WAYNE RAINEY RETIRED FROM RACING on September 5th. Leading the Italian Grand Prix, Rainey lost control of his works Yamaha YZR500 and was violently high-sided over the handlebars at 120 mph. By the time he stopped tumbling, the 33-year-old three-time world roadracing champion had a punctured lung and, far worse, was unable to move his legs, paralyzed from mid-chest down.
AT LONG LAST, A BOOK ABOUT TRIUMPH motorcycles that does not come from England. I thought I was going to have to write one myself, but fortunately a guy named Lindsay Brooke has done it, thereby saving me years of research and dozens of missed Triumph rides on summer afternoons.
Is THE PISTON ENGINE THE “FOREVER powerplant” for motorcycles, cars and trucks? Or is something new just around the corner, ready to sweep away our familiar technology? In 1940, railroad executives believed that the steam locomotive was set for another hundred years.
Hello...is anybody home? The Kawasaki ZX-6 as Best 600cc Streetbike over the Honda CBR600F2? Are you people crazy or what? Where do you guys get your information, from Beavis and Butt-Head? Fred L. Mannering Seattle, Washington Your choice as 1993’s Best 600 was the Kawasaki ZX-6?
The Force Field motorcycle security system from Lanico Engineering (Dept. CW, 7160 Convoy Ct., San Diego, CA 92111; 619/279-6156) uses a water-resistant, shock-proof electromagnetic sensor. When the system detects activity, warning chirps are emitted, says Lanico. The chirp rate increases until the 120-decibel siren sounds and the bike’s ignition is disabled. The Force Field security system is available for all late-model streetbikes and retails for $299.
VANSON ROCKET RIDING GLOVES
JX quality pair of leather gloves is as essential as a good helmet and leather jacket. Vanson’s new Rocket gloves are made of U.S. cowhide and feature traditional styling, a zippered cuff and a second layer of leather at the impact zones. Available in S-XL, the American-made Rocket riding gloves retail for $69 from Vanson Leathers (213 Turnpike St., Stoughton, MA 02072; 617/344-5444).
SPEED-LINE RACING ZX-7 TAILSECTION
Improving the appearance of your 1991-93 Kawasaki ZX-7 or ZX-7R is easy with a fully enclosed tailsection from Speed-Line Racing (1730 Pomona Ave., Unit 4, Costa Mesa, CA 92627; 714/646-1565). The fiberglass/Kevlar tailsections are available in either white gel-coat or factory colors for street and racing applications. Prices start at $300.
NQQ d a fuel-tank decal for your NSU Fox, your MV Agusta Turismo Rapido Extra Lusso or your 40cc Pirottino? The Continental Transfers division of England’s Vintage Motor Cycle Club has the proper decals for all kinds of obscure and off-beat European brands. For availability and pricing information, contact the VMCC at 7 Thames Close, Charfield, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England GL12 8UA.
SUDCO PERFORMANCE IGNITION COILS
Looking to boost the performance of your motorcycle’s ignition system? Sudco International offers a complete line of stock replacement and highperformance ignition coils for Japanese, British, European and HarleyDavidson motorcycles. Prices range from $33-$60, depending on the application. For more information, see your local dealer or contact Sudco International (1824 East 22nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90058; 213/747-5173).
SUZUKI FOR 1994: OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
NEVER MIND THAT Suzuki's GSX-R750 was all-new last year. It's received a makeover for 1994 as the result of a much-needed horsepower-finding/weightloss program. Only one problem: Details about this much revised GSX-R750 have been slow to arrive.
KTM is following its oddball-sized 300, 400, 540, and 550 enduro machines with a new 440 MXC two-stroke. Our short time on a pilot-production here in the U.S. for finai settings before being shipped back to Austria for production, suggests we can look for the bikes to have a wide spread of power, with more revability than the typical Open-class mount The enduro version of the engine-which has a different head and ignition than the MX version-makes torque like KTM's monster 550, yet it makes a smooth spread of power to substantially higher rpm than the 550 wants to turn.
THERE ARE RACEBIKES based on production machines, and then there are the real things, purposebuilt for racetrack warfare. You don’t have to be Mick Doohan to get your hands on one of these. Both Honda and Yamaha build and sell such machines, and Honda has just announced its 1994 models.
BIMOTA, THE ITALIAN manufacturer of highend specialty motorcycles, is on the verge of concluding an American distributorship package that would immediately launch Ducatipowered DB2s and Tesis for sale here. If concluded, it also would mean that several new machines, including the Suzuki-powered SB series and the company’s two-stroke V-Twin, likely would be sold here.
A recent study by University of Michigan researchers found that on a per-mile basis, women are 16 percent more likely than men to be involved in reportable accidents, and 26 percent more likely of being in an injury-causing wreck. The study found that woman are involved in 20 percent more rear-enders than men, and 30 percent more angle crashes.
WHEN YOU THINK OF British-engined specials, you’re most likely to think of things like the famed Tritons (Triumph engine/Norton frame), or maybe the Norvins (Norton frame/Vincent engine), right? Maybe that’s because you don’t live in Australia, where things are done just a bit differently.
It was down-and-dirty for this issue of Cycle World, which contained a special section called The Ultimates. This was an accumulation of the best dirtbikes of the day, including the Penton 125, the Maico 360, the Husky 360, a pair of Ossa Stilettos, an Ossa Plonker, a Greeves Ranger and a Sachs 125.
YOU THINK YOUR HOMEtown’s got traffic? You ought to see London’s, which is right up there on the Terrible Traffic Hit Parade with Rome, New York City and Tokyo. One way to beat it is to not own a car, or at least to not drive one while in the city.
Motorcycling may be a compelling activity, but there are times when, for a variety of reasons, it is not completely practical. If you find yourself in need of a two-wheeled fix at an inopportune time, a Spanish firm called Guiloy builds what you might need to take the edge off your longing.
WHEN HONDA INTROduced its oddball NX650 dual-purpose machine, nobody in the company that what it was really doing was introducing not a motorcycle, but an engine donor. The sturdy four-valve Single that powered the NX now powers Honda’s wonderful XR650L, the crème de la crème of dual-purpose bikes.
UP: To actor Dan Aykroyd, for working a motorcycle into his latest movie, Coneheads. Aykroyd, a long-time motorcycle enthusiast, and co-stars Jane Curtain and Nicolette Harnish were filmed aboard a Harley-Davidson sidecar outfit-complete with leather jackets, goggles and custom-painted Conehead helmets.
MOTORCYCLING’S HOTTEST LEAGUE JUST GOT A NEW player, one that seems likely to greatly enliven not only Yamaha showrooms, but also 600cc supersport racing. The new player is Yamaha’s YZF600. It’s a long-over-due stablemate for the trusty old FZR600, alongside which it will be sold in 1994.
SEVEN YEARS AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF ITS GROUNDbreaking RC30, Honda has bowed to the inevitable. The once-dominant RC30, the production Superbike that caused other manufacturers to redouble their efforts in the late ’80s, is no longer.
HONDA’S VFR750F is ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST ALLround motorcycles, offering an excellent balance of comfort, handling and performance. For 1994, the VFR receives a host of changes, including a revised fairing and a claimed 22-pound weight loss.
WHEN KAWASAKI INTRODUCED THE 900CC NINJA 10 years ago, it released that watershed bike into a class of its own, a class without competitors. By 1992 the Ninja 900 was long gone and the 900cc sportbike class again was devoid of runners. It was, that is, until Honda released its CBR900RR. Now, 10 years after the intro of that first Ninja, there’s a new 900 Ninja.
THOUGH KAWASAKI’S ENGINEERS CLEARLY SPENT A good deal of time designing and developing the ZX-9, they also had the time and budget to do a fairly thorough makeover on a bike that is one of motorcycling’s long-time favorites-the EX500, which enters 1994 in a completely revised set of clothes, rolling on bigger, better wheels and tires, and stopped by better brakes.
WHEN KAWASAKI INTRODUCED THE CONCOURS IN 1986, it promised to leave the bike unchanged for five years. Except for a few detail changes for the Concours’ second year, the company has more than made good on that promise. That’s probably good for resale value of older Concours, but it also means that the 1993 version was far from being competitive with newer, more sophisticate sport-tourers.
WHILE KAWASAKI’S 1993 KLX650R DIRT Thumper was snagging headlines in the U.S., a smaller, 249cc version was winning friends in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Now it’s our turn to sample the first new small-bore four-stroke to hit the dirtbike market in years.
JUST HOW WEIRD IS BMW’S NEW R1100GS DUAL-PUR-pose bike? The official line, espoused in the company’s European press kit, is that the GS “creates a touch of power and control ease, making do entirely without short-lived features which would merely express fleeting fashion trends.” Translation, please?
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN almost three decades, BMW will have a singlecylinder machine in its lineup. It took the efforts of three countries to bring about the F650, a dual-purpose bike that the company intends as an entry-level BMW. About as far removed from the stolid R27 of 1966 as it is possible for a motorcycle to be, the F650 uses an Austrian Rotax engine installed in running gear assembled at the Aprilia factory in northern Italy, all overseen by BMW technical personnel.
Kocinski wins; Schwantz clinches; and everyone misses Wayne
THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX AT LAGUNA Seca has returned in triumph after a year’s absence, promoted by Kenny Roberts, whose competent KR Promotions organization put attendance for the threeday event at 80,000, with 50,000 on Sunday alone.
YAMAHA’S SECA II is a true modern standard. It’s a stylish, full-size motorcycle with comfortable ergonomics, a freerevving, 598cc inline-Four and singleshock rear suspension. It is also priced affordably. At $3999, the ’93 model will conform to practically any budget.
TEAM CYCLE WORLD, NOVICE DIVISION, GOES ROADRACING
JUST HOW VERSATILE IS Yamaha’s Seca II? To find out, we headed for Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, California, where I was entered in the Novice-only Seca II Challenge race. Preparing our project bike for roadracing was fairly simple.
LET’S FACE IT, MOTORCYCLE MAINTEnance can be downright painful. Scraped knuckles, singed fingers and minor cuts are a few of the annoyances we endure for a thoroughly serviced, cleaned and polished machine. Mechanix Gloves from AXO Sport America are designed to protect your delicate digits from those not-so-uncommon scrapes and abrasions.
Three motors, tow bikes and one hell of a week at the Nevada Rally
IT SEEMED LIKE SUCH A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. BUILD UP A KAWASAKI KLX650R and enter it in the Acerbis Nevada Rally, a seven-day, 2000-mile test of man and machine, the first international rally-style race ever held in Á the United States. Kawasaki’s big Thumper makes a great playbike, but has two weaknesses for competition use: its paltry fuel range and a tendency to overheat.
Miguel DuHamel and his Rob Muzzy-backed Kawasaki ZX-6 proved nearly invincible in this year's AMA 600cc supersport class. DuHamel clinched the national championship at the penultimate Mid-Ohio round, his sixth win in nine outings. Rather than take a holiday, the French-Canadian-who last year rode for Yamaha France in 500cc GP competition—capped off the '93 season in grand fashion with supersport win number seven at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma.
I have a 1993 Kawasaki ZX-6 D-4 and was wondering if you could tell me what the maximum horsepower output is for this machine. I have asked several dealers in my area and all of them have given me different answers. I'm confused. R. Scott Cloninger Dallas, North Carolina Believe it or not, every one of those dealers might have been correct, depending upon their sources for horsepower ratings.
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.