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Secret motorcycle industry panel looks for ways to reverse sagging sales

Hours before the 2017 Progressive International Motorcycle Show opened its doors at the Long Beach Convention Center, a secret cabal of industry veterans was meeting privately to discuss troubled U.S. motorcycle sales. Organized by power sports consultant Robert Pandya, who until recently helped...

  • Motorcycles bulking up again at Progressive IMS in Long Beach

    Motorcycles bulking up again at Progressive IMS in Long Beach

    Motorcycle sales are flat or falling in almost every segment in almost every North American market. So motorcycle companies, flailing to remain profitable and retain market share, have been trending toward smaller, lighter, more affordable motorcycles in the hopes of attracting buyers who may feel...

  • 2018 Nissan Rogue: A smart SUV with entry-level MSRP

    2018 Nissan Rogue: A smart SUV with entry-level MSRP

    Nissan’s 2018 Rogue is a sprightly, affordable SUV that has the option of the company’s ProPilot Assist driving system. It’s the first Nissan vehicle to offer the program, which will also be available in the 2018 Leaf. That means it’s one of the least expensive SUVs on the market with adaptive...

  • Harley-Davidson's new Sport Glide is a touring cruiser

    Harley-Davidson's new Sport Glide is a touring cruiser

    Harley-Davidson has added a new motorcycle to its Softail line. The Sport Glide, due in dealerships this week, is hoping to attract riders who want a city cruiser with touring attributes. Not as stripped down as a Sportster, but not as bulked up as an Electra Glide, the Sports Glide is trying to...

  • 2018 Toyota C-HR: Frugal can still be fun

    2018 Toyota C-HR: Frugal can still be fun

    Toyota became the world’s largest automaker by building cars that were long on sensibility but short on sex appeal. With the exception of the 2000GT, the FJ40 and maybe the MR2, the Japanese giant has never been known for making machines that excite the soul. Instead, it has concentrated on practical...

  • Honda's new Gold Wing: Lighter, leaner, more powerful

    Honda's new Gold Wing: Lighter, leaner, more powerful

    Honda has finally taken the wraps off the long-awaited modern update to its venerable Gold Wing supercruiser. At first glance, the technologically advanced Wing, which features a new engine, new chassis and 21st century electronics, is likely to attract great sales activity. The new machine, unveiled...

  • 2018 VW Atlas: Finally, a full-size Volkswagen SUV

    2018 VW Atlas: Finally, a full-size Volkswagen SUV

    Volkswagen’s Atlas was one of the darlings of last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The German company was then in the midst of a scandal involving falsified emissions claims on its diesel engines. The Atlas seemed like a bright spot on the horizon. Perhaps that was because it was so big. The Atlas,...

  • American Flat Track motorcycle racing closes season with strong numbers

    American Flat Track motorcycle racing closes season with strong numbers

    The season is over. The numbers are in. Flat track is back and it’s big again. The American Flat Track race schedule for 2017 ended Oct. 7 at Southern California’s Perris Auto Speedway. At the conclusion of the 18-race series, the top three positions in the main class were held by Jared Mees, Bryan...

  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is plug-in, off-road ready

    Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is plug-in, off-road ready

    It was an offer too good to refuse: Take a helicopter ride from Long Beach to Avalon, then spend the day driving the unpaved back roads of Santa Catalina Island in an SUV. It didn’t matter that the exploring would be done in a Mitsubishi. With an invitation to explore some of the “no cars allowed”...

  • Cadillac says hands-free driving with its Super Cruise system is 'like riding a monorail.' We try it

    Cadillac says hands-free driving with its Super Cruise system is 'like riding a monorail.' We try it

    Cadillac is in the middle of a massive marketing campaign to introduce its new Super Cruise. The semi-autonomous driving system, available only on the CT6 luxury sedan, is being billed as offering the “first true hands-free driving on the freeway.” The car company has sent CT6 sedans literally...

  • Adventure Rally draws riders and generates profit for motorcycle magazine publisher

    Adventure Rally draws riders and generates profit for motorcycle magazine publisher

    Most motorcycle industry veterans are painfully aware that their business model is broken. New riders are not coming into the sport as fast as old riders are aging out of it. Bonnier Motorcycle Group, which publishes 11 moto-centric titles including Cycle World, Motorcyclist and Dirt Rider magazines,...

  • Ducati Multistrada 950 shows bigger isn't necessarily better

    Ducati Multistrada 950 shows bigger isn't necessarily better

    For several years everything in motorcycling got bigger. Ducati’s entry-level Monster started life as a manageable 600 but ended up a massive 1200. KTM’s Adventure line began as a 990, grew into a 1090, and eventually became a 1290. Now, things are moving in the opposite direction as motorcycle...

  • L.A. Drives: Latigo Canyon in a Shelby Daytona Coupe

    L.A. Drives: Latigo Canyon in a Shelby Daytona Coupe

    It was a cool, cloudy morning on Pacific Coast Highway when we met up with Doug Campbell and his Shelby Daytona Coupe. The car, part of a fleet of modern vintage racers sold by Irvine-based Superformance and built by the South African company Hi-Tech Automotive, is a replica of the coupe Peter...

  • 2017 Lamborghini Aventador S: How does 145 mph feel in a $483,000 car?

    2017 Lamborghini Aventador S: How does 145 mph feel in a $483,000 car?

    It wasn’t until I hit 145 mph that I thought, “This could be dangerous.” By then, I was leaving the straightaway and entering the high-banked left turn, pressed hard into the seat of the Lamborghini Aventador S as I roared my way around the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. A buck and a half, on that...

  • 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe

    2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe

    Mercedes-Benz makes so many different cars that I pity the buyer who has decided on the brand but not on the model. The German car company currently offers 27 different vehicles through its U.S. dealerships. That’s not counting the different trim lines, the high-performance AMG and Maybach variations,...

  • Chevy's Colorado ZR2 is a big boy truck toy

    Chevy's Colorado ZR2 is a big boy truck toy

    In the Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet has fielded a purpose-built pickup truck that boasts a number of exclusives. It’s the only midsize truck available with a diesel engine, the only one to come standard with true “off-road” suspension and the only one with locking front and rear differentials. So, who...

  • Cruising California canyons in Jaguar's F-Type SVR

    Cruising California canyons in Jaguar's F-Type SVR

    Jaguar Land Rover, taking a page from the European luxury car playbook, is offering increasingly attractive performance versions of its entry-level sports cars. One of those was on display at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the recent Monterey Car Week, which culminates at Pebble Beach with the...

  • Harley's new hogs, ready for the 21st century

    Harley's new hogs, ready for the 21st century

    Harley-Davidson has released a batch of 2018 motorcycles, eight of them sharing a new chassis, new suspension and new engines. The company says the machines are lighter and more powerful, and handle better, than the models they replace. I’ve ridden two of them, and I agree. For 2018, Harley has folded...

  • Ferrari unveils its new V-8 GT Portofino

    Ferrari unveils its new V-8 GT Portofino

    Ferrari has a new V-8 GT. It’s called the Portofino, after the coastal Italian resort town. The new machine, which replaces the company’s California T touring sports car, is lighter, more powerful and quicker than the outgoing vehicle. Ferrari said in its announcement that the Portofino, powered...

  • Pebble Beach 2017: Complete list of Concours D'Elegance winners

    Pebble Beach 2017: Complete list of Concours D'Elegance winners

    The tallies are in, the judges’ ballots are all counted, and the trophies have all gone home with the winners. Here are the celebrants, listed by category, as provided by the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance. COMPLETE LIST OF 2017 WINNERS Best of Show 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer Bruce...

  • Pebble Beach 2017: Final automobile auction numbers down from 2016

    Pebble Beach 2017: Final automobile auction numbers down from 2016

    A new record was set for a British car sale, a new record was set for a McLaren car sale, and a new auction house joined the action during the just-concluded Monterey Car Week, but the total auction sales figure was down slightly from 2016. RM Sotheby broke existing British car records when it...

  • Pebble Beach 2017: Guts, glory and glamour at Concours d'Elegance

    Pebble Beach 2017: Guts, glory and glamour at Concours d'Elegance

    Dawn broke over the Monterey Peninsula and found the 18th fairway at historic Pebble Beach Golf Links decorated with a sampling of the most beautiful motor cars ever made. The annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which caps the Monterey Car Week, attracts only automotive superlatives. Entrants...

  • Pebble Beach 2017: Petersen to partner with Porsche on new exhibit

    Pebble Beach 2017: Petersen to partner with Porsche on new exhibit

    The Petersen Automotive Museum will transform its Mullin Grand Salon into a Porsche platform, starting early next year. The Wilshire Boulevard car museum has entered into an agreement with Porsche Cars North America to convene a yearlong exhibit of what its officers call “one of the most comprehensive...

  • Pebble Beach 2017: The VW van is back — but this time it's electric

    Pebble Beach 2017: The VW van is back — but this time it's electric

    Barely in time for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, Volkswagen has announced it will bring back the most iconic vehicle of the 1960s. The VW van will return sometime in the next two years, as the I.D. Buzz. But this time around, it’s not a four-cylinder, water-cooled gas burner. The...

  • Pebble Beach 2017: Elegant ATS 2500 named Best of Show winner at The Quail

    Pebble Beach 2017: Elegant ATS 2500 named Best of Show winner at The Quail

    The Sunday in Monterey Car Week belongs to Pebble Beach, and its Concours D’Elegance. But Friday increasingly belongs to Carmel Valley, and its The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. And the exclusive all-day affair — where luxury lifestyle manufacturers of everything including fine wines, custom...

  • Pebble Beach 2017: BMW brings new Z4, M8 to the concept lawn

    Pebble Beach 2017: BMW brings new Z4, M8 to the concept lawn

    German car company BMW is taking advantage of a captive audience of auto fans and journalists assembled for the annual Monterey Car Week to unveil a pair of concept vehicles on the lawn at Pebble Beach. The two concept cars, which the company says precede production cars that will be revealed some...

  • Pebble Beach 2017: Ferrari celebrates its 70th anniversary with 70 classics

    Pebble Beach 2017: Ferrari celebrates its 70th anniversary with 70 classics

    Ferrari is celebrating its 70th anniversary by bringing 70 classic cars to Pebble Beach — one Ferrari for each year in the Italian sports car company’s history. The cars, owned by the company, private owners and museums, are valued at a total of $500 million. Highlights from the collection, which...

  • Pebble Beach car show boasts of greater diversity

    Pebble Beach car show boasts of greater diversity

    Organizers of the upcoming 67th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance say there will be something new on the storied 18th green this year: diversity. The glamorous automotive beauty contest, held Sunday and capping a weeklong cavalcade of car shows, auctions and rallies, attracts the world’s wealthiest...

  • Infiniti introduces 'heritage-inspired' prototype race car

    Infiniti introduces 'heritage-inspired' prototype race car

    In what may be an automotive first, the Japanese car company Infiniti has built a “heritage-inspired” prototype of a race car that never existed. The Prototype 9, to get its official unveiling at the upcoming Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, is a single-seat electric “retro-roadster” designed...

  • Maven Gig, GM's weekly car rental service, is now available in L.A.

    Maven Gig, GM's weekly car rental service, is now available in L.A.

    Maven Gig, the GM-based weekly car rental service, has come to Los Angeles. Starting Thursday, ride-hailing drivers for services such as Uber and Lyft and delivery drivers for companies such as GrubHub and Roadie will have access to flat-rate weekly deals on GM cars. The deals, designed in part...

  • Honda Clarity Electric: A plug-in BEV with mid-size sedan style

    Honda Clarity Electric: A plug-in BEV with mid-size sedan style

    Honda showed up early for the hydrogen fuel cell party, getting to market before Toyota’s Mirai and Hyundai’s Tuscon with an early version of its current Clarity sedan. Now the company is increasing its visibility on the EV scene with an all-electric Clarity — but arriving too late, critics will...

  • Car Night has been an L.A. institution. But soon it could face the end of the road

    Car Night has been an L.A. institution. But soon it could face the end of the road

    At first, it was just three old friends with three old cars. Creighton Turner had built a new garage, big enough for more cars than he owned, behind his Pasadena house. He invited two buddies to bring their cars around, so they could help each other keep their finicky engines in tune. One of the...

  • Fate of historic Laguna Seca race course is clouded once again

    Fate of historic Laguna Seca race course is clouded once again

    The future of the historic racetrack at Laguna Seca is once again up for grabs. Parties fighting for control of the Monterey County facility faced off at a Board of Supervisors session Tuesday morning in Salinas. A closed-door session that followed could decide the fate of the track, one of the...

  • Ferrari GTC4 Lusso: Lush looks and luxury in a super sports car

    Ferrari GTC4 Lusso: Lush looks and luxury in a super sports car

    I confess: I had mixed feelings about saying goodbye to the 2017 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso. I was sad, because I’d had such a good week driving it. But I was also happy, because I had gotten through the week without damaging it. This top-of-the-line Italian sports touring car, an update of the previous...

  • 2017 Ford Focus RS — a hooligan car for the rest of us

    2017 Ford Focus RS — a hooligan car for the rest of us

    Southern California is home to some of the automobile industry’s most creative car customizers. It’s not unusual to see tuners, hooligan cars or even Hoonigan copies, like the ones custom built by YouTube star Ken Block, carving up the L.A. concrete. The Focus RS, the performance version of Ford’s...

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