I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE COMPLETELY unbiased. It says so right here in my trusty reporter's handbook, under the general heading of "objectivity." The journalist's pledge, the book tells me, is to be free of all prejudice and favoritism in reporting, to be eminently fair at all times.
WHO'S THE MOST COURAGEOUS: FREDdie Spencer or the person who agrees to sit behind you on your pillion? Maybe you'd say Spencer has more guts. Not me. I say any motorcycle passenger—now called the “co-rider”—is the winner in the courage-off hands-down.
Although Dick Mann's riding ability and contribution to American motorcycle racing cannot be disputed, his view of Mr. France’s decision to exclude F-1 racing from Daytona is a bit short-sighted. If the idea of racing were only for “riders to race each other,” as Mr. Mann states, then we should put the Spencers, Lawsons and Mamolas on identically prepared production machines (that Mr. Mann says are only of interest to those who race them) and find out who really is the fastest.
WANNA BE A WORLD-RECORD holder? Have a desire to go faster than anyone has ever gone on a bike of a particular size or type—and have your achievement officially certified? Well, that’s not as far-fetched an idea as you might think. A careful perusal through motorcycle record books will uncover quite a few existing speed records that are well within the reach of the average rider.
Last year, the Suzuki GSX-Rs set new standards for sportbikes in terms of power and light weight. But in terms of style, the bikes looked rather, well, dated. And although it hardly seems possible, we’re now seeing the second-generation GSX-R Suzukis here in Japan, evidenced by the release of the GSX-R400.
Just when you thought that the world’s biggest and longest off-road rally was either the Paris-to-Dakar extravaganza or the upcoming Trans-Americas event, along comes something even bigger and longer: the Paris-to-Peking rally. Slated to take place from August 20 to October 10, 1987, this 9950-mile rally is being organized by the same team responsible for the annual Tour de France bicycle race, itself the biggest and best event of its kind in the world.
Some motorcyclists think there's only one way to ride-alone. And for like-minded Honda VF500F pilots. Targa Accessories offers its seat cowl. The locking fiberglass cowl features a padded backrest, color-matched paint, and small-item stor-age room. Available for 1984-1986 VF500F Hondas, the cowl retails for $124.95 from your motorcycle dealer or from Targa Accessories Inc., 10 McLaren, Suite B, Irvine, CA 927 l4; (714)472-1022.
Targa Accessories Inc.
Gold Belt enduro jacket
Joseph had a coat of many colors, but if he'd been an enduro rider he might have traded it for Gold Belt's enduro jacket in red or blue. Gold Belt uses water-resistant Typhoon cloth for the garment, and claims the material is softer and lighter than GoreTex, and so makes for a more comfortable jacket. There's plenty of cargo space, too, with four front pockets and a large fanny pocket. The jacket comes in S-XXL sizes, and has a suggested retail price of $140 ($150 for XXL). Contact Gold Belt Line, 7045 Darby Ave., Reseda, CA 91335.
Targa Accessories Inc.
Marzocchi M1R fork
If your heart skips a beat at the sight ofa pair of long, lean legs, then you'll surely be smitten by Marzocchi's M1R fork. With Marzocchi's gams, one leg takes care of rebound damping, and the other does compression damping duty, a feature the importer claims allows easy tuning and results in low weight. Available for street or dirt bikes, with 38mmor 42mm-diameter stanchion tubes, the M1R foots a suggested retail price of $475 (fork legs only), or $499 (including triple clamps). To get a leg up on the competition, contact Cosmopolitan Motors Inc., 301 Jacksonville Road, Hatboro, PA 19040: 1-800-523-2522, or (215) 672-9100 in Pennsylvania.
Targa Accessories Inc.
AXO Sport Series 29 gloves
An extremely comfortable off-road glove, the Sport 29 features a lamb-skin palm, a flexible plastic back that's vented, and expandable finger sides. The gloves are available in all popular sizes in white/red, white/blue and white/red/black combinations, and their suggested list price is $31.95 at motorcycle dealers.
Targa Accessories Inc.
Hondaline magnetic tankbag
Most people admire a stick-to-it nature; and for those who appreciate that trait in a tankbag, Hondaline has just the item. This medium-size, urethane-coated nylon bag employs eight magnets in its padded, vinyl-covered base for easy mounting to most steel gas tanks. For storage, there's a large main compartment with a small pouch on top, both with zipper closures, and a rear pouch with a Velcro-secured flap. Also included are a rain cover and shoulder strap. The bag is available in black or blue for a suggested retail price of $56. To find out more, contact your Honda dealer, or write to American Honda Motor Co. Inc., P.O. Box 7055, North Hollywood, CA 91607.
Targa Accessories Inc.
Bieffe BF85 helmet
Italy's Bieffe has tossed a new cappello, the BF85, into the ring for '86. The fiberglass helmet meets Snell '85 and DOT standards, and features a vented chin bar, a terry cloth interior and a four-position faceshield. Available in S-XXL, the BF85 comes in white with red-and-blue graphics, and black, red and anthracite, all with silver-grey-and-gold graphics, for a suggested retail price of $99.99. To find out more, contact VanLeeuwen Enterprises Inc., 13275 Paxton St., Arleta. CA 91331; (818) 896-2200.
MOST DOCTORS WOULDN'T call a facelift preventive medicine. But when the 1986 Shadow 700 was unveiled as a cosmetically restyled and reborn model, Honda offered only one reason for all of the bike's changes: prevention. The 700 Shadow had been one of the most successful models in recent years, and Honda simply wanted to ensure that what was healthy staved healthy.
WHEN IT COMES TO RIDING APPAREL, only boots really have to do double-duty. A rider can shuck his helmet, jacket and gloves when he dismounts, but his boots stay with him. And, typically, motorcycling foot-gear runs to the extremes of slipper-thin roadrace boots or stout touring brogans.
JUMPING THE GATE WITH THE HONDA CR250R, YAMAHA YZ250 AND KAWASAKI KX250
MOTOCROSS RACERS ARE A lucky bunch. For them, buying a competitive racing machine is as easy as dropping by the local motorcycle dealer. Some brands are more competitive in stock form than others, but most can be turned into superb racers with nothing more than a little modifying and fine-tuning here and there.
From Ace to Zen, an essential library for the motorcycle enthusiast
FOR MANY ENTHUSIASTS, THE IDEA THAT MOTORCYcling is a way of life was summed up succinctly a few years ago on, of all things, a T-shirt: "We eat, sleep, ride, talk, breathe, dream, live and love motorcycles," it proudly proclaimed in bold type.
IT'S DARK AND YOU'RE LOST. SO YOU pull over, and dig into your luggage for a flashlight so you can read your map. But did you pack a flashlight? Are the batteries fresh? Is the bulb intact, or has it popped from vibration? Where is it? Instead of cursing the darkness, you could shed some light on your dilemma with Lockhart’s new Moto Light.
SOMEWHERE, SOMEPLACE, THERE MUST BE A MAN who has heard only Muzak. Surrounded by its innocuous melodies in elevators and department stores, he may have finding it vaguely pleasant, and thought it as involving as music could be. Imagine, then, this sheltered man found himself at a Rolling Stones concert.
Dodging goats and pickups at 140 mph: Roadracing, Mexican-style.
RON "GOMEZ" GRIEWE, CYCLE WORLD'S SENIOR editor, a grizzled pre-runner and non-finisher of a half-dozen Baja races, was expounding. "You might as well carry some plastic flowers with you, and a white cross. Then, when a Mexican rancher in a pickup truck runs you off the road at 120, you'll have a chance to stick them in the ground as you go flying past.
Honda goes deep into the heart of Texas to break Cycle World's speed records
IF THAT OLD SAYING IS REALLY TRUE. IF RECORDS ARE meant to be broken, then Honda has merely acted out what fate intended. Because a factory-prepared Honda VFR750 has broken the world records that Cycle World had set just eight months earlier on a Suzuki GSX-R750.
In an, age of sophistication, sometimes simplicity looks pretty good
"I was shipped off to school... the Mustang was banished to a barn, eventually to become a victim of time."
JON F. THOMPSON
I FEAR I'M BECOMING TECHNOphobic. Oh, I don't seem to suffer unreasonably from fears of VCRs, word processors or the general electronic and mechanical sophistication of the lives we all lead. Nor do I have a problem with specific motorcycle technology like double-overhead camshafts, shaft drive, rising-rate suspension and the use of alloys that until a few years ago existed only in the aerospace program.
SAY THE WORD "MUSTANG" TO MOST PEOPLE TOday, and they'll probably think you're talking about a 1960s ponycar. But long before Ford Motor Company's runaway sales success was even a gleam in Lee lacocca's eye, another Mustang had been a reality.
A PAIR OF SAFETY NETS TO KEEP YOUR CARGO STOWED ON BOARD
WOLF-TRAP VS. ECLIPSE CARGO BRA
MOTORYCYCLING, LIKE MANY ENdeavors, has its own tests, its own rites of passage. And one of them has to do with learning—usually the hard way—how to carry a load. Unfortunately, the lesson’s not a one-shot deal, for it gives you the opportunity to relearn it every time your cargo tumbles down the road.
An up-and-comer from Down Under. And maybe the next world champion.
A HOLLYWOOD SCREENWRITER couldn’t have come up with a better script. On a hot, steamy night at Japan’s famous Suzuka racing circuit, 250,000 fans had been driven to a fever pitch of excitement by the drama unfolding before them on the track.
The Jerseypine Cruisers Touring Club is hosting two special rides: The fourth annual Russell Swoverland Memorial Cystic Fibrosis Ride on Sunday, July 13, in Elmhurst, Illinois. Sign-ups begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Honda House, 645 State Route 83.
I own a 1975 RD125B and I have currently been trying to update the suspension components (other than OEM), such as tires and shocks. Could you give me some ideas as to where I can find small, high-performance tires (front 2.75-18, rear 3.00-18)?
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.