EVERYBODY LOVES A HERO. I GUESS that’s why we all have role models of some sort, people whom we try to emulate in the shaping of our own lives. In that respect, there’s no difference between grade-schoolers who idolize sports figures, teenagers who worship rock stars or middle-aged businessmen who revere famous executives; they all are living under the influence of heroes.
SCOOP UP A DOUBLE HANDFUL OF MOtorcycle service guys. Lock them in a restaurant and promise to buy them dinner—on one condition: that they answer as best they can all the questions you can throw at them about their world and their work.
VAMPIRES ARE EASY. I THOUGHT AS I hung up the phone. You simply drive a wooden stake through their hearts and they’re gone for good. Ducatis are another matter. Own just one, and you’re stuck forever. Not only is the bike itself physically hard to kill, but, if you make the mistake of selling the thing, you’re doomed to go around with two small puncture wounds on the neck, marked for life.
Mr. L. Randall Yates, President Whitehall Laboratories 685 Third Avenue New York, New York 10017 August 4, 1987 Dear Mr. Yates: Our membership is appalled with your current Anacin television commerical in which you depict two-wheel motorcycles in an extremely negative way.
Even Lamont Cranston might be astonished to know that Pirelli’s Phantom + 1 Sportscomp tire comes in almost as many sizes as Baskin-Robbins has flavors—22, to be precise. Prices for the bias-ply rayon-cord hoops range from $83 for the 100/90V16 front to $116 for the 160/70V18 rear, and they’re available from your dealer. To find out more, contact Pirelli Tire Corp., Motorcycle Tire Division, 2001 Gateway Place, #700, San Jose, CA 95110; (408) 995-6222.
Pirelli Tire Corp.
Silicone Hi-Temp Auto Gasket
It probably wouldn’t interest Carol Doda, but GE prefers its silicone sealer be used on heads, oil pans and rocker covers anyway. GE claims its silicone can shoulder continuous 500-degree F temperatures and intermittent blasts of 600, yet stays resilient down to -65F. And, to keep abreast of the market, GE is offering 2.8-ounce tubes of the stuff for the same price as previous 1.9-ounce tubes. It’s available at your dealer, and you can get more information from the General Electric Co., Silicone Products Division, RTV Products Dept., Waterford, NY 12188.
Pirelli Tire Corp.
At Targa, good things come for small packages, specifically Yamaha's YSR50, with a thicket of parts—pipes, big-bore pistons, carbs, forks, shocks, rearsets, to name a few—that’ll bring the Liliputian putt-putt’s performance more closely in line with its racetrack-refugee looks. Targa also offers for the YSR its usual lineup of sport-bike attire, including tank bibs, fairing bras, windscreens and more. For more information, contact Targa Accessories Inc., 23561 Ridge Route Dr., Bldg. F, Laguna Hills, CA 92653; (714) 472-1022.
Pirelli Tire Corp.
A flare pistol can be a real attention-getter for avoiding those too-close encounters of the traffic kind. Delta Radio’s Attention Getter, on the other hand, might not be as riveting, but at least you don’t have to reload it after every use. According to Delta, the device plugs into a bike’s brake-light circuit, and when the binders are applied it makes the brake light flash brightly—not on-and-off— three times per second. Suggested retail price is $21.95, and you can find out more from Delta Radio Co. Inc., P.O. Box 531, Spring Valley, NY 10977; (914) 786-3166.
Pirelli Tire Corp.
Proguard Drip Shields
Rolaids are plenty absorbent, but they’re not the handiest way to soak up an oil spill. Proguard Drip Shields, on the other hand, absorb 15 times their own weight in most liquids, according to their maker, and they feature a vinyl backing to prevent leak-through. Plus, at $4.50 for a 24-inch-by-30-inch sheet, Drip Shields ought to be more cost-effective than an economy-size bottle of Rolaids. To find out more, contact Matarah Industries Inc., 1339 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee. WI 53202.
Pirelli Tire Corp.
Maier Woods Pro handguards
Euell Gibbons would’ve made a terrible enduro rider—too busy munching the edible bark of certain trees to stay on his minute. But if he had been an enduro artiste, he might have bolted up a pair of Woods Pro aluminum handguards to keep the bark from munching back. They’re available for $34.75 a pair from Maier Mfg. Co., 12435 Loma Rica Dr., Grass Valley, CA 95945; (916) 272-9036. Maier also offers bolt-on plastic guards for extra protection for $16 a pair, but neither guards are edible.
THERE ARE 7,860,000 REASONS NOT TO JOIN THE AMERICAN Motorcyclist Association. There must be. Because out of a nation-wide motorcyclist population of approximately eight million active riders, only 140,000 of us are members of the AMA. What’s your reason?
IF YOU'RE LIKE MOST PEOPLE, YOU THINK A TOURING RALLY is something you do when you’re over 40 and your bike’s name ends in “cade.” But that wasn’t necessarily the case at the first Americade Rockies Rally, held in Estes Park, Colorado, this past September.
From the start, people here in Japan have been fascinated with the 50cc mini-racers. After all, the cute little machines do look like GP racebikes for munchkins. But no one expected Yamaha’s street-legal YSR50 to disappear from dealerships as quickly as it did the instant it was introduced in Japan and the U.S.
More so than Americans, Japanese riders are in constant pursuit of personalized, one-of-a-kind motorcycles. And for most Japanese, the desire to make a unique statement with a motorcycle often is satisfied with little more than special paint.
For many people, the price of Ducati’s swoopy 750 Paso forces them to sing the blues. But cheer up, because if you simply must have leading-edge design features and styling by Massimo Tamburini, then your Cagiva dealer can still be of help—if you live in Italy, at least.
Harley clones are all the rage in Italy, rivaling even the popularity of the Paris-Dakar replicas. In general, image is everything, and even more so with the Harley lovers, but the real thing is too expensive for young Italian riders. So, Aprilia is doing something for the young rider who is still in school and can’t afford anything more than a 50cc runabout.
I was jealous of Mickey Rooney when he spent so much time next to Elizabeth Taylor in “National Velvet.” She was my girl, and here was this little guy getting all of her attention. Now it seems I have reason to get jealous all over again. But this time, Mickey Rooney isn’t in the picture; instead, my competitor is multimillionaire Malcolm Forbes, who apparently has convinced Ms.
ABOUT 25 MILES NORTH OF Idaho’s famous Sun Valley ski resort, you'll find the headwaters of the Salmon River, a 1500-mile waterway that starts life as nothing more than a trickle of crystal-clear water running off the jagged Sawtooth Mountains.
ONCE AGAIN, A new model year is upon us. And, just as in the two past years, new motorcycle prices are rising. These price increases aren't due to technical change or any gouging on the part of motorcycle companies: instead, they are the result of the U.S.
The Samurai sword returns twice over, and the GSX-R750 is hotter than ever
THIS UPCOMING YEAR IS GOING TO BE an exciting one for Suzuki. By expanding and refining GSX-R technology first introduced in 1984, Suzuki engineers have created three new models, each seeking to elevate the already-high standards in its particular class.
HERE ARE TWO WORDS OF WISdom about the 1987 Suzuki RM250: Forget it. Sure, it was the best RM250 in years. a competent bike that Bob Hannah helped develop; but the `88 has had the benefit of a full year of Hannah's input. And it shows. Physically, the new 250 is slimmer in its middle, with a new gas tank that's mounted lower on a redesigned, stretched frame.
A serious Superbike for the streetsbut not our streets
IT MAY BE THE FASTEST 750 streetbike ever built. It certainly is the raciest one ever equipped with lights and a muffler. It is the best V-Four Honda can build, the latest statement of that company's technological prowess. Honda calls it the VFR750R, a prosaic name for a bike that costs too much and performs too well to tuck neatly between models like the 600 and 1000 Hurricanes.
The word at Yamaha for the new year is “small," as in the smallest FZ, the smallest V-Twin cruiser and the smallest dual-purpose bike
IT WAS TIME TO GET DOWN TO BUSIness. The jokes and light banter intended to break the ice at Yamaha's new-model press introduction were over. After a slide show of the 1988 models, a Yamaha official began explaining his company’s policy for the new year.
ATV HISTORIANS WILL REMEMber 1988 for its dearth of new models. Rather than introducing one more round of the trickest, slickest ATVs ever, the manufacturers have instead chosen to concentrate on refining, updating and modifying existing machines for 1988.
OFF-ROAD PILOTS WHO KNOW THE DIFference between a power valve and a powder room doubtlessly know the name Sinisalo, too. When it comes to dirt-riding apparel, the Finnish haberdashery offers a line as complete as that of any swank Fleet Street men’s store.
The Rubicon Trail is a nasty, gnarly Jeepshredder, a real rock-filled torture run. How do the new 4x4 ATVs stack up there?
HONDA FOURTRAX FOREMAN 4X4
POLARIS TRAIL BOSS 4X4
SUZUKI LT4WD QUADRUNNER
YAMAHA BIG BEAR
FOURTRAX FOREMAN 4X4
TRAIL BOSS 4X4
SID MAINWARINGS ASHES ARE SCATTERED AT THE base of Cadillac Hill. All you really need to know about Sid is that he was a Jeeper and that he loved the Rubicon Trail, the famous High Sierra rock path, formerly a stagecoach route, that runs the 80 or so miles from Georgetown, California, to Lake Tahoe.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING. HONDA'S 1988 CR250R isn't a motocross bike; it's a Supercross bike. Oh, it's perfectly competent on outdoor MX tracks, all right, but it was specifically built to excel on the hairpin turns, the high-flying double-jumps, the drag-race straightaways and all the other man-made obstacles of stadium racing.
If necessity truly is the mother of invention, then list these products—taken from the past pages of CYCLE WORLD—as unwanted orphans
Although this ad from the July 1962 issue says Plastic Rubber can be used for making gaskets, insulating electrical connections and rebuilding worn handgrips, it's interesting to note that the rider in the photo is applying it to a tire.
IT WAS ELIZABETH I WHO PROMISED, “I will make you shorter by the head.” But some Suzuki GSX-R pilots might happily submit to a similar sentence, if only the shortening applied to their inseam dimension instead. The Suzukis’ fine, high, racetrack-ready footpegs provide superlative cornering clearance, but they also make the bikes flat-out inhospitable for long rides at less than a full-gonzo pace.
KAWASAKI'S ENGINEERS DON'T HAVE A CLUE HOW TO build an entry-level motorcycle, do they? They sprang their 454 LTD, a beginnermobile with a hot-rod heart, in 1985: then, in 1986 they brought forth the EX250 Ninja, a premium-priced tyrocycle that could tear up the twisties.
MOTOVIDEO SUPERBOWL OF MOTOCROSS 1986,1978 AND 1976 HIGHLIGHTS
10 YEARS BEFORE—AND AFTER
Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway
SUPERCROSS GOT ITS START SOME 15 years ago, when shrewd promoters winnowed the “out" from outdoor motocross, repackaged the remainder and served it all up in the relatively comfy confines of a football/baseball stadium. And the one race that epitomizes this sport is the original supercross event, the Superbowl of Motocross, held since 1972 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, just a gunshot’s distance from downtown L.A. Since then.
FOR RIDERS WITH EVEN A TOUCH OF wanderlust, modern road maps can be about as useful as their counterparts of 2500 years ago, which showed the earth to be flat as a cow pie. Oh, today’s maps show bustling Interstates and roads wide enough to broadslide a motorhome on, but little of the intricate network of tiny side roads, perfect for exploring.
Rick Johnson, Micky Dymond and Jeff Ward, 1987’s champions of motocross, talk about their sport, their seasons, their futures
On double jumps and fear:
On the ’87 season and injuries:
On why they win:
On purse money:
On younger riders:
On the future:
Johnson: The tracks aren't any more dangerous than they've been in the past. When I fell at Anaheim, that was my fault, not the track’s. There were dangerous parts of the Anaheim track, but that wasn't where I fell. The Supercrosses are getting pretty safe.
Suzuki is joining the ranks of those who have Dakar Fever. The company apparently is planning on entering the event next year in a big way: with two-time winner Gaston Rahier aboard. Rahier, who was with Suzuki during his 125 MX world-championship years, will be riding an 820cc Single, said to be based on a soon-to-be-released 750cc production dual-purpose bike.
Bad gas has been a problem on a trip we’ve just completed of the Northwestern U.S. and Canada. Our Gold Wing Limited sputters and dies every time we forget and tank-up on no-brand gas (at the convenience gasoline/snack stores). It refuses to fire until we drain the “bad” gas and replace it with a brand name.
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, CA 92663. Only black and white prints, 8 by 10 inches, should be sent.