Motorcycling in America – 1993

Life In America
1993 – Average household income is $31,230. Islamic fundamentalists bomb the World Trade Center. Beanie Babies are introduced. Intel debuts Pentium Processor. NAFTA is signed into law. The Branch Davidian Sect compound in Waco, TX goes up in flames. We’re listening to Meatloaf’s, I’d Do Anything for Love, but I Won’t Do That. Two very different motion pictures have captured our imagination, Schindler’s List, and Jurassic Park. On TV we bid farewell to M*A*S*H, and begin a long relationship with the David Letterman Show. Gas has gone up to $1.16. Honda has brought back the controversial Pacific Coast, and it will cost you $6,499 to own one.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
In contrast to the early ‘80s, fewer all new motorcycles are being imported from Japan. As a result Cycle World’s number of road tests has diminished, replaced by riding impressions, and reports from Europe and Japan on motorcycles not available in the United States along with more articles about customs, both café and cruiser, and vintage bikes.

European Brands Road Tested
BMW: K-75. R100R, K1100RS. Ducati: 888, Super Mono, Monster 900. Husqvarna: 360, 610 /WXC. KTM: 250, 400LC4. Moto Guzzi: Daytona 1000.

Asian Brands Road Tested
Honda: CR250R, ST1100, CBR1000F, CBR900R, CB750, CB1000, Magna 750, CR500, CBR600F2 (’94), Pacific Coast (’94). Kawasaki: Ninja Z-X6, KZ250, Ninja ZX-7, KLX650R, Ninja ZX-11, KLX650, Zephyr ZR1100, KDX200, Concours, KX500. Suzuki: GSX-R1100, RM250, GSX-R750, Katana 1100, GS 1100G, VX800, RMX250. Yamaha: YZ250, YZF 750, GTS1000, FJ1200, FZR1000, TDM850, V-Max, WR250, WR500, Seca II (’94), Virago 1100 (’94), V-Max (’94).

American Brands Tested
ATK: 406. Harley-Davidson: FLSTN Heritage Softail Nostalgia, Dyna Low Rider, Sportster 883, Dyna Wide Glide FXDWG.

Quickest, Fastest, Best, Most Expensive, Cheapest
Quickest bike tested: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11: Quarter mile, 10.56. Top speed 176 MPH.

Fastest bike tested: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11: Top speed 176 MPH. Quarter mile, 10.56.

Best Superbike:  Honda CBR900R.

Best Enduro: KTM 250 E/XC.

Best 750 Street: Honda VFR 750F.

Best Dual Purpose: Honda XR650L.

Most Expensive: Ducati SuperMono, $30,000.

Cheapest: Kawasaki KDX200, $3,249.

Other Issues
BMW and Yamaha introduce alternative front suspension solutions, BMW the “Paralever” and Yamaha’s single-sided RADD front steering system. Suspension specialist White Power introduces a one-legged fork system with a slider on roller bearings. All systems do away with conventional hydraulic forks. But seem to answer a question that nobody’s asked.

Triumph announces plans to begin distribution in the United States in 1994.

Harley-Davidson buys a 49% share in Eric Buell’s company.

The typical Harley buyer is reported to be 38 years old, with an annual income of $53,000.

Motorcycle fatalities declined 17% from 1992 to 1993.

Wayne Rainey suffers career-ending accident at Italian GP.

The 25th and last running of the 24-Hours of Nelson Ledges is held.

Several large companies announce intention to drop health coverage for motorcycle riding employees.
Maryland’s Baltimore county prohibits maintenance or repair of motor vehicles on residentialy zoned private property.

Three day Super Ticket for USGP at Laguna Seca, allowing admission and paddock access is $50.

Honda reports sales of parts for early twins and CB750 fours are way up.

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