Japanese Domestic Motorcycle Sales Up 6.7%. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) released the overall domestic motorcycle sales for 2011 on Tuesday, reporting some positive numbers. For the first time in five years, the number of domestic sales from Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, which consist of the Big Four (Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha) and other smaller companies, was up 6.7 percent. In 2011, JAMA reports that domestic sales (factory shipment) consisted of 405,533 motorcycles. This news arrives after the number of motorcycle produced in Japan was down 3.8 percent from the previous year. In 2011, JAMA reports that 648,987 motorcycles were produced, compared to 664,175 produced in 2010.
Riding Side By Side In The Same Lane. Virginia has still a law since 1968 prohibiting bikers to ride side by side in the same traffic lane. 48 other states either don’t ban the practice, or have specific laws allowing it. There’s no indication those states have more crashes or problems related to two-abreast riding. “We assume it had to do with motorcycle gangs” said motorcycling lobbyist Jim Cannon with the Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists. “We don’t have institutional memory going back that far to tell us why this Virginia law was enacted” Cannon said. A proposal to repeal the Virginia law and sponsored by the 26th District Delegate Tony Wilt and 18th District Delegate Michael Webert, sailed through the transportation committee and, overwhelmingly, through the House.
Zero Motorcycles Ranked # 1 Electric Motorcycle Brand. An independent study on electric motorcycle and scooter markets by Pike Research, one of the world’s most respected market research firms, the American-based Zero Motorcycles achieved the highest overall results, scoring higher than many notable names within the industry, including KTM and Honda. The study was based on 12 distinct categories that measured an Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEM) ability to compete on a global level. The Zero S, a street fighter, and Zero DS, a dual sport, are both available in a 6 or 9 kWh configuration. As measured by the EPA UDDS, the Zero S is capable of achieving 114 miles on a single charge. Zero is also pursuing a specialty market for the e-motorcycles (off-road and fleet applications).
Hells Angels Convicted In Assault At Sturgis Rally. Two members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club have been convicted of assault in connection with a stabbing at last summer’s Sturgis motorcycle rally. 48-year-old Mark Allen Duclos of Fairbanks, Alaska, has been convicted of aggravated assault, which is a felony. Fifty-seven-year-old George James Caruso of Shirley, Mass., has been convicted of simple assault, a misdemeanor. Duclos is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 21 and Caruso on March 5. Police say two people were treated for knife wounds after the confrontation between the Hells Angels and the Mongols Motorcycle Club during the annual Sturgis Motorcyle Rally.