OOPS, I DID IT AGAIN... AND AGAIN. I'D promised my long-suffering savings account that no more project bikes would cross my garage’s threshold-at least not until my Indian Four/Ford Flathead V-Eight restoration was done with. The crossbred concoction, bodged together in 1954 by Texas car mechanic Bill Drabeck, spans nine-and-a-half feet between fendertips and displaces almost a half-ton.
WHEN SOME BIKES ARE INTRODUCED, you know immediately you want one. Take the 1991 Ducati 900SS, for instance. A decade ago, I went to Italy for the introduction of this bike and knew by the time I rode out of the factory gates that I would have to own one.
DR. RUDOLF DIESEL REALIZED MORE than a hundred years ago that a high compression ratio was the key to high power with low fuel consumption. Yet the gas- and liquid-fueled internal-combustion engines that were becoming common in his youth could not operate at high compression without terrible knocking and engine damage.
I hope Yamaha has seen your “Max Factor” article on custom V-Maxes. These machines are incredibly delicious! I actually drooled on the pages. What Yamaha should do next concerning the current Power Cruiser Wars is so obvious it isn’t even funny.
Magnesium sunglasses? Absolutely. Oakley’s new Switch is the “first optical frame to incorporate lightweight magnesium metal with a ceramic mantle.” Post-1100-degree-Farenheit injection molding, the combination is sealed with a 60,000-rpm turbine spin-cycle. Spring-equipped hinges provide adjustability, while “earsocks” and “nosebombs” maximize comfort. Yours in Ti Copper/Ice or Dark Carbide/Black Iridium for $225.
Is your bike too tall? For $75, the Kouba Link will ground you, so to speak. The gold-anodized, machined-aluminum dogbones alter the leverage ratio on Suzuki DR250/ 350s, DR-Z250s and 400s, Kawasaki KDX200/220s and KX250s, and any Gas Gas or BMW F650, effectively reducing seat height. Kouba makes links to improve rear suspension action on these bikes, as well.
Factory 909 Force Handgrips
Put a stop to beat-up bar ends with FMF’s 909 Force Grips. Stainless-steel endcaps brush off impacts, doing away with such annoyances as broken throttle tubes. Feel the Force in medium (gray) and firm (black) compounds, both of which utilize a full waffle pattern. Suggested retail is $13.
Big Daddy Flat-Tire Repair Kit
Talk about packing a punch! Progressive Suspension’s Big Daddy TRK-5 tubeless flat-tire repair kit is crammed with glue, patches, plugs, screw-type Moto Pump Ultra and a gigantic 68-gram CO2 cartridge. The compact $70 parcel provides quick, easy pump-ups for even the most pancaked of punctures. Replacement cartridges cost $25.
Moto Art Design Helmet Stands
Where to stow your prized racer-replica helmet? On a replica of your favorite racer, of course! Retailing for $385, Moto Art Design’s hand-painted, fiberglass busts are available in five Grand Prix-derived designs-Carlos Checa/ Marlboro Yamaha, Olivier Jacque/Gauloises Yamaha, Daijiro Katoh/Telefonica Movistar Honda, Noriyuki Haga/Red Bull Yamaha and Alex Criville/Repsol Honda. It’s just the thing to complete your personal shrine.
Hooligan Racing Billet Brake Reservoir
Not much call for replacement front brake reservoirs these days-unless you’re a crasher or a customizer, that is. Should that describe you, Hooligan Racing’s machined-aluminum Billet Brake Reservoir can be had in six anodized colors-Blister Blue, Titanium, Stealth Black, Powdercoat Gray, Road Rash Red or Showbike Polish. Bolt one on your late-model sportbike for $l 19.
Works Performance Pro Racer Shocks
CUSTOM-BIKE BUILDERS AND racers need not look any farther than Works Performance for their twin-shock suspension needs. The artfully crafted, finned-piggyback-reservoir Pro Racers pair pressurized steel cylinders with machined-aluminum bodies, and feature separate lowand high-pressure damping circuits. External adjusters allow a broad range of damping, ride-height and spring-preload changes. Fully rebuildable. Pro Racers come with a 30day "ride-quality guarantee, Suggested retail price is $839. u
SZUKI WILL PUSH ITS X-REO Grand Prix bike ahead of schedule by one full year to compete in the sea-son-opening Japanese GP at Suzuka in April. Rapid progress on the new 990cc four-stroke may partly explain why Kenny Roberts Jr.’s two-stroke RGV500 lacked development last season.
The new Indian Motorcycle Corporation took a big step toward legitimacy in January with the announcement of a proprietary engine that will power the 2002-model Chief. Still based on the familiar Harley Evo-style bottom end, the new motor gets rounder cylinders meant to resemble those of the original sidevalve Indians.
The planned “Kawasaki/Suzuki group” announced last August will eventually result in the emergence of a new brand of Japanese motorcycle. “It won’t be a Kawasaki, and it won’t be a Suzuki,” said Masamoto Tazaki, president of Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
WHAT YOU SEE HERE IS computational fluid dynamics animation of airflow over a Yamaha YZF-R1 and its rider. It was created by Advantage CFD. an English firm (www.advantage-cfd.co.uk), using software from the Fluent Corporation of Lebanon,
Banking on the success of its three-cylinder Speed Triple (now fueled by the Daytona sportbike’s 955cc powerplant), Triumph has unveiled a 599cc four-cylinder version of that machine. The 2002 Speed Four is based on the latest edition of the fully faired, fuel-injected, aluminum-framed TT600, but tuned more for midrange torque.
Dirtbikes on the cover? That's rare stuff, at least nowadays. In fact, aside from a story on carburetor tuning, this was a mostly dirt-oriented issue. Roost on! • It was new vs. old, single shock vs. twin shocks, Japanese technology vs. European tradition in a comparison between Yamaha’s YZ400D and Husqvarna’s 390CR. Which bike won?
FOUR YEARS AND A COUPLE of fairly brilliant seasons of racing later, Aprilia's Rotax-built RSV Mille is still struggling to find its own identity. There’s no disputing the engine’s quality, but fact is, the liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twin could have been designed anywhere in the world.
A new chapter in the BSA story has begun with a 1000cc prototype that harks back to the golden era of the British biking industry. Built by BSA-Regal, the Southampton-based company that owns the rights to the BSA name, the Tempest is a back-to-the-future Superbike powered by an air-cooled parallel-Twin with dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.
UP: To Troy Corser, for putting the pedal to the metal. Let go from Aprilia’s World Superbike squad, the former AMA and WSB champ competed in the final round of the Lamborghini GTR Supertrophy series at Valencia, Spain. Fourth- and third-place finishes in the two-day event garnered the Australian a drive in the Lambo support race at this year’s Melbourne Grand Prix.
REMEMBER WHEN 750s were considered big bikes? Then came Open-classers and 750s were relegated to middleweight status. Now, with the advent of 1300cc hyperbikes, it’s not a question of how big can they get, but will they ever stop growing?
END OF YOUR ROPE? I AM. JUST WHEN A GUY STARTS TO get comfortable with a nice. cozy set of half-baked certitudes—cheeseburgers are healthy, beer is food, the controls fall readily to hand and stock, V-Twin mega-cruisers make 55 horsepower—something comes along to shake up the psyche and turn everything upside down.
HELLO ALL YOU CYCLE WORLD READERS! It's good to be back. The last time I was covershot back in September `99, so I was thrilled when I got the phone call and was asked if I’d like to write a guest article. My topic? A report from the passenger seat of four of the latest power-cruisers on the market.
SO YOU THOUGHT CRUISERS WERE FOR CRUISING DID YA? Maybe the Floorboard Brigade, but not these puppies. Power-cruisers aren't just about power, see. There's some serious chassis enrichment going on here-stout frames, big brakes, upside-down forks, sticky radial rubber.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING, SO the saying goes, and putting these power-cruisers through their paces was my part of this multi-faceted test. California Motor Speedway in Fontana is mammoth, covering 529 acres and residing 1121 feet above sea level.
Power-cruisers meet the Art Center School of Design
NO MOTORCYCLES TAKE STYLING more seriously than the V-Twin power-cruisers gathered here. Each bike's designers were trying to blaze a new trail that combined the American custom look with hints of raw power. How successful were they?
AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH... FEEL BETTER? I Do. AFTER a thousand miles of sparks, tire smoke and eye-candy, all with a lovely V-Twin backbeat, we're feeling pretty good about this whole power-cruiser thing-calm yet excited, cool yet swift. In fact, these are the best V-Twin cruisers we have ever tested.
Fifteen years ago, Yamaha had the ultimate power-cruiser. Maybe it still does.
WITH THE TACH HOVERING AT 6000, YOU stretch your legs out behind, grip the seat with your thighs, and wait for the green light, then...full throttle and dump the clutch. Oomph! The hand of God shoves the bike forward, violently, and you chin yourself on the handlebar, itself suddenly light, free of control.
One of our V-Maxes is missing. Actually, the very one used in this article. The bike remained with Kerker after the story, then was moved on to a local Yamaha dealer, who sold it to a customer. There the trail goes cold. Beloved Baylands Raceway is gone, too, plowed under to make way for an auto mall.
A new engine gives the nine-time World Superbike Champion a new lease on life
BEING A DUCATI FAN CAN SOMETIMES PROVE frustrating. You read in the magazines about the new 996R Superbike with its narrow-head Testastretta engine, but the articles don't mention price or availability. You watch Ben Bostrom win five straight World Superbike races, Ruben Xaus put in an awesome late-season charge and Troy Bayliss capture the rider’s championship, but the bikes in your local Ducati dealer’s show-room all have the old Desmoquattro motor.
If it wasn't for the Cucciolo, Ducati might still be making radios
OF WARS, IT'S OFTEN BEEN SAID, THE SURVIVORS sometimes envy the dead. Certainly, there were many Italians who felt that way following World War II. Under the misguided leadership of Mussolini, Italy had sided with Hitler’s Germany, and consequently was bombed into submission.
DUCATI HAS COME A LONG WAY FROM the Cucciolo to being the Big Dog of World Superbike. From the 916 to this year’s 998, the basic design remains unchanged, yes, but eternity will echo with the accomplishments of this visionary motorbike. Time has defined its place in history, not dulled its luster.
THERE ARE LOTS OF REASONS TO ADMIRE Ben Bostrom. He's rich, young, good-looking and, his past relationship with Leeann Tweeden aside, he’s got that factory Ducati World Superbike ride. So who’s to blame you for wanting to be like him? Now, thanks to Ducati and Malaguti, there are two ways to celebrate the 27-year-old Californian’s celebrity, both unveiled at last October’s Ducati Revs America event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Was Ducati’s 1963 l00-horsepower V-Four the world’s first power-cruiser?
APOLLO, THE GREEK GOD OF THE ARTS, represents order, harmony, civilization and prophecy. And there was no more prophetic a motorcycle than the extraordinary 100-horsepower, 1260cc V-Four Ducati Apollo of 1963. That this motorcycle was designed and built in Italy, to American requirements, by a company with little experience with motorcycles over 250cc, was even more amazing.
IT IS ALL TOO EASY FOR GREAT MOTORCYCLE HISTORIES to die a slow death unless a good hunter-gatherer author comes along to assemble the scattered pieces into a coherent package. Mick Walker has done just that with The Manx Norton, a soft-cover work that will effectively preserve the legend of what is perhaps the most significant over-the-counter roadracer ever made.
OKAY, SIGNOR DUCATISTA, IT'S POP-QUIZ TIME: IN which motorcycle did the Desmoquattro engine debut? If you answered the 916, put on the dunce cap and go stand in the corner. If you answered the 888 or 851, you can stay seated, but you still get an F. Unless you made mention of the prototype Battle of the Twins racer on which Marco Lucchinelli won at Daytona in 1987.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THE SERIOUS MOTORCYCLIST from those just going through a temporary two-wheel tryst? Simple: depth of interest. Here-and-now enthusiasts are in it only for the kicks and giggles. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a shallow appreciation.
As American as mom and apple pie... and Harley-Davidson
THEY'RE THE BEST OF TWO DELIGHTFUL BUT DISPARATE worlds. They're a can't-miss recipe for memorable rides, marrying the laid-back demeanor of a day-tripping cruiser with the long-haul character of an over-the-road tourer. We’re talking about “touring cruisers," and it’s no wonder they’ve become one of motorcycling’s most popular and fastest-growing segments.
WHEN CYCLE WORLD VOTED THE VICTORY V92C Best Cruiser in our 1998 Ten Best Bikes competition, we got a lot of grief. How could this motorcycle, the first ever from a new American manufacturer, be better than all those other cruisers made by all those other, much more experienced manufacturers?
Husaberg FE650E vs. Vertemati 501 E: TWice the price, double the fun?
AWRIGHI, I'M GOING TO COME CLFAN HERE. This is the best job in the world. Even if, after the exorbitant high pay and short hours. extended vacation time and party-like atmosphere, every SO often you do have to hunker down and work. Take this month, for instance: Right after chauffeuring around Leeann Tweeden for our power-cruiser comparison, I had to go out and put these two very exotic and pricey off-road Thumpers through their paces.
GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN HARLEY-Davidson dealers needed only to stock their apparel departments with a couple different styles of leather jackets. The company’s Motorclothes division is bursting with dozens of products designed to make motorcycling an even more pleasant experience-weather notwithstanding.
IF SOMEONE TOLD YOU THAT FOR $390 you could double your off-road riding time, you might be skeptical. But the NiteRider Headhunter is no mystery potion or sneaky ploy to skip work. In reality, it’s a miniature high-intensity-discharge, metal-halide-arc-bulb-equipped lighting system that runs off a compact nickel-metal-hydride battery.
Vance & Hines builds a V-Rod dragbike that’s not quite Harley, not quite Davidson
THIS IS A STORY OF INVISIBLE FORCES PRODUCING A VISIBLE RESULT. THE VISIBLE RESULT IS Harley-Davidson's Pro Stock drag racing entry. designed and built by Vance & Hines, and conceptually based upon the new V-Rod. V&H engineering mastermind Byron Hines has created an entirely novel V-Twin engine, fitting NHRA Pro Stock rules, but whittled from solid billet.
At the end of the 1993 AMA motocross season, Damon Bradshaw hung up his helmet. Fed up, burnt out and completely over motocross racing, he walked away from a four-year factory contract to get away from it all and live the quiet life in Idaho.
I have a ’96 Suzuki Katana with about 60,000 miles on it. A few months ago, a package I was carrying came loose and got caught in the rear tire, locking up the wheel (okay, you can stop laughing now). The motor shut off instantly and the bike skidded to a stop.
Anyone who has ever worked on carburetors, instruments or electrical components knows that there are times when you’d kill for a magnetic screwdriver that would hold that tiny screw you’re trying to get started down in a narrow opening. And at other times, you’d like that same screwdriver not to be magnetic so it wouldn’t attract every shard of ferrous material it comes near.
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