Motorcycling in America – 1995

Life In America
1995 – Median household income is $34,076. The Federal Building in Oklahoma City is bombed killing 168 people. A heat wave strikes the mid-west, killing 6,433, and over 700 in Chicago alone. O J Simpson is found innocent; his televised trial causes daytime soaps to lose massive audiences. DVD optical storage media is announced. Let Her Cry, by Hootie and the Blowfish, is a Grammy Winner. Bruce Willis scores at the movies with Die Hard With A Vengeance. And the first all digitally produced cartoon, Toy Story, also scores big at the box office. Modern Marvels debuts on the History Channel. A gallon of gas is $1.09. The new Honda CBR600F3 will cost you $7,299.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
Harley-Davidson has become a juggernaut in the motorcycle industry, while sales of motorcycles as a whole are on an upswing, Harley is outstripping everyone. Even with increased production capability their dealers are coping with product shortages and most of their existing and future inventory is pre-sold. Consumers on the other hand have to pay thousands over suggested retail to get the bike they want.

European Brands Road Tested
BMW: R1100R, R1100RT. Ducati: M900 Monster. Husqvarna: 250 WXE. KTM: SK250, Duke, 600 R/XC, 250 E/XC. MZ: Skorpion, Voyager, Country, Silver Star, Tour. Triumph: Thunderbird, Speed III, Sprint 900, Tiger 900, Daytona 900, 1947 Speed Twin.

Asian Brands Road Tested
Honda: CBR600F3, CR250, Magna Deluxe, CB1000, CBR900R, VFR750, ST1100 ABS-TCS, Shadow Ace. Kawasaki: Ninja ZX-6R, GPz1100, Ninja ZX-6, Vulcan 800. KX250, KDX200. Suzuki: GSX-R1100, RM250, RMX250, Bandit 600s. Yamaha: SR500, FZF600, XJR1200, FZR1100, YZ250, YZF750R, WR250.

American Brands Tested
ATK: 250LQ. Harley-Davidson: Ultra Classic Ultra Glide, Bad Boy, FXD Dyna Super Glide. Indian: 1947 Chief.

Quickest, Fastest
Quickest 600cc bike tested: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R: Quarter mile, 10.89. Top speed 154 MPH.

Fastest 600cc bike tested: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R: Top speed 154 MPH. Quarter mile, 10.89.

Other Issues
According the Motorcycle Industry Council; the average motorcyclist is 32.6 years of age, 93% male, 56% married, 29.9% blue collar, 23.7% white collar, with an average income of $33,200.

The AMA restructures pro racing. It will now be split into two entities, Paradama; a separate corporation will handle promotion, marketing, and sponsorship. The AMA will continue to sanction and officiate.

Amateur racing is unchanged.

President Clinton includes $30 million in budget for National Recreation Trail Fund. The first time an administration has set aside funds for this program created in 1991.

US Bankruptcy Court awards rights to Indian marque to an Australian.

Big Dog motorcycles make their debut.

Harley Davidson files for right to trademark the sound of their motorcycles.

ESPN will telecast the complete schedule of World Grand Prix races.

Consumer financing for motorcycles, until now handled by independent banks, loan companies and credit unions, is starting to be addressed by motorcycle manufacturers, like Honda’s Zero Down and 9% APR finance scheme’s as an example.

Kevin Schwantz retires from professional motorcycle road racing.

Off-road Champ, Danny Hamel is killed at start of Baja 1000 when a policeman moves his car across the road, and is struck by Danny’s accelerating motorcycle.

It’s rumored that Polaris will soon be building a V-Twin cruiser and entry level dirt bike

0 thoughts on “Motorcycling in America – 1995

  1. Hey, this is 2011. HD is not doing so well – see this NYT article –

    After riding high for two decades, the company that makes the hulky bikes that devoted riders affectionately call Hogs is sputtering. Harley’s core customers are graying baby boomers, whose savings, in many cases, have gone up in smoke in the market downturn. Few are in the mood to shell out up to $20,000 or more for something that is basically a big toy, and the company, in turn, has not captured much of the younger market.

    And though Harley’s woes pale in comparison to what the automakers face — Harley’s revenue dipped 2 percent last year while Detroit was crashing — overproduction and loose lending practices have burdened the company’s finances.

    In a pattern similar to that of the housing bust, Harley goosed sales by luring many buyers with no-money-down loans. A subsidiary created about 15 years ago, Harley-Davidson Financial Services, made those loans and packaged them into securities to sell to investors. As the credit market skidded, so did this subsidiary.


  2. But this is a history and in 1995 HD was at the beginning of a rocket-ship ride to the top of the heap, both in terms of units sold and money made.


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