Archive for December 18th, 2008

Financial Crisis Forces Changes at Honda

December 18, 2008

Japan’s Honda Motor Co. Ltd. on Dec. 5 announced its decision to end its Formula One activities. That was followed Dec. 12 by American Honda’s decision to drop out of AMA road racing. Most recently, on Dec. 18, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. President and CEO Takeo Fukui said the financial crisis has forced the OEM to radically update its business plan over a very short period of time.

“The situation is worsening day by day and is showing no sign of recovery,” says Takeo Fukui, president and CEO, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. “As we face the next year, while hoping for the earliest recovery of the global economy and the market situation, Honda will develop business plans based on an assumption that the situation will worsen next year and will navigate the company through this challenge.”

Visit Dealernews to learn more.

Leno’s Garage for the Cycle Enthusiast, Too

December 18, 2008

Jay Leno is arguably one of the best-known gear-heads in North America, and owner of one of the finest car collections in the world. Housed in a 17,000 sq.-ft. former airplane hangar, Jay’s “Big Dog Garage” holds dozens upon dozens of vehicles in a collection that spans multiple continents and more than a century.

But Jay is more than a “car guy,” he’s also a collector of motorcycles. Among his prized possessions: a lenojetbike 1930 Brough Superior SS100, 1955 Vincent Black Knight, Ducati Desmosedici RR, 1966 Suzuki X6 Hustler, 1975 Suzuki RE5, 1931 Henderson KJ, the S&S Mobil 1 motorcycle, an Elvis Presley 30th Anniversary Signature Harley-Davidson, 1918 Pope motorcycle, 2008 Can-Am Spyder, Vincent Black Shadow, 1927 Harley-Davidson JD, 1946 Indian Chief, Honda 305 Super Hawk, 1924 Ace motorcycle, Vectrix scooter, Zero electric off-road motorcycle, Aprilia 850 Mana, Piaggio MP3 250, Boss Hoss V8, and the MTT Y2K Turbine Superbike made famous during an appearance on The Tonight Show.

Interested in learning more about the treasures in Jay’s garage? Check out the Jay Leno’s Garage web site for a ride-along in and on many of the vehicles he takes pleasure in owning.

The Indians are Coming

December 18, 2008

Mike Smith Indian is announcing that the dealership will be the second store (after the factory shop in North Carolina) in the U.S. to receive a shipment of new Indian motorcycles.

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The shop says the shipment of 17 new Indians will coincide with the dealership’s grand opening at the former Hoopers Outdoor Center in Paducah, Ky. The resurrected OEM announced this summer that Mike’s would be one of Indian’s inaugural dealerships. Read about it here. Indian first discussed its dealership plans with Dealernews back in January. Here’s what dealer development director Gary Busch had to say about those plans.

It’s now been a few months since Indian honcho Stephen Julius first rolled out the production bikes to the crowds at Sturgis. Since then, I’ve yet to read any riding reviews of the new Chiefs. If anybody has a link or a story they’d care to share about the new bikes pass it along. I’ve heard about the plans to build a superior bike, the launching of a whole line of Indian apparel, the development of a new Power Plus 105 cu. in. motor, the construction of iconic dealerships and the resurrection of a legendary brand. What I haven’t heard is how the bikes ride.

Yes, We Do Get Weather in So Cal.

December 18, 2008

If you’re not from Southern California, you know you’ve found yourself smugly giggling when we start complaining about any kind of weather. Well, I’m here to say you’re right, we do complain about rain, snow, cold, whatever. At least I do. The main reason I live in So Cal is to avoid rain, snow, cold and whatever. So this week’s share of steady rain and 40-degree cold has been quietly tolerated.

With that said, our friend Andy up at Big Bear Choppers sent us this up-to-the-minute pic of BBC headquarters way up in the heights of the San Bernardino Mountains.

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We love BBC, but don’t think those are the optimum riding conditions for a Pro-Street Sled. Maybe if you attach a snowboard to the forks, that 300mm rear would act like a tread.

Here’s a profile we did of them in the August 2007 issue of Big Twin Dealer (RIP).