Ben Franklin must have known I was on the way. When he wrote that “Experience keeps a dear school, but a fool will learn at no other”, Ben surely had me in mind. What he didn’t say is how rewarding it is for us fools who learn the hard way when the lesson pays off next time: Ten years ago, when motorcycles were my hobby and writing about cars was my business, I was keeping my eyes open and spotted a trend before it took place.
On my way home from class, a car making a left turn out of a side road plowed into me and my Honda as I turned left onto that side road. “. . . But I didn’t see you,” the driver said repeatedly. Before I could activate my dual air horns, I was rolling down the tarmac.
Here we have another of those useful little booklets put out by the ubiquitous Bruce Main-Smith, following in the tracks of the Norton Scene, Velocette Scene, Vintage Scene ad infinitum. These works are useful to plain old enthusiasts as well as to restorers as in many cases photos are shown (big useful photos, often of both sides on facing pages) of the motorcycles in question, often before they have been updated, improved or otherwise b.
Conglomerate spin-off is a financial term, meaning that a division or subsidiary has gone out on its own after having been part, for good, bad or both, of a larger organization. Such moves are rare these days, as in most cases the large holding company collects smaller firms more easily than it sends them off as independent operations.
Copycat is an epithet seldom hurled at Yamaha. If such an accusation was made, all the defense would need is to file a bill of particulars: Yamaha persisted with the large vertical Twin long after such engines went out of style. Likewise the two-stroke Twin, ditto the revival of the 500cc road-only Single built in reply to no discernible demand.
Liquid Cooling, and Full Floater Rear Suspension; The RM125X Has it All.
All racing classes are serious but the 125 motocross class is by far the most serious and intense. A bike that was the ultimate last month or even last week may not be enough this week. Manufacturers scrap tooling and design concepts regularly.
The motorcycle battery. A little box about one-third the size of a car battery that often has to handle as much electrical draw as an automobile unit. It’s undergone some significant changes over the past few years, but it’s essentially still the same device it was 50 years ago—an electro-chemical contraption that stores chemical energy which can be released as electrical energy.
The problem with being a big successful company like Honda is that you can produce some fabulous machinery that is automatically considered normal just because the machine is so easy to buy. Witness the CB900F, Honda’s latest and best go fast exercise.
"You are going to be mighty disappointed,” our friend John told us.“There is no such thing as Route 66. Not any more. I’ve been out to California and back twice, and 66 is gone. Nonexistent. Finished. It is an ex-highway. It’s called Interstate 40 now.
Creative new ideas are valuable, no question about that. The inventor who comes up with something the world can use and didn’t have before is entitled to his rewards. But sometimes we also benefit from the development, in slightly different ways, of ideas that have entered the public domain.
The Size Is A Voice From The Past, But The Performance Is Up To Date.
There are beginner’s bikes, and there are bikes suitable for beginners. Kawasaki’s KZ305 is both, and more. While it is just fine for someone learning to ride, (being inexpensive, light, easy to start and ride, stable and reliable), it is also quick enough, fast enough and fun enough to be appreciated by more experienced riders.
Once upon a time Krauser motorcycle luggage was synonymous with BMW motorcycles because the Krauser equipment was sold through the BMW importer. Krauser luggage was noteworthy because it detached from the motorcycle and because it was attractively styled.
From Daytona to Sturgis, Motorcyclists are on the Road to Fun.
One popular motorcylist image is the Rugged Individualist. He’s the guy who looks like the hero of a Marlboro ad. Or an aftershave commercial. He’s riding a motorcycle, a big motorcycle, down some long, lonesome highway oblivious to the lures of designer jeans or decaffeinated coffee.
"The push,” I said to myself between breaths as I strained with the weight of my Moriwaki Kawasaki, struggling to move it forward against the resistance of gravity and the lumpy grass lining Japan’s Suzuka circuit, “is what . .
"What’s a Nice Old Bike Doing In a Place Like This?” "110.52 MPH”
Henry N. Manney III
The story of Harley is the story of its flatheads, really, as this basic design carried the company to worldwide fame quite unenvisaged by its hardworking founders. To be sure pocket or proper overhead valves got into the act from time to time but to true aficionados the jangling OHV was as welcome as yer wife’s mother at a stag party.
Yamaha was one of the first Japanese motorcycle manufacturers to get serious about enduro bikes. The tradition began in 1968 with the DT-1, a street-legal machine that was so exceptional for its time that many were stripped of road gear and became serious and successful enduro and motocross racers.
MX Fox has an aluminum bodied shock for YZ125, 250 and 465 G and H models. The shock features easily adjustable compression damping (just turn the knob mounted on the top of the reservoir), rebound damping that’s externally adjustable to 40 different settings, fade free performance and adjustable wheel travel. The shock can be adjusted for 1 in. more or 1 in. less rear wheel travel. Motocrossers can increase travel, enduro riders can decrease travel to make touching the ground easier. The Fox monoshock is rebuildable and comes with an instruction manual. Price is $335 from Moto-X Fox, CW-5, 520 McGlincy Lane, Cambell, Calif. 95008. Phone (408) 271-1221.
OUTERS LEATHER C ARE KIT
Outers leather care kit contains leather soap, mink oil paste, silicone water repellent, liquid mink oil, applicators and cleaning tools. The products are packaged in a plastic case. The kit is available from local Malcolm Smith Dealers or Malcolm Smith, CW-5, 7563 Indiana, Riverside, Calif. 92504.
CYCLE-AM BOR HANNAH MX FENDERS
Cycle-Am’s Hurricane fenders are injection molded and shaped to fit modern day motocrossers. Both front and rear feature universal mounting and come in eight colors. All Cycle-Am fenders have a one year limited warranty against breakage. For more information send $1 to CycleAm, CW-5, 23954 Craftsman Road, Calabasas, Calif. 91302.
SUPER LIGHT ARA! SL-80
Arai’s newest competition helmet is claimed by the manufacturer as the lightest commercially available Snell-75 and DOT approved helmet. By using various resin blends and a combination of fiberglass and polymer filaments, Arai has produced a helmet that weighs only 2.75 lb. Price is about $200 from Arai Helmet LTD., CW-5, PO Box 421, Tenafly, N.J. 07670.
GRAND TOURING USA TACK! GRIPS
Gold Belt’s Tacki-Grip line of grips has been extended and a touring/street version is now available. The natural contour grips have special texturing, radial ventilation slots, absorb vibration and come in black or brown. The special tacki-grip material furnishes a superior grip even while wet. Price is $8.95 from dealers or The Gold Belt Line, CW-5, 7045 Darby Avenue, Reseda, Calif. 91335.
SPUN ALUMINUM WHEELS
Hyper-Cycle spun aluminum wheels arg lighter than spoked, cast aluminum or cast magnesium racing wheels of equal width. The wheels are triangular in cross section and are available with hubs and tooit patterns to fit popular Japanese superbikes, in a variety of rim widths. The biggest advantage of the wheels, according to Hyper-Cycle, is a very light weight around the circumference, which means it takes less energy to accelerate or decelerate the wheels. From Hyper-Cycle, 15828 Arminita St., Unit 11, Van Nuys, Calif. 91406, (213) 787-2868.
SUPERBIKE FORK BRACE
Racer’s World makes its superbike fork brace out of thick-wall chrome-moly tubing with heliarc welds and a powder-paint finish. According to Racer’s World, the brace improves handling by eliminating fork flex, a common problem with highhorsepower street and race bikes. They say the difference can even be felt on a stocker. The brace is available for all Japanese Fours, BMWs and Harley-Davidsons, and custom braces for other makes are made upon request. Retail price if $59.95 from Racer’s World, 346 El Camino Real, Redwood City, Calif. 94062 (415) 369-4112.
WHITE BROS. BOOST BOTTLE
White Bros. Boost Bottle is similar to the vacuum intake systems used on some ’81 Yamahas and Suzukis. When the throttle is backed off, the bottle fills with trapped fuel. When the throttle is opened again, the trapped fuel rushes into the cylinder, eliminating the delay time of most carburetors. The kit consists of an intake spacer plate, gaskets, aluminum bottle and a hose that connects the pieces. The kit is available for Yamaha YZ80 through 250, Honda CR80 through 250, Kawasaki KX and KDX 80 through 250. Models for Suzuki are being developed and should be available soon. Price is $49.95 from White Bros. Cycle Specialties, CW-5, 11611 Salinaz Dr., Garden Grove, Calif. 92643. Phone (714) 638-1653.
FOX SHOX FOR STREET BIKES
Moto-X Fox, makers of racing shocks for off-road racing, has expanded its shock models to include touring, production racing and just plain street riding. Features include internally adjustable damping, half inch shafts, a wide selection of springs and complete parts service for rebuilding. Fox has models to fit most major brands of street motorcycles. Price is $141 per pair from Moto-X Fox, CW-5, 520 McGlincy Lane, Campbell, Calif. 95008. Phone (408) 371-1221.
continued on page 184 continued from page 154 SPUN ALUMINUM WHEELS SUPERBIKE FORK BRACE WHITE BROS. BOOST BOTTLE FOX SHOX FOR STREET BIKES
SPRINGER IS BACK, HOUSTON WAS A THRILLER AND THE FACTORIES ARE INTO THE ACT
HONDA’S V-TWIN FLAT TRACKER
ISDT BECOMES ISDE
Houston is a terrific place to go to the races. The Astrodome’s TT and short track courses aren’t like those anywhere else on the AMA/Winston Pro circuit (or even elsewhere in the world) so nothing really is proven by who wins what. But Houston opens the season and brings out the new rider/team combinations and various little surprises the factories and privateers have been working on during the off season, and gives the motojournalists lots of predictions and calculations.
EVALUATION Motorcycle fairings started out simple enough. A little bit of fiberglass bent to fit around the handlebars and a small plastic windshield and that was it. Like everything else in motorcycling, time has improved fairings to the extent that there’s another gap in the market for a simple bit of protection that’s not too big.
I have a 1978 Honda CB750-F2 that I have extensively modified. About the only thing I haven’t done to my scoot is drop in a big bore kit. All the kits available now fun 10.5:1 compression and require premium fuel. Unfortunately, premium gas has virtually disappeared where I ride and octane-booster is both expensive and impractical for street riding.
The club list presented in the March, 1981 issue has generated a tremen-dous response from our readers We've heard from several groups who missed the first calling and would like fellow bikers to know who and where they are. There were also letters from enthusiasts who want to form an organization and need to let the interested parties know how to contact them.