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Posts Tagged ‘cows’

2-Day_LaunchIn two days the Indian “Alphonso” mangoes will hit the U.S. supermarket shelves for the first time in 18 years!

I’m reminded of that Jimmy Buffett song “Last Mango in…”

I went down to Captain Tony’s to get out of the heat

When I hear a voice call out to me, “Son, come have a seat”

The “seat” in this case is attached to a Harley-Davidson.  In exchange for importing mangoes, H-D will be allowed to launch its 883 Sportster and Fatboy in the “land of a billion people” (a.k.a. India) on August 27th as long they comply with Euro-III emission norms. In a country that snaps up more than 6 million new motorcycles a year, H-D is a bit late to the party, but they have to be optimistic given the successes of Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Ducati “superbikes” (anything over 800cc are referred to superbike in India).  The bikes will be shipped to India and available as a CBUs (Completely Built Units).  Previously the Indian government had not specified emission standards for motorcycles over 500cc which effectively prohibited the import of H-D motorcycles who could not meet the standards set for scooters.

Speaking of standards…  I’m talking about a country that after more than six decades of independence, over 55% of the population (~660Million) defecate in the open! Given these statistics it’s no surprise the government was slow to specify emission standards on 500cc motorcycles when they clearly are busy with sanitation issues.

New Deli Traffic

New Deli Traffic

Until this week Royal Enfield (owned by Eicher Group) was the only motorcycle maker to offer cruisers in India.  Consistently large orders from the Indian government led to establishing a factory back in 1955 in the town of Chennai, India.  Even after production stopped in England they continued in Chennai.  Here is a 5 min video of them building a motorcycle.  There seems to be a fondness of following the old British tradition and use of a mallet to assist in the precision parts fitting!

Anyone who has visited India knows that the large cities of New Deli, Bangalore, Hyderabad, or Mumbai have traffic that defies amazing.  It’s extremely densely packed roads with stop-n-go vehicles and engines idling most all of the time.  Then there are the rickshaws (phat-phatis), bicycles, jay-walkers, street-car peddlers, cows, donkey carts and at any given time each traffic lane supporting triple the number of vehicles that it should so, what you end up with is pure chaos.  Even with astronomically high traffic-death rates, scooters and motorcycles are the more practical method of getting around on these packed roads.

Matt Levatich, President and COO of Harley-Davison reportedly will be on hand at the launch and annual Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to welcome back H-D to India for the first time since World War II.  At that time thousands of motorcycles were shipped to the eastern Assam state of India with the intention of transporting men and deliver mail.

India is a prime target given the sheer market size and I want to wish them success as they work to diversify their revenue base.

Photo courtesy of H-D India and Flickr.

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Amanda Beard

Amanda Beard

Something on the lighter side…I’ve kicked back and enjoyed the past few days of the Olympic Games because unlike many of you out there I dislike the Reality TV World and I find it interesting to see the physical and mental discipline of athletes who are at the top of their game for “5 minutes” of fame. 

Of course there is no lack of political baggage that comes with the Olympics from the Tibetan advocates to China’s human rights record.

But, speaking of the physical discipline there is no one drawing more attention inside or outside the Olympics for that matter than swimmer Amanda Beard.  She recently picked up a Ducati Monster motorcycle and told Sports Illustrated that she likes long motorcycle rides with brief stops at different swim clubs while doing clinics for kids.

Amanda might be a motorcycle riding compassionate U.S. Olympic athlete, but she’s received a lot of notoriety with an anti-fur ad she did-naked-for PETA.  She took time from her busy training schedule to bare her skin to help save animals’ skins – all in the interest to raise awareness of the cruelty inherent in the fur industry.

There are many people who don’t like it, don’t appreciate it, feel like she’s ruining the sport or giving female athletes a bad name and I’m sure there are just as many who love it, and feel like it brings more attention to swimming.  Say what you will about the anti-fur ad — Amanda is a top tier athlete with accomplishments to date being:

OLYMPIC MEDALS

Gold 1996 Atlanta 4x100m medley relay

Silver 1996 Atlanta 100 m breaststroke

Silver 1996 Atlanta 200 m breaststroke

 

Bronze 2000 Sydney 200 m breaststroke

Gold 2004 Athens 200 m breaststroke

Silver 2004 Athens 200 m individual medley

Silver 2004 Athens 4×100 m medley relay

 

Jewel Samad  AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

With China hosting the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, the ad may have come at just the right time. An investigation into the fur industry in China-states they supply more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the U.S.  Of course the cruelty of the fur industry does not end at the borders of China.

 

So those of you who had enough spectator badminton, synchronized swimming, ping pong, and trampoline—all which should, of course, be performed in the nude you can send your “Olympic Moment” petition to his Excellency Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong and state you’d rather go naked with, I mean like Amanda than wear fur. 

What about leather riding gear?  I’m conflicted on this one.  There is a lot more info at the Cows R Cool web site which offers up synthetic “skin-free” alternatives.  

Check it out.

Updated: August 14th 17:10 PDTLA Times is reporting that the US Team Captain failed to advance out of the prelim’s.  She didn’t even make it out of the heats finishing 18th with 2 min and 27.70 sec.  Maybe she was too distracted in “pressing-the-flesh” for her cause?  Most unfortunate.

 

Photo courtesy PETA

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