SADLY, I AM NOW AN EXPERT IN REARend collisions. Most of my newly acquired knowledge comes from the Internet, but the impetus for all this fact-gathering was painfully anecdotal-I got creamed at a crosswalk. My incident aside, passenger-vehicle rear-end collisions are a big problem.
HOW HOT WAS IT? Well, it was so hot I actually stopped in the little crossroads village of Flippin, Kentucky, (actual name) to put on sunglasses under my darkly tinted faceshield, just to enhance the illusion of coolness and shade. Normally, I'm easily fooled by cheap tricks like this, but this time it wasn’t working.
ONE RECENT MORNING I MADE SOME fresh sausage meat and fried a plate of old-time patties. As they looked to be browning rapidly, my wife reached over and turned down the stove. (What husband is trusted alone in the kitchen?) When we sat down to breakfast we were both surprised to find that just inside a crisp exterior the sausage was tender and good.
Loved August's cheap-bike issue, and as the happy rider of a 1980 Yamaha 850 Triple, I totally identify with the CBMMA (Cheap Bastard Motorcycle Mechanics Association) ethic. In 2003, in order to pay my divorce lawyer's retainer, I was forced to sell my Suzuki Intruder 1400.
New for 2006, the GP-1 is the latest full-face helmet from M2R. DOT-approved and Snell-certified, the tricomposite (carbon-fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass) shell is outfitted with Flotec adjustable front and top ventilation ports, has a plush interior with removable padding for a precise fit, and features a flat faceshield. Solid ($280), graphics ($300) and racer-replica ($350) are available in XS-XL sizes.
Heli Modified Heli Bars
Attention Honda CBR1000RR owners: Heli Bars move the handgrips 1.75 inches up and 1 inch back, increase overall width to 27 inches and decrease downward angle from 12 to 6 degrees. Choose from black or silver finish, both priced at $289. Longer-than-stock, steel-braided Galfer USA brake lines are included.
Alpinestars Spinner Jacket
Keeping it hip has always been a key element of Alpinestars success in the protective-gear market. To that end, the new Spinner jacket features a fuller cut and straight-contour sleeves for a more casual urban/street look, while retaining, the 1.2-1.4mm leather and removable CE-certified elbow/shoulder armor of the racier stuff. Featuring zippered vents and perforations for further "coolness," as well as a removable, pleated liner for added warmth, the $320 jacket is both comtortable and versatile. Two exterior hand-warmer pockets are complemented by a large interior breast pocket. Sleeves with full-cut, non-adjustable zippered/ snap-closures mean gloves with wide gauntlets (or no gauntlets) work best. Available in men's sizes S-XXXXL, basic black is accented with your choice of red, orange, gray or blue trim-only the hippest hues, of course.
Bridgestone Exedra Cruiser Radials
Big-bore, high-performance cruisers such as the Harley-Davidson V-Rod, Honda VTX1800C, Kawasaki Mean Streak and Yamaha Road Star Warrior, need grip, too. And that's what you'll get-plus durability, high-speed stability and improved shock absorption-from Bridgestone's Z-rated Exedra G851 front and G850 rear radial tires. A wide range of sizes are available, with prices starting at $150 for fronts and $195 for rears.
Puig Racing Windscreen
Three reasons to buy a Puig Racing windscreen for your 2005 Honda CBR600RR: 1) extra coverage without altering the bike's aggressive lines; 2) high-impact acrylic design is said to mount perfectly; and 3) two-color shading hides cabling and other unsightly items located behind the speedometer housing. Select from clear, carbon look, dark or light smoke, or various colors. Prices start at $77.
Shoei Helmets and Buff Headwear have collaborated to produce-what else?-the $19 Shoei Buff. Imprinted with the Japanese helmet-maker's name and logo, the stretchy, seamless microfiber garment can be worn in dozens of ways to stave off cold, dust, rain and wind.
Park Tool RT-2 Race Remover
The Park Tool RT-2 Race Remover quickly and easily extracts bearing races from steering heads and some wheels and swingarms. Simply pull the tool through the steering tube until the flared ends snap in behind the race. A hammer strike on the tool head removes the race/cup. Suggested retail price is $30. For race installation, order the $165 HHP-2M Steering Race Press.
Buell Detachable Saddlebags
Where to stow your stuff on a Buell Firebolt or Lightning? Developed for use on 2003 and later XB9 and 12 models, the $160 Detachable Saddlebags feature streamlined, molded-polyester construction that allows the bags to maintain their shape even when empty. Support and reflector-relocation brackets are included.
MASTERS OF COMPUTer graphics like Tim Cameron are not only able to create virtual vehicles like the so-called Dream Bike pictured above, but can present them from any perspective just as they would look in real environments, such as parked in a driveway or inside a photo studio, with the images of spotlights, power cords and backdrops reflecting from every polished surface.
The naked-bike market is getting bigger, and so are naked bikes. Witness the 2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910, a bored-and-stroked version of 750cc model it replaces. New cylinder dimensions of 76.0 x 50.1mm yield a displacement of 909cc, which, with 13.0:1 compression, delivers big power: Claimed output is a spicy 136 horses with a healthy dose of 70.8 foot-pounds of torque at 7900 rpm.
Ducati has announced that two of its three SportClassic models-the Paul Smart 1000 Limited Edition and Sport 1000-will begin production in September, several months earlier than originally expected. The final member of the trio-the GT 1000-is expected to be launched next spring.
THIS PAST JULY, SUSAN Robertson became the first woman to top 200 mph on an open-wheeled motorcycle at a Southern California Timing Association-sanctioned event. Robertson surpassed the milestone on a turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa detuned to about 400 horsepower to offset poor conditions on the 1⍑-mile course at El Mirage Dry Lake.
Tired of peddling? Yeah, us too. That's why we are so stoked to see the French Scorpa 4Tricks, sort of a trials motorcycle/mountain bike hybrid. A large-diameter aluminum backbone frame houses 0.3 gallons of fuel for the Chinese-built 70cc four-stroke mill and its auto-clutch three-speed transmission, but those bits are about the only ones that are truly motorcycle-like.
This issue featured the fifth annual Ten Best Bikes balloting with a six-page feature hailing the victors. Suzuki's mighty GS1100 took Best Superbike honors, boasting a sizable performance advantage over the competition. It's interesting to note that the big Suzuki's then untouchable 11.39-second quarter-mile time is now eclipsed by even the mildest modern middleweight sportbikes.
INTELLIGENT ENERGY Corp. unveiled its new ENY hybrid hydrogen fuel-cell motorbike at Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California, this past June. ENV stands for Environmentally Neutral Vehicle, and they would like us to pronounce it "Envy."
Looking more like a space vehicle from a Japanese animation film than a form of city transportation, the Yamaha Morphus is a new eco-friendly, low-emissions scooter meant to bridge the gap between smaller urban scoots and the bigger "touring" rigs, such as the company's own 400cc Majesty and Suzuki's Bergman 650.
UP: Way up, to motocross legend Micky Dymond for breaking the 9-year-old motorcycle record at the Pikes Peak Hiliclimb held in Colorado this past June. Dymond and his supermoto-prepped KTM 525 SMC covered the 12.4-mile course in 12 minutes, 12.64 seconds.
KTM CONSIDERS ITself a niche-oriented racing company, and to prove it, the Austrian bike-maker has created an all-new category of motorcycles for 2006. The XC line is geared toward cross-country competitors, carrying the "Ready to Race" marketing theme from the showroom floor to the racetrack.
If the designer put his name on it, it must be good
SET ASIDE NORMAL CONCERNS. DISREGARD YOUR FINANCIAL status, ignore your personal comfort, forget about your future goals and sacrifice your retirement. You must have this motorcycle. Are we kidding? Yes. But only a little. There is a lot you can buy for $42,695.
Variable-length intakes such as the MV Tamburini's Torque Shift System make us think of Formula One or of the last of the racing Mercedes 300SLRs, but the concept is useful wherever engine torque must be maximized across a range of rpm. First, some physics.
I'VE RIDDEN JUST ABOUT EVERY SPORTbike made for the last 15 years, including some pretty exotic models along the way. Perhaps all this exposure to the finest performance bikes has simply left me a little jaded. Not that I've come to believe that performance and style can't get any better; rather, I've built a wall around my heart to avoid becoming too emotionally attached, as these fine machines inevitably must be returned to their rightful owners.
MV's F4 Tamburini takes on the world's most wanted supercars
MY HEART RACED AS I TORE open the mission dossier hand-delivered by ace pilot Don Canet, injured during prior maneuvers and unable to take the assignment. Marked URGENT in bright red letters, the file read: Report to your MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini, which stands at the ready at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Saturday at 0600 hours.
IT MUST BE SOMETHING IN THE schnitzel. Maybe somebody's spiked the weiss bier. How else to explain the mad tear the Bavarians are on? A Hayabusa-hunting steamroller in the new K1200S? A ballsy muscle-flexer in the naked R version? A sharpened sport-Boxer about to break cover?
This made-in-Japan Knucklehead recreation gives new meaning to the term better-than-new
PICTURE THIS: Guy RIDES UP TO THE SHOW at Davenport or Daytona Beach or Myrtle Beach or Laughlin or Sturgis. wherever vintage and antique machines are seen atid admired. He's on the motorcycle seen here. Murmurs of approval run through the crowd as a judge says.
How a Tokyo-based engineer came to speak Harley to the homefolk
PHILOSOPHER ERIC HOFFER REMINDED US THAT NO MATTER how exotic and different a culture seems to visitors, to those who live there, it's just plain home. Which means that what's routine to us-no matter who us is-may be appreciated more by those to whom it's new.
ENOUGH already! Steve Wright has seen the TV commercials, he gets the joke. Yes, most assuredly, his motorcycle has a Hemi. Wright, 58, has driven and ridden lots of exotic machinery in his time. He started racing off-road events right out of high school, and built a number of project vehicles up to and including a Top Fuel sand dragster.
A backroad trip to the Honda Hoot-in the heat-and a CW Concours rolling through the Smokies
"How would you like to come down to the Honda Hoot in Knoxville this year," Editor Edwards asked me, "and be a judge in our Cycle World Rolling Concours?" I rolled my impressive captain-of-industry desk chair around on its small, squeaky wheels and studied my huge wall map of the USA. Knoxville looked to be about 800 miles away from my home in Wisconsin, and smack dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful riding country on Earth.
In all the years I've been doing our annual Rolling Concours, I've ridden my own bike exactly once. Mad tweaks in the cosmos, bad financial planning ("Sure, I'd love to buy another vintage Jaguar!") and other of life's interesting twists had seen me ride a vintage-like 2001 Kawasaki W650, my own '76 Laverda Triple (not strictly concours legal at the time) a Norton Atlas café-racer borrowed from the Chief and a CBR1000RR, definitely out of era.
There are some moments in life when you can't help but think how wonderful things are. One such moment came to me as a gentle epiphany at the Honda Hoot while riding from Dale Walksler’s Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, back to Honda Hoot HQ in Knoxville.
THE ENGLISH ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR wet-weather riding gear. Hence our high expectations for the Frank Thomas Aqua Roo gloves, which are loaded with thoughtful details intended to help you survive a soggy ride. Soft, strong kangaroo leather palms team with cowhide and 420-denier Hypertec nylon on the upper surfaces, while hard plastic knuckle guards ride on "cantilevered" leather flaps that keep the guards in position as your hands flex.
THE PROBLEM IS RUBBER. BUT NOT where it meets the road; where it meets the driveline. To isolate riders from engine vibration, Harley-Davidson's FLtouring models use rubber-cushioned motor mounts. Those big-inch, narrow-angle V-Twins judder around so much when mounted in rubber, however, that the rest of the driveline must also be rubber-mounted, including the swingarm.
SNAKING, SLIDING AND BRAKE-WEAVING around the tight. 11-turn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track, Nicky Hayden won the first United States Grand Prix held since 1994. In welding-are-bright California sunlight, the factory Honda rider led off the grid in a perfect start and eased away from reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi and the European GP establishment.
My riding buddies continually hassle me about the nearly bald front tire on my Honda 1200 Gold Wing, but I tell them that it's not a problem. In fact, it actually has better traction than their deeply treaded tires. Look at the racers on their "slicks" with no tread at all.
After reading your response to the guy whose rear tire was harder on the left side than the right ("Can't get a grip," August, 2005), I think I may have the answer: parking on carpeting. Certain forms of man-made carpet fibers greatly accelerate VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) evaporation from the carcass and can induce leeching of compounds from the carpet into the rubber tire carcass itself.
In many of your articles, you have mentioned 180-degree and 360-degree crankshafts. Could you please explain the difference between a 180-degree and a 360-degree crank and how each type may affect an engine? Jim Pech Denver, Colorado Back when many motorcycles had parallel-Twin engines, it became a convention to describe their two major styles of crankshaft as “360-degree” and “180-degree.
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