Motorcycling in America – 2008

Life In America
2008  – Median household is $50,303. The Bush administration implements $150-billion stimulus package. The war in Iraq is estimated to have cost $3-Trillion so far. Fidel Castro steps down as president of Cuba. Sony’s Blu-ray system captures 70% of market. Lil Wayne has the number one song, Lollipop.  The Dark Knight is number one at the box office, and The Sons of Anarchy debuts on FX. Gas is the same as last year at $3.39 per gallon.

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
Motorcycle and scooter sales are falling precipitously; the 15 year run up in sales has come to a sudden conclusion.

European Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Aprilia: Mana 850, Dorsoduro, SportCity 250 (Scooter), SL750 Shiver. Benelli: TnT 899, Tre 1130K Amazonas. Bimota: Tesi 3D, DB7. BMW: HP2 Sport, F800GS, G450X. Ducati: Desmosedici D16RR, GT1000, 848, 1098R, Monster 696. KTM: 690 Duke, Christini/KTM 300 XC-W (e), 530 EXC-R, RC-8. Husqvarna: TE310. Moto-Guzzi: Stelvio 1200 4V. Moto Morini:  Granpasso 1200. MV: F4 312RR 1078. Quantya: FMX (e-off road bike). Triumph: Bonneville T100, Rocket III Touring, Speed Triple, Street Triple, Thunderbird. Vyrus: C³ 4V.

Asian Brands Road Tested/Reviewed
Honda: CBR600RR, CRF450R, CRF450R (2009), CBR1000RR, CRF450X, CRF230L, Night Hawk. Kawasaki: Ninja ZX-14, Ninja ZX-10R, KLR650 M1030M1 Diesel, KLX140L, Ninja250, KX450F. Star: Raider, Raider S, V-Max, Roadstar Silverado, V-Star 950. Suzuki: B-King, Hayabusa, RM-Z450, GSX-R1000, Boulevard C109R, GSX650F, SV650, GSX-R750. Yamaha: TT-R110E, YZF-R6, YZF-R1, XT-250. WR250X.

American Brands Tested/Reviewed
Buell: 1125R. Can-AM: Spyder SE5 Roadster. Harley-Davidson: 1200 Sportster, Rocker, Road Glide, Night Rod, XR1200, XL883 Sportster, Road King Classic, Road Glide FLTR. Sabertooth: Wildcat. Victory: Kingpin 8-Ball, Vision Street, Kingpin Tour.

Other Issues
In an effort to revive flat-track, AMA implements a basic expert class for twin cylinder bikes allowing most of the Japanese and several Euros into the game.

Ricky Carmichael retires with a record 150 wins and 16 AMA Championships.

Vetrix e-scooter hits market, $10,999. 40 – 60 mile range, 63 mph top speed, 2-hour recharge.

International Bike of the Year: Ducati 1098S

Terrorist threats cause cancellation of Dakar Rally for first time in 30-year history.

Industrial designer in UK announces plans for revival of Ariel brand.

Rossi agrees to pay Italian government $51-million in back taxes.

A ’39 Crocker is sold at auction for $250,000.

Honda announces plan to end production of motorcycles at Marysville plant. All motorcycle production will shift to new facility in Japan. Marysville has produced 2.25-million motorcycles and ATVs since 1979.

AMA sells roadracing rights to Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), owned by NASCAR’s Jim France and Roger Edmonson.

Honda unveils radical motorcycle/scooter concept with CVT, the DV-01.

Former roadracing star Anthony Gobert is arrested in Australia for theft and purse snatching. Currently unemployed, he tells judge he’s got a job application in at a Subway sandwich shop.

Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki all offer fuel-injected motocross bikes.

Ecosse Moto Works delivers two of four T-Series RR motorcycles, $275,000 each.

In a suggestion intended to bring more V-Twin riders to the Daytona races, Kevin Cameron suggests a road racing class based on existing cruisers with limited RPM. Suggests it be named “Torkers.”

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