Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1977 10 12

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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"I think if Yamaha gave us the basic bike, we could do all the necessary testing and development here," KR said. "1 just know we could build a bike thet would blow the Harleys into the weeds. There's no doubt in my mind." . On racing in Europe, Roberts says, "It's pretty hard living out of a suitcase , going to countries with language barriers, stuff like that. I'm the type who likes to grab ' a hamburger at Denny's at midnight . You just can't do that over there." (N ~ s-. Q,) ..c o .... u o Yamaha sprung a V·four, 4-stroke, watercooled 1000cc production racer on ' unsuspecting press and dealers at New Orleans over the weekend. The cylinders are 8n1Inged in pairs, H·D style. For more Yamaha new model news, see pages 15 a!,d 29. New Yamahas for the dirt feature alloy swingarms , moved-back countershaft sprockets, and much. much more. Film in next issue. CRC's movie hare 'n' hound has been switched back to California City Octobar 23, and will ba a reguler desert race. The movie company !oat Its backer and was not able to come up with the purse. That's show biz. If you're ~ Santa Cruz area rider, you should be ha,ppy to hear that three campgrounds in the mountains again offer hot showers. Big Basin Redwoods. Henry Cowell Redwoods. and Portola StateParks all offer relief for smelly campers. Due to the easing of the water shortage, the showers are .expected to go on until next spring. All you high school students around southern Cal who want to race, CMC has come out again this year with their high school MX races at Saddleback Park. If you're like most, you have probably thought about a school team but said "later" when the principal started in with the hassles. Well, if you use your head and get enough . riders and parents together, you can go to a school board meeting and go over the principal's headl You can get your team and school recognition if you do things right. but eXpect a long fight. It's worth it, though. Well, it's rumor time again! This one that got into the infamous CYCLE NEWS offices says that retired AMA Expert 52G , Merlyn Plumlee has decided to get back into competition. Merlyn's fans have spotted the pro in training between Colorado Springs and San Jose . Rumor has it Merlyn will soon be challenging Roger Hull and Kenny Roberts to a road race. 2 Suzuki Ace Gaston Rahier will unfortunately miss the Trans·AMA this year. On Septembar 18, the 29year-old, three-time 125cc World Champion ruptured his right kidney at the Belgian National 250cc Championships. Teammate Roger DeCoster drove Rahier home when extreme pain and loss of blood fainted the world champion. Gaston is off the critical . list, but is still in intensive care. Chris Agajanian has called the Ascot CMC MX racing on Thursday nights to a halt until further notice . The last race was the Tim Lunde bounty night and the Women's pro race, which wouldn't be all that bad of a way to end a season. Stay tuned to Poop for further notice , and check the Calendar listings for Thursday night. . Fear of malpractice ~awsuits is keeping San Diego doctors from treating players injured at high school football games. Where is it all going to end? . We'd like to see monthly family fun rides like the Heok & Ladder enduro , which drew 2,500 sometime riders. Trouble is, who'd dare promote it with the liability lawsuits that would threaten? Maybe some government bureau, li~e BLM? Or a promoter on welfare with nothing to lose? MarIanc:IWhaley won Round Seven of the AMAlNAl'C National Trials held October 2, at Christmas Ranch near Beulah, Colorado. Top ten finishers were: 1. Marland Whaley (Honl, 41 pts; 2. Curt Corner, Jr. (Kaw), 45; 3. Don Sweet (Mon) 45.4; 4: Lane Leavitt (Bull 49.2; 5. Jack Spites (Bull 51.1; 6. Greg Ruoff (Mon)53; 7. Mark Eggar (Hon) '57; 8. Martin Belair (Mon) 62.4; 9. Rick Land (Mon) 66.8; 10 Bob Hopkins (Yam) 68.9. "I've accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish in American motorcycle racing," Kenny Robarts remarks. "But the idea of developing a dirt bike appeals to me .... That would really ba a challenge, to take something from ground level and watch it grow. The Harley-Davidson people are starting to get kind of cocky and I'd just love to knock them off their pedestal." Wounded in action: That's what happened to " Bad Brad" Lackey at the Lake Sugar Tree Trans-AMA, . but it didn't involve a crash. Lackey, sporting a black eye after the race, credited an over-exuberant fan for scoring a near knockout. As the spectator leaned out over the fence waving his fist, Lackey rode into it. Brad wasn't sure whether it was a Lackey, Hannah or Smith supporter. Of the 94 medalists in the ISDT, 40 received Gold" 25 Silver and 29 Bronze. • George Kerker, 37, was found dead in his Van Nuys shop last week from unknown causes. Kerker was best known for his design of the four-stroke exhaust system that bears his name, and for development work on the Moto-Ouzzi police bikes and road racers . The Superbike Production race at Riverside was dedicated to his memory. Mike "The Bike" Hailwood has announcad that he will return to competition for the Isle of Man TT in 1978. Elavation of that single event to World Championship status and .ot her incentives were enough to iure Hailwood out of retirement. (Kawl. DuHamel. who hadn't raced in nearly a year, turned in 3-2 performances to top Steve Baker's (Yam) 2·3 day. Fourth and fifth overall went to Christian Serron (Yam) and American Mike Baldwin (Yaml, respectively. DuHamel won the 250cc Support race to give Kawasaki a double- victory weekend . Floridian John Long (Yam) finished second ahead of Canadian Miles Baldwin (Yam). Jay Springsteen's National victory at Louisville clinched in 19n AMA Manufacturer Trophy for HarleyDavidson. The prestigious award had been in the hands of Yamaha for the past four seasons. Unlike the U.S . , some European countries are having trouble drawing young riders into motocross, largely due to the sport's expense. In Sweden, however, Husqvarna team manager Rolf Arrehn has sought (and received) permission from the Swedish government to run a lottery to gain money for support of young riders. Through his lottery, Arrehn hopes to pick up 300,000 Swedish Kronor (approximately $69,0001 which would be used to help support 40 up-and-coming riders under the age of 26 years old. Arrehn expects to develop a very strong Swedish challenge for the 1978 World Championship MX Series circuit. Should · be interesting ' to watch Team Sweden next season. England won the World Team Cup a~ the annual speedway event held this year in Wroc1aw , Poland on Septernber 18. Led by Peter Collins, England topped Poland, Czechoslovakia and Sweden in the final standings. HosPITal STOP: Gary Ogden, a serious Trans-AMA Support ... oops, National class threat on an FMF Suzuki, suffered a compound leg fracture while practicing in Palm Springs, California for the Lake Sugar Tree round. Get well wishes can be directed to Gary at 1151 Thomas Way, Escondido, Cal. 92027. As concerns the Penton clan , the newest member is only three weeks away from being born. Jack's wife , Gigi , will shortly become a brand new mom. Jack said that as soon as he got home from the International Motorcycle Olympiad, he would attend · classes on natural child birth so that they can share the experience. Mitch Payton, the D·37 Division II desert star, is in Long Beach Memorial Hospital following a crash in the Sept. 25 Shamrocks hare and hound. Mitch has three broken vertebrae: two are causing pressure on the spinal cord. An operation was performed Oct. 4, the day after Cycle News went to press. Card and letters may be sent to Mitch Payton, Room 407, Long Beach Memorial Hospital , 2801 Atlantic Ave ., Long Beach, Calif. 90815 . Mitch reported that he had some feeling in his left leg . After winning every off-road prize ·and a fistful of gold medals in International 6·Days Trial competition, "On Any Sunday" star Malcolm Smith is hanging up the hex-grips and bacoming a road rider. A two-wheel trip to the Laguna Seca road races did it. "Street Is neat." grinned Malcolm. Film after the movie. And speaking of new little kids....JiII Burleson, the natural enduro champ's wife, is expecting her second in six months or so. This may be the start of a second generation of Penton vs. Burleson woodsriding competition around the year 19961 Erroneously reported last week was that Herbert Schmitz had dropped out of the first Mid-Ohio Trans-AMA moto with a broken chian. Not so, says Team Maico. It was a bent chainguide, damaged in a crash that did it. Rumor has it that Harley-Davidson's European GP road racing ace Walter Villa may leave H-D after his "disappointing" '77 year. He may ride for a team of his own with sponsorship from Noland helmets on cycles crafted by his brother Francesco. James "Smitty" Smith , 42, died September 29 when a piece of heavy equipment he was working on fell on him. Smith, a former dirt tracker and road racer, was best known as a tuner on the National circuit in the early 60's. Kenny Roberts, in an interview 'with Long Beach, CA sportswriter Allen Wolfe, says there are two options open to him for the 1978 season: Either Yamaha' comes up with a competitive dirt tracker, or Roberts goes for the 500cc GP road racing world title, run mostly in Europe. The September 18 Formula 750 race at Canada's Mosport circuit produced what one veteran corner worker called :'the best racing I've ever seen here." The overall winner with wins in both legs was Australian Greg Hansford (Kaw) over Canadian Yvon DuHamel The Phantom Duck of the Desert called to say he had entered the Dirt Diggers GP Dinosaur class. The Duck will be the one with feathers, riding a 500 Indian. The quacker also said plans are being finalized for the B-to-V trail ride. Keep on quacking. • Speculations in the daily press that Honda is buying a motorcycle assembly plant in Ohio are slightly premature, American Honda directors insist that Ohio is merely one of the likely .sites, but it definitely will be a motorcycle factory. Might as well assemble them in the west, where most of the new bikes end up anyway.

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