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Cars & Motorcycles
Motorcyclist

Motorcyclist November - December 2017

Each issue of Motorcyclist combines the excitement and color of today's cruisers, sportbikes, naked bikes and touring machines with credible information on road tests, riding gear, safety issues, riding skills and new products.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Bonnier Corporation
Read More

In this issue

1 min.
waiting for winter

While Americans button up their racing season, European ice racers are eying the weather and preparing for a winter of hard riding. Russian Dmitry Koltakov, winner of the 2017 FIM Ice Speedway Gladiator Championship, shows what makes ice riding so spectacular: Hundreds of ice spikes enable incredible grip—and astonishing lean angles—often over rough and rutted surfaces. Combined with quick heats and close racing, it’s no wonder thousands of fans line up at freezing-cold venues from Sweden to Kazakhstan.…

1 min.
slide hack

KTM-mounted sidecar motocross rider Jänis Sedlenieks and monkey Girts Indrijaitis roost their way through the dirt in Stelpe, Latvia. Sidecar motocross requires an unusual combination of athleticism, teamwork, and daring that set it apart from motocross riding. The forces that allow a sidecar rig to slide and turn would just as soon send it f lipping over in the dirt. An active counterbalance is needed, which means a sidecar monkey is never just along for the ride. Similarly, sidecar motocross machines have evolved to be distinct themselves. Note the specially developed tube frame and the leading-link front end. It’s unusual, sure, but just like its single-rider sibling, sidecar motocross jumps are hairy and the on-track action is intense.…

2 min.
performance personified

THE POWER AND CAPABILITY of motorcycles draws people in, scares them away, and captures the imagination of even the most seasoned riders. More than that, it embodies the pastime we love on a primal level. It was the thrill of horsepower that made me twist the grip and make engine noises on my bicycle as a kid. For those reasons and more, the topic of performance seemed like a good one to focus on for this issue, a bookend for this year and an aspiration for the next. Of all the questions we’ve answered in engineering more speed into our machines—via turbocharging and aerodynamics and so on—there is one that never goes away. Why? In some cases it’s simple. The story on page 60 of the heyday of amateur roadracing in America…

2 min.
contributors

▪ SPENSER ROBERT Having grown up in a dirtbike household and racing as a child, Spenser is now Motorcyclist’s resident video producer and token youngest employee. Being that he usually works with 60 to 240 frames per second, his assignment this issue was more simple: just a dozen or so frames to capture the Kawasaki H2 and Lightning LS-218 as they streaked around San Francisco and down the dragstrip at Sonoma Raceway. His shots illustrate the feature on page 52, as well as grace the cover. Not bad, kid. ▪ JAMES WIRTH “If you can start it, you can have it.” It was that promise from a cousin that started James’ motorcycling career. After a day spent puffing and sweating, eight-year-old James fired up a Honda Mini Trail and never looked back. Today…

1 min.
a snapshot of the future of roadracing.

1 min.
eight years in a sidecar, 1936

Facing an imbalanced and troubled economy from the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after WWI, Zoltán Sulkowsky and Gyula Bartha left Budapest in 1928. Their first stop was Paris, where they bought a 1922 Harley-Davidson Model J with a sidecar and set off on what would become a truly epic journey. In January of 1932, The New York Times reported the two men passing through The Big Apple, having met the mayor and covered 65,000 miles through 43 countries. This photo was taken nearly four years later at the 330-foot-high suspension bridge in Bristol, England, on their way home. In total, the pair traveled 110,000 miles over six continents, 68 countries, and eight years. Their journey would be an astonishing expedition at any point in history, but it seems especially heroic…