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Oct. 13, 2008 – Motorcycle Digest

October 13, 2008
Filed under Features

Sturgis releases 2008 Motorcycle Rally report

The 68th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Report was released, revealing mixed numbers.
The estimated attendance at the 2008 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was 414,917, down 18.2 percent from 2007. Attendance, sales tax, vendor fees and sponsorship revenues, however, showed a large increase of 47 percent.
Prior to the event, motorcycle traffic was up, with many retailers in the area reporting sales increases from 2007. The city’s sales tax was up 18 percent year-to-date in July, suggesting the unofficial rally is starting earlier in the summer.
While state sales tax numbers were down 25.7 percent for the official rally week, Sturgis sales tax figures saw a much smaller decrease of 7.6 percent. The city’s sales tax was up 3 percent year-to-date after the rally.
Sturgis did see a 14.8 percent decrease in vendor licenses and an 11.5 percent decrease in vendor fees collected. Traffic counts submitted by the South Dakota Department of Transportation show rally numbers in the Sturgis area were down 12.1 percent, and Mount Rushmore’s counts down 25.8 percent.
“We knew we would face some challenges this year but we also took into consideration a robust summer tourist season and the impact a strong Euro and Canadian dollar would have on the event,” Director Pepper Massey said in the release.

BMW’s August worldwide motorcycle sales fall

BMW’s worldwide motorcycle sales decreased in August, continuing a year-long trend.
BMW’s worldwide sales of 6,338 represented a 9 percent decrease from the year-ago period. For year-to-date figures, BMW’s new unit sales of 72,954 are down by nearly 3 percent compared to the same time last year.
Statistics for North America were not available in the company report.
BMW’s auto sales, however, did increase for August, up 2 percent from a year ago.

Aprilia launches all-new SportCity Cube 250

Aprilia has completely redesigned its large-wheel SportCity.
Virtually every aspect of the SportCity has received new design elements. At the front end is a reshaped mudguard and grille accentuated by lightweight 15-inch aluminium wheels. An aerodynamic bikini fairing protects the rider from the elements and holds a revamped analog-digital instrument cluster that is easy to read and accessible from a handlebar-mounted switch. The SportCity has a wider, more comfortable seat, ergonomically shaped for added comfort with a textile cover providing substantial grip to reduce sliding.
The larger luggage rack has improved grab handles for the passenger and capacity of the under seat compartment has been increased.
The bike has a performance-oriented single-cylinder 244cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine with sophisticated four-valve head and overhead camshaft. The engine produces 22.5 hp at 8,000 rpm for quick acceleration.
Aprilia also is offering a range of accessories to compliment the SportCity Cube, including a larger windscreen and various top boxes for additional carrying capacity.

Women’s Foundation names new official sponsor

The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies has become the official insurer of the Women’s Motorcyclist Foundation (WMF).
“Whether it’s providing motorcycle insurance or tips on safe riding, the WMF and Progressive are both in the business of making sure female riders are top of mind,” Marcy Gray, motorcycle product manager at Progressive, said in a press release.
As part of the sponsorship, the foundation and Progressive will team up to exhibit at California Bike Week, Oct. 24-26 in Pomona, Calif., and also will partner at other events in 2009. Event attendees will have the chance to pick up Progressive/foundation kickstand coasters and learn more about both organizations.

Moto Guzzi bolsters expanding line with adventure tourer

Moto Guzzi is continuing its heritage of designing and building unique motorcycles with the introduction of the Stelvio 1200 4V.
The new model is aptly named for the Stelvio Pass — a serpentine stretch of asphalt draped over the Italian Alps.
In addition to possessing a road-going persona, Stelvio boasts an off-road capability, with wide handlebars, abundant ground clearance and an underside skid plate to help tackle obstacles encountered when venturing off-road.
The newest member to the Moto Guzzi family retains the marque’s historic 90-degree transversally-mounted V-twin engine. The internals have been redesigned and re-engineered into a new generation “Quattrovalvole” (four-valve) powerplant. A total of 563 new parts comprise the compact 1,151cc engine, which employs a single in head camshaft that operates four valves per cylinder.
A lightened crankshaft and forged three-ring pistons help the Stelvio 1200 4V produce 105 hp, delivered at 7500 rpm. psb

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