Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1960's

Cycle News 1966 07 21

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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• • • • • • about its aesthetic appeal at fir st, but on ce clamped onto it I immediately cha nged my mi nd; it's sha ped to fit peopl e, w it h j u st th e r igh t height, wi dt h a nd contour for com fortab le leg g rip. Sudden ly it 's beautiful. Bes ides, it has r epl acea ble chrome pa n els in ca se of a mi shap, a generous fuel filter, and a petcock standpipe tha t takes th e . gas f r om a couple of in ch es off th e floor of the ta nk u ntil t he r ese rve sys te m is t urned on . The tan k has one of the best rubbe r mount setups of all; two C-s ha ped tank brackets at th e front merely slide onto large rubber bu shings attached to t he fram e w hile a rubber-b u s hed bolt locks it u p, bu t gen tly, at the r ear. It's super soft , yet sta ys in place . And t he ca p sea ls a tank fu ll to th e brim without sign of fuel see page a t a ny speed. The la r ge ca pacit y, combi ned w ith the engine 's eeon · omy, should perm it a n easy 200-m ile cruis ing ra nge. On one 150-mile moun t a in and des ert stin t that in vol ved 70-80 mph cr u ising speeds , plu s intermittent fla t-out top-end runs, th e machine average d a sur pr isi ng 51 % mi les to th e g a llo n. I could hardl y beli eve it. Other ap poi ntmen ts are numerou s and im peccable, such as t he aluminum top for k clamp tha t looks a s though it m ig ht ha ve been turn ed out by a silve rs mit h. t he spr ing- loa ded a nd fo ldi ng footpegs, th e steeri ng da mper , a horn th a t works at speed, taillight w ir ing t hat's ingeniou sly protected in a metal t ube that is us ed as a s ty li ng rib over the to p of th e r ea r fender, and a full tool box . Time a nd effort ha ve go ne in to rubber sho ck proofing of an unusual number of it ems: t he j ewele d s peedo and ta ch tha t are integrated in t he back of th e headlight rather than being h ung on separately a s t houg h an aftert hought, the ha ndlebars, th e flip -top sa ddle t ha t raises to ex pose t he ba tter y and va r ious electrical connect ions, th e opt ion al side m irro r glass, and eve n t he center sta nd is provided wit h a r ubber stop to prevent its clanging w hen r a ised! How th ou gh tful can you get ? Fork and ig nit ion locks a r e, of course, includ ed, a long' with f olding passen g er peg s, plu s hi-Io an d neutral indi ca tor li ghts in the ba ck of th e headlight, Now let's cli mbaboard a nd we'll take a fa st run ove r the " Gra pevine ," a local mount ain pass of renow n, then cut out int o the desert fo r some serious cruising . Check t hat sc a t , soft a nd ge ne ro us , a nd how you fit down in beh ind t he t a nk rat her t han feeling per ch ed high a top t he ma chi ne. Th e bars a rc perfect, all owing a slight fo rwa rd inclina t ion of the body that makes for comfortable ridi ng' all day. Th e fact th a t th e s teer ing feels a bit slower than most a t low speed tells u s that there's pl enty of r ak e in th e front fo r ks f or hi gh speed sta bility, a nd how true it is. T he handlin g r ef eren ce "as th ough it we re on r a ils" was coined f or the 450 ; f a nta st ic corner ing sta bil it y is almost too in s pir ing. Noth ing spooks t h is bike in a corner ; it's one of t he ver-y bcst handling motorcycles I have ever ridden . Stra ight li ne h igh spee d cont ro l is equally comf orting, w ith no buffeting, weaving, or in stability wh atsoever. P er form a nce is outstanding. H ea lt hy low-speed to rq ue is combined with really t hrilling top end sp eed. Pulling an over a ll top ratio in h ig h of 6.D5: I , t he Super Sport is ha r d to catch in t he mou nta ins, especiall y with its razor-sharp handling and brute brakes ; it takes a tall hill to keep it unde r 80 mph. Out on th e level you 'd better be r ea d y to sa il ; down on t he tank you can exp ect 105 mp h wi t h a cor respondent tach r ea din g' of 8DOO rpm . Sitting stra ight up in th e sa ddle, she' ll clic k off a fla t D5 mph an d gi ve you t he impression t hat it could go on a ll day, At DO , r evs d r op to 7800 , and a t 70 (really loafi ng ) , it 's 6000 rpm. Beca use of the ex t r eme smoo t hness a t any speed, a nd t he equally surpri s ing quietn ess, th e eng-ine would seem to withs tand ex te nded speed r uns of lon ger duration t han cir cumsta nces a llow - th is one's a supe r cruiser. Ther e's ha r dly anythi ng to qu a rrel wi t h ; the gea r change mechani sm rate s about a verage or sli g htly ab ove, a lt hough it is not a cr iterion. On ce fa milia r with it, some r a th er good shifts can be m ad e at speed, but until t hen it is advised that on ly moder a tely fast shi ft s be practi ced les t one be mis sed. Th ere is cons ide r a ble differen ce in rat ios between low an d second, whil e t hird a nd fou r tb are very close to- ge t he r . The sh if t p attern is down for low, then up t hr ou gh neutral to th e higher ge ars. Riding solo it is doub tful if you will hang a ny of th e lower chass is member s on a corne r unl ess it be th e rear brake ped al. This one loop s down under t he r ight mu ffler an d may drag if applied in a corn er, or over a sha r p ri se at wa lking speed. Some day I 'd like to see them loop t hi s lev er over t he top of t he muffler if possi ble - no big deal. Bu t r idi ng double aggravates bot h right and left clearance situatio ns an d does deserve closer a t tent ion by t he man ufac tu re r . Again it's not hi ghly cri tical, but on a machi ne of this calibre, perfec tion is obviou sl y th eir goal. And perfection it is r ega r ding the H ond a electrica l system . Night r idin g wa s a pl easure w ith th e flood of illumina t ion r unnin g ah ead . Bright tail- an d stoplig h ts ensu re safety from th e r ear. E lect r ic star t ing from cold, with t he temperatur e in th e mid-th irti es, wa s never sluggish. It's pret ty hand y, too, in ca se of a s ta ll in traffic, to be able to r est art while in motion a nd in gea r s imply by disengaging th e clu tch and hittin g t hat t in y button on th e handleba r s. During the who le show, the engine stayed clean of oil and r equ ired no attention w hatsoever, other tha n a conservative hand on t he throttle. If you a r e se a r ch ing f or something above and bey ond, I hope you challenge my find ings on the H ond a Super S port 450. One r ider, abo a rd a larger twin , did j ust t ha t t hroug h all four gears and ca me out a poor second, but tha t's the embarrassing way. I s ugges t you try th e 450 priva te ly bef ore testi ng its mettle against a nyt hi ng near it s s ize. J ust be pr ep ared to take it home when you've finish ed. All th is in a t hou sa nddol1ar ma ch ine is almost mor e t ha n a f el1er can bear. ••

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