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Ride On newsletter – March 2017

By Mario

In this edition we have news from Japan that questions the very future of motorcycle production, a story about an Australian training initiative that’s failing to fire in Tasmania, and a tempting way to ride different bikes of your dreams for a paltry monthly outlay.

Buy Harley-Davidson … shares

We spotted this interesting take from The Motley Fool website on Harley-Davidson narrowly missing its 2016 sales target, which also mentioned the company’s plan to launch 50 new models in the next five years. Given 2014’s launch of eight new models was ‘the largest new model launch in Harley’s history’ it sounds like they’re going to be busy. And that, according to The Motley Fool article, could see a significant upswing in the Milwaukee company’s earnings:
Read The Motley Fool article 'Harley-Davidson plots full-scale assault on the motorcycle market'

A man with his female pillion passenger ride along on a big Harley-Davidson.

Yeah! I'm a majority shareholder in Harley-Davidson and I'm riding to the bank.

Tasmanian training fails to fire

In stark contrast to the success of Ride Forever’s coaching programme, subsidised training in Tasmania is finding few takers. According to a report in The Mercury, the Road Skills Refresher Course, subsidised by Australia’s Motor Accident Insurance Board, has seen an average of just 30 Tasmanian riders per year participate since launch in 2011. Given Tasmania’s population of about 520,000, and just under 19,000 motorcycles registered in the state, that’s a poor showing. Ride Forever coaching in NZ is tracking slightly ahead of target in the year to date, and should easily achieve its aim of 5,000 riders taking training in 2016-2017.
Read The Mercury article 'Motorcyclists snub rider safety course'

Motorcycle ownership club launches in America

Club type schemes that allow members a certain number of days driving select supercars have been around a while now. But Forbes is reporting a similar scheme in the US, called Club EagleRider, sporting a stable of rather classy motorcycles. At $29 for one day a month, it seems like a bargain:
Read the Forbes article 'Club EagleRider: How To Enjoy Riding Top Motorcycles Without Buying One'

Lucky Club EagleRider members parked and sitting on their 'bikes.

A group of lucky Club EagleRider members are asked the question: what important piece of head gear do you need for motorcycling? 

The end of the motorcycle?

According to the Nikkei Asian Review Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are in trouble. Faced with a declining domestic market and stringent new Euro4 emissions regulations, the ‘big four’ are struggling to make the sums work on new developments. The emissions battle means they are dropping old favourites like Yamaha’s V-Max and XJ1300, and Kawasaki’s W 800. With development costs a distant memory, these old bikes are useful cash cows. Meantime, huge budgets are demanded for new models to meet the regs. And some testers are reporting the results as disappointing (read the Visordown review on the new R6). With Euro5 coming in 2020, it looks like a bumpy road ahead.
Nikkei Asian Review article 'Is it the end of the motorcyle as we know it?'
Visordown review article 'Yamaha YZF-R6 — First thoughts'

Rear view of a motorcyclist riding down a street on their Yamaha XJR1300.

Euro4 spells the end for old faves like the XJR1300.

Pero motorcycle collection opens in Christchurch 

The South Island has gained another jaw-dropping motorcycle display with Mike Pero opening his collection to the public in Christchurch. At around 60 or so bikes, the collection is smaller than Classic Motorcycle Mecca’s 300-plus in Invercargill, but the focus is entirely on Japanese machinery. Some reckon it’s the largest dedicated collection of Japanese bikes in either NZ or Australia. Check out the Facebook page for details:
Mike Pero's Motorcycle Gallery on Facebook

Mike Pero sitting on a 'bike in what look like a shop floor.

Awesome that Mr Pero's opened his 'bike collection to the public.

The passing of a legend

The word legend is often loosely applied but in the case of John Surtees the label definitely applies. The only man ever to have won world championships in the premier classes of car and motorcycle racing, he passed away on March 10th, aged 83. Many from the world of motorsport posted tributes, including those contained in the obituary in the Guardian:
Guardian obituary: John Surtees, former F1 and motorcycle world champion, dies aged 83 

Black and white photo of a young John Surtees.

John Surtees, the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels!

Winner announced for Be A Better Rider challenge

Our series of riding challenges proved really popular, with loads of riders uploading videos to our Facebook page. Congratulations to Jason Howcroft who was chosen as the winner of the $500 riding jacket prize. Talking of winners, the adventures of our Ride of a Lifetime group on their trip around Western Australia were also posted on Facebook:
Ride Forever Facebook page
Our Ride of a Lifetime winners are on it!
Merts, Nige and John's Ride of a Lifetime Facebook page

Keep up to date

Remember, for more free news and articles from the world of two wheels, just visit the Ride Forever website. It’s also the place to check out and register for Ride Forever coaching. Until next time, enjoy your riding and stay safe.
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