Out of the snowbound midwest comes one of the better questions of the day. Two readers who for seasonal reasons could not settle this for themselves, write to ask: Is it true that when you turn a motorcycle to the left, you do so by actually steering to the right?
“We Saw Nothing, I Tell You . . . Nothing!” in your January issue did a fine job of presenting the impressions received upon visiting the Honda works in Japan. I believe the article, with relatively little revision, would be well qualified for publication in one of the more serious business periodicals.
I am a veteran desert/Baja fiend and here’s a tip from me. Don’t use the aerosol goop that supposedly repairs your inner tubes. On an off-road trip to Baja I decided to try it in place of my bulky bicycle pump. I happened to get a flat, we stopped, pulled the tube, patched it, and buttoned everything up, using the aerosol goop to restore the pressure.
Here’s a 4-into-1 exhaust system for the Suzuki GS750. The configuration of the pipe follows the upswept megaphone look. On this model all four head pipes are tuned for maximum power under normal street conditions. Racecrafters International, Inc., distributors of Kerker exhausts, claims their new Suzuki pipe will give the rider a power increase without creating excess noise. Installation is said to be simple and quick; the oil and filter can be changed without removing the exhaust. Available in black or chrome. Contact Racecrafters International, Inc., Dept. CW-5, 7801 Canoga Ave., Canoga Park, Calif. 91304. Telephone: (213) 999-2811.
BOLT-ON WHEEL FOR HARLEY
Hallcraft’s Industries, Inc. has announced Satellite, a bolt-on wheel for the Harley-Davidson Sportster. The wheel is available in both front and rear models and can be installed using existing brake and axle components. It features chrome finish and eight steel-bladed spokes and a large diameter hub reinforced by all-steel spokes. For additional information, write or call Hallcraft’s Industries, Inc., Dept. CW-5, 232 Millar Ave., El Cajon, Calif. 92020. Telephone: (714) 440-2431.
TRANSPARENT ACRYLIC FAIRING
A new fairing made of transparent acrylic is being introduced by National Cycle, Inc. that is claimed to eliminate vibration and flutter while improving visibility and eliminating the need for custom painting. The Plexifairing safety features include black, non-glare mounts which angle away from the driver, and concealed fasteners which yield on impact. All edges are smooth and rounded. Each Plexifairing comes with two reflective decals. They are available to fit all current models, and the suggested retail price is $89.95. For further information, contact National Cycle, Inc., Dept. CW-5, 136 S. Eighth Ave., Maywood, Ill. 60153. Telephone: (312) 4637905.
Murphy’s Shopping Mart has a three-piece tool set featuring 17 wrench settings for all size nuts, bolts, spokes, seat and bar adjustments. The tools are 41/2-in. long and made of hardened steel and the set is priced at $1.50 plus 50¢ postage. Write to Murphy’s Shopping Mart, Dept. CW-5, 14689 Seventh St., Victorville, Calif. 92392 for further information.
Andrews Products announces pushrods for the Harley-Davidson Sportsters. The pushrods are manufactured from ground alloy steel tubing that is claimed to be both lighter and stronger than comparable aluminum units. Longer-than-stock length pushrods are also available for taller-than-stock engines. For information call or write Andrews Products, Dept. CW-5, 9872 Farragut, Rosemont, I11. 60018. Telephone: (312) 678-4014.
DG now offers a universal-fit front fender with a built-in mud guard for minibikes. Made of flexible white plastic. The cost is $14.95. Contact DG Performance Specialties, Dept. CW-5, 5552 La Palma East, Anaheim, Calif. 92806. Telephone: (714) 996-4430.
GAS TANK FOR YAMAHAS
The Skinny-Fat tank from Don Vesco Products is designed to fit Yamaha TT and XT500 motorcycles and comes with mounting hardware, tube vented cap, filtered petcock, mounting foam, decals, and a one year warranty. The tank holds 3.1 gallons and is made from seamless Marlex plastic and comes in orange, white, yellow, red, and silver grey. This tank is available from Don Vesco Products, Inc., Dept. CW-5, 7565 North Ave., Lemon Grove, Calif. 92045. Telephone: (714) 465-8256.
Dualarm from Dualock is a solid-state alarm system which sounds an alarm if the motorcycle is moved or touched. It mounts under the license plate and the mercury switches on a pendulum device automatically adjusts to any parking angle. The Dualock includes a five foot steel cable, which sounds an alarm if cut. Dualarm retails for $39.95 and Dualock retails for $49.95. Contact Dualock, Dept. CW-5, 211B S. Whisman Rd., Mt. View, Calif. 94041. Telephone: (415) 969-3627.
TIRE PRESSURE GAUGE
A needle-type tire pressure gauge for motorcycles is available from VDO Instruments. A hold-pressure-reading feature and button release are advantages of the VDO units. The gauge reads both standard and metric on the 1-7/8-in. diameter face, which is housed in a brass case framed in chrome. A vinyl protective case is included. For additional information contact: VDO Instruments, Dept. CW-5, 116 Victor, Detroit, Mich. 48203. Telephone: (313) 883-7676.
Motocross pants are being offered from Big 4, Inc. The pants are constructed of heavy-weight nylon and feature thick hip pads and zippered pockets at the knees to hold closed-cell foam knee protectors. The seat and inside of the legs get extra protection from a vinyl pad sewn to the belt. To order call Big 4, Inc. toll free at 1 -800-541-2677 or write Dept. CW-5, W. 1012 Railroad Ave., Spokane, Wash. 99204.
Casler Performance Products offers Super Tape. This tape features cloth construction with strong adhesion for maximum protection. This tape is said to be flame, moisture, age and weather resistant. Each roll measures 10 yards by 2-in. width. Super Tape, Part No. 688, is priced at $3.25 a roll. For more information contact Casler Performance Products, Dept. CW-5, 1031 W. Brooks St., P.O. Box 3397, Ontario, Calif. 91761. Telephone: (714) 986-4537.
Here’s a 4-into-1 exhaust system for the Suzuki GS750. The configuration of the pipe follows the upswept megaphone look. On this model all four head pipes are tuned for maximum power under normal street conditions. Racecrafters International, Inc., distributors of Kerker exhausts, claims their new Suzuki pipe will give the rider a power increase without creating excess noise.
A crusty gentleman of legend late in his life was awarded one of his country’s highest honors, bestowed because his sovereign felt like it, rather than for any accomplishments. This pleased the recipient. “None of this damned merit,” he chortled.
Eight Pairs of Gas/Oil Shocks Go Through Their Paces on a Play Bike
MICKEY THOMPSON 36-320-H1
MULHOLLAND LTG 130F
NUMBER ONE PRODUCTS FP3301-S
RED WING G-330-85 (medium)
NUMBER ONE PRODUCTS
Arnaco, Inc. 13431 Saticoy St. North Hollywood, Calif. 91605 Shock price: $109.95/pr. Spring price: 23.95/pr. Rebuildable? yes Construction: The Arnaco is a single-wall design. Shock body and spring end are machined from billet aluminum. Internally, a pressurized damping fluid/nitrogen mixture is used in conjunction with a patented system of valving. Travel: 3.5 in. (89 mm) Pre-load adjustment? yes Piston rod diameter: 0.562 in. (14.3 mm) Remarks: Includes a complete selection of spacers and hardware, and a special tool for extremely easy preload adjustments. Offered in 11-inch to 17-inch lengths, the shocks are designed for specific motorcycle applications.
Lucas Industries North America Two Northfield Plaza Troy, Mich. 48090 Shock price: $71.50/pr. Spring price: 12.20/pr. Rebuildable? no Construction: Girling gas shocks are steel single-wall type. They utilize a pressurized oil/nitrogen mixture. Travel: 3.75 in. (95 mm) Pre-load adjustment? yes Piston rod diameter: 0.488 in. (12.4 mm) Remarks: The quoted price includes a necessary mounting kit. This kit includes bushings and spring retainers. Preload can be adjusted in 10 mm increments by using multiple retainers.
Bikoni Ltd. 150 Green St. Hackensack, N.J. 07601 Shock price: $68.00/pr. Spring price: 12.00/pr. Rebuildable? yes Construction: The Koni is a steel single-wall shock, utilizing a gas/oil mixture for compression displacement. The foot-valve of the shock is externally adjustable. Rebound damping may be tuned, or a compensation made for wear. Travel: 3.25 in. (83 mm) Pre-load adjustment? yes Piston rod diameter: 0.461 in. (11.7 mm) Remarks: The Koni shocks were tested in the minimum damping position. Rebound damping is approximately double for the maximum setting.
MICKEY THOMPSON 36-320-H1
Mickey Thompson Products 2701 East Anaheim St. Wilmington, Calif. 90744 Shock Price: $60.00/pr.* Spring price: $12.00/pr. Rebuildable? no Construction: M/T shocks are single-wall DeCarbon type. It is of the single-tube variety, and is charged to a pressure of 24 atmospheres (350 psi.). Travel: 3.5 in. (89 mm) Pre-load adjustment? yes Piston rod diameter: 0.410 in. (10.4 mm) Remarks: Four damping rates are available from H1 (soft) to H4 (hard). Heim (swivel) ends are available for an additional $5.00/pr. *Direct mail order price.
MULHOLLAND LTG 130F
Mulholland (Interpart) 230 W. Rosecrans Ave. Gardena, Calif. 90248 Shock price: $89.95/pr. Spring price: 27.95/pr. Rebuildable? yes Construction: The shock body is a steel dual-wall design. Gas is contained within a bladder located between the inner and outer walls. A finned aluminum heat sink is fitted to the lower body for additional cooling. Travel: 4.0 in. (102 mm) Pre-load adjustment? no Piston rod diameter: 0.482 in. (12.25 mm) Remarks: The LTG series shock is available in two damping rates. In addition to rebuilding kits, replacement components may be purchased which allow damping rates to be changed by the user.
Number One Products 4931 N. Encinita Ave. Temple City, Calif. 91780 Shock price: $69.95/pr. Spring price: 24.95/pr. Rebuildable? yes Construction: Number One shocks have steel bodies, and are dual-wall construction. A bladder filled with freon gas is located between the inner and outer walls for compression displacement. An aluminum coolor is provided for heat dissipation. Travel: 4.0 in. (102 mm) Pre-load adjustment? yes Piston rod diameter: 0.492 in. (12.5 mm) Remarks: Shocks can be ordered in three damping rates: soft, medium or firm. We tested the soft pair. Besides offering rebuilding kits, the factory makes available components for altering original damping rates.
RED WING G-330-85 (medium)
Marubeni America 200 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017 Shock price: $61.90/pr. Spring price: 27.95/pr. Rebuildable? no Construction: The Red Wing is a steel body single-tube DeCarbon type shock. Nitrogen gas, at 18 atmospheres (265 psi), is segregated from the oil by the floating piston. Travel: 3.4 in. (86 mm) Pre-load adjustment? yes Piston rod diameter: 0.488 in. (12.4 mm) Remarks: Damping is available in three rates: soft, medium, and hard.
S&W Engineered Products 2617 Woodland Anaheim, Calif. 92801 Shock price: $63.90/pr. Spring price: 14.10/pr. Rebuildable: no Construction: S&W shocks are steel double-wall units. They utilize a freon-filled nylon cell located in the cavity between inner and outer walls for compression displacement. Travel: 4.1 in. (104 mm) Pre-load adjustment? yes Piston rod diameter: 0.488 in. (12.4 mm) Remarks: S&W’s 1976 model shocks were used for this test. An improved 1977 version should be currently available.
Works Performance Products 20970 Knapp St. Chatsworth, Calif. 91311 Shock price: $114.50/pr. with springs. Rebuildable? yes Construction: Works Performance shocks utilize a steel single-wall body, upon which is cast a finned aluminum heat sink/top mount. Compression displacement is handled by the nitrogen/oil mixture. Travel: 5.0 in. (127 mm) Pre-load adjustment? no Piston rod diameter: 0.500 in. (12.7 mm) Remarks: Works Performance shocks are not listed by model numbers. Instead, motorcycle model and use and rider weight should be given. The proper shock will then be supplied. Shocks can also be custom built for a particular need.
In recent years, technology has brought the design of dirt motorcycles closer and closer to practical limitations. At present, few innovations are seen in engine and geometry design. The most radical developments in the last couple of years have been in suspension improvement-getting the power to the ground and keeping it there.
The speedometer needle is a bit wavery, bouncing back and forth between 115 and 120 mph, there is a strong force of wind against the helmet and the engine is a muted hum below. On the right is the Pacific Ocean, on the left, rolling hills and cattle.
John Hateley and Jay Springsteen Put the Rest of the Pros on the Canvas in the Houston Astrodome Ring
D. Randy Riggs
We don’t even bother going to a race unless we think we have a good shot at winning it.” Those are the words of Jack Hateley, engine builder supreme and father of John Hateley, the fellow who took a seven-year-old Triumph to his second victory in the Astrodome TT, first event on the AMA’s 1977 calendar.
One of our designers is a retired minicycle racer whose personal taste in road transportation leans toward the largest motors on the market. Circumstances one day dictated use of the test Honda CB400F. He returned from the ride all aglow. “Wow,” he exclaimed.
How to Do What Needs to Be Done at Little Expense Or None.
FRONT WHEEL/FORK ASSEMBLY
STEERING HEAD BEARINGS
FORK TUBES AND SLIDERS
DRIVE CHAIN CARE
Because of their basic simplicity, the chassis and related components of the modern motorcycle are often neglected. While concentrating on proper engine upkeep, many enthusiastic motorcyclists fail to realize the need for proper chassis maintenance as well.
A lot of us remember the days when 125-cc racing bikes were kid’s stuff, something to graduate from when you became an honest to goodness rider; they were tiddlers, toys, playthings, anything but a serious motorcycle. But oh, how those days have changed.
Every off-road motorcycle should have a working emergency ignition cut-off device, or more simply stated, a kill button. Few things in life are more exciting than a jammed carburetor slide or stuck throttle with a machine not equipped with a proper kill button.
Custom Motorcycles Don’t Have to be Expensive (or Fast).
were I not among friends and understanding souls, this would be something of an embarrassment. Pictured here is one of the world’s more normal motorcycles, a 1972 Honda XL250, thinly disguised with one of the world’s more complete collections of aftermarket offerings.
You don’t know the meaning of "Sovereign State" until you cross a state line on a bike.
Right off the cuff, this chart shouldn’t be here at all. In almost every other field, i.e. marriage, driver’s licenses, etc., our sovereign states honor each other’s rules; if your car is registered in say, New York, and it will pass the New York regulations, then you can drive it in California even if it doesn’t have all the equipment California requires for cars registered there.
Yamaha Gets A New Racing Manager, Trophy Des Nations Team Selected And The AMA's Regional Series Schedule
SHICK MOVES ON, CLARK MOVES IN
TROPHY DES NATIONS TEAM ALREADY?
TRIALS AND HONDA, EUROPEAN STYLE
HANG TEN/BEL-RAY U.S. GRAND PRIX
D. Randy Riggs
Peter Shick has been a familiar face around the racing circles for some five years, directing racing efforts for Yamaha. He’s now decided to move on to a new post as District Manager for motorized products, turning over the position of National Racing Manager to Ken Clark.
I have a question about improving the handling of my BMW, a late 1976 R75/6. The dealer can’t make it run straight down the road. I could take my hands off the bars of my 1971 R60/5 at any speed and it would run straight, but my new one dives off course to the right.