Because I am on record as having not much respect for the ability of the average driver, and because I was so obviously the guilty party in this incident, I need to set an elaborate stage. A month or so back I mentioned omens, those signs that maybe you shouldn’t do what you’re about to do.
I read with mixed emotions the test on the Honda FT500. I'm pleased to see Honda pick up the concept of a road-going big Single with its advantages of low weight, low initial cost and maintenance within the grasp of the average owner. It’s also nice to see it styled as a serious sporting bike with no attempts to connect it with big Singles of the past.
DEPARTMENTS We are always glad to see people invest in the high side of the market and this book couldn’t be higher. It’s coffee-table size, with hard covers, 192 pages glossy paper and countless full color photos, all printed with no regard for expense.
Motorcycles get classified, just like motorcyclists, but it’s always seemed more reasonable for bikes to get labels because it’s the motorcyclists who do the labeling. The subject came up as we were labeling the 550cc motorcycles compared elsewhere in this issue.
Kenny Roberts rode a new Yamaha VFour in the Austrian Grand Prix. The machine’s engine hangs from the aluminum frame and the triangulated swing arm uses levers and pivots to operate a horizontal, single shock absorber mounted across the frame.
Racing has a grim side. None of us like to think about it and we like even less to report it, but sad and tragic things do happen: Willie Crabbe died May 11 of injuries suffered at the San Jose mile the previous week. The record books won’t say much about Willie Crabbe.
What next year’s new models will be, we don’t'know. The factories aren’t talking yet, not even denying rumors. This doesn't prevent us from a little healthy fantasizing, however, based on which models are old and which models could \m made the easiest and what there appears to be a market for.
Comparing the Kawasaki GPz550, Suzuki GS550M, Yamaha Seca 550 and Yamaha Vision Fun is a hard quaiity to measure, but in the world of street bikes it may be that the sporting 550s offer more than any other single group of motorcycles. While they may not be best for two-up touring or shooting from one coast to the other, they truly come into their own on those stretches of winding road you later look back upon and remember with fondness A 550 is big enough and fast enough tor thrill without feeling lethal and intimidating, and it's not so heavy and large that it takes on a mind of its own if you get out of shape halfway through a corner.
Did you ever daydream about building the ultimate dirt bike? Think of the possibilities; a custom-built chromemoly steel frame, maybe painted bright Chinese red, forks with 12 in. of travel and 40mm stanchion tubes, Fox Twin-Clicker single shock, aluminum swing arm, giant-killer 495cc engine with eight-petal reed and five-speed transmission, Metzeler tires, chrome-moly bars, maybe use white plastic tank and fenders to show off the red frame, folding shift lever and Magura hand levers—all the good stuff.
The Lightweight Twin in Yamaha’s New Generation Can’t Be Dismissed as a Beginner’s Bike
There’s a message in the Yamaha Seca 400, its engine singing at 7000 rpm, the mirrors crystal clear, the seat comfortable, the bars at just the right place for brisk riding. The message is that this is no beginner’s bike. Myths die hard in motorcycling.
Would you like to make the editor rich? No, huh? Okay, would you like to make the editor richer by $20 while at the same time making yourself happy? Better deal, right? Nothing to it. All you have to do is buy this motorcycle. True story. Several months ago the editor was at a lunch, seated across from a big guy in one of the motorcycle companies.
A Full-Fledged Racer For the Champion of the Future
■ Tension mounted as the 10-sec. sign came up. Riders pegged their throttles, crouched over the tanks, eyes focused on the starter. The gate dropped and 20 bikes shot off the line. Six bikes bumped, shoved and locked bars into the first turn, a turn three bikes wide.
How to Make Your Speedometer as Fast as Your Bike.
Just how fast motorcyclists have been riding on the newer machines has been a matter of speculation, guessing and the occasional cooperation of stern-faced men in funny hats who drive cars equipped with bright red lights. Even law-abiding, slow-riding motorcyclists have been heard to ridicule the federally mandated 85 mph speedometers.
Here we have another entrant in the burgeoning soft luggage competition, this model having several features that set it apart from most of the others. These are Yamaha saddlebags, designed by the accessory people at Yamaha’s offices in this country, and produced by an outside supplier, This is how most Yamaha accessories are created and produced and the result has been a catalog full of Yamaha accessories that generally work very well.
I’m gonna ride the wheels off that thing and win. I’m adaptable. It’s ■ only a 250." Bruce Hammer, before riding a TZ250 Yamaha in an exhibition race at the Long Beach Formula One (car) Grand Prix. * * * “To be a competitive 250 rider demands ferocious concentration because the motorcycles are so equal.
Roberts Leads 500cc Road Racing World Championship; Lackey First In 500cc Motocross World Championship Points.
ROBERTS WINS IN ARGENTINA
RIDERS BOYCOTT FRENCH GP
UNCINI TOPS AUSTRIAN GP
LACKEY LEADS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
KLINZMANN AND WOLFF WIN BUDWEISER GRAND PRIX
JOBE HEADS 250CC MX GP POINTS; GUERRA WINS SPANISH ROUND
PIETRI WINS IMOLA SUPERBIKE _ RACE; WOLFF THIRD
O’MARA, KEYLON WIN FLORIDA 125/250cc NATIONALS
THE FASTEST MILE
BUSBY WINS FORMULA TWO _AT LBGP_
DEPARTMENTS Kenny Roberts won the opening round of the 1982 500cc Road Racing World Championship Series in Argentina. Roberts’ lead over second-place Barry Sheene was less than 30 ft., with Freddie Spencer and the NS500 another 30ft. (0.7 sec.) behind Sheene.
Last year I purchased a GS750 and have been very pleased with this motorcycle, but it has a flaw to which I would like to alert other owners. After only 6500 mi. my alternator stator burned out. The mechanic has informed me this is due to a poorly grounded battery box, battery and regulator-rectifier.
DEPARTMENTS SIMPSON MODEL 52 JUNIOR SIZE Simpson’s new Model 52 is now available in junior sizes 6V2 to 6% in Vs in. increments. The Snell ’80 certified helmet comes in red, white or yellow for $ 139.95. From dealers or contact Simpson Sports, CW-8, 22630 S. Normandie Ave., Torrance, Calif.
Cycle World photo “Here’s the problem,” said the absentminded team manager, “I’ve been smoking an extended tip platinum racing plug and you’ve been running a Muriel Perfecta in your number two cylinder.”