WE ARE SMALL COMPARED TO NATURE'S worst. But human will and industry exert their own powerful counterforce. Witness with me, moto brothers and sisters, our family member in the town of Onagawa, in the Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Alabama-based Motus shows its V-Four MST and hopes you'll take a ride with them
YOU MET THE MOTUS MST ON THESE pages early last year (Roundup, April, 2010). At that time, it was a motor mockup, a styling sketch and some nicely rendered CAD drawings. But Motus principals Lee Conn and Brian Case rolled out the running prototype this past spring.
THE REAL NEWS AT ZERO MOTORCYCLES’ recent new-model introduction wasn't necessarily the very real performance and styling improvements in the 2011 Zero models. In fact, it had little to do with hardware at all. It was that Zero’s investors (the company is still private) put an additional $17 million into the operation on March 17 and committed to another $9 million if the Santa Cruz, California-based outfit hits certain non-disclosed milestones.
IN LATE FEBRUARY, THE NEWS EMERGED THAT Can-Am had patented a leaning three-wheel design, triggering speculation about what this might portend. Having a lot of miles on Can-Am Spyders (including the CW long-term test RT-S), I, too, wondered, so I contacted Can-Am’s Chaz Rice, spokesman for the Canadian company at its Valcourt, Quebec, headquarters, about the patent’s implications.
WHY RISK THROWING THE ONLY RSV4 Biaggi Replica in the country down the road (or into the impound yard, since it’s not street-legal) when you can ride it in the climate-controlled safety of the CW Dynojet booth? Whatever’s going on in that 65degree V-Four is good for 176 horsepower, which should move this 398-pound, Ohlins-suspended, carbon-encapsulated projectile merrily along.
SUZUKI ANNOUNCED THAT ITS BURGMAN Fuel Cell scooter has gained Whole Vehicle Type Approval in the European Union, becoming the world’s first fuelcell vehicle to gain approval for safe use on public roads without having to be inspected and tested individually.
DUCATI RECENTLY UNVEILED its 2012 Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak Special Edition, which commemorates Greg Tracy’s 2010 victory at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. This model has several cosmetic features that differentiate it from the “standard” 1200 S named Best Open Streetbike in Cycle World’s 2010 Ten Best Bikes.
If this is June it must be Daytona, and in 1986, things were in flux as usual. The year before saw the 200 switch from Formula One to production-based machinery, and in '86, the grid was packed and star-studded, with Eddie Lawson on a factory Yamaha FZ750, Kevin Schwantz on a factory GSX-R750 and Freddie pencer and Wayne Rainey on factory Honda VFRs (though new 250/500cc GP champ Freddie wound up a no show for mysterious reasons).
AFTER SHOWING ITS UNIQUE 1200 VR6 roadster concept bike at the INTERMOT motorcycle show last fall (“Horex Resurrected,” February), Horex’s designers and technicians have been very busy. Want proof? According to a press release and photo from the German company that is resurrecting the Horex name, prototypes are currently being tested on the street and racetrack in Europe to verify the performance potential of the engine and chassis.
UP: To Keith Wandell, for not letting dwindling Harley-Davidson sales (down 8.5 percent in 2010, according to The Associated Press), layoffs or possible plant closures prevent HOG stock from boosting back above $40 per share as of this writing.
MARK DUGALIY'S CUSTOM KTM SuPER Duke R takes its inspiration from Glenn Cox's Pikes Peak Hill Climb machine. The beast has all carbon-fiber bodywork to shave a bunch of weight. including a unique fairing with built-in handguards, with logos and ghosted graphics by Mars of Syndrome studios over a tasty mix of matte and shiny surfaces—also a custom bellypan by ProFab Tech.
THE SECOND LIFE OF ITALIAN MARQUE MOTO Morini that started in 2003 has come to a sad end. As of this writing, plans were in place to auction off the company's assets to the highest bidder. Best known for the legendary lightto middleweight machines that it manufactured between the 1930s and '60s, Moto Morini is being offered for the equivalent of $7,745,000, including existing stock, the factory and rights to the brand name.
QUICK RIDE IT’S BEEN CLOSE TO TWO years since we last tested a Beta off-roader, the RS 525, in our “Euro Enduro Rodeo” (CW October, 2009;. At the time, Beta was getting its powerplants from Austrian manufacturer KTM. But as of 2010, the century-old, family-owned-and-operated Italian company is proudly boasting its own all-new engine, 100-percent Beta designed and manufactured.
PIAGGIO SURPRISED THE powersports industry when it unveiled its three-wheeled MP3 scooter in 2006. Its clever, patented tilting front end allows the MP3 to offer motorcycle-like steering response with the additional safety provided by two wheels up front—a real advantage on slippery surfaces.
Great article by Steve Anderson on the current state of electric motorcycle technology and cost (“Electric Motorcycles,” April, 2011). Based on Steve’s insights, we can see that for an electric motorcycle to have both performance and range similar to that of the new Honda CBR250R, the e-bike would weigh over 550 pounds, cost over $20,000 and require 20 hours to recharge using the 110-volt outlet in your garage.
JUST BEFORE WE TOOK OFF FOR Florida last week on a spring-break vacation, Barb’s sister Pam and her husband Richard called from Ft. Myers. “A good friend of ours named Scott Fischer is the local Harley dealer,” said Pam, “and when he heard you were coming to visit us, he said he could lend you a Harley while you’re here.”
TURBULENCE IS DEFINED AS A Motion of fluids in which local velocities and pressures fluctuate irregularly. When I was a small boy, I stared at smoke rising from a parent’s cigarette. At first, the stream of smoke rose straight up, accelerating.
The technology and performance to alter luxury touring
IT TOOK ABOUT FIVE CORNERS ON BMW’S ALL-NEW K1600GTL luxury-tourer to completely forget about its spacious top trunk and easy-to-use saddlebags. A few turns after that, the 7.0-gallon fuel capacity totally slipped my mind, as did any notion of the bike’s 753-pound dry weight.
Sportier, lighter and quicker than the GTL, the K1600GT takes aim at Kawasaki's Concours 14
If you are a dedicated practitioner of high-speed two-wheel touring and like to do it in comfort, the bigger, cushier K1600GTL actually may be perfectly suited to your needs. Then again, the sportier GT, with a few choice changes to the same basic six-cylinder-powered package, seriously shreds and is much closer in spirit to the swift class stalwarts, such as the Kawasaki Concours 14, Triumph Sprint GT, Yamaha FJR1300 and the like.
BMW’S new K1600GT/GTL is powered by a transverse inline-Six—an engine design that is almost uniquely self-balancing. Pull out any engine-design reference material you like and look up the tables of primary and secondary vibration in vertical and horizontal directions.
Historic Moto Gran Prix comes to Road Atlanta and our resident Superbike racer tests the best
THE LIFE OF A RACING MOTORCYCLE IS A HARD ONE. The bike is a tool, conceived with immediate results in mind, sparked to life by long, arduous pulls on the dyno and then delivered to the racetrack with the expectation to perform. Champion or not, this potential star will be obsolete in a few seasons, replaced by a lighter, quicker, faster incarnation.
The Keith Campbell Collection: Two Twins and a Four
Hourglass Racing’s Keith Campbell is a perfect example of what HMGH is all about. An avid collector of the two-wheel toys that he dreamed of owning as a young man, Campbell and his son, Kyle, enjoy strapping on their helmets and putting their museum-quality machines to the test for which they were built.
Throwing the (accessories) book at Yamaha's WR25OR dual-sport bike. Best feature? It's a 290!
MOST OF US ARE NOT RYAN DUDEK. This is an important point for us mortals to remember. Along the same lines, the Yamaha WR250R dual-sport bike is not a WR250F enduro. But just because most of us aren’t pro-level riders like our Off-Road Editor, and the WR250R isn’t a race-ready off-road bike like that other Yamaha of similar name, doesn’t mean we aren’t worthy of having serious fun in the dirt.
IF NOT FOR THE ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS OF THE past two years, this amazing GSX-R750 might have marked the 25th anniversary of Suzuki’s iconic sportbike. It would have been an emphatic reminder that this modest manufacturer had taken sport motorcycling on an uncharted path with the original GSX-R750.
IN TODAY’S TOUGH ECONOMY, CONSUMers need to stretch their dollars as far as possible. Especially when buying a motorcycle. With the price of gas soaring again, a versatile bike that can serve multiple purposes makes better practical and economic sense now than it did three or four years ago.
IT WAS ONE OF THOSE "CLOSE BUT NO cigar" outcomes. The scene? Last August's "Have bags, will travel" comparison test. Its purpose? To see how Victory's then-new Cross Country fared against similar V-Twin hard-baggers from Harley-Davidson and Yamaha.
Ciao bella! Cycle Gear's new Italy-inspired Sedici apparel line includes the matching two-piece full-grain-leather Misano jacket ($199.99) and pants ($149.99). Like its one-piece, racetrack ready (including knee pucks!) counterpart, the Misano is tailored to accentuate a woman's natural curves. Choose from two color combinations-black/silver/black or white/ black/silver in U.S. sizes 4-14. A full range of men's styles are also offered. All Sedici products come with a lifetime materials, manufacturing and performance guarantee. Cycle Gear, 4705 Industrial Way, Benicia, CA 94510; 800/292-5343; www.cyclegear.com
Harley-Davidson Hammock Rider and Passenger Touring Seat
Protect your motorcycle's fancy paint and other expensive finishes with Envicoat (2 ounces, $12.95; 8 ounces, $34.95). Claimed to be an all-in-one coating, protectant, sealant and wax, Envicoat's electrically neutral, friction-reducing makeup is further said to help shed brake dust, moisture and road grimeyour bike stays cleaner longer. Simply apply with a microfiber towel, let sit for 3 minutes and buff off any r~m2ininr1 h~7P JFlint Products, Co~, 68805 Perez Rd. #F-42, Cathedral City, CA 92234; 760/770-3014; www.jflintproducts.com
Ron Wood Racing Can-Am Spyder Slip-On Exhaust
.~. Up on-bike comfort with a Harley-Davidson Hammock Rider and Passenger Touring Seat ($499.95). Riders benefit from a fabric suspension system integrated into the pan that acts like a sling to prevent bottoming out. A "springboard-style" system prevents hits from reaching passengers. For cooler climates, a heating coil-equipped version of the same vinyl-covered saddle is available for $899.95. Both versions fit 2009-later H-D Touring and Trike models. Harley-Davidson Motor Co., 3700 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53208; 414/343-4056; www.harley-davidson.com
Ron Wood Racing has been hot-rodding Rotax engines as well as designing and manufacturing exhaust systems for more than three decades. The round-section slip-on muffler ($575 or $620 with Super Flo Spark Arrestor endcap) for the three-wheel Can-Am Spyder features a reverse-tapered cone inside a one-piece megaphone with a baked-on black-satin ceramic coating. A 9.5-pound weight loss, increased low-end power, excellent midrange and a top-end gain of 8.5 horsepower are claimed. Ron Wood Racing, 930 W. 16th St. #B-2, Costa Mesa, CA 92627; 949/645-0393; www.rotax.net
RS Taichi Intention Mesh EL Jacket
Blending innovation with light weight, breathable mesh ny lon/polyester construction, the RS Taichi Intention Mesh EL jacket ($209.95; M-XXL) features a 12 x 2-inch, AA-battery-operated electroluminescent back panel and a snap-in, sixlayer honeycomb Chest Protector System. Removable CE-approved armor is fitted at the shoulders and elbows, and vented foam padding protects the wearer's spine. Snap adjusters at the biceps, forearms and waist provide a tailored fit. A belt-loop connection tab keeps the jacket from riding up. The EL is available in black/gun metal, red/white or silver/black. Moto Liberty, 11441 N. Stemmons Fwy. #201, Dallas, TX 75229; 800/214-7223; www.motoliberty.com
Weise Ventoux Boots
Exploring the Earth doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Designed to handle the unpredictable conditions that any two-wheel journey can bring, the Weise Ventoux boots ($139.99, European sizes 40-47) are an ideal addition to any adventure-touring rider's kit. Named after the famous mountain stage of the Tour de France, the waterproof Ventoux boots boast full-grain leather construction and flex panels at the front and rear of the ankle for easy movement both on and off the bike. Fowlers Distribution, Inc., 41 Stevens St., Bldg. 11, 2nd floor, Waterbury, CT 06704; 203/597-8686; www.weise-clothing.co.uk
No matter what brand or type of motorcycle you ride, Bel-Ray has all of the cleaners, fluids, greases and lubricants you need to keep it running smoothly for years to come. EXS Synthetic Ester 41 Engine Oil, for example, is available in 5w40, 10w40, 15w50 and 15w50 weights in 1and 4-liter sizes and certified for extended change intervals in both airand liquid-cooled - engines. Then, there's Waterproof Grease, Blue Tac Chain Lube, Fiber Filter Oil, Super DOT 4 Brake Fluid, 6 In 1 All Purpose Lubricant, High Performance Fork Oil, Moto Chill Racing Coolant... Prices start at $6.79. Bel-Ray, P0. Box 526, Farmingdale, NJ 07727; 732/938-2421; www.belray.com
WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF EVERY TIME you rode somewhere, you could have a virtual co-pilot who, geographically, knew everything-every road, every street, every address and could guide you there turn by turn? That "personal assistant" would also know and lead you to the exact locations of practically anything else you might need-gas stations, restaurants, hotels, banks, malls, parks, you name it.
SED TO BE, MOTORCYCLISTS WHO EN joyed listening to music had to pop for a premium touring bike. Not any more. Now, all you need to rock out on two wheels is a compact digital music player and a set of earbuds. Unless you want to hear the music, that is.
DIRTBIKES ARE SUBJECT TO SEVERE operating conditions, particularly in competition. High engine temperatures can lead to short-term power losses, premature oil breakdown and even mechanical failures. Not good. FLUIDYNE Powersports claims its U.S.-made radiators will increase the cooling capacity of any four-stroke European or Japanese dirtbike by 35-50 percent and reduce engine operating temperature by 30 percent.
Going outside? Don't forget your raincoat. No, the less-expensive one. THERE IS A LOT OF EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD gear on the market. How much do you want to spend? If the answer is “not that much,” choices are still pretty strong. The Shift Triton SS is a moderately priced, all-weather textile jacket with many features to help keep you comfortable as you ride through everchanging surroundings.
Kawai-shaky I just purchased a 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero 1700cc, and the vibration it produces at low rpm is substantial. The dealership says this is a characteristic of the engine. My question is, what can I do to reduce the vibration of this motorcycle?
As sophisticated as modern motorcycles have become, some of them, dirtbikes in particular, have one design element that in my opinion is rather crude: the method of adjusting shock-spring preload. I’m referring to the very common type of shock that uses two large threaded rings—one that’s turned to adjust the preload and another one that serves as a “jam nut” to lock the adjuster ring in place.
Ducati Monster S2R Years Manufactured: 2005 to 2007 MSRP new: $8495 for the standard model, $7995 for the Dark (2005) to $8995 (2007) Blue Book retail value: $4615 (2005) to $6045 (2007) Basic specs: A sporty naked bike powered by an 803cc, 90-degree V-Twin good for a tick more than 70 horsepower and 49 footpounds of torque.
Most veteran off-road riders already know this, but less-experienced dirtbikers often do not: When installing a new inner tube or tire, or when repairing a flat on a tube, don’t tighten the little nut on the valve stem down against the rim as you would on a streetbike equipped with tube-type tires.
Team-Cycle World Attack Performance Kawasaki tackles the World Center of Racing
THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW THE TEAM CYCLE WORLD ATTACK Performance Kawasaki came into being, what it took to get it to Daytona and how this improvised group of mechanics, crew chief, riders Eric Bostrom and JD Beach, and essential helpers fared once they got there.
PHOTO BY D.S.KERCHER "So this is what they mean by `steers heavy," mused Ted. Editorial/Production: Offices are located at 1499 Monrovia Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92663; 949/720-5300. Editorial contributions are welcomed but must be guaranteed exclusive to Cycle World.