IT STARTED OUT AS SUCH A GOOD SUNday for Stan Teliczan. The 41-year-old video-production technician was up early, nosing his newly rebuilt Yamaha Turbo Seca out of the gray L.A. basin towards the Angeles Crest Highway. He wanted to get to Newcomb’s Ranch, a roadside cafe, before wheezing RVs and laboring passenger cars clotted the twisting, climbing canyon road.
IT HAS TAKEN SOME TIME (ABOUT FOUR and a half decades), but I have finally learned to mistrust my own snap judgments about nearly everything. For instance, I didn’t particularly like Neil Young or the Allman Brothers the first time I heard them, but they grew on me, and now I own just about everything they’ve ever recorded.
THE WAY ENGINES ARE SHAPED-THEIR architecture—arises from their need for rigidity. The earliest crank-and-cylinder internal-combustion engines looked just like the horizontal steam engines that had preceded them. They turned a leisurely 90-200 rpm, needing no more structure than a pair of rails, to which were attached the horizontal cylinder and the two main bearings carrying the exposed crank and large flywheel.
My wife wondered what was wrong! I was sitting in my recliner when I let out a yelp. There, in the September issue, was a motorcycle I would buy now! The Yamaha XJ900S Diversion looked like a winner. Yamaha listened to me and gave it shaft drive!
Titanium bolts, nuts and washers are now available from Mansson Performance Technologies (1350 Lexington Dr., Unit 5, San Jose, CA 95117; 800/ 588-4826). MPT is said to be the exclusive U.S. importer of Russian BT-16, a patented high-integrity titanium alloy, from which its products are produced. Prices vary, with 6 x 30mm tapered socket bolts, for example, costing $3.75 each. Cross-drilled bolts and nuts, ready for safety wire, are available at an extra charge. Call MPT for applications and pricing.
Mansson Performance Technologies
Hein Gericke Kilimanjaro jacket
The FirstGear by Hein Gericke Kilimanjaro jacket is manufactured by Intersport Fashions West (333 S. Anita Dr., Suite 1025, Orange, CA 92668; 714/978-7718) from top-grain leather and features a fully sleeved, aluminized Thermoliner and the company’s patented Thermoneck neck warmer. Reinforced shoulders and elbows, lined hand-warmer pockets and an elasticized belt add to the jacket’s protective qualities and comfort, says IFW. The black-only Kilimanjaro jacket comes in men’s sizes 38-52. Its suggested retail price is $629 from motorcycle dealers.
Mansson Performance Technologies
RACING GAUNTLET GLOVE
Fox Racing, known for its off-road apparel, has re-entered the street market. Its latest glove, the Gauntlet, is manufactured from drum-dyed Nappa leather and features a layer of Kevlar and foam in the palm, and a second layer of leather over the thumb and forefinger. The top portion of the pre-curved glove is also reinforced with foam and an additional layer of leather, says Fox Racing (15850 Concord Circle, Morgan Hill, CA 95037; 408/776-8633). The Gauntlet is available in black/gray and white/purple in XS-XXL sizes for $70 from motorcycle dealers.
Mansson Performance Technologies
GASOLINE CAN MIXMINDER
The Gasoline Can MixMinder from Voxx Design (P.O. Box 1909, Camarillo, CA 93011; 805/383-6680) is a gas-resistant plastic tag designed to loop around the handle of any fuel can. Raised, smear-proof lettering indicates the container’s contents. The Voxx Design MixMinder is sold in packs of two for $3.95 direct from O’Neal USA (800/326-6325).
Mansson Performance Technologies
Whitworth hand tools
Sudco International now offers Whitworth hand tools from Britool Unlimited. Sets of forged box-end and combination wrenches are available for $92 and $84.50, respectively. A six-piece socket set costs $40.50. For information or a copy of Sudco’s latest catalog, contact Sudco International (3014 Tanager Ave., Commerce, CA 90040; 213/728-5407).
Mansson Performance Technologies
Crossbones leather knee sliders
All knee sliders are not created equal. Take the Asphalt & Gas Skull and Crossbones leather knee sliders ($60 per pair), for example. Each slider features a cracked skull with vacant eyes, hollow nostrils and crooked teeth. A & G says its pucks are lighter and longer lasting than most plastic sliders, with improved feel and reduced noise. Conventional oval, egg or round shapes—in 28 different colors—are available for $40 from Asphalt & Gas (1041 Ardmore Ave., Oakland, CA 94610; 510/451-3044).
HOW SERIOUS IS APRILIA about its new 250cc two-stroke grand prix replica standing apart from the competition? An LCD lap timer on the RS250 doubles as an engine-temperature gauge. The RS250 also has a healthy ration of performance equipment.
SUZUKI WILL HAVE AT least one new motor| cycle for 1995, but for now, company spokesmen aren’t saying anything more than that. Meanwhile, there is news of a Savage comeback for 1995 and a host of revisions to existing models. Last sold here in 1988, the LS650PS Savage, a cruiser powered by a 650 Single, is back.
EUROPEAN RUMORS SUGgest Suzuki will dramatically rework its GSXR750 for the 1996 model year, switching to an alloy beam frame, away from its long-used double-cradle design. Suzuki engineers have reportedly set a target weight of 400 pounds, which would be 39 pounds lighter than the current model.
ADD EXCELSIOR AND Henderson to the list of motorcycle names that entrepreneurs are attempting to revive. Efforts are already under-way to produce new Indians and Vincents, (see Roundup, August, October), and now Dan and David Hanlon have formed the Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycle Manufacturing Division, based in Burnsville, Minnesota.
Jeff Stanton, who won six motocross championships for Honda, will stay with the company now that he has retired from racing (see Racewatch, October). Stanton will serve as a motocross coach, advising team members on bike setup, riding and conditioning, according to Honda.
CAGIVA'S CLAUDIO CAS tiglioni recently crowed to the press that the company’s new four-cylinder bike, developed in conjunction with Ferrari, would have a feature of such obvious merit that designers of conventional transverse-Fours would kick themselves for not thinking of it (see Roundup, January).
How better to pay for Harley-Davidson coffee mugs, socks, stuffed animals, Christmas ornaments and neckties than with a Harley-Davidson check? Current Inc., a maker of direct-sale checks, has released the latest in its Special Editon line.
Cycle World paid homage to the Brough Superior and its most famous rider, "the hard-riding, tire-flaying” Lawrence of Arabia. Scholar, author and mystic, Col. T.E. Lawrence was nothing short of poetic in his description of a first encounter with his SS100 “Brufsup."
OVER THE PAST FEW years Dunlop's Sportmax radial has maintained a healthy grip on a large chunk of the performance street-tire market. In supersport racing, the front Sportmax GP paired with Dunlop’s D364 radial rear has been a nearly unbeatable combination.
Suspension changes and a modified powerband highlight KTM's 250 SX motocrosser for 1995. Most notable is the change to a non-inverted front fork, made by Marzocchi. It’s unclear if the move is in keeping with the current Euro trend of switching to conventional forks or if there’s simply a supply problem in getting upside-downers from KTM’s usual source, WP. In any case, WP has also been passed over as rear-suspension supplier; the 250 has a fully adjustable Öhlins out back.
UP: To John Hermann, for putting his vacation time to good use. A San Diego real-estate appraiser by trade, Hermann has made 26 motorcycle tours of the Alps over the past 20 years, and last year turned those experiences into a guidebook. Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps contains the details of 49 separate day trips, as well as tips on riding gear, packing, rental bikes, food, hotels, organized tours and currency.
HONDA 250 NIGHTHAWK An inexpensive introduction to motorcycling
THE NIGHTHAWK 250 IS back in 1994 with no changes—which shows that Honda knows better than to mess with success. Light in price and weight, the smaller sister of the Nighthawk 750 has been a heavy-hitter in the beginner and re-entry rider market since its introduction in 1991.
SCRATCH AN AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE enthusiast and you will find that on one level or another, Triumph motorcycles are magic to him. A revitalized Triumph Motorcycles America Ltd. aims to cash-in on that magic. As of late October, its line of born-again and thoroughly modern Triumphs, first shown in Europe four years ago, will go on sale in the U.S.
THE BURSTING BUBBLE OF JAPAN'S ECONOMY STILL casts ripples. In the Eighties, Honda's product philosophy seemed to be at least one revolution a year, and even model updates—on a more "leisurely" three to four year pace—deserved a new engine.
NO CONFIRMATIONS FROM CLOSE-LIPPED KAWASAKI brass, but reliable rumors suggest the company will cater to a wide range of streetbike tastes with its new-for-'95 offerings. Expect a serious new 600cc sportbike, an 800cc-plus cruiser in the Harley mold and a parts-bin special 1100cc sport-tourer to appear at October’s Cologne Show.
CYCLE WORLD EXCLUSIVE: RIDING HARLEY-DAVIDSON'S 1000 SUPERBIKE
READY TO WIN!
DAMN THE SKEPTICS; FULL SPEED AHEAD
TENSION HUNG IN THE AIR THICKER THAN SPORTSTER crankcase oil on a Milwaukee winter morning. I stood leaning against the workbench of garage 14 in the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course paddock. Before me, sitting on its rear stand, was the VR1000, America’s first Superbike.
OKAY, NOW EVEN skeptics have to accept it. The Harley-Davidson VR1000 Superbike is a force to be reckoned with in AMA roadracing. After more than 20 years away from the game, Harley has made a V-Twin machine that has qualified and finished ahead of bikes fielded by the experienced Honda and Suzuki teams.
13 YEARS LATER, WE RETURN TO THE PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY WITH HARLEY'S LATEST NEW/OLD BIG TWIN
OH, TO BE RIDING AGAIN. IT IS MARCH and we are on a motorcycle trip. There’s snow on the ground in Wisconsin, but we have tricked the cruel logic of the seasons through the miracle of airline travel. Here, in light morning traffic, we have Mt. Rainier on our left, while Seattle’s skyline, Puget Sound and the ridges of the Olympic Peninsula gleam on our right.
AMERICA’S BEST TAKE THE WEEKEND OFF, SOME GUY NAMED YVES WINS
THROUGHOUT THE 1980s AND early `90s the United States round of the 250cc World Motocross Championship was the place to go for patriotic, flag-waving American fans. When the stars of Europe came across the Atlantic for this annual meeting, they simply were not equipped for America's best.
THE SAME WEEKEND THE WORLD'S top motocrossers were battling at Budds Creek, four-time 500cc world champion Eddie Lawson was in Japan competing in his final motorcycle race, the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hour, and Doug Polen was adding to his already impressive tally of international championships.
WHETHER LEAKED OR SPILLED, ENGINE lubricants can spoil the appearance of your garage floor. B.W. Incorporated's OilEater promises a solution, one that doesn’t involve messy chemicals or a difficult set up. The 3 x 4-foot OilEater is manufactured from cotton, wool and cellulose.
INTERESTED IN A BASIC MOTORCYCLE boot? Something conservative with an appearance that won’t eclipse the blinding lights of, say, Las Vegas? Look no further, the Sturgis from Gaerne is just such a boot. Manufactured in Italy, the Sturgis is traditionally styled.
HERE'S A TWO-wheeled, fully equipped lesson in survival and adaptability. When Honda introduced its Gold Wing as a 1975 model, it meant the bike to be a rolling demonstration of technical excellence, a powerful, smooth machine that could be everything to every rider.
MORE THAN A MERE MOTORCYCLE, THE HONDA GOLD WING IS AT THE HEART OF AN ENTIRE CULTURE. AND NOT SURprisingly, it has amassed quite a bit of history over its 20-year lifespan. To celebrate the Wing's colorful history, American Honda is releasing a limited-edition book titled Gold Wing: The First 20 Years that's packed with insider information on the evolution of this landmark motorcycle.
Portraits of a world champion. Whether scanning a section, charging through car-sized rocks or leaping off ledges, Spain’s Jordi Tarres was the class of the field at the Wagner Cup, the U.S. round of the World Trials series. JORDI TARRES, FIVE-TIME WORLD CHAMPION, IS ON A roll, and also on his way to an unprecedented sixth world championship.
Italy’s financial problems, and the resulting uncertain business climate, finally is about to have effects in motorcycle roadracing. Cagiva, whose motorcycle operations reportedly have been troubled by cashflow problems for some time now, recently announced that it has secured a $60 million credit package from a consortium of seven Italian banks.
Recently, I tried to fill my KZ650 Kawasaki’s gas tank at a station that uses the new vapor-recovery systems, and the nozzle would not go into the tank far enough to seal the rubber boot. So, I could not get the pump to work. If you have any suggestions about how to deal with this refueling problem, they would be greatly appreciated.