Spotter’s Guide To The First Quarter 2018 Issue Of Cycle World Magazine

For years, Cycle World shared an office with Road&Track on the West Coast; they also shared the crowd-pleasing privilege of publishing Peter Egan’s musings. Today, both magazines continue to release work by the individual oft-acclaimed as the “new Peter Egan”, an obscure former BMW mechanic and not-quite-six-foot-tall manlet who writes under the deliberately generic nom de plume of “Sam Smith”, chosen in tribute to the English pop singer whose music is rivaled only by the soulful work of Darius Rucker for center stage in Sam’s heart.

Unfortunately for the readers, “Sam Smith” commands a remarkably stout freelance fee due to the immense number of exotic cars and motorcycles that pass through his grasping fingers at a torrential rate. Therefore, to save money on their newest issue, Cycle World called on yours truly, the Lowest Cost Choice Of The Low Priced Three.

On Page 26 of the magazine you can read a retrospective I’ve written concerning the Yamaha FZ-1, ycelpt Fazer 1000 in overseas markets. It’s a subject that has been near and dear to my heart for a long time, even if my own FZ-1 is in the process of a long, slow, rectification of deferred maintenance. I’m hoping to ride it a bit in 2018.

If you enjoy the piece, please feel free to let CW know. It’s a true privilege to be on the pages with “Sam”, Zach Bowman, and the rest of their gang. I can still remember sitting in my high-school library thirty-three years ago reading the magazine cover to cover. It never occurred to me that one day my name would be on the contributors’ list.

20 Replies to “Spotter’s Guide To The First Quarter 2018 Issue Of Cycle World Magazine”

    • Mental

      I think what he mean was;
      “You can take me to the moon and back
      I can kick my boots off, relax in your Cadillac
      Baby take me anywhere you wanna go
      Just don’t take me down Heartbreak Road no, Don’t take me down Heartbreak Road“

  1. JustPassinThru

    Thirty-three years ago…ha!

    Thirty-three years ago, almost to the day…I was sitting on the new-to-me Yamaha R5C that I didn’t yet know how to ride. Purchased from an older Polish immigrant, about the age I am now…he rode it from Cleveland where he lived, to Painesville, where I lived.

    Little did I know, that would be the start of life-changing events and practices…to this day.

    Since there’s not a working link, I’m assuming it’s print or paywall only. I’ll have to find a way to cadge the magazine – since my budget today, in pre-retirement limbo, is more tight than it was in 1985, just starting a job with Lake County.

  2. JMcG

    Parallel lives. I bought my first bike in 1983, a 1971 Triumph Daytona T 100 (I think). I remember the first issue of Cycle I picked up soon after. It had a Laverda Jota on the cover, of which my 18 year self could only dream. I discovered Peter Egan and LJK Setright soon after, then, when I was ready, Kevin Egan.
    I sold the Triumph to buy an RD 400 that was ported to within an inch of its life. Together, that little bike and I came much closer than an inch to taking my life.
    I survived long enough to buy a set of leathers and attend the California Superbike School when Keith Code brought it to Pocono. Did well enough overall to give racing a try.
    To this day, the most fun I’ve ever had on wheels was passing a smug Doctor on a GSXR 750 with matching blue and white leathers at Summit Point. I was on a Yamaha FZ 600 and he was leaving me in the dust on the straights. He’d get on the brakes about a half mile before the carousel and I’d sit on his tail and pass him on the outside every time through. ‘
    I was enough in tune with Peter Egan to later swan around in an Alfa spider for a while until I missed a shift (with that sweet gearbox, I have no excuse) and buried a valve head in a piston top. Rebuilt it in my dad’s driveway after buying parts from a lunatic Italian in South Philly. I also flew a bunch of hours in a Piper Cub and found my true love in the air.
    There are still a couple of bikes in the garage and I spent last Saturday rebuilding a little 125 Yamaha top end with my son there.
    I’ve had the time of my life when I come to think of it.
    I’ll pick up a copy of Cycle World and let them know what I think.
    Thanks for your site here Jack and Mark. Nice to know there are simpatico folks out there.

  3. ScottS

    Damn. Another magazine to add to the stack!

    Can’t wait to read it!

    BTW, my last new motorcycle was a 1982 Suzuki GS1100. Lately, I’m getting the itch for another bike, but I don’t want something that looks like a Transformer. Not going to race and don’t want to long distance tour. That 1982 GS still looks pretty good on paper.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Take a look at the Honda CB1100… annoying enough it doesn’t have quite the muscle of a GS1100 but it is similar in styling and intent.

  4. John C.

    I wonder when such an institution got so hollowed out. The mastheads of such magazines today list more people than back at their heights 30-50 years ago. I get the impression that the vast bulk of them are freelancers and interns though. In the old days a Brock Yates, Tom MaCahill, or Peter Egan seemed to earn a good living as a result of being at the top of the profession. Now there seems much more struggle to get work seen and to be paid properly for it. Wonder where the revenue goes now.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      As you’re guessed, that’s because a magazine like CW used to be ten full time people now it’s two full timers and 20 freelancers

  5. Danny

    Jack, I don’t know if you grew up riding 2 stroke motocross bikes like I did, but yesterday I was excited to find that there is a company importing 2 cycle sport bikes from Japan – bikes like the Suzuki RGV250 – which we never got in the states due to EPA standards.. Now that the bikes are over 25 years old, they’re legal to import and register. I’ve got a weakness for expansion chambers and premix, so now I need to save my lunch money for a lightweight TZR with Marlboro livery..

  6. JMcG

    I just picked up the new issue of Cycle World and it looks really good. I subscribed after looking through it, and will send a letter to the editors letting them know I found it through you. I missed that whole generation of bikes you describe in your piece.
    Thanks for the heads up Jack, and continued success. And be careful.

  7. Eric Daume

    Interesting coincidence. Just moments ago, I realized there was such a thing as “Leanings, Vol 3.”, so placed that Amazon order. I haven’t followed CW or R&T in several years, so I’m not sure who this Sam Smith character is.


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