Posts Tagged ‘racing’

Downshift – Realignment in the Motorcycle industry.

Suzuki – Suzuki Motor of America has announced a restructuring of US operations. Suzuki Motorcycles/ATV and the Marine Division will be split into separate companies on April 1st, 2021.

The motorcycle company will be headquartered in California, the marine company in Florida.

Kawasaki – Kawasaki Heavy Industries will spin off the motorcycle and “rolling stock (trains)” divisions as part of a major restructuring as the company faces a $47 million-dollar operating loss.

Hashimoto Yasuhiko stated that he hopes the motorcycle division will continue to build the brand and revitalize the market through collaboration with other companies.

Ducati – Volkswagen is again looking to sell Ducati and is hosting preliminary talks with potential bidders.  It appears that they are packaging Lamborghini and Ducati for a sell off.  Selling them together or separately is still unknown

Sources are reporting that the sale process may begin in early 2021. VW has not officially confirmed this activity.

Harley Davidson – Has dropped several new products, their new street fighter “The Bronx” for example, closed plants and most recently begin the process to pull out of India. Although now they are using Hero as a distribution partner in India and, in one article, will allow Hero to brand some of their motorcycles as Harley Davidson.

Harley also just pulled out of all factory sponsored racing.

This is all part of their new “re-wired” restructuring plan. 

My take – There is a major shift going on in the world of motorcycling and not for the better. 

Long term I feel that their will be a shrinking of manufacturing not all makers will survive. Governments around the world are pushing for all vehicles to go electric, but battery range for motorcycles just are not anywhere near comparable with fossil fuel engines.

Tie that with the Vision Zero desire to eliminate traffic deaths, which would require the removal of motorcycles from the road, and the on-coming autonomous vehicle revolution … can motorcycles survive?

So, I do not have a lot of hope for long term viability of motorcycling. Sigh.

But, there are a few good signs. Norton and BSA are going to make motorcycle again and both in Britian!

Reply to this post and tell me I am wrong.

Upshift – King of the Baggers – MotoAmerica has a real winner with this new motorcycle race format!  The race had me smiling ear to ear.  Seeing motorcycles, that many of us ride, racing on a world-famous racetrack was so rewarding. It was also gratifying, if you listen to The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio you know I have been calling for some kind of series like this for years.

This was not some kind of exhibition event; the bikes and the racers were there to win. With riders of the quality of Ben Bostrom (multi-time World Superbike winner), Josh Herrin (AMA Superbike Champion), Hayden Gilliam, Cory West, Tyler O’Hara, Travis Wyman are just a few of the many accomplished motorcycle racers.

Seeing these big baggers, literally, jump from the starting line and racing to the first turn hole shot was just spectacular. Then seeing the riders whipping the motorcycle left and right through the famous Laguna Seca corkscrew was a sight I hope to see again in the future.

Seeing these big baggers, literally, jump from the starting line and racing to the first turn hole shot was just spectacular. Then seeing the riders whipping the motorcycle left and right through the famous Laguna Seca corkscrew was a sight I hope to see again in the future.

Tyler O’Hara, on an Indian Challenger, even after running his motorcycle off the track was able to win with almost a 2 second lead over Hayden Gilliam and his Harley Davidson Street Glide.

My take – MotoAmerica this needs to be a real series!!!  Let’s get this on board for a 4-race series next year with the goal of getting to a 9- race annual event.

I would go with Road Atlanta to pull the south, Pitt Race for the North East and mid-Atlantic. Road America to pull the mid-American crowd and, of course, staff at Laguna Seca.  This will get more exposure across the country and pull more fans to the tracks.

Tyler O’Hara may have won the race, but the real winners were the American fanbase. 

Watch the entire race from MotoAmerica!

upshift

Hitting Neutral ­– Harley on a new course – Harley Davidson Motorcycles changes course, again. Out with the old boss in with the new boss. Out with the old plan in with the new plan.

When the last Harley Davidson CEO was in charge, he put in place an ambitious plan of 100 new motorcycles in 10 years. 

The new guy thinks that is an overreach and ended the effort and has stating that 30% of new models will be cut. This is paired with a cut to production to “make them more exclusive”.

While the new streetfighter motorcycle looks like it may be on the cut list. Its engine sharing brother, the Pan America adventure bike, is coming out with the 2021 models.

The new guy also wants to drive up the parts and accessories business along with merchandise. 

My Take: Who is right? According to the board of directors, not the guy that got fired.  I thought trying to expand appeal by having different Harley Davidson motorcycles was an interesting idea.  Not sure where cutting production will help exclusivity when there are 1000’s of bikes on the used market.

*****

Upshift: The King of Baggers RaceMotoAmerica is adding a touch of the surreal to American motorcycle racing. Well maybe, in the age of COVID who knows.

If you always wanted to see American V-Twins race at Laguna Seca raceway, maybe this is the year.  Watching a mildly modified Harley Davidson Road or Street Glide swinging through the corkscrew is going to be bonkers at best.

The race is getting attention.  Drag Specialties is the King of Baggers sponsor. A bunch of accessory companies are getting in on the action, for example Saddlemen, the motorcycle seat and luggage maker, is sponsoring bike #87 in the race.

And Indian and S&S are teaming up to run a Indian Challenger as well.  It should dominate on the straights as it has more than a few cubic inches on the Harley’s.

Currently the race is schedule for October 23-25, but who knows if it will happen until it happens.

My take: OH HELL YEAH!

ijustwant2ride.com

The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio…The #1 Motorcycle Show in the US

This week on the show #561 we have MotoAmerica Super Sport Motorcycle Champion Bobby Fong. We discuss his move up to superbike, what is going on during quarantine and general BS.

Mat Mladin makes the news but not in a good way.

When oh when will the motorcycle racing start.

ijustwant2ride.com

In August by buddy Phil and I, representing the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show, attended the MotoAmerica race at Pittsburgh International Race (PittRace) complex. This was our second MotoAmerica race for the year, we attended the race at Virginia International Raceway a few months earlier.

ijustwant2ride.comWe parked about as far away from the action as possible, just the luck of the draw. But during the long walk we did see a lot of vehicles from out of state (Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Minnesota to name a few). When we did make it to the gathering we found that MotoAmerica had again set up events and activities for folks to enjoy between races. A globe of death, and stunt shows among other things were ready to go. The State of Pennsylvania even had their Motorcycle Safety team out giving away stickers and yard sign promoting motorcycle safety.

ijustwant2ride.com

Watching the race while watching the race!

The racing facility was very nice, well laid out and easy to get from point A to point B.
Food truck were located near the viewing area and were serving some good eats. The only issue with we had with the Pittsburgh Race Complex was that there was only one place from which to watch the race, Spectator Hill.

From Spectator Hill it is possible to view about 40% of track as well as a jumbotron. You could walk and see bits and parts of the track from a few other locations but really nothing more then flashes. As far as attendance our best guess is that there were 2500-3000 people there that day. Spectator Hill was not crowded but if you doubled the number of the folks there, it would be quite well packed.

Valentin Debise

Josh Herrin crossing the finish line

The racing, just like VIR, was great! We watch the Liquid Molly race as well as the Super Stock and Superbike races. We watched the Super Stock race from Spectator Hill and the Superbike race from the pits, the starting grid and the media center. I am not going to detail the races, that you can get from multiple sites as well as MotoAmerica.

The week leading up to the race we were not sure if were going to be issued media credentials. Phil and I (primarily Phil) got into an argument with some of the folks associated with MotoAmerica including one of the owners. Our “discussion” was about the “coverage” of the sport. Long story short, we believe that MotoAmerica is not getting the product out to enough eyeballs. We have said, on multiple occasions, that the product (racing) is very good now, that the on-site activities are good, but beIN is killing them on viewership.

We had a great time at Pittsburgh Race Complex and look forward to attending next year’s race as well!

 

ijustwant2ride.com

The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio…The #1 Motorcycle Show in the US

On this broadcast we had sooo much motorcycle racing news to cover we actually go long by 15 minutes, bonus time for you LOL!

The only motorcycle news item we cover, in a very quick manner, was that dipwad (not going not say his name) who swerved into a passing motorcycle.  Well this 69 year old asshat got 15 years in prison for his actions….with the way our system works he will be out in less than 7.

To listen to the broadcast click here!

Motorcycle Racing: SUPERCROSS

As we missed a week due to illness we coved both Detroit and St. Louis.  The majority of the conversation was about how Chad Reed became a really stuck it to Ryan Dungy over some innocuous comments.  The DawgHouse consciences is that Reed needs a bigger penalty then he received.

Motorcycle Racing: Flat Track

Again covering two weeks of racing.  But we also delve into the audience numbers, Indian motorcycles domination and how that might just hurt the future of AMA Flat Track.

Motorcycle Racing: World Superbike

Rea, Sykes, Davies or just Rea…. Well until someone can consistently beat Rea this is the Jonathan Rea WBSK series.

Motorcycle Racing: MotoGP

Holy ZARCO!  WOW we discuss just what his statement was in his first MotoGP race. And,

not to be overlooked, how tires played a huge role on the Qatar track.