Garage sale

No. 56, Wednesday August 23, 2000

The real thing...

Real Bonneville   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 Australian GP.

  Our thanks to readers Ian Lock and Robert Jenner for passing it on to us.

The story 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.

As we've 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 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 the reply.

  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.

Sydney-based 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.

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 championships.

  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 in Malaysia.
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 need".

   "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 Criville.

  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 Emilio Alzamora.

  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, Aprilia) 64.
TMAX ride

We thought 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 of 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.

TMAX stripped The Yamaha-sponsored Formula Xtreme Tri-state series now has its own website at

Australian 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.

[Back Issues | Motorcycle Books]
[Roadtests | Travels] [Calendars | Garage sale]

Article by Guy Allen

home | sitemap | motorcycle books

Copyright © 1997-2024 dropbears