NORMAL ENOUGH GUY, TIM MAYHEW. Family man, 32 years old, a loan officer. In the garage, though, is a hint that all is not white bread and mayonnaise. There, you’ll find his Suzuki Hayabusa (and before that a Kawasaki ZX-11), usually in need of new tires.
GOT A PACKAGE IN THE MAIL LAST WEEK, containing a paperback book with a letter enclosed. The letter was from a man named Fito de la Parra, who explained that he’d enjoyed a touring story I did recently for our sister publication, Motorcycle Travel & Adventure, about looking for the roots of the blues in the Mississippi Delta on a Triumph Bonneville.
THE MORE RACES I ATTEND, THE MORE I realize that, in general, the safest rider on the pavement is the leader. When there is a crash, the top runner is seldom involved. Even when two or three closely matched riders battle for the lead, rarely do any of them fall.
The new Buell XB12? Sign me up. After a test ride of last year’s XB9, I was only left with the need for more power. If Buell keeps this up, along with its progress in warranty claims, I may have to finally part with my hard-earned cash.
Dude, where's your muffler? Good question. Taylor Made Racing's 2002-03 Yamaha YZF-R1 slip-on snakes up the right side of the bike, disappears under the seat and re-emerges in the form of an outlet shaped like the stock taillight, which is replaced by a custom LED unit. Utilizing CoolCeramic technology, the $1250 system fills in the midrange dip that plagues stockers, adds 8 ponies on top and weighs 7 pounds less than stock. Turnsignals, a license-plate bracket, carbon-fiber heel protector, battery box, undertray and hardware are included.
Sidi Women's Boots
Yo, ladies, Sidi has a swingin' boot for you. Actually, two swingin' boots: The $195 Violet is made from top-grain leather with glitter-treated inserts, while the $180 Rose is constructed of synthetic Lorica. Both boast velcro-secured full-length zippered entries, waterproof-and-breathable Tepor lining and non-slip, non-scuff soles with 1½-inch heels. They're offered in a wide selection of colors and sizes.
If conventional off-road riding gear doesn't suit your style, look to Iron Horseman for the slickest giddie-up going. Coolmax jerseys (four styles available in sizes XS-XXL, Sheriff shown) cost $50 each and are machine-washable. The $70 Durango pant (black only, sizes XS-XXL) packs plenty of pockets and removable kneepads. As for the $50 crushable cowboy hat, it'll protect your bald spot at the watering hole.
Little Dreams Harley-Davidson Preschool Toys
Got kids? Get 'em going on bikes right from the get-go with the Little Driver and Radio Control Motorcycle & Rider. Designed for children ages 1 year and up, the Little Driver is styled to resemble the handlebar, gas tank and instruments of a real made-in-Milwaukee Big Twin, and even makes engine sounds. The Motorcycle & Rider, meanwhile, is intended for preschoolers, and features a two-function throlttle/clutch-type controller that transmits inputs to the orange-and-black two-wheeler. Both products retail for $25, and can be found at larger toy outlets and massmarket retailers.
Kawasaki Formula jacket
Kawasaki's Formula jacket will make any geek look chic. Offered in five colors and sizes, the nylon wrap features a zip-out quilted liner, reflective striping, patented "pop-up" vents, zippered hand-warmer pockets, removable armor and an embroidered logo. Suggested retail is $170.
Fineline Minibike Springs
Adults riding kids' bikes? Why not? Just fix the sagging springs, please. Fineline Motorsports makes heavy-duty fork and shock springs for the Honda XR50 and 70, Kawasaki KLX110, Suzuki DR-Z110 and Yamaha TT-R90, plus the mid-sized CRF150, KLX125, DR-Z125 and TT-R125. Price for the XR50 is $99. Other applications cost $180.
Rolling Foldaway Tool Box
TAKE YOUR TOOLS WITH YOU—across the garage, down the block or to the races—with the 22-inch-long, 11-inch-wide and 9-inch-deep Rolling Fold-away Tool Box. Manufactured in Germany, the powdercoated, heavy-gauge-steel carryall features five compartments and a load capacity of 70 pounds. Saving deep knee bends for the gym, a flip-up latch mechanism raises the lockable box to a height of 28½ inches—hip-level for the average Joe. A folding metal handle with a 15-inch extension eases maneuverability in tight confines. Suggested retail price is $299.
WORKING A ROCK concert security detail in the early 1990's, none of our crew could have imagined that some day one of us would be a wealthy, successful motorcycle builder and TV star. If we had, we might have done things differently. For starters, when then-20-year-old Jesse James talked about the custom motorcycles he hoped to build someday, it might have been a good idea to take notes.
Next-generation anti-dive front suspension, that’s the promise of Riwi Bike Products in Austria. Though conventional forks have been developed to near-perfection, Riwi says its three-pivot, shock-controlled system eliminates virtually any trace of stiction.
Is this 1967 Husqvarna 250 the world’s most valuable motocrosser? Owner John LeFevre of Vintage Husky (www.vintagehusky.com) apparently thinks it is: He recently let it be known that the bike (serial #670001) is up for sale at a price that had Swedish bike owners the world over contemplating early retirement.
RUMORS OF ROAD-GOING derivatives of the new MotoGP four-strokes began circulating before the revolutionary machines even turned a wheel on the racetrack. So far, though, no one has brought to market anything duplicating that being raced.
Fancy a bronze statue of swimsuit-togged Rollie Free flat-out on his Vincent at the Bonneville Salt Flats? Or maybe an eight-valve Harley, its rider celebrating a victory by pumping the air with his gloved fist? Artist Jeff Decker, who learned his art working in a foundry, creates these and other works in his studio in Utah.
Everyone understands the drag strip because, according to John Ulrich, CW’s Executive Editor at the time, “Everybody understands acceleration.” Ulrich penned this month’s cover story, “Taking It To The Tens.” The 10-page feature was supposed to be a four-bike horsepower shootout, World War III on two wheels.
PROBABLY CAN'T think of too many reasons to willingly part company with a motorcycle traveling at 120 mph, can you? Us either, but Colin Edwards found one when his Aprilia RS3 Cube MotoGP missile burst spectacularly into flames during practice for the German GP. The fire was said to have been the result of a dislodged gas filler that allowed fuel to leak onto the engine.
Imagination can be a strange, wild creature that sometimes bolts for the far country, leaving the rational mind standing. There we find this dreamlike Kawasaki, whose 48-cylinder, 4-liter engine consists of six special Straight-Eights, geared together at the rear to spin a BMW transmission and shaft drive.
UP: To photographer Gigi Soldano, for going to great depths to get “the shot.” The sometime CW contributor was hired by Aprilia to shoot the new CapoNord Rally Raid (CW, August). Wanting to create something special, he pushed the big adventure tourer onto a makeshift raft and set it adrift on a lake in Tuscany, Italy.
THE 18 MILES THAT MAKE up my commute to work will never be the same again, thanks to the Big Boy V-6 scooter. A raised manhole cover becomes a jump, and driveways spaced 15 feet apart become ramp-to-ramp table-top transfers. If you let your imagination run wild, what would otherwise be an ordinary street becomes an endless string of obstacles.
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN MOTORCYCLISTS ACTUALLY thought that a Honda CBX might be the end of the line for two-wheel performance. The government and the manufacturers just had to put an end to the performance race, the thinking went. After all, mid-11-second quarter-mile times were just too fast for mere humans.
HERE ARE THE FIRST PHOTOS OF HONDA’S SPANKING NEW CBR1000RR—the bike that has been called “RCB1000” in the Euro-press. As the CBR600RR is Honda’s platform for Supersport racing, this will be its new Superbike platform. Other than these images, American Honda has so far provided only two lines of information on this bike.
A little incident that tells all you need to know about the Honda Rune: About to performance-test the bike, Don Canet is informed that the 1800cc Six—despite weighing 848 pounds and looking like it should be on the show circuit—does bitchin’ burn-outs.
As the Big Four heat up the Repli-Racer Wars with big Fours, Aprilia sticks to its V-Twin guns. Good move...
IT WAS A THRESHOLD MOMENT, A LITTLE SLICE OF INTENSE time as I traveled at great speed though space when I realized the coming corner was coming faster than anticipated. Panic's bony fingers gripped hard on my chest, so I let my digits do the same on the Brembo radial brake lever.
THE MOST IMPORTANT MOTORCYCLES IN AMERICA? WELL, you’re looking at one of'em, Kawasaki's just-announced lollapalooza of a cruiser, the liquid-cooled, pushrod-activated Vulcan 2000, at 2053cc the biggest-ever Kawi—heck, the biggest-ever Japanese bike motor of any kind!
If you’re like most middle-aged motorcyclists, you probably got your start as a kid on a mini-cycle. If so, you’ll undoubtedly remember how each upshift caused the little engine to fall far out of its powerband, then painstakingly chug its way back through the rev range.
The continuing education of the new-age sport-standard
HELLO PEOPLE—YEAH, YOU OUT THERE IN READERLAND. Listen, you come to us in search of learned opinions about new machines, the dealership demo ride these days being as scarce as common sense in Congress. So, it hurts when you don’t put our sage advice to good use.
A large, silver moon lingered coolly in the dawn sky. The rise of light showed the road without shadow, and the ungodly early hour meant no traffic as this all-new Triumph Daytona 600 once again spun up past 10,000 rpm and into the meat of the power as we sung down Highway 1 south of Big Sur.
ONE FACTOR THAT KEEPS A CONSUMER-DRIVEN ECONOMY LIKE OURS IN ACTION AND UP TO SPEED IS THE BY-DEFINITION fact that we consumers are never satisfied. No matter what we have, we want more. For an instant instance, last month’s pages were packed with the 2004 rubber-mount Sportster, the long-awaited improvement to the XL line.
Tough duty, bike launches. Great roads, often in exotic locales, freshly minted machines shod with new rubber, their suspension fettled to perfection (or close to it) and gas tanks perpetually full. What more could a headline-seeking moto-journalist want?
EVER SINCE THE SUZUKI/Kawasaki alliance was announced in August of 2001, we’ve wondered what would be the result. Though the two companies pledged to share engineering and development costs on crossover models, all we saw initially was a padding-out of their model lines through the rebadging of select off-road playbikes and dual-sport models.
WORKING FOR THE READER HERE, CYCLE WORLD was the first U.S. magazine to hop a ride on the brand-spanking-new Honda CRF250R. Our ride took place at the world-famous (and as close as ever to being closed down) Carlsbad Raceway in Southern California.
Do we really need two-strokes in this Age of Thumpers? How about 'strokers pushing absurd displacements, say 700cc? Ring-dinging to the smell of premix in the morning, ATK is here to please. The only remaining American dirtbike manufacturer since Cannondale’s recent demise, the Utah-based company has survived on the clever concept of building unique bikes for the discriminating few.
CROWDED. THAT’S WHAT THE 125CC MOTOCROSS CLASS has just become. Now that everybody has a 125cc two-stroke and a 250cc four-stroke, there are no fewer than eight bikes vying for supremacy in the lightweight class—and that’s just from the Japanese manufacturers.
MY HOW QUICKLY THINGS CHANGE. One afternoon you're shredding Northern California's Highway 9 on your 999, the next morning you're standing in a hotel parking lot wondering why its turnsignal is hanging by the wire. Closer inspection revealed a broken bar-end, throttle tube and brake pedal, a bent footpeg and hanger, and telltale scratches on the mirror, fairing and tailpiece.
One man's 40-year obsession turns into the single greatest cache of vintage motorcycle parts the world has ever seen. And now It's for sale.
WHEN A VINTAGE-BIKE NUT manages to find that one NOS part still in its original box, the radiant newness and rarity of such a thing causes a sort of joyous ache in his machine-loving soul. Here is this rare thing, some part of an ancient mechanism that's never been used, has no wear, square edges are still square, pivots are smooth, surfaces unmarred.
Three Made-in-USA baggers tackle the Great American Southwest
Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
Victory V92 Touring Cruiser
THE ROAD TO JACUMBA IS NOT VERY WELL TRAVELED these days. Once, though, it was a main route, first as a footpath for the Dieguenos Indians, then part of the stagecoach route between San Diego and Yuma, then a treacherous stretch of Highway 80 that delivered the likes of Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich to town to "take the waters" at the spa hotel.
PLAYING WITH WORDS AND BOTTOM LINE FIRST, WHAT we have here isn't a book about Harley-Davidson advertising: It's a book about advertising Harley-Davidson. Which isn't exactly a criticism. Instead, the book is backed by The Motor Company, endorsed by the firm and presented as part of H-D's Centennial, and it ain't a brag, as some homespun hero once said, if it's true.
THERE YOU ARE, DECKED OUT IN FULL leathers, sportbike at the ready, all systems go for a day-long corner-carving fiesta. Question is, where to stuff your stuff—you know, the must-have paperwork and electronic do-dads seemingly required for survival in today’s world?
IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE FASTEST motorcycle ever built. "Informed sources" insisted it would not only outrun motorcycling's reigning speed king, the Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa, but might even top the magical 200-mph mark. But when Kawasaki's ZX-12R finally arrived in 2000, it was able to reach a top speed of "only" 187 mph, some 7 mph shy of the Hayabusa's mark and well short of 200.
HALF PAST THE DAWN OF NICKY Hayden's freshman Grand Prix year, the reigning AMA Superbike Champion sets his watch to Japanese standard time. The summer break in the MotoGP schedule is earmarked by the 26th running of the Suzuka 8-Hour. It would be Hayden's first entry in this most infamous round of the World Endurance Series, held in torturously hot and humid conditions in early August.
At the Laguna Seca round of World Superbike, it was announced that beginning in the 2004 season, all competitors in the series would compete on a single make of tire—a "spec tire." Insiders correctly predicted the maker to be Pirelli.
I own a 2003 Yamaha YZF-R6 and was wondering what is the widest tire that I can fit on the stock wheel? I want to keep using Dunlop D208ZR tires, but I would like to be able to fit 200-series rubber on the bike. Thanks for the time and the help. Robert Maxwell Louisville, Kentucky The real question here is why you would want to put a 200-series rear tire on one of motorcycling’s most perfectly balanced sportbikes.