Motorcycling in America – 1985

Life In America
1985 – Household income is up $500 to $22,100, unemployment though is still high at 7.3%. Hezbollah hijacks TWA flight 847. Famine spreads in Ethiopia. Microsoft releases Windows V.1. The Coca-Cola Company launches something called, New Coke, six months later it’s pulled from shelves. Mel Gibson and Tina Turner team up to star in, Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome, and the first of the Back to the Future films makes its debut. The big song on the radio is We are the World, done by musicians from all over in support of famine relief. Larry King debuts on CNN. Gas is $1.09 per gallon and Suzuki’s new touring bike, the Cavalcade will cost you $7999.

Number One Motorcycle Trend For 1985:
V-twin engines housed in cruiser frames, with pull-back bars, forward foot pegs and laid-back seating, are sprouting like mushrooms after a rainstorm. All the Japanese OEs now have at least one model..

European Brands Road Tested
BMW: R80RT, R100RT. Cagiva: WMX125, 650 Elefant, Alazura 600. Husqvarna: 250CR, 510TE, 510, 500XC, 400WRX. KTM: 250MTX, 500MXC, 350MXC. M-Star (Maico): SM250

Asian Brands Road Tested
Honda: CR125R, GL1200 Gold Wing LE, CR250R, VT1100 Shadow, XR600R, XR350R, Rebel 250, Elite Scooter, VF1000R. Kawasaki: Vulcan 750, Eliminator 900, Ninja 600, KX500. KX250, LTD450, GPz750, KX125. Suzuki: GS1150E, SP600, GS700ES, RM250, GSX-R 750, VS700 Intruder, GV1400 Cavalcade. Yamaha: BW200, YZ250, TY350, V-Max, FZ750, XT350.

American Brands Tested
Amazonas: 1600. Can-Am: 250 MX LC. Harley-Davidson: XLH1100 Sport.

Daytona race undergoes format change. A decision by the Frances has Superbike displacing F1 as the premier event.

Randy Morales and Chuck Miller take overall win the Baja 1000.

After 15 years of battle, Mike Goodwin, the Godfather of Supercross, and the AMA come to an agreement. The AMA’s role will be strictly that of officiating on the track. Their role as promoters and rule makers is over.

Barry Sheene, road racing’s most affable spokesperson retires after 18 years of competition.

A young Texan, Kevin Schwantz, signs a contract for a Suzuki factory ride after only 6-months after first throwing a leg over a superbike.

Mamola (Honda) takes Laguna Seca F1 win over long-time mentor Roberts (Yamaha)

Freddie Spencer wins 14 GP races to capture the World 500 GP Championship on his Honda.

Bubba Shobert (Honda) wins GNC.

Other Issues
Honda launches a mass media campaign featuring pop stars like Grace Jones, Adam Ant, and DEVO, to promote motor scooters, ads appear on both network and cable.

Gaines Service Leasing Corp. expands leasing options into the motorcycle market. BMW execs predict leasing will be the way to go in the future.

Mounting land use issues cause the closing of Saddleback Park and Indian Dunes in California, Turkey Bay in Tennessee, and Big Cypress in Florida.

Dairyland Insurance offers a full-coverage helmet for $39.95, and where permitted, is eliminating deductibles for riders who wear helmets.

After only two years the Turbo era is declared to be “dead.” Reason given, performance and cost.

The reality of “counter-steering” is debated monthly through the letters to the editor’s column.

Competition Accessories advertises a top-end Arai Ultra Light helmet for $231.50 and a pair of Bates Fast Lane boots for $115.95.

0 thoughts on “Motorcycling in America – 1985

  1. Its nice to see what was going on in the year I was born. I learned a few new things. Thanks CA for being there & remembering. And thanks for always having the things I need to keep riding.


  2. Where do I find this test on the 1985 CanAm250MXLC? I have one of these bikes but find little information on them anywhere. Please help if you can. Email me at my email address you have.
    Thank you!!


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