Tuesday, 26 January 2016
The latest data released by the MIC in the United States (Motorcycle Industry Council) puts domestic US motorcycle sales up by +4.7 percent for the period January to September 2015 (413,128 units - on and off highway, dual sport and scooter). ATV sales were pretty much flat at +0.9 percent (164,491 units).
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Ray Price passed away on Dec. 16 at the age of 78. Mr. Price was the father of drag racing's "Funnybike," designer of the motorcycle wheelie bar and developer of the two-speed automatic racing transmission. He and his Ray Price Harley-Davidson drag racing team attained multiple race victories, records and championships in AMA Dragbike, the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) and the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA). Mr. Price's personal racing career continued beyond his 65th birthday into the 2003 AHDRA season. Ray Price Harley-Davidson in Raleigh, N.C., is one of the largest dealerships in the South-Eastern United States.
In December Polaris Industries announced lower full-year 2015 sales and earnings guidance - the company now expects full-year 2015 sales to grow approximately four to five percent compared to 2014, due to a weaker than expected North American Off-Road Vehicles ("ORV") and Snowmobile retail environment. This revision is a reduction from previously issued guidance of up 10 to 11 percent.
Harley has added unlimited free Milwaukee museum admission and VIP access to the benefits available to H.O.G. members.
The Rule-Meisters at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb must enjoy controversy - surprise and considerable head scratching have greeted a rule change that sees bikes which were made with clip-on handlebars as original equipment unable to compete, going back on a decision to allow them that was taken some years ago. The change is an attempt to improve safety, but it effectively bans sportbikes from participating, does nothing to reduce speeds and removes a performance bike design item that actually improves handling and had nothing to do with the deaths and injuries seen in the last two years. The CBR 1000RR and ZX-10R that won safely in 2014 and 2015 respectively are now among the bikes banned.
A last ditch effort to prevent the construction of Fort Meade Way, a new road East of Sturgis, was blocked by the South Dakota Fourth Circuit Court at the end of November, "paving" the way for construction of the unpaved 4.5 mile packed hard-top two-lane road to go ahead. The route provides a link from the I-90 to the Buffalo Chip Campground and the other facilities west of the City of Sturgis, opening up development opportunities in an environmentally sensitive area and alleviating the downtown Sturgis traffic issues encountered during Rally week.