Fast Motorcycle Industry News

Lehman Trikes To Resume Production Under New Ownership. When you travel to the Black Hills Rally in August Lehman Trikes in Spearfish, South Dakota will be back in business. Through its sister company, Champion Investments Inc., Champion Trikes has taken over all operations of Lehman Trikes. Lehman will first provide service parts to current owners of its trikes, then resume production of its models. Lehman Trikes stopped operations in March of this year after failing to find an investor/partner. The company was deeply affected by the recession, then by Harley-Davidson deciding in 2008 to no more use the company to produce its trikes, and finally by the sudden death of its founder. Champion Investments CEO is Craig L. Arrojo.

Ducati New Record-Breaking Sales. During World Ducati Week held in Italy,  President of Ducati Motor Holding) Gabriele Del Torchio discussed the manufacturer’s continued growth and new record-breaking sales in the month of May (sales +12 percent, revenues +20 percent YTD). He said that since 2006 Ducati has doubled its market share and sales. Despite the shrinking international market (over-500cc = -4% YTD) and after 2011 proved to be the best in Ducati’s history. During May 2012 the company achieved an absolute record with motorcycle sales of over 6,500, a 12% growth compared to May 2011. 35,300 bikes were sold in 2006, 42,200 at the end of 2011 and 2012 should be much better. In 2011, US market sales increased 48% and on Asian markets a staggering 238%. In the last 3 years, Ducati has launched 17 new models.

Insuring Your Motorcycle With The Company Insuring Your Car May Be A Bad Idea. Because there are companies that specialize in motorcycles, they might offer better rates. So, first shop around. Second, membership in associations and groups like the American Motorcyclist Association, the Harley Owners Group, etc can get you big discounts. Third, don’t forget to ask for an infrequent rider’s discount if you take your bike occasionally or only at certain periods of the year like spring and summer. Fourth, keeping your bike in a lock garage, living in a man gated community, being over 50, having an anti-theft device installed will bring you immediate discounts. Fifth, see how a larger deductible, for example from $250 to $1,000 can trim your insurance cost by 10 to 20%.

Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson Dealer Prevails In Court Against Termination Agreement Decided By Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson intended to terminate the franchise for reason of repetitive violations of its “non-retail sales policy” (NRSP). A judge for the California New Motor Vehicle Board regulating dealership issues in the state, ruled that Laidlaw’s should keep its franchise but that it needs to conduct training and compliance audits on Harley-Davidson policies and submit those audits to The Motor Co. for the next three years. Harley-Davidson alleged that the dealership breached several times its agreement of not doing “non-retail sales”: selling motorcycles to resellers, of not selling across state lines and of not selling to overseas buyers and to rental operations. Attorney’s for Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson successfully argued 1- that the fleet sales policy and NRSP are not part of the general dealer agreement. 2- that Harley-Davidson revises the policies frequently without seeking dealers’ agreement, and that less severe sanctions, such as limiting shipments, had been levied on other dealers before the Motor Co. sought termination of one of its dealers.

Sumax Business, Equipment And Facility Are For Sale: In 2009, Kirk Van Scoten, founder and owner of Sumax already informed my readers that he would consider selling his company. Getting closer to retirement, he officially informed the industry that he is now actively looking for a buyer and set the selling price at $870,000. Sumax provides high quality powdercoating services, manufactures fiberglass fenders and saddlebags for other vendors of the industry and sold also to direct retail clients, makes and distributes battery cables and spark plug wiring, etc. Distrinutors include Drag Specialties, Mid USA, Biker’s Choice, Tedd Cycle in the US, Zodiac, Motorcycle Storehouse, and Custom Chrome in Europe. Price tag includes all equipment, molds and tooling, a 11,000 sq.ft building and land. Kirk Van Scoten will stay on the job to form the buyer until complete transition is achieved.

4 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 fuji Jun 28th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Insuring Your Motorcycle With The Company Insuring Your Car May Be A Bad Idea..
    The question is why should I insure my bikes or anything with/thru a third party. AMA or HOG as examples. Who are they underwriting.

    One must be smart enough to contract a policy that fits your needs. rather than pay a third party.

  2. 2 Roger Jun 28th, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Fuji. Because they have the leverage (through volume) to negotiate better rates. (see AARP and all their insurances for Seniors (from homes to cars and yes, also motorcycles)

  3. 3 Rodent Jun 29th, 2012 at 8:20 am

    AARP/Hartford Insurance Co. Beats them all, gieco, progressive, allstate.

  4. 4 Kirk Perry Jul 5th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    ~ Test of Perception ~

    Occasionally I like to fire off a loose cannon with an outrageous claim to flight-check any depth of perception I might still retain. This test will be whether I can surmise the reason “Why Harley Cannot Patent The Harley Sound”.

    HD had to petition to protect their “sound” to full fill it’s obligation to fight for it’s trademark rights WHENEVER the need arose to fill a possible “loophole” in their patent collection.

    The reason HD lost in their patent effort was because their “sound” patent was introduced as a mechanical assembly, but that could be replicated to the “pitch-note” by any motor mfg. in the world.
    The patent was refused because “potato – potato” is no more than a music box that produces it’s cadence because:

    The motor turns (standing right) in a clockwise motion. Using the front cylinder firing position as reference (34-36-degrees before top dead center [BTDC], or 7/16″ BTDC, the flywheels have completed a 360-degree rotation from the rear piston’s (TDC) an additional 45-degrees (the distance between the cylinders) for a 405-degrees of flywheel rotation. {that last note was the “toe”}
    {the “Poe” and “Tay” are created within the cycle below}.
    From this position, the flywheel’s will have to rotate 360-degrees (minus 45-degree cylinder distance) or 315-degrees to reach the rear piston’s TDC to fire the rear cylinder. {the “poe” is front cylinder firing, the “tay” is produced by the “lost spark” 360-degree rotation).
    This completes 720-degrees of rotation necessary for the four piston strokes: intake, compression, power, and exhaust cycles.

    Presumably the judge told HD, “This is a mechanically reproduced sound that can be engineered by anyone who wanted to experiment with the firing cycles of a V-Twin configuration.”

    No patent was issued for “potato-potato”, but Harley performed due diligence to it’s shareholders.

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