CW 25 Years Ago: August, 1989

Cycle World August 1989 magazine cover

"Special K" read the cover blurb, and just inside this issue, the Table of Contents page announced BMW's K1 sportbike was coming to America. Executive Editor Camron Bussard's coverage from the world press launch staged in Italy was filled with enthusiasm for the handling improve­ments the fully faired machine offered over its similarly powered predecessors. "The styling," Bussard wrote, "while a little unorthodox and bulky, is a matter of personal taste. Every­where I parked the bike, it drew a crowd of Italian admirers, crying 'moto-bella.'"

Remember the golden era of the 250cc Japanese domestic market? Roundup dedicated an entire page to eight high-tech quarter-liter sportbikes—both two- and four-strokes—from the Big Four. Cream of the crop was Yamaha's TZR250. Looking back now at what was "osten­sibly a road-going replica of the TZR production roadracer," it's easy to see how the aluminum Deltabox frame and reinforced swingarm offered strong clues as to what the future held for the worldwide supersport market.

Race Watch covered the on-track exploits of Associate Editor Doug Toland at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Riding a Honda RC30 for French-Canadian Team Arom, Toland and crew overcame a minor crash in the 20th hour to finish seventh overall in the 55-bike field. Toland's performance opened the door for many more rides on the inter­national stage, the beginning of a journey that would ultimately see the American earn the 1993 FIM World Endurance title.