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And now for the news...

Manufacturer announcements just keep comin'

Another Victory waiting to happen Victory Motorcycles recently announced they will be entering a bike into the electric stage of the Isle of Man TT competition. The electric stage has been a regular feature for several years running and has included entries from Zero, Cycsyg and Brammo. To many, Victory seems like an unlikely contender considering its commercial lineup of bikes is entirely focused on the cruiser market, and yet they are entering a sport bike, but let's rethink that oddity.

Victory is owned by Polaris Industries, which was a major investor in the Brammo development of their line of Electric Motorcycles. That is, until last year when Polaris bought out Brammo in whole. Polaris does not sell motorcycles under the Polaris brand name, but their two brands, Victory and Indian do. Surely Victory, with its more progressive styling, was the likely choice to slip an R&D sport bike project into, over the Indian marque -- anyone remember how many H-D shops dreaded selling the Buell Marquee.

No word yet if such a bike will come to market, but considering the investment, it must be in the cards. Victory now has a full-fledged R&D division in-house and will also be developing a bike to be used in a future Pikes Peak Hillclimb competition. Stay tuned.

8 Cruisers from Triumph - seriously? Wow, it was not apparent until we saw the photo of the lineup, but Triumph Motorcycles now makes 8 different models aimed at the Cruiser market. It seems to have snuck up on us, but today they offer the Thunderbird Commander, Thunderbird LT, Thunderbird Storm, Rocket Touring, Rocket Roadster, America, America LT and the Speedmaster.

Africa Twins come to the US If you hoped to live to see the day when Honda would finally bring the Africa Twin to the US, you need only keep living until this fall when the all new CRF1000L arrives on our shores. No word yet on pricing or options, but it's rumored to come in a hair under $14k. Honda has been offering DCT and ABS options on a number of their bikes as of late including the VFR, CTX and NC700X models. Will that carry to the Africa Twin? Honda says the bike will be available with its Dual Clutch Transmission, but has not said if ABS will be an option or not. While DCT may be fine on the highway, the jury is out on how a DCT will perform on rough terrain where shifting by the rider is more of an advantage than a computer making such choices.

Does that cost strike you as a premium price? Is Honda a premium motorcycle company? Based on the high number of recalls we saw from some 'premium' euro brands and Harley-Davidson in 2014, we're wondering who the premium brands actually are now-a-days… But that introductory price on the 2012 NC700X at $6,999 was one of the industry's biggest steals yet!

Techniche cuts cooling vests with sleeves from lineup - but wait! Techniche has notified its vendors they will no longer be offering cooling vests with sleeves in their lineup of products. In a conversation with our rep, we were able to negotiate a custom order option and will be carrying the vests with sleeves through the 2015 riding season and hopefully beyond at

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