MOTORCYCLES WILL TEACH YOU LESsons if you let them. Feature Editor Mark Hoyer and I were elbows-deep in such erudition this past May at the fourth-annual Cycle World Rolling Concours (see “Unholy Rollers,” page 72). Temporarily between Nortons, Mark had borrowed my 1967 Atlas 750 caféracer for the 50-mile wine-country round trip.
A FEW WEEKS AGO, I CALLED MY OLD friend and former CW Editor, Allan Girdler, to tell him I would soon be flying in from Wisconsin for a California visit. “Want to go riding dirtbikes in the desert?” I asked. “Maybe up in our old stomping grounds around Stoddard Wells?” “Lord,” Allan said, “I haven’t been up in the high desert in years.
DURING THE 1950S AND ’60S, MOTORcycles that won 500cc GP roadraces did not have to use much more than 50 horsepower worth of tire to do so. Why not? The only real opposition faced by the four-cylinder Italian Gileras and MVs of that era were 50-bhp privateer Norton and Matchless Singles.
Just read David Edwards’ “Daytona, Dimming” column in the June issue and must agree. I live in Jacksonville, Florida, only 90 minutes from the track (unless I ride my Suzuki SV650, then it’s either 70 minutes or 350 minutes, depending on my mood).
MOTIVE, MEANS, OPportunity. Mystery writers tell us these are the driving forces of action. Foreign magazines have run stories suggesting that because BMW has two of the above-means and opportunity-it must also have the motive to enter 990cc four-stroke MotoGP roadracing.
Look out, Kawasaki ZX-12R! Triumph is said to be developing a 2004 replacement for its three-cylinder Daytona 955i sportbike. Per over-seas reports, the proposed hot-rod, which is currently in the clay mockup phase, will be fully-faired, feature an uprated aluminum frame and displace 1275cc from an all-new, fuel-injected inline-Four-yes, Four.
IS THE WORLD READY FOR A recumbent motorcycle? Auto racing legend Dan Gurney apparently thinks so. Because after two decades of development-admittedly at a far less frenetic pace than the race cars Gurney’s All-American Racers usually turns out-the low-slung Gurney Alligator is finally ready for production.
German bike-maker MZ is reportedly developing a pneumatic-valve, 90-degree V-Four to power its entrée into MotoGP later this year. A dry-sump 990cc prototype is already undergoing testing, with hopes of producing 250 horsepower at 18,200 rpm.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM the forthcoming crop of Japanese twoand four-stroke motocrossers? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the changes: Aside from the all-new CR85R, Honda’s lineup appears identical, but extensive internal engine updates were made to all three full-size CRs.
Caffé Italiano! Moto Morini’s Sports 3½ stood alone on this month’s cover, its air-cooled, pushrod, 344cc V-Twin on full display. Originally developed by Franco Lambertini and Gino Marchesini, the engine splayed its cylinders 72 degrees apart, and produced a claimed 39 horsepower at 8500 rpm and 25 foot-pounds of torque at 6300 rpm.
"SOME OF THESE GUYS remembered every lap of every race. I can't even remember all the races I've been in," joked Wendell Phillips at "The 15 Year California Roadrace Reunion," held this past April during the Yamaha Superbike Challenge at California Speedway.
At the Sturgis Rally and looking for a little relief from the sun, stop-n-go traffic and surly waitresses? Then have we got an art exhibit for you. Amble on over to Rapid City’s Journey Museum, where “Bikes, People, Attitude” will be on display July 27-August 10.
UP: To “Friends” television star and gearhead Matt LeBlanc, for puttin’ on the charm. Asked in a recent cover story for Entertainment Weekly if he would rather have posed for the front of Road & Track, LeBlanc replied, “No offense, but yeah.
BMW R1150GS ADVENTURE Shouldn't it be called the P-D?
JUST 18 MONTHS AGO, I was contracted by BMW to race the Bavarian bike-maker’s works flat-Twin in various desert rallies, including Paris-Dakar. Does that make me biased, particularly in favor of the bike tested here, the R1150GS Adventure?
TESTING MOTORCYCLES may be a dream job, but it does have its restless nights. Returning to Spain for “Master Bike,” Europe’s most prestigious sportbike comparison test, was an opportunity for me to settle some unfinished business and set the record straight after last year’s poor twist of fate.
Europeans invented sport-touring. What's their take on the new Honda?
DELAYS ARE AN UNfortunate fact of life. Freeway logjams add eons to your already protracted commute. Maxed-out super-market checkout lines spill into the produce section. Doctor visits alleged to take 20 minutes last hours... Such setbacks are no less common-or frustrating-in the world of motorcycles.
DO YOU DROOL OVER PHOTOS OF dirtbikes performing perverse acts on pavement? Search the pages of Cycle News in hopes of finding a SuperTT race report covering the likes of Kevin Schwantz or Nicky Hayden backin’ ’er in? Stay up late at night surfing websites dedicated to the reincarnation of ABC’s Wide World of Sports old “Superbikers” series?
It’s not far from Carlsbad to Anaheim, unless you go via Paris
HARD TO BELIEVE IT’S BEEN FIVE years since I won the first-ever SuperTT race. I like to remind folks of that achievement for two reasons: 1) Because it pains my buddy Don Canet, who finished second behind me that day; and 2) because that was the last time I got anywhere near the front!
Cycle World’s fourth-annual Rolling Concours—to finish first, first you must finish
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR 1922 MATADOR SEMI-Sports Deluxe chucks the con-rod out of its 80-year-old engine cases? Maybe call your loan broker, your metallurgist and your Psychic Britbike Parts Finder Friends. But for sure you don’t win at Cycle World's Rolling Concours, where the only way to get a trophy is to first make a 50mile ride through some of the most fun and beautiful roads in the world.
IT WAS SOMETHING LIKE 13 years and countless thousands of hours labor that one day was left at the side of a northern California dirt trail with a sign on it that that said “Free to good home.” The time and effort was lavished upon this highly modified Triumph street-tracker, winner of our Street Special class.
THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT the latest version of Moto Guzzi’s V11 Sport is that it’s not called the “Senna,” though eyeballing the stylized script on the silver seat cowl, you could be forgiven for thinking so. What it is called is the “Scura,” an Italian word the meaning of which took some deciphering.
TALL ONES, SHORT ONES AND JUST ABOUT every one in between, all motorcycles have something about them that I like. Beyond its race-bred Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes, the V11 Sport Scura has character, and like all Moto Guzzis is charming enough to attract a devout following.
ALTHOUGH NEVER OUR INtention at the start, we practically ended up building the whole Moto Guzzi sporting lineup with our groovy-green V11 Sport long-termer. If you’ve been following our two-year, 15,000-mile affair with the Italian Twin, you’ve seen it transformed from stock naked retro café-bike to Magni-faired “Bol d’Or” sport-tourer to streetfighter, all with minimal wrenching.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: VESPA CREATOR CORRADINO D’Ascanio disdained motorcycles, and envisioned the motor scooter not as an inexpensive alternative, but as a further refinement, with a superior seating position, better weather protection and an easy-to-change spare tire.
FIRST CAME FOGGY, THE UNABASHED AUTOBIOGRAPHY of four-time World Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty. Now we have Foggy on Bikes, once again with the help of Neil Bramwell. Also an easy, entertaining read, it’s broken into five sections: What Makes a World Champion, Racing Techniques, Preparation, Racing and Other Types of Bike Racing.
FINDING AN ENDURO JACKET WITH ALL the “right” features can be a real chore, especially since most folks won’t discover what’s lacking until they’ve taken their first ride. Well, if there’s ever been an upper-body coverall with nearly every conceivable off-road-oriented attribute built into it, Acerbis’ new Impact is it.
THE MOVIE AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY HAS always had this thing for dirtbikes. And not just to make bad guys badder, good guys gooder or to add some thrills to a chase scene, either. A fair portion of Hollywood goes out and gets dirty on a regular basis for no other reason than the fun of it.
Despite being just five races old, Pascal Picotte’s 2002 AMA Superbike season has had more highs and lows than a rollercoaster. After a four-year stint on the factory Harley-Davidson VR1000, the 32-year-old roadracing veteran found himself unemployed at the end of last season when the powers-that-be in Milwaukee decided to pull the plug on their Superbike program.
We have an ’86 Yamaha V-Max and would like to know what the effects would be of removing the counter-rotating balancing shaft altogether. Paul at MadMax could only tell us that it would open up a can of worms. Obviously, there would be a certain increase in the amount of vibration, but can we actually do without the balancer and not damage the engine?
Got a toolbox drawer full of loose cable ties that always seem to find their way to the bottom, buried beneath all the combination wrenches, little round files and assorted widgets? Well, there are several ways to organize them, including wrapping them with a rubber band (which usually breaks) or cinching them together with a smaller cable tie.
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