Motorcycling in America – 2005

Life In America
2005 – Median household is $46,326. Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf flooding 80% of New Orleans and causing 1600 deaths. MG/Rover the UKs last domestic auto maker goes into receivership. Michael Jackson is found not guilty of child molestation charges. Microsoft releases Xbox 360. Mariah Carey’s, We Belong Together is the year’s top music hit. At the box office, Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith is number one and on TV The Office debuts on NBC. A gallon of gas is way up, $3.18. Yamaha’s hot R1 will set you back $8,799.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
The chopper trend is, if anything picking up speed with more and more builders entering the market.

European Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Aprilia: RST 1000 Futura. Bimota: DB5. BMW: R1200RT, R1200ST, K1200R, K1200S. Ducati: 749R, Multistrada, Monster S2R, Monster 620 Dark. Husqvarna: TC450, TE450. KTM: 450 SX, 450 EX/C, 950 Supermoto. Moto-Morini: Corsaro 1200. MV: F4 Tamburini, F4 1000S. Triumph: Daytona 650, Sprint ST, Speed Triple, Bonneville.

Asian Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Honda: CBR600RR, CRF450X, CRF450R, Big Rukus (Scooter), CRF230, ST1300. VFR800. Kawasaki: Ninja ZX-6R, Ninja ZX10R, Z750S, Ninja ZX12R. Suzuki: RM-Z450, GSX-R600. GSX-R1000, DR-Z400SM, Boulevard M50, GSX1300R Hayabusa, Boulevard M109R. Yamaha: R1, YZF-R6, YZ450F, WR450F, V-Star Silverado, TT-R230, FJR1300, JJP YZF-R1, YZF-R1 LE.

American Brands Tested/Reviewed
Buell: XB12X Ulysses. Ecosse Moto: Heretic X3. Harley-Davidson: Softail Deluxe FLSTN/I, Street Rod VRSCR, Sportster 883L Mert Lawell: Street Tracker. Steed: Appaloosa. Victory: Hammer.

Other Issues
Chris Carr wins 7th GNC title.

Portland based architect, Mike Czysz introduces spectacular Superbike, Moto Czyz C1, sporting 13 patents and lots of innovations.

E-Bay reports a million vehicles having been sold since 2000 including a motorcycle every four minutes. It now accounts for an estimated 5% of US motorcycle sales.

Laguna Seca to host MotoGP race for first time and their first international GP since 1994.

Piaggio Group buys Aprilia and Moto-Guzzi creating the world’s 4th largest motorcycle company, with capacity to produce 600,000 bikes per year.

Daytona’s 200 mile premier event now limited to 600cc bikes. Duhamel (Honda) wins 200 miler. Tommy Hayden (Kawasaki) wins Supersport, Vincent Haskovec (Suzuki) takes Superstock and Mat Mladin wins Superbike class on his Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Harley-Davidson announces plans to reduce ’05 production by 10,000 units to 390,000.

’05 Masterbike competition is won by Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-10R.

Ricky Carmichael wins AMA Supercross series onboard a Suzuki, giving them their first SX championship in 20 years.

Polaris announces purchase of 25% of KTM. The deal is reportedly executed to improve distribution for Polaris in Europe and KTM in USA. The purchase will be reviewed in two years.

Honda announces that ’06 top-of-the-line Gold Wing ($22,499) will include a rider airbag similar in function to those in automobiles.

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Ohio and the National Hall of Fame and Museum in Iowa agree to merge their halls and inductees.

Massachusetts Gov Romney, signs a bill requiring that motorcycle awareness be included as part of the state’s driver education classes.

The Teutuls and their American Chopper show and bikes generate tons of letters, both pro and con in the letters section of CW.

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