|Issue 32, 1.3.00
HUNWICK HALLAM, the Australian firm that was brave enough to build its own exotic prototype V-twin bikes from the ground up, is now Hunwick Harrop. The reason for the split of the original partnership (Hunwick was the business brains, and Hallam the engineering source) is unclear.
The new part of the partnership, Harrop Engineering, is very well known in Australian car racing circles. Ron Harrop is a former chief engineer for the all-conquering Holden V8 Supercar team and runs an exceptionally-well equipped engineering business from Melbourne (Vic, Australia). The latest story doing the rounds (which we have yet to confirm) is that the project has not died, but in fact is hoping to have limited production of the Boss cruiser (pictured) up and running around August. Not surprisingly, the potentially lucrative American market is the first target. Watch this space for further updates.
KIWI SUPERBIKE rider Aaron Slight suffered a stroke recently and underwent brain surgery about ten days ago. He is healing well, apparently, but looks likely to miss at least the first few rounds of this year's WSC.
BMW HAS begun production of its C1 scooter, which the company describes as a synthesis of car and bike.
The 11kW (14.75hp) machine runs an auto stepless transmission and features a full crash cage, complete with roof and seatbelt, that encloses the rider -- enabling it to be ridden legally without a helmet in many countries. BMW says it has done 180,000 trial kilometres with the machine, including a run of crash tests. The bike is for European markets only in the forseeable future and there are no plans to bring it to Australia. (The version at top right is a prototype.)
WILD MAN Anthony Gobert will be racing a TL1000-powered Bimota in this year's world superbike champs. Bimota's record on following through with grand racing plans is dismal, but we hope it works this time. Love him or hate him, Gobert always makes life more interesting.
REPSOL HONDA GP rider and reigning world 500cc champ Alex Criville has a cloud hanging over his health following a couple of episodes where he has blacked out unexpectedly.
THE MARCH edition of Australian Motorcycle Trader (middle right) is out and features a particularly good piece on buying used T140 Triumphs. There's also an historical feature on Munch Mammoths by internationally-recognised motorcycle historian Ian Falloon.
AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE News (bottom right) is also on the news stands this Thursday with a report on the international launch of Suzuki's new GSX-R750 ? attended by GP race legend Kevin Schwantz.
THE WORLD MX GP at Broadford (Vic, Australia) on March 18-19 is looking for officials/marshals. Call (03) 5192 4311. That's also the number to dial for tickets.
Sydneysiders should remember to listen to the Ride Rage radio show, 2.00-4.00pm, Mondays, Radio 2RRR, 88.5mhz.
Q: Who is your main rival this season?
Q: Last year was your first with Suzuki, and you found yourself winning
races and going for the title. Was that surprising?
Q: Wayne Rainey is on record saying that your weakness is that you have
very little experience of going for a championship. Is that a fair comment?
Q: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Suzuki?
Q: Will you ever be happy with the bike?
Q: How do you relax?
Q: What is your favourite track?
Q: What car do you drive?
Q: What's your favourite road?
Q: What's your favourite book? Or the last one you read.
Q: Your favourite movie?
Q: And music?
Q: How did you celebrate the millennium?
Q: Apart from motorcycle racing, do you have any other ambitions?
Q: Would you like to be remembered for more than racing ? for example
as a rider who improved safety?
Q: Some people think that you're only in racing because of your dad
? that you're trying to live up to him. How do you feel about that?
Q: How do you get fit? Have you changed your training regime?
Q: You recently extended your contract with Suzuki. What are the details?
Issue 31, 25.2.00
Motorcycle accessory manufacturer Corbin has started production of three-wheeled microcars that are promoted as environmentally friendly vehicles. The first model, called the Sparrow (left in pic), is electric and 35 examples have been delivered to customers. The second, called the Merlin (right in pic), is powered by an in-house 1200cc V-twin engine and is close to production.
Corbin has fairly ambitious plans in this area, with a number of designs for mini vans and other variations on the theme on the drawing board. The company says it will produce its V-twin in normally-aspirated and supercharged forms. However there is no hint of doing the obvious and sticking it into a motorcycle. You can find out more by clicking the picture to visit www.corbin.com
Hot on the heels of last week's report that Triumph may have revived its ëT-Max' project comes the news the counter-rumour that Yamaha is working on a two-litre version of the V-Max, running an entirely new powerplant, though likely to be a similar V-four configuration to the original. We support the idea on the condition they don't pussy-foot around with anything less than an honest 200 horses...
BMW is offering a limited run of serious replicas of its Paris-Dakar winning bikes. Based on the firm's F650 Dakar, it is called the Rallye. It carries digital instruments instead of the stock analogue gear, plus a very different seat/tailpiece unit. The fuel arangements mirror those of the race bike, with a 13 litre tank under the seat and two ësaddle' tanks of 10 litres each hanging down beside the cylinder head. Suspension is race spec, by WP Racing, with travel at the front boosted from 170mm to a whopping 290. Sadly the race mods don't extend to the now fuel-injected powerplant, which makes do with a carbon pipe that might add a couple of horses to the stock 50 (37.3kW). The bike is to be offered through some European dealers.
Bimota is finally dropping its Mantra from the model line-up and you don't
have to be a genius to work why...so long as you have a photo of it. The
What price love? According to UK MCN, about ten times the original. A British rider tracked down his much loved Triumph Bonneville after a long separation ? 27 years, in fact. Welshman Jeremy Nibbs sold his Bonnie in 1973 for 275 quid due to family commitments. He recently bought it back for 2500 pounds.
Harley-Davidson has recalled limited numbers of the XL1200 Custom for potential handlebar failure. FLTs are subject to a different recall for a fuel injection fix. Suzuki has also had a recall for a fault in an oil partition cast in SLV650s that could cause engine seizure. Both companies are contacting owners.
A Japanese hospital patient escaped while delirious and set fire to 42 motorcycles in a residential car park before stopped by police. He told officers he thought it would make him feel better...
Suzuki is putting the final touches on a new GSX-R600, said to be styled very closely to this year's 750. Look for it mid-year.
There are times when you have to wonder about the poms. In a recent survey conducted by an insurance company most (male) riders said that their favourite pillion would be multi world superbike champ Carl Fogarty. The choice of runners-up Liz Hurley, Pamela Anderson and Julia Roberts we can understand, but Foggy? Is there something we missed?
In the on-going saga over who, if anyone, is going to buy Moto Guzzi, both Cagiva and Aprilia have been mentioned as potential suitors. A second attempt to revive the deal with KTM seems to have cooled off and the theory is that both Cagiva and Aprilia could use Guzzi's instant access to the cruiser market.
Benelli is planning to release the first of its Tornados at the end of this year, but in limited edition SP form. In a move similar to that of MV with its F4 Serie Oro, the first version of the bike will be made available in small numbers and at a premium. A production version with less exotic cycle parts will follow. Click the pic to visit the Benelli site at www.tornadobenelli.com
It's late notice, but the largest swap meet in the Southern Hemisphere - at Ballarat in Victoria - is on this weekend. You won't have any trouble finding it if you drop into town.
Just a word of warning for those buying insurance for their motorcycle. Your standard policy may no longer cover you for track days. While they used to be covered, the cost became too steep for a number of companies to bear without additional premiums. So if in doubt, enquire. We understand a number of places will provide such cover at additional expense.
From Evan Holt at email@example.com: "council has decided that if
you want to park your bike at Batemans Bay when going to or from
Phillip Island you have to:
Stephen Dearnley, one of the founding members of the Ulysses Club, has published a history of the organisation. This type of club history is usually as entertaining as the death notices in the newspaper, but this is an exception. The book ? which is a little over 110 pages with photos ? is an informative and often light-hearted read. Dearnley, who still rides at a cheeky eighty-something, could carve out a career for himself as a writer. Proceeds for the $14 title (including postage), The Ulysses Story, go to the Arthritis Foundation. You can buy the book via mail at the The Ulysses Club Inc, PO Box 122, Bargo 2574. Click the pic to see the Ulysses web site at www.ulysses.org.au
We've had a reader ask if there are any web sites out there offering go-faster bits for ZZ-R600s. If anyone can help, we'll pass it on.
We mentioned last issue that there had been a bit of a rumble with some
Ulysses Club members and an outlaw group over the wearing of vest patches.
Here is an unofficial explanation by one Ulysses member: ìThe silk
screened denim patch has been okayed with the outlaw clubs, the trouble
arises when when ëwannabe' outlaws embroider or, worse still, colour
embroider the (white) printed patch - and then add ërockers', the
curved name badges over and under the club emblem.
Sydneysiders should remember to listen to the Ride Rage radio show on 2SSS, 2.00-4.00pm, Mondays, Radio 2RRR, 88.5mhz.
Article by Guy Allen
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