Turbo rec­ol­lec­tions, ac­knowl­edg­ing hon­est re­port­ing, and ques­tion­ing a com­paro

Motorcyclist - - Contents -


Let me throw in with the rec­om­men­da­tion to ride Hard­knott Pass (Roads, May/june, MC). So far the com­bi­na­tion of Wrynose and Hard­knott passes com­prise my fa­vorite ride in Eng­land. It is steep, stark, tech­ni­cal, and beau­ti­ful. The views at the top are great, and the re­mains of a Ro­man fort can be found nearby. It is per­haps the most tech­ni­cal paved road I’ve ever rid­den. —Kurt Sun­der­bruch / Orinda, CA


Didn’t see any Jack Lewis or Joe Gresh in the lat­est is­sue. No Lewis or Gresh means no re-sub­scrib­ing from here. —Wil­liam Usil­ton / via email

They’re still with us. Check out page 70 and 122 be­fore you let that sub­scrip­tion lapse. —Ed.


Loved your ar­ti­cle about the (short) era of the fac­tory tur­bocharged mo­tor­cy­cles. I’ve lost track of all the mo­tor­cy­cles I’ve owned (I’m down to just 19, af­ter hit­ting a high of 41), but the ’82 Seca Turbo sticks out in my mem­ory. With the fac­tory “Power Up” kit, the Yamaha was com­pet­i­tive with the Hon­das. You al­ways had to be mind­ful of where you were pointed when the boost came on! —Eric Bickel / Penn Val­ley, CA

My first new bike ever was a 1984 Kawasaki GPZ750 E1L Turbo. I had worked for a Honda dealer in ’82 and ’83 and rode both the CX500 and 650 Tur­bos but was not overly im­pressed by them. A year af­ter buy­ing my GPZ, I was able to ride a friend’s 650 Seca Tur­bine and com­pare it. My love for that Fire­cracker Red/ Ebony beast lasted for nine years. I even bought a spare for cheap! —Ben­jamin Getz / Moses Lake, WA


It has al­ways been my per­cep­tion that the writers at this mag­a­zine are not bootlick­ers. Case in point, Ari’s sum­mary of the RC390 (Doin’ Time, May/june, MC). Ari showed brav­ery, in a po­lite way, by point­ing out the flaws in the bike. —Daniel Fon­taine / via email

I had to re­spond to May/june Doin’ Time. Rac­ing must be a bit harder on a mo­tor­cy­cle than street use? I own a stree­tonly Duke 390, which I highly rec­om­mend to ev­ery­one (ex­cept rac­ers now). I re­placed the fan ($40), did the valve ad­just­ment once, and the bike has been trou­ble-free for over a year. As op­posed to my “bul­let­proof” 2012 Honda, which has two re­calls and one rear-wheel bear­ing fail­ure. —Tom Mix / via email

In­deed, rac­ing is harder on equip­ment than street rid­ing, but the is­sues we listed aren’t lim­ited to this one bike—many peo­ple, in­clud­ing street rid­ers, have ex­pe­ri­enced them. We’re glad your Duke has proven re­li­able. —Ed.


About the Fz-09/street Triple com­par­i­son (“A Day On The Hill”) in the May/june is­sue: Good ar­ti­cle, two great bikes (I’ve rid­den both), but one sen­tence was left out of the story. “Buy the FZ-09, spend three grand on sus­pen­sion com­po­nents, and watch your friend on the Tri­umph strug­gle to keep you in sight.” I’m not try­ing to sell Yama­has; I’ve rid­den Hon­das all my life and ride three now, but I think the FZ-09 got sold short. —Greg Froberg / Sno­homish, WA

Ari proved that the­ory wrong with his long-term FZ-09. He spent $2,000 mod­ding the sus­pen­sion and brakes, and it still didn’t han­dle as well as the Trum­pet. —Ed.

You’ve bro­ken new ground with your “mood en­hancer” ki­net­ics as ex­em­pli­fied by the pho­to­graph by Drew Ruiz, pos­si­bly the most amaz­ing pic­ture of the mo­tor­cy­cling ex­pe­ri­ence ever. —David Tat­lock / via email


Thank you, Brody Cox, for be­ing an ex­am­ple of self­suf­fi­cient mo­tor­cy­clist that we all try to be (Me­ga­phone, May/june, MC). Un­like you Cal­i­for­nia guys, I live in the wet, cold Seat­tle area and gave into the “need” for a car, but I have taken my mo­tor­cy­cle golf­ing on the Olympic Penin­sula, with my clubs strapped ver­ti­cally to the seat bar and sup­ported by one of the pas­sen­ger foot­pegs. I got a lot of odd looks on the free­way and at the park­ing lot, but my dad was happy to see me. —Gary Cas­sill / via email

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