Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 07 02

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 86 of 87

DNF BY MARK HOYER xcessive tracti on is the enemy. As a racer, o ne is always in pursuit of traction. Likew ise on the road. All ou wa n t, fo r th e sa ke of safety a nd peed, is to stick. But the lim its of ad he'ion are extremely high these d ays, even in the wo r ld of motorcycles, a world itho ut grou nd effects and spoilers (th e os t rui nous thi ng ever to happen to ar racing. in my opinio n). The notion of traction as the ene my e to me only recently, not long after ha d rebuilt the suspension 'o n my 1971 riumph TR6 sports car. Before this, the ld Triumph was reall y undrivabl e in the aggress ive sense. The smallest bump r ripple would upset the car so badly nd ca use s uch a chaotic c ha nge in directi on that slow going was th e only cho ice. G rip wa s ho rrible because th e ca m ber was so variable that th e tires never got a chance to stick. So let' s modif y my o rig in al s ta te men t to say tha t unpredictable and / or excessive traction is the enemy. Now the Triumph is predictable. It' s g o t a ni ce mild und ersteer in most ag gre ssive situations, tightens it s line p red ictably if I lift off the throttle midcomer, and can be induced to controlla ble and really fun ov ersteer if I s tab the gas exitin g a bend. It feels grea t, and it really seems like I'm goin g very fast. Excep t I recently had to yie ld to a guy driving a Honda Accord. I wa s at first crushed by this. Here I am driving th e wheel s off m y "s ports car" and th is g uy in a maro on fou rdo or is positively glued to m y rear , bumper. I m ean, I was really drivi ng this thin g, in full co ncen tra tio n, tires howling, a nd he's back th ere flipping ra d io s tations a nd driv ing w ith o ne hand. On a recent new model introduction for BMW, o ne of the jou rnalists on the rid e had a sim ilar experience in his Lotus; so me guy in a modern fou r-door sedan, w ith his wife, w ho he sai d was knitting, sticking like glue to the back o f his Lotus, a ca r ma rqu e renow ned for its topnotch hand ling and suspension-tuning prowess. twi sty road. Or better yet , gi ve full me a e ndur o b ik e and a fire road. Th e thrill element of ou tr ig h t s peed is red uced (it has its own virtues, bu t the dra w bac k of lots of speed is th e severi ty of th e E 30 Y AR E SAGO... JU Y13, 1967 L co nse q ue nce when tr actio n goes away, pa rticularly w hile travelin g on the st reet), but it's the artfu l tread~ i ng of th e li ne a> that brings ou t -c th e tru e jo y of ~ riding a motor:;: cycle. ffi M odern I ~ sportbikes ha ve o in san el y hi gh ~ limits. And getting to the point Pascal Picotte treads the line. Do you think he's smiling? at wh ich you can slide one of I trul y believe, however, that w e these things comes only with really great "won" based on fun. We won based on speed and very advanced skill. So while th e very fact that our tir es w ere howlextreme lean angle has its virtue, the real ing, that we were steering wi th opposite thrill is wi th the controlled slide, a slide lock at tim es while ou r cars gracefu lly that is very difficult to attain on a sportdrifted all four wheels through the bike . Smiles co me much mo re readily bend. Yeah, we were s lo wer, but the w he n I've go t the rear end of a dual sport gu ys driving the modern cars that were bike ha nging out co m ing off a co m er giving us 'such fits probably had to have th an when I've got one of the hero tabs the radio on to keep from g oing to slee p. on a spo rtbike skimmi ng the pavement So, viva la vintage, and d own with too in a fast sweeper. Don' t get me wrong. I much traction. love riding sport bikes a nd leaning my What this has to d o with motor cycles way aro u nd all kinds of com ers. It's just is that the very sa me thing ap plies . So that it's so serious. w hil e th ere is so meth ing to be said for Throw in th e fa ct th at the ou trig h t su per-s ticky DOT tir es (w ha t ba sically limi t of traction is low er with a knobby am ount to cut slicks these d ays), as far tire on pav ement (or d irt for that matter) sho uld the available traction suddenly a s pure fun goes, g ive m e a big-bore be severely lessened, say, because of dirt dual sport bike with k n o b b ie s o n a 20 YEARS AGO." JULY6, 19n third... CN took a close look at Ho nda's MRI 75 trailbike and th ought it la cked th e agg ressive p ower a n d Jay ar leY-David son' s H a rl e Y-D a v id s o n' s Bart Markel w as Springsteen wo n the Santa Fe IT in New Mexico after long-travel sus pensi o n H o n th e cover of tha t had b ecome th e eN af te r w in ni ng the overcoming heat-race mechanical n orm ... John Tessitore, ==.iiiiiiiiiiii.:~ troubl es. Triumph's Gary Scott T ul a re H a lf M il e G ra n d Na tional a n d H arl ey -D a vid s on ' s Ted Greg Robertson a n d Terry Clark won the Cha m pions h ip ra ce Booty finished second and third, 125ec, 250ee a nd Open _ ::~ respectively Ha r ley-Davidson~ ." .,.; Pro classes at th e 10 th in California . Ha rlev- . .1Ii Davidson -mount~d m ou n ted M ike Kidd won the ann ua l Mam m oth Mel Lacher and Chris Draayer Gran d Na tional in Colombus, Ohio, Motocross in California. tw o d a y s later, w he n Springsteen Marland Whaley won finis hed seco nd and third, respectively. Trium p h-mou nted Jimm y Odom won s li p p ed o ut of th e groove a few la ps hi s third an d fo urt h fro m th e fini sh a nd finthe Amateu r final and S teve Pederson won the Novice ma in. After six Na tion Ished second . Kidd was nr;jii'i'J1,ri~~ a~ t alATC / AMA Nation- Washstr; i g;h~ Trials in Oregon and als, Gary Nixon led the po ints stand usin g a soft-compound ington on consecutive d ay s. ings, with 243 over George Roeder with rear tire that mec hanic 179 an d Fred Ni x with 178 ... Elliot a n d me ntor Mert Schultz won an As cot Qua rte r Mi le Lawwill s ugg este d. C ritics thoug ht it Short Track in California over Sonny Nutler and Jack O' Brien... No rton-rid er would never last the Dave Palmer w on th e Exper t TT at r ace. Steve MoreAsco t over Sk ip Van Leeuwen a nd head finished third... - - . 10 YEARS AGO... Dusty Coppage, both on Triu m phs. Van Heikki Mikko la Leeuwen wo n the Tr ophy Da sh o ver won th e 500cc JULY 8,1987 Dick Hammer a nd Pal m er... CN co nWo rld Motocross ea m Kawasaki' s Jeff Ward, d ucted a n interview with former Bs A C ham p ion s hi p ne wly-crowned AMA superand Asco t Half Mile regular Al Gunter. ro und in Italy, over cross Cha m pion was o n th e Gunter was returning to ra cing wi th Roger DeCoster in co ve r o f CN an d featured in a n seco nd place and Matchless after taking a yea r off due to a in te rview in sid e... Team Honda's road racing accident. Cerrit Wolsi nk in Rick Johnson cam e from behind to T or water in the road, it' s eas ier to recover because th e tire wasn't g rip ping so tenaciously in the first place. Trac tion, or the lack thereof. is one of the p r i mary r eas o ns I' m becomi ng attracted to dirt track racing, bo th from a fan's perspective and as so meone wh o wan ts to give it a try: a limited amou n t of traction (compared to as phalt racing), combined wi th that thrilling speed elem en t, particularly o n longer tr acks. It just looks like mo re fun . That's why I'm so happy to know that we're working on a di rt tra ck p ro je ct bike fo r a n upcoming issue. Because now I know for su re that I' ll actually ge t to try th e sport, slid ing and smiling my way, foot down, around big, arcing d irt comers . In th inki ng abou t i t, the re is als o ano ther sid e benefit to a lack of traction. It se ts up a backward way of con trolling power output: Avail abl e traction limits hor sepower and for ces you to tune the bike to make it at tra ctable as po ssibl e. A predictab le machine is ge ne rally th e ne t result. It's beginning to sound like I'm bashing road racing, but I'm not. The lack of tr act ion, co m para ti vely s pea king, is a major eleme nt of wh at sets motorcycle road racing apart in the world of motorspo rts. Formula One car ra cing is pretty much a sleeper compared to even the Honda-dominated 500cc World Cha mpions hip series . and a big part of it is that bikes s lid e more, and d o so more visib ly. About the only fo u r-w heeled sports th at com e close to being as exciting as motorcycle ra cing a re nonWin ged sprin t cars a n d world rall y ch am p ions hip ca rs. Those guys know how to slide. I rid e all kind s of mo tor cy cl es because th ey're fu n. I d on' t wa n t less gri p fro m m y road bike. I'd like to be able to hang the rear end of a GsXR750 out like 01' Pascal, smoke p lumes trailing out behind, but I ca n' t, and su re ly d on' t want to on my way to work in the morning. I'm just fin ding my heart moving ev er closer to d irt-oriented racing for th e sake of smi les. Am I losing my gri p ? I hope so . '" win th e fina l round of th e AMA / C oors Supercross Seri e s, he ld a t th e Lo s An g eles Coliseu m . Pr iv a teer Guy Cooper led th e main fo r 18 laps b efore Johns on r elega ted him to seco n d b y th e c hec ke rs . W ard fi nis hed th ird . Jeff Matiasevich won the 125cc class, bu t Willie Surrat's seco nd- p lace finish ea rned him th e 125cc Western Reg ional IlIIiip;J1 Superc ross Championship .. . I Yos h i m u ra Suzuki's Kevin Schwantz won his second AMA Nationa l Road Race in a row, at Road Ameri ca in Wisconsin. The win came ju s t o ne week after h is fi rs t-e ver National wi n the week ea rlie r. Hond a's Wayne Rainey a nd Suzuk i's Doug Po len finished second an d t hird , respectively... Harley-Davidson's Scott Parker powered to the AMA G r a nd National Di rt Tra ck wi n at the Lima Half Mile in Ohi o , over team m a te Chris Carr and Freddie Spence r-backed Doug Chandler... Tea m Husq va rn a ' s Mark Hyde won his fourth Blackwater 100 in West Virg inia ... Tea m Su zu ki' s Bob Hannah topped both nights of racing at the Paris Su pcrcr oss in France. I~ 87

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