The Top 25 Stories of 2012

Publish Date: 
Dec 28, 2012

New models, dealer network buildouts and big legal issues were what drew you to the site this past year. Here’s the recap on our Top 25 most viewed stories.

1. “REVIEW: The Can-Am Roadster is not a motorcycle — remember that.” Technical editor Tracy Martin details the special sales requirements for this increasingly popular three-wheeler, and it becomes our most viewed story for the year on (Oct. 2)

2. “Ural Motorcycles begins buildout of vehicles, markets, dealer network.” Senior editor Dennis Johnson delivers the scoop on the Russian marque’s renewed quest for U.S. market share. (Oct. 4)

3. “Motus Motorcycles reveals pricing, specs, initial dealers.” New bike brand unveils the MST and says dealers will have 2013 models in fall 2012. (March 16)

4. “Skip Fordyce Harley-Davidson wins termination protest.” Second dealer in California avoids franchise termination, but still has to pay for the Motor Co.’s audit, reports Holly Wagner. (Aug. 23)

5. “Honda roars into 2013 with entry-level bikes, updated classics.” OEM releases a six-pack of new motorcycles, including a Gold Wing-based bagger, new value-minded 500cc models, and the highly anticipated CB100. (Nov. 12)

6. “Suzuki dealers get first look at 2013 motorcycle, scooter lineup.” We report from the Las Vegas dealer meeting shortly after the OEM announces its U.S. reorganization. (Nov. 12)

7. “‘Hangtag’ class action suit gets new trial in California.” Look at what the slightest slip-up on the showroom can get you, reports Holly Wagner. (March 31)

8. “St. Paul Harley-Davidson settles lawsuit with Motor Co.” At issue: e-commerce and overseas sales. (May 7)

9. “Suzuki seeks Chapter 11, will refocus on motorcycles, ATV, marine.” OEM announces it will shed its automotive division in the United States. (Nov. 5)

10. “Arctic Cat to appeal $8.4 million product liability verdict in test-ride case.” Florida man says he was pinned underneath a throttled-up ATV during an accident on a test ride. (Feb. 8)

11. “Laidlaw Harley-Davidson wins termination protest, but there are conditions.” Judge requires dealership to conduct training and compliance audits on OEM policies for the next three years. (June 28)

12. “Harley artist Scott Jacobs to kick off premier of ‘Secret Millionaire’ TV series.” Millions tune in as artist and daughter get to understand the underside of life, and then make a difference. (May 23)

13. “Authorities look in allegations of improper sales at Honda dealership.” Former sales manager alleges vehicles were not correctly assembled or received recall repairs before delivery. (Oct. 29)

14. “50 Below files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.” Duluth-based website developer owes IRS, state of Minnesota millions in unpaid taxes. Judge will eventually approve ARI’s purchase of 50 Below’s retail division. (Sept. 5)

15. “Man dies following crash at dealership.” It’s not only heart-wrenching, but a PR nightmare: Local authorities investigate a post-service parking lot crash, and the story goes national. (Sept. 25)

16. “MAG buys Motorcycle Superstore, aligns it with J&P Cycles to form retail group.” Don Becklin named president of Motorsport Aftermarket Group’s new  mega-retail division. (March 27)

17. “Triumph enters touring segment with 1215cc Trophy SE.” New technology-laden model uses the same three-cylinder engine developed for the Tiger Explorer.

18. “Ride in Peace: Bill Gray of Tucker Rocky.” Longtime sales coach loved by many throughout the industry. (Sept. 17)

19. “Powersports of Joplin closes, owner sees ‘no light at end of tunnel.’” Turns out another Top 100 dealer will buy the western Missouri dealership. (Aug. 8)

20. “INDY 2012: 40 Products and Services you may have missed.” Because there’s always room for another Dealer Expo recap. (Feb. 27)

21. “Upgraded engine takes 2013 Ninja 300 to a higher power.” Kawasaki says this redesigned sportbike will attract new riders as well as veterans who want more styling, performance and comfort perks than the 250 provides. (Sept. 13)

22. “Erik Buell Racing in search of a few good dealers.” Our exclusive Q&A with the man himself. (June 1)

23. “Husqvarna builds dealer network, welcomes new fan base.” Fast shipping, premium after-sales support and brand new parts pricing are only some of the perks Husky is now offering dealers, reports Dennis Johnson. (Nov. 8)

24. “AMA face PR debacle after rescinding Hall of Fame honor for mechanic Clark.” But, after a hasty reconsideration and another vote, Nobby will get his honor after all. (July 13)

25. “Dealer optimism? Depends on the brand they sell, says Baird/Dealernews study.” New Dealernewws/Baird Research quarterly survey shows those selling U.S., Euro brands have a slightly brighter disposition. (Aug. 16)