OKAY. SO IT WASN'T THE MOST CONVEnient place for a revelation. But wide-eyed discoveries are like that: They just come to mind whenever the spirit moves them. That afternoon, on Yamaha's test track in Fukuroi, Japan, the spirit was working overtime.
WELL, I TOOK THE LAD'S MONEY, BUT it wasn't the right thing to do. I know' that now, and I know it'll irk me as long as I ride. Not because I fleeced him—quite the opposite, he got a bargain—but because the motorcycle was so good. It was a 1984 Kawasaki GPz550.
Why do we, the motorcycling public, sit back and say little or even nothing when we get stepped on or left out. ABC-TV recently ran a program called. “There's Got To Be A Better Way,” concerning our nation’s transportation problems. In this program, David Hartman talked about rush-hour problems and what could be done about them.
SOMEONE ONCH SAID THAT OUT OF struggle comes knowledge. If that’s true, the motorcycle manufacturers ought to be pretty smart at this point. Their struggles to keep their upcoming model lines secret are as intense as ever, and most of our usual sources have been more tight-lipped than in previous years.
Six months on a Single: Living with Yamaha's SRX400
Now that the SRX600 Yamaha is available in America, many people there have become aware of the resurgence of large-displacement street Singles. The 600 is available in Japan, too, but without a doubt, the smaller SRX400 Single, which is virtually identical to the 600 except for engine size, has proven to be one of this country's most popular motorcycles in recent years.
Japan considers the world its personal motorcycle market. But if the Italian motorcycle manufacturers have any say in the matter, this may not be the case for long. The Italians have already prevented the onslaught of Japanese imports into their own country, and now they are looking to turn the tables and step up their volume of exports to the U.S. and Japan.
Suzuki Cavalcade owners now can pull the wool under their thighs with a set of lambskin seat covers from Hartco International. The covers are available in 10 colors for both the saddle and the passenger backrest, for suggested retail prices of $119 and $79, respectively. For informa tion, contact Hartco International, 10910 Switzer Ave., Suite 108, Dal las, TX 75238; 1-800-446-7772.
Foam's fine for putting a head on a glass of beer, but it's the last thing you want in your bike's coolant. With Cycle Line Products' Temp Guard coolant/anti-freeze, though, foam can be a thing of the past. Indeed, Cycle Line claims Temp Guard's superior anti-foam qualities provide lower and more consistent operating temperatures than conventional anti-freeze. Available at your motorcycle dealer, Temp Guard retails for a cool $4.95 per quart. To find out more, write to Cycle Line Products, 27 Warren St., Suite 103, Hackensack NJ 07601.
Suzuki's Cavalcade has so many passenger-pampering niceties that some pilots might feel like second-class citizens. They can start getting their own back, though, with a three-position-adjustable Cavalier backrest from Drag Specialties. The color-coordinated backrest pad also adjusts vertically, and the whole affair pivots forward, DS says, so the passenger can climb on and off easily. Available for all Cavalcades, the Cavalier retails for $149.95 from your motorcycle dealer or from Drag Specialties, 5401 Smetana Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55343.
Would you believe that these are bionic hands, the latest thing for dirt riders? No? Then, would you believe they're Husky Products' new Maxi gloves, with high-density foam pad ding covered with a nylon shell, suede-like synthetic leather palms, and Spandex panels between the fingers? Suggested retail price is $34.95, and they're available only at Husqvarna dealers. And that's the truth.
High-speed stability is a lot like virtue: Its absence is often more conspicuous than its presence. And if your bike seems lacking in poise at speed, Storz has a solution: Zaccaria hydraulic steering-damper kits. Designed for applications where lack of space precludes using conventional plunger-type dampers, the adjustable Zaccaria unit mounts to the steering-stem nut. Storz has kits for GSX-R75Os and Ninja 600s, for a suggested retail price of $159. Contact Storz Performance, 1362 Tower Square #2, Ventura, CA 93003; (805) 654-8816.
Jetting for that new exhaust pipe and free-breathing air filter got you baffled? Don't bother phoning for help. Instead, dial up the right combination with Dial-A-Jet from Rocky Cycle. Dial-A-Jet offers five jetting selections at the twist of its dial, doesn't require carb removal for installation, and has a suggested retail price of $59.95 for Twins, and $120 for four-cylinder engines. For more information, see your motorcycle dealer, or contact Rocky Cycle Co. Inc., P.O. Box 1431, Sunnyvale, CA 94088.
From the unlikely marriage of a Duck and an elephant comes one of the world's truly fine sport motorcycles
FEW THINGS IN LIFE ARE BETTER THAN A FIRE-ENGINE red Italian sportbike that's right. Sex, maybe, or Häagen-Dazs chocolate chocolate-chip. But not by much. And when an Italian sportbike is as red and as right as Ducati's newest corner-bender, the 750 Paso... well, as the beer commercial says, that's about as good as it gets.
MASSIMO TAMBURINI IS A HAPPY MAN. But at the moment, his happiness isn't obvious. Surrounded by engineers and workmen, a frowning Tamburini is twisting and turning an engine-mounting bracket, trying to make it fit between Paso frame and Ducati engine.
MR. FABIO TAGLIONI SITS QUIETLY IN THE MEETing room in Bologna, smiling at us. He's come to talk, to answer our questions, but his English is no better than our Italian. The language skills of Ducati's public-relations woman falter when technical terms are used, so we just sit, matching smiles with Dr. Taglioni.
FACE IT: WHOEVER INVENTED TIE-down straps as a means of hauling dirt bikes around didn't finish the job. Tie-downs can slip, you don't always have a place to hook them, and it doesn't take much to have the straps come off and send the bike flying,producing a neat dent in your truck, along with a matching ding in your bike.
IT'S ALMOST LIKE AN EPISODE OF The Twilight Zone. You pull into a gas station on the Yamaha 1100 Virago and are almost guaranteed to evoke some kind of comment from the attendant. “Now, that's sharp,” he might say, or, “I’ve gotta have one of those.
When it absolutely, positively has to be there, call a motorcycle
YOU WON'T READ ABOUT IT IN the Sunday papers, but in recent years, the city of San Francisco has been harboring a bizarre collection of roving gangs. We're not talking about your usual assortment of thugs, muggers and neighborhood mercenaries, however; rather, these gangs are benign groups of iconoclastic couriers who pilot motorcycles mainly through the congested avenues and thoroughfares of the city's financial district.
SOMETIMES, IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS that make a big difference. One click on a shock’s rebound-damping adjuster, for instance, can make the difference between struggling with a bike or enjoying it, just as a single layer of clothing can transform an excruciatingly cold ride into, at least, a bearable one.
IT NEVER FAILS. YOU'RE PULLING maintenance on Old Faithful, and just as you start threading in a crucial bolt, it instantly does the tighten-up. “Go one Newton-meter more," it warns, “and I'm history." Unless you've got a fistful of taps, dies or helicoils, you’re stuck in the grip of some unholy threadlock that little short of a magician's wand can fix.
TAKE MY ADVICE: NEVER ASK A racer what he thinks of four-stroke motocross bikes. Chances are you'll get either a "you're-not-serious-are-you?"stare, or an hour's worth of propaganda straight from The Ministry of Thumpers. Everyone's glad to offer an opinion, but separating myth and counter-myth from the truth can be a full-time job.
SOME MOTORCYCLES ARE WINNERS, AND SOME riders are winners. When two winners team up, history usually is made. The particular ATK 560 that CYCLE WORLD entered in this year's CMC Four-Stroke Championship was a winner, and it had a history of being with riders of the same sort.
WHEN MOST RIDERS BUY A TANKBAG, they bite off more than they can chew. That’s because most bags are intended to satisfy the voracious appetites of touring riders, those people who like to take it all with them. What's more, tankbags usually are often accompanied by a monkey-puzzle mounting system designed more for security than for convenient installation and removal.
YOU COULD SAY THAT BMW IS RESPONSIBLE. AFTER JUST one look at the Kawasaki Concours, it's obvious that BMW's K100RT and RS were the object of some close scrutiny by Kawasaki's engineers before they designed their own sport-touring bike. From its full fairing to its detachable, black-plastic saddlebags to its metallic silver paint, the Concours has a distinct aroma of BMW about it.
AT A TIME WHEN MONSTER MAchines of 1000cc or more were most influential overseas, the Japanese domestic market was (and still is) legally restricted to a 750cc displacement limit. Usually, 750cc models have been based closely on 900cc to 1000cc monstercycles: The 750s were simply smaller-displacement versions.
L'experience à trois: three bikes,three men,three days
CAMRON E. BUSSARD
I OPENED THE BOTTLE OF WINE, THEN slipped into the Jacuzzi. I joined David Edwards, CYCLE WORLD'S Feature Editor, and Ron Lawson, Managing Editor, both of whom had refused to climb out of the water to get the wine. David was too busy boasting about the darkening bruise on his left thigh, while Ron merely laughed and raised his cut, swollen hands above the water, as if that proved his injuries were far more serious.
IT’S RATHER ODD, REALLY. THE HONDA REFLEX AND the Moto Beta Trekking are two very similar motorcycles. Both fit into a very small category you might call trials/trailbikes—in fact, in this country, these two bikes are the trials/trailbike category.
Call it Daytona North or Laguna Seca East, but the Loudon Classic is hard to beat
IT HAD BEEN THREE HOURS SINCE the checkered flag had fallen on Loudon 1986. Yet out on Route 106, the tree-and-pasture-lined road leading away from the New Hampshire track, local residents still watched the exodus of racing fans. Lounging in lawn chairs and perched atop stationwagon tailgates, the audience witnessed the spectacle as a seemingly endless stream of motorcycles filed past.
IDIOTS AND MORONS." THE OVERWEIGHT SECUrity guard at the Weirs Beach McDonald's was holding forth while a steady stream of motorcycles rumbled past his parking lot. A few yards away, a rather rotund member of the Blue Knights touring club, well into his 50s, had a different perspective on the proceedings.
I find myself unable to decide which tire size to buy for the front of my 1984 Nighthawk S. I replaced the rear 130/90-16 with the same size K391. Now I find that Dunlop does not produce a 110/90-16 for the front. What Dunlop has available comes only in 100/90, 120/90 and 120/80-16 sizes.
The All British Motor Sports Meet will be held in Overland Park, Kansas on Labor Day Weekend, August 29-31. Activities include people's choice and judged classes, field events and swap meets. Advance registration is $10, or $12 at the gate.
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.