Life In America
1980 – The average income has increased to $19,500/year. The US boycotts the Moscow Olympics. Mt. St. Helens erupts. John Lennon is gunned down in New York City. 30% of US auto sales are now imports, primarily from Japan. We’re listening to Queen’s, Another one Bites the Dust, and Willie Nelson’s, On the Road Again. On TV CNN has just introduced 24-hour news. Fox and HBO are introduced, breaking traditional network monopolies. At the movies, The Empire Strikes Back, and Airplane are the films drawing our interest. The average new car costs, $7,609. The new Yamaha XS1100 will set you back $5,413. A gallon gas is going for $1.19/gallon.
|Number One Motorcycle Trend For 1980:|
|Single shock, link suspensions are appearing on dirt bikes; Kawasaki has introduced their Uni-Track system on a production bike, and Honda introduced its Pro-Link system on a factory MXr at the Anaheim Supercross, soon others will follow and eventually the system will become standard in both dirt and street bikes.|
BMW: R100T Cagiva: WMX125. Husqvarna: 250WR. KTM 250 Enduro. Maico: M1 250, 250 Enduro. Montesa: Cota. 349.Moto Guzzi: V50. Moto Morini: 3 ½.
Honda: CBX, CB400T, CB900 Custom, XR200, Gold Wing GL1100, CB125, CR125R, CR80, CB750C. Kawasaki: KDX175, KDX250, KZ550, KZ1300, KZ440 Ltd, KZ750, Z1 Classic, KX250, Vetter Mystery Ship. Suzuki: RM 25T, GS550GT, GS750GT, GS1100E, GS850, DR400, PE400, GS450S, PE250, GN400, GS1000G, GS250T. Yamaha: SX850G, XT250GYZ250G, SR500, YZ465G, XS1100, XJ650 Maxim I, IT250, Exciter I SR250, YZ125Z, IT175G.
North American Brands
Can-AM: Qualifier 250, 250MX. Harley-Davidson: FXB80 Sturgis.
Kent Howerton wins first “Superbikers” race at Carlsbad, CA on board a Suzuki RM400.
Brock Glover wins 500cc National AMA Championship.
Steve Eklund wins GNC, first privateer to win since Dick Mann in 1963.
Husqvarna, led by Larry Roessler and Jack Johnson sweep all five classes in Baja 1000.
Daytona – Graeme Crosby on a Suzuki wins Superbike race. Eddie Lawson wins 250cc GP class. Gina Boivard becomes first woman to qualify for the 200 miler on her TZ500.
Kenny Roberts wins 3rd World 500 GP Championship.
Terry Vance wins the IDBA Pro Stock Championship with a record breaking 8.82 quarter-mile.
All four Japanese OEs introduce water-cooling on their factory MXrs.
Both Harley-Davidson and Kawasaki introduce belt final drive systems; HD Sturgis and Kaw KZ440LTD.
Kawasaki introduces first mass production motorcycle equipped with fuel-injection, the Z1 Classic.
Editors express concern that with the rising popularity of cruiser-style bikes there are fewer sport and standard bikes available.
The “safety motorcycle” a rear steering contraption developed at a cost of millions of dollars by the NHTSA is declared by the SAE to be, “unrideable.”
The MSF releases data indicating that motorcycling is getting safer in terms of deaths per crash and crashes per mile, along with deaths per registrations.
MXL introduces a plastic boot to compete with Scott’s, unfortunately, it leaks.
All Japanese OEs have recognized the “touring” market and are providing motorcycles to meet the demand, though fairings and luggage for the most part is still an aftermarket purchase.