Just at the instant the sun dropped behind the mountain the clouds parted and a lovely burst of gold blazed forth on the mountains ringing the dry lake to the east. Travel posters could take lessons from sunsets like that. But the beauty was lost on me.
Locking your front fork is not always enough. I lost a '78 GS750 last year in front of my apartment to what the police thought were thieves working out of a van. I couldn't imagine a bunch of guys jumping out of a van in broad daylight and throwing a motorcycle into the back.
Guarded optimism had better be the keynote here. The national election is over, the ballots have been counted. Ronald Reagan is the President and the Republicans have control of the U.S. Senate, for the first time since back when only elephants can remember.
The King Of The Trail Gets Pro-Link Suspension And Reed Induction
Honda's marketing philosophy differs from most motorcycle companies that try to fill an established need or want. If the buying public wants motocrossers with 900cc engines or super serious enduro mounts, they try to build models to fit the use.
Although it's too soon to begin carving the stone tablets proclaiming the best of the new single-shock rear suspensions, the technical features of all four systems now in production are known and it's clear that Honda has gone the furthest in making Pro-Link more than just one big shock for the price of two small ones.
Less Weight and More Power Make Kawasaki's Newest 1000 a Better Motorcycle in Every Way.
Most of the time performance standards go up one step at a time. On rare occasions, however, the level of performance can jump several steps at once. The original Kawasaki Z-1 was like that. It simply eclipsed all other performance machines when it was introduced.
Not a Great Motorcycle, But a Very Good Motorcycle.
When Honda released the CB500 Four in 1971 it was a big hit with nearly everyone. Those who had ridden the CB750 found the 500's lower power well compensated by other advantages. It was a bit lower and more compact and had a wonderfully balanced oversquare engine that revved freely with hardly any vibration.
Things The Factory Never Told You About Making Your Carb Work Right
The new owner of the used Suzuki RM370 was disappointed. The bike was clean and straight and didn't look abused or neglected. The original owner sounded as if he knew what he was doing. But the first time the new owner rode the bike, it coughed and blubbered.
Wild Things Tankbag Offers Lots of Room for the Money.
Tank bag design appears to headed in one general direction since the development of Dupont's Cordura material. Big, black bags with lots of pouches and some Velcro and a clear map pocket on top are produced by lots of companies now. One variation on the common theme is a bag from Wild Things of New Hampshire.
What Those Guys Are Doing Out There, Who's Winning...And How To Tell
When I was in college I had to take a lot of what the school officials called collateral classes: they had nothing to do with my major or what I was interested in, but were required anyway. I signed up for one such class, covering American novels written a long time ago, just because the instructor was beautiful.
The principles of organized drag racing are scarcely more complicated than the street racing found in any American city. However, equipment is used to ensure fair starts and accurate measurement of the time it takes a bike to reach the finish line (elapsed time) and the speed it is traveling at the finish (terminal speed).
Road racing has its roots in races held on real, honest-to-goodness roads through towns and across the countryside. Nowdays a few races on true street circuits still exist but because public roadways are typically lined with all manner of hard objects for errant racers to run into (like houses, street lamps, etc.) most road races are now run on purpose-built racetracks.
The basic idea in observed trials is to ride a motorcycle over short stretches of seemingly impossible terrain without stopping or putting a foot down. These pieces of inhospitable real estate might route a rider straight up or straight down a cliff; through a stream bed filled with mud and slimy, algae-covered rocks; or over boulders and trees.
Extremely popular in parts of Europe, speedway hasn't really caught on in this country. However, there are several speedway hotbeds in the U.S., and the AMA sanctions races. The bikes are 500cc Singles, mostly Westlake or Jawas, burning alcohol and stuffed into a spindly, almost-bicycle-like frame with a rigid rear end and barely any fork travel.
The point of hillclimbing is to ride a motorcycle up a long dirt hill that frequently resembles a sheer cliff. The machines built for hillclimbing in professional classes look like no other type of motorcycle, with incredibly long wheelbases, rear tires fitted with chains (much like car snow chains) that have steel paddles welded to them, often burning nitro and alcohol.
Enduros add the element of time to difficult riding. The idea is to hold a pre-determined speed average over all sorts of terrain. Riding at a 24 mph average doesn't sound too difficult until you try to hold that speed up and down hills, through knee-deep mud and slop, fording streams, climbing rocky slopes, and slaloming a bike with 30-in. wide handlebars through a forest of 3.8 trillion saplings growing exactly 28 in.
If any type of racing has caught the eye and attention of American youth, it is motocross. Tracks dot the countryside. Around population centers of the United States there may be two or three or even four road race tracks or dirt tracks, but there are bound to be dozens of motocross tracks with almost as many local race sanctioning bodies as there are tracks.
Dirt track, flat track, Class C. It's really the same idea, racing specialized motorcycles on smooth dirt tracks, sliding around the corners, drafting on the straightaways. It's the mainstay of the Winston Pro Series and the breeding ground of some of the best American racers in history.
Bernie Schreiber Lived Up To His Own Prediction By Winning The World Trials Title In 1979. In 1980, He Won Most Of The Battles And Lost The War.
During the 1970 Trans-AMA Joel Robert won six of the eight races—and finished seventh overall in the series. Bernie Schreiber, America's first world trials champion, can appreciate how the Belgian bermbuster must have felt. All the defending world trials champion did in 1980 was set a new record for most victories in a season, winning six of the last nine events on the calendar.
There're many ways to enjoy motorcycle riding, both on and off road. One of the best is exploring the Baja peninsula. Baja is full of lightly traveled roads, quiet little villages, vast unused beaches, and deserts that resemble cactus gardens.
Bruce Main-Smith is one of those industrious journalists who go around photographing everything in sight and has done so for years. I used to do that but the difference is that he started a publishing company to print his own, probably from a surfeit of Art Editors.
Sixteen Years Later Bultaco's Road Racer Looks Too Pretty to Race.
Henry N. Manney III
Spain is thought of by most people as a land of Conquistadores, Armadas, gypsy (for which read Flamenco) dancers, the opera Carmen and an apparently endless line of jimmy-jawed Kings who couldn't chew their food properly and thus died off.
Kawasaki was the second manufacturer to start development on single shock motocross bikes. And the time lapse from race track development to production was incredibly short. Kawasaki offered 125, 250, 400 motocrossers and a 175 enduro, all single shockers, last year.
There's a Club for Most Any Brand of Motorcycle or Motorcyclist.
Motorcycle nuts are special people ... and when they form clubs to share their particular biking interests, they are especially valuable. We asked organizations to let us know who and where they were. Through the response, we discovered there are clubs for every biker: The special make or model devotee, the classic and antique buff, the touring family, and the racing enthusiast.
One reason historians report giant events in sweeping scale is because an individual involved in such great events can miss them entirely, can do nothing more than pull guard duty while all around him epic battles rage. The Honda XR250 shown has led as calm a life as any dirt bike ever experienced.
Cooley Declared Superbike Champion After Protest and Appeals; Who's Riding What in 1981; Rocket Rex Thumps Four-Stroke Nationals
COOLEY IS SUPERBIKE CHAMPION
WHO'S RACING WHAT IN 1981
ROCKET REX THUMPS FOUR-STROKE NATIONALS
HOWERTON WINS TRANS-USA SERIES
TRANS-USA SERIES POINT STANDINGS
SUZUKI POSTS $73,000 FOR NMRA 1981
The AMA has finally declared Wes Cooley the 1980 Superbike Production champion, after a lengthy series of protests and appeals concerning the last Superbike race, held at Daytona. Cooley won that race, beating Freddie Spencer by less than a foot, with AFM racer Mike Spencer third on a Yoshimura Suzuki.
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.
The folks at Bell Helmets have developed a Hallman-type dirt visor that flexes instead of breaking. The five-snap visor is designed for use on Bell's Magnum III and Moto III off-road helmets, but easily snaps to other helmets designed for off-road or motocross use. Color is smoke. Price is $3.50 at any Bell dealer.
Drag Specialties newest sissy bars are made from solid steel stock, chrome plated and detailed. They bolt on to many models of Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki and come complete with all mounting hardware, chrome side straps, and turn signal mounts. Prices range from $55.75 to $80.45. Available from any of Drag Specialties 9000 dealers or Drag Specialties, CW-3, 5401 Smetana Drive, Minnetonka, Minn. 55343. Phone (612) 935-1000.
RIG TANKS FOR STREET BIKES
Custom built alloy tanks with capacities from 6 to 7.8 gal. are available for many Japanese motorcycles. Most tanks can be used with Windjammer-type fairings. Prices range from $200 to $300 and delivery takes 60 to 90 days. Complete list of tank models and application is available from Cycle Togs International, CW-3, Box 19414, Multnomah Station, Portland, Ore. 97219. Phone (503) 223-1157.
Answer Products handlebars are made from chrome-moly steel, heli-arc welded, coated with urethene colors (red, yellow, or blue), or plated with a bright zinc gold. The bends are the result of input from pro riders like Hannah, Bell and Barnett. Price is $23.95 at most motorcycle dealers or Answer Products, CW-3, 7846 Alabama Ave., Canoga Park, Calif. 91304. Phone (213) 340-1083.
MOTORACE TIRE LEVERS
Motorace's tire levers are 15 in. long, 1 in. wide and have special bends that allow easier installation of tires with tough sidewalls. The chrome plated levers are made from drop forged steel. Price is $7 each from dealers or Motorace, CW-3, Box 861, Wilbraham, Mass. 01095. Phone (413) 734-6211.