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Tuesday 30 June 2020

News Briefs

A& reports that German automotive suspension giant Bilstein is to enter the motorcycle suspension market with a front fork and rear shock for the BMW S1000RR line (2009 and up). While targeting BMW for its first motorcycle product offering is no surprise, A&R believes that this is likely a first statement of intent at trying to prise away some motorcycle OEM business from the likes of Öhlins, Showa, Sachs and WP.

After a dispute that has been rumbling on since December 2011, BRP has secured a ruling in the Federal Court of Canada that recognizes that Arctic Cat infringed certain of its patents related to the frame of BRP’s (then) revolutionary Ski-Doo REV snowmobiles. The Court issued a permanent injunction ordering Arctic Cat and its Canadian dealers to stop the sale, use and distribution of any snowmobile which would infringe BRP’s frame patent. It also ordered Arctic Cat to pay BRP a royalty of CA$135 per unit that infringes the frame patent since MY2008.

An 18-race MotoGP series is now confirmed to get back underway after the one round only held so far this year (Qatar, March 8,) with consecutive weekends in Spain (19 and 26 July) at the Circuito de Jerez (the first two of six races now slated for Spain this year) before heading to Brno in the Czech Republic (Aug 9) and Austria (Aug 16).

The initial MotoGP plan will see a US GP at the Austin, Texas Circuit of The America at some stage after the final European race on November 15; theoretically followed by three more races outside of Europe for this year - Argentina, Thailand and a potential season finale at Malaysia.

Revival Cycles has rescheduled its 7th annual Austin, Texas Handbuilt Show for the weekend of November 13 - 15, 2020. The show would normally coincide with the US MotoGP at the Circuit of The Americas outside Austin, but Madrid, Spain, MotoGP organizer and rights holder Dorna has stated that, while it intends to hold a rearranged race there this season, it will be at least one weekend later as the series stays in Europe for 13 races before visiting any more international venues.

The AMA has postponed its 2020 Vintage Motorcycle Days (July 10 - 12, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at Lexington). The event will be rescheduled for 2021.


Triumph Motorcycles is to fire 400 employees in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 health emergency. Some 240 of them will be from the company's already much reduced UK workforce at its Hinckley, Leicestershire "Centre of Excellence for Research and Development". CEO Nick Bloor: "These are not only challenging times for everyone as individuals, but also for the company. No business could have anticipated the scale of the coronavirus crisis and its economic consequences."

Triumph recently announced that all remaining volume production was moving to one of its three factories in Thailand. Turnover grew to £529.5m in the year to June 2019, when worldwide production was put at 60,131 bikes - at that stage only some 6 to 7,000 were thought to have been made at the UK factory. Pre-tax 2019 profits rose from £9m to £9.5m, while the amount spent developing new models rose from £36 to £43.4m.

The AMA has cancelled its 2020 Hillclimb Grand Championship, being organized by the Valley Springs Motorcycle Club and scheduled for Aug. 7-9 at the club's grounds in Bay City, Wi. The club will host the 2021 edition of the AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship on a date to be determined. The club's 500-foot-high hill was the site of AMA Hillclimb Grand Championships in 2012 and 2014.

Torch Eyewear has been named Official Sunglasses of AFT. The Florida-based company "marries the precision of an American design team with unparalleled craftsmanship and experience of its development team in Italy to produce a world-class product that is backed by generations of industry knowledge."

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,