CW 25 Years Ago: February, 1989

February 1989 magazine cover

David Edwards takes over from Paul Dean as editor, the beginning of a 20-plus-year run at the helm.

Sir Alan Cathcart rides Nico Bakker’s QCS hub-steerer. Bakker says he can’t guarantee all motorcycles will be hub-steered in the future, “just the best ones.” We’re still waiting (though Yamaha did show interest in the QCS and built the GTS1000 not long after).

Yamaha gets serious for '89, bringing back its air-cooled four-cylinder FJ1200, which beats out Honda's Hurricane 1000 in a head-to-head shootout. The '90s-ubiquitous FZR600 makes its first appearance, a crash-magnet that winds up being seen everywhere in various states of road rash and primer—and is now pretty much not seen at all. Higher up the food chain, the all-new FZR1000 was the first literbike I ever got to ride and remains one of the most beautiful, in its brushed alloy frame and racy red, white, and blue graphics. I'll never forget it.

The new Harley-Davidson Softail Springer "is for those riders who long for a time less dependent on technology and more appreciative of style." A shirtless, cigar-chomping Arnold Schwarzenegger gets an Up in "Roundup" for appearing in Vanity Fair on his Heritage Softail (photo by Annie Leibovitz). In other H-D news, Scott Parker brings the GNC title back to Milwaukee (his first of nine!) after four years of Honda championships.

All thumbs-up for the Honda Transalp 600—an instant cult classic, $4,498.

No way my Tracy Chapman CD is 25 years old! Oh, yes, it is. I got it and seven more for one centavo from the CBS CD Club.

February 1989 full page magazine layout