WELL MY FRIENDS, YOU DID IT. CONgratulations. A lot of people believed that you couldn’t do it, or wouldn’t do it, but you proved them wrong. You proved that democracy is alive and well in America, that elected officals do not own our government but merely rent it, and that we, the people, are its landlords.
FOR YEARS, HOLLYWOOD SHAPED THE view the rest of the world had of America. Maybe that makes it fitting when our view of another country is almost exclusively shaped by its movie-makers. Case in point: Oz. Oz isn’t where Dorothy and Toto went; it’s Australia.
THERE’S A GREAT SONG THAT HANK Williams, Jr. wrote and recorded a few years ago, called “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down.” In it he laments that all his old hard-living pals in the country-music business have become mature and responsible in middle-age, and that it’s almost impossible to find anyone who still wants to go out and tear up the town.
Dear Senator Kerry (D-Mass.): I recently read Senator Danforth’s introduction to his “Motorcycle Safety Act of 1987.” This can’t be for real. I never read such rubbish! You safety people are losing touch with reality. Cycles do not kill people, people kill people.
IT COMES ONCE EVERY TWO YEARS, AND IS THE WORLD’S most glittering display of new vehicles and technology. It’s the Tokyo Motor Show, an exercise in future-shock that offers the Japanese manufacturers a chance to show off in front of a home crowd, to dazzle with new shapes and performances and capabilities.
PEER UNDERNEATH A BIKE’S SADDLE, or inside a tiny onboard compartment, and you’ll find one of modern motorcycling’s biggest embarrassments. It’s the toolkit, almost without exception a wretched collection of margarine-soft screwdrivers, wrenches with silly-putty-like jaws and cheesy pliers that often self-destruct in your hand.
SUZUKI IS AT IT AGAIN. THIS YEAR’S DREAM BIKE AT THE Tokyo show is the NUDA, what Suzuki’s chief engineer Etsuo Yokouchi describes as “one idea of the future motorcycle for Suzuki.” Of course, at the Tokyo show two years ago, Suzuki displayed the radical hub-steering FalcoRustyco; nothing has been heard of it since, and the NUDA might well share the same fate.
A luxury moto-home that goes both ways, and a few new answers for some old questions
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. In many ways, that’s the underlying message in Honda’s 1988 streetbike lineup. Enough of performance for performance’s sake. Enough of trying to lure first-time riders into the showrooms by rehashing the same kinds of models that have failed to lure them into the showrooms for years.
WHEN THE CONVERSATION turns to Kawasaki street-bikes for 1988, there are not vast quantities of “new” to talk about. If you can imagine the same models as last year— with some paint-and-tape changes here, a few minor mechanical refinements there—then you pretty much know all there is to know about most of the Big K’s latest arsenal of street artillery.
YOU PROBABLY COULD FIND A HANDFUL OF RIDERS who would argue that Suzuki’s GSX-R1100 does not own the very cutting edge of sportbike performance. And you might even find some willing to debate the bike’s racetrack capabilities. But most would agree that riding the big GSX-R on the street is about as much fun as dancing barefoot on a bed of nails, that life would be sweeter if the 1100’s fire-breathing engine were available in a more civilized, down-to-earth package.
THE YEAR WAS 1983, AND IT WAS easy to fall in love—particularly with one very alluring motorcycle. That bike was the Suzuki GS550ES, the harbinger of a new generation of middleweight sportbikes. It had a sexy half-fairing, a 16-inch front wheel, a potent, 10,000-rpm redline and, for a short while, the lust-filled attention of every rider looking for the quickest, nimblest way down his favorite backroad.
Dr. John Wittner provides a stunningly fast bike and Doug Brauneck chips in with a heavy right wrist, making Moto Guzzi a national champion
TWO MEN STOOD NEXT TO THE front straightaway at Willow Springs Raceway and watched as a racebike streaked by. One of those men had built the entire motorcycle, and two weeks earlier, the other had ridden it to the 1987 Pro-Twins national championship.
The Italian Boomer: not for everyone; perfect for some.
LE MANS 1000
IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO BUY A BIG SPORTBIKE, THERE’S no rational reason to consider a Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000. Why? Simple. Honda’s Hurricane 1000, Yamaha’s FJ1200, Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000 and Suzuki’s new Katana 1100 all are better sport-tourers, with quicker acceleration, higher top speeds and more comfortable suspensions.
Use Mobil 1 synthetic oil. It will give a small power increase at high rpm, with superior lubrication. In four years of racing with Mobil 1, we’ve never had an oil-related failure, and the wear rate has been very low. I drain the oil after every race and practice session, mainly to check for engine parts in the oil, so I don’t have any recommendations for oil-change intervals.
IF YOU’RE A HONDA XR600R LOVER, YOU PROBABLY fall into one of three groups: 1) You’re a playrider; 2) you’re a racer; or 3) you’re a combination of the two. Honda is well aware of that, and doesn’t really care which one you are. That’s because the latest XR600R is one of a dying breed of motorcycles that can do it all.
AS THE RAIN POURED HARDER and harder, all hope of a seventh consecutive American victory in the annual Motocross des Nations seemed to be washing away. Insiders believed that, rain or no rain, 1987 was going to be a tough year for the U.S. team in this international event, even though it was about to be held on American soil for the first time.
THE RECORD BOOK WILL SHOW that in the 62nd International Six-Day Enduro held in Jelina Gora, Poland, the U.S. Trophy Team finished seventh. But, as is usually the case with statistics, the record book won’t tell the real story. It won’t say that the U.S.
After Rothmans Honda star Wayne Gardner clinched the 500cc world roadracing championship at the Brazilian GP, there was more than one kind of fallout. A scrap-metal dealer in the nearby town of Goiania was discovered to be in possession of a highly radioactive material called Caesium 137.
IF YOU CAN’T SEE, YOU CAN’T RIDE; IT’S that simple. And for motorcyclists with myopia rivaling that of a starnosed mole—especially those of us who view contact lenses only as a means to stick our fingers in our eyes—glasses are a given. But if we want sunglasses, we get to pay twice.
IF ATVS WERE HAMBURGERS, YAMaha’s Warrior would be a double cheeseburger at Friendly Freddie’s All-Nite Diner. No matter what your tastes are, you can always get one served up your way. Except that with the Warrior, chances are the machine wouldn’t have to be changed from one customer to the other; it already has all the ingredients to suit people who ride either for play on the weekends or for work during the week.
It’s light, it’s powerful, and best of all, it’s finally done
WHEN DEVELOPING ITS NEW 600CC FOUR-STROKE Single, KTM wasn’t in a rush—not unless you consider five years of careful development and meticulous fabrication a rush. But unlike most larger motorcycle factories, the Austrian KTM firm doesn’t have a staff of designers working around the clock on new projects.
I’ve done quite a few tuneups, carb synchronizations, and a number of other things short of major engine overhauls. But there’s one thing that I haven’t been able to find in the books. The typical four-cylinder inline bike engine has two separate spark ignition control systems.
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.