Dear Moridians: A Portent of Things To Come

Calvin Kim
by Calvin Kim
From the desk of JohnnyB:

I'm taking a vacation for a week or so and I don't want to hear any whining about lack of content when I get back. Actually my vacation will consist of riding a new BMW R1200 CL, or whatever it's called, cross-country from North Carolina for Cycle World, which is one way I keepthe wolf away from the door. (God bless you, David Edwards.) Hackfu will be covering the BMW launch for MO, and will have the scoop early next week.

Guess what I did with my weekend?

I rode the second-fastest roadracer in the country, that's what: the Formula Xtreme Champion Attack SuzukiGSX-R1000, at California Speedway. This beast was usually the second-fastest thing through the speed traps at all the AMA races it contested (generally right behind Nick Hayden's RC-51), carrying young Jason Pridmore to the championship. Attack proprietor Richard Stanboli was kind enough to bring the bike out to the track, and even kinder to "de-tune" it to about 190 horsepower for yours truly to have a spin upon. To paraphrase Richard Pryor, let me just say, the shit is fast. Unfortunately, I had to do some other of the other things I do to keep the wolf away from the door over the remainder of the weekend, and so have not had a chance to write the story yet--it'll be up next week sometime, God willing, complete with onboard video that's kind of cool.

Speaking of stuff that's cool, we are through the summer doldrums and into new-bike season. We'll be on the case of the Buell XB9S September 5. Our man Yossef in Europe will have his hands on a Ducati 999 September 9(though it's still unclear when we'll have one here at MO World Headquarters). September 13 we'll post information about the 2003 Honda line-up. September 15, we have Kawasaki's new models, to include its hotty new 600. New Yamaha and Suzuki info should be right around the same time.

Our man Jim "the Foaming Pipe Snake" Hatch has just returned from roosting manfully upon the new YZ450F and will file his report shortly, for those of you into the dirt side of things.

When, and if, Ashley gets moving we have the long-awaited scooter smackdown, complete with excellent video of scooters being actually smacked down by members of MO's crack test team. I don't know where else you'll find such hard-hitting coverage, frankly.

When will we throw up the street portion of the naked bike shootout? At this rate, maybe never. Here it is in a nutshell then: the Kawasaki ZRX1200 is a hellacious bargain, fun to flog at the track and an excellent commuter and sport-tourer too. The FZ-1 is right on its heels, with better-but-softer suspension, more comfort, more refinement, a better sport-tourer--but a bit bland according to most of us, and a bit pricey. The Triumph Speed Triple does it all, has the most sporting chassis and best suspension of the bunch--but $10,000 is a lot ofcake. The Ducati is a sweet sportbike, but has the weirdest ergoes and cruellest seat if you're thinking long days in the saddle. The ST4 cast bars don't work so well with the Monster fuel tank--and speaking of expensive... The Honda 919 could use more power to hang with the other fours, but its fork is not only a bit weak and soft for sporting use, it also gives the 919 a harsh ride on the freeway. It feels very light and small, though, and could be whipped into a very agile, much faster thingwith a few aftermarket pieces if your Honda dealer cares to make you a deal on one (reportedly, 919 sales aren't super brisk).

Honda CBR1100XX takes on Kawasaki ZZ-R1200 is also in the works. So are some other things. Get off my back. I need a rest. Really, I need love more than anything... anyone? Anyone at all? Thank God I've got the new puppy at least.

Your Faithful Editor, far as you know, Johnnyb

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Calvin Kim
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