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May 14, 2007 – Motorcycle Digest

May 14, 2007
Filed under Features

BMW Tests New Concept in Competition
To increase involvement in high-capacity machines, such as the HP2 Enduro and extend its activities into the 450cc class, BMW entered a 450 sports enduro bike in the World Enduro Championship for test purposes only. A BMW team took part in the WEC’s E2 races on a new single cylinder sports enduro on April 28 to 29.
The company wanted to test the bike’s engine and chassis under competitive conditions. The World Enduro Championship was held in Puerto Lumbreras, Spain and attracted top sports enduro riders and their bikes.
BMW recruited off-road pros Joel Smets and Sascha Eckert as riders. The company hopes the pair’s experience and expertise will help optimize the motorcycle’s technology.
To continue testing, the BMW team will take part in other well-known races during the course of the 2007 season.
Suzuki, Intelligent Energy Announce New Partnership
Intelligent Energy and the Suzuki Motor Corp. announced they are working together on the development of prototype hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles using Intelligent Energy’s advanced fuel cell power systems.
Intelligent Energy will employ its proprietary PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) technology to deliver to Suzuki a series of advanced, compact and lightweight fuel cell systems, which are intended to become an integral part of Suzuki’s future motor products. These fuel cell systems will demonstrate class-leading fuel cell performance under typical automotive environmental conditions.
“This is an exciting time for Intelligent Energy,” said Intelligent Energy’s Chief Executive Henri Winand. “We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with the Suzuki Motor Corporation. This is an endorsement of Intelligent Energy’s technology and of our ability to forge partnerships with leading industrial partners to accelerate the development and commercialization of fuel cell-powered products.’
Intelligent Energy’s proprietary PEM fuel cell designs are based on the use of thin metallic bipolar plates, which make the fuel cell extremely compact and well suited to mass produce. In addition, Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell systems are designed to be simple, robust and cost-effective solutions.
Ducati Hypermotard 1100 Goes Into Production
Production has begun on the Ducati Hypermotard 1100 in the Italian company’s Borgo Panigale factory, President and CEO?Federico Minoli recently confirmed on his Desmoblog.
The first bike came off the production line on April 18 and parts of the company’s dealer network will receive the Hypermotard 1100 in May.
The bikes are due to arrive in the United States and Australia in July.
Motor India stopped production for limited periods in March and April and whether the company is planning additional such stoppages.
Online reports said the company stopped producing two-wheelers for five to seven days in March and April because of a lack of demand. The reports also said the company plans for up to ten no-production days every month for the next couple of months.
The reports allege company management was ready to shut down operations if marketing and production efforts didn’t go according to plan.
Yamaha India currently has a four to five month inventory at its plant, apart from the unsold stock at its dealers, according to the reports. psb

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