BUYING A HOUSE IS A TERRIBLE THING. Not only does it take up every last drop of savings-account money—funds that rightfully should be used for the procurement of 1970 Indian Enfields and 1956 Gilera Bicilindrica 300s—it forces other, equally traumatic sacrifices.
TRUE STORY. WHEN MY BOYHOOD FRIEND Pat Donnelly was in his early teens, he was invited to a birthday party on the family farm of his classmate, Conrad Shaker. Conrad had a horse and saddled him up so all the kids at the party could take a ride. Pat, who had never been on a horse before, climbed into the saddle and gave the horse a gentle prod with his heels.
CADILLAC PULLED UP TO A HUNDRED AND four/My Ford got hot and wouldn’t do no more. So sang Chuck Berry in his memorable song "Maybelline," which concerns the pursuit, in a V-Eight Ford, of an elusive lady in a Cadillac. The V-Eight is surely the classic flathead, a 1930s design that was long in the tooth at the time of the song (1950s).
Looking for a quick and effective way to elevate your motorcycle’s front wheel? Why not consider a Quick Lift front stand from Two Brothers Racing? The Quick Lift is manufactured from tubular steel and powder coated for corrosion resistance. It fits most motorcycles, says TBR, and retails for $120 from motorcycle dealers or Two Brothers Racing (1842 Windsor Ln., Santa Ana, CA 92705; 714/832-5504).
CONSOLIDATED FASTENER KIT
Substitute damaged or missing bolts, nuts and washers with aircraft-quality steel replacements from Consolidated Racing Fasteners (136 South Park, San Francisco, CA 94107; 415/543-1925). The 365-piece kits were developed specifically for motorcyclists, says Consolidated, and include commonly sized metric bolts and nuts, as well as flat washers, hitch pins and annealed crush washers. Each kit comes with a plastic storage container, and costs $40.
PROTEC WOMEN’S MOTORCYCLE JACKET
Protec has expanded its line of leather apparel to include women’s designs. The cowhide 207 jacket features a fold-down collar, embossed shoulders, breast and handwarmer pockets, conchos, fringe and zippered sleeves. The jacket is available in sizes 6-24, and retails for $185 from motorcycle dealers. For additional information, contact Protec Leather Apparel (40 Christa McAuliffe Blvd., Plymouth, MA 02360; 508/747-4494).
If your bike isn’t chewing up the road, maybe you need some new teeth. Coyote Sprockets are manufactured from 7075-T6 aluminum and are available for late-model Japanese sportbikes in a variety of colors. Special orders are also accepted. Prices start at $60. For more information, contact Coyote Sprockets (14 N.E. 1st Ave., Suite 1505, Miami, FL 33132; 305/377-8630).
MUZZY TITANIUM EXHAUST
Shave acceleration-robbing weight from your '91-'94 Kawasaki ZX-7 or ZX-7R with a titanium exhaust system from Muzzy's (63017 Sherman Rd., Bend, OR 97701; 503/385-0706). The 4-into-l Muzzy Lite system weighs a claimed 5.25 pounds, and includes a carbon-fiber canister with an integrated carbon-fiber mounting bracket. Retail price for the Muzzy Lite exhaust is $795.
DECHELLIS CASE GUARDS AND COOLANT TUBE
Case guards for Suzuki’s liquid-cooled GSX-R600/750/1100s are now available from DeChellis Machine (1725 Monrovia Ave., Unit B-4, Costa Mesa, CA 92627; 714/631-5361). The bolt-on guards protect the engine cases and vulnerable oil-galley plugs in the event of a crash, says DeChellis, and are available in steel (powder-coated blue) or aluminum (plain or anodized) for $65, or stainless steel for $20 more. DeChellis’ stainless-steel coolant tube relocates the lower water hose, and costs $75 for GSX-R600 and 750s, $55 for GSX-R1100s. Prices include mounting hardware.
Ted is a long-time staffer in charge of among other things, spell-checking and figuring out exchange rates.
Picture this. Doug Polen flashes out of the infield up onto the banking, his V-Four RC45 growling like a junkyard dog. It’s the last lap of the Daytona 200. But what’s this? Miguel DuHamel comes by on the inside, his Harley-Davidson V-Twin's bass exhaust note rattling the Honda's fairing as he goes by to take the checkered flag.
SUPERMOTARD RACing (see Cycle World, February, 1994) has spawned two road machines based on the dirt-street hybrids. Husqvarna has one and Cagiva will debut its own version later this year. Cagiva’s machine will be the 600cc Super City, and is expected to appear at October’s Cologne Show.
A DUCATI WITH FACTORY-installed saddlebags may sound like a health food restaurant selling chicken-fried steak, but the company will sell such a bike, says Ducati’s Massimo Bordi. A prototype, using a 900cc air-cooled desmo V-Twin has been built, but no final decisions have been made about a powerplant.
AN 1100cc BMW standard, seen here undergoing tests in Germany, is coming here soon, according to a BMW spokesman. It will replace the R100R standard. "It will be the next bike, after we introduce the new version of the GS," says the spokesman.
There's new hope for investment in Norton, now that owner Nelson Skalbania has maneuvered around Canadian stock regulators, who blocked sales of his company's stock while probing the Norton deal (see "Norton on the Rocks," Cycle World, March, 1994).
Eleven states are considering laws that would require motorcyclists to wear helmets, according to the American Motorcyclist Association. Legislation has been introduced in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Utah.
VESPA IS RETURNING TO the United States around year's end, with two models and a total of 1000 scooters, says Scott Chain, president of Vespa USA. The classic PX200E and the more contemporary Cosa II 200 will be imported from Italy under an agreement Chain reached with Piaggio, the company that owns Vespa.
Yamaha's 10-valve Twin, first seen in the now-discontinued TDM850, is expected to power a more sporting motorcycle said to be the Japanese answer to the Ducati 900SS, according to European sources. The bike is expected to appear at the Cologne Show in October.
Growth of the cruiser market has stretched to Czechoslovakia. Jawa has introduced the Chopper, a 350cc two-stroke. The bike uses a gas tank from an old Jawa and retains a cruiser-look, four-stroke-style exhaust. Cruisers are apparently hot in Argentina, which is where Jawa shipped its first large Chopper order.
A 405cc Husqvarna Cross muscled its way onto the Cycle World cover a quarter century ago and quickly found a place in staffers' hearts. "Fabulous" was the term used to describe the Swedish factory's big two-stroke Single. Especially worthy of such enthusiastic praise: a broad smooth powerband and "roto-rooter torque characteristics" that made the Husky "one of the best handling motorcross machines available."
KTM IS OUT TO GRAB more of the Pee-Wee racing market, which has belonged almost exclusively to Yamaha's PW50 in recent years. KTM has put its name and look on two bikes, the SX-3 and the SX, which are produced by LEM, an Italian company. The SX is competition legal in most racing organizations and carries a suggested retail of $1048.
Two new Triumphs will join the line when the British marque hits the U.S. in 1995. A 900cc bike will feature a twin-spar aluminum frame, the style of choice for most serious sportbikes. An unnamed British company, believed to be Spondon, will build the frames, which will allow sharper handling than is possible with the current frame's conservative steering geometry.
The American look remains popular in Japan, as evidenced by Kawasaki's new Eliminator 400 with a hot-rod custom paint job. Lest there be any doubt that the American image is what Kawasaki is after, the Eliminator brochure prominently features a jazz club, Jack Daniels whiskey and Marlboro cigarettes.
NINE YEARS AFTER ITS much-ballyhooed debut, BMW’s K75S remains integral to the company's two-wheeled lineup, even in the presence of the all-new Boxer and revamped four-cylinder machines. The sporty K75S evolved from the standard-style K75C and touring-oriented K75T. Aside from the addition of a swoopy three-quarter fairing and lower cowling, the most significant differences between the bikes were suspension related.
UP: To Alcoa, makers of vinyl window frames and other building products, for using a Harley-Davidson in its advertisement that boasts of the durability of Alcoa frames. The Dyna Low Rider in the back-ground draws on H-D's reputation for made-in-the-USA quality.
HONDA CBR900RR VS. KAWASAKI ZX-9R VS. SUZUKI RF900R
TODAY, CLASS, THE SUBJECT IS THE NOTION THAT "Less is More." You doubt that the concept of "less" is anything but the total and exact opposite of the concept of "more? " You shouldn’t. Anything is possible, and here we offer three motorcycles as examples of this.
THE OLD LADY AT THE VILLAGE GAS PUMP NEAR Pesaro knew what the Ducati 916 was, all right. "It's magnificent!" she told me, "You're very lucky to have such a nice bike to ride on such a lovely day." And so I was. I was loose on the roads of the Republic of San Marino, a few days before the bike's official launch, for a full day's real-world riding on the first road-registered production 916 to leave the Bologna factory.
THE NEW TRIUMPH COMPANY'S approach to motorcycle development has brought a gradual evolution that may seem excessively cautious to some people. It isn't, though; it represents a hard-headed decision not to live beyond the company's technological and commercial means.
WHEN LUIGI SEGALE SET OUT TO build a hand-crafted, limited-edition motorcycle, the respected Italian designer started with the best: the ultra-slim, 16-valve dohc, 70 x 58mm motor that ignites Honda's CBR900RR. Since its introduction in 1992, the sharp-edged, swift-steering CBR has set the standard in street-superbike behavior.
Italian national hero, 15-time world champion, Hailwood nemesis, he defined roadracing in the l960s
PARENTS NEVER know what may come of it when a child is given a chemistry set, a baseball glove or a small motorbike. In the early 1950s, Sr. Agostini, proprietor of a construction-and-transport business, brought home a Vespa scooter to his son Giacomo.
Italian schoolboy’s dream, a rolling red-and-white tribute to MV Agusta’s grand prix dominance
I ADMIT IT. I'M SUCKER FOR A GOOD gas tank. With this 1960 MV Agusta 125, the latest addition to my eclectic collection of two-wheelers, I was a goner from the word go. Sniffing out a feature story, I came across the MV in Southern California's San Fernando Valley, one bike in a fleet of more than 300 owned by a gentleman with a serious affliction for sub-500cc Italian roadbikes.
A DECADE AGO, YAMAHA'S FJ600 WAS WINNING everything in sight. It was the chosen tool with which many of today's top racers cut their teeth; most notably, 500cc GP World Champion Kevin Schwantz. In 1989, Yamaha again gained widespread control of 600cc roadracing with the introduction of the FZR600.
AT THE MILAN SHOW LAST OCTOBER, THE BIMOTA display held a variety of Ducatiand Suzuki-powered gems that got lots of attention. Lost in the showtime, showbiz swirl was a model that deserved equal scrutiny. It's the YB9SR, a new 600-class sportbike powered by Yamaha's YZF600 engine.
WHEN A NEW BIKE IS INTRODUCED, IT CALLS FOR A reassessment of the class pecking order. When you have two all-new bikes, a class veteran with significant updates and a reigning champ that's gone unchanged, the bell tolls for a shootout. We took the four premier middleweight sportbikes-Yamaha's long-awaited YZF600R, Suzuki's RF600R, Honda's newly suspended CBR600F2 and Kawasaki's powerful ZX-6-and jumped them through the hoops of a multi-phase testing regimen.
IF YOU LIKE THEM, chances are you don't tell anyone. And it's hard to blame you. But let me be an example. I'll come out of the closet, or perhaps more accurately, wheel out of the garage. It’s time to reveal my passion for the red-headed stepchildren of the two-wheel family: scooters.
Comfort. Most scooters have supple, well-contoured, no-numbbutt saddles that leave your posterior feeling fine after a day-long ride. They put many a motorcycle seat to shame. Aerodynamics. One of the benefits of small wheels is a lower front profile, which reduces drag and helps performance, especially at top speeds.
THE ELECTRA GLIDE SPORT IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING
THE NAME EVOKES EXPECTATIONS OF SERIOUS GOODS. SAY IT, "ROAD KING." Two SYLLABLES, TO THE POINT. IT'S a name people repeat when they hear it. The King, officially the FLHR Electra Glide Road King, carries on the tradition of the now-deposed Electra Glide Sport, itself an updated rendition of 1950s Harley tourers.
HONDA CR125 vs. KAWASAKI KX125 vs. SUZUKI RM125 vs. YAMAHA YZ125
THINK ABOUT IT. FOR ABOUT $5000 YOU COULD GET INTO 125CC MOTOCROSS. NOT IN A BUDGETracer class, either. We're talking full-blown, bar-banging stuff, just like the supercross you see on television. Not possible? Wrong. With the 125cc motocrossers you see here and an additional 800 bucks for a top-flight set of gear, you could line up at the gate with the Pro class and win-if your skill levels were up to it.
polen and Russell rate the field, make their picks
Jon F. Thompson
ANYBODY OUT THERE INTERESTed in winning the AMA Superbike Championship this year, listen up. Cycle World recently talked with two of the best Superbike racers on the planet about how it’s done. The news is good. All you need is lots of talent, a great bike, a great team, huge amounts of poise and consistency, and a fair degree of luck.
World Champion Kevin Schwantz recently served notice that he has no intention of relinquishing his number-one plate without a fight. In the second of a comprehensive series of pre-season test sessions, Schwantz lapped Australia’s Eastern Creek GP course aboard a prototype of his 1994 Suzuki RGV500 at 1:31.4, unofficially equaling the lap record set by Michael Doohan in the 1992 Australian GP. Eastern Creek is the site of the 1994 season opener March 27.
I ride a BMW R1100RS and my husband rides a Honda CBR1000F. He is religious about putting his bike on the centerstand, even during short stops, while I leave mine on the sidestand for days at a time. I can get my bike on its centerstand without help, but it can be a challenge.