SUPER BOWL SUNDAY IS ALWAYS A good time to go for a ride. Nearby Ortega Highway, usually clogged with sightseers and boat-pullers, is blissfully devoid of most traffic, minimizing blitz passes on the double-yellow lines that California’s Department of Public Safety has seen fit to plaster along most of the twisting road’s length.
MY OLD RIDING PAL FROM CALIFORNIA, Hank Murdoch, has owned a lot of different motorcycles of older and newer vintage, but he once told me his standard of excellence in handling is still the Bultaco 250 Metralla he had 20-some years ago. Why the Metralla?
TOOLS DISAPPEAR. IN AN IDEAL WORLD, populated by conscious, thinking, moral beings, they ought not to. That’s why we have lockable toolboxes, too heavy to steal. That’s why shops have tool cribs, sign-out sheets and vigilant tool superintendents.
David Edwards’ February Up Front column, “Doctor’s Orders,” really hit home. Health-care reform has initiated many changes, including large cuts in professional reimbursements, forcing doctors to give up their exotic cars, private planes, etc.
Modern World Ventures (P.O. Box 16010, Oakland, CA 94610; 800/436-4248) now offers a tinted version of its Fog City Fog Shield. The optically correct visor insert incorporates ultra-violet filtering and light-shading qualities with the same fog-free polymer used in the original Fog Shield. The insert fits most full-face helmets and is intended for daytime use only. Suggested retail price is $15 from motorcycle dealers or direct from the manufacturer.
CLEAR COAT REMOVER
Busch Clear Coat Remover offers a quick and easy method of removing chipped or discolored clear coat from wheels, engine cases and other components. Simply brush it on, then hose off with water. Non-flammable and safe on rubber, Clear Coat Remover is available in 16-ounce bottles and retails for $17. The company also manufactures a line of buffing compounds, polishes and waxes. For ordering information, contact Busch Enterprises, P.O. Box 7407, Charlotte, NC 28241; 704/588-2067.
BATTERY HANDBOOK AND TECHNICAL GUIDE
Yuasa is offering a 32-page handbook designed to provide motorcycle dealers, retailers, service technicians and enthusiasts with comprehensive, easy-to-read information relating to small-engine batteries. The Yuasa Battery Handbook and Technical Guide covers battery basics and safety; selecting and installing a new battery; inspecting, testing and charging; and maintenance and storage. For your free copy, contact Yuasa Motorcycle Division, P.O. Box 14145, Reading, PA 19612; 610/208-1991.
HIDE A HOOK
If your pickup truck is not equipped with heavy-duty tie-down hooks, you might want to consider Hide A Hook. These are removable, 2 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch tie-down loops that insert into existing stake-pocket holes of most American and late-model foreign-made pickup trucks and retract automatically when not in use. No drilling is required, says the manufacturer, and the stainless steel construction will not rust. Sug gested retail price is $30 per pair. For more information, contact your local motorcycle dealer or Diplomat Mar keting, 12860 Bradley Ave., Sylmar, CA 91342; 818/367-1041.
ME Z2 LASER FRONT TIRE
Metzeler developed its sport-oriented ME Z2 Laser to match the performance characteristics of its ME Z2 rear tire. The arrow-shaped tread design is similar to that of the popular ME33 Laser, but the center and shoulder areas were reworked for a quieter, more comfortable ride and improved stability on uneven road surfaces, says the manufacturer. Four sizes are available, and prices start at $127. For more information, contact your local motorcycle dealer or Metzeler, 410 Eagleview Blvd., Suite 106, Exton, PA 19341; 610/458-9662.
Two new brake pads are available from Dunlopad. The SDP Sport Sintered Pad (S55 compound) is designed for high-performance street use, while the RDP Racing Sintered Pad (D1 compound) is intended for racetrack duty. Both provide immediate, fade-free braking irrespective of lever effort, says the manufacturer, and the RDP pads offer the highest friction coefficient of any pad tested to date. Retail price is $35 per set. For more information, contact your local dealer or Tony Mills International Inc., 4401 Walden Ave., Lancaster, NY 14086; 716/681-8806.
Tested by Team Honda off-road specialist Charles Halcomb, the Pro Racing ISDE Enduro jacket is designed to meet the needs of the world's top off-road racers. Features include reinforced shoulders, four cargo pockets, an elasticized waist belt, removable sleeves and zippered air vents. The jacket is available in purple, red and blue in M-XXL sizes and carries a suggested retail price of $240. More information is available from your local motorcycle dealer or Nichols Distributing, 4135 W. 126th St., Alsip, IL 60658; 708/597-3340.
CLASSIC SOLO SEAT
de Leather's Classic Solo Seat for the Harley-Davidson Road King is shaped to position the rider lower on the bike relative to the handlebar. Styling cues are said to complement the Road King's nostalgic form, and highlights include a chrome rail and top-grain leather construction. Manu factured in black or ivory, the Classic Solo retails for $895from motorcycle dealers or direct from Rude Leather, 640A Houston St., West Sacramento, CA 95691; 916/925-2002.
YAMAHA'S LONG-ANTICIpated TRX850 has been spotted in Europe and Japan. A U.S. Yamaha spokesman says the bike might be sold here. Eventually. For now, Yamaha will sell 2000 of the Ducati-like machines in Japan while it evaluates the bike's sales potential abroad.
DETAILS ARE IN ON Aprilia’s MOTO’ 6.5, although the explanation for why the company adds an apostrophe after MOTO remains elusive. Aprilia describes the 6.5 as being “for people who want a motorcycle, but not a large, heavy one, who want to get about the time freely and make short to medium trips without giving up the pleasure of a real motorcycle.”
Young Japanese riders can be a part of the cruiser craze, thanks to the diminutive Honda Jazz. The company calls its chrome-laden machine the "pet-sized American." Weighing a claimed 160 pounds dry, the Jazz is propelled by an air-cooled, ohc, 49cc Single that is said to produce all of four horsepower.
Opportunities to buy a racebike ridden by a legendary racer, add street necessities and ride it home are few and far between, but BMW is making it possible. R1100RS motorcycles used in the BMW Battle of the Legends will be sold following this year’s Daytona event.
DETAILS HAVE BEEN FInalized for Cycle World's third-annual GP Euro-Tour, which will take place August 13-22. Organized by Edelweiss Bike Travel, the tour starts in Munich, where all roads (at least the ones we’re interested in) lead to the Austrian Alps.
OUR TASTES ARE CHANGing, but we’re still buying plenty of motorcycles, says industry analyst Don J. Brown. His projections show bike sales increased 4.2 percent in 1994, to 289,604. In 1993, riders purchased 278,124 motorcycles. “I think it’s very good growth,” Brown says.
IT’S THE DREAM OF EVERY aspiring designer to see their work adopted by a major manufacturer, either as a broad concept or in fine detail. But design is increasingly viewed as a fundamental aspect of manufacturing and engineering, making it harder for a designer to break into the field without expertise in these other areas.
EUROPE'S FASTEST-GROWing streetbike sector is the four-stroke Single class, and there's a new player in the game. Cagiva is gunning for a share of the market with its stylish new Canyon 600 dual-purpose bike. Designed by Pierre Terblanche, creator of Ducati’s Supermono, Cagiva’s Canyon is powered by an air-cooled version of the 610cc Husqvarna enduro motor—housed in a twin-spar steel chassis.
Cycle World gets busted? Those words appeared on this month's cover, highlighted in orange type. The story, by Associate Editor Dan Hunt, detailed the adventures of Hunt and Assistant Editor Bryon Farnsworth, both of whom were cited for speeding (35 mph in a 25-mph zone!) while testing a Yamaha XS650 and a Triumph T100C in the Malibu mountains.
OVER DUCATI OV-10 Japanese tech meets Bologna Twin
JAPAN IS THE ONE OF THE largest markets for bikes with specialist frames housing Ducati engines, so it’s no wonder that Over, one of that country’s top specialty bike builders, created the Over OV-10. The OV-10 is the 10th chassis to flow from project leader Kensei Sato’s pen.
UP: To the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), for its continuing support of local charities. Late last year, SCRAMP the non-profit organization that runs Laguna Seca Raceway, donated more than $400,000 to 66 organizations.
CONSIDER THIS, A NIGHTmare from which you cannot escape: You're running, running, running...down a path that once looked like the highway to Paradise, but which now looks like the path to Perdition. You’d exit if you could. You try, by attempting to turn off this main road onto more attractive byways.
NOPE, GUESS AGAIN. HAVE a closer look. The low-ridin' custom V-Twin you see before you is not a chopped Harley-Davidson. In fact, it began life on an assembly line in Hamamatsu, Japan, one of thousands of 1994 Suzuki VL1400 Intruders. That’s before aftermarket empresario Ken Boyko of Cobra Engineering commissioned Time Machine’s Denny Berg to transform it into one cool cruiser.
IN THE PAST, KEN BOYKO HAS been happy to put shirts on your back and mufflers on your bike. Now, he wants to dress up your Shadows, Vulcans, Intruders and Viragos. Boyko, 43, is the driving force behind Turn One motorcycle T-shirts and Cobra Engineering, makers of Boulevard cruiser mufflers and the F1 line of sportbike slip-ons.
DENNY BERG WASN'T EXACTLY BORN TO CUSTOMIZE, BUT IT DIDN'T TAKE HIM long. “When I was 5, I took the fenders off my first tricycle and painted it red. I thought it looked pretty cool, but, boy, was Dad pissed,” laughs Berg. In 1970, at age 17, Berg built his first chopper, a Honda CB450—“long front end, all that stuff,” he remembers.
LOCKED AND LOADED: HONDA CBR600F3 vs. KAWASAKI ZX-6R vs. YAMAHA YZF600R
IN RECENT SOLO TESTS OF THE HONDA CBR600F3 AND the Kawasaki ZX-6R, each bike, in turn, took the world by storm. First, the F3 set marks for quarter-mile acceleration that 750s of a few years ago would be proud of. Then, it was the all-new ZX-6R flying the middleweight colors deepest into 750cc territory, with a dragstrip showing of 10.89 seconds at 128 mph, backed by a top speed run of 154 mph.
YAMAHA'S XJR1200 IS A REMINDER OF days in the late '70s and early '80s when big-bore beasts freight-trained down America's highways and tore up its backroads. It is a modern rendition of the UJM—the Universal Japanese Motorcycle. It takes its styling cues and equipment list from the street-racers that hard-riding Americans once built in backyards and garages all across the county, a history lesson on wheels.
JAPANESE ENTHUSIASTS WILL ROADRACE ANYTHING. I mean, anything. In the U.S., it's gotta be sportbikes. But in Japan, well, just check out the burgeoning Monster-Naked class, for instance, where supposedly mild-mannered neo-standards are hot-rodded without mercy and then turned loose just to see what everybody’s got.
AN END TO THE ERA WHEN MAGNIFICENT MEN AND THEIR RACING MACHINES RULED SPLINTER ROAD
ON THAT DAY, THE DAY BOARD-track died, grandstands all across the country thundered with the rattle of packed tracks and the rumble of excited crowds. And on that day, the day board-track died, dashing men with nicknames like “Dare Devil,” “Brute,” and “Fearless” aboard sleek machines with names even more mythic—Cyclones, Excelsiors and Emblems—exploded across the steep banking at triple-digit speeds.
BIG-BORE KITS, STROKER CRANKS, BIGGER carbs, ported heads, larger valves, cams this and cams that...and this is only the motor. Everybody in the aftermarket industry seems to have something for the Kawasaki KLX250.It has to be the dirt hop-up bike of the year—and it was already great in stock form.
SO, GIVEN THE FACT THAT TRIUMPH HASN'T YET officially announced that it's working on a Bonneville Twin, what is that firm's most eagerly awaited new model since the line was relaunched in September of 1990? It has to be this one, the machine spearheading Triumph’s attack on the U.S. market.
ADJUSTING YOUR MOTORCYCLE’S DRIVE chain is not as easy as it may appear. Get it wrong, and your bike could suffer premature chain and sprocket wear, as well as a possible loss of stability and handling. Motorcycles do, obviously, have provisions for chain adjustment, including little reference marks on both sides of the rear axle; but due to what is called a “stack-up” of tolerances in the manufacture of all the components between the rear-wheel sprocket and the countershaft sprocket, those reference marks are no guarantee of proper chain alignment.
HELMET PAINTING IS LIKE ANY ART FORM: IT DEMANDS ORIGINALITY, STYLE AND A GIFTED TOUCH. With the right mix, the result is an inspirational blend of color and emotion. For a head-to-head helmet-painting comparison, we sent eight full-face street helmets to eight U.S.
AS A TEENAGER LIVING IN THE SIERRA NEVADA mountains, there was a time I fancied myself following in the ski tracks of Olympic gold medalist Franz Klammer, the Austrian downhill racer whose spectacular balls-out performance in the 1976 Winter Games astonished the world.
MICK DOOHAN DOMINATED GRAND PRIX MOTORCYCLE roadracing in 1994. Indeed, en route to the 500cc World Roadracing Championship, he stood atop the victory podium an amazing nine times. This, after a 1992 crash and post-operative complications that almost ended the 30-year-old Australian's career.
IN A SENSE, GETTING A journalistic guest ride aboard an exclusive factory racer is an exercise in self-moderation. Having been a racer myself long before I ever stumbled upon word processing, my competitive side still wants to find out how I fare against the guys who ride these bikes on a continuous basis.
WHILE WINNING A 500cc GP World Championship is of unquestionable importance, Honda's strong history in four-stroke racing suggests that a World Superbike title would be of equal value in the corporate eye. That’s why the RC45, Honda’s all-new V-Four Superbike, was created.
LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE—AS IF ANY OF US really needs any—that our peculiar enthusiasm for motorcycles can become all-pervasive? Consider the cases of Patty Mills and Dal Smilie. Both are enthusiastic motorcyclists. Both, even, are board members of the American Motorcyclist Association.
FIGURES CAN BE DECEIVing, but in this case, they're not. The relatively few miles we've accumulated on our long-term, '93 Suzuki GSX-R750, in relation to the time we’ve spent with the machine, says quite a bit. Truth be told, most staffers found the GSX-R's riding position uncomfortable for anything more than aggressive sportriding.
AS OF JANUARY 15, 1995, PROFESSIONAL ROADRACING in America is split. The American Motorcyclist Association proposes to go its own way with its for-profit subsidiary, Paradama, offering the AMA’s race program. Roger Edmondson, whose CCS organization produced the AMA’s roadracing under contract for 10 years, is offering another.
Freddie surprises at the "other" Daytona tire test
Peterhansel takes the Dakar Rally
World Superbikes finally return to U.S
Three-time World Champion Freddie Spencer and ex-Smokin' Joe's Honda pilot Mike Smith had their first test on the Fast by Ferracci Ducati 916 at Daytona in mid-December, a week after Dunlop's tire test. It was an especially good test for Spencer: Ferracci signed him to join Smith for the AMA Superbike season aboard an FBF 916.
I need some technical advice regarding sparkplugs for my '93 Honda ST1100 with 10,000 miles on the odometer. The owner’s manual specifies an NGK CR8EH-9 plug for regular riding, but I can’t get more than 3000 or 4000 miles on them before they begin misfiring under a heavy throttle load or above 5000 rpm.
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.