Motorcycle Racing News - Tear-Offs

Racing news: The term "silly season" is usually reserved for rider/team swaps during the off season, but our Italian friends have been busy as of late. With its World Superbike Champ Carl Fogarty still nursing a fractured upper arm (caused by a crash during the Australian WSC round), Ducati raided the Vance & Hines Ducati AMA Superbike team and pulled out Australian rider Troy Bayliss to ride in Foggy's place. Who is replacing Bayliss on the V&H; squad? None other than ex-WSC champ John Kocinski, fresh from his water-skiing junket in south Florida. Ducati plans to keep Bayliss around when Fogarty returns. Ben Bostrom, however, has been demoted to the non-works Ducati NCR WSC team, swapping places with ex-GP rider Juan Borja, who will join Bayliss and Foggy for the rest of the season. And Bimota's World Superbike effort is in a bit of turmoil as well. According to an official press release, the team has "temporarily suspended their participation in the World Superbike Championship, in order to assess and continue the development of the SB8K model." Rumor has it that the team does intend to return in the final stages of the 2000 season, but for the moment it looks like bad-boy-now-reformed Anthony Gobert has been left without a job. Or has he? Other rumors have Gobert replacing Peter Goddard on the WSC Kawasaki team.

Or on a Suzuki, perhaps? Stay tuned.

Buell has voluntarily recalled approximately 6500 of its motorcycles in North America-namely, all 1999 and 2000 Cyclone M2s, 2000 Lightning X1s and the 2000 Thunderbolt S3/T-for problems concerning the horizontally mounted, Showa expansion-type rear shock absorber. According to Buell, the shock's front eye is prone to cracking, which could potentially affect the handling of the bike. Owners of affected Buells will be notified to bring their bikes to their local dealers for appropriate service.

Honda has announced the first of its 2001 model lineup: the Shadow A.C.E. 750 Deluxe ($6199 for two-tone colors), Shadow VLX/Deluxe ($4999/5299) and the 250 Rebel ($2999) are all back for next year (but are available immediately), along with Honda's $4999 Helix 250 scooter. Overseas, U.K. riders will get the Black Widow (which replaces their discontinued VT750 Shadow), a "gunfighter" styled cruiser boasting a stretched fuel tank, bobbed rear fender and twin megaphone exhausts. No word yet on whether this style will eventually replace Honda's current U.S. Shadow lineup.

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