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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

News Briefs

Aficionados of the legendary Norton brand will be interested to know that current Norton owner Stuart Garner has confirmed plans to start hand-building an initial limited edition of 200 72-degree 1200cc V4 Ducati challengers at its Donnington Hall, UK facility next Fall in advance of a hoped for lower cost, higher volume “standard version” thereafter.
Troubled Italian manufacturer MV Agusta has signed a “binding agreement” for an undisclosed “capital increase” with NYC based asset manager Black Ocean Group. The recapitalization is one stage in a restructuring plan that the company needs in order to implement a restructuring plan by the end of 2016 in order to meet the terms of its “Composition" with its creditors”. The company has long since burned through the $20m dowry left to it by Harley-Davidson, amassed at least $55m of additional debt, spent the $30m that Mercedes paid for a 25 percent, and subsequently spectacularly fallen out with an investor who is reluctant to increase its exposure without being able to take a controlling interest – something that CEO Giovanni Castiglioni is adamant will not happen. Six months ago there were informal talks between MV Agusta and Polaris, but they ultimately came to nothing (so far!).

Well known off-road specialist Penton Racing Products is pulling the plug on PVL ignitions. “After decades of providing performance ignitions and service, we have decided to retire from the ignition business,” says Jack Penton, son of well-known founder John Penton. ”We are working with our dealers to put inventory in their stores, and I am talking to interested parties that may wish to continue where we are leaving off selling performance ignitions.”

Polaris is recalling certain model year 2015-2017 Slingshot motorcycles manufactured March 4, 2014 to October 7, 2016. The affected vehicles may have insufficient clearance between the fuel line and the hood structure.

Philadelphia based Christini Technologies has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force for the delivery of 54 of their All Wheel Drive 450E Military Edition motorcycles. Christini had previously delivered All Wheel Drive motorcycles to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Border Patrol, UK military, UAE, Jordan, and other NATO forces.

The process of authorized Harley dealership churn and ownership consolidation continues – Milwaukee Harley-Davidson has become the ninth acquisition of the Saint Charles, Illinois based Windy City Group (now making them the third largest dealer group in the U.S.). Windy City was founded in 2001 by Jill and Ozzie Giglio.

Honda of South Carolina Mfg. is making a $45m, 250 job investment in a 115,000 sq ft expansion and “innovation project” to meet “growing demand for Honda side-by-side vehicles produced exclusively” at its South Carolina plant.

Chinese owned Italian motorcycle brand Benelli has been declared bankrupt by an Italian court in a dispute with KTM owned WP Suspension over more than $100,000 of unpaid bills. Benelli claims its cash-flow is in the black and that it can pay its creditors, despite a reported debt mountain of over $1m, an $800,000 loss in 2014 and a massive $5m plus haemorrhage in 2015.