Cycle Update

Alliance builds first motorcycle Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corporation plan to sell the first jointly-developed motorcycle to grow out of their business alliance worldwide this September. The unit, to be produced by Kawasaki, is a 250cc four-stroke motocross machine. Each of the companies will market its own version of the bike under its own brand. Both will compete with their respective units in the All-Japan Motocross Championship beginning in April 2003.
Kawasaki and Suzuki announced their business alliance in August 2001.
The Kawasaki-Suzuki business alliance has been taken a step beyond the mere exchange of OEM products. Using combined operational resources for this joint development project has allowed a new product to be introduced to the market after a very short development period, the companies said.
AMA Announces Red Bull
Supermoto Championship

Supermoto will return to where it all started in the form of an all new national series called The AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship. “We’re confident that this series will be a hit immediately,” said AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth, “because it takes the best from a variety of motorcycle racing disciplines and puts them all together in one highly entertaining package. The racing will be competitive, accessible and fan-friendly.” Austrian energy drink maker Red Bull will be the title sponsor of the series and KTM will be a class sponsor.
AMA Supermoto events are held in conjunction with other AMA Pro Racing events. But, as the championship grows, more stand-alone events could become common, said AMA’s John Farris. “The beauty of this form of racing is that that you can create a ‘motorcycle happening’ virtually anywhere. It’s not out of the question that you’ll soon see AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship races at concerts, expos or even downtown, urban locations. This will open up boundless possibilities for our sponsors in terms of marketing and cross-promotional opportunities. Plus, it will enable us to present motorcycle racing in an all new fashion.”
The Red Bull Supermoto class will be for motorcycles up to 450cc and the KTM Supermoto Unlimited class will feature 490cc and over motorcycles. These classes were established to allow the largest number of brands to participate.
Hollingsworth added that the creation of these two classes will expand sales opportunities for the manufacturers. “When it comes down to it, racing is really about selling motorcycles, and this will allow the OEMs to explore new marketing opportunities by re-positioning existing product,” said Hollingsworth.
The 2003 AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship will consist of six rounds with the series culminating at the championship finale run in conjunction with the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet in Las Vegas in November. For more information, visit
Patriot Motorcycles names CEO
Patriot Motorcycles Inc.
named Michael Shannon CEO and chairman of the board, effective March 1, 2003. Shannon holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering cum laude from Bucknell University and has worked with large companies such as Humble Oil, Monsanto and General Electric, and in the development and growth of new venture companies.
Triumph Returns To Racing
Triumph Motorcycles
will re-enter the racing arena in the UK with the well-known and successful Valmoto Team. This will be a fully-supported factory effort and limited to the British 600 Supersport Series. Triumph Motorcycles (America), Ltd, is not involved and reports that it has no plans to compete at this time. All contacts and requests for information may be made directly to Valmoto via email at
Honda Signs with Daytona Speedway
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
has signed an extension of its long-standing relationship with the Daytona Motor Speedway . The new seven-year agreement will position Honda as the “official motorcycle, ATV, scooter, and personal watercraft of the Daytona Motor Speedway.”
Ducati Names Head Of Global Sales
Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
recently has named Mirko Bordiga, 34, as group sales director. Bordiga has been head of Ducati Japan since September 1999, where he oversaw a transformation of the Ducati business and average unit sales growth of 38% per year. He began his career at Ducati in 1998 in the sales department at Ducati’s Bologna headquarters in Italy.

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