Triumph Motorcycles Unveils Sprint GT

Triumph has upped the ‘touring’ in its popular Sprint ST sport touring motorcycle and unveiled the new Sprint GT1050 2011 model. For the uninformed, the ‘GT’ stands for ‘Grand Tourer.’

The GT is powered by a Triumph 1050cc triple, cranking out 130bph, and it’s dialed in to deliver increased mid-range power rather than deliver on peak power. The GT features 31 liter saddlebags, standard ABS brakes, a 200-mile fuel range, an optional top case that can hold two full-size helmets, and a 12 volt power supply to accommodate the motorcyclist’s growing laundry list of electronic gizmos.

The GT is priced at $13,199 and will hit dealerships in the fall as an early-release 2011 model.

Says Triumph Motorcycle’s Jim Callahan, “The Sprint GT blends all of the great performance and style of the Sprint ST with some additional comfort and storage space that sport touring riders are looking for.”

The GT model has a better-performing front fairing. The GT’s cockpit features a comprehensive three dial instrument panel with a large, traditional analogue speedometer and tachometer; while the third dial hosts the readout for the onboard computer where the rider can scroll through fuel consumption, range-to-empty, journey time, average speed and clock functions.

Other optional equipment for the GT includes heated handlebar grips, a taller wind screen, optional gel comfort seat and magnetic tank bags that can increase its luggage capacity another 30 liters.

Below you’ll find the official YouTube clip from Triumph, which immediately reminded me of that time-lapsed Gixxer video that was viral a few months ago …

What? You haven’t seen the self-assembling Gixxer?

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Bombardier Recreational Products Opens Research Facility

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) has opened a new powertrain division research facility in Gunskirchen, Austria, dubbed the Regionales Innovations Centrum (RIC), according to a BRP release.

The facility’s mission is to collaborate with Gunskirchen’s universities to “develop clean engine technologies of the future while training a highly qualified and skilled workforce.”

According to the release, “The RIC is considered as the innovation and education engine of Austria and plays an important role in the cultural development of the region by offering job opportunities to a diverse group of individuals coming from all over the world.”

Workers at RIC will work closely with BRP’s other design and technology facilities in Sherbrooke and Valcourt, Quebec.

BRP’s move is not unlike a recent push by Zero Motorcycles to move into Santa Cruz, Calif., to research its next-gen products. While BRP plans to harness the minds of a local university system, Zero plans to tap into a talent pool ripe with former employees of Seagate, hard drive manufacturer.

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Harley-Davidson Announces XR1200 Series Contingency

Harley-Davidson has set a $25,000 contingency fund for its upcoming AMA Pro Racing Vance & Hines XR1200 Series, according to an H-D release.

H-D will distribute $5,000 to the top ten finishers during each of the series’ five rounds: Race winners will receive $1,250; second place, $1,000; third, $750; fourth, $500; and fifth through tenth place finishers will each receive $250.

“We’re excited to support this grassroots racing class with a contingency program that rewards racers deep into the field,” said Steve Piehl, Harley-Davidson’s director of customer experience. “Our contingency fund doubles the generous purse previously announced by Vance & Hines and the AMA and should provide an extra incentive to racers considering competing in the series.”

Earlier this year, Vance & Hines said it would be rewarding racers with a $25,000 contingency for the series, too. Its allotments do not go as deep into the finishing field, though.

The first race of the XR1200 Series will take place just north of H-D headquarters at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on June 4-6. Subsequent races will take place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio (July 16-18); Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va. (Aug. 13-15); New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, N.J. (Sept. 3-5); and Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala. (Sept. 24-26).

The modified XR1200s will feature a Vance & Hines race kit, consisting of an exhaust system, Fuelpak fuel management system, single-seat tail section and belly pan, 17-inch front wheel with matching front fender, steering damper, oil cooler relocator, race decal package and race bodywork (including number plate). The kit is worth $3,500.

As in all AMA Pro Road Racing series, Dunlop tires and Sunoco fuel will be used. In addition to the Vance & Hines supplied kit parts, teams will be allowed to upgrade their suspension, hand and foot controls, brake components, and instrumentation.

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Lehman Trikes Unveils New Model

Lehman Trikes has unveiled a new trike , a new trike with a bit of an odd name …

Once again, Lehman has chosen Victory Motorcycles’ Vision model as the soul of the unit, a behemoth motorcycle with some curvaceous styling, and they’re calling it the Cimarron. First the specs, and then we’ll discuss why it’s sort of an odd name.

The Cimarron features a two-tone paint scheme that complements the aforementioned curvaceous styling. What’s more, it comes standard with a reverse gear and John Lehman Signature billet wheels. It is available now.

Now, onto the name: Cimarron. Back around 1845, Texas decided it wanted to join the Union. Problem was, Texas at that time contained land north of the 36°30′ north parallel, and under the Missouri Compromise, that was the cut-off line for any state that wanted legal slavery …

So Texas annexed what was next referred to as Cimarron Territory. The territory languished for awhile before it was eventually combined with two other areas to form the state of Oklahoma in 1907, and ever since then, children have asked teachers why Oklahoma has that strange appendage.

Rest assured, we’ll be doing some digging as to how Lehman arrived at “Cimarron” as the name for its latest offering.

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Piaggio Group Takes Canada Distribution In-House

Piaggio Group Americas (PGA) has ended its relationship with Canadian Scooter Corp., its distributor in Canada, and will henceforth handle Canadian distribution in-house from its corporate office in New York, according to Cycle Canada.

Piaggio is the owner of the Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio and Vespa motorcycle and scooter brands. The company works with 35 dealers throughout Canada, and will utilize distribution managers in Toronto and Montreal to support them.

“We are looking forward to reconnecting with current owners and introducing even more Canadian riders to the exciting benefits of our motorcycle and scooter brands,” PGA President and CEO Paolo Timoni told Cycle Canada. "Building customer trust and confidence in our products, our service and our people is a key initiative for us as well as every Canadian dealer.”

PGA is currently working on launching brand-specific Web sites where customer will be able to easily locate dealers, download specs and compare features and pricing. If customers can’t locate information the brand-specific Web sites, they can e-mail canadacare or call 212/380-4455.

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Suzuki’s Motorcycle Sales Skid

Suzuki Motor Corporation’s motorcycle segment, which includes ATVs, sold about 3 million units in its fiscal year that ended March 31, a 43 percent decline from sales one year ago, according to a Suzuki release.

That segment posted revenue of Y262.9 billion (Japanese yen), or about $2.8 trillion. That amounted to an operating loss of Y262.9 billion, or about $226.1 million.

After cutting costs, however, the company’s overall net profit rose 5.4 percent on the period to Y28.9 billion, or about $311.2 million.

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Honda Releases New PCX Scooter

Honda has announced the latest addition to its 2011 model year, the 125cc PCX scooter.

Honda describes the PCX as “stylish and decidedly sporty.” It’s ideal for errands, short commutes and quick getaways, Honda says. It features a iquid-cooled fuel-injected four-stroke engine; it also has an electric start and automatic transmission. Its under-seat storage is large enough to hold one full-face helmet, and it will be available in Pearl White and Candy Red.

Its MSRP, however, has yet to be determined.

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