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August 13, 2007 – Motorcycle Digest

August 13, 2007
Filed under Features

Piaggio Developing Hybrid Scooter
A hybrid-powered scooter is in the works at Piaggio SpA, Chairman Roberto Colaninno said at a press conference and Thomson Financial reported July 25. The company plans to launch the traditional gas- and alternative electric-powered scooters in congested cities in the second half of next year.
The hybrid will be based on Piaggio’s three-wheeled MP3 scooter, launched last year, and will be priced under $14,000, company officials said.
“The hybrid can represent a very important reply to the problems of traffic, safety and pollution,” Colaninno said at the news conference. “The hybrid generates synergies from the two motors, using electronic systems.”
The 125cc gas engine in the planned hybrid will run for 169 mpg and produce only 2.3 ounces of carbon dioxide emissions per mile, he said, adding the electric motor has zero carbon emissions.
The scooter’s patented hybrid technology, developed with the University of Pisa, will use a lithium battery to power its electric motor, which can be recharged at home or through the gas engine when it is running, officials said. The driver can choose which form of power to use. Lithium batteries are lighter than traditional lead batteries and can be recharged several thousand times, officials said, adding that the choice of supplier remains open.
Colaninno said he sees the hybrid as a way of dealing with traffic congestion in the world’s largest cities, but he’s not expecting government subsidies to support the new vehicle.
Vento Introduces Cruiser for Beginners, Occasional Riders
Vento Motorcycles U.S.A., a manufacturer of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and off-road bikes, recently launched the Colt, an entry-level cruiser designed for beginners and occasional riders, according to the company’s press release.
The Colt is lightweight for easier handling and is powered by a 250cc, 17-cubic inch, V-twin, air-cooled, 24.07 hp engine that delivers maximum power at 8,000 rpm. The bike also features a low 25.7-inch seating position and full floorboards.
The company backed the cruiser with a one-year, 5,000-mile warranty, and it’s available in black, red or silver with chrome accents.
The Colt has an MSRP of $3,499, and it comes standard with a 3.43-gallon fuel tank, CDI ignition, front and rear disk brakes, an electronic starting system and hydraulic suspension.
Ducati Delivers 2008 1098 Superbikes
Ducati North America said its model year 2008 1098 Superbike has begun arriving in dealer showrooms.
The 160hp, 381-pound motorcycle was released in 2007 and quickly won numerous awards, including the coveted Cycle World “10 Best.”
Besides the press accolades, numerous Ducati dealers reported having deposits on their entire year’s allocation before the first bikes arrived.
As a result of the strong reception and the need to fulfill customer demand, Ducati North America has accelerated the arrival of the 2008 model to North American dealers.
“We are extremely proud of the 1098 Superbike and the success it has brought us,” Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America, said in a press release. “It is an incredible machine and is well deserving of what it has achieved both in the showroom and with the press.”
The 2008 Ducati 1098 and 1098 S carry a MSRP of $15,995 and $19,995 respectively. Additional information can be found at www.ducatiusa.com.
New Company Travertson Launches V-Twin Motorcycle
Travertson Inc., based out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has begun selling its V-REX Motorcycle Series to dealers nationwide.
The V-REX is the brainchild of Christian Travert, the company’s owner and founder, and Tim Cameron, a motorcycle 3D designer.
The Series features a 110hp, liquid-cooled, revolution engine; 2.57/1 overall gear ration; 280 rear tire; electronic speedometer with odometer; re-setable tripmeter; low oil pressure indicator light; diagnostic readout; and brighter/balanced LED lights. The Series will retail at $39,990. Travertson is in the process of getting the V-REX EPA certified.
Among the dealers that will sell the Series is Bruce Rossmeyer Harley-Davidson, which has 13 locations in Florida, Colorado, Tennessee and Mississippi.
In a press release, the company said it is in negotiations with several dealers in New Jersey, New York, California, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona and Massachusetts.
The company also intends to expand its distribution through dealers on a national basis within the next 12 months. Travertson will grant state and regional territories that are being negotiated based upon the dealer’s geographic locations and potential market penetration.
For further details, please call 954/763-2232 or visit www.brucerossmeyer.com or www.travertson.com.
Rucker Performance Will Build Copies of Elvis’ Bike
Rucker Performance has started building 30 Nostalgia bikes according to the specifications of Elvis Presley’s original 1957 FL bike.
Details include custom parts from Rucker Performance, such as the primary housing, fuel tank, dash, oil tank, kickstart adapter and exhaust system.
The hand-fabricated Rucker Performance primary housing is a hybrid of tin and cast aluminum, giving a new part an old look that is reminiscent of tin primaries from the 1950s era. Additionally, the fuel tank is channeled, modified similarly to the old-style, two-piece tanks on FL models and redesigned for a FL-style custom dash. Other details include a dimpled tank for the fuel shut-off valve that has been added for aesthetic purposes only. Rucker Performance also has modified the oil tank to resemble the horseshoe-style oil tank with decorative 6-volt battery tops.
“Rucker Performance is yet again pleased to provide custom services to Bruce Rossmeyer and Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson,”?said Bill Rucker, founder of Rucker Performance.
“Our design expertise and manufacturing background are keys to producing the very best bikes with the ultimate in design and performance,” Rucker said.
The Nostalgia bike includes front and rear fenders that are accessorized like those of Elvis’ original bike. A custom seat matches the same material as Elvis’ seat skirt — a basket weave patterned leather seat — and is added to each bike.
Buell Will Celebrate 25th Anniversary in 2008
Fresh off its successful 2007 Homecoming events, Buell Motorcycle Co. has announced the dates for the 2008 Buell 25th Anniversary activities in Wisconsin next summer.
The events will take place July 2-6 at various locations, including the Buell Motorcycle Company facilities in East Troy, Wis., and other surrounding communities.
“We just had a great time celebrating our 2007 Homecoming with Buell owners, riders and enthusiasts,” said Erik Buell, chairman and chief technical officer. “We also announced the launch of our exciting new liquid-cooled 1125R motorcycle. For 2008, we will be marking a major milestone, so we want the Buell 25th Anniversary celebration to be very special and to reflect the unique personality of the company and our riders.”
Attendance at the 2007 Buell Homecoming beat all previous records. Besides announcing the new 1125R sportbike, Buell also announced that all 2008 models except the Blast will carry a commemorative badge featuring Erik’s signature. psb

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