February 7, 2011-Expansion of rental program in the works

A Harley-Davidson rental program is expanding significantly in the coming year, the company said in a press release.
The Harley Owners Group Fly & Ride motorcycle rental program will expand from 37 to more than 300 locations around the world, the press release stated. The program will be delivered at dealer locations ranging from Anchorage, Alaska, to Johannesburg, South Africa.
The rental experience for H.O.G. members will include:

  • Choice of a wide selection of motorcycles, including Tri-Glide Ultra Classic;
  • Free use of Harley-Davidson helmets and rain gear;
  • Minimum age drops to 21 at many locations.
    “We’ve taken an extremely popular H.O.G. benefit and made it even better,” Steve Piehl, Harley-Davidson’s director of customer experience, said in a press release.
    Sidecar motorcycle OEM sees large U.S. sales increase
    Ural, an OEM of sidecar motorcycles, saw its U.S. sales increase by 39 percent in 2010, the company announced in a press release.
    Its sales were up in each quarter of the year, with its fourth quarter doubling over the same period in 2009.
    “We realize that we have seen some of the best results in the motorcycle industry in terms of growth over the last year, but our goal was to get back to the level of sales we had in 2008,” said Madina Merzhoyeva, the company’s vice president of marketing and sales, in a press release. “We feel somewhat disappointed that we didn’t reach this goal and fell short of our pre-crisis results by 18 percent.”
    The company produces on- and off-road capable sidecar motorcycles and in 2010 introduced the lower-priced T-series models. Ural has a dealer network of 40.
    “Our goal for 2011 is also very aggressive,” Merzhoyeva said. “We believe there are very few motorcycles out there which are as simple, fun to ride and at the same time as practical as Ural.”
    Ducati shows off new monster to North America
    Ducati North America unveiled its new Monster 1100EVO to the U.S. market at the Progressive New York International Motorcycle Show.
    As the flagship of Ducati’s best-selling Monster range, the unveiling of the 1100EVO represents a milestone in Monster history, which began with the debut of the original Monster 900 at the 1993 Chicago Motorcycle Show.
    The 1100EVO is the first Ducati to reach 100 air-cooled horsepower, which is backed up by a significant 76 lb/ft of torque thanks to the Desmodue Evoluzione engine. Wrapped into a 373-pound package, the 1100EVO also boasts the best power-to-weight ratio in Monster history. In the interest of rider comfort, the 1100EVO features a new seat design and higher handlebars.
    Perhaps the most significant feature of the new Monster 1100EVO is the addition of the new Ducati Safety Pack, a combination of rider aids incorporated into the motorcycle with the interest of rider safety. The Ducati Safety Pack’s four-way adjustable Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and Bosch-Brembo ABS braking system work together to keep riders safe and confident on the Monster. This system represents a significant upgrade on a bike that retains the same MSRP as its predecessor ($11,995).
    New sport scooter introduced to market
    The Auto Moto.com Corp. announced the release of its new roofless, three-wheel tilting scooter, The Auto Moto Sport.
    The Sport, which was launched in U.S. dealerships beginning in December, has the same 150cc drive train as the OEM’s classic version. The drive train distributes power evenly to both rear wheels through a three-piece cast aluminum rear end with built-in limited slip differential. The Sport version comes standard with a removable top case with built-in backrest, an alarm system and an FM radio with an MP3 connection.
    The new model is geared toward younger riders looking for a more maneuverable ride.
    “We’ve learned that the demographic for our enclosed scooter has primarily attracted riders 35 years and above,” Guy Cohen, vice president of operations at The Auto Moto.com, said in a press release. “We’ve designed our new sport model to appeal to a younger generation of riders, and our initial testing has confirmed that they like it.”
    The Auto Moto has been distributing the roofed version of its vehicle to U.S. dealers since 2008. The Sport was cleared for distribution in October.
    New trike, with a muscle car-inspired paint scheme
    Lehman Trikes has added to its Signature Series lineup of custom trikes.
    The 2011 Lehman CrossBow SS features a cobalt blue and white muscle car-inspired custom paint scheme, standard reverse and John Lehman signature billet wheels.
    All Lehman Signature Series trikes are limited edition and feature custom paint, wheels and reverse.
    The 2011 CrossBow SS is available through authorized Lehman Trike dealers for Victory Motorcycles and carries an MSRP of $37,495.
    Star Motorcycles, UFC fighter Unveil Custom Stryker
    Star Motorcycles and Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. unveiled two new custom 2011 Star Stryker motorcycles at the New York IMS show.
    Both bikes were inspired by renowned UFC fighter Diego Sanchez, who accepted one of the two customs.
    The second bike will be the centerpiece for a new consumer sweepstakes promotion from Star Motorcycles with details to be announced soon.
    Both bikes were customized by Chris Hagest of Low and Mean customs based in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
    Sanchez, who was the winner of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and competes as a welterweight with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, was on hand to accept his new Star Stryker at the New York show. “Chris has taken my direction and truly turned it into a work of art and I cannot wait to go riding!” Sanchez said in a press release.
    Former Ducati designer joins British manufacturer
    Former Ducati design chief Pierre Terblanche has joined British motorcycle OEM Norton Motorcycles, Norton announced.
    Terblanche, who created Ducati’s Hypermotard, Sport Classic and Multistrada, will be working at Norton’s headquarters at Donnington Park in the United Kingdom.
    “Pierre’s experience of bringing innovative new products to the marketplace will be a vital factor in developing the Norton range, whilst paying due respect to its traditions,” Norton Motorcycles Ltd. CEO Stuart Garner said in a press release. “Combining his flair for original concepts with Norton’s sporting traditions will allow us to create a range of motorcycles bearing the historic Norton badge that will be unlike anything else in the marketplace.”
    Ducati recalls nearly 1,200 motorcycles
    Ducati North America has recalled nearly 1,200 motorcycles because of an issue with the fuel injection system.
    The fuel system in certain 2010 MTS1200 models can cause the engine to stall if a driver downshifts or maneuvers with the clutch disengaged and the engine idled, the company reported in a recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.
    Dealers will re-flash the electronic control unit to remedy the problem.
    AMA Vintage Dirt Track Series will kick off during Bike Week
    The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced that the AMA Racing Vintage Dirt Track National Championship Series is set to kick off during Daytona Beach Bike Week, March 5-8.
    “Bike Week is a great location to start our second year of national championship series competition in vintage dirt track,” said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “The history of the AMA’s involvement in the sport dates to the original factory Class-A racing in the 1920s and really took off during the Class-C production-based format that continues today.”
    Class rules and equipment regulations are available at AMARacing.com. PSB

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