Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fuel Up Your Dealership

Sea-Doo announces 300 hp engine among 2016 model year updates

BRP charges into 2016 building on the successful launch of the Sea-Doo SPARK as the industry’s most accessible watercraft and introduces new technologies and designs that take riding to the next level emphasizing the Sea-Doo legacy of being on the forefront of innovation.
BRP continues to perfect the Science of Fun with the introduction of the new 300-hp Rotax 1630 ACE engine powering the 2016 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300, RXP-X 300 and GTX Limited 300 models and adding the Ergolock seat to all RXT and GTX models with many models receiving a redesign of the storage area providing up to three times the overall storage volume. All 2016 models featuring the iBR (intelligent Brake & Reverse) system will now have the new second-generation iBR and new, trend leading coloration including three new delicious colors for the 2016 Sea-Doo SPARK.
PSB Managing Editor Liz Keener spent some time on the 2016 Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300 earlier this week in Nashville. Photo by Ronny Mac.
PSB Managing Editor Liz Keener spent some time on the 2016 Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300 earlier this week in Nashville. Photo by Ronny Mac.

The new Rotax 1630 ACE engine is 9% bigger and efficiently creates 15% more power with a boosted 300 hp, becoming the most powerful engine ever produced by Rotax. The Rotax 1630 ACE engine has a longer stroke compared to the Rotax 1503 raising displacement to 1.6L and increases efficiency in two areas; friction reduction and better cooling. The ACE (Advanced Combustion Efficiency) technology includes a new plasma coating technology for aluminum-block engines developed by a Rotax team in Gunskirchen, Austria. The plasma coating technology is a thermal spraying process that deposits a protective coating on engine cylinder liners to create a metallic layer that provides a hard and durable surface to withstand piston friction forces. It improves surface durability, while keeping lighter and more compact engines with better heat transfer and superior performance, and reduced use of chemicals. Adding to the power producing efficiency is a reengineered cooling system that includes an additional heat exchanger and larger, more efficient engine oil cooler.
To feed the larger engine more air a new, re-designed supercharger with a faster spinning 32- blade wheel (double the blades of the previous version) has been added producing 30% more intake boost. The new supercharger design has been improved to the point it is maintenance free1. A new larger intercooler provides a more dense air charge and aids in increased airflow and features a new air fin design for improved heat transfer utilizing a smart design with long life aluminum alloys for better corrosion protection. New ignition curves have been developed to efficiently match the increased air boost with the output of the larger fuel injectors leading to the 15% increase in horsepower in the 2016 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300, GTX Limited 300 and RXP-X 300 models. The 2016 RXP-X 300 sets the new standard at the next level now with industry’s best power-to-weight ratio.
2016 Sea-Doo RXP-X 300
2016 Sea-Doo RXP-X 300

BRP enters utility-recreation segment with new 2016 lineup

BRP enters the utility-recreation segment of the off-road market with the all-new Defender family of side-by-side vehicles. The Defender side-by-side vehicle brings tough features, capable performance with control and clever adaptability to consumers looking to reach remote locations to work, farm or hunt.
The Defender family features two, new rear-mounted, Rotax V-twin heavy-duty utility engine options – a HD10 delivering up to 20% more torque at 4,000 RPM than the top selling competitor, and a high-torque HD8, an all new PRO-TORQ Transmission, high-precision chassis with TTA-HD rear suspension and automotive technology. The Defender family is engineered for hard work, but offers exceptional performance with control to provide the driver with the confidence to go practically anywhere. The vehicle’s 4-mode traction system, three selectable driving modes (Eco / Normal / Work) optimized tight turning radius (2-foot shorter than its top-selling competitor on a full circle) and specific Dynamic Power Steering enhances both its performance and handling for recreational use and tough jobs. An ample ground clearance, a plush suspension and class-leading towing and loading capabilities simplifies hunting, farming and ranching tasks. To afford owners more time for work and less for service, the Defender family offers also an easy and cost-effective maintenance.
Dealers gather around the Can-Am Defender display in the showroom after the global reveal in Nashville, TN.
Dealers gather around the Can-Am Defender display in the showroom after the global reveal in Nashville, TN.
The Defender side-by-side vehicles supply clever and adaptable solutions to work smarter and enhance the ease of use. From the industry’s most versatile and functional cargo box to its class-exclusive modular dash adaptable system to its VERSA-PRO bench seat, the Defender vehicles supply industry-leading storage, a roomy, intuitive cockpit for various types of users. Customization is necessary in this segment and the Defender lets users make it their own with multiple LinQ quick-attach system points to welcome a wide choice of accessories, plus various cabin options and factory-installed features for its profiled cage.
Furthermore, BRP adds to its industry-leading family of specialty X mr mud vehicles with the all-new, ultra-aggressive, 89-hp Can-Am Renegade X mr 1000R model. The mud-ready 4x4 ATV is purpose-built for mud with class-leading performance, key components and an intimidating appearance.
A new Commander MAX DPS 800R, with its proven recreational-utility design, is the most affordable four-seat side-by-side in the Can-Am family.
For more information, visit the Can-Am Off-Road website.

This article originally appeared on PowerSportsBusiness.com.

The Kawasaki Vulcan S Riding Impressions - From a Small-Fry Beginner Rider

As the owner of two Kawasaki Ninjas, I feel like I have to preface this by saying I do drool over other motorcycles—it doesn't have to be a Ninja to catch my eye. I’d love to own a KTM 390, a little Honda NSR50, a BMW GS, among others. In fact, the last time I was perusing Pro Italia’s showroom, I exponentially worsened a previously small hole in the seat of my jeans while bending over to ogle the bottom bits of an MV Agusta. Pathetically true story.
Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 1.11.00 PM
[Edit Note: Sasha is a member of the East Side Moto Babes motorcycle club in LA. With the club's involvement with Kawasaski, she was invited to participate in the Kawasaki Media Launch of the Vulcan S earlier this year. The launch was held in Santa Barbara and included a variety of riding from highways, around town to mountain roads.]
None of these machines are remotely like the Vulcan S, Kawasaki’s new cruiser-style model. In my newbie mind, cruisers were generally built for comfort, sport bikes were made to be leaned over, and supermotos/dirtbikes were meant to take massive impacts and be thrown through the air and mud. Every bike has its place, but guess which of the aforementioned categories least interests me. I respect cruisers, they’ve just never been my first choice as a rider.
WIth that said, holy poop was I impressed with the Vulcan S! Lets start with the fit. The bike features Kawasaki’s new Ergo-Fit system, which allows riders to set up the Vulcan S’s ergonomics to fit their specific needs. The system is way more versatile than it sounds, with three options: reduced, mid, and extended reach. That's a compilation of three forward control mounts, and two handlebar and seat options.
Not many cruisers fit me, save for a few metric cruisers and a long-seat Harley Sportster. On a good day, I stand at about 5'2", with a fairly short inseam. I often tip-toe my Ninja 250. When I looked at the Vulcan S it seemed huge, so I immediately opted for reduced reach settings across the board. In all honesty, I expected even that to be too large for me.
Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 1.11.44 PM
After a day of riding the bike around, I had been proven entirely wrong. In fact, by the middle of the day, I had swapped bikes with another rider for a few passes of some winding pavement and was convinced that the mid reach settings were way more comfortable for me. What does that mean in the bigger picture? I’m confident the Vulcan S would comfortably fit riders even smaller than me with its versatile settings. Hear that? No more being relegated to only Honda Rebels.

Ergo Fit

  • Reduced Reach (Riders under 5’7”) - Includes handlebars that are back 1-inch, 2-inches forward on the seat, and 1-inch closer on the pegs.
  • Mid-reach (Riders 5’ 7”-6’ tall) This is the factory position.
  • Extended Reach (Riders 6’-up) Includes 1-inch forward pegs and a seat that’s back 1-inch.
The cool thing about the different combinations is they don’t cost a dime. If you buy the bike new, you can opt for any configuration. After that, you can still change it and it’s also pretty simple. The forward-control pegs simply need to be bolted into the other slots, and the gear-shift linkage needs to be replaced for a different length—it retails for around $10. The handlebars and seat are to be expected to be much higher, at around $200 each.
Speaking of smaller riders, for reference, I weigh under 120 pounds on a good day. That’s not a lot of mass to be picking up a bike or moving it around, especially when I'm weighed down by gear. I had anticipated some difficulty getting the Vulcan S off of it’s kickstand and moving on the asphalt, but once again the bike delivered on it’s promise of approachability. The shape of the chassis and tank tapers nicely, allowing even a shorty like me to stand it up with both feet planted solidly on the ground.
What’s more surprising, in spite of it’s large look, is that I had no problem getting it upright. This is likely due to the bike’s low center of gravity and curb weight, which is just shy of 500 lbs. There's practically no weight above the seat level, making it feel much more nimble than the spec sheet says. Once in motion, I hardly noticed its weight at all.
So how did the bike handle? First lets get a little context. Before I tried out the Vulcan S, I had arguably spent most of my riding career on my 2012 Ninja 250R. My little dude had over 20,000 miles under his belt, at least half of them from Southern California’s freeways. So for all intents and purposes, I'm a new-ish, smaller rider, accustomed to my small-ish, 375 pound bikes.
Looking at the Vulcan S, I expected it to be sluggish, have a steady straight-line speed, and a spongy response in the corners. I mean, after all, it weighed so much more than my little Ninja and has far from the same ergonomics.
Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 1.12.03 PM
Starting with some low-speed turning, Kawasaki had us riding in the most urban area Santa Barbara has to offer. Surprisingly, the bike handled fairly well. At no point did I feel like I was going to dump it in a turn or when I needed to stop because some inattentive driver blew through an intersection, I felt confident. From there, we hit a variety of back country roads, freeways, and even some nice little twisties. The pavement varied from clean and smooth, to some patches covered in dirt and sand, and even some gravel-strewn sections that crossed railroad tracks.
On the freeways, the bike really shines. I never had issues with my 250 on the freeway, but it was nice being able to ride along at traffic speed without it screamin' at me the whole time. I also loved having access to so much more power and speed at lower RPMs. Doing over 40 mph in 3rd gear without the machine feeling like it was working overtime was great.
The bike’s throttle response was good, making merging onto highways from dead stops no problem, though, I wouldn’t expect any unintentional wheelies out of it. High highway speeds still saw its share of vibration and singing rpms inherent of a 650cc, but for someone who hasn't ridden over 400ccs, the bike is a dream.
Another huge difference I noticed was how much the weight and geometry of the bike helped the ride. It felt much more planted in the wind, and less like it was being whipped around when passing semi-trucks and large tour busses. The wide mounted front end also helps in the stability.
But how did it do in the twisty sections of road? With the different seating position, there was definitely an adjustment period for me when it came to cornering. I was pretty conservative with the bike for the first half of the day, but I knew I’d gotten comfy on it when we hit some nice little curves and I felt a peg scrape (yikes!).
While I didn’t freak out, I told myself to knock it off; I didn’t want to damage the press bike. But then I saw that beautiful ribbon of asphalt, and thought, “What the heck? I’ll just try leaning off the darn thing.” Much to my surprise, that did the trick. It cornered better than I expected, had good brake response, and managed to stay fun in the curves. In a lot of ways, it felt like a bigger version of my Ninja 250, with a cushier seat.
Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 1.11.21 PM
Overall, the bike delivers a fairly comfortable ride experience that definitely boosts confidence in the saddle. It has a sporty take on the cruiser style that many people like, while still delivering the responsiveness that is so crucial in daily traffic. Features like optional ABS and instant fuel economy read-outs make it a great fit for beginners to grow into. It's also a great bike for veterans who want something fun and nimble, without sacrificing comfort.

This article is brought to you by RideApart.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Sports fans can meet the CycleTrader race team at the Meet The Pros Autograph event in Norfolk, VA & the Motocross Pro Jam in Elizabeth City, NC
CycleTrader.com, the leading online classifieds site for buying and selling motorcycles, will be hosting two pro motocross events this week. Fans will have the opportunity to meet our pro motorcycle riders up close and personal in Norfolk for the Meet The Pros event on Friday, September 18th. Sports fans will also be able see the team race in Elizabeth City, NC at the 2nd annual MX Pro Jam on Saturday September 19th.
The Friday Meet the Pros Autograph event will be from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Plume Street at Granby in downtown Norfolk. Attendees will not only get to hang out with pro riders Alex Martin, Luke Renzland, and newcomer Benny Bloss, but there will also be several chances to win autographed memorabilia during the course of the day. In addition to autographed posters, CycleTrader.com will be offering rig tours and displaying their pro racing bikes to the public.
Bring the whole family to the Saturday MX Pro Jam event at the Elizabeth City Motocross Track. There will be an exclusive Dirtbike 101 with Alex Martin and his mechanic Zeb Smith, as well as CycleTrader.com Race Team Rig Tours from 9:00-10:00am. There will also be hourly prize pack raffles, and amateur motocross racing to check out after the main racing event. Come on out this weekend to meet the pros, win prizes, watch some racing and have a great time!
Dominion Enterprises and Cycle Trader are proud to offer these events to our local sports fans of all ages!
For more information go to CycleTrader.com and click on our Race Team link or contact us at (866) 871-6644.
About CycleTrader.com
CycleTrader.com is made up of a unique portfolio of premier power sport buying and selling sites. These include: Cycle Trader, ATV Trader, PWC Trader, and Snowmobile Trader. With its wide variety of products, Cycle Trader provides a comprehensive advertising solution for all businesses serving the power sports industry. With a staggering 450,000 units for sale and 2 million visitors every month, Cycle Trader reaches more active buyers than any other source. Private sellers are able to take advantage of the site's free basic listings in order to sell their bike online. The site also provides many helpful resources to visitors including: research tools, industry news, financial resources, readily-available customer service teams, and more.
About Dominion Enterprises
CycleTrader is a division of Dominion Enterprises, a leading marketing services and publishing company serving the automotive, recreational and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, parenting, and travel industries. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, with 3,300 employees in the United States, Canada, England, Spain and Italy, the company provides a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing solutions, and more than 45 market leading websites. Millions of For Rent® and HotelCoupons.com® publications are distributed across the U.S. each year. For more information, visit DominionEnterprises.com.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Harley-Davidson launches 2016 lineup

Two new hard-hitting Dark Custom models, the most powerful cruiser lineup in company history, and a broad range of performance and styling enhancements throughout the range highlight Harley-Davidson’s powerful new model lineup for 2016.
2016 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Highlights
  • New Iron 883 and Forty-Eight models assert Harley-Davidson’s Dark Custom leadership with motorcycles inspired by the rebellious spirit of the past updated with modern design and new suspensions that put a little extra smooth in the Harley-Davidson soul.
  • New S series limited-edition cruisers feature big power and cutting-edge style. The Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S combine rich finishes with the impressive Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine to deliver head-turning style and performance.
  • Previously only available in Harley-Davidson Touring bikes, the High Output Twin Cam 103 engines upgrade the power for all Softail and Dyna models (except Street Bob), rounding out the most powerful cruiser lineup in Harley-Davidson history.
  • Project RUSHMORE’s touring revolution expands with the return of the Road Glide Ultra
“This is another historic year for Harley-Davidson,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re introducing the most powerful collection of cruisers in our history, including the brand-new S series. We’re raising the bar on Dark Custom motorcycles with the new Iron 883 and Forty-Eight models, the purest expression of the design movement we started in 2008. And we’re extending our lead in touring with the return of the Road Glide Ultra and redesign of the popular Heritage Softail Classic.”
Dark Custom Soul
2016 Iron 883
2016 Iron 883
The new Iron 883 is intentionally raw and rough around the edges, with a modern design inspired by garage-built bobbers past and present. All-new front and adjustable rear suspension, lighter-weight mag wheels and improved seating increase comfort and control to smooth the road ahead. The new Forty-Eight achieves its menacing stance with a burly front tire, new mag wheels and a massive front end with new 49mm forks, and also benefits from improved adjustable rear suspension and seating. Retro styling cues and a perfect ratio of black, color and chrome give this bike a bold visual presence. Riders navigating rough and tumble urban streets on the lean and nimble Harley-Davidson Street 750 and 500 models will appreciate the improved confidence from new front and rear braking systems.
2016 Street 750
2016 Street 750
Most Powerful Cruiser Lineup Ever
Rear tires will beg for mercy with the most powerful cruiser model lineup in Harley-Davidson history. Powered by the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine, the new Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S cruisers deliver power and performance once reserved for Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models. Both limited-edition models feature dark styling for menacing looks that match their muscle. The Softail Slim S is available in a new Olive Gold Denim color with military-inspired styling, paying homage to the post-war customs that launched the bobber movement. Harley-Davidson gives more riders a dose of Project RUSHMORE performance by making the High Output Twin Cam 103 engine standard in every other 2016 Softail model. The High Output Twin Cam 103 is also the new standard engine for all 2016 Dyna models except the Street Bob model.
2016 Fat Boy S
Softail Cruise Control
There’s more cruiser news in 2016, for the first time ever, electronic cruise control is available on all Harley-Davidson Softail models. The convenience of Harley-Davidson electronic cruise control, enabled by new electronic throttle control, is standard equipment on 2016 Heritage Softail Classic, Softail Deluxe, Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S models and available as an accessory for all other 2016 Softail models
2016 Sportster
2016 Sportster
New Sportster Suspension
All 2016 Sportster models will tame rough roads with all-new front and rear suspension and improved seats working together to enhance rider comfort and control. The new seats incorporate premium materials and revised shapes to provide more supportive comfort. The re-engineered Sportster suspension pairs emulsion coil-over shocks with new front cartridge forks. Nitrogen gas-charged shocks resist oil aeration and feature an internal valve stack with 36mm pistons and high-performance oil to provide superior compression and rebound damping control that reacts quickly to small bumps and keeps the tires in contact on uneven road surfaces. Progressive-rate spring pre-load is adjustable by a threaded collar using a spanner that stows under the seat. Tuned to complement the shocks, the stout forks feature a calibrated piston and valve stack and progressive rate springs for consistent feel throughout the compression and extension range of the suspension. The triple-rate spring and oil lock allows the forks to resist wheel hop under hard braking.
2016 Road Glide Ultra
2016 Road Glide Ultra
Road Glide Ultra
A two-year absence from the Harley-Davidson Touring line was time well spent infusing the Road Glide Ultra with enhanced style, outstanding aerodynamics and optimized touring ergonomics for rider and passenger– the full influence of the customer-led Project RUSHMORE product-development effort. Propelled by the unrelenting performance of the Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 powertrain, the new Road Glide Ultra will exceed the expectations of the most demanding touring motorcyclist.
Heritage Softail Classic
Combining nostalgic style with smooth, modern Softail performance, the Heritage Softail Classic receives refreshed styling for 2016 plus the High Output Twin Cam 103 powertrain, standard electronic cruise control, and a new and improved saddlebag support structure.
The new 2016 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and accessories start rolling into Harley-Davidson dealerships immediately. Visit H-D.com to see all 2016 Harley-Davidson models and to find a local authorized Harley-Davidson dealer.

Harley-Davidson agrees to sell co-branded motorcycle tires

2016 Street 750Michelin and Harley-Davidson announced an agreement to sell the Michelin Scorcher, a co-branded motorcycle tire through all authorized Michelin and Harley-Davidson dealers. The Michelin Scorcher 11, the Michelin Scorcher 31 and the Michelin Scorcher 32 tires, original equipment tires on Harley-Davidson Sportster, Dyna, V-Rod and Harley-Davidson Street motorcycles, are now available more widely on the replacement market. These tire ranges previously were sold only through Harley-Davidson dealerships. The wider availability of these tires as a replacement option allows Harley-Davidson owners to benefit from the outstanding grip, enhanced tread life, exceptional comfort and precise handling of the Michelin Scorcher tires. Michelin Scorcher tires are currently being shipped to Michelin distributors and should be available shortly to all authorized Michelin motorcycle tire dealers.
This article originally appeared on PowersportsBusiness.com.

Arctic Cat launches ultimate hunting adventure sweepstakes

ArcticCatLogo — GoodArctic Cat is launching the Alterra Ultimate Hunting Trip with Matt Hughes Sweepstakes on September 15, 2015, at participating Arctic Cat dealerships. One lucky winner and a guest will be randomly selected to go on the elk hunting adventure of a lifetime with Matt Hughes, a nine-time UFC Welterweight Champion and star of UNCAGED, a popular sportsman reality television series airing on The Sportsman Channel that is based on the life and hunting adventures of Hughes.

“Matt’s popularity as a UFC champion, expert outdoorsman and devoted family man have endeared him to millions of fans outside the mixed martial arts world. We are excited to partner with him and our dealers in offering this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hunt with Matt,” said Greg Williamson, Arctic Cat’s chief marketing officer.
Arctic Cat is launching the sweepstakes in conjunction with its debut of the Alterra line of ATV models, built to handle all terrains. New for model year 2016, Arctic Cat introduced the Alterra 400 and 450 models, which include the brand-new body style and industry-leading capabilities of the full-sized Alterra, adapted for the more compact 400 and 450 mid-sized machines. Featuring new bodywork, racks and headlights, the new Alterra models provide the ultimate workhorse in a nimble, lightweight and versatile package.
The Alterra Ultimate Hunting Trip with Matt Hughes Sweepstakes begins on October 1, 2015, and runs through December 31, 2015. Entries are available at Arctic Cat dealerships. To find a dealer near you, visit www.arcticcat.com/dealers/. No purchase is necessary.
This article originally appeared on PowersportsBusiness.com.

AIMExpo announces details for 2015 PSBI

The American International Motorcycle Expo has announced details for the 2015 Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo  sponsored by CDK Global Recreation and National Powersport Auctions. AIMExpo’s comprehensive, dealer-focused educational program returns for its third year, boasting an enhanced curriculum tailored specifically for dealers. PSBI@AIMExpo is produced in partnership with EPG Media, publishers of Powersports Business.
PSBI@AIMExpo Seminar1
For 2015 PSBI@AIMExpo expands to 42 seminar sessions among five tracks, targeting enhanced dealership profitability and operations. The curriculum focuses on improving all facets of the powersports retail business model in five key areas: Sales & Marketing sponsored by Fisher Investments; Leadership Plus sponsored by ARI Network Services; Service & OperationsPowering Profits sponsored by McGraw Powersports; and the newly added track geared toward AIMExpo’s growing V-Twin dealer audience, the Brick & Mortar Success Guide.
The 2015 program can be found here.
“A guiding principle of AIMExpo from the beginning was that the platform must serve the industry while also adding value to the industry. The primary objective of the PSBI@AIMExpo program is to do exactly that by providing dealers with insights into the latest market trends, and actionable steps to improve the core aspects of their business,” said AIMExpo’s Marketing Manager, Kevin Nixon. “PSBI@AIMExpo launched as a vital component of the inaugural show in 2013, and by combining feedback from the industry and past PSBI attendees we’ve fine-tuned and grown the curriculum. Knowledge is power, and the more critical thinking we can provide the powersports dealer base, the stronger our entire industry becomes.”
The 2015 PSBI@AIMExpo sessions will be held during the event’s trade days on Thursday, October 15, and Friday, October 16. The roster of speakers scheduled for this year, which includes both individuals new to AIMExpo as well as returning seminar leaders, will feature knowledgeable and well-respected voices from both inside and outside the industry.
“With the addition of the fifth track designed for independent retailers, especially V-Twin independents, we’re confident that dealers will agree we have taken a significant step forward in building this year’s lineup,” saidPowersports Business editor in chief Dave McMahon. “Our industry continues to shine thanks to dealers, both franchised and independent, who have endured over the past few years in a slowly growing economy. Dealers will walk away from PSBI@AIMExpo seminars with usable information that will have an immediate impact on their ability to make their business a more effective and profitable enterprise.”
PSBI@AIMExpo is an entirely free program created for dealers attending AIMExpo. Likewise, registration for a trade credential to attend AIMExpo is also free for qualified powersports dealers (click here to register).
CDK Global Recreation, which provides technology solutions for every facet of dealership operations, returns as a premier sponsor of the PSBI@AIMExpo.
“CDK Global Recreation is proud to support the 2015 Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo,” said Zac Stringam, Marketing Manager/Recreation for CDK Global. “CDK Recreation is committed to helping our Lightspeed powersports dealers achieve their goals through the adoption of best practices and continued learning for all dealership employees. Through our Lightspeed eLearning courses and dealership best practices, we strive to help our dealers succeed and grow their businesses.”
National Powersport Auctions, the industry’s leading provider of remarketing and auction services, makes its debut as a premier sponsor of the 2015 PSBI@AIMExpo.
“NPA has been attending and participating in the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo since its inception,” said NPA marketing director Ryan Keefe. “We've always admired the exceptional lineup of speakers PSB assembles and the proven real world applications dealers take away from the classroom sessions. We're thrilled to announce our support of the PSBI@AIMExpo this year, and look forward to sharing our pre-owned secrets and trends with dealers in Orlando this October.”

This article originally appeared on PowersportsBusiness.com.

Chris Takes His Suzuki V-Strom Through Europe on an Epic Road Trip

As the crow flies, there are roughly 850 miles of land and water between Cardiff, Wales, and Volterra, Italy. I'm not a crow, however, and I'm traveling by motorcycle—a vehicle that abhors direct routes. Getting there and back will see me clocking 3,325 miles across eight countries (nine, if you're a Welsh separatist.)
Covering that distance will take me places I've never before visited and present me with riding challenges I've never before faced. I'll ride in the Alps, witness Dirt Quake, and experience the autobahn. I'll swim in a glacier-fed river, sleep under the stars, and consume huge quantities of bratwurst and beer.
It's not a life-changing event. I won't feel intrinsically altered at the end of it. We've fallen into a modern trap of thinking all long journeys have to reveal hidden truths of the universe, that every road trip has to be a film written by Nick Hornby. This won't be that, but it'll be worth it nonetheless.
Helmet hair and a high-vis vest. You're welcome, ladies.

Helmet hair and a high-vis vest. You're welcome, ladies.
Motorcycles on the ferry are secured via ratchet straps hooked to wires on the floor.
Motorcycles on the ferry are secured via ratchet straps hooked to cables on the floor.
No doubt Netherlandic rest areas are a hoot in winter.
I clean and lube the bike's chain. The rear tire is so hot I get blisters on my fingers when I touch it.
Looks like the American Midwest, but is, in fact, the Netherlands
Looks like the American Midwest, but is, in fact, the Netherlands
Road sign points to Bastogne
Road sign points to Bastogne
Monument to the US forces who liberated Bastogne
The trip starts, as all my motorcycle trips do, with my running behind schedule. I set off at 12:42 pm, just three hours and 42 minutes later than intended. That's OK since I always build in windows of snafu time. Almost all the 255 miles I need to cover today can be done on motorway. The ferry doesn't sail until 11 pm.
Still, I'm annoyed and tired. The reason for my delay is that when I woke up this morning, I decided to repack everything. All of it. Every single bit of kit out of the bags, then back in a different way. This after staying up packing until 2 am.
Seven hours later, I'm sitting in a line of cars and bikes at Harwich International Port, waiting to be let aboard the MV Stena Hollandica, an overnight ferry to Hoek van Holland, in the Netherlands. I'm tired and sore from having spent so much of the journey tensed up.
The M25, which circles London, is always busy and always chaotic. If I hadn't gotten off to such a late start I could have avoided it.
Actually, I could have avoided it regardless. The ferry is running late. Labor strikes and an ever-worsening migrant crisis are affecting the far busier cross-Channel route of Dover to Calais, about 60 miles to the south. The British government has turned an entire section of motorway near Dover into a parking lot for semi-trucks. Drivers unwilling to wait it out pour into other ports –– Harwich, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Hull, and so on –– and everything is moving slow.
Motorcycles are the first to be let aboard, but the ferry doesn't actually leave until 2 am, by which time I'm sound asleep in my cabin. I'm awakened by the shudder of the ship's engines as it pushes away from port, then fall back into dreams of perfect roads.
According to the ambient temperature gauge on my 2015 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, it's 34C (93.2F) when I make my first stop the next day. It's 11 am. I'm in the Netherlands, but the terrain prompts memories of going to college in northwestern Minnesota. The rest area I'm at is a reminder, though, that I'm in Europe. Men's urinals are placed out in the open with only a waist-high metal curtain for privacy. Weary Polish truck drivers smoke cigarettes and nap in the shade of decorative trees.
The Netherlands are proof that every argument you will ever hear against infrastructure is nothing more than selfish BS. Roads are not magic. Building good ones is not some exclusive art that only the Dutch have mastered. The reason roads here are in amazing condition is simply the people of the Netherlands have made the effort. They actually try.
Drivers are reasonably courteous. Filtering (i.e., lane splitting) is permitted, and alongside almost every single road in this country is a second road dedicated for bicycles and scooters. It's a transportation Valhalla.
The speed limit on Netherlandic motorways is 130 kph (80 mph) and the free-flowing nature of the roadways allows me to drift a little above that. A nifty feature of the V-Strom is that it switches easily between mph (which we use in Britain), and kph (which is used in the rest of Europe). I randomly pick 137 kph as my cruising speed. This puts revs at an comfortable 5,000 rpm, well below the Strom's 10,000 rpm redline.
The bike eats distance without effort, but if you've ever read a V-Strom 1000 review written by a tall person you'll know its stock screen is poo. I've not yet had the time or finances to replace the screen, so as I drop into Belgium I give my neck a rest from fighting the wind and head onto slower roads.
Almost instantly, I'm rewarded with a sign pointing me to Bastogne, which is home to one of the more inspiring battles of WWII.
Surrounded by Nazi forces, ill-equipped for winter, and unable to receive supplies, US forces were trapped in Bastogne in December 1944. The Nazis demanded surrender. The Americans' response was a message that said, simply: "To the German commander: NUTS!"
American forces (the famous 101st Airborne Division among them) battled tooth and nail, eventually gaining the upper hand, vanquishing the Nazis and liberating Bastogne. The whole story is told in the 1949 film Battleground (featuring soldiers who were actually there). Without hesitation, I head toward the town hoping it has a plaque or something commemorating the siege.
Yeah, they have something: an enormous 40-foot high stone monument in the shape of a five-pointed American star. The names of all 50 US states are written in steel letters. Plaques denote all the divisions that took part, and huge stone tablets tell the story in slightly vainglorious prose. Roughly 200 yards away, a museum offers more depth and context. Monument to the US forces who liberated Bastogne
For an American, the quiet subtext of this whole place is that we can do great things when we try. We can be a force for good if only we decide we want to be. Today also happens to be the 4th of July. I climb the stairs to the top of the monument, look out on the countryside my grandparents' generation helped liberate, and feel immensely proud.
On to Luxembourg, then Germany. I spend the next few days staying with a friend, Chris, in Saarbrücken, a small city on the Germany-France border. Gregarious and Welsh, he seems to know everyone in town, especially its bartenders.
One night he introduces me to a group of friends. I find myself sitting across from a stunningly gorgeous woman of –– I'm guessing –– Turkish descent. She reminds me of a girl from Istanbul I dated a long time ago.
Lost in Luxembourg

Lost in Luxembourg
Experiencing homegrown German hip-hop
Experiencing homegrown German hip-hop
Looking down on Baden-Baden from the Schwarzwaldhochstraße
Looking down on Baden-Baden from the Schwarzwaldhochstraße
It must be awful to live in the Black Forest...
It must be awful to live in the Black Forest...
The Schwarzwaldhochstraße offers a fair amount of curves
The Schwarzwaldhochstraße offers a fair amount of curves
One of the Black Forest's ridiculously pretty towns

That girl had a scar running down the entire left side of her face from a bar fight. It took nothing from her looks. She was beautiful—perfect skin, dangerously beguiling smile, incredible physique, and insane. All the best ones are.
This girl lacks any visible battle damage, but carries herself in the same alluringly mad way. As with my ex-girlfriend, half her head is shaven and her dark eyes are simultaneously unsettling and captivating. Walking to another bar, I tell Chris he should try his luck.
"With her?!" he yelps. "I sense that'd be a bit dangerous, mate."
"It'd be a glorious death," I say.
We trundle into the night, our laughter bouncing down the city's narrow alleyways.
On another day, we end up at an illegal street party (that cops blatantly don't care about) at an abandoned grain silo by the river. A barrel-chested German tank commander insists on buying me beer. A sunburnt girl asks that I teach her the words to "Star-Spangled Banner," and I get a chance to hear live German hip-hop. It's surprisingly not awful. I tell Chris he has made the right choice in moving here.
Back on the road, the weekend catches up with me in Baden-Baden. The Strom claims it's only 26C (79F) but I'm hot, dehydrated, and out of sorts. At a rest stop, I lose my sunglasses, become convinced that a Danish couple have stolen them before driving off, go into a silent blue-flame rage, and make all kinds of empty threats against Denmark. I then find the sunglasses on the handlebars –– where I had set them.
This dumb anger persists as I'm leaving the town and I rev my engine at a man who has chosen the worst possible place to cross the street. I scare the living tar out of him and get a free lesson in German profanity. As I pass, I see he is disabled. Karma's payback for my douchebaggery is swift, and a few seconds later I see that the bike's "FI" light is on.
Ostensibly, "FI" stands for "fuel injection," but Suzuki uses this light to indicate all kinds of potential flaws. At a turn, I discover that any attempt to signal causes the hazard lights to come on. Great. I'm hot, angry, confused, really far away from anything I might call home, and my bike is banjaxed. I pull to the side of the road, lay on the ground and mumble the first part of Psalm 46:10 to myself: "Be still, and know that I am God."
I'm not terribly religious—it's just something I like to say to myself these days. It's the scripture the pastor quoted to me back in May when they were putting my grandmother in the ground. She had lost her short, brutal fight against cancer. Her death has crippled me mentally and I'm still prone to uncontrollable bouts of crying.
The cost of a sudden flight to Texas to attend her funeral is the reason I'm couch surfing and camping on this trip rather than staying at hotels. The leukemia that doctors discovered in late March is the reason I bought the Strom in the first place; it was something I could control. I couldn't stop the rock of my family dying, but I could sure as heck buy a mid-range adventure motorcycle.
A mid-range adventure motorcycle that is now acting up on the edge of the Black Forest. Be still. Some things are beyond your control. I clean and lube the chain, drink a bottle of water, eat a breakfast bar and sit for a while listening to the birds. My mind calm, I turn on the bike so I can begin to try to assess what's wrong. The "FI" light does not come on. The signals function properly. The problem is gone.
The Black Forest is as pretty as everyone says, and the best way to see it is via theSchwarzwaldhochstraße –– the Black Forest High Road. The well-maintained, wide-shouldered road offers smooth curves, looping bends, and all kinds of breathtaking views that don't translate well to a photo because a camera can't capture the full of what you see.
I stop for lunch at a roadside cafe and get into conversation with two Dutch guys who, it would seem, are the world's biggest V-Strom fans. One of them uses the phrase "rock 'n' roll" in place of the adjective "good." As in, "This bratwurst is rock 'n' roll," or, "What I love about Suzukis is that they have such rock 'n' roll transmissions." Quietly reflecting on my poor mood from earlier in the day, I remind myself what a lucky so-and-so I am to be here, doing this.
Moto-journalism icon John Burns talks often about the can't-believe-my-luck nature of being a motorcyclist. As he puts it: "Why doesn't somebody take this thing away from me?" The world seems too unfair that it should allow us this much happiness and connection from two wheels and a bunch of tiny explosions. I am living the dream, man.
This is reinforced at the end of the day when I arrive at the home of a German couple I have never met. Sonja and Roland had gotten in touch through my personal blog and a place to stay on my way through the country. When I arrive, they hug me and help unload my bags off the bike. Noting the meticulous way in which I have attached everything to my bike Roland jokes: "You have quite a system. You have some German blood in you, I think."
They are incredibly kind and a testament to the weird camaraderie so many motorcyclists have. Why are we this way? Why doesn't somebody take this thing away from us? There's no reason for it. Just because you and I choose the same mode of transportation, why should that make us pals? I take the train to work from time to time, but that doesn't mean I show up and dispense cupcakes to my fellow commuters.
The Harley dudes will yammer about "brotherhood" or some such nonsense. But then, it's not nonsense, is it? Owning a motorcycle is an open invitation to conversation, and everywhere I go lots of really cool people accept that invitation. And from there all kinds of great things happen. Someone buys you beer. Someone gives you a place to sleep. If you're immensely lucky, you'll even get to write about it on a popular website.
And the next day you'll wake up early in the morning and point your motorcycle toward Switzerland.

This article is brought to you by RideApart.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Victory Motorcycles reveals its first all-electric motorcycle

Building on the innovative design and engineering that produced the fastest U.S. electric motorcycle at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Zero race, Victory Motorcycles has introduced the 2016 Empulse TT, the first all-electric addition to the Victory lineup. The Victory Empulse TT is a fully electric street-legal sport bike that is as capable of carving tight lines on twisting roads as it is powering the daily commute. Building on Victory Motorcycle’s focus on performance, the Empulse TT features a sport bike-style aluminum beam-frame, an adjustable suspension, and aggressive brakes. With a combination of advanced technology and stylish, modern design, this unique new motorcycle delivers outstanding overall performance, zero-emission output, and a torquey motor.
“We have always been known for great handling and power, so the Empulse TT is an ideal fit in the expanding Victory lineup,” said Motorcycle Product Director Gary Gray.
“The Empulse TT was developed primarily as an electric motorcycle delivering a sporty ride,” said Victory Electric Product Manager Joshua Katt, “but with dual ride modes – ECO and SPORT – to choose from, and the addition of a gearbox, the Empulse TT is a versatile motorcycle that can be used for impressively sporty riding or as a casual commuter.”
The key features that allow Empulse TT to deliver a sporty riding experience include: a fully adjustable suspension featuring a single rear shock and inverted front forks; dual-disk front brakes that deliver confidence-inspiring high-performance stopping power; lightweight new cast aluminum wheels; the greatest lean angle in the electric class; and a sportbike-style riding position.
Steve Menneto, VP Motorcycles, said Victory Motorcycles is committed to expanding brand awareness and sales globally, and the Empulse TT will allow the brand to reach more markets. “This is a company that does not fear technology and progressive products, and we want to be strong in the electric motorcycle segment,” he said.
The Empulse TT shares some DNA with the original Brammo Empulse R motorcycle. Victory has been working with Brammo since 2011, but in January 2015 Victory’s parent company, Polaris Industries, acquired Brammo’s motorcycle assets. Since then, Victory engineers worked with the Brammo product team to achieve improvements in battery capacity, display function, and handling. The result is a Victory Empulse TT with advanced technology, impressive performance, and sporty styling that draw from the Isle of Man Zero TT race bikes.
The Victory Empulse TT is capable of top speeds of over 100 mph, and it has a high-capacity 10.4kWh battery. The bike has a built-in battery charger and an easily accessible SAE J1772 plug atop the bodywork in front of the seat. The bike’s Brammo Power Lithium Ion battery fully charges in just 3.9 hours using a Stage 2 charger (available as an accessory utilizing a 240V outlet). The bike will fully charge in 8.9 hours using a regular household 120V outlet.
In typical riding, the Empulse TT battery provides a rider with a range of about 65 miles, and a range of 100 miles is possible with throttle management and use of the bike’s regenerative charging. In preliminary testing, the bike demonstrated a Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) city range of 94 miles. The bike delivered an MIC “combined 70 mph highway and city range” of 57 miles.
Riders can make the most efficient use of the battery’s 10.4kWh of electricity by using the six-speed gearbox. Shifting and downshifting help to create regenerative power (under deceleration), and also produce a feeling familiar to experienced riders of the compression braking on gasoline-powered motorcycles.
The rider only needs to use the clutch when shifting between gears, not for taking off or coming to a stop. When coming to a stop, a rider can leave the bike in gear, or choose to click the shifter down (without pulling in the clutch) to put the bike in neutral. To take off from a stop, the rider simply needs to twist the throttle to unleash the liquid-cooled electric motor’s impressive torque.
In the Empulse TT’s proprietary transmission, neutral is found between 2nd and 3rd gears, and the transmission can be left in 3rd gear for most riding speeds and conditions. To begin riding, a rider can simply turn the bike’s power on, select 3rd gear (without the clutch), twist the throttle, and go.
Not all competitive electric motorcycles have gearboxes, so the Empulse TT gearbox gives the bike a significantly sportier feel, and it enhances a rider’s engagement with the bike.
In everyday riding conditions, the Victory Empulse TT can be operated in ECO mode, but it also has an optional SPORT mode for high-performance riding. In SPORT mode, 20 percent more battery power is released to the motor, resulting in enhanced acceleration.
SPORT mode also increases the amount of regenerative braking – or “regen” – which further increases the feeling similar to compression braking when the rider rolls off the throttle. Regen uses the inertia of the motorcycle to return energy from the motor back into the battery pack, which increases available energy. To select SPORT mode, a rider presses and holds the start button for 1 second.
The bike’s LCD data display features a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, and clock. It also displays the battery level as a horizontal bar accompanied by the percentage of battery energy remaining, and provides an estimate of remaining riding range.
Genuine Victory Accessories immediately available for the Empulse TT include Victory performance forks, frame sliders, tall and short windscreens, and side bags that hold cargo.
The new Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle is scheduled to be available for purchase in the United States in late 2015. Victory is in the process of determining global demand for the bike before announcing its international sales plan.