THE TROUBLE WITH SOME JAPANESE motorcycles, my luncheon partner proclaimed over his seafood, is that you can't talk to them. Come again? Talk, he reiterated, as in commune with, as in relate to. He went on to cite the example of Harley-Davidson riders who spend all Saturday morning cleaning and polishing their bikes for a few-hour ride in the afternoon.
SIDECARS ARE WONDERFULLY AMUSing devices to drive (you don't "ride" a sidecar), but they're not what you'd call mainstream motorcycles anymore. My last stint in one was a long haul, when I drove a Kawasaki KZ1100 equipped with a Vetter Terraplane from L.A. to Anchorage, Alaska.
"YOU GOING TO THE AUCTION?" ALlan Girdler asked, poking his head into my office. "Probably," I said. "What auction?" He handed me a flyer that said, "Los Angeles Vintage & Classic Motorcycle Auction, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium." Below the large type were separate photos of 60-some bikes to be sold.
I would like to comment on the article "The Man Who Would Buy Honda" in the March issue. I think that the idea behind Ed Lemco's Conquest 650 is sound, but the execution is flawed. As a rider, restorer and collector of classic motorcycles, I, too, find the traits of a basic motorcycle that can be personalized to my riding style appealing.
BRM SPYDER Upgrading the GSX-R1 100's flash factor
THE BRM SPYDER IS THE LATest in the seemingly neverending line of outrageous specials created at the behest of the indefatigable Ernst Strahm, proprietor of one of Switzerland's largest bike shops. A copy will set you back $6250.
THE BMW K75RT IS A PRODuct of democracy. It exists because American buyers have voted for the K75 line with their wallets. In Germany, the land of the open-speed-limit Autobahnen, the price of staying on the pace is four cylinders; but here, the three-cylindered K-bikes, smoother, lighter, and less expensive—if slower—have strong appeal.
TECHNICAL EDITOR GORDON Jennings was upset, and understandably so. He went to Daytona in the spring of 1965 with a Yamaha TD1B 250 in hopes not only of a top-10 finish, but of a great story on how he did it. He got the story, but not the finish. His bike had problems.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMbia, considered by some to be the most-beautiful city in Canada and often called the crown jewel of the Canadian west, prides itself on having the finest Chinese cuisine in the world, but there's much more to Vancouver than greenery and food.
UP: To Dairyland Insurance, for being the first insurance company to provide free helmet damage coverage with every comprehensive collision policy sold to motorcycle riders. Under the terms of the protection, if a rider is wearing a helmet at the time of a motorcycle accident and the helmet is damaged, that damage is covered.
MORE THAN AN RC30 BUILT FOR TEO, MORE THAN A EUROWING
A 600-MILE DAY? NOTHING TO IT; AS EASY AS wolfing down chips and salsa at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Why, any self-respecting touring-bike rider could click off 600 miles of interstate super-slab and be done in time for an early supper.
James Milton Davis is a racer. Never heard of him? That's because however old you are, he was before your time. In his own time, during the golden age of motorcycling, in the 1920s and '30s. when Davis rolled his racebike onto a track, the chances were excellent that he would come away with a win.
A 500cc TWO-STROKE MOTOcross bike seems like a tame-enough mount when it's being inspected on the being inspected on the showroom floor. After all, a 500 is only slightly larger in size than a 250 and only a bit heavier in weight. Additionally, horsepower doesn't increase at the same rate as engine size: Doubling an engine's capacity from 250 to 500cc doesn't double the horsepower.
HONDA RC30 vs KAWASAKI ZX-7 vs SUZUKI GSX-R vs YAMAHA OWO1
TECH LOOK: RC30
TECH LOOK: ZX-7
TECH LOOK: GSX-R
TECH LOOK: OWO1
WELCOME BACK, 750cc sportbikes! Only a couple of years ago, the 750 sportbike class almost vanished. Honda already had dropped the VFR750 from its model line and Yamaha was phasing out its FZR750, both wonderful machines that never quite caught on.
FOR MANY PEOPLE. ANY TALK about sportbikes is actually a conversation about Ducatis. Reverential whispers about 750 and 900 Supersports could lead you to believe the genesis of today's modern sportbike was in Italy. Of course, there is more than a grain of truth to that, and, at the very least, the bright-red, 1990 Ducati 851 Sport seen here is proof the Italians still know a thing or two about building outstanding sportbikes.
If you think the 750cc sportbikes are something, get a load of what showed up at Daytona this year
WHAT'S IT TAKE TO WIN THE DAYTONA 200? SIMPLE. Assuming you're fast enough, you only need two things: good equipment and even better luck. The rest is a piece of cake. But there's a catch. No one ever has good luck at Daytona; some teams just have less bad luck than others.
TRAIL RIDERS KNOW THIS IF THEY know any thing: A bad day riding is better than a good day working—no matter what you do for a living. But they also know that if you're properly prepared, there's no such thing as a bad day riding. Even when the sun disappears and all the animals start parading down to Noah's place in twos, the ride can be salvaged by good preparation.
BIKE WEEK OBSERVATION number one: At Daytona this year, there were no superstars. There were no prospective world champions and there were no former world champions. There were no overpowering factory efforts fielding bikes designed for Daytona and nowhere else.
It was shaping up to be yet another of Daytona 1990's hyper-competitive races. Yamaha rider Jeff Farmer was mixing it up with Vance & Hines teamsters Thomas Stevens and David Sadowski throughout the 600cc supersport race. But in this race, it was privateer Farmer who had the horsepower, not the factory riders, and by the last lap, Farmer had pulled ahead by a few bikelengths.
I have a small, but annoying, problem. I ride a 1986 Suzuki Savage 650 Thumper which I like very much except for the one bad habit it has. When I'm rolling down the street or highway and close the throttle, the engine invariably back-fires a few times, sometimes through the carburetor, sometimes through the exhaust.
"Pick it up? I can't even see it!" 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.