Turbo recollections, acknowledging honest reporting, and questioning a comparo
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.
UNFAIR TO COMPARE
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
PILE IT ON
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