IT'S EASY TO BELIEVE THAT IN THE grand scheme of things, you don't matter. It’s easy to become convinced that your opinion doesn't count, that you’re unable to have even the slightest impact on the way things work, that no one really gives a rat’s behind what you need or want.
This is an open letter to Mr. John Bloor (“Will Triumph be buffaloed?," January, 1985). It seems to me that your ego is at odds with Triumph’s best interests. I'm a motorcycle mechanic, and I say why not put Triumph in a class with Ducati-Cagiva, Laverda, Moto Guzzi or, for that matter, BMW? The Phoenix 900 is a good idea, but I don’t think one motorcycle model is going to single-handedly save England’s last bike.
Honda is now offering its own line of lubricants, paints and coatings to help maintain, restore and beautify almost every component of your motorcycle. For a look at the complete line, visit a Honda motorcycle dealer.
Hope & Associates Inc.
Marushin ventilated helmets
$149.95 to $169.95
Dual venting systems, one at the chin bar, the other over the rider’s forehead, direct incoming air into channels across special interior padding in Marushin's vented helmets. The company claims its venting system is 300-percent more efficient than those used by other manufacturers. The helmet shell is constructed of fiberglass and Kelvar, and meets Snell 85, DOT 218, Z-90 and SHCA standards. Models in a variety of solid and two-tone colors are available in small though extra-large sizes for $149.95 to $169.95. To learn more, contact Hope & Associates Inc., P. O. Box 336, Edmonds, WA 98020; (206) 771-2115.
Hope & Associates Inc.
Metzeler MXR tires
Metzeler’s MXR tires are lighter yet stiffer than previous Metzelers. The new model is available in three sizes: 90/90-21 front for $49.95; 120/90-18 rear for $61.95; and 130/90-18 rear for $63.95. Available at motorcycle dealers.
Hope & Associates Inc.
Jardine Virago mufflers
Jardine’s new staggered-dual mufflers for Yamaha’s 700cc and 1000cc Viragos utilize the stock front headpipe and a new rear headpipe, and both boloney-cut mufflers feature steel baffles. Jardine claims this system delivers classic V-Twin style and tone without excessive noise, all for $133.77. Contact your local dealer or Jardine Header Co., 800 West Warner Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92707; (714) 545-2414.
Hope & Associates Inc.
Ever wish you could heighten the windscreen on that sportbike to eliminate the wind-buffeting around your helmet? Here is an easy solution called the Lip. The Lip is a simple bolt-on device that causes the air flowing over the windsceen to be slightly turbulent, which protects the rider’s head from direct wind blasts. The Lip is available for most sport and café motorcycles for $29.95 at motorcycle dealers. Contact Laminar Inc., P. O. Box 12332, 1514 Fairview, Columbus, OH 43212; (614) 488-5 158.
Scooterwars: Honda And Yamaha Search For The New Front
Grace Jones: “It’s easy.” Adam Ant: “I’ve never ridden one.” Grace Jones: “It’s quick.” Adam Ant: “I don’t even drive.” Grace Jones: “It’s sexy.” Adam Ant: “I’ll take it.” “It,” indeed, is easy, quick and sexy, and additionally is the object of a massive campaign to gain public approval and acceptance.
Well, not exactly, but that’s how much damage the American Motorcyclist Association estimates will be caused to certain motorcycle engines if the EPA’s proposed reduction of lead in gasoline goes through federal legislature. The proposal calls for a 91 percent reduction in gasoline lead levels by 1988, and total elimination of lead by 1995.
To the British, it seems, the outrageous is a way of life. But Englishman John Reed makes a pastime of continually edging past the outrageous with personal creations that push the very boundaries of the rational. As evidence, we offer the Tri-Trak, a one-off, three-wheeled creation that can't be neatly folded and tucked away in any category.
You can’t hear about or see Yamaha’s 1985 streetbikes without asking one question: Are they as fast as Yamaha claims they are? That question will have to wait for an answer until we do complete tests on these new models. But after a brief sampling of Yamaha’s '85 line during a riding preview at Willow Springs Raceway, we can tell you this: The three all-new bikes in the lineup—the V-Max, the FZ750 and the Maxim X—seem to be very fast, impressive motorcycles.
Japan transplants racebike technology while Italy takes a stab at mass appeal
APPLES AND ORANGES, YOU SAY, this comparing of new-wave Kawasaki Ninja 600 to old-world 650 Cagiva? After all, the Ninja comes from Japan, a place where things like reliability and rationale are next to godliness, whereas the Ducati-powered Cagiva is a bike born in Italy, a country that has elevated quirkiness and temperament in all things mechanical to a national pastime.
EVERY MOTORCYCLE HAS A heritage, a history that helps explain what it is and how it came to be what it is. But the Cagiva Alazzurra is different. Instead of having just one family tree leading to its present form, the Alazzurra is the lineal descendant of three companies—Cagiva, Ducati and Aermacchi.
THE RED DECALS ON THE RADIator scoops say it all. They proudly announce that the KX500 is a “Works Replica.” And those decals don't lie. No kidding, the Kawasaki factory has finally listened to the suggestions of the company's American R&D department and made a genuine effort to produce a competitive Open-class MX racer.
An English couple leaves home with an overloaded Triumph, three years of spare time, and a thirst to take on the world.
Where do you come from?" "From England." “On that?” he said, pointing at our battered-looking, two-year-old Triumph 650 Thunderbird with a Squire box-sidecar attached. “You must be very tired. How long did it take you?” Thus we were awakened at 6:30 one September morning in central Japan.
BMW builds the world's best 355-pound, $70,000 dirt bike
THERE IS SOMETHING WONDERfully wrong about a BMW off-road racer; as wrong as a NASCAR-spec Rolls-Royce drafting the Fords and Chevys down the front chute at Darlington; as wrong as running Daddy’s full-boat Seville at the local dragstrip's Wednesday-night grudge matches.
BMW'S MOST RECENT ASSAULT on the granddaddy of North American off-road racing, the SCORE Baja 1000, was also its most successful. Team riders Gaston Rahier and Eddy Hau captured their class and finished eighth overall, fifth among motorcycles.
STAR-CROSSED IS WHAT IT IS. Or maybe it's just plain cursed. Whatever the reason, Suzuki's GS700ES can't seem to shake the dark cloud that follows it everywhere it goes. Just look at what has happened to this hard-luck sportbike ever since its introduction in 1983.
CONSUMERS ARE A TRICKY LOT: They don’t exist until you give them something to consume. And most companies are reluctant to provide for consumers who don’t already exist. It’s kind of a Catch-22. That’s why Yamaha has to tread cautiously with the BW200.
Sportbikes will soon be divided into two categories: before the GSX-R, and after
THERE'S A REVOLUTION UNDER way, and you've likely never heard of its architect. His name is Etsuo Yokouchi, and his blueprint for change is the Suzuki GSX-R750. Yokouchi is a Japanese engineer, the head of Suzuki motorcycle engineering. Oh, you say, another one of those, one of those Japanese engineer stereotypes who wakes up in the morning to sing the company song with his co-workers, who designs motorcycles in committee, whose greatest concern is not having to take personal responsibilty for a decision.
THE BRITISH DO THINGS DIFFERently. Very differently. And because their’s is a small island with a lot of easily irritated people aboard, nothing is done more differently than the running of an enduro. Instead of flailing across endless desert or mountain wastelands, the British run an enduro over what amounts to little more than an enlarged motocross course, lap after lap after lap.
The past motocross off-season was marked by what may have been the deciding round in a 15-year fight between hyper-promoter Mike Goodwin and his long-time sparring partner, the American Motorcyclist Association, primary sanctioning body for U.S. motorcycle sport.
When it comes to off-road motorcycle handgrips, there’s only one thing that everyone agrees on: Most riders don’t agree on anything. Except, perhaps, that stock Honda CR/XR grips are among the most comfortable grips around. And by the appearance of Answer Products’ Series III grips, you might conclude that Honda has a new rival in the grip popularity contest.
Today, with motorcycles reaching new highs in mechanical technology, it’s not at all surprising that science has come just as far in the realm of chemical technology. But there’s one chemical product that we find downright astounding. Quik Epoxy Steel Magic is the glue-world equivalent of the dohc, four-valve, liquid-cooled superbike.
I took Yamaha up on one of their $1700 Visions after three years away from cycling to finish school. I can deal with the flat spot in the carburetion, but I really would like to make the bike handle better. With the preload set to its softest setting, the bike bucks and wiggles (not wallows) when leaned over hard.
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. Only black and white prints, 8 by 10 in., should be sent.