A CERTAIN SMUGNESS IS UNAVOIDABLE. While other, unenlightened motorists peel off, forced to replenish their fuel tanks with a highly flammable, petroleum-derived liquid-hydrocarbon mixture, you roll on aboard your ZEV (zero emissions vehicle), secure in the knowledge that the polar ice caps will melt not one extra iota because of your passage.
A VERY DANGEROUS THING HAPPENED TO me last month: I sold my 1953 Cadillac Fleetwood to a friend in California. His parents had one exactly like it when he was a kid, and he had to have the old Caddy as a keepsake and reminder of the era. So off it went to California.
As I PERFORMED THE PRESCRIBED MOtions on the Nautilus machines, I was careful to prevent the weight stack, rising and falling, from striking the unused weights below it. Exercise is boring, I thought. And then I thought of engine valves, opening and closing like the weight stack, and likewise having to be prevented from actually striking their seats.
I can remain silent no longer after seeing the tantalizing picture of the Honda CB1100F from the Tokyo Show (Up Front, December). What a beautiful bike! It has all the right shapes and exposed pieces. Best of all, that gorgeous air-cooled transverse-Four in all its naked glory.
Whether you’re looking for an exhaust system and ECU upgrade for your late-model ZX-6R or you’re building a full-on Roger Lee Hayden track-day special, Kawasaki has you covered. Engine and chassis components from such aftermarket headliners as Akrapovic, Beet, Dynojet, Öhlins and RK complement fiberglass bodywork, clip-on handlebars and rearsets from Attack Performance. Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA, P.O. Box 25252, Santa Ana, CA 92799; 949/770-0400; www.kawasaki.com
Oakley Hijinx and Holeshot
Oakley has come a long way since introducing its first productthe F-l handgrips-more than 30 years ago. New releases include the Hijinx sunglasses ($90-155) and Holeshot chronograph ($550-650). The O Matter-framed glasses are offered in a variety of colors and High Definition Optics lens tints, including polarized. Water resistant to a depth of 330 feet, the Swiss-made, quartz-movement Holeshot measures cumulative time, intermediate time and split time down to a 10th of a second. Six styles are offered, all with black bands made from Unobtainium, the same, sticky-when-wet material used to create the original grips. Oakley, Inc., 1 Icon, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610; 800/431-1439; www.oakley.com
Edelbrock Universal Sportbike Nitrous System
Bolt-on nitrous! Developed for use on fuel-injected, four-cylinder Japanese sportbikes, Edelbrock’s Universal Sportbike Nitrous System ($429) comes complete with an airbox-mounted stainless-steel spray nozzle and three sizes of jets, an aircraft-quality stainless-steel supply line, a harness with relay, a solenoid and a 1.3-pound bottle. The kit is designed for use with a Dynojet Power Commander, which is sold separately. Edelbrock Corp., 2700 California St., Torrance, CA 90503; 310/781-2222; www. edelbrock.com
Scorpion Exo Jackets
Where do you fit on the “Abradium” scale? That depends on how and where you ride. Scorpion’s new line of leather-and-textile Exo jackets ($150-428) falls between 2 and 4 on said scale, the latter indicating the greatest form of protection available. All feature KwikWick liners (a synthetic material designed to pull moisture away from your body), Exo-Tec armor (ventilated CE-approved shoulder, elbow and back protection) and ExoStitch (double stitching to prevent seam failure) construction. Sized from S-XXL.
Heat Demons Grip Warmers
Warm your hands using your grips of choice. Unlike traditional designs, Heat Demons Grip Warmers install inside 7/8or l-inch handlebars. Temperature is four-way adjustable via a chrome ($130) or black ($110) control switch equipped with a closed-loop microprocessor. Symtec Inc., 6227 University Ave. NE, Fridley, MN 55432; 763/571-9193; www.symtec-inc.com
HJC FS-10 Helmet
Riding into a blinding sunset? Better pull over and swap faceshields. Unless you’re wearing HJC’s new FS10 ($250-260), in which case you simply slide forward the top-of-helmet bar that deploys the tinted SunShield. To retract the shield, press the adjoining button. It’s that simple. An anti-fog, UV-light-stopping AccuSight faceshield with tool-less RapidFire replacement system is standard, and the interior of the DOT-approved composite-fiberglass shell features a removable, washable, moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial SilverCool liner. Adjustable chin and forehead vents deliver cooling air on hot days. The FS-10 is available in XS-XXL sizes in a variety of colors and graphics.
Scorpion Sports, Inc., 25921 Atlantic Ocean Dr., Lake Forest, CA 92630; 888/672-6774; www.scorpionusa.com HJC America, 16918 Edwards Rd., Cerritos, CA 90703; 562/407-2186; www.hjchelmets.com
KTM IS PUSHING HARD to assert itself as one of the big players in every facet of the powersports business. Dirtbikes are covered, quads have been added, and there is even a car. Finally, at Milan, KTM unveiled its allnew 1190 RC8 Superbike.
con Honda chose Milan to surprise everybody with a new naked bike, the CB1000R. Chassis is a modded Europe-only 600 Hornet single-backbone unit, but power comes from a torque-rich 998cc inline-Four based on the 2007 CBR1000RR’s mill. Neatest tricks are the single-sided swingarm, radialmount calipers, a digital dash display and optional anti-lock brakes.
WHAT WOULD A Milan show be without new Ducatis? Bologna busted big with a totally revised Monster, a super-middleweight 848 and the 1098R Superbike homologation special. There was one theme in the development of all these bikes, said product-planning boss Claudio Domenicali: “Lightness.
How to take on Ducati’s Hypermotard? Aprilia rolled out its Dorsoduro (“Hardback”) mega-motard, based on the Shiver platform. Engine is the same dohc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree 750cc V-Twin producing 95 horsepower, mated to the composite steel-trellis/ cast-aluminum frame.
IN EUROPE, BMW’S best-selling model-and by no small margin-is the R1200GS adventure bike, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a new stablemate, the F800GS, was shown in Milan. This is no simple re-skinning of the F800S roadster. In fact, the GS completely parts company from the S by having a tubular trellis-type frame instead of a twin-spar aluminum setup.
Chinese-owned Benelli is making a serious run at the dirtbike business. On display at Milan alongside some warmed-over Triple streetbikes were the members of the new family of off-road and supermoto bikes powered by an advanced four-stroke, liquid-cooled, dohc, single-cylinder engine.
"The look of speed, the feel of Formula One, with more power than ever.” So read the copy accompanying a full test of the 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100. The styling was out there, the riding position aggressive, the $4599 price expensive, and the bike was said to be best suited to high-speed work.
FIRST THE GRISO 8V roadster was announced (Roundup, December, 2007), and now comes another machine powered by Moto Guzzi’s new eight-valve 1200cc V-Twin: the Stelvio. This adventure-tourer could be described as a Griso 8V on stilts, since it shares the same frame and power unit.
Meet Cycle World's Project ConqueRR, a custom 2007 Honda CBR1000RR built by Roland Sands Design for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s annual fund-raiser raffle. “The goal was to create a machine that captures the spirit of the kids who are facing this battle,” explained Sands.
UP: To Phil and Jerry James, showing ingenuity and a sense of fun. The Seattle-area motorcyclists, Jerry, 43, and his father, 73, combined their two loves-motorcycling and soccer-13 years ago, and have been playing regularly ever since.
YAMAHA FEELS ITS playbikes are so much fun that the company called its TT-R press launch “Family Fun Day.” The introduction was actually for the entire TT-R lineup that includes all the electricstart four-stroke machines from 50 to 230cc.
TIME WAS STANDARD-STYLE bikes were regarded as motorcycling's plainvanilla machines. Sensible, lowglamour, general-purpose alternatives to sportbikes and cruisers. But the standard category has undergone a renaissance in recent years, branching into sub-categories populated with supermotos and adventure bikes and retros and streetfighters.
At the recent press launch for the 2008 Hayabusa, we were only allowed two passes down the dragstrip. Now we’ve received a test unit for further evaluation and have gained a better understanding of its performance capability. Tipping our scales at 552 pounds without fuel, the new bike weighs 20 pounds more than last year’s.
WHEN I LOOK AT SUZUKI’S LATEST SILver-and-black blockbuster I see Jazz, the Pontiac autobot in the Hollywood hit Transformers. When viewed from above, it’s all there: mufflers as legs, narrow waistline, torso-shaped fuel tank with its side pods serving as arms and shoulders.
Considering what the B-King uses as a power source, you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s the undisputed king of naked bikes. But you might not know that it isn’t the first Suzuki to earn that distinction. A quartercentury ago, the GS1100E was the baddest bike on the block, able to dispatch all comers with a magical mixture of no-waiting low-end grunt, arm-straightening midrange torque and freebreathing top-end power.
IT’S A WONDER ANYTHING GETS ACCOMplished in Italy. The laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle-espresso breaks, cigarette breaks and looong lunches-doesn’t lend itself to feverish productivity. It also seems unfair to plant a motorcycle factory, as Bimota has done, Despite the distractions, Bimota is back in business, slowly churning out its hand-built, two-wheeled exotica in stark contrast to the buzzing production lines of Aprilia up the road in Noale or Ducati in Bologna.
Proof that Bimota is serious about a market comeback after its 2003 resurrection by business man Roberto Comini, the Italian boutique bike-maker showed off its new Ducati 1098 Testastretta powered DB7 superbike at the `07 Milan Show. Another indication is the recently acquired services of former Ducati product-development and product-marketing director, American Dan VanEpps, to help steer the once-lost Bimota ship.
MOTORCYCLE DESIGN has become very complicated. No longer can a company like Yamaha simply grab the most current technology from its race team, throw it on the latest repli-racer, improve power, reduce weight and wheelie off into the sunset.
WE' VE STEEPENED THE rake to vertical to make the bike more nimble, but lengthened trail to a full yard to retain stability... To pump up the midrange, we re only using half of the usual number of cam lobes... ” Uh-huh. From such a fanciful tech briefing, you might imagine how often the press discovers the large divide between a new bike’s performance and the sometimes overly inventive claims of its press kit.
IT IS IMPORTANT IN LIFE TO HAVE GOALS. SOMETIMES THE GOALS ARE concrete, like searching for 6.5 volts from a feeble old electrical system. Other times they are diaphanous and impossible to get a grip on but are very clearly there, like smoke.
Two days with BMW Rider Training at the Nürburgring
RACING HISTORIANS COUNT THE 24 HOURS OF LE Mans, Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 as the three most significant events in motorsport. Notably absent from that list is the Nürburgring, thought by many to be the toughest-and most unforgiving-racetrack in the world.
IRST THINGS FIRST: WE LOVE THE Yamaha FJR 1300. In articles written and letters published, this magazine played a big part in getting the previously Euro-only sport-tourer admitted to the U.S. No surprise, then, that in past years the FJR has nabbed two of our annual Ten Best Bikes awards.
AWINDSCREEN IS A WINDSCREEN, right? Pretty much same-same since the 1930s when acrylic was invented and someone decided that having a clear wind-block on a motorcycle was a dandy idea. Not that there haven’t been some advances in windshields.
PICKUPS ARE GREAT FOR HAULING bikes, but listening to your wife complain about having to drive a macho work vehicle isn’t so hot. Trailers are cool, too, until you realize that they make your driveway look like the Clampetts have moved in. How great would it be to have a trailer that fits in the trunk of your car or a corner of your garage until it’s needed?
NAME THE DEVICE, STANDARD ON 20th-century motorcycles, activated manually, that raises the rear wheel off the ground.” Contestants glance uneasily at each other and then back at the host, who, after a dramatic pause, proDETAILS <p moved="true">Twisted Throttle, Ltd.</p> 1080 Kingstown Rd.
Daily runners DO YOU PREFER TO KEEP A LOW PROfile once you’ve stepped away from your motorcycle? If so, you’ll appreciate the casual, understated styling of the Sidi Dohas. Most current sportbike-spec footwear, with their armored hinges, sculpted ramair ducts and large, snow-ski-style buckles, looks like robo-boots.
MIDWAY THROUGH THE 2006 WORLD SUPERSPORT SEASON, Kenan Sofuoglu was told by the Turkish government that ____ V I~~ALII1L LJ'.JA 4~J~i YV he would have to return to his homeland at the end of the year to complete 15 months of mandatory military service.
Want Kenan to know Sofuoglu’s the best World part Supersabout port-winning Honda CBR600RR? It’s not something that you can actually put a finger on-a screamer of an engine or silky-smooth suspension, for example. Rather, it’s the overall bike-building expertise of brothers Gerrit and Ronald ten Kate of Netherlands-based Ten Kate Racing.
Ql’m cle in 63, 1966 bought and my have first read motorcymultiple bike magazines every month ever since. I’ve ridden many miles and met lots of bikers of every kind, but I must have missed the issue in which the terms “hooligan bike” and “streetfighter” were coined.
When Husqvarna and KTM recently introduced real competiton-quality dual-purpose motorcycles, the prayers of many offroad riders—including me—finally were answered. Those bikes are pure enduro models equipped with just enough equipment to make them street-legal-EPA noise and emissions certification, horn, mirrors, speedometer, brake lights, etc. And, of course, turnsignals-which have proven too fragile and vulnerable on both brands.
NHTSA Recall No. 07V486000 Kawasaki KLR650 Model years: 2002-08 Number of units involved: 33,365 Problem: On certain motorcycles, insufficient tightening of the muffler mounting bolts could allow the bolts to loosen. If the bolts loosen completely, it is possible for the muffler to separate from the motorcycle and create the potential of a crash.
It doesn’t take a rollaway tool chest and a degree in mechanical engineering to install the core in a tire’s valve stem, but there’s a bit more to that seemingly no-brainer task than you might think. Tighten the core too snugly and it can distort the neoprene seal or strip the threads; tighten it too little and the core could work its way loose.
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