Life In America
1983 –Household income averages $21,070. Unemployment is at 9.7 percent, the highest since 1941. Microsoft introduces Word. The first mobile phones are introduced by Motorola. On TV we’re being entertained by the men of the A-Team. Michael Jackson’s video, Thriller, is aired for the first time and goes on to become the most often repeated video of all time. Tom Cruise gets his big break in Risky Business. Jackson has another big hit with Beat It. Gas has gone down and is $1.24 per gallon. The new Honda Aspencade will set you back $6998.
|Number One Motorcycle Trend For 1983:|
|All of the Japanese OEMs have recognized the growing touring segment and have brought out fully equipped touring bikes, some especially designed for the market, like Honda’s Aspencade, Yamaha’s Venture Royale and Kawasaki’s Voyager. Suzuki has outfitted an existing model with touring bags and fairing, but will soon bring out a purpose built tourer of their own.|
BMW: R80ST. Cagiva: 200 Enduro. Husqvarna: XC500. KTM: 250MXC. Maico: 250 Spider.
Honda: CB1100F, CB650SC Night Hawk, CR480R, VT750 Shadow, V-65 Magna, VF750F, XR350R, CB1000 Custom, Aspencade, KR500R, CR250R, Ascot VT500, XL600, CR125R, Night Hawk 550, CR500R. Kawasaki: GPz750, GPz1100, KX500, KDX200, KDX250, GPz305, Voyager 1300. Suzuki: GS1100S Katana, GS450E, RM250, XN85 Turbo, GS750, RM125, GR650 Tempter, GS550ES, GS1100E, RM500. Yamaha: XJ750XJ Seca, Vision 550, YZ250, IT490K, XV500 Virago, Venture Royale, Seca 900, TT600, IT250.
North American Brands
Harley-Davidson: XR 1000, FXRT, FLHTC.
AMA motocross undergoes major restructuring. Outdoor championships will consist of 125, 250 and 500cc classes. Supercross will be 250cc. Overall AMA Motocross Championship will be decided by the rider with the highest combination of Supercross points and points collected in anyone of outdoor classes.
Daytona. Roberts wins 200 mile F1 race. Spencer wins Superbike in new for ’83 750cc class. Jay Springsteen and Harley-Davidson win Battle of the Twins.
David Bailey and Honda win the Supercross title.
Wayne Rainey and Kawasaki win Superbike title.
Mike Baldwin and Honda win F1 Championship.
US Teams sweep Motocross Des Nations and Trophee Des Nations.
Elmer Trett hit 200 MPH in the quarter-mile aboard his Kawasaki.
Congress passes bill allowing motorcycle use in HOV lanes.
All Japanese OEMs are advertising significant price cuts on new units, some going back to 1979 models.
A.C. Nielson reports motorcycling as the 5th fastest growing sport in America.
ITC grants relief to Harley-Davidson with a 45% tariff on imported motorcycles over 750cc. Tariff will decline annually and cease after five years.
43 States have mandatory helmet laws.
Triumph ceases production, splits assets; factory and grounds and intellectual assets. Looks for buyer.
Ducati announces they will cease production of motorcycles and focus on building engines for Cagiva.
MIC reports that even though sales of new motorcycles is down, aftermarket sales remain high.
For the first time since the ‘60s Honda has over 50% market share.
Cycle World’s editors castigate Japanese for building V-Twin powered cruisers. (Harley clones)
A man in Florida announces plans to legally marry his motorcycle, named Moonlady. The bride to be is a 34-year old Harley-Davidson.