THE OWNER OF THE NAUTICAL-NICKnack shop was most kind. When she saw my friend and I walk in after parking the BSA, she offered to store our helmets and jackets behind the counter. “I’ll bet you can tell me.” she said with a sudden air of seriousness, “what all those people were doing at that motorcycle shop on Pacific Avenue.
IT’S NO SURPRISE TO ME THAT MOST OF the world’s great religions emerged from deserts. Having lived in a few, I know what they can do to you, even with air-conditioning, polarized sunglasses, sunblock cream, aqueducts and a handy airport from which to escape.
READERS WHO ARE OLD ENOUGH TO have voted for Taft may remember a story I wrote for this magazine about 11 years ago, when I was first freelancing my way to virtual solvency. The story was called,"Because It’s Small,” and was about a 300-mile trek by Honda 50 and bicycle from Madison, Wisconsin, to Pike’s Peak, Iowa (the “other” Pike’s Peak).
I think Steve Thompson may be on to something with his proposal for Two-Up Touring-Bike Roadracing ("The Sport of the `90s," CW, June, 1990). A friend and I came up with the same idea one afternoon at Sears Point, trying to figure out how to boost spectator attendance.
CONSTRUCTION IN ENGLAND of the Conquest, a classically styled motorcycle designed to appeal to retro-bikers (CW, March, 1990) has been derailed by an absence of finance. But the Conquest isn’t dead. The original plan, which called for the bike to be built in England, has been replaced by a scheme which calls for it to be built in Eastern Europe.
WHAT HAS TWO CYLINDERS. two cams, eight valves and looks like a liquid-cooled BMW Boxer motor? Easy: the new, long-awaited, BMW Boxer motor. Tentatively scheduled to debut on the European show circuit this fall, the new opposed-Twin will be an overhead-cam design with four valves per cylinder and chain drive to the cams.
IF YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE WHO BElieves motorcycle design should continue its inexorable spiral towards new heights of sophistication and performance, you’d do well to take a look at one of the latest offerings from Honda. That new offering is the Cub, a toy-like twowheeler which proves that sometimes, simple is better.
OKAY. HERE'S A QUESTION FOR the ages: Could Ringo Starr beat Mike Hailwood? Hey, who knows? And besides, beat him at what? At being rhythm-meister for the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band? Definitely. But around, say, the Isle of Man’s Mountain Circuit?
THAT THERE IS A GRAND CANyon is one of nature's happy circumstances, but even more fortunate is that there are two ways to see it. The first is the way most vacationers know. It's the canyon seen from the Winnebagochoked south rim, 60 miles or so from Interstate 40 in northern Arizona.
UP: To racing fan Lou Modestino, a man smart enough to do something about a problem which vexs us all: how to find racing on television. His solution is Lou's Motorsports TV Calendar, which lists all televised racing for two and four wheels on major air, cable and satellite networks across the country.
HONDA'S CBR400RR AND YAMAHA'S FZR400RR SP ARE THE BEST JAPAN HAS TO OFFER. ARE THEY TOO GOOD FOR AMERICA?
CAMRON E. BUSSARD
BANNING, CALIFORNIA, IS A quiet desert community. The heat backs up to the nearby mountains and settles over the small town, forcing residents to move slowly in an effort to keep cool. On this day, however, there is a bit of a stir beneath the neon “Good Food” sign outside one of the town’s cafés.
IF YOU’VE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH one of the twowheeled vixens that you’ve just read about, have we got a matchmaker for you. Meet Jack Calof, president of Exotic Motorcycle Imports (EMI), who has made it his business to import otherwise-unobtainable motorcycles from Japan.
THERE ARE NO CONSTANTS in the motorcycle business, especially not if you’re a designer of 400cc sport machines for the Japanese home market. Honda and Yamaha may believe that in their CBR and FZR400s, seen on the previous pages, that they’ve got the 400 sportbike market wired, but Suzuki thinks differently.
EVEN IN THE LAND OF BIGGER IS BETTER, THESE THREE BIKES PROVE THAT LESS IS BEST
Camron E. Bussard
BLITZING THROUGH A LOCAL riding area, we expected to attract attention. And, sure enough, as soon as we parked, we were assaulted by the howl of tires under hard braking and the staccato cadence of rapid downshifting as the rider of a shiny new GSX-R 1 100 slid to a stop beside us.
A FEW MONTHS AGO, MY FRIEND BRIAN SLARK called to ask how the restoration was coming. "Great," I said. "I just got the seat back from the upholstery shop. I can bolt it on tonight and go riding tomorrow." Slark chuckled. "Now the hard part begins."
JOHN LUCAS, A CALIFORNIA MORTGAGE BANKER. has a hobby that borders on obsession. “I’m just a Triumph freak who likes to build custom bikes” he says, looking at his latest creation, a beautifully prepared roadrace-style streetbike that utilizes what would have been an early-’70s factory roadracing frame designed by noted English tubebender Rob North.
CALL IT A TRIUMPH OVER THE ODDS, OR PERHAPS A TRIumph of personal tenacity. But whatever else you call it, call it a Triumph. Because Triumph, perhaps America’s bestloved British motorcycle manufacturer, is back, and not with some vibrating, oil-leaking, retro-bike.
Seven dual-purpose invitations to nowhere. And back.
ON DAY THREE OF Cycle World S THREE-DAY. THREEstate, dual-purpose trek, the truth stood up in the middle of a dirt road and pounded the staff into enlightenment. Dual-purpose motorcycles, we realized, are the answer. It really doesn't matter what the question is.
Exploring aboard the BMW R100GS and Honda Transalp
COMPROMISE IS ONE OF FIFE’S cornerstones, and when it is properly applied to motorcycles, it can be an especially good thing. The two motorcycles you see here, the BMW R1OOGS and the Honda Transalp, are evidence of that. By applying judicious bits of compromise, the designers of the Honda Transalp and of the BMW R1OOGS have honed these bikes into machines that specialize, if you will, in general use on both paved and unpaved roads.
The Kawasaki KLR650, the Suzuki DR650S and the Yamaha XT600 are today’s dualpurpose warriors. Which one is best?
IT'S QUITE CLEAR THAT SOMEONE needs to write a dual-purpose rule book. We didn't need one before. In the Sixties and Seventies, if it looked like a Yamaha DT-1 it was a dual-purpose bike. If it didn’t, it wasn't. And in the midEighties, it had to look like a Honda XL600 or it quite obviously wasn’t dual-purpose material.
Yamaha XT350, Suzuki DR350S: Something old, something new
A 350CC FOUR-STROKE SINGLE is considered the ideal bike by many dual-purpose enthusiasts. It produces reasonable power and it's smaller and lighter than a 600, sort of a best-ofboth-worlds situation. Even so, 350cc dual-purpose bikes haven't sold in record numbers over the years.
REMOVING ENGINE GASKETS THAT have had thousands of miles to cook into the metal they contact is a grim task. Scraping and gouging them off has been the norm ever since twowheels were mated to internal-combustion engines, but Lubri-Tech Products now has an easier solution.
TIRE-PATCH KITS FOR MOTORCYCLES are nothing new, but the Progressive Suspension patch kit is different: It’ll repair and inflate both tubeless and tube-type tires. The kit contains four cold patches, a buffer, three rubber plugs and an insertion tool, a tube of glue, two CO2 cartridges and a flexible air line, all packaged neatly in a bright-pink, easily stored carrying pouch.
LAST FATHERS DAY WEEKEND, if a giant telescope on some alien planet billions of light years away had been pointed at Earth, and more specifically at a small range of mountains on the North American continent near a place the local inhabitants call Davis, West Virginia, it would have seen an ugly sight.
An incomplete guide to the most difficult races in America
In random order: Blackwater 100 Cross-Country: Davis, West Virginia. “It’s always tough,” says former National Enduro Champion Kevin Hines. “Year after year. Other races have hard years and easy years. The Blackwater is something special.” Lone Star 100 Enduro: Houston, Texas.
The AMA Camel Pro Supercross series wrapped up its 1990 season in front of 40,000 standing, screaming fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum, with Team Honda rider Jeff Stanton finishing in sixth place, high enough to gain his second consecutive title and $50,000 in prize money.
I have a question regarding new horns for my bike, an '82 Kawasaki GPz550. I’m leaning toward air horns, but am worried about the lag while the compressor gets up to speed. Can I rig a system so that the air horns are augmented by the standard horn as soon as I press the button?
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.