Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 12 03

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 62 of 63

ACROSS THE ATLANTIC BYGEOFF M R EYE i tho u t a d ou bt , end uro racing in Euro pe is heading for repair. With England's Paul Edmondson al ready spen d ing hi s tim e in Ameri ca , now co m es th e ne ws th a t Australian Shane Watts will be heading to the United State s fo ru com plete season. While Watts will re tu r n to Eu r o p e to contest th e World End u ro Cha mpionships, he will live in t he United St ates and s pen d m os t of hi s w eekend s doi ng AMA-sa nctioned even ts. . So w hy all th e fuss a bout W America n Enduro com peti tion? Why have two of the most recent , World End uro Champions head ed to America to prove t he i r skills? As in all thin gs, money talks. Ame rican off-road f G r a n d Na tio na l Cross Country racing is fille d w ith bon uses, and if you think the sudden arrival of "Edd y" and "Wa ttsy" is the end of wha t could be a b ig p r oble m for Ame r ica n off- road money·ea rne rs , th in k again .-Conti ngency money in Eu rope is ve ry low tha t is, if yo u can get your hands on some. Riders have been given minimal return fo r th eir wins, a nd rid ers like Edmo ndson and Watts see a light at the end of the tunnel. That tunnel leads to the far continent of the United States. The wo rd is spreading fast. Not onl y are the events in the United Sta tes bet te r, but th ey a re more competitive; at , least that's Paul Edmondson's opinion. "'T here is no compa rison ," said Edmondson, a four-time World Enduro . Cha m p io n . " Eu r o p e is a long wa y behind. I made good money from m y racing in Europe, but it came after some hard work. It's very professional in the United States; you rid e for the Suzuki lea rn like I d o, and i t' s a complete team ." Watts feels the same. "I want to live in America ," Watts says. "It's much better tha n being holed up in Ge rmany or Italy, and the chances of maki ng good money are very good in the Uni ted States - and money talks." G iova nni Sala, the rider many co nsider to be the grea test enduro rider of Three-time World Enduro Champio n Giovann i Sala all tim e, wants to ge t to America . Ho wever, th e three- ti me World End uro Champ ion lacks good English skills, and that co uld limit him in America. However, if you a re looking for a rider w ho captu res every o ne' s attention , Sala is ' you r ma n. Even World 500cc Mo tocross Champi on Joe l Smets is setting his sights on some AMA off-road events in the early pa rt of 1998. "I rode a couple of races (in the Un ited States) a few years ago and it was a lot of fun ," Smets says. "If the right deal comes a long an d the weather is not good for training in Europe, I'U head to America," While Smets' int entions are only for the preparation of his 500cc MX defense, his wish is to get good speed in good conditions. If you have ever been lu cky enough to get to and watch an end u ro in Europe - and I'm not talking about the greatly witnessed International Six-Day Enduro, but a round of what wa s once called the European Cha mpio nshi p , now the Wo rld Championship - you'll be very disappointed . Wh ile a round in Italy might be held in the high altitu de of the Alps, in countries like Finland or Sweden or, for that ma tter, Holland or Germany , you can expect to see a lot of 30 Y SA EAR GO... ' D C M 14, 1967 E E BER ycle News contrib uto r Harry A. B urton w on o u r $ 10 ph oto co n tes t afte r s n a p p ing this shot o f a h aple ss r id e r i n " midcr a s h " at th e Ho p e to wn G rand Prix... "Questions and Answers by the Answer Man" was a letters section that an swered read ers' technira l qu esti ons. For exa m p le , d id yo u kn o w th at th e p is to n-s kirt clea r a n ce o n a 250cc Pa ri lla scra m bler was .0045 of an inch, and the rin g end gap was .012 of an inch? .. Sp eedwa y racer Rick Wood s (Du e) won th e 250cc main event at th e Long Beach ind oor s ho r t tra ck in Lo ng Beach, Ca lifornia . Woods de feated s u ch dirt tr a ck heav ies as G en e Romero... There was a giant, two-page section that featured the minutes of the lates t AMA Competition Committee m eeting... Cal Rayborn (H-D) broke Mike Hailwood's track record en rou te to winning the Open class at the fourth annual U.S. Grand Prix at Willow Springs Inte rnational Raceway in Rosa mon d , California. Dave Damro n (Suz) won two classes, the 200 an d 250cc Production classes. C road racin g. This yea r's ISDE, held in Italy, was, although a grea t event, ru n on many roads, while last year's lSDE in Finland was a co mplete roa d racing e ve n t, wit h a li ttle dir t thrown in . Ro un d s in Spai n a nd Po rtu gal often hold great courses, but organization is sometimes lacking· and sometimes is nonexistent. Let 's fa ce it, the World Enduro Championships have only just mad e it out of Europe , n ow with a round set to be held in South America in 1997, so the complete series is in change. I'm no expert on American end uro or off-roadi ng events, but I'll tell you, I was lucky en ough to get to the Ocala Grand National Cr'l SS Country ev ent held in Florida in 1997. To sa y I was impressed would be an und erstatement . Sure, Ocala is the biggest event in the Grand atio nal Cross Co un try season, bu t aft er talking to se vera l riders and team owners, it was ve ry obvious that all the rounds of the GNCC series are big-time. Then there are the cou rses . Edmondson, one of the all-time great technicians of World end u ro and a grea t believer in bike control, loves the tracks in America . "It 's o pened up my whole feel fo r a bik e, " Edmondson sa id after hi s first few race in Ameri ca earlier this year. "You really have to us e you r head. It's 20 YEARS AGO,.. DECEMBER 7, 1m 10YEARS AGO.., ECEMBER 9, 1987 D ssue #48'5 diverse cover procla imed that the insid e held th ree Suzuki tests. They turned ou t to be tests of the Suzuki 0580, 100 and 185... Reigning AMA Mot ocr oss Natio nal Cham p ions Marty Smith , Tony DiStefano and Broc Glover took pa rt in a round-table discussion of the cu rrent sta te of the pr ofessi on al motocross "b u siness" ... Broc Glover (Yam) also appeared a cou ple of pages later as the winner of the Richm on d Ramb lers fifth I 9~f1I" ~aI...::ln erna tional .Wo rld Cham p i~n~n~u ~ ~t~ t' not like in Europe, wher e you might not see another co m petitor for the whole day. Here you have to use everything to get a w in, not just speed." Th e major thing that brings the bees to hon ey is money. Spo nso rs - such as Moose, Pirelli, Ar ai , Acerbis, Answer, MSR, Honda, Yamaha, Su zuki, Hu saberg, Kawasaki, KTM, Bel-Ray, ProCircuit, Alpinestar, Smith and just about a ny other manufacturer of clothing, motorcycle, chains, oil, or whatever - ar e lining up to give extra mo ney to those who earn it. In Europe, it's more a matter of "get what you can an d run with it." . Shane Watts, having just won the 1997 Wo rld Enduro Champions hips, was looking for a bigtime dea l from . KTM; a nd while KTM fina lly in ked a contra ct, Watts was happy (albeit a little) wit h it. The contract was nowhere near the deal he had expec ted . Giovanni Sala is kn ow n for his stories of ge tt ing pai d eno ugh to live on, and that's all. Do you think Scott Summers, Ty Davis o r Randy Hawkins are being pa id anything less than a good income? So. w it h all th e highs a n d lo w s of American and European End uro settled, which Euros could come to America and . kick severe arse? French KTM rider Eric Bernard is a rea l American kind of rider: Bernard is an all-out-and-don' t-stop-tillthe-sun-goes-down kind of racer, and he would certainly score his share of wins. Maybe Sala could cope with some of the cours es in America , but Suzuki team boss Mike Webb does not think so. "For me , it would only be Eddy who could come here and rea ll y ra ce the Americans," Webb said at the Ocala event in '97. "May be Watts." Sure enough, Watts retu rn ed a nd won many of the American ISDE Qualifiers, but even Watts was honest enough to mention 'tha t these events are m ore like European events anyway. When it all comes d own to it, the Euros mig ht try thei r lu ck in the United States, but many will return to the cold , wet sh ores of Germany, Holland, England and France wit h thei r tails tu cked between their legs . At least, for the sa ke of Europea n enduro racing, let's ho pe so. f~ o nsh ip Mini Bike Gran d Prix in Richmond, C~ li , fornia ... Bob Balentine (KTM) was still the man to beat in the dez. Balentine won the San Gabriel Valley Me' s H are & Hound in Lucerne Valle y, Californ ia ... Th e Gary Scott-Evel Knievel specials - a Yamaha YZ2 5 0 a n d TI500 - were for sale in the Want Ads section , which also fea tured a n ad for the Ru ss Darn ell MX School. ff-roaders, remember this co ve r li ne?: ~S abotage atte mpt fai ls to stop Bars to w - toVegas:' The story went on to expl ain the sabo tage attempt, which co nsi s ted of a d ouble ro w of r a ilroad ties s p ike d with nail s that blocked a d ra inage culve r t under Int er .liiiiiiii~ll s ta te 15. The cou rs e wa s marked to go und er th e fr eeway throu gh that cu lvert. Fortunately it was discovered, and Darren Cartwright (Yam) went o n to win th e even t.. . Honda rel ea sed photos and details of its 1998 stree t-mo torcycle lineup. Eye-catchers included the all-new six-cylinder GL1500 Gold Wing. the all-new 647cc Hawk CT, and th e V-4 Mag na, which had its displacement upped from 700 to 75Occ. Ron Tichenor (Suz) won the ninth round of the Gold Cup Series at Diamondback MX Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida ... Matt Moo re took the Rookie-class vic tory at the Northeastern Ok lahoma Trials Tea m's event in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. ' "' O A EI ~ r-, 0'\ 0'\ ,..... r0 .... ClJ ..0 E ClJ u ClJ c 63

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's - Cycle News 1997 12 03