DUCATI’S NEW 916 IS MORE THAN drop-dead gorgeous, more than a technological tour de force. It’s the final element in a success story that has seen the Italian motorcycle industry go from being the butt of jokes to world leadership. Italian bikes in general have always been more about heart than hardware, more about passion than parts.
LAST WEEK I FINALLY BOUGHT MYSELF a pair of leather riding pants-street leather bottoms, I guess you’d call them. They have plastic inserts for knee and shin protection, and closedcell foam where the hip bones meet the ground. Or could.
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MOTORCYCLE paint and painting started out bravely enough. I took my first machine all to pieces, painted the steel parts royal blue and red, and reassembled it. I ought to have been pleased, but I wasn’t. Underneath all that soft spray-can color, I knew that my bike was still the same junky BSA 125 Bantam that it had been before I sprayed it.
There seems to be a real political incorrectness about the April “Mega Motors” issue of Cycle World-monster wheelies, crossed-up powerslides and smokey burn-outs. I like it! Robert Henry Conshohoken, Pennsylvania As summer approaches and the days for riding grow more and more plentiful, perhaps it’s time we remind ourselves to be extra careful on those first long rides of the year.
STOP Anti-Theft Systems (P.O. Box 456, Beaverton, OR 97075; 800/5367852) has announced its new line of motorcycle security systems. The S-300 Professional ($200) has a radar proximity sensor designed to warn potential thieves before they touch the bike. Other standard features include an electronic impact sensor, ignition-tamper protection and remote-control operation. STOP also offers the less-expensive S-100 ($100) and S-200 ($150), both of which can be upgraded to offer the same protection as the top-of-the-line S-300, says the manufacturer.
STOP Anti-Theft Systems
Arai’s DOTand Snell 90-approved DS Dual Sport helmet features both off-road and street configurations. Other highlights include a tool-less faceshield-changing system, a one-piece EPS-lined rock guard, a removable rubber breath mask and a host of intake and exhaust vents. Five versions-white ($432), black ($442) and three multi-color Djin styles ($498)-are available, each in XS-XXL sizes. A faceshield, off-road visor and conversion parts are included. For more information, contact your local dealer or Arai Helmets U.S.A., Dept. DSPR, P.O. Box 9485, Daytona Beach, FL 34120; 717/682-8001.
STOP Anti-Theft Systems
CARBON WORKS GAUGE AND TRIPLE-TREE PANELS
$25 and $20
Enhance the appearance of your late-model repli-racer with a Carbon Works Gauge Panel or Triple Tree Cover from Lockhart Phillips, U.S.A. (991 Calle Negocio, San Clemente, CA 92673; 714/498-9090). The carbon-fiber and composite panels are available for most modern sportbikes, and mount with supplied hardware and double-sided tape. Suggested retail prices for the Carbon Works Gauge Panel and Triple Tree Cover are $25 and $20, from motorcycle dealers.
STOP Anti-Theft Systems
COBRA BOULEVARD FATTY SHOTGUN EXHAUST
Interested in customizing your 600 or 1100cc Honda Shadow? Why not consider a Boulevard Fatty Shotgun exhaust system from Cobra Engineering (4760 E. Bryson St., Anaheim, CA 92807; 714/779-7798). The 2 1/4-inch, triple-chrome-plated steel pipes are designed to completely replace the stock exhaust system, and feature removable baffles. The Boulevard Fatty Shotgun exhaust retails for $250 from motorcycle dealers. Rejetting is required, says Cobra, which offers the appropriate kit for an additional $80. □
STOP Anti-Theft Systems (P.O. Box 456, Beaverton, OR 97075; 800/5367852) has announced its new line of motorcycle security systems. The S-300 Professional ($200) has a radar proximity sensor designed to warn potential thieves before they touch the bike.
A PRILIA WILL CHALLENGE home-country rival Ducati by introducing its own line of four-stroke V Twin sportbikes in early 1996. Rotax-designed engines were originally intended for large displacement Aprilia cruisers and dual-purpose bikes now being developed, but Aprilia’s own engine work has boosted performance to levels sufficient for sportbikes, says England’s Motor Cycle News.
IT IS ONLY LOGICAL THAT BMW is considering production of new Singles. Its F650 Funduro dual-purpose bike is a hot seller in Europe, and has piqued the interest of U.S. enthusiasts. “There are two possibilities,” says Hans Sautter, a BMW spokesman in Germany.
AYNE RAINEY HAS returned to GP racing as the owner of Marlboro Team Rainey, just six months after being paralyzed in a racing accident. The team is competing in the 250cc class with Kenny Roberts Jr. aboard a Yamaha TZM250. Rainey, who says he’s fit, strong and excited by what lies ahead, announced the new team at the Australian Grand Prix, the year’s first GP. It was his first public appearance since he was injured, and support from fans and competitors was immense.
The latest word from Italy is that the long-awaited Morbidelli 850cc V-Eight, dubbed the 850S, will debut this summer. Details about the bike are emerging as that date draws near. The fuel-injected engine is expected to be just 16.3 inches long, 17.5 inches wide and 17.1 inches high, and weigh less than 150 pounds.
BROOK HENRY, THE MAN behind Vee Two, an Australian company that makes high-performance Ducati parts and complete bikes, has come up with another winner, a Ducati Imola replica. Henry, creator of the Alchemy, (see Roundup, Cycle World, February, 1991) didn’t copy the Imola.
CALIFORNIA GETS LAND USE LIMITS, MORE STATES TO FOLLOW?
California’s desert riders will apparently lose a huge chunk of prime riding area, now that the U.S. Senate has passed the California Desert Protection Act. Millions of acres now used by off-high-way-vehicle enthusiasts will likely become off-limits.
BMW has released five limited-edition bikes, with features ranging from special paint to new bodywork. The R100R Mystic gets the most mods, with new seat, tailsection, battery cover, handlebar, headlight supports, instrument holders and rear turnsignal supports.
The Vietnam War was raging, making its mark on the American consciousness. Motorcycles, too, were part of the Vietnam experience, and this issue had the stories. • In Roundup, we noted that hundreds of U.S. soldiers had bought bikes there, or had their motorcycles shipped over.
KAWASAKI SEEMS SET TO turn up the wick on the boiling-hot 600cc class with the expected introduction of its ZX-6R, a sportbike more narrowly focused than the current ZX-6. Sources in Japan and England say the motorcycle will hit the market in late 1995.
Buell Motorcycle Company anticipates that buyers of its Harley-Davidson-powered Thunderbolt (see CW, June, 1994) will be eager to personalize their new machines. To that end, the Wisconsin-based manufacturer is gearing up to market an extensive line of sport-touring accessories.
KAWASAKI CONCOURS Laughing all the way to the bank
IT IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT of our technologically driven world that there’s no such thing as remaining static. For while you stand pat, your competitors continue their progress. By standing still, you fall behind. That’s what’s happened to Kawasaki’s Concours.
UP: To the city of Santa Paula, California, for co-sponsoring “Splinter Road,” a board-track motorcycle racing exhibit. The exhibit includes several rare, old racebikes, as well as information about the sport and the men who rode the bikes on banked wooden tracks.
DUCATI UNCORKS THE MOST EXCITING MOTORCYCLE OF 1994
EHOLD, THE LATEST ULTIMATE SPORTBIKE. IT’S got motor, it’s got chassis, it’s got grace, it’s got beauty. It’s Ducati’s 916, and it seems poised to influence motorcycle design for at least the next several years. We’d bet our leathers on it.
HAS THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW 916 SIGNALED THE obsolescence of all pre-existing Ducatis? Well, for 900SS owners, at least, perhaps it’s not time just yet to make room in the garage for the latest liquid-cooled Italian art piece. Fast By Ferracci (1641 Easton Rd., Willow Grove, PA 19090; 215/657-1276) has the parts and services capable of breathing new life into the popular air-cooled Twin.
SETTING YOURSELF UP AS THE ULTIMATE IN YOUR FIELD IS always a risky business, but with The Ultimate Motorcycle Book, author Hugo Wilson has made good on the hype. This 192-page coffee-table book, heavy on photographs and light on text, is fascinating to thumb through and gives the reader a leisurely overview of motorcycling from its earliest times right up to today’s wonderbikes.
HE WAS THE ARCHETYPAL big-screen bad guy: brash and bold, with a baritone voice that became his signature. No surprise that Lee Marvin was also a rider, an image the actor cemented with his defiant performance as Chino in the infamous cinema classic, The Wild One.
A FORMER RACER REMEMBERS THE CLEAN CHARM OF DIRTY DESERT SLEDS
IT’S DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE NOW THAT regulations seem more common in the wilderness than jackrabbits or sagebrush, but not too long ago the desert was a giant racetrack. Especially in the sandy hills of Southern California, where about 40 area racing clubs competed nearly every weekend, and so-called “desert sleds” ruled the region.
FROM THE WILD ONE TO THE MARLBORO MAN, A COLLECTION OF CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE VIDEOS
HERE’S movies A available LIST OF on MOTORCYCLE video, from the famous to the overlooked to the deservedly obscure: THE WILD ONE (1954) Biker-flick prototype features rebel Marlon Brando as anti-social gang leader who makes a big show of how alienated he is.
IN ITS ADVERTISEMENTS, YAMAHA bills the innovative GTS 1000 sport-tourer as a “miracle.” While we wouldn’t categorize it in the same league as a cure for cancer, the forkless Yamaha certainly deserves a standing ovation. Indeed, with its anti-lock brakes, electronic fuel injection, six-piston front-brake caliper and massive vented disc, and innovative RADD front end, the GTS 1000 is a rolling showcase for technological excellence.
OUNDED INNOCENT ENOUGH. "JUST A group of motorcyclists getting together for a weekend trip, described one of the organizers of the 7th annual Elephant Ride. lt sure beats watching television or going to the mall" Always game for a Sunday-afternoon saunter, I signed up Perhaps I should have been a tad troubled when the event kicked off with a guy called "Rat" and his friend "Lurch" half-skating, half-sliding in a screaming ice race outside a bar known as Stinkey's Corral.
FROM MOTOCROSS TO MEXICO ON THE WORLD'S BEST FOUR-STROKE DIRTBIKES
ATK 605ES I --9ÊÊÊ CROSS COUNTRY
t^M: 6^0 LC4
The Bottom Line:
FOUR-STROKE SINGLES ARE EASY to love. Clubs form to celebrate them, race promoters cater to their bellowing exhaust notes, and in last year’s 500cc World Motocross Championship, Thumpers garnered two of the top three places. Chalk it up to tradition, ridability or simply their great booming sounds, but off-road four-strokes have never been more popular.
THE IMMENSE POPULARITY OF HARLEY-Davidson's 1340cc Evolution V-Twin has spawned a medley of aftermarket tuning options. Unfortunately, many modifications, like high-rpm-oriented camshafts and unmuffled exhaust systems, trade driveability and a quiet disposition for peaky power characteristics and excessive noise.
BY MICHAEL SCOTT SOME DESPERATE AND UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTIONS ARE BEING ASKED AT grand prix races lately, questions like these: Whatever happened to the new golden age? Why are we losing, rather than gaining, sponsors? What's the point of racing bikes that bear little relation to the real world?
The 1994 grand prix racing season roared off to a very unusual beginning when Italian motorcycles seized victory in all three classes at the Australian Grand Prix at Eastern Creek. John Kocinski, starting from pole position aboard his 500cc Cagiva, jumped immediately into the race’s lead and kept it, taking the checkered flag with 6.5 seconds in hand over Luca Cadalora aboard the Team Roberts Yamaha.
My 1990 Yamaha FZR1000 has a problem that I’m afraid is serious. The engine makes a fairly loud, heavy ticking noise when it’s accelerating or on a long uphill pull. Any other time, the noise is not there. The ticking is steady and goes faster as the rpm increases, and it gets louder if I accelerate real hard.