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Tuesday 30 March 2021

News Briefs


Hero MotorCorp, following closure of Harley's Indian factory and ending of direct involvement there, has announced former Ducati India Managing Director Ravi Avalur as the head of the division that will handle its relationship with Harley-Davidson. Hero, originally established as a Honda joint venture, and the former owner of Buell, is the largest PTW manufacturer by unit volume in India and has taken over all 11 of the dealerships that Harley had in India. Hero is expected to start production of key Harley models in India shortly.

Following its AIMExpo Connect virtual trade show in January, MIC Events has released data that confirmed 86 exhibiting companies; 12,949 virtual 'booth visits'; 677 products being shown; 140 videos being watched; some 51 'Show Specials' being available; 389 education attendees and 680 total 'attendees', including 318 retailers, 319 manufacturers and suppliers, and 41 media outlets.

PSB says that one of the "most beneficial aspects of the 2021 Powersports Business Online Learning Series is the ability to poll the live webinar audience in real time." Attendees were asked how they would characterize their January and early February business performance relative to plan. Some 43% of respondents said it had been "above plan", 49% "on plan" and only 8% "below plan."

As unlikely (and unrealistic) as it may seem, recent patent filings appear to suggest that H-D may be exploring the use of superchargers in stock builds again.

The advantages of Hydrogen as an alternate fuel have been well understood for decades. The prohibitive issues have remained the expensive, energy intensive production at anything short of huge scale and its subsequent storage under very, very high pressure. Now a German research team at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) in Dresden has come up with a product it is calling 'PowerPaste' that acts as a Hydrogen storage medium - it sounds like a paste, it looks like a paste, it is a paste! The researchers claim that it would be an excellent emissions elimination solution for motorcycles and scooters.

The Federal Tax Incentive for buying electric vehicles in USA has been extended through 2021. It was planned for it to end in December 2020, but will now be available, theoretically, for another year. It is not thought likely to apply to electronic assist bicycles - the vehicle must be capable of at least 45 mph. On qualifying vehicles, it could represent a tax credit refund of 10% of the new unit purchase price.

H-D closed out 2020 with 17th place in market share terms in the Austrian total PTM market with 709 units sold; down by -5.02% from the 872 units they sold there in 2019. Harley plans to remain active in Switzerland, with Austria and Germany being combined as one sales area. Overall PTW market leader in Austria is Vespa, with KTM the top selling motorcycle brand in its home market.

Data from JAMA shows that Japanese made motorcycle exports to USA were -27.63% for 2020 (42,931 units) and worldwide PTW exports -21.29% (311,998 units). Motorcycle shipments to Europe from Japanese factories declined by -26.53% in 2020 (130,038 units; down from 177,005 in 2019). After a strong start to the year (Jan-March, 65,744 units exported), exports declined heavily from April to December (just 64,294 units). In total PTW terms, shipments to Europe were -24.60% for the year (144,127 units).

Öhlins USA has announced that it is to support Royal Enfield's 'Build, Train, Race' programs in 2021. The suspension manufacturer says it will offer its "top-of-the-line" components to BTR participants for their Royal Enfield builds. Royal Enfield launched the BTR program in 2019, challenging professional road racer Melissa Paris and three other women to build flat track motorcycles and compete in select exhibitions during AFT races. Paris scored two second place finishes and a win in the BTR exhibition races. This year Royal Enfield is taking the BTR program road racing.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,, Cycle World,