THE QUESTION OF who will market the first rotary engined motorcycle has been answered, and that honor belongs to Suzuki. Theirs, called the RE5, should be available in dealers' showrooms across the country by the time you read this. But can the bike compete with conventional designs in terms of reliability, economy and performance?
The importance of safety equipment and well-maintained bikes came to my attention this past April after I broke my right leg. The hard way to learn. Well, to make a long story short, several local bikers and I were riding through a swampy gas pipeline.
Readers, as well as those involved in the motorcycle industry, are invited to have their say about motorcycles they own or have owned. Anything is fair game: performance, handling, reliability, service, parts availability, lovability, you name it.
THE CITY of Costa Mesa, right next door to CYCLE WORLD'S hometown of Newport Beach, finally decided to issue a set of official post cards. The cards would be sold in drugstores and the usual places people go to buy post cards to mail home to Aunt Sarah when traveling.
Actually, Husky Calls It The 460 Fun 'N Trail, Which Is Kinda Hokey, Although Very Accurate.
THE FIRST THING that comes to mind when you hear the term "dual-purpose" is a motorcycle that is capable of being ridden both on the street and in the dirt. But this street/dirt view is somewhat limited.
It Was Roberts Pulling Ahead, But Pulling Ahead Isn't Always Enough
FORTY LAPS. Fifty-four miles. The best racing motorcycles in the world. And a front row that would attract any fan, anywhere in the world...a front row that in part consisted of current 500cc World Champion Phil Read, 14-time World Champion Giacomo Agostini, two-time U.S.
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE to diddle with a test bike before it's really ready to be tested. Sometimes the diddling doesn't help. We had to mess around with this one, and for a while it didn't look as though anything was going to help. At first we thought, "Wow, this thing sure handles neat, but it doesn't go anywhere Maico's new 250 GP was getting us around several motocross tracks PDQ, but it was doing so on its handling merits only.
DECOSTER BEGAN HIS DOMINATION OF 500cc WORLD MOTOCROSS IN 1971. THREE YEARS AND COUNTLESS G.P.s LATER, MIKKOLA HAS ENDED IT.
ON THE GRAND PRIX TRAIL
THE BELGIAN MOTOCROSS CLASSIC
LUXEMBOURG: THE FINALE
LATE IN SUMMER, when the days are full and ripe, the 500cc motocross Grand Prix season matures, excitement mounts, and finally, there is the crowning of a new World Champion. This year the champagne flowed for Heikki Mikkola, the 29-year-old Husqvarna factory rider from Finland, who has invested 10 arduous years into becoming Number One.
HUSKY'S CHIEF DESIGN ENGINEER. FOR HIM, RACING IS DEVELOPMENT.
RUBEN HELMIN IS head of Husqvarna racing and development in Sweden. It is he who is responsible for putting prototype work into production and deciding what it is feasible to do. Grand Prix racing is the testing ground for your Husky and if Helmin has his way, the only difference between the World Championship motocrosser and yours will be Heikki Mikkola.
THE IDEA HAD flashed through my mind late last year as I drove to the funeral of a very special lady in the East. "Brownie" was her name, and the day was one of my saddest. But I knew she'd rather have me thinking happy thoughts than miserable ones, and that's when it hit me.
NATIONAL ROAD RACING at Ontario has appealed to only one group over the last three years... the super enthusiasts. For everyone else remotely interested in this kind of event, it was a classic bore; monotonous to the point of not drawing them back for a second look...simply not worth giving it one more chance.
IN 1973, ROAD RACING acolytes affectionately tagged the Kawasaki Racing Team the Green Meanies, and when they won, which was often, they were the Big Green Wave. Kawasaki may not have cornered the talent market last year, but they certainly owned a large chunk of it; at every race there were usually at least a dozen Green Meanies: a road race manager (Bob Hansen), a road race coordinator (Randy Hall), five permanent factory riders (Yvon DuHamel, Art Baumann, Hurley Wilvert, Gary Nixon, Cliff Carr), occasionally a sixth foreign teammate for a one-shot appearance, four top mechanics (Wilvert did his own tuning), and a varying number of assorted assistants.
ROWAN SAT ASTRIDE the big Single in the center of the pitted roadway where with a wheeze and a dug the motor had suddenly died. Feet flat, he balanced the bike with his fanny and leaned on the low bars. His chin nearly touched the huge gas filler cap.
One of the most prestigious of all motorcycle competitions, the Jack Pine Enduro, completed its 400-plus miles of northern Michigan woods trails and sandy two-trackers for the 48th time. It has only been during the past seven years that the run has been held exclusively in the northern part of the state.
The International Six Days Trial has a reputation for being tough. After all, countless hours in the saddle will wear down all but the best competitors to the point where judgment is effected. And, there have always been sections rough enough to tax the best machines available in any given year.
Riding a motorcycle is, in some ways, like sleeping in a bed on a summer night. You crawl in. At first, it feels just great. You doze for a few hours. Then it doesn't feel so great. You squirm. The bed's too soft. You roll over. The damn pillow's too big and puffy.
During the past few years the accessory sales market has seen several capacitive-discharge and transistor ignition systems come and go. Each of them claimed wondrous improvements in the performance and economy of any bike fitted with one of these trick ignitions.