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Well Yamaha has generated quite a bit of talk with this. What could it be? The '03 R6? A two-wheel drive R1? A production R7? A light twin or liter twin sportbike? A Busa killer? The FZ6? Bringing the FJR1300, Diversion, Bulldog, or TDM900 to the states? A new FZ1 with the '02 R1 engine?

Or is it some merger announcement? Some new financing deal or credit card? A racer's starter package for the R6/R1? Whatever it is, it's also a marketing ploy and they've got thousands of people on the net talking about it. It's going to be a letdown if it isn't a blockbuster announcement (like the first 2WD R1).

In case you were wondering I HATE this frickin' freezin' weather.

Found out a little more about my cousin's charges. First of all, he was on probation from his vehicular manslaughter charges. Second, his lawyer is apparently a moralist, and wants to 'teach Jon a lesson', and so is refusing to represent him in the most advantageous way (hey, it's Baton Rouge, LA). Third, the drug he was caught with was ROHYPNOL, the date rape drug. Now I generally don't care what drug someone uses in the privacy of his or her quarters, and I'm aware Rohypnol has its own set of euphoric effects for which a person might voluntarily take it, but when a major known use for a drug is as an aid to sexual assault, I draw the line. God damn Jonothan, couldn't you have dealed coke or grass like all the other gangstas? I think his lawyer sucks, but after hearing the details, I'm kind of pulling for the state to throw the book at Jon.

Want to see a picture of Michael Jordan's... um, *house*? Click here. It's a big picture. lots of bytes. That place is pretty crazy. I'd have my own dirt track and maybe a small roadracing course, but I'm down with the really nice lighted basketball court (and the half court and the tennis court and the golf green and the huge pool and the trees and the buildings). Wonder if he's got one inside as well.

Mavs bobble head dolls are out. Stevie Nash's has real hair.

How about that Charlotte Church?

I'm not doing the all car/bike post, just trickling in stuff here and there.

I heard about the newest trend in the Ricer culture. Now guys are taking shoe polish and putting their supposed E.T.s on their windshield (as is done sometimes at sanctioned shootouts at a track). Of course, they're putting numbers like '12.3' and '11.6' up there. Maybe in the 1/8th. The only way a base Civic with fart can is going to do those times is if you drop it out of an airplane. It fits the trend toward wild graphics/paint/Japanese characters, super annoying backpressure-robbing exhaust coffee cans, huge bookshelf wings, etc.

This is one of the last years for the 500cc two stroke GP bikes. A motojournalist recently got to take a test on one of the best 500s ever, the 2001 NSR500. Here are a few quotes.

"Valentino Rossi�s NSR500 is a truly wondrous piece of machinery which simultaneously delights and terrifies like no other motorcycle in the world."

"You just know that this should be the greatest ride of your life, but all the NSR does is make you feel desperately inadequate. It�s like being in bed with three women: There�s just too much to do all at once, there�s no way you can keep up, so the whole thing becomes more hilarious than satisfying."

"How do you describe the NSR�s acceleration, like a bullet from a gun, maybe? No, that doesn�t do justice to the violence."

"You aim for the apex and the NSR drags you in so quick that it�s like jumping off a cliff, and all the time the thing�s telling you 'Crank me over some more', and however heroic you think you are and however hard you can feel the g-force hugging you to the tarmac, you can sense the motorcycle hissing derisively: 'You�re shit'. The carbons and the lunatic-fast steering take care of your deficiencies and you�re through nice and easy."

"And so on and so forth, in a breathless, brain-frazzling maelstrom until you�re dead beat and happy to see the checkered flag after your allotted four laps."

"This bike is as user-friendly as you could like, until you open the throttle properly, and then you�re no longer riding a motorcycle, you�re controlling a ground-attack missile. To be honest, all analogies fall way short of the mark, so maybe putting it into numbers might give the uninitiated a better idea of what a 500�s really like. Here goes: Rossi�s bike weighs 287 pounds, the same as Honda�s 12-bhp NSR125 streetbike, and delivers 190 horsepower to the wheel, all those horses arriving in lightning-quick two-stroke style."

Rossi: "The satisfaction of riding the 500 is a big motivation for me. I think it�s necessary to have big balls to ride the 500. The four-stroke may be faster but for sure it doesn�t give the same sensation. When you�re riding the 500, the most difficult bike in the world, it�s necessary to have a perfect set-up and you�ve also got to ride perfect all the time."