No. 56, Wednesday August 23, 2000
The real thing...
Adventurous folk have managed to hack into Triumph UK's website and collect
this pic of the new Bonneville, some weeks before its official release
at next month's Munich show.
The 790cc liquid-cooled twin is a close visual replica of a 1969
Bonnie and will be seen in Australia for the first time at this year's
Our thanks to readers Ian Lock and Robert Jenner for passing
it on to us.
we ran a few issues ago about rear subframes cracking on Suzuki Hayabusas
has a local parallel. We've now heard of three Australian machines which
have cracked their subframes and the problem seems to be associated with
carrying a pillion rather than with luggage, as first reported. At this
stage we are awaiting an official response from Suzuki, but in the meantime
strongly advise owners to regularly lift their seat and carry out a visual
inspection as one example in Britain was reported by UK MCN to have collapsed
while being ridden.
mentioned before, former world 500cc GP world champ Kevin Schwantz is contesting
the Australian Safari (currently under way) on a Suzuki DR-Z400. He recently
featured at a Suzuki-hosted lunch in Sydney and proved to be excellent
company. Of the many funny stories he told, our favourite concerned his
infamous crash at the 1989 Phillip Island Grand Prix. A quick recap: he'd
gained pole position with something like a half-second advantage and was
pretty confident of winning the race. He recalls heading into MG corner,
reminding himself he could win so long as he was careful and, during that
lapse of concentration, binned the bike.
Absolutely furious with himself, he stalked away from the crash
scene and was picked up by an official in a car. As Schwantz settled into
the passenger seat, the driver sympathised, "It's alright mate, I know
exactly how you feel."
Schwantz angrily replied, "You have no f...ing idea how I feel!"
Then, while being checked out in the medical centre, he enquired after
who that idiot official was who had driven him in. "Gregg Hansford," was
Somewhat humbled, Schwantz apologised to Hansford and reports
that the former Kawasaki GP racer saw the funny side of the situation.
As for the Australian Safari, top seed and South Australian Andrew
Caldecott continues to lead the race on his 660 KTM Rallye, ahead of American
Casey McCoy on a Honda XR400 by around 12 minutes. And Schwantz? Currently
running 11th and keeping his promise that he came along for the fun rather
than set the world on fire.
motorcycle tour and hire business Bikescape is running an Australian Grand
Prix tour from October 23 to November 1 It will be taking in some of the
country's best riding, along with famous tour spots such as the Snowy Mountains
and Great Ocean Road. You can take your own bike or hire one of theirs
- click the banner below to find out more.
EIGHTH WINNER OF 500cc SEASON BUT AUSSIE McCOY HERO IN CZECH REPUBLIC
Italian Max Biaggiís victory in the Czech Republic 500cc Motorcycle
Grand Prix was his first of the season, his sixth at the Brno circuit and
made him the eighth 500cc winner in 11 rounds so far in the MotoGP world
However, the hero of the race was Australiaís third-placed Garry
McCoy, whose spectacular sideways style proved the most popular with the
director of the international telecast of the race.
It was McCoyís third podium finish of the year on the Red Bull
Yamaha and a welcome return to form after his disappointments since winning
the opening race of the season in South Africa and then finishing third
The 28-year-old McCoy, from Camden on the outskirts of Sydney,
had a thrilling dice with 21-year-old Italian Valentino Rossi, who only
took his Honda clear of the Australian with two laps to go to finish 6.641
seconds behind Biaggiís Yamaha.
Rossi, now second to American Kenny Roberts Junior in the world
championship, said of McCoy: "He is so spectacular. It is such a good show
following him that you would pay for a ticket to watch and, if finally
you are able to pass him, it is even more amazing."
"Roman Emperor" Biaggi jumped from 11th to eighth in the championship
with the 25 points for his victory at Brno, where he won two years ago
in his first season of 500cc racing and four times on 250cc machines.
Championship leader Kenny Roberts finished fourth on his Suzuki
to go to 174 points, while Rossi now has 132 and Spanish Yamaha rider Carlos
Checa dropped to third on 128 after finishing only 11th in his 100th GP.
McCoy - who agreed a new two-year contract with Red Bull Yamaha
at the weekend, with an option for 2003 - dropped a place in the standings
to 10th, on 84 points, because of Biaggiís advance to 89 points.
Less than two seconds behind Rossi at the finish, McCoy said:
"Being on the podium is a good feeling again after the heartbreak of the
bad results I had for a few races mid-season what with the rain, poor tyre
gambles and some mistakes."
Biaggi said his latest Brno victory was "exactly the result
"I thought of trying one of my special finish-line wheelies,
then I thought better of it," Biaggi said. Yamaha team manager Geoff Crust
called the Italianís performance "awesome".
"Max is a perfectionist and once heís found the level of
performance he wants heís unstoppable," Crust said.
Another Italian, Loris Capirossi, bravely finished fifth on
a Honda to retain fourth in the championship, despite a broken bone in
his right hand which - along with the extreme heat of the weekend - caused
him to collapse in his garage after the race.
Capirossi took the chequered flag more than six seconds ahead
of Spanish Honda riders Sete Gibernau and reigning world champion Alex
Brazilian Alex Barros, winner of two of the previous three GPs,
and Japanís Norick Abe, winner of his home GP early in the season, both
crashed out at Brno - without serious injury.
Japanese rider Shinya Nakano gave Yamaha its first 250cc victory
at Brno since 1988, fighting off the challenge of his countryman Tohru
Ukawa on a Honda.
Frenchman Olivier Jacque was third on his Yamaha, holding on
to his championship lead over Nakano by seven points - 201 to 194.
Gold Coast teenager Anthony West had rear brake problems with
his Shell Advance Honda and finished 10th - enough to retain his sixth
place in the 250cc championship on 94 points.
"It was pretty much a waste of time being out there without a
rear brake that was not working properly," West said.
"Itís been a disappointing weekend ... Iíll just have to put
it all behind me."
Italian Roberto Locatelli won his third 125cc GP of the year
on an Aprilia to close to within five points of Japanís championship leader
Youichi Ui, riding the Spanish-built Derbi.
After winning the previous three rounds this season, Ui had to
settle for second place at Brno ahead of Spainís reigning world champion
Ui has 165 points to Locatelliís 160, while Honda riders Alzamora
and Italian Mirko Giansanti are equal third on 126.
500cc world championship points after 11 of 16 rounds
- Kenny Roberts (United States, Suzuki) 174. Valentino Rossi (Italy, Honda)
132, Carlos Checa (Spain, Yamaha) 128, Loris Capirossi (Italy, Honda) 123,
Norick Abe (Japan, Yamaha) 106, Alex Barros (Brazil, Honda) 104, Alex Criville
(Spain, Honda) 97, Max Biaggi (Italy, Yamaha) 89, Nobuatsu Aoki (Japan,
Suzuki) 86, Garry McCoy (Australia, Yamaha) 84.
250cc world championship points - Olivier Jacque (France, Yamaha)
201, Shinya Nakano (Japan, Yamaha) 194, Tohru Ukawa (Japan, Honda) 185,
Daijiro Katoh (Japan, Honda) 157, Ralf Waldmann (Germany, Aprilia) 108,
Anthony West (Australia, Honda) 94, Marco Melandri (Italy, Aprilia) 84,
Franco Battaini (Italy, Aprilia) 73, Naoki Matsudo (Japan, Yamaha) 70,
Sebastian Porto (Argentina, Yamaha) 82.
125cc world championship points - Youichi Ui (Japan, Derbi) 165,
Roberto Locatelli (Italy, Aprilia) 160, Emilio Alzamora (Spain, Honda)
126, Mirko Giansanti (Italy, Honda) 126, Noboru Ueda (Japan, Honda) 113,
Arnaud Vincent (France, Aprilia) 102, Masao Azuma (Japan, Honda) 98, Gino
Borsoi (Italy, Aprilia) 80, Ivan Goi (Italy, Honda) 75, Simone Sanna (Italy,
it was worth bringing you more info on Yamaha's new 500cc twin-cylinder
scooter, called the TMAX. As the pics show, this is no ordinary scoot -
more of a cross between a motorcycle and scooter, which we're happy to
christen a "mooter".
We're told it has top speed in excess of 160kmh and sport-bike-like
maximum bank angle of 50 degrees. Yamaha says it has twice the acceleration
the 250cc Majesty, getting from zero to 100kmh in 7.5 seconds. Evidently
one of the reasons the machine was developed was dissatisfaction with the
performance of the Majesty at freeway speeds.
The Yamaha-sponsored Formula Xtreme Tri-state series now has its own website
MV Agusta and Cagiva importer, the Paul Feeney Group, has recently gained
ADR approval for the the two-seater version of its F4S. Meanwhile the Italian
manufacturer has confirmed it will be showing the naked version of the
bike, called the Brutale, at next month's Munich show.
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