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Tuesday 28 April 2015


Polaris reports record first quarter 2015 results

Polaris Industries Inc., the parent company of both Victory and Indian Motorcycles and Slingshot trikes, has reported record first quarter sales totaling $1,033.3 million, up +16 percent from last year’s first quarter sales of $888.3 million.

“I am pleased to report record sales and earnings for our 2015 first quarter. In addition to the +16 percent growth in sales, operating income was up +19 percent and net income up nine percent, our 22nd consecutive quarter of record earnings performance,” said Scott Wine, Polaris’ Chairman and CEO. 

Polaris CEO Scott Wine said that "we out-performed the market again in most of our businesses"

“We out-performed the market again in most of our businesses in spite of increased competitive promotional pressures, weakening global markets and the corresponding negative effect from currencies. While we are justifiably proud of these accomplishments, we remain focused on seizing the numerous opportunities we missed to perform better.
"From factory inventory being too high to ongoing production inefficiencies, particularly in motorcycles, we did not perform to our capabilities or our expectations. However, we are making great strides towards addressing these issues, and I am confident those efforts will allow us to continue outperforming our markets."
Wine went on to say that “product innovation remains a significant growth driver. During the quarter, we added to our stable of innovative motorcycles with the introduction of the Indian Chief Dark Horse, the Victory Magnum X-1, and a limited edition Slingshot SL."
Motorcycle sales increased +74 percent in the 2015 first quarter to $137.4 million. All three brands, Victory, Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot, increased sales in the first quarter.

Consumer retail demand for Victory and Indian Motorcycles during the 2015 first quarter, was up nearly +40 percent over last year’s first quarter, driven primarily by strong Indian Motorcycle retail sales; first quarter North American industry heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle retail sales were up low-single digits percent from 2014.
Polaris says that Slingshot retail sales were ahead of expectations, and that all three brands added to their product portfolios during the quarter with Indian Motorcycle introducing the Indian Chief Dark Horse, (built on the successful Indian Chief platform), Victory showcasing the new Magnum X-1 (a new "bagger") and Slingshot adding a limited edition model.
Sales of Polaris motorcycles outside of North America decreased -12 percent in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to a year ago due to the currency impact of a strengthening U.S. dollar.

International sales to customers outside of North America totaled $153.1 million for the 2015 first quarter, down seven percent from the same period in 2014.
Gross profit increased 14 percent to $293.7 million in the 2015 first quarter compared to $258.4 million in the first quarter of 2014. As a percentage of sales, gross profit margin declined to 28.4 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2015, compared to 29.1 percent of sales for the same period last year.
Equity in loss of affiliates was $1.6 million for the first quarter 2015 compared to $0.9 million last year, which represents the Company’s portion of the start-up costs related to the Polaris/Eicher joint venture in India established in 2012.
The Company increased its quarterly dividend payment for the 20th consecutive year by ten percent to $0.53 per share and paid a total of$35.1 million in dividends to shareholders, and repurchased 571,000 shares for $86.3 million during the 2015 first quarter. The Company’s debt-to-total capital ratio was 28 percent at March 31, 2015, compared to 35 percent a year ago. Cash and cash equivalents were $111.0 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $101.8 million for the same period in 2014.
Net income was $88.6 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, an increase of nine percent from the 2014 first quarter net income of $80.9 million, or $1.19 per diluted share.

Kellermann GmbH

Bullet 1000 wins Red Dot 'Best of the Best' design award

German lights designer Kellermann GmbH has added to its trophy cabinet with another award, indeed another Red Dot Design award, this time for its new Bullet 1000 indicator.

Winning the highest ranked ‘Best of the Best’ award, the Red Dot Design awards are seen as one of the world's most important design recognition programmes.

Kellermann launched the unique LED indicator last autumn at the INTERMOT expo in Cologne, Germany, the biggest motorcycle show in the world. Widely regarded as market leaders, the ‘Classic meets Hightech’ LED equipped, bullet shaped indicator features many additional functions as well as great styling.

The classic Bullet shape received a fresh interpretation by Kellermann. A real highlight is the newly developed light technology (the Kellermann-HPT) that allows a continuous ring-shaped light to be built in to the outer ring of the lens. The overall dimensions are an impressively small 39mm, and it comes in three versions - the 'Extreme' indicator, as an indicator with yellow position light, and as a combination indicator with break and rear light.

LC Fabrications

LC Fabrications expands premises after raffling ‘Old Black’


LC FABRICATIONS was founded by Jeremy Cupp in 2006 on an empty table at the back of his family’s machine shop. He worked there after hours driven by his passion for custom motorcycles. Today, LC Fabrications is an established custom shop and Jeremy has two top ten places in the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building to his name, yet despite this success he still works 40-hour weeks in the family machine shop, while the revenue from his custom builds is reinvested into LC Fabrications.

By 2007 Jeremy had made the move from the table at the back of the shop to a shed. After placing 6th in the 2009 AMD World Championship with TT Deluxe, Jeremy made the decision to separate his business from the family business, and in 2010 he signed the lease on his first shop. He says of that move: “It was a pretty ragged building in our town that was being used as a karate studio/barber shop. I grabbed together enough wiring to get me up and running, bought a mill and lathe, and made the jump.
“The next two years were very difficult. The space was minimal, the structure in poor repair. I felt that I could not produce a good enough product with what I had to work with.”

Jeremy looked at other options and discovered a larger building nearby on the market. After many hours of discussion with his local bank manager Jeremy had an agreement in place that would allow him to put an offer on the building. However, in order to secure the loan to buy the premises, the bank needed a 25 percent deposit.
To fund the purchase, Jeremy decided to sell ‘Old Black’, the bike that finished 2nd in the Freestyle class at the 2012 AMD World Championship. “Jon Krouse of Monstercraftsman has been a dealer of mine for several years and we are good friends,” says Jeremy, “I was telling him the story, knowing he has the ability to pull rabbits from a hat, when he came up with the most ridiculous idea I had ever heard of. He wanted to raffle the bike online, 300 tickets at $100 each…that would never work, right?”

Jeremy might have dismissed the idea, but Krouse ran with it and built a website and set up merchant services. The tickets began to sell as word spread and the story broke on the Internet. Lowside, Biltwell, Lowbrow, Burly and Monstercraftsman added additional merchandise to the raffle to help Jeremy out. The success of was enough for Jeremy to secure the loan he needed and the real estate deal went through!
The property was originally built in 1947 as the Grottoes Theatre, it was then purchased by the local fire department, serving as a community center and gear storage area for 50 years.

When Jeremy got the keys there was much work to be done. He had to pour new cement floors, upgrade the wiring, heating and air, and get rid of 50 years of dirt and junk.
Talking about how LC Fabrications stands today, Jeremy says: “Currently the ‘shop’ area of the building is finished and I am back to work… coincidentally building a bike for the next AMD World Championship. Other areas are still under construction, or in their original state, but for now I am going to just work hard so I can pay for the repairs.”
Mt Crawford, Virginia, USA
Tel: 540 383 2851

Drag Specialties

The Speed Merchant parts from Drag Specialties

AMONG the many brands distributed by Drag Specialties is The Speed Merchant, a company which makes parts for Harleys and Triumphs.
Included in the Harley parts range from The Speed Merchant are Speed Shifter toe pegs. Designed to fit 5/16in-24 thread Harley shift levers, the pegs match the company’s Speed Pegs footpegs. Machined from 6061 aluminum, the extra fine knurled pegs can also be used as a custom fit as brake pegs on some models. They are available in black anodized or raw machined finishes. 

A second Harley option from The Speed Merchant is its line of Speed Bars, which are described as having “classic Harley racing style with a modern twist”. Made from American mild steel, the handlebars are 27-7/8in wide, 2in high and with a 4.5in pullback and 4.75in center clamping. Offered in chrome or black finishes, the bars can be ordered in 7/8in diameter without slots for external wiring or in 1in diameter with or without slots for internal wiring.  

Janesville, Wisconsin, USA
Tel: 608 758 1111

Brooks Leather Sportswear

Brooks Leather 511 jacket

BROOKS Leather manufactures its 511 jacket in the USA using a design that dates back to 1959.
The jacket is hand-made using either naked grade A cowhide (511C) or premium cowhide (511N), which is 1.3mm (3.5 oz.) in thickness and drum dried for uniform color. It features a full action back, double snap collar, two outside pockets, one inside pocket, a zip out insulated liner, plus Brooks branded snaps and linings. The seams are double stitched using heavy duty nylon thread and have YKK zippers throughout.
Available in black with silver zippers and sizes are 36-56, the 511 jacket comes with a five-year warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.

Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Tel: 877 366 4659


Akrapovic revises sound for H-D slip-ons

AKRAPOVIC’s line of slip-on exhaust options for Harley-Davidson’s 2014 Sportster, Softail and Dyna now have a revised muffler that features specially developed noise inserts and chambers. These new additions to the systems, which are available in black powdercoated or chrome stainless steel, are claimed to enhance the unique Harley sound, and are adjustable to change the level from ‘peaceful’ to ‘full-on roar’.

Dyna slip-on

Softail slip-on

The removable chamber and noise-reduction inserts are on all the systems for the Sportster, Softail and Dyna models, while the Sportster also gains an optional valve system developed to route exhaust gases through two different paths, moving them from one exhaust pipe to another. When the valve is opened on the Sportster, the flow is less impeded, which results in a louder exhaust with increased performance.
The optional valve set for the Sportster also includes a pair of heat shields in either black or chrome. A switch button on the valve system allows ease of use when changing the level.

Sportster slip-on

Ivancna Gorica, SLOVENIA
Tel: +386 (0)1787 8404


Low Profile BIKE (DIN) plug for Victory sockets

No accessory manufacturer can change how motorcycle companies decide where to put their 12V sockets, but TecMate has been working on ways to guarantee that Victory, BMW and Triumph riders can use their motorcycle’s 12V power without fear of dislodging or breaking a plug located in a vulnerable position.

TecMate has designed a low profile BIKE (DIN) plug that is fully sealed during the molding process - their BIKE90°. OptiMate also offers cables with the low profile plug, such as theO-19 SAE to BIKE adapter, the O-29 SAE to BIKE plug-adapter extender, and the O-39 DC2.5mm to BIKE plug adapter-extender.
Also available, the OptiMate USB O-104 2100m - a weatherproof 'adventure-ready' charger with BIKE90° plug for on and off highway riding, that will recharge the latest power hungry smart phones and tablets.

Tel: +32 (0)16 805440

Zodiac International

Latest parts selection from Zodiac

ZODIAC, the Netherlands-based parts manufacturer and distributor continues to expand its comprehensive parts line and the latest additions to its range include cam chain tensioner shoes for early Twin Cam applications. They give users the option of only changing the worn shoes rather than complete cam chain tensioners on ‘99 - ‘06 Twin Cam models. The new parts replace the shoes in primary cam chain tensioner OEM 39954-99A and cam-to-cam chain tensioner OEM 39964-99A and come complete with rivets.

The Genuine Zodiac chrome handlebar switch cap kits are offered with a one-year warranty that is extended to two years if the product is registered online. The switch caps are easily installed adding a highlight to the handlebar’s controls. Unlike the stock black switch caps, they have embossed logos, so the function stays visible even after continuous use. The kits which include caps for all handlebar switches and a special tool for installation are available to fit ‘96 - ‘10 Softail, ‘96 - ‘11 Dyna, ‘96 to present V-Rod, ‘96 - ‘13 Sportster and FLHR (except those with Cruise Control), ‘96 - ‘13 FLHTCU, FLHTCUTG, FLHTK, FLHTK, FLTR and FLTRU, ‘96 - ‘13 FLHT, FLHTC, FLHX and FLTRX without Cruise Control, ‘02 - ‘13 FLHRC and FLHR with Cruise Control, ‘96 - ‘13 FLHT, FLHTC, ‘06 - ‘13 FLHX, ‘13 FLHR with Cruise Control, and all ‘14 to present Touring models.

The Double G Baggers dash covers for Touring models are made from fiberglass in Holland and are offered in the choice of a white gel coat finish, ready for paint preparation or with a ready-to-install skulls or carbon-look print. The dash covers are available for ‘93 - ‘07 Touring models, or in designs that match Double G's Rocca or Pucha rear fenders for ‘09 to present models.

Exclusively available through Zodiac, Texas Leather V-Rod frame bags are made from cow hide and strap to the frame on the left side. The bag is 11in long, 7-7/8in high and 4in deep, and provides approximately 4.5 liters of storage space.

Genuine Zodiac Lithium-Ion batteries are said to be a third of the weight, can survive five to six times more load sequences, last up to six times longer and provide up to 50 percent more cranking amps than any lead-acid, AGM, or gel battery. Additionally, the Li-Ion batteries are claimed to keep their load up to twice as long and can withstand up to ten times more amps when charging, resulting in a much shorter charge time. All Genuine Zodiac Li-Ion batteries feature quad poles and are supplied with plastic fillers to make sure they fit in the battery tray. Consequently, Zodiac only has four part numbers to suit almost any 12-volt Harley to present applications. 

Tel: +31 (0)297 288 621

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Harley's first quarter 2015

Harley first quarter worldwide motorcycle retail sales down -1.3 percent, -0.7 percent in United States; 2015 forecasts revised

Harley-Davidson has reported that their first quarter 2015 worldwide retail sales of new motorcycles decreased 1.3 percent compared to last year's first quarter. Dealers worldwide are reported to have sold 56,661 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in  first quarter of 2015, compared to 57,415 motorcycles in the year-ago quarter; with shipments down to 79,589 motorcycles worldwide from 80,682 in the year-ago quarter.
In the U.S., dealers sold 35,488 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the quarter, down -0.7 percent compared to sales of 35,730 motorcycles in the year-ago period. The company believes increased, aggressive competitive motorcycle discounting was among the factors adversely affecting first-quarter U.S. retail Harley-Davidson sales. 

As a result the company is lowering its estimated growth rate for full-year motorcycle shipments in order to "manage supply in line with demand and protect the premium nature of our brand."

The company says it now expects motorcycle shipments to grow approximately 2 percent to 4 percent in 2015 (276,000 to 281,000 motorcycles), down from the previous 4 percent to 6 percent shipment growth forecast (282,000 to 287,000).

In international markets, dealers sold 21,173 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the quarter compared to 21,685 motorcycles in the year-ago period, with unit sales down 1.1 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 5.6 percent in the EMEA region and up 0.3 percent in the Latin America region and 5.7 percent in Canada.

The company says that sales in many of its emerging markets were up significantly in the quarter, including India, China and Mexico, and says it now has nearly 1,500 "independent" dealerships in more than 90 countries globally.

Harley say that in 2014 they were the number-one seller of new on-road motorcycles to U.S. young adults ages 18-34, women, African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasian men ages 35-plus for the seventh straight year.

In the 601cc-plus U.S. on-road market, Harley say they sold more than three times as many new motorcycles to young adults ages 18-34, more than seven times as many to women, more than five times as many to Hispanics, more than five times as many to African Americans and more than nine times as many to Caucasian men ages 35-plus as the nearest competitor.

Operating income for the Motorcycles segment of the business was $345.5 million in the first quarter of 2015; compared to $347.7 million in the year-ago period - unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates are blamed.

Revenue from sales of motorcycles to dealers and distributors was $1.26 billion, compared to revenue of $1.31 billion in the year-ago period.

Revenue from motorcycle parts and accessories was $183.9 million during the quarter compared to $198.1 million in the year-ago period. Revenue from general merchandise, which includes MotorClothes apparel and accessories, was $66.4 million compared to $64.1 million in the year-ago period.

Gross margin for the Motorcycles segment was 39.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 37.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014. First-quarter operating margin for the Motorcycles segment was 22.9 percent compared to operating margin of 22.1 percent in last year's first quarter.

Operating income from financial services was $64.7 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $63.2 million in last year's first quarter. First-quarter financial services results are said to reflect favorable net interest and higher non-lending income, partially offset by increased provision for credit losses.

First-quarter 2015 diluted earnings per share increased 5.0 percent to $1.27 compared to diluted EPS of $1.21 in the year-ago period. Net income was $269.9 million on consolidated revenue of $1.67 billion compared to net income of $265.9 million on consolidated revenue of $1.73 billion in last year's first quarter. Revenue in this year's first quarter was down from the year-ago period primarily on unfavorable foreign currency exchange and slightly lower motorcycle shipments.

In the second quarter, the company says it expects to ship 83,000 to 88,000 motorcycles, compared to 92,217 motorcycles shipped in the year-ago period. The company continues to expect full-year 2015 operating margin of approximately 18 to 19 percent for the Motorcycles segment. The company also continues to expect 2015 capital expenditures for Harley-Davidson, Inc. of $240 million to $260 million.

On a discretionary basis, the company repurchased 2.9 million shares ($182.5 million) of Harley-Davidson, Inc. common stock during the first quarter of 2015. In the first quarter of 2015, there were approximately 211.8 million Harley-Davidson weighted-average diluted common shares outstanding, compared to approximately 220.5 million shares in the year-ago quarter. At the end of the first quarter, 18.6 million shares remained on board-approved share repurchase authorizations.

29th Biker Fest

29th Biker Fest

The 29th Biker Fest, 14-17 May at Lignano Sabbiadoro (Udine, Italy) this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of promoter Biker’s Life magazine, one of the oldest custom  print titles in Europe.
The event will also host the final stage of the 4th annual Italian Motorcycle Championship, which is the culmination of 14 custom events held around the country since May 2014. Classes include Freestyle, Modified Harley-Davidson, Old Style, Café Racer, Bagger, Metric, Streetfighter/Sports Bike and Scrambler. The top three winning bikes will receive 1000 euros towards the expense of competing at the next World Championship of Custom Bike Building to be held at INTERMOT in Cologne, Germany, in October 2016.
Last year’s event, won by Inglourious Basterds Cycles, saw 55 bikes compete from across Italy plus visitors from the Czech Republic, Romania and Ukraine.

Among the attractions over the weekend will be an off-road scrambler challenge, trade stands and test rides at the Luna Park, a parade through the streets of Lignano, stunt shows, custom painting show, monobike exhibition and live music.

Last year’s event was won by Inglourious Basterds Cycles’ “Madiba”
a heavily customised Benelli cafe racer

Motorcycles as Art exhibition - Buffalo Chip

Lichter goes naked

MICHAEL Lichter has announced the theme of his annual Motorcycles as Art exhibition at the Buffalo Chip during the 2015 Sturgis Rally. This year the exhibition is titled ‘The Naked Truth – 35 Customs / 35 Years / Motorcycles Exposed’ and will see 35 bikes built by custom builders from around the world. However, each of the bikes in the exhibition will be left in its raw state – unpainted. 

Hanging alongside the naked bikes will be more than one-hundred photographic prints chosen from Michael Lichter’s archives, exposed as his subjects appeared, without retouching and enhancement.
“Unlike any other exhibition before, nothing will come between the viewer and the bikes’ most basic elements of shape, form and design,” said Michael Lichter. “Each builder’s passion and talent will be revealed through the fine details of craftsmanship evident in every aspect of their work. The builders are exposing themselves, as well as their work, in this show. Without the cloak of paint or graphics, the bikes’ most basic form right down to its smallest details are naked and open to examination.

Ken’s Factory

Ken’s Factory opens in US

KEN Nagai, the President of Ken’s Factory in Nagoya, Japan, has appointed Nelson Kanno to head-up a new operation bringing the company’s parts line to the USA under the banner of Ken’s Factory USA.
“Ken is one of the few designer/builders who is still consistently getting six-figures for his brand of motorcycle elegance, and business is booming… so the desire is there,” says Nelson. “Streamlining product distribution in the US offers many the approachable chance to apply a taste of this exotic styling in the very home of this now global art form.”
As part of the new operation, the company has launched a website at, where dealers can register for a discount with the logon code: 24/7. 

Signal Hill, California, USA
Tel: 562 597 5666


Deltran expands European operation

DELTRAN, the Florida, USA based company behind the Battery Tender line of chargers and accessories, has expanded its operation in Europe with a new UK-based business office.

All orders can be placed directly with Deltran's global sales team at the UK business office by telephone, online or by fax.
All product will be distributed from the Deltran Distribution Centre in the Netherlands, with billing and product support handled by the UK-based international staff.

Chris Rivas Signature Series

Chris Rivas Signature Series chain drive Rocket Cams

CHRIS Rivas has made his Rocket Signature Series chain drive Rocket Cams available through Drag Specialties. The cams, designed by Chris himself, are finished in black oxide and are available with or without ‘Easy Start’ centrifugal compression release system for easy starting even with large displacement, high compression motors. The Easy Start system is licensed from S&S Cycle by Rivas.

The Rocket 574 cams for all ‘07-‘15 Twin Cam and ‘06 Dyna models are designed to be used with stock valve springs, and are said to make best power, with peak performance at 1,500 to 5,800rpm, when used in combination with a free-flowing air cleaner and performance exhaust.

Created for use in ‘07-‘15 Twin Cam and ‘06 Dyna models, Rocket 584 cams are claimed to deliver constant power while reducing detonation. Once again they are recommended for use with a free-flowing air cleaner and performance exhaust and additionally with ported heads and a minimum 10.0:1 compression ratio. The high lift cams are best suited to upgraded engines of 103ci or 107ci displacement.
Completing the Rocket cams range from Chris Rivas are the Rocker 634, again for use with ‘07-‘15 Twin Cam and ‘06 Dyna models, they are said to provide peak performance at 2,200 to 6,200rpm. These cams have been designed for modified engines 107ci or larger with compression ratios 11.25:1 and higher, .650in valve springs, and a free-flow air cleaner and a high-performance exhaust.

Janesville, Wisconsin, USA
Tel: 608 758 1111