DEAR WILLIE, LAST TIME I WROTE YOU via this column, it was about the need for an American-made sportbike. Three years later, your VR1000 Superbike stands ready to win and The Motor Company's money has helped rid Buell of its kitbike image, on the way to giving sport riders a legitimate V-Twin alternative to Ducati.
I AM REMINDED OF THE OLD JOKE ABOUT the two buffalo hunters riding across the prairie in a wagon pulled by a mule. The mule stops suddenly and refuses to budge, so one of the buffalo hunters gets down from the wagon, looks the mule right in the eye and says, "That's once!" He climbs back in the wagon and the mule slowly, reluctantly, starts moving again.
HEAT IS TRANSFERRED IN ROUGH PRO-portion to the temperature difference between hotter and cooler materials. If there is no temperature difference, no heat is transferred. One of the disagreeable results of this is that the heat of combustion is transferred to an engine's pistons, valves and combustion chambers.
Jon Thompson's May article, "The Natural" about photographer Volker Rauch was brilliant and wonderful to read. Thank you for giving us important insights into a great (albeit tragic) artist, It is SO pleasing to see a motorcycle magazine give space to subjects like this, which are so important to our understanding of the sport and its roots.
The Pick-Up Tie-Down is a movable tie-down point that is designed to mount where needed. It fits all standard mini- and full-size truck beds and can be removed in seconds, says the manufacturer. Also, there’s no need for drilling or tools because the non-corrosive steel tie-down is secured by hand. Sold with a 5-year guarantee (an aluminum model with a 2-year guarantee is also available) against workmanship defects, the Tie-Down retails for $17 ($15 for aluminum) a pair from Titan Enterprises, 5753-G E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd., Dept. CW, Anaheim, CA 92807; 714/665-5077.
HOLESHOT DYMAG MAGNESIUM WHEELS
Holeshot Performance Products (320 Babe Thompson Rd., La Selva, CA 95076; 408/761-2808), the U.S. distributor for Dymag wheels, now imports bolt-on, cast-magnesium wheels for 1985-to-present Yamaha V-Maxes. Sold in 2.65 x 18 and 4.25 x 17 sizes, they are powdercoated in a silvermetallic color and said to be 38 percent lighter than stock. Suggested retail price is $1590 for the pair, or $695 for the front and $895 for the rear. Hollow-spoke sportbike and GP125 applications are also available.
Superbike Bar Mount kit
Would your new Triumph Daytona, Sprint, Trident or Trophy benefit from revised ergonomics? If so, you might consider the Superbike Bar Mount kit from Storz Performance (239 S. Olive St., Ventura, CA 93001; 805/6419540). Priced at $197, the bolt-on kit comes with CNC-machinced mounts, a braided-steel upper brake line, a chrome or black-chrome K&N handlebar, hardware and instructions. (All components are available separately, too.) Advantages, says Storz, include increased comfort, more steering leverage, reduced replacement costs and a selection of bar bends.
WER STEERING DAMPER
The WER steering damper is a rotary hydraulic unit that mounts to the underside of your late-model Ducati’s lower triple-clamp. It is machined from hard-anodized, 6061 T-6 aluminum and installs without modification to bodywork, says the manufacturer. Damping force is externally adjustable via a thumb-wheel screw. Suggested retail price is $299. For more information, contact Works Enduro Rider;, Box 279A, Jenny Jump Ave., Great Meadows, NJ 07838; 908/637-6385.
VANSON AVENGER JACKET
The Avenger offers more rider-controlled venting area than any leather motorcycle jacket, says Vanson Leathers (213 Turnpike St., Stoughton, MA 02072; 617/344-5444). Produced from drum-dyed, top-grain American cowhide, the all-black jacket boasts patented, zip-down chest panels and zippered rear exit vents. It retails for $499 (another $50 adds removable body armor at the shoulders and elbows/forearms). Both standard and custom sizes are available. For additional information, contact your local motorcycle dealer.
Replacement brake rotors are gaining in popularity, as evidenced by these 12.6-inch cast-iron examples from Miller Specialties (212 East Main St., Clinton, CT 06413; 203/669-1926). Designed to replace stock stainlesssteel discs, they feature hard-anodized. billet-aluminum centers and cost $229 each. All components-buttons, centers and swept area-are available separately, as well. For applications, contact Miller Specialties.
HAVE YOU GROW AS tired of the wrangling surrounding a rebirth of the Indian motorcycle as you have of the O.J. trial? Too bad. The Indian wars undoubtedly will outlast the courtroom antics of Cochran, Shapiro, Bailey, et al. Here's what's new: Disputes over the rights to the Indian trademark apparent ly remain unresolved.
ALREADY ONE OF JAPAN'S most popular "naked" retro-standards, both in sales and on the race track, the Honda CB400 Super Four recently Was joined by a new stablemate. Dubbed the "Version R," the new bike gets a handlebar-mount bikini fairing, frame reinforcements, higher quality rear suspension and reprogrammed ignition for a better power curve.
Looking for evidence that scooter engines are high tech, too? Check out Aprilia's new four-stroke Single. The liquid-cooled, four valve, 125cc powerplant was designed, the company says, to boost commuter performance without sacrificing day-to-day practicality.
MBNA America and the American Motorcyclist Association have teamed up to create the Motorcycle Series credit cards. Both Visa and Mastercard are offered, each with a choice of streetbike, sportbike, off-road or touring images. "This credit card of fers great benefits while supporting many AMA programs," writes AMA President Ed Youngblood in a message that accompanies the application.
Tuning legend Hideo "Pops" Yoshimura died March 29th in Japan. He was 73 years old. Yoshimura founded the company that bears his name, Yoshimura Japan Company Ltd., in 1954, which later spawned Yoshimura R&D of America. Cards and messages can be sent to Yoshimura Japan, 6748 Nakatsu, Aikawa-Chou, Aikou-Gun, Kana gawa, Japan 243-03.
MICHELIN CHOSE ITALY'S GP-quality Misano Circuit and the surrounding Adriatic countryside to showcase its 1995 line of tires. Big news for high-performance riders is a further refinement of the Hi Sport radials, now bearing TX15 (front) and TX25 (rear) designations,and available in street and race compounds.
The last of the fabled BSA Gold Stars is now on display at Britain's National Motorcycle Museum. The 500cc Single, serial number DBD-GS-7160, was built in 1963, bringing 17 years of Gold Star production to a halt. The bike was then exported to Canada, where it was recently discovered still in its original shipping crate.
Scenes from the annual Cycle World Show graced the cover. A forerunner to our current-day Cycle World Readers' Collection, the show included a broad spectrum of classics, customs and performance bikes displayed alongside the latest offerings form manufactures. The season-opener at Southern California's Ascot Park was the lead topic in the Racing Review section.
TM,ITALAN MANUFACturer of motocross and enduro bikes, has Unveiled its 1995 line. In the past, TM has been noted for its full-sized 80cc enduro bikes, but in the last two years the company has successfully shifted priorities to 125- and 250-class machines.
What is it, you ask? Well, it's called "2 Lowe" and it's the result of car guy Bob Lowe getting together with his buddies in the hot rod industry to build a custom Harley showbike. Starting point was a 1994 Low Rider, but as you can see, little that's stock is left.
DOWN: To the smooth-riding but trash-talking Carl Fogarty, for his less-than-gracious comments after the Daytona 200. The defending World Superbike champ, who finished second to Scott Russell, told England's Motor Cycle News, "Enough is enough!I'm never going to Daytona again."
CAGIVA RIVER 600 Practical chic for briefcase bikers
AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHer, most of the major bike-makers have marketed a commuter bike. Italy’s Cagiva is the latest, with its River 600. Cagiva’s aim was to deliver an everyday bike that was adept at handling city traffic, yet could be used for medium-distance touring, all at a contained price.
WHAT THE WORLD OF MOTORCYCLING needs, we declared in our September, 1989, issue, is a modern standard, a Universal Japanese Motorcycle for the '90s, one with a four-cylinder engine, minimal bodywork and a rational seating position.
YAMAHA, No STRANGER TO WINNING NATIONAL SUPERsport races with a trio of 600cc titles to its credit, has been strangely quiet in the 750cc class. You know it couldn't have been easy for Yamaha to sit quietly ringside as Suzuki and Kawasaki brawled over 750 supersport honors, especially for a company with numerous world grand prix and AMA Superbike titles under its belt.
WANT TO KNOW WHY EUROPEAN MOTORCYCLES suddenly are so popular? We think it’s because they’re mostly less than perfect. We enthusiasts clamored for flawless motorcycles and we pretty much got them, provided courtesy Japan. Inc. These bikes were, and largely remain, terrific, the products of a society short on motorcycling tradition but long on the sort of manufacturing technique that begets excellence.
LIKE FINE WINE, TEAM OBSOLETE'S MV AGUSTAS AND BENELLI FOUR GET BETTER WITH AGE
WHILE THE RECENT RACING ACHIEVEMENTS of Ducati and Aprilia have put Italy back on the map as a performance leader, it certainly doesn’t mark the first time bikes from the boot-shaped country have kicked the world’s butt. Long before Ducati won World Superbike Championships or tiny Aprilia bested all comers in the 250cc grand prix wars, Italy ruled the motorcycle racing world.
You DON’T HAVE TO BE from Texas to be convinced that bigger is better, or that there is no substitute for cubic inches. A lot of us have managed to convince ourselves that top speed, max torque and peak power are all that matter. But out in the real world of motorcycling, it’s a different story, and Ducati’s 748SP is Exhibit A. The 748SP is a smaller-engined version of the 916, universally acclaimed as one of the best sportbikes in the world.
LAMA CONCHOREN WAS THE WORST PASSENGER I’D EVER CARRIED, but the first Buddist monk. Smiling nervously, he had hitched up his purple robes, climbed onto the pillion and gestured up the Indus Valley towards Leh. But whatever state of enlightenment a lifetime of atonement had brought him, it didn't extend to faith in any motorcycle ridden by me.
TALK ABOUT DIVING IN HEAD FIRST. ATK, STANDOUT maker of the last surviving air-cooled 250cc two-stroke, has introduced its first liquid-cooled dirtbike. It seems a strange step for the small, Utah-based company: Developing this bike not only takes ATK in a new direction, but also head-to-head with all other enduro-bike makers.
WHEN IT COMES TO ACCUMULATing mileage on a long-term testbike, it’s the hard-edged, high-performance motorcycles that seem to take the longest to achieve our target goal of 10,000 miles. That’s not to say CW editors steer clear of race-replicas.
IN COMING UP WITH A NEW PRODUCT, every company faces two different tasks: first, defining a consume need, and then designing something to meet that need. Products fail when companies screw up on either definition or execution. And sometimes a product scores a bullseye on such a narrowly felt need that only time will tell if there's really a market for it.
TROY LEE, KING OF CUSTOM-PAINTED helmets, has a secret weapon—and now he wants to let you in on it. It’s called Max Wax Shiny Sauce, a Carnuba-based cleaner/wax brewed up by—Lee’s words, not ours—the “mad scientists” at Mr. Moto Products especially for polyurethane paint.
IF RACING IS HIGH-STAKES, HIGH-SPEED POKER and the pot is victory lane, then the Cycle World-sponsored Los Angeles Superbike Weekend was won by a pair of aces. Mike Hale and Jay Springsteen were the gamblers holding the winning cards, Hale in the pavement parlor.
Can't anyone stop this man? "This man" is of course Michael Doohan, who is stamping his name as firmly on 1995's early GP races as he did on the 1994 season. Doohan won the series-opening Australian Grand Prix, leading from start to finish aboard his Repsol-sponsored Honda at Eastern Greek.
Ordinarily, I would not presume to give you advice in matters of repair. But this time, I'm going to do so. I have, on numerous occasions, repaired the “bent frames” of bikes that had suffered front-end damage such as that sustained by Kevin Kelley’s Sportster (“Buick l, Sporty 0,” March, 1995 issue).
We need your photos for Slipstream. We're looking for photos that make us smile because they say something abcut motorcycling. Submissions should be made to Slipstream, Cycle World, 1499 Monrovia Avenue, Newport Beach, 92663. To be returned, the photographs must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.