Dec. 25, 2006 – Cycle Report

Minoli: Ducati 848 possible for 2008
Ducati Motor CEO Federico Minoli, writing recently in his Desmoblog Internet diary, shared some additional information about the forthcoming 1098 Superbike, future product and the company’s position in the upcoming World Superbike Championship.
“The 1098 S will arrive at European dealerships starting from December 2006 and in the USA from February 2007,” Minoli wrote. “Starting from February 2007, the 1098 will arrive in both the USA and Europe. The 1098 Tricolore will arrive in Europe starting from February 2007 and in March in the USA.”
Minoli said the Tricolore model was created by Aldo Drudi based on an idea that came from Ducati’s North American subsidiary. He said Ducati also plans to produce the 1098 in a second color, possibly yellow, white or black.
“A lower-displacement engine is not foreseen for 2007, but an 848 engine will be available in 2008 if there is adequate demand.”
World Superbike Championship
“The bikes that race in the superbike championships are derived from the production models. Therefore, it is only logical that if our new production superbike is the 1098, the bike derived from the 1098 is the one that must race in the SBK Championship.
“This is the same logic that pushed the Japanese motorcycle companies to ask for some rule changes. Since 2003, this has allowed them to race with their bikes at 1000cc that had been derived from their 750cc production models — bikes that did not correspond with the bikes on the market.
“Sometimes logic is blocked by politics, fear or simply the desire to damage. As a result, in the World Superbike Championship we are forced to race with the 999F07, against our wishes, in exchange for a promise that the rules will change, allowing us to race with the 1098 in 2008.
“Don’t fear — the 999F07 is a wonderful motorcycle and, ridden by Troy and Lorenzo, it will put up a great fight … even if it has less horsepower.”
Pierer: KTM Not Ready for Superbike Competition
KTM has been making waves with its big twin-cylinder bikes, and has even promised a RC-8 powered supersport in early 2009, but CEO Stefan Pierer says he still has no immediate plans to enter the Austrian brand into a larger displacement class of Motorcycle Grand Prix or World Superbike competition.
“It’s too expensive,” Pierer told Germany’s Eurosport magazine. “I have better ways of investing those funds.”
The idea hasn’t been completely dropped, however. Pierer said KTM plans to concentrate its efforts on the 125cc and 250cc classes in the short-term while continuing to study an engagement in larger-class competition.
“At the end of the day, we want to present our products to our customers through racing,” he said, emphasizing the company’s “Ready to Race” slogan and commitment to race what it builds.
The 2006 Red Bull KTM GP 125 team consisted of riders Mika Kallio and Julian Simon. For 2007, the bikes will be piloted by Simon, Tomoyoshi Koyama and the junior rider Randy Krummenacher.
The 2006 Red Bull KTM GP 250 team consisted of riders Manuel Poggiali and Hiroshi Aoyama. For 2007, the 250cc bikes will be piloted by Aoyama and Kallio, who steps up to the 100hp stronger KTM 250 FRR after leaving 125cc competition.
Big Dog names new quality control manager
Big Dog Motorcycle, one of the largest manufacturers of custom motorcycles, recently promoted Doug Clark to quality control manager.
Clark has worked in the company’s quality control department as a specialist since 2005.
Clark brought over a decade of quality control and parts inspection experience to Big Dog.
“In the short time he has been with Big Dog Motorcycles, Doug has been an impressive addition to our quality control department,”?John Brock, vice president, materials management, said in a press release. “His experience, education, technical ability and the fact that he knows quality issues firsthand are tremendous assets.”
With his team of nine employees, Clark will ensure the assembly line runs smoothly with correctly configured parts, components are manufactured to Big Dog’s stringent quality standards and vendors provide an acceptable product.
Bimota Enters Utah
Salt Lake Motorsports has become one of six dealers in the United States to retail the Bimota brand.
Winner of six national and regional awards from Ducati North America, Salt Lake Motorsports is owned by Adam Childers.
“Bimota is the top of the top,” said Childers. “It is for the true Italian motorcycle aficionado and collector who wants a creation not available to everyone … one that he or she knows will be beyond exclusive and be owned by the very few and fortunate enthusiasts.”
Bimota North America President Jean Marc Rousseau and 75 other guests attended the grand opening.
“Our motorcycles are much more than the sum of their parts. Much more,” said Rousseau. “They are not for the individual looking only at a bike’s stats. Bimota is for the person who understands what we call ‘Technologia del Emozione,’ ‘the technology of emotion.’”
Four of Bimota’s five currently available models can be found in the Salt Lake Motorsports showroom: the Ducati-powered Tesi 2d, DB5 1000 and DB6 Delirio, and the Suzuki-powered SB8K Santamonica. The SB8K Gobert remains unavailable.
Bimota North America is based in New York. Other Bimota dealers in the United States include Beverly Hills Ducati, Ducati Miami, SuperMoto Italia in New York, Italian Motor Sports of San Antonio, Italian Motor Sports of Austin and Scuderia West in San Francisco.
Piaggio Aligns with PTC for Design Assistance
Italy’s Piaggio & C. S.p.A. has selected the Product Development Company’s (PTC) Product Development System (PDS) as its standard solution for product development for all Piaggio brands, including Piaggio, Vespa, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and Derbi.
PTC, Needham, Mass., provides 3D design, product data management and collaboration solutions to more than 1,400 vehicle manufacturers and parts suppliers, including three of the top five automotive OEMs.
Piaggio plans to use PTC’s Pro/ENGINEER as the single solution for the entire product design process, including engine, body and chassis design. In addition, all the company’s divisions will move from Pro/INTRALINK to Windchill PDMLink to provide a single, Web-based product development platform for the extended enterprise.
Piaggio says a key objective is to maximize the reusability of components to help speed time-to-market and lower development cost. PTC says PDS should allow Piaggio to achieve its objectives by enabling effective and fast collaboration and information sharing among research and development centers in Italy, Spain, India and China.
“For Piaggio group, research and development is of strategic importance to ensure our future growth by developing high-tech driven products, such as our current initiative on vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells,” said Federico Martini, technical manager at Piaggio. “The PTC Product Development System supports our corporate policy of structured processes, which ensure continuous improvements through simultaneous global engineering.” psb

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