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November 23, 2005
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Hall of Fame Honors Nine New Members
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum has named nine new members for 2005 induction.
The Hall of Fame honors American motorcycling’s legendary racers, inventors, promoters, designers, enthusiasts and journalists,
The annual Hall of Fame weekend, is scheduled to take place Oct.7-8, 2005, on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio.
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2005 includes:
- Ralph Berndt: Dominant Harley-Davidson tuner from 1957 to 1967. Won four consecutive #1 plates with Carroll Resweber and George Roeder. He also helped develop the modern Harley Lowboy frame.
- Jerry Branch: Master tuner of Harley-Davidson motors for AMA Grand National Dirt Track racing as well as stock based engines for the street. Owner of Branch Flowmetrics. Known worldwide for his pioneering work on the flow bench with Harley-Davidson heads.
- Tom Cates: General manager for K&N Engineering. Sales rep for Honda motorcycles in early 1960s. Served on the board of directors of the Motorcycle Industry Council. Established several long distance records at Daytona in 1969.
- Tom Christenson: Last successful campaigner of Norton drag bikes in the U.S. National record holder in the 1970s. Builder of the 1620cc “Hog Slayer,” the motorcycle that represents the bridge between drag racing’s early amateur days and today’s professional sport.
- Doug Henry: AMA Motocross and Supercross champion: 1998 AMA Athlete of the Year. Member of the United States 1998 Motocross des Nations team.
- Bill Johnson: First U.S. importer and distributor of Triumph and Ariel motorcycles. Owner of Johnson Motors Inc. (JoMo). Pioneer in the establishment and growth of British motorcycle sales in the U.S.
- Nick Nicholson: Competitor and sponsor of Catalina Grand Prix, desert races, trials competition, scrambles, flat track and road racing. Multi-winner of Catalina Grand Prix and 1954 winner of the 100-mile Daytona Beach race. One of the first Americans to compete in the British Scrambles.
- Scott Russell: AMA Superbike Champion 1992, AMA Superstock Champion 1990-1992. World Superbike Champion 1993. Superbike Rookie of the Year 1988. Athlete of the Year 1992. First five-time winner of the Daytona 200, earning him the nickname “Mr. Daytona.”
- Gavin Trippe: Legendary promoter of virtually every type of racing. Invented, promoted, and trademarked the “Superbikers,” the foundation for today’s “Super Motard” competition. One of the promoters of the original ABC Wide World of Sports Superbikers from 1979 -1985.
Attendance to all Hall of Fame induction events is open to the public with reservations required for the Museum reception and the induction.

Kawasaki Eyes Sales Expansion in Europe
Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. plans to boost its motorcycle sales in Europe to 87,000 units through March 2006 by expanding its product lineup and strengthening its sales network, the Nikkei Business Daily reported, without citing sources. If achieved, the sales boost would signify a 10% increase over sales for the same period of the previous year.
The company already released six new models in Europe and intends to promote these new offerings with particular focus on the Ninja ZX-6R sportbike and the VN 1600 cruiser, the business daily reported.
Kawasaki Heavy plans to open this fall its first direct-run store in Spain, the fourth-largest motorcycle market in Europe, the paper said.

Workers Comp Bill Moves Forward
Legislation sponsored by the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) that will lead to lower workers’ compensation insurance rates for California motorcycle dealers was passed unanimously by the Labor and Industrial Relations Committee of the California State Senate.
This legislation, introduced by State Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, requires the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Board (WCIRB) to study the workers’ compensation classification codes to consider changing them to align with the codes used by automobile dealers who realize much lower insurance premiums.
If the WCIRB was petitioned to do a study without this legislation, it could take three years or more to complete. With the legislation, the WCIRB is required to finish the study by June of next year.
“Motorcycle dealers in California have a combined payroll of around $270 million while the auto dealers have a $5 billion payroll,” said Bruce Haga, a consultant to ORBA. “By joining the larger auto dealers’ pool, motorcycle dealers will avoid the up and down premiums associated with the smaller insurance pool and will realize the significantly lower premiums that car dealers enjoy.
“Both Nevada and Arizona include motorcycle dealers in their automobile structure and this results in a 50% lower cost than what California dealers pay.”

BMW Names New Head of Technology Office
Dr. Bernardo Lopez has been tapped to head the BMW Group Technology Office in Palo Alto, Calif. The move was effective July 1, 2005.
The BMW Group Technology Office was founded in 1998 to identify and investigate technologies in non-automotive fields that BMW Group can make available to its customers.
Prior to this position, Lopez was head of information technology for the development of electronics in the research and development division at BMW Group in Munich.

Joe Hice Joins University
Long-time powersports marketing executive Joe Hice has been named the University of Florida’s new associate vice president of marketing and public relations.
Hice is responsible for public relations and employee communications at the university in Gainesville, said Jane A. Adams, vice president of university relations. He also will direct the university’s news bureau.
Prior to joining UF, Hice was chief marketing officer of Segway LLC, Bedford, N.H. He also served as director of corporate communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company in Milwaukee; as director of marketing communications for Bombardier Inc.’s Marine Products Division; and as director of marketing for Wellcraft Marine and Donzi Marine in Sarasota, Fla.

Progressive study identifies Bikes Most Likely to Be Stolen
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, Mayfield Village, Ohio, says a recent study of claims data on more than two million motorcycles it has insured over the past three years identifies the makes and models of bikes most and least likely to be stolen or crashed.
“Insurance rates are based on a lot of information about you and your driving record as well as the make and model bike you ride,” said Rick Stern, motorcycle product manager, at Progressive.
Progressive, citing its study, says the top five motorcycle types most likely to be stolen are the Suzuki GSX-R series, Yamaha YZF series, Honda CBR series, Suzuki Hayabusa, and Kawasaki Ninja series.
Progressive says bikes least likely to be stolen are the Suzuki Savage, BMW R1200C, Honda Rebel Series, Honda Shadow Series, and Yamaha V-Star.
The insurance company says the five model types most likely to be involved in a crash are the GSX-R series, Kawasaki Ninja series, Suzuki TLR, Yamaha YZF series, and Honda CBR series. Least likely to be crashed: Yamaha Virago Series, Honda Rebel Series, Suzuki Savage, Harley-Davidson FXR, and BMW R1200C.

CycleTrader.com Expands Functions
CycleTrader.com has introduced a new tool it says was designed to expedite the browsing process for custom motorcycle dealers and manufacturers.
CycleTrader.com officials say a new Browse function leads buyers directly to dealers and their inventory, as well as a Custom Motorcycle Building resource section featuring custom manufacturers and products.

Clarification
Photos in the ATV Focus Section of the June 27 issue of Powersports Business were not titled. The vehicles shown in the section, in the order that they appear, are the United Motors MoonTrax 90, Yamaha Rhino 660, Suzuki QUV, United Motors Earthlander 90 and Kolpin 180.

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