A LESSON IN THE POWER OF THE PRESS, as delivered by a teenage gas-station attendant on the outskirts of El Paso, Texas. But first, a confession. 1 was on my way to Dallas for Christmas with my family, not on a motorcycle, but in a car. When Eve got the time.
WHEN THEY LAUGHED AT ME IN THE repair center. I knew I was in for a long ride. Sure, the Toshiba PI 350 dot-matrix printer I thunked down on the computer wizard’s fixit counter was about six years old, but 1 couldn’t see why that would make the guy laugh when I told him 1 wanted to repair it.
NOT TOO LONG AGO. I PUT TOGETHER a multiple-choice psychological test to help those without British bikes find out if they had the stuff that long-suffering Anglophiles are made of. This test (“Common threads." Leanings, CW, February, 1989) was a huge success in weeding out those without the proper qualifications—while encouraging those whose crippling personality disorders made them prime candidates for the ownership of English iron like mine—so Eve decided to do another one.
Rifle Fairing (3140 El Camino Real. Atascadero, CA 93422; 800/ 262-1237) can make life a lot more pleasant behind the fairing of that 1986-87 Honda VFR. Just replace the windshield with a Rifle version that’s 6 inches taller than the stocker. Available in clear or tint (S69/S79). the touring Rifle is claimed to be more scratch-resistant and to have better clarity, too.
K&N Honda Filterchargers
If your 1986-87 VFR700/750, 1 98 7-89 CBR 600 or 1988-89 GL1500 Honda is ready fora breath of clean. fresh air. K&N Engineer ing (P.O. Box 1 329, Riverside. CA 92502; 714/684-9762) can help. K&N's reusable wire-mesh-and oiled-cotton-gauze filter is claimed to increase power, provide superior engine protection and last a long time.
Mikuni RSD racing carburetors
Building a competitive racebike engine usually requires a new set of smoothbore carburetors. And Mikuni now has smoothbore kits available for the current range of bikes that use downdraft-style carburetors. Carb sets come pre-jetted per model application in venturi sizes of 34, 36. 38 or 40mm. with prices starting at $749. The carburetors are available from dealers or American Mikuni Corporation, 8910 Mikuni Ave., Northridge, CA 91324; 213/873-2101.
ISDE Super Enduro tire
Seems the F1M changes the rules for enduro tires on a regular basis. The new rules allow an aggressive knob pattern, but the depth of the knobs can be no more than 1 3mm. Trelleborg’s new Super Enduro T-91 3 rear tire conforms to the current FIM rules. Its open knob pattern, special rubber compound, sidewall construction and rim-saver design greatly enhance this tire's ability to achieve maximum traction in a variety of terrain, according to Trelleborg. Your local dealer can fill you in on prices and applications.
National Dynatronics Quik-Stand
Changing the front or rear wheel of a motorcycle that isn't equipped with a centerstand can be a real hassle. Now, with the National Dynatronics Quik-Stand (334 East 9th Street. Suite 1 1, New York. NY 10003; 2 12/982-0314), you can raise and support the front or rear of most Harley-Davidsons and other cruiser models to easily remove either wheel. Height variation for the $ 1 39.95 stand is 5 to 12 inches. The price doesn't include a 9/16-inch socket and rächet needed to operate the stand, but it does include a money-back guarantee.
SuperTrapp Longbody exhaust system
Yamaha’s FZR600 can be 9 pounds lighter and look nicer with a Longbody Superlight Series exhaust system, according to SuperTrapp (3910 Seaport Boulevard, West Sacramento, CA 95691 ; 916/3725000). Made of stainless steel, the 4into-1 system bolts on, and exhaust tuning takes just minutes, requiring only the addition or removal of diffuser plates, claims SuperTrapp. The price of the complete system is $349.95, or get just a síip-on silencer for $ 1 59.95. &
Happi-Ness Regarding the “Big Red“ article in the January issue, a wonderful job was done revealing the talents of Arlen Ness. His work has always provided happiness for anyone who can appreciate talent. I hope that Cycle World will continue to contain articles on all aspects of motorcycling.
SURE. THERE ARE: LOTS OF REAsons for preferring the wide-open spaces of America over the decadence and closed-in tightness of the Old World, but every now and again a piece of machinery comes along that makes us wish we could have our strudel and eat it too.
YES, ITALY AND JAPAN ARE still miles apart in terms of simple geography, and yes, pasta, pesto and pizza remain no more easy to handle with chopsticks than ever. Still, there come reports of an interesting, if unlikely, union between Italy and the Orient, a union from which the motorcycling world soon may benefit.
MANY RIDERS CONSIDER A BIG V-Twin cruiser as the only definition of a motorcycle. And when these folks say big, they mean big: A bike with an engine that's smaller than 1100cc doesn't compute. Harley-Davidson has been wildly successful at building cruis ers, but a Harley these days ain't cheap-figure on spending from $9000 to. $11,500 for a new Big Twin from H-D.
WAS THEREA FORD IN OUR FUture? Joe Parkhurst, Cycle World's first publisher, apparently thought so, for he wrote in the March, 1966, Roundup section about a persistent rumor dealing with Ford Motor Company’s purchase of a small, West German motorcycle manufacturer.
DO YOU DREAM OF TOURING Europe, but lack the time or the resources to do so? Fear not. You'll find a fair approximation of a German burg in the north Georgia mountains. Helen was settled in 191 l in conjunction with the building of a nearby sawmill.
UP: To the U.S. Forest Service for denying an appeal that could have derailed a plan to build a motorcycle trail system in Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest. The plan, which calls for 10 miles of connector trails in the forest, won approval following several years of public meetings.
HONDA CBR600F2 VS. KAWASAKI ZX-6 VS. YAMAHA FZR600
THREE MIDDLEWEIGHT SPORTBIKES TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE A HERO
THE ADAGE 'GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKages” has never been used more appropriately than in describing this year’s crop of middleweight sportbikes. Want a giant-killer with, say, a hundred horsepower? How about a racetrack refugee weighing in the neighborhood of 400 pounds?
SPORTBIKE COMPARISON TESTS are cruel things. Last year, in Cycle World's middleweight shootout, the Suzuki 600 Katana got whomped, finishing dead last. No use in dragging it through the smoldering embers of its reputation for a second time, we thought, so we left it out of this year’s competition.
IS THERE, SOMEWHERE OUT THERE in the infinity of motorcycling's great universe, another name that tweaks, titillates and thrills the consciousness of motorcyclists with quite the same intensity as “Bonneville?” Probably not. Say it: Bonneville.
OFF-ROAD RIDERS WITH LESS THAN 20/ 20 eyesight know what a hassle it is to wear corrective lenses under a set of goggles. Contact lenses often trap dust against the wearer’s eyes, while glasses fog and/or rub uncomfortably against the bridge of one’s nose or the back of one’s ears.
EVERYONE LIKES THE EXCITEMENT OF A NEW model year, what with all the fussing over radically changed bikes. Trouble is, especially when it comes to motocrossers, that a splashy new racebike can easily run near the back of the pack, while a model that appears little changed is smoking toward the checkered flag.
FORGET EVERYTHING YOU know about going straight. In fact, forget everything you know about riding a motorcycle, except maybe where the controls are. Just try to remember, lane position’s real important.
IN A NEAT. CLEAN. SIMPLE WORLD. the fastest man in 500cc grand prix racing would be the world champion; and the world champion would be the fastest man in GP racing. But the world isn’t neat, clean or simple. Just ask Kevin Schwantz. Schwantz.
Roche dethrones Merkel, wins World Superbike ChamPionship
Frenchman Raymond Roche became the first rider other than Fred Merkel to wear the crown of the World Superbike Champion following conservative finishes in the penultimate round of the 1990 series at Phillip Island. Australia. The 33-year-old factory Ducati rider virtually dominated en route to his first world title, winning eight times and finishing the season a whopping 57 points ahead of his nearest rival, Italian Yamaha rider Fabrizio Pirovano.
Down sides of up sidedowns I've just finished reading your “Built for Speed" article (OF. November, 1 990) and I got excited because 1 have a '90 FZR 1000. I plan to make some modifications, but I'm stumped on a few things. I've heard such rave reviews of upside-down forks that I can't help but wonder which one is the best. What is the correct set-up, and after I dialin the fork, should I get a different rear shock?