Cycle World believes in racing. We also believe in American racing and American racers. Which is why we've teamed up with young racer Hayden Gillim. Inspiration? Think Mert Lawwill in On Any Sunday roadracing and dirt tracking across America in his quest for the Grand National Championship.
Whoa! That was either the cheesiest cover you’ve ever had or the coolest. While trying to decide, I read “Hand Built,” “Get Dirty,” and “Norton Commando.” Since I’ve just finished rebuilding the transmission on my 750 Commando (a dirty “hand job,” so to speak), I concluded that’s an über-cool cover.
I'm being seduced. We’re bounding down the coast of Portugal, the Atlantic glistening in the distance with the sun grinding the horizon line, at the same time being hypnotized by a British supermodel with a smoker’s voice and curves for days.
It is an odd occurrence that one of the most fun, distinctive, reliable, efficient, and just plain great motorcycle brands has been all but ignored in the US for 95 years. Moto Guzzi has survived to be the third-oldest continuously manufactured motorcycle company in the world, making it the European equivalent of Harley-Davidson.
A few years ago I swung a Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic into Peter Egan's hometown south of Madison, Wisconsin, and we proceeded to motor around the great roads in the southwestern part of the state. Peter owned a Road King at the time and asked on the ride if I'd like to swap bikes for a while.
At one point during the press introduction for the 2016 Yamaha FJR1300, talk turned to how time flies. And how, as we get older, events that seem like just a few years ago in fact transpired a decade or more beforehand. That’s sort of how it is with the Yamaha FJR1300.
Feeling free (and frozen) with the help of a Timbersled snowbike conversion kit
“DON’T EXPECT IT TO HANDLE LIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE EVER RIDDEN BEFORE.” Those were the last words anyone told me before boarding a plane to Salt Lake City, Utah, where I’d have the chance to ride a Timbersled snowbike for the first time. Unfortunately, that was as far as the advice went, and nobody could tell me exactly what I could expect.
Finding an affordable sport-riding jacket with high style and features isn’t impossible. The AGV Sport Laguna Vented Jacket ($199) is made of rugged 600-denier nylon with a polyester mesh lining and waterproof membrane. CE-approved shoulder elbow, and back protection, air vents, and a removable quilted liner help keep you cool/warm and safe. (619)401-4100 motonation.com
The HJC CL-17 Void Helmet
While a crucial purchase, helmets can carry a heady price. The HJC CL-17 Void Helmet ($149.99) applies a fresh winter camo graphic to its polycarbonate composite CL-17 full-face model line at a rational price. Airflow channels and an optically clear shield with pinlock posts (antifog lens not included) help you keep your cool underfire. (562)407-2186 hjchelmets.com
Joe Rocket Meteor FX Mid Boots
Step into a pair of real riding boots without kicking the budget in the teeth. Joe Rocket Meteor FX Mid Boots ($99.99) are comfortable mid-height double-stitched split-grain leather boots with a waterproof membrane. Reinforced ankle, heel, and toe areas, rubber shifter pad, and aggressive nonslip rubber sole provide added value. (208) 932-0303 joerocket.com
The Icon Raiden XCP Performance Socks
Foot comfort is key when trekking off the beaten path. The Icon Raiden XCP Performance Socks ($30) offer ADV riders sound footing with CoolMax, EcoMade moisture-wicking fabric construction and strategically placed padding at the toe and shin. These over-the-calf height socks are ideal with any off-road-type boot. (608)758-1111 rideicon.com
I deal "track pack"? Loading our well-used CW van with the long-term Yamaha YZF-R1 fitted with Michelin slicks and throwing in a whisper-quiet Yamaha EF2000iS generator and pair of Chicken Hawk tire warmers. Strangest part of the scenario?
An ounce of forethought can yield tons of fun all riding season long
John L. Stein
With summer comes "The Sunday Riders." We drag our long-slumbering DRs and Softails, CBs and T120s out of the garage, inflate the tires, and have at it. It’s all good in the hood. But we’re also now a half year older and so are our tires, fluids, chain, brakes, lightbulbs, helmet, leathers—and skills.
What is real? We live in a complicated computer age of competing "realities," from gaming to Google glasses. It’s getting harder to know the really real from the somewhat real and the not actually at all real. I’m not the first to suggest this.
A modern piston from a high-performance motorcycle engine is little more than a disc to hold two gas sealing rings and an oil scraper, with two vertically short, narrow skirts joined into a rectangular box by supporting walls across the underside.
There are many criteria for deciding which motorcycles to include in a comparison test. Most are formulaic, having to do with market segment and engine size, but some are less tangible. One wouldn’t normally include the Ducati Scrambler Icon, Triumph Street Twin, and Yamaha FZ-07 in the same shootout because they’re so obviously different, but they do have two things in common: price and number of cylinders.
ESCAPING TO MEXICO FOR GOOD FOOD AND BETTER MEMORIES, ON A BUDGET
I realize I’m not all that far from home, not to mention heading to a place where I can get away with speaking English and using American dollars to obtain the same food I eat almost on a daily basistacos or pretty much anything stuffed with al pastor.
COULD YOU LIVE WITH A MOTORCYCLE AS YOUR SOLE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION? Commuter, errand runner, weekend getaway tool? I’ve done it, and it’s not that big of a deal. Of course, I was in my 20s, lived in Southern California, and was single at the time, but nonetheless my trusty 1993 Honda CBR900RR and I navigated the insanity of Hollywood and not only survived but loved every second of it.
BUILDING A NATIONAL-LEVEL FLAT-TRACK MACHINE DOESN’T COST A FORTUNE
FLAT TRACK IS HOT RIGHT NOW. I have been around dirt ovals since the day I was born. I traveled across the country at just three weeks old to watch my father, Randy Texter, compete in the AMA Camel Pro Flat Track series. So this sport is all I know, but I love to see it grow and thought it would be enlightening to share just how easy and relatively inexpensive it is to set up a bike and start sliding sideways.
The KTM 390 Duke hits a sweet spot that few other smaller motorcycles do: It is both a fantastic starter machine and a fun bike for an accomplished rider. All the professional testers on staff who rode the bike were stoked. To a person, they said, “I could own this motorcycle.”
TESTING A SCREAMIN’ EAGLE BOLT-ON 117 CUBIC INCH STREET PERFORMANCE KIT
Motorcycling is an emotional thing—an experience intensified by horsepower, torque, and an engine's raw, deep-seated character. Harley-Davidson and Screamin’ Eagle understand this and for 2016 hope to add to that experience with the Screamin’ Eagle Bolt-On 117 Cubic Inch Street Performance Kit.
"I like your motorcycle. What is it?" Prepare to answer such questions when aboard the Cleveland Ace Deluxe. At first glance this 230cc air-cooled four-stroke single might fool even a savvy onlooker into thinking it’s a classic Britbike of sorts.
Q: I have a 2012 Sportster Iron 883 with an oil-slobbering issue. I bought it new back in 2013 and didn’t have any issues with it until last year after I installed a Vance & Hines Straightshots exhaust and an Arlen Ness Big Sucker intake kit. I’ve also had the bike re-flashed with a Stage I download and installed a set of NGK Iridium spark plugs.
BASIC SPECS: Introduced in the early 2000s when Piaggio returned to the states, the BV200 shared its liquid-cooled, 198cc, SOHC carbureted engine with the Vespa CT200. While the Vespa was considered the prettier sibling, the BV (or Beverly) was the more versatile option.
Q: I have several Japanese two-strokes (singles, twins, and triples) from the late 1960s and early 1970s and have an issue that has plagued me on countless motorcycles, both new and old, over the decades. And I’ve never received an explanation that would seem to justify the sheer volume of instances I have run into this issue.
Tipped in at full lean, skirting a manhole cover and a thick white paint line flanking the gutter at the apex, I found it hard not to think about the many ways it could all go wrong in this true downtown street race. But I found solace in grip as the chassis loaded against generous positive camber...then lost that fleeting feeling when the crowned road dropped sharply away once the bike crested the centerline and skated across the far lane on the drive out.
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