I HATE HEADWINDS. BEHIND ME WAS Hells Half Acre, Wyoming; still to come was South Pass across the Continental Divide, elevation 7550 feet. Take that to mean it was nasty hot and the road ahead was ever-rising. Now, pile on an obstinate squall gusting in from the west (nearby Salt Lake City was hit by a tornado later that day), and it was tough sledding for the Excelsior-Henderson Super X I’d left Sturgis on earlier that morning.
BY NOW, WE’VE PROBABLY ALL SEEN THAT famous article titled “What Your Car Says About You.” In fact, if you get email and have friends who sit around in offices all day with almost nothing to do, you’ve probably seen it about 200 times. Fun stuff, although I don’t know who wrote the thing or where it came from.
As I WALKED DOWN FACTORY ROW AT THE Laguna Seca World Superbike races this summer, seeing the familiar team tractor-trailers, awnings, racebikes, mechanics and riders, this question flashed into my mind: Would I ever see the exact gender reverse of this?
I loved your September cover! I’ll make you a deal. Every issue that has Leeann Tweeden on the cover, I will buy. If she’s there at least half the time, I will subscribe. I remember the Norton Atlas. Almost got one. Didn’t, and have regretted it ever since.
The splendor of Grand Prix racing is coming to America. Only on a much smaller scale. Styled to resemble GP racers, Polini's diminutive 40cc two-strokes come in 4.2-, 6.2and 9.5horsepower versions, with liquidor air-cooling. Weighing approximately 45 pounds, each bike has a top speed said to be in the 50-mph 'hood. Hi-po options include 50cc big-bore kits, Dell'Orto racing carbs, dual-disc front brakes and more. Pricing starts at $1247.
East Coast Minimoto
GOTSPARK IGNITION TESTER
CruzTools is billing its GotSpark Ignition Tester as a simple, safe way to test your motorcycle's electrical system. It secures to a sparkplug wire and motor via a screw-on nipple and al ligator clip. As the engine turns over, the GotSpark's light bulb illuminates if there's a spark. Or not if there's, you know, not. Suggested retail price is $14. Cruz Tools, PO. Box 67353, Scotts Valley, CA 95067; 888/909-8665
East Coast Minimoto
YZF-R1 SLIP-ON EXHAUST
Having grown weary of losing profits to the aftermarket, the folks at Yamaha have introduced a slip-on exhaust for the Ri. Advantages are said to be lighter weight, better throttle response and more horsepower. Available in either carbon-fiber or aluminum guise, the 18-inch muffler comes with billet-aluminum mounting bracket, pipe clamp and new gasket. The aluminum can costs $275, while the c-f version will run you $414.
East Coast Minimoto
YZ400 FUEL TANK
How's this for versatile? Acerbis is offering a Yamaha YZ400 fuel tank with a billet-aluminum gas cap that's interchangeable with a quick-fill dry-break receiver. Made from molded-plastic, the 3.2-gallon tank holds more fuel than the stock version, but isn't any wider at the seat. Dual petcocks are standard fare, several color choices are available and the $449 setup mounts with stock shrouds. Acerbis USA, 13200 Gregg St., Poway, CA 92064; 619/679-5220
East Coast Minimoto
WILLIE G. GLOVES
The Motor Company’s own Willie G. Davidson is lending his famous moniker to a line of apparel that includes this pair of gloves. Costing $90, the sleek-looking, black leather mitts are made of top-grain cowhide and incorporate braiding along the gauntlet that matches the rest of the gear in the lineup. Furthermore, each pair of gloves is adorned with a Willie G. signature badge and the traditional H-D bar and shield.
East Coast Minimoto
Just when you thought motorcycle accessories could be no sexier, CRG introduces these tantalizingly svelte brake and clutch levers. Fashioned from billet aluminum, the dual-beam blades are said to be both lighter and stiffer than stock, and are available in 7.4and 6.4-inch lengths. They replace the stock Brembo levers on most latemodel Ducatis, Bimotas, Aprilias, Laverdas and Moto Guzzis. Price ranges from $30 to $70 each.
East Coast Minimoto
There’s something about donning leathers that just makes you feel fast. And wearing Latin leathers makes you feel even faster. Which brings us to Italy’s Spyke Leathers. Pictured is the two-piece Exceed suit, with top-grain-leather construction, kevlar stretch panels and armor at the back, shoulders, elbows and knees. Available in men’s European sizes 46-60 and women’s sizes 42-50, they come in four color combos. Pricing starts at $967. □
Be cause cold winter months don’t exactly lend themselves to off-roading, get your dirtbike kicks with 989 Sports’ SuperCross Circuit. Designed for Sony PlayStation consoles, the $50 video game allows for racing on 10 bonafide Supercross tracks and 12 authentic MX courses.
WITH THE 1993 INTROduction of the CBR900RR, Honda initiated a new motorcycle category: the "power-to-weight" Open-classer, which combines the agility and lightness of a 600cc machine with the acceleration of a 900/1000cc motor. It was a popular concept, and over the years, Honda sought successfully to widen the circle of consumers to whom the bike appealed.
TRIUMPH IS HEADING down-market, targeting younger, less-affluent motorcyclists. Of the British bikemaker's 10 1999 models, only three currently retail for less than $10,000. Despite their racy nomenclature, though, the Ad venturer 900, Legend TT and Thunderbird Sport are not per formance-oriented.
Psst... Hey, you with the Tuatara, check this out. Bimota owners now have an association to call their own. Founded by U.S. importer Moto Point, the new Bimota Club North America is dedicated to the care and feeding of these exotic Italian sportbikes.
IT WAS JUNE, 1973, WHEN the Earl of March & Kin rara hosted his inaugural Festival of Speed, effectively a two-day asphalt hillclimb for 150 historic-and some significant contemporary-race cars and motorcycles. The machines were timed, one by one, up the sinuous, 2000-yard drive to Goodwood House, the beautiful family home located 60 miles south of London.
This issue was simply teeming with personality. Three of the magazine's major features were profiles of famous racers. How's this for a lineup? An in-depth look at the perilously topsy-turvy career of dirt-tracker Don Castro; a commentary on Can-Am-mounted Billy Uhl and his political warfare over that year's ISDT competition; not to mention a four-page question-and-answer session with 125cc motocross champ Marty Smith, first of the teen-sensation California berm-busters.
TAKE A LOOK AROUND and you'll most likely notice that there are a few more motorcycles on the road these days. In fact, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the number of registered motorcycles has increased by 30 percent over the last eight years.
Never heard of the Sparrow, seat-maker Mike Corbin's electric-powered, three-wheeled single-seater? You will. And soon. In the works for several years, the commuter-friendly lightweight recently passed DOT regs and is headed for full-scale production.
IIP: To Patrik Furstenhoff, for knowing how to get it up-and keep it there. Furstenhoff recently wheelied his turbocharged, 330-horsepower Honda CBR110OXX to a record speed of 201.3 mph. Furstenhoff also established a new record for the fastest wheelie with a passenger (184.0 mph).
A T THE RiSK OF SOUNDING overly stereotypical, we contend that people of Italian descent don't really have to do anything to be sexy. They just are. The same can be said of Italian motorcycles. Which is why the purchase of such a machine can be seen as a wee bit extravagant.
O NE HUNDRED `~~IuI~ and eighty horse power. Think about that for a sec ond. That's more power than Yamaha's legendary TZ750 made when it was intimidating top professional roadracers at Daytona in the 1970s. It's more power than current Superbikes make when winning champi onships.
THINK OF KAWASAKI'S VULCAN 1500 NOMAD AS A 105 percent scale version of the classic American V-Twin touring bike-a nostalgic-yet-practical machine aimed specifically at this country's high ways and byways. The Nomad bagger matches the scale of these United States while providing the comfort to cross them.
Like all motorcyclists of certain age, I have a bunch of friends who are vintage-bike buffs. Some are dilettantes; others can quote the correct cylinderhead torquing sequence for an Ariel Square 4. All, however, are enthusiastic about old Triumphs.
From Sturgis to the sea on the Minnesota mega-cruiser
SIX YEARS AGO, THIS MOTORCYCLE WAS nothing more than an idea, and a crazy one at that, bouncing around in the heads of two brothers who didn't really know any better. Today, it's the calling card of a $100 million company just beginning its second model year of production.
No, this is not some magic elixir prescribed by your urologist. The Deadwood Special is E-H’s new-for-2000 model, named after the Old West town just north of Sturgis where, among other things, Wild Bill Hickock was gunned down and the Hanlons were inspired to start their motorcycle company.
The Motor Company's latest Softail should be truly contagious
"IT's THE PRETTIEST Softail Custom we've ever announced." says Willie G. Davidson, Harley’s iconic styling director, of the year-2000 FXSTD Deuce. He's right. Harley’s newest Softail builds on the same mechanical hardware of other Y2K Softails-a redone chassis and the counterbalanced Twin Cam 88 “Beta” engine-then adds sleek, refined components and styling.
T hat Willie G. should wax poetic over The Motor Company's new-for2000 FXSTD Deuce could be discounted as so much PR hoopla. His last name is Davidson, remember? But for his aesthetic musings to be backed up by today's premier customizers; well, that's a whole `nother ball of carnuba.
AN ANGUISHED HOWL OF RUBBER AGAINST PAVEMENT ECHOES off the surrounding buildings as the peculiar machine slows for a corner. Tail hung well out in a controlled brake slide as the fat rear tire scribes a dark arc deep into the apex. Confident in the bike's capability, the rider dials on the power and completes the corner in a crossed-up wl-A few more hot laps around the curbed islands and light poles, and it's time to get out of Dodge before the~c sheriff arrives...
FOR OUTSIDERS LOOKING IN, THE whole Moto Guzzi thing can be likened to the Harley-Davidson mystique. You know, that if you-have-to-ask business. After all, Guzzi types often exhibit a sense of proud eccentricity, they congregate together in an almost clannish manner, and they keep their bikes for years and years.
I T WAS AN INTRO FIT FOR ROYALTYand, in fact, The King himself, Richard Petty (along with biker son Kyle) was there at the Sturgis Rally & Races when Victory pulled the wraps off its new-for-'OO V92SC. What The King and I saw was a hotted-up version of the standard V92 cruiser aimed more at turning comers than turning heads.
DUCATI'S PLANS TO PRODUCE A LIMited run of 996-based Carl Fogarty Replicas have prompted Aprilia to unveil its own race-spec roadburner: the RSV Mille SP. The SP is a carbon copy of the factory machine campaigned in World Superbike by Peter Goddard.
Honda CR25OR New from the knobs up Why is it that Honda has been taking so much heat for its aluminum-framed CR250? The bike hasn't been that bad, it's just been searching for a good setup. In 1997 it was a supercrosser, and in `98 it was more of an off-road racer.
S URPRISE! WHILE WE WERE SIT ting around waiting for news of Honda's XR600 replacement (it is coming!), Suzuki pulled the wraps off its four-stroke enduro and dual-purpose models. The all-new machines are being touted as serious off-roaders with an eye toward compe tition.
ON A DIRTBIKE, A CARRY-ALONG TOOLkit can’t be too small or contain too few tools. The perfect kit, in fact, would be about the size of a credit card and contain just one tool that could turn every fastener on the entire motorcycle. Nice idea. Ain’t gonna happen.
EERIE, THE SILENCE OF A DESERT SO CROWDED WITH people. Waiting. All eyes focused on a banner held high a quarter-mile away, counting down the seconds `til it dropped... BRRRRAAAAPPPP!!! Like an explosion thundering off the desert floor, hundreds of dirtbikes from the pre-silencer era headed for the smokebomb and the hills beyond, bounding across sand, ditches, rocks and whatever else the desert had up its ancient sleeve.
IT'S A SHAME THAT HARLEY-DAVIDSON used the "Baja" name to adorn its 100cc scrambler, because there was a later model that was arguably more deserving. On Friday, June 13, 1975, two desert-racing-legends-in-the-making named Bruce Ogilvie and Lany Roeseler rode an SX250 to the overall motorcycle win in the Baja 500.
WHEN IT COMES TO DIRTBIKE MAINTEnance, there’s nothing more disgusting than cleaning a dirty air filter. It’s a time-consuming pain that can leave oil and grime all over you and your garage. Well, forget everything you thought you knew about cleaning filters, because No Toil has a solution that seems too good to be true.
ATTENTION SPANS AREN'T WHAT THEY USED BE... Where were we? Yes, the Suzuka 8-Hour. It lasts 8 hours. It’s the endurance race most race fans know, as opposed to the Bol d’Or or Le Mans 24-Hours, which are much more esoteric and take more endurance from everybody.
Brother, another Hayden Ah, to be young. Chasing chicks, scoring beer, trying to get out of homework without suffering parental tyranny, fighting for national roadrac ing championships... Huh? Okay, so these three polite young brothers-Tommy, Nicky and Roger Lee Hayden-have exhibited no indication of traipsing down the path to wickedness.
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