WHEN THE LATE J.C. “PAPPY” HOEL and fellow members of the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club put on a flat-track race just outside the small farming town of Sturgis in 1938, little did they know their event would grow into the Black Hills Motor Classic Rally, the largest gathering of motorcycles in the U.S., perhaps the largest in the world.
WHEN I AWOKE IN THE FREEZING COLD Bedford van, snow falling gently but persistently, I knew at last that I was racing in England. We'd arrived at Oulton Park in Cheshire sometime around midnight, bone-weary from the five-hour drive and the 10 hours of frantic bike prep that preceded it.
JUST AFTER SUNRISE, SOMETIME DURing my second cup of coffee, I heard an engine start up somewhere in the distance. I sat on the front porch, tilting my head, trying to place that sound. A tractor? No. Not enough cylinders, unless it was a John Deere.
You guys consistently turn quicker times at the dragstrip than any other cycle magazine. Who did the riding for the Kawasaki ZX-11 test in the August, 1990, issue? Were these corrected times and at what elevation were the tests run? Larry N. Stroud Indianapolis, Indiana Thanks for noticing, Larry.
AIN’T EVOLUTION GRAND? OLD Charlie Darwin would be proud, though he might not have recognized that his theory could have been applied to motorcycles. But here’s proof: A mere decade after Kawasaki’s KZ750 was proclaimed by this magazine as the top bike in its displacement, Kawasaki has unleashed what appears to be a very close relative, the ZR750.
IN THE WAKE OF PUBLICATION in Britain and the U.S. of unofficial photos of the 1991 Triumphs (see "Scoop!" CW, September), Triumph Designs has thrown open its doors to officially confirm the revival of the legendary Triumph name. Though Triumph's resurrection may seem more like a fairy tale than reality, it’s difficult to imagine a more business-like hand on the helm than that of millionaire-developer John Bloor, who owns the Triumph name and who is behind its reappearance.
LET'S GET ONE THING STRAIGHT right from the start. Honda's VTR25O is not a beginner's bike. It's a full-sized, technologically sophisticated motorcycle designed to be unintimidating and easy to ride. And though those characteristics will help novices and beginners appreciate the machine, experienced riders will find the VTR a blast to ride.
THIS OLD ISSUE OF Cycle World could have doubled as a dictionary of motorcycling. It contained race reports; hop-up features; a project dirtbike which resulted when a 500cc Triumph Twin engine met a Greeves frame; a motorcycle history piece; three road tests; and a Bonneville Speed Week report.
CALIFORNIA'S NAPA VALLEY may be world famous, but Arkansas also has its vineyards. Perhaps one of the state's best-kept secrets, in fact, is Wiederkehr Cellars, located about 40 miles east of Fort Smith just off Interstate 40. It was founded in 1880 by a young Swiss named Johann Andreas Wiederkehr, who settled there and planted his vines.
UP: To everyone who recognized John Kocinski and his father Jerry as the subject of Team CW's Father/ Son contest in the September issue. The picture was shot in 1981 at Oakville Raceway in Henderson, Texas, and judging from our mail, this whole deal was way too easy, as apparently about a billion of you saw the kid racing, and saw correspondent Alan Cathcart take the picture.
FOR MOST OF US, HORSEPOWER IS A LITTLE LIKE money. We manage somehow to squeeze by on the available supply. But that supply is never quite large enough. For a select few, however, that horsepower-to-money relationship is very different, in that ways are found to transform discretionary cash into horsepower.
DON'T LET THE APPEARANCE of this Suzuki GSX-R1100 deceive you. Sure, it looks like a standard motorcycle, and it even feels like a standard motorcycle when you sit on it. But it goes 168 miles per hour and rages through the quarter-mile in 9.96 seconds at 150 mph.
APPLY TURBOCHARGING TO a motorcycle that's already a bullet in stock form, and what do you have? You've got Mr. Katana, a monsterbike that'll chug around town in the best cruising tradition until you get its turbocharger spinning fast enough to pressurize its intake tract.
ONLY TWO THINGS MIGHT make going to the dentist seem like fun: One, another chance to check out that lovely little hygienist, the one with the engaging smile; or two, if the doc whips a dose of laughing gasaka nitrous oxide—on you. But there is a higher and better use for nitrous oxide than as an aid to painless dentistry.
ONCE THE INITIAL PLANS were laid for our Built for Speed fest, the last thing we expected to see was the arrival of a well-balanced motorcycle. We were looking for two-wheeled rebels that would cause disruptions in the social fabric whenever we started them and played with their throttles.
YOSHIMURA HAS A HISTORY of building big bad motorcycles. All you have to do is look at “Big Papa,” a 170-horsepower GSX-R1100 built for Formula USA racing, and used to good effect recently by Scott Gray, to find out how big and bad. Unfortunately, Big Papa, being a racebike, will never see duty on public streets.
WHEN CARRYING CAPACITY IS WHAT you need, tankbags are wonderful things. But when all you want is a place to put a road map, a tankbag is a bit of overkill. Somebody at the Ashley Company (P.O. Box 33191, North Royalton, OH 44133; 216/582-3776) has figured this out, and the Map Hold’r ($14.95, available only by mail from the manufacturer) is the result.
CAN YOU THINK OF ANYTHING MORE infuriating than trying to load a streetbike into the back of a pickup truck without a loading ramp? No, you say? Then you haven't tried to buy a proper loading ramp for a roadbike. The off-road guys have it easier; there are numerous aluminum ramps for sale at motorcycle dealers.
REDONE FZRs, A REVISED FJ1200 AND REVITALIZED DIRTBIKES
FOR 1991, YAMAHA HAS USED refinement and revolution to come up with an exciting model line, a welcome change from the dormancy that the company exhibited in 1990. With its previous FZR line of sportbikes, ranging from the FZR400 to the FZR1000, Yamaha had fielded one of the strongest teams in the sport, with the 600 and 1000 being the best in their classes for pure, unadulterated sport riding.
WHEN THE HISTORY OF SPORT-bikes is written, the largest chapter will be devoted to Suzuki’s GSX-Rs. The 1986 GSX-R750 forever changed the way we looked at high-performance motorcycles. Before it, sport-bikes were streetbikes that had been adapted for the rigors of hard riding and racing.
YOU CAN'T PLEASE ALL THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME? HONDA IS TRYING.
OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, Honda’s new-model lineup has resembled a sailboat tacking into the wind. In 1989, in an attempt to attract new riders to the sport, there was the Pacific Coast, but hard-riding enthusiasts were forced to look elsewhere for big sportbikes, as Honda had purged them from the schedule.
LOVERS OF DIRT-WORTHY dual-purpose motorcycles have been left waiting in the wings the past few years. The only machines available to them were big, heavy bikes that worked well on paved roads but left a lot to be desired when aimed towards dirt.
IN SURF CITY, BLACK LEATHER AND BRYLCREEM RIDE AGAIN
STEVEN L. THOMPSON
IN CALIFORNIA, THE MYTH GOES, anything is possible. The myth is based on truth. Things do happen in California that don't happen elsewhere, and for a very simple reason: In California, as in no other place on Earth, people are free—perhaps even expected—to "invent" themselves.
IT HAD BEEN A LONG DAY OF RIDING AND I WAS TIRED. I put the ATK away and let the garage door slam with a crash. I should have known better. From within the garage, I heard the familiar cranking of the motorcycle’s electric starter, followed by the thumping of its engine.
A Rainey season, but it ain’t over 'til the skinny Texan sings
Kocinski in need of a comeback
Chandler keeps Kawasaki out front
Carr, Parker in a battle of Harleys
CAMRON E. BUSSARD
AS THE 1990 COMPETITION SEAson enters the home stretch, there's still a lot of racing left, with several important championships still up for grabs. What follows are reports on four of the most important classes in racing today, being contested by riders who will be making news both at home and on circuits around the world for years to come.
I have a 1979 Honda CBX which has been in storage for the past 10 years. Recently, I tried to start it, and ran into problems. The engine fired up fine, but died when the choke was let off. I found the engine would run only if I kept the throttle one-third to one-half open.