Suzuki brings scooters to the U.S.
American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), Brea, Calif., is launching the Suzuki Burgman 400 and 650 scooters in the U.S. as 2003 models.
“With their high-performance engines, expanded storage, comfortable riding positions and other rider features, the Burgmans are ideal urban commuting vehicles,” said Mel Harris, Suzuki’s vice president, motorcycle/
ATV division. “Thanks to aggressive fairing and body styling, the Burgman also projects a more muscular, motorcycle-like image that (results) in a whole new breed of scooter that commuters will love and motorcycle lovers won’t be ashamed to ride.”
Available in silver or blue, the Burgman 400 (MSRP $5,999) is powered by a compact four-stroke, liquid-cooled, single- cylinder, 385cc engine. The Burgman 650 ($7,699) is powered by a four-stroke, DOHC, liquid-cooled 638cc V-twin engine.
Indian Sets sales Record
Indian Motorcycle Corporation (IMC), Gilroy, Calif., set a monthly sales record in May by retailing 563 motorcycles, up 39% compared to the same month last year, according to company officials.
According to John Koehler, IMC vice president of sales, May 2003 was the biggest sales month in Indian’s five-year history; year-to-date Indian motorcycle sales are up 11%.
“This tells us that Indian motorcycles are attracting a greater share of the market and that momentum is on our side,” added Fran O’Hagan, senior vice president of sales, service, marketing and product management at IMC.
On the move
Michael Buck, long-time sales manager at Motorcycle and ATV Industry magazines, has joined Oxlite Manufacturing as director of sales. He joins Oxlite with 20 years experience in the powersports and automotive industries, including stints with The Fulmer Companies, and Distinctive Industries. He will work on national accounts, develop existing sales staff and assist in the development of new markets. Meanwhile, Oxlite has built a larger manufacturing facility to handle expansion of current product lines and handle new products in development.
Kolpin Outdoors, Inc. has hired Rick Hasseld as regional sales manager. Hasseld will focus on increasing sales and placement with new powersports dealers and Kolpin’s existing dealer base. Hasseld has over 18 years experience in direct sales and territory management.
BMW Cancels Delivery Program
BMW Motorrad USA has eliminated the Europe Delivery and Ride Program from its 80th anniversary offerings. The nine-day trip, offered to 200 U.S. consumers who purchased a limited R 1150 R Edition 80, would have included ceremonial delivery of the motorcycle at the Berlin factory, a four-day tour with Edelweiss Bike Travel, time at BMW’s International Biker Meeting and U.S. delivery of the new motorcycle.
“Obviously this is a major change to our original plans and not something we wished to do,” BMW’s Roy Oliemuller told Powersports Business. “The decision was based on the responses from a significant number of consumers who have expressed a serious desire to purchase the new limited edition 80th anniversary Rockster, but who did not want to participate in a trip that required international travel.” BMW plans to now sell the 80th Anniversary Rockster with a price reduced to reflect the elimination of the European trip. The new MSRP is $13,900.
AMA Awards Americade Founder
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), Pickerington, Ohio, awarded Bill Dutcher, founder and director of the Americade motorcycle-touring rally, the AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award. The presentation took place earlier this month, at Americade in Lake George, New York.
The award, presented to Dutcher for the positive contributions that Americade has made to the motorcycling community, is the AMA’s highest honor for activities that generate favorable publicity for motorcycling.
ANTI-PWC BILL STOPPED IN LOUISIANA
Yet another piece of anti-PWC legislation has been stopped, thanks to the rapid efforts of the AWA, PWIA, and local enthusiasts and business owners. House Bill 1809 was originally intended to ban PWC from all Louisiana state parks. Later, it was amended to target only one — Poverty Point Reservoir — but was placed on the fast track for approval, leaving many obsrvers to fear the bill would simply slip through the legislature before enough awareness and opposition could be generated against it. But thanks to the actions of the pro-PWC community, the bill has been stopped in its tracks. HB 1809 has been amended to remove all references to PWC. Though the bill will once again return to the Louisiana House of Representatives for approval, following the approval of the PWC-friendly amendments by the Senate, the momentum has once again shifted in favor of continued PWC access.
This item was incorrectly listed in the 2003 Powersports Business Personal Watercraft Supplier Directory.
Markel American Insurance Co. (Waveline) (S)
PO Box 906
Pewaukee, WI, 53072-0906
Brands: Call for information.
An “A” rated (excellent) nationwide insurer of personal watercraft, motorcycles and ATVs. Offers special programs for dealers and industry distributors.
Contact: Gina Niemetschek, Marketing Assistant
JET PILOT ON MTV
Wetsuit and apparel manufacturer Jet Pilot received plenty of mainstream TV exposure during MTV’s recent “Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Sexes.” The multi-part series, which featured cast members from previous reality shows on the network pitted against each other in a variety of athletic challenges, was filled with Jet Pilot gear. Cast members routinely donned Jet Pilot’s neoprene PFDs and wetsuits during water-based challenges, and the company’s gloves were front and center in a variety of competitions.
And speaking of Jet Pilot, original company founders Phil Johnson and Scott Burnworth have a new project aimed at the active, motorsports lifestyle — Rivet. The company produces a variety of stylish attachment devices machined from aluminum and stainless steel, aimed at securing cell phones or other personal handheld devices to clothes, belts, even car dashboards or backpacks. See the goods at rivetequipped.com.
Yamaha Goes Electric
Yamaha Motor Co. reportedly plans to create a network of dealerships in Japan specializing in zero-emission electric-powered scooters. The firm intends to open at least 50 sites, chiefly in major urban areas, over the next five years, reports Asia Pulse news service. The first such retail store could be open by 2004, the company reportedly said.
Yamaha sells approximately 200,000 two-wheelers a year in Japan, but regulations governing emissions of two-wheeled vehicles are to become stricter there starting in 2006. Yamaha, which launched sales of electric models in fall 2002, expects demand to rise as a result of the changes, reports Asia Pulse.
HOT NEWS – June 30, 2003
Suzuki brings scooters to the U.S.