Economic woes slow bikes

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Royal Star Venture sales slow

Economic problems around the world have hurt motorcycle makers, with one company announcing a drop in profits and others cutting production.

Harley-Davidson says its third-quarter profits were 37 per cent down as sales slumped, especially in Europe.

And at last three of the Big Four Japanese manufacturers have announced plans to builds fewer bikes for the global market.

Honda’s production will be 10 per cent lower for the year ending March 2009, while Yamaha expects to reduce motorcycle production by one-fifth, in part due to slow sales of Royal Star Venture and Roadliner models in the U.S. Suzuki says it will sell nearly 20 per cent fewer motorcycles in the current year and plans to cut production by seven per cent.

Japan will ship about 600,000 motorcycles this current year, down about 20 per cent from the previous year.

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