Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1977 02 16

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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Page 1 of 39

Pet"e Shick, formerly Dfrector ·of · Racing for Yamaha, has returned to the Sales Department from whence he came yea rs ago. Kenny Clark will handle the motocross racing for Yamaha , w ith Kel Carruthers taking care of road _ racing, and Kenny Roberts doing the dirt track decisions himself. According to Pete Shick, the 35 1977 TZ750s sold th is yea r are very sim ila r, perhaps identical , to the all conquering OW31 spec ials ridden by Kenny Roberts, Giacomo Agostini , Steve Baker. Hideo Kanaya , and Johnny Cecotto. There will be no "special wor ks bike" for favored Yamaha riders this year , only production units . Delivery of the machines to dealers sta rted this week . The mysterious Yamaha RX100R swept the first three places in both the 100cc and the 125cc Sen ior classes atthe Indonesian GP held at the Sugo circuit late in 1976. Yamaha officials in the Un ited States declined to release specifications for the monoshocked, water-cooled, single-cylinder two.stroke. THE LATEST OOP BY PAPA WEALEY Mitch Mayes . the famed desert ra cer who was injured last November , has been moved to Casa Colina Hospital . Room 9, 255 E. Bonita, Pomona, CA . He 's there for more int ense rehabilitation. Keep those cards and letters coming. Mike Bast loaned a buddy most" of his Houston Astro Speedway Handicap winnings and arrived home virtually broke. To get solvent again, he's putting on another speedway school at the Maely Ranch, and you can bet there'll be a couple of Maely bikes about the place -uh- for comparison purposes. Call (714) 735-0540 for more info or to reserve a student slot. Gary Scott didn't pla n on building a short tracker in the week before Houston , but that's exactly what he had to do when his promised Ossa failed to show up. Scott's effort failed to get him a m m sfer to th e Nationaf from either his heat or semi, leaving Gary a spectator for the night. Barry Sheene, passing through Southern California on his way back from Japan, says he definitely will not ride Daytona this year; that his only 19n appearance in the U.S. will be April 2 when he rides in the invitational motorcycle Grand Prix through the streets of Long Beach la preliminary to the Formula One car race April 3). If Barry stays over a couple of days, Dan Gurney's invited him to get better acquainted with a formula car at Ontario, 2 A fire on J an ua ry 26 ravaged one manufacturing facility and one warehouse at the Rantoul, III. site of the Vetter Fa iri ng Company. The early morning fire . completely destroyed both buildings. one of which contained a large inventory of fairings . Although the weatherman didn't cooperate with mild temperatures, Kenny Roberts and the Goodyear people still termed their ·t esting at .Daytona a week before Houston a succass. Conditions kept 'K enny 's practice on his recently receiv ed Yamaha 0W31 road racer t o a m inimum, but that was still enough f or Goodyear co mpound engi neer John Smith t o estimate that the new slicks will have a 30 lap plus safety m argi n and should : cure all tire wear problems that ar ose because of last y ear' s bli st eri ng pace. Kenny liked his 1977 model OW~H , but may opt to run last year's bike (with the appropriate updating) sinc e he spent all last season person alizing the bik e to sui t his style of riding. Jay Springsteen joked to Roberts t hat he needed all the points he could get at Houston since he had to spot Kenny 120 points (the maximum points awarded for six road race v ictories). Roberts then told Jay that he could slack off just a bit since he didn't know if he would win all six. Mike Kidd's tuner Carl Cranke performed a little magic after Mike was involved in a multi bike crash in his heat which left his exhaust pipe bashed closed and the stinger torn off. Cranke promptly grabbed a hammer and screwdriver and added enough holes to allow the engine to run . Working in the Cal Tech wind tunnel with Glenn Brown, Steve Mclaughlin has developed a fairing that reduces drag , 35% . Mounted on a TZ75O, 35% drag , reduction should be good for 10-20 mph at Daytona this year, The trick fairing will be produced and sold by Camber Company, in Costa Mesa, CA in time for Daytona, . according to Joel Breau it of Camber. Takazumi Katayama will ride a 1977 Yamah a TZ7 !">O fo r Mack Kamhavashi a t Davrona . Karavam a finish..d s"~'o n d at O ~tario and s~cond at Riverside in his two pr evious fora ys into th e Uni ted States. A Goodyear rep showed up with a trail er load of tires at Houston, including a large stock of t he f ormerly banned from competition (because of insufficient quantities available to t he riders) DT II. Th e tire is now being manufa ctured in sufficient quantities and has bee n approved for use once aga in . Utah's legislature . with a House vote of 67-5, completed action on that state's helmet law repealer on J a nua ry 29 . The bill awaits the governor's signature to become law and allow riders over 18 to go bareheaded if th ey wish . Take time to read Part II of "Thd H urt Report" in this issue , and you' ll see why voluntary helmet use makes sense , law or no law . . Former American Motorcyclist Association lAMA) Trustee Ron Sloan has been appointed to represent Outdoor Recreation on the 15 -member Desert Conse rvat ion A rea Adv isory Board, created by t he Bureau of . Land Management (B l M) Organic Act. Don Sweet. the New Eng lander who along w ith U.S. Champion Marland Whaley has co-dom inat ed ,' trials in t his cou nt ry, w ill go t o Europe fo·r the first FIM World Championship rounds w ith a Montesa works ride. Don w ill enter the Irish, British, Belgian, Spanish and French rounds for sure , m iss the West German round, and return home for t he U.S. and Canadian rounds. Bultaco will sponsor Bernie Schreiber and Lane Leavitt to the first two events, while Marland Wha ley hasn 't f irmed up any travel plans for Honda, as yet. " Radical" Ron Tu rner, one of Flyi ng Machine Factory's cons istant Southern Ca lifornia flye rs , will become the fi rst aftermarket-sponsored American to contest World Championship motocross both in North America and Europe. Turner will race the FMF Suzuki RM125B package racer in four 125cc Grands Prix. J immy Morales, the first Mexican rider to hold a National number, is in the process of making a presentation to the newly created Mexican Ministry of Sport for sponsorship. Should the Mexicar ;overnment back his effort , Morales will return to Europe to hone his racing skills. Rick H ocking, last year's TT winner and second pla ce finisher in the short . track, showed up at Houston with a nasty looking scar on his left leg from an over the winter operation to repair ligament and cartilage damage sustained last season . Hocking termed the operation a success. AMA District -S? voted approval last week for Sem i-Pro mot ocross. T he d istri ct repr esent at ives a lso decl a red their int ention to a ttract road rider groups into the association . Most imaginativ ex c use for a e crash we've heard this year: Hitting a snow m an. At the ORA race held recently, one rider did manage to get off course in the snow and hit a snowman. To complicate matters somewhat. the snowman was built by members of his own club. News item from a California daily: The Long Beach l>lanning Commission has cleared the way for a motorcycle road race to precede the April 2-3 Long Beach Grand Prix , by _ voting a negative environ mental declaration. Heck of a world when you need a n enviro nme nta l impact r"port to run a ra ce on pavement! 1971 Dome short track winner Jim Odom was another spectator at Houston. Odom has retired and will soon open a pizza parlor. We like ours w ith papperoni, please. Remember, whe n you go to the, hospital to visit a crashed bu ddy, you're there to visit th e hosp ita lized person . no t other riders who m ay be a lso visiting the hu rt racer. We have it on good authority that no thing m a kes a hospitalized racer feel worse than to be ignored by a room ful1 of "visito rs" who only pay attention to each other. Kenny Roberts plans to put .his monoshock frames to use on his mile and half mile bikes. Roberts has built a totally adjustable prototype frame and w ill test them at his Modesto, Cal ifornia engine shop/frame facility. Top pr iority along with the f rame work is dyno work on his m ile engines for San Jose, Jim McNeal , outstanding sidecar roadracer , was fatal1y injured in a traffic accident the evening of Feb . 3 near his home in Canyon Country, CA . Jim and his teammate Skye Kerley had been a dominant force in West Coast sidecar racing for several years and were three times AMA National Sideca r Champions. J im left many friends am ong the Southern California Sidehack Association , for which he served repeated terms as roadracing chairman . 1 The Bureau of Land Management (BlMI has released a rules package entitled " Pr o po se d Rules f o r V isitor Use of other ' than Developed Recreation Sites." It is supposed to replace the existing Special Land Use Permit system (under which most desert events are approved) because t he SlUPs are " inappropriate" under the BlM organic Act. accord ing to the BLM. It is potentially bad news, but detai ls are too numerous to mention . Desert competition promoters should obtain a copy by writing Director (210), Bureau of Land Management. Washington, D.C. 20240. Deadline for public comment is March 14. Ja ck Fullwood. who ga ve up th e joys of th e motorcycle industry some yea rs ago. is ba ck in th e Statcs from th e South just lon g enoug h to outfit his 40 -foot yacht Ncwday for a cruise to the Mediterranean . Must h(' ni....... Godzilla livesI There is now an RX· 500 Rokon (actual displacement unknown). The 234-pound enduro has a claimed power output of 51 hp at 6900 rpm , It should be ava ilable f rom its New Hampshire lair sometime in April. (Continued on page 28)

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