JENNINGS’ COROLLARY SAYS IT BEST: “If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.” If you happened to catch CBS's 60 Minutes this past April 12, you saw that little nugget of fractured philosophy put to work on prime-time network television.
THE OLD GUY WATCHED ME PEEL OFF my helmet, wipe sweat off my face and clamber off the Yamaha. He sat on an honest-to-God rocker under the awning of the little café in Nevada City, creaking back and forth in the deep shade, where it was maybe 20 degrees cooler than out in the white heat of a Sierra foothills summer noon.
Why don't you grow up! Ever since Honda broke your 24-hour world speed record, you have been acting like children. Where is your professionalism? When I read your article, “Extra!!”, in your April issue, I was surprised to see that you still insist upon cutting down Honda for replacing your old record.
Unlike its namesake, Kryptonite’s new cable-lock won't put the fear into Superman, but it sure ought to put the hurt on would-be thieves. The 6.5-foot-long, vinyl-coated, 9/16-inch-diameter steel cable weighs a claimed 1.7 pounds and features a tubular keyway similar to that used in Kryptonite’s other locks. It’s available in any color—so long as it’s black—for a suggested retail price of $34.95. To find out more, contact the Kryptonite Corp., 95 Freeport St., Boston, MA 02122; (617) 288-2336.
You can't tune a fish, but you can tune a guitar—or a pair of Works Performance dual-rate fork springs. The Works coils use a nut-and-bolt arrangement offering approximately 1 inch of adjustment to fine-tune the point at which the stiffer spring comes into play. They’re available for a wide range of street bikes for $69.95 from Works Performance Products, 8730 Shirley Ave., Northridge, CA 91324; (818) 701-1010.
Grease your palms—or your bike—with Bel-Ray’s waterproof multipurpose grease. The slippery stuff uses an aluminum complex formula that prevents melting, and it’s unaffected by salt or fresh water, according to the manufacturer. It comes in 14-ounce tubs or cartridges for $2.95, and you can find out more by sliding down to your dealer, or squirting off a letter to Bel-Ray Co., 10015 Muirlands Blvd., #G, Irvine, CA 92714; (714) 859-0933.
Kushitani back protector
Getting down off your bike at speed during a day at the races might mean a night in the hospital. Rather than harp on the possibility, though, consider wearing Kushitani’s back protector to make those off-bike excursions less painful. It’s made of dual-density, closed-cell foam with plastic panels riveted down the center of its 23-inch length. A nylon-web belt secured with Velcro holds the protector in place. Suggested retail price is $57, and it’s available from the California Superbike School Inc., P.O. Box 3743, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; (213) 484-9323.
Cool-Power refrigerated helmet
A hot summer sun beating down on your helmet can make your head feel like it’s being parboiled. To help you keep your cool, though, Cool-Power offers its refrigerated helmet. Underneath the fiberglass shell, a solid-state, thermoelectric module cools a liquid-filled vinyl bladder that lies against the wearer’s scalp. In addition, the system draws its power from the bike’s 12-volt battery, and features a temperature controller to adjust the amount of cooling. The DOT-approved helmet comes in M-XL, in black, white or red, for a suggested retail price of $499. To find out more, contact Cool-Power Inc., 538 Haggard St., Suite 412, Plano, TX 75074; (214) 424-5770.
Fox Comp-2 boots
Tired of barking up the wrong tree in your hunt for the ultimate off-road footgear? If so, try a pair of Comp-2 boots from Fox Racing. Fox drew heavily on design input from Ricky Johnson, then had renowned bootmakers Alpine Stars construct the Comp-2s. Features include Fox's Quick-Draw lacing, dual Velcro closures and Cam-Lock buckles for fine fit-adjustments. They come in sizes 4-13 in white or blue for a suggested retail price of $175. To find out more, skulk on down to your dealer, or contact Fox Racing, 520 McGlincy Lane, Campbell, CA, 95008.
YOU SEE IT ON TV. YOU READ ABOUT IT IN NEWSPAPERS AND magazines. You hear about it in motorcycle shops. Altogether, there’s so much talk about it that keeping track of what’s really happening is almost impossible. Unless you’ve been frozen in an iceberg for the past two years, you’re undoubtedly aware of the “it” we’re referring to: the full-scale war being waged between all-terrain vehicles and an agency of the U.S.
With motorcycle sales at Suzuki down about 50 percent and only one new streetbike announced for 1987, it’s clear that Suzuki is currently putting most of its efforts into its Samurai automobiles. Already, the export goals for Suzuki cars have been revised upward by 50,000 units to a total of 480,000 for the year, a 23-percent increase over the previous year.
When you go to the big races, like Daytona and Laguna Seca in the U.S. or the Suzuka races here in Japan, it's always difficult to get close to the racers. Usually, they are secreted away from the fans and seen only when they are riding. The people you want to see the most are out of reach.
Twelve months of planning predated Dutch constructors Bram Bijl and Cor van Reeuwijk’s decision to build the advanced new RB-1 prototype. Powered by a standard Kawasaki GPz600 (Ninja) engine, the RB-1 has already undergone track tests, and is currently being further developed before being handed over to Horeon BV, Holland’s leading Kawasaki and Honda tuning shop.
Beyond a doubt, Beta motorcycles have made a mark in trials competition by winning virtually every one of the U.S. Trials Nationals in the past two years. In doing so, the Italian-built bikes have gained a reputation for being extremely rugged and reliable.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell a new Harley from an old Harley. That’s because Harley often creates a new model by taking an existing chassis and adding a fuel tank from a different H-D model, a seat from another, the front end from yet another, and giving the resultant package a new paint scheme.
JUST SOUTH OF BARSTOW, California, in the heart of the great Mojave Desert, lies a 100,000-acre region called Stoddard Wells, listed as an open off-road vehicle recreation area by the Bureau of Land Management. Aside from its hundreds of miles of trails and its proximity to the eastern suburbs of the L.A. basin, the area also has an attraction that draws countless off-road riders as well as many street riders: The Slash X Ranch Bar.
IT’S DIFFICULT TO TELL AT FIRST glance, but there's definitely something missing from Vetter Products’ Street Feet boots. Not from the boots themselves; from their name. There’s no adjective such as “sport,” “racing” or “touring” to modify “boots.” After all, motorcycling footgear has become as specialized as modern hardware, and almost every boot extant uses one of those adjectives as an integral part of its name.
Japan's most exclusive sportbike might just be the best production racer ever
THE FZR75OR SAT OUTSIDE A CONVENIENCE STORE, baking in the desert sun while its rider fortified himself for the long, hot miles ahead with the largest cup of iced cola in the store's inventory. On the homeward leg of a 1500-mile blitzkrieg through the wide-open spaces of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, the FZR bore the marks of hard use.
In 1959, Honda’s four-valve, four-cylinder 250cc GP bike was a revolution. Now any Japanese teenager can buy a streetbike that will blow it away.
IT'S THE TACH THAT ENTICES: AT IDLE, ITS NEEDLE HOVERS low, near 6 o'clock. A blip of the throttle blurs it up to 9 o'clock, and 8000 rpm. Hold the throttle open a half-second longer, and a hushed wail sends the needle straight up, to 14,000 rpm.
Honda’s famed GP designer of the Sixties talks about 250cc Fours, past, present and future
"We call it 'breeding the racing engine'. Form wild animal to pet."
For the inside story of the CBR and the RC160 racebike, we flew to Honda's Marysville, Ohio, plant, to talk to Shoichiro Irimajiri. Mr. Iri, as he's known by the Marysville staff, currently runs all of Honda's American automobile and motorcycle manufacturing operations.
PREVIOUS SMALL-BORE TECHnological marvels haven't always been such wonderful motorcycles. Honda's 1973 CB350 Four may have been a "velvet shriek" at 10,000 rpm, but it was also gutless and slower than a CB350 Twin. Honda's 1975 400F at least hinted at torque.
THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN a cat—or to make a pair of summer-weight riding gloves, for that matter. But most manufacturers construct their summer gloves as if they’d all been reading from the same book, where in Section 1, Paragraph 1 it says, "Take an unlined, short-gauntlet, thin-leather glove and punch lots of little holes in the top."
SOMEWHERE, SOMEPLACE, THERE PROBABLY ARE two things better-suited to one another than ATVs and Baja. But if there are, you'd have to look long and hard to find them. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Because of their relatively large size and weight, ATVs are happier roaming the wide-open spaces than they are tiptoeing along the kinds of tight, narrow, off-camber trails that can be so much fun on a dirt bike.
NEARLY 25 YEARS AGO, MIKE LEON OPENED A hunting resort 150 miles south of the U.S. border, in the wilds of Baja. He called it Mike's Sky Rancho in acknowledgment of the new dirt airstrip he had put in for the hunters and fishermen who were supposed to be lured there by promises of trophy deer and lunker trout.
IF YOU’RE LUCKY, THE BAR WILL BE OPEN WHEN YOU arrive at Mike’s. Lucky because Ramon will be making Margaritas and his world-famous Bloody Marys. Ramon has been at Mike’s for 18 years, and in that time he just may well have perfected that tomato-flavored concoction.
LOGIC TELLS YOU THAT Husqvarna's 250 Enduro and KTM's 250 Enduro ought to be very similar motorcycles. Both are European two-strokes, both have survived the onslaught of Japanese enduro bikes, and both are made for the same basic purpose—winning enduros.
In which Jimmie Lee and the boys take on the might of Russian motorcycling
THE CALL TO ARMS
PAUSE FOR ACADEMIC HISTORY LESSON
THE DNEPR (NO, THIS ISN'T A MISTAKE)
JIMMIE LEE’S THINK TANK VS. THE RUSSIAN BRUTE
CONCLUSIONS, OBSERVATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS
BUBBA RAY BURDICK
IF YOU ASK ME, WE BEEN WORRYING TOO MUCH ABOUT THE wrong darn things. I’m saying forget about the Bomb, who has it and who don’t and who’s trying to make one out of a broken Philco 12-inch black-and-white. Forget about Fidel and forget about the Chinese hordes.
Japan celebrates the start of the roadrace GP season as only Japan can
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN unimportant roadrace GP; just ask any would-be champion who missed the title by a handful of points. There are important GPs and more-important GPs. And then there is the most-important GP, which, this year, might have been the Japanese GP held on the famed Suzuka Circuit.
THE RACE WENT VERY WELL for me, right from the start. My plan was to get a good start and then get into the clear just as soon as possible. That way, it’s much easier to see in rainy conditions like we had today. After the “sightseeing laps” we rode to test the wet circuit before the actual race, I really had confidence that both Mike Baldwin and I could pull away from the rest of the riders.
It’s been an up-and-down year for Supercross Champion Ricky Johnson. When he’s up, he’s really up, but when he’s down, he’s out. In the first Supercross of the year he crashed and got a concussion, and the following week it was all he do to score fifth place.
Could you explain how bore and stroke dimensions affect engine performance? How about compression ratios? J. Harris Vancouver, B.C., Canada Bore and stroke variations have no direct affect on engine torque. Four-stroke engines with large bores generally have matching large valve areas and ports, however; and that can reduce power at low speeds while increasing it at the top end.
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.