I HEAR IT ALL THE TIME, SO I ASSUME that many of you do, too: Motorcycling in America has come a long, long way since the Japanese first entered into it more than 25 years ago. But has it, really? Back in 1960, just before the Japanese got involved, there were more brands of motorcycles for sale in this country than a person could keep track of.
OKAY, EVERYBODY AGREES THAT Harley-Davidson would be foolish to attempt to conquer the world by trying to build as many different kinds of bikes as, say, Honda. But what are those people up in Milwaukee to do? A good question. Recent sales success of Harley-lookalikes has focused attention there.
I wholeheartedly and sincerely congratulate you for setting the new world records in Laredo. I am one of the very few in the world who can appreciate the event from a personal point of view. I have personally been involved in two non-sanctioned world speed/distance races: The Iron Butt Rally in 1984 and 1985.
Thermotex glove liners can be connected to the motorcycle's battery or connected to electric vests/suits. Made of a 50/50 nylon and polyimide fabric, they can be hand or machine washed. Price with a one-year guarantee is $37.45 from Centurion LTD., 18146 Sherman Way, Bldg. 5, No. 22, Reseda, CA 91306. Phone 1-800-524-6746 (CA) or 1800-852-0800 outside California.
Seiko printing stopwatch
Be one of the souls that time men's tries, and have a printout to prove it too, with a Seiko digital stopwatch and printer from Toomey Racing. The stopwatch times in hours, minutes, seconds and hundredths of a second for up to 10 hours, with a three-row display for split-lap, lap and cumulative times. The printer records the time and date at the star of a race, and lap number, split time and cumulative time each lap. The Seiko also works as a clock/calendar when the printer isn't being used. Suggested retail price is $225, which includes a belt pack. printer paper and batteries. To get yours. write Toomey Racing USA, 25901 Belleporte Ave., Harbor City, CA 90710.
Featuring Thinsulate insulation, fleece lining, a chamois-covered palm/forefinger and a rain cover that's stored in the long gauntlet, Matador gloves sell for $37.95 in men's sizes, and $35.75 in women's sizes. The gloves are available in black only. but in all normal sizes. They can be purchased from motorcycle dealers or through Esprit, 2424 N.E. Riverside Way, Portland, OR 97211; (800) 547-8028.
Rivera H-D Evolution carb kit
More leg clearance and a 15-percent power boost are the claimed benefits of Rivera's SU carburetor and upswept intake manifold. In stallation time is said to be 30 minutes or less. Many finishes and applications are available starting at $239. Contact Rivera Engineering, 6416 S. Western Ave., Whittier. CA 90606 or phone (213) 693-4273.
BMW Slip-On Silencer
Kerker says its aluminum, slip-on BMW K100 silencer cuts weight and increases power above 4500 rpm. Standard clearance is maintained for the centerstand, drain plug and oil filter. For price and availability contact Kerker, 7900 Deering Ave., Canoga Park, CA 91304 or call (800) 382-3689.
AXO A.I.R. System boot
Let your dogs breathe with AXO's new A.I.R. (Air Induction and Recirculation) System boots. The boots employ scoops to draw air through molded-plastic channels into the ankle area, and ventilation holes allow air to circulate around the ankle and foot. AXO claims this helps keep your feet cool, thus increasing comfort and deterring fatigue. In addition, the leather-and-plastic A.I.R. boots feature a specially designed inner sole for comfort, and AXO's "sky walk" sole for sure footing. The boots are available in white/red and white/blue color combinations, in sizes 7-12, and have a suggested retail price of $229. For more information, contact AXO Sport-America, 25702 Rye Canyon Road, Suite E, Valencia, CA 91355.
STYLE. EITHER YOU'VE GOT IT OR YOU AIN'T. BUT THE QUEStion is, just what is style? That question so intrigued the editors of GQ, a monthly magazine "for the modern man," that they devoted the entire January issue to finding the answer. A good issue, really, what with Cary Grant ("style beyond compare," said GQ) smiling sagely on the cover, and a number of articles and photo-features trying to explain this thing called style.
With the introduction of the GPz250R, Kawasaki has jumped right into the middle of the highly competitive 250cc sportbike market in Japan. But Kawasaki's entry deviates from standard practice in that class by being a parallel-Twin, whereas all of the GPz250R's competition—Yamaha's FZ250, Suzuki's GF250 and Honda's CBR250—are inline-Fours.
Anyone who thinks that Husqvarna is a company incapable of surprises obviously was not at the recent Milan motorcycle show. Seen in the Husqvarna display, amidst the 501 four-stroke and the usual two-stroke Singles, was the Proof 2-000, a jet-black bike that was dubbed "The Black Queen" by most onlookers.
GERMANS HAVE A PARTICUlarly strong idea of what a motorcycle should be, and an even stronger idea of what a motorcycle shouldn't be. A motorcycle should be something for riding, touring and enjoying, not merely for racing, profiling and showing off.
SHINJI KAZAMA IS A MAN WHO thrives on challenge. In November, 1984, he became one of the small number of humans ever to challenge the Himalayan Mountains. But Kazama did not make his attempt to scale the Himalayas the usual way, on foot; instead, he tried it on a motorcycle, a Honda TLR trials bike, to be exact (see "Mt. Everest Dreaming," Cycle World, May, 1985).
FINALLY, THE TRANSFORMAtion of Kawasaki's streetbikes is complete. The air-cooled, inline Fours that have been the backbone of the Kawasaki line since the first 903cc Z1 in 1973 have been phased out. In their place are liquid-cooled Fours and a solitary V-Twin.
FOR MOTOCROSSERS, A FAVORite fantasy is to be able to go back in time with a brand-new MX bike and absolutely destroy the competition. With the way that motocross bikes change and improve so rapidly, living out such a fantasy could be like using ballistic missiles against cavemen.
A backyard inventor wants to put your Aunt Tillie on two wheels
Do NOT LAUGH AT THIS MAN or his unlikely looking inventions. He is trying to do the impossible.Tadeus Carl Winiecki wants to put the masses on two wheels. Tired of hearing the old I'd-ride-if-it-weren't-so-dangerous excuse. Winiecki decided that the only way to make motorcycling palatable to the naysayers was to design and develop a safer motorcycle.
THE KID ON THE XL600 COULDN'T QUITE FIGURE IT out. He pulled alongside, did a double-take, cocked his head like the RCA dog, shrugged his shoulders, then rolled his eyes before speeding off, catching one last glance over his shoulder while peeling off for an exit.
IN AN ENDURO, THERE'S NO END TO THE things that can go wrong. Enduros can be lost because of not going fast enough, going too fast, crashing, breaking, even getting lost. But one of the most prevalent reasons for not winning or placing well in an enduro can be the bike's odometer.
ENDUROS ARE TOUGH ENOUGH in themselves. But the really tough part comes long before the first hill, the first water-crossing or even the first check; it's when you set out to buy the bike. It is plain hard to find serious enduro motorcycles these days, and it's getting harder all the time.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON'S XR1000 ENGINE FINDS A SPORTING HOME
IT SOUNDS LIKE FANTASY:A HARley-Davidson XR1000 engine mounted in a state-of-the-art roadracing frame, equipped with all the lights and turnsignals and paperwork to make it street-legal. Fantasy it may be, but of a peculiar sort.
Teaching CV carbs to live with exhausts and air filters
MOTORCYCLE MANUFACturers love constant-velocity carburetors, so much so that almost all streetbikes use them these days. Reasons why are easy to find. Modern CV carburetors meter fuel precisely, keeping the air/fuel mixture under much tighter control than slide-throttle carbs.
THERE'S ONLY ONE SURE WAY TO KEEP a helmet looking pristine and perfect: Leave it in the box it came in. Otherwise, once a helmet's in use and getting handled and carried around, it's practically guaranteed that the finish will become scratched and chipped.
MOTORCYCLISTS WHO TRAVEL TWO-up often speak eloquently about the companionship that exists between rider and passenger, and the bond that comes from sharing experiences on the road. Off the motorcycle, though, two-up travelers face a somewhat less pleasant bond, namely the one between hand and helmet.
TWO-STROKES USED TO be simple. A cylinder, a piston and a crankshaft were pretty much all that was needed, with just enough structure to hold everything together. And the cylinder itself was just, well, a cylinder, with cooling fins and four ports: one for exhaust, one for intake, and two transfer ports, one on each side.
To the French, even a motocross can become a cause célèbre
RACE WATCH CALENDAR
IMAGINE THAT YOU'RE STANDING on the edge of a forest, late at night in Ploubalay, France. It is pitch black outside, the cold fog is rolling in off the coast, and everyone is home in bed, where it's warm and dry, yes? No, not tonight. On this particular night, the surrounding dark helps to amplify a buzzing.
The Tidewater chapter of Women On Wheels will host its first grand tour, which begins March 1 and ends on October 15. It's not necessary to leave your home state. Photograph your bike by three town-or city-limit signs that begin with W-O-W. (The two Ws must be different locales.) Upon receipt of photos, a camera tour pin will be sent to all finishers.
MANUFACTURERS OF MOTORCYCLE accessories like to use dynamic terms—such as pro, competition or high-performance—when naming their products. Most of the time, these labels help inform buyers of a given product's intended use. But sometimes, such terms can be misleading, as is the case with Tour Master's new Road Race II Gloves.
I have heard that if you mix two-cycle oils (synthetic, castor and petroleum) in your bike, you could destroy your engine. Is this true? I have a 250 that I started off with synthetic oil and then switched to another oil which wasn't synthetic.
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.