Life In America
1978 – The average income is $17,000/year, and inflation is still an issue. A new home sells for $58,000. The first mobile phone is introduced. The Japanese now account for 50% of import car sales. 918 followers of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple commit mass suicide in Guyana. The Blues Brothers debut on Saturday Night Live. When we’re not riding we’re watching Dallas, and Taxi, or listening to The Bee Gees, who dominate the charts with Night Fever and Stayin’ Alive. At the movies we’re torn between the Deer Hunter and Animal House, but the number one flick is Grease. Gas is about the same, $.65 and Suzuki’s RM400 will make your wallet $1,698 lighter.
|Number One Motorcycle Trend For 1978:|
|While the number of European brands has shrunk somewhat, the number of models being imported by the Euros has fallen significantly, and with a few exceptions most are out of the street-bike business. The Japanese on the other hand are down to five OEs, but literally hundreds of models.|
BMW: R80/7, R100S, R65. Bultaco: Alpina 350. Ducati: 900SD Desmo. Husqvarna: 250CR, 390OR. KTM: 250MC-5. Laverda: 500 Zeta Maico: Magnum 450. Montesa: Caprra VB360. Sachs: Hercules GS250 Enduro. Triumph: Bonneville 750.
Hodaka: SL175. Honda: Elsinore CR250R, MT125R, CBX1000, CX500, CB750A, XL250S, XR75, Gold Wing GL1000. Kawasaki: KL250, KZ200, KZ1000A2, KX250A4, KX125, KZ650SR, KZ750 Twin, KD100. Suzuki: GS1000, GS550C, RM400, RM250C2, GS750, DR360, SP250, PE125. Yamaha: SR500, XL1100, RD400, XS750E, IT250, SR500, XL1100, RD400, XS750E, IT250, YZ250E, XS750, XT500, GT80MX, IT175.
Can-AM: 250MX-4, 175 Qualifier, 370 MX-4. Harley-Davidson: FXS Low Rider, FLH-80.
ISDT – Czechs win World Trophy, US takes 4th.
Marty Smith wins 500cc AMA Motocross title.
Kenny Robert’s 750 two-stroke flat-tracker is raced to a 4th place finish at the British Long Track Speedway Grand Prix.
Mike Bast wins 3rd straight National Speedway Title.
DeCoster wins 4th Trans-AMA Motocross series championship in a row.
Daytona 200 miler won by Kenny Roberts at record 108.485 MPH. Steve McLaughlin wins Superbike Race and Marty Tripes wins the Supercross.
Kenney Roberts becomes first American to win a 500cc GP World Championship.
Studies report the biggest problem facing motorcycles is noise.
The US Treasury, in response to Harley’s dumping complaint finds Kawasaki, Honda, and Yamaha guilty of dumping. Suzuki is exempted by findings.
NYC passes bill banning motorcycles from the city streets. The bill is not enforced.
Minnesota adopts helmet law that precludes anyone not wearing a helmet from suing for head injuries that could have been prevented by wearing one.
Laverda shows a longitudinally V-6 1000cc power motorcycle that it claims produces 140 HP.
KTM will no longer be sold in the US under the Penton name.
Can-Am announces it will no longer build or sell street bikes due to cost of certification.
Joan Claybrook is appointed Administrator of the NHTSA, and now the fun really begins!