AH. YF.S. HERE COMES ANOTHER DEvoted, adulating reader. I thought to myself as the man strode directly toward me, his eyes clearly fixed on mine. Probably wants an autograph, I guessed, or maybe just sage advice on some subject of huge importance.
THE BALANCE SHEET ON AMERICAN-European trade, style-wise, is still seriously tilted in Europe’s favor. If your exposure to Europe consists of some package tours and a quick flip through whatever bike magazine happens to be in the local lingo, you’ll agree that Europeans don’t seem to be lining up at local bike shops to buy The American Look.
I couldn’t help but respond to a wonderful article in your January issue by Steve Thompson, “From the Kirkka to the Kerker," because my entire life has been strongly influenced by great music and great machinery. Nineteen years ago, when I threw a leg over the first real motorcycle I ever owned, I knew motorcycling was for me.
If you and your Virago yearn to cruise the streets of some distant city, consider making the trip behind the Pacifico Aero XP fairing. The XP features Pacifico’s Aerflo vent system, which the firm claims reduces turbulence compared with conventional designs. Available in black, white or silver for the Virago and other motorcycles, the Aero retails for $475; mounting bracket and lowers are extra. To find out more, contact Swanee & Co. Ltd., P.O. Box 5, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862;(800) 547-8273.
Swanee & Co. Ltd.
Dow dust cover
You say your mouthy manservant is complaining about having to dust your favorite two-wheel device? Well, show him to the door and replace him with Dow Canvas' Dust Cover. The non-woven polypropylene cover is available in two sizes, one for full-dress touring rigs and another for bikes up to 1 100cc with sportbike-style fairings. Suggested retail prices are $33.95 for the full-dresser cover and $28.95 for the other. You can get more information from Dow Canvas Products, 4230 Clipper Drive. Manitowoc. WI 54220.
Swanee & Co. Ltd.
Continental Conti Tour
Most riders wouldn't just pick something round and black off the tire rack any more than a marathon runner would buy a pair of Flush Puppies. And to help long-distance riders pick the tire best suited to their needs, Continental offers its new Conti Tour touring rubber. The TK 16 front and TK 17 rear tires join the firm's other specialized rubber (the TKV sport, and Blitz cruiser tires) and feature a 16.000-mile/48 month warranty. They’re available in a range of sizes, with prices starting at $70.72. To find out more, contact Continental Products Corp., 1200 Wall St. West, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071.
Swanee & Co. Ltd.
“Hmmm . . . 102.4mm. How am I going to convert that to furlongs?” Well, if you had the new Fowler Co. catalog # 1786 of measuring instruments and precision tools, you might not have to, because inside its 448 pages there’s probably a tool that would measure it directly. For a free copy of the catalog, contact Fred V. Fowler Co. Inc., Attn: Dept. L, P.O. Box 299, Newton, MA 02166: (617) 332-7004.
Swanee & Co. Ltd.
Kal-Gard filter cleaner
You say your significant other threatened to brain you if you put your air filters in the washing machine again? Restore domestic tranquility by using Kal-Gard’s filter cleaner for the task. Kal-Gard claims the spray works on both foam and fabric filters, and it’s available from your motorcycle dealer in 16-ounce cans for $4.39. For more information, contact Kal-Gard, 16616 Schoenborn St., Sepulveda, CA 91343.
Swanee & Co. Ltd.
State atlas and gazeteer
$9.95 to $12.95
The DeLorme Mapping Co. wants you to know just where you can go . . . in California, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Florida. The firm publishes a combined atlas and gazeteer for each of those states, with detailed maps and listings of campgrounds, scenic drives, historic sites and museums. Five more states will be added this year, and eventually a volume will be offered for each of the 50 states. Retail prices for the volumes range from $9.95 to $12.95 (plus $2 shipping), from DeLorme Mapping Co., P.O. Box 298, Freeport, MA 04032.
WHEN JEANA YEAGER AND DICK RUTAN CIRCUMNAVIgated the world non-stop this past December in their specially built Voyager airplane, CYCLE WORLD had already made a contribution. In August of 1986, the craft’s designer, Burt Rutan, had only theoretical projections that the fully loaded Voyager could lumber away from the ground; all previous flights of the fragile airplane had taken place with only partial fuel loads.
Japanese manufacturers have finally realized that motorcycles will no longer sell themselves. That’s why several of them here in Japan have begun extensive off-season promotions intended to generate interest and goodwill among potential buyers.
It came as a shock to learn that a Milan-based financial investment house, Prinefi S.p.a., has taken over control of Laverda. For the time being, Piero Laverda, will remain on the board of the firm as an active director, but without any direct shareholding.
WINDING THROUGH MIDdle Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, State Route 230 swings to the south as the white, two-story clapboard building marking the town of Hood comes up on the right. There's not much to brag about in a town of only 225 people,
LONG-DISTANCE RIDERS KNOW: IT'S usually not foul weather, limited fuel capacity or simple mental fatigue that can cut short a day’s ride; it’s the plush factor of the bike’s saddle. Even the most well-appointed touring rig can become a torture rack on wheels if the saddle starts to feel like a fakir’s bed of nails after a few hours.
DONT YOU JUST LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES together? Case in point: the new Hurricane 1000, a showpiece sportbike that Honda is betting will be a huge success. The company's goal for the Hurricane 1000 is simple: Sell as many as possible. Honda is, after all, not in the motorcycle business or the automobile business; it's in the business of staying in business.
El Mirage Dry Lake, California In a startling move, the ever-adventurous staff of CYCLE WORLD magazine lifted the standards of motorcycle journalism to new heights last Monday. Using an absolutely stock 1967 Honda S90, that pioneering crew set yet another world speed record, this time for the fastest speed ever posted by a production motorcycle of any displacement: 180 mph.
IT WAS A REAL HOLLYWOOD PARTY. held right on a sound stage, with a rock band, catered food and bathtubs full of Dos Equis beer. The guest of honor sat on a raised platform, basking in the glow of the studio spotlights. But nobody cried “speech" when a toast was made for the honoree, because this party was not thrown for an actor; it was thrown for a Harley-Davidson.
IT'S NO SECRET THAT I'M NUTS ABOUT FOUR-STROKE dirt bikes, especially lightweight, one-off specials and Husqvarna’s 1987 510s. But my interest in off-road four-strokes that weigh over 300 pounds is usually limited to the mechanical features of the machine.
EARLY IN 1957. BILL LOMAS. THEN THE SENIOR rider on Moto Guzzi's Grand Prix team, attacked the 10-kilometer standing-start world record for 500cc motorcycles. The Italian authorities, ever cooperative when the honor of a national team was involved, closed a narrow but straight section of the Appian Way near Rome for the attempt, and Lomas took less than l50 seconds to cover the 6.21 miles and capture the record.
Editor’s note: For 30years, the eight-cylinder Moto Guzzi remained a racebike of semi-mythical proportions. A scruffy example was occasionally displayed at classic motorcycle events, and even more rarely permitted to run on its ancient tires with age-hardened rubber and cracking sidewalls.
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS an S90 that won't run"’ Paul was saying. There was an undercurrent of skepticism in the room as we all tried to evaluate the truth, or lack thereof, in his statement. This was one of those classic editorial meetings that had drifted away from magazine-related talk and degenerated into a full-on, teary-eyed bull-session.
IN THE SIXTIES, IT WAS ONE; HECK OF a lot easier to get into motorcycling than it is today. The Japanese were building hordes of very small and inexpensive motorcycles back then, little 50 and 90 and 100cc tiddlers so easy to operate that they wouldn't even intimidate your grandmother.
HUSQVARNA HAD THE RIGHT idea in 1984 when it reintroduced the 400cc Open-class enduro bike. A full 500cc motor may be necessary for motocross racing, but not many riders can control the brute power pumped out by a 500cc two-stroke in the woods.
IT DOESN’T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN. BUT EVERY ONCE IN a while, a dirt bike comes along that is so good, so amazingly competent, that it becomes a legend in its own time. Husqvarna’s 1986 400 Enduro is just such a motorcycle. It’s the bike of just about every dirt rider's dreams.
"DON'T POINT THAT THING AT ME WHEN YOU pull the trigger,” you hear, or “Why don't you just beat yourself with a steel rod? It'll be more fun.” You get used to it. In fact, you come to expect satirical remarks any time you enter an Open-class motocrosser in an enduro.
IT WAS ALWAYS THERE. IN THE CORner of my neighbor's garage. Ev ery time his garage door was open. I could see it behind an unused brown couch. It was a greasy old Husky of some sort or another, complete with a sticky puddle of black oil that never grew any larger.
"THIS IS A MONOSHOCK.” THE OFFICIAL AT TECH inspection said, sounding half surprised, half annoyed. “Yep,” replied David Edwards proudly. “It was the very first one, a 1975 Canadian model.” “Sorry, no monoshocks. No bikes later than 1974, and no bikes with over four inches of suspension travel, either.
A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN 727 DAYS. Certain things you count on: Two years will pass, over 17,000 hours will tick by, and hundreds of different motorcycle races and events will take place, probably with hundreds of different winners. And in 1985 and 1986, those who watched the small world of observed trials in the U.S.
This year might mark a turning point in professional motorcycle racing. On one hand, the major manufacturers are cutting back, trimming their factory racing teams to the bone. But the cash that is being saved will go straight to the privateer, making 1987 a banner year for contingency awards that will be available to non-factory riders.
I'd like to get a lot more information on your “Special Delivery” article in your September, 1986, issue. In particular, I was struck by the statement that motorcycle messengers average about 40,000 miles a year. Do the bikes go this long without overhaul?
BABY, WHEN ITS COLD OUTSIDE-OR just cool—layering clothing works. But choosing the right layers can be a frustrating puzzle, because if you choose wrong, there'll be frost on you and the pumpkin. Layering often means bulk, too, and if the pieces of the puzzle don’t fit, you can have the worst of both worlds, and be cold and uncomfortable.
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 Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92663. Only black and white prints, 8 by 10 inches should be sent.