Twentieth Century Rewind Poised to Spike Sales of Viragos, Leg Warmers | Last Page

Where dancing is still dirty

By Jeff Karr, Photography by Motorcyclist Archives

Lake Lure, NC, Aug. 21— Recession-weary product-planners throughout the motorcycle industry are throwing up their hands in disgust as brand-new, precision-crafted crotch-candy is showing only a sleepy sales recovery in the clean and well-lit showrooms of Main Street USA. With motorcycles selling only slightly better than week-old supermarket sushi, manufacturers are looking for ways to slash costs and get back that sweet, sweet 20th century mojo.

Time for a rethink: What was going on back in the ’80s, when anything with two wheels and a bit of chrome flew out of showrooms as if hand-greased by Satan’s own concubines and propelled by the very trebuchet of Damocles? Or that’s what it kind of seemed like at the time.

But now the arcs of demographics and random chance are promising to realign in a tantalizing new way. Not long ago, senior Yamaha janitorial staff stumbled upon a secret storage room in Iwata, Japan, crammed with original tooling for Virago cruisers. And today, as those aging, slightly disoriented ’80s-era re-entry riders are ripe for that one last ride, a sales opportunity arises. Even as you read this, brand-new Viragos are spilling off assembly lines. And insiders tell us Honda just rolled a CX650 Custom out of the museum and into the coordinate measuring room. It’s on!

What were we talking about again?

By Jeff Karr
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