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No. 54, Thursday July 27, 2000

Ducati Monster S4 revealed

S4 Ducati Monster

   Ducati has released details of its Monster S4, the first time the model has had a major upgrade since its introduction in 1992. It’s a completely new bike, sharing little but the name and styling with its predecessor. For example the frame comes from the ST series, while the power now comes from the 916 powerplant rather than the old 900. Suspension is 43mm Showa USD forks and Sachs rear monoshock, while claimed dry weight is 193kg. Front brakes are four-spot Brembos running on 320mm discs.

Detail has finally emerged on Yamaha’s 500cc scooter, dubbed the T-Max. The twin-cylinder four-stroke powerplant claims 44hp and is mounted in the frame rather than on the swingarm as per normal scooter practice. It runs a full-bike-size 1575mm wheelbase and wears what are claimed to be the biggest brakes ever put on a scoot - a 287mm rotor with twin-piston caliper up front and a 267mm in the rear.

Australian rider Anthony Gobert’s dumping from the now defunct Bimota world superbike team may have been an indication of much bigger troubles within the company. Motorcycle Online reports that Aprilia has pulled out of a potential purchase of Bimota. Triumph was mentioned as another potential suitor and the rumour is that, if someone with cash isn’t found soon, the specialist Italian firm may not survive in its present form.

UK Motorcycle News (http://www.motorcyclenews.com/home/index.asp) has a pic of what it says is the design study for Italian company Mondial to re-enter the bike market. Currently it is a maker of transmission parts. The lines look suspiciously close to MV Agusta’s F4 and we’re told the proposed powerplant is a TL1000 unit.

French firm Boxer and Voxan are on the verge of releasing the limited production (1000 units) of their VB1 bike, running a 996cc V-twin powerplant. The price for the carbon-fibre-clad machine is expected to be high.

If drugs and motorcycle racing are your thing, here’s the latest warning from those fun-loving folk at the FIM: "Beside the doping controls carried out during World Championship events, the FIM is also carrying out as from this season unannounced doping controls at any time during the year, at the rider's training camp, track, accommodation, home or any other place where the rider is likely to be found. As an IOC-recognised Federation, the FIM is complying with the requirements of the International Olympic Committee also concerning out-of-competition doping controls."

Suzuki has released its 2001 RM motocrosser line-up, decked out in similar livery to the Corona RM which Mickael Pichon is using to lead the world 250 championship. Apparently the 250 and 125 series have undergone frame and engine changes, with the latter intended to make the powerplants more compact. The 80 is substantially the same as the current model.

Yamaha has included two interesting models in its off-road competition line-up for 2001 according to Motorcycle Online (http://www.motorcycle.com/motorcycle.html). The first is the YZ250F, running a five-valve, liquid-cooled, four-stroke single that revs to a heady 13,500rpm. Its weight is claimed to be competitive with its two-stroke challengers. Next up is the WR250F, delivered in enduro trim with a wide-ratio five-speed box, lighting and bigger fuel tank.

german gp

Aussies in points at German GP last weekend: While Brazilian Alex Barros and Italian Valentino Rossi fought out a thrilling German 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix, Australian Garry McCoy scored his best result in the past five races.

The championship leader early in the season after winning the South African Grand Prix, the 28-year-old rider from Camden, on the outskirts of Sydney, earned six points for his 10th place at the Sachsenring after recent tyre and weather troubles saw him collect only one point in the previous four races.

  Fellow Aussie Anthony West was 10th in the 250cc GP at Sachsenring after losing a lot of time when he was forced off the circuit on the opening lap. West is a comfortable sixth in the 250cc championship, while McCoy is ninth in the 500cc championship.

American Kenny Roberts Junior, third in the 500cc GP at Sachsenring, increased his lead in the major championship to 38 points - 161 to 123 - over Spaniard Carlos Checa, who was only ninth in Germany after suffering concussion in a crash on Saturday.

Frenchman Olivier Jacque and Japan's Youichi Ui won the 250cc and 125cc races respectively at Sachsenring to increase their leads in those championships.

  The German races comprised the 10th event in a 17-round season that will culminate at the 2000 Qantas Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Victoria's Phillip Island circuit on October 27-29.

OFFICIAL 500 RACE RESULTS SACHSENRING: 1 ? A. Barros (Honda) 43’54.632,  2 ? V. Rossi (Honda) + 0.078,  3 ? KENNY ROBERTS (TELEFONICA MOVISTAR SUZUKI) + 0.864,  4 ? Max Biaggi (Yamaha) + 1.263, 5 ? T. Okada (Honda) + 1.674, 6 ? L. Capirossi (Honda) + 3.014,  7 ? R. Laconi  (Yamaha) + 13.606, 8 ? Gibernau (Honda) + 13.917, 9 ? C. Checa (Honda) + 14.019, 10 ? G. McCoy (Yamaha) + 20.085, 13 ? NOBUATSU AOKI (TELEFONICA MOVISTAR SUZUKI) + 49.188.

500 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS after ten of 16 rounds: 1 -  Kenny Roberts 161, 2 -  C. CHECA 123, 3 -  V. Rossi 112, 4 -  L Capirossi 112, 5-   N. Abe 106, 6 -  A. Barros 104, 7 -   A. Criville 88, 8 -  N. Aoki 78, 9 -  G, McCoy 68, 10 ? T. Okada 65.

Here is the concluding chapter on the intriguing case where H-D tried to trademark its distinctive engine sound. From the factory media release: "Harley-Davidson Motor Company is getting out of the trademark office and hitting the road, where the sound of its V-Twin engine is as recognizable to motorcycle enthusiasts as The Star Spangled Banner. The Company announced today that it is dropping efforts to federally register its trademark of the sound of its motorcycles.

  " ‘I’ve personally spoken with Harley-Davidson owners from around the world and they’ve told me repeatedly that there is ‘nothing like the sound of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle,’ said Joanne Bischmann, vice president of marketing. ‘If our customers know the sound cannot be imitated, that’s good enough for me and for Harley-Davidson.’

  "Owner of one of the most identifiable brands in the world, Harley-Davidson filed to federally register the distinctive sound of its V-Twin engines in 1994. The application was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which agreed that the sound, by itself, identified Harley-Davidson motorcycles and distinguished them from other motorcycles.

" ‘Dropping the application is a practical business decision,’ said Bischmann. ‘More than six years have passed since we filed our application and there is still no end in sight. The process of registering this trademark has become more of an issue than the uniqueness of our sound, and frankly, we’re tired of throwing tens of thousands of dollars out the window on litigation.’ 

" ‘More than six years have passed since we filed our application and there is still no end in sight. The process of registering this trademark has become more of an issue than the uniqueness of our sound, and frankly, we’re tired of throwing tens of thousands of dollars out the window on litigation.’ "

Reader recommended web sites:
http://www.748r.com from Michael;

http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/kawasakiownersclub from Ita;

"It is called Motorcycling Sydney, and can be found at http://www.tioki.com.au/~brendan/mcycle.htm" from Brendan.

Many thanks to those who contributed - we’ll bring you more next week. If you have a site you’d like to nominate, just drop a line to allmoto@netspace.net.au.

----- 
Tech help available! Talk to the ever-patient Noel Wiltshire (who also sells computer gear - give him a try) at e-mail noelwilt@mpx.com.au.
----
Latest audience figures: 8500 weekly for the e-mailzine, 900 per day for the website

4.8.00 Competition update

500cc WORLD CHAMP CRIVILLE SIGNS UP AGAIN WITH HONDA

Reigning 500cc motorcycle world champion, Alex Criville of Spain, has
signed up again to ride with Honda Racing Corporation for another season.
Winner of two Australian Motorcycle Grands Prix - in 500cc in 1997 and
125cc in 1989, at Victoria's Phillip Island both times - 30-year-old
Criville has had a lean 2000 season, notching only one win, at the French
GP, and one other podium, for second in the Dutch GP.

Criville emerged from the shadow of his long-time teammate, Australian
five-time world champion Mick Doohan, in 1999 - after Doohan was sidelined
by injuries that ultimately brought about his retirement - and added the
500cc championship to the 125cc world title he won a decade earlier.

"I feel very satisfied after having signed the contract with Honda for the
2001 season," Criville said. "Although the world championship (this year)
is not going as well as expected, I'm very proud of how much trust Honda
has had in me for next year.

"We've had a few good performances and achieved a 500cc world championship
title together, so I'm going to stay and keep fighting for the best
results."

Criville is seventh in this year's championship on 88 points, well behind
American championship leader Kenny Roberts on 161, Spaniard Carlos Checa on
123 and Italians Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi, in equal third on
112.

The championship resumes from its mid-season break with the Czech Republic
GP at Brno on August 20, while the Qantas Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
will be the final round of the season at Phillip Island on October 27-29.

----------

Item from Britain's Autosport magazine, July 27, 2000

German motorcycle racer Ralf Waldmann - veteran of 159 two-wheel GPs (in
four categories) and winner of 20, including the 1997 Australian 250cc GP
at Victoria's Phillip Island - has passed a withering judgement on his
countryman, dual world drivers' champion and this year's F1 championship
leader Michael Schumacher. "Grand Prix drivers are demi-gods," Waldmann
said. "No mortal even comes into the vicinity of a Michael Schumacher. Even
I only manage to do so if we have a meeting due to our common main sponsor
(Marlboro). And even then he only talks to me because he is forced to do
so. You feel as if you have been granted an audience with the Holy Father."

________

SUZUKA EIGHT-HOUR - WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
SUZUKA, JAPAN:  Race Report, Sunday, July 30

GODDARD FINISHES THIRD IN SUZUKA EIGHT-HOUR

Australia's Peter Goddard today finished on the podium in the Suzuka
Eight-Hour World Endurance Championship motorcycle event for the second
time of his career with third place in this year's race on a works
Kawasaki.

The 36-year-old from Wollongong and Japan's Tamaki Serizawa secured the
third and final podium position today by completing 212 laps of the
5.9km Suzuka circuit on a Kawasaki ZX-7RR. Goddard's result in his 10th
start in the Suzuka race equalled his best previous performance of third
place in 1989 with Japan's Shingo Katoh on a Yamaha.

Today's race, held in hot and humid conditions, was won by Japanese pair
Daijiro Katoh and Tohru Ukawa, who both ride Hondas in the 250cc grand
prix world championship. They covered 215 laps on a Cabin Honda VTR1000,
finishing a lap clear of the second-placed Suzuki GSX-R750 raced by
Japanese riders Akira Ryo and Keiichi Kitagawa.

The Katoh-Ukawa team took the lead on lap 42 and held first position
throughout the final four hours. Katoh's victory was his first in the
event, while Ukawa had won twice before, with Japan's Shinichi Itoh in
1997 and again the following year.

Goddard and Serizawa, who qualified ninth, quickly moved into the top
five and held fourth place for most of the race. They improved to third
when Hitoyasu Izutsu crashed after 121 laps when in second position on
the Kawasaki he was sharing with fellow-Japanese rider Akira Yanagawa.
Izutsu and Yanagawa took no further part in the race.

Another top team forced to retire was the Castrol Honda raced by Italian
Valentino Rossi, winner of this year's 500cc British Grand Prix, and
World Superbike Championship leader Colin Edwards, of the United States.
Rossi crashed after 31 laps when leading, and they dropped to 34th,
before recovering to eighth. Their VTR1000 was damaged when Edwards
crashed after 121 laps and they were forced out.

Pole position winner Noriyuki Haga was never in contention after works
Yamaha team-mate Wataru Yoshikawa crashed in the first hour. They
dropped to 58th before resuming racing, and eventually finished 18th,
and 14 laps behind the winners.

Before the race started Honda's Japanese works 500cc grand prix rider
Tadayuki Okada was forced to withdraw after being injured in a crash
during the warm-up. His was replaced by Japan's Manabu Kamata as
team-mate to Itoh on a Cabin Honda VTR1000 and they finished eighth.

PETER GODDARD QUOTES:  "It's taken me 11 years to get onto the podium
again in this race and it's a good feeling. I felt we had a chance of
being in the first three if we were there at the end, and that's the way
it turned out. Our lap times were consistent and the Kawasaki team did a
fantastic job in the pits with the refuelling and tyre changes. The only
problem we had was with a pace car that came out in the second hour. It
came out between us and the leaders and we lost more than a minute. The
pace car shouldn't have split the top group. Slower riders are always a
problem here, and this year was no different. We were lapping the
'backmarkers' after about 10 laps. There was a lot of talk about the
speed of the Hondas this weekend, but the Kawasaki did the job ˆ in
fact, both our bikes were competitive. The weather looked threatening,
and there was talk of a monsoon arriving late in the day. There was some
very light rain in the last half-hour, but nothing much. We were lucky
with the weather today compared to some other years. I've got to thank
Kawasaki for giving me the opportunity to do this race. Hopefully I'll
be back again next year because I want to win the (Suzuka) Eight-Hour."

RACE RESULTS:
POS RIDERS     MOTORCYCLE  LAPS
1. D. Katoh (Jap)-T. Ukawa (Jap)  Honda VTR1000  215
2. A. Ryo (Jap)-K. Kitagawa (Jap)  Suzuki GSX-R750  214
3. P. Goddard (Australia)-T. Serizawa (Jap) Kawasaki ZX-7RR  212
4. Y. Takeda (Jap)-S. Nakatomi (Jap)  Honda VTR1000  210
5. O. Nishijima (Jap)-R. Tsuruta (Jap)  Kawasaki ZX-7RR  210
6. S. Giles (Australia)-O. Deguchi (Jap)  Suzuki GSX1300R  209
7. N. Numata (Jap)-Y. Nukumi (Jap)  Yamaha YZF-R7  208
8. S. Itoh (Jap)-M. Kamata (Jap)   Honda VTR1000  206
9. K. Nashimoto (Jap)-R. Kiyonari (Jap) Honda CBR900  206
10. M. Tokinga (Jap)-Y. Goriku (Jap)  Yamaha YZR-R1  204
11. M. Saito (Jap)-T. Fukami (Jap)  Yamaha YZF-R7  204
12. Y. Konishi (Jap)-T. Kayou (Jap)  TSR:AC91m  203
13. W. Nowland (Australia)-P. Linden (Swed) Suzuki GSX-R750  203
14. T. Manako (Jap)-S. Yamashita (Jap)  Suzuki GSX-R750  203
15. T. Kawada (Jap)-Y. Sugai (Jap)  Suzuki GSX1300R  203
OTHERS:
17. B. Parkes (Australia)-T. Hamaguchi (Jap) Moriwaki MTM-1  202
WINNERS RACE TIME:  8-hrs 00-mins 31.775-secs

WEBSITE: www.petergoddard.com

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Article by Guy Allen

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