Oct. 4, 2010 – Motorcycle Digest
October 4, 2010
Filed under Features
Ducati outpaces the N.A. industry, company says
Ducati North America reported a double-digit percentage sales increase for August, a significant growth in a declining market for the second month in a row.
Ducati’s sales grew 24 percent while the industry as a whole fell 13 percent, the company said in a press release.
Boosting the company’s sales were the arrival of the new Monster 796 and the first 848EVO super bikes. Meanwhile, Ducati says its Multistrada 1200 S continues to be one of the industry’s best sellers.
“We are pleased with the hard work put forth by our dealer network, which allowed us to achieve these positive results,” said Jason Chinnock, sales and mrketing director for Ducati North America. “With the launch of the Fall Oppor2unity Sales Promotion and the renewed support of our dealer partners, we are cautiously optimistic for the remainder of the season.”
Metric motorcycle exports to the U.S. decrease sharply
Metric manufacturers’ new motorcycle exports to the United States continued the 2010 trend in July, decreasing sharply.
Metric OEMs’ exports totaled 5,445 units, a 39 percent decrease compared to the year-ago month, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). The association includes Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki.
These manufacturers’ exports in the first half of the year also declined, falling 24 percent compared to the prior year.
In Canada, however, exports rose sharply to more than 1,500 units. That’s an increase of more than 53 percent.
Motorcycle fatalities declined in 2009
Despite the rising number of motorcycle miles traveled, fatalities decreased 16 percent and injuries declined 6.3 percent last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2009 Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
Among all types of motorists, motorcyclists had the second-largest reduction in fatalities, behind large-truck occupants, and the largest drop in alcohol-impaired fatalities — also a 16 percent reduction.
“There’s always more work to promote and improve safety, but everyone at the Motorcycle Industry Council is heartened by this news,” MIC Chairman Larry Little said in a release announcing the news. “It shows that we can lower our level of risk out on the road, while we’re putting more miles on more bikes for both transportation and pure fun.”
According to the report, 4,462 riders died in 2009 — 850 fewer than in the previous year. The reduction came while motorcycle miles traveled increased approximately
5 percent last year. Also, 11 million motorcycles were in use last year, an increase of some 500,000 compared with 2008.
Historic California race set to reappear this year
Once the biggest motorcycle race on the West Coast, the legendary Catalina Grand Prix is set to make history, again.
California enthusiast Vinnie Mandzak is promoting the 2010 Catalina Island GP, as he has been since receiving authorization to produce “the most unique motorcycle race in 50 years.”
“Despite what a few naysayers may have said, there is no question in my mind that this race is happening this December,” Mandzak said in a press release. “Our plans are moving forward and I can’t wait to watch the first wave of racers roll off the starting line on Dec. 4!”
According to the press release, Mandzak has the cooperation from state and local government agencies and support of the Catalina Island business community. A total of 800 racers are expected to participate over two days of racing.
Race classifications and registration will be made available at thecatalinegrandprix.com.
Piaggio calls attention to new scooter program
Piaggio Group’s North American subsidiary is hailing a new pilot program that should help drive scooter sales in a key East Coast city.
On Aug. 26, Boston began a motor scooter and motorcycle on-street parking pilot program to better accommodate two-wheel commuting. Scooter enthusiasts will now find 40 spaces designated for scooter and motorcycle parking throughout the Back Bay area.
The spaces are metered and pro-rated with 25 cents buying one hour instead of the standard 15 minutes. For commuters, the meters will be on from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and off at nights. Additionally, the parking spots do not have a time limit, eliminating the need to feed the meter.
“I’d like to congratulate Mayor Thomas Menino on his decision to execute a two-wheel parking program for the city of Boston,” said Paolo Timoni, president and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas. “With better fuel economy than hybrid cars, scooters are not only a viable solution when it comes to reducing traffic congestion, but equally effective at reducing America’s oil consumption and protecting our environment.
“I can only hope that more cities will follow Boston’s example and offer similar programs for two-wheel commuters.”
In addition to Boston, other U.S. metropolitan cities already have programs and incentives for two-wheel commuters. San Francisco has more than 1,000 designated parking spaces and areas for scooters, and other cities have orchestrated scooter commuter days, including Atlanta and Philadelphia.
Harley-Davidson continues fund-raising legacy
The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. recently presented a contribution of $3.3 million to the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.
The 2010 contribution marks the 30th year Harley-Davidson has supported MDA, and brings its cumulative fund-raising to more than $76 million.
Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Vice President of Channel Strategy and North American Sales Jeff Merten presented the check to the MDA on behalf of those who raised funds throughout this past year.
“What began as a charitable idea has become a much more personal journey,” Merten said during the telethon broadcast. “This year, thousands upon thousands of members of the Harley-Davidson family gave their time, their love and their dollars to help fulfill the dreams of a brighter future for kids with muscular dystrophy.”
Harley-Davidson fund-raising activities for the Muscular Dystrophy Association included pledge rides, dealer fund-raisers, motorcycle raffles, Black and Blue Ball fund-raising dinners and commemorative pin sales. Funds raised support MDA summer camps, life-saving research and medical care for children and adults with
neuromuscular disease. These efforts have again placed the company among the top corporate donors to MDA this year.
LeoVince strengthens sponsorship program
LeoVince has launched its 2011 Off Road Sponsorship Program that allows novice and seasoned racers to receive the company’s X3 Exhaust Systems at reduced prices.
This is LeoVince USA’s seventh year of offering sponsorship to off road-riders in the United States.
LeoVince’s new X3 Carbon Fiber components also will be available to sponsored off-road athletes with two tiers of pricing.
“For the last seven years we’ve always paid attention to grassroots racing in the U.S., dominating amateur road racing and growing our off-road and Supercross support efforts in the United States,” Tim Calhoun, executive vice president of LeoVince USA, said in a press release. “2011’s program is considerably stronger in that our riders can now choose titanium systems or stainless steel depending on their needs and budget.”
Darwin Motorcycles Rolls Out a retro bobber, the Rocketeer
Brass Balls Bobbers and Choppers introduced its latest 2011 motorcycle, the Rocketeer, at the 2010 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
The central theme of the retro bobber is built around a hand-fabricated gas tank with monochromatic graphics applied on the fender and tank. The Rocketeer takes art deco design cues from the 1930s and ’40s and integrates them into a fresh interpretation on the classic bobber.
“Since the release of the Rocketeer, we have been gratified by the feedback from the enthusiast community,” said Dar Holdsworth of Brass Balls.
The Brass Balls’ Rocketeer includes a 40 degrees rake, ceramic-coated D&Dexhaust, 41mm Meanstreet front end and Excel 4 piston brakes with Wilwood rotors.
AMA seeks partners to enhance premier amateur racing events
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is requesting proposals from potential partners interested in obtaining the promotional rights to three premier AMA Racing amateur competition events. The events are the AMA Racing Dirt Track Grand Championships, the AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships and the AMA Racing Winter Dirt Track Nationals. PSB