HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A WOMAN scorned. Maybe, maybe not. After all, English playwright William Congreve authored that memorable line almost two centuries before the invention of the motorcycle, so he was unaware of an even greater wrath: that of a woman told by the man in her life that he longs to buy a bike.
THE PURITANS WHO CAME ASHORE three-hundred-odd years ago thought that work itself was a virtue, but you’d never be able to sell that notion these days. At least not to the kind of guys who lease megabuck yupmobiles. A lot of them seem to figure that the object of work—any kind of work—is making money, period.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING AROUND SIX o’clock tomorrow morning?” the voice on the phone asked. It was my friend, Doug. “I had planned to be sleeping,” I said, “possibly entering that plateau between deep sleep and rapid eye movement I always experience three or four hours before waking.
I have been a rider for 16 years and it’s my humble opinion that the rampaging technological improvements which now envelope our industry suck wet armadillo fur. Why should I own a machine that has more body parts than Arnold Schwarzenegger, more computer circuits than my microwave oven and more horsepower than Gene Autry’s ranch, not to mention costing more than a month’s rent at the Waldorf Astoria?
Those irrepressible matchmakers at Drag Specialties have come up with a new wrinkle in shotgun weddings. In this case, it’s a marriage of DS’s shotgun-style, tapered M pipes with ’84-’87 FXST and ’86-’87 FLST Harley-Davidsons. DS claims the chromed, equal-length pipes provide increased power, and they mount using a combination of stock hangers along with DS’s own brackets. The M shotgun pipes retail for $129.95 a set. To get your H-D hitched up with some, don’t call the preacher. Instead, see your dealer, or call DS at (612) 935-1000.
Arthur Fulmer Cycle
Arthur Fulmer Enduro Helmet
In Ecclesiastes it says there’s a time to every purpose. And to Arthur Fulmer’s way of thinking, now’s the time for a dual-purpose—helmet, that is. To that end, the firm offers its Ronfalin-shell Enduro, with the basic trappings expected of off-road hats, and an optional pivoting polycarbonate faceshield for street use. Available in red, white or black, the Enduro comes in sizes S-XL, and has a $79.95 retail price; the face shield goes for $12.95. For more information, contact Arthur Fulmer Cycle, P.O. Box 177, Memphis, TN 38101.
Arthur Fulmer Cycle
E-Z Rider chaps
Cowboy-style chaps—such as these E-Z Riders—can be handy, even if you don’t get horse bites or rope burns. Their urethane-coated nylon shell contains Polyfil, and they come in S-XL in blue, black and brown for $54.95. Contact Spencer Enterprises, 1025 Palo Verde, Long Beach, CA 90815; (213) 404-5172.
Arthur Fulmer Cycle
Valvoline oil brochure
Who the devil is Norm Hudecki? Glad you asked. He’s Valvoline’s resident petro-maven, and he’s put together a free brochure to answer some basic questions about motor oil. To get yours, just write to Norm himself (touted on the brochure’s cover as “the expert’s expert”), care of Valvoline, P.O. Box 8797, St. Louis, MO 63102. There will be a quiz afterward.
Arthur Fulmer Cycle
Big Bore Sonic-Horn
Does dodging those pesky dogs, deer, antelope and such out on the highway make you feel like a hunted animal? Well, turn the tables on them, with the Big Bore Sonic-Horn. More of a whistle than a horn, the Big Bore relies on air flow through it to create a sound that, according to the manufacturer, deters such creatures from crossing your path. They’re available for $35 from Sonic-Horn, 550 Richmond Road, Eureka, CA 95501.
Arthur Fulmer Cycle
Thunderwear two-piece leathers
This California-based company already sells suits to keep you dry when the weather goes to Tropical Rain Forest mode. But Thunder-wear wants to be your fair-weather friend, too, and now offers these two-piece leather roadrace suits, in black/red/white or black/blue/white. They feature padded shoulders, knees and elbows, and come in European sizes 48-56 for $349. To find out more, contact Thunderwear Inc., 31736 A Rancho Viejo Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675.
The Most-Asked Questions about Motor Oil... ...Answered by "The Expert’s Expert” Norm Wudecki
EN-DAKA. THAT’S THE JAPANESE TERM THAT DESCRIBES the present crazy situation with currency exchange rates. En-daka simply means “high yen”; but for us, what it really translates into is expensive motorcycles. Of course, it’s not so much that the yen is high; rather, the U.S.
Japanese companies are currently in the midst of a displacement war: Each is trying to build the biggest Single. While Yamaha temporarily has been left behind with its XT600, Kawasaki still has its 651cc KLR and Honda has just introduced the new NX650.
It may come as somewhat of a surprise, but 10 years after the last MV Agusta streetbike rolled out of the company’s helicopter factory, you can still buy a brand-new, four-cylinder, red-and-silver “fire engine” for the highway.
Los Alamos, California Los ALAMOS, A SNOOZY town of 700 located in central California just off Highway 101, is an easy-enough place to blitz past. With a gas station, a couple of bars and a smattering of antique stores, there seems to be little to lure the motorcyclist intent on reaching the pleasures of the Pacific Coast Highway, which begins 50 miles to the north.
OF ALL THE THINGS ON A MOTORCYCLE that can break or go wrong, a flat tire is perhaps the most vexing. It just doesn't seem right that such a minor mishap can stop a bike in its tracks as surely as if a grenade had dropped down the intake port. Worse yet, flats seem to happen out of the blue; they’re almost impossible to predict or prevent, like a whim of fate or some retribution from on high.
HERE'S A HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION FOR YOU: Let's say you were to take a modern Superbike, one capable of qualifying about, oh, eighth for the Daytona 200-miler and running wheel-to-wheel with the likes of Bubba Shobert's Honda and Jimmy Filice's Yamaha, and you entered that bike in Daytona Speedweek's Pro-Twins 50-mile race.
MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO SEE SUNRISE, HE WAS meant to sleep through this beautiful but illtimed phenomenon of nature. But here I am. just a few minutes after a hard, cold dawn, waiting in line with 1200 other sleepy motorcycle racers. Sitting at the far right of the starting area, I look to my left at the six rows of motorcycles stretching across the valley toward the north.
WHEN THE BARSTOW-TOVegas motorcycle Hare and Hound was first held in 1967, hard riding and a fast bike were all it took to win. But 20 years later, the race has become not just a competition for motorcyclists, but a contest of wills between environmentalists and dirt-bike riders.
WELL, WELL, WELL, WHAT A SURPRISE. ONCE AGAIN it’s okay to use the “S” word in polite company. You remember the “S” word: Speed. The very thing Senator Jack Danforth wanted to protect us from with his Motorcycle Safety Act of 1987. Speed. The very thing the bike manufacturers are trying to play down in advertisements, lest the liability lawyers use it for litigation fodder.
Faster than a 600 Hurricane. AS quick as most 750s. All on just one cylinder.
"WOOD-ROTAX MOTORCYCLES ARE ART. They are America’s Bimotas.” So declared a Japanese journalist after visiting the Wood Racing shop in Costa Mesa, California. And he was right; a Ron Wood dirt-track bike has always been rolling sculpture.
ROCK-SOLID AND UNEXPECTEDLY FAST: THAT’S BEEN the consensus of every rider to swing a leg over the SJ600. And never, during this past year of development, has the SJ prototype lacked riders. Dirt-tracker Chris Carr rode it at Daytona, Formula II competitor Andy Leisner club-raced it, and Cycle World tester and endurance ace Doug Toland ran it as a 500 at the Laguna Seca and Sears Point Nationals.
MARK IT DOWN IN YOUR NOTES SO YOU’LL HAVE AN edge in future games of motocross trivia: 1988 is The Year of the Stadium Bike. This year, every major manufacturer of off-road motorcycles has unleashed a 250cc racebike that it hopes will bring the company its share of stadium-moto-fame and fortune.
IT’S STRANGE BUT TRUE: MOST MOTOCROSS BIKES never see a motocross course. And these six 1988 250cc motocross machines are no different. With the choices in 250cc enduro bikes limited to KTMs and Husqvarnas, playriders who prefer something a little less esoteric have no choice but to look toward MX bikes.
SOMETIMES, A QUICK-AND-DIRTY FIX takes care of a thorny problem just as well as a nicely planned solution. But other times, such remedies are like sticking a Band-Aid on a bullet wound: They don’t completely solve the problem, or if they do, not for very long.
Rob Muzzy: Building engines, victories and champions
CAN YOU NAME SOMEONE WHO has collected over 30 AMA national wins, who has earned six national championships, and who has scored professional victories in roadracing, dirt track, motocross and even Baja? Is it Kenny Roberts? Nope. Bob Hannah?
I recently purchased a 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 SR with about 4200 miles showing on the odometer. The dealer assured me that everything on the bike was original. It has a triple-disc brake system, but I’m sure that a semi has a shorter stopping distance.
IF YOU WANT TO BE RICH SOMEday, there are certain rules to follow. The first is, don't get involved with racing. And if you somehow ignore that rule, then at least don’t get involved with off-road racing. Of all the forms of motorized competition in the world, desert, enduro and hare-scrambles offer the least return.