IF THE LONE RANGER WERE AROUND today, you absolutely, positively know that he’d ride a motorcycle. It would probably be big and most likely would be white, but it definitely would be a motorcycle, not a horse. It’s tough these days to crusade against crime and injustice on a horse; and I just can’t picture the Lone Ranger riding off into the sunset shouting a hearty “Hi-yo, Silver” out the window of a ... a Buick.
BY NOW, YOU'VE HEARD ALL ABOUT the new Yamaha SRX-6. You’ve read the tests, seen one of the two-per-dealer in your neighborhood, and probably absorbed the five facts necessary to fill out your own mental file card on the bike. Probably for you, as for most riders, one entry on that file card reads, “596cc kick-started four-valve Single.
Regarding “High Sierra Rubicon Adventure” in the September issue, it’s a good thing your editors can take flashy pictures, since it’s questionable whether they understood the motorcycles they were riding. Their riding ability is also in question, since they had to bring Scott Head along to tackle the tough parts of the trail.
IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST MOTORCYCLISTS, you want to become the best rider you can possibly be. But the question is, how do you do that? One way is just to keep on riding a lot, and eventually you’ll get better simply by virtue of all the experience you’ll have accumulated.
Where the track and the street meet: Yamaha's FZR400
Racetrack experience makes for good sportbikes. Or so thinks Yamaha’s Teruo Abe, the leader of the team of engineers and designers that developed the TZR250. Mr. Abe’s track experience has now lead to the latest FZR400. And with this bike, Yamaha has surpassed Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki in terms of power and the ability to make a production racer street-legal.
Who would believe it? For the first time in recent memory, the topic of interest in the European motorcycling community is not some rumored futurebike, but rather the destiny of some of the rarest artifacts in Italy’s glorious racing past.
Next to stealth technology, a radar detector is the best defense against bogeys during low-altitude sorties. And to make such an item easier to mount to your bike, V. Polak offers its Radar Detector Bracket. Double-sided tape holds the detector to the bracket, which secures to a wind-screen via three clear-plastic suction cups.
IT'S CALLED THE UNITED STATES ON ONE SIDE AND MEXico on the other, but it's neither, really. It's the Texas Border Country, where the two countries rub shoulders, occasionally jabbing elbows into each other's ribs. Geographically, the two are separated by the Rio Grande, a restless river forever changing its bed.
"USE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB," goes the old admonition. When it comes to changing tires or fixing flats, though, most riders throw that old chestnut right out the window, along with their patience. In desperation, they’ll grab almost anything, from screwdrivers to ice picks, items guaranteed to wreak havoc on tires, tubes and rims.
Mixing Ninja magic and mature thinking to come up with the sensible sportbike
THE WAIT IS OVER. KAWASAKI is back in the game. The wait began two years ago when Yamaha ushered in a new era for 750cc sportbikes with its radically engined, 102-horsepower FZ750. Suzuki jumped in next with the GSX-R750, boasting an aluminum frame and extremely light weight.
KAWASAKI ENGINEER MATSUNAGA IS PROUD: "This new engine is the most compact and the most powerful in its class. It makes 106 horsepower without being big or heavy. Without carbs, it weighs 147 pounds. As for size, the Suzuki GSX-R750 engine is wider, the Yamaha FZ is taller and longer, and the Honda VFR is longer.
MORE THAN 30 YEARS AGO, A VINCENT BLACK Lightning, tuned to that era's limits for metal and oil, bellowed across the Bonneville Salt Flats. As it streaked past the timing lights, it set a new U.S. speed record for motorcycles: 150 mph. In 1986, two 750s, the VFR and the Ninja, will match that 150-mph top end, but without the strain.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH 3 TO 4 QUARTS of dead dinosaurs? After all, according to the best guesses of some geo-physicists, that’s basically what oil is: exqusitely refined dead dinosaurs. So after you change your bike’s oil, how do you dispose of the remains?
ROADRACERS, MORE SO THAN MANY other sportsmen, go into battle almost naked. By comparison, motocrossers and even football players lumber to their grids practically groaning under the weight of plastic protective gear, with knee/shin guards, shoulder pads, kidney belts and the like.
IF YOU'RE THE TYPE OF DIRT RIDER WHO THRIVES ON SURprises, 1987 might be a disappointing year for you. But if you can appreciate improvement that comes from evolutionary refinement rather than from revolutionary change, then you might find next year's crop of motocross bikes very interesting.
IN 1984, WHEN HUSQVARNA INTROduced the 400WR, an Open-class enduro model of just 400cc, the bike was immediately proclaimed the perfect size for an enduro machine. The 400WR had most of the acceleration and pulling power of a typical Open machine, but without the hard starting and violent power delivery normally associated with 500cc enduro bikes.
Forget Harris tweed; now when you think Harris, think speed
STEVEN L. THOMPSON
SOME THINGS NEVER GO OUT OF fashion. Speed, for instance. Or the need to couple great speed with distinctive style. As long as there have been enthusiasts willing to pay for the melding of the two, there has been a worldwide network of specialists to meet the demand.
TO ME, MOTORCYCLES ARE DEVICES THAT ARE ESpecially rewarding to alter and improve. Whether I am trying to make one work better or simply look better, I feel I can approach perfection in long strides. With every bike I've owned, I've cut up, welded back together, thrown parts away, made and bought new parts, repainted, ridden and then cut up again.
IT'S BAD ENOUGH THAT THE SOVIET Union has more ICBMs than we do. Worse yet that some guy named Bubka seems to break the world pole vault record every 15 minutes. But you'll really start losing sleep when you learn that the Russkies are kickin' ass and taking names in the sport of motoball.
I owned a 1973 RD350 back in 1976. A few different people told me then about installing automotive-type ignition coils on the RD. Supposedly, these coils would produce a hotter spark and make the plugs last longer. Just recently I purchased a 1974 RD350 for racing use, and my interest in car coils has been renewed.
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.