*It is Alive
*Beemers Sweep Dakar to Cairo
*Think You’ve Got Y2K Problems Now?
* The Cycle Show Rolls into Town
by Victor Wanchena
And What of Excelsior-Henderson?
The ship that was Excelsior-Henderson may have now begun to slip beneath the waves with the announcement in December of last year that they had laid-off the remainder of their workforce and were filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. To many this was their chance to fire off an “I told you so”, while for many others it was sad to see this hopeful newcomer to the motorcycle world head down the road of so many other old-marque revivals. In an open letter to the motorcycle industry, Excelsior-Henderson cofounders, Dan, David, and Jennie Hanlon thanked all the people that helped get their company off the ground. They explained that despite streamlining their operation by lowering production costs and expanding distribution they were unable to secure the additional financing they needed. Without this cash E-H was simply unable to continue to operate. With no other choice, the cofounders consider the filing for Chapter 11 a way to give the company some breathing room while they search for additional financing. Despite their lack of cash E-H was on hand for Bike Week in Daytona with a possible new model and they will be shopping around for additional financing. No official word on the type or details about this new model from E-H.
It is Alive
While the long winter months have passed quietly outdoors a dedicated team of engineers have been toiling away in the basement of Dr. Rob Tuluie’s urban manor. The rumors have been whispered about in garages and coffee houses on when and where the Tul-Aris would surface. What other than Daytona, the big show of shows, would be a more fitting place for it to make an inaugural run.
For those who may not be familiar with the Tul-Aris or its creator Dr. Tuluie, it is essentially a homebuilt Gran Prix bike. Centered around a 700cc Polaris snowmobile motor that produces in the neighborhood of 160 hp and weighs in at around 300 pounds. If that sounds like a recipe for fun then read on. The Tul-Aris was officially unveiled at the end of February, a combination of well thought out engineering and a mix of composite construction and traditional materials. After it’s coming out party the Tul-Aris was promptly back in the shop for final tweaking before heading to Daytona where it will test the waters in the Unlimited G.P. class. Watch for an article on the Tul-Aris in an upcoming issue of M.M.M., also look for the previous articles on our website.
Beemers Sweep Dakar to Cairo
BMW continues it dominance in the desert with a sweep of the top four spots in the motorcycle division in the Paris to Dakar to Cairo Rally held this past January. Last year’s winner Richard Sainct, now dubbed by his team mates “King Richard the Second”, won the overall honors for the second year in a row on the now dominant BMW F650 RR. In fact BMW’s little single took three out of four of the top positions only sharing the podium with it’s sibling the GS based R900 RR. This win has got everyone at BMW excited about their re-ascension to the throne of desert dominance. “First, second and fourth place for our F650 single cylinder machines proves that the F650’s victory last year was no coincidence. The flat-twin boxer made an impressive return to Dakar in third place overall and first among Twins”, said Marco Maltzan, BMW Motorcycle Division Director.
Think You’ve Got Y2K Problems Now?
If you’ve never ridden in the Minnesota 1000, you’ve probably never ridden 1200 miles in 17 hours to look for a reclusive writer in a small town bar. But if you think that sounds like fun then maybe you should try. Minnesota’s own homegrown endurance rally is back for 2000 with a vengeance. But this year the bar has been raised to a new level with the announcement of the Minnesota 2000 July 1-3. That’s right now its 2000 miles over 48 hours. For those who’ve never seen or heard of the MN1K or 2K it is a combination of a scavenger hunt and endurance ride that has become a summer favorite. But like anything that’s fun, space is limited so look for your entry form in this month’s issue of MMM or visit the Team Strange website at www.teamstrange.com.
Also as a new diversion this summer you could try the “I’ve Been Everywhere Tour” or IBET for short. It breaks down like this, in the Johnny Cash song of the same title he names 91 places. Your task is to visit as many of the places mentioned in the song between April 15 and October 15. Sounds pretty easy right, well just remember these places are spread across the entire U.S. and include stops in Uruguay and Colombia. To finish the tour you must get at least 25 of the 91 places. Cash and fabulous prizes await those who get 50, 75 or dare I say all 91 locations. For details, an entry form and a list of location in the song visit the Team Strange website at www.teamstrange.com.
The Cycle Show Rolls into Town The warm temperatures and sunny days have got us all ready to get back on our bikes and what better way to kick off the season than with the return of the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show. Set for the 24-26 of March at the Minneapolis Convention Center, it will feature displays from BMW, Buell, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, and Yamaha with all the new models for 2000 as well as a multitude of other vendors.
While you’re there look for some of the new machine for 2000 like Honda’s next generation of superbike the RC51 or Kawasaki’s very retro W650. For those riders looking for home grown machines there’s the new sport-cruising V92SC from Victory Motorcycles, the hottest Harley on the market right now the Softail Deuce, or Buell’s entry level machine the 500cc Blast. This bright spot at the end of our long winter will also feature riding demonstrations by Team Extreme Trials, an observed trials riding group. They will perform all manners of seemingly impossible stunts on their machines. Also Toyota Trucks, a sponsor of the show, will be offering a chance to win a new Toyota Tundra and a Yamaha TT-R225. Tickets are available at the door or you can bypass the ticket line and purchase your on-line at www.motorcycleshows.com. This web site offers not only tickets but directions and travel information to the shows and a list of vendors at each show along with links to their web sites. Also AMA members can receive a discount on their admission by showing their membership card.