Fast Motorcycle Industry News

During his first 8 months on the new job as Harley-Davidson new CEO, Keith E. Wandell’s pay package was $6.4 million. It included a base salary of $650,025 from his start day of May 1 through the end of 2009, a bonus of $780,030 and stock and option awards valued at $4.9 million. During the last quarter of 2009 has its 1st quarterly loss in 16 years with a loss of 218.7 million A group of Harley Davidson fans based in Orlando plan to set a world record in Myrtle Beach this year. The group is called Rally for the Rugrats. According to their press release, the group plans to enter the Guinness Book of World Records by having the most Harley Davidson motorcycles in a single ride. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Toys for Tots Foundation and the Freedom Alliance Scholarship fund . The ride will take place during the Myrtle Beach Spring Harley rally and the start and end points will be announced soon.

– Streambank, an advisory firm specializing in the sale of intangible assets, announces Bid Deadline and Auction Date for American IronHorse Motorcycles Intellectual Property Assets. Bids may be entered until 5:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, March 19. The auction will commence Tuesday, March 23, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, at the law offices of Greenberg Traurig in New York City. Qualified bidders may participate in the auction by phone. Interested parties may contact Streambank at 781-444-4940 to request additional information about the assets for sale and the bidding process. Who, if anyone can be interested. Like you, I can’t wait to know AMA Pro Racing Announces New Vance & Hines XR1200 Series for AMA Pro Road Racing. A spec-bike five race championship featuring specially modified Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycles. This new series will provide loyal Harley-Davidson owners, dealers and enthusiasts a chance to join the action at selected AMA Pro Road Racing weekends throughout the country.The XR1200 Series will feature a $5,000 purse payout at each of the 5 rounds.

31 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 Bob Walker Mar 13th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    $6.4 Million??????? WTF????

  2. 2 Freedomlaw Mar 14th, 2010 at 8:06 am

    The loss should have been 213.8 million, because no CEO ought to be allowed to collect a bonus on a company losing money. Capitalism has been hi-jacked by Boards of Directors and CEOs who steal from shareholders. When two or more act in concert to achieve a criminal end, it is called “conspiracy” anywhere but corporate America.

  3. 3 jim Mar 14th, 2010 at 8:51 am


  4. 4 Steve Kelly Mar 14th, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I can just imagine what my bank would say if I wrote myself a cheque and called it a bonus? How can it be right to collect a bonus if the company did not make a profit? Did he work for an American bank before Harley?

  5. 5 MDSPHOTO Mar 14th, 2010 at 11:06 am

    It used to be said that business is all about maintaining the health of the organization at all costs, which is why companies end up letting workers go. Now a days its all about making sure the CEO & VPs are able to cash their multimillion bonuses every year regardless of the health of the company. My company let go 3,000 people last year and the CEO took home $2 million in bonus money.

  6. 6 Bigalyts Mar 14th, 2010 at 11:38 am


  7. 7 Tom at Franklin Church Choppers Mar 14th, 2010 at 11:44 am

    A lot of laid off H/D employees could have used the bonus money to keep their jobs, instead of lining a pocket, but I am sure he is much more important than the employees and their families

  8. 8 fuji Mar 14th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Harley has cut production and exited non-core businesses in order to more comfortably ride out the downturn.

    The trend indicates that the new CEO is not a money maker for the Company but nothing more than a hatchet man paid on his cost cutting efforts. Look beyond the CEO to the board who put the CEO in office.

    If one doesn’t like the way that they operate then vote with your money. If you vote yes then who is to blame.

    We teach our kids to make mature decisions but do we ?

  9. 9 fuji Mar 14th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Now Harley is promoting on TV their $99 dollar a month payment plan just like a car dealer.
    Anyone can afford their bikes.

    We all know how that works. It’s not how much you are paying for the bike but how many years can you afford to pay $99 dollars a month? Endless.

    What a great way of gaining a young Harley rider and taking them out of the buying market for an extended period of time, plus keeping them so upside-down on trade-in value that purchasing an upgrade would be very difficult.

    It starts all over again — selling bikes people can’t afford. We know where that went, but you are supporting a great American Company. Please !

  10. 10 golfish Mar 14th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I’m shocked nobody is blaiming the unions, yet!!

  11. 11 Jeff Nicklus Mar 14th, 2010 at 4:41 pm


    His compensation package woyuld only amount to $200K total annually if he didn’t have to deal with those blood sucking unions. There feel better now?

    Over & Out,


  12. 12 Paul Mar 14th, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Go to school kids.
    Don’t be caught in an hourly job.

  13. 13 sdbiker Mar 14th, 2010 at 9:15 pm


    just some fyi, the 99 dollar a month promo is on a 09 XL883L only. it is for quallified buyers only, tier 1 credit, like 780 and higher beacon score. plus it is a dealer paid promo. if the dealer does this promo he will make hardley any money on the deal. none on f&i and only a couple of bucks on the bike. There are alot of XL’s out in the market right now and H-DMC has cut production way down on 2010 XLs, dealers are only getting a handfull.

    Just my 2 cents.

  14. 14 Gear2Heads Mar 14th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    6.4 million income! Wandell takes Harley buyers for a ride.

  15. 15 fuji Mar 14th, 2010 at 9:55 pm


    Some times it takes a little nudge to get the real scoop.
    I don’t recall a disclaimer about participating dealers . Should there be one.?
    I will look at the fine print during the next ad.


  16. 16 J Mar 15th, 2010 at 2:23 am

    ….And this is why Buffet won’t touch the Harley stock….

    It’s sad. Harley hired a hachet man, who provides no marginal value other than the ability to cut expenses- the same mistake most American corporations have made the past 20 years, and practically pee themselves, they’re so excited to pay him before he shows any results.

    No matter how anyone tries to massage it, Wandells’ pay package is absurd- period. Fortunately, most of it is tied up in options that will probably be worthless by the time he tries to exercise them.

    Shows how clueless- or corrupt- the Harley board is, to award options priced already in the money- how fucking stupid. This means that there is no incentive for Wandell to try to grow the company- he’s rewarded to just cheap out the bottom line, because the risks necessary to grow share price over time could submerge his options short term, and you can be DAMN sure he won’t do that- MORONS.

    ANY idiot CEO can cut expenses- my buddy Al “Chainsaw” Dunlap comes to mind- he was a genius, right up until the moment he got busted for channel-stuffing and accounting fraud…. But oh no, Harley is smarter than that, aren’t they?

    You’re right, Fuji- Harley JUST got done sneaking out the back door from 10 years of mystery financing, so what do they do? Leverage right back up via goofy payment plans… Hey why not- when it goes bad, they’ll just offload the toxic end to the Government, and sell Buffet some more 15% paper- genius!

    Bigalyts, you’re right, but look what would result from your suggestion- personal accountability. We can’t have that in this country, because then we wouldn’t need politicians;

    Without some douche fag Congressman in Massachusetts speaking for “everyone” on behalf of the few special interest groups that pad his fat ass, or some Obama-ass-sucking Nancy Reagan wannabe Congresswoman in California telling us we’re too stupid to handle our own health care, we’d all be lost, because we’re unable to think for ourselves….

    Why, this country would just fall apart without overpaid CEOs and politicians…..

    Sorry, my diatribe here went on too long- a waste, because it’s not like anyone at Harley actually reads anything related to the motorcycle industry that is generated by motorcyclists;

    Certainly not Wandell- he’s busy pricing islands in the Carribean…..

  17. 17 Buck Bighorn Mar 15th, 2010 at 10:47 am

    $6.4M ? I would have done it for $2M

  18. 18 Mike Mar 15th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Lots of class envy and salary envy that is hard to weed through.

    Harley is a very well run company, and they are doing exactly what they need to do in order to stay lean and alive during this quasi-depression.

    A good CEO is absolutely worth $6.4mm. His responsibilities dwarf those of virtually everyone else within the company.

  19. 19 fuji Mar 15th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Mike. What is your real name and position.

    During his final ” four months ” as CEO, Ziemer received a pay package valued at $2.9 million. That includes a base salary of $455,144, a bonus of the same amount and stock and options valued at $1.9 million when they were granted. The pain and agony from the responsibility must have been unbearable.

    You remember those sub prime loans HD made ? Oh ! What does that have to do with anything

    Can one imagine the pain and suffering that the money grabbers from AIG endured when they took down Lehman Bro’s ” SUB PRIME LOANS ” and were paid with sizable bonuses then bailed out with government money and took ” more bonuses. ” Failing company’s and bonuses ?

    Where would the price of Harley Davidson be if it were not for their liquidity or liquid assets.

    You already know that, right Mike ?

  20. 20 Chief Waldo Mar 15th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    It’s a sad sign of the times when any company will pay the CEO like this while screwing over it’s workers. But that’s the way America’s going.
    What’s even worse, is that corporate boards are fine with paying ANYONE that amount of money. Like they truly believe they couldn’t possibly find someone who will do it for only, say, 2 million…

  21. 21 Rider2 Mar 15th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Unfortunately Mike completely right. CEOs are paid a lot for what they do. You have shareholders to take care of, forecasts, government contracts, and it all comes down to how much money this guy is saving the company. And right now it’s a tone. Bonuses are pre-determined by contract, and cannot be re-negotiated even if the economy goes down or the company is not performing. I have dealt with a lot of people in the same situation. As bad as it sounds, this is reality of doing business. Doesn’t matter if HD sells bikes to people who can’t afford them or not. I know plenty of dealers that do that everyday. I’ve seen poor suckers going to a very well known HD dealer in Florida buying a $45,000 bike at 18% interest on a 124 month loan knowing the guy makes $24,000/year. It’s the same for cars, boats, houses etc.. Doesn’t mean it right, it just means this is the game.
    I have a friend on Wall Street that just banked $260,000 in bonus this year. He is “responsible” for 349 families loosing their homes but he made his bank over $12 millions. His bonus was calculated accordingly. And that’s not even a huge bonus.

    We can all cry about it and bitch about people who make more than us. By the time I am done with this comment, some guy will have made $100,000 on Wall Street by pressing 2 buttons and this lucky guy at HD already smoked a $50 cigar on the side of his pool in his 10,000 sq ft home right outside Milwaukee.

    Welcome to corporate America….

  22. 22 fuji Mar 16th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Could not figure out why Hog made a jump today.

    Harley Davidson shares gain on takeover chatter , WHAT !

    Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:43pm EDT
    Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (commonly referred to as KKR) is a New York City based private equity firm that sponsors and manages investment funds .
    NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc’s (HOG.N) shares jumped 5.7 percent on Tuesday amid speculation the motorcycle maker was the potential target of a leveraged buyout.

  23. 23 J Mar 16th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    lol- well, Mike, I don’t see your point then- what HAS Wandell done? Did you see the quarter? Where is the evidence to suggest there has been or will be improvement? Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read a shitty income statement. Where is the forward look?

    CEO’s should be paid on PERFORMANCE, not what they MAY do. As of now, there is NO evidence that ANY of Harley’s consolidation strategy works- period. The numbers suck, and the only reason the stock price is rising at the moment is because of some goofy buyout rumor, fueled by the fact that there is a HUGE short position in the common;

    What is the corporate strategy going forward? Oh- there is none that anyone can see, other than have Willie G paint some bikes even blacker….. Brilliant. Yes- load Wandell up with options, by all means, and pat him on the back, too- nice job!

    I can guarantee you that NO ONE in VC will take this mess private, and yeah, I work in this area- Harley needs to stay public as a last-resort, because no one in private finance will allow Harley to continue to make the mistakes it has made over the past 10 years;

    Harley needs the potential of a public bailout as an ultimate ignorance backstop.

    And yes- there IS a very simple strategy that would enable Harley to grow- could even implement it tomorrow. However, the problem with such a strategy is that short-term, it would be painful for shareholders;

    A strong CEO could sell such a strategy- especially given Harley’s history and heritage- but Wandell shows no signs of being anything more than a short-timer accountant thus far. Wandell is not a star- he’s just trying to protect his options before he moves on to the next stop in his career.

    “Harley is a very well run company”- wow… Dude- you’re still buying Enron on the pinks, aren’t you?

    Nothing wrong with calling out a poorly-run company on a public forum- plenty wrong with being just another sheep, resigning yourself to some fantasy that CEOs are royalty and not accountable…….

    Rider2- get over the delusion that CEOs somehow work harder than mere mortals- I talk to 2+ per day, and the fact they have time to talk to me tells me all I need to know about how busy they really are- LOL! We all bust our asses, and yes, US CEO pay is currently disproportionately excessive by historic and global measures, due to a combination of corruption and shareholder apathy.

    Rather than resigning yourself to class structure, Mike, don’t be afraid to challenge it- this is still America.

    Things are NOT ok at Harley, and it’s more than just a shitty economy- Harley CAN be fixed, with the right tools… Or better yet, one less tool…..

  24. 24 J Mar 16th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Don’t worry, Fuji- KKR hasn’t gotten anything right in years- lol.

    The pop in the stock is just to blow out the shorts- given Harley’s balance sheet, no one could make a deal to do an LBO of Harley- there isn’t enough junk debt in the universe for that one- lol.

    The stock will drop when the shorts give up- won’t last long.

  25. 25 Jeff Nicklus Mar 16th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Maybe if we paid The President of The United States $6.4M we could get someone in the office with more business experience than just a “Community Organizer”. I say lets trade Osama Obama straight across for Keith Wandell. Hell, we could throw in Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi at no additional charge just to sweeten the pot!

    Over & Out,


  26. 26 Yours Truly! Mar 16th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Well that is a union for you, that is Harley for you and that is people being absolutely retarded for you!! Anything else need to be said??

    Harley, I hope you go down the tubes soon!!!

  27. 27 fuji Mar 16th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Jeff Nicklus

    Pelosi just to sweeten the pot!
    Sounds good to me. maybe in the form of brownies. Always wondered why she had a smile on her face.

  28. 28 Rider2 Mar 17th, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Guys…. it doesn’t matter what the stock does or not. The new CEO was hired to clean house. He did… laid off a bunch of people, dealt with the unions, closed down unproductive plants and brands that don’t perform (Buell), and kept everything in house (Lehmans trikes out). He did what the shareholders (which includes me) told him to: keep the company healthy, cut costs, get rid of stuff that doesn’t work or causes problems, let go dealers who don’t know what they are doing and make sure the balance sheet remains positive.
    Consequently, HD is still alive, running slow but alive. The dealers who don’t need to be there are gone, the workers that don’t need to be there because of smaller forecasts are gone and the machine continues to perform, even with a stock that lost a lot. At the end, the new CEO did what he was hired for, so he is getting rewarded for that… so Fuji, the new HD CEO probably deserves his bonus because he performed to the expectations of the board of Directors and shareholders. Period. For people that have a lot of money invested in HD or anywhere else, it doesn’t really matter who get laid off and who will loose their house. Profit is king, usually at any cost.
    Is it fair for the workers that lost their jobs, no. But this is what CEO do to keep a company out of trouble, especially in a bad economy. Do they make mistake? Hell yeah, every day. Does GM, Toyota, CCI, or Walmart make mistake every day? Yes.

    At the end of the day, this guy is no different than any other CEO I work with in other industries. They do what they are supposed to and get paid consequently.

  29. 29 fuji Mar 17th, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for coming up to speed with us.
    Other than you don’t get it , what’s your point.
    So if your point of bonuses is true then how did the previous CEO get bonuses without addressing the ” MALADYS ” of the company. Yes there were some attempts but not suffice and some sacrificial lambs on the financial side just to pacify the investors.

    Bonuses, yes with discretion.

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