The way we were: September 1987

1987: Suzuki pulls plug on Heron Suzuki team

An official press release confirmed the Heron Suzuki team, including rider Kenny Irons, would miss the Portuguese, Brazilian and Argentinian GPs. The team hadn’t enjoyed a great season with Irons the best rider, scoring 12 points.

Following a slump in motorcycle sales for the first six months of the year by over 30% to 173,197 units in North America, the four major Japanese motorcycle makers were set to renew their sales drive in Europe where overall sales jointly for Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha for the same period were up to 275,000 machines. As a result, Europe was set to be a battleground with all four makers wooing buyers with unbeatable offers, cheap finance deals and generous trade-ins.

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The American market situation was a worldwide issue with Europe the only ray of sunshine in a gloomy situation. In the same January-June 1987 period the four Japanese factories had watched their sales slump by 30% to 1,372,444 units.

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