Be careful as you flip through the next few pages. There’s a full-scale war being waged in the Letters column of this issue, and you might have to dodge a few verbal bombs as you pass by. What the combatants in this War of the Words are fighting over is the same thing that has provoked more hostilities through the years than any other subject in all of motorcycling: Harley-Davidson.
Self-pronounced "yuppie" James Phillips ("A less-thantolerant viewpoint,” September, 1984 Letters) must have let the fizz in his Perrier go to his head. By saying that the Harley image is made up of b-eer bellies, tattoos, blue collars and room-temperature IQs, Mr. Phillips shows he is as ignorant of Harley owners as he is of the bikes themselves.
If you haven’t heard much lately about Harley-Davidson’s much-heralded Nova project, that’s because development of the bike is, in the words of a company spokesman, “at a brick wall.” Make that a $15 million brick wall. Because that’s how much money it’s going to take to get the new bike into production.
CYCLE WORLD VENTURES TO THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN TO RIDE THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, A BAKER'S HALF-DOZEN OF MOTORCYCLES THAT HAVE NEVER MADE A TIRE-PRINT ON THESE SHORES
PICKING UP WHERE THE RACE TEAM LEFT OFF
FORMULA TWO GOES COMMUTING
A 369-POUND, 400cc STRATEGIC STREET WEAPON
FOR A CHANGE, THE MOTOR ISN'T THE MESSAGE
PERFORMANCE WITHOUT THE PAIN
WELCOME TO THE SCHOOL OF THIMBLE-PISTON TECHNOLOGY
A GRAND PRIX BIKE WITH STREET MANNERS
Invariably, America only sees about half of the motorcycles made by the Japanese. There’s a distinct dividingline at 400cc in Japan, and models bigger than that usually end up in the U.S., most of them designed with the American market in mind.
Standing in the lobby of HRC, we are surrounded by the ornamentation of battle: silver victory cups, gold world-championship medallions, photographs of Freddie Spencer, Mike Baldwin, Eddie Lejeune, David Bailey and the rest of Honda’s hired guns.
AN ABUSE OF COMMON SENSE IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE, SAKE AND SONIC ADVENTURE
Ask the average American rider how much he knows about Japanese motorcycles and you're liable to get a more detailed answer than you bargained for. But ask him how much he knows about Japanese motorcycle riders, and what you’re most likely to get in return is silence.
Harley-Davidson has a problem. On one hand, there’s a group of riders out there clamoring for an American-made motorcycle they can buy, a bike they think Harley doesn’t yet make. On the other hand, Harley knows where its bread is buttered.
Ever wonder how a factory-modified YZ250 works bike stacks up against a stocker and a support-ride YZ? So did we.
For years, amateur racers have clawed their way up to the retaining fences at bigtime motocross events just to get a close look at the latest works machines. And for just as long, those same riders have fantasized about all of the races they’d be able to win if only they had one of those $50,000 factory bikes.
The modifications outlined here can increase the YZ250L’s power output by approximately 3 horsepower, as depicted in the accompanying power graph. After the modifications are complete, the engine might require a one-step-colder spark plug, a richer needle position and a larger main jet.
The news about Honda’s Interceptor is no longer news. The ink is dry, the book is closed and all factions of the motorcycle world long ago reached a consensus: Honda’s VF750F Interceptor was the best sportbike—no, make that the best motorcycle—of 1983.
Six years ago, Eddie Lawson was just another Southern California dirttracker struggling to make a career out of racing. Today, he is a world champion. Steady Eddie locked up the 500 roadracing world championship title in high style by winning the Swedish Grand Prix after a pitched battle with Frenchman Raymond Roche.
I own a 1983 Suzuki GS450ED and commute very briskly over the Santa Cruz Mountains daily on a fast, sometimes tortuous route. Having worn out my front tire in 3000 miles, I read everything I could find on selecting the best replacement. Since the rim is an 18 x 1.60-inch size (a WM-1 ), I seem to be limited to a 3.00, MH or 80, depending on the code used.
On the weekend of October 6, the Antique Motorcycle Club of America presents the 1984 La Habra Motorcycle Show and Meet. It begins with a oneday, all-day show-judging and swapmeet followed by a banquet. On Sunday, a 60-mile breakfast ride and poker run for all pre-1963 bikes is planned.
We need your photos for Slipstream. We’re looking for photos that make us smile because they say something about motorcycling. Submissions should be made to Slipstream, Cycle World, 1499 Monrovia, Newport Beach, Calif. 92663.