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Sept. 6, 2010 – Motorcycle Digest

September 6, 2010
Filed under Features


Ducati reports North American sales increase

Ducati North America recorded a sales increase for July in the United States, Canada and Mexico, the company announced.

Ducati reported a 7.5 percent sales increase over last July in all three North American countries. In the United States alone, Ducati captured a 4.75 percent increase over July 2009.

Ducati said its success can be attributed to a number of factors, notably its new product lineup. Demand for the Multistrada 1200 continues to exceed supply — with several colors and packages sold out before arrival stateside. July also marked the arrival of the new Monster 796 (MSRP: $9,995).

This month will mark the arrival of the company’s recently announced new 848EVO superbike, which brings performance improvements without a price increase.

BMW’s July sales eclipse the 2009 mark

The enduro segment remains a worldwide best-seller for BMW, which posted two-wheel sales gains in July, the company said.

BMW’s worldwide sales rose nearly 4.5 percent compared to the year-ago month, with volume surpassing 10,000 units. Data for North America was not immediately available.

BMW said its R 1200 GS remains its top-selling model.

For the year, BMW’s worldwide sales remain above last year’s volume, up nearly 19 percent to more than 67,000 units.

AMA seeks suspension of grant program

Under its Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstration grant program, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will award up to $350,000 in total to be divided among as many as five law enforcement agencies to set up traffic checkpoints that target motorcyclists, according to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).

There are a lot of unanswered questions about the grant and until they’re addressed, the AMA has asked the NHTSA to suspend the program.

“How do motorcycle-only checkpoints increase the safety of motorcyclists?” Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, wrote in a letter to NHTSA Administrator David Strickland on Aug. 9. “Where do the selected states draw their authority to conduct” motorcycle-only safety checks?

“Will ‘probable cause’ be required to stop a motorcycle under the terms of this grant program?” Moreland asked. “If so, what will constitute probable cause?”

The AMA urges all riders to contact Strickland and ask that the Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstration grant program be suspended until questions raised by the motorcycling community are addressed.

Recall: Honda bikes shipped with wrong sticker

American Honda Motor Co. recalled its 2010 VT1300CR, VT1300CRA and VT1300CT models because they failed to conform to the certification requirements of Part 567, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

About 3,100 units that were manufactured from Dec. 17-May 24 had incorrect gross axle weight ratings (GAWR).

The NHTSA says an owner may be led to believe from the incorrect information that the motorcycle can carry more weight than it’s certified to carry, resulting in an overloaded condition, which can increase the risk of a crash.

Kawasaki recalls off-road motorcycles

Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. voluntarily recalled about 4,000 MY 2010 KLX110 off-road motorcycles, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

A faulty housing for the ignition switch can allow water to enter and activate the electric starter unintentionally. This poses a serious hazard of injury or death. However, no injuries have been reported, stated the CPSC.

The vehicles were sold by Kawasaki dealers nationwide from August 2009-February 2010 for about $2,100.

V-twin motorcycle manufacturer to relocate

The Viper Motorcycle Co. will begin manufacturing motorcycles in Auburn, Ala., next year, the company announced.

The company will move its operation from Minnesota to Auburn as soon as possible with full production in Alabama scheduled for 2011. Company officials expect the creation of

100 new jobs in Auburn over the next two years. Viper, a subsidiary of Viper Powersports, produces cruiser motorcycles. The motorcycles are produced with more than 80 percent proprietary parts designed and manufactured by Viper. “The Auburn facility and community support places us in a position to achieve our annual goal of 2,000 motorcycles and 2,000 aftermarket engines within five years,” John Silseth, CEO of Viper Powersports, said in a press release.

Andrew Broadley, technical director of Viper Motorcycle Co., sees the proximity to Auburn University as an opportunity to integrate a wealth of knowledge and expertise from students and faculty.

Yamaha, Ducati recall motorcycles

Yamaha Motor Corp. recalled about 54,000 MY 2005-2010 YZF-R6, and Ducati North America recalled about 200 MY 2010 MTS1200, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Yamaha is recalling certain model year 2006-2010 YZF-R6 motorcycles that were manufactured August 2005-March 2010. The front side reflector was not placed at the proper height, which fails to comply with the requirements of federal motor vehicle safety standard No. 108, “Lams, reflective devices, and associated equipment.” The NHTSA stated the visibility of the motorcycle will be decreased, possibly increasing the risk of a crash.

Ducati’s 2010 Multistraded 1200 motorcycles are being recalled because during production an incorrect screw may have been installed in the bike’s steering head. This could cause the steering head to become loose during normal operation, which could adversely affect the driver’s ability to steer the vehicle increasing the risk of crash, according to the NHTSA.

AMA makes communications personnel changes

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced personnel promotions in its communications department.

Grant Parsons, previously managing editor of American Motorcyclist magazine, was named the AMA director of communications. James Holter, previously associate editor of American Motorcyclist, was elevated to the position of managing editor of the publication. Both promotions are designed to enhance delivery of the AMA’s mission to promote the motorcycle lifestyle among its members, the motorcycling community and the public.

“Grant and James have performed well above our expectations in their respective positions,” AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said in the release. “As we take the AMA to the next level, each of them assumes an increasingly significant role in our efforts to strengthen our outreach to AMA members and potential members alike.”

Progressive Insurance named sponsor of IMS

Progressive Insurance is the new title sponsor for the International Motorcycle Shows (IMS), according to a press release.

From New York to California, hard-core enthusiasts, recreational riders and aspirational powersports fans will be engaged in a brand new way on the show floor and spend more time connecting with exhibitors and the community, IMS organizers said.

“Progressive is excited to become the title sponsor of the International Motorcycle Shows,” said Marcy Gray, Progressive motorcycle product manager. “This is a great opportunity for the country’s No. 1 motorcycle insurer, Progressive, to team with the largest indoor motorcycle event series, the International Motorcycle Shows, to support our customers and motorcycle enthusiasts around the country.”

FMF sponsors labor day motocross event

MX Sports Pro Racing announced that FMF, an aftermarket motorcycle exhaust manufacturer, will serve as the title sponsor for the FMF Steel City National on Sept. 4, the penultimate round of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.

FMF has been a longtime supporter of American motocross.

“We’re very excited to serve as the title sponsor for the Steel City event,” said FMF’s Donny Emler Jr. “FMF has been a supporter of the AMA Pro Motocross Championships for more than 15 years and the grassroots of the sport is a perfect fit for our brand. Steel City is one of the best facilities in the country and always produces stellar racing and the attention to detail from the promoters is second to none.” PSB

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