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!
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 →
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.
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.
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 →
By far the most popular search that leads people to this site, is a search for the rumored variants of the BMW R1200RT for 2010, such as “R1300RT”, or R1250RT”. Everyone seems to want to know what the 2010 version of the BMW R-bikes are going to be. Continue reading →
Pete Brissette of Motorcycle.Com got to spend a day with a brand new 2010 Concours14 that had all the trimmings, including Kawasaki’s new linked ABS system and Traction control. He really liked it, for a number of reasons.
Since Motorcycle-USA’s Ken Hutchison was already in Japan for the Tokyo Motor Show, he was conveniently available to go out to the Sugo racetrack and hop aboard the new VFR1200F at the press demo. In return, he’s provided us with a nice first ride review that’s pretty comprehensive. Continue reading →