25 YEARS AGO SEPTEMBER 1986
"Italy Declares War!” shouts the cover in the swoopy form of the Ducati 750 Paso, further reinforcing the point that Rome’s best warmongering years were many centuries behind it. In truth, the fully enclosed Paso did lead to far better things for a resurgent Ducati just a few years down the road. Tech Editor Steve Anderson spent some time in Italy getting the scoop on the Paso—including a quarter-mile time of 12.96 seconds at 102.5 mph and a top speed of 131—and came home with a nice keepsake in the form of a cocktail napkin on which Dr. T had sketched a screw-adjustable Desmo head.
•For those of you who disparage modern “cruisers,” know that things have only gotten better. The new-for-’86 Yamaha Virago 1100 was a truly eclectic assemblage of shaft-driven and pillow-tufted artifacts designed to appeal to U.S. cruiserati. Appeal it did, and the newly ornate Virago was a huge success, paving the way for all manner of Intruders, Shadows and Vulcans to come.
•Kawasaki’s first Concours appeared that September, too, heavily inspired by BMW touring bikes and powered by a Ninja 1000 engine tuned to produce massive midrange power. Yours, complete with 7.5-gallon fuel capacity, airadjustable suspenders and detachable bags, for $5899.
•Three intrepid editors busted loose on a pair of Honda Reflexes and a Beta Trekking for an epic ride of the Rubicon Trail, the story penned by Camron E. Bussard. Ron Lawson loved the fourstroke ATK 560 motocrosser, and Feature Editor David Edwards covered the AMA National at Loudon, New Hampshire.