by Thomas Day
Honda Out of Superbike
Honda has announced that it is pulling out of the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG)/AMA Superbike series for 2009 due to “the current global economic conditions” and their feeling that “participation in this series did not meet [Honda’s] racing goals and objectives.” Honda has also withdrawn from the international Formula One auto racing series, so this is somewhat consistent with their take on economics and the company’s “racing goals and objectives.” Honda is still, currently, fielding factory teams in Supercross, National Motocross teams, and MotoGP. Unmentioned in this press release is the fact that several Japanese manufacturers disagreed strongly enough with DMG’s new series rules that they formed their own Superbike series, US Superbike, and may be fielding their own race events, although no events have yet been announced. It’s still unclear as to whether Suzuki and Kawasaki will be contending in the DMG/AMA Superbike series.
The MSF Honors MN DPS
Each year, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation acknowledges outstanding achievement and excellence in rider education and training, honoring agencies, organizations, programs, dealers, the media and individuals who enhance motorcycle safety.” The Minnesota Department of Public Safety received the 2008 Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s award for “Outstanding Media” for the Go High-Viz! campaign. MMM congratulates Pat Hahn, Bill Shaffer, and the DPS staff responsible for this creative and practical promotion.
Motorcycles Targeted for Budget Balancing
State governments across the country are searching everywhere for funds to balance their budgets in the current depressed economy. Florida’s legislature “swept” $2.37 million from the state’s OHV Trust Fund. The fund was also raided last year. Since 2008, the OHV Trust Fund is out $4.37 million. Louisianan Governor Bobby Jindal signed House Bill 802 which “transferred” $6,544 from the Motorcycle Safety and Training Fund to the state general fund as part of a $24,378,056 raid on 75 dedicated funds. In August, Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management ordered the return of $1.3 million raided from the state’s motorcycle safety fund after ABATE and other motorcycle organizations launched a court challenge to the funds transfer. New York state has been regularly dipping into that state’s motorcycle safety funds, this year to the tune of $552,000. The Kansas legislature is threatening to move the motorcycle safety fund into the state’s general fund to help cover that state’s $140M deficit. Washington and Oregon both dipped into to their OHV funds to help balance state budgets.
On September 1, Mission Motors Mission One electric sportbike set a new landspeed record for battery-powered motorcycles. Mission Motor’s test bike topped out at 161mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The Mission One will go on sale in 2010 for a cool $68,995. Get in line for yours today.
Harley Invades India
Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) announced it will enter India’s motorcycle market in 2010. India is the 2nd largest motorcycle market in the world, although the majority of those sales are 250cc and smaller motorcycles. New highways and a growing middle class is what attracted Harley to India. Matthew Levatich, Harley’s COO and President said, “The Harley-Davidson brand represents self-expression, adventure, the freedom of the open road, and belonging to a global community – a family of riders. We know the relevance of the Harley-Davidson brand rings true in India just as it does in other markets around the world.”
A Movie about Surviving Motorcycle Crashes
The National Geographic Channel premiered a movie titled “Motorcycle Crash Tech” on September 17th. The film is billed as “an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the new technologies being used to avoid motorcycle crashes and prevent injuries or even death when a racer or rider does go down.” “Motorcycle Crash Tech” highlights video and photography of top road riders such as Neil Hodgson, Giacomo Agostini, Vito Guareschi and Umberto Rumiano during closed course testing.
AMA Trial des Nations Team Goes to Italy
This year’s AMA team (Will Ibsen, Patrick Smage, Cody Webb and Keith Wineland) will be competing in Darfo Boario Terme, Italy on September 19-20. AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley said, “The Trial des Nations represents the pinnacle of the sport and is a big part of our international racing effort. Team USA will face a world-class challenge in Italy this year, but we’re sending a world-class team that will make America proud.” Last year’s team placed 7th in the event. Patrick Smage is an Elkhorn, Wisconsin native and is a three-time AMA/NATC National Trials Champion and the winner of the 2009 national title. This is his 3rd TdN, although he missed last year’s event because of a back injury.
Jared Mees Leads the AMA GNT Championship
With one event left in the series, Jared Mees is 15 points ahead of Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. in the 2009 AMA Grand National Twins Championship series. Coolbeth has won 2 events to Mees collection of top-five finishes without a win, but the chances Coolbeth can catch Mees are all but vanishing. Both top riders are on Harley XR-750s. In fact, of the top seven series leaders Mees is the only rider without a single win.His worst finish, however, was an 8th at Grove City, OH. Coolbeth’s worst finish was 15th at Lima, OH.
Aaron Petty and his fiancée, Carol, are relocating from Minneapolis to Quito, Ecuador on a pair of 650 singles: a BMW F and a Kawasaki KLR. You can follow their adventure at http://www.aaronpetty.com.
Buell 2009 XB12SS: Front brake line can come in contact with the front tire, which causes a brake fluid leak, loss of front brakes, and a possible loss of control resulting in a crash.
BMW 2006-08 R1200 GS: Water intrusion into the fuel pump housing causes the fuel pump to corrode and fail.
Harley Davidson 2009 FLTRSE3: Some rear wheels underwent a secondary heat treatment process, which may cause the wheels to crack resulting in a crash.