Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Harley-Davidson geared up for selling season“:
Geared up for the motorcycle industry’s most important selling season, there’s cautious optimism for Harley-Davidson Inc. and other manufacturers.
A recent survey of Harley dealerships suggests that retail sales improved in the first three months of the year, according to analyst Joseph Hovorka of Raymond James & Associates. The firm contacted 40 dealerships to measure retail demand.
Austin American-Statesman, “The nuts and bolts of world motorcycle racing“:
World championship motorcycle road racing will come to Austin in 2013 at the new Circuit of the Americas, the racetrack’s promoters announced Tuesday. Here are some fast facts to get you up to speed:
Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha are the four manufacturers, and the three racing divisions are based on engine displacement. Moto3 is 125 cubic centimeters, Moto2 is 600, and MotoGP is 800 but will rise to 1000 in 2012.
The March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan hit Honda hard, as production was down for weeks and the automaker’s research and development center was badly damaged. In fact, the quake damaged the Tochigi facility so badly that one employee died and 17 others were injured after a cafeteria wall collapsed.
Due to the fact that many roads were closed or badly damaged, getting to the facility was a challenge. But that didn’t stop Honda CEO Takanobu Ito from visiting the site in person to assess the damage. The Wall Street Journal reports that Ito hopped on his stripped-down, 1,100cc Honda CB1100 and headed to the site only two days after the incident. The 57-year-old CEO and his trusty bike were able travel where few autos could go, and he made it all the way to the Tochigi facility to witness the damage for himself.
Washington Post, “Tokyo motorcycle shop turns to disaster relief“:
TOKYO — Somewhere behind the boxes of instant noodles, bottled water and propane stoves at the Phantom Gate motorcycle shop is a row of custom-made bikes. But for now, a few copies of “Hardcore Chopper” magazine and a sign that reads: “Harley Davidson Motorcycle Parking Only” are the only visible signs of an operating business.
Ever since store owner Tomohiro Narita’s home town of Sendai was ravaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, his Tokyo motorcycle business has taken a back seat to full-time relief work for the devastated communities 200 miles north.
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