TO MANY STREET RIDERS, DIRT BIKES are instruments of the devil, loathsome contraptions to be avoided at all costs. Only service-station attendants and other primitive life-forms own dirt bikes. And the only thing worse than owning a knobby-tired motorcycle is actually having to ride the wretched thing in the dirt.
In regard to your Editorial in the February, 1985, issue entitled: "I Have Seen The Enemy,” I would like to share with you and your readers an applicable quote from Beccarias’ essay On Crimes and Punishments: “False is the idea of utility that would sacrifice a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience, that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it, that has no remedy for evils, except destruction.” I, too, have saved myself with a quick burst of horsepower from my finely tuned 1973 Honda 750.
FEW THINGS IN LIFE CAN MAKE YOU more miserable than being cold when riding a motorcycle. An impacted wisdom tooth, maybe, or watching slides of your aunt's trip to Duluth; but not by much. So anything that can keep you toasty warm when you’re riding in the frosty cold could become one of your most prized possessions.
Featuring an aluminum silencer, this system is available for most Japanese motorcycles from 550cc through 1150cc for $249.95. The company claims no rejetting is required, weight savings up to 26 pounds, and an EPA-legal noise level. Installation doesn’t require removal of the centerstand, and oil filter and oil drain plug remain accessible. Additionally, a racing-only baffle is available for for those involved in competition. The system is available at dealers. For more information, write or call SuperTrapp Division, Moller Corp., 1222 Research Park Dr., Davis, CA 95616; (916) 756-5069.
Bates winter gloves feature nylon and foam to insulate against cold, pre-curved fingers, chamois strips on the back of the fingers for wiping moisture from faceshields, and long gauntlets to keep wind from entering jacket sleeves. The gloves are $38.95 from motorcycle dealers. Contact Bates Industries, Box 240-WP, Long Beach, CA 90801; (213) 435-6551.
disc brake for Husqvarna
Adding a disc front brake to any Husky with 40mm fork stanchions is simplified with this bolt-on kit from Brembo. The kit comes with a new hub, axle, spacers, stainless steel disc, caliper and special pads for wet operation, master cylinder, hydraulic line, bracketry and attaching hardware for $300. The buyer has to chase down new spokes and a wheel rim (these parts are identical to those used on past models of KTMs with Brembo discs). The disc kit is available at local dealers or directly from Brembo America, Inc., Box 730, Kenwood, CA 95452; (707) 833-2622.
FJ1100 fairing skirts
Color-matched and made of fiberglass, these skirts are claimed to be easily mounted and durable. Molded-in air scoops direct air over the engine to help eliminate overheating. Price is $164.95 from Cycle Line Products, 27 Warren St., Hackensack, NJ 07601; (201) 478-5577.
Cycle Guard alarm system
This compact solid-state electrical alarm device mounts under the motorcycle’s seat and emits a high-pitched electronic sound anytime the bike is moved or started. The price is $39.95 from Anes Electronics, 4112 Del Rey Ave., Marina Del Rey, CA 90292; (213) 276-8845.
Kawasaki’s Hein Gericke Concord leather jacket features a zipper-controlled ventilation system and a removable insulated liner. Ventilation is achieved by unzipping four vertical vents—two above the breast pockets in front, and two on the shoulders in back. Once the vents are open, air enters the front through perforated leather and nylon linings, circulates around the wearer’s body, then exits throught the same type of openings in the shoulder area. In colder weather it’s easy to close the zipper vents and snap-in the “Thermal Lock” insulated liner. Padded elbows, secured sleeve closures, double front wind flap, zippered hand-warmer and storage pockets complete jacket. The Concord is available in men’s sizes 36 through 48 for $214.14 and women's sizes 32 through 42 for $197, from Kawasaki dealers.
You can probably have your pick of reasons for motorcycling’s recent sales slump. But one explanation that keeps cropping up is the difficulty new buyers experience when trying to finance that two-wheeled slice of the American dream. Well, there are a couple of companies out there trying to alleviate the problem through a technique that has been used in the automobile world for years but that only recently has been applied to motorcycles: leasing.
Kawasaki's Ninjas continue to shrink. First there was the original Ninja, a 900cc alternative to the GPz1100. The reduced-scale 600 Ninja used that bike for its model. And now, for Japanese domestic consumption, Kawasaki has introduced the smallest Ninja yet: the liquid-cooled GPz400.
Continental Rubber Company, West Germany’s largest tire manufacturer, has announced a new series of high-performance, bias-ply tires designed especially for production-class roadracing. Called the ContiCompetition TKV11 and TKV12, these new tires are intended to compete head-on with the tires that currently dominate in production racing—specifically, the Dunlop Elite Sport R, the Metzeler ME 99A and ME 33, and the Michelin TG22 and TF11.
Moto Guzzi has thrust itself into the world of new-wave sportbikes with a new 650cc scratcher called the Lario. This new model, which joins a similarly styled Le Mans 1000, features a four-valve-per-cylinder, 90-degree V-Twin engine, and 16-inch wheels front and rear.
EVERY MOTORCYCLE HAS A REASON FOR BEING. With some, that reason just is more obvious than with others. In the case of Yamaha's all-new V-Max, that reason couldn't be any more obvious: power. From the don't-mess-with-me snarl of its exhaust to the way its massive, 1198cc V-Four engine literally dominates the bike's appearance, the V-Max is power distilled to its purest, rawest elements.
The car that already is a legend takes on the motorcycle that soon will be
NO MATTER HOW YOU INTERPRET IT, YAMAHA'S FIRE-breathing V-Max is about as subtle as a whack across the forehead with a running chainsaw. Its primary function is to leave its competition for dead, to outrun them like they were stuck in neutral.
YAMAHA THREW DOWN THE gauntlet when it introduced the V-Max; this, Yamaha asserted, will be the world's quickest motorcycle, the machine that will take the quarter-mile performance crown away from any pretenders. Any doubt of that was to be erased one fine January day, when Yamaha took a prototype V-Max and Jay "I Set The Records" Gleason to Baylands Raceway in Fremont, California, and recorded the fastest quarter-mile time ever run by a production bike: 10.32 seconds.
ECONOBIKE. EVEN THE NAME has a nasty ring to it, as though it were the two-wheeled equivalent of those tinny, wheezing-for-power commuter cars. With its new 454 LTD, though, Kawasaki is trying to upgrade the econobike's lot in life. And thanks to its cruiser-bike styling and what may be the best mid-displacement inline-Twin ever, the LTD could be one of the sales success stories of 1985.
A COMPETITIVE DESERT RACERWITH A LITTLE HELP FROM A FRIEND
SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE. Especially things like Husqvarnas, which have been the premier desert bikes since the first ones hit America's shores back in 1967. Since then, Huskys have collected enough cross-country trophies to fill a large warehouse.
England's last great motorcycle benefits from a master-craftsman's touch
IT'S NOT EVERY DAY THAT SOMEone can reach back into history and reshape it to his liking. But in a small motorcycle shop in the fog-shrouded midlands of England, a man is doing just that. He's Les Williams, and his particular bit of altered history is the Triumph Trident, a motorcycle he lovingly remodels into what he has named the Triumph Legend.
GOOD BIKE—THAT COULD BE AN epithet for the Kawasaki GPz750. If the GPz were a student, it would have a B average; if it were an athlete, it would qualify for the Olympics but wouldn't win a medal. Two years ago, when Cycle World compared the 1983 GPz750 to Honda's 750 Interceptor and Suzuki's GS750E, it was a classic case of a good performer pitted against two stellar ones.
Shinja Kazama is a 34-year-old Japanese motorcycle shop owner. And a dreamer. He dreams of height and vastness, of the sky and the horizon. And always his dreams involve motorcycles. In the past, Kazama's motorcycle dreams have taken him on adventures throughout the World.
RIDING OFF-ROAD DURING THE WINter months can be great fun—or it can be sheer misery. The key is in being properly dressed. But while most die-hard off-road riders own insulated underwear and a reasonable enduro jacket, they usually have found that warm gloves designed for winter off-road riding simply don’t exist.
MAN, IT IS SAID, IS A PRODUCT OF his environment. It follows, then, that the products of man, too, are influenced and shaped by that same environment. Especially products such as motorcycles, and environments such as Japan and the United States.
The GSX-R, the Intruder and the Cavalcade show their stuff
WIND BUFFETING MY HELmet, I watched the tach needle creep up toward 11,000 rpm. The long front straight was blurring through the fairing bubble, passing by far too quickly for its more-than-one-mile length. Despite the speed, the chin-on-the-gas-tank tuck allowed by clip-ons and aft-mounted footpegs, along with a full fairing, made the high speed comfortable, almost natural.
Notes From the Astrodome: The Flat-track Season Begins
Rolling With The Changes
Twenty-one Days To Dakar
Magic Boxes And Mystery Weapons
Return Of The Privateer
RACE WATCH CALENDAR
Houston is a funny place. For 18 years it has been where the chase for the AMA's Grand National Championship begins, despite the fact that the Astrodome's tight, artificial tracks are as different as you can get from the the 100-mph-plus mile and half-mile circuits that make up the majority of the Camel Pro Series.
The Tri-State Sport Tourers sponsor a poker run on April 21 (raindate, April 28) starting at the University Plaza Shopping Center in Newark, Delaware on Route 273 at I-95. Sign-up opens at 9:00 a.m. For information write Tri-State Sport Touring, 2401-B Jefferson St., Wilmington, DE 19802; (302) 836-1663.
How does a bike with hub-center steering steer sharply to the right? I can understand left turns, but it seems to me than in right turns, the rear of the tire would bang into the swingarm. Please illuminate me on this matter. I've not seen one of these vehicles in real life, so maybe I'm missing something....
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.