Motorcycling in America – 1999

Life In America
1999 – Median household income is $40,810. The world’s population hits 6 billion (currently 7 billion). Y2K has many people concerned. Myspace appears on the internet, though not as a social media site. Lance Armstrong wins his first Tour de France. The Euro is introduced into the currency market. At the movies, another Star Wars episode, takes box office honors; The Phantom Menace. The Sopranos, debut on HBO, and Law and Order SVU, begins its long run. Musically, Ricky Martin has us Livin’ La Vida Loca. A gallon of gas is up again, $1.22. That hot new KTM 380 E/XC will set you back $6,049.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
While the trend in motorcycles is still focused on cruisers, and will be for a number of years, an unnoticed trend is the increase in the number of women entering the market, up almost 30% from 1990.

European Brands Road Tested
Bimota: SB8R, DB4. BMW: K1200LT, R1150GS, R1100S. Ducati: 748, 996, ST4. Cagiva: Gran Canyon. KTM: 380 E/XC, 200 E/XC, 400 SXC, 250 SX, Duke II. Laverda: 750S Formula. Moto Guzzi: V11 Sport. MV: F4 Serie Oro, F4 Strada. Triumph: T595 Daytona, Sprint ST.

Asian Brands Road Tested
Honda: CBR600F4, GL1500 Gold Wing SE, XR250, CBR1100XX, Valkyrie Interstate, XR400, CR250R, Interceptor. Kawasaki: Ninja ZX-6R, Vulcan 1500 Classic, ZRX1100, KX250. Suzuki: GSX-R600, GSX-R1300R Hayabusa, Bandit 1200S, SV650, RM250. Yamaha: YZF-R6, Road Star, TTR250, Venture, WR400F, YZ250.

American Brands Tested
Dreer Norton: VR880. Excelsior-Henderson: Super-X.  Harley-Davidson: FXDX Dyna Glide Sport, Electra Glide, FXSTF Fat Boy. Rokon: Ranger. Victory: V92C.

Quickest, Fastest
Suzuki’s radical new 1300cc sport bike, the Hayabusa, is the first stock motorcycle Cycle World’s ever tested with a sub-10 second quarter-mile, covering the distance in 9.86 seconds. The top speed is 194 MPH, putting everyone else’s Superbike on the trailer and establishing a whole new standard.

Other Issues
A group of “Extreme” athletes are invited to try out the track at the Anaheim Supercross, all are humbled.

Ed Youngblood, long-time AMA President, resigns amid controversy concerning a recent million dollar court decision against the AMA.

BMW hops aboard the cruiser wagon with their R1200C; the quirky bike becomes an immediate best seller for them.

Harley announces a reconditioning service for 1994 – 1999 EVO engines. Silver engines rebuilt for $1,995, black for $2,195.

Miguel Duhamel (Honda) wins the Daytona Superbike and 600 Supersport races. The Supercross is won by Jeremy McGrath, this year on a Yamaha. Josh Hayes wins the 750cc Supersport race.

Scott Parker, 37, announces plans to retire after ’99 season after winning 9 Grand National Championships.

After just a few months into production Excelsior-Henderson is in financial trouble. Their plan to ship 5,000 units falls short, with only 2,500 units being shipped each at a loss of $2,000. Cycle World testers say the bike is a nice start.

Motorcycle sales are up 30% since 1990.

Costco and Ural announce a deal to sell motorcycles through a program similar to their automotive sales scheme.

Brooklyn, OH becomes the first town to ban the use of cell phones while driving.

Milk millionaire, George Barber announces plans for a museum and trace track outside Birmingham, AL.

Custom Chrome introduces a kit bike, you supply paint and labor, cost is $16,005.

0 thoughts on “Motorcycling in America – 1999

  1. 1999, It was the year that I graduated High School, the year I would go to college and the year I would first learn to ride a motorcycle. My life has never been the same! I love two wheels, and the this year in particular to match. Great article!


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