Aug. 9, 2010 – Motorcycle Digest
August 9, 2010
Filed under Features
BMW’s first-half sales eclipse 50,000 units
BMW’s string of worldwide motorcycle sale increases reached six months in June.
BMW’s worldwide bike sales totaled about 11,500 units in June, a 23 percent improvement over the year-ago month.
For its fiscal first half, BMW has sold more than 57,000 units, a retail growth of more than 21 percent compared to the first half of 2009. The company did not release statistics on North American sales.
BMW’s bestseller was its long-distance enduro, the R 1200 GS.
The company also continues to see positive results from its first supersport bike, the S 1000 RR. BMW said it delivered more than 6,400 of these models in its fiscal first half and said it’s the second-best seller among 1000cc sport bikes.
To aid future sales, BMW recently unveiled two new touring bikes, the K 1600 GT and the K 1600 GTL.
Metric OEMs export fewer bikes into United States
Metric manufacturers’ new motorcycle exports into the United States continue a year-long trend of significant reductions.
Metric OEMs, including Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki, shipped 4,500 units into the United States in May, a 46 percent decline from a year ago, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).
Metric OEM unit shipments were down significantly in April (21 percent) and March (71 percent).
JAMA shipments to Canada, however, did increase for May. Shipments there totaled 778 units, up significantly from 168 a year ago.
For overall production, JAMA members reported an increase for May. JAMA members manufactured more than 48,000 units in May, a 17 percent increase over a year ago.
Big Dog Motorcycles announces promotions
Big Dog Motorcycles has announced several management promotions. The company said its expanding international network and customer base are behind the moves.
Matt Moore will take on the position of director of sales. Moore has been with the company since 2005 and is now responsible for the management of both domestic and international sales activities along with the implementations and development of new sales initiatives.
Michaell Simmons is now the director of supply chain management. Simmons has been with the company since 2006 and will manage the company’s supplier base, supplier contracts and production scheduling in his new role.
Shane Doty has been promoted to the director of technical support. Doty, who has been with the company for six years, will manage the local Big Dog Motorcycles Service Center along with being the primary contact for technical support issues and field analysis. “These individuals bring many years of experience in their fields and are the right people to provide the best possible service to our valuable customers and suppliers,” Big Dog CEO Sheldon Coleman stated in the release.
Spyder ride/demo event attracts 400 owners
Approximately 400 Can-Am Spyder owners participated recently in the third annual North American Can-Am Spyder Owners Event.
The event was a get-together for Spyder owners — some traveled more than 2,000 miles to attend the ride — but also an opportunity for them to try other BRP products, including the company’s new Commander UTV.
“This is an event everyone at BRP looks forward to every year because it is a way to meet our most ardent customers and talk directly to them,” Yves Leduc, vice president and general manager of BRP’s North America division, said in a press release. “Not only is it a chance to interact, but this year was even more special as we were able to introduce them to the complete BRP product family.”
Demo rides included Sea-Doo PWC and sport boats, Evinrude outboard engines, Can-Am Spyder RT roadsters and Can-Am ATVs.
Recalls: Harley-Davidson, BMW, Yamaha, Kawasaki
Harley-Davidson, BMW, Kawasaki and Yamaha are recalling certain motorcycle models, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
BMW is recalling about 1,900 MY 2005-‘09 R 1200 RT Police motorcycles. The bracket that supports the audible signaling device can break, potentially allowing the signaling device to fall from the vehicle and into the roadway, becoming a hazard, reported the NHTSA.
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, is recalling about 700 MY 2009 VMX17 motorcycles manufactured June 2008-March 2009.
Due to an insufficiently crimped connection, there could be excessive electrical resistance in the ground wire from the accelerator position sensor and the throttle position sensor, stated the NHTSA. Excessive resistance can cause incorrect signals to be sent to the engine control unit, leading to unstable idle speed. The recall was expected to begin around July 28.
Also recalling a small number of motorcycles is Harley-Davidson. About 70 MY 2010 FXDF motorcycles with fork leg assemblies were recalled.
The NHTSA says the fork leg assemblies may have been incorrectly assembled using the wrong springs. Motorcycles containing the wrong springs will have reduced suspension, which may result in reduced traction, which could increase the risk of a crash, according to the NHTSA.
Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A., recalled about 1,100 MY 2010 ZR1000DAF for possible break fluid leakage, according to the NHTSA.
Kawasaki is recalling the ZR1000DAF/L models because there’s potential the left front brake hose may contact the front brake rotor during extremely heavy application of the front brake. This can cause brake fluid to leak, possibly resulting in a crash, stated the NHTSA.
PowerSport Institute offers V-twin technician course
The Powersport Institute is now offering an American V-twin program that provides hands-on motorcycle technician training.
The PowerSport Institute (PSI), located in northeastern Ohio, is now offering an American V-twin program that provides students with a 48-week course with hands-on motorcycle technician training, PowerSport Institute stated in a press release.
The course gives students an overview of how to build and repair motorcycles, featuring classes on Harley-Davidson and manufacturer supported Victory Motorcycles by Polaris and S&S Cycles. The program, designed to mimic a shop and service department, also teaches students about safety check inspections, drive functionality, starting, ignition systems, charging, diagnostic techniques and troubleshooting for a variety of bikes.
“With today’s technological advances, one of our main focuses is teaching students to adapt to the new fuel injection systems and software that is now standard on motorcycles,” Bernie Thompson, PSI campus director, stated in the release. “The American V-twin program is designed to train students to become versatile technicians and innovative thinkers, as well as learn how to access online resources like the Polaris information site to quickly find answers.”
Upon completion, PSI offers its students lifetime career placement through its employment services department along with recognition from Victory Motorcycle and S&S Cycles.
Dragbike series suspended after ama partner’s exit
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has expressed its regret regarding Hammer Motorsports’ announcement it will cease operations. Hammer Motorsports was the AMA’s promoting partner for the AMA Dragbike series.
“The principals of Hammer Motorsports are two of the most dedicated promoters in the racing business, and it’s unfortunate that today’s economic climate has forced them to make this difficult decision,” said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “Despite this regrettable development, AMA Racing remains committed to the sport of motorcycle drag racing, and it is our goal to work with a new partner to assist with operations and promotion of AMA Dragbike going forward.”
Bromley adds that due to the lack of a promotional partner, AMA Racing has suspended the AMA Dragbike National Championship Series until a suitable partner can be secured.
“Even though we must regretfully suspend the series, we will continue to support riders and promoters with rules, sanctioning and insurance services for individual amateur drag-racing events,” Bromley said.
Sturgis Museum appoints new director of marketing, sales
The board of directors of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame recently appointed Joe Distefano and his company, Pro Riders Marketing, as marketing and sales director of the museum, according to a company press release.
“Joe brings over 30 years motorcycle industry experience to the table. In addition to a vast list of industry contacts and working relationships, some spanning five decades, he has the fundamental trait that we all have at the Sturgis Museum and Hall of Fame. That being the true passion for the industry and the desire to commemorate the companies and people that made this great sport what it is in 2010,” Christine Paige Diers, the executive director of the museum, stated in the release.
In other news, Distefano recently entered into an agreement with photographer Jack McIntyre and www.bikerpics.org. Distefano will continue with his responsibilities at ACCEL and throughout the industry.
Online parts provider encourages V-twin blogs
K&G Cycles, a site that boasts more than 100,000 motorcycle parts available online, is encouraging customers to participate in its online community created especially for V-twin enthusiasts.
Starting in June, K&G Cycles began encouraging customers to participate in its online forum by offering patrons a $100 shopping spree. At the end of each month, the K&G staff judge the best thread of the month and that lucky person wins a $100 gift certificate from K&G Cycles. The staff may choose the winning thread based off of a variety of factors: the topic relevance, the number of replies or how much it makes them laugh. Customers can enter as often as they’d like and can win over and over again if their thread is chosen.
The www.kandgcycles.com site offers more than 1,200 categories of parts from more than 250 manufacturers and six major motorcycle parts wholesalers.
Suzuki marks milestone with collectable stickers
Suzuki Motor Corp. is celebrating 50 years of international racing this year, and to commemorate this milestone American Suzuki Motor Corp. is printing five collectable cloth stickers, one for each racing discipline of superbike, ATV, off-road and motocross plus a special gold anniversary sticker.
The celebration already kicked off with the release of a limited number of special gold commemorative 50th Anniversary stickers. These stickers were handed out at the Suzuki display at Laguna Seca Superbike event and at the Washougal Motocross pits. This gold sticker will continue to be distributed at select events throughout the summer.
The next release will be a limited-edition Road Racing sticker honoring Suzuki’s long list of American champion riders and motorcycles. This sticker will be distributed at the VIR round of AMA Superbike Series in Alton, Va. PSB