HOPEFULLY, OVER THE LAST COUPLE of years, you've been reading Cycle World in print and on the web and enjoying our efforts to give you the very best stories, photos and videos in motorcycling. That's been the singular goal of the entire staff here at the magazine.
BMW'S ICONIC AIR-COOLED BOXER Twin—that began life in the 1923 R32ߞhas finally reached a performance plateau, beyond which liquid cooling is the only practical means of big gains in efficiency and power output while meeting strict emissions require ments.
Revamped styling, revised suspension, new wheels and feature-rich instrumentation
HONDA’S 1993 CBR900RR WAS A watershed motorcycle: lighter, quicker than and nearly as fast as the Open-class giants of the time, the Suzuki GSX-R1100 and Yamaha FZR1000. Now, almost 20 years later, with the launch of its 2012 CBR1000RR, Honda is once again promising “exemplary liter-class sportbike performance,” albeit without traction/wheelie control or rider-variable power modes that are now either standard or optional on most of its European and Japanese competitors.
It was only a matter of time, but I’m finally old enough (42) that motorcycles featured on the cover of Cycle World 25 years ago are bikes I once owned when they were actually current. Right there in the upper-righthand corner is my very first sportbike: a Honda CBR600F. •A special section, “1987 New Model Preview,” featured entries from Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Cagiva, Ducati, Husqvarna, KTM and the aforementioned Honda.
DON’T LET THIS 10TH ANNIVERSARY Harley-Davidson V-Rod fool you. It is, in fact, mechanically identical to the current Night Rod Special, despite being a spitting image of the original 2002 V-Rod. The Motor Company took advantage of MotoGP’s visit to America’s heartland and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past August to give journalists a taste of the 2012 tribute model.
WHILE THE 2012 ITERATION OF OUR FAVORITE BRITISH middleweight got minimal changes, spy shots from across the pond (that looked a lot like this illustration) revealed what’s purportedly a heavily revised Triumph Daytona 675 for ’ 13. They could be right.
With the 2012 Raider SCL, Star boldly goes where no metric cruiser has gone before
THE 2012 STARS ARE OUT, AND THERE are not a million of them. In fact, there aren’t any completely new models at all, but that’s not a problem. Making the most of what you already have has proven very successful for HarleyDavidson, and Star has decided to pursue that line of marketing with a new premium “CVO”-type line of its own: “SCL,” for Star Custom Line.
ELENA MYERS BECAME THE FIRST woman to ride a MotoGP bike when she lapped the 2.62-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway roadcourse on Alvaro Bautista’s Suzuki GSV-R. Asked to describe her August experience, which included hitting 190 mph on Indy’s front straight, the 17-year-old Californian simply said, “Wow.”
ON THE HEELS OF THE 848 EVO’s SALES SUCCESS this past year, Ducati has created a naked version of its middleweight superbike called the Streetfighter 848. And at the other end of the model spectrum, the Italian bike maker has taken advantage of its marketing partnership with Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance brand of the Mercedes car group, to create the Diavel AMG Special Edition.
KTM IS SERIOUS ABOUT its slogan "Ready to Race," and the new 250 XCF-W makes the case at a national level. CW's first ride on the 250 was during the Inyan Kara National Enduro in Upton, Wyoming, where KTM held its 2012 XC-W press launch. There were several models to choose from, but I quickly gravitated to the 250cc XCF-W for its light handling and playful engine character-just what I needed to navigate the tight, twisty, tree-lined race course.
As an ex-Vincent Black Shadow owner (1956-58), I am disgusted by people like Ian Barry ("Black Falcon," CW, October), who take a piece of engineer ing that was years ahead of its time and bastardize it in the name of "art" or improved performance.
IN THE WORLD OF WRONG DECISIONS, I've discovered that choosing to fly rather than ride to your destination is al most always a mistake-unless you have, say, the Pacific Ocean in your path. But sometimes you just gotta fly. And that was the case recently, when Barb and I joined some old Northern California friends on a ride through the Cascades near Sunriver, Oregon.
IT'S NATURAL FOR PEOPLE WHO PAR ticipate in an enjoyable activity to regard it in some sense "theirs." Years ago, riders of the AAMRR roadracing organization here in the Northeast held meetings to vote upon various decisions that had been made, which they consid ered unfair or improper.
Little Red Riding Roland turns what's left of Ducati's Holy Grail into a Thing to Turn Left
JOHN BURNS MARK CERNICKY
ANYTIME SOMEBODY CHOPS A THING UP LIKE A Desmosedici or lops the arms off the Venus de Milo, there will always be reactionaries who sprout up like mushrooms on a seasoned cow patty to express their disgust and disapproval. To them, we offer this word of advice and explanation: Relax!
Race Ventura: Will our Duc Detective flip the world's most
THE FLIGHT PLAN INCLUDED STRAFING a cross-section of geographically diverse terrain in the coastal hills behind Ventura, California-just a hop across the 101 freeway from the Ventura County Fairgrounds and its famed dirt oval, where pas de Duc part deux would transpire.
YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW ABOUT JOE Kopp and Ducati's first-ever GNC win in 2010 at Arizona's Yavapai Downs, but the Lloyd Brothers weren't the first to campaign a Ducati in a series that has been dominated by Harley-Davidson since the beginning of time.
ENTHUSIASTS HAVE BEEN CUSTOMIZING TOURING HARLEYS since about 10 minutes after the first one leaked its way out of a Milwaukee dealership, sometime shortly after the ` discovery of fire and the beginnings of written language. By 1998, Harley had internalized the custom bagger idea and produced the Road Glide.
Building, developing and vintage racing “the fastest Matchless G50 in the world Team Obsolete began with number 1709.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF BRITISH SINGLE-CYLINDER RACEBIKES DID not end when they left production in 1962. These simple machines carried 500cc privateers for almost a decade more in Grand Prix racing before being displaced by a tide of two-strokes.
The CWRolling Concours returns. Who knew what great bikes lurked in the shadow of the Speedway?
WLL, EDITOR MARK HOYER AND I WERE A FINE PAIR AT OUR own Rolling Concours at the Indy MotoGP this year, what with no vintage bikes to ride. Mark had planned to ship his 1958 Triumph out from California, but the magneto quit shortly before the trip.
KAWASAKI HAS NEVER BEEN A COM pany to shy away from bringing the latest racing-derived technology to market. Team Green got the jump on its Japanese competitors with Sport Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC), its MotoGP-derived TC system featured on the latest ZX-1OR. We were impressed with the lOR’s superb level of on-track performance when the bike was introduced to the press a year ago at Road Atlanta.
Sure, a 1750-pound weight rating is overkill for a motorcycle lift. Then again, Challenger didn't cut any corners when it designed the CL1 750A ($1649). This commercial-spec, scissor-style design, base safe approach and to with use dual its ramps and stable foot-pedal simple with platform, a to front/rear air operate. controls, integrated drop Solid is provide quick access to wheels, and multiple safety-lock heights ensure an ergonomically friendly working height. Optional wheel clamps, center jacks and extensions expand the lift's range of service applications.
Challenger Lifts, Inc.
Ben Spies: Taking It To The Next Level
Journalist and motorcycle-racing historian Larry Lawrence's compelling tale of champion roadracer Ben Spies' life and racing career thus far is captured in this 160-page, large-format, soft-cover volume, Ben Spies: Taking It To The Next Level ($29.95). Spies' friend and mentor, 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz, wrote the foreword to the book, which begins with Spies' horrific, 186-mph testing crash at Daytona International Speedway in March, 2004, and concludes with the realization of the Texan's lifelong dream: competing in MotoGP.
Challenger Lifts, Inc.
Works Connection Pro Launch Start Device
Ready, set, launch! Your late-model Japanese motocrosser, that is. Works Connection's Pro Launch Start Device ($109.95) keeps the nose of your bike down for the best out-of-the-gate accelera tion. Race-tested by the factory Rockstar Makita Suzuki squad, this lightweight, fork-mounted springless "trigger" is CNC-ma chined from aircraft-grade aluminum, easily engaged by the rider and releases as soon as the front brake is applied. A drilling template and countersinking tool are included.
Challenger Lifts, Inc.
Eagle One Trim Protector Gel
Eagle One's Trim Protector Gel ($5.49, 18 ounces) isn't just for plastic bumper covers on cars and trucks. Motorcy cles, streetbikes in particular, often come with all sorts of plastic trim pieces whose black coloring, when subjected to harsh ultraviolet rays, can fade. This long-lasting, UV-resistant gel goes on smoothly, spreads evenly and, most importantly, restores that desirable deep, dark factory finish.
Challenger Lifts, Inc.
Cobra Engineering Fi2000 PowrPro Tuner
Cobra Engineering claims it has "completely and permanently" changed the world of fuel-injection calibration with its new Fi2000 PowrPro Tuner ($599.95). Every time you open the throttle, this palm-sized, OEM-connector equipped, plug-'n'-ride device reads EFI delivery at a rate of up to 80 times per second and optimizes the air/fuel mixture for load and conditions. End result, says Cobra, is crisp, smooth throttle response and maximum power regardless of the other engine-related modifications you've made to your late-model American or Japanese cruiser. Maybe best of no expensive dyno runs or software downloads are required.
Challenger Lifts, Inc.
Alpinestars Cape Town Air and Long Range 2 Drystar Jackets
Introduced this past fall, the Long Range 2 ($499.95; black, S-4XL) and Cape Town Air ($299.95; black or yellow, S-4XL) textile allweather touring jackets use Alpinestars' exclusive Drystar liner L to keep the wearer dry and warm in the harshest riding condi tions. Both coats are manufactured using multi-fabric shell construction-a blend of materials intended to provide the most-favorable combination of durability, protection and weight-and feature removable, CE-certified Bio Armor elbow and shoulder protection. Chest and back compartments include foam padding; CE-certified back and chest guards are offered separately.
Challenger Lifts, Inc.
Rizoma Parts and Accessories
Rizoma uses words and phrases to identify the products on the pages of its lavishly illustrated catalog that are familiar to most motorcyclists: brake/clutch levers, gas-tank caps, handlebars, rearset control kits, license-plate supports, etc. Actually, "two-wheel jewelry" is a more appropriate description for these beautifully _______ detailed, Italian-made components. All show and no go? Not a chance. Toni Elias' 2010 Moto2 title-winning Gresini Honda was fitted ?OTLIQ with the slim, stylish Proguard brakeand clutch-lever guards ($125 per side, plus $7 adaptor). While most of the parts are designed for sport-oriented models-racer-replicas, naked sportbikes and standards-Rizoma manufactures lj equally attractive and functional pieces 110 for the Harley-Davidson V-Rod and Sport ster, as well as the BMW R1200GS and Yamaha T-Max scooter.
High capacity meets versatility at a reasonable price
SADDLEBAGS HAVE SURVIVED FROM horse to motorcycle because, well, they're relentlessly effective. It's fit ting, then, that Cortech's well-estab lished luggage system uses its Sport Saddlebags as the centerpiece. When mounted in combination with Cortech's Sport Tail Bag, the trio of 1680-denier bags keeps a whopping 53 liters of your "necessities" in check.
Q I have a 1994 Honda VFR75O that I've owned for more than 10 years. It has been a great bike but does have one quirk. When it is ridden in warm weather (usually above 70 degrees or so) and then immediately parked in my garage (with the garage door closed and the needle on thep engine-temp gauge at about the halfway point), it emits a very strong odor of gasoline for an hour or two.
I RECENTLY ENJOYED READING FRANKLIN’S INDIANS, A book by Tim Pickering, Liam Diamond and Harry Havel in, assisted by the late Harry Sucher. The reason for my enjoyment is that this book resolves a question I asked myself some years ago when I learned that the Franklin in question—Charles B. Franklin—had discovered the effect of “squish” upon combustion through his tuning work at England’s Brooklands Speedway.
NHTSA Recall No. 11V434000 Manufacturer: Triumph Motorcycles America, Ltd. Model: 2011 -2012 Tiger 800 & Tiger 800XC Number of units involved: 1485 Problem: Certain of these motorcycles manufactured from September, 2010, through June, 2011, could have a problem with the engine-management software.
Basic specs: A fully faired sporttourer that’s equal parts sport and touring—and damned good at both types of riding. Its headline features are quick-detach hard saddlebags, an electrically adjustable windshield and a 1298cc inline-Four engine good for 121 rear-wheel horsepower and 88 foot-pounds of torque, enough to push the 569-pound (dry) FJR through the quarter-mile in just 10.95 seconds at 123.29 mph.
Casey Stoner compensates, Ben Spies shines and Ducati struggles at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
ALMOST BIGGER NEWS THAN CASEY STONER’S FINE WIN AT THE Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in August was the effort of local media to somehow get the MotoGP points-leader to say that the slippery-yet-abrasive new pavement was just fine. We love our historic racetrack, and you must love it, too!
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