Fast Motorcycle Industry News

1- Polaris Industries Inc. has informed state of Wisconsin officials that it will begin the layoff of nearly 500 employees from its plants in Osceola on March 1, 2011. Medina, Minn.-based Polaris announced last May that it was exiting the Polk County operations in Osceola under a realignment of manufacturing operations that includes establishing a plant in Mexico and upgrades at factories in Roseau, Minn., and Spirit Lake, Iowa.

2- Sirius Radio Offered On BMW Motorcycles. Sirius XM signed an agreement with BMW.  The pact calls for SIRIUS to be standard equipment on new radio-equipped model Year 2011 R 1200 RT, K 1600 GT, and K 1600 GTL touring motorcycles. 

3- Florida Helmet Law. Motorcycle Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are suing the State Of Florida for wrongful death because of no helmet law! In 2007, a 42 year old biker died in a crash riding without a helmet as per Florida law. The non-modified 2008 Florida Helmet Law requirements say that all motorcycle riders 21 years old or younger must wear helmets, and the victim, at 42 years old, was older than what the state rules enforce. Incidents such as this can become a case for any motorcycle accident in Florida for a rider over 21 not wearing a helmet… 

4- Can Am Spyder. Bombardier, in conjunction with the University of Sherbrooke, will be developing a hybrid version of the Can Am Spyder three-wheeled motorcycle. Bombardier received $6.2 million from Ottawa for the four-year project, or more than half of its expected envelope of $11.3 million. Owned by the Beaudoin/ Bombardier family, Boston’s Bain Capital LLC investment firm and the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, BRP will contribute the other $5.1 million. According to its president and CEO José Boisjoli, a production version is about five years away.

17 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 Gas Man Dec 25th, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Tisk tisk Polaris! I hope you see a sharp decline in sales for that move!! I wish them a horrible new year.

    I hope the judge throws those Florida lawsuits out with a laugh. Those people don’t even deserve the oxygen they are breathing. Because their family member chose not to wear a helmet and died in a crash. They are suing the state for not requiring them to wear one? What the heck is that!! What a waste of our tax dollars to deal with this junk. They are simply looking for money. STUPID STUPID STUPID

  2. 2 Jurano Dec 25th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    What a nice Christmas gift from Polaris to their faithfull and hard working employees. When corporate CxOs (insert just about any letter for the x), making 7-figure salaries lay off a single worker (that, by the way, actually makes the products from which the CxOs profit) is immoral. When they do it to 500 workers, it’s downright criminal. Of course, they’ll still do it. But Polaris ain’t getting a single dollar from me.

    First message to H-D: please do not ever consider doing the same. Moreover, ditch all that “accessories” and “motor clothes” crap you are manufacturing in China and bring it home to where it belongs (I’ll bet those 500 brothers and sisters could do it much better).

    Second messagae to H-D: hire those 500 workers that Polaris is firing and kick Polaris’ butt out-of-state (and hopefully out of the market). What a move that’d be! You could also extend Victory owners some credit to recycle their metal and turn them into Harleys. Hey, I won’t even charge you consulting fees for this idea.

    Mery Christmas everyone.

  3. 3 Iron Horse Dec 25th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Right ON Gas Man! My sentiments exactly.

  4. 4 666 Dec 25th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Unfortunate move by Polaris. But get used to it!!! The USA is on a free fall and unfortunately it is way to late to stop it. If anyone thinks HD won’t eventually do something similar they need to do some home work on “public ” Company;s. The stock holders demand dividends and profits at any cost

  5. 5 Jeff Nicklus Dec 25th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I agree with 666. It is indeed unfortunate that Polaris finds this move necessary; however, between the pressure from shareholders and the ever increasing Federal “Paperwork” requirements, taxes, employee benefit packages, new health care “laws”, cost of insurance, cost of litigation etc., it has become less than profitable to manufacture any product in the United States. It sucks that over 10% of our GNP is devoted to compliance to US Federal Requirements. Do the math on that ….. and we wonder why so many companies, including Harley Davidson (HD to India, Polaris to Mexico), are moving offshore? Simple answer: Company Survival. If we do not wake up in this country very, very soon we will not have any manufacturing remaining within our shores in 20 years.

    Over & out,


  6. 6 36 Special @ Open Road Biker Dec 25th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    How can the family in Florida realistically even think about suing. It’s not like he was forced not to wear a helmet. This will just be fodder for those who want to take away our right to chose wether we want to wear a helmet or not.

    As far as Polaris is concerned, the goo ole US of A is or has become a nation of consumers and not producers thanks to greedy people. Greed rules most every facet of our society. everyone want more money and most will do anything short of breaking the law to make that happen and then there are those that wont let breaking the law stop them.

  7. 7 David Dec 26th, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Het Jeff…I agree with you and that is why the Tea Party is knocking on the door. Let not the poor republicans in office now forget that…..We want less Govt. …..Less spending ……and less control and taxation of the corporations that have built America and maybe we can retain or recover lost revenue and rebuild America.
    I think Donald Trump had a good ideal about taxing imports at 25% because of the way other countries munipulate their currency to take advantage of the dollar.

    SSDD; David

  8. 8 Wiz Dec 26th, 2010 at 6:06 am

    How about in states that require helmets for all riders they get sued when the helmet BREAKS THIER NECKS!! Or they get T-Boned because they couldn’t see or hear the car with some idiot texting on thier cell phone. It’s sad but unfortunatly true.
    I don’t even know where to begin with Polaris. Yeah, “Support our Troops fighting for America” while they knife us in the back in the middle of America’s Heartland! I will forgo the explitives because it’s the Season for Harmony ‘an Good Will ‘an such but man, I want to tear them a new ass!! “You’re a MEAN one, Mr. Grinch!!” “Please Mr. Scrooge, may I have another lump of coal, I can’t write your enormous profit sheet because my hands are frozen!” It’s sad but unfornatly TRUE!! Wiz

  9. 9 A 1 CYCLES Dec 26th, 2010 at 8:47 am


  10. 10 Jeez Dec 26th, 2010 at 9:04 am

    A1. Your children life will be better because we are now getting rid of all excesses of these last 20 years. Let’s pray…

  11. 11 Gas Man Dec 26th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Jeff, I’d like to point out the inconsistancy of your comparison on HD to polaris. HD is assembling the bike with parts in the US, for use in India. Polaris is moving their entire manufacturing to Mexico and then importing those bikes to the US. BIG BIG BIG difference! Further, the reason HD is doing what they are doing, as well as companies like Ford, GM, etc. Is to skip their 100%, yes boys & girls, while we can’t even get a 25% (piss off NAFTA) import tax, India protects their own with a 100% import tax. That makes an imported HD more out of monitary grasp for an Indian citizen then it is for the poor 500 laid off from polaris. The line drawn from India assembling to India sales but then connected to HD selling those bikes here is simply pre-mature and unwarranted. I’m sure even the 7 digit excutives and stock holders know that doing so would be commercial suicide on a company that has built it’s trademark as “The American Bike”.

  12. 12 Hungouver Dec 26th, 2010 at 10:34 am

    When all you flag draped hypocrites turn in all your kuryakyn crap made in commie china your comments will be worth reading. I agree that Polaris move blows. If component part of every car, bike and widget in this country was marked where it came from maybe there would be more uproar.

  13. 13 Black Bike Week Dec 27th, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Is number 3 real!!! How is the state liable for a rider with out a helmet. The state doesn’t force you not to wear a helmet. you can wear a helmet is you choose too.


  14. 14 Jeff Nicklus Dec 27th, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Gas Man,

    “Jeff, I’d like to point out the inconsistancy of your comparison on HD to polaris. HD is assembling the bike with parts in the US, for use in India.”

    That is a true statement as of this point in time, however, lets see what happens a year down the road. HD is doing nothing more than positioning themeselves for production in India. If nothing changes with the government controls we now have in place in this country HD will be producing in India.

    Hopefully I am wrong ….. now there is something you won’t hear often!

    Over & Out,


  15. 15 redirect Dec 27th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Victory Motorcycles assembly will move completely to Spirit Lake Iowa. Engines and chassis plants with be as one. Polaris is moving some ATV and SxS subassembly processes to Mexico. Perhaps near the Ford plant…

    I know I’ll line up for the new plant tour when it opens in Iowa. I’m sure there will be some jobs created there, not enough to offset those lsot in WI, but as said before, being competitive in the USA is getting harder for many reasons (as I type this out on my Samsung smart phone).

  16. 16 Jim Gianatsis / Dec 27th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Florida residents should sue their state for allowing them to ride motorcycles. After all motorcycles kill 7x more riders than cars kill their drivers.

    The lawsuit has to be thrown out, as it was the Florida State residents who elected their officials to make the law. Effectively you can’t sue yourself. You can only sue the state for action, for not enforcing its laws and duties.

  17. 17 ROCKSTAR Dec 28th, 2010 at 12:52 am

    hasn’t Victory already sent the work to Mexico?

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