JOE PARKHURST, BLESS HIS MERRY OLD soul, would have been happy. I was in Death Valley on Max Bubeck's yearly ride for pre-1964 motorcycles. At a rest stop, I spied a noted author and historian. Elderly gent who's had some health problems of late, so I went over to re-introduce myself.
A FEW WEEKS AGO, IN A SUDDEN FIT OF energy, I decided to clean my office. This is something I do occasionally to avoid real work, as it provides the illusion of progress when, in fact, nothing is happening. Can't just stare into space, or sit on the porch and drink coffee.
FOR SEVERAL SEASONS NOW, PEOPLE have speculated that in World Superbike, Twins have a mysterious acceleration advantage. At times, this has verged on suggesting that V-Twin firing order is somehow analogous to the "Big Bang" phenomenon in 500 GP racing.
Honda's NAS concept bike is the most beautiful work of art that I have ever seen. I was disappointed, though, to read it might not make it into production. I am writing to show Honda how enthusiastic I am about this bike, and maybe, in some way, my letter will help them make the choice to start developing this bike for mass production.
What's this, another custom Harley-Davidson? Yes, but unlike many aftermarket hop-ups, installation of the $2800 T.O.M. Dyna Super Glide conversion kit from Germany's Warneke & Faust requires only minor modifications to the donor bike's brake and fender mounts.
MOTORCYCLISTS AREN'T EASY to spot, particularly at night. So Vanson added a new luminescent coating to a newstyle jacket. The result? The Photon. Claimed to not compromise the competition-weight, drum-dyed leather's protective qualities, the glow-in-the-dark Lunar Glow treatment has a 4-to-5-hour life after exposure to the sun or a strong artificial light source.
HONDA IS NO SLEEPING giant. At the Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese powerhouse packed three exhibition stages with a diverse collection of two-wheeled machinery, from punch-the-button production models to off-the-wall prototypes that likely point to the future.
Last month, we brought you news of Victory’s new-style Freedom V-Twin, which boasts 25 percent more power and 10 percent better fuel economy than its same-size predecessor. Now, the Minnesota bike-maker has released images of its new top-of-the-line hard-bagger, the 2002 V92TC Deluxe.
How did the world of motorcycling honor those killed in last September's terrorist attacks in New York City, the Pentagon. and Pennsylvania, and assist in the relief efforts? Here are a few examples: • The AMA designated September 30, 2001, as "Motorcyclists United in Remembrance Day." It also published a list of relief agencies on its website, www.amadirectlink.com.
AH, PARIS IN THE FALL. Luciano Pavarotti at the Palais Omnisport de Bercy, window shopping along the Champs d 'Elysse, or better yet, knocking elbows with other wide-eyed bike nuts at the biennial Salon de Paris. This year, many of the heavy hitters—Aprilia's Blue Marlin, BMW's F650 CS, Ducati's MultiStrada and the latest Hondaswere unveiled a few weeks earlier in Milan, but Paris nevertheless had its own jaw-droppers.
Okay, so it was 1977 and Eric Clapton's "Cocaine" was a hit, but that still doesn't explain all the lines in this issue. Readers could barely see the Suzuki GS750 on the cover or the Yamaha XT500D tested inside, what with all the cute little i.d.
TECHNOLOGY-ORIENTED buzzwords are pretty much standard fare when it comes to the rollout of a new sport tire. "Metzeler Advanced Winding" system was the catchphrase of the day for last October's introduction of the German manufacturer's second-generation zero-degree, steelbelted Sportec M-1 radial.
Suzuki is adding to the popular entry-level four-stroke playbike category with a pair of early-release 2003 models designed for less-experienced younger riders. Identical aside from brakes and wheels, the DR-Z125 and DR-Z125L are powered by kick-start, aircooled, 124cc Singles shifting through five-speed transmissions.
UP: To Bernie Ecclestone, for revisiting his roots. Formula One's septuagenarian head honcho—who in his youth raced a Matchless at England's Brands Hatchcalled his recent wide-eyed lap on Yamaha's two-seat YZR500 at Portugal's Estoril circuit "one of the greatest things I've done in my life." Added Ecclestone's chauffeur, former 500cc Grand Prix standout Randy Mamola, "Bernie was the most expensive cargo I've ever carried, so I had to look after him.
ADDING AN "R" SUFFIX TO the name of an existing streetbike usually means the manufacturer has incorporated some type of racing-related innovation, such as a special engine kit, exotic chassis components or, when all else fails, a limited-edition paint scheme.
IF THE DRIVING ACCELERATION of the 102-cubic-inch Warrior V-Twin weren't so overpow eringly entertaining on corner exits, you might still be trying to get over the surprise you felt in the beginning and middle of the turn. But since this is a different kind of hot-rod power cruiser, one that encourages you to ride the type of roads that must be ridden, there'll be another corner along shortly to repeat the cycle and remind you about the very un-cruiser-like turn-in precision, cornering clearance and max-lean stability.
Wild V-Max customs are abundant in Europe, and their modifications aren't just, uh, cosmetic
YOU HAVE TO ADMIT, THE NUMBERS WERE PRETTY IMPRESSIVE: 143 horsepower at 9000 rpm; 10.89 seconds and 129 mph in the quarter-mile; 89 foot-pounds of peak torque propping up a powerband as wide and flat as the plains of Kansas; and a grinper-mile factor that, on a scale of one to 10, was about a 25.
No wusses allowed on a dual-sport tour of Mongolia
THIS ISN’T what I had in mind, not at all. Actually, I had few preconceptions when I signed on for a 10-day tour of Mongolia, but I didn't expect to bed down for the night in a pup tent in the Middle Gobi, in the middle of freakin' nowhere, in the middle of a rainstorm.
LIKE A LOT OF STORIES about old Indian motorcycles, this one starts with a rusting hulk missing a lot of key parts. The difference is how this one ends: 133.27 mph. That's how fast this 1929 101 Scout's gone on the Big Flats, places such as Muroc, Bonneville and El Mirage.
DOES THIS MOTORCYcle make you want to buy a new Road Star Warrior, bust out the Sawsall and credit cards and get on with your own customizing project? That's the idea behind factory-commissioned customs such as Palhegyi Design's latest Yamaha creation, dubbed, simply, the "Silver Bike." Machines such as these are meant to generate enthusiasm and show potential owners what might be accomplished with a new model.
HERE'S ONE MORE name to add to the list of electrical innovators: Paul Zell. Benjamin Franklin might have invented the lightning rod and Thomas Edison the light bulb, but Zell did something even more improbable: He brought electric starting to a 1965 Velocette Thruxton!
MOST MOTORCYCLISTS would never consider purchasing a bike on which a fellow rider met his demise. But Mark Spitler isn't your average motorcyclist. Especially when it comes to BMWs. Spitler currently owns no fewer than eight of the Bavarian machines, including his favorite, the 1976 R90S shown here.
OTHER THAN THE FACT that Perry Sands owns a multimillion-dollar company, he's just like you and me: He's always dreamed of having a full-race Harley-Davidson XR750. Which explains why Sands and his company, Performance Machine, have been so deeply involved in dirt-track racing for more than a decade, providing brakes and wheels to many amateur and professional teams.
LAUREN HUTTON, THE famously gap-toothed model/actress, is still a babe, even past 50. More importantly, she's still among us. A year ago, that almost wasn't the case. Piloting a BMW F650 on a celebrity ride to drum up interest for the Guggenheim Museum's upcoming "Art of the Motorcycle" stop in Las Vegas, Hutton lost control and went rag-dolling across the Nevada desert.
Honda CRF450R lines up against KTM 520 SX and Yamaha YZ426F
WHAT QUALITIES DETERMINE THE BEST four-stroke motocrosser? Is it the highest performance? The lowest weight? Is it the bike on which Experts can cut the quickest lap times, or the one on which Novices feel least intimidated?
Twenty years before the YZ426F, Yamaha's HL500 proved that four-strokes could be competitive in motocross
ARE YOU GETTING TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT THE "Four-Stroke Revolution" in motocross? Are you fed up with the manufacturers tripping all over themselves in an attempt to make this week's hottest Thumpercrosser, while doomsayers predict extinction for two-strokes?
IT’S DARK, TOO DARK, AND YOU'RE IN the middle of nowhere, a place just south of despair. You have a flat on your supersonic sportbike or shiny cruiser, and all the wonderful go-fast parts or chrome-plated trinkets in the world won't fix your tubeless tire.
THE FIRST THING MOST PEOPLE NOTICE about the Fastbag is that they notice it. You can't miss the bulbous hard shell, even in one of the more subtle hues. And that's when it's packed to a minimum (as shown). The "wind-tunnel-tested" Fastbag expands from 10.5 inches tall to a towering 24 inches at max load.
Rossi ends the two-stroke era with brilliant victory
TWO-STROKE 500CC GRAND PRIX BIKES HAVE been motorcycling's pinnacle for a quartercentury. Now, they are to be laid low by the FIM's administrative act of writing 990cc four-strokes into racing's top class and renaming it MotoGP. The 500s stuffed 190 horsepower into a 286-pound package that accelerated like nothing else.
YOU MIGHT EXPECT POSITIVE COMments from Freddie Spencer concerning Hondas, but no amount of brand loyalty could generate the level of enthusiasm the three-time world champion displayed after lapping Japan's Twin Ring Motegi circuit on Honda's new four-stroke Grand Prix machine, the RC211V. "It's an incredible motorcycle," the Louisiana native begins.
In the AMA Supercross Championship last year, Jeremy McGrath got spanked. As we all know, Ricky Carmichael did the business indoors, stomping the formerly undisputed King of SX. While "Showtime" went off to lick his wounds, Carmichael took it outside to kick ass in the AMA Motocross Championship.
I am 16 years old and have a 1972 Triumph 650 that is an absolute joy to ride. I am suspicious, however, about the accuracy of the speedometer. Is there any inexpensive way I can determine if it is operating correctly? Also, the bike runs perfectly but the valves sometimes make an odd clicking sound when the motor is pulling hard in fifth gear.
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