Motorcycling in America – 2004

Life In America
2004 – Median household is $45,817. It’s the 60th anniversary of D-day. Lance Armstrong wins an unprecedented 6th Tour de France title. Oil peaks at $50/barrel and drops back to slightly less. Oil companies make their biggest profits in history. Bush defeats Kerry to win a second term. On TV, Rescue Me debuts, and Friends ends 10-year run. Shrek 2 is the big box office winner and the number one pop tune is Yeah, by Usher with Little John and Ludacris. Gas is over $2.00 a gallon at $2.10.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
Choppers are the current craze with virtually anyone who can build a bike making one.

European Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Aprilia: Scarabeo 500 (Scooter), Tuono, RSV 1000R.  Benelli: TNT. BMW: K1200S, R1200GS, RG1200S, R1150 Rockster Ltd 80. Derbi: GPR50R. Ducati: ST4, Monster 620i.e., Multistrada, ST3, Super Sport 1000. Husaberg: FE450E. Husqvarna: TE450, TE250, SM450R. KTM: 450 E/XC, 250 E/XC, Adventure, 450SMR. Moto-Guzzi: Breva 750 i.e., Coppa Italia. MV: F4 1000, Brutale S. MZ: 1000S. Triumph: Thruxton 900, Speed Triple, Rocket III, Tiger 955i.  Vespa: Grantourismo.

Asian Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Honda: CRF250R, CBR1000R, CBR1000RR, CRF250X, 599, Interceptor, Ruckus (Scooter), Rune, Superhawk, VTX1800. Kawasaki: Vulcan 2000, KX250F, Ninja ZX10-R, Ninja ZX-6RR, KDX200, Ninja 500. Suzuki: RMZ250, GSX-R600, GSX-R1000, DR-Z400E, GSX-R750, V-Strom 650, SV1000S, V-Strom 1000, SV650S, GS500F, RM250. Yamaha: YZ250F, YZF-R1, YZF-R6, WR250F, WR450F, WR250, FZ-6, FZ-1, Roadstar Midnight Warrior, FJR1300, YZ250, Warrior.

American Brands Tested/Reviewed
Buell: XB12S, XB9SX. Big Dog: Chopper. Boss Hoss: ZZ4. Confederate: Wraith, F124 Hellcat. Harley-Davidson: Road King Custom, FXDX Dyna Sport, Sportster 1200 Roadster, CVO V-Rod, CVO Fat Boy. Iron Horse: Texas Chopper. Victory: Vegas 8-Ball, Kingpin.

Other Issues
Late changes in rules, including displacement, and Kawasaki and Yamaha’s withdraw from the series are creating problems for the US Superbike.

Early in the year Yamaha France introduces hydraulically driven two-wheel drive system, later US owned Christini solves the problem via gears and chains. Editor Jimmy Lewis feels it’s the way of the future.

For $60 Pro-Moto will sell you a chainsaw carrier for your motorcycle.

The AMA redesigns their logo and announces a new tag line: “Rights, riding and racing.”

Berni Li has built four “proof of concept” Vincents, each a different style. Seeking funding for continuing project, he expects to begin delivery in 2005.

Britain’s National Motorcycle Museum burns destroying three of five halls and destroying or damaging 800 motorcycles.

South Dakota representative, Bill Janklow runs a stop sign killing biker Randolph Scott, in spite of previous bad driving record, he gets off with slap on the wrist 100 days of jail time.

Dan Fischer’s MRX 650cc V-twin, turbocharged sport bike is reportedly ready for release in ’05.

World Champion Valentino Rossi leaves Honda to ride for Yamaha.

At MotoGP tests at Cataluña, Capriossi’s Ducati hits 216 MPH.

Aprilia is experiencing financial difficulties. The rumor is that there are 15 companies, including Ducati interested in buying the company.

World Masterbike picks Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-10R as best bike.

Cycle World shoot out of nine bikes declares the Yamaha FZ-1 to be the best street bike.

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