HOT NEWS – May 12, 2003

Cannondale sale closing is delayed
Renewed interest in the motorsport segment of the Cannondale business has delayed the sale of its bicycle business to creditor Pegasus Partners II, LP. Following Pegasus’ successful bid of $55 million for the firm’s bicycle and motorsports divisions, Bankruptcy Court Judge Alan H. W. Shiff was expected to finalize the deal in late April.
However, according to Scott Montgomery, vice president of marketing for the manufacturer, the deal had not been finalized as of May 2.
The asking price for the bicycle division was originally $57.2 million and the asking price for the motorsports division was $2.8 million. While there was not an acceptable bid on the motorsports portion of the company at the time of the auction, which left Pegasus with both portions of the business, Montgomery says a renewed interest in motorsports has forced a delay of the official closing.
“We decided to delay the closing as there are still some people interested in (bidding on) the moto business,” Montgomery recently told Powersports Business.
As for the bicycle portion of Cannondale, Montgomery says news “will be announced shortly.”
As of March 20, Pegasus indicated that it would work with current management to operate the bicycle business as a going concern, but that it did not intend to operate the motorsports division.
Markel closes deal with Harley-Davidson
Markel American Insurance Company
(rated “A X” by A.M. Best) said it will offer insurance through Harley-Davidson Insurance Services, Inc. under a new plan recently agreed upon. Markel American Vice President of Marketing Audrey Hanken said, “HDIS is an excellent fit for Markel American. Both companies’ philosophies center around quality products and top notch customer service.”
Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets. HDIS provides comprehensive insurance coverage for Harley riders nationwide.
Cycle Country Adds Cabelas
Cycle Country Accessories Corp.
(OTCBB:CYCY), Milford, Iowa, is offering the complete Weekend Warrior lawn & garden equipment product line at Cabela’s, the largest outdoor outfitter in the world via mail-order, retail and Internet sales.
Cycle Country manufactures Weekend Warrior heavy-duty equipment attachments for garden tractors, ATVs and other utility vehicles.
Cycle Country says it will continue to sell its ATV-related products only through ATV and motorcycle dealers in North America. But the firm says moving Weekend Warrior product through Cabela’s “represents an important step in keeping with the company’s initiative to quickly establish a solid position within this lucrative market.”
Ridley Expands
Ridley Motorcycle Co.
, Oklahoma City, Okla., has begun producing a full size automatic motorcycle dubbed the 2003 Ridley Auto-Glide.
The six-year-old manufacturer had been building only a three-quarter-size automatic bike — the Ridley Speedster — until late 2002, when company leaders decided to move into the production of full-size motorcycles.
While it has been positioned to compete against the Harley-Davidson Sportster, the 700cc Auto-Glide — MSRP $13,900 — comes with a CVT Ridley Variomatic transmission, a 24-inch seat height and a dry weight of 410 lbs. The bike, which can reach 85 mph, also comes with a chrome-moly frame with 34° front rake, a 67-inch wheelbase, four-piston front brake caliper and stainless steel rotor in back, a five-gallon fuel tank, and a full array of cockpit indicators.
Jay Ridley, Ridley vice president, says first quarter sales during 2003 were 96% over sales logged during the same time last year. The company’s dealer base, he said, grew from 40 to 48 retailers in the U.S., with one in Japan.
Ridley says a conservative production goal for 2003 includes building about 600 Auto-Glides and about 100 Speedsters. The company built only about 300 motorcycles last year, and has no specific blueprints for future expansion. While the company’s 25,000 sq. ft. plant can accommodate the production of four bikes per day, Ridley says the current build rate averages one to two bikes per
day. For more information, visit
Sullivan Joins Global Motorsports
John Sullivan
has joined Global Motorsport Group, Inc., Morgan Hill, Calif., as media relations manager with responsibility for all aspects of Custom Chrome and Motorcycle Stuff media relations. Sullivan brings over 15 years of media relations experience most recently as editor of Hot Rod Bikes, a Harley-Davidson enthusiast technical magazine.
Meanwhile, Kip Woodring has moved into the Global sales department.
Buck Kittredge: 1946-2003
Nathan “Buck” Kittredge
, president of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and an AMA Life Member, died in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident near his home in Wisconsin. He was 56.
A motorcyclist since 1966, he had been actively involved in motorcyclists’-rights organizations for more than 18 years, including a four-year term as executive director of ABATE of Wisconsin and 12 years lobbying for bikers’ rights in Washington, D.C.
New Husaberg Distributor
Effective immediately, Barrett Marketing Group Ltd. will take over dealer and distribution responsibilities for Husaberg motorcycles in North America.
The agreement includes distribution of all Husaberg motorcycles, spare parts, aftermarket equipment, and warranty service covered by Husaberg USA, Inc.
A part of the KTM group, Husaberg manufactures a series of high performance, lightweight competition four-stroke motorcycles and has 17 World Championship titles to its credit. BMG also is involved in KTM motorcycle distribution in Canada.
Bott Joins Applied Racing
Brian Bott has joined the Applied Racing team as its national sales manager. Bott has 10 years of experience in the industry and will work closely with General Manager Darren McGarvie. Applied, based in Escondido, Calif., provides billet aluminum aftermarket parts.
Bott can be reached at Applied Racing, 530 Opper St., Suite C, Escondido, CA 92029; or via E:mail at
Cycle Barn Adds COO
Jim Boltz
, owner of Cycle Barn, Inc., Lynwood, Wash., named Gary Harper as the firm’s chief operating officer. Harper will be responsible for all operations, which include two dealerships — Lynnwood Cycle Barn and Smokey Point Cycle Barn — a restoration and custom paint facility, and a warehouse and assembly center.
Triumph Adds to Sales Team
Triumph Motorcycles America, Ltd. (TMA)
has appointed Stephen Lazoff to area manager for Triumph Sales Area 3, which includes North Carolina, South Carolina and eastern Tennessee.
Based out of his home in Raleigh, N.C., Lazoff is an industry veteran with 19 years of experience with motorcycles, PWC and retail finance.
In other news regarding Triumph sales managers, Ron Greene has been appointed area manager for Triumph Sales Area 1, which includes New England and New York — with the exception of New York City. In addition to OEM field sales, Greene has managed and owned his own retail business. He will work from his home in Southwick, Mass.
New Ducati Retailer in California
Tom Hicks
, owner of Southern California Triumph, has purchased the Ducati franchise from Malcolm Smith Motorsports and placed it next to Southern California Triumph in Brea, Calif. Hicks says the Triumph and Ducati dealerships will be kept separated “to show our commitment and emphasis to each brand.”
Southern California Ducati is located at 515 A West Lambert Rd., Brea, Calif., 92821, 714/256-6700.
Kawasaki Recall
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI)
is recalling nearly 11,000 motorcycles because of defective brake and headlight systems.
Kawasaki says it is in the process of recalling 8,395 of its Eliminator 125 because of potential brake problems and 2,549 W650 because of possible problems with the headlight. The 7,104 suspect Eliminators in North America (vehicle number BN125-A4) were made from January 2000 to July 2002 while the 840 possibly defective W650 in North America (vehicle number EJ650-A3) were built between March 2001 and July 2002.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., released repair bulletins to its dealer base this week — Bulletin # MC03-03 regarding the Eliminator and Bulletin # MC03-04 regarding the W650. Mel Moore, KMC’s motorcycle product specialist, says the problems were discovered on the assembly line.
“On the BN125 Eliminator, they discovered that the rear brake actuating cam may crack under extreme pressure,” Moore told Powersports Business. “Apparently, there was someone in assembly in Japan who compressed it enough to crack it. So they pulled it off of the line, had QA (Quality Assurance) look at it, test it, and deem that it was a part they would exchange free of charge.”
Moore says the problem with the W650 stems from improper headlight assembly: “Some of these units didn’t have the plug or prongs completely engaged,” he said, “so there’s a chance, with the improper engagement, that there could have been some discoloration or headlight failure.”
Honda Reports on Fiscal Year
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
says its consolidated net income for the year ended March 31, 2003, set a record high of $3.550 billion, an increase of 17.6% from the same period in 2002. Basic net income per common share for the year amounted to $3.66, compared to $3.09 for the corresponding period a year ago.
Honda says revenue from unit sales of motorcycles, automobiles and power products was $66.319 billion, an increase of 8.3% from last year. Revenue included the negative effect of currency translation, and Honda estimates that had the exchange rate of the yen remained unchanged from the previous year, revenue for the year would have increased by approximately 9.1%.
Consolidated operating income for the year totaled $5.736 billion, an increase of 7.8% compared to the corresponding period last year.
Honda says higher revenue from the automobile business, continuing cost cutting strategies and a weaker yen were the major contributing factors to this increase in operating income.
Motorcycle unit sales increased by 32.6% to 8,080,000 units, with revenue increasing 3.2% to $8.137 billion. Honda says higher sales in Asia outside Japan contributed to this increase.
Viper Signs with Vikings
Viper Motorcycle Company
, Minneapolis, Minn., has signed a marketing agreement with the Minnesota Vikings professional football team. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at

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