I write stuff. A lot of it is about cars and motorcycles.

Monthly Archives: November 2009

Try This with your Road Glide

Kain Saul has converted a Harley-Davidson Xr1200 to Dirt use–including a heavily modified suspension–taken it out into the Australian countryside…and done a back-flip on it.

Pretty cool.

And, yes, I do know that Chuck Carothers did the same stunt in Czechoslovakia.  Or the Czech Republic, or whatever the… Continue reading

New WordPress Themes

Once again, I’ve whipped up some new WordPress themes for motorcycle blogs.  As always, these themes are free, though I would ask that you not remove the backlink to my business website way down on the bottom.  This time, the themes are all model specific.  As… Continue reading

Times Are Tough All Over

The US isn’t the only place where motorcycle sales have been dismal this year.  ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry Association in Europe, is reporting that, as of September, year-over-year motorcycle sales in Europe are down by 27%.  Here’s the ugly, ugly chart:

ACEM Sales 2002-2009 (September)

ACEM Sales 2002-2009 (September)

That’s definitely… Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.  And remember, motorcycle riding is definitely contra-indicated after eating large amounts of turkey.  Triptophan comas are a killer, second only to excessive consumption of alcohol!

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Ram Mounts Arrive

Last week, I ordered some Ram-Mount devices to mount my GPS and iPod/XM Inno devices to my FJR.  Previously, I used the cheap, jury-rig method of zip-tying some mounts to the handlebars.  But, the Ram-Mount stuff arrived this afternoon, so now I’m stylin’.  Click on the… Continue reading

No 2010 Suzukis in the US

Hell for Leather is reporting that Suzuki will not be importing any of their 2010 model motorcycles to the USA.  Due to the slowness of US motorcycle sales, Suzuki has seen their sales decline to 434k motorcycles for the first three quarters of this year, compared to 772k… Continue reading

Free Erik? Done.

As of this afternoon, Harley Davidson announced that Erik Buell has left the MoCo, and is opening a race shop.  His new venture, Erik Buell Racing LLC, will specialize in creating race-use only 1125r motorcycles under a lciense from Harley-Davidson.

As such, he will no longer be an employee of Harley-Davidson, and will once again be directly involved in the motorcycle racing world.

The fascinating question is whether or not this is just a stop-gap venture to take up his time until February 2011, when his no-compete contract with H-D expires, and he is free to join up with another motorcycle company to begin building bikes for the rest of us again.

The full press release from Harley-Davidson is below the fold.

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Pass the Popcorn

The big difference between current MotoGP and WSB racing is that MotoGP racing is limited to 800cc bikes, while World Superbike runs literbikes.  The reason for the MotoGP switch to 800cc bikes was that the literbikes were just too powerful and dangerous…or some such nonsense…for MotoGP racing.

Well,… Continue reading

KTM Slashes Prices

For the 2010 model year, KTM announced a while ago that they would undertake a “strategic price realignment” to make their bikes more competitive in the US marketplace.  That’s probably a wise move, considering that KTMs, while nice bikes, have always been very pricey.  But the announcement… Continue reading

Buell: Sadness, Anger and Rumors

For a motorcycle brand with such a relatively small group of owners, Buell Motorcycles evoke fierce loyalty.  So, H-D’s decision to kill the brand hasn’t been well received.

As an expression of that displeasure, Hell For Leather Magazine is offering special T-shirts, for both men and women.

2010 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V

Moto Guzzi has announced the newest generation of their Norge sport-tourer, the Norge 8V.  New for 2010 is a new 1200cc L-twin with 4 valves per cylinder, as well as a redesigned fairing for better heat management and weather protection, and some more comfort features.

The Italian Eagle’s press release describes the new generation of the Norge in glowing terms, but that’s all PR stuff, so, if you want to read it, it’s below the fold.

There are few spoecs available yet, but MG claims 83lb-ft of torque at 5,800RPM, and “more than 100HPin power, all at a maximum rpm nearly that of an automobile”, whatever that means.  The gearbox has six speeds, and seat height is 31.5 inches.

It’s certainly a pretty bike–all the MGs are–but at 100HP, it’s the least sporty of the sport-tourers.  And, of course, here in the US, dealer network support is even sparser than BMW’s.

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ATK & S&T Deal: Update

ATK CEO Frank White has sent me the following email in regards to the deal that ATK has made to sell American-assembled motorcycles from S&T:

Buon Giorno from EICMA Italy (Motorcycle Show)

One of our Harley Dealers is a regular to your site and suggested I make some comments… Continue reading

S&T and ATK Get Inside the Harley Dealer Network

Practically no one saw this coming, or were even in the ballpark of predicting it, and I’m interested to see what the motorcycle press will make of it, since I’m sure that some of them, like me, have been aware of this for at least several weeks now, although the news has been embargoed, so no one could report on it.

As of today, the embargo has been lifted, and we are now free to speak about it.

First, the press release from S&T/ATK, makes the bare bones facts available.  S&T motorcycles, the Korean manufacturer of the Hyosung brand motorcycles will be working directly with ATK motorcycles, the US manufacturer of dirt bikes.  Together they will produce a motorcycle that will be largely produced in Korea by Hyosung and  assembled in the USA by ATK.  These ATK-badged motorcycles will be smaller displacement motorcycles that will be sold in selected Harley-Davidson dealerships.

Sources close to the deal tell me that ATK may also begin selling their off-road motorcycles in some Harley dealerships as well.  It is not yet entirely clear which of the ATK-badged Hyosungs will be made available to the Harley Dealers, although the new 700cc Aquila is a likely candidate.

Sources also tell me that it is possible–although exactly how possible is still unclear–for modified versions of the 250cc and 650cc cruisers and sportbikes, with new bodywork created by ATK, are candidates for those dealers who desire them, to help bring in the younger riders that Harley so desperately needs, as their current rider community is aging rapidly.

This is a coup for both ATK and S&T.  ATK now has a chance to substantially increase their penetration into the Harley-Davidson dealer network.  S&T has a chance to get deeper into the US Market–which has regarded their products with some suspicion due to confusing Hyosung with a Chinese, rather than South Korean company–by having their bikes branded with an American manufacturer’s badge.

It’s a bit of a coup for Harley dealerships, and possibly for Harley-Davidson itself–as well.  They will–or at least selected dealers will–have access to new lines of motorcycles to bring in younger customers.  This is especially true if the ATK dirt bikes can also make an appearance on dealer showrooms.

The hope is that everyone can win by making the dealerships places where a number of different product lines can be found, in order to bring in a wider, and one hopes, younger, group of riders through the door.

The full text of the press release is below the fold.

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EICMA Goodies

The new bikes are now being officially unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan, and it’s a nice crop so far.  Ducati and MV Agusta have made the big splashes today, with MV showing off the 2010 F4, and Ducati releasing the long-awaited Multistrada, as well as the… Continue reading

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