IT WAS THE BEST KIND OF WAKE-UP CALL. My Indian bob-job special, part of the Guggenheim Museum’s “Art of the Motorcycle” collection, had been resting quietly in Bilbao, Spain, as something like a million show-goers filed past. With several months of downtime before the show’s next opening at the new Guggenheim facility in Las Vegas, the Sport Scout had been crated up and shipped home.
IT WAS ONE OF THOSE MIDWESTERN Autumn weekends you’d like to frame and put up on the wall so you could look at it all winter. Balmy and clear, with the maples nearing full color and the wind “counting its money and throwing it away,” as Carl Sandburg put it so nicely, scattering golden leaves across country roads.
How CAN YOU DISCOVER THE TRUTH? No, I’m not talking about the kind philosophers seek, just the ordinary useful kind that makes more power or reduces fuel consumption-physical stuff. Easy? Just get on the dyno and start thrashing? Not so fast.
In regards to Phil Schilling’s “Why Ducati” in the November issue: The notion of owning the best simply for the sake of being able to say you own the best is pretty lame. I moved to the NYC metro area from Maine. There, owning a serious cold-weather jacket was a necessity for walking the dog, or for leaving the house at all.
Who says you can’t moto in the snow? Not us, especially since the advent of the Moto-Ski. Designed to fit most off-road bikes, it makes roosting on powder as easy and fun as on dirt. Basically, it’s a set of springloaded rails that bolts onto the bottom of a bike’s fork. The result is that the Moto-Ski behaves like a pontoon, and keeps the front end stable. Suggested retail price is $250.
Braking StremX Wave Rotor
Well how’s this for beyond cool? The folks over at Braking have introduced their new StremX Wave Rotor. Not just a pretty face, it’s designed to dissipate heat more quickly than conventional rotors, and is said to offer optimal braking, increased longevity and more even pad wear. The lightweight rotor is fashioned from high-carbon-content stainless steel and fits most latemodel sportbikes. Suggested retail price is $320 per rotor.
Alpinestars Casual Shoes
Dude. Gnarly. Bro' down. Are these terms (pig)Latin to you? Like to change that? Well, get insta-cool from Alpinestars’ casual shoes. With styling courtesy of Design Meister Troy Lee, several models are available. Choose from the $79 Qualifier, with synthetic upper and reflective trim, roomy fit and rubber sole; the $55 Ramp, a suede-and-nylon-mesh number with air-insert midsole and suede heel; and the $100 Trucker, a leather half-boot with shock-absorbing midsole that bears the Italian company's logo.
Sidi Vertebra Race Boots
Leave it to Italian cobbler Sidi to make a good thing even better. An evolution of the popular Vertebra, the Vertebra Race is teeming with innovations and improvements. To name a few: reinforced ankle support, said to hold up under increased torsional force and impact; soles with easily adjustable rigidity; and the articulated, independently moving vertebrae for stiffness and flexibility. Additionally, many of the boots’ components are replaceable. For $350, get a pair in men’s sizes 6-11. J--J
For some, the allure of motorcycling is the solitude. For everybody else, there’s the Chatterbox FRS-X2. Designed for bike-to-bike communication, the $250 gadget fits on the outside of both openand fullface helmets, and has a voiceactivated, two-way intercom system that’s more akin to talking on the telephone than a one-way CB radio. The claimed range is 2 miles. Extras include an adjustable microphone, and cell phone and audio inputs, with the latter accommodating Walkmans, CD players, MP3s, etc.
Kerker Buell Blast Exhaust
Gather ’round all you feisty Buell Blasters, and get a load of what just might be your very first hop-up bit: Kerker’s new balance-tubeequipped exhaust for the Blast. It’s said to weigh almost 10 pounds less than the stock unit, and to increase horsepower and torque. Plus, with a stainless steel header finished in ceramic-coated black and a brushed-aluminum canister and endcap, it looks snazzy as all get out. Suggested retail price is $199.
$239 to $259
With its latest full-face lid, venerable helmet-maker Bell puts a different spin on standard helmet fare. Check it out: The new M-5 has a unique-looking, contoured, carbon/kevlar/fiberglass-molded shell with a 3mmi thick lexan faceshield. A removable, washable liner and chinstrap are included, as are the new stormtrooper-esque chin vents. Available in solid ccolors and several cool graphics packages, it costs from $239 to $259.
AMERICA RULES!!! EDWARDS, ROBERTS WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!
BREAK OUT THE BALLOONS and uncork the champagne! For the first time since 1993, when Kevin Schwantz won the 500cc Grand Prix title and Scott Russell was tops in World Superbike, Americans finished first in roadracing’s premier classes.
If you thought Yamaha was the only manufacturer headed full-steam into the 250cc four-stroke market, think again. Husqvarna unveiled this compact gem at last September’s Munich Show. KTM and Gas Gas have 250cc Thumpers derived from larger-displacement engines, but the Husky is purpose-built.
The Bureau of Land Management has released its recreation-management guidelines for BLM-administered land in Colorado. Until local travel-management plans are in place, officials have restricted OHV travel to previously designated “open” areas.
THE WAIT IS OVER! THOUGH Honda kept us guessing ’til the moment it was rolled out of the van at the final round of the Japanese National Motocross series, everyone knew it was coming. And with factory rider Sebastien Tortel I i aboard. Big Red’s new CRF four-stroke MXer won its debut outing.
Italian leather-maker Dainese has produced a wearable airbag. Unveiled at the recent Munich Show, the D-Air was developed in cooperation with Merhav-AAP Ltd., an Israeli company specializing in advanced-engineering technology. The vest-like device weighs about 10 pounds, and is said to inflate in 20 milliseconds.
At the risk of overstating the obvious, a quarter-century is a long time, and a lot can happen. Even so, change is relative, as the following snippets from this issue suggest: • Senior Editor D. Randy Riggs, after riding an AMA-banned Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker: “If you and I, the spectators, are denied the chance to witness these magnificent motorcycles in action on the racetracks of this country, this AMA group has not only cheated us, they’ve robbed us blind.”
WHERE’S THE LOGIC IN turbocharging a 600cc sportbike? Mr. Turbo’s Terry Kizer thinks the concept has merit. Which is why, after some cajoling from friend and fellow turbo-junkie Pat O’Reilly, he boosted a Honda CBR600F4. “Generally speaking, 600s are inexpensive, so we felt it best to stay away from an expensive kit,” O'Reilly explains.
Fancy yourself the next Colin Edwards? Cut loose the credit card, then, and get on down to Southern California’s Thousand Oaks Honda (www.hrcusa.com) to order an HRC-fettled RC51-or VTR1000SP-1, as it is officially tagged. Two versions of the track-only machine are offered: The $14,999 Basic Racer is a plainwrap, entry-level Superbike with a ` high-flow intake, race-spec ECU and HRC pipes.
DOWN: To Northwest Airlines, for blowing things out of proportion. Honda roadracer Nicky Hayden, younger brother Roger Lee and parents Earl and Rose were among 10 people on a flight from Memphis, Tennessee, to Owensboro, Kentucky, who were detained for allegedly harassing a flight attendant.
I’M IN A THUNDERSTORMsoaked sandwash in the Nevada desert, riding Husqvarna’s new TE 610E. As I roll on the throttle, the liquid-cooled Single comes on strong from just above idle, its smooth torque pulling me along like a tractor. The midrange is crisp, and on top, the engine screams far beyond what would seem sensible for a big four-stroke.
SUZUKI'S REPUTATION AS A SPORTBIKE INNOVATOR HAS ALWAYS suffered from the fact that it has never had the best middleweight. True, GSX-R600s have captured both World and U.S: Supersport Championships, but that's typically been a case of having the best rider or the best team rather than the best bike.
ENTERING ITS SECOND YEAR OF PRODUCTION, TRIUMPH’S TT600 is distinguished by new paint and graphics, but of greater importance it has received refined fuel injection mapping. All other specifications remain unchanged, which is to say we can expect the impressively sharp-handling TT600 to deliver the same magic blend of agility and stability that drew praise in its debut year.
ROAD ATLANTA HAS ALWAYS HELD A special place in my heart. It was 15 years ago that I first raced there, one of 40 riders invited to the inaugural Suzuki Cup Finals. The thrill of pushing personal limits while letting my 1986 GSX-R750 breathe around the 2.5-mile road course is a memory I’ll always cherish.
BEING A SEMI-CRIPPLED LUDDITE OF Convenience like many of my gearheaded brethren, I'm more and more prone to Choosing a certain level of' technology (usually dated) with which I am most comfortable. and sticking with it. Typewriters, tube radios, cars or bikes, I tend to pick what 1 like and reject fur ther ad~ances as sort of blasphemous.
YAMAHA SEIZED BIG-BIKE MARKET SHARE WITH ITS dramatically different, cat-eyed YZF-R1, a leap forward in small size and forward weight placement. By stacking gearbox shafts one above the other, Yamaha was able to make the R1 engine very compact longitudinally.
IT’S HAPPENED. FUEL-INJECTION HAS INVADED 600CC sportbikes. Three of the tlve players are EFl-equipped, including Flonda’s2001 CBR600F4Í. Physics and the EPA are responsible. Carburetors add fuel whenever air moves through them, which includes the overlap period near TDC after the exhaust stroke, when both intake and exhaust valves are slightly open.
Erion Racing's Honda 600 and the third coming of the King
HOW close do YOU LIKE: YOUR RACING? HOW tight does a points chase have to be? if the answer to both those questions is "plenty." then welcome to AMA 600 Supersport. where the 2000 season ended in an absolute dead heat between young guns Kurtis Roberts and Eric Bostrom, the title going to KR thanks to his three race wins versus Bostroms two.
The bag that ate New York (and parts of Jersey, too) AREN’T WE ALL HUMAN? DON’T WE ALL HAVE OUR BASIC needs? You know, dark beer, cool duds (or warm), a nice harmonica, garlic, a tent, Chinese take-out, raingear... Of course we do. But motorcycle riders typically are faced with a great challenge when trying to take it all with them.
Putting the finishing touches on an already entertaining motorcycle
WENDY F. BLACK
WHEN SUZUKI FIRST INTRODUCED ITS SV650 STANDARD-STYLE BIKE BACK IN 1999, we applauded. Really, what wasn’t there to like? Its easy-handling nature, swanky good looks and bargain-basement price were all things we gushed over. Heck, we even snagged one for our long-term fleet.
ON A BUDGET? WE CAN HELP. MAYBE SUZUKI’S SEXY SV650S GETS YOUR BLOOD BOILING, but you’re really looking for a Four, or a Single, or something a little more exotic. Around the same displacement, for the same cash outlay. Maybe with a fairing, maybe without.
IF YOU HAVEN’T TRIPPED OVER FREESTYLE MOTOCROSS LATELY, then you’ve been living in a cave without cable TV. It’s everywhere you turn, and it’s got nothing to do with turning-unless you count heads, and freestyle is turning those by the thousands.
JUST HOW BIG IS FREESTYLE motocross? Let’s ask the man who helped get it started, seventime AMA Supercross champ Jeremy McGrath, the guy who made the Nac-Nac famous. “I hate to say it, but I think freestyle is more popular than motocross,” he says.
RETRO TOURING RIGS ARE EVERYwhere. No surprise, really, given society’s current love affair with everything past. Thoroughly modern mechanically, these machines are long on comfort and style, and in general, cost a few bucks less than optioned-to-the-hilt full-dressers.
WE’RE GONNA GO OUT ON A LIMB HERE, and make a gross generalization: There isn’t a motorcyclist on this planet-male or female-who doesn’t want to be a better rider. And not just better, but faster, smoother and as a result safer in the grand scheme of riding things.
BOXERS OR BRIEFS? IF YOU’RE AN OFFroad regular, the answer is neither. Fact is, conventional skivvies don’t provide sufficient support or protection for long days in-and out of-the saddle. And then there’s that whole “monkey-butt” thing...
AS EVERYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THE WORLD OF 500CC GRAND PRIX RACING is fond of telling us, this was the most closely contested season in years, Not in terms of the outright championship battle, of course, but in terms of the sheer number of riders having a go at the top step of the podium, or the average aggregate time from first to 10th, or the longest number of races run before finding a repeat winner since records were first kept.
With the conclusion of two parallel, competitive and complementary dirttrack seasons, it’s time to consider reviving history, in particular the section where equivalency formulae are considered a Bad Thing. Begin with Del Mar, final event in the Formula USA/Wrenchhead.com Dirt-Track Series, the new-for-2000 contest challenging the AMA’s national program.
Recently, I purchased a 1991 Suzuki 750 Katana. I had the oil and filter changed, and new sparkplugs installed. My problem now is that when I start the engine, it won’t keep running. As soon as I release the throttle, the idle drops below 1000 rpm and the motor shuts off.
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