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Nov. 12, 2007 – Motorcyle Digest

November 12, 2007
Filed under Features

Harley-Davidson Prepares A Company First
Harley-Davidson recently unveiled plans for a new motorcycle — the first the company won’t make initially available in the United States.
The XR 1200, scheduled to land in dealerships overseas in 2008, is a high-performance street bike inspired by the XR 750, H-D said on its Web site.
“In a historic first for the Harley-Davidson Motor Co, the bike will initially only be made available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” according to the company’s Web site.
H-D has yet to confirm when production for the bike will begin, but said it will be sometime in early 2008. The MSRP for the XR 1200 is expected to be 7,655 pounds (US $15,562).
In other Harley-Davidson news, the company has agreed to put all 14,000 plus Shell-branded stations on its online H-D Ride Planner; where riders will be able to find Shell V-Power premium gasoline.
In return, Shell will be the exclusive fuels sponsor for the H-D 105th Anniversary Celebration in August, according to Shell’s press release.
H-D’s Ride Planner allows motorcyclists to pre-plan their trips utilizing an interactive map as well as locating authorized H-D dealers and soon fill ups at Shell-branded stations. Riders also will be able to see an aerial view of the station and its surroundings prior to their trips.
H-D Vice President of Licensing and Special Events Joanne Bischmann says H-D is excited with the new partnership.
Both companies’ Web sites will provide more information about the partnership as it becomes available; www.harley-davidson.com, www.shell.com/us.
New Law Impacts California Dealerships
California dealerships will be able to sell and install approved aftermarket parts on new motorcycles at the time of purchase, before the bikes are delivered to customers, starting Jan. 1.
The new law signed in early October by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger changes existing anti-tampering rules ordering that bikes must be sold in factory condition at the time of original purchase.
Before the new law, for a motorcycle dealer to install aftermarket parts or performance parts on a new motorcycle, the customer had to first buy the bike, take it out of the dealership and then return to have the products installed. This precluded the buyer from financing the cost of the parts with the new motorcycle.
Backed by the California Motorcycle Dealer Association (CMDA) and sponsored by assemblyman Mike Duvall (R-Yorba Linda), the law is expected to take the weight off many motorcycle dealers who feared fines from the state’s emission’s control agency.
“This is a tremendous win for California motorcycle and motorsports dealers. They can now fill their buyers’ demands for customization and more performance when they buy a new motorcycle without fearing that they could be fined for selling and installing legal parts,” said John Paliwoda, the CMDA’s executive director.
Over the past couple of years, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has stepped up enforcement of the state’s anti-tampering laws and collected millions of dollars in fines against dealers, distributors and manufacturers. In January 2006, CARB sent out an advisory warning dealers that it was illegal to advertise, offer for sale, sell or install parts that had not received an executive order from the agency. The advisory also prohibited the sale and installation, on new motorcycles, of legal aftermarket parts that had already received CARB’s approval.
After Jan. 1, dealers will be able to factor in the price of aftermarket P&A into the overall financing cost of a new motorcycle and install the items before the bike is delivered. The law also covers OEM parts and accessories.
Honda Develops Automatic Transmission For Motorcycles
Honda Motor Co. announced the development of the Human Friendly Transmission, an automatic transmission system for motorcycles that uses Honda’s infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, according to Honda’s press release.
Honda would not say whether the new transmission will be used on 2009 models coming to the United States.
The new transmission has a selection of two fully automatic shifting modes, D mode for ordinary riding and S mode for sport riding, or the six-speed manual mode for a manual transmission feel.
The transmission also features the world’s first lockup mechanism for an infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, according to Honda research. It works to minimize transmission efficiency losses and improve fuel economy.
The transmission will be installed on the DN-01 motorcycle that was introduced at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show.
BMW Unveils New Sport Bike That Will Come To The U.S.
BMW is taking its HP model range into the sport segment with the new HP2 Sport. The company released plans for the new motorcycle, the third model in its HP lineup, in a statement Oct. 2.
Based on the BMW R 1200 S, the HP2 Sport has been customized to meet the requirements of a sports rider. The German company borrowed a number of features from the track, including CFK fairings, a gear shift assistant, forged aluminum wheels and racing brakes with radially bolted calipers. A new stainless steel exhaust system is placed below the engine for the first time. The HP2 Sport uses a 128hp engine.
The HP2 Sport uses a fully adjustable Öhlins sports chassis and has an optional anti-blocking system (ABS) for safety. The ABS was adapted to the HP2 Sport and is configured so it can be switched off for the racetrack.
The HP2 is scheduled to land in the United States in 2008, but BMW hasn’t set an on-sale date or price yet.
Ducati Limits Desmosedici RR Production To 1500
Following a recent victory of the MotoGP world title and with requests continuing to come in from the dealer network in addition to the 1,250 orders already received, Ducati has decided to limit the number of Desmosedici RRs produced in the Borgo Panigale factory to 1,500, the company recently said in a press release.
Ducati also said it expects to bring an end to reservations soon.
Production began in October and, as promised, Ducati will give delivery priority to the approximately 500 owners of the 999R have ordered the Desmosedici RR and who will receive it before the end of this year.
For the remaining reservations, Ducati guarantees the delivery of the entire production run by the end of 2008.
Rucker Performance Releases New, Affordable Copperhead
Rucker Performance is modifying its custom bike line with the redesigned 2008 Copperhead.
The pro-street style chopper, $19,999 MSRP, comes with many options, including multiple seat options and chrome wheel accessories.
“The Copperhead is unique because it will feature a redesigned frame, new sheet metal, four optional power trains and optional upgrades, yet it will still meet the high standards of a Rucker Performance Motorcycle at an affordable price,” said Erin Rucker, Rucker’s COO.
Motorcycle Helmet Bill Could Generate Money for Michigan
A bill making its way through Michigan’s legislature would allow the state’s motorcyclists to ride without a helmet, according to WZZM13 News in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The bill passed in the House Oct. 11, and now moves to the Senate. If passed, riders over the age of 21 would have the option to pay $100 annually for a special permit or $200 for a three-year permit to ride without a helmet, which could generate about $25 million for Michigan.
However, for riders to obtain the permit, they must have two years of riding experience or go through a training class.
Husqvarna Motorcycles, BMW Deal Finalized
BMW Motorcycle signed on the dotted line recently to complete its acquisition of Husqvarna Motorcycles, a deal the German company had been working on for more than two months, BMW said in a press release Oct. 2.
BMW executive committee member Herbert Diess and Claudio Castiglioni are the new managing directors for the brand.
Rainer Thoma has been tapped to run the division’s businesses operations, including development, production and selling. Thomas Moser will run purchasing, finances and personnel. Both leaders were previously in top positions with BMW Motorcycle and BMW AG.
Intrepid Cycles Signs Five Dealerships
Intrepid Cycles has inked a deal with five dealerships to carry its line of production custom bikes, the company said in a press release Oct. 22.
New to the Intrepid dealer network are Temecula Valley Choppers, Arizona Victory Tucson, Arizona Victory Phoenix, Left Coast Customs and LifeStyle Cycles of Anaheim, Calif.
Intrepid Cycles entered the production custom market earlier this year after completing a year in research and development. Its motorcycles use an S&S Twin Cam engine. psb

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