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Thursday 26 October 2023

News Briefs

Heading into the Bagger Racing League Championship Round at the legendary Willow Springs Raceway, California, November 16-19, 2023, Trask Performance's Shane Narbonne leads the NAMZ Bagger GP class from Suburban H-D (Benny Carlson), Lloydz Garage (Hawk Mazzotta), Alloy Art (Oleg Painykh and Bryan Shields. In the Andrews Cams Big Twins, Shredder Bob Racing (Bobby Parker) lead Lloydz Garage's Hawk Mazzotta. 

The Zipper's American Twins Unlimited has Lloydz Garage's Josh Baird leading the class from Craig Braymiller (A Plus Performance), with Trask's Gunnar Ouellette leading Clayton Braun (Rundlett Racing) in the Metzeler Pro Stock Bagger. In the ICON Lite Weight Twins, Suburban H-D's Jake Masters has the lead from Anthony Gilmore (RF Racing) and Suburban's Cody Gilmore. Finally, the DP Brakes F/S Cup sees Josh Baird (Lloydz Garage) ahead of Suburban H-D's Benny Carlson and Alloy Art's Kory Cowan. 

China is to launch a $40bn state backed investment fund to boost its computer chip industry as the country ramps up efforts to catch up with the U.S. and other rivals. It is likely to be the biggest of three funds launched by the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, also known as the 'Big Fund'. Its target of 300bn yuan ($41bn) outdoes similar funds in 2014 and 2019, which, according to government reports, raised 138.7bn yuan and 200bn yuan respectively.

Six-time WorldSBK Champion, Jonathan Rea, will leave the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) at the end of the 2023 season. Formally contracted for both the current and 2024 seasons, Rea will be released from this agreement by mutual consent at the end of the racing season. During his time riding for the official Kawasaki factory team, 36-year-old Rea achieved an unprecedented haul of six WorldSBK titles (2015 to 2020 inclusive) as well as accruing a slew of other records including all-time WorldSBK records for Championships, Race Wins (119, 104 for Kawasaki), Podiums (256), Fastest Laps and Overall Points Scored. Rea will be racing for Yamaha from 2024.

Taiga Motors (LaSalle, QC) has added the 160 hp Orca Performance fully electric PWC. Features include what is described as a "revolutionary sheet-molded composite hull, an enhanced powertrain, and cutting-edge 6th generation Tractive Unit.

In case the implication of recent announcements passed you by, Harley-Davidson now plans annual Homecoming rallies, starting in 2024. Though generally reserved for every fifth year, in the past Harley tried to apply that branding to the interim Labor Day 'Milwaukee Rally' centered on its museum, but neither concept, combined or otherwise, has ever achieved critical mass. That hasn't deterred Harley CEO Jochen Zeitz from announcing that the Homecoming rally will now be an annual event, starting next year. "Why would we just have a rally every five years in our hometown? Let's do this every year and have a big party. That's the plan," he says. The dates for next year's Homecoming will be July 25-28, 2024, where Zeitz says they plan to honor H-D icon Willie G. Davidson.

Volcon Inc. (NASDAQ: VLCN), which describes itself as "the first all-electric, off-road powersports company," reported its operational highlights and financial results for the second quarter of 2023, stating that "as of June 30, 2023, we have 142 dealers, taken delivery of our first eight Stag validation units in 2023, units that include custom suspension parts in addition to the GM propulsion components, and expect to launch the Stag to dealers in Q4." It additionally says that it has taken pre-orders for the Stag of more than $115m; has started Grunt EVO production with first delivers anticipated by the end of August, followed by a Runt LT launch in Q4 of 2023.


Yamaha Motor has announced its eventual withdrawal from the snowmobile market, with sales in Japan to end with remaining 2022 model year inventory, in Europe in 2024, and in North America in 2025. Having sold its first snowmobiles in 1968, Yamaha was an early adopter of environmentally friendly four-stroke models. However, it has concluded that it will be difficult to continue a sustainable business in the snowmobile market. Going forward, Yamaha will concentrate management resources on current business activities and new growth markets.

Drag Specialties has added Rudy Muller to its outside sales team covering the Colorado area. "Rudy comes to us with several years of mechanic and sales rep experience at the dealer and vendor levels. He also has a Motocross and Super Hooligan racing history."

CNBC reported a LendingClub analysis that said as of June, 61% of adults are living "paycheck to paycheck to meet essential living expenses, with little to no money left over." Almost three-quarters, 72%, of Americans say they aren't financially secure given their current financial standing, and more than a quarter said they will likely never be financially secure, according to a survey by Bankrate. This struggle is nothing new. Principal Financial Group found in 2010 that 75% of workers were concerned about their financial futures. What's more, since 1979, wages for the bottom 90% of earners had grown just 15%, compared with 138% for the top 1%, according to a 2015 Economic Policy Institute report.

The Ducati Riding Experience (DRE) Racetrack Academy has come to America for the first time - at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, on September 10-11, 2023. It offers riders the chance to train with legends of American racing "to unleash their riding potential aboard their Ducati motorcycle."  Some 85 lucky 'Ducatisti' will enjoy "an unrivaled track experience." Since the DRE program started in Europe in 2003, some 28,000 riders have participated. At COTA, instructors will include American racing legends Ben Bostrom, Eric Bostrom, Jake Zemke, Jason Pridmore and Roger Lee Hayden. Toni Elías, Corey Alexander, Shelina Moreda, and current Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York riders Josh Herrin and Xavi Forés will also provide instruction for attendees.

Kawasaki is to sponsor the "Future Life Expo: Future City" project, part of the Future Society Showcase Projects Exhibition at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. "In the thematic area of transportation and mobility, Kawasaki will showcase sustainable mobility that will move and inspire the people, things and minds of the future, based on the concept of "Kawasaki Future World: Driving force for a prosperous society". At the Expo, Kawasaki says its aim will be to "present exhibits that prompt people to think about sustainable mobility that will move and inspire people, things and minds. The original purpose of mobility is 'movement', where the movement of people and things from one place to another evokes emotions such as joy and excitement. Our plan is to inspire such emotions through sustainable mobility and demonstrate its effectiveness in cyberspace".

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,, Cycle World,