WAS TALKING THE OTHER DAY WITH Lucian Smith, who runs a custom Harley shop in Florida. Smith is a dedicated gearhead with a background in aviation and off-shore powerboats. He also sold Harley-Davidsons for a time. Problem was, with the demand for Harleys so high, he didn't have much work after each year's new-model allotment had been scarfed up by eager buyers.
LAST SUMMER, MY NEIGHBOR CHRIS Beebe saw an ad in the paper that said (I am quoting here from memory), "Three BSA 650s for sale, one good runner in nice condition, two parts bikes; $1000 takes it all." Now Chris is not a die-hard BSA fan, but the deal seemed too good to pass up, so he made the call.
IT'S ALWAYS FUN TO DEBATE WHETHER 'TIS nobler in the mind to use inverted-bucket tappets or to endure the outrageous slings and arrows of rocker arms. Advanced design features are, however, just an unproven bucket of bolts until development makes it all work as it should.
I have always been amazed at how Tech Editor Kevin Cameron can express such passion about motorcycle technology in his TDC column, but I was particularly moved by his non-technological "Reasons to romp" in the February issue. It truly captured all of the different facets of motorcycle enjoyment.
If you never have enough space for storing your stuff, check out the courier-style Bolo Bag from Timbuk2 Designs. Fashioned from 1000-denier cordura nylon, the waterproof bag features a large main compartment and four smaller pockets. Velcro closures, a removable change holder, reflective striping and adjustable shoulder and waist straps are added perks. Available in a myriad of custom colors, the 24 x 13 x 8-inch Bob costs $70 from motor cycle dealers. One larger and two smaller models are available, as well.
VINTAGE WIND CALENDAR
Enjoy the legends of motorcycle racing while keeping up with your appointments. The 1997 Vintage Wind Calendar from J&P Cycles features a dozen black-and-white photographs of vintage motorcycles and racers, plus a listing of many national motorcycle-related events. Suggested retail is $7 plus $3 shipping, payable to J&P Cycles.
No basket cases here: Designed for late-model Japanese dirtbikes, Hinson Clutch Baskets are machined from aircraft-quality billet aluminum and hard-coated for added durability. Five times stronger than stock, the bolt-on baskets are claimed to extend clutch plate life and increase engine performance. Used by Team Honda, the baskets carry a suggested retail price of $225 and are available from motorcycle dealers.
HYPERPRO PERFORMANCE SUSPENSION KIT
Hyperpro's Link-System Curve springs are designed to improve the performance of your motorcycle's front and rear suspension. Available for most late-model American, European and Japanese streetbikes, the kits come with fork and shock springs, replacement oil and instructions. Pricing starts at $300. For more information, contact your local motorcycle dealer or Fast By Ferracci.
Enhancing your bike's appearance doesn't have to mean. customizing the entire machine. A little paint here, a little chrome there... Take, for example, this flush-mount universal fuel cap from Barnett. Fully vented, the non-locking cap is manufactured from aircraft-quality polished aluminum. It carries a suggested retail price of $140 from motorcycle dealers.
ALL IN ONE TOOL KIT
Lugging big, bulky tool kits can be tiresome, but a convenient alternative is the All In One Tool Kit from Scotts. Included in the 4.5-inch-long carrying case are a reversible ratchet with knurled speed knob; 8, 10 and 12mm sockets; 4, 5 and 6mm Allen wrenches; and flat-and Phillips-head screwdriver tips. The kit costs $17 from motorcycle dealers or Scotts.
WHILE THE NEW ALLOY-framed, three-cylinder Daytona T595 superbike (see test, page 38) will serve as the base platform for Triumph's model range in coming years, two- and four-cylinder models may also figure prominently in the company's future.
THE MORBIDELLI 850 V8 is not a motorcycle for the faint of heart. From its 32-valve, eight-cylinder engine to its approximate $160,000 asking price, the Italian machine requires true intestinal fortitude, not to mention a healthy bank account.
Like Americas Europe is currently in the throes of cruiser fever. So it comes as little surprise that after the Royal Star's successful European introduction, Yamaha decided to build a more accessible middleweight cruiser. Enter the XVS650 Drag Star.
With all the attention focused on Ducati's recent financial troubles, one of the other marques in the Cagiva Group's portfolio celebrated its 50th birthday almost completely unnoticed. Moto Morini earned a sound reputation for small-capacity Singles in the 1960s, and went on to carve a niche in the sportbike market with a range of lightweight pushrod V-Twins through the '70s.
ONCE YOU PUT A COMPUTER on a vehicle, you can think up all sorts of extra work for it. In this case, some commander in Yamaha's R&D department decided to see what could be done for dirtbikes with an anti-spin traction-control system. As lately applied to 500cc GP roadracers and Honda's ST1100 sport-tourer, an anti-spin system senses a runaway rate of rear-wheel acceleration, and controls it by instantly retarding the engine's ignition.
While Suzuki's sportbikes currently hold sway for the company stateside, its more diminutive two-wheelers are capturing the imagination of riders on the Continent. With sleek, racy styling and sporty performance, Katana scooters are available with either liquid- or air-cooled 49cc engines: The liquid-cooled model is tuned for low-to-midrange torque, while the air-cooled one is designed for a higher top speed.
April showers may bring May flowers, but it's beautiful women astride sparkling motorcycles who capture the hearts of budding bike enthusiasts. For proof, one need only peek inside the front cover of this issue, where Norton's latest lovely was proffered alongside a shiny new 750 Commando Interstate.
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY night... No really, it was a dark and stormy night. So dark and stormy, in fact, that 41-year-old Virgil Huffman overshot a turn while en route to his Creston, Ohio, home. He wound up separated from his Harley-Davidson and splayed out in a cornfield with a broken hip.
How many of today's motorcyclists got their start on a small-bore Honda such as an SL70 or XR75? Well, many more may do the same with the 1997 XR70R, which will fill the gap for first-time riders who are too big for a Z50, but too small for an XR80R. The newest and smallest member of the XR family mates the venerable CT70 powertrain with an all new single-shock "hanger" chassis, which suspends the two-valve Single from above.
UP: To U-Haul, for recognizing the popularity of motocross. As part of the company's America's Moving Adventure promotion, U-Haul is decorating its larger moving trucks with illustrations of various sports. Skiers, sailors and horseback riders have all graced the cross-country moving vehicles, and now motocrossers are making an appearance, too.
YOU MIGHT NOT RECOGNIZE it, but the motorcycle shown here is a Honda CBR900RR. What's more, its far-out bodywork was created not in Italy or California, but in the Czech Republic, where Innotech founder Zdenek Mrkvica intends to market his Crea kits for $4800.
Ducati's title-winning Twin defends its honor against Honda's VTR1000F, Suzuki's TL1000s and Triumph's T595 Daytona
Gentlemen, start your engines
HORSEPOWER & TORQUE
IN TERMS OF PURE PERFORMANCE, DUCATI'S 916 IS THE bike to beat. If you don't believe us, ask Carl Fogarty. The British rider won two successive World Superbike Championships aboard a 916 before switching to a Honda RC45 last season and promptly losing the title to Australian Troy Corser aboard—you guessed it—another 916.
Software triumphs over hardware as we enter the age of fuel injection
HAS THE GREAT DAY COME? FOR YEARS, I HAVE believed that quantity production of motorcycle fuel injection could drive its price below that of conventional carburetors. Carburetors are complex castings carefully machined, then covered with linkages and other gadgetry—different for every model.
WHILE AMERICAN DUCATISTI have the arrival of the 748 to applaud, there won't be any cheering for the 916's kid brother at U.S. roadraces this year. Less than two months before the start of the '97 season, plans for Ducati's factory-backed roadrace teams, Fast by Ferracci and newly signed Vance & Hines Racing, to field 748s in 600cc supersport competition got nixed by the AMA rules committee.
Of Milwaukee Vibrators, Triumph 40-inchers, Voo-Doo Goldies and the men who rode them
SIXTEEN DEAFENING XR-750s occupying all 16 starting places of the dirt-track national at the Terre Haute Action Track were doing the essential Harley-Davidson macho number, clearing their throats going boom-flah!, boom-flah! Raising his voice to be heard over all the Milwaukee propaganda, a sidelined Kenny Roberts said, resignedly, "I think they got a winner there." Little did he know.
AS WE SAT IN FRONT OF THE PEMEX GAS PUMPS IN Catavina, waiting for a tanker truck to refill the station, a small group gathered around, curious about the bikes we were riding. One man, obviously in-the-know, pointed in our direction, turned to his Son and said, "You're seeing history.
One world championship, five national championships and nine ISDT gold medals between 'em
Malcolm Smith, now 55, still goes like stink off-road. When he isn't developing dirtbike products or leading 4x4 expeditions, he's putting on rides in Baja to raise money for his favorite charity, International Child Care. Smith remembers his first Baja race, the inaugural Mexican 1000 in 1968.
With champagne toasts and immaculate motorcycles, Cycle World celebrated its 35th birthday by hosting an Invitational Concours d'Elegance at the Anaheim International Motorcycle Show. Editors selected first-|, secondand third-place winners in seven classes, plus Best of Show.
THAT'S IT! IF I SEE ONE MORE photo of some Euro moto-maniac sliding a dirtbike foot down through a paved corner with the back end hung out, I'm going to...well, lose my grip. What's a guy have to do to get in on the action, give up his American citizenship?
A DECADE AFTER THE LAST SUPERbikers race in the U.S., supermotard competition is flourishing throughout Europe. This Yankee born breed of racing made its Continental debut in 1981 following French journalist Philippe Debarle's visit to the ABC-TV Superbikers event at California's Carlsbad Raceway.
NOTHING PUTS A DAMPER ON MOTORCYcling like rain. But wet-weather riding only needs to be as uncomfortable as you make it. Because if you adhere to the Boy Scout credo—Be Prepared—not only will you stay dry, you just might enjoy yourself.
FEW INJURIES ARE AS DEBILITATING—OR as painful—as a twisted knee. That's why knee braces have proven so popular with motocrossers, particularly those who have suffered torn ligaments and don't wish to relive the experience. Unfortunately, high-quality, custom-fitted knee braces are expensive, a situation exacerbated by deep-pocket insurance companies that often pick up the tab as part of the rehabilitation process.
PROTECTIVE RIDING APPAREL COMES IN various shapes, sizes and prices, so making the right selection can be a challenge. One recourse is Motoport's Body Guard Jacket, which is less jacket and more armored undershirt. Constructed from nylon and lycra, the Body Guard is equipped with removable closed-cell T-Pro armor at the back, chest, elbows/forearms and shoulders.
IN KEEPING WITH THE RULES OF JOURnalism and literary criticism, let the record begin with the fact that the author of this book and the author of this review are friends; in fact, this reviewer is mentioned in the introduction, and the review copy arrived autographed.
WHEN THE MERCURY GRAVITATES TOWARD freezing, do you favor four wheels over a frosty faceshield? Maybe you need Marmot's Power Stretch undersuit. Outdoor outfitter Marmot Mountain Ltd. (2321 Circadian Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95407; 707/544-4590) knows something about keeping warm.
Four-time AMA Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath abandons Honda to form his own team
ON THE AFTERNOON OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1996, Jeremy McGrath crossed the finish line, fists raised in victory, at the 50th Motocross des Nations held at Jerez, Spain. In doing so, McGrath and teammates Jeff Emig and Steve Lamson wrested the coveted world team title from the hands of the Europeans, who had held the Chamberlain Trophy for two years.
Inquiring minds want to know what's happening with two ambitious racebike projects: the Team Roberts three-cylinder 500cc GP bike being built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) in Britain, and the March Superbike, likewise an English project.
Fifteen years of microelectronic research makes conventional antennas a thing of the past!
This little box uses your home's electrical wiring to give non-subscribers, cable subscribers and satellite users better TV reception!
Until recently, the only convenient way to guarantee great TV reception was to have cable installed or place an antenna on top of your TV. But who wants to pay a monthly cable fee just to get clear reception, or have rabbit-ear antennas that just don't work on all stations?
How to make your car invisible to radar and laser... legally!
Rocky Mountain Radar introduces a device guaranteed to make your car electronically "invisible" to speed traps—if you get a ticket while using the product, the manufacturer will pay your fine!
If your heart doesn't skip a beat when you drive past a speed trap—even if you aren't speeding—don't bother reading this. I can't tell you how many times that has hapPened to me. Driving down the interstate with my cruise control set at eight miles over the limit, I catch a glimpse of a Police car parked on the side of the road.
What's the best way for me to prevent my parked bike from being moved? I own a '90 Yamaha FZR600 that I have to park out on the street; so, I lock the steering and, as dictated by law, take up a full space allotted for a car. On two occasions, I've parked the bike in that manner only to find that someone had moved it a short distance to an illegal parking spot.
"Uh, gee, Mr. Lawwill, are you sure this is the way Cindy Crawford got started?" We need your photos for Slipstream. We're looking for photos that make us smile because they say something about motorcycling.