Harley-Davidson To Move 2011 Trike Production In-House From Lehman Trikes

harleytriglideLehman Trikes has been a strategic supplier for Harley trikes since 2008 and Harley-Davidson has advised them that they will be moving the trike assembly in-house to their York, Pennsylvania production facilities for the 2011 models. Lehman will no longer provide components, paint, and conversion services in the manufacture of the Harley-Davidson® Tri Glide® and Street Glide® trikes, effective with the end of production of Harley-Davidson’s 2010 models in Summer 2010.

Harley decision to move in-house the trike assembly is based purely on the restructuring of Harley-Davidson’s York operations which now provides the opportunity to streamline trike assembly and distribution.  Lehman Trikes, based in Spearfish, South Dakota, is a world leader in the manufacture of turnkey trikes, conversion kits and accessories for Harley-Davidson, Victory, Honda, and Suzuki motorcycles. Last summer, Lehman Trikes unveiled their newest trike product, the “CrossBow” for the Victory Vision. Lehman Trikes is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol LHT.

28 Responses to “Harley-Davidson To Move 2011 Trike Production In-House From Lehman Trikes”

  1. 1 Robert Strater Jan 16th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    With this decision will Harley kill Lehman Trikes?

  2. 2 just my opinion Jan 16th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I wonder why now did the patents run out? I thought this would happen when I first heard of the HD and Lehman trike deal. I figured one of two things would happen either HD would back out of the deal after cutting the throats of all the original Lehman trike dealers and Lehman would have to build a dealer base all over again or that HD would take the production in house and cut Lehman out of the company they had built. I guess this one makes more profit so thats is what HD is doing. I do really feel bad for the Lehman family they are really nice people. I wish John and Linda well in what ever they do in the future.

  3. 3 IMOP Jr. Jan 16th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    SHOCKING !!!!!!!!!! Wow, have an idea………. get one of the best to work with you ( Lehman)… Learn what they do, how there built, how fast to build, Etc….Etc…..Etc…. and then sign them to a two year deal and then dump them for an HD “in house install”……………. Ssssshhhhhoooooccckkkiiiiiinnnnngggggggg ! ! ! !

    Surprised Lehaman didn’t see that ‘scam’ walking in the door….. hope they got paid a ton…..

    I guess H-D wanted Lehaman to be based out of China or India to continue doing business together? Guess where the new parts are being built and shipped over ????? Hhhhhhmmmmm ? Isn’t there a new plant coming ‘on-line’ ? BbbbBbbwwwwaaahahahhahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Of course JMOP !

  4. 4 fuji Jan 16th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I believe that it would be in the best interest to build the Tri Glide at the York plant taking into consideration the restructuring of the company.
    Is / if the York facility the origin of the engine frame module to begin with ? If so it would be more cost effective to produce on site rather than ship sub frames cross country and then logistically reship to dealers when those units can be shipped with other models from the York plant.

    I’m not a HD supporter but I believe that Lehman went into this joint venture knowing that it would not last.

    As three wheelers go I have seen more [Lehman ] Gold wings on the road than any other brand and by far a superior three wheeler with a good resale value. Lehman also offers a great looking Victory model. Lehman will survive.

    Unfortunately some hourly workers will be lost .

  5. 5 1550tc Jan 16th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Lehman should have known that you to bed with a whore you know what your going to get and they probably have, along with their dealers.

  6. 6 PBR Jan 16th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Isn’t the Tri glide also more than just a modified Harley? I thought I saw where they gave the Tri glide more rake to improve handling. That move in an of itself would necessitate bringing the project in house.

  7. 7 Bigalyts Jan 17th, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Harley Davidson didn’t do anything different then the other 90% of the Whores in the Parts and manufacturing Business..Many examples are able to be Rattled off, but they know who they are and so do You Guyz…………..

  8. 8 Bigalyts Jan 17th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    SHAME on Lehman If they didn’t see that comming!!!

  9. 9 Woody's Jan 17th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Harley doesn’t mind trucking engines from WI to eastern PA, so for the much smaller qty. of trikes it obviously isn’t about the mileage.
    I’m sorry it happened to two people as nice as John & Linda. These days you need a full team of lawyers and maybe an engineer or two on retainer, along with a few interpreters.

  10. 10 In the Industry Jan 17th, 2010 at 10:48 am


    Could not agree more. Nothing but a snake pit. They do business with you to learn your process, planning all along to rip it off with a knock-off component to lower the cost. Even if you cover your ass, the lawyers are the only ones who profit.

    The sad thing is, when they read these comments they are proud of the fact.

    Absolutely no integrity or business ethic.

  11. 11 4Cammer Jan 17th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    HD is still an American company, right?

  12. 12 fuji Jan 17th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    HD is still an American company, right?

    Yes ! Just like Bernard L. Madoff’ was an American business man.
    looking out for his clients and those who surrounded him for profit.

  13. 13 Jeff Nicklus Jan 17th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    If Lehman didn’t protect themselves contractually from exactly what seems to be happening then they deserve the fucking they will be getting! HD is notorious for just such actions. Get in bed with a whore and you might just get a STD …. unfortunately Lehman can’t go to their doctors office and receive any antibiotics for this one!!! Yet another company learns about dealing with HD!

    Over & Out,


  14. 14 IMOP Jr. Jan 17th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Good point Fuji : Yes ! Just like Bernard L. Madoff’ was an American business man.
    looking out for his clients and those who surrounded him for profit.

    One day people are going to wise up…

    Now enough of all this talk, I’m off to the H-D dealer, so I can go buy some new H-D gear….. All made in China, India, Malaysia , Vietnam… lol

    There bikes are American made, I really wish all there “stuff” was American made…. I would go out of my way to buy more H-D stuff if everything in the store had a proud AMERICAN MADE sticker on it. Be happy to support American workers, im NOT going to buy ‘this’ stuff to support China…

  15. 15 1550tc Jan 18th, 2010 at 1:26 am


    iam sure Linda and John are doing OK as Lehman Trikes is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol LHT so there must have been some shares sold here and there ???

    IMOP Jr.

    Now enough of all this talk, I’m off to the H-D dealer, so I can go buy some new H-D gear….. All made in China, India, Malaysia , Vietnam… lol

    Hopefully a tax paying american rings thru your purchase 🙂

  16. 16 Boss Hawg Jan 18th, 2010 at 8:10 am

    It’s all good. If you were to talk with John & Linda, you may come to find out that all this will pass quickly with their approval as they concentrate on their other model lines. We get fed this kind of fadder to keep you guys busy and running your mouths like me…wink wink

    Like Jeff said, if they didn’t protect themselves they deserve the f&%$ing they will be getting.

    Boss Hawg

  17. 17 sickboy Jan 18th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    More correctly HD is assembled in USA. MAny of the parts are manufactured in Spain, China, Mexico, Japan, etc.

  18. 18 mike corbin Jan 18th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Harley has pretty much developed from the aftermarket for a long time..

    The aftermarket companies are the ones that created the modern three wheel business, Harley is just stepping into known cash flow now..

  19. 19 IMOP Jr. Jan 18th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Mr. Corbin

    I think that everyone can agree that Harley has every right to do what they need to do to make money, its a business….. we all know that….

    I think the whole thing is more about the approche and the execution of the ‘deal’….. Harley engineers could have easily engineered a similar product and never had another business involved. As I said, I hope Leham got some good money, heck they might be happy with the whole situation, I have no idea.

    I just get a little taste of steeling in my head. On that same note, its like builders coming out with great parts and some knuckle head ships it out to china to get duplicated. This “Lehamn” thread has also conjured up some Auto industry dislikes along these same notes…… that’s a whole nether other day and time….. 🙂

    CYRIL… YOUR BLOG ROCKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. 20 DVH Jan 18th, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    What’s wrong with everyone? Don’t they know the Tri Glide is only one model and Lehman offers kits for every other model Harley produces. They’ll do fine, their product stands for itself. Lehman did good, they showed Harley how to do it, something Harley had no interest in for years. Lehman has the advantage on upgrades, new technology etc. People who know, will just go to Lehman.

  21. 21 Claude Senecal Jan 19th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Harley Davidson decision ,i agree 100%.A Harley Davidson must be a Harley Davidson not a Harley Lehman.I’m proud of Harley Davidson,they gonna built their own trikes.Baloune…

  22. 22 Slow Ride Jan 19th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I’m surprised at the negative comments about this story when it seems none of the above name callers know what the relationship is like between Harley and Lehman as a supplier or vendor. When I read a story like this it creates more questions for me. When I read all these comments it creates even more questions: Has there been a publisized fight between Lehman and Harley? I haven’t heard of it. Where is this negative info coming from? I don’t have any inside knowlege, but I guess some of you do. What was the original agreement between Harley and Lehmen? Is is possible that the agreement might have had as an original goal to move production back to Harley when they could handle it? I don’t know, but is it possible? Any one seen the agreement? It sure seems like a lot of the above writers were involved in the original vendor agreement negotiations. If you were involved in the negotiations, it seems you could give us some more insights than just name calling.

    Many of the above comments assume that there is some adversarial relationship here. Is there? Maybe Lehmen is getting paid to help Harley move production to York? Maybe Lehman is happy about it? Maybe Lehman is still an important supplier/vendor to Harley of trike parts, but now doesn’t have to do any final assembly? Maybe this is a good thing for Lehman? Maybe the two companies had mutual goals and both companies have helped each other towards those goals? Maybe the original agreement spelled out what each company would do for the other…NO…that wouldn’t be possible. I bet the original agreement was just a verbal “You trike guys are some crazy cats. See, it’s like this, we are going to build this new model and we need your help. We could do it ourselves, but if you guys will help us for nothing, it’d be great for you, you know, get your name out there and everything. Think how good it would feel, helping out the one-and-only HD. How about you invest a bunch of money to help us out? We know where your daughter lives. How about we don’t give you any money? You guys put our stuff together, okay? We’ll send you our bikes and you put your trike parts on them, chop chop. Don’t dick around, we got a bunch of people that really want this thing. Hundreds of dealers and customers who we like to screw. You got the space anyhow, right? How about we don’t have any mutual goals here, we just pull the rug out from under you whenever we want? When we pull the rug out, you keep helping us out for nothing, until the new model year rolls around. Yeah, that’s it. We will anounce it to the world how we just arbitrarily cut you off, we piss you off but keep sending you hundreds of units to finish, we know you’ll do a good job with that. Then it will be all our deal and you’re just standing there in little ol’ South Dakota with your pr***k in your hands. It’ll be awesome. Sign here.”

    So Harley ripped-off Lehman? How do you know? Lehman got dumped? It was a scam? Are you sure? All the managers at Harley are pricks and whores, while all the people at Lehman are stupid and short sighted? Ya think?

  23. 23 fuji Jan 20th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Come friday we will understand even more so the combining of operations and management into a smaller foot print.

  24. 24 fuji Jan 22nd, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    .Harlrey is getting back what they dished out.
    The company put themselve into this position the economy only disclosed their business style.

  25. 25 blacktopr Jan 22nd, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Bushiness is business
    Lehman knew it was short term and loved the fact that it put them way ahead of the pack
    Harley has to do what they need to do to control cost or you will see another AMF owner and a fire sale
    I’m not a lover of everything the Motor Co does but I also don’t think that they are the big “whore”
    Let’s just hope they keep growing the business and survive so we can still own Harleys that are employing AMERICANS building AMERICAN bikes
    Or drive a Honda right? Gold wings are back in Japan now!
    Quit kicking the brand we all love

  26. 26 Goose Jun 30th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I’m willing to bet Lehman builds a better trike than HD could ever do. Also; ever been to York PA? I have; and the people that live in that town dont even like bikers. Also; HD is not the biggest manufacturer of American made bikes; in actuality; Victory uses more American made parts than HD does. So to get the most “American” of bikes; you would have to buy a Victory. I own a HD Electra Glide; and the problem with HD’s is; when theres a design flaw; it takes them years to fix it. Look at the Twin Cam Motor; cam bearing failures; (my ’06 cam bearing failed; after they allegedly fixed this after 1999) then chain tensioner failures- finally fixed in ’07. They also improved the oil pumps too in 07. Why did it take them so long since the twin cam came out in 1999 to fix all these problems? They say they “test” all their models at the proving grounds etc; but apparently they still have lots of problems to resolve. Also; the chain drive set up of the cams is a fundamentally flawed mechanical design; and gear drive cams should be used instead for much better reliability; especially if you do any performance modifications. The standard HD motor parts have no margin to withstand any increase of HP. Any engineer knows that it not a good design practice not to spec at least a 50% increase of tolerance into the design.

  27. 27 GiftedGoldwinger Sep 16th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I dont think Mr Lehman got cheated or got the wrong end of the deal, he is not a stupid man, he made money by selling HD the Trike plans and proper paperwork and all parts and tooling.better off sticking with Gold Wings anyway.

  28. 28 Guy G. Dec 9th, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Well, after having read most of all of comments it seems pretty fair to say that BOTH Lehman and H.D. did exactly what they both set out to do. By Harley starting a partnership with Lehman when they did, it put Harley into the Trike business sooner than they would have been able to if they waited for the York facility to open. It also put a lot more trike bikes on the road, sooner than it would have thru the normal flow of things. As one writer commented, he has seen more Gold Wing Conversions on the road. That is true. If Lehman and H.D. had not partnered up, would there have been as many Gold Wing Conversions on the road as there is today? This has been a great move for both companies. No one got screwed. The logistics of Harley having to move these frames across the country and back is not cheap. This was not a long term production line from the get go…..Smart for both parties. More Harley trikes are out there because of this and more Lehman trikes are out there with many more to come. The Baby Boomers are not getting any younger. AND if they wish to continue to keep the wind in their face and over their much larger spreading foreheads, then they will buy a Harely trike, convert their existing bike to a trike with a Lehman kit or go get that Gold Wind Trike. It does not matter. Then when they approach another three wheel biker, they will give the three wheel hand signal with their fingers down instead of the traditional two……Trikes are not just for ladies anymore. Keep the rubber side down. Currently, I am still on tow wheels (H.D.) and my hair line has not moved back…..some day it will be a trike. Ride safe.

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Cyril Huze