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What's on the horizon for 2012?

2012. The future looks bright. Economist are calling for an end to the downward spiral in the economy. Let's take an advance look at the good news that's happening right here in the Northwest in the next 12 months.  

Racing at The Ridge - The Northwest's newest motorsports park, The Ridge, opened its doors in late 2011 for a few charity events. In 2012 it will officially open, and several formats of motorcycle and car racing will ensue. Response from the attendees who raced on the track at the charity event was a two- thumbs up. Located on the Olympic Peninsula in Mason County outside of Shelton, the track will no doubt compete against the nearby Pacific Raceways. That track has had no trouble keeping its calendar booked over the last 10 years, so it will be interesting to see just how much racing we can run in Washington and make it work financially.

Put a Kindle in your Tank Bag - In 2011 we did some testing with Kindle, and while it sounded funny at first, it made sense to start producing some routes for the Kindle. Our plans here at Sound RIDER! are to do just that, first with some of the County Loop rides we've been developing and possibly with some of the routes during the Rally in the Gorge. Imagine turning the pages of your tour book without removing it from your tank bag. The question is - can the Kindle handle the vibration of a motorcycle as well as the bumps in the road?

Electric Investment and Realization - In the last five years there has been substantial investing into the electric motorcycle market. Brammo in Ashland, Motoczysz out of Portland, and the Northwest's latest electric motorcycle engineering group, Motovolta out of Kent, are all hard at work on their continued development of longer range, purpose built electric motorcycles. Lynnwood Cycle Barn was one of the first resellers of Zero motorcycles, welcoming the line onto their showroom floor earlier in 2011. The 2012 models are even better and we'll be testing a few in the coming months and reporting on the results.

New Motorcycle Dealerships? - We don't think the shakeout is over yet. 2011 saw the closure of more than a dozen shops in the Northwest, including a few big boys. But all these closures have left some wide gaps geographically in product availability. Recently, while viewing an industry B2B site, we noticed an ad placed by American Honda seeking new dealers for its line of motorcycles. Really.

Those of you living in the Puget Sound, ask yourself - where can you buy a new Honda Motorcycle between Kent (Hinshaw's) and Everett (Everett Powersports) along the I-5 corridor? Since 2008 we've lost Renton Motorcycles, University Honda/Yamaha and this year Lynnwood Cycle Barn dropped their Honda franchise.

The Evolution of Motorcycle Training - Motorcycle training as we know it today is going to change,and 2012 may very well be the year we see some changes put into play in the Northwest. Stay tuned and check your Sound RIDER!newsletter every month. When we're ready to let the cat out of the bag you'll be the first to know.

Euro Moto 2012 - Hmmm ... no BMW, Vespa, KTM, Husqvarna, Aprilia, Piaggio or Moto Guzzi representation at the recent Seattle motorcycle Show. What's a European bike lover to do? Look for all of them plus Ducati and Triumph to be on display at the Lynnwood Convention Center March 3rd and 4th when the Euro Moto 2012 event goes down. This show will be run similar to the way the Inland/Spokane Motorcycle show is run, with dealers �rather than manufacturers �making the booth spaces happen.

Camping Gear Rentals for Motorcyclists - In 2012, we'll launch a camping gear rental program just for motorcyclists. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to use one of our tents, sleeping bags, air mats or other items? Now you can try before you buy. The gear will include top grade brands like Exped, Sierra Designs and Outdoor Research. Have you got a friend coming into town? You can rent camping gear from us and a motorcycle from TourUSA and take off together for a fantastic ride. We'll be up and running with this program by spring and let you know in an upcoming newsletter when we're open for business on that front.

SR!/Winter 2012  


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