New models dominate top stories of 2013

Publish Date: 
Dec 30, 2013
By Mary Green Slepicka

Two-thousand thirteen was all about the new vehicles, if our Top Stories of the Year are any indication. 

Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, BRP and other OEMs made headlines with innovative lines for the coming year. Throw in a corporate reorganization, an energetic CARB enforcement arm, and a popular parts site going dark, and you have the 25 most viewed articles on for 2013.

1. Harley-Davidson 2014 models deliver more power, easier handling
Rushmore bikes make their debut to a lot of fanfare, and some debate in the comments section. But without question the new models introduced in the summer and fall pumped up Harley dealers and fueled a late-year surge in the aftermarket, making this our top story of 2013. (Aug. 19)

2. Suzuki begins cutting motorcycle, ATV dealers
Post-bankruptcy SMAI trims its network, it says, to be more in line with sales, with some dealers crying foul over what they say is too-short a notice. Suzuki exec says sales impact is minimal. (March 21)

3. California enacts an un-sound exhaust law 
Mike Vaughan details the specifics behind the state's Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act, which gives police the authority to ticket riders using non-compliant exhausts. (Jan. 3)

4. Honda’s 2014 models include a 125cc streetbike, 300 class scooter
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you... the Grom. (May 14)

5. Dealers scramble to recoup losses after goes dark 
Dealernews confirms as many as 764 retail members, but it was unclear how many dropped out along the way and how many the website still had when it imploded. (Nov. 5)

6. Feds say $74M bank fraud funded Illinois dealerships, race teams  
Ten former dealers and some employees are charged with using funds for their own purposes. Among the allegations: faxing false flooring requests with fictitious VINs for non-existent vehicles. (Sept. 3)

7. California board hits Vance & Hines with $500K penalty    
Company just one of several settling with CARB in 2012 and 2013 for exhaust systems deemed noncompliant in the state (see Tucker Rocky item below). (Feb. 11)

8. Yamaha dealer meeting: Multiyear product push part of 'new era'
Execs tell U.S. dealers to expect a new SxS every year through 2018, along with a slate of Star cruisers featuring new platforms and engines. (June 14)

9. BRP unveils Sea-Doo Spark at $5K MSRP  
Company queues up a 900cc four-stroke PWC for nearly 40 percent less than comparative entry-level models. Could this, and the competition's potential response, fuel a resurgence in the watercraft market in 2014? (Sept. 16)

10. Honda's new Pioneer to replace Big Red
OEM also uses the occasion to unveil new affordable and easy-to-ride CTX motorcycles, in one of several model announcements during 2013. (Feb. 8)

11. Polaris unveils RXR XP 1000 with claimed 107hp 
Teased throughout the summer, Polaris finally goes public with the ProStar 1000 engine, developed with dual 48mm throttle bodies and new long-tip fuel injectors. (July 29)

12. End of the road for vehicle brand Stealth Manufacturing  
Many agreed that the technology behind this electric UTV maker was intriguing, but the company reportedly struggled with cost issues and low demand. (March 12)

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