PUTTING OUT A MONTHLY MAGAZINE is like crossing a minefield. No matter how good you are, sometimes things get messy. We had just such a mishap while putting together last December’s issue. After months of negotiations, our exclusive “Vincent Reborn” cover story on Barney Li’s restart of the legendary British road-burner had blown up.
RODE MY LARGE ELECTRA GLIDE TO the doctor’s office a few weeks ago, right before the Moon of the Frozen Garage Door Hinges arrived and forced me to store my bikes for the winter. I strode into the examination room carrying my leather jacket and helmet, and the nurse-the one who takes your blood pressure and makes you put on that backless gown that makes you feel like a cast member from Night of the Living Dead-said cheerfully, “Looks like you rode your bike in today.
DETONATION IS MORE THAN AN ANnoying rattling noise coming from your engine. The rattling is caused as sonic-speed shock waves hit metal surfaces, displacing the insulating boundary layer of stagnant gas that normally protects cylinder and piston from rapid heat transfer.
It's clear where Pierre Terblanche got his inspiration for the Ducati 999: Lego Bionicles. My 8-year-old son pointed this out as soon as he saw the cover of the January issue. Mark Panarusky Raleigh, North Carolina I had the opportunity to see the Ducati 999 at my local dealer.
C’mon, admit it: You’ve considered pulling off the highway, parking your bike and kicking back for a short snooze. Hey, who hasn’t—especially after ingesting a jumbo lunch?! With the $20 Traveller Hammock, however, you needn’t search out a rock on which to rest your noggin’. Just clip the 10-ounce nylon bundle to a couple of trees or stout fence posts with the accessory SmartRopes, and grab some shut-eye. Max load is 250 pounds.
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wind-proof S3 crewneck
You needn’t be a member of cycling’s Pro peloton to appreciate Craft’s layering system. In fact, under a jacket or leathers, the Scandinavian apparel-maker’s flat-lock-seam, perspiration-wicking undergarments up the comfort quotient and extend the riding season. The stretch zip Shift pullover ($90), zip-mock Pro ($50) and wind-proof S3 crewneck ($60) shown here are but a small sampling of the company’s product line, which also includes a range of felted wool socks.
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The ultimate dual-purpose and adventure-riding kit? Waterproof-and-breathable Expedition Gear. Loaded with oversized, zippered cargo pockets, the machine-washable pairing is packed with features, including zip-off sleeves and a drink system port under the front storm flap. Sizes? M-XXXXL for the $160 jacket; 32-50 for the $100 pants. Colors? Navy or “Stealth.”
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Hey man, got the time? You will when wearing the One ($352). Made by Breil, official timekeeper of the World Superbike Championship and sponsor of the Ducati Corse race team, the stainless-steel chronograph features luminescent hands on a black face, the date, and 60-second, 60-minute and 24-hour stop counters. Rubber or stainless-steel bracelet, it’s your choice.
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Can your Harley-Davidson page you? It can if it’s equipped with a Thunder Page RPG-600. Designed to plug directly into the factory security system on late-model Big Twins, the $199 RPG600 uses a standard alphanumeric pager to monitor the alarm’s operation and display codes for arming, disarming and trigger modes. What if you own more than one motorcycle? A multiple codelearning feature lets you track as many as three motorcycles with a single beeper. A compact sixtone siren is optional.
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3rd Hand Stand
"If I just had another hand...” Re-installing your sportbike’s rear wheel no longer needs to be an exercise in frustration. Developed for use with conventional swingarm-type rear stands, the powdercoated 3rd Hand Stand ($129) holds the wheel securely in place while you align spacers, brake caliper hanger and chainadjuster blocks, and knock in the axle. Heightadjustable via two quick-release pins, the lightweight aluminum design accommodates tires up to 190mm wide.
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HOW TO TOP THE X-SPII, SHOEI'S BEST FULL-FACE HELMET? HIT THE wind tunnel, create a lighter, more aerodynamic shape with a wider, periphery-enhancing faceshield and venting that—hang on to your chinstraps, folks—actually works. With the X-Eleven, Shoei has cut wind noise, and done away with buffeting and undue backpressure. The new shell features proprietary organic Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus Multi-Fiber construction—lighter and stronger than carbon-fiber—and no fewer than four intake and five exhaust vents, the drag-and-lift-lowering back-of-helmet stabilizer among them. Shield swapping remains exceedingly simple, with the 4mm-wider CX-1V using the same tool-less, quick-release baseplate as its predecessor. Moving inside, the comfy 3-D Fit System interior is removable and machine-washable. Sold in three plain ($560), four metallic ($572) and three racer-replica ($660) paint schemes in sizes XXS to XXL, the X-Eleven comes with a removable breath guard, chin curtain and five-year warranty.
LAST DECEMBER'S Bologna Motor Show was the stage for one of the most emotion-filled motorcycle events of the new millennium: the return of Laverda to the high-performance sportbike scene, though now as a member of the Aprilia group. Moto Laverda has long enjoyed a special place in the heart of the two-wheeled fraternity.
BMW is fast forward with its Roadster Concept, unveiled at the Munich Show this past September (Roundup, December, 2002). Aimed at "younger and more extroverted" motorcyclists, the early release '04 R1150R Rockster Is already in production, and bikes should be in dealerships by March, priced at $10,790 ($12,990 for the ABS version).
Just when it appeared no one was interested in keeping Bimota alive, not one but two bidders stepped up. Last year, when the “Alternativa Moto” team led by Giuseppe Della Pietra failed to honor its $2 million bid (losing a 10 percent downpayment in the process), the court decided anyone with $1.4 million could lay claim to the Bimota name.
BUILD YOIJR OWN BIKE? Easily done these days, what with an abundance of available engines, frames and other vital components needed to put rubber to the road. But a mail-order chopper wouldn’t cut it for Don and Wendy Atchison, owners of Denver’s Iconoclast Motorcycles, a one-time Bimota, Confederate and MZ shop.
What could be more retro-cool than a new Indian Chief? A new Indian Chief Vintage, apparent-Vintage, apparently. The reborn bike-maker’s latest line-leader one-ups its predecessor’s already old-timey full-fendered styling, then adds uprated mechanicals.
Crazy times, the late Seventies. The Japanese inline-Four was in full swing, and one of the finest examples of the time, the Suzuki GS1000, took top billing this month. Testers called the 536pound machine “light,” and praised its handling.
LIVING IN FRANCE HAS ITS benefits, especially if you're a motorcyclist. Take these neat stamps, for ex-ample. I’ve stopped sending e-mails and reverted to old-fashioned letters just so I could use ’em. Although French bikers-like American riders-complain they’re treated as second-class citizens, these stamps further illustrate the fact that motorcycling is much more a part of everyday life in Europe.
Innovation doesn't come from conformity. So say Mark Carpenter and Jess Lindsay, who are doing their part to make bike riding easier. The lowa Falls, Iowa, residents have created the Hydro-Drive, a homespun, V-Twin-engined custom that uses hydraulics in place of conventional driveline components.
QUESTION: How COULD the all-new Honda CBR954RR—a 406pound, 136-horsepower rocketship capable of a low 10-second quarter-mile and a top speed of nearly 170 mph-finish third in last year’s Open-class sportbike comparison? Answer: The competition included the also newly updated Yamaha YZF-R1 and reigning class champ Suzuki GSX-R1000.
UP: To Ignition Motorsports, for getting the word out. Remember the popular “Start Seeing Motorcyclists” bumper stickers advising the public to be aware of two-wheeled motorists? Well, the Minnesota apparel-maker (www.ignitionmoto.com) has its own version: “Start Dating Motorcyclists!” Talk about a public service!
Different kind of cruiser, different kind of Honda
ALLOW US, PLEASES TO introduce the motorcycle industry's newest maker of limited-edition boutique bikes. Little outfit out of Tokyo, Japan, the Honda Motor Company, Ltd. You may have heard of it... And just how did the world’s largest motorcycle monolith, a company that just rolled out its 35 millionth Cub 50 step-through, come to be selling a hoity-toity, low-run, large-bucks designer item like the NRX1800 Valkyrie Rune?
WHEN YAMAHA INVITED THE MOTO PRESS DOWN UNDER FOR the launch of its first YZF-R6 back in 1999,I returned home very impressed. Not by the ride along Australia’s Great Ocean Road; we have our own majestic Pacific Coast Highway right here. Nor was it the feast of indigenous mystery BBQ served up by our hosts; Burger King would have sufficed just fine.
Kevin Schwantz gets up to speed on Suzuki's GSV-R MotoGP racer
HURTLING TOWARD ME AT MORE than 100 miles per hour, the #34 Suzuki's front wheel pawing the sticky Malaysian air, Kevin Schwantz slammed the throttle shut, flicked the blue-and-yellow machine onto its side and plunged down the hill out of view.
THE PASSING OF MELTON "BUSTER" ROBERTS—FATHER of Kenny and granddad of KRJR—in late October resonated louder than you might have suspected, considering Buster was always more of a behind-the-scenes guy. Siring Kenny Roberts Sr. carries enough weight on its own wherever motorcycles are spoken, but mention Buster’s name to just about anybody of a certain age in motorcycle racing, and you’re almost guaranteed a chuckle and an anecdote.
THERE IS NO MORE BEAUTIFUL MACHINE than a factory Grand Prix roadracer. I admit that F-l cars are vastly more different from Corollas than Val Rossi’s MotoGP-championship Honda RC21IV is from a 2002 GSX-R. Both are bikes with fairings, big brakes and the boldest of graphics.
THE BRITISH HAVE OCCASIONALLY been accused of being full of hot air, but this 2002 Triumph 955i Daytona actually is. It's turbocharged, you see, as all slightly underpowered Open-class sportbikes ought to be-there’s no simpler, more reliable way to boost horsepower to acceptable levels.
Nothing like the howl of a lightly muffled Triple to start the day off right. And even though mornings around the CW shop can be pretty interesting, the pleasing oddity of three barking cylinders always gets the attention. Very well justified in the case of this flamboyant, triple-megaphoned 1999 Triumph Thunderbird Sport.
Amazinq how a hiqh-speed crash on a busy Los Angeles freeway can change the look of a motorcycle. Usually, it’s for the worse, but in the case of this glorious copper-bronze Triumph, it was ultimately a turn of good fortune. At the time of the initial “modification,” the bike was a 1998 Speed Triple testbike being laid on its side at 90 mph and then sliding smoothly to a stop, in the process planing off some serious pounds of aluminum and other critical materials.
How yesterday's Open Class TT recers became the fashion statement of today
CHRIS CARR GREW UP IN A BIKE-RIDING family, so he knows the etiquette, the first rule of motorcycling manners. It doesn’t matter that he’s reigning AMA Number One, or that he’s won here at Peoria 13 times. He pauses in front of the old Harley Knucklehead and gestures toward the owner, Can I? Well, sure, Tom Harding nods, and Cansettles into the seat, looks down at the gaping space between the split fuel tanks and quips, “So, that’s where those guys put their huevos.” The men clustered around the machine all grin, he’s got that right.
FORGET THAT 12-OUNCE SOFT DRINK, make mine a Mega Big Gulp 48. Burger? Triple-deck it! Fries? Super-size! This is America. Give me what I want, even if I’m not supposed to have it. Which brings us to KTM’s new 525 E/XC. Forty-eight horsepower wrapped in maybe the most capable, enduro-ready chassis in the dirtbike biz.
BLAME IT ON ENTHUSIASM. OR THE fact that tires arrive at the CW of fices with "No Charge" stamped on the shipping order. Whatever the explanation, our long-term Interceptor has burned through three sets of tires in less than 10,000 miles-without ever having ventured onto a racetrack.
NYONE WHO HAS EVER WATCHED A GI~AND PRIX OR World Superbike race is no doubt familiar with Aprilia. But ask that same viewer about the Italian compa ny's history and all he's likely to know is that the RSV Mile first went on sale here in the late 1990s.
HAVE IT YOUR WAY? SOUNDS SUSPIcious to us. But that's what Japanese leather-maker Kushitani is promising with its new custom ordering program. To test the validity of the Internetbased setup, we had a one-piece suit made for Assistant Editor Mark Cernicky.
The word "pannier," unspoken among off-road riders and seldom used by the dual-purpose crowd, is generally defined as a big, bulky way to overload your dirtbike so that it can’t possibly be used in the manner for which it was originally intended.
HAVE YOU RECENTLY LOOKED OUT YOUR BACK WINDOW, ONLY TO see what looks like your neighbor’s helmeted head moving quickly around above fenceline as though he were running behind his lawnmower? Or perhaps you went to your local motocross track, only to see adults, full-grown adults, roosting around on tiny little bikes that are plainly too small for them, leading you to think that perhaps the Shriners had gone Gen X.
There was conflict, confusion and several different stories, but one man with a stack of cash has ended the controversy as to the whereabouts of the “real” Ducati that Mike Hailwood used to win the Isle of Man TT in 1978. An investment banker named Michael Auriana simply bought out everybody who claimed they had a piece of the bike.
Surely, you people at Cycle World are aware of the overheating problem that has been affecting the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing since its introduction in 2001. I think you should either write a story about the problem or at least contact Honda and see if you can get some response.
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