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Cycle World

Cycle World Issue 1 - 2020

America's leading motorcycle magazine since its inception in 1962, Cycle World covers all aspects of the two-wheel universe. From dirt-slingin', double-jumping motocrossers to wind-cheating, 200-mph roadracers, Team CW brings experience, credibility and excitement to the pages of the magazine each month. Get Cycle World digital magazine subscription today.

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United States
Bonnier Corporation

in this issue

1 min
from the pages of cycle world to the walls of your home or office.

www.cycleworldart.com Photography is the backbone of modern journalism — immediate, dramatic, and compelling. For more than a half of a century, Cycle World has published some of the most iconic images from history’s most important two-wheeled moments. Cycle World is proud to announce the creation of Cycle World Art, an online platform dedicated to providing motorcycle enthusiasts with the opportunity to acquire the spectacular photography showcased within the magazine’s rich pages. Users can seamlessly order from Cycle World’s alluring catalog of two-wheeled portraits, cultivated through the years of the magazine’s unparalleled production. The classic, iconic images of the past come alive on richly printed, high-quality, Fuji photo-film paper. Snapshots from legendary Cycle World racing photographer Tom Riles, as well as inspirational motorcycle photos captured by Cycle World staff provide a brilliant and broad…

2 min
failure to start

Perhaps it was somehow appropriate that as I tried this morning to ride my 1974 Norton 850 Commando to work, it failed to start. I’d stopped in the middle of some maintenance work and left it on my lift far too long. So even though I’d drained the carburetor float bowls and added fuel stabilizer to the tank, the jets were clogged and the engine would only reluctantly pop, then die. I’d finished a few maintenance items right around the time the news broke about Norton’s current owner, Stuart Garner, being in hot water in England for misusing pension funds to help keep his faltering motorcycle brand alive. Now, some weeks later, the full story regarding allegations of fraud, “loans” made from Norton to Garner being “forgiven,” and other misuses of…

2 min
the lensman

In one of my phone conversations with Brian R. Nicholls—“Nick” to all who knew him—a few years before his death in 2015, I asked how old he was. “Eighty, and I feel every damn minute of it.” Always the gentleman, it was a rare but special moment in our periodic chats because it meant to me that, in his deviation from total graciousness, we had become friends. Nicholls worked for Cycle World almost from the beginning in 1962, the year Joe Parkhurst founded the magazine. Parkhurst loved racing and needed a photographer/writer to send in news of Europe and Britain. Introduced by the editor of England’s The Motor Cycle, Nicholls and Parkhurst hit it off, and American readers got amazing racing and product pictures and news in the years that…

5 min
noticing things

Little children staring out the windows of the family car amuse themselves by learning to recognize the makes, models, and years of passing cars. My youngest son, when he was quite small, would look at an illustration in a book and ask, “What’s that little guy doin’ up there?” And we’d look, and at first see only the dragon and St. George (or other center of interest), but after some searching we’d see, off in an upper corner of the frame, a tiny bird sitting in a tree. Why did he fasten on that detail? The motorcycle shop I frequented in my 20s belonged to an older man, Mack McConney (were he still living, he’d be 123 now). I learned that favored customers might be invited to join him on Saturday…

4 min
swinging arm

The first motorcycles had no formal suspension, front or rear. Suspension allows the wheel to independently move up and down over bumps, supporting the chassis and rider through a spring or other elastic element without transmitting all its motions to the chassis. Front suspension came first out of necessity—to prevent larger bumps from wrenching the bars out of the rider’s hands. The rear wheel, passively following the front, could get by as on any bicycle—by being rigidly attached to the frame. Because rigid frames give a hard ride, two solutions beckoned. One was easy: to support the rider’s seat on springs. The other—to free the rear wheel to move up and down over bumps—proved difficult. Many rear-suspension schemes were tried, but as the bicycle’s original “diamond” frame was already too limber for the…

5 min
the suzuki gs500

On December 22, 1938, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer spotted an unusual fin in a pile of discarded waste fish on a dock in East London, South Africa. Latimer, a local museum curator, didn’t know why the 127-pound deep-blue fish to which that fin was attached was special—but she knew it was special, so she convinced an expert to come see it two months later. He identified it as a coelacanth, an ancestor of both modern fish and modern animals, thought to have gone extinct 66 million years ago. Of course, no-body told the coelacanth that it was supposed to have gone extinct with the T. rex. It’s just been minding its own business this whole time, and since it wasn’t really broken, evolution didn’t see any need to fix it. Think of Suzuki’s…