YOU PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF BUDDY Parriott. He’s been dead now for almost five years, brought down by a heart attack in his 60th year, but at one time he was among the very best of American roadracers. Born in 1927, Parriott hoisted himself onto his first motorcycle at age 6, inspired by his father, Sam, who competed in hillclimbs and on dry lake beds.
I THINK IT WAS EITHER GEORGE SANtayana or Roger Vadim who said that beauty is the promise of pleasure. If that’s the case, I recently bought myself a beautiful bike, assuming your concept of pleasure includes a long, rambling, open-road cruise across the Great Plains and the Southwest later this summer.
HARRY RICARDO, THE INTERNAL-COMbustion engine pioneer, built his own motorcycle at the turn of the century, when he still was quite a young man. At the time, people argued about how lubricants worked. Some believed “oiliness”—the ability of oil molecules to attach themselves to metal surfaces—was crucial.
Just finished reading David Edwards’ “Andy Rooney Rides” Up Front column in the July issue. Very well done. I can hear Andy complaining about some of the same things after an 8-hour ride on his GSX-R. The top brass at the Japanese Big Four should heed all you mentioned in the column and make constructive use of the criticisms.
Pricing replacement body parts for a sportbike is a heart-stopping experience. Air Tech (3052 Industry, Unit 109, Oceanside, CA 92054; 619/757-3366) offers a price-effective solution: fiberglass components at 40-50 percent the cost of original body parts. Air Tech also has lightweight, custom racebike body parts. Finished in a white gel coat, Air Tech bodywork requires painting. A catalog listing replacement bodywork for all popular sportbikes costs $3.
Road Race Elite gloves
Made of premium-grade, drum-dyed leather, these gloves from Tour Master (2360 Townsgate Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361; 805/373-6868) have fully padded finger backs, wrist pads and Kevlar-reinforced, double-leather, studded palms. A long gauntlet fits over bulky jacket sleeves and closes tightly with velcro. Elites are available at dealers in sizes XS-XXL, in white/red, white/black and all-black color schemes, for $100.
Air Wrap kidney belt
Acerbis’ newest kidney belt, the Air Wrap, features a hard plastic rear shield to help protect the rider’s lower spine. Exceptional comfort is claimed as a result of using elastic material backed with a soft, flexible plasti-foam. The Air Wrap is available in gray/blue, gray/red, gray/gray or gray/fushia color combinations for $40 at motorcycle dealers that carry Acerbis products.
Bench Blast Cabinet
One of the handiest shop tools is a sandblast cabinet. Cleaning paint, rust or crud from a part is easy with a sandblaster, but the cost for this convenience is around $1000 for one of average size. The Eastwood Co. (580 Lancaster Ave., Malvern, PA 19355; 800/345-1178) offers the Bench Blast Cabinet in kit form for $329 plus $12 shipping. Assembly time for the pre-drilled 24x24x34-inch kit is only one hour, according to the manufacturer.
Leather Baseball Jacket
The classic styling of a baseball or letterman jacket is captured in this dark-blue-and-cream-colored leather jacket. Knit cuffs, collar and tail, combined with H-D Grand National Champion lettering and Harley logo give this jacket its character. Available at Harley-Davidson dealers in sizes S-XXL starting at $350.
F1’s Slash Cut Boulevard exhaust gives a deep, throaty tone to all models of Shadow, Vulcan, Virago and Intruder cruisers, claims the maker. Triple-chrome plated, the Boulevard exhaust sells for $190. More information is available from F1 at 4760 E. Bryson St., Anaheim, CA 92807; 714/779-7798.
Pricing replacement body parts for a sportbike is a heart-stopping experience. Air Tech (3052 Industry, Unit 109, Oceanside, CA 92054; 619/757-3366) offers a price-effective solution: fiberglass components at 40-50 percent the cost of original body parts.
THE INCREDIBLE FINANCIAL roller-coaster ride endured by one of Britain’s oldest and most prestigious motorcycle manufacturers finally may have been so completely smoothed out that the rebirth of another of Britain’s famous motorcycle names is a possibility.
POOR ECONOMIC CONDItions, high overhead costs, including increases in labor and product liability costs, have driven Shoei, one of Japan’s largest helmet manufacturers, to a corporate and financial reorganization that will include factory consolidation, management restructuring and overhead-cost reductions.
SUPER HAWK READER POLL: "IF THEY BUILD IT, WE WILL COME."
Jon F. Thompson
THE POLLS ARE CLOSED and the votes have been tallied. And your decision, registered with us via mail and fax, is this: If Honda has any sense at all, it will build a 1000cc V-Twin-powered Super Hawk as proposed in the July edition of Cycle World.
A memorial service was held May 28, 1992, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, for William H. Davidson, 87, former president and chairman of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, who died May 18 from natural causes at his home in Elk Grove, Wisconsin.
YAMAHA HAS BEEN CONtent to pass the last few years without significantly upgrading its YZ80 mini-motocrosser, and as a result, the little YZ has become a mediocre performer in the face of more modern challengers. Now, tired of the 80’s so-so performance, Yamaha is testing an all-new prototype.
BMW AND APRILIA confirmed in June that the two firms will engage in a joint venture to produce and sell an all-new motorcycle that will be built by Aprilia at its plant in Noale, Italy, and sold by BMW dealers. The machine, powered by an Austrian-built, 650cc, four-valve Rotax Single, will be designed by BMW stylists to be what a BMW spokesperson called “an entry-level bike that will be suitable for moderate off-road use.”
A computer error resulted in a number of incorrect specifications in our July, 1992, 600cc comparison test. To set the record straight, we note the following: The Honda CBR600F2’s rear suspension is adjustable for rebound damping and spring preload; the Kawasaki Ninja 600R’s front suspension is adjustable for anti-dive, its rear suspension is adjustable for air pressure, rebound damping and spring preload, and has a claimed 5.1 inches of wheel travel; the Kawasaki ZX-6’s rear suspension is adjustable for rebound damping and spring preload, its average range including reserve is 206 miles, and its braking distance from 60 mph is 113 feet; the Yamaha FZR600’s list price is $4999 and its engine is liquid-cooled; and the Yamaha Seca II’s list price is $3799, and its front suspension is non-adjustable.
This issue hit mailboxes and newsstands smack in the middle of the Summer of Love. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was one of the year’s hot films; Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was selling like—well, like a Beatles record; China exploded its first hydrogen bomb; a Soviet cosmonaut was killed during his capsule’s reentry and three American astronauts died in a launch-pad fire.
TAKE ONE HARLEY-DAVIDson V-Twin engine, mix with one custom frame based on the famed Norton Featherbed, sprinkle with ancillary parts and systems, and what you get is the Victory, a replica of the Harley-powered machine with which roadracer Lance Weil won 45 roadraces in Britain in the late 1960s.
TO THE INTENSE DELIGHT of marque enthusiasts, the reborn Triumph Motorcycles Limited continues to gain financial and market strength—so much so that company bosses at last are willing to entertain the notion of selling their all-new motorcycles in the United States.
DOES THIS ITALIAN RALLY-styled bike have an identity problem? No. Yes. Well, er, maybe. “This is not an off-road bike, this is a gran turisimo motorcycle,” said Moto Guzzi sales chief Guido Ranalli as he handed me the keys to one of the first Quotas off the production line.
UP: To artist Michael Bryan, for his motorcycle paintings. In choosing his subjects—a Harley-Davidson, an Indian and his own custom Moto Guzzi—Bryan looked for a certain romantic attraction. “I’ve always found motorcycles very romantic.
ONE OF THIS YEAR'S MOST EXCITING, MOST IMPORTANT motorcycles is not sold in the United States. Not yet, at least. Suzuki decided not to bring its new liquid-cooled GSX-R750 repli-racer into the U.S. this year because its air-and-oil-cooled 750 continues to offer class-leading performance at a reasonable price.
THE QUESTION PERSISTS: WHEN Suzuki’s new liquid-cooled GSX-R750 arrives stateside next year, will it lay claim to being the best-handling production motorcycle money can buy? Maybe. Maybe not. We already know of at least one motorcycle that will run circles around a GSX-R in terms of outright handling.
ELEVEN YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH, MIKE HAILWOOD'S LEGEND STILL BURNS BRIGHT
THE LAST TIME I SAW HIM WAS THE right way to remember him: knifing up Snaefell Mountain on a racebike, winning his 14th and final Tourist Trophy at the Isle of Man. It was 1979, and I was watching from behind an ancient stone wall at Brandywell, the blind left-hander at the barren high point of the course.
THE FATE OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S most collectible motorcycles, an ex-Mike Hailwood Honda RC166, is up in the air and iffy at best. Honda presented Hailwood with one of the amazing six-cylinder grand prix racebikes in recognition of his 250cc world roadracing titles in 1966 and 1967.
AH, YES, COMPETITION IS WONDERFUL. THE THING is, for a while, now, there hasn’t been too much of it among touring bikes. Honda, with its splendiferous family of GL1500 Gold Wings, has pretty much had the class sewn up. Certainly, other manufacturers have continued to build touring bikes, but nobody has come close to laying a glove on the Wing.
TODAY’S BMWs ARE AT TECHNOLOGY’S CUTTING EDGE. IT WASN’T ALWAYS THAT WAY.
Jon F. Thompson
ANYONE WISHING TO chronicle the pursuit of excellence might look no farther for a subject than Bayerische Motoren Werke of Munich, Germany. BMW is a company driven by engineering values, and its concern with technical elegance has endeared BMW motorcycles to generations of enthusiasts.
IN CASE YOU’VE BEEN TOO BUSY TO NOTICE, THERE’S an environmental revolution underway. Everywhere you turn, you’ll note its effects: in recycling programs, in fast-food restaurants’ abandonment of styrofoam, in the vapor-recovery shrouds on gas-station nozzles.
HONDA’S NEW XR650L IS A STUNNER. But how does it compare to Suzuki’s DR650S, the bike Cycle World elected Best Big Single the last time it conducted a dual-purpose comparison test? To find out, Senior Editor Ron Griewe and I set out to ride the two bikes from Mesquite, Nevada, to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, a one-way distance of about 250 miles, mostly off-road.
IS COLIN EDWARDS AMERICA'S NEXT ROADRACING SUPERSTAR?
THE CONVERSATION AT TEXAS World Speedway had barely begun when Doug Polen, defending World Superbike Champion, asked a journalist, "So, what about Colin Edwards?" Polen's not the only one asking that question these days. Edwards, the up-and-coming 18-year-old from Con-roe, Texas, has been the talk of the tracks since his record-setting performances at the AMA/CCS Race of Champions and the WERA Grand National Finals late last year.
COLIN EDWARDS AND KENNY Roberts Jr. aren’t the only young roadracers with bright futures. Take a walk through the paddock at a club race and you’ll see any number of eager kids hoping to become the next John Kocinski. But the nature of sports is that only the very best make it to the top.
Just when you think things are taking a turn for the better, they get worse. We’re talking, of course, about this Australian fellow Mick Doohan’s domination of the 1992 500cc world roadracing championship. Something has got to be done about him if we’re to have an American world roadracing champion this year.
In October of 1991, I bought a used Kawasaki ZX-10 with just over 7000 miles on it. The previous owner had maintained it fairly well. When riding it earlier this year, I lightly touched the rear brake pedal and the next thing I knew, the rear wheel was locked up at 65 mph.