Fast Motorcycle Industry News

US Harley-Davidson Dealers Shipping Parts To Canada were reminded that they are not supposed to sell parts outside of their area. Playing the game of a favorable exchange rate for the Canadian dollar stronger than the US one, many Canadians, individuals and independent shops order their HD parts from US dealers, and not necessarily those on the border between the 2 countries. These American dealers were told that they can lose their dealership by making sales to Canada. The objective is of course to protect their Canadian counterparts.

For The First Time Ducati Selling More bikes In The US Than In Italy. On Monday Sepember 19, 2011 at a North American meeting, Ducati Motor Holding President Gabriele Del Torchio announced “We sell more bikes here in the United States now than we do in our domestic market.” He stated that the Ducati brand became the second most recognizable behind Apple (I have doubts on this statement because other brand studies don’t show Ducati in 2nd position). 20% of Ducati bikes are sold in Italy, and 80 percent are exported. Del Torchio added, “Our registrations through the end of August went up by 18.6 percent despite the fact that the worldwide market was down 4.3 percent. I truly believe that by the end of the year, we will reach 42,000 units, which would be a record in our history for highest volume, even better than our previous best year in 2008”

US National Motorcycle Thefts Down 24 Percent Since 2007. The National Insurance Crime Bureau today reported that in 2010, motorcycle thefts were down 24 percent from their 2007 total. There were 65,678 motorcycles reported stolen in 2007 compared with 49,791 in 2010–a decline of 24 percent. All data is from theft reports contained in the National Crime Information Center. As With Passenger Cars, Thieves Prefer Honda motorcycles. The top five makes stolen in 2010  were: (1) Honda, 12,260; (2) Yamaha, 9,853; (3) Suzuki, 7,869; (4) Kawasaki, 5,470; and (5) Harley-Davidson, 3,301. Combined, these five brands accounted for 38,753 thefts in 2010, or 77.8 percent of the total. For 2010, the top five states with the most motorcycle thefts were: (1) California, 5,662; (2) Texas, 4,394; (3) Florida, 4,148; (4) North Carolina, 2,649; and (5) Indiana, 1,925. These five states accounted for 18,778 thefts, or 37.7 percent of the total. Not surprising, in 2010, the summer months of July (5,714) and August (5,380) saw the most theft activity. The fewest thefts were recorded during the months of February (2,403) and December (2,763).

Canadian Sikh Riding Community Wants Helmet Exemption. Sikhism is an Indian Religion whose followers observes a religious practice of wearing a turban or dastaar,  and of never cutting, trimming or otherwise removing any hair on their bodies. Because they don’t want to break their faith and remove their turbans not fitting inside helmets, they ask for an exemption to the Toronto province’s motorcycle helmet law. In addition, Sikhs state that asking them to take off their turbans is literally like asking them to take off their clothes… Both British Columbia and Manitoba have exemptions in their helmet laws for turban-wearing Sikhs.

25 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 Fernando Sep 21st, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I worked in the music industry for many years as a product manager. There was always an opportunity to make a ton of money buying and selling CDs internationally based on exchange rate distortions. Everyone participated in the bonanza, from the suitcase salesmen to the major wholesalers… all this before MP3s, of course. HD is so bent on trying to control every red cent associated with their brand, while their own exclusive distributors are cheating the system…. looks a lot like the gray market for pharmaceuticals… in most cases, the customers always end up paying more and feeling ripped off. Bunch of greedy babies…

  2. 2 Jeff Nicklus Sep 21st, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    If I were an HD Dealer and the friggin “Company” threatened me with losing my dealership for trying to make a buck I would tell them to suck my &%#. The next call I would make would be to Polaris and ask how I became a Victory/Indian Dealer! But that is just me!!!!!

    Over & Out,


  3. 3 Ribaldmanikin Sep 21st, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Canadians are sick and tired of the Deeley tax. It’s ridiculous thatprices are 30% higher across the board (minimum) on parts, let alone motorcycles. I’ll keep buying on ebay or wherever I can rather than support Deeley.

    If they want us to buy in Canada, drop the Deeley tax and charge fair market prices.

  4. 4 TRexSG Sep 21st, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Harley is trying to police it’s dealers who are simply try to make a buck. It just gives them an excuse to get rid of dealers so they can drive their inflated prices even higher.

  5. 5 Rider2 Sep 21st, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    HD has issued a few very strong statements for the past 3 months to US dealers doing parts wholesale not only to Canada but also to Europe and Japan. They now monitoring what dealers are doing and are getting reports almost on a weekly basis.

    They have completely shut down all wholesale accounts to anybody that is not a licensed HD dealer. So if you were a non-HD franchise wanting to purchase HD OEM parts to work on your clients’ bikes, well you can’t. Dealers wont sell to you or they will sell retail.

    On top of that, in some instance, I was told that HD is also asking dealers to attach a VIN# to any order for parts. So if you are working on one motorcycle but you order a box of 25 HD sparkplugs, HD can come after the dealer for this because on paper, you only need 2.

    No more stocking items (oil gaskets, plugs, batteries, tires etc..), no more HD motorclothes either. HD is really cranking down and it’s killing their wholesale business. The stupidest policy ever.

  6. 6 andrew peters Sep 21st, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I live in Canada…This morning I spoke with a well known and respected US dealer who has a very good online shop, He wrote to me, and I’m sure to all of his online customers also. He was dicreetly advising me of the position the ‘Company’ were placing him in, I understood his situation, he will of course sell me parts for MY Harley Davidson because he wouldn’t refuse a ‘customer’… I use an address in the US near the border then a Canadian shipping agent delivers the parts to me, the US dealer is not sending parts to Canada, he is not breaking ‘the rules’…
    I like my local Harley dealer, I would like to support local business…I do shop there, when i have to… but they (thanks to the importer/distributor/whatever) charge much higher prices than a dealer only a few miles south of here.
    “Free Trade”… ??? the way that ‘agreement’ is worded then ‘goods manufactured outside the US’ are liable to extra tariffs… Genuine Harley Davidson parts, accessories, clothing… made outside the US… pay up sucker… the Goverment wants some of your cash now…
    And try buying a New Harley in the US and bringing it to Canada, or even an almost new bike and see what the ‘Company’ says about your “Manufacturers Warrenty” !!!
    “Free Trade”???
    “Free Country”???
    your only freedom is you can leave if you don’t like it, there are plenty of Asians willing to take your place… only they will buy metric of course…
    Sorry I’m going into a rant…
    I’m going out to ride my BMW…(now you think Harley owners get to pay the high prices…)

  7. 7 Richard Sep 21st, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    In reading the post, I have come away with more questions than conclusions. Is there a contract between HD and it’s dealers that specifies they can not sell to Canada (or other foreign entities)? Are there international laws that dictate a trade agreement between the US and Canada? Are there independent US and/or Canadian laws that ban this kind of “across border” sales? Is HD protecting it’s Canadian dealers? Is HD protecting itself and it’s US dealers pro-actively by preventing justifiable lawsuits? It would be advisable to better understand the REASONS for their actions befor condemming the motor company.

  8. 8 Fredp Sep 21st, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    What the heck? I thought we were in a GLOBAL economy. I’d like to see if Harley corporate actually have the BALLS to close down a dealer.

  9. 9 Mike Sep 21st, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Hell, in Nevada, Reno Dealers will not sell to residents of Clark County ( Las Vegas) neither would Salt Lake sell to me.

    That’s ok,I bought a new Victory Jackpot, sold my HD stock a long time ago too.

    Them’s the facts.

  10. 10 Rider2 Sep 21st, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    From what I understand, all HD dealers are independent franchises. meaning that once they purchase anything (parts, bikes, t-shirts, gifts), the property of the items is theirs. You would think that legally they can do whatever they want with the products including selling it to whoever they want. However, wholesale is different. HD certainly doesn’t want non-franchised shops without any HD approved “training” to use their parts. If you have purchased your bike at an official HD store and have your bike serviced by a non-HD store, using HD OEM parts, you can come back to HD and sue them if something happens. HD certainly doesn’t want this. Also, wholesale parts have some / used to have some really great prices. Therefore HD wants to keep this money within the dealerships at full retail price, not giving the margins and discounts to non-HD stores. Consequently, they are cracking down on the US dealers who have been selling those parts all over the world for a very long time. Very simple strategy.

    What this will do is get those HD dealers more creative on how they sell those parts and the price will go higher for everybody as pretty much everybody will have to buy at retail cost. The reason is simple, HD parts to HD dealers. HD dealers can’t even sell parts to other HD dealers outside their territory.

  11. 11 stephen Sep 22nd, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Just about every business in the USA is selling stuff to customers outside of the USA so why should HD dealers be any different? If the dealership agreement prevents dealers selling to customers outside of their territory then what about selling to out of state customers? If the agreement is legally binding on the dealer then the dealers have no recourse but if it is all bluff then let the dealers make a living.

    Frankly HD motorcycles are not that great and they are over priced anyway so no one will miss them when they close down. So they may as well go out pissing everyone off.

  12. 12 Toby Sep 22nd, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    ***reading the post, I have come away with more questions than conclusions. Is there a contract between HD and it’s dealers that specifies they can not sell to Canada (or other foreign entities)?***

    Yes, the dealer agreements, and they vary slightly depending on state dealer laws, allow the company to set territory limits.

  13. 13 Woody Sep 22nd, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Well, to be fair, no McDonald’s franchisee can change the menu or many other things. If you can’t abide by a franchise aggreement ya probably shouldn’t sign one.

  14. 14 1550tc Sep 22nd, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Problem in canada is that you have the importer taking a mark up, then the delaer has his mark up….. couple that with even $$$ and us delaers willing to discount ……. equals great deals for canadians buying from us dealers online or in store sales, then also factor in the tax free exemption when canadians are in the usa for 48 hrs and 7 days or longer, then your really getting a great deal……..and if you can belive this, screaming eagle clothing you cant even BUY up there due to some Indian Band?? WTF??

  15. 15 Woody Sep 22nd, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Jeff, don’t you think Polaris would have any part of your new dealer aggreement that you’d eventually run afoul of?

  16. 16 Olive Oil Sep 23rd, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Don James and Malcolm Hunter own Deeley Canada. James also being on the board of directors for Harley Davidson. Fortunate well earned position or conflict of interest? Whatever it amounts to it is a profitable position to be in for both these gentlemen.

  17. 17 Mike Sep 23rd, 2011 at 8:57 am

    If Sikhs can have an exemption for the helmet law based on religious reasons, the rest of us should get to make the personal choice. Or they should make really huge helmets.

  18. 18 Jeff Nicklus Sep 23rd, 2011 at 9:19 am


    NO, I would negociate a contract from the get-go that I could live with or I wouldn’t sign it to start with!

    Over & Out,


  19. 19 Woody Sep 23rd, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Fair enough 🙂

  20. 20 Gary Bang Sep 23rd, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Some things to think about. If your were Harley-Davidson Dealer in Canada or any other place in the world and your customer could and was buying from a US Harley-Dealer at a reduced price exchange rate or no excange rate. I would bet that you would be real upset. They have a word for this very unfair competition.

    Harley-Davidson right or wrong is doing the correct think to stop USA dealers from selling out of the USA. A Harley Davidson USA Dealer is in the retail business selling Motorcycle parts in the USA, not the World. Your Harley-Davidson dealer is also not in the business of sellling Wholesale that is why we have Drag, Custom Chrome and others.

    And to all the people that are going to sell their Harley-Davidson Stock and the Motorcycle and buy a Victory way to go you guys are sure going to show people how you roll. Make a real statement and say that you are not going to have sex for at least 5-Years or the rest of your life.

    I am a Harley-Davidson Dealer and I support Harley-Davidson on this issue.

    Thanks Gary Bang

  21. 21 Olive Oil Sep 24th, 2011 at 11:05 am

    To Gary Bang: It is a little hard to swallow driving across the border a mere 20 miles away into the USA and find the parts you just bought in Canada 20 – 30% higher than the US counterpart. If I was a Canadian dealer I would be upset OR try and match the price of the USA dealers a little closer. Especially when the CDN dollar is at par with the US $ now. The majority of my purchases of parts for my bike are bought on ebay and the dealers are more than happy to get the sale. I pay my taxes at the canadian border and everybody is happy especially me!! The Deeley monopoly as sole Canadian distributor and dealer as well, certainly keeps those prices at the level Deeley’s appreciates.

  22. 22 Gary Bang Sep 24th, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Dear Olive Oil: Deeley for a long time has been the sole Canadian agent in Canada. I would bet this is how it may work. Harley-Davidson sells Deeley Motorcycles, parts and accessories at the same price as they sell to a USA Dealer. If this is correct and I bet it is they than have to mark the item up and sell to the Canadian Dealer network and than the Canadian Dealer will sell to you or the the retail customer.

    Check out the auto dealers a USA Ford Dealer can not sell items in Canada, Canadians must buy from your local Canadian agent. We share a common border, but we are not the same.

    A USA Harley dealer should never be in compeition with your Canadian Dealer, and on the other hand a Deeley or a Canadian Harley dealer should follow the same rules. Harley has a very large stake in the world Dealer network we must respect them on this issue.

    Olive Oil I sure like you and WoW what a name. Thanks Gary Bang

  23. 23 Olive Oil Sep 24th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Gary the only difference I see is the distributor. USA dealers buy direct from Harley, is that correct? In Canada every single Harley is bought and distributed to every single Canadian dealer by Deeley Canada, from Harley Milwaukee Correct? Deeley Canada (Mr James & Mr. Hunter owners) also own Vancouver Harley Davidson along with I don’t know how many other dealers in Canada. Point being Deeley Canada makes it at both ends , in importing and dealership. I have put up with this issue for 30 some odd years and I just see a conflict of interest here and nothing I nor anybody else can do about it. Maybe Mr James can mention it at his next Milwaukee Harley director’s meeting.
    Gary I have been into your dealership a few times on my many road trips down the coast. Your dealership is gorgeous and you also have some of the best riding country in the US. Keep up the great work.

  24. 24 1550tc Sep 24th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Olive the Deeley deal is a 50’s business model…….no need for an importer especially when u consider the size of the can market and short riding season up there…….clothing up there used to be 2x the price of it in the usa

    Olive even when the can $$ was super LOW ….. buying from a us dealer who gave you 20% off was a great deal

    Gary and Olive deely does cover the warrantee costs thus the higher prices ……to cover the can bikes warrantees

  25. 25 Bigwoody Sep 27th, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Harley dealerships are busy sellin $60.00 jeans and $30.00 Tee shirts both made in China.

    Make it here Sell it here.

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Cyril Huze