*Charm-ichael in GQ
*Doobie Brother Crashes
*Indian Forges On
*I Can’t Drive 80 km
*We Pick ’em, They Win
*That’s a lot of miles
by Tony Marx
Yamaha’s New Big Boy
The horsepower fairy has been playing in cruiserland lately. Add Yamaha’s Road Star Warrior to the short list of cruisers whose dyno sheets match their huge displacement. The Warrior’s 102 cubic inch, air cooled, fuel injected, pushrod V-twin should compete nicely with Harley’s TC 88, Honda’s Valkyrie, and the all new VTX 1800. Cast aluminum frame, wheels, and swingarm combine to help it weigh in at just over 600 lbs, over 110 less than the VTX. Other trick bits include adjustable upside down forks, brakes borrowed from the R1 parts rack, a 6 inch rear rim with a 200/50/17 on it, and a lightweight belt-drive. The Warrior will be available in late fall and Yamaha will offer a line of performance parts as well as race kits for AMA Pro Star racers.
Charm-ichael in GQ
Recently crowned Supercross champ Ricky Carmichael was nominated for GQ’s Men of the Year awards in the Sports – Individual Athlete category. Other nominees include tennis great Andre Agassi, stock car racer Jeff Gordon and Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. The magazine’s editors elect the nominees in each category, with fans determining the winners via online voting.
Doobie Brother Crashes
54 year old Doobie Brother drummer Michael Hossack was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident while riding to a gig on June 22nd. Hossack was airlifted to Sacramento, CA in critical condition with injuries to his arms, legs, and pelvis. He has since been downgraded to serious condition and is expected to pull through.
Indian Forges On
Indian Motorcycle Company, the oldest U.S. motorcycle marque announced that it has completed the sale of up to $45 million of preferred stock to Audax Group, a private equity firm based in Boston. The cash is to be used toward developing a broader line of motorcycles and expanding & supporting the company’s dealer network which now stands at 225. Indian is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary with a cross country ride beginning in Springfield, Massachusetts where the original Indian Motorcycle factory once stood and ending in Gilroy, California, on July 4th, where the current factory is located.
I Can’t Drive 80 km
Officials in Japan have thrown out a 35 year old law that restricted motorcycles to 80 km/h on freeways after riders complained that the speed limits, placed only on them, kept them from traveling with the flow of traffic and subjected them to abuse and harassment from car drivers who are allowed to travel at 100 km/h. One hundred kilometers per hour is roughly 62 mph.
We Pick ’em, They Win
So far so good on my picks for the 2001 AMA Superbike, SBK World Superbike, and FIM 500cc GP. Mat Mladin leads the AMA with 231 points with only a bit of pressure coming in the unlikely form of a Kawasaki mounted Eric Bostrom who follows with 200 points. Mladin, king of the “block ’em during qualifying” maneuver, was recently stripped of one championship point and fined $5000 for using a post race press conference to swear and rant against New Hampshire International Speedway and AMA racing officials accuse Eric Bostrom of fouling up his qualifying runs. Maybe after he picks up his #1 plate at the end of the season Suzuki will finally ship him off to World Superbike where he seems to think he belongs. Ducati’s Troy Bayliss seems to be the only guy who can consistently finish in the top 3 in World Superbike and holds a sizable 47 point lead over the rest of the pack as the series approaches mid season. American boy Ben Bostrom is placing in the top five regularly and even pulled off 1st and 2nd place finishes in the last weeks races in Misano Italy, despite having an injured shoulder that may require arthroscopic surgery in the near future. He is currently over 70 points behind Bayliss.
That’s a lot of miles
A new record is going on the books thanks to Team Strange and their annual rally, the Minnesota 1000. During this year’s rally 146 of the rally goers rode the same 1000 mile course during the same 24 hour period, thus setting the world record for the largest group Saddle Sore 1000. The proceedings were over seen by the governing body of the endurance riding world, the Iron Butt Association. The previous record had just been raised from 64 to 80 by a group from Texas. For those you new to the Minnesota 1000, it is a 24 hour endurance riding rally. The participants ride to various locations for points. The Saddle Sore 1000 is an award given by the Iron Butt Association for anyone who rides a documented 1000 miles in 24 hours or less. Check out other Team Strange events at www.teamstrage.com.