MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS FROM 35,000 feet above Thunder Bay, Canada, eastbound on a British Airways 747-400, headed for Munich and the start of Cycle World's fourth-annual GP Euro-Tour... This year’s route takes us through the Alps into Italy’s Tuscany region and the roadrace grand prix at Mugello, 20 miles north of Florence.
SOMETHING WAS MISSING. I COULDN’T think what, exactly, but during those first few hours of circulating through the Chicago Bike Show last winter I realized I was looking, almost subliminally, for something that wasn’t there. Finally, as I gnawed on my $3 hot dog at lunchtime, it dawned on me that there is an entire category of bike virtually absent from our 1996 marketplace.
ARE YOU LYING AWAKE AT NIGHT, struggling with the question of why great big Formula One auto racing engines can rev higher than Superbikes? It’s hard to sleep peacefully, knowing that the car people have figured out how to get their hulking 300cc cylinders to redline up at 17 or 18,000 rpm, when our four-cylinder 750 Superbike race engines (187cc cylinders) are struggling to make power down at a lowly 15,000.
It appears that most motorcycle enthusiasts, especially Harley types, need a brief lesson in motorcycle history and general knowledge. The V-Twin that Harley holds so near and dear was used on Indians two years before Harley. “Fat Bob” gas tanks were another catch-up for Harley; Indian introduced the rounded-style tanks in 1934, two years before Harley.
If a few scratches and scrapes indicate it's time for a new off-road skid lid, you might consider the System 6 helmet from Malcolm Smith Racing (252 Granite St., Corona, CA 91719; 909/340-3301). Features include a removable and washable CoolMax liner, an aerodynamic visor, flow-through ventilation and goggle-strap positioning pads. Available in four color combinations in sizes XS-XXL, the System 6 costs $200 from motorcycle dealers.
Malcolm Smith Racing
ROUGH TOUCH SCRUBS
The next time your hands are coated with dirt and grime, reach for Rough Touch Scrubs from Dymon, Inc. (1933 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., #229, Columbus, OH 43229; 800/289-3966). According to the manufacturer, the pre-moistened towels quickly clean and soften hands, leaving them conditioned and residue-free. Guaranteed safe on tools and painted surfaces, they are available in 30and 60-count containers for $10 and $15 from motorcycle dealers.
Malcolm Smith Racing
PAIOLI HARLEY-DAVIDSON FORKS
Italian-made Paioli forks are now available for Harley-Davidsons. Distributed in the U.S. by Moto Cycle (401 Jones Mills Rd., Stahlstown, PA 15687; 412/593-6208), the forks fit XL, FXR and FXST models, but can be modified for any H-D application, claims the manufacturer. Standard features include 46mm stanchions, 4.7 inches of travel, external damping adjustment and polished triple-clamps. Available from motorcycle dealers or direct from Moto Cycle, the forks retail for $2550.
Malcolm Smith Racing
AGV LASER RACING SUIT
Hand-crafted in Italy, AGV's one-piece Laser racing suit is produced from 1.3mm top-grain leather. Triple-and quadruple-stitched at the impact zones, the ventilated suit is fully armored and has stretch panels at the elbows and inner thighs for comfort. Available in a broad range of sizes, The suit costs $920 from motorcycle dealers. For more details, contact AGV, 801 East St., Frederick, MD 21701; 800/777-7006.
Malcolm Smith Racing
HERITAGE BOLT-ON SADDLEBAGS
Once available for Harley-Davidsons only, Heritage saddlebags are now made to fit Japanese cruisers, including Yamaha's Royal Star. Constructed from waterproofed, 10-ounce leather, the nylon-stitched bags boast nickel-plated roller buckles, internal aluminum support panels and heavy-duty neoprene backing plates. Suggested retail starts at $550, and includes mounting hardware and brackets. More information is available from Heritage Saddlebag Company (P.O. Box 301, Armstrong, B.C., Canada VOE 1BO; 604/546-2997) or your local motorcycle dealer.
Malcolm Smith Racing
AP RACING BRAKES
For the latest in high-performance brakes, AP Racing offers variable-ratio master cylinders, six-piston calipers and 12.6-inch floating discs. Priced at $595, the master cylinder features an adjustable lever and weighs 10 ounces. Two-piece billet calipers cost $695 each, and tip the scales at 22 ounces. Precision-machined and fitted with hard-anodized aluminum carriers, the iron rotors retail for $595-$695 apiece, depending on the application. For more information, contact Event Technology, 35 Coles Orchard Rd., Duxbury, MA 02332; 617/585-1916.
SUZUKI IS EXPECTED TO give birth to a pair of Twins, one an all-out Ducati-killer and the other a hot-rod boulevard cruiser, possibly as early as this fall. While details are sketchy, reports in various European magazines indicate that the Japanese manufacturer is developing a liter-class Twin, perhaps with an eye toward contesting the 1997 World Superbike Championship.
What would a modern-day Indian look like had the legendary American motorcycle manufacturer not ceased production? It may have resembled one of the scale models shown here, built by Wayne Kim (red bike) and Sangjin Lee (black bike), students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
IN RECENT YEARS, HARLEY-Davidsons have become so popular that it is now common practice for dealers to put prospective buyers on a waiting list. That may not be the case for much longer, however, as The Motor Company has announced plans to increase production capacity to 200,000 units by its 100th anniversary in 2003.
“Motorcycles Forever” is the title of an exhibit running through September 29 at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Canada. With more than 120 bikes from 14 countries displayed in chronological order, the exhibit traces the development of two-wheeled transportation through the 20th century.
AFTER AN 18-YEAR ABsence, one of motorcycling’s greatest visionaries is back in business. Craig Vetter, famed inventor of Windjammer fairings, has returned with a new company called Winged Wheels of America (Box 2019, Monterey, CA 93942; 800/842-1949) and an innovative, if odd, new product called the Wingjammer Flairing.
Crash helmets immortalized as works of art? You bet, says celebrity skid-lid painter Troy Lee. Lee, whose sublime brush strokes bedeck helmets in virtually every form of racing, is producing custom-painted copies of the lids worn by four-time Supercross champ Jeremy McGrath (left), three-time Daytona 200 winner Scott Russell (right), F-1 driver Jean Alesi, IndyCar front-runner Paul Tracy and mountain-bike standout John Tomac.
WITH THEME RESTAUrants like Planet Hollywood and the Hard Rock Cafe doing a booming business, it was only a matter of e before motorsports fans t a trendy eatery of their own. The doors were recently blown off of the Race Rock Cafe in Orlando, Florida, just an hour inland from the hallowed high-banks of Daytona International Speedway.
Remember the old Domino's guarantee that if your pizza didn't arrive within 30 minutes, it was free? Well, thanks to a $78 million verdict against the company stemming from an accident involving a delivery person, that policy has been dropped in the U.S. But in most of Domino's overseas markets, where frivolous lawsuits are a rarity, the guarantee is still in effect.
The annual Cycle World Show was covered (literally) in this issue, with five photographs from the event occupying page one and another 28 inside. These were looser times, safety-wise, as evidenced by the trials rider on the cover sporting all the protection his stylish stroker cap could provide.
UP: To Cafe Veloce, for proving that you can have your oil and eat it, too. Paying homage to the glory days of roadracing, this Italian restaurant in Kirkland, Washington, is decorated with all manner of memorabilia and—yes!—real motorcycles from revered marques such as Ducati, Gilera, Motobi and Parilia.
WAY BACK IN 1966, Italian industrialist Francesco Laverda listened to his bike-mad son Massimo and took Moto Laverda for a short, bright ride to the Big Time. Now here we are, 30 years later, and Moto Laverda is back from the dead with a bike called, ironically, the Ghost.
A mountain of motor and more, but will we see it stateside?
WHATEVER YOU USE AS YOUR PERSONAL MEASURE OF HIGH PERformance, forget it. Suzuki's Bandit 1200S is quicker from 0-60 mph than a Honda CBR1000F, a Suzuki GSX-R1100 or a Yamaha V-Max, offers world-class roll-on acceleration and rates as one of the most comfortable mounts on the market.
Cruising Arizona's Monument Valley aboard a Single, a Twin, a Triple and a Four
JON F. THOMPSON
HENRY DAVID THOREAU, THAT PRE-MODERN thinker, greenie and lover of individualism, had the right idea when he noted, "Eastward I go only by force. But westward I go free." These words created a happy resonance for me as we motored along Interstate 40, the rhythms of the unmatched exhaust notes of four very different motorcycles competing with that resonance for rumble room in my cranium.
NESTLED IN THE HILLS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, OVERlooking the Pacific Ocean and the small beach town of San Clemente, is an expansive Spanish-style house. Resting under a quilt on one side of the two-car garage is a 1987 Suzuki Intruder 1400.
WHEN ARLEN NESS DECIDED TO BUILD A CUSTOM touring bike last year, he had a specific concept in mind. "I wanted a sleek performance dresser," he says. Several months later, that's exactly what he had in the Dyna Luxury Liner. Based in San Leandro, California, Ness created the custom Harley with the intention of producing six more on commission.
Slip-slidin' away in the world's most expensive sidecar
THREE-WHEELERS ARE for kids, right? Tricycles on which to begin one's progression to bicycles and, eventually, motorcycles? Once past that glorious Saturday when your dad unbolted the training wheels from your Stingray and spent the afternoon chasing you up and down the street, was no turning back.
OLD WEST FOLKLORE holds that in 1873, a group of stagecoach robbers, hot off a Wells-Fargo heist, fled up Surprise Canyon on the western edge of Death Valley. There, hiding out in an isolated gulch 7000 feet up a mountain bordering Panamint Valley, the bandits found the hills rich with silver.
THE ACRONYM “ABS” WHEN APPLIED to brakes means but one thing to most motorcyclists: an expensive active-control system that keeps wheels turning when brakes are applied, no matter how slippery the surface. But for MC Collection, Inc., the term describes something quite different: a small, gas-pressurized aluminum cylinder to be plumbed into the hydraulic lines of a conventional disc-brake system.
AN EPA-LEGAL, HIGH-performance, two-stroke-powered street motorcycle will go on sale in the U.S. early in 1997. So says Bimota, the Italian specialist producer of super-quality, high-technology motorcycles. The aim of Bimota’s BB 500 is a new performance equation.
A look at the wild and woolly world of international ice speedway
WELCOME TO BEAUTIFUL CENTRAL SIBERIA IN MID-January, temperature minus 38 degrees. Despite the weather, a crowd of 20,000 packs the Krasnojarsk outdoor stadium, standing in the frigid morning air. Over and over, a starting gate lets loose four riders who instantly turn the arena’s slab of ice into a frozen battleground.
The tide had to turn sometime, but nobody thought the record-breaking roadrace and motocross win streaks of Honda factory riders Miguel Duhamel and Jeremy McGrath would topple within a 30-hour period. It started out as just another Saturday night, the Supercross show proceeding as usual in St.
I have a ’94 Kawasaki Ninja EX500 that I park out in the open on an asphalt lot where I live. When I came home from work a few weeks ago, I found the bike lying on its right side with $1600 worth of damage. Apparently, high winds earlier in the day had blown the bike over.
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.