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Harley's 2011 Blackline

Harley-Davidson rides through motorcycle headlines with new Blackline

Saturday, 22 January 2011 | Written by Digits

Harley's 2011 BlacklineHarley-Davidson tore through two-wheeled headlines of rival motorcycle manufacturers with their own new bobber style model riding onto show room floors.

In an apparent biker version of dueling banjos, just a day after Victory Motorcycles rolled out their street-savvy High-Ball, Harley-Davidson answered with its own take of a manufacturer’s stripped down motorcycle, the Blackline.

But if this was indeed an answer to the positive press over the High-Ball, even the harshest of critics have to give Harley-Davidson the nod of it being well-played.

After all, Harley featured an accessory that only they could ever boast, the legendary name and endorsement of Willie G. Davidson.

It was the famous Chief Styling officer and grandson of the company’s co-founder William A. Davidson who sat astride the Blackline as it was unveiled in New York to coincide with the International Motorcycle Show opening.

‘Lean as wire, hard as iron and dark as a tar road at midnight, the new Blackline motorcycle is a Harley-Davidson Softail model pared to the bone’ states the press release describing the latest model in Harley-Davidson’s line-up. ‘A rebellious creation of the Dark Custom movement, the Blackline celebrates three fundamental elements of motorcycling: mechanical beauty, internal combustion, and the long black line of the road ahead.’

But while it was the famous face of Willie G on the new motorcycle, it was the vision and talent of Wisconsin native Casey Ketterhagen, a graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design who had the honor of being lead stylist for the Blackline.

"I was trying to get back to the basics of two wheels and a motor," Ketterhagen told Rick Barrett of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , explaining he wanted to design a bike that would have minimal graphics, a subdued paint scheme, and minimal non-essential parts and covers.

The inpiration for the Blackline's nameOffering two other two-tone paint schemes along with the mandatory biker black of Cool Blue Pearl/Vivid Black and Sedona Orange/Vivid Black, questions may leap to mind over the name of 'Blackline'. It is in fact the ‘Blackline’ trim running up the five gallon fuel tank bare of any traditionally placed instrument panels and switches that gives the latest offering from Harley-Davidson its name. This motorcycle-naming trim leads to an analog speedometer, which is a good place to look for the motorcycles design direction.

Starkly sitting on a triple-clamp mount that also holds indicator lights, the speedometer is indicative of the days of the original bobber movement combined with the raw, hand-hewn style which has been embraced by today’s young builders. Old meets new with the solitary cluster also featuring an LCD screen on the speedometer includes low-fuel warning and “miles to empty” display function.

Looking at the rest of the motorcycle, the rear fender is bobbed high-and-tight over a slim, 144mm tire that emphasizes an authentic hardtail profile. The compact headlight and speedometer are tucked low into the wide, FX front end, and there’s just enough shine to make the black parts look blacker. Black-rimmed laced wheels complete a look that’s tough, tempered and undeniably Harley-Davidson.

The styling spotlight shines on a Big Twin engine dressed in black and silver, and on a fuel tank shaved smooth and low. Aboard the Blackline, the rider hugs the frame on the lowest two-up seat ever offered by Harley-Davidson, and reaches high for new Split Drag™ handlebars that bolt right to the top triple-clamp.

Always the first to catch the eye on the engine, this model features a new look for the air cleaner cover, with a round shape and unabashedly brilliant chrome.

The Softail chassis utilizes rear suspension control provided by coil-over shock absorbers mounted horizontally along the frame rails below the powertrain, where they are out of sight. So while the swingarm section replicates the lines of a vintage hardtail frame, the Blackline delivers suspension performance and handling that are thoroughly modern. The internally counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B engine is rigid-mounted within the frame, creating a solid connection between rider and the power that moves the motorcycle to enhance the emotional experience of riding.

Harley's 2011 Blackline

Some other key features include;

New Powertrain styling

Powertrain is finished in gloss black powdercoat on the rocker box covers, the crankcase, the outer primary cover, and the transmission side cover. The cylinders are silver powdercoat with machined highlights. The derby cover and timing covers are chromed.

Rigid-mounted, counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B™ V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 89 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3250 rpm.

6-Speed Cruise Drive® Transmission.

New Black Denim powdercoat frame and swingarm.

New Profile Laced Aluminum wheels with black anodized rims. Front wheel is 21 x 2.15 inches; rear wheel is 16 x 3 inches. Dunlop® D402 tires are MH90-21 front and MU85B16 rear.

New FX front end with black powdercoat triple clamps and black painted fork lowers.

New Split Drag™ internally-wired handlebars mount directly to the top triple clamp.

New Asymmetric five-gallon Softail fuel tank is clean on the left side, with a low-profile fuel fill on the right. Die cast “Blackline” trim panel flowing down the center of the tank is just high enough to cover the fuel pump hardware.

New Bobbed rear fender with combination stop/tail/turn lights in black housings, and a new composite license plate holder and light module that mounts on the lower edge of the fender.

New Raw forged rear fender supports are finished in Black Denim powdercoat.

New One-piece, two-up seat and passenger pillion. Laden rider seat height is 24 inches, the lowest two-up seat offered by Harley-Davidson. Gap between the nose of seat and fuel tank exposes the top of the frame.

New 5.75-inch diameter headlamp in gloss black shell.

Polished forward foot controls.

Over/under chrome shotgun exhaust.

Optional Security Package with Anti-lock Braking System and Smart Security System

With motorcycle manufacturers apparently pitching ‘less means more sales’ at their design and marketing meetings bikers wanting to get back to the basics of riding seem to have more choices everyday.

Harley's 2011 Blackline

While Harley has looked back in order to move forward with its sales, riders can enjoy some ‘old school style’ with modern luxuries. The Blackline is a softail offering a smoother ride, and with the shock absorbers hidden away bikers can enjoy the stripped down look and rebel reputation.

Starting at $15,499 the Blackline is riding in a sea of vintage and bobber designs, a trend among the larger motorcycle manufacturers pretty much started by Harley-Davidson*. With Harley hoping the Blackline ‘throws new fuel on a fire that burns across generations, an unquenchable desire to ride’ the Blackline realistically rides at a different end of the 'old school' pack of Victory's recently released High-Ball, if not simply from having more polish. For the time being however, comparisons will inevitably be made between the two motorcycles.

With the incredibly close timing of the unveiling of the two models the more cynical may say the events were (excuse the pun) staged, but at the end of the day it could just considered unfortunate as the Blackline and High-Ball invariably end up sharing the same news space when the apparent efforts deserve so much more.

But riders should expect to hear both companies promote these latest models when Harley-Davidson and Victory Motorcycles discuss their financial results for 2010 over the next ten days, possibly referring to the rebel rides as 'a new direction'.

Harley's 2011 Blackline SOURCE

Harley-Davidson Young Adult Movement Grows With Launch of Bike That Declares Defiance

New Blackline Motorcycle is Stripped to the Core for Riders Who Take a Stand

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Lean as wire, hard as iron and dark as a tar road at midnight, Harley-Davidson introduces the new Blackline motorcycle, a Softail designed to celebrate the place young riders want to grow into, but not out of. The Blackline is the next rebellious chapter for the iconic American brand that now holds the number one position with consumers age 18-34. This latest creation in the Dark Custom movement embodies three fundamentals of motorcycling: mechanical beauty, internal combustion, and the wide, open road.

"The Blackline is a motorcycle for all those who run by their own rules," said Mike Lowney, director, market outreach for Harley-Davidson. "It's more than a bike – it's a mindset that is rooted in the spirit of defiance and irreverence embraced by today's young riders."

The Blackline balances allegiance with rebellion, discarding previous conventions of color and chrome for a Dark Custom look that's honest, functional and attainable. Visual elements of the original bobber movement are combined with the raw, hand-hewn style embraced by today's young builders. The Blackline throws new fuel on a fire that burns across generations, an unquenchable desire to ride.

Instrumentation is compact and tucked, and there's just enough shine to make the black parts look blacker. The chopped fender, narrow, split drag handlebar, and slammed speedometer contribute to the lean and linear nature of the bike that gives the Blackline its name.

The styling spotlight shines on the Big Twin engine dressed in black and silver with machined highlights reminiscent of its Big Twin predecessors of the 1930s, '40s and '50s. The engine is capped off by a fuel tank shaved smooth and low. Aboard the Blackline, the rider hugs the frame on the lowest two-up seat ever offered by Harley-Davidson.

Details on the Blackline are understated, yet classic. The round air cleaner, which debuted on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the 1940s, has become a prized feature over the years. The blacked-out horseshoe oil tank recalls the original on the 1936 EL. Other styling elements come from more than just Harley-Davidson history, taking authentic cues from motorcycle culture as well. The chopped rear fender made famous by post-WWII riders is bobbed high-and-tight over a slim 144mm tire.

Up front, and tucked tight into the frame, the gloss black headlamp replicates the standard on Harleys going back to the post World War I years. The smooth, black rims on profile laced aluminum wheels hearken back to the 1930s. The simple, slammed speedometer reminiscent of the Depression era delivers a sporty look. Narrow, split drag handlebars are a first on the Softail platform.

The Blackline joins the Dark Custom lineup that includes the Forty-Eight, Nightster, Iron 883, Cross Bones, Fat Bob and Street Bob. Check out more on Dark Custom motorcycles at Motorcycles, Parts, Events and Community | Dark Custom Motorcycles | Harley-Davidson USA.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's Web site at Harley-Davidson USA.

SOURCE Harley-Davidson Motor Company
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Harley-Davidson USA

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Discussion Starter #3

Sneak Peek: 2012 Victory High-Ball
Unleashing Your Inner Bad-ass – Adjustably

January 21, 2011
By Andrew Cherney

Photography Courtesy of Victory Motorcycles

The calendar may show 2011, but Victory Motorcycles is already on to the next page. For the 2012 model year, Victory has just released an all-new model called the High-Ball. In sharp contrast to 2010-2011's slew of bagger designs, Victory let its in-house designers pen a bike that’s more about raw vibe than boring functionality (best-in-class luggage capacity can be a pretty humdrum design challenge). If anything, the High-Ball gets back to basics, and rolls with a stripped down, streetwise aesthetic.

2012 Victory High Ball Low Bar Position
Whether you call it a bobber or a chopper, the minimalist, blacked-out machine is still motivated by Victory’s now brand-wide 106/6 powertrain (in this case, it's the more powerful Stage 2 version), and the High-Ball looks like a sharp departure from the bagger-heavy bias of the last few model years. If the main differences between bobbers and choppers is that bobbers typically use unmodified frames without stretched forks, then we'll dub this a bobber - but mostly because of its less-is-more aesthetic.

2012 Victory High Ball Front Tire
With just hints of bodywork, a solo seat, high handlebars and a flat black paint treatment with bare-bones graphics (you can get it only in black), the High-Ball veers away from the high luster of other Victory machines, adopting more of an 8-Ball aesthetic (though with a bit more polish). Pieces like the headlight, a slash-cut shotgun exhaust and the teardrop tank, will be recognizable to Victory watchers, though the High-Ball does roll on spoked, chunky 16-inch whitewall tires on either end of a reasonable 64.8-inch wheelbase - the shortest of Victory bikes. It also sports just the bare minimum of graphics; the High-Ball blacks out the handlebars, clipped fenders, lower fork, headlight bucket, parts of the engine cases and most of the powertrain.

2012 Victory High Ball
Victory only allowed us a quick seat on the 25-inch saddle (the second lowest seat height of any current Victory model), not actually letting us kick the shifter and throttle away, so the best we can tell you is the seat is indeed subterranean and the tall handlebars require a pretty full stretch from sub 6-footers – we’d say the bars felt a touch taller than the mid-height apes on Harley’s Cross Bones (which, you could argue, got here first). So Victory may be angling for instant street cred with that feature, but in a nod to soccer dads and weekend warriors everywhere, you also get the option of adjustable handlebars on the 'Ball; with just three quick on-bike bolt adjustments using hand tools, you can manipulate the bars down to a lower, more standard setting, if you only wanna hang 'em high part of the time. Seems like a pretty shrewd marketing ploy - or not.

2012 Victory High Ball Profile
The Minnesota manufacturer also decided to jump the gun on the model’s release – at a time most OEMS are just starting to ship 2011 models to dealerships, Victory chose to unveil the 2012 ‘Ball at the New York IMS Show. That's January, 2011, folks.

2012 Victory High Ball High Ball Handlebar Positions Side
Victory also told us that renowned customizer Roland Sands has confirmed that he’ll soon be receiving his own High-Ball to trick out as well, so look for a hotted-up version of this machine soon (though if you ask us, that seems contrary to the whole point of the bike).

It remains to be seen whether this bike will actually appeal to one-percenters, but with that stout, Stage 2 cam-enhanced 106/6 mill (claimed to be good for 97 hp and 113 lbs-ft of torque) there’s no doubt it will go like stink. Time will only tell if it makes it onto the Sons of Anarchy set.


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Discussion Starter #4
Motorcycle Coverage

Motorcycle Coverage is Widely Available Through U.S. Auto Insurers


The New York International Motorcycle Show, which begins today and continues through Sunday, January 23, at the Javits Center in Manhattan, exhibits the latest vehicle models and accessories but also marks a good time for motorcycle enthusiasts to review their insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

"Motorcycle insurance is widely available, with many of the nation's top auto insurers offering the product as either a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement to a personal automobile policy," said Michael Barry, vice president, Media Relations at the I.I.I.

There were 7.7 million motorcycles on U.S. roads as of 2008, according to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the most recent data available.

If you are in the market for motorcycle insurance, most states require you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage. Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to other people involved in an accident. It does not cover you or your motorcycle.

An additional option within your liability insurance is first-party medical coverage, in the event you want to be reimbursed for bodily injury expenses you incurred while on your motorcycle. You may also be able to purchase coverage for medical bills received from an injured party, ranging from $2,000 to $25,000. And check whether your liability coverage includes Guest Passenger Liability, which provides financial protection in the event that your passenger is injured while on your motorcycle.

Other, often optional, coverages available to motorcycle owners are: collision (covering damage to your motorcycle); comprehensive (covering damage caused by events other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism); and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (covering damages to you and your property caused by another driver who either does not have insurance or whose insurance is inadequate). Always ask your insurance agent or company representative which insurance coverages are required in your state.

It is also worth asking about motorcycle accessories coverage for items such as add-ons, customizations, aftermarket parts and anything else you may have added to your bike since purchasing it.

Many factors can affect how much you will pay in motorcycle insurance premiums, including:

* Driver's age and driving record
* Where the driver lives
* Model, style (sports bike vs. cruiser) and age of the motorcycle
* Number of miles the motorcycle is driven each year
* Where the motorcycle is stored

There are also ways of saving money on motorcycle premiums, with discounts ranging anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent, depending on the company and the state. Some common discounts include:

* Multi-bike discounts
* Motorcycle association discounts
* Discounts for experienced riders
* Installation of antitheft devices
* Discounts for graduates of training courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Rider Course

* In many northern states, seasonal motorcyclists can consider buying a "lay-up" policy, in which all coverage except comprehensive is suspended during winter months

"But, while getting the right coverage is essential, riding a motorcycle safely is even more important," Barry concluded.

Recent motorcycle safety trends have been positive, with the number of people dying in U.S. motorcycle crashes dropping 16 percent, from 5,312 fatalities in 2009 to 4,462 in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For more information on motorcycle crashes, refer to the I.I.I.'s Issues Update paper.

In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiled a January 2011 Motorcycle Helmet Use Law overview.

Comparable motorcycle shows are being held in the coming weeks in the following cities, and on these dates: Cleveland, OH (Jan. 28-30), Minneapolis, MN (Feb. 4-6), Chicago, IL (Feb. 11-13), Greenville, SC (Feb. 25-27), and Daytona, FL (March 9-12).

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT INSURANCE: Insurance Information Institute.



Insurance Information Institute

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Discussion Starter #5
Orange County Choppers

Orange County Choppers face foreclosure but not bankruptcy

January 25, 2011

American Choppers was a reality TV show which featured a family of roughneck bikers and steelworkers who turned their skills to building beautiful motorcycles at their Orange County Choppers facility in New York.

The business began as a side project to the family’s steel works and Paul Tuetel Sr and Jr. facilitated the day to day running and design work involved in building the extravagant custom bikes.

American Choppers was a huge success, their bikes were (and still are) considered works of art, and despite the sometimes ‘Osborn-esque’ family tantrums – usually instigated by the hot-headed Paul Teutel Sr – it provided good entertainment; a rarity for reality TV.

Their work featured incredible designs which were commissioned for individuals and groups alike. One memorable bike, built for the fire brigade, had the look of a fire truck complete with fireman’s helmet as the gas tank and a hydrant.

The crew of American Choppers also featured on Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s The Long Way Round in which the pair travelled across the world on motorbikes. McGregor was such a huge fan of the show that he bought a bike while visiting them.

News today is a sad indictment of the times we live in as the company is now facing foreclosure on its facility. The problem has arisen after unpaid mortgage arrears of $96,400 and $14,000. OCC refused to make payments as they wanted changes made to the loan agreement, given that deflation has dropped the price of the property which houses Orange County Choppers.

With the help of American Choppers and celebrity endorsements, Orange County Choppers has become an international brand and one would assume that they will take strides to ensure the longevity of their business, all of which is run from the same building.


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Discussion Starter #6
Zero motorcycles


Tue, 01/25/2011 -

- More Space, More Workers and Higher Volumes to Meet Growing Global Demand -

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., (January 25, 2011) – Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, has announced plans to open a new motorcycle manufacturing facility that will more than double the company’s current production capacity. Being built alongside Zero Motorcycles’ corporate headquarters in Santa Cruz County, it will provide Zero with a powerful competitive advantage in a fast paced industry. By keeping manufacturing and R&D working shoulder to shoulder, Zero’s strategy is to streamline the inclusion of their latest technology into production before the competition. Falling on the heels of Zero’s recently announced $1.84 million ‘next generation’ powertrain project, the new factory is another sign of the company’s continued growth and momentum. For motorcyclists the result will be more advanced motorcycles that they can actually own and for California this means more ‘green jobs’.

"With this exciting new expansion, we reconfirm our commitment to building the best electric motorcycles in the world as well as creating U.S. based manufacturing jobs”, said Steve Salyer, Vice President of Operations for Zero Motorcycles. "Quality Control at the highest levels means personally inspecting each bike as it comes off the assembly line. Moreover, in the spirit of continual improvement and innovation, we believe that having our manufacturing and engineering teams collaborating within the same space gives us both an operational and developmental competitive advantage."

The new facility will bring Zero’s total production space to 34,000 square feet and is supported by a redevelopment grant from the city of Scotts Valley. Rewarded for their innovative technology, Zero will utilize the space to meet an increase in consumer demand and to continue to develop their advanced powertrain technology. As the motorcycles come off the line they will be crated and shipped off to meet Zero’s growing global demand.

"Since the inception of Zero Motorcycles, Santa Cruz County has been our home. With many companies looking outside of the U.S. to develop and build their products, we are proud to say we are continuing our support of our local community," said Gene Banman, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. "At the same time, we are responding quickly to an increasing global demand for our motorcycles. This investment positions us ideally for further growth, innovation and development as we move into 2012 and beyond.

Renovations begin in early 2011 with the first production motorcycle expected to roll out by late February 2011. The company plans to add twenty-five employees by mid-2011.

Zero Motorcycles is the next step in motorcycle evolution and represents the ultimate electric motorcycle technology. Unencumbered by conventional thinking about how they design, manufacture and sell high performance electric motorcycles, they are on a mission to turn heads and revolutionize their industry by combining the best aspects of a traditional motorcycle with today’s most advanced technology.

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Discussion Starter #7
New GPS Tracking Solution

January 25, 2011 by Lynn Beverly

New GPS Tracking Solution for Motorcycles

Positioning itself as a provider of cutting-edge devices in the 3G/4G wireless space, Quantum-Wireless has now introduced the MotoTraq Real Time GPS Tracker. Combining state-of-the-art safety features that include tip sensors, crash detection, theft recovery and 24/7 EMS dispatch services with real-time GPS tracking, it is the most affordable Motorcycle GPS Tracker on the market.

GPS Analyst, Elliott Fink explained, “The MotoTraq tracking solution has been specifically designed and engineered for the unique requirements of motorcycle enthusiasts. The MotoTraq is water, dust and shock resistant; the GPS and cellular antennas are internal and completely self-contained; and the MotoTraq is so small and unobtrusive that it can easily be concealed and kept out of view, maintaining any bike’s stylish exterior while providing unparalleled safety and security through GPS.”

GPS Motorcycle tracking is still comparatively new even though GPS tracking technology has been in use for a number of years and is used extensively to track automobiles. Quantum-Wireless provides a new presence in the GPS Tracking arena with an impressive team of experts launching new Tracking solutions to meet a broad range of requirements and applications.

Providing the latest technology for vehicle, asset, fleet and personal tracking along with exceptional customer service and support, Quantum-Wireless is now a contender in the GPS industry according to Charles Greenwald.

The new MotoTraq will be featured January 28-30, 2011 at the Great American Motorcycle Show.


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Discussion Starter #8
The Grip Ace system

Grip Ace: Digital Motorcycle Switch Kits

Motorcycle Switch Kit

Radical digital motorcycle switch system allows riders to control all motorcycle switch functions with only a slight movement of the fingers and clean handlebars.

Whenever people told Grip Ace inventor and bike enthusiast Timothy Ledford that something couldn't be done, he went out and did it himself.

We live in a world going digital, so Ledford thought why not make the switches for motorcycles digital? He started thinking about what he could do to change the way motorcycle switches are used. Of all the incredible improvements in motorcycle design and performance over the last four decades there has been no significant changes made to the switch systems on motorcycles.

The Grip Ace system will work on all motorcycles, including motorcycle stuntman Jason Britton's Kawsaki ZX-6R. It even allows handicapped riders that may be missing a hand or arm, to control all the necessary switching functions to ride safely and obtain their motorcycle riders license.

Regardless of hand size, you can position the switches so they are attainable for the owner of the motorcycle.

The Grip Ace system can be made to work with or without the stock switches, imagine that? Harley Davison did a beautiful job with throttle by wire while Grip Ace has completed the "Ride by Wire" system for all motorcycles.

Custom motorcycles builders have embraced the Grip Ace because now they can removes all excess wires and switches from the handlebars, allowing for the ultra cool streamlined look and remain legal. Riders are also saving a fortune in labor when wiring their handlebars.

The switch pad can be custom fitted to most billet and some rubber grips or even in the handlebars. Grip manufacturers are starting to add the Grip Ace system to their own line of hand grips. How about an internal throttle and internal clutch with switches in the handlebars? It's now possible and feasible.

The multi patented Grip Ace digital switch system adds self canceling turn signals and hazards lights to motorcycles not equipped with such functions.

The riding safety for many riders will be increased because the rider maintains positive control of the motorcycle while activating the starter, turn signals, horn and hi/lo beams switches.

In addition to these standard functions, the system can be programmed to control accessories like air ride systems, L.E.D lights, ETC. Ideal for the tech minded, button pushing generation.

The Grip Ace digital switch system retails for $369.00

For more details please visit GRIP ACE website and get your incredible system today. Grip Ace Industries LLC, Suite 200, 8200 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 USA.


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Discussion Starter #9
Honda Makes 18 Million Motorcycles in 2010

Honda Makes 18 Million Motorcycles in 2010


Honda produced more than 18 million motorcycles and ATVs in 2010. The Japanese giant released its global production and sales data for the past calendar year, with record-breaking numbers in many categories. Fueling the numbers were increases in the high-volume Asian market. Honda’s North American sales, which include the U.S., Canada and Mexico, decreased from 210,000 to 192,000, a decline of 8.6%.

Honda expects to sell 220 000 of its new little Twister annually.

Honda sales in Asia have fueled a record-setting production pace for the Japanese manufacturer, with more than 18 million motorcycles and ATVs produced in 2010
Honda’s Asia and Oceania market showed the most dramatic growth in terms of unit volume, with a remarkable 2.7 million unit increase in annual sales. The 14.4 million total for 2010 sets a new record for Honda, replacing last year’s 11.7 million mark, itself a record-setting total at the time. The Asia/Oceania region includes high-volume countries like Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as India, the second-largest motorcycle market on earth.

At the end of 2010 Honda reshaped its strategic presence in India when it confirmed a split with its joint venture Hero Honda. The Japanese firm will divest its 26% share in the JV, which since its creation in 1984 has blossomed into the largest manufacturer in India, with more than five million Hero Honda sales claimed for 2010. Honda’s wholly-owned subsidiary company, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), has itself grown into a manufacturing powerhouse in the Indian market. HMSI is the fourth-largest OEM on the subcontinent, behind Hero, Bajaj and TVS. Honda’s subsidiary looks to maintain market share amidst the country’s rapid two-wheeled sales growth, with HMSI building another manufacturing plant for 2011 to keep production inline with demand.

As for the largest two-wheeled market in the world, China, Honda saw a slight decrease in sales, with totals dropping from 1,303,000 to 1,285,000. In South America Honda made up the loss, enjoying a robust gain in sales, up 18% to 1,640,000.

Honda’s European and North American markets are characterized by much lower unit volumes of larger-displacement, higher-priced machinery. Honda groups the European market in with the Middle East and Africa. Big Red claims slight decline in sales in those regions, dropping from 261,000 to 258,000. North America remains Honda’s poorest performing market, with motorcycle sales in the U.S. still in the decline for 2010.

Honda’s domestic production market held steady at 190,000. Sales in Japan, however, showed a tidy increase in 2010 – up 15,000 to 196,000.


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Discussion Starter #10
Harley Davidson Recall

Harley Davidson Recall Affects 6,964 Softail Motorcycles
Sylvia Cochran

Feb 2, 2011

Citing the possibility of a deadly crash, Harley Davidson urges owners of 2011 Softails to check their mail for a recall notice. Riders recognize likely recalled Harley Davidson motorcycles by the security system kits

Harley Davidson Recall for February 2011

Riders of Harley Davidson motorcycles -- specifically a 2011 Softail -- should listen up: 6,964 owners are affected by the latest recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that owners of a 2011 Softail manufactured between June and October 2010 (whose motorcycles feature security system kits accessories) will be receiving a recall notice.

These particular motorcycles feature a defect of the body control modules that results in an incomplete seal. As a result, there is the possibility of water seepage into the modules, which in turn risks engine stalls. If the rider is operating the motorcycles when the stall occurs, a (potentially deadly) crash is possible.

The actual recall date is Feb. 21, 2011. Harley Davidson explains that - thus far - the company is aware of two warranty claims but not of any accidents or injuries.

From Front Fuel Tank Mounts to Body Control Modules

When compared to the December 2009 Harley Davidson recall, the 6,964 Softails are small potatoes. Back then, Motorcycle USA reported that the company recalled 111,569 motorcycles over front fuel tank mounts.

Affected were 2009 and 2010 touring bikes that rolled off the assembly lines between June 2008 and November 2009. In a type of worst-case scenario, fuel leakage in the aftermath of a crash could lead to an ignition.

... and the Fiscal Bottom Line?

No recall news is good news, but Harley Davidson is actually on the upswing. Quoting the Associated Press, Business Week reports that the motorcycle maker's fourth quarter losses are not nearly as dire as they were a short year ago during the tank mount crisis.

Mind you, the company still took a $46.8 million loss in the fourth quarter, but this is a far cry from the $218.7 million loss it registered in the fourth quarter of 2009.

If there are no more Harley Davidson motorcycles recalls, this relatively minor 2011 Softail occurrence may be little more than a quick blip on the radar for the bike maker.


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Discussion Starter #11
February 8, 2011
Zero Overhauls Its All-Electric Motorcycle Product Line

The 2011 Zero lineup.

Zero Motorcycles, a manufacturer of lightweight, all-electric dirt bikes and street motorcycles, has announced four new 2011 models that the company hopes will transform it from a niche maker of vacant-lot play bikes to a serious global motorcycle manufacturer. A fifth model will be revealed later this month.

As a sign of its intent, Zero has hired Scot Harden, a three-time Baja 1000 off-road race champion, as its vice president of global marketing.

“This is kind of a relaunch of the company,” Mr. Harden said in an interview by phone. “Our 2010 product left a lot to be desired in terms of the actual componentry — fit, finish and detail — in terms of meeting full motorcycle standards. If we wanted to be a real motorcycle company, we had to change a whole lot of things that went into building the bikes.”

These changes include a 12.5-percent increase in the capacity of the bikes’ lithium-ion batteries, which should provide improved range and acceleration. Structurally, the frames are stiffer and the brakes, wheels, tires and suspension parts are stronger. Detail-oriented improvements include integrated ignition locks and charging ports that are compatible with the J1772 public charging stations beginning to appear in American cities.

Zero, based in Santa Cruz, Calif., is also placing new emphasis on its street-only models, the Zero S Streetfighter and the Zero DS Dual Sport — both of which employ noise-dampening carbon-fiber-reinforced drive belts.

The Zero S is configured as an asphalt-only machine, with little suspension travel and a low seat height, while the taller DS is aimed at a more adventurous rider who might occasionally hit the trail. Both machines top out at 67 miles per hour, and their range is listed at 43 miles according to the Environmental Protection Agency UDDS riding cycle.

The Zero MX dirt bike, with a forced-induction, air-cooled AGNI motor, is designed for stunting, racing and jumping on motocross tracks and other asphalt-free zones. Top speed is listed at 57 m.p.h., and its E.P.A. UDDS street range is 21 miles.

Its sibling, the Zero X, is intended for more sedate trail riding, with shorter, softer suspension components and a lower seat height, making it more suitable for beginners and shorter riders. Both the MX and the X can be ordered as street-legal machines, with the requisite lights, instrument gauges and horns.

Pricing ranges from $7,995 for an X trail bike to $10,495 for a DS Dual Sport. A 10 percent federal tax credit available to customers ordering street-legal bikes, however, could actually make them less expensive than their lightless and hornless versions. Some states may also offer rebates and incentives on top of the federal credit.

More Pictures SOURCE

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Discussion Starter #12 Adds Another Valuable Motorcycle Resource

Cyclechex Chosen by NADAguides as Their Motorcycle History Report Provider

COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

News Highlights

* NADAguides, the most comprehensive vehicle information provider on the Internet today, announces that in-market buyers can now obtain motorcycle history reports on from Cyclechex – the leading provider of motorcycle history reports.

* With Cyclechex as another available resource, NADAguides is able to provide in-market buyers with yet another valuable piece of information to help consumers make a confident and comfortable vehicle purchase.

* Cyclechex provides consumers with comprehensive motorcycle history reports for previously registered street bikes, dirt bikes and scooters dating back to 1981. The data provided by Cyclechex is pulled from governmental agencies across multiple states. Data includes information such historical title records with number of previous owners, last recorded odometer reading, and any disclosed damage to the vehicle, salvaged, rebuilt or stolen titles, VIN decoding, crushed vehicle notification, vehicle specifications, and manufacturers' recall history.
* provides pricing and data for street bikes, dirt bikes and vintage motorcycles as well as side cars and trailers dating back to 1905. With so much data available to consumers, NADAguides finds it essential to also provide helpful resources such as insurance and dealer quotes, credit reports and now motorcycle history reports with Cyclechex. These are the resources consumers can rely upon to help make a well-informed decision with the utmost ease and confidence.

* Cyclechex history reports can be purchased through for $24.95 each or three for $49.95.

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Discussion Starter #13
Suzuki Launches Big Sale With $1000-off

Suzuki Launches Big Sale With $1000-off Coupons

Feb 15, 2011,

From a press release issued by American Suzuki:


New Sales Promotion Offers $1000-Off Coupon On Select Suzuki Motorcycles and Scooters

BREA, Calif. February 15, 2011 –Suzuki is pleased to announce a massive sales promotion offering an incredible $1000-off coupon on select motorcycles and scooters in combination with 1.99% financing through March 31, 2011. The coupon can be found on Suzuki Cycles or picked up at your local Suzuki dealer.

For consumers waiting for the right time to get on a new Suzuki – this is it! This outstanding offer is simply unprecedented in the powersports industry. Suzuki is offering this huge savings on class-leading new motorcycles and scooters to make riding a new Suzuki easily affordable for consumers this spring.

“We want to give this incredible opportunity to consumers,” said American Suzuki Motorcycle/ATV Division’s National Sales Manager Rod Lopusnak, “Spring is just around the corner and there is no better way to start out the 2011 riding season than on a new Suzuki motorcycle or scooter, and this huge $1000-off promotion with 1.99% financing makes it easily affordable for motorcycle enthusiasts to get on a new Suzuki.”

This incredible promotion is in addition to Suzuki’s class-leading 1.99% APR rate* that is fixed until 2016 on all models with approved credit. This is an amazing opportunity to get on a new Suzuki ride at a fraction of the price. From AMA-dominating RM-Z motocross bikes to the baddest Boulevard cruisers and fuel-efficient Burgman scooters, a huge variety of class-leading Suzuki motorcycles and scooters are eligible for this incredible offer!

This exceptional offer is only available for a limited time, though. The 45-day countdown is now ticking! The $1000-off coupon must be redeemed at local Suzuki dealerships by March 31, 2011, so don’t delay.

For more information about Suzuki, please visit:

Suzuki Cycles


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Discussion Starter #14
Lead ban hits ATV industry

Lead ban hits ATV industry

Ban intended to protect kids from toxins in toys may shut down the kids' motorbike and ATV industry.

Feb 14 2011

In 2008, Congress responded to a slew of toy recalls by passing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The intention of the act was to make toys safer for kids but setting strict standards on the amount of toxins (like lead) that could be present in toys and other products marketed to children.

It all sounded good on paper, but almost immediately, small toy manufacturers cried foul when they realized they would never be able to adhere to the testing and labeling procedures required by CPSIA.

And it turns out they aren't the only industry in an uproar. According to the current wording of CPSIA, youth-model motorcycles, motorbikes, and ATVs are considered children's products and thus they must adhere to the same standards for lead as other children's toys.

Responding to these concerns, a bipartisan coalition of 43 members of Congress is hoping to pass a bill - the Kids Just Want to Ride Act - that would permanently exclude youth-model motorbikes and ATVs from the lead ban.

After a series of delays, CPSIA was slated to take effect May 1, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 4-1 on Feb. 1 to delay implementation until the end of the year. That gives ATV and motorbike manufacturers and retailers some time to request a reprieve from CPSIA before the act officially goes in to effect.


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Discussion Starter #15
Christini AWD Factory Line of Off-Road Motorcycles Available Fall 2011

21 02 2011

Philadelphia, PA – February 21, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Christini Technologies announces the launch of its branded factory line of CHRISTINI AWD off-road motorcycles available for delivery to dealers and customers beginning in the fall of 2011. Two models will be available: A CHRISTINI AWD 450 model with a retail price point of $6895 and a CHRISTINI AWD 300 model featuring a Gas Gas 300 engine and other highend racing components for an estimated retail price point of $8995. The new CHRISTINI AWD models are priced and configured to compete in the market head-to-head with products offered by the major OEMs. Each unit will be final assembled in the CHRISTINI AWD Philadelphia facility with frames and AWD drive system components designed by CHRISTINI and supplied by established industry manufacturers.

Steve Christini, founder, President and the inventor of the AWD technology, commented “We have been planning the launch of our own branded AWD factory models for years and believe the new price points will provide the opportunity for every motorcycle enthusiast to experience the quality and improved benefit of AWD. We presently sell our custom AWD motorcycles in the US and more than 20 other countries and fully expect the availability of a complete factory CHRISTINI AWD model to dramatically increase the market reach.” CHRISTINI AWD has been a pioneer in the design and development of AWD for motorcycles producing a product with an established history of commercial and racing success. Previously, CHRISTINI AWD has sold custom AWD models using modified Honda and KTM factory frames. CHRISTINI’s patented AWD motorcycle technology features a durable rigid series of shafts and gears to power the front wheel. The proprietary AWD system is entirely enclosed within the frame and head tube of the motorcycle and is extremely efficient, resulting in less than 1% power loss while adding less than 15 lbs total weight to the motorcycle. Traction and safety in wet and treacherous terrain both on and off road are dramatically improved by AWD enabling a broad range of riders to achieve performance levels far superior to a normal rear wheel drive motorcycle.

“Our AWD system is race tested, extremely durable and has been ridden with great success in US and international races over the past 4 years” explained Steve Christini. “We look forward with great enthusiasm to the worldwide commercial launch our branded CHRISTINI AWD factory products.”


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Discussion Starter #16
Suzuki Recalls 73,426

Suzuki Recalls 73,426 Motorcycles
Electrical issue affects 12 models from 2008-2010

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Feb. 25, 2011

American Suzuki is issuing a recall on a 73,426 motorcycles from the 2008-2010 model years due to an electrical issue.

The recall campaign affects 12 different models built between July 2007 and September 2009.

The regulator and rectifier assemblies on certain models may lack sufficient adhesion between the power module and the rectifier case. As the power module heats up, the circuit board may deform, causing the module to lift off from the case. This can cause excessive heat and uncontrolled electric current output, affecting the discharge of the battery and potentially leading the engine to stall or fail to start.

According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, American Suzuki first received a report of rectifier failure in July 2008. American Suzuki introduced a couple of countermeasures including a new production process from the supplier. Suzuki continued to monitor the situation and in September 2010, restarted an investigation into the failures. Between July 2008 and December 2010, Suzuki received 180 reports from U.S. distributors.

The recall affects the following models:

* 2008-2009 Suzuki AN400 (Burgman 400)
* 2008-2009 Suzuki DL1000 (V-Strom 1000)
* 2008-2009 Suzuki GSF1250 (Bandit 1250)
* 2008-2009 Suzuki GSX-R600
* 2008-2009 Suzuki GSX-R750
* 2008 Suzuki GSX1300B (B-King)
* 2008-2010 Suzuki GSX1300R (Hayabusa)
* 2008-2009 Suzuki GSX650F
* 2009-2010 Suzuki SFV650 (Gladius)
* 2008-2010 Suzuki VL800
* 2008-2009 Suzuki VLR1800
* 2009-2010 Suzuki VZ1500

Suzuki will replace the regulator/rectifier units of the affected models with an improved part at no charge.


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Discussion Starter #17
American Chopper Paul Jr. Teams w/ Renegade

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Renegade Wheels and Paul Jr. Designs are teaming up. Renegade makes some of the finest custom motorcycle wheels around and have graced Paul Jr.’s bikes in the past, so it’s no surprise that the two have collaborated on a new project. Paul Jr. has started up his own design company called Paul Jr. Designs (PJD) and recently unveiled the new wheels at

Paul Teutul Jr. is teaming up with custom motorcycle wheel manufacturer Renegade Wheels to offer the Trinity and Rapture pictured above.

the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati. The first is a tri-spoke, drilled-out design called Trinity which also comes in a blacked-out version called the Trinity Phantom Cut. The other, called the Rapture Phantom Cut, is a five-spoke design with the same drilled-out pattern cut into it. PJD also put its name on the Rapture Phantom Cut Air Cleaner.

Here’s what Paul Jr. said about the relationship on Renegade Wheels website:

“As a new company we are only working with the best vendors in the industry. That's why I'm excited about the partnership created between Renegade Wheels and Paul Jr. Designs. This endeavor is a unique opportunity to bring my creativity to the many fans that have followed not only the American Chopper Series, but the thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide. Renegade Wheels has been my choice to manufacture our wheel designs for every bike done by PJD.”

Paul Jr. may have gotten his start with Orange County Choppers, but he’s been doing well for himself since opening up his own design company. He had a one-year non-compete clause with OCC which prevented himself from building any custom motorcycles during that time frame but has since built bikes for clients like GEICO, Carolina Carports and FARO. He’s used his eye for design to create a 10-year anniversary model Roadtrip Grill for the Coleman Company (famous for making camping products). He’s also entered the merchandising game and is busy marketing his PJD crown design on apparel and hats.

Paul Jr. strengthened his bike-building business when he brought Vinnie DiMartino on board. Vinnie is a talented fabricator and bike builder who once worked for Paul Sr. over at OCC before opening his own bike shop, V-Force Customs.


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Discussion Starter #18
Zero Has Portable Battery

New Zero Electric Motorcycle Has Portable Battery
zeromotorcycles | Feb 28, 2011

The Zero XU is an innovative lightweight electric motorcycle that blends industry leading technology, performance and practicality to deliver the ultimate urban-crosser. A low seat height, no-shift operation, removable power pack and optional onboard storage allow riders of all kinds to negotiate the city with a new kind of freedom.

Ride the way you want. Twist the throttle, relax and leisurely wind your way from one destination to the next. Or...hop curbs, fly around corners and cut through traffic. Designed for utility and pure enjoyment, the Zero XU transforms the city into a motorcycle amusement park. It is ideal for the day-to-day...but built for dynamic individuals who may want to occasionally push the limits.

Built around Zero's rigid aircraft grade aluminum frame, the Zero XU is styled to be minimalistic, strong, eye-catching and comfortable. With a removable power pack, and the option of a stand-alone charger, riders who live anywhere can now charge anywhere.

Zero calls its new XU and “urban crosser” that combines off-road durability with light weight and maneuverability for riding on city streets.

Do you remember the Benzi Box car radio you could pull out of the dashboard and take with you so? That primitive, very-1980s anti-theft design has been recycled as a way to boost efficiency and convenience on the XU, a new electric motorcycle from electric-bike maker Zero Motorcycles.

The XU is the company’s first street bike with a removable power pack that owners can charge inside their homes, at work and in other locations away from the motorcycle. The system is meant in part to make battery-powered motorcycling more accessible to people living in cities who may not have garages or access to public charging stations.

The removable battery also allows nearly nonstop use through swapping multiple power-packs. Like other Zero bikes, the XU can be bought with an optional quick charger that cuts recharging time to about an hour — a 50% time reduction. The quick charger can also be used to charge the power pack separately from the motorcycle. The company’s X and MX models, which are for off-road use only, have similar quick-change power packs that can be used interchangeably with the new Zero XU street model.

As certain cities become more crowded car makers are increasingly focusing on urban mobility, which means building smaller vehicle better suited to dense traffic and limited parking. Zero is betting that many city dwellers will make the leap to two-wheel transport in part because motorcycles take up less space. The absence of volatile flammable fuel also means the Zero bike could potentially be parked in one’s living space.

The Zero XU starts at $7,995. The company plans to begin shipping the bikes in the U.S. by the middle of this month.


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Discussion Starter #19
Tsunami Effect:

Tsunami Effect: Three of the Japanese Big Four motorcycle makers Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha down factory shutters!

2011 Honda CBR600RR


The Japanese earthquake and tsunami is truly bringing the Japanese auto industry to a grinding halt even as three of the Big Four Japanese motorcycle makers, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha have decided to down their factory shutters to recuperate from the massive and widespread destruction the natural calamity has caused.

While the other motorcycle maker of the quartet, Kawasaki, has not released any official information about the status of it’s Japanese operations, there exists a very strong possibility of Kawasaki also putting production on temporary halt even as Japan is still under high alert due to a possibly nuclear plant meltdown.

While the tragedy has already claimed a large number of human lives and torn apart Japan’s highly evolved infrastructure, it’s effects could last much longer than even the Kobe earthquake of 1995, whose $10 Trillion damage figure might be easily crossed by the current natural disaster.

In India, high end CBU motorcycles that were scheduled to be shipped from Japan for customer deliveries, could be delayed by a month or two while other spare parts too will see delays due to factories being closed and other component suppliers being badly affected by the killer quake and tsunami. Let’s hope and pray that Japan, like always manages to come our stronger from this tragic event.


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Discussion Starter #20

Mar 27, 2011

Eurosport's studio team of Tony Carter, Carl Fogarty, Neil Hodgson and James Haydon discuss Maxime Berger's astonishing accident during race 1 where the magnesium rear wheel of his Ducati 1098 shattered and left him sliding down the track.
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