March 8, 2010: Motorcycle Digest

BMW adds to its dealer network

BMW Motorrad USA has opened eight new dealerships within the past five months, the manufacturer reported.

“In 2010 and beyond we will continue to identify growth opportunities for the BMW brand in markets that do not currently have a BMW motorcycle dealership by partnering with new or existing motorcycle dealers in those areas,” Todd Andersen, BMW Motorrad USA’s marketing manager, said in a press release.

The new BMW dealerships include: Van-Wall Powersports in Perry, Iowa; BMW Motorcycles of Chattanooga in Chattanooga, Tenn.; Bergen County BMW Motorcycles in Rochelle Park, N.J.; Montgomeryville Cycle Center in Hatfield, Penn.; BMW Motorcycles Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla; BMW Motorcycles of Spokane/Westside Motorsports in Spokane, Wash.; BMW Motorcycles of Utah in Sandy, Utah; and Kissell Motor Sports in State College, Penn.

“Our dedicated dealer network was the key to our success last year,” Andersen said, citing the fact that BMW Motorrad USA outperformed the industry for the second year in a row. “Our dealers continued to serve our customers well thanks to new products like the K1300 GT, K 1300 S, and the new S 1000 RR Superbike, as well as attractive financing programs from BMW Financial Services.”

A look back at 2009 metric motorcycle exports

Metric manufacturers decreased their new motorcycle exports to the United States in 2009 by more than 55 percent compared to the previous year.

That percentage, reported by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), includes exports from Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki.

Total JAMA exports from January-December last year amounted to 160,655 units, a decline of 57 percent from a year ago.

It is the second straight year of U.S. export declines from JAMA members.

Canada also saw a reduction in JAMA exports. Units sent there totaled 21,986, a decline of 41 percent from the previous year.

U.S. Distributor to change name to peirspeed


Cobra Powersports, a distributor of scooters and small-displacement motorcycles, will now be known as Peirspeed.

The change is being made to better reflect the company’s current business and to get away from the confusion that has arisen with other similarly named businesses, announced Cobra in a press release.

This is a change in name only and does not affect the company’s ownership structure or daily operations.

Royal Enfield introduces new promotional campaign

Royal Enfield, a motorcycle OEM, will launch a grassroots promotional campaign designed to drive new customer traffic to Royal Enfield dealers, announced the manufacturer.

The new program will invite members of the public to participate in staffed demo rides at major motorcycling events nationwide. It’ll launch at this year’s Bike Week in Daytona, the “Royal Enfield Experience.”

In addition to Daytona Bike Week, current plans for the Royal Enfield Experience tour include stops at Americade, Lacionia Bike Week and Sturgis.

“This is the first time we have offered demo rides to the public outside of our dealerships, and we are very excited to start this great program,” Ron Greene, vice president of sales and marketing, said in the release. “Royal Enfield’s new products are hitting the market in the right place and the right time, and we are growing rapidly as a brand so this is a logical step forward.”

State Buys KYMCO Quannon 150s For safety Program

The state of Minnesota is adding 21 new KYMCO 2010 Quannon 150 motorcycles to the fleet of bikes that serves its extensive rider education and safety program.

The KYMCO vehicles were chosen after a competitive bidding process that evaluated quality, performance and price.

“The Quannon proved to have enough power to do well on the training range, and it is a very manageable bike for beginner riders,” said Bill Shaffer, administrator of the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Program. “What we look for is a very reliable bike that will start

every time, even in cold weather. And it must stand up really well to novice riders. We need a motorcycle that can endure a fall-over and still be able to be put right back into service.”

Shaffer also cited the Quannon’s rider-friendly seat height of 31 inches adding, “We really liked the price, too.”

The Minnesota program operates 31 training ranges throughout the state, and more than 8,200 riders were trained in 2009 alone. More than 200 rider coaches teach both beginner and refresher courses every weekend from April through October, and the coaches serve the dual function of license-endorsement testers. The courses are based on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) curriculum.

The Quannon 150’s are being purchased from Starr Cycle in North Mankato, Minn., a KYMCO authorized dealer. Starr’s owner, John Zendor, and his staff have been busy prepping the new bikes prior to delivery in time for the mid-April start of the safety course.

Big Dog hits lower price point with new chopper offering

Big Dog Motorcycles is unveiling a lower price model based on its popular chopper-style platform.

With production planned for May, the new model, simply called the Big Dog Chopper, will provide a Big Dog motorcycle experience with an MSRP in the $21,000 range.

Sheldon Coleman, founder and CEO of Big Dog Motorcycles, made the announcement at the recently held Dealer Expo in Indianapolis. “We are excited to participate in this price range with an uncompromised motorcycle of this caliber,” Coleman said in a press release.

The lower price-point offering will include a 111 cubic inch S&S engine and a six-speed transmission. In addition, components include chrome handlebar controls, a new handlebar array, chrome forward controls, a new multifunction speedometer, machined aluminum wheels, a new rear suspension, a 42-degree rake, a beefy 250 mm rear tire and a full line of passenger-friendly accessories.

“This is a landmark achievement for our company,” Coleman said. “Thanks to the cooperation with our dedicated suppliers and the hard work of our engineering experts, we have been able to provide classic Big Dog performance and style to a broader range of consumers.”

Aprilia USA Recall on Schedule for Completion

Aprilia USA, the North American importer and distributor of Aprilia scooters and motorcycles, has issued an update to its RSV4 recall. 

New replacement engines have arrived at RSV4 Aprilia dealers and the company expects certified technicians to complete all work on RSV4 models in customers’ hands within two to three weeks. 

“The Aprilia RSV4 is the most technically advanced super bike we’ve developed, and numerous industry awards already underscore the level of excitement about this motorcycle,” said Paolo Timoni, president and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas. “That is why we felt it was especially critical to minimize both downtime and inconveniences to our customers, who want nothing more than to unleash their RSV4 on the road.”

AMA Grand Championships part of major motorcycling week

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced the 2010 AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships will take place July 12-14, as part of a weeklong motorcycle racing extravaganza at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

“In 2009, we made a number of changes to the program at the AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships, and it was reflected in the attendance, flow of the schedule and satisfaction of the racers,” said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “In 2010, we are going to maintain that momentum.”

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