CW 25 Years Ago: April, 1989

Cycle World magazine cover April 1989 Yeow! An eye-scorching neon pink Cycle World logo and cover blurb hinted (not so subtly) of the “Wild Things!!!” residing within this no-fooling April issue. Our “Futurebikes” cover story featured a half-dozen conceptual drawings by imaginative designer Stuart Imai. An accompanying piece had marketing and design chiefs from the Big 4, BMW, and Harley-Davidson each peering into the crystal ball. “We’ll see much more sophisticated motorcycles, with things like speed-sensitive suspensions, variable ride height, traction control for both acceleration and deceleration,” offered Honda’s prophetic designer Martin Manchester. “Harley-Davidson’s motto for the future could easily be Evolution not revolution,” stated H-D Director of Styling Louie Netz. “Our bike’s components have that certain Harley-Davidson ‘signature’ and even though those parts will change in the future, they’ll still be recognizable as Harley-Davidson parts.” Amen! Bringing readers back to present-day 1989 was a full road test of the Honda CB-1 standard and a track riding impression of Kawasaki’s new ZX-7. While the former served as an early pioneer to our current-day sport standards, that particular generation of Ninja possessed a signature performance feature of its time: flex-hose ram-air ducts routed through the top of the fuel tank. And let us not forget Grand Prix court jester Randy Mamola, captured in Slipstream hamming it up for race fans by donning an oversize Mamola-replica Arai and looking every bit a life-size bobblehead doll.

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