Motorcycling in America – 1991

Life In America
1991 – Average household income is $29,430. The Balkan war begins. The Dow hits 3000 for the first time. Jeffery Dahmer is arrested. Rodney King’s beating shakes LA. The internet is made available for unrestricted commercial use. Microsoft issues MS Dos 5.0. Future governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger appears in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. We’re scared out of our seats at Silence of the Lambs. We’re listening to Natalie Cole sing Unforgettable and Bonnie Riatt sings Something to Talk About. The best new show on TV is, Home Improvement. Gas is now $1.12 a gallon. A new Yamaha WR200 is only $3499.

Number One Motorcycle Trend For 1991:
Even though Harley-Davidson is making huge market share strides, the Japanese OEM’s focus is still on sport bikes. The trend has been to bigger, and/or higher revving engines, and with that, added weight. Lighter weight is starting to become a concern with aluminum and carbon-fiber starting to appear on more sport bikes.

European Brands Road Tested
Bimota: Dieci, Tesi. BMW: R100GS, R75S. Ducati: 888, 900SS, Paso 907ie. Husqvarna: 250 WMX, 610 WXE, 250 WXE. KTM: 250MX, 250 EXC.

Asian Brands Road Tested
Honda: ST1100, Nighthawk 750, CBR600F2, CR250R, HRC628 (Kit), CBR1000F, VFR750F. Kawasaki: Concours, Ninja ZX-6, KX250, Zephyr 750, EX500, ZX-7R Ninja, ZX-11 Ninja, KDX250, KDX200. Suzuki: Bandit 400, Katana 1100, GSX-R 750, GSX-R 1100, RM250, RMX250, Katana 750, GSX1000G. Yamaha: FZR600, YZ250, FZR1000, FJ1200, TDM850, YZ250WR, WR200, WR500.

American Brands Tested
ATK: 604EFI, 250 Cross Country, 604. Harley-Davidson: XLH 1200 Sportster, FXDB Daytona Dyna Glide.

Quickest, Fastest, Best, Most Expensive, Cheapest
Quickest bike tested: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11: Quarter mile, 10.48. Top speed 174 MPH.

Fastest bike tested: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11: Top speed 174 MPH. Quarter mile, 10.48.

Best Superbike:  Yamaha FZR1000.

Best Enduro: KTM 250 E/XC.

Best 750 Street: Honda VFR 750F.

Best Dual Purpose: ATK 604.

Most Expensive: Bimota Tesi, $40,000.

Cheapest: Kawasaki KDX200, $2,899

Other Issues
Yamaha announces plan to sell bikes complete with insurance. No one’s quite sure how this is to be done.

Ascot speedway closes after 33 years. The track became famous when ABC Wide-World of Sports broadcast a race in the ‘60s.

Daytona celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Miguel Duhamel wins the Superbike race. 750 Super Sport is won by Scott Russell. Jeff Stanton wins Supercross.

Norton motorcycles, always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy are rumored to be in talks with Diesel Jeans and the Castiglioni brothers as possible buyers.

BMW builds their millionth motorcycle.

England humiliates the USA 625 to 161 in the Trans-Atlantic Match Races.

Young Frenchman, Jean-Michel Bayle wins US Supercross and AMA 250 Outdoor MX title.

Sochiro Honda, founder of Honda Motorcycles, dies at age 84.

Tech guru Kevin Cameron joins Cycle World staff. His former employer Cycle Magazine is merged with Cycle World.

Motorcycles, led by Harley are starting to go mainstream. Bohemia Beer, Brut, Calvin Klein, Duck Head, J. Crew and McDonalds have all used motorcycles in their print and television advertising, which is directed at a non-enthusiast audience.

Wayne Rainey wins second World 500 GP championship.

Scotty Parker becomes most winning racer in the 38 year history of the Grand National Championship series.

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