Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

Best likes of 1984

It was the year that many reckon the first bike of the modern era was launched. Kawasaki’s 155mph GPz900R, which went on sale in 1984, featured an across-the frame four-cylinder liquid cooled engine and aerodynamics that would provide the template for sports bikes over the next three decades or more.

But if in the motorcycle world we were aiming for the stars, ordinary folk were troubled. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,” so the first line goes in George Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’, which described a dystopian future in which we were dominated and spied upon by Big Brother. Politics in 1984 could be seen as going that way, what with the drawn-out miners’ strike that started in March and a bomb that exploded at the Brighton hotel were PM Margaret Thatcher was staying during the Conservative Party conference. “If there is hope,” said Orwell’s character Winston Smith, “it lies with the proles.” And so it seemed as the miners dragged the dispute with the National Coal Board into the following year. Like Winston Smith, coal power was doomed.

The Brave New World, however, was also forging ahead, with the launch of the first mouse-controlled desktop computer from Apple, the Macintosh, and the first compact disc players were being sold by Sony and Philips. Chances are that you’d be listening to Michael Jackson’s smash-hit album ‘Thriller’ and, later in the year, to the Band Aid song ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ which went on to sell 37 million copies in

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