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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #881 ·
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Not a bike you can buy, or even go see on a random show room floor. The KR V5.

Powered by Honda's mighty V5 engine, Kenny Roberts fielded this bike for his MotoGP team. Ridden by Kenny Roberts Jr, it was competitive almost from the first race.

The engine and engine management system was Honda, but the chassis was designed and built at Kenny's MotoGP team headquarters in Banbury, Oxfordshire in the UK.

This was taken at Laguna Seca, during the US GP in 2006.

HP? Over 250. Top speed? 210 ish. Weight? Couldn't say. It isn't like there were a great many details about this bike ever released.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #882 · (Edited)
Quite possibly the best looking 500cc 2 stroke Grand Prix bike to ever compete in the class.
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Cagiva’s 594 Mito. As ridden by Cagiva’s most successful rider ever, John Kocinski.

The 80 degree V4 in the Cagiva C594 made 177 hp at 12,500 rpm at the rear wheel and dry weight just 130 kg.

That’s just 286 lbs folks. The frame was a composite construction mating alloy spars with Carbon fiber “castings”
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Cagiva is a portmanteau of the founders name, and his home town. The “Ca” is from his last name, Castiglione. The “gi” is from his first name, Giovanni. The “va” is from his home town of Varese.

Mito is Italian for myth.
 
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Had there been a dirt track version, they couldn't have paid Kenny Roberts enough to ride that one either.
Shrouded early (fragile) CF front rotor it looks like.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #885 · (Edited)
Nope. Mamola never won a race on the Cagiva. Lawson won one. Kocinski won a couple including the US GP in 1993.

In fact, in 1993 Kocinski only raced the last 6 races of the season but finished 11th only one place behind Doug Chandler who raced the whole season.

In those 6 races, he chalked up 4 4th places, one DNF and a win. Kocinski finished the 1994 and final Cagiva season in 3rd place.

Mamola’s contribution to the Cagiva project is he was the first to score a podium, with a 3rd place at Spa-Framcorchamps in the 1988 Belgian Grand Prix.

Eddie Lawson took over as lead rider for Cagiva in 1991. He won Cagiva’s first ever Grand Prix on a wet but drying Hungaroring, in the 1992 Hungarian Grand Prix. Lawson retired at the end of the season.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #886 ·
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For the 1997 Grand Prix season, there was a change to the rules allowing twin cylinder motorcycles of 500 ccs weighing 105 Kilos to compete in the 500cc class. To take advantage of this rule change, Aprilia introduced the RSW500 in 1999.

Attempting to take advantage of the RS250's superior corner speed, Aprilia got started in the 500cc class with a 410 cc engine in an RS250 chassis for the 1994 season. Aprilia would increase displacement incrementally up to 460cc in 1997.

They sat out 1998 while design and production were completed on the 498 cc engine for the RSW was completed. The chassis required a complete redesign for the 498cc engine so it was a completely new bike rather than a pumped up RS250. Tetsuya Harada would ride the RSW500 for the 1999 season.

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^^^Check out the gusseting on the head stock on this thing!!^^^
The problem with these twin cylinder 500s was that they didn't make the same kind of horse power that the V4s did. Thus, they couldn't utilize their inherent strength of high corner speed when there was a V4 in front of them.

Honda would come out with a V2 500cc of their own for privateers in 1998 and their riders suffered from the same problem of being unable to exploit their high corner speed. Basically they could rail around the corners faster only to be blitzed on the straights.

In the end, neither the Honda nor the Aprilia were particularly successful. The Aprilia, the one in the picture that starts this thread, managed a 3rd place at Assen in 1997 in the hands of Doriano Romboni.

The big twins would be rendered useless in the following years as 500 Grand Prix gave way to MotoGP and the beginning of the 4 stroke era.
 
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Discussion Starter · #887 ·
Now for a U turn. Instead of a desirable bike, this one is a complete turd. Adventure Rider called it “the forgotten” Yamaha.
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Maybe because it was easy to forget? I found the only redeeming quality of the Seca II was that it had 2 wheels. That’s it in a nutshell.

It didn’t look particularly good. It didn’t handle particularly well, in fact I found it dangerous. It certainly didn’t stop particularly well either.

Add to all that is the fact it wasn’t a light weight motorcycle that made light weight power and you can see where this is going.

I was asked to take test ride on one by the owner because he thought there was something wrong with it. So I did, reported back to him that there was nothing mechanically wrong with the bike.

It was just a turd and there was no other way to put it. 1st corner I got to, I drug the left foot peg at not much more than walking pace. The next 90 degree turn from a stop sign, same thing on the other side.

Rolling on the throttle produced some approximation of acceleration but certainly not what one would term immediate, nor urgent. More like a cruiser then.

Those limitations in mind, I took it down a relatively curvy road. As I hustled it through the corners, with its clearance limitations and soft throttle in mind it felt odd, like it was out of its element.

Didn’t seem to matter how sharp or open the curve was, it didn’t like being tossed on its side at speed. I turned around at the half way point and headed back.

I decided a different approach might be better for the return so I backed it down another few notches and tried to lazily roll through the corners using little throttle or brake.

Better behaved but still not even in the same ball park as the similar in appearance Bandit 600. At the long straight leading into the curvy bit, I rolled the throttle to its stop to see if it would do anything.

It pulled lazily along, topping out around 80 mph before I had to try and haul it to a stop for the stop sign. I squeezed the front lever back to the bar and jumped on the foot brake a split second after.

Down shifting like mad, I finally managed to get the thing slowed for the stop. Initial bite from the front brake was practically non-existent. The front end barely began to dive when I jumped on the rear brake hard.

It took a bit, maybe 75-80 ft before some semblance of braking occurred. Downshifts mandatory. I got it stopped but not without a bit of anxiety. Took a left at the stop and promptly drug the peg again.

The owner was pretty upset when I told him it was a turd. More a cruiser than functional sport bike. He was mystified when I told him it was mechanically sound.

He asked me what he should do…I told him to sell it and buy a real sport bike if that’s what he was after. I added he could throw a bunch of money at it, and put FZR or R6 forks and brakes on it to start with.

Then re-jet the carbs and replace the foot pegs for better clearance. Something had to be done to raise the ride height also, to get rid of the lazy steering.

At that point his neighbor interjected “ Why do all that, just get an FZR or R6?” Conversation ended at that point. He wasn’t happy with either of us, nor our mutual friend who’d set the whole thing up.

A few months later I see him on the road as I’m riding home from work. We stopped next to
each other at a traffic light. Apparently he’d gotten a better brake caliper for it and it stopped better. A few days later I see him again.

This time he’s joining traffic from the road to his work, while I’m already in traffic. As he pulls up to the intersection he hits the brakes, tucks the front and drops the bike.

I was already in the intersection when it happened (2 lanes each direction) and watched in what seemed slow motion as he hit the deck. He jumped up and was picking up the bike when I pulled off to turn around.

He was gone by the time I made it back there. Go home traffic is a pain here so it took me a bit to get back out into traffic again. Never saw him again, and the bike was up for sale outside his place a few days later.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #889 ·
why would'nt you just buy an SV and be done? just saying - may be smoking deals on the Gladorius'ss er some speeling like that :rolleyes:
Uhhhhh…..what? Who’s buying anything? I never said I was buying a bike….not that I don’t have a line on one or two but I’ve not mentioned those in the last few posts.

If you mean the kid I wrote about above…..pretty sure the SV didn’t come out until the year after the event described above. Could be wrong….but I’m pretty sure that’s the case.
 

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Uhhhhh…..what? Who’s buying anything? I never said I was buying a bike….not that I don’t have a line on one or two but I’ve not mentioned those in the last few posts.

If you mean the kid I wrote about above…..pretty sure the SV didn’t come out until the year after the event described above. Could be wrong….but I’m pretty sure that’s the case.
Yeh, I was kinda off on my time line Warren. There is an antique motorcycle show coming up in Dania Beach FL, would be nice to buy something there.https://www.daniabeachvintagebikeshow.com/
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #892 ·
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Honda’s 996 Super Hawk. Back in the 90s all the way through the 2000s Ducati was THE bike to beat in World Superbike competition. They were so successful that others wanted “IN” on the sporting V-twin market.

Partially to Homologate a bike to compete in SBK but also to capture some of Ducati’s market share. Aprilia was one of the first “IN” with their 60 degree Rotax built V-twin “Mille”, followed by the “Mille SP” as their homologation model.

Honda, having finally won a WSBK title in 1997 with the RC-45 in John Kocinski’s capable hands, began their entry with the Super Hawk (Fire Storm outside the US) the same year.

Built from 97-2005 Honda gave it their take on the 90 degree twin that Ducati made famous. The Super Hawk made 103 hp and 71 lb ft of torque but was no threat to Ducati in WSBK. That would come later from the RC-51.

The Super Hawk was more of Honda dipping a cautious toe in the sporting V-twin waters. Its sales success is what prompted Honda to get serious and build the RC-51.

The Super Hawk is more VFR than RC-45. It’s a comfortable, do it all sporting twin in Honda’s “F” philosophy. They show up for sale on CL pretty regularly in the low to high $2Ks.

In todays market, you could do a great deal worse for that kind of money.
 
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Discussion Starter · #893 ·
Right around the same time Suzuki also wanted in on the sporting V-twin game and released their TL1000S. At least in Europe. The US had to wait for a year. What a year that was too.

The TL gained a reputation as a “widow maker” with propensity to go into a tank slapper for no discernible reason. Theories abound right up to today. Many in the motorcycle press of the day, particularly in the UK openly questioned why Suzuki did not include a steering damper from the off.

The thing is, steering damper, or lack there of is not intrinsic to the tank slapper cause nor prevention with the TL. Many with far more knowledge of motorcycle design and engineering have theorized the problem was too steep steering geometry coupled with the wonky rotary damper rear.

Once the pace heated up, so did the rotary damper until it no longer damped. The spring would then be free to bounce the rear of the bike sans damping control. The two factors combined to cause anything from minor head shake to full on tank slapper.

I’ve read reports that run the entire gamut of situations including cruising on a straight road at 65 mph up to heavy on the throttle on corner exit causing a violent tank slapper.

Suzuki recalled all of the 1st year bikes to fit a steering damper. All of that stated up front, one of my old riding buddies had a TL1000S. His was fit with the steering damper from new. I rode with him plenty and never once witnessed any weird steering behavior.

I’m not talking one or even 3 rides. We rode together all the time. Covered thousands of miles. He never experienced a tank slapper nor did I ever see one. He sold the TL to buy a stunning 748S… but that’s another story.

Suzuki did have some pretensions of going racing WSBK. The TL-S made some 125 hp and some 75 lb Ft of torque from its 996cc 90 degree twin. Ton of grunt which made for a wheelie machine. My buddy Bills bike would wheelie with little provocation.

Even Slipping the clutch on launch was not enough to keep the front wheel planted. A wheelie in 1st, 2nd and 3rd would occur just from throttle with no clutch dip or anything.

A little later on, Suzuki released the TL1000R to go racing with but really, the only factory race bikes I remember seeing were the ones run by Team Yoshimura in the then AMA Road Racing series.

Despite the power it made, which in street form was the most of any of the V-twin sport bikes of the time, the race bikes lagged behind. On a good day they could get into the top 10, in the hands of riders like Steve Crevier.

It was pretty clear they lagged behind the Ducatis and RC-51s….and some days, even Harley Davidson’s VR1000.

In the end, the only appearance the TL-R put in, in WSBK racing was really in the chassis of the Bimota SB8R ridden to a win at Phillip Island by one Anthony Gobert. Supposedly a TL1000R was ridden to a win at the Japanese WSBK round but all the information I could find was contradictory.

TL-Ss are a rare find for sale today. They do occasionally pop up on CL for sale, and sometimes for reasonable prices. My personal take is, they’re as fat in the middle as a 4 cylinder, and not possessed of great aesthetics.

If you find one cheap that runs….keep looking and you’ll find a more desirable bike to spend that money on. If you have a garage full and want one just because….well….that’s on you. The TL-R is still a better bike.
 
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Always liked the Yellow TL-R, maybe cause I have an "Ultra-Yellow" tool box, but that is another story. I had the misfortune of having to over haul the brakes on one of these bikes and to say it was a PITA was an understatement. Cool bike, don't see too many of them any more. Peace
 

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Suzuki fought the urge for the longest time, but they just could not resist putting the weirdo rear damper on - which killed the line after some interesting and highly publicized get-offs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #896 ·
The weird damper thing was just that. Weird. I remember Moto journalists of the speculating that Suzuki did it to try to shorten the wheel base. Also, that they couldn’t get the correct angle to use a conventional shock due to the exhaust routing.

I call BS on all of it. The #1 improvement to the suspension is either an Öhlins or Fox shock. I think it was a gimmick. It was Suzuki trying to engineer a solution to a problem that didn’t exist. Kinda like Honda doing stuff just because they can….only Honda has the engineers Suzuki didn’t.
 

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And now for something completely the same, but not. The Aussie "Nocati" with exactly 0% Ducati parts in it. For 60K you can have a new and improved version of the bike that would cost as much if you could find one. Except it is 380 pounds and 122 HP. Bevel gears and straight cut primary drive, better metallurgy, brakes, suspension, electrics, you name it - throughout.

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Discussion Starter · #898 ·
Yeah, those guys were on Lenno’s Garage a little while back. They bought the patterns from Ducati and the right to build the bikes too. The guys own Vee Two IIRC.

They’ve been building bikes for a couple decades now….the Squalo from the 90s is probably what they were best known for. Also the Alchemy. Then their aftermarket cams and heads for air cooled rubber band Ducatis.
 
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Discussion Starter · #899 ·
Here’s the guys on Leno;
 
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Where I saw it. Betcha that's Jay's bike now. What's 50K when there is a lineup of 500K cars behind them?
 
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