Motorcycling in America – 2002

Life In America
2002 – Median household income is up slightly to $42,409. Energy giant, Enron’s CFO is indicted on 78 counts of fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The Winter Olympics are held in Salt Lake City, Utah. On television CSI: Miami premiers. It’s a sequel year at the movies with Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets battling for box office supremacy.  A gallon of gas is up another $.20 to $1.61. KTM will sell you their 660 LC4 Supermoto for a cool $19,998.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
Power cruisers are the new thing. Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha have introduced cruiser-style motorcycles with big displacement, big horsepower engines, creating a new niche in the motorcycle market.

European Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Aprilia: Capo Nord, RSV Mille R, RST1000 Futura, Tuono. Benelli: Tornado Tre. BMW: F650CS, R1200C, R1150RS. Ducati: 996, 998, Monster 620ie, ST4S, 999. Gas Gas: EC400SE FSE. Gilera: Raptor. Husaberg: FE650E. Husqvarna: NOX. KTM: 520SX, 400 E/XC-G, 660 LC4 Supermoto. Mondial: Piega. Moto-Guzzi: California EV, V11 Sports Scura. MZ: 125RT, 125SM, 125SX, 125 FunX, Skorpion Tour. Royal Enfield: Bullet 500 ES. Triumph: Speed Four, Bonneville America, Sprint ST.  Vertemati: 501 E. VOR: SM530RC, 530 V-Cross.

Asian Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Honda: CRF450F, VTX1800, CBR954RR, Interceptor, 919, Silver Wing (Scooter), RC51, CBR1100XX, CRF450R, CBR600F4i, Interceptor ABSST1300 ABS, VLX Deluxe, CRF150F, CRF230F.  Kawasaki: Mean Streak, Ninja ZX-9R, Ninja ZX-12R, ZZR-1200, KLR650, Ninja 500R, Vulcan 500 LTD, KLX110. Suzuki: DL1000 V-Strom, GSX-1300R, GSX-R1000, GSX-R750, LS650 Savage, GS500E, DR-Z125, DR-Z125L. Yamaha: Warrior, YZ426F, YZF-R1, YZ250, YZ250F, FZ1, FJR1300, YZ450FV-Star, TT-R125L, TT-R225.

American Brands Tested/Reviewed
Buell: XB9S Lighting, Blast, Firebolt. Cannondale: E440. Gurney: Alligator. Harley-Davidson: V-Rod. Indian: Chief. Victory: 92SC.

Other Issues
The first year for MotoGP, Rossi dominates and wins title.

The introduction of the V-Rod creates so many letters pro and con, that Editor Edwards suggests it should have been name “Lightning Rod.”

Harley-Davidson is named “Company of the Year” by Forbes Magazine.

Cycle World devotes over six pages to an article on extreme/stunt riding – the first time the activity is mentioned in the magazine.

Insurance companies are raising rates, and in some cases refusing to write policies on motorcycles all together. Increasing popularity of motorcycling is thought to be part of the problem.

Victory and Arlen and Cory Ness unite to produce a more stylish version of the Victory, to be delivered sometime in 2003.

Eagle One’s ex-owner Berni Li revives the Vincent marque with a new chassis and RC51 engine.
Handling and performance are said to be good. If Li can find adequate financing bikes should roll out in ’05.

NHTSA releases data on teenage deaths due to accidents, motorcycle – 219, 30% of which involve alcohol, cars – 8,000.

Indian introduces new 1638cc bespoke engine for their Chief model.

A new helmet standard is issued, BSI. The new rating is said to be better than Snell and DOT in real world applications. It’s expected to be superseded by a new European standard.

0 thoughts on “Motorcycling in America – 2002

  1. 02 Mean Streak… bought one new… Gold….great times!!! Hard to believe its been 9 years! Had tons of fun battling fellow Power Cruisers! Thx


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