Motorcycling in America – 1994

Life In America
1994 – Average household income is $33, 178. Tonya Harding attacks Nancy Kerrigan with a pipe. A 6.7 force earthquake strikes in California’s San Fernando Valley doing $20-million worth of damage. OJ Simpson leads a bizarre police chase. Netscape Navigator is released. World Series is cancelled due to player’s strike. Kurt Cobain commits suicide. Bruce Springsteen has big hit with Streets of Philadelphia. Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump are drawing big crowds at the movies. Gas is down to $1.09. A Ducati Alchemy SV1 will set you back $15,000.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
After almost a decade of decline, the motorcycle market is on an upswing. While magazines have been focused on sportbikes, Japanese cruiser-style bikes have been gaining ground. This style trend will become dominant over the next several years.

European Brands Road Tested
BMW: R1100Gs. Ducati: 888 LTD, 916, Alchemy SV1. Husaberg: FC501. Husqvarna: 610. KTM: SX250, 620, 620R/XC.

Asian Brands Road Tested
Honda: CR250, VFR750, Shadow 1100, Magna 750, VLX600, RC45, CBR900RR, CBR600F2, CR125XR600, NR750, CR260, Gold Wing GL1500. Kawasaki: KX250, Vulcan 1500. Vulcan 750, Vulcan 500, Ninja 500, Ninja ZX-9, Ninja ZX-6, KX125, Ninja ZX-7, Ninja ZX-7R, KLX650. Suzuki: RF600R, RM250, Intruder 1400, Intruder 800, GS500, KAT600, RF900R, RF600R, RM125. Yamaha: YZ250, Virago 1100, Virago 750, Virago 535, WR250, FZR600, Seca II, YZF600R, YZ125, YZF750R.

American Brands Tested
ATK: 605. Harley-Davidson: FLHR Road King, FXSTSB Bad Boy.

Quickest, Fastest
Quickest bike tested: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-9: Quarter mile, 10.65. Top speed 166 MPH.

Fastest bike tested: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-9: Top speed 166 MPH. Quarter mile, 10.65.

Other Issues
AMA membership tops 200,000.

Congress cuts funding for National Trail System from $7.5 million to zero.

Yamaha’s experiment with the single-sided steering GTS1000 is determined to be a sales failure.
New motosport from France, Supermoto, is introduced to the readers of Cycle World. Some consider it to be the new training ground for future road racers.

Indian, Excelsior Henderson and Vincent are slated to make a comeback in the next few years. The Indian marque is claimed by an Australian to who claims to be putting together a plan for a Britten powered street bike. In the meantime Indian Motors Manufacturing, owned by Wayne Baughman shows two running proto-type Chiefs with bespoke engines. Hanlon brothers, Dan and Dave, show V-twin power plant mock up for Excelsior-Henderson revival. Bernard Li’s Vincent revival, the Eagle is looking for an engine source.

GP racing is in trouble. Fans, sponsors and grids are fading. Dorna, IRTA and the FIM are locked in a dispute over tracks, sponsorship and promotion. In addition the 500 2/stroke formula seems to be at a dead end in terms of extracting more performance. 250GP times on some tracks are getting close to 500GP lap times.

Famed pin-striper Von Dutch dies.

Triumph opens shop in Peachtree City, GA and begins distribution of new Triumphs.

MZ is now available in the US.

Cycle World declares the Ducati 916 to be the world’s best motorcycle.

Harley builds a dedicated factory road racer, the VR1000, their first effort in 25 years.

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