US niche cruiser manufacturer Viper Powersports has admitted that 2012 was a tough year but claims its growing domestic dealer network and the start of exports to the UK in 2013 should turn prospects around.
According to Viper chief executive John Silseth, the company is looking for another ten US dealers as its 2013 Diamondback model starts to roll of the production line. It has also received Single Vehicle Approval to sell the Diamondback in the UK and the first British shipment is expected during the first quarter of this year. A price reduction to make the bike more competitive is planned too.
In a statement to shareholders, Silseth said: “Our dealers have uniformly agreed that the Diamondback is an exceptional motorcycle, although they are concerned that our suggested retail price is too high to realise a sustainable volume business. Management has acknowledged this matter and is formulating a revised pricing schedule.”
Viper reportedly entered into a five-year development and manufacturing contract with Ilmor Engineering, the UK-based designer and producer of its 2490cc V-twin motor, in the final quarter of 2012 and has pre-paid $1m (£620,000) to Ilmor for engine supplies.
Viper motorcycles are distributed in the UK and Europe by AMV Motorcycles of Haywards Heath in West Sussex.