Yamaha Wolverine R-Spec
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA hosted a rather impromptu media tour in January ostensibly to highlight the company’s UTV manufacturing capabilities in its Newnan, Georgia, plant. It also provided a perfect backdrop to roll out the brand new 2016 Wolverine R-Spec model. Tough to tell which is more impressive!
First, a little about the factory. All of the company’s ATVs and Side-by-Sides (SxS) come from Newnan, making it the company’s worldwide hub for ATV/SxS production and distribution. In fact, Yamaha just announced that it has produced 3 million units from this facility.
The facility covers 280 acres with more than 1.3 million square feet of manufacturing facilities giving it a massive physical footprint.
While the Wolverine R-Spec is definitely sporty, it’s not specifically a sport SxS. Yamaha representatives say it’s aimed at a wider segment of the market (recreation), crossing over into some utility/sportsman segments as well.
The Wolverine is engineered to handle extreme terrain in comfort or with aggressive handling – whatever your customer’s comfort level may be. It works for an aggressive style driver or it can cruise along like a Cadillac just as easily, soaking up the bumps and ruts along
The Wolverine R-Spec started being shipped to dealerships in April 2015. Standard models feature a hard sun top and come in Steel Blue and Hunter Green. MSRP for non-EPS (electric power steering) models starts at $12,199 and EPS models will start at $13,199.
KYMCO On A Roll
Driven by a 15-year history in the U.S., a comprehensive range of scooters and small displacement motorcycles, cross-pollination with near-enthusiast markets and a dedicated dealer network, KYMCO has carved out a solid market niche in North America.
Among the first companies to recognize the need for “big wheel” scooters and demand for something more substantial than sub-50cc 2-strokes, KYMCO has quietly become synonymous with the commuter market in the U.S. – and that is only half the story!
On the ATV/UTV side, KYMCO is a serious player in terms of both marketshare and vehicle performance. From 70cc to 700cc ATVs and 450cc to 700cc UTVs, the KYMCO off-road range is as broad as any of the Japanese Big Four.
Its levels of fit and finish are also up to spec given KYMCO (an acronym for Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd. headquartered in Kaohsiung, Taiwan), started in 1963 as a joint venture with Honda and spent the first half of its 50+ year history as a manufacturing partner.
KYMCO began marketing its own brand in 1992 and by 2000 had purchased 100 percent of its shares back from Honda, making it one of the largest scooter and ATV manufacturers in the world.
Today, KYMCO is the largest OEM in Taiwan, manufacturing scooters, motorcycles and ATVs at five plants in Asia, including its original facility in Kaohsiung, and exporting vehicles to 90 countries around the globe.
Bottom line: KYMCO is the real deal. An ever-expanding dealer network currently serves more than 600 U.S. locations.
If you were a dealer during the past decade, it would have been pretty hard to miss SSR Motorsports… at least if you had any involvement with the pit bike sector of the market.
However as the market changed, so did the direction of SSR… dramatically! SSR expanded into the scooter, dune buggy, UTV market in 2006 and more recently saw emerging opportunities in the UTV market and full size motorcycles, including street bikes.
Fast forward from 2002 to 2015 and the announcement that SSR has become the official U.S. importer/distributor for Benelli motorcycles and Keeway scooters.
With the addition of the Italian-designed sportbikes, announced in the spring of 2015, SSR now carries an industry leading selection of pit bikes for beginners to pro racers from 50cc up to 160cc; full size 250cc and 450cc dirtbikes; a 50-state legal dual sport bike; a range of distinctive and fuel efficient scooters and electric bicycles, on the two-wheeled side. On the Side-X-Side side, SSR also has you covered with a selection of highly optioned, but value-priced UTVs.
A Sportier Spyder: BRP Busts Out the F3, Reaches Out to New Customers
Interestingly, the machine is classified as a cruiser internally, and targeted at motorcycle customers. “It has been a great ride with the Can-Am Spyder since we first unveiled it in 2007, to today, delivering the 100,000th unit,” says José Boisjoli, BRP’s president/CEO at the Spyderfest owners convention in May of this year.
“The Spyder F3 model marks our entry in the cruiser segment, which represents about two-thirds of the North American motorcycle industry. Consumer response to this new model leads us to believe that we can expect more milestones in the near future.”
“The Spyder F3 represents a significant growth opportunity for our Spyder line-up,” adds François Tremblay, Can-Am Spyder’s global marketing director. “We have extended our line-up to attract different categories of consumers.”
Suzuki’s Milestone: Celebrating Three Decades of GSX-R Dominance at Indy
At Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past August, Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. honored the GSX-R, one of history’s most significant motorcycle models. Suzuki unveiled a pair of 2016 Commemorative Edition GSX-R1000s that honor 30 years of GSX-R dominance.
Hosted by Ralph Sheheen, the voice of motorcycle racing on Fox Sports, the guest list included Kevin Schwantz, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales of the Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP team, plus Chris Ulrich, John Ulrich, Aaron Yates, Don Emde, Elena Myers and many others.
The 2016 red and black Commemorative Edition GSX-R1000 will join the new blue and white Commemorative Edition GSX-R1000 that was recently unveiled by the Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP factory team.
When released to the public, each Commemorative Edition GSX-R1000 will carry an exclusive “30 Years of Performance” badge atop its gas tank, plus special wheel striping to signify its limited production status.