ROGER REIMAN DIED AT DAYTONA INternational Speedway, March 4, 1997. The 1964 Grand National Champion and former factory Harley-Davidson team member was practicing for a BMW Battle of the Legends race when he tangled with a group of riders and went down.
THERE WAS AN ITEM ON THE NEWS LAST night about brain-tissue shrinkage in teens who sniff glue, nail polish and various inhalants to get high. After hearing a few of these supposedly brain-damaged kids interviewed, I couldn’t help wondering how smart they’d been before acquiring the inhalant habit.
VEHICLES ARE MADE OF SPRINGS. EVEN A tire is a spring, because if you press it down and release it, it will bounce back up. Tires can also flex and oscillate sideways. Suspensions have springs and, less obviously, the chassis they attach to is also springy.
Nice article, April’s “The Great 916 Challenge,” and the Ducati winning was pretty much what I expected. I was disappointed, however, that an “If it were my money” impression was not included. I believe most readers/riders want to know which is best to own for everyday application and cost (i.e. maintenance).
Billed as the definitive video history of the Triumph Thunderbird, this 38-minute tape was produced by restoration expert Bill Dunlap and covers the history of the model from 1949 right up to the current, Hinckley-built Triples. The video takes a decidedly American perspective, including rare footage from the Catalina GP and Bonneville Salt Flats, plus an interview with Pete Colman, a principal with Johnson Motors, Triumph’s West Coast distributors. The first in a proposed video series on landmark machines, Thunderbird! retails for $30.
WINNING HAND GLOVES
Meet motocrossing’s royal flush: Troy Lee Designs’ Winning Hand off-road gloves ($36) feature neoprene-and-lycra construction, padded Clarino palms, spandex between the tapered fingers, terry-cloth thumbs and protective vinyl trim. Originally developed for downhill mountain-bike racing, they’re available in S-XL sizes in either Forest Green/Cream or red/blue color combinations.
STEEL-BRAIDED BRAKE LINES
Galfer steel-braided brake lines are designed to eliminate the expansion often associated with stock rubber hoses. Offered with black or clear PVC coating, the teflon-lined cables fit most late-model cruisers and sportbikes. Pricing starts at $85, which includes hardware and mounting instructions.
The ’70s are back with a vengeance, and nowhere is this more apparent than in motocross. Shift Clothing is making the most of this retro-trend with après-race apparel such as its ultra-hip, blue-and-black vinyl jacket worn here by motocross champ Jeff Emig. As stylish with MX gear as it is with a polyester turtleneck and bellbottoms, the comfortably casual $198 jacket (sizes S-XL) has a quilted lining, reflective trim and molded Shift logos. No fashion victims here...
SIGNET KENNY ROBERTS JR. REPLICA
Being the child of someone famous can be a burden or a boon. For grand prix roadracer Kenny Roberts Jr., one birthright bonus is Arai's Signet KRJR. A faithful replica of his distinctive black-red-and-white helmet, it features the company’s patented tool-less shield-changing system, complex-laminate shell and optically correct faceshield. Yours, in sizes XS-XXXL, for $448.
Dunlopad claims unparalleled stopping power from its sintered-metal brake pads. But you needn’t be a professional roadracer to appreciate fade-free braking performance. To wit: The company now offers its S55 compound, formerly only available in sportbike and off-road applications, for Honda GL1500 Gold Wings. All applications, including the CBR1100XX Super Blackbird pads shown here, feature zirconium-ceramic backing plates, which reduce heat transfer to brake fluid, eliminating fade. Per-caliper pricing begins at $30.
When man invented the wheel, he probably had no idea that his contraption would eventually evolve into a Boyds five-spoke Daytona. CNC-machined from 6061 billet-aluminum, the wheels accommodate single or dual brake discs, and chain or belt final drive. Available with a chromed or polished finish in a range of diameters and widths, they fit most late-model Harley-Davidsons. Cost varies from $768-$903 per wheel, depending on size.
HAVING ALREADY PROduced recreational vehicles for dirt, snow and water, Polaris will take to the open road next year with its first motorcycle. In confirming what had been a poorly kept industry secret, the world’s largest snowmobile manufacturer announced it will enter the streetbike market in 1998 with a made-in-the-USA cruiser to be sold under the brand name Victory.
KENNY ROBERTS ROADracing again? Not quite, but as promised, the three-time 500cc world champion was first to swing a leg over his upstart V-Three 500cc grand prix racer. “I always said that I wanted to be the first (to ride the bike),” he says.
Can it be? Have the decision-makers at grand old BMW AG flipped their lids?! It certainly looks that way. Citing the continuing climb in cruiser sales, the German manufacturer has introduced a big-bore boulevard bike with styling that evokes memories of the "Batcycle."
Talk about a demo ride: BMW of North America’s new “Best Test in the West” program gives motorcyclists a unique opportunity to test ride the BMW of their choice on one of seven three- or four-day tours through the Western U.S. Even better, should an attendee decide to purchase a new BMW within 90 days of his test ride, he will receive a coupon equal to the full value of the tour toward BMW accessories.
WHAT WILL APRILIA'S forthcoming RS1000 Superbike look like? We can’t say for sure, but this factory engineering drawing certainly gives a good indication. The new bike’s fuel-injected, dohc, 60degree V-Twin engine, built by Rotax in Austria, is currently undergoing further development by Cosworth in England, where it is reportedly producing 160 horsepower at the crankshaft.
Hot on the heels of our Honda CR500 project ("Superbiker Revival," April, 1997), Cycle World, in conjunction with the California Motorcycle Road Race Association (CMRRA), will bring Superbikers racing back to Southern California with an inaugural event at the Streets of Willow Springs, June 28-29.
EVERYONE HAS FANTASIZED about roosting through town on a motocross bike, and now, thanks to Cagiva, that dream is a reality. The Italian company’s Super City 125 brings supermotard styling to the streets in a light and nimble package that begs for fun and frolic.
The editors got into the swing of summer with this issue, using a California sunset as the backdrop for a cover shot of a Triumph T120RV Bonneville. Although the venerable “Bonnie” had been subjected to a major redesign the year prior, it went under the knife again for 1972, receiving a new five-speed gearbox.
HAVE YOU GOT AN ITCH to try your hand at 600cc flat-tracking, but the thought of shelling out $11,000 for a brand-new Wood-Rotax leaves you feeling a little, er, flat? Then ATK’s new production roundy-round racer should be right up your alley.
The seventh portrait in artist Harry Miller's American Racing Legends Series pays tribute to fallen dirt-tracker Rodney Farris, who was killed in an accident at the 1995 Du Quoin, Illinois, Mile. Limited-edition prints signed and numbered by the artist sell for $100 apiece, while unsigned examples go for just $25 (plus $5 shipping).
UP: To Men’s Journal and Vanity Fair, for sprucing up March newsstands with cover photos of celebrities on motorcycles. The former featured country crooner Lyle Lovett astride his KTM, while the latter depicted comedienne Julia Louis-Dreyfus posing on a 1932 AJS—“posing” being the key word, because the “Seinfeld” girl doesn’t ride bikes.
SOMETIMES IT SEEMS THAT race-replicas have the career span of a 14-year-old Olympic gymnast. Gold may come once, but by the next time the five-ring circus unfolds its tents, the winning gymnast is less newsworthy than last week’s lottery number, replaced by yet another pre-adolescent tumbler.
CROSS A V-MAX WITH A WORKS SUPERBIKE, AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GET
THE DUCATI WORLD SUPERBIKE RIDER WAS OUT on Italy's Mugello circuit during open practice, working hard to shave fractions from his lap time. Heading into the long left-hander, he braked later, carried a little more speed into the corner as his knee grazed the pavement.
WE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT HONDA’S Tokyo show-stopper, the X4 musclebike, to be merely a signature away from stateside debarkation. After all, the 1254cc dragster-derived power cruiser is already on sale in Japan and may arrive in Europe this fall.
MARK MOISAN CAME TO NATIONAL ATTENTION THREE years ago when his turbocharged Suzuki GSXR1100 streetbike blew through an FIM-certified speed trap at 229 mph. At that time, Moisan had nothing to sell and represented no shop, manufacturer or enterprise, other than himself and his ability to build and tune a turbobike.
Cobra kicks out the jams with a trio of custom cruisers
Valkyrie Super Six
Royal Star Eleganza
Vulcan Green Streak
LOUD MUSIC, LOUD PAINT AND loud exhausts are forever wed, lauded in recordings by rock-and-roll bands from The Beach Boys to Bush. Hot-rods inspire songs, and are inspired by songs. But while the lowered roadsters in the ZZ Top videos epitomize cool, even the Bearded Ones themselves prefer cruising on two wheels to four.
WORK WITH ME ON THIS. I ASK YOU TO NAME AMERICA'S most famous motorcycle. You respond with, what, some spindly Nineteen-aughtsomething contrivance from Indian, Excelsior or Harley-Davidson? Won’t cut it, pal—we’re talking fame here, celebrity, stature, star power.
It's more like magic than machine, As if the steel, was forged in dreams, And tempered in some mystic flame Where wild incarnate spirits reign
CHOPPERS ARE THE FREAK FLAGS OF BIKERDOM—magna-cum-loudness convolutions of style that have come to symbolize the dark side of motorcycle culture. In our mind's eye, we see not one chopper but a string of them, traveling down some coastal highway in a blaze of gory.
Japanese autoracing: Road Warrior meets the Kentucky Derby
SEQUESTERED IN A SMALL ROOM on the ground floor of the 44,000-seat stadium in Kawaguchi, Japan, are eight battlehardened men, all dressed in roadracing leathers and wearing steel shoes on their left boots. In a nearby alcove, eight identically prepared speedway-style motorcycles await.
ENTER THIS IN THE BEEN THERE, Done That File: You’re up early for a day of trail riding. The morning is cool and you dress appropriately. But by noon, the mercury has risen, and you realize you’ve donned too much gear. Is your only option to suffer in the sweltering sun?
NEXT TO BROKEN-IN BLUE JEANS AND boots that don’t hurt your feet, comfortable gloves are probably closer to a rider’s heart than most accessories we buy. They fall into the “old friends” category of riding gear. They also lead a hard life: Sweat, rain, sunlight, snow and road rash all take their toll, so they have to be replaced from time to time.
WHEN MY KIDS WERE YOUNG AND CAME HOME from school armed with the words you and I had to learn in the Navy, I countered their intentions, which were to entertain Mom at dinner, with logic: Those words are special words, I said. They are very powerful.
TRUTH BE TOLD, THE ARROW AND SCOUT LIGHTWEIGHTS, introduced in 1948, aren't really what killed Indian. Lay the blame for that squarely at the feet of poor strategic planning, undercapitalization, godawful buildquality and plain ol’ bad luck.
Trail riding, timekeeping and torture testing nine all-around off-roaders
Gas Gas 250 Endurocross
KTM 250 E/XC
WHAT MAKES A GOOD ENDURO BIKE? GOOD QUESTION, BECAUSE AS FAR as we can see, the only common denominators among enduro bikes seem to be two wheels and some kind of internal-combustion powerplant. They can have nickel-plated perimeter frames or simple roundtube affairs.
WE'VE NEVER OFFICIALLY TESTED MZ’s Silver Star, the German company’s entry-level Thumper. Not that we’re unfamiliar with the likable retro-standard. Fact is, the bike has received thumbs-up for its classic styling, nimble handling and upright ergonomics.
Scott Russell hits another homer at the Daytona 200
SCOTT RUSSELL'S TALENT IS FORmidable—and portable. After three Daytona wins on Kawasakis and a close second last year on a Suzuki, he came back on a Yamaha to dominate this year’s 200 for a record four wins. Yamaha itself was equally impressive, affirming its place in motorcycle sport.
600 Supersport: We expect close racing from 600s, but Daytona was fabulous, with as many as 10 riders in the lead group, continually using all their guile and skill to zap one another. Pascal Picotte, the ultimate winner, said it best: “I was leading.
I have a perplexing problem with my ’94 Honda CBR600F2. When I ride the freeway on my way to work every morning, the engine dies while I’m climbing a long uphill grade on the route. And it does the same thing on the way home when I ride up the same hill in the other direction.
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.