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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

News Briefs

On February 7 Harley issued a recall for ALL 2008-2011 Touring, CVO Touring and VSRC models equipped with anti-lock brakes – it could affect some 175,000 motorcycles in the United States, 251,000 worldwide. The issue is that the brakes may fail due to not flushing brake fluid – deposit build-up may cause a valve within the ABS hydraulic control unit to stick, reducing braking ability and increasing the risk of a crash … sounds like a whole generation of riders need to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance if you ask me (RB).

It will be hoped that Harley’s investment in Bay Area E-bike specialist Alta Motors has a happier ending than their prior involvement in with San Francisco E-sportsbike manufacturer Mission-Motorcycles*. Harley’s Project Livewire was, in large part, based on a bike built for them by Mission Motorcycles – who went broke not long after their work for Harley. It is to be hoped that this doesn’t mean that Harley has an E-curse on its plans – indeed it is being widely assumed that their Alta investment is as much a precautionary measure as it is strategic. (* Not to be confused with the dealer now known as SF Moto.)

In the UK, motorcycle enthusiast Prince William was given the VIP treatment by Triumph Motorcycles on the occasion of a recent visit to their Hinckley, UK factory, taking the factory and Visitor Center tour and test riding one of their new Adventure Tourers.

In the kind of coup that ‘Milwaukee’ failed to score when celebrating Harley’s 100th (American brand enthusiasts got Elton John instead), Harley Europe will see the Rolling Stones performing in Prague, the Czech Republic capital, on July 4 this year, the day before Harley’s 4-day European 115th Anniversary celebration kicks off.
Emergency Call Systems (eCall) are set to follow the automotive industry in Europe and become compulsory on new motorcycles. Such systems become compulsory on new cars in Europe from April this year and the motorcycle industry is also now firmly in the regulatory cross-hairs. BMW has been offering an S.O.S. alert system (their “Intelligent Emergency Call feature) as an option on selected models since last year. Estimates vary, but it is thought that such systems could save anything up to 2,000 lives a year in Europe. 

Doug Vancil and the Vance & Hines Top Fuel Harley team took the win at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, February 11. Qualifying #1, Doug and tuner Mike Romine put down the quickest pass of the weekend, posting a best 6.304 ET at 231.04 mph and then followed that up by dominating the Eliminations.

The first Ducati Scrambler sold exclusively online went on sale at the start of February in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Suitably the model is the “Scrambler Hashtag”. After a day in the mud will they be known as the Hashbrowns? (RB).

Motonation has announced it is now the exclusive distributor of Trilobite Premium Aramid Fashion in North America. Trilobite apparel is designed and developed by Biker’s Crown/Rusty Piston in the Czech Republic and has never before been distributed in the U.S. With the Heritage, Urban and Travel collections, advanced protective materials used include Dyneema, Cordura Denim and patented Trilobitex.

BRP announces the creation of a Powersports Group and a new senior management member with the appointment of Bertrand Thiébaut as Powersports President. The new group brings together the Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Can-Am and Rotax product lines into a single operating unit. The Spyder and Evinrude lines will continue to be operated independently.

Polaris announced a 3 percent increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend, raising the pay-out to $0.60 per share. This increase represents the 23rd consecutive year of Polaris increasing its dividend effective with the 2018 first quarter dividend. The first quarter dividend will be payable on March 15, 2018 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 1, 2018.