Fast Motorcycle Industry news.

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.

4 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry news.”

  1. 1 John Curtis Jun 25th, 2010 at 9:50 am

    It would be nice to see an American motorcycle company succeed in China. But it seems you can’t do anything there without a Chinese company as partner. Same issue in India.

  2. 2 Woody Jun 25th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    OK I’ll bite, what type of power will produce the compressed air? Every time of large compressor I’ve worked with has tremendous energy losses in the form of heat. Kind of reminds me of folks screaming about “zero pollution” electric cars in a country where over half our electricity comes from burning coal 😉

  3. 3 Pablo Jun 29th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I’ve always thought of Darwin Motorcycles for their simplistic, functional look – let’s see how it turns out.

  4. 4 Vic Jul 10th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    In regards to the charity Bike, I am confident in Dar’s ability to build our bike. On a side note Dar and I both are excited to have the Rahal Letterman engineering team working with us in creating some unique pieces for this bike. It will be an amazing piece of machinery. The best part is no rolling jewelry here. This bike is being built to ride.

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Cyril Huze