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.”
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 $119.3 million profit is a dramatic increase from last year’s figures, though the 2010 numbers include a $35.4 million loss related to Harley-Davidson’s shedding of MV Agusta. Most of the profit can be attributed to decreased expenses from Harley-Davidson Financial Services.
“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.”
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.
Coming off of the Donington Park round that saw Biaggi disqualified from one race and fined for a pre-race incident with Marco Melandri over alleged blocking during Superpole qualifying. At Assen, it was Biaggis’ own Aprilia Alitalia teammate, Leon Camier accusing the reigning WSBK Champion of blocking his line during the second Superpole run. The incident left Camier out of the final Superpole qualifier, ninth on the grid while Biaggi qualified sixth to start on the second row.
The branded plates will be black, grey and orange and bare Harley-Davidson’s bar and shield logo and the message “Share the Road” to promote traffic safety. By state law, the Harley-Davidson Share the Road license plates will only be available for cars, light trucks and motor homes. Plates may feature regular numbers or a personalized message.
The TTXGP, which starts its second North American Championship May 14-15 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., has taken another step forward in bringing electric motorcycle racing into the mainstream motorcycle industry after receiving the sanctioning of AMA Racing.
The Rider Alert card system, developed in partnership with Motorcycle Virginia, uses identification data cards carrying vital information such as a rider’s emergency contacts and medical history. The Rider Alert cards are placed under the lining of riders’ helmets while a separate round one-inch sticker is placed on the outside to indicate the presence of a Rider Alert card.
The version 3.0 upgrade for the Scala Rider G4 includes the new Click-to-Link feature which allows instant one-to-one intercom connections with other G4 users within range without the usual Bluetooth pairing process. Unlike the G4 system’s existing Rider A and Rider B intercom pairings, the Click-to-Link system is designed for short-term connections.
Riding at Spain’s Jerez circuit, Hayden completed 61 laps on the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 despite not getting started until the afternoon because of wet track conditions. Hayden’s Ducati Marlboro teammate Valentino Rossi put in 50 laps on the GP12 the day before.
Sprinting from a standing start, Yates reached the 190.6 mph mark on the SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing Electric Superbike. Though Yates’ run is still unofficial at this point, it shatters the previous land speed record for an electric motorcycle (173 mph set by Lightning Motors at the Bonneville Salt Flats in September 2010).
San Manuel Yamaha’s Stewart won for the fourth time this season, but the St. Louis victory was just his first in more than two months, his previous victory coming in the Feb. 5 Anaheim II round. Stewart had struggled in recent races as early crashes forced him to play catch-up with race leaders, while away from the track, Stewart faces charges of impersonating a police officer in Florida.
The German manufacturer sold a record 23,109 motorcycles over the first quarter, for a 10.9% increase from the 20,840 units sold in the first three months of 2010. Sales in January and February were up more than 20% from last year’s sales figures. BMW sold 11,675 motorcycles in March, accounting for more than half of the quarter’s sales.
Rossi and the Ducati Marlboro MotoGP team are testing the 2012 edition of the Desmosedici April 8 at Spain’s Jerez circuit to prepare for next season. Normally, MotoGP regulations severely limit the amount of testing riders can do through the year, but with the engine displacement rules changing from its current 800cc limit to a maximum to 1000cc, series organizers are allowing exceptions.
Banman is stepping down from operational management of Zero Motorcycles but will remain on the company’s board. Banman has been with the electric motorcycle maker almost from the beginning, joining Zero in 2007 as chief operating officer as the company’s ninth employee. Within 60 days, Banman was appointed CEO and played an instrumental role in finding investors.
As the 2011 season heads into the final stretch, the battle for the championship remains tight with the leading contenders battling hard for valuable points. In Arlington, the top five riders in the standings were also the top five in the opening eight laps.
The Medina, Minn., manufacturer is sponsoring the “ Warrior Made” series on military community website MilitaryTimes.com. The series examines 12 innovations from American military history, including the Ka-Bar combat knife, MRE field rations and the Predator UAV drone.
The 25-year-old Stewart, who currently races for the San Manuel Yamaha team, was arrested March 28. According to Florida Highway Patrol, Stewart was driving a 2008 Toyota Tundra pickup truck on Florida State Route 417 outside Orlando when he allegedly attempted to stop another vehicle using police-type red and blue lights.
It took 12 rounds in the 2011 season before defending champion Ryan Dungey took his long awaited first win of the campaign. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider took over the lead before the end of the first lap after passing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Fabien Izoird who claimed the holeshot. Dungey would go on to lead every lap for the win.