Previously, I’ve reported on the American dirt bike manufacturer ATK getting into the street bike business. Previously, ATK had a deal to assemble and badge 250cc and 650cc Hyosung (S&T Motors) sport bikes and cruisers here in the US. Well, last week, during Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, ATK unveiled an entirely new cruiser, a 700cc bike for the US market.
Not only that, but S&T’s chief operating officer, Jimmy Park, piloted the new cruiser to a speed in excess of 100MPH on the salt flats.
Details and specs on the new cruiser are lacking, but presumably will be released in due course. The full press release from ATK is here (PDF).
Vacation is over, so it’s back to our regularly scheduled motoblogging.
This vacation was a cruise to Mexico. I mention this because it was interesting to see the differences in the motorcycling communities in other countries.
Mexico is definitely NOT a sportbike or cruiser environment. I saw exactly one sportbike, a CBR1000RR that was on sale in Mazatlan. I saw a couple of cruisers, including one Harley-Davidson, in Mazatlan as well. The remainder were scooters or 125-250cc dual sports. In Puerto Vallarta, it’s almost entirely dual sports.
That city is a special case, though, because it sits at the foot of the jungle, with huge amounts of water runoff from the rain forest. As such, many of the streets consist not of asphalt pavement, but fist-sized stones set in concrete. City driving there is much like a well-maintained fire road here. You need a Dual Sport just to drive around downtown, as the even the best-maintained stone roads are suspension-punishing monsters.
Motorcyclists in Mexico also ride with a mix of elan and courage that is…well…frightening. But then, automobile drivers do, too.
They have mandatory helmet laws in Mexico, but they certainly aren’t fanatics about it. That is to say, most motorcyclists obey it…at least with some kind of helmet, anyway. Whether it’s a motorcycle helmet is a different story.
Anyway, it’s good to be back.