I AM A BIG FAN OF BIKES THAT COULD have been featured in the first issue of Cycle World in January of 1962. But I was quite a number of years from being born when the magazine first came out of Joe Parkhurst’s kitchen (yep, first ones did), never mind how long after that I learned to read.
Is this the most-powerful and fastest-accelerating production motorcycle on Earth?
"MASSIVELY MORE POWERFUL” is all that Kawasaki is willing to say about the performance of its flagship sportbike, the 2012 ZX-14R. Officially, no horsepower or torque numbers have been released. But the night before the new 14R was unveiled to dealers this past October in Orlando, Florida, nine-time world dragracing champion Rickey Gadson pulled me aside and whispered in my ear, “One hundred and ninety-one horsepower at the rear wheel.
HIGH-END ITALIAN SPEEDSHOP NCR is definitely one of motorcycling’s “biggest losers.” With its new M4 (pictured) tipping the scale at a scant 286 pounds, and the M4 One Shot reading 8 pounds less than that, NCR has proven once again that it knows how to put Ducatis on a diet.
MAYBE YOU liked the new Triumph Tiger 800 and 800XC adventure-touring bikes last year but worried that 81 horsepower and 51 foot-pounds of torque just weren’t going to be enough? Well, then, maybe the brand-new Triumph Explorer is just what you’ve been waiting for, with a new three-cylinder engine Triumph says is “in excess of 1200cc.
"The calendars have to be 1 wrong,” wrote Editor Paul Dean. "Cycle World can't possibly be celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. Surely, 1962 was not a quarter of a century ago.” In fact, 25 years had passed since Joe Parkhurst “sold his car and his boat, took out a mortgage on his house, and...became the book’s publisher, editor, art director and chief-cook-and-bottle-washer.”
MOTOGP COMPETITOR MARCO SIMONCELLI WAS KILLED IN A FREAK COLLISION on the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix on October 23. While in the midst of what could easily have been a simple lowside in a fast right-hander, Simoncelli’s bike regained grip and tracked diagonally inward, its rider partially thrown off, tangled with the machine.
SUZUKI ’s GSX1250FA is ON OUR LIST of favorite sporty, standard-style machines. With the addition of Suzuki’s bolt-on accessory hard saddlebag set, the comfy-riding sportbikc is even better suited to daily commuting and sport-touring.
LAST YEAR, THE SECOND-GENERATION, SINGLEcylinder BMW G650GS—previously called the F650GS before that name was reassigned to the entry-level GS Twin In the U.S.—made a glorious comeback. Following that success is the more off-road-oriented G650GS Sertao, which is essentially an “Adventure” version of the 650 Single.
THE COMPANY LINE SEEMS TO BE THAT the GSX-R1000 is so good, it doesn’t need no stinkin’ traction control—also that, at $13,799 for the upgraded 2012 bike you see before you, it’s a great deal (and never mind that the TC-equipped Kawasaki ZX-10R is only $200 more).
JUST A FEW SHORT YEARS after traction control debuted on a production sportbike, the race-derived electronic wizardry has become mainstream. Following Kawasaki’s lead, Yamaha is the latest of the Japanese Big Four to implement TC on its flagship superbike.
I was stunned to read of the tragic passing of motorcycle racing legend Gary Nixon. I became aware of Nixon and his unique talents shortly after purchasing my first issue of Cycle World in 1962. I followed his career with great admiration through my college years and finally had a chance to witness his racing skills in person at the 1967 Daytona 200.
ONE OF THE CERTAINTIES OF LIFE IS that if you make a doctor’s appointment two months in advance, it will land on the worst possible day. And so it was last summer, as I was mapping out my backroad scenic route from our Wisconsin home to the MotoGP in Indianapolis.
FOR ME, THE GREATEST THING ABOUT being at the races is that the highest technologies are on show there, often attended by the very engineers who created them. This past summer at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, I had the extraordinary privilege of a private tutorial on GP motorcycle brakes, given by veteran Brembo engineer Eugenio Gandolfi.
Ducati’s first all-new motorcycle in three decades promises to keep V-Twins in the front of World Superbike racing—and perhaps win sportbike comparison tests
"IT'S RARE WHEN YOU CAN start from a clean sheet paper,” said Claudio Domenicali, General Manager of Ducati Motor Holding and CEO of Ducati Corse, referring to his new 1199 Panigale superbike. Rare indeed: The Panigale is the first ground-up design for a Ducati superbike since, well, forever.
Almost every championshipwinning racebike has one thing in common: balance. After Carlos Checa having won 15 of 26 races in 2011, it’s safe to say that his Althea Racing Ducati 1198R must have had a damn-near perfect combination of horsepower, handling, stability, traction and braking to help the reinvigorated Spaniard take the grand prize at season’s end.
BIGGER ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER. CASE in point? The brand-new 848 Streetfighter, joining Ducati’s lineup as a better-handling, less-costly, middleweight version of the 1098 Street fighter. Though it may appear to be a replica of its bigger brother, this 848 is a fresh design.
GOOD THING IT’S RAINING TODAY AND I CAN’T BE OUT on the tractor, which lets me keep my promise to Mr. Editor Hoyer and skim through early copies of Cycle World. My word, here’s 1974 with Roundup as Joe Parkhurst’s column, the Yamaha ad features a skinny, 21-year-old Kenny Roberts and Honda has Pops Yoshimura himself... Stop right there.
Wé kicked off the Cycle World Test in style with a Triumph Bonneville, during an era when plenty of bikes kicked back. Here are a few clips from our first year on the road.
JANUARY Triumph Bonneville T120 Our first road test of the high-performance Triumph Twin: "Not many years ago, to have both power and agility was quite impossible, but progress-and the Triumph Motorcycle Company-has brought us a machine that possesses a surprisingly large quantity of each" and otThring performance that, "to be absolutely honest, about as much as we could comfortably handle.... Using 7000 rpm as a shifting point, we were able to snatch the Tl20 up to a bit over 85 mph in the standing quarter-mile, and with an elapsed time of 14.5 seconds.
IN A CLASS SO KNOCK-DOWN-DRAG-OUT competitive, you’d think that someone would step up and knock BMW’s ultra-powerful, electronically enhanced, excellent-handling S1000RR off its pedestal. But it hasn’t happened since the bike’s release in 2009, and the recently introduced ’ 12 model just got better.
Bavarian bravado meets Portuguese pavement: a few laps on Leon Haslam’s S1000RR super bike
This past October, I was fortunate to attend the annual post-season World Superbike journalist test in Portimäo, Portugal. I got a handful of laps on several top bikes, including Leon Haslam’s BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR. Cool part was, this was just three days before heading to Valencia, Spain, to ride the new S1000RR streetbike.
IT’S GETTING KIND OF CROWDED IN THE 450 MOTOCROSS CLASS. FOR WHAT SEEMS like forever, only the four Japanese companies were actively involved, but KTM has gradually worked its way into the mix and now builds not just one but two models designed to compete in that class.
Sportbike Components To finish up front, you first have to finish. That’s why Attack Performance has engineered its clip-on handlebars, adjustable-offset tripleclamps, foot controls, rearstand lift mounts and fiberglass bodywork to withstand high-speed, end-over-end racetrack tumbles.
Dual Sport Riding Techniques and Advanced Dual Sport Riding Techniques DVDs
THE GOOD NEWS IS, DUAL-SPORT BIKE sales were up 24 percent in the first quarter of 201l ! The bad news is, dualsport skillsets for many riders have barely ever gotten off'the pavement. And while there are any number of places to turn for on-road education, unless you grew up motoing, there just aren’t a lot of options for learning to ride a heavyish d-s bike in the dirt.
Can you advise me on this, please? My ’93 Harley Sportster 1200 Custom has a lot of vibration in the handlebars. Is there anything in the aftermarket that will reduce the handnumbing vibration? Could 1 fill the bars with heavyweight oil, shampoo or whatever and seal them up?
IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, THE MOST REMARKABLE THING ABOUT CHAD Reed’s 2011 racing season wasn’t surviving that world-record tabletop vault at the Millville, Minnesota, round of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship—the one that made him a bona-fide “SportsCenter” and YouTube sensation.
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