GOTTA LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES Together. My Trackmaster Triumph T140 special, being tweaked into top mechanical nick by the crew at RPM Cycles in Dallas, was ready at the same time family business required me to be in Texas. I was assessing which of the Edwards’ fleet of 100,000-mile gas-hogs was most suitable for hauling duty when Honda called, wondering if I’d like to try out the new Ridgeline, the company’s firstever pickup truck.
I MUST SAY THAT OUR WEEKLY MEETINGS of the Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang here in Madison, Wisconsin, are much nicer in the summer than in the winter. We can sit outside at our favorite beer garden and actually gaze upon our cluster of bikes in person, rather than brood indoors at the bar and merely talk about them.
THE AMA HAS COLLAPSED THE WAVE function of speculation into a certainty that U.S. Superbikes will remain at l000cc until 2008. Good going. Will we now see the hoped-for collision of five brands, head-to-head? Well, uh, you know, budget, blah-blah, policy, sales curve, threatened Chinese currency devaluation, blah-blah.
Thank goodness you had Peter Egan and a story on the Dakar Rally in your July "American Flyers" issue, because otherwise I'd puke. Enough with the unrideable customs and cruisers! Tell us about real bikes, real rides, real riders and in-depth racing stories.
What we have here is nothing less than the ultimate in tool storage. Snap-on’s largest-ever rolling cabinet, the $16,770 Mr. Big, has 30 drawers in 13 sizes and weight capacities to accommodate an immense variety of tools. Manufactured from double-walled, rolled-and-welded 16-gauge steel, the stainlesssteel-topped 12-foot-long structure uses Snap-on’s patented Lock V Roll design to prevent unwanted drawer opening, while eight heavy-duty locking swivel casters allow easy movement in all directions. Don’t like Snap-on Red? Opt instead for Mica Green, Deep Cranberry, Electric Orange, Ultra Yellow, Artie Silver, Gloss Black, Royal Blue or Candy Apple Red.
Applied Racing Pro MX Gauge
All tire air pressure gauges are not the same. Pencil gauges, for example, are notoriously inaccurate. Designed specifically for dirtbikes, Applied Racing’s Pro MX gauge has a large, rubbercovered dial with a 0-30 psi span, an angled chuck that swivels on both ends and a pressure bleed valve. Suggested retail price is $20.
Alpinestars Stroke shoes
If you’re looking for the protection, support and all-weather traction of a riding boot together with the comfort, style and versatility of a casual shoe, look no farther. With its extended toe-cap protection, contoured “stay-tied” laces and integrated shank, the $130 Alpinestars Stroke is all that and more. Choose from black, gray or sand, in half sizes 6-13.
M4 Performance Slip-On Mufflers
More power! Better sound! Cool looks! Get it all with M4 Performance slip-on mufflers for the Yamaha FZ6. Choose from carbon-fiber ($707) or titanium ($626). Don’t own an FZ6? M4 offers slip-ons and complete systems for most late-model Japanese sportbikes and off-road machines, as well as for MZ, KTM and Triumph.
THE EARTH SHAKES, plates raffle in the china cabinet. Out of the East thunders this rumor: A new Kawasaki ZZR1300 may appear as soon as 2006 with more than 190 horsepower and peak torque of 110 foot-pounds. The machine is chain-driven, has dual upswept mufflers and a proba ble wheelbase just over 59 inches.
TAKE ONE PART VEGAS, add a dose of Hammer and you hit the Jackpot, Victory’s latest addition to its expanding line of stylish cruisers. This musclebound custom wears the fat, 250mm-wide rear tire from the Hammer, then adds a bit of Vegas styling, a cool new headlight and a 21 -inch front wheel.
het your sport-Twin appetite? In keeping with BMW's recent performance trend, the German bike-maker is readying a new sporty Boxer to replace the aging Ri 100S. Based around the new, more powerful 1170cc flat-Twin that first debuted in the globe-trotting Ri 200GS and more recently appeared in the Ri 200RT and ST sport-tourers, the engine is likely to produce more than the claimed 110 horsepower of the latter models.
Valentino Rossi’s nickname is “The Doctor.” Now he really is one! The charismatic 26-year-old multiple world champion recently received an honorary academic award-similar to a doctorate-from Italy’s University of Urbino. The nearly 500-year-old institution applauded Rossi’s “extraordinary communicative capacity, his phenomenal sports talent, his good nature, creativity and innate ability to project all this— not only in the Italian media, but internationally—to further the sport.”
If you were Suzuki, wouldn't you be celebrating Ricky Carmichael's success? In recognition of the Florida native's 2005 AMA Supercross champion ship, Hamamatsu ham mered out a Carmichael Race Replica RM250 for'06, complete with factory-look Makita-Suzuki graphics, black seat cover and fancy gold-anodized 4~, Excel rims.
You might think this is just another computer illustration meant to predict some wild future motorcycle that may or may not ever reach production. Well, it's not. This Kawasaki is an actual 2006 production bike built for the European market.
Righteous bike freaks among you would look past "Moto Guzzi’s Exotic V50” on the cover and head right to the Hesketh 10OOcc 90-degree V-Twin superbike. The prototype, built by Lord Alexander Hesketh of England, was being considered for series production but, “If Team Hesketh does it all, the price will be high,” noted author Allan Girdler.
VESPA SCOOTERS HAVE always been fashionable, and thanks to the Parsons School of Design, they may soon be even more so. This past spring, Vespa importer Piaggio USA teamed up with the noted New York fashion institute to “re-imagine the icon of modem Italian style and update it for American motorists of a new century.”
As lithe idle rich don't have enough pLaces to park their discretionary pocket change, now comes word that an Indian Larry chopper will be paraded for bidding amongst such fripperies as $65,000 engraved shotguns from London and Debauve & Gallais candies (official chocolatier to the French court, don'cha know) at something that proudly calls itself the Fine Motor Auction & Luxury Lifestyle Expo (can't wait to see that T-shirt) in Manhattan, September 9-11 (www.randworkman.com).
DOWN: To the American Motorcyclist Association, for really truckin' things up. Okay, we're willing to give the goofy new AMA logo a pass, but somebody back in Pickerington is so enamored with the "Members Tour 2005" program, hauled around the country in a flashy new Peterbilt semi, that show-goers are handed out pins..
SINCE ITS INTROduction in 1998, the Yamaha YZF-R1 has been updated with stealthlike precision and speed. Every few years, an entirely new iteration has popped up seemingly undetected. While none of the technology utilized could be considered revolutionary, the improvements showcase how effective the evolutionary design process can be.
Erik & Co. invent the "Adventure Sportbike" Can they build one for you?
SO WHAT IS THIS LATEST BUFLL? Resembling the illicit offspring of a Honda XR65OL and a Harley Sportster, the XB 1 2X Ulysses is apparently a great, big. rowdy dual-purpose machine. That's what you might think after a quick look. but you'd be wrong.
The Ulysses is all-American in that 100 percent of its design and testing was carried out in this country. But for component sourcing, Buell turned to the best vendors of motorcycle parts wherever they are located. A few examples:
Perhaps the most impressive thing Erik Buell has built isn’t a motorcycle, but an organization. A visit to the Buell Motorcycle Company reveals a small outfit that has grown rapidly in the last decade, and is filled with exceptionally bright and enthusiastic staffers.
BMW RI2000S vs. Buell XB12X Ulysses vs. Ducati Multistrada 1OOO DS
AS BIKES BECOME increasingly nicheoriented, the growing adventure-touring category specializes in versatility, offering motorcycles capable of reaching the farthest destinations upon the widest range of roads. The soon-to-be-launched Buell XB12X Ulysses has its sights set right in the heart of this growing market segment.
WHAT IS THE PROPER response when faced with an unpatrolled open road whilst sitting upon a wacky-looking German naked bike capable of more than 150 mph? What about when you’re lapping a racetrack on the same bike following a flying BMW test rider?
Seems like the coolest parts of all on the K1200R PowerCup racebike are the carbon-fiber handguards. Is it because you are expected to run off the track into the shrubs? Bar-bash mightily in a titanic battle with your arch-nemesises? Nemesisi?
Anticipation ran high when BMW introduced the K1200S-the most powerful sportbike the German manufacturer has ever produced. It’s only natural that an Open-class roadburner born in the Land of the Autobahn conjures images of class-leading speed.
LITHE? NO, THAT’S NOT IT. SVELTE? NO, that’s not it, either. Playful? Uh, no. This is the trouble I’ve been having trying to come up with words to describe the R’s styling. One staffer quipped, “It looks like somebody rode a magnet through a junkyard...”
KTM IS ON A ROLL. AFTER REDEFINING the adventure-touring class with its stunningly capable 950 Adventure, the Austrian manufacturer has now turned its attention to pavement to create the new 950 Supermoto. And it is no less stunning. Or capable.
JAY MCNALLY That fast orange company, KTM, and its raceready 450 SMR have gotten faster. In no uncertain terms, KTM and its SMR lineup have been at the forefront of the stateside progression of supermoto racing. Between its strictly super moto SMRs and double-duty SMC models that come with motocross as well as 1 7-inch SM wheels, KTM North America has sold approximately 3000 supermoto-related bikes since the sport's "homecoming."
THERE ISN'T MUCH LEFT OF THE OLD adventure-touring Aprilia Pegaso except the name. And if you don't get it from the "Strada," this is a purely asphalt rendition of the latest naked bike from the revitalized Italian manufacturer. The Pegaso has been redesigned from the Mission Statement up.
WHAT? A NEW, NOSTALGIC HARLEY? SHOCKING, truly shocking. But this 35thanniversary Super Glide isn't reaching back to the Forties or Fifties like most of Harley's retrobikes. It's harking back to the fall of 1970, and the most important Harley-Davidson of them all: the 1971 Super Glide, in all its white, red and blue glory.
Old is new-and-improved and yesterday is a brighter tomorrow at Harley-Davidson. The Super Glide isn’t the only model name being revived for 2006. Making a return is the Heritage Softail, last seen 15 years ago and now updated with a fat, 200mm-wide rear tire—the biggest ever on a Harley-and broader fender to match.
Not just for newbies: Honda CRF23O vs. Yamaha TT-R2
PLAYBIKES ARE USUALLY SUMMED UP IN ONE word: fun. That one-word description is fine if you can get away with it, but we magazine-types can't make a living using only one word to describe a bike. So, what can WelSy about playbikes? Does fun mean that they’re not suitable for serious evaluation?
YOU REMEMBER THE FAMOUS OLD backhanded Chinese curse, May You Live in Interesting Times? Well, going by that yardstick, the Victory Vegas has been absolutely the most blessed bike to take up residence in Cycle World's long-term fleet. During its two years and 10,311 miles with us, the Vegas has required nothing other than oil changes and one new set of tires.
Written for sportbike owners who aren't afraid of getting a little grease under their fingernails, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects is a do-it-yourself reference manual worthy of a place on any garage mechanic’s shelf. The 256-page volume, authored by journeyman moto-joumalist Evans Brasfield, covers topics ranging from general maintenance to performance modifications, such as installing a nitrous-oxide system.
SteveHislop's autobiography was a hard read for me. Reading through tearfilled eyes isn’t my specialty. Hislop overcame a life checkered with heartwrenching trials and tribulations before taking his fair share of checkered flags on the racetrack.
If you're old enough to remember Trelleborgs, Jofas and CZs, you'll enjoy BackTrack, a motocross retrospective written and produced by Kent Taylor. Actually, "retrospective" isn't quite the right word. What this video is, is a compilation of interviews shot at the Third Annual Texas Vintage Pro Am interspersed with action footage from the 1970s.
Easy squeezy for Harleys CLUTCH HAND HURTIN’ FOR CERTAIN, Bunky? When you yank on your Harley’s clutch lever, does it feel like the other end of the cable is welded to the frame? If so, the AIM Variable Pressure Clutch for Harleys just may be the relief your carpal tunnel has been begging for.
Summertime solution CAN WE ALL AGREE THAT HEAT SUCKS? Right, but how to keep cool while warding off road rash? Rev’lt, a Dutch company now making a strong run at the U.S. market, has some suggestions. We came away quite impressed with Rev Tt’s mesh Airflow jacket used during last year’s “Sturgis Shootout,” and have spent the past six months with several sets of the company’s ventilated Hurricane gloves.
Glam couture with a hump MOTORCYCLE APPAREL-MAKERS ARE only just beginning to recognize female riders, despite the fact that almost 10 percent of bike owners are women. A recent influx of two-piece riding outfits has kept female sportbike riders out of ill-fitting men’s gear, but roadracing-specific one-piece suits remain a rarity.
Thirty years, two Number Ones, one wrong move and no regrets...
RACE DAY, AT DAYTONA'S MUNICIPAL Stadium during the intennission between practice and heats The fans are swarming the pits and Terry Poovey is cheerful as always, signing posters and programs and T-shirts and handing out the sponsor's pens, when a kid putts past on a minibike.
Top Fuel motorcycles are the biggest, fastest and most powerful dragbikes on the planet. They are also the most expensive to run and undoubtedly the most dangerous. In the small and very exclusive fraternity of men who choose to race them, Larry “Spiderman” McBride is the absolute king.
Why does a big V-Twin with massive torque need a close-ratio six-speed gearbox? I own a 2004 Suzuki SV1000, and just the other day had to do a triple downshift to get by a truck when the road narrowed from two lanes to one. The SV’s big V-Twin engine lets me spend a lot of time in the 3000-5000-rpm range (redline is at 11,000), but when all-out acceleration is needed, I still need to click down two, three or even four gears.
Here’s a common occurrence: You’re able to get a socket on the head of a nut or bolt in a really tight spot, but there’s not enough room to use a typical ratchet. A short-handled ratchet might fit in the space, but the area still is too tight to permit the 8 or 10 degrees of handle swing that most ratchets require between engagements of their gear teeth.
After reading about the guy who had problems with his gas tank vent (“Short-run Sportster,” April issue), I thought I’d tell you about what happened to someone I work with here at the U.S. Naval Academy. He rode his Yamaha YZF-R6 from Annapolis to Myrtle Beach for the bike rally, and every time he stopped for gas and opened the gas cap, the sides of the tank would spring out with an audible pop.
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