I GUESS I’M LIKE MOST PEOPLE: I USUally don’t practice what I preach. See, I’ve always advocated that riders who fall off with great regularity, beginners in particular, should limit their motorcycle-riding activities to the kind found in video arcades.
THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX provides us with more than amusement, deterrence, protection and jobs. It also shows us some interesting aspects of life in the Age of Tech. Take toolkits. Based on our experience, you and I think of motorcycle toolkits as bits of cheaply made hardware the Big Four manufacturers blister-pack—somewhat grudgingly, apparently—into some tiny space left over when the stylists are through putting the zoom in the sidecovers.
IT WAS LIKE ONE OF THOSE SCENES from Butch Cassidy, where Newman and Redford are being relentlessly pursued across the West by lawmen and they keep looking back over their shoulders and saying. “Who are those guys, anyway?” Well, it was almost like that.
My 41 years of riding have spanned dozens of bikes, from a Whizzer to my present RD400, Honda dirt bike and Kawasaki Concours. Steven L. Thompson’s column, “Sunday rider: no apologies” (At Large, September 1988), is eloquent, balanced and beautiful.
Let that rolling chicane know just precisely who it was that smoked him in that last corner; apply some Whozee name stickers. They’re diecut-vinyl transfers of complete first names, with the letters pre-spaced; you apply the letters only, not the transfer material. Whozees are available in 49 names, and they cost $3.98 each, in black or white. To find out more, contact Roko Sports Inc., 5778 Firebird Court, Camarillo, CA 93010; (805) 987-1730.
K&N Stage 1 intake kit
Are you and your CBR600 Hurricane getting blown off? Maybe K&N’s Stage l Intake Performance Kit can help put some fresh wind in its sails. The firm claims the kit provides a considerable improvement in performance and instant throttle response, courtesy of one of K&N’s pleated gauze filters for the stock airbox and a Dynojet recalibration kit, complete with tools and instructions. Suggested price is $132 for the CBR kit, which is not street-legal. To find out more, contact K&N Engineering Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92592; (714) 684-9762.
White Power Protech fork kit
The first forks for eating were twotine affairs used in the 1 1th century, and haven’t been updated much since. Likewise, motorcycle forks have remained largely unchanged since their introduction. White Bros., though, has a kit and Progressive Suspension springs to update ’85-’87 White Power forks. The firm claims the kit reduces harshness and improves resistance to hard bottoming, the better to eat up difficult terrain. Price for the kit is $56.95, and $55.95 for the springs. To find out more, contact White Bros., 14241 Commerce Drive, Garden Grove, CA 92643; (714) 5549442.
Vanson back protector
For once, don’t put your back into it; put Vanson’s. This back protector features six hard polyethylene plates riveted to three layers of gray, brushed-nylon-covered foam; a nylon belt with Fastex buckle keeps the pad in place. You can get it separately for $58, or as an option in one of Vanson’s jackets or leather suits. To find out more, contact Vanson Leathers, 58 Thayer St., Boston, MA 021 18; (617) 4263907.
To paraphrase Light-Horse Harry Lee’s eulogy of Washington, “First in the dirt, first on the street and first on the eyes of your countrymen.’’ That’s how Uvex might want you to think of its Trophy goggles, first among the firm’s motorcycle product line. They feature optically correct, non-splintering, heattreated glass lenses, set in frames with adjustable air vents; foam covered with synthetic material lines the back side of the frame. Suggested retail price is $45, and they’re available from Uvex Winter Optical Inc., 10 Thurber Blvd., Smithfield, RI 02917.
Oury Sure Stand
Few sights in life are sadder than a motorcycle laying on its side like a beast that’s taken a bullet, because the sidestand sank into a treacherous surface. To keep your bike from suffering such a fate, Oury offers its Sure Stand, a 4-inch-diameter ABS plastic disc. Just place it under the sidestand and walk away, secure in the knowledge your steed will be upright when you return—provided it’s not parked in L.A. when the Big One hits. Suggested price is $1.25, and they’re available from Oury Grip U.S.A. Inc., 1016 College Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187.
POLITICS! ITS EASY TO LONG FOR SIMPLER TIMES, WHEN politicians and motorcycling were unrelated topics. Unfortunately, that hasn't been true for several decades, and if anything, government is intruding more into our sport. Federal support of mandatory helmet laws, closure of public land to off-road vehicles, the proposed Danforth ban on superbikes, the ban on threewheel ATVs—these are only the most prominent examples of government actions that have affected motorcycling in recent years.
Yamaha continues as the company most ready to innovate and create new motorcycle categories, the latest being a mini-version of a Superbikers machine, the TDR50. Running against the currents of specialization, the TDR is multi-functional: an enjoyable city bike, a dirt bike, and, yes, even a racing bike.
At a recent press conference, Aprilia boss Ivano Beggio announced a budget of about $4.5 million to be spent over the next five years in expanding his family-owned company’s R&D department. In doing so, he also released information about the range of engines that Aprilia is presently developing for use in the immediate future.
EACH SUMMER, BRAINERD International Raceway plays host to numerous motorcycle roadraces as well as the NHRA Northstar National drag races. But, since Brainerd is also the center of Minnesota’s lake vacation area, quality rooms are usually at a premium.
For Pro Stock Champion Dave Schultz, the Big Time still lies ahead
CAMRON E. BUSSARD
FOR ONE BRIEF MOMENT AT THE 1988 GATORNATIONals, Dave Schultz and his Kawasaki dragbike freeze between stop and go. Then all hell breaks loose. The bike explodes forward, slamming Schultz into the seatback with 3gs of force, his feet dragging behind the pegs and his left thumb punching the air shifter, Somehow, Schultz hangs on, struggles back into position.
THE MAN’S RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF: 13 NAtional championships, plus countless world and national speed records. Still, unlike many less-insightful champions in other sports, Terry Vance understands that there comes a time to step down.
1989: LAST YEAR WAS PROOF POSItive: The Japanese giants of motorcycling haven't forgotten about enduro bikes. Kawasaki sold conversion kits for its 250cc motocross bikes, and Honda offered a kit for its 1986 and `87 CR25Os. Plus, Kawasaki won several important events thanks to the effectiveness of the modified KX250 and the riding skills of Larry Roeseler.
You don't have to leave town to get your kicks on a Route 66
FEW ROADS HAVE INSPIRED MORE LORE. MYTH AND wanderlust than U.S. Route 66. In pre-interstate America. it was the highway of hope. the road west, the path to a richer future. In today's land of fast food and freeways, though. Route 66 remains only as broken patches of asphalt.
A deal on wheels I COULDN’T TEST THIS MOTORCYCLE. AS A 32-YEAR old with two decades of riding experience, about all I can tell you about Suzuki's GN250 is that it's the lowest-priced real streetbike sold in America, and that it's too small and too slow.
IN THE 1860s, AN IMMIGRANT TAILOR put the pants on the California Gold Rush. He was Levi Strauss, and his trousers of serge de Nimes (a twilled cotton fabric Americans know as denim), dyed with the same indigo blue that ancient Druids slathered on themselves, became part of the standard work uniform for nearly every wanna-be sourdough who tried to strike it rich.
IF A MOTORCYCLIST HAD BEEN SHOT INTO SPACE IN THE mid-Seventies and just returned to Earth about now. he'd be in for a few surprises. What happened to two-stroke streetbikes? What happened to Triumph. Bultaco and OSSA? And most of all, what happened to dual-purpose bikes?
The only motorcycle company that can celebrate an 85th anniversary does
AT ONE TIME, THE AMERICAN landscape was dotted with manufacturers of motorcycles. It was an era when a spindly frame, a couple of wheels and a primitive engine, along with goodly portions of sweat, skinned knuckles, hope and determination, were the only things needed to start a motorcycle company.
EVEN COVERED WITH A week’s worth of road grime, the Electra Glide Sport looked good. A study in blue and silver, it rested quite regally beside the KP Café in Silver Plume, Colorado, an old mining town 50 miles out of Denver. As I was zipping into my jacket—a task made that much harder by the excellent cheeseburger inhabiting my stomach—the café’s cook stood on the sidewalk, wiping his hands on a towel and admiring the motorcycle.
Yamaha's 1989 hopes rest on oversized rear wheels and upside-down forks
No, THIS ISN'T A REPEAT. WE'RE fully aware that we have already previewed Yamaha's 1989 motocross models, in our September issue, to be exact. But we recently spent an afternoon riding these new YZs, and we want to share with you our early opinions about their performance.
THE INCAS RALLY HADN’T even begun, and already it looked like it was all over for me. I was doubled over on the seat of the KTM 350 holding my right knee in searing pain. A small army of Peruvian kids surrounded me, all staring in fascination. Most of them had never seen an American before.
I will be moving to Florida soon and I’m concerned with keeping my '84 Honda Nighthawk S running as cool as possible. Are there any aftermarket oil coolers with a larger oil capacity that will fit this bike? Is it possible to plumb in a second cooler?
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.