I'LL NEVER FORGET THE SLOGAN adopted by a race-car team I once was associated with: “Your garbage is our bread and butter." See, the team was owned by a man who held the trash-collection contract for one of Pittsburgh's more exclusive suburbs.
DEAR (FILL IN ANY MOTORCYCLE MANufacturer’s name): Thanks so much for your stupendous new GFVX980. I knew when I laid down my $5600 for it that I was buying this week's hottest asphalt-ripper. I knew that your engineers (how many do you have there these days, 200? 600? 1000?) worked day and night to build a motorcycle that could reach orbital velocity in under 10 seconds, stop on a deci-yen and corner at 1,86g.
As interesting as your April “Taming The Tesi” article was, I must take issue with one of Alan Cathcart's statements. Observing the Tesi’s radical hub-center steering, Mr. Cathcart remarks, “. . . the ELF endurance racer designed by Frenchman Andre de Cortanze, rightfully gets credit for blazing a trail of original thought through the field of motorcycle chassis design.” That's wrong.
EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT YOU DO when you fall down, right? You stick out your arms to brace yourself for the impact. But even though you might think that such a reaction is instinctive, it actually is a learned response. And according to instructors of Aikido, a martial art based on non-resistance, it is the wrong response, one of the last things you want to do.
When Freddie Spencer won the 500cc World Roadracing Championship in 1983, some part of his success was due to the unique layout of the V-Three NS500, which was lighter and more compact than the competition. Now, the NS500 has been reborn into the V-Three NS400R, a mass-production, street-legal version of the racer.
The man who invented the café racer, Britain’s Dave Degens, is hard at work inventing it all over again. Riding on the nostalgia wave, Degens' Dresda company is working flat-out to produce “new” versions of the classic Triton roadster, which he was the first to construct on a commercial basis back in the Swinging Sixties.
Proof positive that the land of Michelangelo and DaVinci is still sculpting works of art
ITALY IS A COUNTRY DRIVEN BY PASsion. It is a country that revels in the beauty of its women as if they were a national treasure. It is a country where good food and fine wine are things to be remembered for a lifetime. It is a country that will say no to the building of a factory rather than spoil the view of a crumbling, 500-year-old castle.
HONDA, YAMAHA, SUZUKI, KAwasaki—clearly the four largest producers of motorcycles in the world. But name the fifth. No, it's not BMW. Nor is it Harley-Davidson or even Moto Guzzi. Instead, it’s an Italian company that is little-known in the U.S., a company whose name has appeared on motorcycles for only eight years: Cagiva.
ANOTHER LONG GP SEASON hadcome to an end. The exotic four-cylinders had ruled again, winning the 500cc class. But racing costs were growing each year, and motorcycle sales were slowing. Besides, the point had been proven: Hadn't the Fours won five of the last six championships?
FEW FACTORIES ARE FOUND IN locations like this. Far across the lake, tile-roofed villas crouch on a hillside butted against granite cliffs. On this side, trees and villas stretch out between the water and gray rock walls. Calmness, order, continuity, all can be felt here in Mandello.
ONLY IN ITALY, AND ONLY AT Bimota: Federico Martini, big, bearded and bear-like, Bimota's chief engineer, is explaining triple-clamp design, gesturing with his hands, stopping to sketch, bumping up against the limits of his English.
MASSIMO LAVERDA WALKS among his cherry trees on the tall hill where his house stands. The hill, draped with grapevines and fruit trees, has belonged to the Laverda family for generations. From that hilltop, Massimo can see the factory that bears his name, miles away across a hazy plain.
YOU'VE GOT TO LIKE A MOTORCYcle company whose founder started building bikes almost as a joke. That's just how HRD—short for Happy Red Devils—came into being. In 1979, a friend talked Franco Galli, the well-heeled owner of an Italian foundry, into building a frame for a mini-motocrosser.
MOTO M0RINI IS ONE OF THE Italian motorcycle manufacturers that climbed to success after World War II. Founded in 1937 by racing enthusiast Alfonso Morini, the factory was put to use during the war making airplane components—until, that is, a well-placed cluster of Allied bombs put the plant out of commission until 1946.
WATCH OUT FOR APRILIA: That's the word out among other Italian motorcycle manufacturers. The bigger companies are worried about up-and-coming Aprilia moving in on their turf, and the smaller companies look to Aprilia as a shining example of what they might accomplish.
WORD GETS AROUND. THAT'S the way it is in motorcycling, which is built up from dozens of subcultures. And it doesn't matter if those subcultures are local or nation-wide; their members always seem to get the word, sooner or later, about anything that counts within their slice of the motorcycle pie.
IF THE 250CC MOTOCROSS CLASS HAS nothing else, it has plenty of choices. There currently are no fewer than eight different brands of 250cc MX machinery on sale in the U.S.—four from Japan and an equal number from Europe. The biggest question in the minds of prospective buyers, though, isn't whether or not they have a wide variety of 250s to choose from: most of them just want to know which 250 is most likely to help them win races. Ideally, the answer to that question should have come several months ago, just as the motocross season was getting under way.
WINNING A MOTOCROSS CHAMpionship in Europe or in the U.S. doesn't take talent; it takes talent and money. You might be the fastest rider in the world, but if you don’t have the backing, then you just don’t have a chance. Danny “Magoo” Chandler has, at times, been the fastest motocross rider in the world.
The second annual Iron Butt rally will leave Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, August 27 at 10:00 a.m. and will return at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 7. The rally will cover at least 8560 miles, encompassing the entire perimeter of the United States.
I bought a new leftover 1983 Kawasaki KX500 motocrosser at an unbeatable price, to use for play riding. I read your test of the bike before I bought it, so I knew of its shortcomings. Here is my problem. As mentioned in your article, I made sure my KX had the optional jetting kit installed to prevent detonation.
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. To be returned, they must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Photos selected will earn the photographer $100.