Privacy. On the occasion of this moment of truth my intention was to confound my friends and violate my principles. Naturally I wanted to be alone. Near the close of the business day there’s a lull, between when the early departees dart for the door and the night crew burrows into their desks.
Just read the May “Up Front” piece. The lady’s anger was probably caused by relief, not envy. Last week I did the same thing—a motorcycle rider passed me between the divider and my car just as I edged out to see down the lane. I missed seriously injuring him by a whisker.
Progress report, of sorts, in re the Environmental Protection Agency and its proposed rules for motorcycle noise: We may survive this issue and we’ll surely be the wiser for the experience. At this writing the jury, also known as the prosecuting attorney and the judge, is still out.
The Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a government agency that administers some 447 million acres of public land, most of it in the Western states. Already well known to hard core dirt riders and desert racers, it is on the point of becoming a household word— epithet?—with any biker who ever had a yen for the wide open spaces.
Suzuki’s long rumored four-stroke Single has finally arrived. Guesses and rumors about its engine size have ranged from 300 to 600cc. The actual production bike is a some what odd (for a four-stroke) 370cc size. It is a big bore (85.0mm), short stroke (65.2mm) configuration that has a wet sump: The engine’s oil is carried in the bottom of the engine, which eliminates the need for a remote oil tank and the external oil lines required to connect the oil reservoir to the engine.
There really are significant, meaningful differences in motorcycle tires. Although they’re mostly the same shape and mostly the same color, they have widely differing riding qualities. Some track well, some stick well on wet pavement and some on damp pavement, some offer a firm ride, some a soft ride, some last a long time, some offer extraordinary resistance to mechanical damage and blowout.
Fifteen high-performance rear tires rated for braking and cornering, thanks to some home-grown engineering
SKID PAD TESTS
TRACK TEST SUMMARIES
K91 Mkll Tubeless
Eagle G/T Tubeless
Grand High Speed GS-11AW
C-66 Touring Special
AR80 Ontario NT183
While on his way to victory circle, a famous racer once was interrupted by a reporter who thought he knew a lot about machines. Thrusting his microphone into the winner’s face, he asked “What sort of tires were you using today?” The champion had the perfect answer.
Hydraulic outriggers made the difference between scientific cornering tests and falling over.
One of our test guys was involved several years ago in the first published motorcycle skid pad test. It wasn’t what you’d call a sophisticated program: Three riders took a stock Honda CB360 to a skid pad and rode around, fast as they dared.
The Flaws and Variables of Real World Comparison Testing
In spite of all the time and effort devoted to designing, developing and executing this tire test, the end result is not perfect. The biggest problem encountered concerns temperature. Tires work differently as tread temperature changes.
A clever and logical package that works well on road and off
Once upon a time, back before the Honda XL250S, there was a joke in the motorcycle trade about how the engine design team and the chassis design team met for the first time as each new model was introduced to the public. The joke made the rounds for years.
Two sincere cheers, please, for whoever it is at Kawasaki that invented and continues to supply an ongoing series of mildly modified production road bikes, in this case the KZ650SR. Cheers because this is a useful variation on an excellent basic model.
At the recent automobile GP in Long Beach I happened to run across the celebrated John Surtees, who used to be into bikes before he was into racing cars and is, I think, the only World Champion around in each speciality. Meeting for the first time in nine years, we fell upon each other’s necks and almost the first question was, What bikes have you got now?
“So I says to myself, ‘If I can run on alcohol, why not my bike, too?’"
What Alky Offers the Biker
What Do I Hafta Do?
What About the Minuses?
Where Does the Real Power Come From?
Alcohol. People gasp. Some of them even shudder when you tell them you’re using alcohol to fuel your motorcycle. There is an aura of exotica about the stuff. To be frank, it’s an ego-tickle to watch mouths gape and forehead veins pop as you tell strangers and cronies alike that your machine uses this fuel.
Garth Brow Heads an All-Privateer Winner’s Circle in an All-Harley Field
Houston is fun, Daytona is the Holy Land but the San Jose May Mile is where you begin to get some sort of concrete idea of where a Grand National season is headed. Sponsorships are usually settled, the bikes are dialed in and everyone shows up with his race face on.
At Last (Perhaps), A Sidehack That Acts Like A Motorcycle
Ever since the first sidecar was bolted to what probably was the second or third motorcycle, opinions in re The Chair have been clearly divided between love and hate. There are those who view the sidecar as a motorcycle with added attraction and those who regard hacks as a terminal way to treat an otherwise fine machine.
Hannah Bids for Unbeaten 250 Season; Roberts Takes Command in 500cc GP chase; Aksland Eyes No. 1 Plate
NATIONAL MX SCENE: HANNAH VS. THE OTHER GUYS
OUR TROOPS IN EUROPE
AKSLAND'S BID FOR NO. 1
DAYTONA SUPERBIKE 200?
As the 250 and 125cc motocross nationals turned the corner into the second half of the 10-date season, the question was no longer whether Yamaha’s peerless Bob Hannah knew how to win consistently; it was whether he knew how to lose anymore.
We welcome your technical questions and comments, and will publish those we think are of interest to our readers. Because of the volume of mail received, we cannot return any personal replies. Please limit your “Service" letters to technical subjects only, and keep them as brief as possible.
More swing arm movement, more bushing wear, more swing arm play, more endoes. Simple to understand and yet in these days of super-sophisticated suspensions, the swing arm bushing continues to be overlooked, under-engineered and ill-maintained.
Most professional riders agree that when using the bigger grips on the market today, arms become cramped from shoulder to wrist in about 10 minutes of hard riding. So J.T. Racing has come up with a simple, round grip to solve the problem. The secret is the compound used. Just as riders prefer different types of palm padding in gloves, they also prefer different grip compounds. This selection makes for a less tiring grip. The Back to Basics grip is color-coded in four degrees of firmness. Yellow—super soft, Red—normal, Bluefirm, and Black—extra firm. Thus a grip for everyone. Available for the motocrosser and the BMXer. Contact J.T. Racing USA, Dept. CW-8, 303 W. 35th St., Suites C & D, National City, Calif. 92050.
J.T. Racing USA
UNIVERSAL ENDURO NUMBER PLATE
The new universal Enduro Number Plate is shown here mounted on a Yamaha IT 175 and a Honda XL250. The number plate is shaped to adapt to most enduro and dual-purpose bikes with a little additional hand shaping. Prototypes were enduro developed and tested for several seasons with no breakage. Installation takes about 10 minutes, using existing headlight hardware. It will fit brackets up to 6½ in. wide. The suggested retail price is $2.75. (When was the last time you saw a motorcycle accessory for only $2.75?) Contact Mudlark Industries, Inc., Dept. CW-8, 11856 Larch St. N.W., Coon Rapids, Minn. 55433. Telephone (612) 755-3579.
J.T. Racing USA
BLUE WING MATTRESS
Air Lift’s Blue Wing multi-chambered air mattress makes it a natural for cyclists. The Blue Wing fits into a tiny 3'/2 x 7 in. stuff sack and can be carried in one hand. It can be taken virtually anywhere in pack or pocket. The mattress is composed of 10 strong air chambers, each enclosed in a separate sleeve with rip-stop nylon taffeta outer covering. Because each tube can be inflated with one deep breath, the Blue Wing inflates quickly via the push-pull nozzle valve in each tube. If a puncture occurs, only a fraction of the cushion is lost because only the air in one chamber is lost. Each Blue Wing mattress comes w ith its own tube patch tape for making quick repairs on the trail or in the field. A spare tube is also included. The stuff sack that functions as a carrying bag is included in the suggested retail price of $36. From Air Lift, Dept. CW-8, 2217 Roosevelt Ave., Berkeley, Calif. 94703.
J.T. Racing USA
UNI STREET FILTERS
Uni Filter, Inc. introduces the pleated foam air filter for BSA Twins, Harley Sportsters, Honda GL1000 and CB750, Kawasaki Z-l and KZ900, Yamaha RD400 and all Nortons. These pleated units offer more surface area in combination with all the advantages of foam. Available at dealers or by contacting Uni Filter Inc., Dept. CW-8, 13522 Newhope St., Garden Grove, Calif. 92643. Telephone (714) 530-6101.
J.T. Racing USA
DG LUGGAGE RACK AND BACKREST
The latest street bike accessory from DG is a luggage rack. It offers raised sides, so that quick trip to the corner store is less of a problem. Two six packs will fit into the rack’s bed perfectly. A backrest to fit the unit is also offered and folds out of the way when not in use. The rack goes for $39.50, the backrest for $19.50. Units to fit all popular Japanese street bikes are available at dealers or by contacting DG Performance Specialties, Inc., Dept. CW-7, 1170 VanHorne Rd., Anaheim, Calif. 29806. Telephone (714) 630-5471.
J.T. Racing USA
BOYESEN VENTED REEDS
J.T. Racing USA
If your two-stroke could stand more horsepower and better throttle response, check out Boyesen Racing Reeds. They are made from a resilient material that is digestible without engine damage. The dual-stage reed is more sensitive to engine demands and wider powerbands are claimed. Vented reeds are available for most racing models from Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and the Honda CR250R. At your dealer or get more information from Limantour Corp., Dept. CW-8, 4539 Hamilton Blvd., Allentown, Pa. 18103. Telephone (215) 398-1886.