LYDIA HENSHAW IS A SPORTSWRITER. working for a small newspaper. Like most sportswriters, she spends her time covering ball sports: basketball, and football, and baseball, the meat of the sports pages. She writes about the local teams, and, in her column, entertains with major-league news as well.
THE FIT OF THE HELMET WASN’T VERY good, but it was good enough. I cinched the strap tight and gingerly rocked the borrowed Miss Piggy Simpson helmet back and forth. Pain stabbed along the 11-inch incision in my scalp. It was bad, but not bad enough to stop me.
After reading your Roundup column (April, 1986), I send you a few of my own thoughts on style. Some people prefer to eat fish eggs, and wash them down to their pompous little bellies with a few swigs of overpriced, fermented berry juice. That’s fine.
When roadrace king Freddie Spencer hits the circuit in '86, he won’t be wearing a crown. Instead, he’ll don Arai’s F-1 helmet—and so can you. Arai’s new hat incorporates several details to stifle wind noise, and features ventilation through both the chinbar and a top-mounted scoop. DOT and Snell ’85 approved, the F-1 comes in sizes S to XXL, in red/white, blue/white and silver/ black, for a suggested retail price of $195. Also available are racer-replica paint schemes as used by Fred Merkel, Kevin Schwantz and Freddie Spencer, for $215. To find out more, contact Arai Helmets Ltd., P.O. Box 421, Tenafly, NJ 07670.
Arai Helmets Ltd.
If you’ve become so jaded with your Yamaha V-Max that it now feels pokey when you twist the throttle, perhaps Maxi-Products can help. MP claims its MX2 exhaust system is superior both to the stock system and to aftermarket 4-into-1 pipes, and that it provides a substantial increase in horsepower and a broader powerband, with no need to rejet. A 4-into-1-into-2 design, the MX2 uses stock head pipes, allows retention of the bike’s stands, and doesn’t interfere with access to the oil drain plug or filter. Available in black with a suggested retail price of $279.95 from Maxi-Products, 4989 Holt Blvd., Montclair, CA 91763; (714) 626-5206.
Arai Helmets Ltd.
Corbin BMW Gunfighter saddle
How do you say “gunfighter” in German? Der Pistole Kampfer? No matter. Let Mike Corbin say it for you with his Gunfighter saddle for 1985-’86 R80 BMWs. The seat features a fiberglass base topped with cast-urethane foam and a black naugahyde cover; other colors of trim are available for the same suggested retail price of $186. To get the drop on your R80, contact Mike Corbin Saddles, 123-C Lee Road, Box 1562, Watsonville, CA 950771562. Call toll-free at 1-800-5387035; in California it’s 1-800-662-6296.
Arai Helmets Ltd.
O’Neal Rok Blok
The Pentagon has its Star Wars program, and now O’Neal USA offers its Rok Blok shoulder/chest-protection system for personal defense against smaller incoming missiles. The Rok Blok covers the torso front and rear, with full padding for the upper arms; and O’Neal claims the center-pivot shoulder flaps allow full freedom of movement. Available in red, white or blue, with O’Neal or team graphics, the Rok Blok retails for $94.95. Write O'Neal USA, 9555 Owensmouth Ave., Chatsworth, CA 913ll; (818) 998-1049.
Arai Helmets Ltd.
Conventional wisdom says you can’t take it with you when you go, but the people at Wolf Products think otherwise, and offer the ProPak as proof.The Pro-Pak is constructed of 1000 denier Cordua nylon. Inside is a full-length pocket, a removable tool pouch, separate pouches for maps, goggle lenses and other small items, a double-layer bottom and foam padding in back. Plus, the Pak can take on Wolf Product’s accessories, such as a canteen and oil-bottle pouch. Available in red, blue or black, the Pak retails for $34.95, the canteen for $14.95 and the bottle pouch for $7.95. Contact Wolf Products, 3243 Arlington Ave. Suite 203, Riverside, CA 92506.
Arai Helmets Ltd.
V&H GSX-R750 exhaust
Getting more power from your Suzuki GSX-R750 is no mere pipe dream, according to Vance & Hines. Indeed, V&H claims its Competition Series street system provides a substantial increase in power, in part due to a bifurcated collector that divides the exhaust pulses as they enter the megaphone. Moreover, the V&H pipe offers a claimed weight savings of more than 12 pounds compared to the stock pipes, and doesn’t interfere with oil-filter access. Available in black chrome or Kal Gard finishes, the Competition Series exhaust retails for $295. To find out more, write Vance & Hines, 14010 Marquardt, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670.
IN MOTORCYCLING JUST AS IN POLItics, that governs best which governs least. Meaning that the fewer rules you have to deal with, the more enjoyable the ride is likely to be. When you get a bunch of people together for a group ride of any distance whatsoever, though, you need rules.
There is war here in Japan. The motorcycle manufacturers are fighting it out like never before on the home front, with the fiercest conflicts taking place in the smaller classes. In Japan, the 250cc class is a hotbed of activity for the manufacturers, because those are the hottest-selling machines.
Dispatch riders in London, England, have become legendary for their streetwise riding talents. And with more than 100 companies employing an estimated 8000-plus motorcyclists, it’s become big business. The most popular machines for this daredevil lifestyle of dodging double-decker buses and black London cabs are Honda RS250 four-valve singles and almost any big four-stroke trailbike, and BMWs are the hot tip for out-of-town trips.
LORD KNOWS. IT’S TOUGH enough to resist the call of the open road under normal circumstances. But factor in two weeks of open time, a garage full of the best touring motorcycles available, with another one waiting in Nebraska, and it’s time to start packing the company credit cards and gathering up the road maps.
WHEN YOU GOTTA GO. YOU gotta go. And for the Cycle World tour group to arrive at Daytona in time for Bike Week, Suzuki's newest top-of-the-line tourer, the Cavalcade LXE, would have to be left out. The new model simply wasn’t going to be ready prior to our departure, and we’d have to take the less-expensive LX model instead.
IF YOU CARE ABOUT ROADRACING, you undoubtedly already know: Eddie Lawson, riding an impressively swift Yamaha FZ750 Superbike, ran away with this year’s Daytona 200. But who won the world's biggest and richest roadrace may have been less important than what renewed interest in the event portends for the immediate future.
Daytona as seen through the eyes of one of America’s greatest racing heroes
I REALLY LIKED WHAT I SAW AT Daytona this year. And it’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to say that. What I saw for a change was a race, not just a display of technology with one or two guys running way out front on incredibly exotic, Formula One bikes.
A California club-racer takes his shot at the big time
DURING THE 44-HOUR, NONstop truck ride across the country, I’d had a lot of time to think about Daytona. Still, I didn’t know quite what to expect when my crew pushed me off for the first practice session. Racetracks are very strange places; they can either be intimidating or fun.
THERE'S A DISTINCT ADVANtage to being the only competitor in your class: It’s almost impossible to lose. The rules are only what you make them, the standards only the ones you set. You’re automatically the best, by default if not by merit.
BUILDING A COMPETITIVE Open-class motocross bike seems simple enough. You design a two-stroke engine that has gobs of torque and 50 or 60 horsepower, and drop it into a great-handling 250cc chassis. Presto! A world-class Open bike. In reality, though, it isn’t so simple.
WTHOUT A DOUBT, SOFT LUGGAGE IS one of motorcycling’s modern miracles. With the mere addition of saddlebags or a tankbag, a rider essentially can have two bikes: old faithful and a medium-distance tourer. Many sportbike pilots, however, think the stuff is intrusive and ugly and makes a sleek backroad weapon look decidely bovine.
OFTEN AS NOT, COLD-WEATHER RIDing is strictly a losing proposition, especially when it comes to body heat. Even fortified with a cold-weather suit that would do an eskimo proud, a draw’s about the best you can hope for, because wind blast mercilessly strips away body heat almost as quickly as you can generate it.
In 1970, for $10,000, you too could have won Daytona
THIS WAS NO PLACE FOR A MUSEUM PIECE. The four open megaphones howled their strident cry as I pursued the leading pack of Yamahas through the flat-out left-hander, tucked flat under the windscreen as I wrestled with the bars. Suddenly, to my horror, I saw another rider, traveling a good 60 mph slower, touring back to the pits with his hand half-raised, right in my line of fire.
THE FASTEST, BEST-HANDLING bike on the track isn’t worth a damn if it breaks in every other moto. And while a stopwatch or race results can tell you how well any given bike performs, there's just one way to learn about its reliability; ride it.
On Saturday, May 17, the Ramapo Motorcycle Club will host the 1986 AMA Eastern National Championship Timed Road Run. Registration opens at 10 a.m. at the Red Apple Rest on Route 17. Southfields, New York. There will be two championship routes, an awards dinner and an AMA pin.
I am 15 years old and totally committed to motorcycles. I have considerable experience riding smaller, under-185cc motorcycles in large, privately owned paved areas, so I know how to ride. When I do get my license, I plan to use a motorcycle as my form of transportation and for fun on the weekends.