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Feb. 8, 2010: Motorcycle Digest

February 8, 2010
Filed under Features

Victory introduces race-inspired Vegas

Victory Motorcycles said it has produced its quickest motorcycle: the 2010 Victory Vegas Limited Edition.

Featuring the Freedom 106/6 engine with Stage 2 cams, the Vegas LE pumps out 97 hp and 113 feet-pounds of torque, and features a Bonneville Salt Flats-inspired paint scheme.


“We wanted to honor racers that have brought Victory Motorcycles to the Bonneville Salt Flats,” said Victory Product Manager Gary Gray. “Bonneville is one of the most harsh racing environments on the planet, and racers such as Gregor Moe, Laura Klock of Klock Works and others have helped show the potential of our motorcycles to the world. So we started with our lightest bike and our largest most powerful engine and added a Limited Edition paint scheme to create a unique motorcycle. Plus we priced it aggressively.” MSRP?is $15,999.

A unique feature of the Vegas Limited Edition is that each owner will choose from one of four color schemes at the time of ordering. The order session will close in February and motorcycles will be delivered in March. A total of 100 Victory Vegas LE motorcycles will be built, each one featuring a limited edition plate on the motor. A dedicated Web site has been created to order the Vegas LE (www.victorymotorcycles.com/vegasLE/) where instructions and specifications are listed. Ordering was scheduled to close on Feb. 15.

Late-year boost in sales propels Husqvarna

While the U.S. motorcycle market endured some tough times as a whole in 2009, Husqvarna had a winning year on the track and in the sales department.

“Retail sales were up 9 percent compared to 2008,” Husqvarna Motorcycles North America President Mark Brady said in a press release. “This was a phenomenal result considering that 2009 was our first full year of operation in the United States.”

According to the just-released industry sales figures, U.S. motorcycle sales declined 41 percent in the past year, yet Husqvarna is happy to have bucked this trend.

“Our sales accelerated through the end of the year, increasing 98 percent for the last two months of the year,”?Brady said. “This is a true testament to both our dedicated dealers and great new products, such as the 250cc model range.

“It is clear from the results that we put some early housekeeping in order, offered a top-quality product and presented one of the best retail financing programs in the entire industry,” said Brady.

He notes Husqvarna will continue with 6.99 percent financing for 2010.

“We have some exciting new models joining the range, including the all-new TE630 and SM630. We have also updated the popular 250 model range and we will be announcing some serious 2010 race series sponsorships shortly.”

Marketing Manager and Racing Chief Scot Harden believes the best is yet to come, as Husqvarna will be re-entering the AMA National Enduro Series this year after a 20-year hiatus from woods competition.

INTERMOT to take place in Cologne until 2016

The German Motorcycle Industry Association (IVM) has agreed with Koelnmesse to extend its collaboration on Intermot earlier than planned so manufacturers, dealers and motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world will have planning security beyond 2010.

The agreement reached in December extends to the end of 2016.

“Both parties to the agreement —IVM and Koelnmesse — joined forces in 2004 to further strengthen Intermot Cologne as a leading international motorcycle fair,”?Oliver Kuhrt, executive vice president of Koelnmesse, and Reiner Brendicke, chief executive of IVM, said in a joint statement. “The very close, intensive and successful partnership between IVM and Koelnmesse has given Intermot a new boost and provided the sector with sustained momentum.”

In 2008, Intermot hosted nearly

200,000 buyers and motorcycle enthusiasts, who came to the event from 110 countries. A total of 1,052 suppliers from 36 countries presented their new products. Headed by the “Big Five” of the motorcycle and scooter sector — BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha — many major European, American and Asian brands were represented in Cologne.

Harley-davidson adds new sportster to its lineup

Harley-Davidson recently unveiled its Forty-Eight motorcycle, a factory custom in the tradition of the Sportster line with the appeal of the Dark Custom bikes.

Riding low with a slammed suspension and featuring the classic 2.1-gallon “peanut” fuel tank, the Forty-Eight backs up its appearance with the performance of its blacked out and polished rubber-mounted Evolution 1200 cc V-twin engine. The low solo seat, under-mounted mirrors, side mount license plate, clean rear fender and tall and fat front tire emphasize the Forty Eight’s focus on customization.

The new bike retails at $10,499 in Vivid Black.

“With its classic bulldog shoulders stance, the Forty-Eight strikes a distinctive look and low profile that could only come from Harley-Davidson,” said Ray Drea, Harley-Davidson’s senior director of styling.

The Forty-Eight embraces the street with forward foot controls, low profile custom handlebar, under-mounted mirrors, fork-mounted turn signals, slammed speedometer mounting bracket and fork brace with lightening holes. A unique dual texture solo seat with a height of 26 inches fits the rider, while a passenger pillion, footpegs and backrest are some of the many accessories that can be added.

BMW recalls some K1300GT and K1300S bikes

BMW of North America is recalling about 2,000 MY ’09 and ’10 K1300S and K1300GT motorcycles, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The bikes were manufactured between

Sept. 11, 2008 and Nov. 19. Poor fuel quality could lead to small deposits within the throttle bodies. During engine operation in a low RPM range, typically near idle speed (when coming to a stop), air flow could be sufficiently restricted and engine stall could occur, reported the NHTSA.

Piaggio gains market share in key European country

Piaggio increased its market share by 1.7 percentage points to 30.2 percent in Italy, stated the company. The increase was attributed to new and revised models, including the Piaggio Beverly and the Vespa LX.

Italy’s two-wheel market fell 4.2 percent to 504,528 units, industry body Confindustria Ancma said in a separate statement.

Piaggio did not say whether its sales rose or fell in 2009.

AMA announces Vintage National Dirt Track Series

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced the 2010 AMA Racing Vintage National Dirt Track Championship Series.

The new series will recognize national champions in period-correct classes that honor the storied history of AMA dirt-track competition.

Class rules and equipment regulations are available in an AMA Racing Competition Bulletin at AMARacing.com.

“Much of AMA history was written on oval dirt tracks across America, from the original factory Class-A racing in the 1920s to the Class-C production-based structure that emerged later,” said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “The AMA was there from the beginning, and this organization is in a unique position to lay claim to the history of this sport and give it the recognition it deserves on the national stage.

“We started that process in 2009 with the first-ever AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships, which were part of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days,” Bromley added. “In 2010, AMA-sanctioned vintage dirt track will return to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, but as part of the AMA Racing Vintage National Dirt Track Championship — a true national series that further elevates the heritage of our sport.”

KTM 2010 Grass Roots Road Race Contingency Schedule slated

KTM announced its 2010 Grass Roots Road Race Contingency Program schedule that rewards weekend racers to experienced professionals for their racing success with KTM.

This grassroots contingency program will cover the entire United States, with seven regional road racing series and 21 racing classes.

To view the schedule and sign up to collect KTM road race contingency, please visit www.xtrm.com/ktm.

Viper Motorcycle Co.outlines 2010 U.S. Objectives

Viper Motorcycle Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Viper Powersports, recently announced its 2010 objectives, which include new product introductions, increased partner marketing activities and substantial revenue growth.

John Silseth, Viper Powersports CEO and founder, stated in a company press release, “In 2009 Viper Motorcycle Co. achieved 50 state EPA certifications, development of a dealer base that represents some of the most successful, recognizable and capable dealers in the United States, and successfully delivery of our Diamondback motorcycles into the marketplace. We see 2010 as potentially being an even more eventful breakout and transformative year.”

Viper has already started the year out with a joint venture with Ilmor Engineering.

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