DUNE BUGGIES are here, and we’ve put out a new book to celebrate their arrival. Not that they just arrived — the sport has been going on for quite awhile. It is simply that now they are really coming on, all over the place. Aptly enough, CYCLE WORLD’S newest book is called DUNE BUGGIES -AMP;AMP; HOT VWS.
WHILE the press struggles to keep readers well informed — and we know all too well that this is the reason people buy magazines — it can sometimes upset things for the manufacturers. A good example of this happened recently regarding a special Italian frame for Mike Hailwood’s 500 Honda four.
I have just figured up that I have spent over $21 on motorcycle magazines during the past 14 months, not counting special orders for back issues and the annuals, etc. Worse yet, I’ve plunged at least $2100 in buying three different bikes in the past 15 months — not counting the insurance and other trimmings — and I still don’t have the right bike for me.
How does a desmodromic head work? I know that it is a system for opening and closing the valves that does away with pushrods, rocker arms, etc., but I can’t figure out just how it does it. I studied the drawing of the 125 Ducati in the December CYCLE WORLD, but I ended up more confused than ever.
AMERICAN MOTORCYCLISTS HAVE GROWN ACCUSTOMED to making the most of machinery reaching our shores year after year that has been “carefully tailored” to our rather peculiar needs. And, predictably, each year’s new Americanized models fit about as well as a mail-order tuxedo.
LIKE IT OR NOT, Birmingham Small Arms are producing a “baby Goldstar” — or, at least that’s the consensus thus far. When the Managing Editor arrived at BSA-Western to take delivery of the Starfire he was greeted with “Come to pick up our baby Goldstar?” When he arrived back at the office with the prize, the Editor commented, “How about that; a baby Goldstar.
THE INDIAN LINE in its greatest years always epitomized the “bigness” on which the American mentality seems to thrive. It is the same attitude which spawned such Americana as the Indy 500 and the Cadillac-car: to heck with finesse, to heck with turning right as well as left, not to mention agility in general.
IF WE WERE TO TAKE Bill Baird at his word, enduro riding runs a cool second in his life. Seeing that he has been AMA National Champion for the fifth straight year, this is perhaps a commentary on the sport of enduro — a phase of motorcycling that one can enjoy, and do quite well at, without alienating wife and family.
THE NEW YEAR for most people comes on January 1. At Southern California’s Ascot Park, however, which is the stronghold of half-mile racing in the USA, it comes with the beginning of the summer racing season in an evening of fireworks known as “The Opener.” The Opener tends to set many a heart a-quiver for many a reason — mostly centering around cold, hard cash.
A MOTORCYCLE outfitted for touring is different in appearance from bikes used for other purposes — scrambles and dirt track racers, for example. The dirt riders usually have little use for such goodies as full fenders, speedometers, lighting equipment and chain guards, and they throw them away at the first opportunity.
AMONG THE NEW GENERATION of motorcyclists, bull sessions almost always get around to the Indian Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, which, after a long and distinguished history, stopped producing motorcycles in 1953. Anybody who has never ridden one will be glad to tell you that an Indian was “better than a Harley” and it is often suggested that Indian was killed off by the devious and unsportsmanlike machinations of the Harley-Davidson Company.
There are writers and there are writers — but few can boast of the achievements of Capt. T. A. Hodgdon, Jr., USAF. Capt. Hodgdon is presently a/c Commander on the C-130 Hercules (16,000 H.P. Transport). He spent four years flying in Viet Nam and was decorated with the Air Medal, as well as a citation for “certain” Viet Nam flying.
SINCE THE RAPID growth of the Japanese motorcycle industry, we have come to expect new and interesting models more frequently than Detroit automobile fans. During the past year one manufacturer, Kawasaki, stands above all others in the number of unusual designs offered for sale to the general public.
JUDGING BY the increasing number of fairing-clad motorcycles we see on Sunny California’s freeways it would seem that the wind-cutters are beginning to be viewed as something other than devices to lengthen the riding season. Indeed, anyone with just a skosh of artistic sensitivity would agree that a fairing as handsome as the Vetter model shown here is a nice addition to a roadster.
He Perpetuates An Old American Marque With Passion, Hate, And A Sly Laugh Now And Then.
SOME PEOPLE WOULD CALL Sam West Pierce a nut. After all, isn’t Indian dead? Why would anyone spend so much time and energy over something dead and gone unless he was nuts? The crux of the matter is whether or not you consider Indian a goner. Some people believe in Indian like kids believe in Santa Claus, and for them, this great old American marque lives on—quite tangibly.
AREAL BREATH of fresh air turned up at the CW offices in the way of a test bike, and every staff member was clamoring to have a ride — male and female alike. Such is the initial impact of the 2 Shay. Later, on separate occasions, while shopping downtown, two staffers were approached by girls wanting to go for a spin.
Phillip Phillips 9 Clydach Terrace Ynysybwl, nr. Pontypridd, Glamorgan South Wales, England (Twelve-year-old boy is looking for a pen pal who shares his interest in motorcycles.) Gordon T. Plant 199, Albert Drive Sheerwater Estate Woking, Surrey England (Fourteen-year-old motorcycle enthusiast wishes to increase his knowledge of the sport by corresponding across the Atlantic with a pen friend of a similar age, of either sex, from anywhere in the U.S.) George G. Gonsalves 48 Market Street Cambridge, Massachusetts (CW reader plans to visit England, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Portugal later this year.
It’s been some time since there has been a motorcycle show in Stockholm — eight years to be exact — but the first one held since 1959, drew 16,000 viewers in its fourday running to indicate that this type of attraction was long overdue.
The following is a letter from Mr. Jack McCormack to Senator Vance Hartke. Mr. McCormack is the most qualified individual in the motorcycle industry to offer a rebuttal to Senator Hartke’s remarks, because of the following record: Rider for past 20 years with better than 300,000 miles driven on a motorcycle.
The BSA 441cc Victor Special has proved a very popular machine, for a wide range of uses. It is a good woods bike, a passable street bike, a potential trialer, and a ready-to-run enduro machine all rolled up into one. As with most compromise-type motorcycles, however, the Victor is not quite up to snuff for rough scrambles without some modification.
It was billed as the biggest thing since the Big Bear run. Spurred on by this claim, and perhaps by the chance to be on national television, 801 riders were on the barren Lucerne desert starting line for the twoloop, 90-mile Pacific Southwest Championship Hare and Hound.
IT’S ALL HAPPENING, man! The Spanish jinx seems to be running true to form. Yanks are in the winning groove. Triumph does it again in the 500 mile race for production machines. The 50cc appears doomed as a championship class. Another car-engined sidecar racer makes its mark.
IF YOU THINK there are a lot of Japanese motorcycles running around your neighborhood, you ought to come to Japan. Tokyo’s Motorcyclist Magazine, Japan’s counterpart of CYCLE WORLD, has just completed its annual survey and lists no less than 98 models on sale in Japan, plus seven scooters.
DURING THE MILAN Fair (April 14 through 25) MV Agusta proudly displayed the final version of their 600cc four-cylinder roadster, first introduced at the 1965 Milan Motorcycle Show and extensively tested and modified since then under the close supervision of factory boss, Count Domenico Agusta.
HONDA, A COMPLETE MAINTENANCE GUIDE, by Graham Forsdyke, $3.50 (plus 4% sales tax in California and 10<f mailing and handling), from CYCLE WORLD BOOKS, BOX 20220, Long Beach, California 90812. Published by C. Arthur Pearson Ltd., London, England.