TERENCE STEVEN McQUEEN WOULD have been 75 this year. Instead, he died in some Mexican clinic after quack surgery, a last-gasp, Hail Mary attempt to rid his body of mesothelioma, a particularly virulent cancer some think was brought on by the asbestos-soaked bandannas he wore while racing sports cars.
IT WAS REALLY TOO EARLY TO STOP FOR the night when I came riding into Effingham, Illinois, a few weeks ago on my way home from the Honda Hoot in Tennessee. I pulled over into the shade of a tree and looked at the clock on my Beemer’s instrument panel.
BIG DYNO NUMBERS ARE IMPRESSIVE, sure, but they don’t necessarily make a better motorcycle. Two riders are friendly track-day rivals, riding sportbikes that are identical save for tuning differences. Their favorite track has nine turns and one-and-a-half straightaways.
I enjoyed reading both the BMW K1200R and K1200S articles in your September issue. As the founder of bmwkl200s.com, now a year old, I would like to make a correction to your write-up, though. You claim your K1200S was clocked by radar at a 165-mph top speed.
Motorcyclists occasionally experience hand and forearm discomfort as a result of gripping the throttle too tightly for long periods of time. Medical doctor-designed, ribbed eGrips offer a "flatter" top surface, which puts less pressure on the ulnar nerve and allows the rider to open his or her fingers while still controlling throttle pressure. Voila! No more pain. Sold in pairs for $40. Add $10 for chrome version.
Ducati North America
Dowco Rally Pack Tank Bag and Tail Bag
Dowco's ever-expanding Rally Pack Deluxe Series of universal luggage now includes a Tank Bag (expandable, sewn-in magnets and rain hood, molded-plastic carrying handle), and a Tail Bag (quick-release buckles, protective neoprene pad, space for a full-face helmet). Costing $80 each, they're available in black with contrasting color striping to match the latest sportbikes.
Ducati North America
MotoLean Sportbike Armrest
Resting your left forearm atop the gas tank of your Gixxer or Ninja or R1 may look cool, but it can lead to scratches in the paint from watches and zippers. MotoLean has the cure. The $35 Sportbike Armrest is lightweight, ergonomically designed and installs in seconds.
Ducati North America
Bob's BMW Heritage Collection T-shirts
So, the holiday season is almost here and you've got no clue what to buy the rabid Beemophile in your household? Bob's BMW to the rescue with its new Heritage Collection T-shirts, imprinted with vintage images taken from the BMW archives. Available in eight different designs, sized S-XXL, the shirts retail for $18. Or chose from another of Bob's many T-shirt lines. Our favorite: "If God doesn't ride a BMW, then why is the sky Blue and White?"
Ducati North America
Now there's no excuse for getting lost, as long as you're traveling in New England, that is. MotoMaps Pocket Editions are printed on removable, 3.5 x 6inch, heavy laminated stock. Each booklet contains seven color-coded one-day rides with turn-by-turn directions and points of interest. Order Connecticut/Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Vermont for $10 each, or purchase all five for $43.
Ducati North America
Shark Helmet Coin Bank
There's no easier way to save for a new Shark off-road or street helmet than with a $40 Shark coin bank. Deposit your spare change in a 7-inch-tall ceramic Olivier Jacque (shown), Carl Fogarty, Chris Walker or David Vuillemin replica lid and in no time at all, you will have the $150-730 necessary to purchase a real Shark helmet.
Ducati North America
Eagle One Bucket-Free Car Wash
Say goodbye to your grungy old wash pail. Now all you need to clean your bike is a sponge, a hose and Eagle One Bucket-Free Car Wash. Simply wet your bike, sparingly spray Bucket-Free Wash on all plastic, metal, rubber and vinyl surfaces, wet sponge and wash, frequently rinsing the sponge with clean water. Claimed to eliminate water spots and not strip away wax, the highly concentrated formula really does reduce wash time, thus leaving more time for really important things-like riding! Available at most auto-parts stores, a 25-ounce bottle retails for $5.
Want to accessorize your Ducati, or your favorite Ducatista? Then look no farther than Ducati Performance. The Italian manufacturer's accessories division offers catalogs tailored to each of Ducati's five model families, with everything from casual wear to roadracing gear, cosmetic accessories to high-performance parts.
WHY DOES A RIDER buy this 600cc sportbike rather than that one? A few people read the specs and decide that way, but many more assume all the specs are pretty much the same and go for the raddest and baddest look. Yamaha is covering both bets with the 2006 YZF-R6, which looks like a sinister cross between Samurai armor and 21 st-century motorcycle tech.
The first tip that this is not your run-of-the-mill Yamaha YZF-R1 are the gold-anodized, forgedaluminum Marchesini wheels. Add to this fully adjustable Ohlins suspension and racing-inspired slipper clutch. And while it's true these items separate the YZF-R1 Limited Edition from the standard R1 better than any plaque could, you still get one that desianates the bike as one of only 500.
No blockbusters from Big Red? It would appear not. Lots to like, though. The CRF25OR is fitted with dual mufflers for more low end power, allowing Honda to change engine tune for better topend. Separate cans also provide balanced weight distribution for lighter feel and improved maneuverability.
LEAVE IT TO BILL DAVIDson, great grandson of Harley-Davidson founder William F. Davidson and director of motorcycle product development, to lay it all on the line. "This is probably the biggest, single launch we've had in our history." No kidding.
How to empty downtown Denver? Easy: Light the wick on a 2006 VRXSE Screamin' Eagle Destroyer. Loud is the watchword here, the non-street-legal, V-Rod-based dragbike emitting the most raucous blam-blam-blam this side of a World of Outlaws sprinter from its unmuffled, ceramic-coated, 2-into-1 header.
Suzuki’s GS1000G graced the cover, the “G” indicating shaft final drive. The presence of a shaft on this particular model reminded us that Suzuki was: a) The last major bike-maker to introduce four-stroke motorcycles; b) the last Japanese company to go to shaftdrive; and c) the last to market a one-liter-plus, shaft-drive bike.
WHERE GOES THE GSX-R1000, so follows the GSX R600 and 750? Not exactly. Just as we were going to press, Suzuki revealed sparse specifications of the 2006 GSX-R600 and 750. While parallels to the big-bore racerreplica certainly exist, especially in terms of styling, the smaller-displacement machines are, according to a company spokesman, "different."
UP: To friend of the magazine Tom Overbey, for passing on a good tip in case of emergency. Paramedics often turn to an incapacitated crash victim’s cell phone for clues to that person’s identity. They scan the contacts list for “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) followed by the name and number of the person emergency services should contact on your behalf, saving time at a critical moment.
BUELL XBI2SS LIGHTNING LONG A kinder, gentler streetfighter
HAS ERIK BUELL GONE soft? Have corporate politics, never-ending Wisconsin winters and a public enamored with plas tic-shrouded Fours taken the fight out of the warrior from East Troy? So it would seem. Buell's latest entry, the 2006 XB12SS Lightning Long, appears to fly in the face of previous works.
BMW'S fast new K1200S takes on the mighty Hayabusa and ZX-12R...and five other bikes in a GT Shootout
RST 1000 FUTURA
WE LOVE OUR READERS. THE VAST majority are intelligent, articulate and supremely motorcycle-savvy, their ranks only sullied by the occasional sourpuss (see Hotshots, this issue). Count Terry Thomas from Truckee, California, among the good guys.
With its polished wood floors and subdued lighting, you might mistake the former Brooks Brothers clothing store in Solvang, California, for a tastefully decorated branch bank-if it weren't filled with exotic motorcycles. And, in fact, the Vintage Motorcycle Museum, which houses one of the best collections in the country, does serve as a kind of bank for Dr. Virgil Elings, 66, who founded it five years ago.
Hey, all you guys out there, are you serious about taking your woman along for the ride? If so, maybe my experience with these eight great GT bikes will give you a few hints on how to have your passenger smiling as widely as you do when you're winding down the road to some great destination.
Speed is all very well and good, but sometimes a man simply needs a clean change of skivvies. Hayabusa pilots in search of carrying capacity must go to the aftermarket, which is where we found the new, appropriately named Velocity line of soft luggage from Joe Rocket (www.rocket racing.com).
Bike riders, it's time to join the 21st century, navigationally speaking. For years, the Mk. III MFP (map, folded paper) is all we've had for cross-country guidance. Now the wonders of the Global Positioning System are as close as your local dealership—well, some of them.
Humans routinely travel into space. Men have walked on another celestial body, and robots are sending us remarkable pictures from distant planets. We’ve cloned sheep, cats and dogs, can communicate wirelessly all around the world and have inexpensive, hand-held devices that offer more computing power than the supercomputers of a couple decades ago.
TWO YEARS AGO, REBORN MOTO MORINI BURST OUT OF NOWHERE TO STEAL headlines at the Bologna Motor Show. Twelve months later, the same venue played host to the unveiling of the company's first product, the Corsaro 1200. Now, right on schedule, the bike has reached production.
THINK OF THE DB5 AS A NEW BEGINNING, NOT JUST another chapter in the Bimota saga. Building this bike required immense enthusiasm on the part of those involved. How else could anyone find the motivation to sign up with the eternally limping (from a financial standpoint) specialty Italian bike-maker?
Special Section: Motorcycle Training and Riding as a Family
FAMILY FUN ON TWO WHEELS
"C'MON, LET'S RIDE!"
In many ways, motorcycles are like magic carpet rides, wondrous vehicles that can transport their occupants to whole new worlds of fun and excitement. From the moment you first throw a leg over a motorcycle, the unequaled sense of freedom and adventure they offer is apparent.
Motorcycling helps prepare children for the rest of their lives
THE STATISTICS OF GETTING DIRTY
"You don' need to bring your helmet," I says Jeff after asking his son Evan to come help work on his bike. Evan's disappointed reply is, "Well, this isn't going to be any fun." Maybe not, but it offers Jeff the chance to teach Evan an important lesson about responsibility.
Perhaps the scariest thing that motorcycle manufacturers face is the age of their customers. Thirty-some years ago, the average motorcycle buyer was about 21 years old. Today, he's over 40, and, worse, each year the average customer gets older.
FIT YOUR XB-SERIES BUELL WITH A Tsukigi Racing exhaust system, blip the throttle and most assuredly you'll set off every car alarm within a block. Other motorists will cringe, pedestrians will duck into nearby shops seeking cover. Not cool.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Now, LET IT OUT completely. Do it again and the result-a crystal-clear faceshield-will be the same, again and again. That's what you get with the Pinlock Visor Insert, a revolutionary product that eliminates-yes,eliminates-faceshield fogging.
MOTORCYCLE? SPACESHIP? WHAT IS this? It's not A chopper-there's nothing you can chop to get this result. There's no frame, there are two Sportster engines tied together, and what's with that front end? Where's the gas tank? It is a custom bike, But that covers any altered motorcycle.
FULL NOISE ACROSS THE BROOKLYN Bridge and even with a venom-spluttering, omen-eyed Volvo driver charging ruthlessly through their ranks, everybody's cool. Gotham's skyscrapers rocketing high to their left, the East River an Olympian plunge below and...hang on, hold up, good god a 'mighty!
How to buy a Bonnie Ready to beat a Britbike into the ground in your town? Sixth Street Specials' Scotsman-in-charge Hugh Mackie rates the Triumph Bonneville as a prime value and one of the most practical classics. “All the parts you could ever need can be had in a day,” says Mackie.
AEROSTICH, TIMBUK2 AND OTHERS have refined the motorcycle courier bag to the point of near perfection. As a quick place to sling documents, books and the miscellaneous detritus of a normal commute, the classic over-the-opposite-shoulder courier bag is difficult to beat.
WHEN YOU THINK OF TIRES, WHAT comes to mind? Round and black, right? Not anymore. Established in 1920, Desser Tire & Rubber Company is a leading private-label manufacturer of reconditioned aircraft, auto, semi-truck and now, motorcycle tires.
The late Phil Irving designed the fabulous Vincent motorcycles that are still being cited as major sources of inspiration by designers working today. Later, Irving supplemented a modest income by writing a series of articles on tuning technique, and these were collected and first published in book form in 1948.
I don't know about you, but I lost interest in dirtbike videos about the time the third or fourth Crusty Demons of Dirt made its debut. With rare exception, films in this genre are all pretty much the same-repetitive freestyle tricks, speed-metal music and untalented jumpers crashing their brains out.
My first copy of Motocourse, paid for with wages earned from a summer janitorial job, set me back nearly $50. That was a lot of money to me, but my racing hero, Eddie Lawson, was the cover subject, the smooth-riding American having just wrapped up his third 500cc title.
THE CREW AT CLEANTOOLS, MAKERS of The Absorber, a synthetic chamois for drying off cars and bikes after washing, really get into their work, tossing off phrases like "sponge-like pore structure" and "capillary action." The claim is that the man-made leather-like PVA material is better than the real thing, absorbing water three times faster and holding 50 percent more before reaching its saturation point.
Team CW goes all the way-well, almost-at the AMA/Prostar Pro-Street drags
WHILE THE TECH INSPECTOR MEASURED THE ground clearance and wheelbase of my borrowed Honda CBR 1100XX-based Pro-Street dragbike, I cradled my helmeted head in my hands. It was time to get my program in gear. My time slip from the last pass read 8.06 seconds at 195 mph, and I knew that wasn't going to cut it in the upcoming semi-finals.
My 1985 Harley-Davidson Low Glide has less than 15,000 miles on the odometer. As the numbers indicate, the bike sits for long periods of time. On occasion, when started after a period of nonuse, oil belches out the breather hose and the air-cleaner canister, making quite the mess.
As a follow-up to the Candid Cameron column that appeared in the January, 2005, issue, I would like to ask: In contrast with the engine-oil recommendations found in car owner’s manuals, which state a minimum API service category requirement and allow any equal or higher category, the motorcycle manufacturers (the Japanese, at least) specify specific and quite old categories.
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