Fast Motorcycle Industry News

Harley-Davidson Program To Reduce The Number Of Its U.S. Dealers. Over the past several years, the economic recession has resulted in slow new bikes sales and in pushing many now unprofitable US dealers in or close to bankruptcy. The traditional option is of course to sell and to reopen with a new owner, which is not necessarily what the Milwaukee company wishes in many areas of the country.

As a matter of fact, Harley-Davidson’s President openly declared his intention to continue to shrink the US dealers network, a way to protect the value of the brand and models, keeping a representation only through very profitable dealers. Practically, if your dealership is somewhat in trouble and H-D Milwaukee doesn’t want it anymore in your locale, the company prefers to “help” you to close it definitively via its “Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s U.S. Dealer Consolidation Program.

I don’t have details about the financial arrangement and how it works, but some dealers seem to prefer this option than looking for a buyer. Most recent example is Harley-Davidson of St Augustine, Florida where co-owners Clark Vitulli and Allen Good have decided that the Harley Program help in closing was a better financial option than accepting offers made to buy their dealership. Part of the package offered by Harley seems to be to let you sell and liquidate your stock of Harley parts and merchandise (not motorcycles) during a couple of months after the dealership closure. Maybe a way for business owners to recover and prevent them to end their business while in deep red.

Man awarded 7.5 Million After Motorcycle Accident Left Him With Penis 1.5″ Shorter. Matthew Wall, a Navy Vet was riding a Harley-Davidson to his Naval Base in San Diego, CA when a van from a company named Rancho Auto Group cut him off with for result of him crashing, fracturing his pubic ramus bone and crushing his penis with severe artery and nerve dammage. Reconstructive surgery was performed but Matthew Wall lost 1.5″ to his penis. After suing the shuttle company, a trial jury awarded him 7.5 million for his medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income…and embarrassment for the rest of his life. So, a full penis is worth? I know… it depends of the person.

Ural Motorcycles Sales Up 39% in 2011. Ural Motorcycles experienced dramatic growth in 2011, logging a 39% increase in unit sales for the second consecutive year and welcoming 22 new dealers in the US to its existing network. The company hopes to add 30 more in 2012. Ural’s North American operation, located in Redmond, Washington, is moving to a larger facility to accommodate offices, parts and logistics departments. Ural rang in the New Year by releasing the M70 anniversary-edition selling out in less than two weeks! Ural has experienced an increased demand from all age groups. Mature riders are interested in sidecars because of the added stability, and the unique opportunity to share the ride with their family members. The younger urban crowd is also getting into sidecars in their search for practical transportation and their desire for something unique — an experience and identity — they can associate with their own lifestyle.” Recently, even Brad Pitt and Ewan McGregor have added Urals to their garages.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. (SMRI) Financial Statements.  During a meeting with the Sturgis City Council, SMRI board member Dean Kinney disclosed some numbers regarding income and expenses of the group in charge of protecting the rally trademarks acquired in June 2010. In 2011 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. received an income of $435,000 from trademarks licensing fees and had about 209,000 in legal fees to protect its intellectual property and defend them against lawsuits  by the group Concerned Citizens For Sturgis. SMRI also made $201,000 in loan payments on a debt of about 2.1 million and also paid fees of $10,500 to a public relation person. In December, SMRI donated $50,000 to Sturgis Charities but Dean Kinney believes that his group could in the future return million of dollars to the community. In 2011, 20 vendors would have accepted to pay for an official Sturgis license.

Ducati North America Reports 43 % Growth in 2011. Its the company 6th consecutive quarter of growth with sales increases in every North American Region, US, Canada and Mexico. This result established North America as Ducati’s number one market for the first time ever. Ducati’s growth was fueled by an expanding product line-up, including the award-winning Diavel and Multistrada. Voted “Best Cruiser of 2011” by several motorcycle magazines. In 2012, Ducati will refocus its efforts in the sportbike category with the first customer deliveries of the brand’s newest flagship Superbike, the Ducati 1199 Panigale and the 848 EVO Corse Special Edition. New additions to the Ducati line-up also include the Diavel AMG, the recently announced Diavel Cromo, as well as the highly anticipated Streetfighter 848.

19 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 Fredp Jan 21st, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    The buyers landscape continues to change! Ducati and Ural, who’d a thought, eh boys?

  2. 2 DJ Jan 21st, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Holy cow!!! Now this idiot goes and gets his wiener wacked off, I suppose we will all have to wear some kind of penis helmet.. Way to go buddy! Always someone to ruin it for everyone

  3. 3 DJ Jan 21st, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I see my last opine is awaiting moderation.. I would like to apologize in advance to all the people that are running around with a partial “package” that might have been offended. That was very rude of me

  4. 4 ian Jan 21st, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I live in the SE of England – a small country – yet I have 6 main HD dealers all within 45 miles of where I live, and in the UK a sportster costs $12000 and a Fatboy over $24000 – i visited one this Saturday afternoon and we were the only customers (we didn’t buy).

    When you have a “desirable” product like HD people will travel to it, I think our density is too great in the UK so that must be equally so in The USA – shrinking the dealer network makes sense – good move I think.

  5. 5 dannyb278 Jan 21st, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    mabey he can use some of those millions to add a few inches.

  6. 6 Patrick Jan 21st, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Or the medical procedure addadicktome.

  7. 7 Flying Piston Jan 21st, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Last time I was in northern California and needed to pick up some Sportster parts I did a Google Maps search for a radius of 50 miles and 7 dealers popped up and there were several more just outside that distance. I can’t imagine what Los Angles must be like.

  8. 8 DJ Jan 21st, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I love to see them limit access to dealers.. That will go a long way towards strengthening the brand again. They have went WAY to commercial

  9. 9 Luis Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I’m from the tail end of gen X and I love the gunny. Mostly because I love full metal jacket.

  10. 10 Luis Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    @ flying piston. Its consolidated down a lot.

  11. 11 nicker Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Well since OhBummer is determined to take America down the primrose path of the former Soviet Socialist Republic, having his constituency belly-up to purchase icons of their hay-day shouldn’t be surprising.

    “….Ural Motorcycles experienced dramatic growth in 2011….”
    “…the younger urban crowd is also getting into sidecars in their search for practical transportation and their desire for something unique — an experience and identity — they can associate with their own lifestyle…”

    So, like the young Urban crowd in the former Soviet Union, who embraced the junk Lada automobile as a status symbol… The American contemporary Alan Alda (metro sexual) crowd is embracing More Russian (junk) as a status symbol. Why am i not surprised…. 🙁

    “…Ural rang in the New Year by releasing the M70 anniversary-edition …”

    “M70” anniversary???
    Could that stand for the anniversary “70year” (1943?) Massacre of 4500 Polish Soldiers in Katyn Wood….???

    What’s next…. Chopped and dropped Lara automobiles…???

    Just wondering out loud……. 🙂

  12. 12 MotorcycleMarc Jan 22nd, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Hi Cyril,
    Harley’s apparent offer to dealers to further consolidate its dealership network is yet further indication that the big bike market remains too expensive for the “new normal” consumer. The company does not appear to have grasped the fact that its product line has priced itself out of the range of its target market. I feel bad for dealers that have to shut their doors. It is likely going to get financially ugly for even for the dealers that survive if product price points don’t adjust over time. Good luck to all. Times, they are a changin’.

  13. 13 Brett Jan 23rd, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Makes me wonder how many in Wisconsin will shut their doors. Here we have a HD dealership about every 30 to 40 minutes. They took the Green Bay dealership away from McCoy’s, but now Vandervest is opening here. Vandervest also has a dealership in Peshtigo which is about 45 minutes north of Green Bay. Then we have Doc’s, which is 20 minutes west of Green Bay. Appleton HD is 30 minutes South West of Green Bay While Stock’s Manitowoc is 30 minutes South east of Green Bay. There is a dealer in Fon Du Lac which is about 45 minutes south of Appleton & a Sheboygan dealer which is about 45 minutes south of Manitowoc. & it keeps going like this in almost every direction.

    Now profitable is the key phrase…..are they talking just bike sales or all the other HD trinkets? I don’t think they would have even needed to worry about it when all the shops were smaller, but now that they all had to build a new palace/amusement park in the name of HD…..well I am sure some are struggling. Many of these dealers probably had their place paid off before. Now with their new multi million dollar shrine, they probably have quite the nice mortgage payment each month.

    This will also cause problems for the customer with the need of service. Doc’s is not one of the bigger dealerships for sales of bikes. They just don’t get the number of bikes the other places do. However, they are by far the best dealership for service & getting work done to your bike. They can also work on any V-twin ever made, since Doc started as a just a small indie shop & he was also a wrench & he still does alot with the old engines. Something many of the others will not do.

    McCoy’s was the worst for service & getting work done on your bike. Vandervest isn’t much better.

    My only hope is I am pretty sure Doc has his stuff paid off & he also put many other money making buildings on his property…so hopefully he sticks around.

  14. 14 Jason Hallman Jan 23rd, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Even with 7.5 Million…I would say he comes in a little short

  15. 15 John Williams Jan 23rd, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I just found out about this Yesterday on Sunday, January 22. Our Daytona HOG had a run with some members of St Augustine HOG atttending. They told us the story. When St Augustine Harley Dealership closed down, their HOG was shut down and some members were deciding on what other HOG’s to transfer to. We (Daytona HOG) got a few and the Jacksonville HOG’s got some too we understand. They said Harley left them high and dry to fend for themselves with no assistance.

  16. 16 1550tc Jan 23rd, 2012 at 10:33 am

    continue to shrink the US dealers network…..duh sounds like gm in 09….

    Keep all that russian shit on the east side of the ural mtns

  17. 17 Tommy Boy Jan 23rd, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Does Carrol Shelby now work for Harley Davidson????? As it appears some snake oil is flowing from the marketing department at the Motor Company. Dealers closing to protect the brand!!!!!! Give me a break. This is all about driving up the price of new and used Harleys as well as parts & service. The small dealers who always provided great service and great pricing on parts and bikes were forced to build big box stores to “protect the brand”. Now they cannot afford the overhead, nor do they get the bikes that the preferred dealers receive. As such, they are encouraged to take the proverbial corporate buy out or be forced into bankruptcy. What a great country – huh????

    The Motor Company is now being run by former Auto Execs…… the same folks who destroyed the American brand of automobiles. Other than Willie and Bill, most real motorcycle enthusiasts have cashed out and moved on. So too are most baby boomers. Take a look at all the Harleys for sale on Ebay…… other than the restricted CVO editions, they’re selling for 20-25% less than what the dealers are asking. In this day & age of tranferable warranties why would anyone buy a used bike from a dealer? Also note all the dealers who are selling overstock parts through third parties. Harley is advising dealers they could lose their franchise if they sell discounted parts outside their franchise market. To reduce inventory and improve cash flow the non-preferred dealers have to rely on Ebay & Craiglist to pay the bills. So, where does the protection really exist??? One need only review HD annual report for the answers. Later…………………….

  18. 18 Doug Jan 23rd, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Smri Where did the 2.1 million debt come from? What did the buy, or borrow against ?

  19. 19 bigalyts Jan 24th, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Russian Shit is correct. There is not a cruder or unrefined, bad tooling, terrible craftmanship than a Ural, period. I can probably say that there is not a Bad Motorcycle made today except a Ural. It is even worse, worse then the Hindu Bikes.Ian there is a big Concentration of Dealers everywhere in the US. Let those Dealers go F_ _ K themselves. Make the an offer and if they don’t take it buy a whatever! There are tons of Bikes to Buy.

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Cyril Huze