WHEN IT COMES TO JOINING ORGANIZAtions, I faithfully subscribe to the views of that great Borscht Belt philosopher Julius Henry Marx, who proclaimed, "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member." (Of course, Groucho also said, "Those are my principles.
SO THERE WE WERE, A SMALL GROUP OF four riders on the Edelweiss/Cycle World GP Euro-Tour this summer, steeplechasing on twisting asphalt over hill and dale, across the kind of fertile and beautiful French landscape that has caused generations of Germanic tribes (the Franks most notably) to come flooding appreciatively west out of the gloomy, dripping woods across the Rhine.
NOT EVERY NEW RACING SUPERBIKE IS successful. Right now, seeing the early successes of Honda's new RC51 1000cc V-Twin, some are saying, "Well of course it's successful—look at the resources and experience Honda has." Nicky Hayden was a very close second at this year's Daytona on the new Honda, and has won three other AMA nationals since then.
I'm writing to you to express my concern as to the new editorial direction of Cycle World. I hadn't realized you had become a paid advert rag for greedy speculators to use to help them increase the price of antiques and classic machinery.
Getting all wrapped up in Ducati is easier than ever, what with these fashionable fleeces from the popular, exotic marque. Made in Italy, of course, the Polar and Polar J are made from super-soft fleece and polyester, and can be snugged with a drawstring at the waist. Priced at $87, the former has a snap-down collar and small storage pocket at the chest. And the latter, which costs $124, features a full-length front zipper, hand-warmer pockets and dual-colored styling. Both are available in sizes S-XXL.
Ducati North America
On Any Sunday Revisted
You'd think that it would be impossible to improve upon On Any Sunday and the adventures of Malcolm Smith, Mert Lawwill and Steve McQueen. You'd be wrong. On Any Sunday Revisited is a retrospective on the famous original and includes an in-depth interview with director Bruce Brown and his son Dana, rider profiles, a Steve McQueen biography and more. Suggested retail is $20.
Ducati North America
After years of supplying other companies with off-road accessories, Fastway introduces its own Evolution Footpegs. Borrowing cues from the BMX crowd, the cast-titanium pegs have a wide, grippy platform for maximum stability and control. They're also equipped with replaceable teeth and an adjustable mounting system that accommodates most late-model off-road bikes. Pricing starts at $140.
Ducati North America
Looking for a safe place to stash your stuff during those mid-ride stops? Look no farther than the PacSafe Travel Safe. In a nutshell, it's a pouch comprising flexible, stainless-steel wire that's been laminated between sheets of weather-resistant nylon. Weighing less than 9 ounces with the included padlock, the sack has an internal capacity of 2.5 liters. In other words, your wallet, cell phone, camera, etc. will all fit. Keep your stuff safe for $45.
Ducati North America
If years of post-ride beer and barbecues have your motocross pants feeling like they've shrunk (they haven't), try Grey Wolf Relaxed Fit MX pants. Brainchild of CW founder Joe Parkhurst, who's had a beer or two himself over the years, the 1000-denier cordura pants are amply cut through the thighs and padded hips, and come with a highrise, elasticized waistband. Plenty of spandex keeps things stretchy, while kevlar panels at the knees ensure durability. The $150 pants are available in blue-and-black, and in (real) men's waist sizes 36-48.
Ducati North America
If you're a literary buff, you might confuse Plexus Plastic Cleaner with part of Henry Miller's infamous trilogy. Or you might not. Either way, the cleanser was originally intended for aircraft windshields, and it's a natural for motorcycles. Designed to repel dust, hide small scratches and remove all manner of grime and goo, Plexus can be used on lexan, plexiglass, carbon-fiber, powdercoat and more. Plus, it's easy to use: Simply spray it on, and wipe it off. Available in 7- and 13-ounce aerosol cans, it costs either $6 or $8.
Ducati North America
With cool weather approaching, The Motor Company has your hands covered, both in the shop and on the road. For those lacking a Peter Egan-esque, heated garage, there are the $39 Mechanic Gloves. Wrench-friendly features include a snug fit, anti-slip grip and tiny magnets under the index fingers and thumbs. For riding, there are the $80 Defender Gloves, which are fully lined and feature leather construction, reinforced palms and stretch panels at the wrists and fingers. Velcro closure and a draw cord result in a comfortable fit.
Ducati North America
Leave it to those finicky Beemer guys to come up with yet another nifty bit for their bikes. Perhaps the ultimate in trick geegaws are these Cam Tunnel Covers from M.A.P. Engineering, best known for its oversized brake kits. Designed to fit all BMW "oil-head" engines, the CNC-machined-from-aluminum caps are finned to complement the motor. The result is a much sleeker look than that offered by the black, plastic stock units. Lef- tand right-side covers and O-rings are included in the $55 price.
SUZUKI'S RIP-SNORTIN', 170-mph GSX-R750 doesn't trip your trigger, eh? Hang on to your heart rate, then, because Hamamatsu is readying an even hotter Open-class version of its award-winning superbike. Spy photos published in Germany's Motorrad magazine reveal a pre-production GSX-R1000 clad in bodywork virtually identical—right down to the decals and graphics—to the current GSX-R750.
THOUGH HIS RECORD NUMber of wins at the Isle of Man TT made him seem immortal, Irish roadracing legend Joey Dunlop met his inevitable fate on July 2 when he was killed while racing on a public-roads circuit. Few will be surprised by the news, because Dunlop had beaten the odds at racing's most lethal game for so long, they were sure to catch up with him.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of our friend and colleague Greg McQuide. The Motorcyclist magazine associate editor (more affectionately known as FNG) was killed in a tragic streetbike accident while attending the Honda Hoot in Asheville, North Carolina, in July.
IT HAS BEEN A DREAM OF ENgine designers for decades: Replace the camshaft and its fixed, compromised timing with something far more flexible. Honda was the first to achieve such flexibility in production with its automotive VTEC designs, which allow the choice of two different cam profiles—high-speed and low-speed.
World's First Test: Shocking new four-stroke from Yamaha!" screamed this month's cover blurb. Yamaha's answer to Honda's popular XR series, the TT500C even won editors' hearts. "We liked the machine so much that one staffer has already put one on order," read the conclusion.
THEY RODE INTO THE Appalachian foothills, coming from places as far away as Pukalani, Hawaii. They came from Australia, Canada and Sweden. Mothers and grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters, all converged on the 19th-century campus of Ohio University in July to attend the second AMA Women & Motorcycling National Conference.
Bimota's struggle for survival reached a dramatic nadir in June, when company boss Francesco Tognon and primary shareholder Edoardo Miroglio decided to liquidate the bike-maker's assets. This, after clothing-tycoon Miroglio had poured loads of lira into the Rimini, Italy-based factory to restore its financial credibility and re-establish production.
UP: To the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, for producing a handful of winners. Last year's "Live to Ride" campaign won the department its fifth American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Public Affairs and Consumer Education award.
UNPLEASANTRIES FIRST: This Russian-built rig is easily a half-century out of step—and feels every blessed decade. Brakes are awful. Gearbox action is crunchy. Controls are crude. Suspension is lacking. Acceleration from the 649cc pushrod opposed-Twin likewise.
Part R1, part Z-1, the Super Standard comes of age
WELL, SOMEBODY HAD TO DO IT. BRING THE STANDARD-STYLE motorcycle into the next millennium, that is. Introducing the new-for-2001 Yamaha Fazer 1000. Missing link up until now has been horsepower, as even the best current neo-standards, Kawasaki's ZRX1100 and Suzuki's Bandit 1200S, are "retuned for torque" (read: "detuned") compared to their host models (ZX-11 and GSX-R1100), resulting in rear-wheel dyno readings of about 100 bhp.
I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT I'M BEGINNING TO FEEL the inevitable onslaught of age. I've been in denial for some time now, but the early indications have begun to manifest. "When did you color your hair gray?" friends have asked. My daughter hasn't been the only one calling me "Pops" lately, either.
Rejoice, Golden-staters! Kawasaki's award-winning ZRX super-standard is California-bound. What's more, it's coming in bigger, badder form. While previous models were strictly 49-state-only (nudge, nudge; wink, wink), the much altered year-2001 ZRX1200 will be sold nationwide.
Dale Walker's Holeshot Performance Bandit 1200 is so quick, it ought to be outlawed
IF A GUY WALKED UP AND TOLD YOU HIS SUZUKI Bandit 1200 could whip your Hayabusa in a drag race, you'd probably laugh in his face. And why wouldn't you? Everyone knows the GSX1300R is the quickest production motorcycle ever made. In Cycle World's performance testing, the burly Busa ran the quartermile in 9.86 seconds at 145.80 mph, fully 1.3 seconds quicker and 26 mph faster than the Bandit's best-ever pass.
THIS IS A MOTO GUZZI? IT DOES SAY SO RIGHT on the tank. And on the engine. It's seconded by the way it rocks to the right when you blip the throttle at a stoplight. And in how you can see the cylinders sticking out in the breeze as the big V-Twin chuffs out its familiar staccato beat.
Ducati's new eight-valve Monster S4 is more superbike than standard
MASSIMO BORDI RAN HIS FINGER ALONG THE EDGE OF the gray-and-red Monster's curved radiator and asked, "What do you think?" "I think it looks great in the Senna Replica colors," I replied. Clearly, this was not the answer the Ingegnere was expecting.
What can be done when time and money aren't part of the equation?
WHAT WE HAVE HERE, NOT IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE, IS 1) a street-legal replica of a vintage TT Triump; 2) a prototype for what the builder sees as a handmade production run; and 3) an exercise in almost infinite patience. You can't appreciate the parts until you know the sum, so we begin with the basics: :T~vin.
WHEN THE WEST COAST VINTAGE FLAT-TRACK CLUB came up with a Novice 750 class, a skeptic asked, "Is this a class for real novices, or is it a class for guys tired of losing to Eddie Mulder?" Caught in the act, the club officials admitted that, yes, mostly it was a class for guys tired of seeing that No.
GO TO DUCATI ISLAND AT LAGUNA SECA (DURing the Superbike races) and you'll See a thousand Ducatis. They'll all be red and the only differences will be how much money has been spent on carbon-fiber. That isn't what we had in mind. This Ducati is from Mule Island."
One hundred and fifty cubic inches of Harley power in a configuration not seen since the early part of the last century
FEULING IS COY ABOUT SOME OF THE ORIGINAL MOTIVES BEHIND HIS ENGINE, BUT EVIDENCE SUGGESTS HE MAY HAVE TRIED TO INTEREST MILWAUKEE IN SUCH A PROJECT, "THE ORIGINAL VERSION REQUIRED ONLY 10 NEW PARTS," HE NOTES.
THE STRANGE THING IS HOW MANY PEOPLE DON'T GET IT. They drive or walk past the Feuling Motor Company W3 prototype, glance at it and keep on going. Even the guy on the Sportster who rode by as we were photographing the bike was unimpressed. "Just another Big Twin," you could almost hear him thinking.
AFTER ONE TOO many incredibly relaxing evenings lounging in my leather wingback reading chair, sipping fine wine with wads of cash bulging in the pockets of my robe, I had a brain spasm that would change my life: I decided it was time for a vintage bike.
You say you've always wanted a dirtbike. So, what's stopping ya?
LONG BEFORE THERE WAS "THE $20,000 QUESTION," there was "Dirt Cheap." Leaking oil and hardening seals, our motley collection of disused dirtbikes looked out of place parked among the glistening Big Dog, BMW, MV Agusta, Norton and Gold Wing with trailer that made up the August issue's cover story.
I'M A PATHOLOGICAL ITALOPHILE. SO IT WAS MORE THAN A little ironic when, having failed to connect with the seller of a 1988 Cagiva WMX250 advertised in the Recycler, I happened upon a 1984 Cagiva WMX125 with a "For Sale" sign taped to its front numberplate.
YOU COULD BUY A MONT BLANC PEN. YOU COULD BUY A single three-wood and be left for dead on your short game. You could almost buy a new electronic ignition system for your broken-down Laverda that you wouldn't want to ride anyway until you bought a new seat, which you could buy for about the same amount of money as you could buy a street-licensed, 25-year-old dual-purpose bike.
I'M THE CHEAPEST GUY YOU KNOW. MY DAD TELLS ME I have my first nickel. And that penny you dropped at the gas station yesterday, too. So when my friend Chris the painter called and said, "Hey, do you want a free bike?" I replied, "Are you going to bring it to me?" Two hours later, Chris dropped off a sweet, cobwebbed 1976 Suzuki RM370 that had been leaning against some guy's beach house for the better part of the '90s.
OLD-TIME DIRTBIKIN', EH COACH?" I PARAPHRASED THE Hansen Brothers' line from Slapshot for our ride, and kept repeating it inside my helmet. When I wasn't humming the theme from On Any Sunday, that is. I borrowed my bike, a 1973 Yamaha MX250, from my cousin Jim, an original desert rat with a shed full of old dirtbikes and dune buggies.
WHEN YAMAHA INTRODUCED THE 1979 IT175, WITH ITS new chromoly frame, steeper steering geometry, revised gear ratios and longer-travel suspension, I was 12 years old. And unfortunately, motorcycles were not yet on my radar screen. I was more concerned with winning a starting role on my junior high school basketball team.
IF YOU'RE LIKE US, YOU ABHOR BRAKE fluid—and any mechanicing related to it. After all, brake fluid is vile stuff, ruinous to clothing, paint and such. Best to avoid it whenever possible. Unless you own a Griot's Garage One Man Brake Fluid Extractor, that is.
EVERYBODY LOVES BEN BOSTROM. HIS WIDE SMILE includes everyone in a welcome that all instinctively accept. He also races motorcycles. Beginning with a childhood on minibikes and an American-style dirt-track education, Bostrom began roadracing in 1993, in the AMA's 883 Sportster class.
Cliché or not, sometimes all the honest sports reporter can write is, "The Crowd Went Wild." Case in point: the track at Springfield, Illinois, world's fastest dirt and the traditional opening mile of the AMA's Grand National season.
I own a '92 Suzuki GSX-R750 and a '93 Ducati 750SS. The Suzuki handles superbly under all conditions, no matter the speed or the corner. But the Ducati doesn't, especially at low speed on city streets. I've measured the suspension sag of both bikes and gotten similar numbers.
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