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Mud in Your Eye

Beef vs Bikes BS

Thursday, December 18, 2008
As the Off-Road Editor I suppose this proposed 100% tariff on sub-500cc European motorcycles really affects my window of thought more than many of my coworkers. Not only are dirt bikes the primary target, but most scooters fall into this category as well.

Does Ducati, Moto Guzzi or MV Agusta have to worry about this beef vs. bike BS? No. But Aprilia sure does as it tries to bust onto the American market. How about BMW trying to launch its new G450X, or all the Husqvarnas that Beemer now owns? The same goes for Beta, which brings me to my biggest concern – The Orange Company.

2009 KTM 400 EXC
Hilde may never get that smokin' new KTM if this tariff gets approved. Or that Husaberg, or the Husky, and not even the new BMW...
KTM is by far the largest European influence in off-road motorcycling. Been to a hare scramble, H&H, enduro or GNCC lately? Half the field, or more, is mounted on orange bikes. The popularity isn’t based on the stunning good looks of that orange/black scheme, but rather the incredible performance of these bikes. With the most variation in equipment, KTM easily produces the widest range of off-road machines in both 2-stroke and 4-stroke models. Prices for these bikes have always been high, but can you imagine paying double if the tariff goes into effect? I’m a huge fan of the EXC concept – dirt bikes with license plates - and the XC-W lineup. I’ve been seriously eyeballing that new 400, but come on, I’d have a hell of a time shelling the regular MSRP without ruining my meager financial foundation, much less 18 grand.

Husaberg is another manufacturer with growing US exposure. All thanks to the marketing and distribution efforts of KTM. Purchasing the yellow and blue company was a good move for Katoom in my opinion, but it’s another avenue through which they will be screwed by politicians here in the States. Beta uses KTM motors, and thus another unpleasant pounding…

The Japanese probably love the idea of locking down one of the world’s largest off-road consumer bases, but for racing and the health of our sport and local businesses, this whole mess is going to be devastating. 

Read Bart's Blog about Tariff.
AMA Warns Tariff Will Cost US Jobs.
Piaggio Comments on Proposed Tariff
Post Tags: Beef Tariff, trade tariff, KTM, Husaberg, European motorcycles
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