YOU'VE READ IT. I AND OTHERS LIKE me have written it, more and more riders are saying it: A motorcycle needs to have some character, some emotion. A motorcycle needs soul. Great. But have you ever tried to figure out just what gives a bike this .
MONEY ISN'T THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL. Stuff is, at least in motorcycling. Because too much stuff leads directly to the Wrong Bag Syndrome. I've been suffering from this affliction ever since I began riding farther than my high-school parking lot, which means a little more than 21 years.
Your May, '85 editorial (“Dirt Riding: The Untold Story") really hit the nail on the head. I've ridden/ raced off-road bikes for the past 15 years and have spent only the past six on the road. Every time I've mentioned the advantages of having dirt-riding experience to my “street-only" acquaintances, I have either been derided or insulted.
Motorcycle Ergonomics: Trouble In The Fitting Room
Quick! What’s your inseam measurement? What was it five years ago? Or ten? Assuming you’ve passed through the usual adolescent growth spurts, we suspect that your inseam, along with most other measurements a tailor might care to make, has been fairly constant over the past few years.
Normally, when a new model is announced, advertisements appear claiming that the bike is a “revolution.” Now, for a change, a truly revolutionary model is making its debut in Japan: the Yamaha FZ250 Phazer. Liquid-cooled, four-stroke inlineFour with DOHC and 16 valves—up to this point, the specifications are not so special.
The 1985 model F1 and F3 racebikes of Yoshimura Japan are getting quite a lot of attention, and they deserve it. The machines that form the basis for these competition bikes are the GSX-R750 (F1) and the GSX-R400 (F3), but of particular significance is the aerodynamic styling of the racebikes.
With Yamaha, the whole lineup has just been revised, and no big changes are anticipated during this model year. However, the RZV250R, a two-stroke, liquid-cooled V-Twin. has been developed to the point where it can be put into production.
Lovers of the exotic and avant-garde in motorcycling will be pleased to learn that the Bimota factory’s period of “controlled administration” under a court-appointed receiver appears to be paying off. The first 12 months of the company’s two-year breathing space—under a kind of Latin equivalent of America’s Chapter 11 reorganization—will be completed on June 30.
The Laverda factory is now in the hands of a receiver appointed by the Italian courts. Rumor has it that motorcycle production there will end after the assembly of 200 three-cylinder SFC 1000s for June delivery. Production of other four-strokes shut down at the family-owned Italian manufacturer last October.
PICTURE. JUST FOR A SECOND. Michael Parks in Then Came Bronson. rollin' down that long, lonesome highway. But instead of him cruising along to the beat of his custom, eye-in-pyramid Sportster, put him on any one of the Japanese motorcycles that Americans tend to call “customs.” It doesn't work, does it?
AS THE FOUR DESIGNERS SAT AND STARED AT THEIR concoction of wood and clay and pipe and paint, they had mixed emotions. They were enormously pleased, for they had designed and built a full-scale mockup of a custom motorcycle that looked like a true showbike.
Cycle World takes a look at the current cro all-terrain vehicles-and comes away smiling
HONDA 250SX: The ultimate fun-time three-wheeler
KAWASAKI KHT250 TECATE: Rocketship on three wheels
HONDA 350 ODYSSEY: Half car, half ATV, all fun
SUZUKI LT250R QUADRACER: The ATV of the future
THEY'RE NOT LAUGHING anymore. You remember the snickers, the guffaws, the out-and-out belly laughs that were heaped upon the first off-road three-wheeler. Honda's ATC90. Even Cycle World got in on the act: a “tricycle with a berserk thyroid" we said in a 1970 news item that announced the donut-tired creation.
IF THE STUDY OF MOTORCYCLIST PSYchology ever reaches the university level, one of the first lessons that students will have to cope with will concern the They-Get-The-Good-Stuff Syndrome—America’s irrational lust for motorcycles not available in this country.
BLAME IT ON MOTOcross. Because before motocross, things were simple. A motorcycle's rear suspension consisted of a swingarm and two shocks, each made up of a simple air/oil damper wrapped with a spring. The rear wheel had from two to four inches of travel, with none of the complexity found in current streetand dirt-bike rear suspensions.
THERE ARE SPRINT BIKES. AND then there are bikes made to go the distance. Honda's XR500R was the textbook distance bike. It was a do-it-all dirt motorcycle that was especially popular with those who measure their off-road excursions in hours or days rather than in motos or loops.
HONDA IS GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT ITS XRs. THE RED thumpers have always made ideal playbikes, but now Honda wants them to be known as competitive enduro mounts as well. To that end, the 1985 XR350R and XR600R have been fitted with the most impressive digital-readout enduro clock ever put on a dirt bike as original equipment.
WONDERFUL PEOPLE, THE French. Over the years they've given us the Statue of Liberty, champagne. the bikini and Brigitte Bardot. But even if you count such musty, two-wheeled relics as the Monet-Goyon, the Stimula, the Viratelle, the Supplexa and the San-Sou-Pap, France’s contributions to the world of motorcycling have been, shall we say, less than magnifique.
The First Motorcycle Was Built 100 Years Ago-Here’s How It All Began
INVENTION RARELY RESULTS from a single stroke of genius. More often than not, it stems from a fortunate combination of related events occurring in just the right sequence. And so it was with a memorable occasion that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year: the invention of the motorcycle by Gottlieb Daimler.
Farewell To Barry Sheene, Britian’s Ambassador To Racing
RACE WATCH CALENDAR
When Barry Sheene announced his retirement shortly before the start of the 1985 Grand Prix season, after 16 years of racing, it marked the end of an era. Not because he was the best racer of all-time, though he was certainly one of them. Not because he was the richest and most famous.
On June 23, over 1000 motorcyclists and passengers will participate in the first Cruise-Aid for Diabetes hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter, Women On Wheels Motorcycle Club. Many celebrities from television and sports will join in the ride.
Could you address the issue of special coatings on aluminum alloy cylinder walls? The BMW K100 coats the cylinders with “Scanimet.” How well does it wear? When it’s time to rebuild are the walls recoated? How many miles can I expect with an engine using this kind of technology?
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.