topbanner ad

Sunday 29 July 2018


Polaris Q2 sales + 10% to $1,503 million; U.S Indian retail demand up

Polaris has posted North American retail sales of +6% for the quarter, with ORV up mid-single digit % for both side-by-side and ATV vehicles and gaining market share for ORV vehicles and Indian motorcycles.

The company has increased its full year 2018 sales guidance to be +11% to +12% taking into account improved volume expectations and the acquisition of Boat Holdings, LLC (Boat Holdings) – representing Polaris’ first foray into the marine market; the company has also raised the lower end of its earnings per share range and now expects adjusted net income to be in the range of $6.48 to $6.58 per diluted share, which includes the absorption of an estimated additional $40 million of tariff and related commodity cost increases anticipated in 2018.

Motorcycle segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $171 million, a decrease of -13 percent compared to $198 million reported in the second quarter of 2017 due to a weak motorcycle industry and timing of shipments for Indian motorcycles year-over-year. Slingshot sales were also down due to the weak motorcycle industry.
Gross segment profit for the second quarter of 2018 was $25 million compared to $21 million in the second quarter of 2017. Adjusted for the Victory wind-down costs recorded in both the 2018 and 2017 second quarters, and restructuring and realignment costs, motorcycle gross profit was $25 million in the 2018 second quarter compared to $30 million for the 2017 second quarter.

‘acquisition of Boat Holdings, the largest manufacturer of pontoon boats in the U.S.’

North American consumer retail demand for the Polaris motorcycle segment, including Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot, increased low-single digit percent during the 2018 second quarter. Indian Motorcycle retail sales increased mid-single digit percent. Slingshot's retail sales were down mid-single digit percent during the quarter. Motorcycle industry retail sales, 900 cc and above, were down mid-single digit percent in the 2018 second quarter. Indian Motorcycle gained market share for the 2018 second quarter on a year-over-year basis in spite of an overall weak north American motorcycle market in the second quarter.
Motorcycle dealer inventory was down low-single digit percent in the 2018 second quarter compared to the same period last year due to moderated shipments in an overall weak motorcycle market.
Scott Wine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Industries Inc., is quoted as saying: "I am very pleased with the Polaris team and the strong execution they delivered across the business during the 2nd Quarter. With solid retail growth and market share gains in both our Off-Road Vehicle business and Indian Motorcycle, we are clearly reaping the benefits of our safety and quality investments, new product innovations and improved delivery performance.

 ‘Indian Motorcycle retail sales increased mid-single digit percent’

“Consumer sentiment and dealer traffic improved throughout the Quarter, building momentum which will help offset the rising risk of tariffs in the 2nd half. During the Quarter we were excited to announce another expansion of the Polaris powersports portfolio with the acquisition of Boat Holdings, the largest manufacturer of pontoon boats in the U.S.
“Between organic growth and considered acquisitions, Polaris’ underlying performance has significantly improved, but much of our success is being masked by substantial cost escalation driven by tariffs and commodities. As we navigate through increasingly dynamic markets, our efforts to enhance product quality and innovation, boost productivity and become a more customer centric company are paying off, and Polaris is well-positioned for further success.”

Scott Wine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris: “Between organic growth and considered acquisitions, Polaris’ underlying performance has significantly improved, but much of our success is being masked by substantial cost escalation driven by tariffs and commodities”

Off-Road Vehicle (“ORV”) and Snowmobile segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $991 million for the second quarter of 2018, up +17 percent over $846 million for the second quarter of 2017 driven by growth across most categories. PG&A sales for ORV and Snowmobiles combined increased +13 percent in the 2018 second quarter compared to the second quarter last year. Gross profit increased +12 percent to $297 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to $266 million in the second quarter of 2017.
ORV wholegood sales for the second quarter of 2018 increased +18 percent primarily driven by strong RANGER, RZR and ATV shipments. Polaris North American ORV retail sales increased in the mid-single digit percent range, with side-by-side and ATV vehicles growing retail sales in the mid-single digit percent range. Side-by-Sides and ATVs again gained market share during the quarter in their respective categories. The North American ORV industry was flat compared to the second quarter last year. ORV dealer inventory was up high-single digit in the 2018 second quarter compared to the same period last year due to increased shipments of newly introduced products.

‘Motorcycle dealer inventory was down low-single digit percent’

Snowmobile wholegood sales in the second quarter of 2018 was $4 million compared to $7 million in the second quarter last year. Snowmobile sales in the company’s second quarter are routinely low as it is the off-season for snowmobile retail sales and shipments.
Global Adjacent Markets segment sales, including PG&A, increased +17 percent to $113 million in the 2018 second quarter compared to $97 million in the 2017 second quarter. Sales of Goupil and the Commercial, Government, Defense businesses drove most of the increase. Reported gross profit increased +32 percent to $28 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to $21 million in the second quarter of 2017.
Aftermarket segment sales increased one percent to $227 million in the 2018 second quarter compared to $224 million in the 2017 second quarter. TAP sales in the second quarter of 2018 were $210 million, which was up slightly compared to the second quarter of 2017. Growth at TAP's retail stores and online platforms were largely offset by lower accessory sales for the new Jeep Wrangler, which was available for sale later than anticipated. Gross profit decreased to $58 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to $60 million in the second quarter of 2017.
Parts, Garments and Accessories (“PG&A”) sales, excluding Aftermarket segment sales, increased +11 percent for the 2018 second quarter driven by growth across all segments, regions and product lines during the quarter.
International sales to customers outside of North America, including PG&A, totaled $204 million for the second quarter of 2018, up +7 percent from the same period in 2017. Foreign exchange movements represented four percent of the sales increase for the quarter. The remaining increase was driven by strong sales in the company's EMEA business for ORV and motorcycles.

 ‘Overall international sales +7 percent’

Second quarter 2018 net income was $93 million, or $1.43 per diluted share, compared with net income of $62 million, or $0.97 per diluted share, for the 2017 second quarter.
Gross profit increased +10 percent to $385 million for the second quarter of 2018 from $350 million in the second quarter of 2017. Reported gross profit margin was the same as Q2 2017 at 26 percent of sales; this included the negative impact of $5 million of Victory Motorcycles wind-down costs and realignment and restructuring costs. Gross profit margins on an adjusted basis were down slightly due to unfavorable product mix, the impact of tariff, commodity and freight cost pressure during the quarter, offset by improvements in warranty expense, VIP savings and favorable exchange rates.
Operating expenses increased +5 percent for the second quarter of 2018 to $284 million, or 19 percent of sales from $270 million, or 20 percent of sales – it improved as the company realized efficiencies through its selling, marketing and general and administrative spend. Income from financial services was $21 million for the second quarter of 2018, up +11 percent.
During the second quarter of 2018, the company repurchased and retired 1,429,000 shares of its common stock for $177 million. Year-to-date through June 30, 2018, the company has repurchased and retired 1,562,000 shares of its common stock for $192 million. As of June 30, 2018, the company has authorization from its Board of Directors to repurchase up to an additional 4.9 million shares of Polaris common stock.

‘The company is raising its full year sales guidance’

The company is raising its full year sales guidance and now expects sales to be in the range of 11 percent to 12 percent over 2017 adjusted sales of $5,428 million and narrowing and adjusting its earnings guidance range for the full year 2018 to account for Boat Holdings income and elimination of intangible amortization of previously acquired companies to better reflect the true underlying performance of Polaris' core businesses. Adjusted net income is now expected to be in the range of $6.48 to $6.58 per diluted share, compared with adjusted net income of $5.10 per diluted share for 2017. The revised guidance takes into account approximately $40 million of escalating tariff and related commodity cost increases as the company understands them today.

Travis Pastrana

Travis Pastrana Abuses a Perfectly Good FTR750 to Pay Tribute to Evel Knievel

In Las Vegas on July 8 action sports superstar Travis Pastrana sought to channel Evel Knievel in front of an estimated 25,000 fans watching in person and many more tuning in live on television across North America.
Produced in partnership with Nitro Circus, “Evel Live” saw Pastrana pay homage to Knievel’s legacy as he set out to recreate three of the American legend’s most iconic jumps. Pastrana pushed the limits even further though, breaking Knievel’s famous car and Greyhound bus jump records before completing the epic Caesars Palace fountain jump that left Knievel grasping for his life 50 years ago. 

“I’m thrilled to have had this opportunity to honor Evel Knievel, whose guts and showmanship created the foundation for action sports,” Travis Pastrana said afterwards. “Evel pushed himself and flew further on a motorcycle than anyone thought possible. So, with this modern-day tribute we wanted to bridge generations – from my parents’ generation who was inspired by Evel to the generation after me who may not know much about the original stuntmen who paved the way. To be able do that in Las Vegas and at Caesars Palace, where Evel’s legend was born, is so awesome.”
In just three hours and under the pressure of a live TV broadcast, Pastrana first topped Knievel’s 1973 jump over 50 crushed cars by soaring more than 143 feet in the air over 52 vehicles. 

Then he surpassed Knievel’s 1975 jump over 14 buses, flying nearly four stories high and covering a jaw-dropping 192 feet to clear 16 modern-day Greyhound buses. In order to make room for the massive set-up, these jumps required the production teams to take over the space behind Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s Las Vegas.
Afterwards, Pastrana took to the streets with a police escort to ride to the Caesars Palace jump site. Fans quickly lined Las Vegas Boulevard, exchanging high-fives with Pastrana from taxis and the side of the road as anticipation for the finale built. The motorcade quickly closed The Strip.
Then Pastrana faced the Caesars Palace fountain jump that nearly took Knievel’s life half a century ago after his infamous crash. As if that wasn’t daunting enough, given the expansion of Caesars Palace since Knievel’s ill-fated attempt, Pastrana had only a 200 foot run-in to accelerate to the 70 mph speed necessary to clear the fountain.
Pastrana also had to contend with stifling heat reaching 102 degrees and, just before the event, potential thunderstorms. Even in ideal conditions and if he hit his speed marks perfectly, Pastrana would land with just a few feet to spare. But, after arcing over the fountains, Pastrana touched safely down on the landing ramp to the roaring crowd and a flash of pyrotechnics.
This electrifying event paid tribute to Evel Knievel in every possible detail. From Pastrana riding an Indian Scout FTR750, a modern-day evolution of the flat track motorcycles of the past - and very different from the modern-day dirt bikes Pastrana usually rides – to the white leather suit and helmet decked out in American stars and stripes just like Knievel’s classic livery, these specifics illuminate how much Knievel achieved and the impact he has had on generations of fans.


Harley in AIMExpo Return

The American International Motorcycle Expo presented by Nationwide (AIMExpo) has confirmed the hoped for news that Harley-Davidson will return as an exhibitor when the show heads west to Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay, October 11-14) after the company’s AIMExpo debut at Columbus, Ohio in 2017.

Harley will showcase its new 2019 line-up of V-twin motorcycles, with attendees having the opportunity to test ride the latest Harley and other OEM models at the AIMExpo Outdoors activity area. Catering for those consumers who may be new to riding Harley will again feature its JUMPSTART Rider Experience on the booth inside the exhibit hall.
“AIMExpo plays a valuable and much-needed role within the greater powersports marketplace of bringing the industry together as we look toward the future,” said Heather Malenshek, Harley-Davidson Vice President, Marketing. “Last year, in his show keynote, our CEO Matt Levatich provided invaluable insight into the great need to build new riders as an industry. As America’s leading manufacturer of motorcycles and one of the most customer-led companies in the world, we look forward to interacting with new and current riders in Las Vegas.”
Show organizer MIC Events says that as part of the new Powersports Industry Week, local dealers Las Vegas Harley-Davidson and Red Rock Harley-Davidson will have a prominent presence at both AIMExpo presented by Nationwide and Las Vegas BikeFest.
“As a show that encompasses the entire powersports industry, AIMExpo presented by Nationwide is the platform to come together and work as one industry to create the paths that will welcome new riders for the benefit of all. It is in our collective interests to join together as dealers, media and manufacturers to showcase the great recreational and emotional experience of two, three and four wheels in new, relevant and stimulating ways,” said Larry Little, Vice President and General Manager of MIC Events. “Harley-Davidson truly understands the key role the show can play to the long-term future health of the industry, and we are thrilled they will join us again, this year in Las Vegas.”


Ducati Wins 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to Reclaim Crown as King of the Mountain

Legendary Ducati racer Carlin Dunne led the 2018 Spider Grips Ducati Pikes Peak team to victory and reclaimed the crown as King of the Mountain at this year’s annual running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), completing the “Race to the Clouds” in 9:59:102. This was Dunne’s fourth victory at Pikes Peak.

“We did it. We took the podium,” said Dunne, who notably was the first motorcyclist ever to traverse the 4,720-foot Pikes Peak race course in less than 10 minutes in 2012. “The Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak proved as amazing as we all hoped. It performed flawlessly, giving me everything I needed to get up the mountain. Pikes Peak is never an easy race, but the weather cooperated, and we clinched the victory for Ducati.”
This is Ducati’s seventh victory on the mountain since the company’s debut in 2008. Ducati and Dunne held the all-time course record from 2012 until 2017, a year in which Ducati was not part of the official race competition. Dunne’s previous victory in 2012 was achieved on the game-changing Multistrada 1200 S.

This year, Dunne secured the win on the new Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak model. The new Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak showcases the versatility of a new, larger displacement 1262 cc Ducati Testastretta DVT engine delivering 18% more torque in the mid-range. The bike is also paired with a redesigned chassis for increased stability.
Rounding out the Ducati team this year was new member Codie Vahsholtz, who finished in third with a time of 10:12:703. Vahsholtz is a Colorado native who comes from a family of Pikes Peak champions and has established a series of victories of his own.
This year, for the 96th running of the “Race to the Clouds,” Ducati partnered with Shell Advance, Brembo, Pirelli, Termignoni, Spider Grips, Ducati by Rizoma, Race Tech, Revl and Racing Cowboys.


Ride Well with Biltwell

California based Biltwell is more than just a great helmet company, with great design and great branding - it delivers carefully thought out, well specified ergonomic, feature-rich products that genuinely enhanced the riding experience …

Riserless ‘bars for XL
Well known for its Tyson Risers, this Tyson XL handlebar is a riserless T-bar “that takes high-tech construction and rider comfort to the next level.”
The innovation begins with Biltwell’s exclusive butted and tapered 1-1/8-inch O.D. four-bend handlebar with 1” grip areas. This bar is TIG welded to 1-1/4-inch O.D. uprights in three sizes: 10, 12 and 14 inch rise. TIG welded 1/2 x 13 t.p.i. bungs on 3.5” centers inside both uprights let the handlebars mount to select H-D and aftermarket top trees with removable bar risers. 

The right-side bar end is notched to accept H-D’s TBW module, and the bar is slotted on a CNC mill to accept internal wire routing. Made in 0.120” wall (3 mm) seamless 4130 chromoly material throughout they are precision mitered with TIG welded joints and bungs for strength. They are also available as non-TBW designs - with slots in the handlebar to accept internal wire routing inside the bar/underneath the lever clamps. They are available in a choice of electroplate or show chrome finishes.

Alumicore Grips
Biltwell says its AlumiCore grip system is a radical departure from the brand’s classic ‘less-is-more’ aesthetic and takes high-performance hand controls for Harley-Davidsons to the next level.

“The technical revolution starts with a forged and CNC lathe-turned 6061 T-6 aluminum tube. After precision machining and surface detailing, a Thermoplastic Vulcanizate (TPV) rubber sleeve is installed over the tube’s knurled surface for traction and comfort. This highly UV-resistant material is soft and comfortable, yet extremely durable.
“The right (throttle) side AlumiCore grip comes in two styles: 1 inch I.D. for select stock and aftermarket 2-cable H-D throttles, and another for H-D Throttle-By-Wire technology. The internal gear interface inside the AlumiCore grip for TBW is forged (not simply glued and screwed) into the grip’s aluminum sleeve, so it will never break or disengage from the TBW module’s gear interface. 

“The throttle grip’s machined end cap is removable to make changing and replacing the TPV rubber sleeve fast and easy. The clutch side AlumiCore grip features an internal wedge system on the end cap that expands inside the handlebar to eliminate grip slip and end play. Both grip flanges fit inside stock and select aftermarket H-D hand control pods.
They are available in black electroplate or chrome finish, with black grips sleeves. Other grip sleeve colors are also available for replacement or customizing.

Biltwell Luggage

EXFIL-115 Waterproof Duffel

EXFIL-11 Tank bag
Biltwell’s EXFIL line of luggage and travel gear “is built tough for the open road. Designed for maximum versatility and engineered for near bulletproof durability, every EXFIL bag boasts weather-resistant or waterproof materials, smart cargo capability and a wide range of mounting options for all two-wheeled pursuits.”
The 11” long x 9” wide x 6” tall EXFIL-11 Tank Bag in black has a main compartment volume equal to eleven 12-ounce beverage cans. It is made with a UV-treated, PVC-backed 1680 denier ballistic nylon chassis with molded nylon Duraflex buckles, YKK secondary compartment zipper and external MOLLE system on the sides.
Features include a touch-sensitive clear top pocket for mobile devices, rubber grommets for audio cable routing, high-strength magnets for speedy, secure mounting on steel tanks and zipper expansion baffle to let the bag fit over tanks with speedo panels.
With a similar main compartment capacity and construction, the EXFIL-7 Multi-Purpose bag and EXFIL-80 Sissy Bar bag with shoulder straps are available in black and green.

The universal fitment 14” wide x 12” deep x 24” tall EXFIL-115 Waterproof Duffel in black has a main compartment volume equal to 115 12-ounce beverage cans. 

EXFIL-80 Sissy Bar Bag

EXFIL-7 Multi-Purpose Bag
Construction features a 100% waterproof roll-top closure with Velcro sealing strip and Duraflex buckles, UV treated and PVC coated 500- and 1000-denier ballistic nylon chassis, 2 inch wide nylon loops with woven reflective piping provide multiple mounting points. It further features center-mounted reflective nylon carry handle and reinforced box- and bar-stitching on carry handle and critical stress points.


1st par is intro style
Images starting with Exfil belong in the luggage section. Can you do an assemblage, and caption each with file name?

Hawg Halters, Inc.

Hawg Halters Bolt-On Neck Cover Kits, Speed King Handlebars

Georgia based Hawg Halters, Inc. (HHI) is now offering these custom designed Neck Rake Cover Kits “to finish off your Hawg Halters Bolt-On Neck Rake Kit installation.” 

Designed specifically to fit and work with HHI X-26 and X-30 packages, these kits (seen here for the Road Glide) are described as a “classic finish to the neck rake upgrade.” Made from advanced grade polymer with a proper inspection port for the Vehicle Identification Number, they are an easy snap on and paintable installation with all necessary hardware included.
Hawg Halter’s newest development bike for new product R&D is the 2018 Softail Slim and seen here in gloss black are the company’s 9-inch Speed King handlebars.
Available in black or chrome, HHI Speed King handlebars can be ordered as a bare bar, or as a complete plug and play bolt-on assembly - complete with custom HHI hand controls.


NAMZ Custom Cycle Products

Royal Flush RED LEDs

Oreland, Pennsylvania based NAMZ Custom Cycle Products has followed up the introduction of its Badlands Sequential Flashing Modules with “some really trick LEDs.”
Flush mounted and available in blank anodized or stainless steel finishes, these 1” or smaller 9/16” LEDs have red lenses and come with a rubber O-Ring and a jam nut for a watertight installation. 

Sold in six-packs, NAMZ owner Jeff Zelinsky says “these LED turn signals are a perfect pairing for the sequential modules which will flash the three LEDs per left and right side, while adding a running light and brake light functionality. Great looks, added safety and stealthy installation helps to make these Royal Flush LEDs a winner every time!” 
Celebrating its 19th year in business, NAMZ sells market leading wiring harnesses and related accessories, fluid transfer lines, custom installation supplies and Badlands Lighting Modules. The full range of NAMZ/Badlands products are available through Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Tucker Distributing, Mid-USA, V-Twin Manufacturing, Parts Canada, Motovan, Les Importations Thibault, Parts Europe, Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse, W&W Cycles, Zodiac, Rollies Speed Shop, Wildrider International Pty Ltd., or dealers can order direct from the NAMZ/Badlands website.


SBS Friction

SBS Indian Brake Pad Options

Leading brake pad manufacturer SBS Friction, the official brake pad of the Vance & Hines presented American Flat Track Twins Series, has fitments for late model Indian Motorcycle Scout and Big Twin models, and for prior iterations of Indian branded bikes, including for Scouts as far back as 2001 offered in either sintered or organic compounds.
The company’s H.HS is an HH rated sinter compound for front brake use that delivers a “very high performance that is formulated for low wear, high thermal stability and excellent lever feel, while keeping brake dust to an absolute minimum” according to SBS Daytona, Florida based North American Manager Chris Lyngkilde Jensen.
The H.LS is a sinter compound specifically for rear wheel use. “It has a slightly lower friction coefficient compared to H.HS, helping avoid rear wheel lock-up under hard braking.”

Chris Lyngkilde Jensen: “We look forward to the launch of the FTR 1200 street version so that customers can reap the benefits of our work in the American Flat Track series”

High tech H.CT is a carbon based high performance compound, also HH rated and compatible with polished and cast iron rotors for “unmatched feel and control in wet or dry conditions.” It is manufactured with NUCAP NRS technology, which secures an unbreakable mechanical bond between backing plate and friction material.
Offering long life and low dust, SBS’ organic compound H.HF is formulated to be very easy on brake rotors and also manufactured with NUCAP NRS backing plate technology. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada NUCAP is a global manufacturing technology company that developed their permanent bond NRS (NUCAP Retention System) to provide safer, quieter and more cost-effective products for the braking industry.

Hundreds of steel hooks create a permanent, unbreakable mechanical bond between backing plate and friction material. The NRS mechanical attachment is widely appreciated in the braking industry for holding friction material better than any adhesive.
NRS allows brake pads to be run down to the last few millimeters of friction material, while still maintaining 100% retention, enhancing the life of brake pads and saving the rider money. NRS has earned the reputation of being “bulletproof” in its resistance to shear loads, corrosion and heat. NRS-applied pads allow friction manufacturers to engineer friction products that demonstrate an extended duty cycle by retaining overall plate/pad integrity to the absolute end of friction wear.
SBS’ Indian Motorcycle pads are branded in V-twin specific packaging “to have that exclusive visual impact.” SBS says it has the largest selection of brake pads for the Indian FTR 750 flat track bike - “as the many race teams using them have come to realize. As the official brake pad of AFT we are providing race support to all teams using SBS pads,” says Jensen. “We look forward to the launch of the FTR 1200 street version so that customers can reap the benefits of our work in the American Flat Track series.”



Zodiac additions

Bitubo Cartridge Style Front Fork Damper Kits
The advantages of the cartridge type forks that are found in most state-of-the-art sports bikes are beginning to migrate in to the custom and Harley suspension upgrade market – good kits used in the right applications provide better handling characteristics than rod-type dampers, and also offer more tuning possibilities. Italian suspension manufacturer Bitubo has created complete and easy to install fork cartridge kits that can also lower the front of the bike by up to 30 mm, depending on the application. Fork cap covers in chrome or black finish are also available.
The company’s Hypersport style single cartridge and MotoGP style dual cartridge both offer up to 30 mm lowering adjustment, 10-step adjustable preload and 20-step adjustable rebound. The MotoGP style dual cartridge also has 20-step adjustable compression. The Hypersport style is available for selected V-Rod/Night Rod and 39 mm XL1200X Forty-Eight.  The MotoGP style is also available for selected 49 mm XL forks, 49 mm Dyna and ‘14-‘16 Tourers.

TBR MX-Style Footpegs

These stainless steel Motocross style foot pegs fit mid mount controls on Dyna and Sportster models and feature rotating mounts. They are sold in sets for left and right in raw, black or polished stainless steel.

‘Combat’ Slip-Ons for M-8 Fat Bob 

These Freedom Performance ‘Combat’ slip-ons for FXFB and FXFBS Fat Bob are said to be easy to install direct bolt-on mufflers in 4 ¼” (114 mm) diameter that fit on the stock headers. They are available in all chrome, all black or chrome with black tip.

S&S M-8 Cam Plate and Oil Pump Kits

S&S cam plates and oil pumps are precision machined from billet aluminum and finished in anodized blue. The cam plates feature removable passage plugs for servicing and a steel plate to protect the plate body from the steel oil pump rotors.
S&S oil pumps have independent scavenge sections for flywheel cavity and cam chest, debris screens in both scavenge pickups, and a magnet in the cam chest to help prevent debris from entering pump.
There is an adjustable pressure relief valve that can be adjusted with the oil pump mounted in the engine and Zodiac says that S&S’ designs result in increased flow capacity on both feed and scavenge side. The cam plate and oil pump are supplied as complete and ready to install kits for 2017 to present water-cooled and oil-cooled M-8s.

Pingel All Electric Up/Down Shifter Kits for 2018 Softails

These all electric up/down shifter kits by Adams, Wisconsin based Pingel Enterprises are designed to deliver simple push button throttle “on”, clutchless up and down shifting for 2018 M-8 Softails - with clutch use only required for starting and stopping.
The kits include a dual button handlebar control, a chrome plated shift cylinder, bolt-on shift cylinder support bracket, a state of the art control module that quickly and reliably interacts between the button control and shift cylinder, and the ignition interruption module.
Available for 2018 FXFB and FXFBS Fat Bob, FLFB and FLFBS Fat Boy, FXBR and FXBRS Breakout, FLHC and FLHCS Heritage, FXBB Street Bob and FXLR Low Rider.

Rick’s Breakout Headlight Shroud

Zodiac thinks the headlight on the M-8 Softail Breakout “looks a little as if the Harley design department was not ready before the bike went into production” - so what to do? Rick’s Motorcycles in Germany has this fiberglass shroud that “hides the ugly back of the stock headlight and upgrades the total look of the front end.” Easy to bolt on, it comes in a white gel coat finish.

Müller M-8 Softail Lowering Kits

These patent-pending, TÜV approved, German designed and made Müller Motorcycle M-8 Softail specific lowering kits are “infinitely adjustable” for up to 35 mm of lowered riding height. They come with needle bearing installed and do not require the damper rod to be shortened.
They fit the stock remote adjustable rear shock on 2018 to present FLDE Deluxe, FLFB and FLFBS Fat Boy, FLHC and FLHCS Heritage, FLSB Sport Glide, FLSL Slim, FXBR and FXBRS Breakout, FXFB and FXFBS Fat Bob, with model specific versions for the FXBB Street Bob and FXLR Low Rider.

Brass Balls XL Skid Plates

Oklahoma based Brass Balls’ Sportster skid plates are more than a rock guard – “they are a full blown armor for the underside of the bike in 1/8” thick aluminum that runs the length of the underside of the bike. Contoured to follow the smooth lines of the chassis, the speed holes provide weight savings as well as allowing fluids and debris to escape. Available for 1996-2003 Sportster, featuring exposed welds and 2004 to present Sportsters with smooth side walls.


Arnott Motorcycle Air Suspension

Arnott Certifies Ultimate Ride Kits for 2018 Touring models

Merritt Island, Florida based Arnott Motorcycle Air Suspension has announced that it has certified its adjustable air suspension Ultimate Ride Series kits for 2018 Harley-Davidson Touring models. 

Custom-designed for the Touring series, Arnott says the kits have “thoroughly tested for fitment and ride quality on multiple Road King, Street Glide, Road Glide and Electra Glide and CVO models.
Featuring nitrogen charged FOX shock absorbers and a powerful air compressor, Arnott says that “unlike some kits which use castoff auto parts for every motorcycle, Arnott kits are specifically engineered for each make, model and year of supported motorcycles. The testing process assures customers that when fully deflated, the kit won't allow the fender to rub against the bike's rear tire, provides optimum ride quality over a wide range of road conditions and fits the motorcycle perfectly, enabling a fast and flawless installation.
“We design and handcraft our air suspension systems specifically for motorcycles, ensuring each product exceeds the highest standards in quality, functionality and safety. Our Ultimate Ride Series not only lower the motorcycle for ease and comfort, but are ideal for riders looking for exceptional ride quality, reduced bottoming, and the ability to ride longer without feeling 'beat up' by the road.”
The system features FOX street performance, gas-charged monotube shocks with an internal floating piston, optimized model-specific ride, using FOX's proprietary high-flow deflective disc, velocity-sensitive damping, 1.5-inch 6061-T6 aluminum hard body with a 1/2-inch low friction, super-finished hard chrome shaft, multi-ply Goodyear air bladder for height adjustability and air spring firmness, a powerful compressor with application-specific mounting hardware, handlebar-mounted inflation control switch and optional rebound control to enable the rider to adjust the shocks' internal damping (available in black or chrome) with matching black or chrome handlebar-mounted inflation switches.


Wednesday 25 July 2018


H-D Q2 - Profits Down as Steel Tariffs Start to Bite but "Hold That Thought"

In what appears to be a clear effort to prevent some new announcements from being overshadowed by its second quarter financial results, Harley-Davidson announced on July 24 that there will be a second press release, slide presentation and stake holder conference call on Monday July 30 in which the company will address the so far unknown impacts of its January 2016 “Next 10 Years” initiative announcements with a further series of “Accelerated Strategy For Growth” plans.

The company is adamant that the new announcements will be consistent with is previously unveiled plans. Those plans are summarized as growing ridership by at least 2 million new riders through training, launching 100 new models in 10 years, increasing international sales volume to 50 percent of production, and to do all this “profitably and sustainably” while keeping investor returns within the top quartile of S&P 500 performance.
However, it is clear that the new details will be a response to the so far lacklustre impacts that its plans have had on sales and will be targeting some kind of acceleration in and details of new product plans, achieving broader consumer access (“meet customers where they are now and how they want to engage with a multi-channel retail experience”) and deliver “stronger dealers” - driving a “performance framework to improve our dealer financial strength and the Harley-Davidson customer experience.”
The take-aways from this appear, first of all, to be senior management dissatisfaction with the performance (stating quite clearly that it wants “stronger dealers”) and (probably) the location of existing dealerships - the absence of urban and metropolitan consumer access has been an issue for some years. Secondly, the company plans moves (maybe ahead of MY2019 announcements?) to add some flesh to the bone in terms of at least one but possibly all of its immediate, medium and long-term product (platform?) plans.

“accelerated strategy for growth”
to be announced July 30

Matt Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer, told investors that Harley needed “new types of products and channels” in drawing on the firm’s 115-year legacy and the vision of the founders may have been alluding to the long-rumored Adventure Tourer project.
Matt Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer, told investors that Harley needed “new types of products and channels”

Either way, the company is making it sound like there is something more to come next week than simply an update on its E-bike plans, and references to a “multi-channel retail experience” may presage the introduction of an online ordering, dealer delivery program.
The company says it intends to “leverage core strengths in the business, brand and dealer network” (suggesting that the churn in the dealer network seen in the past 36 months has not been an entirely unwelcome factor in the long-term evolution of the dealer network as far as management is concerned) and “invest in opportunities that inspire increased ridership sooner and deliver sustainable growth for the future” (acquisitions anyone?).
Asked if the company felt there was a disconnect between its apparent marketing success in terms of social media metrics and the stubbornness of sales to outperform the market, Levatich emphatically thought not.
Further asked about the reaction in Europe to Harley’s decision to “eat” the approximate $2,200 average on-cost of the increased tariffs imposed by the EU, he said the reaction among dealers had been universally positive and that the fact that the company would back their commitment to Harley in this way “made them very proud” to be associated with Harley. Conversely, he said that the general reaction among U.S dealers to seeing some production transitioning overseas had been phlegmatic – he said that for the most part domestic dealers appeared to understand that the company “had to do what’s best” to keep itself healthy.

“stronger dealers”

As it happens, Harley’s Q2 Fiscals have not, actually, been as bad as many had feared. Domestic U.S. unit sales for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 were down by -6.3 percent, with Harley’s retail sales now nearly tracking the wider market atrophy at -6.4 percent for the quarter (46,490 units) for a second quarter in-class market share of 48.4 percent and -8.7 percent (75,800 units) YTD for a 49.2 percent share so far this year (-0.4 percent). Motorcycle shipments for Q2 were 72,593 units and 136,537 for the calendar YTD. Overall global retail sales were down by -3.6 percent for the quarter.
Harley continues to work on managing inventory levels (dealer inventory was down by some 14,100 units in Q2), saying that doing so continues to deliver the intended results in terms of profits and MRSP maintenance as it plows the ground for MY2019 models.
Levatich is quoted as stating that “our results in the second quarter reflect business performance that is in line with our expectations. With the focus of every employee and dealer, we are making progress building the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders in line with our long-term objectives. Our manufacturing optimization, demand-driving investments and commitment to manage supply in line with demand remain on target and continue to strengthen our business.” 

Harley says it has not yet decided where production of bikes for Europe will be based, but did confirm that materials and inventory are now being built up in Thailand for a previously scheduled ramp-up of production there before the end of this year

The importance of Harley’s international ambitions and the decision about where it will build bikes for European customers (in response to the tariffs farrago) were underlined by their Q2 international results.
While sales in Asia Pacific and Canada remain challenged (Japan and Australia have been notably soft for Harley in the second quarter), the welcome news is that Latin American sales are up (thanks largely to growth in Brazil and Mexico), and in Europe (EMEA) sales were +3.6 percent for the quarter and are tracking at +4.8 percent YTD, giving Harley an improved market share of 10.4 percent. 

“meet customers where they are now”
Harley says its European performance is being driven by “strong Softail sales,” and the addition of another 12 international dealers can’t have hurt as the company continues its plan to have added some 150 – 200 new dealers internationally in the four years to 2020.
The effects of inventory management can be seen in the fact that total revenue (at $1,525.1 billion) was “only” down by -3.3 percent despite -11.3 percent lower shipments. YTD revenue was $2,889.1 billion; the average motorcycle revenue has increased “behind favorable mix, higher pricing and favorable currency exchange.”
The 2018 motorcycles segment gross margin is down somewhat on 2017 at $532.1 million (34.9 percent of revenue) for the second quarter and $1,005.9 billion (34.8 percent of revenue) YTD due to higher steel and aluminum costs, among other factors.

American Flat Track Twins

Jared Mees Just Keeps On Winning – this Time at the Minneapolis X Games

When it rains it pours, they say, and for Jared Mees the wins just keep pouring in. The latest in a now formidable collection of victories this season - nine of eleven so far in 2018 American Flat Track Twins presented by Vance & Hines - came in Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing at the X Games Minneapolis.

Photo Credit: Andrea Wilson

Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing SDI Scout FTR750) was nearly perfect on the short track built inside US Bank Stadium, winning his Heat, Semi and Main event in dominating fashion. He got good starts, grabbed his leads early and rode fast and mistake-free to secure his second X Games gold medal – his first coming in 2016.
For a while it looked as though Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Harley-Davidson XR750) might steal Mees’ thunder in the Main, which featured just six riders – Mees, Carver Jr., Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XR750), Jake Johnson (No. 5 Estenson Racing/McCandless Truck Center Harley-Davidson XR750), Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing Indian Scout FTR750) and Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (No. 2 Nila Racing, Columbia Avionics Indian Scout FTR750).

Carver took the holeshot at the start and looked to have the speed to stay ahead of Mees on the egg-shaped, eighth-mile indoor track. But Carver ran wide when Mees pressured him up the inside on lap five, and as he looked over his shoulder and tried to regain the line, Mees, Bauman and Halbert passed him – and Carver Jr. found himself fourth, and floundering.
From then on it was another stellar Jared Mees performance – leading the remainder of the 15-lap Main solidly while keeping an eye on Bauman behind him in second place. Bauman, who recovered quickly from a last-place start, put in a mid-race challenge, sticking right on Mees’ rear Dunlop and looking like he might pressure the reigning AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines champion – and close friend – into a mistake. But it wasn’t to be. Mees rode without error and slowly pulled away to a comfortable margin at the end.
Factory Harley-Davidson pilot Sammy Halbert ran strong behind Bauman on the Vance & Hines XR750, and made a dramatic, last-lap/last-corner attempt to steal the runner-up spot with a typically aggressive ‘Slammin’ Sammy’ move. But Bauman didn’t give Halbert much room, and the Washington native lost the front in the loose dirt and went down, letting Johnson by for third, followed by Carver Jr. and Coolbeth Jr., Halbert came home sixth.
A revitalized and Indian-mounted Bauman finished second, 1.3 seconds behind Mees, and seemed comfortable on both the bike and the slick, tricky circuit.
Indian Motorcycle factory rider Brad Baker was involved in a crash during Sunday's practice session and was unable to participate in the event.
Next up for the stars of American Flat Track is the Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle on August 5th and Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half-Mile presented by Law Tigers Motorcycle Lawyers on August 7th.

Indian Motorcycle

Indian Motorcycle and Progressive Motorcycle Insurance Partner on U.S. National Display and Test Ride Tour

Indian’s Cruisers, Baggers and Touring models are to go coast-to-coast in the United States to reach riders at events and dealerships across the country. 

Partnering with Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, the Indian Motorcycle demo tour will travel to key events and dealerships around the United States to provide riders the opportunity to test-ride Indian motorcycles. The demo tour will visit nearly every Indian Motorcycle dealership in the calendar year, along with 18 of the major motorcycle rallies in the U.S.; demo rides will be free of charge and riders can test as many models as many times as desired.
Indian Motorcycle on Tour is a traveling display that showcases select models at various motorcycle and lifestyle events, including boat shows, air shows, festivals and more. It allows the brands to connect with both existing and new riders in a very grassroots and approachable manner.
“We’re excited to be collaborating with Progressive on our display and demo tour,” said Reid Wilson, Senior Director of Marketing and Product Development, Indian Motorcycle. “Our newly forged relationship creates a unique opportunity for riders to engage with both brands, and not only test- ride any of our 2018 models, but also learn more about Progressive’s robust coverage options.”
“As America’s #1 motorcycle insurance company, we understand the passion of the motorcycle community and its incredible excitement around the return of Indian Motorcycle over the last several years,” said Eric Doubler, Progressive’s Recreational Vehicle Business Leader. “Teaming up with Indian provides Progressive a unique platform to engage with riders across the country passionate about Indian Motorcycle and eager to check out its 2018 line-up.”

Magnum Shielding Corporation

Motorcycle Brake Lines
PART 1 - What is the Importance of DOT Compliance for Motorcycle Rider Safety to manufacturers and dealers?

This month AMD Magazine is restarting an industry informational and advisory content concept that we pioneered in the 1990s. The idea was simple enough – to leverage the knowledge and experience of leading vendors, industry experts and respected insiders in dealing with some of the market’s important technical issues. To get us started, we invited Scott Hurwitz, founder and CEO of Pittsford, New York based specialist Magnum Shielding, to discuss the complex matrix of issues that affect the design, manufacturing and engineering of brake lines – one of motorcycling’s critical components - and the importance of meeting DOT regulations …

A supplier to Harley-Davidson’s P&A program, Magnum Shielding Corporation also sells Magnum label brake hoses to the international aftermarket - to selected independent custom businesses and through our distribution partner Drag Specialties to its dealers.
No surprise then that rider safety is taken very seriously. Through vigorous process controls and quality standards, Magnum ensures compliance (for all their brake line categories) with DOT specifications and requirements as set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But what does that actually mean? Why is it so important, and how do the answers to these questions affect your business and perhaps your reputation? 

The name of the manufacturer must be clearly identified

As is the case with many product groups, DOT regulations make labeling as important to achieving full compliance as the quality of the product itself

Common questions often asked are: who determines the DOT criteria, how is it enforced, what are the requirements of DOT compliance (Part 2 of this series), and most importantly, how does this affect the dealer?
You may also wonder how to determine if the motorcycle brake lines being sold for highway use are compliant and legal, especially considering dealer liability if an accident occurs where brake line failure is claimed to be a cause or is argued to be a contributing factor. Unfortunately, the reality of our times is that the popularity of auto accident law firms and their “aggressive case capture advertising” make this an even bigger issue than ever.

Magnum Shielding CEO Scott Hurwitz: “For brake lines, the standard is FMVSS-106 and this standard specifies and defines labeling and performance requirements for vehicle brake hose and brake hose end fittings”

So, let’s start with the governing agencies that are running the show.
The NHTSA is an arm of the Department of Transportation (DOT). NHTSA’s mission is to “Save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce vehicle-related crashes.” As part of its activities, they write and enforce the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) covering basic safety equipment (e.g. tires, headlamps/tail lamps, and brake hoses and brake hose assemblies.)  For brake lines, the standard is FMVSS-106, and this standard specifies and defines labeling and performance requirements for motor vehicle brake hose and brake hose end fittings.
The purpose of this standard is to reduce deaths and injuries occurring as a result of brake system failures from pressure loss due to leaks or ruptures. It is assumed that if a manufacturer’s brake hose assemblies meet this standard, by virtue of passing all the numerous testing criteria defined in the standard, then they will have done their due diligence and the brake lines will be safe to use.
Interestingly enough, the FMVSS-106 standard establishes performance requirements, without dictating design specifications. This is left entirely to the manufacturer of the brakes lines. However, it is illegal to market a product that does not conform to the safety standard or would take a vehicle out of compliance with it. If a product is covered by an industry FMVSS standard, NHTSA anticipates the product complies, otherwise, the company may risk product liability exposure, and NHTSA could deem the product to be unsafe.
Brake line manufacturers and importers selling assemblies intended for street driven motorcycles are required to register with NHTSA, given that such products are “covered by an FMVSS.” NHTSA then assumes “self-certification” and assigns manufacturers identification numbers associated with their chosen “Symbol” and places the company in their Manufacturer Database.
At this point, NHSTA or DOT does not “approve” the brake lines for use on licensed vehicles, neither does it require submission or proof of any documentation regarding the safety of these aftermarket parts, unless triggered by an incident or event.
Then, NHTSA has the authority to conduct an investigation and order a product removal from the marketplace should the product be found not to comply with the Safety Standard. This includes the removal of previously installed brake lines.  Given this, it would be prudent to determine if the brake lines you are currently selling are indeed compliant.  

Using multiple PLC controlled pressure testing stations such as the one shown above, all brake hose assemblies are pressure and flow tested as part of Magnum's quality control procedures. This added step further supports Magnum Shielding's commitment to providing safe and compliant products under the guidelines of FMVSS. 

Sometimes the words “For Off-Road Use Only” are seen on packaging. Is this a legal term? Surprisingly, “off-road” and “off-road vehicles” are not terms defined in NHTSA regulations and therefore have no legal meaning. All it really means is that the manufacturer cannot control or enforce how the product will be used.
Simply put, brake lines are subject to the FMVSS, and if they are manufactured to replace equipment covered by the FMVSS, especially if they have published fitments for specific year/model on-road motorcycle (motor vehicle) applications, then the brake lines are legally required to be compliant.
With so many choices available for motorcycle brake lines, it’s not surprising to find that many are not compliant with FMVSS-106 motor vehicle safety requirements.  Dealers must be aware that in the event of a braking related accident, they may be deemed negligent for selling and/or installing an “off-road” product for a licensed motor vehicle.
So, how would one know if the brake lines, formally referred to as brake hose assemblies, are FMVSS-106 compliant?  The easiest way is to look on the product packaging for mention of DOT FMVSS-106 compliance. Another means of checking is to look in manufacturer and/or distributor catalogs for product descriptions.  Because DOT compliance is such a huge deal, not to mention a well-earned accomplishment, for marketing purposes, one would think that any savvy manufacturer’s or marketer’s catalog ad copy will surely make mention of compliance.
However, the best way to know for sure is to look for the proper identification, or “labeling”, on the brake hose assembly itself. There are three options manufacturers have to accomplish this:

Option 1
A band may be attached so as to move freely along the length of the assembly. It shall be etched, embossed, or stamped with both the symbol DOT and the manufacturer’s designation or symbol.

Option 2
The brake hose may be labeled directly in block capital letters and numerals with the symbol DOT, the manufacturer’s designation or registered symbol, the date of manufacture, the outside diameter (OD) of the hose, and HR to designate its volumetric expansion rating.

Option 3
At least one end fitting of the hydraulic brake hose assembly is etched, stamped or embossed with a designation that identifies the manufacturer and is filed with NHTSA.

Stripes are also included in DOT labeling requirements and must be placed on the brake hose parallel to its longitudinal axis to prevent twisting during assembly and installation.  If you do not see this printed stripe on an aftermarket assembly, the brake line is not FMVSS-106 compliant. Per the Standard, aftermarket assemblies are NON-OEM hose assemblies, and torque stripes are required.

The only exception to this labeling rule is if the brake hose is OEM and manufactured for use only in a brake line assembly whose end fittings prevent its installation in a twisted orientation. 

Some manufacturers’ brake lines are TÜV approved.  Basically, this means that a TÜV station or department (Technical Inspection Association) provides European accreditation by overseeing compliance with domestic and international guidelines, standards and directives. In this case, they oversee the process of testing and documentation associated with DOT FMVSS-106 criteria.
The takeaway from this article is that DOT FMVSS-106 compliance matters and is the primary way to ensure the safety of the rider, given that brake lines are integral to the safe operation of the motorcycle.
We at Magnum Shielding Corporation feel that it’s important for you to know the details of what to be aware of and what to look for when ensuring the protection of both your customers’ safety and your hard-earned business.
Stay tuned for Part 2 - the tests and testing procedures that must be passed to make the finished line and achieve compliance.



New Canadian distributor for SBS Pads and Discs

SBS Friction has announced that Gamma Powersports of Orillia, Ontario is their new and currently only distributor for SBS products in the Canadian market.
Fast growing Gamma is capturing market share in Canada, and “shares the SBS business philosophy of close contact to the dealer base, and great customer service.”
Chris Jensen, SBS Brand Manager for North America says: “We welcome Gamma Powersports to the SBS family. With their hands-on approach, they will see great success with SBS, much like our distributors in Europe, South Africa, Japan and Australia always have done. We look forward to helping Gamma service dealers all over Canada and to attend their promotional events. There is no doubt that we will see growth from this new partnership.”
SBS will be the premier line of brake products at Gamma, allowing their sales reps to focus on teaching dealers the many features and benefits of SBS.

“Gamma is proud to add SBS brakes to its distribution portfolio,” said Judy Scott, Senior Buyer for Gamma. “SBS is well established in a world market and brings a great product to the Canadian marketplace. We look forward to working with SBS and growing the Canadian market.”

News Briefs

The memo about there being limitations to how a brand can be convincingly purposed clearly disappeared from Harley’s institutional memory when Clyde Fessler retired. A “cross-promotional partnership with men’s grooming product range American Crew” (aka Revlon cosmetics) looks set to expose the Bar ‘n Shield to yet more ridicule and questionable value.

Mark Moses, founder and GM of Indian Motorcycle of Charlotte (“the world’s first Indian dealership”), has sold to Tim Sutherland, owner and GM of Coastal Indian Motorcycle of Myrtle Beach, SC., and Lloyd Greer, founder and owner of Victory aftermarket parts specialist Lloyd’z Motorworkz, Pine Bush, NY. The Charlotte store opened in 2008 as the first dealer for the then Stellican, Stephen Julius owned Kings Mountain, NC., based factory, for which Moses was a Customer Service and Warranty Manager after operating North Coast Motorcycle - itself a dealer for ultimately a less than successful “Gilroy Indian” operation that closed in California in 2003.

Mitchell, South Dakota based Klock Werks Cycles is in legal dispute with Dragonfly Cycle Concepts of Fullerton, California, over the design of a windshield that Brian Klock claims is a patent violation of its award-winning Flare Windshield design. The suit claims that the Dragonfly ‘Batwing’ fairing is a Flare copy.

Polaris Industries Inc. has joined the Fortune 500 list of largest companies in the United States. Not a market cap., profits or revenues listing as such, the Fortune 500 lists businesses by total revenues for their fiscal years - Polaris is in its 64th year and achieved a ranking or #496. It lists publicly held companies along with privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available.

Kenny Price’s Samson Exhaust is now under the ownership of OnCourse Capital of Fort Wayne and has been relocated from Sturgis, South Dakota, to Avilla, Indiana. Price founded his company in California in 1991, and at one stage Samson was one of the top selling exhaust brands in the custom parts market.  OnCourse Capital has over 30 years of experience in metal fabrication and tube forming. It is the former owners of Global Tube Form (which did business under the names of National Tube Form and Southern Tube Form and operated facilities in Clinton, TN, and Fort Wayne, IN). It acquired Samson Exhaust in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Polaris has announced it is to open a new distribution center in Fernley, Nevada, 165 miles NE of Sacramento, California. The 475,000 sq ft facility will be a multi-brand operation on a 37-acre site, supporting Polaris’ growing aftermarket, parts, garments and accessories businesses. Its PG&A division achieved nearly $2 billion in sales in 2017. Proximity to west coast consumers and Pacific Rim facing ports are cited as factors in the choice of location.

MAG has promoted Rob Ramlose (ex of Oakley and Fox Racing) to Director of Apparel Brands (a role at one stage held by apparel industry veteran and ex Leatt man Phil Davy). His new role sees him adding to his responsibility for the RSD apparel program with control of all brands in the MAG apparel portfolio - additionally including Answer Racing, Speed and Strength, Firstgear and Black Brand - the latter formerly headed up by the now departed ex S&S and PriMedia man Howard Kelly.

According to market research published by German giant Bosch, by 2027 every other new motorcycle sold could be an E-bike. Hmmmm…

In what looks like a counter-intuitive decision by the “new look” U.S. EPA, the renewable fuel requirements for 2018 are higher than the 2017 levels and higher than the 2018 levels the agency proposed in June 2017. The EPA’s final 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations call for 19.29 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supplies — primarily controversial corn ethanol. That figure is higher than the 19.24 billion gallons the agency had previously proposed, and slightly higher than the 19.28 billion gallons required in 2017!