial and committee reports and other special purpose forms. An introductory assortment of forms, about a year’s supply for the average club, costs $1.50 postpaid. A free catalog is available on request (enclose a five-cent-stamped self-addressed envelope) or a complete set of actual sample forms is available for 25 cents.
Response to our sidecar issue of January has been excellent and one of its byproducts is that United States sidecar importers and dealers who have previously remained anonymous have popped up out of nowhere to acquaint us with their products.
ALREADY WELL KNOWN in the U. S., the Spanish Ossa factory is now attacking the British market with trials and scrambles machinery, and the man they have chosen to sort out the bugs is Mick Andrews, the one rated so highly by Sammy Miller.
IT HAS BEEN some time since anyone in Italy has produced an out-and-out 250cc scrambler, but ex-motocross rider Signor Muller from Cremona in Northern Italy, has seen fit to change the picture. Muller, one of Italy's foremost specialists in the design of off-the-road machinery, has recently put his machine on the market.
JAPAN’S MANUFACTURERS exported nearly half a million motorcycles to the United States during 1966, according to official statistics just released. Total exports numbered 974,569 motorcycles plus 1,791 scooters, of which 452,715 were sold in the U. S. This is a bit of a drop from 1965 sales of 496,511.