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Top Motorcycle Industry Stories of 2009

Thursday, January 7, 2010
The final year of the “aughts”, or whatever posterity deems the past decade, saw many big stories in the news. There’s the cratered economy, a new president, vitriolic health care debate, perpetual war. And, of course, the really important stuff, like American Idol, Hannah Montana and the Jon & Kate Plus 8 divorce. Watching all that news wash by in slow-motion
Ben Spies
Ben Spies was a big story in 2009, winning the 2009 World Superbike title as a rookie before heading to MotoGP.
montages during the New Year’s specials got me thinking: What were the top stories in the motorcycle industry for 2009? Here’s one editorial opinion:

Motorcycle Sales Down… Way Down

Hate to kick the last gasps of air out of the economic woes dead horse, but, sorry, the economy’s tumble defined the final year of the decade. Almost every American has felt the sting on a personal level, and the motorcycle industry took it square in the teeth too.

The current recession, generally considered the worst in living memory for many, meted out double-digit unemployment and cut most consumers’ disposable income. Credit dried up as well with the banking crisis at the end of 2008. Add to the mix the little fact that buying a new bike falls firmly into the “wants” rather than “needs” column and it doesn’t bode well for sales.

New Motorcycle Sales in US
2009 - ?                                     2004 - 1,063,000
2008 - 1,104,000                     2003 - 1,001,000
2007 - 1,124,000                     2002 - 936,000
2006 - 1,190,000                     2001 - 850,000
2005 - 1,149,000                     2000 - 710,000
So what’s the damage?

Figures aren’t final, but estimates of new sales through the first three quarters of 2009 are grim. MIC data through September approximate 40% losses compared to the previous year. With total sales for 2008 estimated by the MIC at 1.1 million, if the 40% trend holds, total ’09 sales figure to be less than 700,000. If true, it would end a six-year streak of million-unit annual sales in the US. Not only that, it could very well make 2009 the lowest-selling year of the entire decade.

The positive news? While new bike sales are down, a recent study from J.D. Power reports motorcycle customer satisfaction and product quality has never been higher. There is also hope that while some riders may not have bought all-new models, perhaps they sprung for more modest upgrades of their existing rides with aftermarket products. Stay tuned for a more in depth analysis when full 2009 sales figures are finally released.
Craig Jones punishing Pirelli rubber.
Buell up in smoke for 2009, with rides like the new 1125CR no more. Founder Erik Buell has moved on to Erik Buell Racing, supporting the 1125R in its 2010 racing efforts.
You can thank this guy right here for the new 1125CR. Thanks Erik!

Buell Motorcycles Gone, H-D Circles the Wagons

The October 15th news Buell Motorcycles was going under came as a surprise, with parent company Harley-Davidson discontinuing the brand and looking to sell its other sportbike acquisition, MV Agusta. The last year of Buell had its share of strange moments, with controversy in the AMA roadracing series (see below). And anyone else remember the strange 2010 crushing Buell Blast promotion? Anyway, Buell built the last of its total 136,923 motorcycles on November 19. Erik Buell then resurfaced a day later with the independent Erik Buell Racing, a race shop which will continue to campaign the now-defunct marque’s 1125R in 2010 racing.

There are still plenty of unanswered questions to the story. Why didn’t H-D sell Buell, like they plan to sell MV Agusta, rather than kill it off entirely? Any truth to the rumors other brands, most notably Can-Am, showed any interest? Will Erik Buell continue his American sportbike dream somewhere else? Is Buell Motorcycles dead as in, ashes-to-ashes dead, or will it come back?

Buell was a big story in 2009. Maybe it will be a big story in 2010 too.

CPSC Lead Ban Outlaws Child OHVs

In 2008 a glut of recalls for lead-contaminated toys from China outraged the public and spurred the government into action. Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 with a near unanimous vote. Enter the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tasked with enforcing consumer laws, including the new CPSIA. The CPSC broadly interpreted the new legislation to include not just toys, but all products for children, including youth off-road vehicles.
The CPSC lead ban hand-tied the entire kid's OHV industry for three months in 2009.

Many parts on motorcycle and ATVs exceed the stringent limits for lead in the CPSIA and it was unfeasible to meet a CPSC February deadline for compliance. So sales of youth OHV were outlawed, violators subject to stiff fines. A general outcry from the industry and riders followed, including a high-profile protest by off-road icon and dealership owner, Malcolm Smith. Even the CPSC itself acknowledged the ruling may actually be counterproductive, as outlawing youth OHV would only encourage the same kids to ride larger-displacement and more dangerous machinery.

It wasn’t until April 3, that the CPSC passed a 12-month stay of enforcement. Still, the CPSC feels it is hamstrung by the law’s wording and denied an industry petition to exclude OHV from the law. One month later, however, it did vote to extend the stay of enforcement until May 1, 2011.

In other words, the CPSC lead ban issue remains unresolved. Until legislative action gets a permanent fix, an entire off-road segment floats in legal limbo.

DMG/AMA Racing Opera

Again, beating the dead horses… The DMG/AMA roadracing drama never seemed to end throughout the year. Trouble started brewing right from the get-go, when the Daytona Motorsports Group took over the AMA racing promotion at the end of the 2008 season. Proposed rule changes and plans for a new premier class, Daytona SportBike, made up of 600cc Inline-Fours as well as the Buell 1125R Twin, raised ire in the paddock as the season wound down. Controversy at the end of the year, with the disqualification of Mat Mladin for technical violations, only exacerbated the Aussie’s cool reception to the new DMG plans.

The Buell 1125R (above) in Daytona Sportbike was just one of the controversies following the AMA Pro Road Racing series Roger Edmondson presided over.Eslick
After a couple rules’ revisions, including adding American Superbike as a dual premier class alongside Daytona SportBike, the 2009 season got under way at Daytona. Running under the lights at night for the first time, the prestigious Daytona 200 was marred with technical problems, including a botched restart. The season plodded on, however, with Mladin dominating American Superbike and Danny Eslick doing the same in the new SportBike class aboard the Buell. With nearly double the displacement of its rivals, the Buell’s inclusion in the SportBike series was a controversy that never went away, even when Eslick’s dominance faded as the season progressed – though he still narrowly won the title by five points.

The DMG story bottomed out at Laguna Seca, when the unpopular insistence of a pace car met with a near catastrophe. (For more info check out MCUSA’s editorial Delusional Motorsports Group) Amidst a confusing procession of restarts in the Superbike race, a pace car was left stationary on a hot racetrack full of riders. While disaster was averted, the eventual race winner, seven-time AMA champion Mladin, echoed the general distaste in the Laguna pace car matter. Later Mladin, along with fellow veteran Jamie Hacking, would simply walk away from the Topeka round, refusing to participate due to what they felt were unsafe track conditions. In the end, having collected his final AMA title, Mladin retired from the sport entirely rather than face another season in the DMG AMA.

With its biggest rider gone in Mladin (following the loss of Ben Spies to World Superbike its first year), the DMG approaches 2010 having dramatically slashed racing purses - along with news that Kawasaki joins Honda with no official factory support of the series. One final act in 2009 came when it was announced Roger Edmondson, the figurehead of the DMG push for AMA Racing, will step down as President and CEO of AMA Racing due to health issues.
What the future holds for AMA Racing, who knows? But the DMG series can’t figure to sink much lower in 2010. 

So those are my picks for the most notable industry news stories of 2009. The new year is certain to bring more interesting things to write about. Until then, Happy New Year.
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Mcguire -sewer rat  February 14, 2010 01:01 PM
I looked at the Aprilia website and they still list the Millie as a 2010 model. It would be difficult to bump the millie up to 1125 cc's because of the narrow V angle (it gets crowed at the bottom of the cylinders). I agree that bigger twins have no place in supersport racing 600s, the Japaneese put a lot of work and engineering in their supersport bikes and it is a dis to them to be punished for their investment in the sport. Bring back Battle of the Twins is the most fair solution, then everyone gets to race (even the XR 1200).
Fred M. -Ship of fools?  January 19, 2010 07:39 PM
Daniel wrote: "Lets just cut through all the BS and get to the point. DMG is a ship of fools" Say hi to your shipmates for me. "and a Buell couldn't win an honest race against a Vespa" Buell 1125R bikes have beaten 1098 Ducatis, KTM RC8s, and Aprilias -- even though the Buells were not designed to be competitive race bikes. Try doing just a little research before you post again.
Fred M. -Engineering  January 19, 2010 07:28 PM
Allman wrote: "If anyone has a profound misunderstanding about displacement and horsepower it is you Fred." No, Allman, I don't. I'm an engineer. I know that horsepower is a measure of the amount of work that can be done in a given period of time. Torque is not. You're mistaking a linear power band for a high-torque motor -- and I've already come out in favor of a broad, linear power band (re-read what I wrote). What I said was a fallacy is expecting two wildly different engine configurations to produce the same horsepower with the same displacement. I stick by that. Reggie: You wrote "If it is such a fallacy then why is Ducati only allowed to use 848cc with their twin and not 1098cc?" Because life, and rules, are not fair. If displacement were a predictor of horsepower, why was Ducati not limited to 600ccs like the Japanese I4 bikes? "Argument over!" Yes, and you just lost it. Again, what people don't seem to get here is that the rules were structured so that a bike which was designed for street use (the 1125R) could be competitive when raced against the I4 Japanese bikes and Italian race-oriented bikes.
g-man863 -Spectators versus Geeks...  January 16, 2010 11:33 PM
The arguments posted so far go a long way to explain why roadracing in the US is practically dead from a spectator (read: warm bodies in the stands that sponsors will pay to reach) perspective.

I work in both IT and marketing. Although arguments on technical issues and standards are great when posted on geek sites; they're a deal breaker at the retail level. Imagine being a non-geek shopping for a new PC. When you enter the store, the sales staff does nothing except trash talk about why certain models suck versus others. The staff all but ignores you, focusing instead on their internal catfight.

Would this type of behavior make you want to buy?

Scratch "shopping for a new PC" and replace with "looking for an exciting sporting event to go to or view on television". Unless you're a rider or on a pit crew, would all this roadracing trash tech talk sell you on spending time and money to watch a race in person or even on TV?

Roadracing - like any other sport - needs a fan base in order to survive and it seems NOBODY in the US roadracing orginizations wants to acknowledge this. The AMA/DMG Mensa Society has done nothing to build a fan base for the sport. Most of the publicity they've generated recently makes fans of other motorsports think of roadracing as an event that ranks somewhere between NBC's recent late night talk show clusterf**k and reruns of The Jerry Springer Show.

Of the people I know who have been to bike week in the past few years, far more went to either the dirt track or supercross events than the "200". Coverage of American superbike racing is getting weaker every year on SPEED, I suspect due to a lack of advertiser interest. Take out the ad time purchased by bike manufacturers and bike-friendly insurers and it leaves the remaining ad time sold (dirt cheap)to "Smilin' Bob" offering us his all natural, non-superbike enhancement pills.

MotoGP should be begged to take over American roadracing. Market it in the image of "American Idol" or "The Apprentace" where the top 1 or 2 riders at the end of the season get to join Heyden and Rossi on a world MotoGP tour with factory sponsorship. Even if it results in fewer classes, a simple, easy to follow and well promoted schedule will bring more fans on board; once enough fans are on board serious sponsor dollars will follow.

My worst fear is that roadracing will fall to a level that will make the MotoGP orginazation rethink its relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Indy crowd was estimated at around 75,000, versus over 100,000 for the inagural event in 2008. This is even worse than it sounds when you consider that riders and spectators in 2008 had to endure flooding rains and violent winds from the still powerful remmnents of Hurricane Ike; 2009 spectators had only minimal rain on Friday and sunny, mild days for the main weekend events.

I already have my work calander cleared to attend the 2010 Red Bull Indy MotoGP and could clear a few more weekends for trips to Road Atlanta, Barber Motorsports Park or even Daytona. If there was more to watch in these other places than squabbling and a few factory riders constantly lapping privateers, it might be worth it.
Daniel -Buell & DMG  January 12, 2010 10:32 PM
Lets just cut through all the BS and get to the point. DMG is a ship of fools and a Buell couldn't win an honest race against a Vespa....who on earth could be proud of winning a championship with the rule advantage that DMG gave Buell???..... Only Harley Davidson and Buell...just go have another beer and tell each other how great you are.....build another museum to glorify your juke...print a few more T-shirts and then go broke and want the gov. to save your ass....But whatever you do , don't try to build a better motorcycle...just keep making the same old trash for another hundred years and keep rewriting the rule books to make yourself feel important. DMG , Harley, Buell,........... Birds of a feather flock together.....Remember the 3 Stooges? well, there still around.
AJN -MFer  January 12, 2010 10:36 AM
Sorry MFer...Was not trying to imply that I have any information about what bikes were and were not submitted for DSB homologation.

I don't know anything for certain about a GSXR750 or Ducati 1098 (or SV1000 for that matter), but can't see any reason why they would have been denied if they made a submission and could prove (1) to be compliant with the class rules and (2) they offer comparable performance to the others in the class.

Does ANYONE out there have information about what bikes submitted for homologation, but were rejected? Heck, that could be a pretty interesting article all by itself.
Mark -to damm bad really  January 10, 2010 11:05 PM
DMG blew it and they blew it with a crowd that is not very forgiving. We do not want another NAS CAR series we want our technology and we want our innovations .In Harly world where the push rod air cooled twin is still the mainstay some of this nonsenses would have been O.K. ...maybe. But the fans of motorcycle racing are more like the fans in formula racing and we don't like any dumbing down of the men or machines that we cheer for.I would hope any new series will take the time to listen to the riders first the fans second and the factory's third and come up with something that is fun and competitive how ever at this point i think the fat lady has sung and it will indeed take a whole new series under new management to restart American road racing.
Allmann -Fred M what about torque?  January 9, 2010 02:10 PM
If anyone has a profound misunderstanding about displacement and horsepower it is you Fred. Twin cylinder engines are not as efficient as four cylinder engines in making horsepower but they are not 87.8% less efficient. Twins have been given displacement advantages in the past and will continue to be given so in the future and nobody has a problem with that. 87.8% more displacement however is overboard. The horsepower advantage the Buell had over the 600s was moderate but the torque advantage was enormous. If you know anything about power to weight ratios the 20 lb additional weight the Buell had to carry, not until half way through the season before that the Buell was allowed to weigh the same, has little consequence. Now if the 600s revved 88% higher then maybe the lopsided displacement for the Buell wouldn’t be so outrageous but the Buell would still have a huge Torque advantage or if the Buell had a SOHC and revved lower than 10500 rpm. This is not the case. The Buell is built to a modern state of tune and only revs roughly 50% lower. Even then the Buell shouldn’t get a 50% displacement advantage because a twin engine compared to an inline four engine when both are built to the same spec (liquid cooling, 4 valves DOHC, high compression pistons, light weight materials etc.) a twin is only 25% less efficient per liter. Ducati and Aprilia proved this with their competitiveness in WSBK. If you thoroughly understand engineering and racing then you would know it is not all about peak horsepower and rpms. Strong midrange is a key advantage in closed circuit road racing because that extra torque gives you a big advantage coming out of the corners; an advantage no amount of rpms can replace. Having a strong midrange makes it easier for the rider to ride fast and gear selection is not as critical. If sportbikes with twin cylinder engines needed an 88% displacement advantage to be competitive then Ducati would not have won more WSBK titles than all of the inline four bikes combined… nuf said.
Reggie -Fred M's fallacy  January 9, 2010 01:24 PM
If it is such a fallacy then why is Ducati only allowed to use 848cc with their twin ande not 1098cc? Argument over!
Fred M. -The fallacy of using displacement as a predictor of horsepower.  January 9, 2010 09:08 AM
I've read the complaining from the anti-Buell crowd about the Buell's displacement advantage. Their posts betray a profound lack of understanding of engineering. Horsepower is (torque x RPM) / 5252 You can spin the crank fast with four small, short-stroke pistons or you can spin it slow with two large, long-stroke pistons. Either one will make horsepower. Neither is more praiseworthy or a sign of engineering superiority. The Buell has half as many pistons. It races against bikes which have a redline that is 50% higher. It has been penalized with another 20lbs. of weight. When I go to buy a bike, I evaluate how it works. How heavy is it? The Buell is competitive with the Japanese 600cc fours. How comfortable is it on the street? The Buell's ergos are far better and the press has said so. How does it handle? The Buells have long been considered some of the finest handling bikes made. How tractable is the engine -- does it have a wide, linear powerband or is it peaky and needing constant rowing through the gears? If going with a 600cc engine does not result in a bike that's much lighter and better handling than the Buell 1125R, why buy the 600? When you ride around town, through the mountains, on canyon roads, and on the highway, are you expecting some tech inspector to jump out, tear down your engine, measure the displacement, and disqualify you?
MFer -AJN  January 8, 2010 08:08 PM
So are you saying nobody tried to get the GSXR750 homologated or a Ducati 1098 in DSB? Buell is history. Maybe a few privateers will run a Buell and Aprilia has discontinued the RSVMillie 1000 model for 2010 and have no plans on racing the RSV4 in DMG.
Superbikemike -Ben Spies....  January 8, 2010 12:50 PM
i must comment on the storied, and FABULOUS year Ben Spies had in WSB... this was and is, quite an accomplishment...that guy can flat ride, like an artist with a paint brush... with dmg running ama roadracing this will not be happening for quite a while.... there soon will be NO Americans to root 4 in any world stage racing... thanx dmg u suck!!!
AJN -MFer  January 8, 2010 11:20 AM
Why do you say Aprilia and Buell will not be racing in 2010? What I have been reading indicates otherwise.

To answer why the other bikes were not permitted in the series, you must ask the race teams and manufacturers. Homologation must be applied for, and was not granted to only these bikes blindly. If nobody applied to have an SV1000 in the series, it would not show up on the list.
MFer -Hutch  January 8, 2010 11:09 AM
Hutch it isn’t a “dead horse” because DMG is still running AMA road racing.

“Basically the DMG Formula for the DaytonaSportbike class was valid - it made great racing”. It wasn’t DMG’s formula. We already had this class but it was called Formula Extreme and Buell did not race in it because the 600s were allowed to do more than just put an exhaust and intake on the bike. After the new rules, which allowed the Buell to weigh the same as a 600, the Buell was now competitive but only because the 600s were dumbed down.

Now Buell is gone and the hollow championship did nothing for the brand. Buell would have gotten much more respect if it just competed in superbike only, even if it never finished in the top 10.

The racing was close in the DSB class but only because of ridiculous one sided rules and that is what leaves a bad taste in the fans mouth regardless of how close the racing is. 90% of the sportbike owners at the races own inline four sportbikes and they know the Buell had no place in DSB class. And if this class is not intended to be a 600 class then why weren’t 636cc, 750cc inline 4 bikes allowed or Ducaties 1098-1198 or Suzuki’s SV1000S??? If you’re going to open the door for larger displacement for Buell then why not for everyone else even other twin engines???

I’ll bet the racing in DSB this season will still be close even though Aprilia and Buell won’t be racing in it. It will be close because 600cc racing is always close and not because of DMG.
AJN -pf0247  January 8, 2010 11:07 AM
How does one deduce anything about me, or how many miles I ride in an average year, by the content of one post? That response is indicative of a 14-year-old in the schoolyard. What do your comments contribute here?

Can you provide empirical evidence that the Buell, RSV1000, KTM 990, or Ducati 848 have an unfair advantage? It has not been done so far by anyone as far as I know, and based on your comments so far I have little expectation that you've got anything to back up your opinion.

Displacement is only one factor that is weighed when determining the bikes that will be competetive. If people are only willing to target displacement as the sole measure of equality, there is little that can be done to convince them otherwise.
pf0247 -duc 1998  January 8, 2010 09:56 AM
AJN we all understand the sportbike class but why should a machine with twice the cc be able to compete. Play with the big boys and do ur research on the dmg and see if nascar is involed. U sound like an armchair racer that might ride acouple hundred miles a year!!
AJN -...  January 8, 2010 09:32 AM
Daytona Sportbike is not, and is not intended to be, a 600cc class. Please get it through your thick skulls.

I thought the racing in Daytona Sportbike was exceptional this year. The Buell controversy needs to stop though before the start of 2010, because it is just incessant, repetetive, uneducated complaints from people that cannot see the possibility for a well designed racing class to have different bikes with different configurations. Funny, it is typically the same people that complain DMG is trying to inject NASCAR aspects into AMA Pro Racing...An all 600cc IL4 class sounds a lot closer to NASCAR than what we've seen for DMG changes so far.
Exfactory -US AMA Roadracing gone in sixty seconds OR less!  January 8, 2010 09:13 AM
Having been involved in US road racing since the early 70's I can tell you all that the the way the Clueless idiots run it now and the previous ones for the past decade have no business being in the positions they have been in to promote this sport. This has been going on since the 70's! The purses are changed little in decades. The sport is almost never promoted like 4 wheel racing or MX racing. We're all consumers yet no one wants to make the first step to make a change. Mat tried as did Roberts but they finally tossed in the towel. Fans need to speak up as well as the races! How is it that a place like Laguna drew over 100k people a few years ago and the winner of the AMA Superbike race only for a few grand??? You do the math! I've sent a number of emails to Roger E as have friends telling him waht an ass he is for his deliberate and methodical determination to destroy US AMA road racing. He's not sick and leaving his post. He did what he set out to do and is done. Simple as that. He's got enough $$$ in the bank why piddle with the small stuff any longer. As for the racing classes now. Back in the 70's and 80's and even part of the 90's I believe we had far more classes a LOT less whining and bigger turnouts and a greater number of riders. Now we have a few far less then even a club race!!! In So CAL in the 70's and early 80's we would have 300+ riders show up for a typical AFM club race. There would often be 40 to 50+ bikes in each class from 50's, 125, 200's 350's 500's 750 Production to 250 GP and 750GP and Superbike and open Production. Everyone had time to practice a few times, everyone had a great time. We had no track days back then or Saturday practice. You showed up on Sunday early, unpacked and practiced from 8 to 11 and raced from 12 to 4. All the races were 10 or 12 laps not 6 or 8 as I think they have now. US road racing is the greatest sport period. This is why there have been so many forums on it over the past year. But people need to start taking action and let the people who need to know know how you feel! Don't sit back and go what happened, make it happen! Can you imagine that for what a title sponsor for a average NASCAR team pays they could be the TITLE sponsor of an entire SERIES like AMA!!! Do they now it? No! Will the AMA do anything about it to change it now, NO, I doubt it. They have their salaries and could really care less. They all need to be fired IMHO and people who are passionate about the sport need to take over and then IT WILL HAPPEN. Thanks for listening to an ol timer who's just sick and tired watching these idiots like Edmondson and Luddington and the lot of them ruin our sport.
pf0247 -duc 1198  January 7, 2010 04:50 PM
hutch what are u talken about taking the 600 s out of a class they where already in. Why cant buell have played w/ the big boys in the superbike class and run motor for motor ? They would of never had a chance . The buell is handicapped in my eyes !
pf0247 -duc 1998  January 7, 2010 04:45 PM
hey dan u always talk that kind of nonsense ? DMG ruined the ama series plain and simple, dont blame it on the economy that had nothing to do with it.
Hutch -SportBike Class & End of World 2012  January 7, 2010 03:43 PM
What about all the other stuff in the article? Lead ban: Totally pathetic effort to get youth off ATV and Mini bikes.

OEM Unit Sales: its all our fault for getting over extended and not being able to buy new 2010 bikes.

DMG: Dead Horse. But the truth is, I liked the concept behind the SportBike class. I thought it made sense too. I know we did some evaluations internally and found that the Buell in particular had a slight advantage in stock trim over the 600 and Aprilia Mille, but the fact is it was a slight advantage. In race trim the bike had the engine to whip on the other bikes on the straights but it would get caught on teh brakes and in the turns. They should pull the 600s out of the class and then it would start making sense to people. Basically the DMG Formula for the DaytonaSportbike class was valid - it made great racing.

End of the World: 2012 - Mark it down. We only have a short time left so make the months count people.
MFer -RBJ  January 7, 2010 03:17 PM
RBJ in 2009 if you took away the big four 600cc in DSB all you have is one Aprilia and a couple of Buells. For 2010 you have no Aprilia or Buells, so yeah it is a 600cc class. I didn’t see any Triumphs or Ducaties racing in DSB. Before the DSB class the 600 supersport class always had close racing and Ducati raced in it with the 748-749 and one season with the Buell XBRR. DMG didn’t do anything new or right because the 600ss class didn’t need fixing the superbike class needed some help and DMG killed it.
Superbikemike -quit pissing me off...  January 7, 2010 02:05 PM
stop with the Edmondson pics please...... he just reminds me of a rich, arrogant prick, that should be on a golf coarse instead of running any form of motorcycle racing, hell his actions speak louder than words.... makes me want to vomit
Race FAN -New 2010 Race Season  January 7, 2010 11:56 AM
They are going to have a new cruiser racing class this season. Harley is the big sponsor. It ought to be fun to watch a bunch of old guys dressed up like pirates racing there Harleys. Top speeds are expected to be in the 80 to 90 mph neighborhood so it should be exciting racing. Grab a beer put on your do-rag and watch......
Dan -economy and costs the problem, not rulebook  January 7, 2010 11:56 AM
The racing was fine, better than many other seasons; not the "bar-to-bar" they may have tried to create, but not too bad, I think most will agree. DMG took too little input from the manufacturers when creating the rules, and the manufactureres didn't sign on to what was best for the fans- close racing. Factories are accustomed to using racing to sell product- DMG wanted to use it to make money, a simple conflict. What DMG may have miscaluculated was the roles of the much-derided privateer and the economy. They paid good money for the series and wanted ROI. The tires and entry prices made it rough for the privateers, and they aggressively priced their product that the factories- who don't spend much in down economies anyway- couldn't see their own ROI. The return of AMA racing to the heavily-populated Northeast market proves their is still an audience, but they aren't buying motorycles in enough numbers to justify the investment by the factories. Historically, the racing has become more club-like in such circumstances, but with the tire prices, entry fees, and purses as they are, I can't see full grids this year. Add to this the fact that guys can go screw around on track days for a fraction of the cost, and the feeder series may also struggle. Them's the berries.
pf0247 -duc 1198  January 7, 2010 10:00 AM
I feel that the dmg basically ruined an already boring ama series!!
They are nowhere even close to the racing at the world level and the
coverage and delays in broadcating was a joke. They should be ashamed of themselves, this isnt nascar. As long as the dmg owns the series im
done watching anymore of it!!
FAN -Maybe Buell & Can-Am  January 7, 2010 09:37 AM
Maybe Can-Am could buy the Buell design rights but if they want to sell the bikes they would have to get rid of the boat anchor Harley motor. That was the main reason Buell failed. Also, who in there right mind wants to go into a Harley dealership? I entered a Harley dealership 2 years ago to buy a Buell. Once the morons working there found out I was interested in a Buell they completely ignored me. I guess they noticed that I was not dressed up like a pirate so they knew they were not going to sell me a slow overpriced 65 hp Harley.
DMG bored -RBJ  January 7, 2010 08:46 AM
Ugh... more DMG arguments. RBJ, agree that SportBike was best racing of AMA season. But revisionism? It would seem the perception certainly was its was a 600 class with extras tossed in.
RBJ -Avoid Revisionism-State The Facts  January 7, 2010 07:59 AM
Daytona SportBike is not a 600cc class- it is a modified Formula Xtreme/SuperSport/SuperStock based class that includes bikes of different engine configuration, displacement, horsepower, and weight. The intended goal was close racing based on parity between the bikes- and it delivered. Daytona SportBike had the closest, most exciting racing of the 2009 season. It is a disservice to the fans, competitors and manufacturers to marginalize the short history of Daytona SportBike. Just because someone may not like the class, it is wrong to distort the facts about it. Regardless of what bikes competed, the list of eligible bikes included some very diverse models: Yamaha YZF-R6, Suzuki GSX-R600, Honda CBR600RR, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, Buell 1125R, Aprilia RSV1000R, Ducati 848 and the Triumph Daytona 675. The fact that the racing was close and the bikes were evenly matched cannot be argued- just look at the results. Daytona SportBike was the high point of a dark year in American professional road racing. It was refreshing to watch close, competitive racing from distinctive bikes- not an entire field of Big Four I-4's (snore). I applaud the DSB class and hope it is carried on in some form in the future.