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Sept. 7, 2009 – Motorcycle Digest

September 7, 2009
Filed under Features

Metric motorcycle exports continue to slide in 2009

Metric motorcycle exports took a tremendous tumble in June. Only about 7,600 units were exported to the United States, which is a 65 percent decrease from June 2008. That’s after May had a 58 percent decrease compared to May 2008, according to the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).
For the first half of the year, metric motorcycle exports to the United States have totaled 126,250 units, which is a 25 percent decrease compared to the prior-year period.
JAMA members, including Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, decreased their total production by more than 40 percent in June compared to June 2008.

BMW reports on its July worldwide sales

BMW’s worldwide motorcycle sales fell 10 percent in July, the company reported.
BMW’s worldwide sales amounted to 9,604 units in comparison to more than 10,600 last year. Figures for North America were not available.
Year to date, the company has sold 56,578 units, a decline of 15 percent from a year ago.
BMW’s new super sport bike, the S 1000 RR, will be available later this year, the company said.

Lightweight German bikes now available in U.S.

The first shipment of 2010 Sachs MadAss 125s, a lightweight motorcycle with an exclusive frame design, are now available at U.S. Peirspeed dealers.
Developed by the German company Sachs, the motorcycle features a design where the banana swing arm, the rear mono shock and main frame all run parallel to each other. Fuel is carried in the frame and all totaled, the bike weighs just more than 209 pounds.
“We’re excited that the demand for the MadAss 125 has remained high ever since dealers started taking pre-orders a year ago,” Bill Peirce, president of Peirspeed, said in a press release. “Despite tough economic times, dealers are reporting brisk sales.”
The Peirspeed brand is owned by Cobra Powersports, which also distributes Peirspeed scooters and TGB ATVs.

Husqvarna holds its national dealer meeting

Husqvarna Motorcycles North America picked the bright lights of Las Vegas to recently hold its 2009 dealer meeting.
The company showed off its 2010 model line-up as well as rewarded top dealers.
“Today Husqvarna enters a new era with rock solid backing from BMW and a renewed commitment to developing the Husqvarna brand as well as the business that supports it,” Husqvarna Motorcycles North America President Mark Brady told the assembled dealers. The brand named its top dealers, including:

  • Top national dealer: Hall’s Cycles, Springfield, Ill.
  • Top Midwest Region dealer: Hall’s Cycles, Springfield, Ill.
  • Top Northwest Region dealer: Bill’s Motorcycles Plus, Salem, Ore.
  • Top Northeast Region dealer: Central Jersey Cycles, New Egypt, N.J.
  • Top Southwest Region dealer: MotoXotica, Vacaville, Calif.
  • Top Southeast Region dealer: Upstate Cycle, Greenville, S.C.
  • Relative market-share performance: Sage Motorsports, Tarrenton, Idaho
  • First runner-up in relative market share performance: L & D Race Tech, Warrenton, Ore.

    Billet motorcycle parts manufacturer acquired

    Aeromach Manufacturing of Santee, Calif., has been acquired and relocated to North Carolina, according to a press release. The maker of billet motorcycle parts, including mirrors, risers, grips and levers, has been renamed Aeromach USA, LLC.
    “Aeromach enjoys great name recognition and a reputation for high-quality American-made products, which I plan to continue,” Paul Aiken, owner of Aeromach, said in the press release. “I look forward to getting production up to speed, filling the existing back orders and filling new orders for our dealers and customers.”
    Aeromach Manufacturing, founded in 1992, started making chrome billet parts for Harley-Davidsons. In 1996, a line of metric cruiser parts was added. Since that time, it created a line of aftermarket parts for a number of different models.

    Dual sport electric bike by Zero Motorcycles debuts

    Zero Motorcycles launched its Zero DS, a dual sport electric bike (MSRP: $9,950) that features an aircraft-grade aluminum frame and a lithium-ion battery pack to store power, according to the company.
    Currently available in the United States, the bike is made of 100 percent recyclable materials. The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based motorcycle manufacturer says all the bike’s materials are nontoxic and that even the battery pack is landfill-approved.
    The motorcycle has a range of 50 miles per charge and can be charged from any standard 110- or 220-volt outlet. The bike reaches speeds of 55 mph.

    Rider training opportunities expanded in Texas

    Rider safety and training opportunities are now more plentiful in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth metro area thanks to a new Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) campus.
    The campus, located in Irving, Texas, offers the complete system of MSF street and off-road rider education and training opportunities available to date, including the Basic RiderCourse, the Experienced RiderCourse, and the DirtBike School, as well as the ATV Safety Institute’s ATV RiderCourse.
    The MSF campus is also a research and testing site for new MSF curriculum products currently under development.
    In addition, the MSF campus hosts ongoing professional development events for MSF RiderCoaches, DirtBike School Coaches and ASI Instructors.
    “By combining rider education, curriculum research, and MSF RiderCoach and ASI Instructor training, the MSF campus really raises the bar,” said MSF Director of Program Administration Robert Gladden. “This is where you’ll find the newest techniques, the best practices and brightest ideas.”
    Class schedules and online enrollment are available at www.msf-campus.org.

    Sixth Annual KTM Adventure Rider Rally set for September

    Make plans to join KTM staff and enthusiasts for the 6th Annual KTM Adventure Rider Rally in Riggins, Idaho, on Sept. 11-13 near the famous Salmon River.
    This event provides riders of all skill levels an opportunity to ride with and learn from adventurers from all over the world. The KTM Adventure Rider Rally is designed for KTM 640, 690, 950 and 990 Adventure and Enduro owners, but is open to all brands of street legal motorcycles.
    The KTM Adventure Rider Rally is entering its sixth year as the only national festival for KTM owners and enthusiasts.
    Participants will learn from KTM experts as they cover a technical overview of the Adventure along with varying guided riding tours each day. KTM Factory stars Mike Lafferty, David Kamo and Dakar Rally rider Paul Krause will be in attendance. In addition, KTM will host free demo rides aboard the KTM street line of motorcycles to all participants.
    For more information, visit the following link http://ktmusa.com/KTM-Experience.3.20.html or call 951/600-8007.

    Big Dog awarded Commerce Achievement Certificate

    Big Dog Motorcycles, a leading custom manufacturer of V-twin motorcycles, has been awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Certificate that recognizes U.S. businesses that have benefitted from the export services of the Department’s Commercial Services to make their first export sale or enter new foreign markets.
    The recognition comes just two months after the company shipped its first motorcycles to Canada and was presented by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) at the company’s headquarters in Wichita.
    “Big Dog Motorcycles is just one example of how exports from Kansas businesses are working to promote economic opportunity and job growth throughout the state,” Brownback said.
    The award was presented to Sheldon Coleman, company founder and CEO.
    “We’re honored to receive such an award and we thank the U.S. Commercial Service’s Export Assistance Center, which was a critical partner in our efforts to expand into Canada,” Coleman said. “After 15 years of success in the United States, growing the global market is now a primary focus for Big Dog.”
    Big Dog Motorcycles is actively pursing distribution in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

    New Rider Perception Program kit now available

    The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is opening the doors to rider perception with the fifth program in its community-based Host-an-Event series. The goal of the new Street Smart-Rider Perception program is to improve a rider’s perceptive abilities when riding in traffic.
    The program is designed to acquaint participants with their perceptive processes, help them understand how the brain and eyes work together to manage risk, and to develop useful perception techniques.
    The highly interactive program utilizes images of traffic situations to illustrate what participants might encounter in the real world, as well as factors that affect perception, such as rider speed, lane position or path of travel.
    “Safe riding is as much a skill of the eyes and mind as it is of the hands and feet, perhaps more so,” said Dr. Ray Ochs, MSF director of training systems.
    Available for purchase through the MSF online store for $105, the program kit includes the Leader’s Guide, data CD, 12 participant workbooks, four floor mats and a deck of large playing cards. psb

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