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Tuesday 8 December 2020

News Briefs

Ducati has recorded its best third quarter ever, with 14,694 motorcycles delivered worldwide and a total of 4,468 motorcycles delivered in September, "despite the complex global situation." The Panigale, Ducati Scrambler and Multistrada are the families with the best results; China, Switzerland and Germany recorded higher sales compared to the same period in 2019.

In USA Polaris has donated a further $97k in grants to off-road organizations (through its T.R.A.I.L.S. grants program) in line with its commitment to providing support for the development and improvement of trail systems. Ten non-profit organizations received a Fall 2020 T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant, with awards ranging from $8 to $10k - adding to the 12 that were announced in June, making nearly $210k awarded to 22 organizations in 2020. Since it was founded in 2006, the program has supported 315 off-road and ATV organizations with more than $2.7m in grants.

Merritt Island, Florida based air suspension specialist Arnott has purchased the assets of the former AccuAir Control Systems suspension company. "The purchase enables Arnott to expand its industry-leading air suspension products within the performance and luxury light vehicle market, as well as within the powersports industry." The AccuAir range will be re-launched in early 2021.

Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF - a subsidiary of the Italian Moto Guzzi, Vespa and Aprilia owner) is to start next stage business application trials of its 'Gita' robot carrier as it looks for opportunities to follow up its consumer launch in sectors such as travel, hospitality, real estate, retail and local food delivery.  One of the first pilot programs to be launched will include Cincinnati International Airport (CVG). Manufactured in the new PFF facility in the Charlestown district of Boston, 'Gita' will be used to clear the path for contactless, digital, concierge services for travelers and to assist elsewhere in the airport in processes like luggage and cargo transport. With a 20 kg payload and 4-hour battery life, 'Gita' is a "follow-me" robot carrier designed to follow users indoors and out, at a top speed of 10 km/hour.

A H-D patent filing appears to show Variable Valve Timing being used on a new engine for the Sportster - though sources say that whatever bike it may be used for (if at all), as plans go, it is still, at best, some way off. Indeed, until Project Rewire, the XL family had been slated to see its demise with MY2022, bringing a close to what will by then have been a 65-year run. However, that decision is now back in the 'nix mix' as all bets are reconsidered.


Royal Enfield recently inaugurated a brand-new production plant in Argentina in collaboration with local distributor Grupo Simpa. The country has become an important market for Royal Enfield since it entered the market there in 2018. The new Buenos Aires plant will source materials from RE's home base in Chennai, India, and assemble the Himalayan, Continental GT and Interceptor 650 there, with production expected to begin as early as September 2020.

The Royal Enfield AFT Production Twins racer made an impressive race debut at the Williams Grove Speedway Half-Mile I at Mechanicsburg, PA., with professional flat track racer Johnny Lewis scooping sixth spot. A joint effort between Royal Enfield and Lewis' proprietary race team and flat track academy MotoAnatomy, the project has seen an impressive roster of collaborators - not least the globally recognized British road racing chassis builder Harris Performance and engine tuning specialists S&S Cycle.

In a multi-year deal, Progressive Insurance has been named the AFT Series Entitlement Sponsor - the Title Sponsor and Official Insurance Company of America's premier motorcycle racing championship, American Flat Track. The sponsorship includes a $50,000 year-end points fund, awarded to the top performing riders in the AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines, AFT Production Twins and AFT Singles divisions.

#1 Cycle Center H-D in State College, PA - home of Penn State University - is for sale as the seller is looking to retire.

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