EVEN FROM A BLOCK AWAY, I COULD see that something was wrong. Where there should have been rows of shiny new motorcycles illuminated by fluorescent lights, all I saw was darkened windows. Arlington Honda looked shut down. Cupping my hands, I peered inside, my eyes adjusting to the murkiness.
ON ONE HAND, YOU’VE GOT CALCULUS, fluid dynamics, macroeconomics, organic chemistry, English Lit, anthropology, history of art and making the grade. On the other hand, you have a motorcycle and Glory Road. Pick one. If your cellular map includes the motorcycle gene, if you’re 20 or so, a reasonably normal male with average hand-eye coordination and no obsessive drives to become rich by your 30th birthday, there’s no contest.
I HAVE THIS DREAM OCCASIONALLY that my wife Barbara and I will turn up missing and the police will come to our house to look for clues. After picking the lock or prying the door open with a crowbar, the chief detective and his assistant will wander around our house for a few minutes, hands thrust deep into their trench coat pockets, saying nothing.
I am writing in rebuttal to the letters of criticism regarding Honda’s Pacific Coast (Letters, October, 1989). Burt Bryan wrote that the PC was “the first motorcycle for people who hate motorcycles.” Well, I’ve owned more than 40 motorcycles so far, and I’m an avid roadracer, so I consider myself a true motorcycle enthusiast.
UNTIL RECENTLY, DUAL-PURpose motorcycles occupied a quiet corner of motorcycling. But there’s a quickening evolution going on with those bikes that is likely to have a significant impact on the dual-purpose bikes of the future. Right now, the change is being signaled between traditionally styled dual-purpose bikes, led by Yamaha, with its updated and restyled XT600, and the Paris-to-Dakar replica machines championed most recently by Kawasaki with its new Tengai (pronounced “Ten-guy”).
IF GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE who wait, then hold on, because Suzuki must have some great bikes for 1990. Scheduled to be the last of the Japanese manufacturers to announce its new hardware, Suzuki is being particularly mum about what it will unveil a month from now.
AT A TIME WHEN INLINE-FOURS steal most of the spotlight, a motorcycle like Kawasaki’s EX500—a liquid-cooled inline-Twin—is refreshing. Introduced in 1987, this slick little bike has remained unchanged except for paint and graphics.
JOE PARKHURST, THEN-EDItor/publisher of Cycle World, was a dominant figure in the magazine’s early days. As a reader 25 years ago, I remember thinking that he had the perfect job: testing the latest models of motorcycles, traveling the globe to cover races and motorcycle events.
NEVER, EVER CONSIDERED GOing to a Harley-Davidson factory, eh? Well, there’s a pretty good reason for visiting the one in York, Pennsylvania, because this one is the home of the Rodney C. Gott Museum, which contains 33 of the motorcycles that made Milwaukee famous.
UP: To Eddie Lawson, the dominant American roadracer of the 1980s, for wrapping up the 1989 500cc GP world championship after a tough, season-long tussle with Wayne Rainey. This marks the fourth time that Lawson. 31, has earned a world roadracing title, the most by an American rider.
FALL IS AN EXCITING TIME FOR motorcyclists, a time when we've digested the current year's bikes and look forward to dining on news of next year's models. And one of the most-eagerly awaited entrees is the presentation of new Hondas, because we've come to expect Honda to prepare several fivestar bikes each year.
FOR $16,000 AND A RACING LICENSE, IT CAN BE ALL YOURS
CALL 1990 THE YEAR OF THE limited-edition sportbike. Just after Honda’s announcement that the $15,000 RC30 will be sold in the U.S., came word that Yamaha, too, will have an exclusive 750 speedster. Officially listed as the FZR750R, but popularly known as the OWOl after Yamaha’s world Superbike racers, it will be even more costly, and available in even fewer numbers, than the Honda.
BYRON HINES, DRAG -RACE tuner without peer, is a man who lusts for horsepower— and not just in the quartermile rocketships he built for partner Terry Vance. In 1988, when Kawasaki's ZX-10 was the quickest, fastest, meanest thing on two wheels, he purchased one, then crated it up and put it on a shelf.
YOU SAY YOU’VE NO TIME FOR such base examples of motorcycling’s heritage as Gold Stars, Manxes or Broughs? Looking for the rarest of the rare, the most classic of the classic, something you can ride and appreciate while it appreciates?
SPORTBIKES ARE THE ULTIMATE DAY bikes, perfect for a blast down twisty sections of roads or over mountain passes. But for overnight trips where you might need a change of clothes and some extra gear, sportbikes lack cargo capacity. Tankbags, rear-seat bags and conventional, soft saddlebags offer carrying capacity, but don’t really compliment the lines of today’s sleek sportbikes.
Out of Africa and onto Main Street, USA, with the world's weirdest dual-purpose bike
WHEN A LUNAR LANDING MODULE TOUCHES DOWN in Central Park, people notice. When Alain Prost drives his Formula One Ferrari up to a McDonald's drive-through window, some burgers get burned. And when you ride a BMW R 100GS Paris-Dakar anywhere, bystanders trip over curbs and walk into lampposts trying to get a good look at the machine.
INVARIABLY, THE MOTORCYCLES I HAVE the most fun with are those with personality, a characteristic the R100GS Paris-Dakar has in spades. In fact, I see this bike as having two personalities. The first is that of Conan the BMW. the macho-machine able to leap long stretches of rough road on a single tankful.
DUCATIS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE quirky, aren't they? Aren't they weird, as heavy-steering as trucks and as highly strung as opera singers? If that’s what you think, it’s time for an attitude adjustment, and the bike you see here may be just the tool with which to make that change.
CAN YOU SAY “FASTA” SO THAT IT RHYMES WITH pasta? If so, and if you need to go “fasta” than the 750 Sport will carry you, you’re ready for Ducati’s 900 Supersport. After the 906 Paso’s European launch earlier this year, it seemed only a matter of time before Ducati did the obvious and hung the 906 motor in the 750 Sport chassis.
A THINKING MAN’S MOTORCYCLE? THE 750 Sport comes as close as anything I’ve seen in a while. It makes few real requirements of its rider, except that he be past the puerile seductiveness of raw horsepower, that he realize he’s exempt from the pressure to ride what everyone else is riding.
A little money and a few hours yields an improved Yamaha Radian
ONE OF THE BEST FEATURES OF Yamaha's Radian 600 is its lack for features. It does not have engine-enveloping bodywork, nor a complicated suspension system, nor a liquid-cooled, high-tech powerplant: It’s just a simple, standard-style motorcycle with all of the basics.
Most American riders only dream of racing in Europe. Allan Scott turned his dream into reality.
EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT American roadracers in Europe. Eddie Lawson, Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey are well-paid heroes because of their skills on 500cc GP motorcycles. But there are other, less-well-known Americans racing on the Continent, and though they risk as much, they earn far less money and garner little of the attention the star riders get.
Racing doesn't get much tougher than this: Out of six rounds in the AMA Superbike championship, there were five different winners. And of those five winners, four manufacturers were represented. In the points chase, though, it all boiled down to a dice between Yoshimura Suzuki riders Jamie James and Scott Russell, with James eventually taking the title, 70 points to 65.
Every time I inspect the valve clearances on my 4-year-old Suzuki GS1150E that has 66,000 miles on it, the valves don’t need adjusting. The bike has the original clutch, gets 46 miles per gallon and still raises the front end at the slightest provocation.
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 853 W. 17th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. To be returned, the photographs must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.