THERE ARE CERTAIN MOMENTS OF astonishment in this business that overcome you and leave you slackjawed, then screaming like a little girl. One of those for me was a near-crash in Turn 8, Willow Springs, on a privately owned 2000 Yamaha YZF-R7 during a big comparison test way back then.
Production S1000RR is as impressive as the rumors that surround it
WHHEN A MANUFACTURER Bclaims 193 crankshaft horsepower from its new liter-class Four, particularly a superbike class freshman such as BMW’s S1000RR, you can understand why a fair bit of skepticism existed as we rolled the Super Beemer onto the Cycle World dyno.
CURRENT AMA PRO RACING AMERIcan Superbike rules were instituted under the premise of establishing parity and reducing costs. Despite the political firestorm that engulfed nearly every aspect of the series last season, the changes appeared to work: No fewer than three riders—series champ Mat Mladin, Josh Hayes and Larry Pegram—scored multiple wins.
While Managing Editor Matthew Miles thinks about the question of whether or not a privately entered AMA Pro Racing American Superbike can be competitive, I think of my own experience in 1974, when Yamaha first released the four-cylinder TZ750A. Our dealer, John Jacobson of Boston Cycles, ordered one in a completely routine way—for $3500.
Battle of the 100Horsepower 750s: Yamaha's High-Tech FZ vs. Suzuki's Featherweight GSX-R" screamed this month's cover. "For sheer performance, the GSX-R can't be beaten. It's quick er and faster than the FZ750, if not by much," concluded the comparison.
It’s true: KTM, best known for its off-road and motocross machines, is going green! Okay, maybe the Austrian bike maker isn’t changing its corporate colors or going hybrid on us, but it is in final development on a pair of zero-emissions electric motorcycles.
UP: To the “Share the road. Look twice for motorcyclists” signs, for bringing attention to motorcyclists. The message appeared on California’s electronic freeway signs for a full week in February and were the product of cooperation between the California Highway Patrol, the state’s Office of Transportation Safety and Caltrans.
WELL AWARE OF ITS aging customer base, Harley-Davidson has been hard at work rolling out new products aimed at attracting a younger demographic. No need to reinvent the wheel, however, as the venerable Sportster has proven to be an ideal platform to deliver hip styling and solid performance at an affordable price.
OF ALL THE METRIC-CRUISER brands, Star gets it best. Part of its success stems from the company’s ability to stay current with consumer interest. Baggers are hot right now, for good reason, and the Stratoliner Deluxe provides comfort, practicality and good touring capability.
I’ve ridden nearly every brand of motorcycle since 1980. I’m 46 years old, own several Hondas including a 1996 CBR1000F, 2003 919, 2007 25th Anniversary VFR and 2008 CBR1000RR. So I feel confident in saying that I believe Honda has missed the boat.
THE INTAKE PORTS OF FOUR-STROKE engines began as incidental plumbing but evolved into the beautiful shapes we see today, which are essential to high performance. Early racing engines had complex manifolds featuring many flowimpeding right-angle bends, necessary to allow one or two carburetors to serve four or more cylinders.
WITH A HOWLIN’ WOLF CD TUCKED under one arm, I trudged through the snow to my workshop last night, carrying my Les Paul (all 9.4 pounds of it) in its case, so I could go out and practice guitar in our lavishly carpeted (indoor/outdoor) band corner.
Welcome, amigos y enemigos, to the 11th running of the horniest racetrack superbike shootout in Spain
LIKE THE BIG PLANS THEY STARTED WITH WHEN IT CAME TO CARVING THE BRAND-SPANKINGnew Motorland Aragón into the high-desert backcountry of Spain, I had big plans for MasterBike 11, back on schedule after a year off due to financial constraints and in streamlined form.
I know Mark Cernicky, I have been on the track with Mark Cernicky, and you, sir, are (probably) no Mark Cernicky. Cernicky was a top privateer in 600 and 750cc AMA national roadracing once upon a time and won a slew of supermoto championships after that.
IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, WHAT WE’RE LEFT WITH IS A BRANDnew BMW that arrived on scene and did exactly what most people thought would be impossible—blew all the established players completely out of the water, Bismarck style, on its maiden voyage.
SUZUKI HASN'T HAD A SERIOUS OFF-ROAD bike since the RMX25O two-stroke, last offered in 1998. But the company's days of selling only mild-mannered off-roaders are over, as there is nothing soft about the new-for2010 RMX45OZ. It rocks to the same beat as the fuel-injected RM-Z450 motocrosser from which it was derived, except that the lyrics have been changed to play to a different audience: desert rats.
A ferocious, high-tech, multi-surface, all-day touring machine
Bikes to compare
Bavarian bike maker's 1200cc bushwhacker is competent onand off-road; a great all-rounder. $14,950
A 999cc supermotostyle bike designed for on-road urban-adventure touring. $13,998
An affordable 10OOcc adventure bike whether you're commuting or going crosscontinent. $9799
$11,999 to $13,399
A street-oriented adventure bike with a torquey, 1050cc, three-cylinder engine and sporty handling.
ALL MOTORCYCLISTS HAVE A FANTASY COLlection assembled in the dream garage that lives in their heads. Mine would include a 1000cc sportbike, a 250cc four-stroke MXer, a 450cc dual-sport, a 300cc two-stroke enduro and something with bags that can be ridden two-up all day.
Europe’s definition of off-road riding differs greatly from what we know and love here in the U.S. Lots of wide-open spaces and challenging trail systems will do that for you. Case in point: The nearly seven-mile “off-road section” that came toward the end of the international press launch in the Canary Islands was in actuality a heavily trafficked, two-lane road, its hardas-concrete surface smoother than some of Southern California’s finest freeways.
Multistrada 1200 offers a whirlwind of exciting new technology
Seeking headlines? Electronic suspension is a good place to start. Yet at the world press launch for the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 in the Canary Islands, project manager Federico Sabbioni pointed out that wired damping and springing isn’t the only area in which the Bologna-based bike maker has made great strides.
Now the "Greatest Generation's" toys are worth a Great Deal of Money
THE PROBLEM IS, ACCORDING TO master craftsman/restorer Steve Huntzinger, that it’s almost impossible not to “over-restore” things like the 1936 Crocker you’re looking at here. Even when you’re working with what’s commonly referred to as the Duesenberg of motorcycles, it’s easy to overdo it with a level of perfection the original never quite achieved.
“More power, less weight and maximum style” are the claims behind Taylormade’s new MotoGP-style slip-on exhaust system for the 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Claimed to be 18 pounds lighter than the stock setup, the stainless-steel, under-engine canister is coated with a heat-retaining Cool Ceramic Technology finish. Sculpted carbon-fiber panels come in a natural semi-matte finish that complements the stock bodywork. Muffler and carbon-fiber trim retail for $845; adding a premapped Dynojet Power Commander V ups the price to $1125.
Taylormade Racing, Inc.
IASUS XSound 2
Turn the inside of your helmet into a bass-thumping mobile concert hall with IASUS XSound 2 speakers ($50). Less than 2 inches in diameter and just half an inch thick, these circular designs are claimed to fit comfortably in the ear pockets of most modern fulland open-face helmets. A detachable connection cable features a built-in volume control and is compatible with all devices that use a 3.5mm audio jack. IASUS also offers the lower-rated XSound Juniors ($30).
Taylormade Racing, Inc.
Two Brothers Racing M7 and M2R Slip-On Mufflers
Are you looking for a lightweight, performanceenhancing replacement muffler for your 2010 Yamaha YZ250F or YZ450F? Two Brothers Racing offers two options: M7 ($370, aluminum; $530, carbon-fiber) and M2R ($450, aluminum; $600, carbon-fiber). The M2R features the company’s Ridiculously Easy Maintenance design that allows repacking without having to remove the muffler from the bike or resort to drilling out and replacing traditional pop-rivets. Applications for late-model Hondas, KTMs, Kawasakis and Suzukis are available, as well.
Taylormade Racing, Inc.
Love Handles Motorcycle Passenger Armrest
Provide your better half with the on-road security that a deeply padded saddle or even a sissybar can't offer. Machined in the U.S. from aircraft-grade aluminum, Love Handles feature outward-pivoting arms with a 50-pound, ball-detent release system. Bonus: Pivot the arms rearward 180 degrees and they double as a luggage carrier for lightweight items. Kits come complete with either anodized aluminum or powdercoated steel mounting brackets and chrome-plated-steel hardware. Choose from three widths (Standard, Small or Queen) in five styles (Rich Black, Studs, Flames, Fringe or Studs & Fringe) for most Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha cruisers equipped with sissybars. Pricing starts at $329.
Taylormade Racing, Inc.
Puig Z-Racing Windscreen
Spanish windscreen-maker Puig has developed a Z-Racing screen for BMW's new racer-replica, the Si 000RR. Wind-tunnel-tested to provide improved aerodynamics and protection, the 3mm-thick, high-impact-acrylic screen ($90) follows the original design where it meets the fairing's ram-air intake. No cutting or other modifications are required for installation, which uses the stock mounting hardware.
Taylormade Racing, Inc.
HealTech Electronics SpeedoHealer
Rely on an original-equipment speedometer after a gearing or tire swap? Not a chance. HealTech Electronics claims its SpeedoHealer ($115) corrects factory speedometer and odometer error to within .0025 percent on any late-model motorcycle equipped with an electronic speedometer. Plug-and-play kits cover several hundred models; a universal kit handles the rest. Gear indicators and timing-retard eliminators are also available.
Taylormade Racing, Inc.
Tissot T-Touch Expert Watch
Swiss watchmaker Tissot's Touch series wristwatches are more than timepieces. Want to know your current direction of travel, present altitude or the ambient temperature? How about the date? With the chronograph feature, you can even time your buddies at the racetrack. All of this information and more is available by pressing a central pusher and tapping lightly on the large, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. We spent a month with the dive-oriented, rubber-strapped Sea-Touch ($1095), which features luminescent hands and graduated bezel, dependable quartz moment and bottom-of-face liquid-crystal display. The chunky, 44.4mm stainless-steel case is a tight fit under a snug riding jacket; the titanium T-Touch Expert (shown), T-Touch and PVD-coated Trekking are a bit smaller in diameter, weigh less and the latter two models have a lower retail price, to boot. All are certainly worth consideration by any two-wheel adventurer.
<p moved="true">Taylormade Racing, Inc.</p>, 7712 Gloria Ave. #3, Van Nuys, CA 91406; 818/781-8123; www.racetaylormade.com <p moved="true">IASUS Concepts</p>; www.iasus-concepts.com <p moved="true">Two Brothers Racing</p>, 401 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705; 800/211-2767; www.twobros.com <p moved="true">Love Handles</p>, 12231 Academy Rd.
LIGHTWEIGHT BRAKE DISCS ARE AS much about going fast as they are about slowing down. The weight of a motorcycle’s brakes, tires and wheels must be accelerated and decelerated twice—with the rest of the machine and rotationally—so reducing wheelrelated mass has a double effect.
PILOTI HAS MADE A NAME FOR ITSELF in the automotive world developing performance-oriented shoes that combine features specific to heel-andtoe driving with pedestrian comfort, styling and everyday practicality. Now, the company is looking to gain a foothold in the two-wheel segment with the Moto800.
DO YOU CLENCH OR GRIND YOUR TEETH when participating in physically demanding activities, such as riding motocross? You’re not alone. Some researchers claim that doing so over long periods may stretch your jaw muscles and even hinder your ability to chew properly.
Q I am having a bit of a vibration problem with my 2009 Yamaha FJR1300. After about 50-60 miles of highway riding at cruising speeds (6580), my right hand goes numb and both legs up to my knees have a numb sensation. The right-side mirror gets quite blurry at these speeds, too.
You can’t do much work on most motorcycles these days without encountering socket-head (Allen) and Torx bolts and screws. These types of fasteners tend to be less prone to damage during removal than are slotted and Phillips screws; and because their toolaccess surfaces are internal rather than external, they can fit into tighter spaces than hexhead fasteners that require clearance around the outside to allow room for a socket.
Best Sport-Touring Bike, 2001 Years sold: 2001-2005 MSRP new: $12,999 Blue Book retail value: $4885 (2001) to $6565 (2005) Basic specs: A 998cc, 60-degree V-Twin pumping out 94 horsepower and 60 ft.-Ib. of torque that pushed the fuel-injected, fully faired, 518-pound machine to a 11.48second/il 8.08-mph quarter-mile and a top speed of 145 mph.
NHTSA Recall No.10V0160Q0 Manufacturer: Kawasaki Motors Corp, USA Model: 2009 Super Sherpa Problem: On certain of these motorcycles. blockage of an oil passage in the engine might restrict oil flow to the cylinder head. This blockage could result in the engine losing power and eventually stopping while in operation, possibly creating the risk of a crash.
Nicky Hayden won the 2006 MotoGP World Championship on a factory Honda RC211V. Since the series shifted from 990cc engines to increasingly more electronically dependent 800cc powerplants, the Kentucky native has struggled to add to his three-race career-win tally. Here, the ever-determined Hayden, now in his second season with Ducati, talks about his first year with the Italian factory and his expectations for the coming season.
I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING: How MUCH DIFFERENT COULD A DUCATI BE FROM A HONDA? But I've got to tell you, last year's Desmosedici, the GP9, was completely different from anything I'd ever ridden, as far as the feeling I got from the bike and trying to find its limits on the racetrack.
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