Nov. 10, 2008 – Motorcycle Digest

Metric OEMs dramatically decrease August production

Although metric manufacturers significantly decreased production in August, the number of U.S. exports actually dropped by less than 2 percent.
The manufacturers that are part of the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association, which includes Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, decreased production in August by 43.6 percent compared to the year-ago period. Total production numbered 76,487 units.
Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki reported significant reductions in production. Suzuki was down nearly 55 percent compared to a year ago with 18,473 units. Honda’s production fell 48 percent to 21,595 and Kawasaki’s build of 11,597 was down 50.4 percent. Yamaha was off by 15.4 percent to 24,811 units.
Exports also decreased, down 11.2 percent from the year-ago period. However, the U.S. exports of 25,296 new units dropped only 1.6 percent.
Honda and Yamaha actually increased their exports. Honda’s exports of 13,554 units represented a 17 percent increase over a year ago. Yamaha’s exports of 23,512 units were up 26 percent. Kawasaki, on the hand, was down significantly in exports. Its number of 9,472 was off 47.4 percent compared to the year-ago period. Suzuki’s exports of 13,146 units also was reduced from a year ago, down 32 percent.

Rider to Celebrate 35th Anniversary With Event

As part of the celebration of Rider magazine’s 35th Anniversary in 2009, the magazine will host “Rider Rally 35,” a three-day motorcycle enthusiast event. The rally will be held April 17-19 in Rider’s hometown of Ventura, Calif. Rider is a sister publication to Powersports Business.
Motorcycle enthusiasts will be able to ride in for a day, or spend the weekend at the rally. “Rider Rally 35” will include manufacturer demo rides, an indoor exhibit area with new motorcycles and accessory displays, live music, a sweepstakes and product giveaways, riding and technical seminars, a charity ride, custom and antique bike displays, dunk tank, food and beverage area, and guided VIP rides of the scenic Ventura/Santa Barbara area lead by the Rider magazine editorial staff.
Motorcycle enthusiast and veteran event producer Skip Johnson has been retained as the event executive director. Details and more information on “Rider Rally 35” will be unveiled in upcoming issues of Rider and on www.ridermagazine.com. For exhibitor and sponsor information, contact Johnson at 714/595-3668 or 88johnsons@msn.com.

EagleRider to include Vespa scooters in rental line-up

EagleRider added Piaggio and Vespa scooters to its motorcycle rental line-up that already includes Harley-Davidson, Honda and BMW motorcycles, reported EagleRider.
Beginning Oct. 11, EagleRider will start renting Piaggio and Vespa scooters at its Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco locations. Beginning Oct. 15, EagleRider’s Orlando location will carry the scooters. “Strong Vespa scooters sales growth in 2008 coupled with increasing gas prices makes the addition of the Vespa line-up a necessary choice,” Chris McIntyre, president of EagleRider, said. psb

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