Archive for the ‘Milwaukee’ Category

Blogs Abuzz About H-D’s Buell Decision

October 15, 2009

Buell_logoHarley-Davidson has carved a lot of pork, and jobs, during the past year, and now the move to end production of the Buell line and sell off its recently-purchased MV Agusta business has people buzzing anew about the way the Motor Co. has chosen to streamline its operation.

Here are some thoughts gleamed from a surf through some of the social networking sites:

Gutted that Harley has pulled the plug on Buell Motorcycles. After all of Erik’s struggles and hard work developing improved product, he deserves better than that. – Kevin

No matter what you think of HD or Buell product, you have to respect Erik Buell’s independent and creative thinking. Sorry to see you go Buell. – Glenn

Victims of Hope and Change? – Robert

I feel for all those who have been laid off … but I keep thinking there is more to come from Buell. – Greg

Buell gone; MV on the block!? Whats next? Price drops on Fatboys and baggers? – Jeffery

Why didn’t they dump their latest European acquisition instead of wiping out more American jobs? As an American manufacturer, it sickens me to see HD become just another company making a profit at any cost. – Chris

A day of mourning for American Sportbikers … regardless of what you ride. Buell, you will be greatly missed! – Brittany

I am truly bummed about Buell going under. I wasn’t a die hard Buell fan but it was nice to see a company like that succeed. – Aaron

It seems that we have let another American Motorcycle Company go by the way side my friends, and what a shame! – Patrick

Learn more about H-D’s decision by clicking HERE.

H-D Props MV for Now, But What Comes Next?

October 14, 2009

MV Agusta says 85 percent of the parts used in its 2009 910R and 1078RR have been completely redesigned for its 2010 Brutale 990R (MSRP: $15,000) and 1090RR ($18,000).

I guess that’s what happens when a new parent company, in this case Harley-Davidson, injects a bit of capital into its recent acquisition.

Former Ducati CFO Enrico D’Onofrio is now managing director of the MV Agusta factory in Italy, and MV Agusta Design Chief Massimo Tamburini retired Dec. 31, 2008.

I wonder what the folks at MV, and H-D, have planned for the future.

Check out the MV factory’s 2010 Brutale presentation video:

Obama’s Black-And-Whites

December 27, 2008

While President-elect Barack Obama recently was escorted through Hawaii tucked safely within a convoyobamacyclecops of BMW police motorcycles, his next date with two-wheelers will include more than a dozen “Made in the USA” Harley-Davidson police motors.

Harley-Davidson of Frederick Maryland was the dealership tapped to supply bikes to the District of Columbia police for Obama’s inauguration parade.

Dealer principle Michael Vantucci delivered 12 Harley-Davidsons to the police department on Dec. 26. The 2009 FLHTP Electra Glides will be used for escort and security duty.
Vantucci’s supplied bikes have led an inaugural procession five times before. His dealership this year beat out at least seven other motorcycle dealers who bid on the $360,000 inauguration contract.

The District of Columbia police replaces 10 to 12 motorcycles a year and sells the retired bikes, with 40,000 to 50,000 miles on them, online.
BMW and Harley-Davidson are fierce competitors in the police bike market. I wrote an article about police motors earlier this year. Read it here

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More on the XR1200

December 1, 2008

We’re returned from the most gluttonous days of autumn to an inbox filled with Spam and a couple interesting bits from the motorcycle world. It’s been about a week since word got out that Harley-Davidson was finally releasing the superbad XR1200 to an American audience. (See our original story here and blog post here). It was a super soft launch that definitely got the internet buzzing ahead of any official announcement. Very clever H-D.

One more look.

One more look.

Now the official word is out of Milwaukee in the form of a press release that includes some extra tidbits of information. Here’s a few excerpts:

“Drawing significant styling influences from the successful Harley-Davidson XR-750 motorcycles that set new standards for dirt track racing success over the last 30 years, the XR1200 features technical innovation to provide potent street performance and handling. In fact, Harley-Davidson dirt track racing legends Scott Parker and Rich King participated in the XR1200 development.

The Motor Co. also forwarded some specs if you’re interested in that sort of thing (of course you are).

Isolation-mounted XL Evolution 1200 cc V-Twin engine with silver powdercoat finish
Downdraft Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Electronically controlled active intake system
Precision oil-cooled cylinder heads
90 peak hp @ 7000 rpm (per SAE J607)
68 ft. lbs. peak torque @ 3700 rpm (per SAE J607)
High performance designed tubular mild steel frame and cast aluminum swingarm
Black three-spoke lightweight cast aluminum wheels, 18-inch front / 17-inch rear
Specifically developed Dunlop Qualifier D209 tires
Wide black dirt track handlebar
Styling and graphics inspired by the legendary Harley-Davidson XR-750 dirt track racer
Upswept, high-volume brushed stainless steel 2-1-2 straight shot exhaust system with satin chrome finish
Nissin dual front brakes with four-piston calipers and 292 mm patented uniform expansion rotors
Sport-tuned Showa suspension with 43 mm inverted front forks and pre-load adjustable twin rear shock absorbers
Rearset foot pegs for additional cornering clearance
29.2-inch seat height with standard passenger pillion and foot pegs
Optional Harley-Davidson Smart Security System
Aircraft style aluminum alloy fuel filler
Unique compact instruments with white-faced tachometer, digital speedometer, dual trip meter and clock
3.5-gallon fuel tank