Grandstand seats don't come any better. I was headed north on the left-hand side of a junction where five lanes become four and then three. Directly ahead was a normal sedan, coming in from the right. Moving from the left was another sedan.
After high-siding on an uncharted oil spill I had a good month to recuperate and regain my confidence in riding. Back on the road a week ago, some do-dah almost creamed me and I remember grabbing the front brake . . . possibly three inches worth.
Elsewhere in this issue the past 20 years of motorcycling has been rehashed in a number of ways, which, besides being fun to read, should tell us something about where we're headed. Predictions are always fun, and rumors are even better, though they're easier to come up with because you can always blame somebody else when they aren't true.
After several years where point-to-point desert races appeared to be history, this past year's Check Chase may not seem insignificant, but according to the Bureau of Land Management the resurrected Check Chase had no significant impact on the desert course.
No sooner did the November Cycle World get sent out than U.S. Suzuki noticed a mistake in the ad for the GS45OE. It turns out Suzuki's ad claims the bike has electronic advance, while the machine actually uses mechanical advance with the electronic ignition.
The American Motorcyclist Association is continuing the court battle against the City of St. Louis over a ban on motorcycling on some of the city streets. The latest episode occurred at the Missouri Court of Appeals which has already ruled against the AMA in overturning a lower court order against St.
Honda's CBX400F and CBX550F can't be called rumors, at least not as long as there is a picture of it available. Instead, it's a motorcycle that American Honda hasn't told us about. This photo is from Honda's importer in France where both a 400cc and 550cc version will be sold.
When Cycle World listed addresses of motorcycle riding schools, Canadian courses weren't included. Since then, Stuart Munro of the Canada Safety Council sent us a list of the provincial safety organizations, which all conduct training programs for motorcyclists.
Government certification has been completed on the Nevel motorcycle and sidecar combination. A year after the Nevels were announced by Sidecar Imports, the DOT and EPA approvals have come through and the machines are available in this country.
A 650 Turbo, a 550 V-Twin, New 400s, More Suspension for YZs, Two Carbs for One Cylinder and That's Only Half of It.
Some of the new models were expected at the 1982 Yamaha show, but at least as many weren't. It's understandable when old models like the XS400 get replaced by with new XS400s with the latest in dual overhead camshafts and counterbalancers.
Suzuki's Finishing School Does Wonders for the 850's Manners
The end of the Seventies had some of us worried. While it was true that Japanese motorcycles were coming through with vastly improved frames and suspensions, new emission and noise regulations threatened to make the bikes unpleasant to ride if not downright unrideable.
Big isn't necessarily better, especially in enduro competition. Unless you are built like the new Tarzan, an open enduro mount mired in mud up to its axles and wedged between six or seven competitors quickly turns from grin to grim.
"Forget the airline tickets,” I told my wife, Barbara. “No decadent air travel for us. We’re going to Seattle on a Harley-Davidson.” A Harley?” Barb looked up from brushing our eldest cat, an animal who is especially well-groomed because she’s too feeble to resist.
Scientists researching human behavior would have a field day watching motorcycle nuts looking at old magazines. In a classic reversal of mice through a maze, the search for one fact becomes the page after that, then another and another. Giggles and guffaws attract a crowd and the newcomers begin turning pages too, finding the test of their first bike, say, or the glowing announcement of a machine treated to a merciful death before public sale, followed by a solemn pronouncement that disc brakes are dangerous or that two-strokes by their very nature can never compete with four-strokes on equal terms.
Once Upon a Time There Was a Bike Nut Who Thought Motorcycle Magazines Could Be Better.
Motorcycling was a simple sport when I first got interested. In the late 1940s there weren't many people involved and bikes were hard to find and expensive. Harley-Davidson and Indian were making big iron street bikes occasionally seen off road ridden most often by men who were big, tough or both.
When Bridgestone 50s Were Motorcycles and Men Were Boys, the CB 160 was a Big Bike
“You’re going where, on what?" This question, with all its incredulous overtones, was put to me several years ago by Doug, a man I worked with. It was my first real signal that things had changed. “I’m going to New Orleans on my Honda 400F,” I said, trying not to sound too defensive.
It's Not How Good They Were, But How Far We've Come.
With all due apologies to Abraham Lincoln, all motorcycles aren't created equal. Some are better than others, though the people who make and sell them have a tough time with that. Most of the time we deal with this in a hectic way, declaring that Bike A is maybe not as good as it should be and that Bike C is a treat from heaven.
The editors said no history and that's fine with me. Motorcycle racing is to me the Grand National Championship, now known as the Winston Pro series, and I can't write a history of it. What follows is rambling, discursive and I hope informative.
In Which We Print 20 Years of News That Didn't Fit
For the record: The first issue of Cycle World Magazine bore a cover date of January, 1962 and appeared in December, 1961. The title and type design were chosen to cash in on then-popular Karting World. The slogan was "The New Motorcycle Enthusiast's Magazine" which meant a new magazine for enthusiasts rather than a magazine for new enthusiasts.
Not Just a Seca in Cruisers Clothes, but Rather a Motorcycle Engineered for its Intended Purpose
Yamaha's Maxim 550 followed the Seca 550 into the marketplace and shares many parts with the sporty Seca. But the cruiser-styled Maxim is farther from the Seca than styling alone would suggest, in terms of feel and performance. This is not simply a motorcycle with a different gas tank and seat and sidecovers to match a changed nameplate.
Eddie Lawson Owns Superbike Production; U.S. MX Team Smokes Europeans in Europe; Broc Glover Wins Trans-USA Title
Eddie Lawson won the Superbike championship by 10 points with a third-place finish at the final event at Daytona. Freddie Spencer won the final race, setting a new lap record, but all Lawson had to do to win the championship was finish 12th or better.
ENTHUSIAST SUPPORT CARRIES AMERICA TO TROPHEE AND MX DES NATIONS WINS
It was the biggest pair of upset victories in the history of motocross—and it wouldn't have happened without the support and contributions of MX fans from across the USA Team Honda’s Danny LaPorte, Donnie Hansen, Johnny O’Mara and Chuck Sun went to Europe for the Trophee des Nations in Belgium, a 250cc event matching teams from various countries, and ran off with victory by a large margin.
Team Kawasaki racing manager Gary Mathers, overheard in the pits at a road race: "As far as I'm concerned, Eddie (Lawson) is worth $250,000 a day. And if we don't pay him, somebody else will." Lawson's contract with Kawasaki is currently up for renewal.
I recently put a Kerker exhaust system and a set of K&N filters on my 1980 Kawasaki 1000 Z1-R. The resulting jetting changes in the search for both optimum horsepower and fuel mileage have been very confusing. I’ve tried main jets from 117.5 to 132.5 with a multitude of needle settings and have settled on 122.5s with the needle shims reversed and am still not positive it’s right.
Pacifico’s newest fairing is designed to fit most bikes from 250cc up. The handlebar fairing comes with universal mounting hardware that firmly attaches the unit to four places on the bike. The Aero-Foil utilizes Pacifico’s Air Balance vent system that reduces drag and turbulence, increases performance, and provides increased comfort, according to the manufacturer. Price is $149.95 from Pacifico dealers. For more information contact Pacifico Inc., CW-1, 1625 SE Hogan, Gresham, Oregon 97030. Phone (503) 66-5502.
This three-piece vinyl tankbag expands or contracts according to load needs. Quick release spring clips attach the parts to a padded tank pad and double carrying handles and a shoulder strap make the bag easy to take along when leaving the bike. Rubber attachment straps and a clear map pocket complete the bag. Price is $35 from Beach’s Motorcycle Adventures, CW-1, P.O. Box 36, 2763 West River Pkwy., Grand Island, New York 14072. Phone (716) 773-1995.
Horizon Electrics has two motorcycle clocks available. Both have large easily read numerals, pressure sensitive switching and night lighting. The deluxe version includes a stopwatch. Both mount to fairings with hook and loop fasteners, so you don’t have to drill holes, or a handlebar bracket is available. The clocks measure 1.5 x 3.5 x 0.5 in. The standard model costs $34.95, the deluxe version is $44.95. To order contact Horizon Electrics, CW-1, 711 W. 17th St., Costa Mesa, Calif. 92627. Phone (714) 646-2416.