American Motorcycle Dealer AMD 216 July 2017 - Page 12

NEWS Ducati, BMW, Yamaha, Buell and BRIEFS Harley machines eat Indian’s dust at ‘Punks Peak’ sprint The Big Tourer ‘space’ just got even more crowded with Yamaha’s air cooled 1850 cc Star Venture set to go up against Harley, Indian and BMW offerings and the venerable Honda Gold Wing. AIMExpo is hoping that Harley riding U.S. Vice President Mike Pence may put in an appearance and make a speech it is Columbus show in September. The event is apparently in the Pence schedule and he has said he wants to do it, but final confirmation is awaited. Meanwhile Yamaha and Suzuki have become the latest OE manufacturers to confirm their participation – last month AMD reported on Indian Motorcycle and Harley- Davidson both confirming their AIMExpo debuts this year. In pimping its latest vehicle-to- vehicle (V2V) telemetry sharing technology, Bosch has claimed that such systems could help avoid up to a third of all motorcycle crashes – those where a car (or other vehicle) driver has not seen the motorcycle, or vice versa. Ford has patented a lane splitting detection technology for autonomous vehicles. Motorcycles pose one of the toughest challenges for so- called “driverless cars” (and other four-wheel vehicles). Their system uses a combination of microphones and video cameras to detect an approaching motorcycle. Motorcycle thefts in the U.S.A. were up by +2.0 percent in 2016 according to National Insurance Crime Bureau data, saying that 46,467 motorcycles were reported stolen to police or insurance companies. However, thefts, though also up in 2016, remain well below the comparable 2006 figure of 66,774 motorcycle thefts; apparently thefts peak in August, with the lowest rate being recorded in February. Young Guns Nik Heer and Fabian Witzig (of Young Guns Speed Shop, Switzerland fame) saw their ‘Miracle Mike’ Indian Scout continue to prove itself as a formidable sprint racer, winning the ‘Punks Peak’ Superbike category of the race highlight at the Wheels and Waves Festival, Biarritz, France, in June. Ridden by former 250cc GP rider Katja Poensgen, the Indian Scout blasted easily through its three sprint races to go up against the powerful BMW R nineT built by the Workhouse Speed Shop and ridden by Sebastien Lorentz in the final. Staged on the GI-3440 mountain road that runs across Mount Jaizbikel near San Sebastián (over the border from Biarritz in northern Spain), ‘Punks Peak’ may be organizers Vincent Prat and the Southsiders Motorcycle Club’s tongue in cheek answer to the rather more famous hill climb in Colorado, but there is nothing lightweight about the racing or Harley has named the Full Throttle’s campground as its Official 2017 Sturgis Rally Campground for HOG members. Full Throttle owner Mike Ballard named his facility after legendary racer, Sturgis Rally founder - and Indian motorcycle dealer - Pappy Hoel. 12 AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE DEALER - JULY 2017 the seriousness and passion invested in the challenge by the competing teams. Part of Europe’s burgeoning ‘Essenza’ sprint racing scene, Indian, Young Guns and Katja arrived at the event buoyed by their win the prior weekend in the Essenza sprint race. “The Scout is running so, so well,” she said. “I know that the Young Guns dialled up the power for the race, and I could certainly feel that on the sprints today.” Fabian Witzig’s and Nik Heer’s creation thrashed a field made up of Ducati, BMW, Yamaha, Buell and Harley-Davidson Former 250cc GP Racer Katja Poensgen pulls ‘Miracle Mike’, Young Guns’ race prepared Indian Scout away from the powerful BMW machines, and even an electric bike from Essence Motorcycle. The pits at ‘Punks Peak’ clearly showed how the standard of bikes competing in the ‘Essenza Sprints’ is on the increase, and in a field of over 100 machines and five different classes, the Indian Scout topped the most prestigious class – thanks in large part to the technical support provided by Ohlins, Brembo and Akrapovic, and the fact that Witzig and Heer have mated the stripped down Scout’s 1133cc V-twin engine to a nitrous oxide system – which can’t have hurt! Grant Bester, VP/GM for Indian Motorcycle in Europe, said: “This project was all about bringing the right people together to see what Indian could do. We wanted to try and bring back the essence of the Indian Motorcycle Company in building, competing and having fun – just as our colleagues in America are doing with the AFT Twins series.”