ACTUALLY, FREDERICK TREVOR DEEley never liked being called Mister—“Trev” would do just fine—and the mystery was more a running joke of his own making. At one Daytona 200 in the early 1970s, so many machines carried Deeley’s sponsorship decals (22 in all!) that T-shirts were printed up reflecting the buzz in the pits.
IT WAS JUST LIKE BEING 13 AGAIN. THAT was the age at which I illegally rode my homemade Briggs & Stratton-powered minibike all over the back roads of Wisconsin one summer. No driver’s license, plates, headlight or brake lights. Just me and the minibike, chugging along at 15 mph and keeping a sharp eye out for the Juneau County Sheriff.
THE AIRLINER RUSHED AND ROARED over the dark Atlantic, the Big Dipper out my window rotating fast as I napped. As we moved toward the hidden sun at double-speed, I could see a ribbed cloud layer far down, looking like sand rippled by water. More light and more travel revealed German farm country, whose rectangular fields suggested an endless exhibit of furry rug samples.
Kawasaki’s new Z1000 (“In Praise of the Road-Burner,” November, 2002)? I want one! The pure modern nakedness of the bike screams power and beauty. It’s very cool, from the sport-bike tail to the mini, multi-angled fairing. And how can you go wrong with a ZX-9 powerplant?
Light is right! O.Z.’s forged-aluminum HL01 and HL02 sportbike wheels are said to weigh a whopping 25 percent less than standard hoops. Plus, they look cool, what with their arched spokes, grooved rim surfaces and black-, silveror gold-anodized finishes. Hey, what else would you expect from an Italian company that cut its teeth in Formula One?! Get’em for $1600 a pair. Lockhart Phillips USA, 151 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente, CA 92672; 949/498-9090; www.lockhartphillipsusa.com
Lockhart Phillips USA
Liquid Performance Premium Cycle Wash
Color-coordinated dirtbike wash? You bet. Premium Cycle Wash is non-corrosive, biodegradable and dyed to match all of the factory colors—green, orange, blue, red and yellow. A 32-ounce bottle with an adjustable sprayer costs $8. Mud Release—for cleaning muck-caked fender undersides—is also available. Liquid Performance, Inc., 2727 Mary Linda Ave. NE, Roanoke, VA 24012; 800/217-7435; www.liquidperformance.com
Lockhart Phillips USA
Ready to put your bike on a diet? RaceBolts is the Jenny Craig of two-wheeled weight-loss centers. Top-grade aluminum, stainless-steel and titanium are offered in both SAE and metric sizes. Stainless 200-piece workshop packs go for $50, while model-specific Ti dirtbike chassis kits start at $125. Racebolts, Inc., 4019 Goldfinch St. #110, San Diego, CA 92103; 619/749-8133; www.racebolts.com
Lockhart Phillips USA
Stand out from the rest of the two-wheeled crowd in the $350 Neo-Daytona jacket. Featuring a “straight-cut” fit, elbow and shoulder armor, perforated sleeve panels and a removable insulated liner, the premium-quality, drum-dyed cowhide zip-up is available in white, blue or black, in sizes 40 to 52. Want to one-up your buddies? Then opt for the limited-edition $400 Hero with its stitched-on sponsor patches. Icon, 2040 Gillespie Way, El Cajon, CA 92020; 805/577-1591; www.rideicon.com
Lockhart Phillips USA
DynaCycle II Engine Oil
Reduce engine oil temperature from between 20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit? That’s the guarantee made by Iron Cycles, distributors of DynaCycle II. API SL/CI-4 certified, the non-graphite, non-silicone 20w60 semi-synthetic lube is suitable for use in Harley-Davidson and other four-stroke motorcycle engines. Order it in quart ($6) or gallon ($22) quantities. Iron Cycles, Inc., 16B Fors gate Dr., Jamesburg, NJ 08831; 732/605-9600; www.ironcyclesinc.com
Lockhart Phillips USA
Service Honda CR500AF
Say hello to the mother of all two-stroke motocrossers. The CR500AF combines the legendary engine performance of Honda’s 491cc two-stroke Single with the third-generation aluminum-beam CR250R chassis. Also new for ’03 is a Keihin 39mm carburetor, which improves midrange and top-end power—as if the previous models were lacking in these areas! There are many options, too, from handlebar bends to cylinder porting to suspension tuning. Prices start at $8350 complete. Service Honda, 5634 Hohman Ave., Hammond, IN 46320; 219/932-3588; www.servicehonda.com
Lockhart Phillips USA
Oxtar TCX Pro
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL about Oxtar’s TCX Pro? For one, the patented Torsion Control System, which allows normal ankle flexure without the material distortion associated with conventional motocross boots. But wait, there’s more: Quick-release aluminum buckles with “memory locking” retain the selected closure position, while a removable, breathable bootie ups comfort and fit, and cushions impacts. The Pro is tough, too, what with its top-grain, water-resistant leather upper and replaceable dual-compound sole. Available in black/white, blue/white, red/white or white, in sizes 8 to 13, a pair sells for $325. Intersport Fashions West, Inc., 15602 Mosher Ave., Tustin, CA 92780; 714/258-2120; www.powersportsleague.com
WE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE thinking: If America can put a man on the moon, why can’t it build a world-class sportbike? Apologies to the Buell XB9R, we’re talking about a motorcycle capable of competing against the Honda RC51s, Ducati 999s and Aprilia RSV Mille Rs of the world.
Remember the BT 1100 Bulldog, Yamaha’s Euro-only sport-standard? Introduced two years ago, the Belgarda Yamaha-built shaftie was billed as a motorcycle that “charms you with its character, with the throb of its big V-Twin heart and with an attention to good old-fashioned detail that gets motorcycling connoisseurs pointing and talking excitedly.”
The headlight-equipped Honda RC211V paraded by five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan at the Suzuka 8-Hours last July may be the basis for a brand-new Open-class sportbike code-named RCB1000. Strongly influenced by Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP-winning V-Five, the bike will replace not one, but two current models: the CBR945RR and RC51.
MOTO GUZZI's venerable air-cooled, pushrod V-Twin has gotten a long-awaited upgrade. Not to liquid-cooling, dohc or four valves per cylinder, as has been rumored, but to quieter, no-maintenance hydraulic valve lifters. Emulating that other maker of venerable air-cooled, pushrod V-Twins, Harley-Davidson, Guzzi has re-engineered its now 40-year-old engine so that oil pressure now automatically sets valve lash, eliminating the manual screw-type adjusters employed previously.
Hey, it worked for the airlines, why not for motorcycle tourers? Edelweiss Bike Travel has instituted its WorldTourer program, in which participants are credited with miles for each tour taken. Rack up enough miles, and you can trade ’em in for bike upgrades, extra nights in hotels or, if you’re a serious repeat customer, half-off selected tour packages.
Yamaha’s “great pulsating beast,” the single-cylinder SR500, got top billing this month, along with rave reviews for its handling. “Imagine the unlikely mixture of the jack rabbit agility of a Yamaha RD or Ducati GT 500 and the locomotive stability of the Laverda Jota or Kawasaki KZ1000,” wrote the author of the test.
VIRTUAL PROTOTYPING has fast-forwarded tire technology into the 21st century. Newest player in this area of innovation is Maxxis, formerly known as Cheng Shin. The Taiwanese tire giant has enjoyed great success in the bicycle, go-kart and motocross markets, among others, which has accelerated the company's growth at a phenomenal pace.
ONE OF THE WORLD'S longest-standing speed records fell in 2002 when Australian Indian nut-case Peter Arundel piloted his 1924 factory eight-valve special to an amazing 158.73 mph, blasting the previous 135-mph mark for unstreamlined Indians set by American enthusiast Max Bubeck back in 1948.
UP: To Angelle Savoie and Karen Stoffer, for beating the boys at their own game. At last September’s NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals in Reading, Pennsylvania, the two Pro Stock motorcycle drag racers both advanced to the finals, marking the first all-female bike final in NHRA history.
JUST WHEN YOU THINK you’ve got the lock on a certain cut of jeans, style of sneakers or a particular new band, your faves are everywhere, the subject of the latest retro-revival. So much for individuality... But wait, doesn’t something have to actually go away before it can be revived?
NAY-SAYERS, ARMCHAIR industrial-design critics, unwavering disciples of The Great 916, Tamburini-is-God partisans—all due respect-but now is the time to shut yer yaps. Ducati’s new 999 is about to hit U.S. showrooms, and up close and in the metal it is a stunning piece, spectacular, sublime even.
DREAM JOB, ISNT IT? YOU LAZE AROUND YOUR stark-white mezzanine design studio all day, whimsically sketching the motorcycles of your dreams, secure in the knowledge that your ideas will one day be transformed into metal and plastic. Your understanding boss regards you as a delicate genius and leaves you to do your work, you've got no hard deadlines, and you're confident that whatever you envision will pass muster with the legions of Ducatisti eager to embrace the Next Big Thing.
OH, THE CLUES ARE THERE, ALL right. You just have to know where to look. Note, if you will, the scooped-out seat, upholstered in firmer-than-stock foam—the better to give your pucker some purchase. Oh, yeah, lift said saddle to reveal a 1-pound bottle for the self-contained air-shift system, good for 600 or so full-power upshifts between refills.
Velocity Racing has just what every Suzuki GSX-R1000 needs. A turbo!
HEAD DOWN BEHIND THE BUBBLE AS THE DESERT SAGE FLASHES by, an indecipherable beige blur. A quarter-mile away, the radar gun picks me up...196 mph...197...198... Will this turbocharged Velocity Racing GSX-R1000 really push its way past the magic Double-Ton today?
San Jose BMW knows the way to build a better Boxer
Has IT REALLY BEEN 27 YEARS SINCE REG PRIDMORE rode a BMW R90S to the inaugural AMA Superbike Championship? You'd never know from the way ol' Reg flogs a bike (a Honda nowadays) around the racetrack at his CLASS riding schools, nor from the progress the Bayerische Motoren Werkes has made on the performance front.
SUPER SLEEPER? NOT BMW’S R1100S BOXERCup Replica. With its eye-popping Pacific Blue Metallic/Alpine White paint and former 500cc GP star Randy Mamola’s signature inscribed on the fairing, this limited-edition flat-Twin is obviously Something Special.
IT SEEMS LIKE A DELUSION, SOME SICK SLEIGHT OF hand, the way this neo-retro built-up Bonneville accelerates. You find yourself asking, “Hey, can I smoke this Mille off the line?” Unthinkable as alchemy aboard the stock bike, but damned if the unnatural powers crammed into the engine cases by South Bay Triumph don’t make it happen!
BEHIND CLOSED DYNO-ROOM DOORS, FAR away from prying eyes, is a place where the whirring sounds of presses and mills and the familiar smell of machine oil ride on the breeze of success. There lurks Kevin Erion. There’s nothing top-secret about Erion Racing’s 11 AMA national number-one plates in 600cc Supersport, Formula Xtreme and the Superteams endurance series Erion (himself the 1988-89 Pro Twins champ) simply adheres to a proven formula: hard work, ambition and attention to detail.
FIRST THING MOST CUSTOMIZERS DO IS TWEAK the rideability right out of a cruiser. Insanely wide rear tires, slammed suspension (or no suspension!), whacked-out ergos and silly little seats, it’s no wonder custom bike shows are static affairs.
Getting motivational with a 9-second Warrior dragbike
THE PATRICK RACING YAMAHA WARRIOR DRAGBIKE IS BIG, black and bellows like a dynamite-actuated kettledrum. My chance to ride it was something I didn't take lightly. Luckily, regular wrist Mark Underwood was there for a demo run. You know, show me the ropes.
AMAZING THAT what once looked simpie-build a made-in-America cruiser to take on Harley-Davidson— has proven so difficult. Excelsior-Henderson? Gone, along with a cool $100 mil in investment money. Any number of clone-makers? Dropping like disgraced corporate CEOs.
"IT’S INCREDIBLE!" These are not words that come often to the lips of Eddie Lawson. The fourtime 500cc World Champion is Mr. Cool, on the track and off, and a man of few words, hardly any of them superlatives. Anything Lawson describes as incredible is, you can be sure, something special.
“Copping” a ride on the one-and-only Ducati Apollo
SITTING JUST BEHIND the startline at Goodwood on the Ducati Apollo, dressed appropriately in my police jacket and helmet, I watched as Eddie Lawson on a Yamaha YZR500 waited for the lights to turn green. A marshal then quipped that he would give me a million dollars if I could catch the four-time world champion and give him a speeding ticket before he reached the end of the mile-long climb.
CLOSE YOUR EYES, BREATHE IN THE ACRID SMELL OF hot cutting oil and imagine the scene: Sebastiano Marcellino, a slightly built Italian man with graying hair and a disarming smile, walks into an engineering shop in Turin that specializes in making engine components for Formula One cars.
CRAFTY FOLKS, OUR FRIENDS OVER AT JAPAN'S GARRRR MAGAZINE. Somehow, they managed to sneak in the first ride on one of 2003's most anticipated off-road machines, Yamaha's electric-start WR450F. "Impossible, those bikes haven't even been built yet!" bellowed a Yamaha PR type when told of the test.
IT’S NOT EVERY DAY FILTHY DIRTBIKERS SCORE AN INVITE to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But somehow, presumably through motorcycling’s James Cameron ( Titanic) connection, the premiere for A Day In The Dirt, The Movie was held in this hallowed hall.
Two-time World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards' silly season
ISN’T IT GREAT HOW LIFE WORKS OUT WHEN you put in the time, remain loyal and produce the best results anyone in your position ever has? Just ask Colin Edwards, who for Castrol and the Honda factory earned two World Superbike Championships, has the most consecutive podium finishes in the history of the series-and then found himself out of a job.
Just when it seemed the MotoGP World Championship had become a Honda benefit, Yamaha scored its second win of the 2002 season, and both Kawasaki and Kenny Roberts’ Proton team revealed new contenders. Kawasaki knows that painting the MotoGP series green will not happen overnight.
IT WAS THE SECOND MOST-ASKED question when the Buell Firebolt XB9R was introduced last year. The first was, how fast is it? The second was, when will hop-up equipment be available for it? The answer to the first question is, not nearly as fast as the 600cc-class sportbikes with which it was intended to compete.
After reading your reply to Larry Langley’s “The need for speeds” question in the September, 2002, issue, I would appreciate some further clarification. Like Mr. Langley, I too own a new Honda RC51 and have found that sixth gear is way too tall for just about any kind of street riding short of cruising the Autobahn.
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