Financially exhausted by poor sales and by defending during 6 years a very costly lawsuit filed by Harley-Davidson (I remember President Clay Ridley telling me last September that more than 1/2 million dollars were spent in defense lawyer fees) and settled in 2009 (with Ridley losing the right to use the Auto-Glide name), Ridley Motorcycle Company filed on December 29, 09 a voluntarily petition under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. A motion was just filed the day after on December 30, 09 by MidFirst Bank, lender to Ridley in 2005 of an amount of $1 million, for the bankruptcy court to authorize the abandonment of the collateral given by Ridley to the bank. (Ridley already voluntarily surrendered its collateral to the bank on October 1st 2009, but Ridley bankruptcy case was filed before Midfirst Bank had the time to organize an auction this January 2010). The court document in my possession shows that the indebtedness by Ridley to MifFirst Bank far exceeds the value of the given collateral.
Ridley was founded in 1995 by Clay Ridley and launched an innovative motorcycle with CVT transmission design. In 1999, the company introduced the first fully automatic street/cruiser motorcycle known as the Ridley Speedster. The 3/4 scale motorcycle featured a nearly 600cc Ridley V-Twin engine, fully automatic CVT transmission, low 24 inch seat height, and weighed less than 270 pounds. The next innovation for Ridley was announced in 2003, when the company introduced its first “full size” automatic motorcycle, the Auto-Glide. Sales boomed with the arrival of new riders, men and women looking for a motorcycle easy to handle. At the end of the 1st semester of 2009 Ridley decided to no more produce motorcycles and instead, via another company called “2 Wheel Ventures” in which Clay Ridley’s son Jay is President, to launch a program to sell CPO Ridleys (Certified Pre-Owned) and to market custom parts available for its models.