---Well, I'm really looking forward to the Mavs season opener in a week. It will be good to see how things are going to shake out this year. Will the defense be improved, even without a new big guy in the middle? Will Eschmeyer, Bradley, Popeye, and LaFrenz provide the needed body-bashing and board-crashing? The offense looks to be top notch if the last few pre-season games are any indication.
---The cycle show is four weeks from tomorrow morning. It's going to be a good one, despite the somewhat disappointing number of new models (weak economies the world over are blamed). I'm really interested in: the Buell ZB-9S Lightning (just maybe the coolest and tidiest-looking play bike I've seen, but they need to start using the Porsche engines and ditch the 1940s Harley tech), radical new 600s from Kaw, Honda, and Yam, the awesome new Z1000 from Kaw, the Tuono by Aprilia, all the new Ducatis (love that new 620 Sport), the SV/SVS 650 and 1000, the BMW R1150RX (even though at double the cost of a ZRX the price is outrageous), the mock up of the 2004 Duke Twin (looks like something from Tron), the new monster GSX-R (4 pounds lighter and 5 more HP??), and the MotoGP race bikes. Don't forget new colors for old models.
The biggest news is probably what will be released in mid 2003 and in 2004. Triumph has a Daytona 600 and Daytona 1300 coming next year. Triumph didn't sign the agreement to limit top speeds to 186 mph like the Japanese, and they say the 1300 might top 200 mph in showroom stock form. There's also a Bonneville Cafe Racer that sounds really tasty (more on Bonnevilles later). Suzuki is supposed to have a GSV-R1000 (yes, 'V', not 'X') based on their million-dollar MotoGP bike. Suzuki and Kaw have brand new 'naked' 600s coming out based on their supersport bikes.
Kaw will be attacking the world with a ZX-10RR. They also have a factory supermoto. Harley is supposed to have a new standard bike (you can actually reach the pegs and it doesn't put 100% of the weight on your butt) based on the V-Rod. Honda has the Rune, a 1.8 liter 6-cylinder supercruiser with art-deco styling. Also the 1200XX and a new Fireblade. Ducati will have a number of single-cylinder bikes--Monsters and Supersports. And Aprilia is supposed to bring the Mana and the Blue Marlin out! How to choose?? Eventually, I'll have (at least) one streetbike and one track-only bike. But even though we only get 1/3 the bikes Europe and Japan get, the selection is amazing.
---Also, you've got to love engineers. Example: a year and a half ago, some sites and the mags were saying that the new EPA regs would kill sportbike innovation and strangle the motors. The bar was raised far, far too high they said. Well, the new R6 meets some 2006 scheduled standard for cleanliness AND weighs 8 pounds less despite having a cat (any lighter and you'll be able to pick it up off the ground with your bare hands) AND has flawless fuel-injection AND has 3 more horsepower. It's good for everyone. They raise the bar, which just creates a challenge for brilliant Japanese or German engineers, and they innovate to the point where not only do they meet the new lower limit, but they improve every aspect of the performance as well. Sweet.
---I got my used CDs (they look brand new to me) from the Amazon retailers (it's a bit like a mini eBay but with fixed prices). I couldn't be happier with The Autumns' album. It has cast a spell. I believe I waited and waded for over a decade for a collection of sounds like this. Imagine a quiet forest clearing in winter, no leaves on the trees but ice coating every branch in all its complexity, bright golden sunshine beaming down, and untouched snow. This is music which, if you played it for your six-month old, would increase his or her intelligence.
The other album is on the backburner. I'm sure I'll like it, but it hasn't grabbed me immediately the way New Parade did.
---Finally, I have seen the coolest bike at UNT. This older guy who wears an Aerostitch suit and a Schuberth helmet rode up on an original Triumph Bonneville which has had a million upgrades made to it. Just gorgeous. It has blue paint and a small flyscreen with a small British flag across it. The hardware looked incredibly trick, but it still had the look of original quality (i.e., it wasn't a new 2001 and up Bonnie).
That's all for today. :)