Motorcycle racing is a brutal affair, in both the physical dangers and the elusiveness of success for its competitors. Victory and fame are dependent on the merging of raw talent, discipline, opportunity, will, and desire–not to mention capable machinery and ample luck. Among the myriad names inked into the annals of this most ephemeral of professions there are but a relative handful that have earned the status of legend. When a racer continues to garner respect and reverence years after their reign is over it is a testament of true greatness.
There is definitely something wrong with this picture. I'm bombing along a back road in Santa Paula, Calif. (aka the Citrus Capital of the World) aboard a mercilessly underpowered, somewhat skittish motorcycle that, despite being the latest offering from the company, hasn't witnessed any major design changes since Eisenhower was president. Yet, I'm having an absolute ball.
It has been said that 20 percent of all the art ever created is in Italy. The country overflows with legendary beauty. From the spellbinding Sistine Chapel to da Vinci's The Last Supper; from Michelangelo's David to the Leaning Tower of Pisa; Italy stirs the imagination with its timeless creations.
Your superbike or sportbike might not come immediately to mind when thinking about a long-distance mount, but DOWCO's Fastrax Sport and Adventure Luggage just may change all that. Now, the rider looking for the ultimate focus-on-sport touring motorcycle will have tank, tail, and saddlebags designed to work with virtually any sport bike. The bags feature storage for MP3 players (with audio/power ports), hydration pack storage, lockable waterproof zippers, sewn-in rain hoods, and security cables. Conveniently, once off the bike, the bags can be converted to backpacks.
The mid-1970s was a cruel era for Honda streetbike enthusiasts. A lack of captivating suspects in the showroom lineup had admirers of the engineering giant wistfully twisting the throttles of past glories. The powerhouse Honda CB750 Four had broken ground on a number of design fronts, but the original superbike was an aging child of the sixties. By late 1976, the once mighty roar of Honda's innovative motorcycle engineering department had been reduced to a muffled gust—at least that was the view from the street.
Just as the two Gallery bikes in this issue revolutionized the street motorcycle world over 30 years ago, so too did the 1968 Yamaha DT-1 250 Enduro. The famous white-tanked bike was the first street-legal motorcycle that was also a capable, lightweight, reliable and powerful off-road machine. Yamaha's newly dubbed “dual purpose” motorcycle introduced untold hundreds of thousands to the sport of motorcycle riding, and spawned an entirely new market segment.