Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 10 21

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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IN THE WIND With the 800cc championship wrapped up at the previous round, all eyes were on the 540cc Nationa l HiIlclimb Championship as the series made its final stop of the season in round 12, held at the Devil's Staircase in Oregonia, Ohio. Da vid Watson (Hon) w ra pped up his first-ever championship in the class with his fifth-place finish, while Terry Th o m p so n (BSA) took the w in . Ch ad Disbennet (Tri) was second and Paul Pinsonnault (Hon) was th ir d . Newly crowned BOOcc Champion James Large (H-D) was gu nni ng for the wi n but finished second behind Lou Gerencer (HD).:Bob Castledine (H-D) was third . Gary Clark (Kaw) d efeated Terry Kizer (Kaw) for the Fu nnybike title during the AM A / Prostar Gu lf Coas t Nati onals a t H ouston Ra cewa y Park in H ou ston , Te xa s, on O ct ober 10 . Tony Sabino (Suz) won the Pro Mod class, and Paul Gas t (Suz) top ped the Pro Stock ran ks. Michael Hartness (Suz) a n d Rickey Gadson (Kaw) won the Pro Su perbike a nd 600cc Su persport classes, respectively. Jim Neese (Hus) was the man at round th ree of the AMA Eastern Four-Stroke Na tional at Casey, Illinois, on Oc tober 11, taking the overall wi n a h ea d of Ke lly Smith (H bg) an d Anthony Pocorobba (Kaw), Jason Thomas (Yam) wo n the 250cc Pro class at roun d three of th e AM A Fall Classic se ries, h eld at Lincoln Trail s Mot ors ports. Jeff Gibson (Kaw) was seco nd a n d Doug S tone (Ka w) was th ird . Robbie S k aggs (Suz) won th e 125cc class, wi th Dou g Ston e second and Brian Stone (Kaw) third.' Ke nny Yoho (Yam) w on the 250cc Pro class a t round three of the Unlimited Sports Florida Gold Cup Series , held at Dad e Ci ty Raceway on Saturday, Octob er 10 . Chris M a n n in g (Kaw) and Tyson Ha dsell (Yam) rou nd ed out the top thr ee. In the 125cc Pro class, Hadsell won , with Marcu s Pedrero (Suz) second and J.B. Ball ard third . At round four, held the next day at Motocross of Marion County, Hadsell won th e 250cc Pro class, with Mike Stevenson (Kaw) second. Yoh o was the top 125cc rider, beating Jarrett Tipping (Suz) and Pedrero. f3 B ~ Doug Blackwell (Ya m) clinch ed th"e 1998 A MA Na tiona l H are Scra m bles title w hen he won his first overall of the season in Lynnvill e, Indi ana, on October 4. "Th is year is clea rly th e best I' v e had," Blackwell said after winning his first-ever AMA titl e. "And I've raced more than ever befor e." Blackw ell suffered a sprained wrist early in the middl e of the season . "I realized never letting my w rist heal pr op erly was goi ng to hu rt me in the lon g run, so I decid ed to sit out three weeks." He came back to w in th re e of th e n ext four even ts , including the victory on Oct ober 4 that ga ve him the title, As Cycle News w as going to press o n Monday, October 12, w e learned that multi-tim e AMA Supe rcross a n d Motocross National Champion Jeremy M cG rath had just signed a two-y ear contract with Chaparral Racing that will se e the supers ta r on th e tea m for th e 1999 and 2000 seasons. McGrath will team with Steve Lamson on Chaparral ' Yamahas for 1999. Au stralian road racer Troy Co rs er is reco vering rapidly from the injuries su ffered in a crash at the Sugo round of the California riders face new emissions re s T he future course of motorcycling in California - both on and off the road - could be set over the next seve ral weeks by an agency of the state government, reports the AMA . The California Air Resources Board is set to release new emissions sta ndards for road bikes and modified rules for off-highwa y bikes. And the consequences may be felt by motorcyclists throughout the country. In the road-bike arena, CARB's latest plan would slas h maxi mum allowable tailpipe emissions by more than 80 percent over 'the next 10 yea rs. That would make the California standards 12 times as strict as the federa l standards governing motorcycles across the United Stat es, and three times as res trictive as the toughes t standa rds proposed in Europe. In the process of meeting those sta nda rds, CARB officials say, mo torcycle manufacturers will be forced to adopt car technologies such as fuel injection and catalytic con verters that wo uld raise the cost of new motorcycles substan tially. The prop osal, un veiled a t an Oc to be r 7 public meeting o f CA RB o fficia ls, a ctually represen ts a co m p ro mise from th e boa rd 's previou s plan, w hic h would have cu t emissions from road motorcycles by 90 percent. The CARB plan would ph ase in the new standard in two stages, with a 50-percent red uction in em issions by 2004 and the full red uction by 2008. Howeve r, motor cycle-industry officials say the CA RB compromise plan still goes far beyond any cost-effective approach to motorcycle-emissions con trol. They , have proposed an alternate plan that wo uld reduce tailpipe emissions from new motorcycles by 40 percent over the same 1D-year period. The CARB prese n tation at the meeting indicated that virtually all mo torcycles sold in the state by 2008 would have to use computer-controlled fuel injection, three-way catalytic co nverte rs with feed back control, and pu lse air-injection systems to meet the proposed s ta ndards . Currently, onl y a handfu l of hig h-en d , motorcycles come wi th any of those features . "CARB estimates that those cha nges would increase the cos t of a new motorcycle by abo ut $278," AMA vice p resident of governme nt relation s Rob Rasor said. "That es timate is much too low. Currently, one motor cycle manu facturer offers carbureted and fuel-injected ve rsions of the same model, and the d ifferen ce in cost for that one eleme nt is $800. Based on that, it' s likely that the cost of these emissions standards will easily tota l mor e tha n $1000 per mot orcycle, w hich could amo unt to a 2D-percent surcharge to the retail pri ce." Th e AMA was amon g several grou ps arguing aga inst th e adop tio n of th e new standards at th e CARB me eting. Those groups noted that the lower volume of motorcycle sales makes it mo re d ifficult to amo rtize th e cost of new em issions -con tro l World Superbike Champ ionship on Octobe r 4. The crash that occu rred during Sunday morning' s warmup session for th e se r ies final e en ded Cors er' s h opes of winning hi s s eco nd World Superbike title. The crash left him with th ree fr actured ribs and a ru ptured sp leen . On Sund a y evening, Corser underwent a non surgical proced ur e performed b y a r ad iol o g is t to stop the bleed ing and preven t fu rther interna l bleed ing. If there is no further bleeding, surgery to re move the spleen won't be required. He is expected to remain in a Japanese hospital for seven to 10 days before retu rni ng to Au stralia. After thr ee seasons of lackluster results in the World Superbike Ch ampionship that saw the best res ults come from riders not on the official Wo rld Cha mpions hip squa d, the Suzuki factory elected n ot to renew its contract w ith Harris Performan ce, the British-b ased company tha t h as run th e Harnarn atsu , Japanb a s ed co m p a ny' s World Sup erbike effort since 1996. Harris' contract expires on October 31, 1998. In Harris Perform ance's p lace for 1999 will be T ea m Suz uki AIst are , the same race organization that w on the Supersport World Seri es th is season using the GSX-R600. Based on its success, the Alstar e team, run by Francis Batta, will tak e over the su perb ike program and continue wit h the su pers port program, with cham p ions hi p winner Fabrizio Pirov ano a nd third-placed Stephane Chambon contin- equipment in the motorcycle market than in the automobile market. It was also pointed out that the nature of motorcycles, many of which come with expos ed engines, makes fitting car-like emissions plumbing mu ch more difficult. And with California leading the nation in motorcycle sales, it's likely that these changes will have a significant impact on motorcycles sold throughout the country. Meanwhile, California's off- hig hway motorcyclists can only wait for additional news about a CARB plan that will have an enormous impact on them. At the Octo ber 7 meeting, CARB officials announced that they are ame nd ing a con troversial se t of emissions regu lations governing off-highway motorcycles tha t have bee n in effect for nearly two years. Those regulations have effectively prevent ed the registration of all tw o-stroke mot orcycles and ATVs for recreational use on public lands. The AMA, along with District 36, 37 and 38 orga nizations, has worked with the Californ ia Motorcycle Dealers Association to get those standards ame nded since they were first implemented. And a com promise has been reached that maintains the existing standards, but provides tw o important exce p tions . The first allows no nco m ply ing mot orcycles to be used in competitive activi ties such as enduros and desert races. The second opens up the possibility of registerin g non complyin g motorcycles for noncompetitive use in specified areas during times of the year when air qu ality is expec ted to be good . "The serio us effects of this regulation can bee n see n in the fact that prior to th ese s tandards, nearly 100 d iffe re n t models of motorcycles were eligible for regi stration s as off-hig hway vehicles in California," Rasor said. "Today, that number is seven. "We are d isappointed that we were no t successful in getting this regulation elimi nated," Rasor ad ded, "but we are hopeful that we can at least open up significant riding areas during major portions of the year." CA RB's final list of open areas and seasons was available at the Octo ber 7 meeting and isn' t expected u ntil October 13. " If the fina l plan incl u des sig nifica nt opportu nities for offhigh way motorcyclists, then our efforts over the past two years will be wort hwhile," Rasor sa id . "At this point , however, there's no guarantee that will be the case ." CARB is expected to make its final decisions on both the road and off- roa d em issions issues at a meeting sched uled for 9:30 a .m. on December 10 in Sacrame n to. In the me antime, the tw o sets of standa rds are open to public comment. Motor cyclists wh o would like to state their opinions about the CARB proposals can se n d their com men ts to : Clerk of th e Board , California Ai r Resources Board, P.O. Box 2815, Sacram ent o, CA 95812. uing with the team. As for the su perbike effort, Suzuki will lend full factory su pport in the form of works machin es and equ ip m e n t, a s well as tech n ica l a n d fina ncial support, though outside spo nso rshi p will co me from Corona Extra, Powe r H o rs e , Fo xh ound , Dunl op, Hydrogo mma and Beta tools. Riders for th e tw o s u per bi kes h a ve n ot b een signed, thoug h it is sai d that both PierFra ncesco Chili, w hose fu t u re with Du cat i is ap pa re n tly in question, a nd Troy Corser have been approac hed. Accord ing to a report by Reuters, former G ra nd Pri x mot or cycle racer Juan Garriga, second in the 1988 250cc World Champions hi p, has bee n cha rged w ith drug trafficking a n d p oss e ss ion of firearms, said court officials on October 7. Local n ews age ncy Europa Pr ess reported that Garriga was arrested in May after a search in a Barcelona, Spain, bar uncovered half a kil o of cocai n e, am munition and 300,000 peseta s ($2173) in forged notes . An ad d itional search of hi s villa was conducted, revealing a revolver, two pis tols, tw o rifles, a sho tgu n, ammunition and a small quantity of cocaine, the agency re ported, citing police sou rces. The former Yamaha and Ducati rider, w ho drifted out of motorcycle racing in 1993, ha s been released p ending trial and will make hi s ne xt cou rt appearance on October 19. Buell will be offering demo rides on all of its 1999 models du ring the Biketoberfest in Daytona, October 22-25. Qualified riders can experi ence the all-new Lightning X-I, along with the rest of the Buell lineup, at the demo, which will take place at Daytona International Speedway from 9 a.m , to 3 p.m . ever y da y. On Saturday, October 24, com pany founder Erik Buell will lead a ride, which wi ll last approximately two hou rs, from the demo site. All brands are we lcome to tak e part in the . rid e, which will begin at 9 a.m. Terry Death erage, 55, d ied on Sunday, October 11 after a lon g battl e with can cer. Deatherage was a former owner of Cycl e Parts Dist ri b u ti ng in Wichita, Kansa s, as well as a well-known d ir t tra ck r acer in Te xa s, O kla homa and Kansas for several years. Newly signed Yoshi m ura Suz uki rid er Steve Rapp will be the featured guest at Sport Bike Night at In Cahoots in Sacramento, California, on October 19.from 7 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 916/373-1557. Big' Gu n Exh a us t S y st em s is n ow accepting resumes for th e 1999 racin g season. Resumes can be sen t to Big GUl l a t 8628 Utica Ave., Suite 500, Rancho Cucamo nga, CA 91730, attn: Race Support. According to reports from Europe, Scott Ru sse ll is the number-on e candidate to join the Fast By Ferracci Ducati team for the 1999 AMA Superbik e Nati onal

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