ABOUT ONCE A MONTH, IT SEEMS, I GET a phone call. “You own a Seca 650, right?” a disembodied voice on the other end of the line asks. “I do.” “Uh, you interested in selling it?” Long-time readers may remember the tale of my silver Yamaha Seca 650, bought new in September of 1982, purchase price $3340.96 all-up.
ABOUT 14 YEARS AGO, WHEN I FIRST GOT my pilot’s license, I used to regularly rent a beat-up old Cessna 150 from the Orange County airport, near the CW offices in California. One day when I was at the airport, signing out the 150 for a weekend flight, my former flying instructor asked where I was going.
WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, I PLAYED a lot of chess, but I never rose above what I’ll call the “coping stage.” That is the condition in which I could just manage to respond competently to my opponent’s moves, but had no capacity left for any long-range strategy.
I really enjoyed your Kal Kustoms article (“California Specials,” CW, November). What a group of bikes! My favorites were the Bimota and the Triumph street-tracker. But that Arlen Ness ’57 Chevy “body bike?” What is up with this guy? That thing isn’t a motorcycle, it’s a car.
The FC Sportster kit is designed to alter the appearance and handling of your late-model Harley-Davidson Sportster. For $2295, you get a 3.25-gallon gas tank, a one-piece tank cover and tailpiece, longer rear shocks, clip-on handlebars and rear-set footpegs. Throttle cables, a braided-steel front brake line, fenders and instrument-mounting bracket are also included. For more information, contact Fast Company, 1010 3rd Ave., Dr. NW Unit B, Hickory, NC 28601; 704/327-2644.
Acerbis airbox covers are intended to keep water out of your dirtbike’s intake tract during washing. Simply remove the filter and install the plastic cover, says the manufacturer. They are available for most late-model dirtbikes and cost $22. For more information, contact your local motorcycle dealer or Acerbis U.S.A., 9402 Wheatlands Ct., Ste. A, Santee, CA 92071; 619/562-1440.
GANDER BRAND DEERSKIN GLOVES
Alberta Glove Company’s Gander Brand deerskin gloves are said to be softer and more protective than their cowhide counterparts. Naturally insulated, the gloves have external seams for a more comfortable fit and a leather-and-velcro wrist strap for adjustability. Available in XXS-XXL sizes, the gloves cost $55 from motorcycle dealers, or contact Alberta Glove Co., 8912 60 Ave., Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6A6, Canada; 403/465-0613.
GALFER BRAKE ROTORS
Giocar America offers Galfer laser-cut, stainless-steel replacement brake rotors for Honda’s CBR600F2, 1986-89 VFR750 and VF1000F. Priced at $200 per disc, the semi-floaters are said to enhance brake feel and control while reducing the possibility of warping. For details, contact your local motorcycle dealer or Giocar America, 104 San Federico Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93111; 805/967-2726.
MAAS POLISHING CREME
Because the winter months often provide the perfect climate for bike maintenance, it may be time to consider Polishing Creme from Maas Polishing Systémes (1500 W. 55th St., LaGrange, IL 60525; 708/246-8581). It is said to restore luster and remove stains from any surface including aluminum, enamel, fiberglass and paint. Sold in 1-pound cans ($20), and 2- and 4-ounce tubes ($4-$7), Maas Polishing Creme is available from motorcycle dealers or direct from the manufacturer.
THUNDERBIRD VINTAGE GUNFIGHTER
Triumph Thunderbird 900 owners seeking additional style and comfort might consider a Vintage Gunfighter seat from Corbin-Pacific, Inc. (11445 Commercial Pky., Castroville, CA 95012; 800/538-7035). Connolly leather ($299) and basket-weave naugahyde ($259) versions are available, each with matching welting. Mounting hardware is included, and the stock key latch is retained.
ON THE SURFACE, DRAG racing is a stripped-down, no-nonsense American activity. Simple, right? Just whack open the throttle and bang a few up-shifts. How hard is that? Well, let’s take an 8.36-second run up to 170 mph with Kent Stotz, winner of the inaugural Cycle World Quickest Streetbike Shootout.
A cafe-racer from BMW? If reports in England's Motor Cycle News are correct, expect a stripped-down sport Boxer late in 1996, tentatively dubbed the R1100S. Fifth of the new-generation R-models, it would resemble the concept sportbike unveiled to favorable response at last year's Cologne Show.
Look for a hard-edged hot-rod from Moto Guzzi in 1996, a naked neo-standard built around a fuel-injected version of the two-valve engine used in the Sport 1100. Known inside the Mandello factory as the KK, the aggressively styled bike will have a tubular-steel, twin-loop frame, a Showa upside-down fork and a single Koni rear shock.
HONDA WILL FIELD A PROTOtype 500cc V-Twin two-stroke in next year’s grand prix roadracing series, and a production version will be offered for sale in 1997. The present 180-plus-horsepower four-cylinder bikes are stalled, generally unable to improve on laptimes from 1991-92 despite improvements in every area of design.
Laverda has joined Europe’s naked-bike movement with its Ghost 650, a neo-standard powered by the Italian company’s 668cc, air/oil-cooled parallel-Twin. A trellis-type steel frame replaces the 650 sportbike’s alloy twin-spar affair, giving the Ghost a decidedly Ducati Monster-esque flair.
OUR PREDICTION FOR most likely Suzuki soon to be in showrooms? You’re lookin’ at it. Unveiled at the Paris Show in the shadow of the all-new GSX-R750, the Bandit 1200S didn’t get much attention, but expect to see it in the U.S. for 1996, probably as an early-release ’97 model.
Print-maker Randy Owens, best known for his renderings of Formula One race cars, has turned his attention to motorcycles. “The rider is such a strong element of the design-you get a real sense of the human factor as it relates to the machine.
Future-think was sprinkled from cover to cover in this issue. Up front, we featured the first-ever rotary-powered motorcycle, the cobby-looking Hercules 2000. Not overly impressed, we said, “The axial cooling fins give the Hercules a jet-age look, not shared by many of its motorcycle parts.” • Going from the weird to the wild, we forecasted what the Japanese had up their corporate sleeves in "Japan’s Secret Superbombs” and even conjured up drawings of these bikes to be.
LAVERDA FORMULA 650 A different kind of Italian Twin
LAVERDA FORMULA 650
THE RESULTS ARE IN. Laverda's Return From The Dead is paying off, thanks to the commitment of its new owner, Francesco Tognon, who two years ago rescued the company from its creditors. Tognon has invested billions of lira, and the tiny company's 50 employees have invested in themselves and their futures.
UP: To the more than 500 motorcyclists who participated in last October's BMW-sponsored Miracle Ride, for raising nearly $30,000 for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. An estimated 2 million Americans suffer from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, incurable intestinal disorders.
WHAT’S THIS, YOU MUST BE THINKING. HAS CYCLE World lost it? Didn’t we already see this very same bright-yellow Triumph Daytona featured on the cover of the March '95 issue, with a full road test, to boot? Nope, you didn’t. It’s simply a case of Triumph modular madness.
TRIUMPH’S THREE-CYCLINDER ANSWER TO THE DUCATI 916?
WHEN HARLEY-DAVIDSON’S VR1000 MADE ITS AMA racing debut in ’94, it gave fans something new and different to cheer for. Now Triumph, another name from roadracing’s past, is looking to make a return to America’s top-level roadracing class.
PRIDE SWEPT OVER ME AS I brought my Speed Triple to a halt, taking up position on the outside of the front row. I've notched a fare share of front-row starts in my time, yet never have I competed so far from home, nor had I ever felt quite so American.
Yamaha's state-of-the-art supersport 600 isn't coming to the States—at least not yet
THUNDER CAT! THE NEWS FROM the Paris Show breaks, inching tantalizingly from the fax machine. Yamaha's uprated YZF600R is born and, except where limited by excess-fun laws (Germany, Switzerland, etc.), it claims to push 600 power beyond the 100-bhp mark.
PANIC-STOP SHOOTOUT: ANTI-LOCK vs. LINKED vs. CONVENTIONAL BRAKE SYSTEMS
YOU WATCH THE BROWN TAURUS poke its nose out of the alley to your right. He’s got to stop, you think, even as you bring two fingers up to cover the brake lever. Instead, the Ford rolls on and your pulse leaps as you’re hard on the brakes, bench pressing the handlebar, slithering away speed as quickly as possible.
Performance street tires: Much more than round and black
THE MODERN MOTORCYCLE IS AN impressive vehicle, with its quick, responsive handling, its rapid acceleration and braking, and its high-G turning ability. Yet take away the last decade of tire technology, and almost none of these qualities would remain.
IT SAID A LOT ABOUT THE DAY WHEN I DISCOVERED a whole new reason for hanging off. Shifting across the saddle in the right-left-right combination that ends a lap at the Streets of Willow Springs, I could take some time at the top, posting high on the pegs...and get a few brief shining moments of circulation back into my knees.
SPORT-TOURING RIGS GENERALly pass quickly and quietly through the CW long-term cycle, happily racking up miles and returning to their respective manufacturers unscathed. Sadly, our long-term 1994 Kawasaki Concours was not so fortunate.
BLEEDING A BRAKE SYSTEM CAN BE A tedious, messy task. Manual bleeding, wherein one person pumps the brake lever or pedal while another opens and closes the caliper bleeder valve, can be time consuming and is not always effective. Power bleeders, the kind found in better automotive garages and motorcycle shops, are much quicker and remove recalcitrant air bubbles more efficiently but are expensive, costing about $250.
ALL PIECES OF THE PUZZLE FIT EXACTLY. CYCLE World had one of the first Honda XR400s in the country. Editor-in-Chief Edwards demanded a torturous reliability test on this long-awaited, next-generation XR. Honda, craving a big PR splash for its all-new four-stroke weapon, offered me a spot on its three-man Nevada Rally team. Plus, I love long-distance off-road races. All the pieces were in place, it was rally time!
Scotty Parker was in a celebratory mood long before the AMA Grand National Dirt Track Series came to a close at the beautiful Del Mar Fairgrounds, just north of San Diego. Parker wrapped up his record sixth title two rounds previously at the Sacramento Mile.
I own a 1982 Kawasaki KZ305 that is basically stock as far as I know. Its problem is that at highway speeds, 55 mph, the engine is revving at 7500 rpm-8000 if I'm trying to get a good run at a hill. If I don't get a run, the engine will bog down to around 6000 or so going up hills.
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.