June 12, 2024

CW 30 Years Ago: January 1986

Cycle World January 1986 cover

Futureshock! Suzuki‘s stunning concept bike, the FalcoRustyco (Latin for “white falcon”), was prominent on the cover of this month’s issue. Newsstand buyers were enamored with this sleek, center-hub-steered, 400cc square-Four with its unique hand controls and fluid-drive transmission. Decades later, this issue remains the single best-selling edition in history of this magazine with in excess of 100,000 copies sold.

The rest of this issue surely positively affected sales, as well. Jam-packed within the 82 pages were full tests of the 159-mph Kawasaki Ninja 1000 and “better-than-ever” Honda CR500R, plus previews or riding impressions of the new-for-1986 Yamaha FZ600, Radian, FJ1200 and Fazer, as well as the Kawasaki 1000GTR (known stateside as the Concours) and ground-breaking Suzuki GSX-R750 and 1100 repli-racers.

Also tested, the FireAero “half motorcycle, half car” met an untimely demise at Carlsbad Raceway when Technical Editor Steve Anderson flipped the wedge-shaped three-wheeler while attempting to complete a U-turn. Ouch!

Capping this issue was Michael Scott’s Race Watch report detailing Freddie Spencer‘s historic 250/500cc Grand Prix double. “Winning one world title is tough; two nearly impossible,” read the subtitle to the story. “Freddie Spencer made it look easy.”

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