IT WAS MOTORCYCLING’S VERSION OF the free lunch. It was the promise of getting more from less, of having your cake and eating it, too. It was heralded as the wave of the future for motorcycles. Yet in the short span of just two years, it fizzled and died like a wet firecracker.
THE WINTER OF 1960 WAS A PARTICUlarly tough one in England. I was living at RAF Sculthorpe in East Anglia, and as the dreary winter months dragged on, I suffered cabin fever as badly as anyone ever had. So when the Rec Officer called for a glide-off in the base gymnasium, I attacked the project with glee.
For years I've been trying to figure out how some people can turn a motorcycle without countersteering. I had never read anywhere that it is the only way to turn a bike. Just as you said in your June Editorial. “Countering The Steering Myths," I was lead to believe it was an option.
MOTORCYCLES ARE BACK ON PRIME-time television. Not in a series or a-made-for-television movie, but in commercials, and not just in commercials for motorcycles; several advertisers outside of the motorcycle industry are using bikes in their campaigns to hawk their non-motorcycle-related wares.
A customizing rage is spreading across Japan. Concentrated in the cities, the growing movement is large enough to support a number of specialized customizing shops. The riders hang out in the shops, buying parts and trying to get the shop mechanics to give them the lowdown on how to build the fastest and best-looking bike possible.
A divergence of opinion between controlling brothers Massimo and Piero Laverda is set to bring about a major upheaval in the course of the family-owned Italian manufacturer. Laverda already is under the overall direction of a state-appointed administrator since experiencing cash-flow problems in February.
HARLEY’S LIGHTWEIGHT V-TWIN STARTS ITS 28TH YEAR WITH A SMALLER TOP-END AND GOES AFTER A BIGGER BOTTOM-LINE
HARLEY-DAVIDSON Motor Company of today is like Ford Motor Company of a few years ago: It thinks it has a Better Idea. A number of Better Ideas, in fact. And the latest brainstorm to come thundering out of Milwaukee is the V2 Evolution Sportster, a much-rumored, long-overdue redesign of the bike that has been Harley’s “lightweight” V-Twin since 1957.
After 28 years, the Sportster proves the old adage that the more some things change, the more they remain the same
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. Sportsters didn't leave much room for argument. Simply put, they were the meanest, fastest, rompin'est, stompin'est motorcycles on the road. And if you happened to sidle up next to the King Killer Sportster of them all, an XLCH, you needed to remember just two things: The guy riding it was one bad dude; and it was unwise to mess with either of them.
HAVE YOU EVER RIDDEN A 500cc enduro bike in tight woods? If so, did you enjoy it? Most riders would have to admit that they haven't gotten much enjoyment from wrestling an oversized, overpowered, 500cc brute through the woods. That kind of riding usually is more work than fun.
THINK, FOR A MOMENT, ABOUT significant motorcycles. Motorcycles that for one reason or another have had a profound effect on the two-wheel world. Motorcycles that are worth remembering. Without too much difficulty, you should be able to come up with a list that includes some of the more obvious examples—Harley Sportsters and Triumph Bonnevilles, BSA Gold Stars and BMW opposed-Twins, Suzuki X-6s and RD350 Yamahas, Honda 750 Fours and Kawasaki Z1s, to name just a few.
IN MOTORCYCLING, AS IN JUST ABOUT any other business, success breeds imitation. It doesn't matter if it's mousetraps, microcomputers or motorcycles; as soon as you start selling them in large quantities, imitations will appear.
STARTING LAST IN THE FULL-DRESS TOURING RACE DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN FINISHING LAST
WINNING RACES WHEN THE competition has a 10-year head start is difficult if not impossible. Nevertheless, with the Cavalcade, Suzuki spots Honda's Gold Wing those 10 years and makes a race of it anyway. Even though the 'Wing has been continuously developed and refined since its introduction in 1975.
ANY TIME YOU GO RIDING WITH A FELlow motorcyclist, what the two of you end up with, to paraphrase Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke, is your basic failure to communicate. He waves his hands, you gesture back, and neither of you is quite sure what the other is trying to say.
And getting it right in the comics is no laughing matter
STEVEN L. THOMPSON
YOU CAN CAN COUNT ON THE FINGERS OF ONE HAND the number of writers, artists and filmmakers who’ve done motorcycling any favors. But if you should ever decide to compile that short list, don't forget to include William Overgard. It’s entirely possible that you've either never heard of William Overgard or, if you have, fail to recognize the name.
BRUCE PENHALL IS RETURNING TO speedway racing. But not as a rider. Instead, America’s only two-time speedway world champion will serve as manager for the United States entry in the World Team Cup Final, to be held August 10 at Long Beach Veterans Stadium.
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia will be the site of the 74th Crusaders Motorcycle Club’s seventh annual Riverside Rally. Registration starts at noon on August 2 with events scheduled through August 5. Campfires, dancing, field prizes, scenic rides, games and trophies are a few of the planned events.
I am basically an explorer who thoroughly enjoys all sorts of motorcycles. Most of my riding is done on the pavement, but more and more I find myself exploring trails by bike. I perfer to ride a bike to the trails and on them. Dual purpose, okay?