SA1NT Expands Moto Denim Collection With New "Engineered" Line
"Entry-level" denim... starting at $199.
Begin press release:
KTM Releases 2024 450 SMR
There aren't many options if you want to buy a supermoto from a dealership. Fortunately, the 450 SMR is one of them, and it's really good. Now it sports a little purple.
Begin press release:
Lindemann Engineering Invitational: Laidback Minibike Endurance Racing
We're fans of racing for a long time on miniature motorcycles, and Ed Sorbo of Lindemann Engineering has a great idea to bring a little spice to the usual endurance race formula.
Begin press release:
Metzeler Extends Spring Moto Rebate Program Through July 31, 2023
Metzeler North America is pleased to announce that the spring moto rebate program has been extended for residents of the United States and expanded to include residents of Canada. This program allows motorcycle enthusiasts who purchase Metzeler tires through their local participating dealership and select online retailers to receive as much as $25 USD / $40 CAD rebate per tire or $60 USD / $100 CAD rebate per tire set on eligible street and off-road tires through July 31, 2023.
Rainey, Shobert Bikes Among Highlights of 13th Annual Quail Gathering
Returning on May 6, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering will feature over 300 motorcycles and displays from popular brands, premier vendors and local food-and-beverage companies
Pirelli Extends Spring Moto Rebate In US And Expands It To Canada
Rebate has been extended to July 31, 2023, for US Residents and is available on eligible street and off-road tires.
Ducati Posts Record Delivery Results for the First Quarter of 2023
The success is highlighted throughout Ducati’s top markets: Italy +7 percent, United States and Germany +21 percent
SpeedKore Launches Carbon-Fiber Accessories for Tourers and Baggers
The new line of American-made accessories adds a custom touch while delivering the utmost in quality, strength and durability, and feature the same carbon used in SpeedKore’s extreme muscle car builds
Kawasaki Celebrates Powersports Pioneer in the U.S.
Hamawaki is the reason Kawasaki USA exists today.
Begin press release:
Aleix Espargaró Becomes First MotoGP Rider To Use MIPS Safety System
Mips, a world leader in helmet-based safety, is proud to announce its newest member to Team Mips: Aleix Espargaró, factory rider for Aprilia Racing in MotoGP™, the premier class of motorcycle racing in the world.
A regular in the MotoGP paddock since 2009, Aleix is an extremely experienced rider with a number of podiums and pole positions on his scorecard.
Six Exciting Ride Routes To The Harley-Davidson Homecoming
Routes From Every Corner of North America Guide Motorcyclists to Milwaukee
The SMT Is Back: Say Hello To The 2023 KTM 890 SMT
Supermoto Touring? Of course!
Livewire Confirms U.S. S2 Del Mar Pricing And European Launch Details
S2 Del Mar is priced at $15,499 USD for the U.S. and Europe receives a Launch Edition of 100 limited edition bikes on sale April 27.
Garmin Zūmo XT2 Announced
Today, Garmin announced the next generation of the popular zūmo XT motorcycle GPS, the Garmin zūmo XT2. The XT2 builds on the feature set of the XT and advances even further by expanding the screen 0.5 in. to 6.0 in. and increasing the brightness for ease of viewing in all lighting conditions. Additional features include: moto paths preferred by other riders, ride summaries feature via the Tread smartphone app, Group Ride Mobile feature, and pair with a compatible inReach® satellite communicator.
MO Tested: Garmin Zūmo XT GPS Review
Look for a full review of the Garmin zūmo XT2 in the near future.
Read the full release below:
Forcite’s High Technology Helmets Now Available in the United States
Forcite and Tucker Powersports, announce the availability of Forcite MK1S, the world's most advanced motorcycle helmet, through powersports dealerships in the United States. The highly sought-after Forcite MK1S touts a first-to-market smart helmet system and advanced features in audio, visual and road alert systems for motorcycle riders.
Forcite MK1S capabilities are unmatched in the motorcycle helmet industry and operate as a system (helmet, built-in electronics and a related Forcite app) to provide an engaged and connected riding experience.
Tech features include:
- A proprietary road alert and in-helmet, peripheral LED display that communicates route information and turn-by-turn directions to the rider, with no need to look away from the road ahead.
- High-end audio with Harman Kardon speakers and a dual microphone designed specifically for Forcite's motorcycle environment.
- Built-in action camera with 1080p resolution, low-light capability and a Sony IMX sensor.
Zero's New Incentive Program Offers $4500 Rebate Or 0% Financing
To offset the lack of federal tax incentives for two-wheeled EVs, Zero is broadening the incentives to Go Electric by introducing new savings and a 0% financing offer
2023 Harley-Davidson X 350 Revealed for China
Harley-Davidson has officially revealed the X 350 for the Chinese market, a small displacement flat track-inspired roadster produced with Qianjiang Motor (QJ Motor). As of this writing, the X 350 is only confirmed for China, though a modified variant known as the X350RA will be used in Harley-Davidson Rider Academy programs in the U.S.
Kawasaki Named 2011 VMD Marque of the Year
The 2011 Vintage Motorcycle Days will recognize Kawasaki’s 45 years in the U.S. market with a look at some of the company’s iconic models including the 500cc Mach III triple and the 900cc Z-1. Demo rides of current Kawasaki models will also be available. Kawasaki riders will also get access to a Kawasaki-only parking area and an invitation to join in a special parade lap of the Mid-Ohio track.
“Kawasaki put the ‘Good Times’ in motorcycling from the very beginning, and has become a world icon,” says Rob Dingman, AMA president and chief executive officer. “We are really pleased that attendees at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will see firsthand the company and the people that brought us incredible machines like the Samurai and Avenger models, then the Mach III triple and the 900cc Z-1, all the way to today's Ninjas, Concours 1400s and Vulcans.”
Kawasaki’s U.S. racing heritage including its several AMA championships, both on- and off-road will be a big part of the event. Kawasaki will also showcase its Team Green amateur racing program, now in its 30th year of support for young racers in the U.S.
“This event is one of the industry’s best opportunities for a brand to cement its historical relevance with the motorcycling community, and Kawasaki is honored to be able to build a performance bridge between its early days and the present,” says Chris Brull, Kawasaki director of marketing communications.
Two Kawasaki motorcycles, a restored Z1 and its new Z1000 will also be given away at the event.
Contour+ Hands-Free Camera Announced
The new Contour+ camera offers a wider field of view than the company’s ContourGPS or ContourHD cameras. The ContourGPS and ContourHD can capture high-definition 960p and 720p video at a 135 degree field of vision (as well as 1080p video at 110 degrees). The Contour+ however offers 170 degrees of vision at 960p and 720p resolutions and 125 degrees at 1080p. The wide-angle lens can also be rotated from between -90 to180 to film video at different angles, including completely upside down.
According to Motorcycle.com’s resident video editor Michael Nardi, the wider viewing angle would more closely reflect the field of vision of a human eye, fitting more into a shot, though there may be some fish-eye distortion.
“Nowhere on Earth is off limits to filmmakers and other visual storytellers, but there are plenty of places standard pro cameras can’t go,” says Marc Barros, Contour chief executive officer. “Contour+ delivers high-quality video, audio, location data and streaming capabilities anywhere there’s a story to tell. Today, anyone can be a documentarian or filmmaker, and we’ve created the most affordable way to give pro-sumers, broadcast and filmmakers everything they need to tell incredibly rich stories from right within the action.”
Yamaha Reports Q1 2011 Results
The Japanese manufacturer sold 1.689 million motorcycles over the quarter, an increase from the 1.605 million units sold in the same quarter of 2010. Despite the increase in unit sales, revenue dipped slightly to 219.7 billion yen (US$2.716 billion) from 220.1 billion yen (US$2.722 billion), due mainly to a poor exchange rate. Cost reductions however helped increase operating income by 11.9% to 13.3 billion yen (US$164.2 million) from 11.9 billion yen (US$146.8 million) reported last year.
Yamaha’s North American motorcycle sales totaled 16,000 units, down from 17,000 units. European motorcycle sales dropped to 44,000 from 54,000 while sales were up in Japan (26,000 vs. 24,000), Asia (1.48 million vs. 1.41 million) and other regions (129,000 vs. 96,000).
Overall, Yamaha Motor Corporation reported a net income of 13.4 billion yen (US$166.2 million), a 79.0% increase from the 7.5 billion yen (US$92.8 million).
Despite the uncertainty caused by the March 11 Japanese earthquake, Yamaha has not changed its year-end outlook of a predicted net income of 20.0 billion yen (US$247.2 million).
BMW Plant Builds 2 Millionth Motorcycle
The milestone motorcycle, a one-off special-edition BMW R1200GS, rolled off the assembly line on May 6. The Berlin plant has been producing motorcycles since 1969.
“BMW motorcycles embody ‘sheer riding pleasure’ in its most direct form and these machines are ambassadors of the BMW brand – and at the same time ambassadors of Berlin – all over the world,” says Hendrik von Kuenheim, head of BMW Motorrad. “BMW bikes are exported with ‘Berlin’s air in the tires’ to 130 countries and the long-standing relationship between Berlin and the BMW Group looks set to continue for a long time.”
Yamaha Building New Motorcycle Test Course
The Kikugawa Test Course has been in the works for years with construction originally scheduled to start in October 2009 for completion in the fall of 2012. Construction was shelved however when the recession hit.
Yamaha is now ready to build the Kikugawa Test Course, though under a reduced budget. The new facility will span about 121 acres and feature a 1.18-mile closed course. The course will be shorter than the originally planned 1.86-mile course, but it will include hilly terrain and dust-resistance testing sections. The Kikugawa Test Course will be used for evaluating safety and environmental performance for medium to small displacement motorcycles for emerging markets such as Asia and Central and South America.
KLIM Adventure Summit and Scavenger Hunt
The inaugural KLIM Adventure Summit and Scavenger Hunt takes place June 10-12 at the company’s headquarters in Rigby, Idaho.
Participants will be on the hunt to take photographs of a number of items in the region which includes Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Items include wild animals such as bull moose and grizzly bears as well as local landmarks such as Mesa Falls. Submitted date-stamped photographs will earn tickets which will be entered in various drawings for prizes from KLIM and sponsors such as Revzilla, Cardo Communications and the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.
American Dakar Rally racer Jonah Street will also be on hand for a meet-and-greet and to discuss his experiences in the famed off-road race.
The KLIM Adventure Summit and Scavenger Hunt is open to just 500 participants. Registration is open until May 30 at http://www.klimusa.com/adventure_summit/Registration.html. The event costs $95 per entry.
2012 Honda Vision Unveiled
The Japanese manufacturer’s new global scooter model, the 2012 Honda Vision was designed to be a low-cost fuel efficient urban commuter. Powered by a four-stroke 110cc engine with Honda’s PGM-FI fuel injection system, the Honda Vision claims a maximum power output of 8.3hp at 8000rpm while torque peaks at a claimed 6.4 ft.-lb. at 6500rpm. The fuel tank holds 1.45 gallons so the claimed fuel economy of 122 mpg translates to a range of just under 177 miles on a single tank of gas.
2011 BMW Motorrad Days Announced
The world’s largest BMW Motorrad meeting draws over 30,000 visitors to the Bavarian town along the Germany-Austria border.
BMW and Husqvarna will have their entire model range at the event, with test rides available for nearly all models. Visitors will also be able to develop their off-road skills riding BMW GS models on the 2.5-acre BMW Enduro Park. Husqvarna fans will also be able to learn riding skills from professionals on the Husqvarna X-track.
Chris Pfeiffer, the four-time world stunt riding champion, will demonstrate his skills. The native of Schongau, Bavaria, native says he has some new stunts to wow the crowds at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
“I have a lot of new tricks,” says Pfeiffer. “The bounce to crosslegs, for instance, I find pretty cool. In an overhanging wheelie I brake so suddenly that I’m catapulted out of the seat and land crosswise on the rear footrests. And all this while I’m still doing the wheelie! I’m really looking forward to Garmisch, it’s an absolute highlight on my schedule.”
Visitors will also have a chance to win a new BMW G650 GS or a BMW R1200R in a pair of raffles.
2007 BMW Motorrad Days
Inside BMW: From skunk works to Motorrad Days
2012 MV Agusta F4 RR Revealed
As revealed in a teaser video released last week, the RR version of the MV Agusta F4 uses a new “Corsocorta” engine. According to MV Agusta, the Corsocorta engine shares little in common with the F4’s engine. The piston diameter has been increased to a 79mm bore (compared to 76mm on the F4’s engine) while the stroke was reduced to 50.9mm from 55mm.
With a new 4-2-1-4 exhaust system with new intake and exhaust tracts and titanium valves, MV Agusta claims an output of 198 hp at 13,400rpm, an improvement on the F4’s claimed 183hp. Maximum torque is the same as the F4 at 84.1 ft-lb. at 9200rpm.
Suzuki Reports Q4 2010-2011 Results
Overall, Suzuki reported a profit of 107.4 billion yen (US$1.3 billion) on the year, a 36.5% increase from the 78.7 billion yen (US$974.2 million) profit reported in 2009-2010.
Suzuki’s motorcycle and ATV segment however was the only one to report a loss while the company’s automobile, marine and power products as well as its financial services arm all reported a profit.
According to Suzuki’s 2010-2011 fiscal report, motorcycle and ATV sales brought in 257.7 billion yen (US$3.2 billion), a 2.0% drop from the 262.9 billion yen (US$3.3 billion) reported in 2009-2010. Suzuki’s motorcycle segment operated at a loss of 10.8 billion yen (US$133.9 million), an improvement from the 21.1 billion yen (US$260.8 million) loss reported the previous year.
Motorcycle unit sales were up 5.8% to 1.33 million units compared to 1.26 million units sold last year. The increase comes entirely from the Asian market where Suzuki sold 1.1 million units compared to 919,000 units the previous year. Sales in Japan rose slightly to 79,000 units from 78,000. Unit sales in other regions were down however, including North America where Suzuki decided not to import new streetbike models in 2010. Suzuki sold 50,000 units in North America, a 36.7% decrease from the 79,000 units sold the previous year.
Mark Blackwell Joins Zero Motorcycles
The very first 500cc motocross national champion, Blackwell was a motocross racing star in the late ’60s and early ’70s. After retiring from racing, Blackwell held management positions for Suzuki, Husqvarna and Polaris where he served as vice president and general manager of Victory Motorcycles. Blackwell will remain an executive at Polaris Industries while sitting on Zero’s board.
“I am delighted to join the Board of Zero Motorcycles. I have tracked the progress of the company from afar and been impressed with its growing product line and its increasingly well-established brand, channel, and supply chain,” says Blackwell. “I look forward to helping the company grow in the coming years and advising its team of talented, industry-experienced executives.”
AMA-SX: 2011 Las Vegas Results
An audience of 39,506 at Sam Boyd Stadium saw the Monster Energy Kawasaki racer capture the championship in a race that almost seemed to encapsulate the entire season. The Las Vegas race featured four racers holding the lead, TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed surging in the second half and a James Stewart crash.
The eventful finale capped off one of the most competitive AMA Supercross seasons in recent memory that saw five riders battling for the title for most of the season.
WSBK: 2011 Monza Results
Yamaha factory rider Eugene Laverty earned his first two career WSBK victories in just his seventh and eighth career races in the class. Meanwhile, Aprilia Alitalia’s Max Biaggi continues to his erratic season, with a ride-through penalty while in the lead costing him a Race Two victory.
Race One Highlights
Biaggi’s weekend started off on a positive note with a Superpole win, putting a racer other than Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa on the pole for the first time this season. Race One started with Biaggi battling with Laverty and his Yamaha teammate Marco Melandri while the BMW Motorrad duo of Leon Haslam and Troy Corser also running in the lead group.
FIM, TTXGP to Hold Joint Events
The two rival electric motorcycle racing organizers appear to have healed their well publicized rift, announcing the final three rounds of the FIM’s 2011 e-Power championship will be held jointly with the TTXGP’s European and North American championships. According to a joint statement, the two sides decided to work together “in a spirit of collaboration and the common goal of promoting electric clean emission racing.”
Husqvarna Streetbike to Use 900cc BMW Twin
Known best for its off-road motorcycles, Husqvarna will introduce its first streetbike for 2012 using a modified version of the parallel Twin engine from parent company BMW’s F800R.
The new advnture tourer will be the first streetbike designed by engineers from both Husqvarna and BMW, including some former F1 engineers. Former Aprilia designer Raffaele Zaccagnini is overseeing the project.
Ducati Announces 2011 Monster Challenge
The 2011 Monster Challenge is open to all 2008 and newer Ducati Monster owners, giving them the chance to share their customized bikes. Monster owners can submit their entries online from May 11 to July 15 in either the amateur or professional category. Entries will be posted online for voting by members of the Ducati Community website.
The top two vote-getters in the amateur and professional categories will be displayed at the Ducati Island at the 2011 Indianapolis Grand Prix. Attendees at the Indianapolis Grand Prix will then vote on who gets the grand prize: a weeklong trip for two to the Ducati factory in Bologna, Italy.
2011 Roehr ESupersport Unveiled
The 2011 Roehr eSupersport joins the eSuperbike in the Illinois-based companie’s electric sportbike lineup alongside the conventional gas-powered Roehr 1250sc.
The eSupersport is more or less an electric conversion of a Hyosung GT650R, and in fact, except from a variation to the paint, badging and the lack of an exhaust system, visually resembles the Korean sportbike. Using Hyosung’s bodywork instead of its own custom body work (still present on the higher-powered Roehr eSuperbike) will keep production costs lower, though at $17,995, the 2011 Roehr eSupersport will cost $1,000 more than the 2010 model. The eSupersport does qualify for a 10% federal tax credit and some states may offer their own rebates.
2012 MV Agusta F4 RR Corsacorta Teaser Video
The 2012 MV Agusta F4 RR will use a new “Corsocorta” engine claiming 198bhp (or 201CV in metric horsepower as shown in the video), an upgrade from the 2010 MV Agusta F4’s claimed 183hp.
Other changes include Ohlins suspension replacing the F4’s Sachs components, as well as a new matte white color.
Emde to Re-Trace 1914 Cannonball Baker Route
Baker, an American adventure riding pioneer, attempted over 143 cross-country motorcycle speed runs including the 3,378-mile ride from San Diego, Calif., to New York City on a two-speed Indian motorcycle. Baker’s adventures took place at a time before the country was criss-crossed with paved and well-maintained roads. The Indiana native was given the nickname “Cannonball” by a New York newspaper that compared him to the Illinois Central Railroad’s Cannonball train after completing the cross-country trip in 11.5 days, nine days faster than the previous coast-to-coast record. The Cannonball Run cross-country automobile race was later created in Baker’s honor.
FIM E-Power Returning to Laguna Seca
The FIM e-Power round at Laguna Seca is scheduled for July 24, when the Monterey, Calif., circuit also hosts the MotoGP and AMA Pro Racing. Laguna Seca was part of the inaugural FIM e-Power series in 2010 but was not confirmed when the preliminary 2011 calendar was released in March though the July 23-24 weekend was tentatively included on the schedule.
The Laguna Seca e-Power round had the largest entry field in the series’ five-round 2010 season. The other rounds, all based in Europe drew an eclectic mix of teams but the American round attracted U.S. based manufacturers and teams including the race’s winner Michael Czysz of MotoCzysz and eventual 2010 TTXGP North American Champion Michael Barnes of Lightning Motorcycles.
Meanwhile, the June 18-19 Hungarian round at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod, near Budapest was removed from the schedule. The Hungarian e-Power race was supposed to run the same weekend as the FIM Sidecar World Championship. Both the e-Power round and the Sidecar round have been canceled without a replacement.
The 2011 FIM e-Power series will therefore have just five rounds instead of the initially scheduled five. The first round, held April 16-17 at Magny Cours in France alongside a FIM Endurance World Championship round, was won by the 2010 TTXGP European Champion Alessandro Branetti of eCRP.
2011 FIM e-Power International Championship Calendar
2011 Pied Piper PSI Study Results
The fifth annual Pied Piper PSI study provides a benchmark for the U.S. motorcycle industry measuring how effective a brand’s dealerships are in getting customers to make a purchase. Pacific Grove, Calif.’s Pied Piper Management Company sent 1,967 anonymous “shoppers” to dealerships across the U.S. between July 2010 and April 2011 to gather information for the study. The study included 14 major manufacturers: Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha.
“A strong dealership sales process is needed today more than ever,” says Fran O’Hagan, president and chief executive officer of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. “The days of ‘order-taking’ are over, and a helpful and effective salesperson can make the difference by turning a shopper into a buyer.”
The study measured dealer performance in several best practices. Across the industry, dealers were less likely to offer test rides, providing reasons for a customer to “buy now” and asking a potential customer for the sale than they were in 2010. There was improvement in other areas however, such as introducing themselves, encouraging shoppers to sit on a motorcycle and explaining service and maintenance programs.
Overall, the industry established a benchmark score of 101, down two points from last year’s PSI study. Of the 14 manufacturers, 13 recorded lower scores than they did in the previous study, with Husqvarna holding even at 90 points.
BMW Reports Q1 2011 Results
The German manufacturer reported sales revenue of 397 million euros (US$589.9 million) over the quarter, an increase from the 351 million euros (US$521.7 million) from the same quarter in 2010. Despite the increase in sales, profit before tax from BMW Motorrad matched last year’s total of 30 million euros (US$44.6 million).
BMW sold 25,049 motorcycles over the first quarter, an 11.4% increase from the first quarter of 2010. The total includes 23,109 BMW motorcycles (up 10.9% from 2010’s 20,840 units) and 1,940 from its Husqvarna subsidiary (an 18.4% increase from the 1,639 Husqvarna motorcycles sold in the first quarter of 2010).
European motorcycle sales were up 6.5% from last year at 17,260 units, but that was mostly due to a 36.8% increase in sales in Germany (4,395 units). Unit sales were otherwise down in BMW’s main European markets, Spain (1,439 units; -8.3%), Great Britain (1,643 untis; -34.3%), Italy (4,432 units; -4.9%) and France (1,913 units; -7.4%). U.S. sales were also down 4.8% at 2,319 units from 2,436 units in 2010.
For the remainder of 2011, BMW foresees increased motorcycle sales despite an overall worldwide market that is expected to remain steady at 2010’s levels.
AGV Offers Helmet Trade-In Incentive
The “Trade in your past: start fresh with a new AGV helmet” program runs from May 1 to June 15, 2011 and is offered at participating dealerships across the U.S. The goal of the program is to promote rider safety, as older helmets may lose their protective integrity over time as materials wear with use. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, most helmet manufacturers recommend replacing a helmet every two to four years, or sooner if there are any signs of damage.
“Many times we receive calls from our customers asking for parts for ten year old helmets,” says Roberto Sadowsky, vice president of operations at AGV Dainese USA, “but materials used in the fabrication of a helmet lose their integrity and performance with time. This gave us the idea to come up with a promotion that reflects and promotes the most important value for our brand: the safety of our riders.”
Brammo Announces Six-speed Electric Models
The electric motorcycle maker has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Italian engineering company SMRE for its Integrated Electric Transmission. With the IET technology, Brammo can introduce electric motorcycles equipped with six-speed transmission systems and a specially developed clutch and gear shift. According to Craig Bramscher, chief executive officer and founder of Brammo, the IET improves performance and range for electric motorcycles.
“Though a motor has a lot of torque at 1rpm, electric motors like gas motors still have a range they prefer to run to be powerful and efficient, so a gearbox lets you get efficient if you want but also lets you give it all you have,” Bramscher tells Motorcycle.com’s Jeff Cobb. “It is definitely better, more fun, just like a gas bike, but fast revving and sounds like a jet turbine.”
MotoGP Claiming Rule Teams Defined
CRTs will not be allowed to represent any of the current members of the Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers Association (i.e. Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha).
It was previously announced that CRTs will be allowed certain advantages over existing factory and satellite racing teams. CRTs will be allowed 12 engines per rider, instead of six for non-CRT teams. CRT teams will also be allowed a maximum of 24 liters of fuel, compared to 21 liters for non-CRTs.
When the CRT concept was initially announced, it was believed that CRTs would be allowed to claim another team’s engines at a fixed price in order to keep engine development costs low. In a bit of a surprise twist however, it will be the manufacturers who can claim an engine from a CRT.
CRTs may lose up to four engines to a claiming manufacturer, and each manufacturer may only claim an engine once. Engines (including the transmission) may be claimed for 20,000 euros or 15,000 for just the engine. Claimed engines will not count against a CRT’s 12-engine limit.
Teams will have until Dec. 31 of the year before each season to declare themselves as a CRT.
“From 2012 onwards in MotoGP any independent team has the chance to apply for the CRT status, and this stands for Claiming Rule Team,” says Corrado Cecchinelli, MotoGP director of technology on MotoGP.com. “The team thereby accepts that one of their engines can be claimed, which means it can be bought at the end of the race, by one of the MSMA members for either €20,000 with the transmission or €15,000 without.”
“If they accept these regulations they have technical advantages like more fuel – 24 litres instead of 21 – and more engines per rider per season, which will be 12 instead of six. These are big aids, and they will allow the independent teams to race with much lower budgets.”
New Standard for Electric Motorcycle Range
The new City Riding Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles was developed to establish a consistent method for defining the range of electric motorcycles under real-world conditions.
By using a standardized procedure, consumers will be able to accurately compare the range of electric motorcycles. Until now, electric motorcycle manufacturers used different methods for calculating the range of their products, making it difficult for consumers to compare them against each other. Previous methods of measurement were also based on unrealistic conditions, such as traveling on flat terrain at a constant speed.
“Widespread adoption of this new standard could really help shoppers who are looking to purchase an electric motorcycle,” says Larry Little, chairman of the MIC board of directors. “The MIC is the perfect place to unite various stakeholders and reach consensus on workable test procedures that will benefit both consumers and manufacturers.”
The MIC’s procedure is based on a similar standard used for electric cars under federal and California regulations. The procedure measures a vehicle’s range in miles or kilometres under stop-and-go operation in urban areas over a variety of road and traffic conditions.
The City Riding Range Test Procedure will measure a vehicle’s range by starting with a fully charged battery and riding until it can no longer maintain an established speed. The procedure establishes two such speed requirements. Higher-powered electric vehicles will be measured by riding with a top speed of 56.7 mph and an average speed of 19.6 mph. Electric vehicles with a top speed between 20 mph and 56.7 mph will be measured while maintaining an average speed of 17.7 mph and traveling under 36.5 mph. Electric vehicles with a top speed below 20 mph will not be measured under the MIC’s standard.
The new standard was established by the MIC’s Electric Vehicle Task Force which includes representatives from electric motorcycle manufacturers Brammo, Quantya and Zero, as well as other OEMs, distributors and MIC members.
“It’s vital for electric motorcycle manufacturers to have standards that we can agree on and that customers will find useful,” says Scot Harden, vice president of global marketing for Zero Motorcycles. “We appreciate the much-needed efforts of the MIC, and everyone connected with the Electric Vehicle Task Force, as more and more electric motorcycles emerge on the market.”
14 Teams Accepted for 2012 MotoGP Season
The 14 teams, including 21 riders, have passed the first step towards entering the 2012 MotoGP season with the new 1000cc engine regulations. The 14 teams do not include the teams currently competing in MotoGP, as they are already approved for the 2012 season.
The IRTA selected the 14 teams were selected from 16 initial applications submitted by the April 29 deadline. The selected teams will receive instructions on putting together a more comprehensive plan for competing in the 2012 MotoGP Championship.
Teams will have until May 14 to submit their comprehensive applications, after which a provisional list of accepted teams will be announced.
MotoGP Accepting Applications for 2012
Honda Announces 2012 Off-road Models
“Over the years, riding enthusiasts have come to know, appreciate and trust the wide diversity of machines that Honda offers,” says Bill Savino, Honda powersports press manager. “This extensive release of 2012 models serves as a perfect example of how we strive to meet the many needs of today’s riding enthusiasts. This latest new-model release will fulfill the needs of many riders, but I’m excited to add that in addition to these models, we have even more new releases to follow later this year.”
2012 Honda CRF450R
Honda revised the suspension on the 2012 CRF450R motocrosser, offering stiffer fork outer tubes and a new rear shock linkage. Suspension settings for both the front and the back were also revised. According to Honda, the updated suspension system offers a more solid feel on the front while the rear suspension improves tracking and handling.
Kawasaki Reports Q4 2010-2011 Results
According to the 2010-2011 fiscal report from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the company’s motorcycle and engine segment, which includes quads, Jet Ski watercraft and general purpose engines, operated at a loss of 5.0 billion yen (US$61 million).
While it is still a loss, it is an improvement from the 27 billion yen (US$332 million) loss reported in the previous year. Sales were up 15% to 235.7 billion yen (US$2.9 billion) compared to the 204.6 billion yen (US$2.5 billion) reported in the previous year.
Overall, Kawasaki Heavy Industries returned to profitability in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, with a net gain of 26.0 billion yen (US$319.5 million) compared to a loss of 10.9 billion yen (US$133.6 million) reported in the previous fiscal year.
Ducati Diavel, Multistrada 1200 Recall in US
Transport Canada initiated a recall campaign earlier this week because of a problem with the electronic steering lock on some 2011 Ducati Diavel and 2010-2011 Ducati Multistrada 1200 models. Documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal details about the problem.
Dcuati’s product testing determined a bug in software revision 43 of the hands free device software, under “very specific conditions”, may cause the electronic steering lock to remain engaged during the “key-on” process. Authorized Ducati dealers will update the hands free control unit to software revision 44.
The U.S. recall campaign affects 155 MY2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 models, another 594 MY2011 Multistradas and 302 MY2011 Ducati Diavels.
Ducati Diavel, Multistrada Recall in Canada
Honda Reports Q4 2010-2011 Results
Motorcycle sales generated 1.3 trillion yen (US$15.8 billion) in revenue for Honda, a 13.0% increase over net sales reported in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Including its automobile, power product and financial services segments, Honda reported a net income of 534 billion yen (US$6.6 billon), nearly double the 268.4 billion yen (US$3.3 billion) reported in the previous fiscal year.
Overall fourth quarter results were not as positive however. The March 11 earthquake in Japan caused Honda and its domestic subsidiaries an estimated loss of 45.7 billion yen (US$560.2 million) due to property damage and the suspension of production. As a result, Honda reported a 44.5 billion yen (US$545.7 million) profit in the fourth quarter, a 38% drop from the 72.1 billion (US$884.2 million) profit reported in the same quarter of 2010-2011. The damage estimate does not include the cost of future restoration efforts which will be included in the 2011-2012 fiscal year financial statements.
Honda continues to make gains in Asia where sales reached 9.2 million units over the fiscal year, up 20.3% from the 7.6 million units sold the previous fiscal year. Honda credited the sales increase to strong demand for the Honda CB Twister in India and small displacement motorcycles and scooters such as the Honda Wave in Thailand and Vietnam.
North American sales however continue to decline, with 185,000 units sold, down from the 189,000 units sold in the previous year. Honda’s North American sales actually started strongly with 60,000 units sold in the first quarter ended June 30, 2010.
Honda was unable to maintain that momentum, however, reporting sales of 43,000 in the second quarter, 44,000 in the third quarter and just 38,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2011, Honda’s worst quarterly performance in North America during the entire economic downturn. Honda reported increased North American sales for the CBR600RR and utility ATVs such as the FourTrax Foreman, and decreased sales for the Goldwing and the CRF450R.
Honda has not announced its forecast for its 2011-2012 fiscal year, due to uncertainty caused by the earthquake in Japan.
Ducati Diavel, Multistrada Recall in Canada
According to Transport Canada, certain 2011 Ducati Diavel and 2010-2011 Ducati Multistrada 1200 models because of a problem with the electronic steering lock. On some units, the steering lock may fail to disengage when starting the engine. Riders may potentially start to ride without being able to steer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet released notice of a recall, but Ducati North America is expected to announce a recall campaign for the U.S. shortly.
US Motorcycle Sales Up 7.2% in Q1 2011
According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, U.S. dealers sold 102,547 units in the first quarter of 2011, up from the 95,696 units sold in the same period of 2010. While the 7.2% year-on-year increase is positive news, sales were still down 15.1% from the 120,794 units sold in the first quarter of 2009.
Off-road motorcycle sales were down 5.5% over the first quarter but sales increased for streetbikes, scooters and dual sports. Scooter sales were particularly strong, with an increase of 49.6% to 6,246 units from the 4,176 units sold in 2010. In fact, the 4,056 scooters sold in March alone nearly matched the 4,176 units sold in the entire first quarter of 2010.
Dual sport sales were also up 24.3% to 6,697 units. Scooter and dual sport sales were actually higher than first quarter 2009 figures.
ATV sales (excluding side-by-sides) continue to struggle with first quarter sales down 16.1% at 47,702 units compared to 56,875 units in the first quarter of 2010. Including both ATVs and motorcycles, industry sales are down 1.5% at 150,249 units.
March sales offer more positive news with all segments except ATVs showing sales increased compared to last year’s March sales results.
The MIC’s figures include data from 19 reporting manufacturers: Aprilia, Arctic Cat, BMW, Buell, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husaberg, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Polaris, Suzuki, Triumph, Vespa, Victory and Yamaha.
New Asphalt for Indianapolis MotoGP Track
The infield section, a 1.5 mile stretch from Turn 5 through Turn 16, will receive its first resurfacing since it was built in 2000.
The repaving project addresses concerns expressed by MotoGP riders about the track’s surface. Much of the criticism was about the consistency of the track, with different sections offering different levels of grip, especially where the road course and the oval course meet. According to IMS, the new asphalt will provide a more consistent racing surface with the first four turns, located inside the oval course’s first turn, which was created for the Indianapolis Grand Prix’s debut race in 2008.
“I’m happy to hear the infield section is being repaved at Indy,” says Nicky Hayden, Ducati factory MotoGP racer. “It’s already a great track, and I’m sure this will make a smoother, more consistent racetrack for everybody.”
Zero to Compete in 2011 MiniMoto SX
Electric motorcycles made their debut in the 2010 MiniMoto SX event competing against gas-powered pitbikes. Drew Gosselaar took the win for Swiss electric motorcycle manufacturer Quantya while Zero riders swept the rest of the top five spots.
For the 2011 event, Zero will compete in the MM16A Stock/Mod class on modified 2011 Zero MX motorcycles. Gasoline and electric bikes will race together but they will be scored separately in the main event. The class is open to Zero and Quantya motorcycles as well as the Kawasaki KLX140, Suzuki DRZ125, Honda XR10, Honda CRF100F and air-cooled Honda CRF150F.
Zero will be represented by engineer technician and test rider Trevor Doniak, WORCS and Endurocross racer Jamie Lanza, and Chris Green, motocross racer and associate editor for Dirt Rider magazine.
Polaris Acquires Indian Motorcycle
The Medina, Minn., based Polaris Industries purchased Indian Motorcycle Limited from its previous owners, primarily Stellican, a private equity firm from the U.K., and Novator Partners LLP, an investment firm based in London. Terms of the acquisition were not released.
The current Indian Motorcycle Company has only been around since 2006 but the name it carries goes back to 1901. Indian Motorcycle produces luxury cruisers and baggers such as the Indian Chief Dark Horse and the Indian Chief Blackhawk.
“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” says Scott Wine, chief executive officer of Polaris Industries Inc. “Indian built America’s first motorcycle. With our technology and vision, we are confident we will deliver the classic Indian motorcycle, enhanced by the quality and performance for which Polaris and Victory are known.”
Indian will operate as an autonomous business unit, separate from Polaris’ other divisions including Victory Motorcycles which also specializes in cruisers and touring motorcycles. While Polaris’ two motorcycle brands operate in the same segments, the two brands differ in styling with Victory’s modern styles targeting the performance market while Indian will continue building on its classic styling and American heritage. Indian will also benefit from Polaris’ engineering and production resources.
Polaris Reports Q1 2011 Results
On-road vehicle sales, comprised primarily of Victory Motorcycles, totaled $44.9 million over the three months ended March 31, 2011, an increase from the $25.4 million reported over the same quarter in 2010. Victory Motorcycles helped Polaris Industries gain an overall record first quarter net income of $47.3 million, a 139% increase from the $19.8 million profit reported in the first quarter of 2010.
While North American sales were down slightly, Victory sales were up in the rest of the world, with international shipments increasing 59% from the first quarter of 2010.
“We are extremely pleased with our first quarter results, as the momentum we built throughout 2010 continued into 2011,” says Scott Wine, chief executive officer of Polaris Industries Inc. “Retail demand for Polaris products in North America remained strong throughout the first quarter and we continued to gain market share. Our International business also remained strong with sales increasing 21 percent and we celebrated the grand opening of our European headquarters in Switzerland during the quarter.”
Polaris also announced the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle which will join Victory in Polaris’ on-road vehicles division.
“In addition to our strong first quarter results, we are excited to announce the completion of the purchase of Indian Motorcycle Company, the maker of America's first motorcycle,” says Wine. “This transaction will complement and enhance our on-road product portfolio, and afford Polaris the opportunity to bring our world-class engineering, manufacturing, and distribution capabilities to an iconic American brand in the heavyweight motorcycle market.”
Polaris also announced it will save 50 assembly jobs at its engine manufacturing operations in Osceola, Wis. Polaris had previously announced plans to close the Osceola plant and lay off 515 workers as production moves to a new factory in Monterrey, Mexico. The 50 retained positions in Osceola will be for snowmobile and motorcycle engine assembly.
Polaris Acquires Indian Motorcycle
Motorcycle Fatalities Down 2% in 2010
The preliminary report, completed by Dr. James Hedlund of Highway Safety North, examined the GHSA’s motorcycle fatality reports across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Year-end totals are still being compiled but most states have provided data from January through September (the exceptions being California and Arizona which have completed reports for less than nine months). The preliminary data projects 4,376 fatalities or less on the year, down from 4,465 fatalities in 2009.
Though the projected fatality figures are down, the GHSA notes the news is not entirely positive. The 2% decrease is not as dramatic as the 16% decrease reported in 2009, and most of the decreases took place in the early months. Fatalities actually increased from July to September.
“While there is a lot of good news in this report, the increase in fatalities toward the end of year is a clear red flag. Just like with overall traffic deaths, a strengthening economy presents us with the potential for more tragedy on our roads,” says Vernon Betkey, GHSA chairman. “We are going to be very aggressive in targeting our programs where they are needed the most. Additionally, we will continue to remind all roadway users that motorcycles are a legal and legitimate way of transportation and we all need to safely share the road.”
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also found that DOT-compliant helmet use is also down at 54% in 2010 compared to 67% in 2009. Only 20 states have universal helmet laws. Another 27 states require helmets for specific riders while 3 states do not have a motorcycle helmet law.
States were split nearly 50-50 between those reporting fewer fatalities and those reporting more. States showing fewer fatalities in 2010 cited increased safety education, rider training, colder and wetter weather, decreased motorcycle sales and fewer new riders as potential reasons for the decrease. Conversely, states reporting higher fatality figures cite increased motorcycle registrations, good riding weather, and decreased motorcycle use as possible reasons for the increase.
The GHSA report urges states to focus motorcycle safety efforts on promoting helmet use, increasing motorcycle training, cracking down on speeding and reducing alcohol-impaired riding.
Motorcycle fatalities down in 2009
ABS Standard on All 2012 BMW Models
“Plain and simple, being able to stop a motorcycle faster and more predictably helps prevent a rider from becoming a statistic,” says Pieter de Waal, vice president of BMW Motorrad USA. “It’s time for all of us in the motorcycle industry to embrace the benefits of ABS. Extensive testing by safety experts, law enforcement authorities and journalists around the world consistently demonstrates that ABS reduces overall crashes and saves lives.”
According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycles equipped with ABS are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
“I commend BMW for taking the lead in making ABS standard across the board,” says Adrian Lund, IIHS president. “Our research results show ABS on motorcycles saves lives, and riders are taking note, too. A recent survey found that a majority of riders said they would look for ABS on their next bikes.”