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March 13, 2006 – Cycle Update

March 13, 2006
Filed under Features

Japan’s cycle production in January falls
Japan’s four main motorcycle manufacturers produced 149,437 units in January, down 10,257 units or 6.4 percent compared to the production of 159,694 units in January 2005, said the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).
According to JAMA figures, Honda produced 43,992 units in January, down from 48,134 units produced in January 2005; Kawasaki produced 20,813 units, down from 22,092; Suzuki produced 43,181 units, up from 41,525 units; and Yamaha produced 41,421 units, down from 47,909 total units in January 2005.
The four manufacturers exported 116,460 units in January, down 12,522 units or 9.7 percent compared to the 128,982 units exported in January 2005, said JAMA.
Honda exported 23,858 units in January, down from 29,435 in January 2005; Kawasaki exported 22,167 units, down from 22,497; Suzuki exported 35,685, up from 33,942; and Yamaha exported 34,750, down from 43,108 units.
Of the 116,460 units exported in January, 2,793 units were 50cc and under; 8,874 units were 51cc-125cc; 12,393 units were 126cc-250cc; and 113,667 units were over 250cc in engine size.
Total value of motorcycles exported for January was $736.61 million — including $6.2 million for vehicles and $116 million for parts — an increase of $1.3 million or 0.2 percent as compared with $735 million recorded for the same month of the previous year.
JAMA said 40,992 units were shipped to the United States in January, down from 46,930 units shipped in January 2005.
Americade unveils new tour
Riders planning to attend the 24th annual Americade celebration in Lake George, N.Y., can now plan to take part in a new Dual-Sport MiniTour.
“Our many MiniTours have always distinguished our event from all others, but after 23 years of only on-road tours, with our desire to accommodate this growing market, we are introducing the Dual-Sport Adirondack Ramble,” said Americade Founder Bill Dutcher.
Americade’s nine daily MiniTours will include lunch and door prizes from their sponsors. The Dual-Sport Adirondack Ramble, sponsored by BMW, is a three-hour ride on old Adirondack town roads and graded dirt trails to a group meal at a rural restaurant.
“A delicious lunch and the usual great BMW door prizes will be followed by more riding: a choice of asphalt or graded dirt secondary roads, back to Lake George,” said Dutcher. “Being located next to the Adirondack Forest Preserve, and adjacent to Vermont’s Green Mountains, we are blessed with a huge variety of both on and off-road options.”
Americade annually draws more than 60,000 motorcyclists to the Lake George region. The event also features the TourExpo trade show.
The Dual-Sport Adirondack Ramble is scheduled to run June 6-10. For more information, visit www.tourexpo.com/data/content/view/526/0/
More information on all the tours, as well as the other activities and seminars at Americade 2006, can be found at www.americade.org
Big Dog Expands Marketing Program
Big Dog Motorcycles, Wichita, Kan., has launched a new national print advertisement featuring three of America’s most celebrated custom motorcycle builders — Eddie Trotta, Rick Fairless and Kim Suter.
The three builders will be flanking a 2006 Big Dog Motorcycles K-9 and encourage readers to “discover the name that industry legends are putting their names behind.” The advertisement will run in major industry publications throughout the remainder of the year and will target the motorcycle enthusiast as well as prospective Big Dog Motorcycles dealers.
The three custom builders, who are also Big Dog Motorcycles dealers, also will be used in other marketing efforts.
Fairless, owner of Strokers Dallas, has been a Big Dog Motorcycles dealer for nearly a decade. Suter, designer and builder of Big Inch Bikes, has been selling Big Dog Motorcycles through his Overland Park, Kan., dealership since 1998. Trotta, owner of Ft. Lauderdale-based ThunderCycle Designs, has been a Big Dog dealer since 2004.
In other Big Dog marketing news, the company announced a strategic alliance with Dodge. The two companies will be involved in a variety of cross-promotional event opportunities at national and regional motorcycle rallies, auto shows and dealership open houses.
Last summer, Big Dog Motorcycles appeared along side the new Dodge Charger in a television spot aptly named,“Bikers”, and a few Big Dog motorcycles accompanied a Dodge Ram SRT10 in a recent Speed Channel Test Drive program. Dodge will have exposure at Big Dog Motorcycles’ Tornado Rally, scheduled for June, and the two companies plan to launch a national sweepstakes in March at Daytona BikeWeek.
KTM Expands Support Program, Launches Adventure Tour
The KTM Off-Road Amateur Support Program, introduced in 2005, has been expanded this year.
KTM will again provide rider support at all of the Grand National Cross-Country championship series and other select events throughout the year. The KTM Off-Road semi has two areas specifically set up for amateur support: one section is for KTM Trackside Assistance and the other is “The Orange Zone,” a hospitality center for guests.
The KTM Off-Road program consists of trackside assistance for emergency parts and technical support. KTM OEM parts and Power Parts are stocked for current models and can be purchased by customers in the KTM Off-Road race semi at events. The Emergency Parts Service is intended to help riders in the case of an emergency situation at the race track. Difficulties that may cause a KTM rider to miss a start? The KTM Off-Road support team also includes a factory-trained technician.
“We want everyone to feel welcome at the KTM offroad semi so please come by and let us help if you need it or just relax and visit in The Orange Zone,” said Jack Penton, director of the KTM Off-Road Amateur Support Program.
In other KTM news, KTM North America announced the formation of KTM Adventure Tours for North America, an offering headed by Scot Harden, former vice president of media relations for KTM North America and an off-road and rally champion.
Following in the tracks of the decade-old KTM Adventure Tours program already established in locations around the world, the KTM North American Tours program will expand ride offerings into Canada, Mexico and the United States. In addition to the tours, a series of Adventure Camps will be offered.
The 2006 KTM North American Adventure Tour season will kick off with a series of simulated Rally Experiences throughout the Southwest United States and Baja Mexico.
KTM Adventure Tour customers will ride rally-prepped KTM 640 Adventure motorcycles. Each machine will be outfitted with the latest equipment, including GPS and genuine rally road-books. Future tours will allow participants to experience other models in KTM’s off-road model line.
An official calendar and details will be announced in March on www.ktmusa.com. European Tours can be viewed at www.ktmadventuretours.at.
Ducati Offers $1.12 Million Contingency Program
Ducati North America’s 2006 Racing Contingency Program applies to regional sportsman and professional racers, and is significantly improved and strengthened over the inaugural 2005 season, the company said.
The total program applies to more than 180 races and the overall fund has been increased to more than $1,125,000.
Changes for the 2006 racing season include the addition of significant funds posted for WERA events and other class and rule changes.
“Racing is what we are all about,”?said Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America. “I am happy to have the chance to give back to the racers who work year round to race our motorcycles and enjoy them in the purest form of what they were intended to do.
“Racing, even on the club level, is a serious and expensive commitment, and we salute and support those that put in the effort.”
In addition to the Racing Contingency Program, Ducati North America offers further club racing support with “racer only” pricing on selected new 2006 models, as well as a limited production “Race only” SS1000 model. Questions about the program should be directed to contingency@ducatiusa.com.
BMW Offers M Cars to MotoGP Riders
BMW plans to donate new M automobiles to two of the fastest MotoGP riders participating in the Motorcycle Road Racing World Championship in 2006.
The BMW M Award will be split between two race dates. The rider who achieved the fastest time in the MotoGP tests held in Barcelona, Spain on March 5, won a BMW Z4 M Roadster. A BMW Z4 M Coupe will go to the MotoGP rider with the fastest overall time from all qualifying rounds at the last world championship leg in Valencia, Spain on Oct. 29.
Continuing a deal started in 1999, BMW will again be supplying the safety cars for the Motorcycle Road Racing World Championship for the next four years. Six BMW automobiles, including a BMW M5 and an M6, will constitute the fast-moving, four-wheel escort throughout the 17-race series.
BMW also plans to supply Dorna, organizer of the championship, with a larger vehicle fleet for organizational purposes.
Buell to Enter Daytona 200
Four Buell dealer teams with racing experience will be entering new Buell XBRR production roadracing motorcycles in the 65th running of the Daytona 200, the opening round of the 2006 AMA Superbike/Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme series, scheduled for March 11 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The Buell XBRR is a limited-edition production racing motorcycle based on the XB12R and designed exclusively for closed-course competition. Buell will be producing 50 XBRR motorcycles this year.
The teams slated to enter the Buell XBRR in the Daytona 200 are: Buell Hannover of Hannover, Germany; Deeley Harley-Davidson/Buell Canada of Vancouver; Hal’s Harley-Davidson/Buell of New Berlin, Wis.; and Warr’s London Harley-Davidson/Buell of London, England.
The entry of the four independent teams in the Daytona 200 brings to fruition the original goal of the Buell XBRR program. While motorcycles raced in Formula Xtreme must start as a street model, the modifications allowed are extreme, hence the name of the class. Formula Xtreme rules allow different displacements and modifications for different types of engines.
Pirelli will provide support for the four teams competing at Daytona, and will offer a contingency program in Formula Extreme that provides free tires to Buell riders finishing through 20th place.
Daytona 200 Buell riders will compete for their share of $36,000 in Buell contingency funds posted for race. In fact, Buell Motorcycle Company has expanded its racing support program for 2006 to offer more than $700,000 in cash contingencies for Buell racers competing in a variety of national and regional race series events and classes aboard Buell XB models and the Buell XBRR production racing motorcycle.
Buell Rally slated for June 2-4
Buell Riders Adventure Group (BRAG) plans to host its annual Homecoming Rally in East Troy, Wis., 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 homecoming events are open to the public. For more info, visit www.buell.com. psb

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