Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 11 07

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 88 of 89

30 YEARS AGO... NOVEMBER 16, 1971 ous (but apparently easily overlooked) fact that Goto is an innovative and highly successful racingengine designer with a pedigree and a half. Goto was with HRC when they introduced the V -10 motor to FI - an innovation that became a trend, and now a fashion. And Goto was with Ferrari also when they adopted the same configuration, and started their own road back to recovery. There's also the impressive speed - not much more than six months - in which the motor has gone from first prototype to working Mk2 motor. Although, as even they acknowledge, they have now arrived at the hard part of the job - turning it into a competitive racer. One must look beyond the immediate situation of the Petronas-Sauber. In its present form, it does have a cloudy future, beyond running around test tracks here and there, playing with exotica like f1y-by-wire injection and engine management. But it is easy to see a situation arising where non-factory teams - not only Team Roberts - could find themselves in need of a fully-developed motor, and the PSE is not just a handy-looking fancy, but a proper engine, bolted into a working chassis, that can actually move under its own power. Only Honda and Yamaha have so far achieved the same state of readiness. The other contenders are shrouded with mystery and disinformation. Aprilia, apparently, has yet to decide between a V-twin and a Cosworthmade in-line triple. Then there's the MZ, which has only now (we believe) made the first step from a drawing to a single test cylinder. It beats the Sauber in only one regard - they have a guaranteed one-year entry. Methinks that these new Dorna entry regulations will perforce turn out to be as flexible as their new Super License system. (The only safar confirmed new 500cc-c1ass rider for next year, American John Hopkins, doesn't comply with any of the Super License criteria, but nobody anticipates any difficulty in him being allowed to race for Red Bull Yamaha.) I doubt that the Sauber motor will race in 2002. But I shall be surprised not to see - and hear - it in 2003. eN At the lDp of Issue !144 sits the Honda Hawk, which was Honda's answer to the 265-mph motorcycle land-speed record recently set by Harley-Davidson. Honda had a few setbacks the first time out but recorded a one-way pass of 285 mph. It takes two passes to officially set a record, however... Also on the cover was a picture of Yamaha's new 750cc. watercooled ioline rour-cylinder entitled the GL 750... MalcoLm Smith partnered with Gunnar Nillson to win the bike class and finish sec· and overall at the Baja 1000. Parnelli Jones drove the overall-winning Bronco... More than 750 riders started the Jackass Enduro in Red Mountain, California, and less than 200 finished ... Irwindale Raceway, one of the leading pioneers of California drag racing, announced the completion of a new 40-acre motorcycle park at the facility. It was to be open every Sunday, and admission was $2.50 for a motorcycle and rider, $ 1.50 for a minibike and rider, and $.50 for spectators. 20 YEARS AGO..• NOVEMBER 11, 19B1 Steve Wise powered across the cover of Issue *44 on his way to his second Superbikers win in a row. In only the third running of the event, Graham Noyce (Hon) and Eddie lawson (Kaw) rounded out the top three... Round 10 of the National Championship Enduro Series, in Bellingham, Washington, marked the 51st consecutive running of the Cowbell Enduro, and Husqvarna-mounted Mike Melton took the win by one second over teammate Terry Cunningham in a tie breaker. Dick Burleson (Hus) and Larry Roeseler (Yam) rounded out the top four overall... Team Kawasaki announced their 1982 MX race team, which would include Jeff Ward on 125s, Tom Benolkin on 250s and Goat Breker on 500s. Warren Reid was terminated from his two-year contract early via a "financial agreement·... We published three pictures of the oft· rumored watercooled HarleyDavidson V-4 cruiser. Among the oddities of the bike was an air filter located where the gas tank would normally be, and air scoops mounted next to the front forks. 10 YEARS AGO.•. NOVEMBER 13, 1991 The cover of Issue 1144 was dedicated to the 1992 125cc Motocross Shootout. The Shootout wasn't clear-cut, though, as Honda, Suzuki and KTM offered horsepower aplenty, while Yamaha and Kawasaki had the better chassis ... Round two of the Masters of Motocross Series was held at the Milan Supercross, and Jean-Michel Bayle won both days of racing, increasing his lead to 20-6 over a trio of riders... Randy Hawkins (Suz) won round eight of the AMA National Championship Enduro Series in Delaware, but Jeff Russell (KTM) clinched his first National Enduro Championship at the event... Mike Brown (Hon) dominated the 125 and 250cc A classes at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee - the fmal round of the AMA Southeastern Regionai Championship Megaseries. Mark Burkhart won the 60cc class ... Jeremy McGrath (Hon) rode to victories in the 125 and 250cc Pro classes at round three of the GFI Fall MX Series in Perris, California. Greg Zitterkopf (Kaw) won the 500cc Pro class. verybody loved the noise of the Petronas-Sauber when it essayed a couple of slow laps at Sepang prior to the Malaysian Grand Prix. Louder than the V-five Hondas seen at Motegi, and almost as interesting in the way it wailed, blipped and gained and lost revs in a millisecond, the soundtrack at least was a hit. If only one could say the same for the project as a whole. The general perception, however, was far from generous in this regard. It was easier to scoff. Because, for one thing, two weeks earlier Dorna had announced that Sauber did not have an entry for next year. And because the roll-out bike was a long way short of a state-of-the-art Honda, being something of an ad-hoc and hasty effort by Harris Performance Products, who - with the best will in the world - aren't exactly direct rivals to the Honda Motor Company, either in terms of resources or equipment. There are some more details on this. Why, one journalist asked, had they chosen a triple? Chief engineer Osamu Goto replied quite simply: "Ten kilograms.· (22 pounds - the weight penalty imposed by the addition of a fourth cylinder). So, the journalist persisted, does that mean that Yamaha [four cylinders] and Honda [five] are wrong? "Yes,· replied Goto. "But don't forget they have marketing considerations, for future production machines, as well as just engineering." Honda and Yamaha wrong! Some small Swiss-based car-race engineering company right! Cue more general hilarity. Likewise when test rider, the renowned Niall Mackenzie, told how it E takes seven people to start the engine - a complex process including preheating the water, running the engine up to speed, bUilding up oil pressure and monitoring various functions before the rider can hit the contact button to activate the ignition. The truth is, it takes three - one to operate the back-wheel roller, one to monitor functions on a laptop, and the rider. Being a bit keen, however, the Sauber mechanics all like to get a look in, at this early stage. All the rigmarole, meanwhile, is perfectly normal practice with high-level (FI) engines. In the all-twa-stroke motorcycle paddock, it' somehow proved hilarious. For once, I am not on the side of the scoffers. I alone in the press room, it seems, believe that the Petronas-Sauber engine is to be taken seriously, even if the temporary test-bed chassis looked a bit of a lash-up, when parked in the same pit lane as the highly developed full-on factory racers. I have reasons for this beyond an earlier visit to the factory, and a lengthy indoctrination by the engineers. Reasons beyond also the obvi- Coming up in Cycle News • Brazilian GP Road Race Finale • AMAlFMF National Enduro Finale • AMA National Hare & Hound Finale cue I e n • _ S • NOVEMBER 7, 2001 87

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