Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1994 01 19

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 62 of 63

·H AN R IC E Y·· yHennyRay'Abram :: s am si tting in the east grandstands a t Daytona In te rnational Speedway on a brisk winter day and I m wa tc hi ng a pick up t ruc k tow igu el Du Hamel a nd his Harleyav id so n VR-1000 less-t ha n-su pe rike back to the pits for the second ime in about an hou r, and I am tryng to remember when the last time motorcycle that was towed back to h e pits twice, against tr affic, w on he Dayt ona 200 by Arai, or by an yn e for tha t matter. I am st u m ped , hou gh judging from how th ings are oing on the tr ack, it doesn' t ap pear h a t I'm th e m os t s tumped g uy a t ayt on a on this day. The Da ytona 200 is 82 d ays away s I watch, an d if I were a betti ng an I wo u ld b e t t h a t M ig u el u H amel n e ed n ot wo r ry about mu ggling the wi nne r's tro phy b ack o Ca na da a t th is p oint, eh . I w ou ld Iso bet tha t th e Harley will n ot be n the s ta rting g ri d whe n the ra ce .ta rts, not because - as some m igh t ear - it won't be able to q ua lify for h e 80-rider field, or wi ll be b ringn g up th e re ar of t he H a r ley arade, or a n ap peal to field a secnd ri der with a pi cku p truck will e d en ied , but bec a u s e H arl e y avi dson, tr u e to the ir w o rd , w ill ot int roduce th e VR-1000 unt il it a n co m p le te more th an three laps f a race tr ack without th e aid of a ow ro pe. I am n ot th e only d ou b ter at th e rac k th is cris p December day. In th e ra nds ta n ds is a fell ow motorhea d vh o ha s brought a radio to mon itor he cha tter of va rio us track personel. "He's not goi ng to make it," an nonymous voice says as DuHamel oes out late in the aftern oon . He a kes on e lap and pits, m ak in g a ia r ou t of the d isembodied voi ce , hough n o t for lo ng . So on aft erards he returns to the track on th e e m i- fai re d, ve r y se cr et Ha rle y. He'll be ba ck," the voice with noarn e s ays and, sure e no u g h, h e omes to a coasting halt in front of a our van in the West End Horseshoe. nside th e van, one can only imagine hat the t o ur guide is s ay ing . "Ladies a n d gentlemen, to our left you will see Daytona's famed banking and on our right you wi ll see Mig uel D u Hamel h itchi n g a ri d e back to the pi ts af te r his alternato r just a lternated between working and not w orking. Anybody hungry?" After some fiddlin g, test in g conti nues a nd twitching fingers gra sp digita l w a tch es hoping to quantify th e ability o f th e u ltra- secret black beast at wh ich a gro up of tourists from An ywhere, USA ha s jus t ha d a p retty go od gander . Th ere is more to g a w k a t. Fri tz Klin g is riding an e qua lly secre t wh ite beas t, though with somew h a t m ore success. He h asn't been towed back to the pi ts, th ough h e did make a U-turn once in th e Internationa l Horseshoe to re tu rn the re. You ask : "Has anyone ever won th e Dayton a 200 by ma king a U- tu r n in the h ors e s h o e ? " Exactly! DuHa mel's b est flying lap is a 1:57.5, a time that sends the p u ndits ru shin g for the reference b o o k s, which must be misplaced beca use all the y can find is a cooler full of beer and so me camer as. Th e books w ill be refer enced later. H m m m, a 57.5 w ould put him , le t's see, seco n d faste st 250. Certain ly if DuHa me l ha d more time to sort ou t th e s uspension, gea ring , and tires, h is times w ould drop. Th en aga in , so wo uld Harl ey 's profit s. They're spendi ng abou t $3500 per day for the track and by th e tim e he's sorted e ve rythin g o u t th ey 'll h a ve spen t mo re money fixin g th is thing than NA SA spen t corre cting th e astigm a tis m of th e Hubble telescope, w hich, by the wa y, h a s yet to co mplete a lap of Daytona. Les t you th ink that I a m be ing unduly harsh about th is project, le t me a tt e m p t to di ssuad e you, the reading public. Harl ey has a proud history o f building gr ea t race bikes and th ey win nearly every dirt track that Ricky Graham d oesn' t. No t only th a t, bu t they won eve ry H -D 883 TwinSports race as well as ever y HD 883 Dirt Track event, not to mention the Harley-Davidson Continen- tal Cup Ch ampions h ip - every damn on e. Looked it up myself. We know th ey're seri ous abo ut winning the AMA Superb ike Championshi p beca use if they we re n't, why wo uld this a ll-Am erican co mp any, this company th at's as American as preservative-en hanced apple pie, lip osucti on , an d drive-by shootings, go ou t and h ire a French-Canad ian to ride it? Answer me th at, ya hoser. The in k on the North American Free Trade Agreeme nt (NAFTA) is bar ely dry and already it impacts superbikes . (NAFTA, n o t th e ink.) A nd you thou ght Ro ss Pe ro t was kiddin g w hen he said a ll the good jo bs wou ld g o ac ross the b ord e r ? Wrong bord er, Roscoe . That gian t suck ing sou n d Pero t s po ke o f? that's Du Ha me l's acco un ta n ts vac uum ing out th e Ha rley till. There exis ts a ru mo r th a t the good folks in Milwaukee we re sensi tive to h iring a non- Ll.S. cit izen, or, to be more p oli ticall y corre ct, so me one w ho is "green card-challenge d ." Th e ru mor h as one o f the sti ck ing poi nts in h is contract be ing H- D's ins is tence that Migue l D u H am e l cha nge his n ame to Mike Hammer. Did anyone ask Stacy Keach abo u t this? Remember, th is is just a ru mor that I' m trying to sta rt . Send y ou r cards and letters to each ot her. Mor e like ly, they wanted th e be st rider availab le because the last thing they' d want to do is p in th e hopes a nd drea ms of Milwauk ee en ti rely on so meone w ho was n' t up to the challe n ge of grea te r h ei g h t s. DuHamel is an inspi re d choic e . After a ll, what other forme r Gran d Prix rid e r can claim to h av e pu t a ha lf-mill ion dolla r YZR500 Ya ma h a in a tree? An d not a little tree, but a Malaysian tree of many rings - a tall woody p lant in which y ou co ul d build a tree house th at wo uld she lter Delaware. Las t yea r, aboard a very co mpetitiv e Muzzy Ka wa saki, DuHam el m ana ge d to sta y o u t of the for est an d see med to ga in confidence with every rac e. (I'm being serious n ow , in case yo u h a d n ' t n oticed .) H is fines t effort was the la st of th e yea r, a s t ir ring h eads-up wi n ove r AMA Superbike Champ ion Doug Po len on th e dangero us bends at Sears Po in t. It h ad ta ken h im nearly th e en ti re sea son to get over his year of racing a Grand Pri x bike for a tea m that's as o rga ni zed as a food fight. If he brin gs that confide n ce and momentum to hi s ne w home, DuHamel w ill brin g an e xci temen t t o r a ci n g h eret ofore un s e en . If n ot, h e 'll h a ve fo u n d so mep lace new to tree-park his bike. If I m a y ge t seri o us again for a m inut e , and ju s t a m inute, I w ill ad m it to hoping th e best for th e VR1000 fo r a nu mber of rea so ns . Th e firs t is the nam e. Harley-Da vidson knows a th ing or two abo u t creat ing brand loyalty and their m ystiqu e is unmatched in Am erican mot orin g . Ha ving th at a ttache d to th e highest level o f American ro ad ra ci ng h as go t to be a p lus , regardless of its suc cess. Secondl y, it w ill forc e the ru lemakers to tr eat Harley like it wo u ld a n y other V-tw in , say Duca t i unl e s s , of co u rse , they exe m p t Ha rl ey fro m the weig h t rules a n d apply them on ly to V-tw ins or fourcylin der ma ch in es with n ames th at e nd in a vowel. The mult itu d e of wh iners w ho claim th e AMA is Harl ey-fri endly will h ave a field d ay keep in g a ll p arties hones t, as su m ing, of co urse , the whiners don't get a life before the season starts. And, finall y, like the ill-fa ted NR H onda , th e in itia liz e d VR will s p a w n a to r r ent o f oppro brium . Very Rep a ira b le , Velvet Ratt le r , Vega Rac er, Ve locity Re lu ctant, Vibr at in g Rock . Let th e ga mes begin. 0When he's not hiding in the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway - shoot ing spy pho tos of Harley s through a chain-link fe nce - Henny Ray Abrams wo rks in the photo departm en t at United Press In ternational (UPO in New Yo rk Cit y. Abrams is a long- time cont ributor t o Cycle News , cove ring eve ry t hi ng f ro m road raci ng to dirt track...Editor . I LO K G O IN ·SAC , :I I<:.,· 5Y A SAGO ER ANUARY 28;1969 ... uzuki 's 1969 lineup of motorcycles was featured in issue #2 f Cycle N ews in 1969 ith the Rebel leading he way. The 350cc two- .;~ troke streetbike produ ced 39 hp with a op speed rang e of 105-110 mph while ompletin g a quarter-mil e in 13.8 secnds...Dick Mann and his Ossa won the 50cc Senior class at the Hangtown MX, ith Gary Bailey winning the 251-0 pen enior class on his Greeves. The 251p en Jun ior cla ss was won by Brad ackey...The racing Evans brothers from I Cajon, California, Pat, 14, and Kelly vans, 16, were featured in a story on h e teen a ge road race rs ... Dick mothe rs , co-s ta r of the Smo the rs r other s Comed y Hour, wa s ph ograp hed after taking delivery of the irst three-cylinder BSA Rocket 3 world th e worl d .. .The 125cc Amateur / Expert class at the Mant eca Winter Scrambles was won by Kenny Robert s and his Suzuki with the 375cc Exp ert class win goin g to Bob Gro ss i.. .Speed way rac er s Dwayne Keeter and Chuck Jones were impressive in their Australian speedway debut at the Sydney Speedwa y Royals...A 1954 Norton International, th e road- go ing version of th e Man x Norton, was selling in th e Wan t Ad section for $575... 15 YEARS AGO JANUARY24,1979... Xer Donn ie Canta loupi graced the cover, styling through the mud at the second round of the CMC Golden State Series. The Californian won the 125cc class, joining 250 and 500cc class win ne rs Danny Ch andl er a nd Re x Staten...Kenny Roberts re-signed with M Yamaha to contest the 1979 500cc World Championship Road Race Series ...Pat Hennen regained consciousness three weeks after his crash in the Isle of Man TT, and was undergoing therapy in a northern California hospital...Dirt tracker Mike Kidd signed a sponsorship deal with the U.S. Army...Kawasaki in trod u ced the Z500 s tr ee tb ike in Euro pe ...AMA Executive Director Lin Kuchler was featured in an interview, stating that " the most imp ortan t program is to increase the memb er ship." The membership of the AMA at the time was 100,000, accord ing to Kuchler...A 1972 Harley-Davidson XR750 dirt tracker was for sale for $5000 in the 'J.~_!Jj:J .JJ:Jj Want Ad section... ';:,'t:::;-:-',"-:o . 5YEARS AGO JANUARY 18, 1989... . ~ ~. . . "* . • .~::~'t::".;. - am on Bra d s h aw -.:"':':'::;~ =:... graced the cover of issue #2 in 1989, leading the way D in the op en in g round of the Florida Winter AMA MX series at Ga torbac k Raceway in Florida . Bradshaw won the 250cc Pro class with John Kitsch and Fred And re ws winn ing the 125 and Open classes, resp ectively...Art Barda was appoin ted to the position of dirt track manager in the AMA 's professi on a l ra cing d iv isi on .. .Camel anno unced tha t it would spo nsor the 1989 AMA Su percross Series with a $125,000 po int fund ...Jeff War d won the 250cc Pr o cla ss a t the op e nin g round of the CMC Golden State Nationals. Willie Surra tt and Mike Healey won the 125 and 500cc classes, respectively. The 80cc Expert class was won by Bud dy Antunez...Ron Naylor won th e 12th Annu al Cow Pu n cher cros s country event at Hollister Hills in Hollister, California...Supercross Champion Rick John s on tor e ligaments in his knee wil e rid in g a t Kenny Robe r ts' ran ch in northern Californ ia. Johnso n su ffe re d th e in ju ry w hile rid in g a Honda XR100... (;N 59

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