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Feb. 13, 2006 – Cycle Update

February 13, 2006
Filed under Features

BMW Motorrad revenues up 18.9% in 2005
Munich-based BMW said 2005 year-end group revenues were Euro 46,656 million, up 5.2% from revenues of Euro 44,335 million in 2004.
BMW Motorrad recorded revenues of euro 1,223 million, up 18.9% from euro 1,029 million in 2004; Automobile segment revenues increased 7.8% to euro 45,861 million; and revenues for the company’s Financial Services division increased 14.4% to euro 9,408 million.
BMW sold 97,474 motorcycles worldwide in 2005, up 5.6% from sales of 92,266 units in 2004. The company sold 1,327,992 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars during the year, up 9.9% from sales of 1,208,732 cars in 2004, and the volume of new retail customer contracts for the Financial Services division rose 13.2% to euro 23,507 million.
In other BMW-related news, Dr. Guenter Niedernhuber has been named Executive Vice President, Finance, and Chief Financial Officer of BMW (US) Holding Corp., responsible for the company’s finance, controlling, treasury, information technology, purchasing, human resources and property management functions. He succeeds Dr. Rolf Hagemann, who held the position for three years and has returned to Germany to accept an executive position outside of the automotive industry.
Niedernhuber joined BMW AG in 1987 and has been promoted several times during his tenure with the company. Prior to this appointment, he was head of BMW Financial Services, Europe.
Riding school to launch at Mid-Ohio
TrueSports, Inc., owner and operator of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School, plans to add motorcycle riding instruction to its diverse curriculum when it launches The Mid-Ohio Motorcycle Riding School in April.
Curriculums at the Mid-Ohio Motorcycle Riding School will include Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses for beginning and experienced riders, as well as Advanced Cornering and Performance Track Riding programs. The riding school will be operated in partnership with Motorcycle Riding School, based in Chicago, and Sportbike Track Time, Delta, Ohio. The programs will be priced from $185 to $295.
“This is a move we’ve been planning for quite a while, and the growth in motorcycle sales and the rising demand for quality riding instruction made the timing right,” said TrueSports President Michelle Trueman Gajoch. “The Mid-Ohio Motorcycle Riding School is one more element in a larger strategy for TrueSports, Inc. to make Mid-Ohio a comprehensive training facility appealing to both two- and four-wheeled audiences.”
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a 2.4-mile, 15-turn permanent road racing circuit in Lexington, Ohio. The Mid-Ohio School offers 19 different programs. Students partake in classroom sessions, skill drills, expert personal instruction and lapping. The school has graduated more than 19,000 students since its inception in 1993.
Massachusetts to Debate Helmet Law
The Massachusetts State Legislature plans to debate making motorcycle helmets optional for adults with considerable riding experience.
The bill, which goes to the state senate Feb. 1, allows the option of using a helmet to adult bikers with a minimum of six years of experience. It also would give the option to bikers who take an approved rider education course and have private health insurance or $50,000 in optional medical coverage. Riders who do not meet either of those two requirements would face a $125 fine.
If approved by the legislature and governor, the bill would become law by July 1.
MSF Plans New Campaign
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Irvine, Calif., and RADD (Recording Artists, Actors & Athletes Against Drunk Driving) are partnering on a massive public awareness campaign to curb drunk driving and riding in California.
The “Figure it Out” campaign offers designated driver rewards and is being promoted throughout January with a promotional effort that includes a $200,000 radio ad buy, 40,000 point-of-sale standees, 60,000 posters and 7,000 window clings. With one of the campaign’s RADD Designated Driver’s Licenses, participants can receive free non-alcoholic drinks, discounts on food and other items at more than 3,000 restaurants, bars and clubs. And a mail-in contest will reward one lucky contestant with a $2,500 travel voucher. Materials, some of which are in Spanish, have been shipped to more than 350 motorcycle dealerships throughout California.
Actor Catherine Bell, a motorcycle enthusiast, is among several celebrities lending their images to the campaign.
“To increase rider safety, we need to keep warning against drunk driving, and motorcycling fatalities and injuries would dramatically drop if people didn’t drink and ride,” said Dean Thompson, director of communications for the MSF. “Car drivers have more options than riders, including a designated driver or leaving the car and taking a cab. Since a motorcyclist can’t have a designated driver, a rider needs to decide between riding or drinking. The two just don’t mix.”
Besides finding them at participating retailers, the RADD Designated Driver’s Licenses can be downloaded from www.radd.org. RADD asks the license-holders to pledge that they are at least 21, that they will use a designated driver or be one and provide responsible transportation for all members of the group.
Ducati Day set for Daytona
Ducati brand enthusiasts in the U.S. should plan to attend Ducati Day at Speedpark Motorsports, across from Daytona International Speedway, on March 10. Sponsored by The Ducati.Net Ducati Owners Club and Ducati North America, the event helps kick off the 2006 AMA racing season.
Included will be Ducati race team appearances, tech-talk classroom sessions, umbrella girls, the American Ducati Idol motor sound contest, vendor row and a Ducati-only bike show. Plus, racers Ben Bostrom and Neil Hodgson are expected to attend and sign autographs, and long distance record holder Gary Eagan plans to give a seminar on his travels aboard a Ducati ST4s and Multistrada.
Full details are on the Web site at www.DucatiDayDaytona.com.
Buell Rally set for June 2-4
Buell Riders Adventure Group (BRAG) plans to host its annual Homecoming Rally in East Troy, Wis., on June 2-4.
Buell owners will have the opportunity to spend time with Erik Buell, chairman and chief technical officer of Buell Motorcycle Company, along with other Buell engineers. BRAG invites event attendees to tour the East Troy Buell facilities, witness Buell motorcycles being built and participate in a motorcycle service seminar. Buell enthusiasts also will be able to enjoy the AMA Superbike races at Road America in nearby Elkhart Lake. Tickets to the AMA races at Road America will be sold Friday, June 2, at the East Troy factory.
BRAG homecoming events are open to the public. For more information on this event or other BRAG events, visit www.buell.com.
AMA Vintage Days to Feature MV Agusta
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced that MV Agusta will be the “featured marque” at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days 2006, which will be held July 28-30 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will kick off a 10-day celebration of motorcycling, concluding with the AMA Honda Super Cycle Weekend the following weekend, Aug. 4-6.
The AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will be held two weeks later than its usual mid-July weekend. Other sporting events during the summer of 2006 prompted what is expected to be a one-year departure from the traditional dates.
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will include the all-brands AMA Swapmeet, bike shows, a full slate of American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) racing, and other features to be announced in the coming months.
AMA Pro Racing Reviewing Supercross Track Design
AMA Pro Racing says it is reviewing the current Supercross track design and construction process. The review is in response to concerns noted by AMA Pro Racing officials and riders regarding the current state of track design.
In making the announcement, AMA Pro Racing Supercross/Motocross Series Manager Steve Whitelock identified a few reasons for the review. “Ensuring that we’re paying close attention to the designs of our tracks is something we always do. But with virtually the entire field now riding four-stroke equipment, it’s time we take another close look at the process,” said Whitelock. “Four-stroke bikes deliver power differently than two-strokes and we want to see if there’s anything we need to change as a result of that. We also want to make sure that the tracks are designed to ensure the best possible racing environment and provide the greatest opportunity for close competition. Finally, safety, as always, is an ongoing consideration.”
The shape, number and location of specific obstacles are specifically what Whitelock wants to review. A company called Dirt Wurx designs all but one of the tracks in the AMA Supercross Series.
“We believe that Dirt Wurx does a great job overall and is responsive to the large amount of input they receive from us, riders, the promoter and fans,” said Whitelock. “Our review process will be done in harmony with their expertise and experience with track construction.”
Whitelock noted that there is no single, easy answer. “Riders have differing opinions on what makes a good track,” said Whitelock. “Some desire highly technical tracks with many obstacles and tough whoops sections. Others prefer faster, more flowing designs. The goal of everybody, though, is to build tracks that are as safe as possible and deliver great racing for the fans. That’s our objective as we proceed with this process.”
H-D Announces New Shipping Service
Harley-Davidson Motor Company has announced a new motorcycle shipping service designed. Harley-Davidson Shipping covers locations throughout North America. The service will reportedly handle all brands to ship motorcycles to various locations at a competitive price. Harley-Davidson Shipping offers door-to-door pick-up and delivery from a business or personal residence and offers multi-bike group discounts for all customers. The service is available throughout the United States and Canada, including Hawaii and Alaska, beginning in January. For more information, call 1-888-575-BIKE. Shipping quotes and vehicle tracking can be done at www.harley-davidson.com/shipping.
H-D Named Official Sponsor of NHRA
Harley-Davidson has signed an exclusive, multi-tiered sponsorship package with NHRA that includes designation as the Official Motorcycle of NHRA, title sponsorship of the popular NHRA Sportsman Motorcycle Series, and a promotion that will provide NHRA fans the chance to win Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
In the multi-year agreement, the first of its kind for Harley-Davidson, the official status provides Harley-Davidson the opportunity to utilize the NHRA logo in advertising and promotional campaigns. Through the official program, Harley-Davidson also will receive signage at all national events, and will be featured in many NHRA-driven marketing initiatives. psb

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