THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT HAVING A motorcycle. If you’ve been contemplating motorcycle ownership, or if you know someone who has been sitting on the fence that separates rider from interested spectator, now is the time join the fold.
IF MY TYPING SEEMS A LITTLE SHAKY this morning, it’s because I was up late last night writing out invitations for the monthly meeting of the Slimy Cruds Motorcycle Gang, of which I am a member. The Slimy Cruds are essentially a loosely confederated group of fortysomething hardcore lifelong sportbike-oriented motorcyclists whose motto is “Ride Hard, Ride Short.” The club has no formal rules, but hews to an unwritten-indeed, un-spoken until this moment-code of honor that might be stated thusly: A Crud never turns down a beer unless he already has one in each hand, or is busy lighting a cigarette recently bummed off another member.
I WANTED A CUP OF COFFEE TO WARM me on my November walk, but there was no coffee. In hat, coat and gloves, I let myself out of the borrowed cottage and set off down the lane. This was the especially penetrating cold of high humidity, sending icicle fingers down exposed necks and up sleeves.
That Roy Orbison song that Mr. Frank Conner inquired about in Cycle World's December Letters section was titled “Ride Away.” It was written by Orbison and Bill Dees, and recorded in 1965 for MGM Records. It is included on recent Orbison collections on the Polydor and Rhino labels.
AGV’S newest product, a mid-priced fiberglass helmet called the Alpha, is designed to meet or exceed DOT and Snell 90 standards. The Alpha boasts an anti-scratch, anti-fog faceshield, and is available in solid white, red or black, as well as several multi-colored hues. Prices for the Alpha are $180 for solid colors, while the multi-colored helmets go for $190. The Alpha is available at local motor-cycle dealers. For more information, contact AGV, 5711 Industry Ln. #38, Frederick, MD 21701; 301/663-4550.
Acerbis exhaust plugs
Washing your dirtbike without plugging the muffler is an open invitation to a water-logged engine. Acerbis USA (9402-A Wheatlands Ct., Santee, CA 92071; 619/562-1440) has come up with a deterrent in the form of these soft-plastic exhaust plugs which simply push into the muffler and seal it from moisture. They cost $5 and are available in black, green or pink at motorcycle dealers.
Bottoming its suspension can be very unfriendly to your dirtbike’s pipe, frame rails and engine cases. MMF Racing (11783 E. Slauson Blvd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670; 310/693-9096) builds hardened aluminum skidplates that help protect these expensive components. They are available for most Japanese dirtbikes for $60 directly from MMF.
Ness Rail footpegs and shifter peg
Arlen Ness never tires of designing custom parts for Harleys. Ness’ Rail footpegs and shifter peg from Drag Specialties (P.O. Box 9336, Minneapolis, MN 55440) are his latest creations. Made of chrome-plated aluminum and steel with rubber strips for slip resistance and good looks, the shifter and footpegs provide an instant custom look. Available at dealers, the shifter peg costs $15 and the footpegs $50 a pair.
Kryptonite 7500 Series locks
Even Superman had a problem with Kryptonite. So if your average thief sees an Evolution 7500 Series lock wrapped around your bike’s fork, he may well decide to target something easier. The 7500 Series locks feature 3/4-inch U-shackles and pick-resistant, drill-proof lock cylinders. Additionally, Kryptonite claims the 7500’s 1/4-inch-thick steel deadbolt is five times stronger than its standard Overhead Cam lock. Kryptonite backs up its claims with a $500 guarantee against theft of a motorcycle secured with one of these locks. Three sizes of the 7500 Series locks are available, priced between $70 and $90. For more information, contact Kryptonite at 320 Turnpike St., Canton, MA 02021; 617/828-6655, or see your local motorcycle shop.
Sims & Rohm valvecover bolts
If your Suzuki sportbike leaks oil around its valve-cover bolts, Sims & Rohm (3265 Industrial Dr., Yuba City, CA 95993; 916/674-9123) has a solution. The firm’s CNC-machined, billet-aluminum, valve-cover bolts with O-ring seals permanently cure oil leaking, according to the manufacturer. A set of eight clear-anodized bolts with eight spare O-rings costs $54 direct from Sims & Rohm.
WHERE THERE’S smoke there’s fire, it is said. And there’s certainly plenty of smoke being generated by two companies that each claims to own the rights to the Indian motorcycle. The first is Indian Motocycle Company, of Springfield, Massachussets.
To REDUCE URBAN LEVELS of carbon monoxide, the government has mandated the use of oxygenateschiefly ethyl alcohol or MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) in pump fuel sold in selected regions of the U.S. during winter months. This tactic is being used to lean out the fuel mixtures of rich-running older cars, which have been targeted as major sources of pollution now that new vehicles have reached very low emission levels.
OSCAR RUMI WANTS TO win races. He also wants to build motorcycles. As the man behind Fred Merkel’s 1988 and 1989 World Superbike championships, he’s proven he knows how to win, and as the nephew of Dr. Donnino Rumi, who built motorcycles in Bergamo, Italy from 1948 to 1962, he has a genetic involvement with the business.
American Roadracing, the monthly tabloid dedicated, as its name implies, to motorcycle pavement competition, has come up with an interesting plan to get its readers involved in roadracing. It has formed the Speed Reader Racing Club, in which readers will have the opportunity to help sponsor racer Dale Quarterley aboard a Kawasaki at AMA Superbike races.
As you read this, one of motorsports most demanding and dangerous competition events will be drawing to a close. Called this year “Dakar ’93,” the event, which began life 15 years ago as the Paris-Dakar Rally, left Paris in late December, with competitors on their way to Capetown, South Africa, at the southernmost tip of the African continent.
IT MUST BE TEMPTING TO think that if you can win on two wheels, you can win on four wheels. But things rarely are what they seem, and that’s a lesson motorcycle champions Eddie Lawson and Jeff Ward are learning for themselves. Both are attempting the transition from their respective racebikes to Indy Lights cars, those openwheeled, naturally aspirated junior Indy cars that are the stepping stones to the 235-mph real thing.
IN BOTH BRITAIN AND Germany, manufacturers have arrived at informal agreements to limit the horsepower available from their motorcycles. In Germany, the limit is 100 horsepower, in Britain, 125; those figures arrived at by various fixes such as removable intake restrictors, timing changes and restrictive exhausts.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE is part of any business. So it is that KTM America, an affiliate of KTM Sportmotorcycle of Austria, commissioned the artists at Next World Design, in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, to take a look at what dirtbikes of the future might look like.
Beautifully back-lighted on this issue’s cover was the new Yamaha DT1 dual-purpose bike. This versatile 250cc Single helped kick off a dual-purpose craze that would soon sweep the nation. Within a few years, more than half of all new motorcycles sold would be on/off-road models.
IN THE EVER-CHANGING DEmands of the Japanese marketplace, the day of the repli-racer seems to be fading. Dawning in its place is a rapidly growing interest in retrostyle machines, proving that even in Japan, what goes around is likely to come around again.
UP: To Headwinds Cycle Products for its “Winners wear helmets” magazine advertisement. Published in Sports Illustrated for Kids, Parents and Parenting, the advertisement shows a John Kocinskireplica Shoei with the caption “You could be a world Grand Prix motorcycle champion...winning things happen when you wear a helmet.” DOWN: To the television show “Baywatch,” for its unrealistic portrayal of motorcycling.
QUANTUM LEAP IN MOTORCYCLE DESIGN OR MERELY A DIFFERENT ANSWER TO THE SAME QUESTION?
CONSIDER HOW MANY GENUINELY NEW concepts there have been in motorcy cle technology in the last 20 years. The list is disappointingly short. Sure, there have been significant improve ments in suspension, chassis, engine, brake and tire technology over the years, but these have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
YAMAHA’S GTS1000 MAY HAVE the motorcycle world’s attention right now, but it was two years ago that Bimota launched the Tesi, the first alternate-front-suspension streetbike of the modern era. However good the hub-center Tesi was in its original form-it did indeed balance excellence with some quirks-it has continued to evolve, and Bimota has just pulled the wraps off the second generation of the bike, known as the Tesi ID ES (standing for Edizione Speciale).
A STEAMROLLING 600 THAT CAN OUTRUN ANYTHING IN ITS CLASS. AND MOST 750s.
SINCE 1991, HONDA HAS OCCUPIED high ground in the 600cc class with its CBR600F2, a machine that blends power, comfort and handling more successfully than perhaps any sportbike in recent history. The key to the CBR’s success is balance-it’s a bike that can be roadraced one weekend and ridden cross-state with a set of soft saddlebags lashed to its flanks the next.
MY FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE NEW ZX-6 was utter disappointment. Having fished around for early information, I’d somehow caught the idea that Kawasaki would be bringing a repliracer ZX-6R to the U.S. in ’93, a barebones Honda CBR600F2-rivaling sportbike that might-in the interest of close competition-stem Big Red’s tide in AMA 600cc supersport racing.
THE RUMORS HAD CIRCULATED FOR MONTHS. THEY SAID Kawasaki would in 1993 offer a redesigned ZX-6 that would be faster and better-handling than Honda’s CBR600F2, the current 600-class sales and performance leader. We were skeptical. After all, the CBR offers an almost unreal combination of power, ridability, comfort and value.
ITS FACTORY-GIVEN DESTINATION IS THE FLSTN Heritage Softail Nostalgia, but forget that cum bersome moniker. Harley-Davidson's latest limited-edition model will forever be known as the Cow Glide, thanks to genuine Holstein calfhide inserts on its seat and saddlebags.
MOTORING SOUTH ON SCENIC PACIFIC Coast Highway aboard the Heritage Softail Nostalgia, I was up to my chinstrap in Hog Heaven. Catching a glimpse of the limited-edition HarleyDavidson in a store-front window, I to my riding partner how atthe bike is, what with its classtyling, black-and-white paint and cowhide-covered seat and saddlebags.
HONDA’S AWESOME NSR500 PROVED THE BIG BANG THEORY, BUT WILL IT BE ENOUGH IN 1993?
BY KEVIN CAMERON
HONDA DEPLOYED A BRILLIANT SECRET WEAPON AT THE START OF THE 1992 GP season-the Big Bang 500cc engine-and had rider Mick Doohan not been injured mid-season, the domination he showed early on, which included wins in the opening four rounds, might have continued, seamless and invincible, to a world championship.
UNLIKE PREVIOUS TECHNICAL MILESTONES IN TWO-STROKE GP development, the benefits of the so-called Big Bang engines that swept grand prix tracks in 1992 can’t be measured in a dyno room. You have to actually ride the bikes to appreciate the significance of closing up the firing strokes so that all occur within 90 degrees of crankshaft rotation.
So YOU’RE SMITTEN BY THE LOOK OF the Paris-Dakar BMWs, Yamaha Teneres, Africa Twin Hondas, et al. You go to get your piggy bank, trip over your banged-up dual-purpose bike on the way, and shake out a paltry $199.95. What to do? One option is to visit your local motorcycle dealer and order a new Acerbis 5.1-gallon plastic fuel tank.
AS A RULE, LEATHER MOTORCYCLE Apparel is expensive. A welcome exception to this tenet is the Mr. Motorcycle GP leather package. Sold by Donelson Cycles (9851 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann, MO, 63074; 800/325-4144), this $400 assortment consists of Mr. Motorcycle two-piece riding leathers, roadrace-style gloves and Bieffe boots.
HONDA CR250R VS. KAWASAKI KX250 VS. SUZUKI RM250 VS. YAMAHA YZ250
ALL GOOD, ONE GREAT
250 MOTOCROSS COMPARISON
PURCHASING A NEW MOTOCROSS BIKE BASED ON A brand’s past performance could be a big mistake. Last year’s star can easily become this year’s alsoran. And vice versa. To find out how 1993’s crop of 250cc motocrossers shakes out, CW assembled its MX test crew of 11 riders-ranging from Pro-level to rank Novice-at Southern California’s Perris Raceway for the start of Day One.
I AWAKEN TO FIND MYSELF IN A HOTEL ROOM IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, where motorcycles are Harley-Davidsons and it's always 1950. My tele phone is shrieking its wakeup call; I've got just 30 minutes to get ready. I'm here for Cop School-more properly known as Police Motorcycle Train ing, a week-long course designed and offered by Northwestern University.
Team Cycle World at the Super Bowl of club roadracing
FINE BEADS OF MOISTURE STREAM OFF THE SUZUKI GSX-R600's WINDSCREEN and impact my helmet's faceshield. I make a conscious effort to breath lightly, but the inside of the shield insists on fogging, making it almost impossible to see the leaders as they vanish into the heavy mist that descended upon Road Atlanta Raceway an hour before the green flag signaled the start of the Suzuki National Cup Series Final.
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A box-stock racebike, not if you want to hang with the frontrunners in Suzuki Cup racing. Rules allow a certain number of alterations from stock, and Cycle World took advantage of them when building our Project GSX-R600.
Valvoline Suzuki’s Donald Jacks earned the 1992 WERA Formula USA championship with his thirdoverall finish at the series finale at Road Atlanta Raceway. Jacks, who led teammate Michael Martin by 18 points going into the final, finished the season with 122 points aboard his Tom Houseworthtuned GSX-R1100.
Because of parking restrictions here at Purdue University, where I am a freshman, I cannot bring my car onto campus. So I intend to buy a Honda CBR600F2, which I can park on campus. My question is, is it advisable to ride throughout the winter, barring any snowfall?
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.