1- J.D. Power Research. The 13th year study conducted in September and October 2010 confirmed 1- that the average age of new motorcycle buyers is now 49, 1 more year than in 2009, exactly 9 years more than in 2001 when the average age was 40! 2- that the number of problems per 100 new motorcycles slightly increased versus 2009 (29% reported at least one problem) with the most frequent issues being related to engine (44%), and clutch/transmission. 3- that perceived satisfaction, intention to recommend or purchase again the same brand, all increase when the dealer stays in contact with the customer after the sale and does a follow up with the customer to anticipate or address any question or concern.
2- Harley Ultra Classic Rim Failures? The Edwards Law Firm in Texas says that rim failures may have led to catastrophic deflations of tires on 2 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic models. A Michigan man riding a 2001 Ultra Classic reported he was traveling in October 2009 along a two-lane state highway at about 40 mph when his rear tire suddenly deflated. The tire had less than 1,200 miles on it and had been installed by a Harley-Davidson dealership. He said there was no hole in the tire, a D402, just a shredded tube and a long, lengthwise crack in the rim. The second rider from Ohio experienced a similar rim failure in September, 2010 while he was traveling at 78 mph. Both wheels are chromed steel and were manufactured in Italy. The law firm created the Unsafe Motorcycles Website to help bikers report similar incidents.
3- Harley-Davidson, Inc. has repurchased $297 million of senior unsecured notes scheduled to mature Feb. 1, 2014. The Company repurchased the notes, held by Davis Selected Advisers, L.P., Dec. 10 at a price of $380.8 million. If held to maturity, Harley-Davidson would have incurred total principal and interest payments of approximately $438 million on the notes between now and maturity. The Company used cash on hand for the repurchase. In February 2009, during the depths of the economic recession and with the credit markets largely frozen, Harley-Davidson placed $300 million of senior unsecured notes each with Davis Selected Advisers and Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.