Now that the “silly season” is over (almost – there are still a few wild stories out there like Chris Vermeulen returning to MotoGp with the Ioda team – this isn’t going to happen as he wants to be paid and the other likely candidate, ex-125cc racer, Lukas Pesek not only doesn’t want to be paid but can bring a bucketload of money to the team to boot) the “off season” begins. This is where journalists scramble for any sort of a story at all to keep their editors happy and bloggers, like me, go trolling the internet for a story or two that they hope their readers haven’t read yet somewhere else! So, here’s a few that I’ve found in the last couple of days, hopefully they will be of interest.
Secondly, it seems that Harley Davidson is serious about attacking the Asian market with word out of Millwauke and India that their factory there will soon start producing an “Asian specification” bike to compete with the huge inroads that the Japanese manufacturers are making in the world’s second most populated nation. While HD’s sales are slowly picking up, they are still nowhere near the peak that were at before the GFC hit so it makes sense to diversify and try and grab a share of a market which seems almost limitless in its potential. A V-twin bike, classic Harley design but with a motor of around 400-500cc seems to be the current thinking. Will be interesting if it comes off.
Congratulations to Aspar MotoGp rider, Randy de Puniet who married his long time sweetheart, the delicious Australian model, Lauren Vickers, over the weekend. In a somewhat anachronistic touch for this day and age, Lauren has taken Randy’s surname and will be known as Mrs de Puniet excepting as far as her modelling career is concerned where she will keep her maiden name.
I’ve mentioned many times before that reading through the “Classic and Collectible” section of ebay can be very rewarding as well as being very hilarious. It’s mostly hilarious because the bulk of advertisers have no idea what their bike is usually worth and usually over-value it by ridiculous amounts. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current trend of taking a grey porridge Japanese bike from the 70′s and turning it into a “cafe racer”. For a start, the end result rarely ever looks like what the TRUE cafe racer should and for the second part, the majority of builders completely neglect the second part of the name, coined because the original cafe racers were built to not only LOOK good, but to go FAST. Consequently we have “cafe racers” based on Honda 175′s or Suzuki GN250′s and such like. Sure, they look trick and they have probably absorbed an impressive budget getting them to the stage they are at, but they are based on boring bikes and you end up with a boring cafe racer. Not so the next “special” which, though based on what was a pretty ordinary bike, has transcended its origins by a huge margin.
Finally, a little bit of information, couched in frivolous terms. This is how big Australia is, or, to put it another way, this is how SMALL Europe is.