Kawasaki, Suzuki Recall 158,400 ATVs
Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A., Irvine, Calif., is recalling approximately 155,000 of its 2001-2005 Prairie and Brute Force ATVs. The units were sold at Kawasaki dealers nationwide from August 2000 through July 2005 for between $4,400 and $7,400.
The following Kawasaki ATV models are included in this recall: Prairie 300, Prairie 300 4x4, Prairie 360, Prairie 360 4x4, Prairie 400, Prairie 400 4x4, Prairie 650 4x4, Prairie 700 4x4, and Brute Force 650 4x4.
In related news, because of the Kawasaki/
Suzuki partnership, American Suzuki Motor Corp., Brea, Calif., recently recalled approximately 3,400 of its 2004-2005 LT-V700F TwinPeaks ATVs sold at Suzuki dealerships nationwide from December 2003 to July 2005 for about $7,100.
Kawasaki and Suzuki both say a significant impact to the front wheel of the ATVs while the steering is fully turned to either side can result in suspension damage, wear, and an eventual loss of steering control.
Kawasaki says it has received 42 reports of ball joint separation, which could result in loss of steering control. Three injuries have been reported. Suzuki has received seven reports of ball joint separation. No injuries have been reported.
Consumers of Kawasaki product are asked to contact an authorized Kawasaki ATV dealer to arrange for a free repair. Registered owners of the vehicles are being notified directly by Kawasaki about the recall.
Suzuki says registered owners have been notified about the recall by mail. Consumers with a recalled Suzuki ATV also are asked to contact their local Suzuki ATV dealer to schedule a free repair.
Polaris Joins the SVIA
Polaris Industries, Inc., Medina, Minn., says it will join the ATV industry trade group known as the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA). The SVIA represents the ATV industry on a variety of matters including safety, technical standards, regulatory issues and land access.
“Polaris is looking forward to participating in the SVIA and, as the largest American ATV manufacturer, is uniquely positioned to take on an important leadership role in the industry,” said Bennett Morgan, president and chief operating officer, Polaris.
Initially, Polaris will work with the SVIA to find ways to continue to improve ATV safety and protect the Right to Ride. Also, Polaris will offer ATV RiderCourse training administered by the ATV Safety Institute (ASI), and give eligible purchasers a $100 Pure Polaris gift certificate upon completion of the ATV safety-training course. Those offerings begin September 1, 2005.
The ASI is a not-for-profit division of the SVIA, formed in 1988 to implement an expanded national program of ATV safety education and awareness. ASI's primary goal is to promote the safe and responsible use of ATV's, thereby reducing accidents and injuries that may result from improper ATV operation by the rider.
“The safety of our customers is a top priority for Polaris,” said Morgan. “We strongly encourage all riders to take an ATV safety training course. Understanding how to operate an ATV safely is the most important thing riders can do to ensure a good riding experience.”
Polaris' sales from continuing operations for the six months ended June 30, 2005, totaled $800.6 million, up 11% compared to sales from continuing operations of $723.6 million for the six-month period in 2004. The company said ATV sales for the first six months of 2005 were 13% over last year.
“As one of the largest ATV manufacturers in the industry, it is important that Polaris has an active voice at the table on important industry issues,” said Tim Buche, president, SVIA.
Jianshe Aims High
China's Jianshe Industries Group recently unveiled a new ATV, the Mountain Lion 400, to a handful of dealers near the U.S. distributor's headquarters in Madison, Wis. Jianshe is one of several Asian companies trying to get a foothold in the U.S. ATV market. The ATVs are distributed through Midwest Motor Vehicles.
The Mountain Lion 400 is the fourth ATV in Jianshe's ATV lineup. It joins the Mountain Lion 250, Lion Cub 110 and Raccoon 50 and 90. The 400 features a 386cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, five-speed transmission with reverse, dual hydraulic disc front brakes and a independent double A-arm front suspension. Its retail price is $3,895.
Several high-ranking Jianshe officials were on hand and delivered the company's plans for future ATV production. They said plans call for a 600-class ATV and the production of a side-by-side utility vehicle. Company officials said they planned to build the 600cc ATV later this year or in early 2006, and hoped to have a protoype of the side-by-side UTV by the end of 2006. Next year, officials said, the company plans to increase its presence and ATV sales by opening a sales and service parts center in the U.S. The sales goal for 2006 is to sell 4,000 motorcycles and 16,000 ATVs in the U.S.
Jianshe plans to use a four-pronged approach to increasing sales. That includes enhancing its relationship with its distributor; lead product innovation and development; take advantage of low cost production; and “significantly” improve customer satisfaction.
Jianshe builds the majority of its engines for all of its products, which include ATVs, motorcycles and scooters. However, the company does get its 110cc-class engine from Yamaha.
New ATV Laws in N.D.
North Dakota Century Code 39-29-01, which regulates the use of off-highway vehicles such as dirt bikes, ATVs and utility vehicles such as Mules, Odysseys and golf carts, took effect August 1.
While municipalities have the option of whether to allow ATV use in their community, the new state law allows the vehicles to operate on a paved or county road or county township road if speed limits do not exceed 45 mph, and allows them on loose dirt or gravel county roads. They also may be operated in ditches near state or federal highways.
Vehicles are required to be registered. Insurance is required, and registration should be attached to the unit.
Also, children under age 12 may not operate ATVs on public roads. Children between 12 and 16 must complete a safety course to operate the units; and riders between ages 12 and 18 must have a driver's license or an off-highway vehicle safety permit and wear a helmet.
Fines can range between $20 for an infraction to a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail, depending upon the offense.
Yamaha Works with Safari Club International
Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., Cypress, Calif., announced a commitment to helping Safari Club International's (SCI) mission of protecting the freedom to hunt and promoting wildlife conservation worldwide as a corporate sponsor of the group's new television series, Expedition Safari.
“SCI members are avid ATV and Side-by-Side users, and Yamaha is looking forward to working closely with SCI as they continue their noble efforts of promoting wildlife conservation and protecting the freedom to hunt,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV/SxS Communications Manager.
SCI has 46,000 members. The sponsorship will help develop and expand upon a variety of mutually beneficial, media-based cross platform marketing initiatives promoting Expedition Safari. In further support of SCI and SCI's mission, Yamaha will donate a new 2006 Rhino 660 all terrain vehicle to SCI, to be auctioned off during the evening events of SCI's upcoming 34th Annual Hunters' Convention, taking place Jan. 18-21, 2006 in Reno, Nevada.
For more about Expedition Safari, visit www.sciexpeditionsafari.com or call 520/620-1220.