NOBODY REALLY NEEDS TWO NORTONS, of course—in fact, you can make pretty good argument that one is often more than enough. But when my friend Joe Colombero reluctantly put his 1967 Atlas 750 cafe-racer on the block, I figured it’d make a great bookend for my SS880 Dreer Commando.
IT WAS NOT A GREAT BEGINNING FOR A 6000-mile motorcycle trip, but by mid-morning I was tired of waiting for the weather to clear, so I put on my clammy rainsuit and hit the road. As I left our Wisconsin home and headed for Oregon, the rain hammered down in sheets while bolts of lightning actually struck trees on both sides of the road ahead of me and wind whipped the leaves into a white froth.
IN ALL VEHICLES, STABILITY AND REsponsiveness are opposed qualities. When we need hands-off stability—as in designing a large touring bike—the result is a system that rejects all disturbances. This includes our own attempts to steer, so control becomes to a degree heavy and slow.
The Yamaha Fazer 1000 on the October cover? Is that not one of the sweetest-looking bikes?! I absolutely love the half-fairing look. Just my luck, it may not even come stateside for ’01. RockimtnRider posted on www.cycleworld.com Actually, you ’re in luck.
Screamin’ Eagle/Holley Performance Induction System
A-Loop's Seat & Tank Kit
So you wanna go moto-in', but your four-stroke 600 is a lunker on tight, twisty tracks? Well, if your Thumper is a late-model Honda XR600 or 650L, you're in luck. For $480, A-Loop's Seat & Tank Kit changes the bike's ergos to make it more MX-friendly. Included are a slimmer-than-stock 2-gallon plastic tank, a seat positioned 3 inches farther forward to get your weight over the front, and CR-esque radiator shrouds for improved engine cooling and that racy MX look.
No one knows road rash better than bicyclists. Really, how protective can lycra be? Several layers of scar tissue later, some guys got together and formed Brave Soldier, makers of the Crash Paks (they also make great shaving cream, but that’s another story).With everything necessary for treating nasty post-crash abrasions, the $23 sets include: Road Rash Plus ointment, said to fight infection and diminish scarring; First Defense, sprayon for cleaning wounds; and the Pak itself, a compact first-aid kit stocked with everything from bandages to Advil.
Gentlemen, Christmas is coming. Soon. So if you're still seeking the perfect gift for your special lady, check out Vanson Leathers' Zephyr Jacket. Designed specifically for women, it's made with top-grain leather and features zip-up hand-warmer pockets, an inside wallet pouch, tapered sleeves and snap-down collar. The shapely garment is available in perforated and standard versions, and the latter has a removable liner. Suggested retail price is $409.
Billed as “the ultimate bedroll,” the Body Bag could be the answer to the camping motorcyclist’s prayers. Manufactured by Colorado-based Hoodlums Gear, the waterproof, 100-weight cordura duffel doubles as compact luggage and blanket. It’s spacious enough to hold a change of clothes, and unrolls into a 6 x 4-foot polar fleece with waterproof liner. Suggested retail price is $90.
This new convenience comes courtesy of the lads in the U.K. Dubbed the Vi-Pro, this Visor Case is a safe, easy way to tote an extra faceshield. Say you’re headed out early wearing a tinted visor, but plan to return in the evening when you’ll need a clear one. Simply pop the extra into the zippered, nylon pouch. It’s padded on the inside, and has adjustable strappage that secures at the waist via a quick-release fastener. Available in several leather-matching hues, it costs $28.
A towel is a towel is a towel, right? Not according to the folks at Emgee, longtime makers of automotive-detailing accessories and producers of The Absorber. As its name suggests, the nonabrasive towel is said to soak up 50 percent more water than its terry cloth and chamois counterparts, while simultaneously babying your bike’s finish. Priced at $16, it comes in two sizes, is machine-washable, wrings dry easily and won’t mildew during storage. Plus, The Absorber comes in several festive colors and has its own carrying case.
Screamin’ Eagle/Holley Performance Induction System
It seems The Motor Company is getting serious about performance. Last we checked, Screamin’ Eagle had teamed up with Holley Performance, of automotive fame, to build a line of Performance Induction Systems for Evolution and Twin Cam 88 engines. The result is said to be more—lots more—horsepower and torque. The whole shebang includes a two-barrel carb, open-plenum intake manifold, air cleaner and breather manifold package, and mounting hardware. Pricing starts at $590.
WAIT FOR MUNICH? Not Kawasaki. A couple of weeks before the biennial German supershow, Kawasaki cut loose with its 2001 U.S. streetbike lineup. Leading the way is the much anticipated ZRX1200R. Increases in both bore and stroke (along with a new head, beefier crank, bigger block and stainless exhaust system) give the CW Ten Best-winning super-standard a claimed 13 percent horsepower enhancement—look for about 110 bhp at the rear wheel.
Should Bimota recover from its current financial predicament, this is the next bike it will produce. Called the DB5 Drako (Italian for "dragon"), the sport-standard is based on the same platform as the DB3 Mantra and DB4, with a fuel-injected Ducati 900SS engine housed in an oval-tube aluminum-trellis frame.
Tired of paying full pop for parts? With the AMA 10 Percent Better Program, AMA members receive a 10 percent discount on purchases from Ohio-based retailer Competition Accessories. “The AMA is a respected organization,” says company CEO Dan Conetta.
CONNECTING RODS MOVE invisibly fast in the oily darkness of the crankcase. One end yanks up and down with the piston, the other whirls around endlessly with the crankpin. The stresses are complex. The major part is the thumping push of combustion.
At the risk of sounding like Chicken Little, the off-road sky does indeed seem to be falling. Take a look at almost any Off-Highway Vehicle area, and you’ll see regions threatened by closure from any number of environmentalist groups.
Cosmic cover art honored Yamaha's forthcoming 1976 model line as CW took “A Look To The Future.” What did the future bring? A hot new RD—the first 400—and a bit of XS, in the form of the shaft-drive 750cc Triple, the bike that editors declared to be the tuning-fork company’s “first true Superbike.”
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN Harley-Davidson couldn't keep pace with the demand for its V-Twins. That void was soon flooded by dozens of clone builders, mostly small-time operations that sprouted up around the country like spring blossoms on a vine.
Holy Helix! Yamaha has one-upped Honda's freeway-capable cruiser-scoot with a long-wheelbase creation of its own. Presently available only in Japan, the new XP500 TMax super-scooter is powered by a liquid-cooled, dohc, eight-valve, 500cc parallel-Twin that produces a claimed 40 horsepower.
UP: To cool picture-man and CW contributor Joe Bonnello, for creating a new kind of pin-up. The always-energetic photographer culled the best Y2K dirt shots from his collection, and put them together in this year-2001 calendar.
QUESTION: WHAT CURRENT production motorcycle has the most sophisticated electronic fuel-injection system? The new Honda RC51? Nope. Ducati’s 996? Wrong again. Need a hint? It’s a cruiser, Harley-Davidson’s 2001 Deuce, to be exact. Visually, there aren’t many differences between an EFIequipped Deuce and the standard carbureted model, which we picked as last year’s Best Cruiser.
THERE WAS DARKNESS, AND IT WAS complete. And then there was light. Actually, there was a lot of light. And some smoke. And mirrors. And a booming, disembodied voice that gave the whole affair a surreal feel. And then there were the motorcycles, Honda’s new-for-2001 motorcycles.
WINNING A CATEGORY IN CYCLE WORLD'S annual Ten Best Bikes competition is an honor, especially in the ultra-competitive motocross division. And holding onto that title is a tough proposition. But when it came to designing the 2001 CR250R, Honda was working with a proven winner.
IN EFFICIENT EUROPEAN UNION STYLE, THE TURNSTILE ACCEPTS MY press card. There is a click, the rotor turns and I have entered Intermot, the Munich Motorcycle Show. It's huge, filling 11 former aircraft hangars, each measuring 200 x 450 feet, that were once part of Munich’s Riem airport.
UP FRONT, WHAT WE have here is the normal sort of news, as in a vintage Harley-Davidson XRTT roadracer, restored and race-ready. But beneath the paint, so to speak, driving the project and providing the moral of this story is proof that those Victorian marriage manuals were correct.
Twenty years before Cal Rayborn, Indian had its own superstar
BOBBY HILL IS just a bit tired of hearing about “The Wrecking Crew.” It’s not that he isn’t still pals with Bill Turman and Ernie Beckman, the Indian teammates who were the guys the Harley riders had to beat in the 1940s and ’50s. But that stuff is history everybody knows.
SOME MOTORCYCLES are just meant to be together. Take these two Norton specials, for example. Back in 1973, Phil Dansby, fresh out of the Navy, took delivery of a new 850 Roadster that would eventually morph into the high-pipe custom you see here.
EVERY RED-BLOODED American sportbike fan would love to own a Harley-Davidson VR1000, but until such time as The Motor Company starts churning out street-going versions, all we can do is dream. Or if you’re Erich Martin, you can actually do something about it, and build a VR Replica of your own.
IF YOU'VE GOT IT, flaunt it, right? Not Ed Sherrer. See, Sherrer owns an ultra-exotic Harris Magnum IV-framed Suzuki GSXR750. Most days, though, the cobalt-blue, Ducati 916-nosed sportbike sits nonchalantly outside a Virginia bike shop, hidden among a flotilla of more run-of-the-mill machinery.
EVER HEARD OF THE 80/80 Factor? That's the standard amateur roadracers adhere to when painting their racebikes. What it means is a bike only has to look good from 80 feet at 80 miles per hour. John Leisner’s 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma certainly looks better than that, but you wouldn’t want to get a whole lot closer.
JEFF SCHWARTZ IS A sick man, a certifiable, bikes-in-the-bedroom, two-wheeled nutcase. Lord love him. The Illinois resident lays claim to an Aprilia RSV Mille R, a Bimota YB11, a Honda XR200 and the stunning Scott Russell-replica Yamaha YZF750 pictured here.
THE ASPHALT BETWEEN THE OFFICE and staffers' homes can stop cowering—our long-term 1999 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa, the Great Steamroller, is being mothballed after nearly two years with us. Too bad, because we’ve had a good time. The 1300’s done many things well, and a few things better than any bike ever in our long-term fleet.
ENGINE VIBRATION IS WRECKING our KTM Adventure. More specifically, it's wrecking everything attached to our Adventure. Headlight bulbs, license-plate brackets, global-positioning system mounts, flat-tire repair kits—all have either broken or come adrift while the bike was in motion.
A NECESSARY EVIL, MIRRORS. NOTHING mucks up the lines of a sleek sportbike or radical custom more than a pair of backwards-looking periscopes sticking up into the airstream. John King, main man at Skyking Products, small-scale maker of sportbike bits, has a solution.
EVERY OFF-ROAD RIDER HAS FELT THE stinging pain of blistered palms, and the dirt donks on the CW staff are no exception. One editor’s paws were so raw after the Glen Helen 6-Hour a couple of years ago that “Moto World” showed them full-screen, clenching the finisher’s pin he’d earned.
TAVIS PASTRANA WAS IN A GOOD mood. He had an easy smile and a demeanor to match, and greeted me, the Invader Journalist Who Wouldn’t Take No For An Answer, in a way that made me feel right at home in Roger DeCoster’s very large house on a hill near the Pacific Ocean.
It’s official: Carl Fogarty will not return to Ducati’s World Superbike team for the 2001 season. The announcement came after a private test at Mugello, Italy, on September 18-19, during which the four-time world champ failed to meet his own expectations.
I just bought a 1996 Honda Shadow ACE 1100 that already had Vance & Hines Straightshot pipes on it. The guy I bought it from gave me a jet kit that came with the pipes but told me that there was no need to rejet. I think he’s wrong. The bike seems to run a bit hot, which tells me it’s too lean.
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