Just prior to this month’s deadline, I returned from Europe where I took in the Isle of Man TT races again. They have lost much of their luster since Honda and Suzuki have withdrawn from international racing. The Senior TT, the 500-cc race, that is, was the dullest I have ever seen.
As a reader of your fine magazine almost since it became available in Canada, I am writing to take you to task over your indifferent road test of the BMW R-60 U.S. (CW, July ’68). While most of the test is quite accurate, there are some points that I feel must be cleared up, and I don’t suppose I will be the only one who will be writing to “assist.” Your description of the clutch was, of course, accurate, but then you erred.
I recently acquired an early (around 1950) 125-cc BSA Bantam two-cycle motorcycle and anticipate using it for trail riding. It is now in running condition, but the power leaves something to be desired. Most of my friends own modern 250s, and I would therefore appreciate any advice you can give with respect to tuning the engine.
The articles I read concerning laws and proposed laws governing, my error, dictating the way a two-wheeled machine is to be operated sicken me. I feel nothing but pure, unadulterated disgust for the ones who are responsible for this. Mr. Joel E. Gonzales (CW, Forum, March ’68) had the right idea.
BUYING a $40 safety helmet can be more confusing than purchasing a $1500 motorcycle. Motorcycles are subjected to informative road tests, and many dealers provide demonstration models to help customers make decisions. But who tests helmets?
An incredible variety of motorcycle accessories from air cleaners to wheels is listed in the 87 pages of the latest Webco catalog, available for $1 from Lesco Accessories, Dept. CW-9, P.O. Box 16081, Long Beach, CA 90806. Want a high performance alloy cylinder for a Hodaka 90 or 100? Look in the Webco catalog. Or what about a big bore kit for 650-cc Triumphs? It’s in the catalog. For those who like to read about bikes when they are not riding them, the catalog offers a number of books. Included in the hand tool section is a port polishing kit, priced at $7.95, a sandblasting kit for $19.95, and a tool and die maker’s kit for $10. These are just a few of the items available from the Webco catalog through Lesco Accessories.
A portable electronic engine analyzer for quick, complete testing of all motorcycle engines has been introduced by Miles Products, of Minneapolis, Minn. The unit, the Miles Cycle-Tune, provides an analysis in minutes of all twoand four-stroke engines equipped with conventional battery, coil, and breaker points ignition systems, and of fourstroke engines with flywheel magnetos. It shows what adjustments are necessary and what parts need replacement. The operator need not even remove a spark plug before testing an engine. The unit tests the ignition and electrical systems, carburetion, power output of individual cylinders, and charging systems. Of solid state construction for maximum accuracy and dependability, the Miles Cycle-Tune is battery-operated, and weighs only 13 lb. Operating instructions, necessary test leads, and adapters are included in the price of $147.50. Miles Products, Dept. CW-9, 5975 Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55416, will supply additional information.
The Hobo Trailer offers 4.7 cu. ft. of luggage space, and will carry up to 200 lb. of cargo, says its maker, Reveo Designed Products, Dept. CW-9, 602 So. Western, Los Angeles, CA 90005. The trailer is available in black or white. The cargo container is formed of linear polyethylene plastic. Priced at $98.95, it will fit all motorcycles, and is covered by a one-year warranty. The onewheeled trailer bolts to the lower rear suspension mounts of the towing motorcycle, and its body is suspended by a short coil spring.
Cylinder and piston inspection becomes a quick and easy task with the Flex-Light, a new product supplied by Brookfield Industries, Dept. CW-9, 18940 Lothmoor Drive, Brookfield, WI 53005. The Flex-Light works, when the spark plug is removed, and the light source is fed into the cylinder. It is priced at $3.95.
Timing accuracy to 0.01 sec. over a 12min. span is possible with the new JunghansMeister stopwatch introduced by the Feldmar Watch Co., Dept. CW-9, 9002 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035. The stopwatch incorporates a micro-timer mechanism which automatically “jumps” the sweep hand to the next full 0.01-sec. reading, to eliminate betweenmarker readings. Design of the watch is similar to the traditional 0.1-sec. stopwatch, except that each second is divided into 100 equal parts for greater precision in timing. The 0.01-sec. sweep hand makes one complete revolution of the watch face per second. The second hand registers up to 60 sec., and the minute hand records up to 12 min. Priced at $55.75, the new watch incorporates a 15-jewel movement that is both water and shock protected.
FAIRWIND, BY WIXOM
The Wixom brothers, makers of fairings for the factory Harley-Davidson racers, including Cal Rayborn’s Daytona 200-winning mount, have added the Fairwind 300 fairing to their line of products for street motorcycles. Body of the Fairwind 300 is formed of tough, white plastic, while the windshield is made of optically clear plexiglass, which meets federal safety standard Z26.1. Rugged adjustable mounts fit the Fairwind 300 to the majority of Japanese machines from 150 to 500 cc, as well as machines from other countries. The Fairwind 300, priced at $37.50, is part of a continuous expansion program by the company, already well known for its Ranger Product line. Details of Wixom products are available from Wixom Bros. Co., Dept. CW-9, 1955-57 Temple Ave., Long Beach, CA 90804.
Power output of 100-cc Hodakas, Bultacos, and Moto-Betas can be almost doubled when a BN reed valve conversion is added, says the maker. The reed valve is fitted between the carburetor and the cylinder intake port, and is operated by cylinder pressure. When cylinder pressure falls, as on the compression stroke, atmospheric pressure forces the reed valve spring steel plates open. The reverse occurs when cylinder pressure increases. Used in conjunction with a cylinder and piston specially modified by BN, and a 30or 32-mm Amal Concentric carburetor, the conversion is claimed to improve not only maximum horsepower, but also low end torque, cylinder breathing, and engine cooling. It also will fit many 250-cc machines. Examples of BN prices are: reed valve, $30; Hodaka racing piston cut to suit the reed valve, $19.95; and a Hodaka racing barrel prepared by BN, $84.95. BN Supply, Dept. CW-9, P.O. Box 651, La Mesa, CA 92041, also offers the Sonic Timer, a transistorized engine timer priced at $16.95. The timer operates by a tone change when the points in a distributor or magneto open or close.
Sport Motors, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has issued an interim brochure for 1968 while the company’s complete catalog is being prepared. The brochure contains new and improved items for Triumph and Norton machines, as well as many products that will fit all makes of motorcycles. Norton parts include an improved 2-gal. sports tank for Featherbed frames, costing $45, a central alloy oil tank for slimline Featherbed frames ($69.50), alloy pushrods for 600, 650, and 750 Twins ($18 per set of four), and replacement exhaust pipes for 650 and 750 Twins ($4.95 each). Triumph equipment includes a dual, rolled and pleated, black naugahyde seat with fiberglass base ($29.95), lightened and polished cam followers for 500 and 650 Triumphs ($29.95 per set), and alloy pushrods made by Chuck Components, for 500 and 650 Twins ($19.95 a set). Twin leading shoe brakes for large capacity BSA, Triumph, and Matchless machines cost $69.50 each. The brakes are supplied from England by special equipment suppliers Eddie Dow and John Tickle. Dunlop triangular road racing tires also are listed in the brochure, which is available from Sport Motors, Dept. CW-9, 5819 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45227.
A new design of leading link front fork and rear shock absorber is available from the Yetman Corporation, Dept. CW-9, 277 Rantoul St., Beverly, MA 01905. The components are intended for enduro, motocross, trail, and desert riding, and are particularly suitable for machines weighing under 190 lb. The leading link fork has been designed to fit the Honda S90, and uses the S90 bearing races, wheel, and axle. The fork can be easily adapted to many other bikes. It features 6 in. of travel. The leading link rides on four sets of caged needle bearings which are fully sealed against dust, dirt, and moisture, and has built-in geometry changes that increase trail over the standard Honda fork, giving improved handling. The rear shock absorbers are made by the same firm that supplies equipment to BMW, Sachs, and other motorcycle manufacturers. They have been developed from the units used on the very successful West German International Six Days Trial entries. They provide 4 in. of travel, and excellent damping. Retail prices are $99.50 for the fork, and $27.50 per pair for the shock absorbers. Cheney motocross frames for large displacement engines are now being distributed in the U.S. by Kosman Motorcycle Specialities, Dept. CW-9, 275 Station Ave., Daly City, CA 94014. Designer Eric Cheney claims that his 16-lb. frame is the lightest of its type, while retaining strength and rigidity through compact, all-welded design, and the use of
Reynolds 531 tubing. Cheney kits are available for unit construction, twin carburetor, 650-cc Triumph Twins, 500-cc Triumphs, 441 -cc BSA Victors, and unit construction 650-cc BSAs. The basic kit includes a 1.5-gal. alloy fuel tank, alloy air cleaner box with carburetor adaptors, air filter elements, number panels, alloy based scrambles seat, chromed exhaust pipes (for Twins), tubular foot brake pedal, footpegs, head steady, rear fender, mud shield, front engine plates, swinging arm, oil filter, skid plate, swinging arm mounting, and all bolts and damper rubbers necessary for assembly. Prices are $649 for versions for 650-cc machines, and $599 for models for 500and 441-cc engines. Kosman also sells Cheney’s B kit, which adds to the equipment already listed, special forks, wheels, tires, Magura control levers, and handlebars. Prices for these kits are $1350 (for 650 engines) and $1300 (500 and 441 engines).
HOT PINK LEATHERS
The 1968-69 catalog from Bates Industries Inc., Dept. CW-9, 660 West 16th St., Long Beach, CA 90801, contains a wide variety of motorcycle accessories, which are headed by the firm’s leather products. Bates racing leathers are among the most colorful in the sport, and are avialable in a choice of 10 colors at no extra charge. Riders who really want to be seen can order suits in one of three new “hot” colors-Competition Orange, Hot Pink, or Go-Go Green! A complete suit in one of these three colors costs an additional $20, because of a special process involved in their production. Prices for a complete one-piece suit in one of the 10 basic colors varies from $89.50 to $109.50. Riders also can specify solid stripes, diamond pattern stripes, star pattern stripes, letters, and numbers on thenleathers, at extra cost. In addition, Bates offers a range of leather clothing for street riding. The firm also incorporates its experience in leather manufacture into its motorcycle seats. Solo seats start at $19.50, dual seats at $34.50. Fiberglass and leather racing seats start at $26.50. Other motorcycle parts available from Bates are windshields, headlights and taillamps, mufflers, and folding footpegs. An item made particularly for Harley-Davidson 74 machines is a stand which automatically folds up as the rider moves off. No lifting of the bike is necessary with the stand, which costs $34.50.
“Buy the set and save,” is the advice from the P&C Tool Co., Dept. CW-9, P.O. Box 22066, Portland, OR 97222. The $14.70 price tag on the company’s new 11-piece, three-eighths-in. drive, socket wrench set, represents a saving of more than $5 if the items were bought individually. The set includes a metal box with a removable compartment designed to facilitate storage of tools and their location. The set, No. P3001, carries a full guarantee of quality.
Prototype Development Corp., Dept. CW-9, 124 Meacham Ave., Elmont, NY 11003, offers a safety helmet lock, known as the “Hat Chek,” for $6.50. The lock operates by trapping the “D” ring of a helmet. It will accept two helmets, and is supplied with a mounting wrench and two keys. The make and model of cycle must be provided with each order.
A new firm, Rand Co., Dept. CW-9, 15982 Wakenden, Detroit, MI 48239, publishes a catalog which lists a large variety of racing parts, kits and custom accessories. Included in the catalog is equipment for BSA, Norton, Triumph, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Bridgestone and Suzuki motorcycles. Within the catalog’s 48 pages are more than 400 different items, including pistons, cams, big bore kits, racing frames, fairings, tanks, exhaust pipes, carburetors, handlebars, tires, sprockets, leathers and helmets. The price, $1, is refunded with the first order.
Michrina Enterprises’ range of minibikes has been expanded with the introduction of the Grand Model 6000, which has been designed for the luxury minibike market. Power is supplied by a Briggs-Stratton 5-bhp, four-stroke engine, f ront and rear suspension is intended to cope with road and trail travel. The seat accommodates two passengers. A Michrina Mini-Matic two-speed automatictransmission provides drive to the rear wheel. Additional features include spot disc brakes, which are standard on all Michrina minibikes, folding handlebars and footrests, chrome fenders, and a welded steel frame. The price is $229.95, from Michrina Enterprises Inc., Dept. CW-9, 1 1859 Levan Rd., Livonia, Ml 48150.
Motorcyclists frequently complain that car drivers “just don’t seem to see us." The danger is multiplied many times should a rear light fail during night riding. Now the Corning Cycle Center, Dept. CW-9, 56 E. Market St., Corning, NY 14830, has introduced a cheap and simple safety device that gives immediate warning of rear light failure. Known as the “Safety Taillight Monitor,” the device is comprised of a warning lens installed in the headlight shell, and connected to the rear light by a length of flexible “light pipe.” This pipe uses the principles of space age fiber optics, and possesses the ability to bend light. Thus, while the rear light is operating, the monitor lens in the headlight shell glows. If the rear light fails, the monitor lens ceases to glow. The kit is made up of a suitable length of light pipe encased in a protective covering, an amber monitor lens, a clear pickup lens which is installed in the taillight shell, ties for securing the tubing to the motorcycle frame, and cement for sealing the lenses to the lamp shells. A hole must be drilled in the headlight shell, and another in the taillight housing, before installation. Cost of the Safety Taillight Monitor kit is $3.98. It fits all machines.
An incredible variety of motorcycle accessories from air cleaners to wheels is listed in the 87 pages of the latest Webco catalog, available for $1 from Lesco Accessories, Dept. CW-9, P.O. Box 16081, Long Beach, CA 90806. Want a high performance alloy cylinder for a Hodaka 90 or 100? Look in the Webco catalog.
OUT OF the crate, the first Norton Commando in America reeled off a series of low 13-sec. blasts up the quarter-mile, with terminal speeds close to, and occasionally touching, 100 mph. Later, a man who previously never had competed in a road race entered the same 745-cc Commando in a race meeting, won his heat of the production event, placed 2nd in the Grand Prix heat, then won the Grand Prix main.
MOTORCYCLE HANDLING IS affected by weight distribution. As weight is moved toward the rear axle a motorcycle becomes more unstable and less controllable. The extra weight of a passenger makes this readily apparent. Placing a load behind the rear axle drastically changes the feel of the machine.
Service and Adjustment Of an All-Important Assembly
Man built assemblies to support front wheels long before he developed today's telescopic hydraulic spring suspension units. Forks have been developed from common sense, rather than engineering principles. Trial and error have been the determining factors in design.
CALICO is a town that once had a population of 4500, but this dropped to a head count of two when the silver vein petered out and the Mojave Desert city achieved the status of ghost town. Calico, just about half way between Los Angeles, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev., now is a Wild West tourist attraction which blends measures each of history and Disneyland.
SOMETIMES a motorcycle can be too fast. On a road machine, tuning for greater power and additional speed is fine, provided the extra performance does not interfere with the bike’s ability to handle every situation that the average rider is likely to meet.
SCOOTER is a word that doesn’t exist in the vocabulary of men who range the highways on throbbing V-Twins, or darting 650s. Why should it, when they talk only of the days their super freeway burners made 500 miles in less than 10 hours, stopping only for gas?
A history rich in competition and design progress . . .
IN THE colorful annals of motorcycling, there are a few manufacturers which have been pioneers of design progress as well as creators of legend in competition. One such company is AJS -a British marque that possesses a great legacy of success in trials, motocross and road racing, and which has exerted a driving force for better motorcycle design during the first half of the 20th Century.
A Czech Grasstrack Engine Burns the British Quarter
TWIN CYLINDER engines have such a stranglehold on 500-cc drag racing that it’s difficult to imagine any other type in the act -least of all a pushrod Single! However, British drag racer John Henderson, a 25-year-old toolmaker who lives at Coventry, where Triumphs are manufactured, has blasted into the act with an engine used by no other drag racer in the world!
VERSATILITY is the major asset of Jawa/ CZ. The Czechoslovakian firm produces scooters, touring bikes, and the 250-and 360-cc scramblers that are leaders in world motocross competition. From the same organization come the 500-cc Single used widely in European flat track and speedway racing, and a number of fast, unorthodox racers, including a 350-cc two-stroke Four that develops 76 bhp!
A Watercooled Car Engine Replaces the Aircooled Original
THIRTY YEARS ago, Zundapp of Nurnberg built an opposed Four. And, in past years, the firm has built the KS model, powered by an opposed Twin. Until recently, however, no one had installed a 900-cc opposed Four in the Zundapp KS frame. Already determined to build up a KS with a new fiberglass sidecar, Horst Kreutzer of Bonn, West Germany, pondered the question of which engine would be the best replacement for the original Zundapp Twin.
STRONG is the reed that bends softly in the gale, goes the old Zen saw. And that is the story of the $25,000 Stardust 7-11. When machine and man are tested against 711 miles of hot desert, rock and fire road between Las Vegas and Death Valley, brute force is not the answer.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON, Triumph, and Yamaha machinery battled for Top Fuel and Top Gas honors at the AHRA’s three-day Springnationals meet at Bristol, Tenn. Bob Barker, of Columbus, Ohio, hit the No. 1 spot of the four qualifiers in Top Fuel. His 74-cu.
LABOR SAVING inventions often are designed by lazy people. Safety devices are created by people who care for the welfare of others, and who wish to reduce the hazards and fears of a specific set of circumstances. Small Japanese step-through motorcycles are ideally suited to the training of beginning motorcyclists.
SECOND IN the AMA National Championship road race series, Loudon, or Laconia as it still is called by thousands of race fans, proved one thing beyond a doubt: Calvin Rayborn’s Daytona runaway win was no fluke. From practice times at Loudon, it was apparent that Calvin and his super sleek Harley-Davidson factory racer was the team to beat.
WITH THE two greatest names in present-day motorcycle racing missing from the Isle of Man this year, easy wins were predicted for MV in the 350 and 500 classes, with Yamaha ruling the roost in the smaller capacities. With Hailwood and Honda absent, few expected that records would be broken.
GRIMLY AND professionally, two great motocross world champions currently are fighting to retain their titles as both 250-and 500-cc championships reach the half-way mark. In the 250 class, tall, intelligent Torsten Hallman of Sweden, whose fourth 250 title last year made him the most successful grand prix rider in history, is staggering under a fantastic onslaught from Joel Robert of Belgium who is riding a Czechoslovakian-built works CZ. Hallman, on the works Husqvarna, has won two grands prix, but Robert has won four with three 2nd places to back up his score.
ONE HUNDRED and twenty-five pounds—sopping wet-of muscular dexterity; but when you are watching him as he massages a bike way up against the wall and through the north turn at Ascot Park, in Gardena, Calif., you’ll realize just why anyone who speaks of the “Flea’s” half-mile elegance, does so in a toned reverence.
Saddleback Park in Orange County, Calif., held its first international race July 4. More than 3000 people watched four times world champion Torsten Hallman demonstrate his superiority on the new motocross course that was finished just days before the event.
As this edition went to press, it was learned that Johann Attenberger, 32, and his passenger, Joseph Schillinger, 28, were fatally injured in the crash of their sidecar outfit during the Grand Prix of Belgium at Francorchamps. Attenberger was in a heated duel for 1st place with fellow German Georg Auerbacher when the tragic mishap occurred.
Yamaha’s DT1 250-cc scrambler, which won instant popularity in the U.S., and which recently was released to the domestic market, is demonstrating excellent performance in Japanese motocross competition. After initial production of some 8000 machines went to the U.S., the firm embarked on an assembly program of 500 to 600 machines per year for the home market.
Forerunner of a brilliant roadster version of the firm’s famous racing 350, the Harley-Davidson Aermacchi Blue Wing appeared successfully at the recent eight-day, 1900-mile Tour of Italy for production machines (CW, Aug. ’68). Competing in the over 250-cc class against a horde of Italian, German, English and Japanese Twins, the new model from Varese finished 2nd, 3rd, and 10th.