One fine day many years ago I was trapped in traffic. It was a hot day. I sat in the stink and fumes, moving a few feet, stopping, holding the clutch and getting neutral just in time to bang into gear and roll another few feet while I worried about the engine overheating.
The Wolverhampton Detour brought back good memories of my 1973 850 Commando. Every time I dig in the toolbox I find the old British standard wrenches and that special locking washer for the advance. I, too, sold my Norton for a Japanese bike.
All off-road riders know they should carry a tow rope, but how many do? And where do you carry one? Chase Harper has made it easy. Called the Buddy Tow, it’s a one—inch—wide nylon strap, 12 ft. long, with a 1785 lb. test strength. It comes in a pouch that can be carried in a jacket pocket or attached to the bike’s handlebar or a frame tube. They are available at local dealers for $6.95.
If you have been using a YZ or CR for trail riding, this bolt-on kick stand should be of interest. It’s made of chrome-moly steel and installs in minutes. It costs $39.95 from Malcolm Smith dealers.
Nighthawk 650 pipes
A 4-into-1 Jardine pipe will improve power and reduce weight, according to the manufacturer. It goes for $130 in black or $230 in chrome. The pipe is street legal. Get it at your local dealer.
This two-stroke engine leakdown tester can simplify and shorten the time required to find a leaking gasket, seal or manifold. It comes with rubber adapters to fit 26 through 44mm Mikuni, Bing or Keihin carburetors. The intake plug is equipped with an easy to read gauge and the exhaust plug expands to fit all engines. The kit sells for $39.95 from B & D Engineering, 906 North Towner, Santa Ana, Calif. 92703. Phone(714) 541-8067.
This lightweight fairing is made of ABS plastic and features four-point mounting bracketry. It comes in matt black, has a rolled dash and clear wind-screen with built-in spoiler and edges that are finished with chrome beading. Price is $129.95 from DPL Eurosport Inc., Box 3576, San Rafael, Calif. 94912. Phone (415) 479-8134.
G-Mac’s one-piece English-made leathers have zippered cuffs and ankles, padded shoulders, hips, knees and elbows. The back has elastic panels and the suit is fully lined. Several color combinations are available for $269.95. Contact G-Mac Sales USA, 21250 Califa St. Suite 105, Woodland Hills, Calif. 91367. Phone (213) 348-9896.
There's just something about legislators and bikes...
Coming up, the Tabernacle Choir tries to cross Salt Lake on Vespas
The number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities dropped between 1981 and 1982, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. A 50-state survey of traffic statistics found that the number of accidents dropped by five percent and the number of fatalities declined by six percent.
Yamaha to rivals: We'll match your rockets and raise you a race-based two-stroke.
Remember those cliches about making opportunities out of problems and who does what when the going gets tough? For 1984, Yamaha has taken this wisdom and gone to work. Things surely were tough in 1983. Optimism caused Yamaha to increase production capacity and fill the pipeline with lots of models, while getting into a battle with Honda over who was going to be the biggest.
Motocross machines change more quickly than other bikes. Honda more than other factories makes major changes yearly. And during the past few years these changes have included new frames and new engines at the same time. Thus, it’s news but not surprising that the 1984 Honda open motocrosser, the CR500R, consists of last year’s grips attached to this year’s everything else— frame, engine, wheels, hubs, the works.
HOW FREDDIE SPENCER BEAT KENNY ROBERTS OUT OF THE 500cc WORLD ROAD RACING CHAMPIONSHIP.
Kenny Roberts had been hiding in the pile of tires stacked in the Dunlop awning and the tire technicians were beginning to tire of his games. He popped his head up bearing its usual grin and began to climb up out of the six foot pile. "You knock those tires over and you'll pile them up again," said Peter Ingley, the engineer, obviously unimpressed with Roberts' antics.
Before you get a chance to observe anything else about the Kawasaki Voyager, one thing leaps out, grabs your attention and won't let go. That's size. The Kawasaki Voyager weighs 909 lb. with its gas tank half full. No other motorcycle, from any time or country, has possessed such mass.
Boots offered to the motorcycling public have, on average, not quite matched the riding needs of said public. Most riders have made do with cowboy or engineer boots; sturdy pull-on styles, good for most purposes but not designed to grip or slip over pavement.
Yamaha’s first Monoshock, the 1975 YZ250M, as it was then and as it is now
"The answer has arrived. The machine motocrossers have been waiting for is here and it's so fantastic, so unbelievable, that it is going to set the rest of the industry on its collective ear... “The new Mono-shock has a thin-wall steel frame with an odd-looking shock that’s completely filled with oil.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD.
PLAYING GAIJIN INVADERS WITH THE NAGOYA HARLEY-DAVIDSON CLUB
EARLY MORNing in Japan. I'm riding a black 650 Yamaha XJ Special, following another American, Jeff, who's riding a red and white CB750 Honda Integra, into the parking lot of a coffee shop that looks—tile roof, Spanish-style architecture—as if it belongs in a suburb of San Diego.
MILD TO WILD AT BARGAIN PRICES MAKING THE IT250 PERFORM
GENERAL MODIFICATIONS (CSWR)
FRONT BRAKE CABLE
MODIFICATIONS FOR ENDURO RIDING
EXHAUST PIPE AND SILENCER
MODIFICATIONS FOR CROSS-COUNTRY RIDING
EXHAUST PIPE AND SILENCER
Yamaha's 1983 IT250 has many well-thought-out parts but its power is weak and the powerband is genuinely lumpy. It has little low-end power, a brief mid-range surge and it's flat at the top. We really liked the IT250 except for the weird power characteristics.
Brave were the road racers of the 1950s, bucking and leaping around the Isle of Man or the Nurburgring on an AJS Porcupine, a three-cylinder DKW, an NSU with a duck-bill aluminum fairing. In those days men were men, wheels were narrow, brakes prone to fading and tires hard.
Flat track racing's only woman expert says all it takes is total commitment.
James F. Quinn
Tammy Kirk is proud that she's the only woman with an expert license in AMA flat track racing, and she doesn’t think she’ll be sharing the track with other women anytime soon. “There are two or three other girls racing in other classes,” she says, “and they’ll never make it.
Team Kawasaki's Wayne Rainey won the Superbike Championship with three back-to-back wins, wrapping up the title one race before the series ended. Rainey won at Brainerd, Minnesota and Kent, Washington, both times beating Honda’s Mike Baldwin in head-to-head racing.
In our carb tuning experiments we’ve discovered that pilot jets for different Mikuni carburetors aren’t all interchangeable. That’s not so bad in itself, but the jets look almost identical, and some dealerships have different types mixed together in their jet boxes.