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Sept. 1, 2008 – Motorcycle Digest

September 1, 2008
Filed under Features

Harley-Davidson Finalizes Purchase of MV Agusta

Officially expanding its European presence, Harley-Davidson completed its purchase of the MV Agusta Group. Harley acquired 100 percent of the Italian motorcycle maker’s shares, equaling an estimated $108 million, which includes the satisfaction of existing bank debt for about $69 million, reported Harley-Davidson.
The acquisition aims to expand Harley-Davidson’s position in Europe, says Jim Ziemer, H-D’s CEO.
“We are thrilled to welcome the MV Agusta family of customers and employees into the Harley-Davidson family of premium motorcycle brands,” Ziemer said in the release. “Our primary focus with this acquisition is to grow our presence and enhance our position in Europe as a leader in fulfilling customers’ dreams, complementing the Harley-Davidson and Buell motorcycle families.”
H-D’s retail sales in Europe have increased double digits each of the past three years as the company has heightened its international focus.

Triumph Celebrates 50 Years Of Iconic Model

Triumph introduced a limited edition of its legendary Bonneville model to celebrate 50 years of the twin-cylinder machine.
Based on the standard Bonneville T100, the Triumph Bonneville T100 50th Anniversary pays homage to its 1959 namesake with a unique paint scheme and exclusive extras.
Each Bonneville 50th Anniversary bike will come in a special two-tone Meriden Blue/Exotic Orange combination, complemented with hand-painted gold pinstripes. The livery echoes the “Tangerine Dream” design on the 1959 originals.
Only 650 Bonneville T100 50th Anniversary edition bikes will be produced, echoing the engine capacity of the original Bonneville, and each will be individually numbered and identified with a brass plate on the handlebar clamp. In addition, each bike comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by John Bloor, owner of Triumph Motorcycles Ltd.
Other features of the Bonneville 50th Anniversary include a unique seat with white piping and a gold Triumph logo, special Bonneville 50th Anniversary logos on the side panels and a chromed cam cover.
Although the latest Bonneville shares the name and timeless looks of the original, it features a modern chassis and fuel-injected 865cc twin-cylinder engine.

Ducati, GE Money Launch Retail Financing Program

Ducati North America released details on its retail financing program for its Hypermotard and 1098 Superbike models.
Ducati North America’s record-breaking sales month in June prompted a collaboration with GE Money to offer low financing on Ducati’s most popular models. The program includes the 1098 and 1098 S Superbikes, the Hypermotard and Hypermotard S models, and financing rates as low as 0.99 percent.
The promotion will run from Aug. 1–Oct. 31 at participating Ducati dealers.
Rate and payment examples include:

  • The Hypermotard and 1098 Superbike as low as 0.99 percent for 36 months;
  • The Hypermotard for as low as $179 a month for 72 months;
  • The 1098 Superbike for as low as $249 a month for 72 months.

    “Awesome-Ness” Exhibit Opens at Hall of Fame Museum

    Motorcycling icon Arlen Ness recently visited the AMA’s Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio, to cut the ribbon on “Awesome-Ness,” a new exhibit chronicling his career.
    The exhibit will remain on display in the Museum’s Hall of Legends through June 2009.

    Industry Veteran Joins Cchristini Board of Directors

    Steve Christini, president of Christini Technologies Inc., announced Frank Esposito, a longtime industry leader, recently was appointed to its board of directors.
    “Everyone at Christini is thrilled to have this 30-year veteran join the team,”?Christini said in a press release. “With Frank’s rich industry and competition experience, he strengthens our board of directors to ensure our continued growth.
    “Frank will be a hands-on ambassador for Christini All-Wheel Drive Motorcycles to both the riders and the industry.”
    Esposito said in the press release that “Christini captures the innovative spirit that is the heart and soul of motorcycling. It is great to be a part of something this new and this exciting. The pride, confidence and enthusiasm at Christini define a culture that I embrace. They have picked the right riders and staff and they listen.”

    United Kingdom Motorcycle Sales Jump 22 Percent

    In the United Kingdom, all powered two-wheel vehicles, including motorcycles, mopeds and scooters, had a 22 percent sales increase for July, according to the Motor Cycle Industry Association.
    There were 14,306 registrations recorded in July, which is an increase of 2,578 units over July 2007. Year-to-date, registrations are up 1 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.
    July scooter and moped sales have increased drastically by 34.5 percent. That increase, however, wasn’t as high as naked motorcycles, which had a 46.5 percent increase. The only category to show a decline in the month was trail and enduro bikes, with a 7.9 percent decrease.

    Thai Yamaha Motor Co. Opens Training Facility

    Thai Yamaha Motor Co., a motorcycle manufacturing subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Co., recently opened the newly constructed Yamaha Riding Academy training facility on the company’s grounds on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand.
    The $2.5 million facility is the Yamaha Motor group’s first permanent training facility outside of Japan, and is designed to promote riding safety on a region-wide scale.
    The facility includes a training course, complete with an S-shaped track section, a successive, 90-degree cornering section and a sand track to simulate a variety of riding situations. The facility also has a large meeting room with a seating capacity of 265, lecture rooms and a riding simulator room.
    Since 2004, there have been more than 70,000 motorcycle accidents annually in Thailand. For the last 25 years, Thai Yamaha Motor has been conducting ongoing motorcycle riding safety programs, and from 2005 the company has collaborated with the Thai Ministry of Transport to hold between 40-50 riding safety courses throughout the country each year.

    Victory Motorcycles Names No. 1 New Dealer in Nation

    Napalm MotorSports in Austin, Texas, was named Victory Motorcycles’ No. 1 new dealer in the United States at the Victory Dealer Expo in Las Vegas, stated a Napalm MotorSports press release.
    The dealership received the recognition after only eight months of being in operation. Now its goal is to be the top dealer overall.
    “It’s a true honor and a testament to a lot of hard work and an amazing motorcycle,” Napalm MotorSports President Ty Runyan said in the release. “The fact that these motorcycles are getting 45-plus mpg fits with Austinites’ ability to have fun while still being green.”

    Piaggio Offers Scooter Deal for College Students

    Piaggio is offering a special deal for college students.
    Students who purchase a new Piaggio Fly 50 or 150 scooter get a free $50 gas card and top case offer. Fifty dollars worth of free gas means hundreds of miles of travel on the Piaggio Fly motorscooters, which can get more than 70 mpg.
    The other offering is a color-matched, 8-gallon top box that allows easy and secure storage of everyday campus and riding essentials. The purchase must be completed by Oct. 15.

    Yamaha, Partner Win for Star Motorcycles Training Video

    The Yamaha Motorsports Group and CraneMorley, a Long Beach, Calif.-based training, communications and marketing firm, have won silver in the 2008 Millennium Awards Competition.
    The award was presented for “The Star Motorcycle Road Trip Game,” produced for Yamaha dealer salespeople.
    More than 1,200 entries were received and only the top 5 percent were recognized. Entries were judged on a point system by award-winning professionals in the communications industry.
    “It was very exciting for our team to get recognized for their hard work in developing the Star Motorcycle Road Trip Game,” says Joe Dagley, division manager of training for Yamaha Motorsports. psb

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