Fast Motorcycle Industry News

fastnewscyrilhuzeblog3[1]Yesterday Friday January 22, 2010, Harley-Davidson reported a wider than expected loss for the 4th quarter of 2009. Sales in the US dropped by a whopping 27.9%. Looking ahead to 2010, the company will reduce its shipments of motorcycles by 5% to 10% to a level of 201,000 to 212,000 bikes – At the same time, Polaris Industries announced that it will raise its stock dividend to $0.40 per share, up 3% from the previous dividend – The popularity of motorcycling and motorcycle registrations continues to rise among military service personnel, so does the number of fatal motorcycle crashes. So the U.S. Department of Defense is engaging the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to conduct focus groups hoping to identify ways of reducing two-wheel “Private Motor Vehicle” mishaps among military motorcyclists.

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19 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”


  1. 1 I own a Victory Jan 23rd, 2010 at 9:34 am

    As a Victory owner all I have to say is glad I own stock in the company who built my bike. Good to have a theory of building bikes instead of image…. Wonder if tee shirt sales will carry Willy G and family thru the next 3 years. Harley would have already died if it wasn’t for Mr. Buffet……
    Ride often , Ride American, Ride a Victory….

  2. 2 BD Jan 23rd, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Great the goverment investigating motorcycle safety!! Next we will have steel cages surrounding us!! Of course this is for your own good.. Go away big brother

  3. 3 just my opinion Jan 23rd, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Don’t worry folks Willie’s new sportster will surely save the company. After all he has invested so much time and energy into coming up with an all new design. The reality of all this is that Victory puts style and performance in their bikes and people are responding to that. Wake up HD before it is too late.

  4. 4 Jeff Nicklus Jan 23rd, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    ……..”Harley-Davidson reported a wider than expected loss for the 4th quarter of 2009.”…….

    NO SAY IT AIN’T SO!

    Told you all Polaris would end up kicking HD’s ass didn’t I?

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  5. 5 fuji Jan 23rd, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Harley is getting back what they dished out.

    The company put themselves into this position the economy only disclosed their poor business style/practice.

    Poor lending.

    Support American business, yes! But, that business has to be responsible for their own actions or pay the price.

    What do you do when the rabbit steals lettuce from your garden? Or the “Hog” roots to deep in your yard? There are a lot of wild hogs in Florida and that’s why we have lots of bacon and rabbit stew.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Jeff
    I remember when you made the statement about Victory. Bulls eye dead center. Watching PII stock for some time it came as no surprise to me.

  6. 6 MDK Jan 23rd, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Not surprised they build a better product that actually has evolved over the last 10 years unlike HD which still uses the same ol design they had for 50 plus years……..yeah whatever, it’s old an tired. They lost me in the 90’s when it became cool to be a biker uhhhhh well that included never running a through a tank of gas in a day let alone getting too far out of the city without having it on a trailer. Anyway a new Victory Cross Country or Cross Road would be in my garage today if they came out in 08 but I picked up a sweet Yamaha Roadliner because it was the sweetest bike I could find at the time and after I added the Corbin fleetliner bags…….enough said! Good luck Victory and when I’m in the market 10 years from now I’ll see if one of those touring models I mentioned want to make a home in my garage.

  7. 7 Gary Bang Jan 24th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Bashing Harley has always been in for years I may have done a little myself. It started with the Racing wars with Indian when Indian was winning Harley tried harder and they finally made the grade and started winning and the bashing started after this they became the largest Motorcycle Maker in the World and than every one was on their Ass.

    Good times never last and than they fell on hard times. O-my poor Harley maybe we should help them with a little support and you guessed it they took off and it sure is time to bash them again. “I like this see I told you so, I knew they would fail.”

    I hardly call Victory a Player a nice Motorcycle, “come on” they may have sold 6,000 Motorcycles in 2009 I bet Rossmeyer may have sold that amount in his Daytona Store.

    Models from Harley the very Best I have ever seen and a lot of them. Loosing Money Who has not?
    Banks the State, the Government ask a Victory dealer “if you can find one” how they have been doing and tell them not to lie to you.

    We would not be reading this if it were not for Harley-Davidson and we would not have a strong After market industry,Choppers, they saved racing the AMA the list is endless.

    Every Day I look out my bedroom window which faces East the direction from my house towards Milwuakee. It may not be every day but most days I thank Harley for the wonderful life they have given me, my family and about 99% of my friends. Harley I am with you till the wheels fall off.
    Gary Bang

  8. 8 just my opinion Jan 24th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Gary Bang; Let’s be totally honest. HD is no were near being the largest motorcycle manufacture in the world. They are the largest in the states but not the world and there is a big difference. And you claim HD has made the after market and to some extent that is true but it could also be said that the after market is the reason HD has evolved from the pile of crap it was thirty years ago into a ride able dependable bike? Hell I can still remember why I had saddle bags on my first HD they were there to carry the tools I needed to keep the damn thing running. And by the way in those days the tools were all standard not metric and standard. Again let’s be totally honest HD takes the ideas of all these little pee on’s in the after market and copy’s what they do and that has saved HD from failure so far. I think most people do like the bikes but they don’t like the arrogant attitude from the factory or the dealers that have treated us like we are nobody’s when in fact we have saved their asses more times than they care to remember. Their bikes are over priced and less dependable than many other manufactures bikes being offered at lower prices. If it was not for the people riding these bikes HD would not be able to sell the T-shirts and nic nac’s that have the HD brand all over them. As for Victory maybe they have only sold 10 or 12 thousand bikes this year but the facts are that whatever the number is it is up from five years ago by double or more and HD’s numbers are down from five years ago by at least 50%. If Victory stays on the path they are on, they will be as big as HD is today it may take ten or fifteen years but they will be there. The other side of that coin is that if HD continues on the path they are on, they will be broke in ten years if not sooner. Lets not forget they have major debt that they owe. Remember Mr. Buffet and what about the others that bought the bonds at 15% interest. Wave your HD flag all you want but it won’t stop the bleeding. I personally wish HD well but they better wake up before it is too late. There business strategy of selling the legend has run its course it is time to build bikes that people want at a price they are willing to pay.

  9. 9 Gary Bang Jan 24th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I am responding on the Gary Bang account because I do not have one of my own. I am appalled at all of the comments left by my fellow Americans. I think it is disgusting that you would want any American company to fail.

    Harley-Davidson has made motorcycling what it is today. Every person who owns a Harley talks about what a nice feeling it is to have such a great following of the brand. Harley is the one that puts on all of these riding events that all you other “brand” riders strive to go too. I think you are just jealous that your bikes don’t look anywhere near as nice as the Harleys.

    When you talk to people who are not riders yet, their idea of a motorcycle is a Harley. How many people do you know that “dream” of one day being able to buy a Polaris??? They dream of being on Harleys since they were kids and heard the rumbling of the engines going down the street. Its great that you all love your motorcycles, I would hope you would. However, Don’t you think your being a little bitter?

    I mean Harley is a higher priced motorcycle but it’s not just the motorcycle you are getting. There are dealerships all over the world, the staff is trained in everything Harley, and the service techs are trained to know everything there is to know about working on one. Where I live the only dealership around is a Harley dealership.

    I would rather put my faith and loyalty into a company that has been around for over 105 years. They must be doing something right. I would like to say thank you to Harley-Davidson for my career, good friends, and nice customers I’ve met along the way. Maybe you all should think about the American working class who works for Harley when wishing them to go under. I think that just sucks!

    Kristy (Gary’s Kid)

  10. 10 just my opinion Jan 24th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Harley did NOT start all the rallies all over the country. That is just one more example of the HD arrogance we are talking about. HD may be quick to take credit for the rallies but they did not start all the rallies . The truth be known HD corporate does not even show up to most of the rallies. Other than their employees that walk around looking for new ideas and looking for people that are using their trademark unlawfully. They were not at the speedway in Daytona last year like they had been for the last several years and it is one of the biggest rallies in the country. They didn’t show up in Laughlin and I don’t remember seeing them at Panama city the list goes on and on. I don’t think anyone is wishing them bad luck or failure but what we are saying is HD needs to stop being so damn arrogant and acting like the sun rises and sets solely because of them and they need to get to making bikes people can afford and bikes people want. Yes I said afford their bikes are over priced for what they are and that is part of why they are losing market share. They should stop trying to sell us the bullshit sportsters they are stuck with, even thou they have been redesigned to look like a sportster as stupid as that sounds. And who cares if there is a HD dealer in every town or on every corner, if their bikes are such quality why worry about having a dealer on every corner? Don’t you think it is about time HD makes a bike that does not require a mechanic? Have you ever seen the long lines of riders trying to get their Harley’s fixed during sturgis or Daytona. Next year ride over to the Honda dealer and you will see there is no long line of broken bikes. Why? It sure as hell is not because HD makes more bikes than Honda. In fact Honda builds five to one on HD if not more so It boils down to one thing dependability. Speaking of rallies have you been to a HOG rally recently they are a total joke. They used to have quality vendors until HD decided they should separate them selves from the low class vendors that got their rallies started. As the vendors left their rallies so did the crowds of people. Those HOG rallies used to be huge today you could throw a bowling ball right thru the center of most of the Hog rallies and not hit anyone. The truth be told half the people that go to rallies would not show up if it was not for the little vendors that have designed all the cool stuff you find on HD’s today. As I said before I wish HD well but sooner or later they must start selling bikes people want not the antique designs they keep reinventing and calling new models. The world has changed HD is not the only dealer in town anymore. They are not the only V-twin anymore. They must compete with Honda and Yamaha and yes Victory and many other brands as well or they will be closing their doors. Just look on the internet at how many HD dealers have closed in the last year or two. If they don’t change their way of thinking and doing business those stores that have already closed are just the tip of the iceberg. Global warming will look like childs play compaired to the melt down to come if things don’t change. Anyway that is just my opinion we all have one and mine is surely worth what I have charge you all for it. Have a good day and I do hope HD wakes up before it is too late. I would hate to see another American company close.

  11. 11 Gary Bang Jan 24th, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Dear Just My opinion. Lots of good points in the early days Indian was the largest motorcycle Maker in the World a real smart guy would know the exact date Teens?, and than Harley over took them. I certenly did not intend that they were the largest today and who really cares. We only care about the best and they really are.

    Talk of the After Market at one time I was almost as big as they come and every thing I sold I copied from Harley-Davidson and the guy Bigger than me did the same and the Guy under me yes the same. Sure we had some origional ideas but the big part was we made what Harley could not keep up with or no longer supplied.

    I was so good that I was served the largest Trade-Mark infringement Suit of the Day from the Motor Company. I know the After market and it was very Good to me and a lot of others thanks To Harley-Davidson. I am going to get some Ribs from Mo’s. Gary Bang Hall of Fame 2003

  12. 12 squidlybob Jan 24th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Its not just Harley losing money its everybody.This is a quote from 5/8/2009

    Last quarter’s financial news has been brutal for all that have reported, but the biggest blow has just come from one of the world’s most successful automotive powerhouses. Toyota has posted a last-quarter loss of $7.7 billion; the worst loss of the company’s 71-year history and worse than even GM’s just-reported loss of $6 billion. Toyota now expects to lose $5.5 billion for the year ending March 2010, surpassing the $4.4 billion it lost in the just-concluded year.

    The reasons for Toyota’s reversal of fortune is well documented. Global sales were down 21.9% last year,

  13. 13 squidlybob Jan 24th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Polaris has made about 55,000 Victory motorcycles in 11 years.They sure a kicking the shit out of Harley.

  14. 14 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles Jan 24th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Mr Gary Bang was the original or one of the 1st aftermarket guys in the HD biz back some years ago. I remember buying some Linkert carb parts from him in the early 80’s. Gary Bang stood for quality and integrity and I remember HD’s lawsuit against him at the time. I have to bite my tongue on some of the Harley stuff since I am an Indian guy but during the racing years of Indian and Harley, Harley did have the AMA in their back pocket. Even the war commission (WWII) had Harley members on it. Indian did have a superior m/c for WWII but that’s the way the cards fall. I don’t want to see Harley fail by any means as it has been continuously around since 1903. Indian has had many ill attemps to revive itself but we will just have to see how they play out in the big picture of things today. I like to see OEM American made motorcycles in the market place but I also like to see quality and innovativeness or at least introducing actual new models. In the late 40’s Indian held onto their Chief design too long and rightfully Harley was kicking their butt.I hope HD is not where Indian was where they could not afford to introduce new models since they were lagging in sales and going broke fast. On a personal note Gary, I miss seeing and chatting with you at the swap meets. You were and still are a class act.

  15. 15 fuji Jan 25th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Gary Bang
    I want you to know that I think you are a stand up guy and from the sounds of your offspring they think that you are also. I remember the name.
    lets just say that I owned a few Bultacos. [ long live the Astro }

    The reason that I made this effort is that there are two sides to the fence
    I would have to agree with ” just my opinion” on much of what he said.

    I have stated before that 1982 was the last Harley that I bought and for good reason.
    Service dept’s were very selective on what they wanted to work on. When my ride started to get some age I could not find a dealer that would work on it without a hassle.

    I did give some consideration of buying new , mid eighty’s and put my name on a list with a deposit. Yes that was the way it was back then.
    Six months later I find out that another customer purchased my bike and they only had their name on a list for a month. Selective sales ! At that point Harley lost a customer for life.

    You made a comment about Harley and racing. In 1984, after several seasons of development, Honda mounted a full factory effort with sights set firmly on upsetting Harley-Davidson’s coveted spot atop the podium in “flat track racing” and did so ” four straight years plus one year later on ” then Honda disappeared form the scene after proving a point.
    Some how we never hear Harley mention this event in time and that some how the AMA put a restrictor plate on the remaining privateer Hondas that were left to make them uncompetitive. HD and AMA in bed?

    Gary I sincerely wish you well even though we have different points of view..

  16. 16 FRED JOHNSON Jan 25th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    as a small independent dealer (used bikes) I must say that resale can make or brake a brand I go to motor cycle auctions (dealer only) COMPARE RESALE VALUE!! VICTORY VS HARLELY NO CONTEST!!! the harley returns more money; victory has some great looking bikes,but until they have better resale they will not win the game !

  17. 17 Jeff Nicklus Jan 25th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Fred Johnson,

    Compare the NEW Vehicle price of a HD and a new Victory …. then compare apples to apples ….

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  18. 18 Kirk Perry Jan 26th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Forecast for the 2010 – 2011 California Economy:

    All economic predictions begin with the stock market, as the stock market is one of the best leading economic indicators. Historically, the market has predicted with remarkable accuracy what will develop within the next 6-12 months. Many investors have been so scared by this once-in-a-lifetime financial crisis, that they’ve put substantial amounts of their money in cash, despite near-zero returns provided by savings and money market accounts. That money will have to make it’s way back to the market to work again, and when it does a roaring bull market will ensue. If you’re skeptical, find reassurance in the fact that history is on the side of the bulls. In the past (10) recessions, the S&P has gained on an average of 9 percent, 6 months after the end of a recession and 14 percent one year after the recession was officially dead.
    Of particular concern is that the state of California. Calif. does not share the same positive outlook as the rest of the country. California is not out of the woods yet, so to speak, but it will be eventually.
    The UCLA Anderson Forecast’s 4th quarter report of 2009, asserted that the state will have “little or no growth” in 2010, and Calif.’s recovery is likely to trail the nation, because of the states lingering fiscal problems. Improvement in Calif. is likely in early 2011, and return to the growth Calif. enjoyed five years ago is expected later that year. Californians should hope for the best, and know that it’s coming – albeit a little slower than the rest of the country.
    Other risks? Absolutely. A terrorist attack could play havoc with the economy.
    An increasing deficit will put pressure on interest rates, and big gov. spending could result in increased taxes, which will put a damper on the recovery. As the economy recovers, eventually inflation will stick it’s ugly head out again, and liquidity will have been removed from the financial markets in order to cool down inflationary pressures.
    Assuming we face no major catastrophes, and the Fed is able to manage interest rates effectively, and government spending and tax increases don’t get totally out of control, 2010 has a good chance of becoming one of the most opportune years in a long time for investing and growth.
    – from (in part) Reeves Journal, Eric Hallinan – MBA Business & Cognitive Science, UCLA

  19. 19 Kirk Perry Jan 27th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I’m working diligently (with Stett & another), towards improving the 1936 – 1964 ride-ability. Results are expected sometime in February.

    It’ll be good news for the OHV repop industry. Someone has already thought out the first part. It’s done.
    Now come Stett’s & my part, and I’m saying February 2010 on our part.

    Someone else will decide what to do with the results we find.

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