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September 3, 2007 – Motorcycle Digest

September 3, 2007
Filed under Features

Tank To Launch Second ‘Green’ Motorcycle
Tank Sports has successfully completed the development and demonstration stages for its LPG (propane)-fueled motorcycle and has entered the bike into its final stage of testing, United States on-road testing, the company said in a press release August 15.
This is Tank’s second environmentally friendly vehicle to enter the final phase of testing, the first being an E85-based motorcycle. Before being released to the public, Tank Sports’ bikes under go more than 5,000 miles of on-road testing in China and more than 500 miles of testing in the U.S., which Tank plans to complete before the end of this year.
This new model is dual powered and can use gasoline as well as propane. Propane is a low-emission, economic fuel that is an alternative, non-petroleum fuel for use in vehicles.
The company did not mention if it is looking into other alternatively fueled motorcycle designs.
Ex-Triumph Exec Working At Gibbs Sports Amphibians
Gibbs Sports Amphibians hired Mark Brady, a former chief operating officer with Triumph Motorcycles America, as its new COO, according to a Gibbs press release.
Gibbs Technologies is currently recruiting senior management for three new companies to produce and market a broad range of amphibious vehicles, including the Quadski in the United States. The Gibbs Quadski, an amphibious ATV, is planned for public introduction by Gibbs Sports Amphibians during the first quarter of 2009.
In 1991, Brady joined Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. in the U.K. as a senior buyer and later became the company’s purchasing manager. From there, he was named COO and general manager of Triumph Motorcycles America in Georgia. Before joining Gibbs, Brady worked at Sabertooth Motorcycles.
Magazine Names Harley As Top Diversity Company
Harley-Davidson Motor Co. was named one of the 2007 Top 100 Companies for Diversity by Black Professionals magazine.
Harley was recognized for its efforts to include diverse people at all levels within the organizational structure.
The Top 100 Companies were featured in a special edition of Black Professionals magazine that came out this summer.
Custom Motorcycle Builder Makes Personnel Moves
Thunder Mountain Custom Cycles has restructured its upper level management team, the company said in a statement Aug. 17.
Harry Austin has been named the company’s president and will receive guidance from Todd Erdmann, CEO and board chairman.
Austin previously served as the company’s general manager of operations, where he was successful in introducing three new Thunder Mountain Custom models while streamlining operations to reduce manufacturing costs. Austin’s background includes 12 years at Harley-Davidson Motor Co. as manager of paint processes and director of assembly for the Softail and Touring models.
Emily Varese assumes the role of director of sales, where she will support the TMCC dealer network. This includes products for dealer flooring and consumer financing, promotional materials and dealer direct incentives. Varese has worked for the company for three years.
Rocky Miller was named director of dealer relations. For the past two years, Miller has worked as a dealer liaison to the company. He provides on-site sales training and demo event support. Along with the responsibility for his own territory, Miller also directs the activities of two other regional account managers. He has more than 30 years of experience in account sales and management for multi-million dollar corporations. Prior to joining TMCC, Miller was general manager for Harley-Davidson of Dallas.
Piper Fairbanks was promoted to marketing and event coordinator. In this role, Fairbanks will now directly oversee approximately 40 national events per year. These include national and regional rallies and dealer open houses where the company brings its trucks and trailers to consumers for demo rides.
Honda Output in Brazil Hits 1 Million Mark
Honda Motor Co.’s subsidiary in Brazil said it hit the million mark in August, according to a company press release.
Production capacity at the Brazilian unit is planned to increase to 1.5 million by year’s end.
Moto Honda da Amazonia Ltd. was established in 1975 and started production the following year with the CG125 model.
Rickmans Will Be Featured At Hall Of Fame
The 6th annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d’Elegance, scheduled for Oct. 6, again promises the rare opportunity to admire more than 100 of the country’s most exceptional motorcycles.
This year, the by-invitation-only event also extends a welcome to the owners of classic Rickman motorcycles, in honor of Don and Derek Rickman’s induction into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The Rickman brothers will personally attend and select two bikes from the Rickman Showcase for a special Concours d’Elegance award.
Known for their fiberglass body designs and lightweight nickel-plated frames, British Rickman machines were prominent in motocross and road racing in the 1960s. The special Rickman chassis kits were made available for multiple brands, from dirt bikes like Montesa and Zundapp to the famous Rickman Hondas and Kawasakis — the state-of-the-art café racers in the early ’70s.
The Rickman Showcase is open to all Rickman machines. One bike already scheduled to be shown is Craig Vetter’s Kawasaki Z1 Rickman, last raced at Daytona in 1976, and currently residing in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum’s permanent collection.
Vetter also will be presenting Don and Derek at the Saturday evening Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.
If you are interested in showing your Rickman motorcycle during the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d’Elegance, please contact Mark Mederski, executive director of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, at 614/856-2222, ext. 1177 or visit www.motorcyclemuseum.org.
Triumph Motorcycles Adds Regional Sales Manager
Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd. has hired a new regional sales manager.
Andy Siegrist will be managing Triumph’s Northwestern region, which covers Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington state. He will be responsible for assisting dealers in this region to grow their sales of motorcycles, clothing and accessories.
This role is Siegrist’s first foray into the motorcycle industry. But as an avid lifelong motorcyclist, he brings a wealth of motorcycling knowledge to the position.
Prior to joining Triumph, Siegrist spent more than 10 years in luxury goods sales in the Western region. Siegrist fills a vacancy created when former Regional Manager Mark Pfenning moved into a new dealer development role for Triumph.
Suzuki Records First-Half Growth in Australia
The first half of 2007 has provided Suzuki Motorcycles with significant sales increases in Australia, according to a company press release.
Sales between Jan. 1-June 30 had a sales growth of 14.3 percent compared to the year-ago period.
The company expects the growth to continue throughout the year because of new models, said Perry Morison, general manager, motorcycles, Suzuki Australia in the release.
“It has been a great start to the year for Suzuki, with sales increases across the board and some stand-out individual performances in a variety of categories,” Morison said.
A 15.2 percent increase in ATVs, 25.5 percent increase for its road range and 41 percent for scooters contributed to Suzuki’s overall growth.
AMA Teams With Medical Air Group For Member Benefit
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is partnering with Medical Air Services Association (MASA) to provide emergency medical services at a reduced cost.
MASA is not insurance. Like the AMA, it’s a membership organization. MASA provides a variety of emergency services to its members.
An annual membership fee of $240 for an individual or $360 for a family earns AMA members all the benefits of MASA membership. Normally, there is a one-time $60 initiation fee. But now, AMA members can join MASA and the initiation fee is waived.
A MASA membership includes:

  • Emergency air transportation: If you’re hospitalized and need specialized treatment, MASA will fly you to the nearest medical facility that can care for you. Ground ambulance service to and from the air ambulance is also included.
  • Commercial air transportation: If you need treatment more than 100 miles from your home, MASA pays your airfare. psb
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