Fast Motorcycle Industry News

Unlicensed Vendors And Unauthorized Products At Sturgis Rally. We all know that vendors must pay a license fee to exhibit and sell products during the Sturgis rally. They must also setup in the precise spot for which the license was granted. New this year, Sturgis City inspectors are also supposed to report unauthorized products being sold. Not difficult to guess that the target of these inspections are those refusing to pay the SMRI Group (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc.) a licensing fee for use of their trademarks obtained this year on names like Sturgis Rally & Black Hills Rally. It makes me wonder 2 things: is it the job and in the power of the city to enforce a trademark, or is it the job of SMRI? SMRI is right now suing those merchants refusing to comply, but a counter lawsuit challenging these trademarks is also going on. So, is it really possible to enforce a trademark when it is alleged in court to have been obtained fraudulently? Lawyers reading my Blog can explain in “comments”.

Paisano Publications. John Lagana who was named in September 2008 by Joe Teresi to succeed him as Publisher and CEO of Paisano Publications was let go. Officially, he is retiring. A tipster reported to me that staff is very unhappy about management style and direction, refusing to see and accept the move to a digital world of news, that the company’s monthly biker publications – including Easyriders, V-Twin & Biker Magazines -, like some other print publications in the industry, are bleeding subscribers and that financial worries are mounting. It is well known in the industry that Joe Teresi doesn’t believe in motorcycle news and features via internet, which from my point of view is almost a guarantee of slow death for most print magazines if they don’t at least diversify their channels of communication. Joe incorporated Paisano Publications in 1970 and launched Easyriders in 1971, followed by a series of lifestyle oriented entertainment products and services, many of them now defunct, with the name Easyriders licensed to some other companies (for Ex. Easyriders Bike Shows, Easyriders Rodeos.) Paisano also promotes the largest V-Twin only tradeshow in the industry, the V-Twin Expo. (Added 7/26/11 at 5.30 pm: I guess things have evolved. Joe Teresi contacted me to mention that he will launch in September a digital magazine named “Road Iron” dedicated to Builders Of Custom Harley-Davidson Baggers) 

Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge Documentary. An exclusive agreement has been signed with Academy Award nominee David Roma, of Amor Factory, to produce a feature-length documentary on the August 2011 event and the riders taking part. David Roma is an acclaimed film and television producer, whose credits include the TV shows “Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood,” “Hogan Knows Best,” and the “Miami Ink” franchise that is in its third spin-off. Most recently, Roma produced the documentary film “Gasland” which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011. The Hoka Hey Challenge starts on August 5, 2011 in Mesa, Ariz., and ends in Nova Scotia, Canada, with the course covering all 48 contiguous US states. It is open only to riders of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson Hosts July 30th Memorial Ride in Honor of The Late Bruce Rossmeyer. Bruce Rossmeyer’s Sunrise & Ft. Lauderdale Harley-Davidson, announced their 2nd annual “Memorial Ride” which pays tribute to the late Bruce Rossmeyer and will benefit the Youth Automotive Training Center (YATC.) Bruce’s dedication to charitable causes was as wide-ranging as his business interests. The event on July 30, 2011 will feature a police escorted motorcycle ride, a Bruce Rossmeyer video memorial tribute, Country BBQ and good times for all. Ride will depart promptly at 5pm from Harley Davidson in Fort Lauderdale, ending at the Sunrise location. The Marshall Brother’s Band and a DJ will be providing entertainment.  Tickets can be purchased for $25 prior to the event or for $30 on the day of.  Registration begins at 3pm, and attendees will receive a free commemorative patch and t-shirt.

Keith Wandell, current President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, was elected board member of  Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ), the world’s leading premium wine company. “We are very pleased to welcome Keith to the board of directors and believe his experience in a diversified, consumer-driven industry, will provide excellent guidance as Constellation continues to focus on building its premium wine and spirits brands,” said Constellation’s Chairman of the Board, Richard Sands. “We look forward to the contributions he will make to the organization.”

Zero Motorcycles Has Expanded Its Sales Model To Include Traditional Motorcycle Dealers as a point of purchase for retail customers. The development of a traditional dealership program has been part of Zero’s strategic plan for more than a year as the company continues to ramp up its manufacturing capabilities. Zero’s current sales channel is predominately internet-driven with consumer test rides being conducted by field representatives. Now interested buyers can go directly to their nearest Zero Motorcycles dealership to test ride and buy a Zero on-site. Once the official transition is completed, Zero Motorcycles will no longer sell motorcycles directly to consumers, unless purchasing from a powersports dealer is not feasible. The new dealership model for Zero will include the United States and Canada.

17 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 Boss Hawg Jul 26th, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Wow….The Days of OurLives.

    Boss Hawg

  2. 2 Big Mike Jul 26th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    As I understand from reading here about the trademark lawsuit here on your blog, SMRI currently holds a trademark license, but are being sued because it is alleged that the facts they provided in order to get the trademark were untrue. I am not an attorney but I believe until the lawsuit is either settled or there is a court order that prohibits the current use of the trademark, it may be enforceable.

    But, I could be full of shit too.

  3. 3 just my opinion Jul 26th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I know a little more than the average guy about Patents,Trademarks and copyrights and it is my understanding that a patent or Trademark once it had issued is presumed by the courts to be valid until anyone contesting it can prove beyond a preponderance of a doubt that the trademark copyright or patent is not valid.
    I also know that any attorney worth paying would never allow his client to go on a blog and plead his case. Think about this, if this guy Niemann comes on here and tells everyone why he believes the Trademark is not valid it just gives the opposing council more time to prepare for that case. And they now know how and what to prepare for. No ligit attorney would do that. The attorney for this guy Niemann must be a total joke. He may not even be a Trademark attorney. And if he is not a Trademark attorney he has little if any chance to win this case. He will never win his case by argueing it on this blog. That is for damn sure. And if he uses that Trademark knowing that he is infringing on the rights of SMRI he is likely to be ordered to pay treble damages and may cause himself to be bankrupt and out of business in the prosess. He is definately playing with fire and seems to have an attorney that has no clue as to what a real case is, let alone how to fight a real case IN COURT. If he can still work out a licensing deal he should stop bad mouthing these guys on this blog and just pay the small fee and go on to make money. That is the only way both sides will win. If Niemann continues it is likely he will be bankrupted by a long drawn out case and still not be able to use this Trademark. Any way you slice that it just don’t work.

  4. 4 Knucklehead Jul 26th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I like holding a mag. much more than surfing the net. I don’t have all that time to sit and surf. I have a life don’t you know.

  5. 5 F. Brechter Jul 26th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Knucklehead. Your post is kind of funny. You don’t have the time to sit and surf the net. But you have time to sit reading a mag? Fyi, you comment was posted on the net, not in a print mag. Did you know?

  6. 6 steve-o Jul 26th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I hope the magazines never stop coming. I spend lots of time on the internet but I look forward to getting the mail and finding my magazines. It is so much better than the computer.

  7. 7 A 1 CYCLES Jul 26th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    just my opinion….agreed…and to clarify for people that think he mis typed or messed up “treble damages” isnt the sound of as means triple damages. usually plus lawyer and court costs…been there won that! lol

  8. 8 Jeff Nicklus Jul 26th, 2011 at 5:02 pm


    Exactly Correct!

    Over & Out,


  9. 9 Hamilton Jul 26th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Just My Opinion. When you state:

    “I also know that any attorney worth paying would never allow his client to go on a blog and plead his case. Think about this, if this guy Niemann comes on here and tells everyone why he believes the Trademark is not valid it just gives the opposing council more time to prepare for that case. And they now know how and what to prepare for. No ligit attorney would do that….”

    You forgot something important. Nieman already counter sued. So, his lawyer didn’t disclose in Cyril’s blog anything that SMRI didn’t know because the arguments are already known, at least since 3/4 weeks.

    Then you wrote: “until anyone contesting it can prove beyond a preponderance of a doubt that the trademark copyright or patent is not valid”. There is another argument, that the application for trademark was fraudulent (if applicant lied to the Court) I understand that it’s what Niemann alleges via his attorney.

  10. 10 Jose Jul 26th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Outside the motorcycle industry, do you know how many print magazines and newspapers disappeared? Do you know how many laptops (desktops are dying), tablets, smart phones have been sold during the last 2 years? Do you think that these people don’t read their news online? Some print magazines will survive, but only if they find a content that online magazines don’t or can’t develop. All those preferring paper magazines read and comment in Cyril’s blog? Good for him, he got both types of readers.

  11. 11 J. gale Jul 26th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Paisano wants to launch a bagger magazine? Just 5 years too late. Grey beards are only HD buyers for a remaining short time. So, the number of buyers and readers is going to get smaller and smaller. Very dumb. HD strategy is to attract young people to convince them ride sportsters, for the reasons i just explained. I should be publisher.

  12. 12 BIG DOUG Jul 27th, 2011 at 4:18 am

    hell is easyriders still going?,haven’t read one for years

  13. 13 Bruce Jul 27th, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I didn’t think that Easyriders still exist. It’s at least 3 years that my bookstore doesn’t carry it anymore!

  14. 14 Sark Jul 27th, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Grey beards are only HD buyers for a remaining short time…What??? I’m in my 50s and I’m only going to be able to read for a few short years? Oh no!! Thanks for letting me know.

  15. 15 J. gale Jul 27th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Sark, If they no more buy HD’s because too old, probability is that they will no more read a motorcycle magazine. I guess it’s true after 60. Ask Harley.

  16. 16 bigalyts Jul 27th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I love it Hamilton, “any Legit Attorney” I haven’t come across but a few.and they were working for $45,000 a year. One thing about the Law is as soon as they figure it all out, someone comes along in the next term and changes the Questions.

  17. 17 Nobody Jul 28th, 2011 at 2:10 am

    I prefer magazines.. do you know how hard it is to find a tree with an electrical socket when you’re camping?

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Cyril Huze