Sunday, January 16, 2011
Trivia: Motorcycling's tenth decade - 1990-’99 - Renaissance
Motorcycle sales peaked in the early ’70s when the baby boomers were reckless teens and twentysomethings. The late ’70s and ’80s saw a long decline that finally reversed itself when the ‘boomers hit their mid-life crises. With a flood of money pouring into both domestic and import dealerships, there was a demand for bigger and more comfortable cruisers as well as faster and more exotic sport bikes.
Harley-Davidson sales increased 400% between ’90 and ’99. The resurgent market came too late for Italy’s Cagiva company, which found itself in a cash crunch. The private investment firm Texas Pacific Group took a controlling interest in Cagiva’s famous Ducati line and turned it into one of the world’s most recognized luxury brands. TPG saved a great company, allowing it to give us some of the most beautiful bikes ever made. In 2005, they took it public at huge profit. As Gordon Gecko said, “Greed is good.”