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Oct. 15, 2007 – Motorcycle Digest

October 15, 2007
Filed under Features

Honda’s 2008 CBR1000RR Features New Engine
American Honda Motor Co.’s new CBR1000RR for 2008 features an all-new 999cc inline four-cylinder engine and a new four-piece hollow fine die-cast frame.
Other features include a new aluminum swingarm design, new twin-tunnel ram-air induction, new line-beam headlights, front turn signals integrated into mirrors, new compact instrumentation and new lighter-weight wheels.
“The CBR1000RR represents the ultimate in Honda’s sportbike technology, with innovations that will establish new performance standards in all aspects of the open class,” said Honda Motorcycle Division Press Manager Jon Row.
With the addition of the CBR1000RR, American Honda’s powersports product line now encompasses 58 models, many of them all-new or significantly redesigned.
The CBR1000RR comes in five colors and starts at a MSRP of $11,599.
AMA Seeking Promoters for its Racing Series
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced it’s removing itself from the racing series promotions business and has started seeking series promoters for its professional and amateur racing disciplines except the AMA Supercross, an AMA press release stated.
Rob Dingman, AMA’s president and CEO, says the organization lacks the resources and infrastructure to effectively promote each of its series as well as govern the sport, and this decision is to help clarify the AMA’s roles as a business.
“Unfortunately the AMA’s role has become blurred, and this lack of clarity has led to an erosion of confidence in the organization,” said Dingman. “The primary objectives of this new initiative are to improve AMA championship racing overall and realign the company, so it can be successful in its historic mission of serving the needs of motorcyclists by pursuing, promoting and protecting the future of motorcycling.”
AMA’s new vision as well as a list of Q&As can be found at www.amaproracing.com/newvision.asp.
First Can-Am Spyder Rolls Off the Assembly Line
Sept. 14 marked the beginning of a new era for BRP as its first on-road vehicle, the 2008 Can-Am Spyder roadster, rolled off the assembly line in Valcourt, Québec.
A three-wheel vehicle (two in the front, one in the rear), the Spyder offers the performance of a traditional motorcycle with much of the peace-of-mind of a convertible sports car, according to BRP. It is powered by a Rotax 990 V-Twin engine, produced by BRP Rotax, the company’s Austrian division and a leader in engine development.
“This is a very important day in the history of BRP,” said José Boisjoli, BRP’s CEO. “Our employees around the world have a lot to be proud of as we bring to the market a product that is a true paradigm shift, a completely new and unique vehicle, one that will redefine the roadster category. The Can-Am Spyder roadster is yet another testimony of BRP’s passion for innovation and for the powersports industry.”
The February launch was followed by a targeted marketing campaign in North America and Europe, which gave potential clients the opportunity to ride the new roadster.
“Since its official unveiling, the Spyder roadster has been a hot topic among powersports enthusiasts, open-road newcomers and media alike the world over. To date, more than 20,000 consumers have tried the Can-Am Spyder roadster in 11 American states, four Canadian provinces and eight European countries,” Boisjoli said.
The first units will be delivered to selected dealerships across North America this month while dealers in international markets will receive theirs at the beginning of 2008.
In 2008, BRP will pursue its go-to-market strategy and deploy the Can-Am Spyder roadster to approximately 20 additional American states, a few other Canadian provinces and 15 countries in Europe, South America, the Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
Japanese Production Increases Compared to Last August
Following five months of decreased production, Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association members have reported an upturn in motorcycle output for August over the same month of the previous year, the organization reported Sept. 28.
The same can’t be said for the group’s exports, however, which were down for the fourth month in a row.
Motorcycle production in August was recorded at 135,522 units. Compared with the 130,859 units total recorded for the same month of the previous year, this is a 3.6 percent increase.
Suzuki (up 10 percent to 41,017 units) and Kawasaki (up 24 percent to 23,417 units) lead production growth among the manufacturers. Honda (down 6 percent to 41,729 units) and Yamaha (down 2 percent to 29,331 units) both posted production decreases for the month.
Motorcycle exports for the month were recorded at 67,234 units. Compared with the 83,000 units total recorded for August 2006, this is a 19 percent decrease. The decrease follows a 20 percent drop over the previous year for the month of July.
Honda continued to sharply decrease the number of units it exports, reducing shipments 52 percent to 11,214 units in August 2007. Suzuki decreased exports 17 percent to 19,381 units. Yamaha reported a slight export decrease, down 1 percent to 18,622 units. Kawasaki was the sole manufacturer to increase exports over the previous year, up 8 percent to 18,017 units.
United kingdom Motorcycle Sales Increase 5 Percent
Motorcycle sales in the United Kingdom are up 5.1 percent over last year, according to the Motor Cycle Industry Association.
More than 98,000 new motorcycle registrations have been recorded thus far for 2007. In August alone, there was an increase of 7.8 percent, with 11,500 new registrations.
The supersport bike category has the most registrations with nearly 2,000 in August. It’s followed by the Adventure Sports category, which has had an increase of one-third compared to last year. Scooters have had 1,860 registrations so far, and naked bikes have 1,671.
Including motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, new and used sales surpassed the third of a million mark in the first half of 2007. Scooters have moved into a new position, making up about half of all new registrations.
Ducati Announces Extended Service Contract Program
Ducati North America (DNA) recently unveiled the Ever Red extended service contract program. This program is offered in conjunction with GE Money – Warranty Services and is the only program endorsed and backed by DNA for extended service contracts on Ducati motorcycles.
The Ever Red program, which is available at all authorized Ducati dealers, is an opportunity to purchase mechanical breakdown coverage after the expiration of Ducati’s two-year factory warranty.
Ever Red is available with terms up to 60 months of coverage. Additional program benefits include complete transferability, rental reimbursement, roadside pickup reimbursement and online claim resolution for dealers.
“We are very happy to announce this new program, as it has significant benefits for both our retail customers and our authorized dealers,” said Nick McCabe, business development manager of DNA.
The service contracts are available for purchase as long as the motorcycle is still covered under the OEM warranty.
APC’s New ’08 Double Down Starts at Under $20,000
American Performance Cycle (APC), a custom production bike manufacturer located in Las Vegas, introduces its new ’08 Double Down, a pro-street style bike packed full of features.
The Double Down features a blind side swing arm; 3-inch frame stretch and a 37-degree rake. The bike starts at $19,995 and includes a semi-custom paint job.
The bike offers an S&S engine and other sizes as an option.
APC’s Double Down comes with right-side drive, five-speed transmission, chrome closed primaries, 60-spoke wheels and 240 rear tires.
Mike Sample Jr., vice president of APC, said, “We have four distinct models with various versions of each one (chopper, drop seat, FLH style and pro-street) that are all reasonably priced, but can be custom built with a variety of options to suit the most discriminating buyer.” Sample added, “All APC bikes are easily registered insured and are financeable through all major banks and lending institutions.”
APC can be reached at apccycles@aol.com or 702/314-5272.
MSF DirtBike School Is Seeking More Coaches
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s DirtBike School (DBS) wants veteran off-road riders to help teach its classes.
DBS, the only nationwide off-road training program, is sponsored by the five major off-highway motorcycle manufacturers and designed for beginning riders with little or no riding experience.
Prospective DBS coaches attend an intensive, four-day preparation course in order to obtain certification. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, have good communications skills and own their dirt bike in order to qualify. They will practice teaching students, managing range exercises, evaluating students and coaching them. At the end of the training program there is a riding-skill test and a written exam.
The cost for tuition and materials is $450. Once certified, a DBS coach might conduct courses at their own sites (subject to MSF quality control standards) or offer their services to established DBS facilities.
“If you love motorcycling, if you care about riding off-highway, then offering your service as a DirtBike School Coach is one of the most rewarding things you can do,” said MSF DBS Manager Chris Kawasaki. “You’ll be teaching tomorrow’s riders and introducing riders to a whole new world. It’s also a great way to make additional income while keeping your regular job.”
At more than 250 locations across the country, DBS students are taught basic motorcycle riding skills and receive instruction on being responsible on two wheels. Anyone over age 6 can attend a DBS class. Some families take the school as a group.
Remaining 2007 Coach Preparation courses will be held in Colton, Calif., Nov. 7-10 and Irving, Texas, Nov. 15-18.
Riders interested in becoming a certified DBS coach, and land owners who can make space available for a site, should contact Kawasaki at 949/727-3227, ext. 3079, or visit www.dirtbikeschool.com. psb

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