Life In America
1974 – While the median family income has risen, now $12,840, the 11.3% inflation rate has actually made this year’s income less than 1973’s. Nixon is forced to resign. OPEC embargoes oil for five months, creating the worst recession since the depression. The national speed limit is reduced to 55 MPH to save fuel. On TV the new shows seem to be trying to cheer us with their titles; Happy Days, and Good Times among them. At the movies Mel Brooks is cranking out great comedies with Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. Elton John’s Benny and the Jets, Clapton’s I Shot the Sheriff and Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run are big hits. A new car costs $3,750 and a gallon of gas has gone up dramatically to $.55. The new BMW R90S costs $3,430 and is the most expensive motorcycle readily available.
|Number One Motorcycle Trend For 1974:
|While big-bore (750 and up) bikes get more than their share of attention, the real action is in mid-sized bikes, 250 – 400. Honda claims they sell more 350’s than any other displacement motorcycle. The fuel crisis is spurring the market for mid-sized bikes and there are predictions that distributors will run out of product before the end of the year.|
Penton 250 Hare Scrambler, 250 Hare Scrambler Enduro. CCM608 MX. Bultaco Matador Mark V, 325 Jim Pomeroy Replica. BMWR90/6, BMW R90S. Maico 450K CR. CZ250. Husqvarna 250CR. Premier 125 Enduro. Norton Commando Interstate 850. Triumph Trophy 500 Trail. Benelli 750 SEI. Moto-Guzzi 850T Interceptor. Laverda 1000. Ossa Phantom 250.
Kawasaki Mach II 400, 175 F7, KS125 Enduro, KX250, KX125, KZ400. Yoshimura/Duhamel 1000 Z1. Yamaha TY250 Trials, TY80A, DT360A, DT175, YZ125, YZ250. Honda CB360G, XL175, CB550/4, CR125, CB200. Suzuki TS185L, TM125, TM400.
Carabella 125 MX (Mexico)
2nd round of Trans-AMA motocross held at JFK stadium is a disaster, due to a bad track and no audience.
The ISDT is held in Massachusetts. US places 5th, Czech’s win the gold.
Kenny Roberts is the first Grand National Champion to win the title on a Japanese motorcycle.
Agostini leaves MV Agusta and signs with Yamaha.
Daytona Yamaha wins 8 of the top 10 places, Agostini wins the the 200 miler and Kenny Roberts takes second.
Rising racing star Cal Rayborn dies in a crash in New Zealand Dec 29, 1973.
BSA motorcycles cease production.
All new motorcycles imported to the US must shift on the left and brake on the right.
Sochiro Honda retires at age 67.
Cycle World stages economy run, car vs motorcycle. Worst motorcycle a Yamaha RD350 gets 39.25 mpg. Best car, a Datsun 710 gets 22 mpg.
There are an estimated 8-million motorcycles in use, and 15-million riders.