Polaris opened its first dealership in Beijing, China, and plans to open more. Its Ranger and Sportsman models made their first high-profile appearance to Chinese consumers at the Beijing auto show in April. Polaris partnered with Beijing United Automobile Motorcycle Manufacturing Co, a subsidiary of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co, to establish 5 retailers in China by the end of this year.
Harley-Davidson laid off this week 200 employees at its York County plant, PA. The plant has been reducing its full-time union work force from about 1,950 employees to between 700 and 800 full-time workers and 200 to 300 employees who would only work as needed. 1,300 union production employees will remain after the 200 job cuts.
Indian scientist duo designed compressed air powered bike engine. Two Indian scientists have broken new ground by conceptually designing a new, cleaner motorcycle engine which is powered by compressed air. The engine uses compressed air to turn a small air turbine, generating enough power to run a motorcycle for up to 40 minutes. Their design, described in a paper appearing in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, could be combined with a compressed air cylinder as a replacement for traditional internal combustion engines. In areas where motorcycles are a major source of public transportation, such a technology could cut emissions substantially if widely implemented. Designing a compact but high-capacity air tank to store sufficient “fuel” for long rides is a major hurdle. Existing tanks would require someone to stop about every 30 km to swap tanks.
Darwin Motorcycles, the manufacturer of Brass Balls Bobbers and Choppers, is going to build a motorcycle with Rahal Letterman Racing with the proceeds of the raffle benefiting the Steel Anchor Charity. The bike’s theme will honor Rahal Letterman Racing and its co-owner Bobby Rahal. It will feature graphics honoring Rahal’s Hall-of-Fame racing career that saw him win 3 Indy Car championships along with the 1986 Indianapolis 500. The bike will also contain some custom engineering modifications from the race team.