NOSTALGIA IS LOOSE UPON THE LAND. Bell-bottoms are back in style, the nation’s number-one box-office hit, The Fugitive, is based on a 1960s TV show, and in a truly frightening development, nightclubbers are once again dancing to the beat of honest-to-Travolta disco music.
IT WAS AN END-OF-DAY STOP MADE IN heaven. Nice little motel back in the trees, a cafe of the Mom’s Home Cooking variety just across the highway, sun going down on a ground-pounding 500-mile day of touring. Only one car parked at the motel. Lots of vacancy, no doubt.
MUCH OF THE POWER GAIN ACHIEVED in Superbike engines in the past five years has come from friction reduction. Engines operating at moderate rpm levels have mechanical efficiency near 85 percent, which is to say that, of the power produced at the piston crown, only 15 percent is consumed in mechanical friction.
Bravo! I’ve been wanting to see more about the Ducati Supermono since the brief write-up in August’s Roundup. What a great surprise to see it on the cover in September. With 600cc Fours weighing 500 pounds, it has become obvious that less is more, especially if curves are on the menu.
Vetter’s Full Force jacket was created for the budget-conscious performance rider. The jacket is produced from 1.1-to-1.3mm top-grain drumdyed leather and features underarm ventilation, a dropped back, precurved sleeves and double leather at the shoulders and elbows. Two color combinations are available (red/black/gray and purple/black/gray); both carry a suggested retail price of $250. Contact your local dealer or Intersport Fashions West (333 S. Anita Dr., Suite 1025, Orange, CA 92668; 714/978-7718).
$13, plus $2
Shocked at the price of replacement faceshields? The new ShammyShield from Clean-Rite (P.O. Box 43526, Atlanta, GA 30378-3101; 800/241-3808) is designed to protect expensive faceshields from dirt and scratches. It also doubles as a non-abrasive polishing cloth, claims the manufacturer. Made of soft-yet-durable synthetic chamois, the ShammyShield costs $13, plus $2 shipping, from Clean-Rite.
Three measly bucks may not buy much these days, but they will procure the latest catalog from Xtreme. The 12-page color catalog showcases Xtreme’s line of off-road jerseys, pants and gloves, as well as its latest T-shirts, hats, gearbags and decals. For your copy, contact Xtreme (5431 Avenida Encinas, Suite B, Carlsbad, CA 92008; 619/431-6817).
MARVIC MAGNESIUM WHEELS
$595 each, rears cost $975
Marvic’s sand-cast magnesium wheels are claimed to be significantly lighter than standard rims for less unsprung weight and reduced rotating mass. Yoshimura R&D of America (4555 Carter Court, Chino, CA 91710; 909/628-4722) can provide you with a pair, in 3.75-inch front, 6.00- or 6.25-inch rear, complete with cush drive and spacers to fit most late-model sportbikes. The fronts go for $595 each, rears cost $975.
Is your sportbike’s fuel tank scarred with unsightly dings and scratches? Why not fit a Designer Tank Skin from Second Look (P.O. Box 661721, Sacramento, CA 95866; 916/920-8113). Color-matched for each application, the tank skins attach securely with nylon hooks and cover the rear half of the fuel tank. Second Look Designer Tank Skins carry a suggested retail of $70 and are available for selected post-’87 sportbikes.
NORTECH ONE-STEP CYCLE CLEANER
One-Step Cycle Cleaner from Nortech Cycle Systems (RR 2 Box 283 AC, Sparta, NC 28675; 800/447-9630) is a pH-balanced, environmentally friendly grit-and-grime remover. Just spray it on and rinse it off, says the manufacturer. One-Step costs $10.95 per quart and is also available in 1-gallon refills.
TRIUMPH JUST KEEPS ON rollin’ with interesting new models—the two most recent are a pair of Triples scheduled for introduction at September’s Paris Motor Show. The first is a fully faired, lightweight version of the 900 Daytona that probably will be called the Super Three, and the second is an unfaired standard to be named the Speed Triple.
Two years ago KTM teetered on the brink of financial chaos, but the Austrian company’s managers fought back. As a result, the company not only survives, but slowly is expanding. Evidence of this will be seen at this year’s Milan show with the launch of the KTM Duke, a 600cc four-stroke Single dual-purpose bike.
IF YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE WHO believe that More Is Better, and if you own a Ducati 900SS, ex-Canadian Ducati/Laverda/Bimota importer Francesco Romanelli (Romanelli Engineering, 1977 Notre-Dame Ave., Lachine, Quebec H8F 2G1, Canada; 514/637-0388), has news for you.
Thank heaven for human curiosity, and also for telephoto lenses. Those two elements combined to capture, in these unauthorized photographs, painted and unpainted prototypes of Ducati’s 916 SP6 undergoing testing at an undisclosed Italian racetrack.
Daytona Beach will put its own spin on the traditional German Oktoberfest harvest celebration by staging what it calls Biketoberfest over the October 22-24 weekend. The weekend’s highlight will be the AMA Championship Cup series finale at Daytona International Speedway.
BIMOTA IS STILL WITHOUT a commercial representative in the U.S., even while existing bikes, dumped on the market en masse by the company that held the paper on them, are sold off at fire-sale prices. But that hasn’t kept Bimota from celebrating 1994 not only with a surprising list of new models, but with the announcement of an additional engine supplier.
THE FLAGSHIP 916 SUPERbike may be the big news from Bologna for the 1994 model year, but there are smaller ’94 Ducks lined up behind this flagship model. These include a 600cc M600 Monster and a revised version of the 750SS sportbike. The M600 will use a sleeved-down version of the air-cooled, two-valve V-Twin engine, and will produce about 50 horsepower—down about 10 horses from the 750.
Irishman Sammy Miller, the premier trials rider of the era, made an appearance on this issue’s cover, in a photo that depicted him cleaning a section at Southern California’s Saddleback Park aboard his Bultaco trials bike. A feature story titled “Supersam at Saddleback” covered Miller’s exploits during a two-day trials school and competition, a part of the champion’s six-week tour of the States to promote the sport of trials.
AFTER HAVING SPENT FIVE years developing it, Dutch suspension specialist WP now says its Monoarm front suspension (see Cycle World, April, 1990) is ready. For demonstration purposes, the system is mated to a Honda CBR600F2 and is making the rounds of the European motorcycle factories in hopes of drumming up some interest in its use.
Sure, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Picasso were great artists, but they never put motorcycles on canvas. Rick Finn, a self-described “hot-rod artist,” has. His paintings of cars and bikes are displayed in several Southern California galleries, and if you’d like to have your machine immortalized in oil paint and hanging on your living-room wall, he accepts commissions.
FINDING A PROPER TOURING bike is no problem. Finding one that breaks with the bigger-is-better tradition, however, can be a problem. Mostly, you either opt for a sound-systemed, air-compressored, large-capacity machine from Harley-Davidson or one of the Japanese manufacturers. Or you do without.
UP: To Racers Editions, for celebrating American motorcycle racing’s rich history when it released the first in a series of museum-quality lithographs. The three premier prints are exact reproductions of 1950s Indian victory posters featuring factory riders Bobby Hill, Bill Tuman and Ernie Beckman—the famed “Indian Wrecking Crew.”
ONE OF MOTORCYCLING’S TRULY GOOD THINGS HAS been Suzuki’s Katana line of sport-touring bikes—user-friendly machines offering an extraordinary balance of value and performance. The preliminary hint of that line’s demise was sounded last year, however, when Suzuki introduced its smoothly styled and liquid-cooled RF600RR—obviously an eventual replacement for the Katana 600—in Canada and Europe.
TWO YEARS AGO, SUZUKI INTRODUCED ITS LIQUID-cooled GSX-R750, replacing the veteran air-oil-cooled lineage. The previous machine had served well through a long developmental and sales history, but a new design was needed to meet strong competition.
NEARLY A DECADE AFTER ITS 1985 INTRODUCTION, THE YAMAHA V-MAX still reigns as King of the Muscle Cruisers. Most of the pretenders to the throne have long been dead and buried, leaving Mr. Max with a kingdom to himself. And while the aging monarch can no longer claim to be the world’s most powerful production motorcycle, there’s still plenty of respect and admiration among the people for this brute of a bike.
The world’s most famous Ducati? Try Cook Neilson’s 1970s SS Superbike. Done as an after-hours Cycle magazine project, lovingly tuned by Phil Schilling and built with extensive help from the aftermarket, it became known as the California Hot Rod or more familiarly “Old Blue,” and put Ducati on the U.S.
THE ROAD-GOING VERSION OF Doug Polen's Superbike is not for sale in America. Or is it? Well, it is for sale, but only if you promise not to do any road-going. Know what we mean, wink-wink, nudge-nudge? The 888 SP5 can be legally imported if the buyer declares it will not be operated on the King's highways.
What if You Built the World’s Trickest Moto Guzzi and Nobody Came?
ONE OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS IN MOTORCYCLING IS ALIVE and well and has taken to the streets in Italy. Only trouble is, nobody knows about the hottest Moto Guzzi going. “We’re very disappointed to have no orders,” says Arturo Magni, legendary former race director for MV Agusta and presently Italy’s leading specialist chassis constructor for Moto Guzzi-powered sportbikes.
INTERSPORT FASHIONS WEST'S NEW LINE of bargain-priced riding wear is marketed under the Vetter name, a name you'll recognize if you've been around motorcycles a while. The goal with the Vetter line is to provide genuine heavy-duty motorcycle gear at an affordable price.
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER YOUR sport-riding desires are fulfilled on the track or street; wherever you ride, a purpose-built motorcycle boot should be part of your wardrobe. Acerbis USA (9402-A Wheatlands Ct., Santee, CA 92071; 619/562-1440) is the exclusive U.S.
MOTORCYCLE JACKETS COME IN ALL shapes and styles, but for all-around usability, it’s tough to beat the classic Belstaff. Waterproof, belted and multi-pocketed, the British-made Belstaff has been a staple in motorcycling since the 1950s.
IT WAS THE WORLD'S FIRST PRODUCTION SUPERBIKE, A thundering 1000cc V-Twin good for 100 mph almost 70 years ago. It won countless races, set numerous world speed records and became known as the "Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles." It was the Brough Superior SS100, and up until World War II, nothing on two wheels came close to matching it.
GEORGE BROUGH WAS ARGUABLY THE FIRST GREAT builder of two-wheeled specials, combining his own frames with bought-in engines and other parts to produce bikes that were innovative, exclusive, expensive and, above all, fast. Never one to sell his products short, he named his first machine the Superior—to the displeasure of his motorcycle-engineer father, W.E. Brough, whose comment was, “I suppose that makes mine the Inferior?” George’s bikes were superior, as they proved with a string of race wins and speed records in the 1920s—ridden by Brough himself, and by other legendary figures such as Freddy Dixon and Bert le Vack.
IT SEEMED FOR a while that all anybody would see or hear of a reborn Indian motorcycle would be found in the blizzard of legal paperwork blowing between the two men each intent on resurrecting the grand old made-in-the-USA marque. But now, Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Inc. boss Wayne Baughman has uncloaked the first prototype of a machine he says will be the 1995 Indian Chief.
OUT OF THE SHADOWS, A BRITISH V-TWIN BUILT IN THE USA
DON’T LOOK NOW, BUT YOU CAN add the legendary Vincent name to the growing list of retro-bikes. Headed by Eagle One car-care empressario Bernard Li, Black Eagle Motorcycles, based in Southern California, is set to sell an updated, made-in-America version of the classic 1950s British road burner.
WE RIDE JEREMY McGRATH’S CR250, TEAM GREEN’S BAJA KX500 AND KTM’S CHAMPION THUMPER
IF THE BAJA 1000 IS THE TOUGHEST off-road race in the world, then for the past five years Kawasaki has had the world’s toughest off-road bike in the form of a modified KX500. How much effort does it take to put a bike into the Baja 1000 winners’ circle for five consecutive years?
YOU’RE SITTING IN THE STANDS AT one of the 1993 Camel supercrosses to witness Honda’s sensational Jeremy McGrath take the checkers en route to winning the series championship in his rookie season. Like most of the 600,000 fans that go to supercrosses during the year, you’d give almost anything to burn off a few gallons of pre-mix aboard his bike.
FIRE-BREATHING, ROOST-SLINGING, ear-splitting four-strokes have got to be the best spectator show in motocross. At least that's the theory behind the Sound of Thunder Series, a five-event West Coast program sponsored by Maxxis Tires and Cellular One.
Fast becoming the world's premier four-stroke race
Rainey leads 500 GP title chase
Quarterley victorious at Mid-Ohio
Russell leads World Superbike series
Kiedrowski takes 250cc Outdoor National Championship
Toland wins Spa 24-Hour
THOSE WHO SUBSCRIBE TO THE THEORY THAT REAL roadrace bikes have to be grand prix-style two-strokes should listen to four-time world champion Eddie Lawson talk about the Superbike-derived 750s that competed in Japan’s Suzuka 8-Hour endurance race.
I do my own service work on my Honda and needed an oil-filter wrench to remove and install the bike’s spin-on oil filter. My Honda dealer told me that neither Honda nor any aftermarket supplier offers any type of tool to fit these filters. I asked the dealer how he got the filters off and was told, “The best way we can.”
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.