WARDS AUTOMOTIVE reports are again bringing us up to date on the current sales trends in motorcycles. For the first four months of 1972 sales are up in places, down in others. Wards reports that the importing of motorcycles (not necessarily sales) is off, down to 630,000, against 700,000 for the similar period in 1971.
The emotional fever with which many have argued the helmet-requirement laws has left the subject with a "supercharged" aura. Although the hurricane of fate swept through Colorado a number of years ago, I still hear occasional heated discussions on the subject.
Readers are invited to have their say about motorcycles they own or have owned. Anything is fair game: performance, handling, reliability, service, parts availability, funkiness, lovability, you name it. Suggestions: be objective, be fair, no wildly emotional but ill-founded invectives; include useful facts like miles on odometer, time owned, model year, special equipment and accessories bought, etc. I wish somebody would publish a magazine which consisted of nothing but one large “Feedback” column.
I just read Stan McConnell’s problem with the broken 750 Honda chain (June '72). The chain on my 1969 750 broke and went through the cases at about 15,000 miles. I was quoted $400 to have it fixed. This is too much, so I formed a thin (1/16-in) aluminum plate over the 3 x 2-in.
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF MOTOCROSS, By Jim Davis and Bob Jackson, 112 pages, published by Bagnall Publishing Co., Box 507, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352. Price, $5.95. Aimed at the young beginner, "The Complete Book of Moto-Cross" provides a step-by-step introduction to one of motorcycling's most colorful sports.
TWO OF MY really big weaknesses are pasta and motorcycles. And nowhere in the world can a person find more imagination and creative genius in construction and execution of either than in Italy. The dozens of ways to prepare simple spaghetti is nothing compared to the Italian engineer's delight of breaking tradition when he has a clean sheet of paper on which to design an engine.
BASICALLY, THERE are two ways to win races. One is to ride a machine that handles and then finesse your way into the lead by passing in the rough or in turns. The other is to hang in there in the turns and use superior horsepower to pass down the straights.
...And Some Interesting Snippets From The Reviving Italian Motorcycle Industry
ON TO MV AGUSTA
FUTURE RACING PLANS
Ivan J. Wagar
WITH ALL OF the flair of P.T. Barnum during his greatest moment, Alejandro DeTomaso, in Modena’s beautiful Hotel Canale Grande (which he owns), unveiled the exciting new Benelli Six. DeTomaso informed the packed audience of automotive and motorcycle journalists from most countries in the world, plus many Italian dignitaries, that the creation of this machine was a declaration of war on the Japanese.
Crisis? Everybody Knows There Is One. In A Vague Way. Now, With The Help Of An Enterprising Journalist, We May Discern Its Shape As It Works Its Way Across The Nation, And Find A Way To Respond.
DURING THE NEXT 18 months the sport of trail riding is going to make its way through a crisis. President Nixon signalled the beginning of the crisis with his now famous Presidential Order No. 11644, possibly one of the most widely interpreted (and misinterpreted) documents in history.
Reed Valve Induction, A Disc Front Brake And A Six-Speed Gearbox Add Class To An Already Superb Machine.
■ THE NEW YAMAHA RD 350 might well be termed the brother of the giant killer if it were compared to its stablemate, the TR3. Racing versions of the RD 350 have successfully trounced machines over twice their size in AMA Class C competition for the past several years with such regularity that you know it couldn’t be a mistake.
JONSSON MAKES IT FIVE TRANS-AMAS IN A ROW ... STRICTER CROWD CONTROL COULD PUT CARLSBAD ON THE INTERNATIONAL CALENDAR NEXT YEAR.
FIVE STRAIGHT overall wins is almost unheard of in Trans-AMA motocross, but Ake Jonsson (Maico) did just that by outlasting the competition in the Hang Ten U.S. Grand Prix at Carlsbad. Outlast is undoubtedly the proper word as each of the 45-min.
Twin Rotors. Water-Cooling. Disc Brakes Front And Rear. Is This Tomorrow's Superbike Today?
DIVERSITY OF engine design is a sound marketing idea, as it allows the consumer a wide choice of machines with the opportunity to maintain brand loyalty. For 1973, Yamaha has the edge. It not only produces several two-strokes and three four-stroke road burners, but has recently built a revolutionary twin-rotor Wankel-powered machine as well.
AFTER THREE COURSE CHANGES THE CARS CAN STILL DO IT TO THE BIKES
WHEN MEXICO NEEDS an enema, Mexicali will undoubtedly be the place to insert the tube. Nonetheless, the National Off-Road Racing Association, or NORRA as the old girl is known, selected this dreary place to begin the 1972 Mexican 1000.
RANDY PLONKED slowly up the shallow ravine, carefully threading his way through the rocks and clumps of sagebrush. Half his attention was on the mesquite brush and yucca cover ahead—looking for a telltale flash of brown. It had to be somewhere close now.
A Reasonably Priced Woods Bike With A Pleasant Disposition On the Street
TS 125 J
GETTING A LOT of bike for a minimal price has to be the great American dream. Sometimes it's possible, sometimes not. Really, it depends on the type of riding you have in mind. If a small bore, dual purpose bike is what you are looking for, you're in luck.
NO COMPLEX ELECTRONIC CIRCUITRY IS NEEDED. THE MAGIC OF FIBER OPTICS MAKES THIS PROJECT A SIMPLE, ONE-HOUR JOB.
James F. Quinn
IF THERE'S anything that sends chills up my spine, it's the thought of riding in heavy traffic, surrounded by hulking, aggressive cars, without knowing that my taillight or brake light has blown out. Car drivers tend to overlook motorcyclists even in broad daylight, and when I'm surrounded by them at night, unable to use the acceleration and braking built into my Triumph Metisse, I want to make sure that my rear lights are working so the tailgaters will stay off my back.
NEW MODELS are appearing in droves. Unfortunately, we can't hope to cover them all, so we are presenting highlights of major manufacturers’ fare in 1973. There has been some startling news: Kawasaki’s 900cc Four, Yamaha’s TX750 and TX500, the 750cc Bonneville, the de-emphasis of BSA in the U.S., plus several new and interesting dirt bikes like Honda’s two-stroke 250cc motocrosser.
A One-Off Trialer From The Hodaka Enthusiasts At Pabatco
Leon M. Wilbanks
WE ARE ALL dreamers—hopeless romantics caught-up in a two-wheeled vice. “It grips you like some kind of sinin’, it turns you from foe to friend. It seems it has been since the beginnin,' it seems it will be till the end.” Just like Joe Parkhurst with his 125cc Zundapp ISDT Replica mounted in the rafters of his living room, we all suffer from the same neurosis: the kamikaze syndrome.
FRANCE HAS never figured greatly in the U.S. import scene, but on its home ground produces massive quantities of tiddlers for utilitarian consumption. The image is changing somewhat with the introduction of an original new 350cc machine from Motobecane.
RUDGE, WHOSE place among the motorcycle grandes marques was never disputed in its 30-year lifespan (1910 through 1939), was forever springing surprises, setting the laws of the Swedes and the Prussians at naught. It did so, technically, with its espousal of four valves per cylinder in 1924, just when the only other English exponent of this arrangement, Triumph, with its quadspout Ricardo model, was ditching it.
The last of the AMA Enduro Nationals in the Northeast was held at Newark, New York, and hosted a large entry for a toughie. Weather had been horrible over the previous few days and on Saturday, before the Rose Capital National, the area received almost 3 in.
The 19th Tokyo Motor Show opened on a grand scale at the Harumi Seaside Court, Tokyo Bay. The show, as the biggest-scale event of this kind, is expected to attract approximately 1,400,000 spectators throughout the session. The big four motorcycle manufacturers convincingly exhibited their respective new models amid evergrowing motorization and keener public attention to the problem of safety and anti-pollution.
Hap Jones Distributing Co. has introduced two new square drive impact air wrenches made by S-K Tools. The Model 721 has a bolt capacity to 3/8 in. (9.5mm) and operates on standard shop air pressure of 90-120 psi. It weighs less than 2½ lb. and is only 6¼ in. long. The Model 735 features a pistol grip design, a bolt capacity to ½ in. (12.7mm) and weighs 5½ lb. It also has a built-in oiler. The 721 is priced at $94.50, while the 735 is $99.95, from Hap Jones Distributing Co., P.O. Box 3068, Dept. CW-2, San Francisco, CA 94119.
Hap Jones Distributing Co.
Instead of joining the elastic strap directly to a slot in Hercules Distributing Co.'s new goggles, the strap is attached to hinged holders mounted on the sides of the goggles, which is said to thus allow the goggles to be worn with the strap outside the helmet with no annoying air leaks. The goggles are offered in two styles, and come with clear, smoke or yellow lenses. They are available through motorcycle dealers or from Hercules Distributing Co., Dept. CW-2, 9825 Mason Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311.
Hap Jones Distributing Co.
A peanut tank that will hold 2½ gal. of gasoline is being offered by Santee Industries, Dept. CW-2, 600 Arroyo, San Fernando, CA 91340. The tank features a low, wide tunnel and is made of lightweight steel, painted black. Suggested retail price is $26.95.
Hap Jones Distributing Co.
A sleek black boot made from English full-grain cowhide which has been specially treated to withstand mud, water, oil and chemicals is being marketed by Top Gear, 80 Pompton Ave., Dept. CW-2, Verona, NJ 07044. The boot has a full-length zipper for easy entry, snap-tab zipper lock, molded Nitrile sole and heel with steel tips, top-to-bottom day-glo reflective stripes on the back of the boot and a hidden steel shank for extra protection. The boot comes in men's sizes 7 through 12 (including half sizes) for $32.95.
Any road race season that lasts for eight months seems endless, but mercifully the 1972 one has finally ebbed away with the annual “Stars of Tomorrow” meeting at Brands Hatch. There is something almost desperate about the riding of many that compete.
Exactly one week after the introduction of the Benelli 750 “Six,” Alejandro DeTomaso is again making sensational news. He has purchased Moto Guzzi! The news came as a shocking surprise not only to the Italian motorcycle world, but even to the Moto Guzzi people!