WHEN IT COMES TO CLEARING MY DESKtop, I probably should subscribe to ol’ Floyd Clymer’s method of filing: When the papers got piled too high at Cycle magazine, he’d simply shut down that office and move to another desk. Unfortunately, we don’t have that much real estate at CW, so semi-annual excavations have to do.
I HEARD AN OLD JAZZ SONG ON THE RAdio the other day called “I Fall in Love Too Easily.” I don’t know who it’s by-you have to wait a long time (usually shortly after your own death) for DJs to back-announce their songs these days-but I can certainly identify with the subject matter.
As THE 1980S CAME TO AN END, THE DIFficulty of riding 500cc two-stroke GP bikes peaked. I watched this often from Laguna Seca’s Turn 11, the final first-gear left before start-finish. As riders began to throttle-up, engines would give two sharp pops, then kick the back end out as power cut in.
I would like to sound off on the recent Ben Roethlisberger accident and the media hype that followed. Don’t get me wrong, Ben is not completely innocent in this matter. He wasn’t using common sense by not wearing a helmet; he wasn’t riding with a valid motorcycle endorsement on his license.
If your dirtbike didn’t come with a sidestand, you need a $150 Trikstand. The lightweight billet-aluminum design will keep your late-model Honda, Kawasaki or Suzuki (more applications to come) upright in the toughest terrain. When you’re ready to ride, simply shove the stand inside the rear axle and out of harm’s way. Fits 18or 19-inch wheels with axles that have a ¾-inch internal diameter.
Brazimoto Rapido Gloves
Brazimoto designed the $68 Rapidos for scooter use, but these retro-style deerhide gloves shouldn’t be limited only to feet-forward machines. Highlights include suede thumb-abrasion guards and velcro wrist closures. Choose from red/gold, green/gold or black/cream in XS-XXL sizes.
Powerlet Socket Kits
Powering your on-bike electronic accessories is a snap with a Powerlet 12-volt multi-fit socket kit. The singleor dual-plug kits are designed to fit cleanly in a fairing or side panel ($38), or mount to a passenger footpeg bracket ($50), and feature fused leads that attach directly to the battery. Adapter and power cables, plus a selection of accessories, are also available.
Duke Video 2005 Official Reviews
Can’t get enough of MotoGP? Want to re-live Valentino Rossi’s record-breaking, championship-winning season? Now you can with the 2005 MotoGP Official Review. Round out your collection with the 2005 World Super-bike Official Review and the 2005 Isle of Man TT Official Review. Each DVD sells for $35. In "
Nichols Manufacturing Ducati Triple-Clamp
Ducatis beg for trick bits. The latest from marque specialist Nichols Manufacturing is this lovely, 6061-T6 aluminum upper triple-clamp to fit all 916/996/998s, plus the 748. Stronger than stock, the black-anodized or natural-finish piece features stainless hardware with double fork-tube pinch bolts and retails for $200.
Powers Stuntworx Crash Cages
If stuntin’ is your thing, your sportbike needs all the protection you can afford. Powers Stuntworx Crash Cages follow the contours of the stock bodywork, are manufactured from heavy-duty steel tubing to withstand end-over-end tumbles, and are available with a black, blue or red powdercoat finish. Suggested retail price is $300, which includes mounting instructions, hardware and end caps.
ColorZone Designs Custom Painting
Gone are the days of the boring brain bucket. Now, even entry-level helmets boast spectacular graphics and paint. Yet there are those of us who yearn for something more personal, something unique, a real eye-popper of a lid. But what if you can’t quite visualize your dream scheme or don’t know who to trust with your brand-new skull sack? Then do what we did: Lay a couple color preferences and a favorite design or shape on ColorZone Designs and let owner Matt Polosky work his magic. Want to get really radical? Have Polosky spray your helmet and bike. Single-color helmet-only prices start at $200. Costs escalate from there, depending on the extent of the design and airbrush work.
DUCATI'S DESMOSEDICI RR, the street-going version of the 200-plus-mph MotoGP racer that the Italian bike-maker has been campaigning for the last three years, was unveiled this past June. The presentation took place in the Mugello paddock on the eve of one of the most emotionally charged races in history, with Ducati’s Loris Capirossi coming in a close second to a hard-sweating Valentino Rossi.
Got white space on your home or office walls? Then fill it with hand-numbered, limited-edition prints from ArteHouse. Among the latest offerings: stills, outtakes and original posters from what is often regarded as the best motorcycle movie ever made, On Any Sunday.
IS IT TIME ALREADY FOR 2007-model streetbikes? Yamaha thinks so, as it has just pulled back the wraps on an all-new Star 1300 cruiser. Intended to engage Honda’s popular VTX1300 in the “midsize” class (yes, cruisers have got-ten that big), the bike uses a cleansheet 80-cubic-inch (1304cc), 60-degree V-Twin with liquid-cooling, dual counterbalancers, four valves per cylinder and friction-reducing roller rockerarms.
Victory owners really wanting to let their Freedom motors ring should putt on down to their local deaIership.That's the only Place to order the new S&S Stroker Hot Set Up kits for 2003-and-later 100-inch Victorys. The stroker crank and forged-steel connecting rods take displacement to 106 inches, or 1731cc.
The Sporting Forty-Fives” graced the cover as the Big Four Japanese moto-makers’ 750cc four-cylinder machines were pitted against each other in an extensive comparison. After running the bikes through the full test regimen, just as we do today, staffers had much trouble picking a winner, just as we do today.
NOT ONLY have motocross bikes never been better, they continue to improve. See for yourself. This year, Kawasaki joined the big-bore Thumper crowd with its brand-new KX450F. Despite first-year status, it was a threat to the class leaders.
UP: To Fulmer helmets, for honoring the memory of those who served during the Vietnam War. Candy Sweet Thomas, Fulmer’s communications director, was just seven months old when her father, Larry Sweet, was killed by a Viet Cong sniper on September 14,1969, in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam.
TRIUMPH IS SWINGIN', cranking out the popular new Daytona 675 and perennial favorite Speed Triple, but talk to the purist and he is likely to tell you how much he likes the simple pleasure of the Bonneville Black. We’re on that boat, too.
ARE YOU DISCIPLINED? IF YOU’RE LIKE US, CHANCES ARE YOU JUST red-lighted the start and already glanced ahead to the data panels to find out how far Kawasaki’s new ZX-14 has bumped the performance bar. Now that the comparative performance results are out in the open, we can get on with the business of how the world’s most powerful sportbikes stack up out on the open road.
Back in the mid-’90s Suzuki started a trend when it tamed the acceleration potential of the GSX-R1100 by implementing a dedicated ignition-timing map in first gear. Simply snipping what we dubbed “the wheelie wire” routed to the bike’s ignitor unit fooled the system, unlocking unadulterated performance pleasure while shaving .3-second off our time slip at the strip.
H-D Screamin’ Eagle Fat Boy vs. Victory Ness Series Jackpot
SCREAMIN' EAGLE FAT BOY
CRUISIN’ IS ALL ABOUT THE ARRIVAL. KIND OF LIKE HIGHschool prom, it doesn’t matter how you look once there or when you leave, it’s all about the grand entrance, that first impression. All those hours spent polishing chrome had better not go unnoticed; that’s why you blat the throttle a couple times as you pull up to your favorite hangout, right?
THE CYCLE WORLD GARAGE IS NOT exactly ready for a Popular Mechanics photo layout. There are rat traps in the corners, black widow spiders in every shadow and despite our best efforts the place is a mess. So it is with great shame that we admit to parking two of the finest Italian masterpieces ever created-the MV Agusta F4 1000 Senna and Ducati 999R Xerox-in this Newport Beach hellhole.
Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic LT vs. Yamaha Star Stratoliner
VULCAN 2000 LT
WHO’DA THUNK IT? WHO WOULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED THAT someday, in a cruiser market packed to the rafters with close to 100 V-Twin models, Harley-Davidsons would be considered “small”? Yeah, like that's going to happen. Strange as it may seem, though, it has.
OKAY, LET’S SHORTCUT THIS THING. BOTTOM LINE, THE Suzuki wins. The V-Strom 650 makes more power than the Ducati Multistrada 620, cuts a better time at the dragstrip, is more comfortable, gets scooter-like mpg numbers and on top of all that is a budget-friendly $ 1800 less expensive.
FOR NEARLY A YEAR, WE HAVE BEEN flogging our Honda CRF450X in endurance races and weekend trail rides with minimal maintenance. So after 65 hours of use, some TLC was in order. While stuck in a canyon, we boiled most of the coolant out of the engine and had no choice but to replace it with desert well water.
USUALLY I DON’T TAKE DIRECTION well, but this time I did not have to be told twice. Not yet 7 o’clock on a cool and misty Saturday morning, it was set-up time for the inaugural Legend of the Motorcycle Invitational Concours d’Elegance. From the seat of my idling 1947 Triumph 500 bob-job I asked an official where he wanted the bike situated.
A magnificent gathering of old bikes at America's oldest city
"Is that a Norton anti-virus T-shirt?" a woman asked me in the elevator of the World Golf Village Renaissance Hotel near St. Augustine, Florida. I glanced briefly down at the lettering across my chest. I was wearing a black Norton T-shirt and a tuxedo with motorcycle boots, returning to my room at the end of Saturday night's formal Biker's Ball.
IF YOU ARE A TYPICAL motorhead, you love the sound of a big-inch motor breathing through an exhaust system that allows it to sing its alluring song. But not at 3 o’clock in the morning. Not when it’s the product of the dimwit next door constantly blipping the throttle as he warms his open-piped bike at the crack of dawn.
LOW-COST LIPSTICK CAMERAS AND COMpact camcorders allow amateur video buffs to easily record their riding adventures. But asking family and friends to sit through hours of raw, unedited footage will all but guarantee you won’t be invited to the next family reunion.
MOTO GUZZI HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVE THE PAST couple of years, introducing in rapid succession several new and meaningful models. First came the Breva 1100, soundly designed and executed, elegant-looking and versatile, with a touch of exclusivity long assouated with the eagle of Mandello del Lario.
Is this the beginning of the end for Mat Mladin? Or just the beginning?
WHEN DOES ONE ERA END AND ANOTHER begin? Pundits said it had already happened when six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin was defeated six times in six starts this spring by his 21-year-old Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Ben Spies. The battle was close at Barber, but by Infineon, Spies was able to pull clear at will.
Q Last month, I bought a used ’99 Yamaha V-Max with 9200 miles on the odometer. I wanted to put new tires on it, so I ordered a set of IRCs-a 110/90-18 front and 150/90-15 rear. I then looked in my manual to see how to remove the wheels and discovered a warning that said, “This motorcycle is fitted with super high-speed tires.
Hose clamps are like cops: There never seems to be one around when you need it. Even when a clamp is available, it usually is too small or too big to complete the task at hand. But this wouldn’t be a problem if you had a Clamp Tite, an ingenious little tool that can transform various types of wire-safety wire, bailing wire or even light coathangers-into tight, secure clamps in a matter of minutes.
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