A FEW ISSUES BACK, CW READER MARK Schuttenhelm from the bucolic hamlet of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, took offense at our generally positive road test of the Harley-Davidson Bad Boy, accusing the editors of toeing the Motor Company’s corporate line because we had somehow been “brainwashed by this H-D mystique crap.” Funny, I don’t feel programmed.
THE COMEDIAN CHARLIE FERGUSON, who used to read the news on the old “Hee-Haw” TV show, would sometimes open his broadcast with, “And now for the news: It’s the same news we had yesterday, but today it happened to a different bunch of people.” An accurate view of world affairs, no doubt, but I’ve noticed that most of the news around here seems to happen to exactly the same people, over and over again.
A FEW MONTHS AGO, I WROTE ABOUT the 1947 Triumph Speed Twin. I have always wondered about the origin of this engine’s aluminum connecting rods, seen today only in drag racing. Unlike steel, aluminum has no fatigue limit-a level of stress below which a part’s lifetime can be essentially infinite.
In regards to CW's “Role Reversal” comparison of the Honda Shadow 1100 ACE and the Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide in the March issue: You say, “The Super Glide is unequivocally the better motorcycle.” Unbelievable! Did you just get out of the bed that morning after dreaming up that statement?
Abus recently introduced its four-piece motorcycle product line to North America. The Granit 54 shown here is manufactured in Germany and features a 12mm core-hardened steel shackle, a double-locking mechanism and the Abus-Plus 6-disc cylinder with 30,000 key options. It carries a lifetime guarantee and retails for $100 from Abus Lock USA, P.O. Box 2367, Woburn, MA 01801; 800/225-5348.
Abus Lock USA
FERODO CAST-IRON BRAKE ROTOR KI
Improving the performance of your motorcycle's brake system can be as simple as replacing the stock discs with full-floating, ductile-iron rotors from Ferodo America (3529 Old Conejo Rd., Unit 102, Newbury Park, CA 91320; 805/376-9565). CNC-machined from billet for superior strength, the rotors are proportionately drilled for maximum safe weight reduction, says the manufacturer. Race-compound brake pads are included. Retail prices start at $220 for single-disc applications and $420 for dual
Abus Lock USA
TROY LEE DESIGNS STINGRAY VISOR
The Stingray is Troy Lee’s latest off-road helmet visor. It is molded from polypropylene and sports revised vents that are said to improve aerodynamics and reduce lift. Available for Arai, Answer, AXO, Bell, Bieffe, Ecko, HJC and Shoei helmets, it comes in six colors and retails for $20. (Paintable nylon versions cost $22.) For more information, contact your dealer or Troy Lee Designs, 1821 Wild Turkey Circle, Corona, CA 91720; 909/371-5219.
Abus Lock USA
HIGHWAY CLASSICS WARRIOR EXHAUST
Those wishing to personalize their Honda Shadow American Classic Edition may want to consider a slash-cut Warrior exhaust from Highway Classics (P.O. Box 4891, Mission Viejo, CA 92690; 714/770-2920). The chrome 2-into-2 system retails for $225 and is said to mount using existing hardware. It weighs 20 pounds less than stock and boosts horsepower and torque when the stock carburetors are properly rejetted, according to the manufacturer. Features include removable baffles that can be repacked or replaced for variable sound and performance.
Abus Lock USA
Pyro-Putty from Aremco Products Inc. (P.O. Box 429, Ossining, NY 10562; 914/762-0685) is a high-temperature restoration compound designed to seal holes, cracks and pits in cast iron, steel and stainless steel. Paintable, it cures at room temperature, resists thermal shock, oil and gas, and temperatures up to 2000 degrees F. Half-pint kits (with thinner) retail for $25 plus shipping and handling direct from the manufacturer.
Abus Lock USA
FAST RACE CARBON-FIBER SLIP-ON
Looking to give your Yamaha YZF750 the look and sound of a factory supersport racer? Fast Race Products from Man-A-Frec (5076 Cheseboro R., Agoura, CA 91301; 818/991-6689) may have the answer in the form of its carbon-fiber slip-on exhaust system. The $349 kit weighs 4 pounds and retains the stock EXUP header and collector for easy installation and a broad powerband, says Fast Race. Complete hand-built racing systems for most late-model sportbikes, including the YZF750, are also available.
IN A MATTER OF WEEKS, Suzuki's Bandit 600—an early-release 1996 model—will hit the U.S. market. Look for the sporty bike to reach dealer showrooms in June. No firm price has been set, but the Bandit—which is powered by a modified air/oil-cooled Katana 600 engine—will cost less than the $5699 Katana, according to the manufacturer.
YAMAHA WILL REPORTEDly use the Milan Show to display its new player in the European Singles club—the SZR660. Spied in Italy undergoing shakedown tests, the sport-oriented SZR—with an engine based on that of the XTZ660, a Euro dual-purpose mount—was conceived by Belgarda, Yamaha’s Italian importer.
WORK PROGRESSES ON the new Vincent Black Eagle with production examples to debut in about one year, say backers. Bernard Li, president of Eagle One Industries, which makes car-care products, is behind Vincent’s rebirth. He says his Black Eagle will be a modern interpretation of how a Vincent would look, had the company continued production.
HE'S DEVELOPED A STELlar reputation as an aftermarket seat maker, and now Mike Corbin has spread his wings to create the Warbird conversion kit. Corbin’s bird bodywork, priced at $2308, was first developed to fit now-discontinued Harley-Davidson FXR models.
So, you think you’ve been on a tough dirt ride lately? Well, in Hawaii they power through dense jungles and lava fields. We’d call it torturous, but it’s certainly fun to watch. Just over two hours long and definitely home-video quality, Hawaiian Hardcore Trailriding, priced at $35, also has footage from several local off-road races.
AFTER A PROMISING BUT problem-filled first year, Aprilia will again challenge 500cc grand prix racing's big boys with its 400cc Twin. Aprilia believes that the bike’s cornering speeds—higher than those of 500s—can offset its marked power disadvantage.
Though the Milan Show is still six months away, there's already a mouthwatering array of new bikes promised from Italian companies, including Bimota's fuel-injected, 500cc, two-stroke Twin. Injected superbikes are coming from Aprilia (1000cc Twin) and Cagiva (750cc inline-Four).
CONSIDERING A CUSTOMized Big Hog? You might want to consider a Big Dog Vintage or Proglide instead. Big Dog Motorcycles, Inc. (140 North Ohio, Wichita, KS 67214; 316/267-9121), says its $19,500 machines, made primarily of aftermarket parts, “address the mainstream of the upscale American cruiser market.” “There’s obviously a market for custom Harleys,” says Big Dog President Sheldon Coleman.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON CAN be the very essence of tradition, but the company knows when to change. Acknowledging that what was right in 1983 might not be politically correct in 1995, H-D has ended its 12-year tradition of selecting a Ms. Harley-Davidson.
Honda and Mick Doohan are currently defending the 500cc grand prix title, but in June, 1970, we wondered if Honda would ever compete in that arena again. The company with drew from GP competition in 1968 and an article in this issue traced its history in the sport.
SPORTSTER 883 HUGGER Good thing in a short package
HARLEY-DAVIDSON'S 1340cc models may be the fanciest of the line (and generate the most profit), but the Motor Company is too smart to ignore entry-level riders and those looking for something smaller than a Big Twin. H-D’s XLH 883 models (Sportster, Deluxe and Hugger) are Harley’s lightest, smallest machines.
UP: To the Victor McLaglen Motor Corps, for 60 years of entertaining crowds with its amazing precision stunts. Based in Southern California, the award-winning corps (P.O. Box 845, Bellflower, CA 90706; 310/920-2768) has performed some 2000 times since its inception in 1935.
HOW TO BAKE A BIKE: START WITH TWO CYLINDERS. Add a tablespoon of midrange and an ounce of exhaust note. Mix in a tubular frame that reveals the machine’s mechanical components, and frost it in red. Sounds like a recipe from “How to Cook Italian,” doesn’t it?
YAMAHA HAS A HISTORIC FONDness for parallel-Twins. Its first was the iron-cylindered YD1 two-stroke, granddad to a family that would include the YDS-2 and -3, the RD350 and RD400, the water-cooled RZ350, and an entire set of racing cousins that would end only in 1990.
LIKE THE YAMAHA TRX850, BIMOTA’S NEW SUPERMONO IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF SPORTBIKE
RIDE A BIMOTA? EASY. BE very rich, or be very committed. Even better, be both. These bikes might as well wear a label that reads, "Two-Wheeled Ferrari." That's thanks in part to the number of zeros in their prices. But that’s about to change.
IN THE LATE 1940s AND '50s, CUSTOMIZED motorcycles—rolling expressions of individuality—were popping up like suburbs. The only rule? No rules. Harley-Davidsons, Indians, BSAs, Triumphs, Nortons and the like acquired fresh looks and pumped-up performance.
DAYTONA 1995 IN A CRUX: ON LAP TWO THERE WAS a huge roar from the crowd as Scott Russell, the pole-sitter and two-time former winner, tipped over in Turn Two. Then came his restart and incredible progress up through the field. The pace car came out for Doug Chandler’s crash on lap three, and Russell, urging the riders around him onward, was able to close some of the distance lost.
ROAD TEST EDITOR DON CANET LOST THE FRONT END of his Team Cycle World/Attack Performance Yamaha YZF Superbike on lap four of the Daytona 200, and crashed out of the race in Turn One. As he had done a year ago, Don showed that he could run in fast company.
TO SEE HOW TODAY’S TRENDY SIX-PISTON BRAKE calipers have come into being, and to see where brakes may go from here, consider the history. At the end of the drum-brake era, there was a zero-sum game between braking power and controllability; you could have one or the other, but not both.
HONDA'S RADICAL EXP-2 COULD REVITALIZE TWO-STROKE ENGINE DEVELOPMENT. IT FINISHED IN THE TOP FIVE AT THE GRUELING GRANADA-TO-DAKAR RALLY. WHAT'S IT LIKE TO RIDE?
"MY CREW IS WAITING FOR THE BIKE OVER AT Lake Rose. Do you feel like riding it over to them?" Is this a joke? After finishing fifth in the Granada-Dakar Rally, Frenchman Jean Brucy is now busy taking in the sun outside Dakar’s luxurious Meridien President Hotel.
WHAT’S A NAKED GUN? SIMPLE. IT’S AN UNFAIRED PERFORMANCE STANDARD. And just what is a performance standard, you ask? As the name implies, it’s a motorcycle with near-universal appeal, a versatile package that will unkink zig-zag pavement, take on the daily commute and roam uncharted backroads.
LIFE IS HARD FOR STREETBIKE PAINT jobs. In addition to being exposed to stuff like gravel, bugs, rain and dust, they’re also exposed to you, the rider. The most obvious interface point is at the rear of the gas tank, where your jacket or belt buckle can come in contact with paint.
HERE’S THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO Honda's Assistant VP of Operations, Ray Blank: “The 600s are the new standard. People are making a mistake if they think ‘standard’ means high bars, twin shocks and no streamlining. What standard really means is, the most versatile motorcycle, purchased in the largest numbers, for the widest variety of reasons.
Planning on going to this year’s USGP at Road America? Don’t. The U.S. has no grand prix this year. Race promoter Dorna and Road America in early March requested cancellation of the 1995 running of the U.S. Grand Prix, scheduled for August 20 at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, track.
Why do motorcycles with inline engines have the carburetors on the back of the motor and the exhaust pipes on the front? It would seem to make more sense to reverse them. Why not put the "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line" theory into use?
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.