THE MOTORCYCLE STANDS SILENT now. as it has since 1978, a Triumph flat-tracker that once ripped the air at racetracks up and down the California coast. It is immaculate, this Triumph; its chrome polished, its paint buffed, its rubber shiny black.
IT DOESN'T TAKE A DEGREE IN MOTORpsychology to understand why Hawaii is Hog Heaven. The air itself is luscious and languorous enough to be a narcotic. Real time vanishes among the taro plants, leaving only Maui Time, which is another way of saying, “tomorrow.” Harleys are perfect for such a place.
THOSE WHO FOUND THEMSELVES trapped in an elevator or a Turkish prison with nothing else to read last year may remember a column I wrote about Ducati Desmos. In that somber tract I was berating myself for being so stupid as to sell my old silver-andblue 900SS three years ago, and I was about to buy another one from my friend, Russ Lyon.
EVEN THOUGH THE FIRST GRAND PRIX of the season was scheduled for March 26th. my season began in January. In fact, on January 12th, I flew from Monterey, California, to Sydney, Australia, arriving there on the 14th. The purpose of this first trip was not for testing, but to have photos taken for press kits, and also to film a commercial which will air in Japan.
It’s not manly here in Oklahoma to read magazines with Wild Things!!! in pink print on the cover, let alone cry while doing it. I'm referring to the column “Silver Wing for a silver eagle” in the April issue. Steven L. Thompson, watch your step or you'll be replaced by someone shallow and “rad.” If so, let me know where you go.
AS A TYPE. MOST COMPETITION motorcycle engines are as perishable as puppy love, but the Matchless G50 has proven itself to be an important exception. About 220 of these high-revving, sohc wonders were built in England between 1959 and 1962; their endurance has been such that today they form the backbone of historic 500cc roadracing in Britain and elsewhere.
WHEN THE SWEDISH COM pany Husqvarna sold its motorcycle division to Cagiva. Husqvarna management moved the motorcycle production people to the lawn-mower and chain-saw plants the company retained. Sure, these people still had jobs, but building home-care implements was just too boring for some of the motorcycle engineers.
THE BSA ROCKET 3 AND TRIumph Trident Triples were radical machines when first introduced in 1968, but are little more than dinosaurs today. About 33,000 were produced in England before financial problems set in and production of the popular three-cylinder bikes was halted in 1975.
IT WAS AN ISSUE CRAMMED COVER-to-cover with motorcycles, scooters and minibikes that wore names beginning with almost every letter of the alphabet: Bultaco, Gilera, Lambretta. Omega, Simplex, Triumph, Yamaha, Zanella and many more.
DOWN: To syndicated advice columnist Ann Landers, who in a recent column congratulated herself for dissuading an 18-year-old's parents from buying him a motorcycle as a birthday present. Referring to a previous column in which she gave the gruesome details of a motorcycle accident, Landers said.
WHOEVER SAID THE RACE WAS NOT TO THE SWIFT. nor the battle to the strong, was wrong. At least he was wrong when it comes to 1989's Open-class sportbikes. That's because Kawasaki’s ZX-10. Suzuki’s GSX-R1100 and Yamaha's FZR1000 are the swiftest, fastest and best-handling production motorcycles ever built, and there aren't too many altercations that these superbikes won't w in.
Gary Nixon, Mert Lawwill and Roger Reiman made their names by riding the wheels off of Triumphs and Harley-Davidsons. Twenty years later, we put the ex-champions on Japan's latest rocket bikes.
CAMRON E. BUSSARD
TWO-TIME AMA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPION GARY Nixon tossed his beat-up gear bag on the ground. He then squatted against a wall, unzipped the bag, and pulled out his wadded, dirty and cracked set of star-studded, white-and-blue racing leathers.
BETWEEN BIG SUR AND LUCIA. ON THE WESTERN RIM of California, the Pacific Coast Highway ties short sections of straight asphalt to long, graceful curves situated several hundred feet above crashing surf and rock-strewn beaches. No 30 miles of road in America can match the remarkable vistas and seductive twists and turns of this tiny stretch of highway.
THE MUSCULAR BLACK MOTORCYCLE YOU SEE here with Honda’s Pacific Coast, bearing an uncanny family resemblance to it, was the end of one venerated line of motorcycles and is, it can be argued, the genesis of today’s fully enclosed motorcycles.
Works riders of the Seventies test 1989's production MX bikes
WHAT A TREAT! FOUR American motocross legends all lined up around a starting gate. with five brand-new 250cc motocross bikes in the background just waiting to he ridden. Jim Pomeroy. Gary Jones. Marty Smith and Mike Bell joked and smiled like old pals at a high-school reunion, as each tried to get in the best pun.
MY FIRST SUPERCROSS WIN, THE 1978 Superbowl of Motocross, was great. My start wasn't too good—midpack or worse—but Bob Hannah also got a bad start, which wasn't too unusual for him, and I knew he could come from behind and win. So, I figured this was my chance to jump in behind him and find out how he did it.
THEY CALL THIS BIKE WEEK. TRUST ME; THEY’RE NOT kidding: This may be the largest dose of reassurance motorcycle riders ever are likely to see from a society which seemingly regards all motorcyclists with at least some suspicion. It’s 10 full days devoted to celebration of the motorcycle.
IF PEOPLE WHO RIDE MOTORCYCLES ARE NON-CONformists, and if outlaw-types, with their beards, beer bellies and black leather, are fearsome and threatening in their non-conformity, why do so many people come to Daytona’s Bike Week to conform to this non-conforming look?
FOR A RACE, THE MOST UNFORgivable of all crimes is predictability. Oh, there will always be pre-race favorites, and there will always be the racers who you know just won't win. But if all the fans in the stands and all the riders on the track know exactly how a race will turn out, then they might as well stay home and watch “Gilligan's Island” reruns.
PROBABLY THE MOST OVERused and inadequate two words in the world of motorsports are “that's racing.” By definition, there can only be one unqualified success story in any given race, while there are a multitude of failures, stories where the only recourse is to load up the van quietly and look forward to the next race.
SOME PEOPLE SAY JOHN Kocinski is cocky. Others say he's just realistic: He’s good, and knows he’s good. He has, in the past, done things like write a letter to Cycle News signed “a future world champion.” The thing is, John was right, and everybody knew it.
Two MONTHS BEFORE DAYtona, if you had told Jamie James that he would win the first supersport race of 1989, and that he would come within a couple of laps of winning the week's premier race-the Daytona 200-to boot, he probably would have smiled politely and said, in his amiable Louisiana drawl, that you were out of your mind.
THERE ARE A LOT OF REASONS why Canadian Steve Aseltine won the five-race Daytona DirtTrack Series. If you ask a statistician, you'd hear Aseltine won because he had three wins and 70 points. If you ask 600cc National Champion Chris Carr, who finished second in the series, it was because Aseltine has “tons of talent.” If you ask the average Daytona dirt-track fan, it was because Aseltine has guts, and never, ever, gives up.
A tale of three Twins RACERS GENERALLY ARE A superstitious lot, with many of them downright spooky about making pre-race predictions. Not so Dale Quarterley. When asked how he thought the Daytona Pro Twins GP race would go for himself and his Fast By Ferracci Ducati 851, Quarterley, last year's Pro Twins GP champion and the pole-sitter for this race by a .3-second margin, didn't flinch, mutter incantations or stroke a rabbit's foot.
Last year, I bought a Honda Nighthawk 700S. The more I ride the bike, the more I love it. But my butt doesn't care much for the seat. The seating position is perfect but the seat foam is too soft. What can 1 do? Markus Kolb Grand Rapids, Michigan Mike Corbin specializes in making custom motorcycle seats.
We need your photos for Slipstream. We're kxking for photos that make us smile because they say something about motorcycling. Submissions should be made to 5li~strearn, Cycle World, 1499 Monrovia, Newport Beach, CA 92663. Only black and white prints, 8 by 10 inches, should be sent.