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Motorcycling Through The Year 2008

  Posted at 09:00:00 AM
  File under  Entertainment Events
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Travelling

Since the year is almost over, let's have a look at what has happened during the year in the motorcycle world. To say the least, it was an interesting year....

It was the year that petrol prices heated up into self-combustion mode, burning up all the hopes of SUV manufacturers around the world, forcing many people to buy a scooter or motorcycle. Former motorcycle-haters are turned to the vehicle they love to hate the most.

------------------ Racing ---------------------------------------------------

Dakar logo
Dakar. It started pretty bad for the motorcycle sport in general, and the legendary Dakar in particular, with the cancellation due to a  credible terrorist attack threat. Everyone agreed that the race had to be cancelled, but everyone was very unhappy with it. Organizers, competitors, media, public and terrorist vow to continue their struggle. {link}

Dakar Series
. To fill the gap with the cancellation of the Dakar race, the organizers decide to throw mini-Dakar races, called the Dakar Series. Not meant for small people, the first one is in East Europe. {link}

Le Touquet 2008 logo
Le Touquet Enduropale. Enduropale, the famous motorcycle beach enduro race at Le Touquet, France, one of the world's biggest motorcycle races, had an unusual holeshot winner; a Honda 900 CBR Fireblade won over offroad motorcycles like KTMs, Kawasakis and BMWs in a specially prepared streetbike. Amazing...{link}

Michael Schumaker
. The many times world champion Formula One was getting bored playing golf, and shows that he's a master of anything mechanical, and with his passion for motorcycle, he started racing them after retiring from F1. He still has a thing or two to learn, but he did manage to finish 3rd in his first race on a Honda 1000 CBR. He's as spectacular in Formula One as he is crashing his sportsbike.

Valentino Rossi
. Rossi had a good and a bad year. His great performance was that he won the MotoGP again, winning race-after-race, totally back in form and with a motorcycle that could not be beat. But all the money he was making becoming world-champ is going to be turned over to the Italian Tax authorities. His fine for tax evasion reached €112 million. At the rate he's winning, he'll have paid of the debt when he reaches 65...

MotoGP logo
MotoGP. A Frenchman is finally at the top again in the MotoGP world, Mike di Meglio wins the 125 world championships, 6 years after the last Frenchy (Arnaud Vincent). Simoncelli wins the 250 cc class with his usual strange, but very effective, style. And of course the Doctor wins the big boys class. Crown contender Jorge Lorenzo, despite a world-class riding style and guts, learned all about crashing.

Michelin logo
Michelin. 2008 sees the last time we'll see Michelin in the MotoGP series after the Gods of MotoGP (Dorna) rule that there will only be one tire manufacturer (next in line in the series of strange and stupid rules, that everyone must race the same engine, followed by that there can only be on rider in each race).

. Bayliss does it again, and again, and again, and this time for the last time. Troy Bayliss wins his third World champion title for SuperBike. He is now retired at 39 years, and is watching the grass grow.

---------------------- Manufacturers --------------------------------------

Honda logo
Honda. 2008 marked the 60 millionth Honda Super Cub motorcycle/scooter sold. Designed 50 years ago (that's half a century), it's still a hot seller in many markets, and like cockroaches, may survive a nuclear holocaust.

Harley-Davidson logo
Harley-Davidson. The legendary motorcycle manufacturer from Milwaukee buys the legendary Italian supersport motorcycle manufacturer, MV Agusta. A marriage made in hell, no children are expected.

Yamaha logo
Yamaha. Yamaha finally roll-out the incredible new VMax, all 200 horses worth. The beast to end all beasts.

Suzuki logo
Suzuki. Suzuki announce a different version of their popular SV650, the Gladius. Females around the world rejoice. {link}

Ducati logo
Ducati. Italian motorcycle supremo, Ducati, stun the world with their advanced concept motorcycle, the Streetfighter. The Streetfighter is ready to take on the world of naked bikes, Italian style. Ducati also launch their new logo, but forget to tell everyone about it. {link}

BMW logo
BMW. BMW launch an enhanced version of their K-series motorcycles, the K1300 xx (fill in the xx). They also show the shocked world a design study that has nothing to do with BMW traditional styling, a concept motorcycle, called the Lo Rider, that has been created for customization. Public is confused? BMW-lovers around the world are even more confused when they discover that BMW have abandoned their traditional turn indicators switch. Where the hell did it go? {link}

-------------------- People -------------------------------------------------

Robbie Maddison
breaks the Guinness World Record for longest motorcycle jump (322 feet 7.5 inches - some 98 meters) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. All bets were on, and he landed safely but a bit hard. Shockbrakers need to be replaced. {link}

Sir Elton John
.  Singer Elton John in a rare moment of clarity, donated 120 motorcycles to the motorcycle charity organization "Riders for Health". Africa rejoices and starts riding bikes. {link}

Sons of Anarchy
. A new TV series debuts in the USA about a biker gang. A Sopranos on Wheels, it's violent, there are a lot of bikes, and the acting is superb. A hit in the making. The non-riding USA public now think all bikes are cool, and should all be Italian.{link}

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