This Week In...

1996 – and Foggy is King!

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Mo­tor­cy­cling was boom­ing as we headed into the late 90s. Born-agains were bol­ster­ing sales and Bri­tain was sports­bike-mad. At the top of the reg­is­tra­tions chart were Honda’s CBR600F, Fire­blade and Suzuki’s GSX-R750W-T.

These last two es­pe­cially, were busy be­ing pre­pared for the first pro­duc­tion bike TT in seven years. Phil Mc­callen on the Mo­tor­cy­cle City Fire­blade was to come out vic­to­ri­ous and the rules were used as a tem­plate for the re­turn of Superstock rac­ing.

We were in the last year of John Ma­jor’s run as Prime Min­is­ter and Brit pop ruled the charts. It was good time to be a Brit – Foggy was at the peak of his pow­ers, do­mes­tic rac­ing was more pop­u­lar than ever and be­ing a biker had sud­denly be­come cool again. Wish you had a time ma­chine, too?

SPAN­ISH RACE FANS WERE MEN­TAL

Alex Criv­ille blamed his own fer­vent sup­port­ers for caus­ing him to crash out of the Jerez GP. Huge sec­tions of the crowd in­vaded the track be­fore the race was even over, dis­tract­ing the Spa­niard in his bat­tle with Mick Doohan and forc­ing him to crash at the fi­nal cor­ner. The fans were con­demned by MCN for their ac­tions, which in­cluded the stand­ing on the track for the last few laps, let­ting off fire­crack­ers and even a fan try­ing to drag Doohan off his bike on the slow­down lap. Chaos…

KING CARL HADN’T LOST IT

af­ter King Carl was grab­bing the head­lines Honda nab­bing his first win on the Cas­trol had made a RC45. The World Su­per­bike le­gend ride for the con­tro­ver­sial move from Du­cati to early in the Uk-based squad, but had strug­gled at sea­son. But a set-up change af­ter look­ing the first team-mate Aaron Slight’s bike af­ter sec­ond bout race gifted him the speed to win the year on the at Hock­en­heim. It was to be his only fol­low­ing Honda – Foggy re­turned to Du­cati the to do. year. It seemed like the right thing

HONDA CRE­ATED A BAT­TLE CRUISER

We were all amazed by Honda’s 1520cc six-cylin­der F6C – aka the Valkyrie. MCN cor­re­spon­dent Kent Ku­nit­sugu said of the 309kg, Us-built, Gold Wing-based be­he­moth “The Honda is so punchy, it can match a V-max for torque at just 2750rpm. The re­sult is an

‘The re­sult is arm­stretch­ing stomp, which pulls hard to the 6000rpm red­line in any gear’ MCN RIDES THE VALKYRIE

en­gine with arm-stretch­ing stomp, which pulls hard to the 6000rpm red­line in any gear.” £12,000 in 1996, now you can pick up a tidy one for £5k.

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