THE LADY IN THE BLUE DODGE FELT more than sorry for me; she was feeling sheer, absolute pity. I could see it in her eyes as we rode side-by-side, she in comfort in a station wagon, me in apparent misery on a motorcycle. It’s easy to understand why she felt that way.
Your retraction (“Not a first”) in your November, 1984, Letters column is wrong. Just as you had originally reported in your September story entitled “Roper wins at the Isle of Man,” the victory by Team Obsolete’s Dave Roper in the 1984 Historic TT on The Island indeed was the first win by an American rider in the 77-year history of the TT. It was also the first TT win for a Matchless G-50.
While riding our test BMW K100RS in the rain recently, our technical editor noticed the oil-pressure light flicker and then come on brightly. He immediately shut the engine off and stopped. A few minutes later, when he restarted the engine, the oil-pressure light stayed off, allowing him to continue his morning journey to our offices.
Blue Thunder sprockets have a groove machined on each side of the sprocket between the teeth. The grooves let dirt and mud escape, increasing life of the aluminum sprockets, and of the chain, according to the manufacturer. For prices and information contact Circle Industries, 17901 Arenth Ave., City of Industry, CA 91748; (213) 965-1622.
Malcolm Smith Super Gear Bag
Malcolm's new Super Gear Bag is divided into a main compartment for riding gear, and another, slightly smaller compartment that keeps street clothes separated from the dirty stuff. A vented boot storage compartment is on each end of the bag. Two zippered inside pockets, one in each clothing storage area, provide places for small items like socks and goggles. Made of washable Cordura nylon with reinforced stress areas, the Super Gear Bag costs $59.95 at motorcycle dealers.
Kerker's K-Series exhaust for Yamaha's XJ1100, XJ600 and the Suzuki GS1150 improves power, retains the sidestand and centerstand, and doesn't interfere with drain-plug and oil-filter access. The K-Series systems use a 4-into-1-into-2 configuration, and come with Kerker's Comp III silencer baffle that claims competition flow rates and legal noise levels. Price is $325. Contact Kerker, 7900 Deering Ave., Dept. 86, Canoga Park, CA 91304; 1800-423-5246.
500 Interceptor Springs
Stiffer fork and shock springs are in order if you’re planning on racing your VF500F Honda. Progressive Suspension Inc. has them; heavier-rate, progressive fork springs cost $49.95. The shock spring goes for $59.95. Called Magnum springs, they have a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and sack. Available from local dealers or contact Progressive Suspension, 15661 Producer Ln., Unit N, Huntington Beach, CA 92649; (714) 898-2951.
If the people at Buffalo Motorcycle Works have their way, America may have two motorcycle companies by 1986. As detailed in a previous Roundup report, the small company based in Buffalo, New York, wants to put large-displacement Singles, V-Twins and W-Threes into production.
Hold on to your tweed caps, Brit-bike lovers, have we got news for you. The Triumph motorcycle, otherwise known as The Bike That Wouldn't Die, has hit another snag on its road to recovery. And this time, believe it or not, the problem stems from the fact that the Triumph may be too good.
Fans of the Boxer Twin, rest easy. BMW hasn't forgotten you in its rush to a K100 flat-Four future. The German company’s eight-model lineup for 1985 includes three new motorcycles powered by 798cc, 50-horsepower versions of the flat-Twin that first flowed from designer Max Friz’s pen more than 60 years ago.
If the photos of Suzuki's sport-intensive GSX-R750 in last month's Roundup quickened your pulse, better sit down before casting your eyes on the race-kitted version. Suzuki claims that the Yoshimura-developed kit—which comprises a ported and polished head, strengthened pistons and connecting rods, hotter cams, titanium valve springs, hand-finished valves, smoothbore carbs, a dry clutch, a close-ratio transmission and a free-flowing, 4-into-1 exhaust—ups the engine’s output from 100 to 130 hp.
The motorcycle industry may be emerging from its three-year recession. At least that's what the news from Yamaha indicates. Among the hardest-hit of the manufacturers, Yamaha was even forced to lay off workers, an unheard-of practice in employed-for-life Japan.
As further proof that the Europeans don’t get all the trick bikes, we offer the brand-new-for-’85 CZ 125 motocrosser, a motorcycle that seems to be stuck in a 1970’s time warp. Notice please, the non-aluminum swingarm, the non-single-shock suspension, the non-disc brake, the non-safety seat, the non-plastic fuel tank and the, umm, non-styling.
In the interest of equal time, we offer the Rondo motorscooter, proof that not all Czechoslovakian two-wheelers are mired in yesterday's engineering. The Rondo is the brainchild of Czech student Milan Handl, who designed the scooter as part of his thesis at the Academy of Applied Arts in Gottwaldov.
ITS V-TWIN MISSION: TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO KAWASAKI HAS GONE BEFORE
IT'S HARD TO THINK OF ANY MOTORCYCLE AS BEING LOGical. Fun, yes. Exciting, you bet. But not logical. Yet for a number of reasons, the newest cruiserbike from Kawasaki, a 700cc, V-Twin-powered model called the Vulcan, seems to fit that description unusually well.
Prospecting on the world's weirdest dual-purpose bikes
THERE ARE SOME DAYS WHEN BEING ON A motorcycle is just about the grandest thing on earth. Days that make up for the traffic jams and the diesel fumes, that even the score for the cold hands, the sodden feet, the meandering Olds Delta 88s piloted by blue-haired kamikazes.
A very Japanese-style motor; a very European-style motorcycle
THERE ARE TWO SCHOOLS OF thought when it comes to the best kind of power for a motocross bike. The Japanese favor quick-revving, hard-hitting power, while the Europeans usually prefer engines that are slower-revving and offer smooth, controllable power over a wide rpm range.
AN UPSIDE-DOWN FRONT FORK might look a little odd,but it actually makes better sense than a conventional fork. The inverted design allows less front-end flex by putting the part of the fork with the largest diameter (the aluminum slider that’s normally at the bottom) at the top, where it can provide more clamping area inside the triple-clamps.
The Universal Japanese Motorcycle is back, bigger and faster than ever
THE UNIVERSAL JAPANESE MOtorcycle is dead, right? The fabled UJM, once the most popular type of motorcycle in existence, died because there no longer was a place in today's highly specialized market for bikes of its kind—air-cooled, inline-Four, un-faired, all-purpose, Standard-style machines.
INDIVIDUALLY, THE BASIC components of any motorcycle engine are quite simple. But when these pistons, cylinders and crankshafts are strung together in multiples, a collection of simple parts can end up comprising a very complicated engine.
Finding the best street exhaust for Yamaha's two-stroke Street racer
HOW MUCH POWER DOES AN RZ350 need? Well, a stock RZ screams through the quarter-mile quicker than any other bike in its class ever has, and posts a higher top speed, as well. And it does all that despite the catalytic converters buried deep in its exhaust system.
I own a 1978 Suzuki GS750 that I have modified for drag racing so that it runs methanol. Does methanol affect the valve guides or any other parts? I know that these bikes were produced to run on unleaded gas, but with methanol, will I have to perform valve jobs more often?
If ever there has been a golden year of racing for Honda Motor Corporation, 1984 was it. Losing the 500cc World Roadracing Championship to Yamaha and Eddie Lawson in 1984 was doubtless a hard blow to take, but the impact of that single defeat was greatly softened by the sheer number of key championships Honda’s wrecking crew was otherwise able to nail down.