At the age of 25, that’s when life begins

Today a youngtimer

Turned back to the MOTORRAD year 1988

A lot has happened in the quarter of a century since 1988. Many bikes from back then still look brand new today or are on the way to becoming classics.

How a youngtimer


Issue 1 and Issue 7 from 1988. Top topics were the Honda VFR 750 R and the Kawasaki ZX-10.

At the age of 25…
…that’s where life begins, at the age of 25, that’s where you have fun. Motorcycles that saw the light of day a quarter of a century ago are on the cusp of the hobby bike, popular classics of the future. Probably the most spectacular new release from 1988 has long since achieved cult status due to its origins from racing bikes and the exclusivity guaranteed due to the low number of units (only 3000 were built): the Honda VFR 750 R, better known by its type code RC 30 The beautiful 750 series in HRC factory paint could offer technical refinements and noble materials en masse, just think of the axle quick-release fasteners, the attractive and stable single -sided swing arm or the titanium connecting rods. Racing technology for the street, which, however, had its price: if you wanted the exquisitely processed racing replica, you had to pay 25,000 marks.

Kawasaki also came up with a novelty that is sure to have a place in the Bike of Fame gallery. The ZX-10 replaced the GPZ 1000 RX and came up trumps with a massive, very stable aluminum bridge frame, sophisticated valve control (simple replacement of the shims), further increased performance and a beefy-looking, but aerodynamically sophisticated full fairing. Even with the power voluntarily limited to 100 hp, the ZX-10 achieved great performance, with the 139 hp of the open version, the Kawa was one of the fastest production bikes ever.

The lavishly clad BMW K1 still divides the spirits today

Aerodynamics and driving comfort – two of the main requirements in the specifications of the BMW developers for the luxury sports tourer K1. Technical highlights and the eye-catching design of the overly lavishly wired BMW caused a sensation when it was launched in 1988 and generated plenty of media coverage. The heavily modified inline four-cylinder from the K 100, with four-valve head and injection, works under the aerodynamically sophisticated fairing. Cardan, Paralever rear-wheel suspension, four-piston brakes from Brembo, and for the first time with electronic ABS on request – the list of technical refinements is generous. But also the price of over 20,000 marks.

But not only sports fans got their money’s worth in 1988, enduro riders were also happy about new releases. Honda made the world happy with two more models – the travel enduro Africa Twin 650 and the light everyday enduro NX 650 Dominator.


Spotlight: BMW R 80 G / S

30 years of the BMW R 80 G / S

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BMW R 80 G / S versus Honda XLV 750 R – the giants exchange blows

BMW R 80 G / S and Honda XLV 750 R in comparison

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The Suzuki DR 750 S showed the way: the duck-tail fender comes from it

The Yamaha TDR 250 took the stage as a kind of hybrid of enduro and street athlete. The toxic two-stroke engine from the TZR 250 was in the moderately long-legged enduro chassis, and the foundation for the light, lively fun bike category was laid. Also new and spectacular: the Suzuki DR 750 S, with what was then the largest single-cylinder engine in series. Striking and proverbial to this day: the duckbill-like fender over the front wheel.

And of course BMW triumphed with the (now legendary) R 100 GS, with the new Paralever swing arm and the full pulling power of the one-liter boxer, which R 80 G / S drivers often missed. With the big 26-liter tank, the GS finally mutated into the (almost) perfect travel enduro. Which still makes them a popular companion on trips around the world today.

Super athlete

On the move: Honda VFR 750 R

The top of Mount Olympus

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Honda VFR 750 R (RC 30) on

The Red Porsche Killer – a cult to this day

Oh yes, most of them probably also remember: The Red Porsche Killer, comic figure Werner’s bike to get rid of a Porsche – estimated 140 HP, 2230 millimeters wheelbase, 240 kilograms. This legendary show race was also 25 years ago. How the time flies …

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