Motorcycling in America – 2006

Life In America
2006 – Median household income is $48,201. Heat waves strikes Europe and US in July. Google purchases YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. Nintendo releases Wii, MSRP $299.99. Justin Timberlake has year’s number one song, SexyBack. Tina Fey’s 30 Rock debuts on NBC. Johnny Depp has another number one  hit with the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Gas is up to $2.62 gallon. The most expensive motorcycle tested is the Ducati Desmosedici at $65,000.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
Choppers Still Rule!

European Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Aprilia: Tuono 1000R, RSV 1000R Factory, Tuono. Bimota: Tesi 2D, DB5 Mille. BMW: K1200LT, HP2, K1200R, R1200R, R1200S. Ducati: Paul Smart Classic, Sport Classic, Monster S4RS. Monster S2R 1000, Hypermotard, Monster 695, 999S, GT1000 Classic, Desmosedici RR, 999R Xerox, Multistrada 630, Monster S4R. Husqvarna: TE250, TC450, TE610E. KTM: 950 Supermoto, 950 Adventure, 950SM, 950R Super Enduro. Moto-Guzzi: Griso 1000, Norge 1200, California Cruiser Vintage, Breva 1100, Griso 1100. MV: F4 1000S, Brutale 910, F4 1000 Senna, 910R. Scorpa: SY175F. TM: SMM 530 Black Dream. Triumph: Daytona 675, Bonneville Scrambler 900, Bonneville Black, Speed Triple, Tiger 1050.

Asian Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Honda: Rebel 250, CBR1000RR, 599, Gold Wing GL1800, CRF450R, XR650L, CRF150, CBR600RR, Shadow Spirit, 919. Hyosung: GT650R. Kawasaki: KX250F, Ninja ZX-10R, Ninja 250, Ninja 650R, KLX250S, KX450F, Vulcan 900 Classic, Ninja ZX-14, Ninja ZX-6R, Vulcan 2000, Z1000.Star: Roadliner, Stratoliner. Suzuki: DR200, Katana 750, RM-Z450, GSX-R1000, GSX-R600, Hayabusa 1300Ltd, DL650 V-Strom, SV1000S. TAN: Urban Sporty 150 (Scooter). Vento: Thunder 1400. Yamaha: YZF-R6, LX150 (Scooter), TW200, FZ-1, YZ450F, TT-R50E, YZF-R1, FJR1300AE, FZ-6, WR450F, WR250F.

American Brands Tested/Reviewed
Buell: Blast, Ulysses. Custom Chrome: V-Bike Kit. Harley-Davidson: Super Glide, Blast, Street Bob, Night Rod VRSCD, CVO Electra Glide, VRSXC Screaming Eagle, V-Rod Destroyer, Screaming Eagle Fat Boy. Norton: 961 Commando. Victory: Jackpot, Ness Series Jackpot, Hammer S, Kingpin Tour.

Other Issues
Chris Carr wins 7th GNC title.

E-Bay reports a million vehicles having been sold since 2000 including a motorcycle every four minutes. It now accounts for an estimated 5% of US motorcycle sales.

Laguna Seca to host MotoGP race for first time and their first international GP since 1994.

Piaggio Group buys Aprilia and Moto-Guzzi creating the world’s 4th largest motorcycle company, with capacity to produce 600,000 bikes per year.

Daytona’s 200 mile premier event now limited to 600cc bikes. Duhamel (Honda) wins 200 miler.

Tommy Hayden (Kawasaki) wins Supersport, Vincent Haskovec (Suzuki) takes Superstock and Mat Mladin wins Superbike class on his Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Harley-Davidson announces plans to reduce ’05 production by 10,000 units to 390,000.

Ricky Carmichael wins AMA Supercross series onboard a Suzuki, giving them their first SX championship in 20 years.

Polaris announces purchase of 25% of KTM. The deal is reportedly executed to improve distribution for Polaris in Europe and KTM in USA. The purchase will be reviewed in two years.

Honda announces that ’06 top-of-the-line Gold Wing ($22,499) will include a rider airbag similar in function to those in automobiles.

Massachusetts Gov Romney, signs a bill requiring that motorcycle awareness be included as part of the state’s driver education classes.

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