Lane Splitting On The Table in Nevada

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Reno NV  Nevada may become the first state to officially sanction motorcycle lane splitting, according to a report in USA Today.   A similar bill was passed by the State legislature in 2010 but vetoed by then Gov Jan Brewer.

Video Vegas PD officer rear ends biker then chews him out

The Democratic controlled House passed the bill in April and the Senate is expected to pass the bill before summer recess. Republican Gov Sandoval has not indicated if he will sign or veto the bill.

Russian lane splitting biker gets caught in embarrassing situation

Lane splitting is not “officially” sanctioned in California, but CHP turns a blind eye and allows the practice at what it considers “safe” speeds.  Proponents argue that the practice is safer for motorcyclists who are less likely to be rear ended during stop and go traffic jams.

Read the whole story on USA Today. 

Federal Regulators Issue Fine Against Southern Honda Powersports

1_southernpowersportsThe largest powersports dealer in the nation, Southern Honda Powersports in Chattanooga Tennessee was fined $125,000 to settle allegations that it knowingly sold motorcycles that had been recalled but not repaired.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began a probe of the dealership after USA Today story about the practice.   USA Today said it received information from Ernest Vickers III, a former marketing consultant, hired by SHP, who alledged the dealer sold hundreds, perhaps thousands of motorcycles, ATV’s and dirt bikes that were under recall without first fixing the defective items.

In October,  American Honda said in a statement that it “always has complied with all applicable regulations issued by NHTSA and the CPSC (Consumer Protection Safety Commission), including those related to product safety defects and the conduct of safety recalls.”  Southern Honda’s owner, Tim Kelly called Vickers allegations “utter balderdash” and told USA TODAY that  ”some bikes were delivered” before recall work was performed but that customers were notified and their vehicles were repaired.

NHTSA said it’s investigation found that at least 329 motorcycles were sold between 2007 and 2012 that were not inspected or had their recall defects repaired before customers took delivery.  No injuries or deaths involving those motorcycles have been reported.

The total fine amounts to less than $400 per identified vehicle.

Vickers claims that 25,000 vehicles were assembled unsafely during his 3 year tenure with the dealership.   The NHTSA announcement did not mention or address those claims.

Largest Honda Dealer in the US Under Investigation

Southern Honda Powersports, the largest Honda dealer with locations in Tennessee and Florida is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),  the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nashville and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office for allegedly selling unsafe motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, according to a report out today in USA Today.    The report says a consultant and former employee, along with 9 other employees all say the dealership sold bikes that were under recall, (without fixing them first) and employees did not have the training to assemble the ATV’s and motorcycles the dealer sold to the public.

The reports says  that there are potentially 25,000 vehicles that are in customers possessions that are potentially unsafe.

The owner, Tim Kelly, says there “is no substance” to the’ allegations, and says alleged assembly problems are “utter balderdash.”

Read the USA Today story here

Royal Enfield Announces New Manufacturing Facility

Chennai, India – Royal Enfield Motors, manufacturer of the iconic Bullet motorcycle line and the world’s oldest motorcycle brand, today announced the construction of a new manufacturing facility to help the company meet worldwide demand for its motorcycles.

The new plant will spread across 50 acres in Chennai’s SIPCOT Industrial Growth Centre and is slated for completion by the first quarter of 2013. Once completed, the new plant will more than double Royal Enfield’s current capacity of 70,000 units per year to 150,000 units per year. The new plant will be equipped to produce the full range of Royal Enfield motorcycles and allow the company to keep up with the brand’s rising popularity, both in the booming Indian domestic market and in fast-growing export markets like the United States, where Royal Enfield’s improved engine design and vintage aesthetics have been making a big splash with consumers.

“We’re very pleased with the growth we’ve seen in recent years. Royal Enfield has made incredible improvements to its product design and consumers in the U.S. and elsewhere are really beginning to take notice,” commented Kevin Mahoney, President of Royal Enfield USA. “Today’s announcement shows that Royal Enfield is very aware of its growing customer base and is committed to meeting the expectations of consumers around the world.”

About Royal Enfield Motors

Royal Enfield motorcycles have been in continuous production since 1901. The marque was first established in 1893 by Enfield Manufacturing Co. of Redditch, Worcestershire, England under license from the Crown. The company’s legacy in weapons manufacturing served as inspiration for the Bullet model name and brand’s enduring motto “Made like a Gun, Goes like a Bullet”. The Redditch company’s Indian licensee started assembling Bullet motorcycles in India in 1951 and continued to uphold the brand tradition after the collapse of the British company in 1971. Today, as the owner of the original brand, the $100M Royal Enfield company is headquartered in Chennai, India and operates as a division of the $1B Eicher Group. In recent years, the historic brand has seen a resurgence of interest around the world, selling over 50,000 motorcycles per year to loyal riders in 30 countries.

About Royal Enfield USA

Royal Enfield USA is a division of Classic Motorworks, the exclusive licensed distributor of Royal Enfield motorcycles in the United States. Royal Enfield USA operates in direct affiliation with Royal Enfield Motors to serve the United States market. More information is available online at www.royalenfieldusa.com

 

New ApriliaUSA Video: Can Technology Help You Become a Better Rider/Racer?

NEW YORK, NY – June 15, 2011 Motorcycle performance is being revolutionized and, for the first time, this new era heralds increased rider control and safety as much as it does more power and less weight. At the forefront of that revolution is ApriliaUSA with its advanced new Performance Ride Control system. Unlike rivals, APRC isn’t just a safety net, but instead works to enhance rider control, allowing RSV4 riders to wring the maximum possible performance from their motorcycle.The individual components of Aprilia Performance Ride Control (Launch Control, Wheelie Control, Traction Control and Quick Shift) are explained in this video.

Can technology help you become a better motorcycle rider or racer on and off the track? ApriliaUSA says “absolutely” – and the Italian manufacturer is showing you how it’s done with an adrenaline-charged new video. Enter Aprilia Performance Ride Control

(APRC) as seen on the new Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE and RSV4 R APRC.  To highlight the APRC features and how riders can benefit by the use of the electronics package to ride like a champion on and off the track, check out this short video released from Aprilia USA today:

Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheApriliaUSA

Backed by a record of 45 World Championships, 327 race victories and 277 MotoGP wins, Aprilia’s experience and knowledge gained on the track has paved the way for cutting-edge innovation and technological advancements for their production bikes.  In fact, the Aprilia RSV4 took the Triple Crown in the World Superbike Championship last year.  From there, Aprilia transferred its racing technology from champion Max Biaggi’s RSV4 directly to their production-based motorcycles. Unlike past generations, the new RSV4 was built with APRC, the same technology used on the winning RSV4.

The new APRC system features four levels of control: ATC (Aprilia Traction Control), AWC (Aprilia Wheelie Control), ALC (Aprilia Launch Control) and AQS (Aprilia Quick Shift). All of the APRC systems work together to produce quicker lap times.

·         Aprilia Launch Control gets you off the line faster;

·         Aprilia Quick Shift lets you get up to top speed faster;

·         Aprilia Wheelie Control lowers the front end under hard acceleration and out of bends;

·         Aprilia Traction Control lets you explore cornering limits with 8 levels of sensitivity.

Developed for and proven on Max Biaggi’s World Championship-winning RSV4 superbike, APRC combines four individual components — launch control, wheelie control, traction control and quickshift into one seamless system. The rider can program individual levels of intervention or disable each system individually, but in action, they’ll only experience greater control and increased confidence.

Aprilia Launch Control works with both Wheelie Control and Traction Control to facilitate the fastest possible race starts. Three rider-programmable modes make this accessible to everyone from novices to experts. Once set, the rider only has to hold the throttle wide open and modulate the clutch to launch the RSV4. Launch Control holds revs at maximum torque — with programmable rpm thresholds from 9,500 to 10,000rpm — while preventing the wheelies and wheel spin that could limit performance. Once the RSV4 crosses 100mph and 2nd gear is selected, Launch Control disengages. The Aprilia RSV4 is the first street-legal motorcycle to ever be equipped with Launch Control.

Aprilia Wheelie Control APRC uses multiple data points including acceleration, attitude and throttle position to determine if a wheelie is actually occurring. Rival systems are much less sophisticated, simply comparing the differences in wheel speeds. All that data allows APRC not just to cut power when a wheelie is detected, but to incrementally modulate the height of that wheelie, maintaining maximum acceleration in safety. This advantage is especially felt while cornering, enabling the front tire to maintain contact with the track as the RSV4 drives out of corners.

Aprilia Traction Control allows riders to intuitively select eight different levels for different corners on the same track. In addition to comparing wheel speeds, APRC consults a gyroscope to determine lean angle and an accelerometer to determine acceleration. Unlike rival traction control systems, this enables APRC to maintain rather than simply cancel slides. Since maximum acceleration is achieved beyond the threshold of complete grip, this makes motorcycles equipped with APRC faster. While in that controlled slide, APRC also allows riders to determine their own angle of slip using the throttle. More throttle equals more slide and vice versa. Because all this occurs while the RSV4 is prevented from spinning out of control is indicative of how sophisticated APRC is.

Aprilia Quick Shift also brings novel functionality. Like other systems, RSV4 riders can use it to upshift without closing the throttle. APRC can complete shifts in just 40 milliseconds. Unlike rivals, Aprilia’s solution will bring benefits away from full-throttle too. APRC evaluates the ride mode selected, throttle position, gear position and acceleration to determine how to deliver the smoothest possible shift. RSV4riders will most appreciate this while riding at the limits of adhesion, shifts will no longer have the potential of crudely breaking grip.

Combined, APRC works to increase rider safety in the same way as rivals. But where their traction and wheelie control systems can do only that, APRC seamlessly facilitates enhanced rider control. APRC is the only traction control system that allows for re-calibration to different tire sizes, as no other manufacturer offers this.

Will High Gas Prices Help or Hurt Motorcycle Industry Recovery?

In a report in USA Today experts are warning that consumers could see gas climb to near $4 a gallon at the pump by the summer as the cost of crude is expected to rise beyond $100 per barrel.   In 2008, the price of gas spiked to $4.11 per gallon.

In 2008, small motorcycle and scooter sales jumped, while sales of larger displacement bikes dropped like a rock.

What do you think?  Will that pattern hold if gas prices rise above $4 per gallon this spring?   Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2011-01-02-gas-climbs_N.htm?csp=usat.me