New engine rumors driving Harley share price rise?
Having fallen back from its July 2nd ‘blip’, Harley-Davidson’s share price opened this week (August 15) at $53.72, having been as low as $42.39 as recently as June 27th.
With rumors swirling about what will be seen in the upcoming MY2017 announcement later this month, the investment community is either responding to the widely accepted undervaluation (especially relative to shareholder dividends) that has plagued the stock price for most of the past 15 months, or else the rumors about the new 107 inch (1753cc) Harley-Davidson “Milwaukee Eight” engine are having an effect.
The engine is being variously reported as being air-cooled with pushrod actuation or air/oil-cooled (you picks your blog and you takes your choice!), with 114” and 131” versions also mentioned. The name is derived from it being Harley’s 8th engine family in its 113-year history, and reports from Sturgis suggest that the engine was there, with selected dealers being given new model sneak peaks in advance of this month’s dealer convention (Boston, Ma., August 23-25).
The exact configuration is also the subject of considerable speculation, with some even suggesting that it may not even be a 45-degree V-Twin – though the spy shots that have been flying around the internet appear to suggest a very cramped 45-degree layout. This would suggest a shorter stroke and bigger bore (to get those extra valves in) hidden behind an oversized and air-cleaner assembly.
The most common reports suggest that it is an 8-valve engine (4 valves per cylinder) with single cam dual plug heads, and that it will be seen in a new Big Twin model for 2017 - with it migrating to the Tourers for 2018. Though if that is the case, expect to see the “lean machine rapid response” manufacturing philosophy that is the Gospel according to Matt (Levatich) resulting in mid-cycle additions early next year.
It is now some 17 years since Harley superseded the 15 years of Evo with the Twin Cam.
Investors are not normally known for sentiment where the metal is concerned, preferring instead to rely on their algorithms and trigger points, so it may well be that the new model range has little to do with the present share price activity.
That said, it is not unknown for Harley’s stock price to drift north at this time of year in advance of and in anticipation of hoped for good news ahead – the problem is that on most of those occasions disappointment has set in quickly as it did, in investor optimism terms, with Project Rushmore.
Meanwhile, in other Harley news, their seemingly annual clutch recall has been announced, with owners of around 27,000 tourers and cruisers in need of a dealership visit to check out a potential clutch master cylinder issue.