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Why Harley-Davidson Can’t Benefit From Victory’s Demise

I reproduce below what I think is a great analysis by Rich Duprey for the Motley Fool. In it, he explains why the demise of Victory Motorcycles will not help Harley-Davidson, quite the opposite. I agree with him that the exit of Victory is only going to intensify the competition against the industry leader. Read, then voice your opinion.

“Unfortunately for Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG), there’s no way it can capitalize on the decision by Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII) to kill off its Victory brand of motorcycles. Although it means there will be one less American-made motorcycle on the market, which ought to bolster the made-in-America motorcycle king, its rival’s move to focus instead on its fabulously successful Indian Motorcycle nameplate means Harley is going to have an even harder time selling its bikes.

A losing proposition. Few would argue Polaris didn’t make the right move. Despite 18 years on the market, Victory hardly made a dent in the consciousness of bike riders. Growth was negligible, and the brand had accumulated losses of $100 million for Polaris. With an industry in the midst of a downturn, pouring more resources into Victory was not feasible, certainly not when Polaris has the Indian brand that could benefit further from the additional investments that will be thrown at it. Because Indian has made swift inroads into Harley’s market share, quickly jumping into second place in the short span of years since the nameplate was bought out of bankruptcy, having even greater resources available to it could see larger swaths of the market fall into its camp. As Harley-Davidson’s fourth-quarter earnings show, that’s a distinct possibility. While the bike maker finally snapped a two-year losing streak of falling quarterly sales in the U.S., the gains weren’t anything special. Revenue rose 0.1% over 2015, as it sold exactly 33 more bikes in the period than a year ago.

Declining volumes. At least it didn’t try to fudge the shipment numbers this time around. Unlike the last two years in a row — when it pushed out more motorcycles onto dealer lots in the fourth quarter than were warranted, to be able to say it made its full-year shipment forecasts — this year Harley just wouldn’t have been able to justify the big spike needed to make even the low end of its forecast. In the end, shipments fell 12%. That means Harley-Davidson missed its guidance for the year. Where it had said it was confident it would ship between 264,000 and 269,000 motorcycles in 2016, it ended up shipping a little over 262,000 bikes. Continue reading ‘Why Harley-Davidson Can’t Benefit From Victory’s Demise’

Zipper's

First Sturgis Buffalo Chip® 2017 Concert Announced. George Thorogood & The Destroyers.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers will be performing for fans at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip® on Thursday, Aug. 10 and they’re still “Bad to the Bone.” The band’s show will follow Doug Danger’s Rattlesnake Jump, an attempt to jump Evel Knievel’s 1972 Harley-Davidson 120ft. over a pit filled with live rattlesnakes.

George Thorogood And The Destroyers has been a nonstop touring rock and roll machine since the ‘70s, celebrating 40 years of performing together in 2014. In that time the band’s signature snarling, buzz saw bluesy rock ‘n’ roll blend generated classic rock staples like “Bad to the Bone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “I Drink Alone,” “Who Do You Love,” “Move it On Over,” and many more.

“George Thorogood is bringing some of the most well-known hits in the world to the Chip this summer,” said Rod Woodruff, Sturgis Buffalo Chip President. “And if you’re in the crowd you’ll get to experience the power of these classic tunes in the best way possible, through the band’s explosive live performance. I expect everyone in the audience will be singing along to every word.”

In addition to nine nights of world-class concerts the American Flat TrackBuffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle will light up the amphitheater on Sun., Aug. 6. The Moto Stampede continues in 2017 with Hooligan Races presented by Indian Motorcycle and authentic Street Drag Races on Wed., Aug 9.

The Buffalo Chip plans to announce more headlining main stage entertainment in the coming weeks. More info and purchase passes at Buffalo Chip

MX Style Floorboards For Harley Softail And Baggers

Made of steel with just the right amount of serration to keep your feet planted on your floorboards.

They are TIG welded for strength and then nicely powder coated in satin black.

The rider floorboards bolt right on 1984 to 2017 Harley FL Touring models, 1984-2015 FLST/FLS and 2012-2017 FLD
models.

The matching passenger floorboards fit Harley 1993-2017 FLH/T models with stock passenger floorboard mounts.

Contact Burly Brand or your local dealer. 888-367-1871.

Progressive Suspension

The Forged Invitational Caffeine and Octane At The Beach. Jekyll Island, Georgia March 17-19.

This coming St Patrick weekend (March 17-19) one of the country’s largest and most nationally recognized cars and coffee event heads to the beautiful and idyllic setting of Jekyll Island, Georgia.

During the Caffeine and Octane At The Beach event will be held the inaugural Forged Invitational featuring some of the best builders in the country.

The initiative comes from Custom Builder Bryan Fuller of Fuller Moto who partnered with Caffeine and Octane, America’s largest monthly car show, to bring a unique experience of all the things guys like him are truly passionate about; motorcycles, cars, customizing, and inspiring the next generation of builders and enthusiasts.

All makes all models of cars and motorcycles can participate. Several educational workshops on popular topics such as welding and design, a motorcycle Ride with “All Girls Garage” tv host Cristy Lee, a Brews Cruise along the intracoastal waterway as well as other island events will be held over the weekend. A nice addition to the show is the curated American Makers Artist Marketplace which will showcase artists and makers who embody craftsmanship, quality and authentically made American products.

For more information, please visit Caffeine & Octane At The Beach. Entry to the event is FREE. Workshop tickets are only $25. Tickets by going HERE

Motorcycle Engine Sculpture

Wayne Ransom loves motorcycles, is an occasional bike builder, and found a new outlet for his creativity. Static engine sculptures straying from the original mechanical design with a more simplistic and flowing design. As the engine is itself in movement…His first series is based/inspired by the Suzuki Hayabusa engine (soon a V-Twin) that he is going to decline in a variety of sculptures ranging from free-standing to table-top size,

For a “sand cast” look all engine is bead blasted then clear coated to facilitate cleaning. On this sculpture, exhaust is formed out of Titanium with 184 weld joints that equal 97 feet of weld length. Then a little bit of color is added to give those welds some character. The end pipe is sculpted from aircraft aluminum, mirror polished and cleared. The pedestal is made out of stainless steel tube with aluminum panels. Dimensions: Length 36″ (91.4cm) Width 34″ (86.3cm) Height 55″ (139.7cm). You can see this sculpture more in details at Wayne Ransom Velocity Collection, and of course it’s for sale.

The C88. A Sportster With Hard-Edged Attitude.

North Of Phoenix, in their New River shop, brothers and best friends Justin & Jarrod Del Prado are becoming one of the USA choice teams for a precision re-built Sportster with great class and extra OMPH. No big crew at DP Customs, just the 2 of them doing what they love to do. No corporate BS to deal with and no risk of interference with their creativity. Just keeping it root and building with passion and pride. A philosophy attracting many clients bringing them tired and/or already badly customized Sportsters for a power plant refresh job and a full design makeover. Between the walls of their small shop, only one rule: keep the Sportster a Sportster to the core…

The C88 (last letter of client’s name and his preferred number) got started from a 2001 1200cc Sporty immediately stripped down to its bare frame. After cleaning it of its factory welds and unnecessary brackets, the Del Prado’s chopped it just behind the rear motor mounts and re-built it as a new hard-tail drop seat frame. For this purpose they formed and welded a “roll-hoop” style tube forming the solo seat cradle. Result is an “in the frame” riding position well suited to mean speed even when the bike still stands still. Continue reading ‘The C88. A Sportster With Hard-Edged Attitude.’

Motorcycle Parts Website

Arlen Ness Inner Harley Fairing Gauge Trim And Matching Speaker Grills

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One of the easiest and most frequent changed parts changed on a Harley tourer, is the fairing gauge trim. Many different design styles (just a few shown here) will add style to your inner fairing and gauges.

CNC CNC machined from billet aluminum. Available in Deep Cut, 10-Gauge and Beveled styles Each style has matching speaker grills & tank dash accessories for the complete look.

Retail $219.95-$239.95. At Arlen Ness

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Joke Of The Week

The Irish are a wonderful bunch of people, always willing to help in a pinch.

Shortly after take-off on an outbound evening Air Lingus flight from Dublin to Boston, the lead flight attendant nervously made the following painful announcement in her lovely Irish brogue: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m so very sorry, but it appears that there has been a terrible mix-up by our catering service. I don’t know how this has happened, but we have 103 passengers on board, and unfortunately, we received only 40 dinner meals. I truly apologize for this mistake and inconvenience.”

When the muttering of the passengers had died down, she continued, “Anyone who is kind enough to give up their meal so that someone else can eat, will receive free, unlimited drinks for the duration of our 5 hour flight“

Her next announcement came about 2 hours later: “If anyone is hungry, we still have 40 dinners available.”

This 1912 Henderson Four Sold For $490,000 At Last Weekend Las Vegas Auction

It was known as the Duesenberg of motorcycles. This unrestored Henderson Four born in 1912, the first year of Henderson’s existence, with original paint and tires, was hammered for $490,000 at last weekend Mecum Las Vegas Auction. Its original price was $325. Its four cylinders were arranged in a row and placed longitudinally in the frame. 934 cc, or 57 cubic inches, with inlet-over-exhaust valves and a single-speed chain drive. You start it It is started with a hand crank. The fuel tank is a long, cylindrical tube slung from the top of the frame. A total of 13.7 million was sold during this last weekend Mecum auction.

Leading Axle Fork Legs Kit For Tourers With 23” Front wheel.

The objective of these Fork Legs was to develop and build a new style taking its flair from the 70’s Motocross era. For their conception and design, Battistinis USA teamed up with leading suspension and fork manufacturer, American Suspension. Features include an axle that is offset over 1 1/2” forward and around 1/2” lower to give a perfect trail when fitting a 23” front wheel into any touring bike. The kit keeps the full stock suspension travel.

No need to instal travel limiters or uprated springs. Kit is also compatible with American Suspensions Fully adjustable cartridge and suspension kits. A true bolt on, the Leading Axle ™ fork legs simply replace the stock lower legs without the need to remove the fairing, trees or altering frame geometry. The Leading Axle ™ fork leg has the corrected trail built right into the leg and use stock brakes, fender and all fork internals. Legs can be replaced in under two hours which reduces the downtime and labor cost. Patent Pending. At Battistinis USA.

Project “Indian Chieftain Build A Legend”. You Vote For The Best And You Can Win A Brand New One.

During 10 months, 11 North America Indian dealers worked hard to build the most badass Chieftain bagger they could imagine.

Indian has put these bikes up for a vote HERE. The top three bikes will be unveiled at an Indian VIP party in Daytona Beach during Daytona Bike Week in March.

And when you vote you get a chance to win a 2017 Indian Chieftain of your own. Each daily vote is equal to an entry in the sweepstakes. Voters can vote daily to increase sweepstakes entries and chances to win. VOTE NOW…

RSD Brake Calipers

Roland Sands states that his brake calipers are a step up in braking power for your V-Twin bike.

“We’ve taken the best of brake caliper technology, high quality precision machining and trademark RSD styling, With GP racing architecture and weight distribution, the extra rigidity maximizes your effort at the brake lever, stopping you faster with more feel.”

You can couple RSD brake calipers with their RSD radial master cylinders. Offered in Black Ops, Chrome, Contrast Cut, Machine Ops For Dyna 2000-16, Softail 2000-14 except FSXTS, Sportster 2000-13, FLH 2000-07 with 11.5” disc, VRod 2002-2005 except VRSCR. Roland Sands Design.

The Cavalry. First Ever Bluetooth Half-Helmet.

Until now, only full face and modular helmets were offered with bluetooth capability. The Cavalry from Sena is the first ever bluetooth half-helmet. Forget the hassle of installation, the Cavalry comes pre-wired and ready to ride.

You can take and make phone calls, listen to FM radiol or to your favor music play list, hear GPS directions and chat with up to four of your buddies on the built-in intercom system up to 300 ft away. High quality speakers deliver crystal clear audio in a seamless design built right into the helmet.

The Calvary’s bluetooth system offers a 10-hour battery life. Available at a dealer near you. Sena Helmets.

Vintage Motorcycles Racing Is Back In Australia

Vintage motorcycle racing returns in many countries around the world. In Australia, it’s beach racing on the south coast, where races will be held for the first time since 1953. The Levis Motorcycle Club will host a two-day classic event at Sellicks Beach on February 18 and 19 featuring competitors from every mainland Australian state. A field of 110 motorcycles manufactured before 1963 have entered to race across five classes – under 125cc through to 501cc – 1300cc. Sidecar races will also be held. Continue reading ‘Vintage Motorcycles Racing Is Back In Australia’

Voyager Wet Waxed UV Treated Cotton Canvas Luggage Line

For riders on the go looking for more stylish utilitarian luggage options, the Voyager Luggage Line has arrived. Finding storage on motorcycles has often been attributed to giant packs with bungees attached every which way.

Minimize the stress involved with trying to find room for riding essentials with Burly Brand’s Detachable Saddlebag(s), Tool Roll, Roll Top Backpack, Tank/Tail Bag and Magnetic Map Tank Screen.

Bare the elements with rugged 500 gsm wet waxed UV treated cotton canvas construction and leather paneling/straps that will age and show character over time. Each item features high quality “moto centric” speed buckles and zippers with metal Burly Brand embossed button snaps and accents as well as an “Anti-Flail Snap System” (on all zipper pulls and strap ends). At Burly Brand, tel 888-367-1871 or your local dealer.

Harley-Davidson Vs Indian Motorcycle. 2017 Prices.

This year, many among you are going to buy a brand new motorcycle. And many are going to compare the features and prices of each model of our 2 main American manufacturers.  You are on your own to make the right decision. As of today, below are the price of each bike in the 2017 Harley-Davidson & Indian Motorcycle lineup.  

Words Of The Week

You all know that Harley-Davidson is focused on promoting motorcycle riding in the U.S.

Harley CEO Levatich told analysts on a conference call Tuesday January 1st.

“Now more than ever, we’re not only in the business of building great motorcycles. We’re in the business of building riders”

Would You Like To Become a Vanguard Roadster Test-Rider For A Day?

Starting at $29,995, the Vanguard Roadster was introduced last December in New York City as “a premium motorcycle within reach”.

Vanguard Moto is currently developing and testing the prototype, a multi-month process with input from vendors, experts, specialists…and of riders like you.

Before a new motorcycle can be put in the hands of customers, a manufacturer must test the motorcycle with professional test riders. Yet, feedback from regular riders like you is also extremely useful.

Vanguard Moto gives you this opportunity by offering you the opportunity to join their development team for one day.

You just need to enter Vanguard’s contest by clicking HERE. You can increase your chance to win one of the 3 spots as a test-rider by sharing this info with as many people as possible on Facebook, Twitter or by email. Each winner will join the Vanguard development team for a day this coming spring or summer. A very unique experience you could brag about!

Once you enter, you will receive a confirmation email, so make sure to confirm your entry or you will not be eligible to win. Register HERE.

President Donald Trump Canceled Visit To Harley-Davidson Factory Amid Planned Protests

President Trump’s planned Thursday visit to the Harley factory has been canceled because the White House was not comfortable with likely protests because of his controversial immigration executive order. He was supposed to tour the facility and planned to sign executive orders related to American manufacturing. Instead, tomorrow Thursday morning, a couple of Harley executives will be received by Trump at the White House

Although White House staffers were already on the ground in Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson issued a statement Tuesday night saying we “don’t have a scheduled visit from the President this week at any of our facilities.”  Evidently, mass protests would have been a PR nightmare for both the White House and Harley-Davidson, especially in a context where the manufacturer tries to attract a new clientele of Millennials dominantly opposed to the new administration.

“We are proud to have hosted Presidential visits at our facilities. Three of the last five presidents — Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — have visited us at our facilities. These visits are a testament to the pride and passion of our employees and their great work building Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” said Maripat Blankenheim, director of Harley-Davidson’s corporate communication. “We look forward to hosting the president in the future.”

Avon Custom Contour Grips

They are designed with the right contour to feel right in your hands.

Made of 6061 billet aluminum, including end caps and collars and covered with a very soft serrated texture to help you hang on to your bike.

For Push-Pull or Fly-By-wire on 1” bars. In different colors with chrome or black end caps and collars. &59.99 pair.

At Avon Performance Grips.

Custom Kit For Royal Enfield Bikes

Royal Enfield, with its 2 small fuel efficient models, the Classic 350 & 500, is often mentioned as a brand well positioned to potentially attract Millennials to the sport of motorcycling. Interest for any motorcycle can be measured, among other things, by the interest of custom builders and the number of custom parts being offered. As a proof that Royal Enfield bikes may be more and more desirable outside Asia, I received during these last months many PR’s from companies wishing to show me their RE custom parts and body kits.

For illustration, this Royal Enfield Bullet 350 customized by DC Design. The DC2 kit, also sold in individual parts, includes a billet aluminum LED headlamp and front indicators, a carbon fiber fuel tank cover, a carbon fiber, a leather seat with built-in LED taillight, a new air filter, a battery cover and many other small carbon fiber and billet parts. Customized as such, the so-called “DC2 Shot” will also be offered in limited edition. .

Harley-Davidson Reports Fourth Quarter, Full-Year 2016 Results.

For the full-year 2016, worldwide Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales were down 1.6 percent compared to 2015. U.S. retail sales decreased 3.9 percent, partially offset by international growth of 2.3 percent.

In the fourth quarter, worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles declined 0.5 percent versus the prior year behind modest declines in some international markets partially offset by slight growth in the U.S.

Fourth quarter revenue from motorcycles and related products was down versus the prior year behind fewer motorcycle shipments. Operating margin as a percent of revenue increased in the quarter compared to the same period in 2015, resulting from lower SG&A.

“The global competitive environment remains intense, but our 2016 results demonstrate that our increased investments to drive demand and bring impactful new products to market are working,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. “We are energized by our resolve to compete and win in the U.S. and in major international markets. Our market share performance gives us great confidence in the strength of our long-term strategy.”

During 2016, the company reported its best-ever retail sales results in Asia Pacific and EMEA. In the 601+cc motorcycle market, the company grew its number one market share position in the U.S. and grew market share in Europe. The company added 40 new dealer points internationally and reported that U.S. dealers trained more than 65,000 new riders through the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. The company also launched its model year 2017 lineup of motorcycles, featuring the new, highly-acclaimed Milwaukee-Eight™ engine, and upgraded suspension, on all new Touring motorcycles. Continue reading ‘Harley-Davidson Reports Fourth Quarter, Full-Year 2016 Results.’

Super Low 6” Flare™ Windshield For Harley Roadglide

Klock Werks added a low windshield option to their line-up. The company introduced the 6” Super Low Sport Flare™ Windshield for 2015+ Road Glide (FLTR). The Super Low will be available in dark smoke and black.

“This Flare™ compliments the aggressive stance of the new Road Glide fairing by adding more forward attitude without sacrificing the smooth curvatures needed for great air management, and it’s another option for riders with a shorter torso height.” lead R&D Technician, Jennifer Bainbridge said.

This patented windshield was created to provide downforce, with aerodynamic engineering at the forefront. Klock Werks.

Recall For 2016-2017 Triumph T120 Bonneville

The Triumph Bonneville T120 and T120 Black models come with heated grips. When turned on, these heated grips can expand and cause the throttle to stick open, creating a risk of crash.

Under number SB 546, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a recall for 1390 units of these 2016-2017 models.

Triumph will notify owners, and dealers will install free of charge a spacer preventing the throttle from sticking. The recall is expected to begin February 20, 2017. Owners may contact Triumph customer service at 678-854-2010.

The Best Custom Motorcycles From Europe At Italy Motor Bike Expo (Jan 20-21-22)

Verona, Italy is famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” with a lot of tourists visiting a 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard said to be “Juliet’s House.” But each January Verona is the epicenter of the custom culture thanks to the Motor Bike Expo attracting 160,000 visitors eager to admire the new creations of the best Bike Builders from all over Europe.
This year’s edition (January 20-21-22) featured about 500 customs bikes on the floor with 68 of them participating to the Custom Chrome Bike Show, part of the Motor Bike Expo, and whose results qualify builders for the Italian Championship Of Custom Bike Building. Below, a gallery of the main winners (some could not be photographed in studio during the show) Photos @ H. Roesler for C. Huze.

CHAMPIONSHIP CLASS

1 Place Rocket Bob’s, (Great Britain). Speed Weevil, Bonneville Racer
2 Place Blech & Drüber (Austria) Karpatenhund
3 Place Maik Morato Guell (Spain/Catalan) Bonsai Ironhead

JAMMER OLD SCHOOL CLASS

1 Place Verner Motorcycles V.Ortis, (Italy) WLA
2 Place Old Empire Motorcycles (England) Typhoon
3 Place Boccin Custom Cycles (Italy) Sacred Chop

MODIFIED HARLEY CLASS

1 Place Rocket Bob’s, (Great Britain) “Gas’d Rat”

More Bikes after the jump. Continue reading ‘The Best Custom Motorcycles From Europe At Italy Motor Bike Expo (Jan 20-21-22)’

Custom Billet Front End By Schuller CycleWerks

In Toronto, Canada master motorcycle engineer and fabricator Steve Schuller with his partner Joe Roy, has been building the most incredible one-off billet parts.

Such as the first all aluminum custom chopper (in 2004, out of 7075 billet), many hubless wheels, radical front ends and many other chassis components. The shop expertise is in engineering new and challenging designs and is often commissioned by other very well known US builders to assist them with their complex design projects.

This front end was custom designed to be used in conjunction with a 32″ MAD poly carbonate wheel. The fork assembly itself is made from billet 6061-t6 aluminum with solid brass accents and features an aluminum B-Cool fender. Shock is a custom made long stroke air suspension cylinder turned from billet 7075-t6 aluminum to allow lay frame capability. Shown as well is the matching rear air cylinder. If you have grandiose aluminum dreams requiring sophisticated motorcycle technology and advanced fabrication skills, call Steve Schuller on my behalf at 905-294-6183  Schuller Cycle Weeks



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