JUDGING BY THE SPAM ON MY COMputer, we are a nation fixated on refinancing our mortgages, enlarging our penises, losing weight while we sleep, purchasing discount golf balls and seeing Christina Aguilera in the nude. Or maybe it’s just me.
ON OUR OFFICIAL SLIMEY CRUD Motorcycle Gang 1000-mile road trip last summer (which was actually 1600 miles long, thanks to a slight miscalculation) one of our most revered members from the Detroit contingent, Wil Laneski, revealed a scientific break-through in lightweight packing technology that virtually stunned all of us at breakfast one morning.
REMEMBER HONDA’S EXP-2 AFRICA rally bike? Its two-stroke engine employed a unique combustion system that operated over most of its load range without spark ignition. This type of combustion is now known as Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition.
I just finished reading the Dodge Tomahawk article (CW, April). While I can certainly understand why you’d get a “car guy” like John Phillips to write the story, I hope this will be his first and last guest appearance in Cycle World. If sarcasm galore and generous servings of bitterness were Mr. Phillips’ aim, then he struck a bulls-eye with his debut article.
Build the custom V-Twin of your dreams at home in the privacy of your own garage. That’s the idea behind “The Big Easy,” the S&S-engined bike-in-a-box from Biker’s Choice. For $14,596, you get everything needed to get underway, sans paint, oil and gas, of course. Tucker Rocky Distributing, 4900 Alliance Gateway Fwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; 800/347-1010; www.tuckerrocky.com
Dainese USA, Inc.
Rider Gear Jeans
Trade in your cotton Levi’s for the uprated abrasion resistance of 1000-denier cordura-nylon jeans. No heavy-duty armor here, just comfy zip-fly, seven-belt-loop, five-pocket pants. Black only, in even waist sizes from 30 to 42. Price is $80. Rider Gear, 1110 Ocean St., Eugene, OR 97402; 800/873-8949; www.time-to-ride.com
Dainese USA, Inc.
Galfer Superbike Lines
Nothing new in brake lines? Guess again. Developed specifically for road-racing, Galfer’s new Superbike lines thread directly into the brake calipers, doing away with banjo bolts. Result? Better flow and feel. Cost is $105 for all applications. Galfer USA, 57/67 W. McFarlane, Ventura, CA 93001; 805/653-5012; www.galferusa.com
Dainese USA, Inc.
Sidi Champion Air
A cool new addition to Italian boot-maker Sidi’s warm-weather collection, the mid-height Champion Air relies on a combination of synthetic-leather Lorica and breathable mesh panels for comfort and protection. Selling for $160, the boots are available in black only in men’s sizes 5-13. Motonation, 14168 Poway Rd. # 205, Poway, CA 92064; 877/789-4940; www.motonation.com
Dainese USA, Inc.
Who says safety with style is an elusive concept? Not Italian gear-maker Dainese. Three nifty new waist-length wraps, the leather/textile Talos ($749) and all-leather Trax ($499) and Shard ($609), feature composite armor at the elbows and shoulders, and room for an optional Back Space G2 spine protector. Waist zippers accommodate matching pants. Both men’s and women’s sizes are available in a range of colors. Dainese USA, Inc., 270 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012; 212/274-9848; www.dainese.com
Dainese USA, Inc.
Here's an exhaust note from the Netherlands: Hand-crafted BOS slip-ons bring European racetrack performance to the street. The hand-polished pipes feature stainless-steel baffles and end caps, and choice of aluminum, titanium or carbon-fiber mufflers. Several styles are available, including underseat designs, for current sportbike and naked-bike applications. Prices start at $339. Spiegler USA, LLC, 94A WestparkRd., Dayton, OH 45459; 937/291-1735; www.spieglerusa.com
Dainese USA, Inc.
The Harley-Davidson Century
LARGE-FORMAT COFFEE-table books often garner only passing glances. Not The Harley-Davidson Century ($50). Edited by Darwin Holm strom, this 384-page tome features many of motorcy cling's best writers, including CW's own Steve Anderson, Kevin Cameron, Peter Egan, Allan Girdler and contributors Mike Seate, Brock Yates and Ed Young-blood. Other popular authors, such as Greg Field, Jerry Hatfield, Chris Maida and Herbert Wagner, add to the mix, which is further stirred by gonzo-journalist Hunter S. Thompson, whose Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga is excerpted. Printed on
CW SPOT LIGHT heavy stock and packed with excellent current and histor ical photography, it's an immense work warranting hours of attention. <p moved="true">MBI Publishing, Inc.</p>, Ga/tier Plaza #200, 380 Jackson St., St.
YAMAHA RECENTLY TESTed at Jerez, Spain, revealing the novelties it has been working on during the off-season. Most notably, Norifumi Abe rode an experimental four-stroke YZR-M1 with twin shocks. This has apparently been done to make room for the exhaust header to come up between the shocks from beneath the machine to a muffler that pokes up through the tailpiece behind the seat.
The fire that consumed approximately one-third of the Triumph factory in Hinckley, England, more than a year ago failed to scorch at least one project in progress. Due out in 2004, the three-cylinder C20XB” will likely be the largest-displacement motorcycle in full-scale production.
Inseam challenged? Not to worry, Buell has the bike for you. Seat height for the ’03 xB9S Lightning Low is just 28.6 inches, a full 1.5 inches lower than on the standard model. How’d they do that? By reshaping the saddle and altering the suspension, that’s how.
BARRY SHEENE, 500CC World Champion in 1976 and ’77 and early Grand Prix rival of three-time series champ Kenny Roberts, has died in Australia of cancer at the age of 52. Sheene came up as a teenage prodigy on Bultacos prepared by his father, whom everyone called “Franko.” Franko was a fixture in British paddocks in the late 1960s, minding a flock of the Spanish Singles.
"Four-Star Wars,” shouted the cover of this almost all-motocross issue. A huge 250cc MX comparison saw the editors write individual tests on each of the Big Four’s contenders, then spend a few additional pages comparing them. In the end, the panel of variously skilled test riders put their money on red-which just happened to cost the least amount of money.
MUST BE BUSY OVER at the off-road side of Honda R&D these days, as new stuff is appearing on an almost daily basis. Most unusual is a new downhill mountain bike. This pedal-powered high-flyer is said to borrow extensively from the company’s championship-winning motocrossers.
Unlike its counterparts on the car side with their zooty double VANOS cylinder heads and electronically controlled shock damping, BMW’s bike division is pretty conservative, especially when it comes to embracing new technology. The current air/oil-cooled flat-Twin, for example, has been around for a decade now, having made its debut in the 1994 R1100RS. The innovative Telelever front suspension first hit the market on that model, as well.
UP: To the naked-bike movement, for going mainstream. Even The New York Times noticed the rapidly escalating popularity of “bare-all bikes.” Norman Mayersohn’s recent article, “The Trend to ‘Naked’ Lures Back Ex-Bikers,” cited “brazenly exposed” engines, “a cocky attitude” and affordable pricing as the main reasons why re-entry riders in particular are attracted to the concept.
THE BENELLI TORNADO TRE is one of the most striking sportbikes ever created. Its stylish lines partly result from a unique design feature: an underseat radiator with dual heat-extraction fans beneath the taillight. Recently, Benelli introduced the standard version of the Tre at Circuit Paul Ricard, also known as “Le Castellet,” in the windiest portion of southern France.
IT LEAVES A METALLIC TASTE IN YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU PICK UP a voice mail from the Cycle World regulars inviting you along on a “naked bike ride.” But only for a second, until you figure out it's a “naked-bike” ride. See how important punctuation can be?
The name “Ballabio” conjures images of male model Fabio’s flab-by forgotten brother, but it’s actually Moto Guzzi’s new streetfighter model. Named after a long-running Italian hillclimb between Ballabio and Resinelli—not coincidentally won last year by a Guzzi-the bike is essentially a V11 Sport with a motocross-style tapered handlebar and frame-mounted bikini fairing.
Aprilia has a winner in the Tuono, and is hot to capitalize on the stripped Mille’s strong image and growing popularity. While orders for the standard-level model are piling up, a clear message has reached top brass: Though costly, the stunning limited-edition Tuono R, with its Mille R engine, Öhlins suspension and bridged-caliper Brembo brakes, was produced in far too limited quantity.
Tuono: High bird perch and small metal footpegs, lots of knee bend, uncomfortable after an hour. Rockster: No grabrails but super-wide soft seat, grippy rubber footpegs mounted low, best for all-around comfort. Monster: Close-coupled but comfy, no grabrails, rubber footpegs low and kind to the knees.
Why, you ask, wasn’t a Buell XB9S Lightning included in this comparison? Erik Buell and company are, after all, longtime players in the naked-bike market, having introduced the original S1 Lightning in 1996. Let’s just say that, like its parent company Harley-Davidson, Buell is on a different timetable than the other OEMs, its new models coming out in summer rather than winter.
Lovely motor, Ducati’s new dual-spark air-cooler, with great gobs of torque over a broad rpm band. But outright oomph falls short when judged against the 120-plus-bhp four-bangers from Kawasaki and Yamaha. Not to worry, Ducatisti. Borrowing from its World Superbike-winning roadracers, the Bologna bike-maker has created the pumped-up Monster S4R. The liquid-cooled 996cc V-Twin makes a claimed 113 horsepower, 12 ponies up on the previous 916cc Monster S4 and a whopping 28 more than the Monster 1000S i.e.
SUZUKI TAKES THE REPLI-RACER BUSINESS very, very seriously, more so than any other manufacturer. Race results from this year's running of the Daytona 200 prove it. As the season commenced with newly instituted rules allowing 1000cc threeand four-cylinder machines in the AMA Superbike class, Suzuki GSX-Rl000s filled no less than half of the 72-bike starting grid While a trio of factory Honda V-Twins swept the podium, the big Gixxers claimed six positions in the top 10 and another 11 in the top 30.
I HEREBY NOMINATE THE 2003 GSX R1000 for Best Dual-Purpose bike. Insane? Well, maybe. But consider a few points: You can take your D-P bike and jump curbs, powerslide across a median strip and cut through your neighbors' backyards on a ride home from work.
Dick "Bugsy" Mann is America's Greatest Racer— just don't let him hear you say that
ONCE YOU’VE HAD A 19-YEAR CAREER as an AMA Expert and finished in the Top Ten 16 times, what comes next? After you have won 24 nationals and become the first man in history to win a race in every category of AMA professional competition, what do you do?
The engineers are no longer in charge-and that's a good thing
you KNOW IN THE FIRST SERIOUS CORNER-THE COMpany that created the Vegas is not the same one that designed the 1998 V92C. That first Victory’s claim to fame was to have more performance than competing cruisers, both in the engine department and particularly in handling.
THE VICTORY VEGAS STRIKES A BLOW for a more diverse American motorcycle industry. All those new companies, from Excelsior-Henderson to the clone-makers, that thought they could horn in on Harley’s turf-well, they’ve found it isn’t as easy as it looks.
Off-road riding is great fun, and it sharpens street skills
EVERY SERIOUS ROAD-racer I know owns at least one dirtbike. This RideCraft explores exactly what a pavement-going guy or gal can expect to learn in the dirt. Professional roadracers train in many different ways, but the ultimate goal of learning to survive at the edge of traction is the same.
IT’S 3 A.M., WHERE ARE MY TESTBIKES? WHO’S UP NEXT? ON WHICH VAN door should I knock to find another rider? If I ride now, who'll wake up the next guy? Why was everyone so mad I didn’t bring coffee? Endurance testing is fun-for those lucky souls who get to ride when traction is perfect, the weather is nice and normal sleep cycles remain uninterrupted.
HANDS ARE OFTEN THE FIRST ITEMS UP for numbness on cold rides. You either lose dexterity and feeling from the chill, or from the fact that your winter riding gloves are so pillowy you become detached from the bike by virtue of their sheer bulk.
Miguel Duhamel shows the kids how it’s done at Daytona
THE 62ND DAYTONA 200 WAS A CLASSIC RACE OF MANY lead changes among six men and a close contest all the way to the drafting finish. A prudent forecast for the winner of the 200 picks a fully developed motorcycle and a rider who both understands tire conservation and the draft.
Supersport racing is war, because sales of these bikes are crucial to corporate bottom lines. Three companies-Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha-brought all-new, racier-than-ever 600cc designs to the speedway. The top machines qualified at respectable Superbike lap times.
Lately, my relationship with my bike has grown a bit stale (sort of like my sex life) due to, I think, a lack of variety. So, in the spirit of change, I've been contemplating the idea of modifying several parts of my 1994 Honda VFR750. I’d like to know what factors I should keep in mind when swapping a stock front fork with an inverted type sourced from, say, a 2003 Suzuki GSX-R1000.
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