Omens usually affect me. I have a secret cache of quirks and superstitions, ranging from not shaving on race morning to never saying rude things about an engine when it can hear you. In general I follow my interpretations of the tea leaves.But not always.
The response from your recent article Roadcraft, Part V, The Superbike School has been phenomenal. I must only conclude from this that your magazine is one of the few that is actually read by the motorcycle enthusiast public. As an aside, I would like to point out that the heaviest response has been from the upper mid-west, Illinois-Wisconsin area.
Endurance runs were a popular means of proving the durability of motorcycles back when Wells Bennett and Cannonball Baker were regularly beating each other’s records for crossing the country up and down or cross-ways. In 1922 Bennett broke the transcontinental record with a ride from Los Angeles to New York that took six days and 15 hours.
Riders planning on attending that annual fall gathering known as Aspencade had better get a few more maps this year. Aspencade as it has been known is no more. It’s a victim of progress. The Chaparral, the motel in Ruidoso where Til Thompson’s annual fall outing was headquartered, is being converted into condominiums.
At the time our story on the California Superbike School went to print, the schedule for 1982 hadn’t been finalized. Now the letters are coming in requesting dates and locations and the schedule has also arrived. May 7 the school will be held at Riverside.
More exciting reading has been written, but for sheer weight and amount of information contained few publications can rival Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures. That’s the official title of what has been called the Hurt Report for the last couple of years.
Until two cans arrived in the mail we didn’t suspect there really was a Mouse Milk. The name has always sounded like a miracle lubrication additive, the kind of thing that you add to the crankcase to double your horsepower. It turns out Mouse Milk isn’t like that, and the distributor wanted us to know that, so he sent us a couple of cans.
Small and Harley-Davidson weren’t always mutually exclusive. Certainly Dick O’Brien knows that. His stable of Harley-Davidson racing machinery includes a few small bikes with the Harley name on them. They came from Harley’s Italian factory, the company that had been Aermacchi before Harley bought the factory and sold the small 250cc bikes as Sprints in the U.S.
Remember those wonderful ads in the comic books where the 97 lb. weakling went to the beach only to have some guy with big muscles and no neck kick sand in his face and walk away with the girl? Our skinny hero then went home to take a mail order course in muscle building and returned to the beach in glory, reclaiming his girl and shoving the bully in the face.
Last time we tested a Kawasaki KDX250 (Aug. ’80) the bike was part of a seven-bike enduro comparison. Although it was the first to arrive at our office, it was the last to be ridden. It was flat homely and all the testers were sure it would be the least desirable.
It's a Triple.It's Hand-Built. It's Exotic. It’s a Hard-Edged Sport Bike You Won’t See Everywhere.
LAVERDA JOTA 1000
Chances are good you’ll never see a Laverda Triple on every street corner. The U.S. importer hopes to sell 300 of the Italian sport bikes this year. The factory in Breganze produces a few thousand each year, built in batches without an assembly line.
Two Successful Desert Racers Teach Speed in the California Desert
Dawn broke over the Laguna Mountains, resting the sun squarely on the median of California's 1-8. Visor down, sunglasses in place, we aimed for it and drove toward El Centro from San Diego. Handlebars bobbed gently in the rearview mirror as the road curved and climbed through the rocky environment.
All the Right Pieces Are Here, But So Is the Weight.
Remember when you could buy the ultimate motocrosser and be assured it would stay the ultimate for two or three years? Those days are long gone. You better buy that new model as soon as it’s introduced these days. Otherwise six or eight months down the road you’re going to be astounded to find that shiny new 28 port, half a shock, one fork, hydraulic drive wonder is an antique.
When last we reviewed the work of our disreputable pal Bob Bitchin, he’d written a novel. A trashy novel, the perfect framework for the sort of sleazy movie shown only at drive-ins during the summer. In exchange for the promise of a part in said movie we agreed to give his book an honest review.
Here we have a classic case of conflict of interest. As the title implies, this is a book for the new motorcy clist. As you'd also guess, the book contains information on how to ride, where to ride, what to buy, how a motorcycle works, how to maintain it, what to wear, etc.
Handlebar-mount fairings have had a renaissance of sorts since the advent of plexiglass fairings. Everybody and his uncle is producing all shapes and sizes of clear and smoked plastic shields, some just tiny patches to swirl some wind past the rider, others the size of barn doors that extend from the front axle to a half foot above the rider's head.
Back before the world had ever heard of dual-purpose bikes, back when you and I liked Ike and we’d rather be dead than red, Scrambles was the most popular form of off-road competition and the bikes used in scrambles races were just ordinary bikes, minus a few heavy parts.
Freddie Wins, Honda Dominates but Eddie’s Gamble Steals the Show
Eddie Lawson was nine seconds ahead of third place and had first in sight when he spotted Steve Johnson and the Kawasaki pit board. Lawson was on the fastest part of the Daytona course and approaching the slowest, the transition being critical and demanding.
Honda Picks 12-lap Tires and Crosby Soldiers on to Win the 52-lap Race for Yamaha
The Daytona 200 was barely 10 laps old when Freddie Spencer realized he was in trouble. He had led and been passed and led again, running in a clump with Mike Baldwin on another V-Four Honda and Kenny Roberts on a works YZR500 Yamaha. Now Roberts had coasted to a halt with a seized engine, leaving Spencer and Baldwin and their identical Hondas up front.
The start was different, but the ending came right out of the 1981 World Championship season. Richard Schlachter lined up on the grid with the Bob MacLean TZ250J, worried because his new tires had only three laps of practice on them.Rain had eliminated other practice sessions, and AMA officials gave those precious three laps just before the start.
Honda’s Science Fiction Road Racer; Lackey’s Golden State Series; and Two More Racewatch Contests
Mike Baldwin called his 1024cc V-Four Honda four-stroke “Science fiction on wheels.” Honda officials admitted that the bikes cost $1 million each considering R and D time and materials, and one observer suggested that the main material used in their construction was compressed $1000 bills.
Outspoken New Yorker Jim Adamo won both the Daytona and the Talledega rounds of the Battle of the Twins by big margins, riding Reno Leoni’s Ducati. Second to Adamo at Daytona was John Long on a BMW. Long passed Dave Roper’s Harley-Davidson on the last lap.
Former (1980) Trials World Champion Bernie Schreiber was second in 1982 points following the second event of the series, in Belgium. The event was a repeat of the initial round in Spain. In both events Eddy Lejeune won on a four-stroke Honda RTL360 built and sponsored by the factory.
With competition getting tougher in club-level Stock Production racing, creative cheating is increasing. One team has used two intake cams in a bike with electronic tach. The intake cam looks just like an exhaust cam, but has more lift. The same team ported a cylinder head, then bead-plasted the ports and used a fine porting tool tip to create imitation casting marks in the enlarged ports.
The first reader to correctly state what Eddie Lawson is doing in this photo wins the original print, autographed by Eddie, and a large Eddie Lawson T-shirt. Send your entry to And One More Contest, Cycle World, 1499 Monrovia Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92663.
LACKEY, HANSEN, O’MARA TAKE 1982 GOLDEN STATE SERIES TITLES
It was the first time in years that grand prix contender Brad Lackey stayed home to seriously contest an American motocross series. And even though Lackey was able to pull off the Open class title in the CMC/Preston Petty-sponsored Golden State Series, the Team Suzuki rider found the pickings hard at most of the seven races held over the winter at California’s top tracks.
In an attempt to become the first rider in American motocross history to win all three National Championship Titles, Team Yamaha’s Broc Glover moves to the 250cc class for 1982. Glover already won Championships in the 125cc class (1978, 1979) and the 500cc class (1981).
A grim reminder that sport is deeply influenced by politics was the FIM notice that the Polish sanctioning body, Polski Zwiazek Motorowy, cancelled the 250cc Motocross Grand Prix and the second round of the Individual Speedway World Championship.
Andre Malherbe won his second 500cc motocross World Championship last year in spite of injuries. Now he’s looking for title number three after an off-season spent recouperating at his home in Huy, Belgium, a 200-year-old manor, with his wife, Sabine, a maid, and two well-groomed dogs.
With single shocks and watercooling now the standard fare on Japanese production and works bikes, Honda has gone one better with a fuel pump on its latest RC 250-82 works bikes. The pump is a diaphragm type which operates off changing pressure in the engine crankcase.
Notice the photo of David Emde and Jim Filice at Daytona. Both ride TZ250s. The first reader to correctly state the significance of this photo wins a box of ND spark plugs in the heat range of his choice and a case of PJ1 chain lube. Send your entries to Yet Another Racewatch Contest, Cycle World, 1499 Monrovia Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92663.
How can I tell what is the correct tire pressure on my, or any other, cafe bike? I ride a stripped down '78 Yamaha SR500 with Dunlop K81 tires, 3.60-19 front and 4.10-18 rear. My bike weighs less than 300 lb. wet and I ride hard, solo and twoup.I weigh 135 lb. and usually carry little or no luggage.
Franks Racing specializes in trick racing parts. These lightweight aluminum parts will give that factory look to late model YZs, RMs, Huskys and Hondas. Prices start at $27.50 for brake pedals, around $45 for torque arms. Contact Kevin Franks Racing, CW-6, 3446 W. Harvard, Santa Ana, Calif. 92704. Phone (714) 546-3484.
Kevin Franks Racing
DRAG SPECIALTIES H-D BELT PRIMARY DRIVE
Drag Specialties has a kit to convert 1970 through 1981 Harley-Davidson FL and FX models to primary belt drive. The belt drive is lighter and quieter than chain primary drives. The kit goes for $256.25 from Drag Specialties dealers.
Kevin Franks Racing
M/C CIGARETTE LIGHTER
The lighter is complete with a chrome plated mounting bracket and hookup wire. It’s easily mounted almost anyplace on a touring bike. From dealers for $8.50 or contact M/C Enterprises, CW-6, 7721 Deering Ave., Canoga Park, Calif. 91304. Phone (213) 887-6520.
Kevin Franks Racing
WORKS PERFORMANCE MINI SHOCKS
Works Performance has replacement shocks for all of the new single shock minis from Japan. Shock bodies are steel with cast-on aluminum fins. Shafts are 0.5 in. stainless steel, valving is progressive and tunable, the spring is shot-peened chrome-silicon steel, the reservoir is aluminum with machined cooling fins and the reservoir hose is braided steel. Each shock can be ordered calibrated for the rider’s weight and riding ability. Price is $194.95 from dealers or Works Performance, CW-6, 8730 Shirley Ave., Northridge, Calif. 91324. Phone (213) 701-1010.
Kevin Franks Racing
RODON QUICK-SHIFT DEVICE
The Rodon Kwik-Shift is an electronic device that allows upshifting at full throttle without using the clutch, resulting in faster shifts and quicker E.T.s at the drag strip. The unit works on the same principle as an air shifter, instantaneously killing the engine to unload the shift dogs and allowing easy shifting to the next gear. It’s easily installed with normal hand tools in less than an hour, according to the manufacturer. Price is $229.94 from dealers or Cypro Inc, CW-6, 14 Wood Ave., English-town, N. J. 07726. Phone (201) 446-2310.