Fast Motorcycle Industry News

fastnewscyrilhuzeblogNot every motorcycle company is slowing down, Royal Enfield is investing almost $14 million dollars to expand their manufacturing capacity, raising their production potential from the current 50,000 units a year to 100,000. Royal Enfield think that their overseas sales are going to grow 15% per year in the next four-five years. Personally I like very much their retro Bullet Classic model – Brad Pitt is in Japan to promote his movie the “Inglourious Basterds” and uses this opportunity to visit custom motorcycle builders in Tokyo. He is looking for one new bike (at least) to replace the one he damaged 2 weeks ago in LA. Aluminum body work and stainless steel can’t stand any fall and occuring damage, even at idle speed…- Harley-Davidson just stated that Shelbyville, Ky., now is the only location being considered for a new factory should the Milwaukee heavyweight motorcycle manufacturer decide to close its assembly plant in York, PA

9 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 Shifter Nov 7th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Royal Enfield is coming back, big.

  2. 2 Dave Blevins Nov 7th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    As much as I hate to hear the news for the York facility, I am optomistic for a relocation to my home state of Kentucky and nearby Shelbyville.

  3. 3 kevin Nov 7th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    In a conversation with a Harley person (no names required) after the Bankers Ball
    back in the spring at Daytona, HD was looking for an additional $200 million for
    plant retooling on top of the $300M Buffet gave them.

    It would be advantageous to do a new plant because on the balance sheet all the
    cost’s associated with a new plant become a write off where as retooling York
    would only result in long term depreciation of said new equipment. So I can see
    why a relocate would be happening. Honestly, York to KY wouldn’t be a far
    move for key people if family issues where a concern. Plus KY would probably
    give them a tax incentive which would again be good for the balance sheet.

  4. 4 j Nov 7th, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Hmm- perhaps this “Harley person” is a reason why they’re in this mess to begin with, if this “conversation” is any indication of their financial sophistication- lol.

    First, the debt offering raised $600M- Buffet took $300M of it. With a coupon of 15%- WAY above even prevailing junk rates- it’s pretty clear that this money isn’t earmarked for long-term balance sheet play; The debt matures in 2014.

    Harley is looking to dig out of the mess they created in their financing arm, and is willing to pay whatever it takes to cover up this black hole. Most interesting part about this Buffet purchase is that Buffet declined to take any stock warrrants, as he had in similar plays with GE and Goldman Sachs; This means he’s acting purely as the loan shark in this deal, and has no faith in the future of HD as it stands.

    Second, no matter how you “depreciate” it, writing off expenses of a new plant isn’t as cheap as operating with paid-for equipment, as is the case with the York plant. There may be tax incentives to move, true, but most likely, this is a process to trim labor costs, and perhaps extort York into throwing Harley a bone.

    My guess is that the York assets are for sale in a continuing attempt to shore up the balance sheet- think “fire sale”- and this happens when someone is looking to be sold. Perhaps whomever is looking at buying Harley is interested in KY, who knows?

    Is Harley for sale? Although I don’t know any more than anyone else, the correct answer is “Every day”- lol.

    All I know for sure is, if Warren Buffet won’t touch Harley stock, then why should I?

  5. 5 David Nov 7th, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Gee Kevin this all sound great

    “wont be far for key people”

    “if family isssues were a concern”

    Wow what about everyone else that works there and has family. Would it be a concern for them or an inconvenience to pick-up and sell their homes(in a bad housing market) move their lives to another state. Or they could be just left for homeless and jobless.
    Ever heard of another use for KY(jelly) oh I’m sorry that was Kentucky wasn’t it.. Bend over people it is more advantangeous for us to leave now and only KEY people need to worry about coming along.
    I’m not saying that business’s were ever they are shouldn’t relocate to help their company but boy it sure gets boring having to listen when all the employees end up without jobs and there is enough of that already. Cant Harley just suck it up like real people have to and make the Co. work. You know like no more ouplent offices and fancy vacations and Big bonuses, no more private jets.Just get on with business make a product that people will buy at a decendent price so customers come back and buy again and again. How about the concept of a little less profit and a lot more volume. But that might be bad for resale!!! Not that we all are already stuck with bikes that the OUT of WORK people can’t afford to buy.
    Does anyone out there want to buy buy a bunch of my hardly worn Black H-D tee shirts? I could use a little extra cash flow right now. Plus I have a 93 evo softail that is etting in the garage completely disassembled right now with tons of new parts all ready to go back together.

    Over and Over ; David

  6. 6 Jim C Nov 8th, 2009 at 1:00 am

    I have to agree with J as what he says is logical

  7. 7 sightseer Nov 8th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Good to hear about new motorcycles still being built. Even better that projections are positive. Let’s keep riding!!!

  8. 8 Troy Nov 11th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Something strange I have noticed about Royal Enfield…..Royal Enfield has been built for years in one country or another; however, there are very few dealers in the USA. There are even fewer bikes &/or parts posted on E-bay. I know a person considering a used Enfield but they are not common. Cycle Trader only had two shops posting bikes today.

  9. 9 nicker Nov 12th, 2009 at 12:15 am

    “…Royal Enfield has been built for years…”

    Yap, “Made Like A Gun”….. 🙂

    Like BSA, both companies were bicycle and gun manufacturers.
    In the 1890’s Brit-bicycles were reputed on the Continent as the best designed & engineered.

    In 1896 when the English Parliament passed the Locomotives on Highway act which jacked their “Speed Limit” from 4-MPH to 12MPH, making it reasonable to sell motorized bicycles.

    Prototyped a powered cycle in 1898, Enfield started selling (21/2hp-269cc) motorized Quads in 1899. Their production 1900 “Auto-Quad” was water-cooled with 2 speeds.
    Committed to powered vehicles, they prototyped a 6hp-120-degree-V-twin, 4-seat car.

    By 1903 the product line included a powered bike with motor low down in the frame above the peddles, that drove the rear wheel via chain drive (also reduction sprocket in enclosed oil-bath).

    Cars were out by 1908, replaced by a 60-degree V-twin, dual-top-tube frame with sprung front fork and oil & gas gauges sunk into their tanks. Foot operated rear brakes, cable operated front brake.

    By 1910 riders were scoring well in competition and by 1911 they offered a 2 speed gear box, metal-on-metal clutch, control cables hidden in the handlebars, spray-carb, and magneto ignition.

    And by 1913 they were producing their own 424cc V-twin, F-head, pressure lubricated, dry-sump recirculated lower end motors.

    But they didn’t get hydraulic fork dampening till 1946 and hydraulic swing-arm dampening till 1948.

    And they’re still kicking out motorcycles today……………. 🙂


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Cyril Huze