It's finally spring again--Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog, has checked his shadow, showrooms are filling with hot new bikes and, if you listen really carefully, you can almost hear the engines bangin' off the rev limiters down at Bike Week in Florida. For those of us who live north of the 40th parallel (plenty, judging from the return addresses on our most recent round of Shout Outs), it's time to bring our bikes out of hibernation and return to the road. Drain the Stabil, charge the battery and thumb the starter for the first time in 2004, filling the garage once again with the sweet stench of burnt hydrocarbons. Buckle that lid tightly, kids--it's time to ride.
Not that winter is an entirely barren season for serious cyclists--for many of us, the first frost just marks a different kind of season: the season for wrenching. Many find winter the perfect excuse for a full-bike teardown, time to make the mods we've been putting off all season while we were too busy riding to do any wrenching. An awful lot of frames and swingarms are polished during the dark days of December, and many hours are wiled away at the dyno eeking out that last ounce of horsepower before the prime riding days return.
Here at Super Streetbike we've been busy wrenching as well, tweaking not only our own motorcycles but also the magazine you're holding in your hands. Our third issue is again loaded with eye candy--seven sick bikes by L.A.'s Ryde or Die Motors, a tyte trio from Patrick's Performance, streetfighters and more--to keep the bling quotient high and fill you with ideas on how to dial your own ride. Stunt content is as strong as ever, anchored with event coverage of the XSBA and NSRA National Championships, and we kept up the practical features as well: Thew Blankstrom's stoppie secrets, along with an extended swingarm installation for you gearheads. And for all you e-mail insurgents, we threw in a few more girls, too.
But our biggest news has little to do with the printed page: We've finally launched the Super Streetbike Web site, now up and running at www.superstreetbike.com. Bookmark this baby to keep up to date on the latest developments on the extreme streetbike front, get in touch with other underground sportbike enthusiasts via online forums, check out online bike shows (where you vote for the winners!) and, of course, preview content from upcoming issues of Super Streetbike.
Speaking of which, you'll be happy to hear there will be more issues of SSB coming in '04. The purse-tenders at Primedia have committed to at least three issues--more if the demand remains as strong as it has been. So keep those love letters coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org please, let us know your name and where you're writing from. And let our advertisers know that you heard about them in this magazine. Keep sending us leads as well--tell us about custom bikes roaming your neighborhood that you think should be featured in the magazine, hot new products you'd like to see tested or upcoming events you think we should know about this season.
We hope you're looking forward to this new riding season as much as we are. We expect it'll be a great year. The new crop of sportbikes is the most impressive ever, with all of the Big Four's literbikes putting down more than 150 hp in the lightest, tightest chassis yet. Newly revised AMA Superstock rules give these literbikes a high-profile racing battleground, so expect the aftermarket to explode with performance parts for these models (600s, too, in the new Formula Extreme 600 class). We can't wait until the nation's top tuners and custom builders finally put their paws on these new beasts. And you can be sure that when they do, you'll see their work featured on the pages of this magazine first.
There's plenty for sportbike enthusiasts to look forward to in '04, so get into the spirit of the new season today. Reading this issue cover to cover is a great start. Next, get down to your local bike merchant and check out the new year's machines up close and in person. Scam a demo ride if you can (yeah, right!), or just sit in the saddle and make "vroom, vroom" noises. If you're within 500 miles of Florida in early March, catch the AMA roadracing season opener at Daytona International Speedway, the stuntfest at the Lakeland County fairgrounds or the year's first AMA/Prostar dragraces in Gainesville, Florida. And if the roads are clear in your neighborhood, by all means, get out for the year's first ride.
In other words, put down the wrenches, throw away the waxing rags and do whatever it takes to get back in the saddle and remind yourself why you love the sportbike life.
You've been waiting months for this moment to come. Make the most of it.