Polaris Industries to Maintain Production in Wisconsin

polaris-logoPolaris has just announced that it will be keeping some of its engine manufacturing operations in Osceola, Wisconsin. After unexpected growth during 2010, it was rumored that Polaris may move into bigger facilities away from its Wisconsin home. Scott Wine, the CEO of Polaris, said yesterday that the team in Osceola is one of the reasons for the growth Polaris has experienced, and keeping production in Wisconsin was an obvious decision.

“Since we announced the strategic realignment last year, our volumes are up significantly in each of our businesses and our U.S. plants are full from a physical footprint standpoint,” said Scott Wine, CEO, Polaris Industries Inc.  “While we have outperformed our original volume projections, the Osceola team has executed flawlessly and continues to produce world-class, quality products.  In order to meet escalating demand while maintaining our focus on quality, keeping some engine capability and output in Osceola was an obvious choice.”

With the Osceola plant open, Polaris will have dual-plant production capabilities allowing Polaris to easily produce off-road, on-road, and snowmobile engines. Polaris says that the Osceola factory will help Polaris to maintain this production plan for the foreseeable future. Polaris also just announced the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle, which will likely up the workload in places like Osceola.

There are currently about 50 people working at the facility in Osceola, Wisconsin, and Polaris worked closely with the Department of Commerce to make sure that those people were able to keep their jobs. Osceola is just a small part of the Polaris empire, which employs more than 3,300 people worldwide.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

An Electric Motorcycle From BMW? Meet the BMW e100r Concept

BMW Electric Motorcycle ConceptBMW makes some of the most sophisticated motorcycles on the market, but they haven’t ventured into the electric market just yet. In fact, electric motorcycles haven’t found permanent homes at any of the major motorcycle manufacturers. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t dream.

Miika Mahonen, a student at the Academy of Art University, has created a fantastic concept for a BMW electric motorcycle, called the BMW e100r.

“I chose BMW because it has been one of the big influential motorcycle brands,” said Mahonen. “It has offered hi-end designs for years. It’s designs have been different, maybe even a head of its time.”

BMW_Electric_Motorcycle_ConceptThe BMW e100r would feature a 100 horse power electric motorcycle, with the lithium-ion batteries hidden inside the ultra-light alloy frame. The LED lights in the front and back, adjustable Ohlins shocks, and forged alloy wheels would make the BMW e100r a lightweight and efficient motorcycle.

“I looked at the existing concepts, for example, Mission Motors,” said Mahonen. “But I wanted to create something unique, something that has not been done before. Push the design limits and create impact, ideas and conversations about electric technologies and design opportunities.”

BMW tried their hand at electric bikes nearly a decade ago with the BMW CE-1. They even brought the semi-enclosed scooter back a few years ago. But it’s time for BMW, Harley, or any of the other major manufacturers to give some more attention to electric motorcycles.

“If electric vehicles (as it seems) are going to be the other alternative, I definitely believe that the big motorcycle manufacturers will create their own models,” said Manohen. “I suppose this happens when there is enough demand for it.

BMW_Electric_Motorcycle“With electric technology, there are more design opportunities than with conventional bikes with combustion engines,” Manohen added. “The design is not so limited to the placement of the engine, gasoline tank, and exhaust. Hopefully when the battery technologies develop, the motorcycles weight can be made extremely light. This can open new possibilities to develop even better handling.”

Electric motorcycles are becoming more common, but we’ll have to wait for an electric motorcycle from BMW. For the time being, however, we can admire the possibilities that the BMW e100r represents.

You can see more images of the BMW e100r here.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com