HOT NEWS – August, 18, 2003

ATV Sales evaluated
ATV dealers surveyed by Powersports Business magazine said machine sales were down this year through June because of consumer concern over the economy and because of a market saturated with machines.
A total of 180 dealers participated in the unscientific e-mail survey. Dealers were asked to answer the question, “ATV unit sales were down 2.4% in 2003 through June, according to figures compiled by the Motorcycle Industry Council. Why?”
Participants were asked to pick one reason from five choices. Here are the choices and response rates: The market is saturated (32.2%); Caution because of economic uncertainty (31.1%); riding areas have been reduced (15.6%); bad weather has reduced buyer interest (12.8%); unit prices are too high (7.8%); and There is not enough product available (0.6%).
ID-theft Bust in Florida
A supervisor in the driver’s license bureau of Florida’s Osceola County was trying to process a title for a recently purchased motorcycle when he discovered the driver’s license submitted by the bike’s owner was bogus. Two additional phony applications and a call to the Florida Highway Patrol then led to the arrest of six people charged with using stolen identities to scam dealerships out of cars and motorcycles, reported the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.
The motorcycles in question were purchased from PowerSports of Kissimmee.
Police said ring members would use their own photo but somebody else’s name and Social Security number to produce a fake Florida drivers license, Social Security cards, insurance cards and Puerto Rican drivers licenses on a laptop computer.
Then a member of the ring would take a fake license into a dealership offering no-money-down financing and arrange to buy a vehicle.
When the dealership checked the credit report of the name found on the driver’s license, they found the buyer had good credit and authorized the sale.
A Final Look at Big-X
Dan Hanlon
, founder and CEO of the defunct American motorcycle manufacturer Excelsior-Henderson, has penned his version of the rise and fall of the bike maker.
The book is entitled, “Riding the American Dream, The official story of Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycles,” and is scheduled to begin shipping this month.
Excerpts and ordering information are available at Look for a review of the book in the Sept. 8, 2003, issue of Powersports Business magazine.
Sharper Signs Piaggio
Sharper Image Corporation
(NASDAQ: SHRP), San Francisco, says it has teamed with Piaggio USA, Inc. to offer Sharper Image limited edition Vespa ET scooters in the manufacturer’s retail outlets.
The program will consist of two limited edition Vespa motor scooters with two different engine options, a 50cc 2-stroke engine or a 150cc 4-stroke engine Sharper Image operates over 130 stores in the U.S.
Deal for Piaggio advances
Italian financier Roberto Colaninno has signed a preliminary agreement for control of
Italian scooter and engine manufacturer Piaggio, according to Italian press reports.
The agreement was signed by Colaninno’s Immsi holding company and Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, which has had a controlling interest in the manufacturer since 1999. Piaggio, Europe’s leading manufacturer of small and medium displacement two-wheelers, reportedly has a debt burden of about $663 million.
TerraTrack Offers unit
A new two-passenger ATV designed to transport personnel and cargo over rough terrain is being offered by TerraTrack, Inc. Lincoln, Neb. The WildCat is a twin-tracked vehicle featuring a single “T” handle that controls the vehicle’s speed, steering and breaking.
Powered by a 31 hp or 34 hp gas-powered engine or a 34 hp turbo-diesel, the WildCat features a hydraulic drive system, front and rear hitch mounts and optional hydraulic hookups at the front and rear. A fiberglass body available in bright green or several RealTree camo patterns.
For more information, contact TerraTrack, Inc., 4817 N. 45th St., Unit #45, Lincoln, Neb. 68504, 402/465-5993.
Italian Sales slip
Reporting on the state of Italy’s two-wheeler market, Associazione Nazionale Ciclo Motociclo Accessori (ANCMA) says total sales of two-wheeled vehicles during the first six months of 2003 reached 346,401 units, down slightly from the 346,916 units retailed during the same period 2002.
ANCMA says 6.5% sales growth during the April-May-June period helped the industry recover from the first quarter’s negative results. Total sales for January-June 2003 were 245,808 units compared to the 249,965 units sold during the same period 2002.
Scooter sales during the past six months, at 159,204 units, are equal to sales during the same period in 2002. ANCMA says sales of 500cc scooters grew 60%, although models with an engine size between 150cc and 200cc achieved the highest sales volumes.
Motorcycle sales were led by the 600cc category, up 13%. Only 86,604 motorcycles were sold during the past six months, which sends half-year sales spiraling –4.5% compared to figures for the same period 2002.
Founded in 1920 and headquartered in Milan, ANCMA represents over 170 businesses in Italy involved in the manufacture, distribution and sales of bicycles, mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, parts and accessories.
Steve Hislop, 1962-2003
British Superbike Champion Steve Hislop, 41, died July 30 in a helicopter crash while attempting to fly the craft to Scotland. Hislop won British Superbike titles in 1995 and 2002, plus 11 race wins on the Isle of Man.
KTM Changes Name
Some may have noticed the change in voice mail messages; others may have seen the new header on communiqués. For those of you missed it, the U.S. representative of KTM, the Austrian-based manufacturer, has officially changed its name from KTM Sportmotorcycle USA, Inc. to KTM North America, Inc.
KTM says the name change — effective July 15, 2003, — reflects a major restructuring of the manufacturer’s North America operations and is in recognition of expansion into marketing, sales and distribution of motorcycles and parts in Canada.
KTM North America remains based in Amherst, Ohio, with satellite offices in California and Canada. The new Canadian office is located in St. Bruno, Quebec.
Harley Reels in Racers
says its factory drag racing and factory dirt track racing programs will be consolidated and managed within the Harley-Davidson Parts & Accessories Division and promoted under the Screamin’ Eagle brand.
Mike Kennedy, director of marketing for Parts & Accessories, now is responsible for Harley’s racing strategy, plans and programs under this new alignment. In a related move, Anne Paluso was named to the newly created position of Racing Manager.
“This move will tie our racing efforts directly to our line of Screamin’ Eagle performance parts,” said Ron Hutchinson, vice president Parts & Accessories.
Ramsey on the Web
Ramsey Winch
, Tulsa, Okla., has produced a new Web site at The easy-to-navigate Ramsey site has been completely redesigned to offer product information, event sponsorships, technical data, owners manuals, and mounting kits.
BMW U.S. Sales Up 19%
BMW Motorrad USA
, the importer and distributor of BMW motorcycles in the U.S., reports a 19% increase in sales at the half-year mark over the same period last year. BMW USA says its market performance is fueled by sales of the single cylinder F 650 CS and F 650 CSA, up 34% over the same period last year; the R 1150 R and R 1150 RA Roadsters, up 21% over the same period last year; and the R 1150 RT Sport Tourer, up 12% over the same period last year. , BMW says sales of the Dual Sport R 1150 GS Adventure more than doubled during the first half of 2003.

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