Kevin Schwantz Tests Suzuki XRH-1 MotoGP Bike at COTA, While Randy De Puniet Matches Pace of Open Bikes

Suzuki’s MotoGP test team took advantage of the presence of the MotoGP paddock at Austin to plan a test directly after the Grand Prix of the Americas. Under the watchful eye of team manager Davide Brivio, the team planned to have test rider Randy De Puniet put in three days of testing at a circuit, as the team had not yet tested the Suzuki XRH-1 at COTA, in a bid to gather more data ahead of their return to the series in 2015. Unfortunately for Suzuki, very heavy hail and thunderstorms made testing extremely difficult on Monday, leaving the track very dirty and much slower than it had been for Sunday’s race.

Isle of Man TT Gets TV Deal for Australia & USA

Want to watch the Isle of Man TT from the comfort of your non-British TV, but haven’t been able to in the past? A new TV from the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will do just that. Inking a new TV contract with North One TV, the Isle of Man TT will be televised in the American, Australian, and of course British markets, making it easier than ever to watch the iconic road race. With a five-year contract with the Velocity Channel in the US, the American cable channel will show seven one-hour race shows. Each segment will air within 24hrs of each race, and be tailored for the American market.

Castiglioni Denies Fiat Buyout of MV Agusta Is in the Works

After reporting 22% growth in Q1 2014, Giovanni Castiglioni had some closing words about the rumors that Fiat could acquire MV Agusta — a popular rumor that has been swirling around in the press the last two months. Denying outright that MV Agusta had, or was in, talks with the Fiat-Chrysler group about an acquisition (some reports linked even MV Agusta to being bought by Fiat-owned Ferrari), Castiglioni said the Italian company solely was focused on building growth, and building motorcycles. “Moreover, I’d like to take this opportunity to deny rumours circulated by the media over the last few days concerning supposed negotiations vis-à-vis the sale of a share of MV Agusta to the Fiat-Chrysler Group,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, the President and CEO of MV Agusta.

A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Harley-Davidson Reports Devastating 89.7% Annual Income Loss for 2009 – Made $70 Million Last Year

01/26/2010 @ 4:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Harley Davidson Reports Devastating 89.7% Annual Income Loss for 2009   Made $70 Million Last Year Harley Davidson Reports 2009 income losses 560x373

For the Buell and MV loyal, Harley-Davidson’s latest earnings report should provide all the information as to why the Milwaukee manufacturer had to close and sell those brands respectively. Reporting a nearly 90% loss in annual income, Harley-Davidson earned only $70.6 million in 2009, compared to the $684.2 million Harley earned in 2008, which results in a staggering loss of income for the iconic motorcycle company.

For Q4 of 2009, Harley-Davidson actually operated in the red, and lost $218.7 million in net income by staying in business (Asphalt & Rubber actually made more money during the same time period than Harley-Davidson did, if that puts things into perspective). Additionally, Harley-Davidson is reporting a $147.2 million loss in revenue during its fourth quarter operations. The loss is associated with the reduction in production, and the $167.1 million in restructuring costs incurred because of the closure of the Buell Motorcycle brand.

“Our full-year 2009 results were affected by the difficult economy, as well as the planned actions we took that resulted in restructuring charges of $224 million. We believe these actions are critical to restoring greater profitability and long-term growth to Harley-Davidson,” says Keith Wandell, Harley-Davidson, Inc. president and chief executive officer. “We are confident we have made the right decisions for our future, and we are executing our strategy with focused intensity.”

Despite the focused intensity, Harley-Davidson still believes it has a shakey 2010 ahead for itself, which is a fancy way for the company to say that it expects to report further losses in the future. On top of that, Harley-Davidson is planning to ship between 5%-10% less motorcycles in 2010, when compared to 2009 shipments.

“Focusing our investment behind the uniquely strong Harley-Davidson brand provides the most attractive path to sustained, long-term growth,” says Wandell. “We also expect to achieve substantial gains in the efficiency of our operations through continuous improvement.”

For 2009 Harley-Davidson reported $4.78 billion in revenue, which was a 14% drop from the $5.56 billion in revenue reported in 2008. Harley-Davidson reported its 2009 annual income at $70.6 million, down 89.7% from the 2008′s $684.2 million.

As expected, Wandell’s strategy involves circling the wagons around the Harley-Davidson brand. “Focusing our investment behind the uniquely strong Harley-Davidson brand provides the most attractive path to sustained, long-term growth,” says Wandell. “We also expect to achieve substantial gains in the efficiency of our operations through continuous improvement.”

Source: Harley-Davidson

Comment:

  1. RT @Asphalt_Rubber H-D Reports Devastating 89.7% Annual Income Loss for 2009 – Made $70 Million Last Year http://trunc.it/53moh

  2. Harley-Davidson Reports Devastating 89.7% Annual Income Loss for … http://bit.ly/9LeQrz

  3. Looks like H-D could use the U.S. government to start a cash for rat bikes program. http://bit.ly/brtwes

  4. Harley-Davidson Reports Devastating 89.7% Annual Income Loss for 2009 – Made $70 Million Last Year – http://bit.ly/awoVOx #motorcycle

  5. Fake James says:

    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/harley-davidson-2009-earnings/ willcomよりハーレーのほうがやばくて不安すぎる

  6. Harley-Davidson Reports Devastating 89.7% Annual Income Loss for …: Reporting a nearly 90% loss in annual inc.. http://bit.ly/dD1Hpw

  7. If Harley made an innovative bike that appeals to more than the 50+, maybe they wouldn't report an income loss of 89.7% http://bit.ly/9QyZcx

  8. Matthew says:

    Warren Buffett to the rescue?

  9. Hayabrusa says:

    As an American, I feel bad because its an American company. However, as an ABH cycle rider (Anything But Harley!), I find this to be downright hilarious. H-D has never had much sense in trying to secure new riders, so I think a lot of this is their own doing. I’m certainly old enough to fit into H-D’s preferrred deomographics, but they have never given me a good enough reason to buy one (you know – power, handling, innovation, looks, etc.).

  10. jimmy johnson says:

    Harley’s are just overpriced status symbols and it doesn’t surprise me they are hurting in this economy, seems Honda stock is doing well though.

  11. Troy says:

    Maybe they should have thought about diversifying their stock. Oh snap, they did and crushed it. Too bad they could a been a contender.

  12. Mondo Endo says:

    It was almost inevitable good economy or not. Everyone who wanted a Harley got one and with them making the same basic bike over and over whats the draw to get a new one? Now that the economy has taken a dump all those pirates are letting them go back to the bank and used ones are cheaper than ever further eroding the new sales. My neighbor just bought an 09 streetglide with 1100 miles on it with all the standard upgrades, exhaust, intake, xm radio, extended warranty and tons of chrome for $16k. The previous owner was already the second owner and had over $25k into it and HAD to sell it just like the first owner. They have created a following and lifestyle that will not allow change and that in itself will doom them, when they tried to do something new as in the vrod the core HD people flat out rejected it. All I really care about is the Jobs being lost by HDs employees, if they never built another Harley again the bikes would endure because there are so many of them and the aftermarket is HUGE.