IT WAS A JOKE GIVEN IN GOOD FUN, AND I took it that way. Upon learning that I had entered my 1985 Honda VF750R Interceptor Superbike in the "Post-War Competition" class at the recent Del Mar Concours, a friend of mine, whose husband roadraces Nortons and Ducatis, jabbed, "I believe they meant World War II, not the Gulf War."
WITHIN FIVE MINUTES OF LEAVING our driveway, heading out on what would be a 4600-mile tour of the upper West and British Columbia, I knew I'd made a mistake. I had either the wrong helmet or the wrong fairing, or both. The problem was wind noise.
THINGS ARE HAPPENING DOWN IN THE crankcase as you cruise merrily along, and not all of them are good. On partial throttle, there is very little pressure in the cylinder on the intake stroke, but there is essentially at mospheric pressure in the crankcase.
Having recently read of Cycle's incorporation into Cycle World magazine, I'd like to say that I will miss that fine magazine. Cycle World is a great magazine, and I'm sure it will only get better with the merger. Joe Botta Goshen, New York The only person I know who is happy about the loss of Cycle is my wife.
IN THE LATE 1970s AND EARLY 1980s, they bellowed, wheelied and wiggled around U.S. racetracks, and helped make stars out of the likes of Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson and Wes Cooley. Well, those early Superbikes are back, at least in street form.
PROGRESSIVE IMPROVEMENT is the term Ducati uses to describe its 1992 lineup, which includes one new model and revised versions of three others. Stealing the headlines is the new 750 Supersport, essentially a smaller displacement version of the 900SS introduced here last year.
COMRADES, FORGET THAT Vladimir Ilich Lenin has been, shall we say, temporarily discredited. There remains a heroic monument to the political system he helped found, a motorcycle so singular that after one ride, you'll never erase it from your mind.
I'VE BEEN AN AVID Cycle World reader, right from its first issue. I loved the magazine's concept, the variety of test bikes, racing coverage and feature articles. And I especially enjoyed reading about Editor/Publisher Joe Parkhurst's travels all around the world.
AS WE SPEND TIME COOPED UP in cities, it can be all too easy to lose our perspective of the real size and beauty of the American land mass. To help regain perspective, a trip through the spaciousness of the Southwest is in order. Try a favorite trip of mine, which runs through an area that provides one of America's few true 12-month riding seasons: The 16-million-member Navajo Nation in northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona, where riders of all ages, engine displacements and motorcycle styles can be seen year-round amid the fantastic canyons the area offers.
UP: To Bartels' Performance Products, for bringing power to the people with its mobile dynamometer. Developed initially for on-site race tuning, the Dynojet-designed dyno is now available to the public. For $15, Bartels' will provide a straight horsepower readout on personal bikes; roll-on and carbon-monoxide tests cost an additional five dollars.
IT HAS TAKEN MORE THAN 14 YEARS, BUT PRODUCtion-line reality has finally emerged from devel opmental fantasy. Honda's NR750, the first roadbike to utilize the oval-piston technology initiated by that company way back in 1977, will go on sale to the public very soon.
THE MOTORCYCLE YOU SEE HERE IS CALLED A TRITON. Depending upon your perspective, it is either a relic that is as appropriate to these times as a medieval broadsword, or it is one of the most desirable of all motorcycles, the King-Hell performance bike of the 1960s, a racer born for the road.
SEVEN YEARS AFTER THE LAUNCH OF ITS GROUND-breaking, trend-setting GSX-R750, Suzuki has bowed to the inevitable. Its flagship sportbike for the 1992 model year is the completely new GSX-R750, powered by a liquid-cooled engine. For now, this liquid-cooled GSX-R750 (previewed in the December, 1991, issue of Cycle World) will be seen only in Europe.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE UNPREDICTABILITY OF the motorcycle enthusiast. One would have thought that in the rise of Triumph Motorcycles from its own ashes, the bike creating the biggest sensation would be the Daytona supersport machine.
KENNEDY WAS PRESIDENT, THE BEATLES WERE UNKNOWN AND CYCLE WORLD WAS JUST GETTING STARTED
HOW DO YOU START A MOTORcycle magazine? Well, I had ridden bikes since age 18, had worked at Road & Track magazine and was putting together Karting World, a magazine about gokarts, so I knew something about motorcycling and publishing.
THE FIRST MODERN SUPERBIKES AND HOW THEY SHOOK THE MOTORCYCLE WORLD
I WAS IN MEXICO WHEN THE REVolution hit, so I almost missed it. Luckily, somebody stole my bike, and that theft—at the time, a very bitter pill—was the act that transformed me into a revolutionary. It was the fall of 1968. I'd ridden into mainland Mexico on my Triumph TR6, which was still almost new, and which I loved dearly, though I might have admitted it had drawbacks for extended touring.
SOME MOTORCYCLES ARE BEAUTIFUL WHILE SITTING atop their centerstands, but turn out ugly on the highway. My '71 CB750 proved to be as lovely in motion as at rest, and kept me making up reasons to ride. It was smooth, it was comfortable, it was quiet, it was reliable, it was fast, it was fun.
RIDING THESE THREE 30-YEAR-old plugs is proof positive that the motorcycle is a male instrument. Whether man or machine, by the third decade, most of the real excitement is over. At these bikes' age, the thrill of the open road is forgotten and a warm garage is the most important thing.
THREE DECADES LATER, SOME OF US STILL HAVEN'T GROWN UP
THIRTY YEARS IS A BIG ONE FOR a magazine. And for this special occasion I am forced to admit that, when the first issue of Cycle World came out in 1962, I was not only old enough to read, but old enough to think about possibly shaving soon. I was also in the market for a motorcycle.
OLD HABITS LIVE LONG AND DIE hard. And so it is with Harley-Davidson and racing. Ever since Walter Davidson won the Federation of American Motorcyclists Endurance Run in 1908, Harley-Davidson has been involved in nearly every type of American motorcycle racing.
THERE I WAS, TUCKED IN, CHIN on the tank, eyes scanning the asphalt for my braking point, the engine running flat-out. All very un-Harley-like. Yet, I was on a Harley-Davidson. Nigel Gale's U.S. Twin Sports 883 Sportster, to be exact, circulating Willow Springs Raceway.
Pardon the beer-commercial lingo, but it just doesn't get any better than this. As if it were rehearsed, Harley-Davidson teammates Scott Parker and Chris Carr brought their intrateam battle for the Camel Pro Series Championship down to—no, make that past—the wire.
I have a Suzuki GS1 100 that, I'm told, has a roller-bearing crankshaft. What's the difference between a plain-bearing crankshaft and a roller-bearing crankshaft, and which is best? Duane Luchsinger Twin Falls, Idaho A plain-bearing crankshaft uses oil for its bearing surfaces.
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, 1499 Monrovia Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92663 To be returned, the photographs must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.