SEEMED LIKE A SIMPLE ENOUGH QUEStion at the time. It really did. Matt Miles and I had winged into Rapid City, South Dakota, to take delivery of two new-for-’01 testbikes, the Victory V92C Deluxe and the Harley-Davidson T-Sport (see “Path to the Pacific,” this issue).
"WHAT BIKE ARE YOU RIDING FROM Wisconsin out to Oregon?” my friend Andy Holobinko asked over the phone. Andy is an airline pilot who lives in Denver. I met him a few years back on an Edelweiss Tour of the Alps and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.
IN 2002, WE ARE GRANDLY TOLD, FOUR-stroke roadracers will return to the Grand Prix circus. In fact, they never left. Four-stroke engines have always been legal in GP racing, but since Honda abandoned its oval-piston, 32-valve NR500 in 1981, no one has seen fit to enter one.
I feel compelled to thank Peter Egan for bringing back memories of a very special lady from my past (“Café Americano,” Leanings, September). The year was 1979. I was perusing the local Harley shop (just looking, thanks), when these two sleek black beauties caught my eye.
Go on, admit it. You've always been intrigued by the street-tracker concept-big V-Twin shoe-horned into a minimalist dirt-track frame with just enough street stuff to get you past the DMV-but are put off by the roll-your-own nature of the bikes? Well, meet Jay Moore, flat-track fan and custom-bike builder. Inspired by the new AMA SuperTrackers series, Moore has embarked on a limited-production run of Suzuki TL 1000-powered street-trackers. Horsepower? About 105 bhp. Dry weight? About 345 pounds. Entry fee? About $19,000.
Street & Race Fabrications
Spy Alloy MC Goggles
Considering that Spy Optic has seven-time Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath influencing goggle design, it's not shocking that the Alloy MC was designated as Showtime's Signature Model. So if you're a fan, these goggles are a must-have. Features include a pliable polyurethane frame, a Scratch-resistant, anti-fog Lexan lens lined with dual-density foam, and Spy's patented ventilation system. Furthermore, the $64 goggles hold as many as six tear-offs.
Street & Race Fabrications
MCTA Luggage Rack
Picture this: You're an out-of-work welder with a new Kawasaki ZRX1100. With nothing but time on your hands, what do you do? Why, start a company that builds ZRX luggage racks, that's what. Fashioned from mild steel tubing, Motorcycle Transit Accessories' rack measures 10 x 14 inches, utilizes the stock grabrail mounts and supports 15-pound parcels. Powdercoated green or black, the $199 racks are currently available for ZRXs only, though additional applications are in the offing.
Street & Race Fabrications
Arlen Ness Leathers
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? After more than 30 years of being associated with custom cruisers, Arlen Ness is getting involved with full leather suits. Manufactured in Italy, the top-grain leathers are equipped with removable armor at the shoulders and elbows/forearms, and reinforced padding at the back, hips and knees. There are spots of kevlar at the inner thighs and elbows, too. Heck, they even sport velcro for knee sliders! A $525 one-piece version is available, as is a $490 two-piece variation.
Street & Race Fabrications
Custom Performance Air Cleaner
In the mood to give your 1999-2000 Yamaha Road Star a healthy dose of vim and vigor? Consider it done with a Custom Performance Air Cleaner from venerable filtermaker K&N. Designed to provide more airflow than the stock unit, it’s said to increase horsepower throughout the rev range. Not to mention the fact that it looks quite stunning; the $150 polished-aluminum cover comes in flamed, mirrored or ball-grooved finishes. Rejetting is necessary, and jet kits are sold separately.
Street & Race Fabrications
Renowned for its sunglasses, goggles and grips, Oakley offers a line of casual shoes as unique as it is. So what if they’re not necessarily for riding? If you’re into the MX scene, you’ll dig the newfor-2000 Pit Boot, Pit Shoe and the enigmatically named Flesh. Available in leather or ballistic nylon, the Pit Boot is lightweight and flexible, and shares a cushioned sole with the vented, low-top Pit Shoe. The slipper-like Flesh, meanwhile, is made of soft leather and incorporates a shock-absorbing sole. All good for kicking at the local track or club. Pricing is in the $100 neighborhood.
YOU THINK YOU KNOW what a motorcycle should look like? Think again. What you see here is the Gurney Alligator, American carracing legend Dan Gurney’s completely different take on what aspects of two-wheeled design should be emphasized.
Forget the caped wonder with his fountains and double-decker buses. Forget Seth Enslow and the Glamis dunes. And forget motorcycling’s circus act, Robby Knievel, and his prime-time television specials. America has a new daredevil, and his name is Carey Hart.
Europe’s continued use of steel guard rails and wire-cable safety fences alongside highways remains a sore subject among motorcyclists. There have been protests, and Spanish magazine Solo Moto recently published a feature focusing on the potentially fatal dangers of non-flexible barriers.
PUMP GASOLINE HAS changed a lot since the 1970s. When Arab oil embargoes cut supplies, gasoline was extended with lower-energy fuel components called oxygenates. The usual choice was alcohols, creating problems with corrosion and water.
Fads, they come and they go. Take automatic transmissioned dirtbikes: Back in July, 1975, CW featured the Rokon RT340 Enduro, and this month the 340 MXII motocrosser was front and center. Garnering editorial accolades for its plush suspension, the 256-pound automatic was nonetheless deemed too heavy for real MX duty.
Amazing thing, the internet, except when it all goes wrong. Which is what happened at Triumph when a disguised photo of the new Bonneville model was put up on the company website. Hackers de-disguised the image and the next thing you know, a sideview of the 2001 Bonnie is whipping around the globe via the World Wide Web-a full three weeks before the bike’s official unveiling at the big Munich Show.
FIRST CAME THE RSV Mille, followed shortly thereafter by the slightly softer-edged SL 1000. Now, as this factory artwork and computer-doctored spy photo reveal, Aprilia is prepping a pair of V-Twins for two-up travel. Billed as a high-performance sport-tourer, the RST 1000 is aimed at riders who yearn for a multipurpose mount.
UP: To Troy Corser, for giving good face. The factory Aprilia rider’s latest media kit, “Troy Corser: One World Title Is Not Enough,” spoofs last year’s James Bond thriller. The 1996 WSB Champion and his girlfriend Sam are featured on the cover of the DVD-style case posing 007-style.
MINI-TRAIL 50. MONKEY 50. Z-50. And now, keeping with the times, XR50R. That’s right, the minibike on which so many of us got our first taste of motorized madness is still with us, decked out for the new millennium in flashy new plastic.
A bigger Gixxer, a slimmed-down 600, a retro cruiser, a 250 playbike and a fairing for the SV650
PRAISE BE TO TITANIUM. IHAT MIRACULOUS METAL IS showing up everywhere—even on production bikes. Latest beneficiary is Suzuki's 2001 GSXR1000, which has its exhaust headers, collector and muffler core fashioned from the stuff. Suzuki hasn’t manufactured an Open-class repli-racer since 1998.
DUCATI IS A COMPANY IN NEED OF A NEW engine. It might not be readily apparent watching Ben Bostrom and Troy Bayliss run at the front of World Superbike races, but it's true. And why wouldn't it be? The current 996cc V-Twin grew out of the 851 of 1988, so it's been winning for more than 12 years.
Many questions, few answers about Ducati’s future Superbike
WHAT DOES DUCATI DO FOR AN encore after the 996? Creator Massimo Tamburini obviously had a few ideas, but he opted to stay with Cagiva and pen the stunning MV Agusta F4 instead. Which leaves current Ducati design chief Pierre Terblanche in a bit of a quandary.
IN THE SPRING OF 1966, I OPENED UP LIFE MAGAZINE and almost died of shock. Right there in Life, at the time the print equivalent of network television, was a full-page Ducati ad. To me, it was okay if crassly commercial Honda—working hard to popularize motorcycling—wanted to appeal to the hoi p01101 who read Life.
Life is beautiful when you celebrate with the Italians
WHEN MIKE HAILWOOD CAME OUT of retirement to win the 1978 Isle of Man TT on a Ducati, I was 16 years old. Motorcycling to me meant motocross—roadracing was just something they did on the backside of the starting gate at Long Island's Bridgehampton Raceway.
Shaving pounds-and seconds-with a quartet of pared-down Ducks
DUCK A L'ORANGE
"CARBON-FIBER, WHAT'S THAT?" "Billet for Ducatis." Somewhere during one of the Ducati functions I attended recently, I overheard this little pearl of wisdom, and it only rang truer as time went on. Carbon-fiber is indeed to Ducatis what billet is to Harley-Davidsons, the chosen medium for customization.
ISN'T A HAYABUSA RACEBIKE SORT OF LIKE PLAYING the xylophone with a sledgehammer? Or bowing the cello with a chainsaw? Or playing the tuba with the jetblast from an F-14? If Rad Greaves had taken up music, he might be doing any one of these things.
DON'T WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW about Kawasaki's ZX-12R? Weren't we here at Cycle World provided with a testbike when one was finally released after much delay, and hadn't we discovered in our June issue that despite being one extremely fast motorcycle, the big, bad 12R didn't live up to its fastest-production-bike-ever hype?
Sturgis to shining sea the Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide T-Sport and Victory V92C Deluxe
"MAN, IT'S HOT," I GROANED INSIDE MY helmet. "It must be 110 degrees." Just ahead, Editor-in-Chief David Edwards slowed and flipped up his faceshield. Perspiration dribbled down his cheek. "Want to get something to drink?" he inquired.
John Penton and the Off-Road Motorcycle Revolution
KUDOS TO SIDNEY DICKSON. NOT ONLY DID HE PERsuade his new bride, Bridget, to ride in the Velorex sidecar he rigged to his dual-purpose KTM (no lie), he also got her to agree to honeymooning cross-country in said outfit. Video camera in hand, the newly-weds set out on a 33-day, 4215-mile trip.
IT'S NO SURPRISE THAT SUZUKI IS INTRODUCING A totally new RM250 motocrosser. After all, the works bikes the factory has been campaigning in the World and Japanese National Championships look just like the 2001 production model shown here.
NEWSFLASH: REIGNING WORLD SUPERbike Champion Carl Fogarty is sidelined due to injury, leaving an open seat on the works Ducati team. The question is, do you have what it takes to fill in for King Carl? Granted, the chances of landing a factory ride are slim to none.
SCOOTERS ARK BIG. No, WAIT, THEY’RE SMALL. In some parts of Europe, they’re extremely popular, which is to say they’re big. But in the States, they’re small, barely a blip on the twowheel radar screen. Which made the phone call I received last summer all the more strange.
It may not be the longest of endurance races, but the Suzuka 8-Hour is certainly the most prestigious. Which explains why powerhouse Honda brought in the dream team of World Superbiker Colin Edwards and 500cc Grand Prix favorite Valentino Rossi for last July’s race.
I bought a ’91 Suzuki GSX1100G (preBandit) that had been sitting for two years. I gave it a tune-up and had the carbs cleaned out. At first, it ran very strong (crazy pull!), but then it began surging, puffing black smoke, stalling at intersections and fouling plugs.
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