Archive for April, 2009

Rally Hero Scot Harden Featured on Scorpion TV

April 29, 2009

Motorcycle rally champion Scot Harden blazed a trail to Scorpion Sports HQ last week to talk about the helmet and apparel supplier’s new XDR Collection.

Scot Harden

Scot Harden

XDR stands for “Xtreme Distance Riding” so nobody is more qualified to talk about what goes into great riding gear than Harden. During his trip to Scorpion, he took the time to point out some of the many features and benefits that differentiate the XDR Collection from ordinary gear. Fortunately, the cameras were rolling and a short video clip now appears at Scorpion’s home page, while a longer version where Scot discusses rallying with Scorpion VP Eric Anderson appears at the ScorpionNation YouTube site .

Harden is a member of the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He has served as African Rally champion, two-time Dakar Rally veteran, three-time Baja 500 and Baja 1000 Overall champion, three-time ISDE medalist, U.S. Trophy Team member and two-time AMA Amateur National Off-road champion.

Scorpion XDR Commander

Scorpion XDR Commander

Last August, Harden was hired as national sales and marketing manager of Husqvarna Motorcycles NA, LLC. Prior to that he spearheaded corporate marketing strategies, product development and sales for KTM North America.

During his Hall Of Fame racing career, Harden has logged more than 200,000 off road miles that is enough to circumnavigate the entire planet eight times. I suggest anyone having a chance to talk with Scot jump at the opportunity.

Georgia Police Discover $100K Motorcycle Chop Shop

April 29, 2009

Last week a LoJack-equipped 2006 Suzuki GSXR-750 motorcycle was discovered stolen from the owner’s apartment complex parking lot in Georgia. The owner immediately reported the theft and police activated the covert LoJack System. Within three hours, Henry County Police Department officers picked up the LoJack signal and tracked the bike to a house in a rural area. The officer called a detective with a search warrant to the site and inside discovered not only the stolen bike, but other stolen motorcycles – all part of a chop shop operation.

After a lengthy investigation, 18 motorcycles, some from as far away as Alabama, were recovered along with the LoJack-equipped bike. The criminals were stripping the bikes and selling the parts on popular online sites like eBay. Total value of bikes in this theft ring is more than $100,000. Three suspects were arrested and more arrests are expected as part of this major theft ring.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Trenton Dean Mallard, 24, allegedly served as the ringleader and is in custody at Henry County Jail. Mallard was charged with 19 counts of theft by receiving and one count of operating a chop shop.

LoJack says it has achieve a 90 percent recovery success rate over the past 20-plus years, recovering more than $5 billion in stolen assets worldwide.

“These recoveries are great examples of how our proven system continues to benefit society by helping police not only find and recover stolen assets, but moreover break up organized crime rings and arrest the thieves behind these criminal acts,” says Ronald V. Waters, LoJack’s president and CEO. “These recoveries once again demonstrate that LoJack has the right technology and processes in place to effectively recover a wide range of stolen assets. Additionally, our direct integration with police puts recovery exactly where it belongs – in the hands of professionals who can swiftly track down stolen assets and arrest the perpetrators behind the crime.”

Frank Esposito Enjoys Kendon Gig

April 26, 2009

These Are Happy Times After Pain of Global/Custom Chrome

Frank Esposito, perhaps best known for playing top roles at two of this industry’s largest distribution companies, today is relaxed and having fun as president of Kendon Industries, a small California trailer manufacturer that produces a line of motorcycle lifts and unique folding trailers.

He joined the Anaheim company in January after having been dropped by Global Motorsports Group (GMG) last summer as the company reorganized under new ownership after stumbling out of messy bankruptcy proceedings.

Frank Esposito

Frank Esposito

GMG had been owned by Cerberus Capital Management LP, the cutthroat New York-based international investment group and had struggled with inventory and cash shortages for many years under GMG management.

Esposito had joined Global as president in August 2002 and spent six tough, grinding years trying to balance the needs of suppliers and dealers under Cerberus’s tight-fisted management. His sudden termination last summer came as a surprise to many in the industry, who thought he would play a leading rule for the Global companies as they limped ahead under new ownership.

“I want to recognize the vendors who supported me at Global,” says Esposito. “Kendon was at the top of the heap; they carried receivables that were immense, and we about killed them and many other vendors.”

Despite his pain at Global, Esposito says he has no regrets about the experience. “It was an incredible education,” he says. “It was a first-hand look at evil and corruption, and I’m very proud that I was instrumental in getting vendors paid.”

One of the first calls Esposito received following news of his departure, was from long-time friends Ken and Tina Thurm, who offered him a job in their small, family-owned company. The small trailer business was a long step from the much larger international GMG operation, and the Thurms were somewhat hesitant to offer Esposito a job.

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KTM Confirms Electric MX Model for 2011

April 23, 2009

KTM has confirmed plans to produce its previously unveiled electric off-road bike in 2010 for the 2011 model year.

As Dealernews reported in October 2008, KTM’s electric prototype weighs 200 pounds, develops approximately 35 hp, and can run for 40 minutes before recharging.
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KTM says the most important aspects of the project were that the machine have high power output, low weight and as long a range as possible using today’s technology. The OEM’s in-house research and development team worked on the project with Austrian firm Arsenal Research.

“The zero-emissions concept mates our known competencies with a new highly interesting motor technology,” said KTM director Harald Plöckinger. “We see emissions-free vehicles as offering the greatest chance to expand enduro sport to a wider and new audience in the mid- and long-term, and to perhaps even start a brand-new trend sport.”

Read more about KTM’s plans for 2009 at Dealernews.com.

Clarkson: A powersports fanatic

April 22, 2009

Jeremy Clarkson, one-third of the presenting team for the top-rated BBC television show Top Gear, was spotted this week atop a Yamaha Waverunner VX110 while on vacation in Barbados.
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As the pictures attest to, the 49-year-old appeared to have enjoyed piloting the 110hp four-stroke PWC as much as driving a 510hp Lamborghini Gallardo.

Last September, photographers spotted the presenter, who often derides motorcyclists, astride a Piaggio scooter near his home in Oxfordshire. Click here to read what Clarkson had to say about his buzz around town on the scoot.

Honda, Yuasa Venture Begins Construction

April 22, 2009

Blue Energy Co. Ltd., a new joint venture company between Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and GS Yuasa Corporation, today held a groundbreaking ceremony to launch construction of its plant in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, Japan.
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Blue Energy is a joint venture to specialize in the R&D, manufacturing and sale of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles, including automobiles and motorcycles.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by approximately 100 dignitaries and guests, including Keiji Yamada, the governor of Kyoto prefecture and Masaji Matsuyama, the mayor of Fukuchiyama city, as well as Makoto Yoda, president and CEO of GS Yuasa Corporation, Takeo Fukui, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ltd., and Masahiko Oshitani, president and CEO of Blue Energy Co. Ltd.

Learn more about the Honda/Yuasa joint venture by clicking onto Dealernews.com here and here.

Texas Bill Requires Training For “High-Performance” Bike Buyers

April 21, 2009

Legislation being considered in Texas would force those who purchase a “high-performance” motorcycle to take a training course within six months of the purchase.
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HB 4531, if voted into law, would force all owners and operators of a high performance motorcycle purchased on or after September 1, 2009 to show proof of course attendance upon the request of law enforcement. Violators would be fined between $500 and $1,000.

According to bill sponsor Rep. Norma Chavez (D-El Paso), a “high-performance motorcycle” is any motorcycle “referred to, called, labeled, or described as a ‘sports bike’, ‘sports motorcycle’, ‘high performance motorcycle’, or other similar term, in any materials given to an original purchaser at the time of purchase from any retail seller or contained in the owners manual or guides from the manufacturer.”

The bill is currently being debated in the House Public Safety committee.

Ducati Retailer Launches CorsaVino

April 21, 2009

Are you as devoted to fine wines as you are to fine Italian motorcycles?

If so, you may want to check out CorsaVino – a wine brand of limited availability launched by Arun Sharma, the general manager of MotoCorsa in Portland. MotoCorsa was named a 2007 Dealernews Top 100 motorcycle retailer.
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Originally “not much of a drinker,” Sharma’s many trips to Italy ultimately exposed him to the passion of winemaking. Sharma says the Italian winemakers’ obsession with detail and the quality of each component – all ultimately for the purpose of enjoying life – resonated deeply with his appreciation for Italian motorcycles.

Determined to mirror classic traditions of Italian winemakers in his Pacific Northwest home, Sharma sought out Italian motorcycle enthusiast and winemaker Rich Cushman, a vintner renowned for his award winning wines. Thus CorsaVino was born.

CorsaVino’s four wines include Cabernet Sauvignon Il Mostro Rosso, Viognier, Syrah and an already sold-out Cabernet Sauvignon commemorative edition.

The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Mostro Rosso, limited to a production of 98 cases, retails for $314 by the case or $29 by the bottle; the 2007 Viognier, limited to a production of 54 cases, retails for $260 by the case or $24 by the bottle; and the 2005 Syrah, limited to a production of 217 cases, retails for $292 by the case or $27 by the bottle.

The sold-out 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon commemorative edition was limited to a production of 300 bottles.

‘Movin’ On Up’ Scooter Rally in Colorado, June 5-7

April 20, 2009

“Movin’ On Up”, the longest running vintage motorscooter rally in Colorado, takes place June 5-7 in Colorado Springs.badges-spot01

Festivities for this tenth annual event take place at The Rocket Room, Buffalo Lodge, and The Piano Warehouse, as well as on public streets. Oh, and there’s a raffle for a classic Vespa.

SCHEDULE

FRIDAY
8pm – Rocket Room (230 Pueblo Ave) Register for the rally (free) and meet up with new and old friends; have cocktails; and enjoy DJs Gazzy Goff, Davevinyls, Muggy Luvins and AdamXYL. Get your first look at the Raffle bike and enjoy yourself.

SATURDAY
11am – Breakfast at the Buffalo. Wake up, stumble outside and enjoy some coffee and breakfast.
1pm – Pokenger Runt ride around – no 50 cc scooters please.
4pm – End up back at the Buffalo for food, drinks the Mechanics Race and other games, take a swim and have a few beers on the Serveterans. Take a nap, grab a shower and get ready for:
9pm – Ride from the Buffalo to the Piano Warehouse for Party For The People featuring live rock and roll, complimentary beer from Bristol Brewing and a FULL OPEN BAR – you get into this party free with your rally registration (free).

SUNDAY
11am – Breakfast location TBA
1pm – Mike Loop Memorial Ride. Scenic ride around the area.
3pm – Ride end, drinks, food silent auction and Awards.

Organizers recommend staying at or near the Buffalo Lodge. Call and ask for Liz – mention the “scooter thing.” Call the folks at Sportique Scooters for more information – (719) 442-0048

LeoVince Hosts Benefit Street Ride, May 14

April 20, 2009

LeoVince’s 4th Annual Grape Crusher ride, benefiting Speedway Children’s Charities, takes place Thursday, May 14.4-7-09grapecrusherflyer

The ride, 100 to 120 miles in length, follows the California coastline northward then cuts inland through the wine country back to Infineon Speedway. Riders will gather at LeoVince USA’s Richmond, Calif. headquarters starting at 9:30am with the ride leaving promptly at 11 am. A gourmet lunch served along the way, and Jason Britton will be one of the celebrity guests joining the ride. The ride ends at Infineon Raceway at 5 pm with a catered reception including LeoVince athletes, celebrities and team crews.

Cost is $40 per entry and includes a takeaway gift and raffle. All benefits from the ride go to the Speedway Children’s Charities fund.

For more information and to register for the ride, go to leovinceusa.com.