Motorcycling in America – 1992

Life In America
1992 – Average household income is $30,030. DNA “finger printing” is invented. Bill Clinton is elected President. Mafia boss, John Gotti is sentenced to life in prison. The first McDonald’s opens in Beijing. The world’s largest shopping mall, Mall of America opens in Minnesota. Whitney Houston croons Dolly Parton’s theme, I Will Always Love You, and Clapton sings Tears in Heaven. At the movies the big draws are Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood, and Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon III. Debuting on TV, Mad About You, and Melrose Place. Gas is at $1.05 a gallon and the new Buell RS1200 will set you back $15,995.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
While the Japanese seem to be singularly focused on sport bikes, the market, lead by Harley-Davidson is shifting to heavy-weight cruisers, 31.4% to 30.7% respectively according to Motorcycle Industry Association figures.

European Brands Road Tested
BMW: R100R, K75, K75S, K100RS, K1100LT. Ducati: 750SS, 900SL, 851 Sport. Husaberg: 501. Husqvarna: 610 WXC, 360 WSC. KTM: 300 D/XC, 250SX.

Asian Brands Road Tested
Honda: XR628, CR250R, Shadow 1100, Night Hawk 750, VFR750F, CBR900RR, CBR600F2, ST1100 ABS/TCS, RC31 (Kit), XR650L. Kawasaki: Ninja 600R, Ninja ZX-6, Ninja ZX-7, Ninja ZX-7REX500. KX250, Vulcan 88, Zephyr ZR1100. Suzuki: Katana 600, GSX-R1100, DR650S, Bandit 400, GS500E, RM250, GSX-R750, GSX-R600, Katana 750. Yamaha: Seca II, YZ-250, FZR1100, FZR600, FJ1200 ABS, YZ WR250.

American Brands Tested
ATK: 604. Buell: RSS1200. Harley-Davidson: FLHTCU Electra Glide, FXLR Low Rider Custom.

Quickest, Fastest, Best, Most Expensive, Cheapest
Quickest bike tested: Honda CBR900RR: Quarter mile, 10.59. Top speed 159 MPH.

Fastest bike tested: Yamaha FZR1000: Top speed 165 MPH. Quarter mile, 10.64.

Best Superbike:  Honda CBR900R.

Best Enduro: Husqvarna 610.

Best 750 Street: Honda VFR 750F.

Best Dual Purpose: Honda XR650L.

Most Expensive: Harley-Davidson FLHTCU $16,099, almost the same as the average new car, $16,950.

Cheapest: Suzuki GS500E, $3,245.

Other Issues
Cycle World celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a look over the past 30 years.

The American distributors of Bimota put together a leasing scheme; $6,000 down, and $399 per month for three years will put you on a new Tesi or YB8.

Legendary seat maker, Mike Corbin, debuts an electric partial streamliner, sets World Land Speed Record for class at 165 MPH. Bill Rannberg in England develops electric drag bike with a 20HP DC engine and hits the middle 12s at 101 MPH.

NHTSA is doling out $65 to states that pass mandatory helmet and safety-belt laws.

New Zealander, John Britten debuts radical garage-built V-Twin at Daytona Battle of the Twins. DNF due to electrical problem, but bike has stunning performance.

Scott Russell wins Daytona Superbike race to hand Kawasaki their first ever win at Daytona.

Harley-Davidson cracks down on unauthorized use of their logo and seizes 150 lbs of merchandise from vendors in Daytona.

ESPN agrees to televise 10 AMA Dirt Track Races. Prime Ticket will present 12 one-hour road racing events.

AMA membership hits 196,000, a record high.

Study by University of Chicago debunks theory that helmets cause neck injuries.

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