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Tuesday 22 October 2019


H-D Q3: Domestic US Retail Motorcycle Sales -3.60%; International +2.70%; Forecasting 212,000 to 217,000 Unit Shipments for 2019

Harley-Davidson's third quarter 2019 results have been released, and the headline news is that Harley's retail motorcycle sales may be starting to show some signs of recovery - or at least a slowing of the deterioration.
It was thought that a decent March might have suggested such a rally, but the Q2 numbers didn't continue the trend seen towards the end of Q1. However, for the three months to the end of September 2019, Harley unit sales may, just may, finally be headed in a better direction.

Domestic US retail motorcycle sales were down by -3.60% in Q3 at 34,903 units in a 601 cc+ market that Harley says was down by -1.7%, with domestic US retail sales down by -5.60% for the nine months at 105,756 units. In Europe (EMEA) sales were -6.0% for the quarter (10,483 units) and -6.0% for the nine-month period (36,899 units).
There was strong Q3 growth in Asia Pacific (+8.7%/8,078 units) and Canada (+4.4%/2,560 units). Latin America was -3.10%/2,498 units, meaning that total international sales were +2.70% for Q3 at 23,619 units, which has improved 2019 YTD international sales to a decline of -3.90% (73,763 units). This has taken Harley's worldwide total sales to 58,522 units (-1.2%) for Q3 and 179,519 units (-4.90%) for the YTD.
Harley-Davidson's third quarter U.S. market share was 49.8 percent; their year-to-date European market share was 8.9 percent through September.
Revenue from the Motorcycles and Related Products (Motorcycles) segment was down in the third quarter behind lower shipments. Operating income decreased primarily due to lower revenues and increased tariff costs, partially offset by savings realized from the company's manufacturing optimization initiative.
For the full year 2019, the company says it continues to expect motorcycle shipments to be approximately 212,000 to 217,000, with some 38,500 to 43,500 to ship in Q4.
Motorcycles segment operating margin as a percent of revenue is expected to be approximately six to seven percent, with Financial Services segment operating income expected to be down year-over-year.

During the quarter, the company says it "delivered earnings per share and Motorcycles segment operating margin ahead of expectations. The company was encouraged by global retail sales results driven by its actions and a tempered U.S. industry rate of decline.
"We are driving stability in our business and bringing data insights and intensified consumer focus to guide our efforts to build committed riders and meet our near and long-term objectives," said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson. "We'll continue to fuel all aspects of the riding experience and add new solutions to fully develop, engage and retain riders through their journey, starting with the very first spark of interest," said Levatich.
Harley says that during the quarter it delivered GAAP diluted EPS of $0.55 ($0.68 for the year-ago period), repurchased $112.5 million of shares, paid dividends of $0.375 per share and improved their worldwide year-over-year retail sales rate.
Excluding restructuring plan costs and the impact of recent EU and China tariffs, adjusted third quarter 2019 diluted EPS was $0.70 compared to $0.82 in the third quarter of 2018. Third quarter 2019 net income was $86.6 million on consolidated revenue of $1.27 billion versus net income of $113.9 million on consolidated revenue of $1.32 billion in 2018.
Harley is also pointing to the launch of its new model year 2020 motorcycles, including Low Rider S, CVO Tri Glide and LiveWire; introduced the IRONe electric-powered two-wheelers for kids; realized significant savings from its manufacturing optimization initiative; progressed its 'More Roads to Harley-Davidson' accelerated plan for growth and activated 'Amplify Brand' as a "fourth 'More Roads' growth catalyst to build committed riders".
The company says it also "advanced its brand amplification efforts and developed capabilities to invigorate the Harley-Davidson experience and build committed riders.
"During the quarter, Harley-Davidson sharpened its U.S. and international objectives through 2027 to better align with its expanded efforts to build committed riders.
"Harley-Davidson's strategic objectives through 2027 are: expand to four million total Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S., grow international business to 50 percent of annual HDMC revenue, launch 100 new high-impact motorcycles, and do so profitably and sustainably.
"'More Roads to Harley-Davidson' is the company's accelerated plan for growth that drives the company's strategy to deliver sustainable growth and build the next generation of riders from 2018 through 2022. The company is focusing investment and building new capabilities to invigorate the Harley-Davidson brand to spark passion that deepens rider commitment. To reflect this, 'Amplify Brand' was added as a growth catalyst in the 'More Roads' plan and will bolster the other growth catalysts of New Products, Broader Access and Stronger Dealers.
"The company plans to maintain its investment and return profile and capital allocation strategy, while it funds strategic opportunities expected to drive revenue growth and expand operating margin, through 2022.
"During the third quarter, Harley-Davidson continued to advance its 'More Roads' plan initiatives by realizing improvements in retail sales, service revenue and website visits for dealers participating in Harley-Davidson performance consulting; strengthened its leadership in the electrification of motorcycles; launched high impact new models and added significant technology to its class-leading model year 2020 motorcycles to inspire new and existing riders; announced the presenting partnership with 2020 Hella Mega music experience tour."
In terms of manufacturing optimization, Harley says it realized total savings of $16.7 million and incurred costs of $10.0 million in the third quarter. Since the first quarter of 2018, the company closed its wheel manufacturing facility in Australia and consolidated its motorcycle assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. into its plant in York, Pa. The company continues to expect 2019 full year costs of $40 million to $50 million, 2019 full year savings of $25 million to $30 million and ongoing annual cash savings of $65 million to $75 million after 2020. Financial Services segment third quarter operating income of $72.9 million was down -13.0 percent.
Cash and marketable securities were $862.4 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019, compared to $937.0 million in 2018. Through September, Harley-Davidson generated $848.6 million of cash from operating activities in 2019 compared to $1.12 billion in 2018. The company paid a cash dividend of $0.375 per share in the third quarter, and a cumulative total of $1.125 per share for the first nine months of 2019. On a discretionary basis, Harley-Davidson repurchased 3.3 million shares of its common stock during the quarter for $112.5 million. During the quarter, there were approximately 156.9 million weighted-average diluted common shares outstanding.

Parts Unlimited

Parts Unlimited Racer Rewards Program

Always robust supporters of the sport at all levels of the industry, Parts Unlimited has just introduced a $250,000 'We Support the Sport' Racer Rewards Program, launching in January 2020.

"We are teaming up with numerous regional race series and promoters across the country, covering all forms of powersports racing," said Jeff Derge, VP of Sales for Parts Unlimited’s parent company LeMans Corporation.
"This Racer Rewards Program will support and strengthen the relationship between the amateur racing community and their local dealers. It’s a win-win for everyone in the industry!"
Parts Unlimited will offer $250,000 worth of parts, accessories and apparel through its dedicated dealer network to support amateur riders nationwide.

American Motorcyclist Association

Bonneville 2019 - "Best in Recent Years"

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) congratulates the 41 riders who set 50 provisional AMA national land speed records and the nine riders who set 10 provisional Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) world records at the 2019 AMA Land Speed Grand Championship on Aug. 24-29.

Photo: Scooter Grubb

At the time of publication all the records set during the event were still awaiting certification by the AMA and the FIM before becoming official.
Also known as the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, the six-day event drew hundreds of land speed racers to pilot their motorcycles on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah - the premier motorcycle land speed racing championship in the United States.
"This year's AMA Land Speed Grand Championship was one of the best in recent years," AMA Track Racing Manager Ken Saillant said. "Track conditions were excellent, and we offer our congratulations to all of the riders who set records at the event. Promoter Delvene Reber and her team at Deliciate Promotions did an outstanding job operating the event."
The AMA-sanctioned championship, which also includes recognition from the FIM, offers competitors the opportunity to collect AMA national and FIM world records aboard machines ranging from 50 cc mini bikes to 3,000 cc streamliners.
AMA and FIM record-setting riders are recognized as AMA national champions and awarded AMA National No. 1 plates. They will be honored as part of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 6-7.

MV Agusta

After Harley, MV Agusta Announces a China Light and Middleweight Displacement Deal

In the latest spin of the wheel in the motorcycle industry's burgeoning light and middleweight displacement direction of travel, former Harley-Davidson subsidiary MV Agusta has followed Harley down the path to manufacture small displacement motorcycles for the burgeoning lightweight and middleweight markets in China by inking a deal with Chinese industrial giant Loncin Motor Co.

Now under Russian ownership, the iconic Italian race and sportbike brand will see Loncin manufacturing MV Agusta branded 350-500 cc models in what is described as a "long-term strategic partnership agreement that has, as a base, the development of an all new family of MV Agusta products.
"The vehicles will be completely designed by MV Agusta to occupy the premium segment of this high growth market - Loncin is the market leading motorcycle manufacturer in Asia. Like all MV Agusta products, this new 4-model family will embody the unique MV Agusta DNA - its unique sound and vehicle dynamics will spark a strong connection with all the new riders."
In a move that is clearly aimed at replicating their former owner's playbook, a strategy successfully pursued by several manufacturers in recent decades, not least by Ducati, "this strategic alliance will enable MV Agusta to enlarge its current product portfolio with the objective of increasing our riders globally and expanding access into Asia. The collaboration marks a significant progress towards a major pillar in the MV Agusta accelerated growth plan. The company objective is to expand access to the MV Agusta brand and driving incremental sales, both of the new, smaller displacement motorcycles and of the current Italian 675, 800 and 1000 cc MV Agusta product range."
The new models are slated to be in Chinese dealerships by the end of 2021.
Interestingly, MV Agusta and Loncin have confirmed that their partnership "will not be limited to the development of the new family of products in the 350-500 cc range. It also includes MV Agusta assisting Loncin in entering the premium segment market with MV's 800 cc platform.
Following its full take-over by Russian multibillionaire oil and gas magnate Rashid Sardarov in 2018, Giovanni Castiglioni, the last connection to the Castiglioni dynasty, was ousted as Chairman and CEO and retained as company President, with corporate and strategic management now in the hands of son and CEO Timur Sardarov.
The President of Loncin, Mr. Yong Gao, announced: "The conclusion of the strategic agreement is conducive to Loncin's and MV Agusta's joint response to the changes in global market demand and to the coordinated development of both sides. Loncin will use advanced manufacturing resources and Chinese market knowledge to help MV Agusta expand its product line and enhance product competitiveness. MV Agusta's technology and advanced design experience of high-performance motorcycles will support Loncin's VOGE brand in becoming the market leader of premium motorcycles in China."
Timur Sardarov is quoted as saying: "This strategic alliance is an important step to consolidate our vision for the future of MV Agusta. Our target is to reaffirm our leadership in the production of upper-premium motorcycles, while also enlarging our customer base by offering a broader range of products without compromising our distinctive design and performance."
Loncin produces over one million vehicles a year - mostly PTWs (Powered Two-Wheelers) and related units and has annual production capacity for 2,500,000 motorcycles, 3,000,000 motorcycle engines and 150,000 ATVs.


Highway 21 Apparel New Fall Collection

Boise, Idaho based HardDrive has unveiled new products in its Highway 21 apparel program. "Meticulous research meets classic design for Highway 21's all-new fall collection, featuring some of the most feature-rich products ever released by the brand. 
"Tested by riders throughout the country, Highway 21's new products are the perfect blend of highly functional rider apparel that looks as good on a bike to walking through the city."

The Murtaugh jacket is proof that "you can have classic styling with the modern features that are needed in today's world."  This 100% cowhide leather police-style jacket features a large concealed carry d-pocket, reminiscent of map pockets used by early aviators that allows for ample storage and easy access.  To increase maximum adjustment possibilities for the rider, the Murtaugh features a fully removable leather belt with a keyring-snapped belt loop to keep it secure.

The Motordrome jacket is "an homage to America's first motorcycle boardtrack race complex, constructed in Los Angeles in 1910.  This leather jacket stands out against the crowd with diamond stitched accents and dual chest vent pockets for added storage."  The Motordrome features a removable thermal liner and a generous concealed internal carry pocket.

"The popular Marksman flannel is back in an all-new colorway for the fall season.  This soft, 8 oz cotton flannel is the perfect blend of style and function, featuring removable CE shoulder and elbow armor with aramid fiber reinforced panels in addition to a removable, perforated back PE armor."
The company says that "Highway 21 is more than just a name or pavement that twists and rolls through the Rocky Mountains. It's an insight into the eye of the craftsman; it's the hard work, the sweat and the blood that it takes to build true character. It's not just one thing, it's everything that it takes in the quest of perfection - no styling detail is too small, and no aspect of safety is overlooked."


NAMZ Custom Cycle Products

Starter Relay Socket Kit, Shrink Splices and Connectors

Oreland, Pennsylvania based NAMZ Custom Cycle Products is always looking to expand its ever- growing line-up of product offerings in order to "stay ahead of the technology curve." With most motorcycles becoming more and more "electronic", NAMZ says they are "always sitting in the driver's seat when it comes to being the industry source. 

"We don't just go and find what's new and sell it, we do the research, learn the product and its application and, most importantly, we test it. NAMZ employees follow a strict standard when it comes to testing, and this is to ensure that our customers get the right part, the first time."
In this picture we see a number of recent NAMZ additions, from top left to right is its mini starter relay socket kit, which comes complete with crimp terminals. Next are heat shrink splices, ranging from 10 to 22 gauge, and at the bottom are new FX rear fender connectors, available as male and female kits.
Celebrating its 20th year in business, providing "world class" electrical components, wiring harnesses, Badlands lighting modules and now LEDs from Letric Lighting Co., dealers can order NAMZ/Badlands products through Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Tucker (Tucker is the exclusive distributor for Letric Lighting Co.), Mid USA, J&P Cycles, V-Twin, Parts Canada, Motovan, Les Importations Thibault, Parts Europe, Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse, W&W, Zodiac, Rollies Speed Shop, Wildrider International Pty Ltd, or directly from the website.


Motorcycle Storehouse

Motorcycle Storehouse Additions

FXDR Custom Front Fender

Austrian manufacturer Cult-Werk's new unpainted ABS 5-axis precision CNC-machined front fender is designed for "an even sportier look than the stock FXDRS fender already has." ABE approved , it is shorter and narrower, with a precision fit and no hassle direct replacement.

Lucas Oil

A well-known US brand with a series of special formulated products, the Lucas range includes oils, oil stabilizers, lubes, greases, cooling fluids, chain lubricants, metal polish, wax, interior detail and even tire trim and shine products.

Clutch Plate Sets

High quality friction and steels developed for Motorcycle Storehouse "in a dynamic testing environment with a price/quality ratio that is clearly higher than average standards." The friction disc sets are made from organic friction material, bonded to a hardened aluminum base. Steel drive plates are manufactured from quality steel to help prevent warp and ensure excellent clutch action. "Perfect for any stock replacement and can, like OEM, be run both wet or dry." Available as 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 plate kits for selected models from 1968 up to M-8.

Moto-Master Brake Rotors

All Moto-Master brake rotors are manufactured from highly corrosion resistant premium stainless steel, offering "superb braking ability." CNC-machined, laser-cut and precision double ground to the tightest tolerances to eliminate any brake rotor vibration. All Moto-Master brake discs are made in Europe and TÜV/ABE approved.

Mustang 'Wide Tripper' Seats

The 'Wide Tripper' sits the rider in a "relaxed cruising position that's slightly lower, but at a similar reach to the handlebars compared to stock." Available with or without a built-in receiver that accepts a fully adjustable and easily removable driver backrest for ultimate lumbar support. Detailed stitching in highly durable synthetic glove-leather cover; matching passenger seat offers comfortable 2-up cruising with spacious 10" width.

Rokkertech Slim Stretch Denim

Unlike most motorcycle jeans on the market, Rokkertech line products have only one layer - this means that they feel like everyday clothes, so are suitable for casual and riding wear. With added Elastane for additional comfort; CE approved; highly abrasion resistant; five-pocket style; slim fit with tapered leg; top quality 14 oz Denim with high abrasion resistant UHMWPE fibers; vintage wash; protector pockets on knees and hips; delivered in an exclusive canvas bag with T-shirt and knee protectors.

SP Connect Moto Bundle

The Moto Bundle is a "cleverly designed complete smartphone carrying system. It allows attachment and removal of the phone from the motorcycle in a second with a simple 90 degree 'Twist to Lock' action. Mounts in a vertical or horizontal orientation. The phone is installed in a thin but strong and protective 3-layer construction carrying case (phone case) for daily use that allows using all buttons, ports and retains wireless charging functionality. The CNC-machined aircraft grade aluminum mounting bracket (Moto Mount Pro) has an angled arm that allows positioning the screen directly in front of the rider, allowing 360° rotation. The sturdy connection between the up to -40% vibration-reducing bracket and phone will not come loose. The included special touch screen-friendly weather cover can be used for a watertight protection against moisture and sand. Fits handlebar diameters from 7/8" (22 mm) to 1.25" (31.8 mm). The Moto Bundle comes with stainless hardware.


Le Pera

'Cherokee' for FXST

The 'Cherokee' from noted Californian seat manufacturer Le Pera has "a pure bobbed and chopped throwback style with King/Queen lines and awesome rider back support." According to design guru Bob Le Pera Jr.: "This seat offers your 2006 - 2017 FXST customer timeless style and comfort for the hard miles on full day trips."

It features 12" of rider seating area and 7.5" for the passenger. Standard options include smooth, diamond and pleated stitch patterns. The 'Cherokee' is also available for other models including '82-up XL, '06-up Dyna, '08-up Touring and '62-'84 FX/FLH.
Still handcrafting all its seats at their North Hollywood, California headquarters after nearly 45 years as the market's design leader, all Le Pera seats feature a powder-coated steel base plate, a specially poured high density "Marathon" molded foam foundation and double-stitched, handcrafted cover with bonded polyester thread for durability.
Stitching choices and additional options such as Biker Gel, leather seating and full leather are all detailed in the 2019 Le Pera catalog, which is available online - quantities of printed copies are available to dealers by request.


Mid-USA Motorcycle Parts

V-Factor Oil Pumps

More V-Factor engine components news from Hazelwood, Missouri based Mid-USA Motorcycle Parts with details about its V-Factor oil pump parts and kits.
V-Factor has a comprehensive range of oil pump rebuild components for 1969 - 1984 Shovelheads and 1984 - 1999 Evo Big Twins, but seen here are the company's options for Twin Cam engines.

High volume TC oil pumps 1999-2017

For performance applications, the billet aluminum V-Factor oil pump for Twin Cams from 1999 - 2017 (except for 2006 Dyna models) delivers +40% increased feed volume and 60% increased scavenge volume.

TC cam support plate

V-Factor Twin Cam billet cam support plates (for gear drive cams only unless used on 1999 - 2006 applications with the optional chain drive adapter kit) are said to eliminate flex and decrease engine temperature while increasing oil flow; the kit includes bearing retainer plate and hardware.

OE style cast aluminium replacement oil pump assembly for all TC years - '07-'17 shown

Also seen here for 1999 - 2017 Twin Cams are V-Factor OE style cast aluminum oil pump assemblies and a complete OE style oil pump kit with options for 1936 through 1999 Big Twins.

1936-1999 OE style oil pump kits - 1992-1999 Evo shown

Available in polished or black, plus chrome option for 1973 and up, the oil pump assemblies come complete with check ball and relief springs, drive gears, gaskets, keys and all necessary fittings including chrome plated mounting hardware. On pre-1981 models, crankcase oil passage drilling is required.


Paul Yaffe's Bagger Nation

Weld Wing No-Slip Super Riser Clamps

New from Paul Yaffe's Bagger Nation, Weld Wing no-slip Super Riser clamps are a practical front end tidy-up that protect as well as adding detailing for a custom look.

Weld Wing no-slip Super Riser clamps

The patented Weld Wing no-slip Super Clamp covers the unsightly welds and steps on 1.25" handlebars - their sports styling "looks great on Dynas, FXRs and Sportsters." Available in black accent cut or chrome finishes, the easy bolt-on Super Riser clamp design eliminates bar slippage.

Also seen here, the Bagger Nation Super Riser clamp for 1.25" handlebar center sections "is a must when installing internally wired custom handlebars. Our incredibly strong design is CNC-machined from a solid block of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum - the innovative design incorporates a series of three locking screws that virtually lock our ever-popular tall Monkey Bars in place."
Super Riser clamp for 1.25" handlebar center sections

Super Riser clamps for 1" handlebar center sections are said to "all but eliminate the potential for the kind of handlebar slippage that is common with tall bars and big riders.
"Simply put, a 10" or higher bar and a 200+ lb rider creates an increased leverage that was never considered by factory engineers - especially when you're suddenly pulling yourself up off your seat in an emergency, such as an unseen pothole."


Tuesday 1 October 2019

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

My Green Rant

By 2050 it is estimated that more than 70 percent of the world's population will be urban dwellers, one way or another, including in the suburbs.
To prepare us for that density of living and in response to the calls for transport policy to abandon hydrocarbons, the message we are being force-fed is one of a future in which the majority of riding will be nice, clean and quiet urban and suburban commutes on simple, user-friendly machines that speak convenience and safety to mainstream, traditionally non-riding consumers.
I think not. Regardless of whether the traffic surrounding you is autonomous, electric and (theoretically) safe urban riding, it is never going to be "pleasant" as such. At the end of the day downtown riding will remain high stress, frustrating, expensive and challenging. All historic notions of a smooth, clean, efficient, on-time, low-cost downtown transit environment have proven to be a myth - from Fritz Lang to Coruscant, all have proven to be well wide of the mark. Riding, indeed any kind of travel downtown, will forever remain more Blade Runner than Utopia, and will forever remain overcrowded and underfunded, and the more people that are crammed into our ever larger metropolitan areas the worse it will become.
For sure the world is headed for a crossroads in environmental terms - that is assuming we haven't already run the red light. The intersection between sustainability, affordability and suitability will require us to embrace fit for purpose solutions that meet the needs of consumers who regard the implications of the increasingly compelling arguments in favor of addressing climate change as "self-evident". 

However, those fit for purpose solutions will require real world practicality that replicate the expectations and habits of existing transport users that real world incomes can fund.
But are the solutions we are seeing being touted 'currently', including Harley's, really viable? Do they really have the answer? It seems to me that we are still at a juvenile stage in the evolution of this particular future and that, as was the case when planes, trains and automobiles first came into being, we are a long way from understanding how to really tackle the transport and environmental issues that electric vehicles are supposed to address.

new battery chemistry

I was at a conference three years or so ago, a motorcycle industry trade association conference in Europe, when I and the audience were told that present battery tech "is was it is" and there would be no major advance that would improve range, charge times and user convenience; specifically that there will be "no new battery chemistry" to come riding out of the sunset to our rescue.
Wrong. As reported elsewhere in this edition of AMD Magazine, there are new Lithium-ion battery chemistry solutions under development - ones that will radically improve charge times, durability and power cycles. We report on two such projects from different parts of the world- but there are many others in the wings too.
I mention this as just one example that demonstrates what early days these are for our electric future. Another would be the hotly debated issue of electricity generation capacity (that is not actually as difficult an issue as some people would have you believe) and the requirement to produce that capacity cleanly, through renewables, if one isn't going to cancel out the perceived and supposed benefits of abandoning hydrocarbons.
We do not yet have the tech solutions that would be required to deliver on the promise. The existing "solutions" that we are embracing are short-term compromises - it seems to me that we are being dragged into a fix it culture without really yet having actually understood all the questions. 

At present, consumers using their own transport rather than public transit systems are able to fill up and get back on their way conveniently and quickly, but with reasonably long periods of time between needing to do so. Acceptable, practical, fit for purpose alternatives will need to replicate (or improve on) that convenience if policy makers hope to take consumers with them, get them on side.
Indeed, the whole issue of multiple charging standards, connectors and battery architectures, to say nothing of the chemistry, is another feature of our nice, clean, modern future that is absurd. It is the equivalent of early cars from the likes of Ford needing one gasoline formulation, GM brands another, Chevvies a third etc. Regardless of the improved charge times that new battery chemistry will deliver, ultimately a modular, swappable, standardized common battery platform will surely be the "settle down" - but we appear to be years away from that yet. Similarly, the penny doesn't appear to have yet dropped about the role that synthetic gasoline can play in a hybrid future.
Then there is the issue of 'Final Mile' as it has become known, and in the case of PTWs (Powered Two-Wheelers) it is much more likely that the solution lies in journey start and journey completion rentals, rather than whole journey solutions with most of the distance being undertaken by mass transit of one kind or another.
Urban mobility is said to be the key that will unlock a golden future for the broader PTW industry - the white knight that will charge to our rescue and persuade millions to embrace two-wheel culture. Well, if that is to be the case then, as with the convenience of existing fill practices, the motorcycle (and automotive) industry's urban mobility products are going to have to compete on a level playing field with existing urban riding and transport solutions.
Anyone who has ever been to cities such as Rome, Milan, Paris or pretty much any major Asian metropolis will have seen just how valuable and vital PTWs can be to downtown transit. However, if our industry thinks it is going to be able to cure the problems of the future and return a healthy balance sheet while it perpetuates with presently proposed price points, it is in for a rude awakening.


Mees Completes Mile Sweep at Season Finale

The final race of the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines 2019 series saw outgoing champion Jared Mees complete a clean sweep of the season's Mile races by taking the win at the Meadowlands Mile, at East Rutherford, NJ on September 28.
With Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) coming home in 15th, having already won the 2019 championship, Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) secured his own bragging rights by ending the season with a perfect sweep of the season’s finale.

Photo: Scott Hunter/American Flat Track
Mees was pushed hard by long-time rival Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley Brands/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki Ninja 650) who finished second, with Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) third, securing a season 1-2-3 for the Indian Wrecking Crew.
Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee FTR750) secured fourth spot in the 2019 championship with his sixth place finish at Meadowlands; Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X) was fourth, securing championship fifth spot; ahead of Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750) fifth for a seventh place championship finish behind Jarod Vanderkooi, who brought the second factory H-D XG750R Rev X home in 9th for a sixth place championship finish.
In the AFT Singles, Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450) completed his remarkable comeback season with an uncharacteristically quiet ride to 14th at Meadowlands - good enough nonetheless to secure the 2019 championship title.
The Meadowlands win was taken by Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R), securing him second place in the championship, with Ryan Wells (No. 94 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) second, for fourth place championship finish and 2018 AFT Singles champ Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) third at Meadowlands for a third place championship finish. Chad Cose finished the Singles championship in fifth place.

In the AFT Production Twins class, Chad Cose (No. 49 Parkinson Bros Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650) took the win, ahead of Ryan Varnes (No. 68 Varnes Racing/RoyBuilt Kawasaki Ninja 650) second and James Rispoli (No. 71 Black Hills Harley-Davidson XG750R).
The 2019 Production Twins championship win went to Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07); with Ryan Varnes second; Kolby Carlile (No. 136 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07) third; Dalton Gauthier fourth and Chad Cose fifth.

News Briefs

Australian powersports market sales were -11.4% in the first six months of 2019. Honda was the overall leader with a 24.2 percent share of all sectors of the national market, followed by Yamaha with 21.1 percent and Kawasaki with 10.7 percent. On-Road bikes were the largest single sector of the Australian market, taking 36.9% of sales in Q2 (down from 42.2% in Q1 2019). H-D sales were down 19.4% compared to the first six months of 2018, but with 2,925 units sold, they remain the market leader (3,629 sold in the first half of 2018). Off-Road bikes took a 34.5% share of available sales; the ATV/SSV sector took 22.7% of sales, Scooters 5.9% of sales. Indian Motorcycle sold 323 units in the first six months, down from 453 units (-28.7%) from the year ago period.

New motorcycle registrations were +12.26 % in Spain for the first seven months of 2019 at 108,472 units sold - the best since before 2009.

Total motorcycle registrations in Sweden were +12.12% January - July 2019 (9,001 units) - the best first seven months for new motorcycle registrations in Sweden since before 2014.

New motorcycle registrations in Poland were +39.23 percent at 13,869 units for the first seven months of 2019 - the best since 2016. When used motorcycles from elsewhere in Europe that are receiving their first registration in Poland are factored in, the total number of new and used motorcycles sold were running at +12.56 percent for the YTD (60,182 units - the best since before 2010). Poland is Europe's 6th largest market in total new and used PTW terms.

The Austrian motorcycle market was -12.64% for Q2 at 6,424 units, leaving it at -0.49% for the year to June 2019 (9,910 units). In its home market KTM is motorcycle market share leader, having sold 2,434 units in Q2 for 24.56 percent market share. BMW is second (1,366 units sold, 13.78 percent share), Honda third (10.68 percent share), followed by Yamaha (10.52 percent), Kawasaki (7.02 percent) and Harley-Davidson 6th with a 6.17% share.

RumbleOn, the online buy and sell platform for pre-owned powersports vehicles, posted record revenue of $270.2 million dollars for Q2 2019 with unit sales of 13,928 vehicles. CEO Marshall Chesrown: "Our success in powersports has given us a playbook that we are deploying across the automotive business rapidly, and we are in the early days of establishing ourselves as a leader. We believe there is an immense opportunity for us to continue to gain market share in powersports."

Harley brakes vendor Brembo (Italy) has revealed first half year revenues of € 1,323.8m, -0.7% on a consolidated like-for-like basis, with EBITDA up by 4.1% at € 270.6m. (20.4% margin). Brembo decided to discontinue industrial operations at its Buenos Aires plant, with Brembo Argentina S.A. placed in liquidation. Global sales declined by -7.6% in Japan, -4.6% in Italy and by -13.6% in Germany; China was flat at -0.5%. Sales grew by +18.2% in India, +5.3% in France and by +1.0% in the UK. North American sales (USA, Mexico and Canada) rose by +6.7%.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek

Parts Unlimited, Drag Specialties and Parts Canada

2019 North American NVP Expo "Exceeded All Expectations"

Parts Unlimited, Drag Specialties and Parts Canada teamed together to present the first North American NVP Expo in Madison, WI and the collaboration "exceeded all expectations."  

The event, which took place August 22nd – 25th at the Monona Terrace, Madison was the first Expo that united the three companies to introduce the fall buying season.  Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties say they saw "their largest Madison Expo ever with a 25% increase in dealer attendance while the addition of Canadian dealers resulted in an overall dealer attendance increase of 38%."  

James Danyluk, President of Parts Canada, said: "When the three companies decided to combine for the first ever North American NVP, we knew it would be successful as Parts Unlimited wrote the book on how to do a vendor Expo. As the Expo unfolded, the massive scale of the success came clearly into view.  Every dealer, supplier and staff member had nothing but positive comments on the expo and the common theme was that they all would be back for the next one. Thank you to the staff of all three companies and to the exhibitors for a job well done!"  
Highlights of the weekend included a dealer-packed Expo floor both days and a number of new vendors in attendance including Kicker Audio, MB Quart and Liqui Moly. Parts Canada kicked off their booking program while Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties introduced a new drop ship program.
Another big announcement from Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties was the launch of new dealer websites which provide "an industry-first, eCommerce-like shopping experience.  Attending dealers got to experience it first-hand and the sites will continue to roll out to more dealers in the coming weeks."
Saturday evening's Meet & Greet brought the industry together with a Bike Show where attendees could vote for their favorite Metric and V-twin creations. People's Choice award winners for Metric included a 1975 custom KZ900 hardtail digger and a 1975 Honda CB750 Top Gas Drag Bike, while the V-Twin People's Choice awards went to a 2019 Custom Pan and a 2017 H-D Road King. Saturday evening closed out with a Minibike Roundup in downtown Madison presented by Icon.
Jeff Derge, VP of Sales and Marketing, wrapped the weekend up by stating: "The first ever North American NVP exceeded everyone's expectations, thank you to all the dealers, vendors, the Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties Sales Team and Parts Canada for all their efforts!" 
The final word is from Mike Collins, CEO of LeMans Corporation: "The excitement and momentum from this successful Expo will be buzzing for a long time.  It shows what we can do when our companies work together.  The release of the new products and incentives/programs by the vendors for the sales force and dealers are sure to bring a great fall season.  Look for more of this in the future."


25 Years of OptiMate

It was 25 years ago that TecMate introduced its first OptiMate battery charger, diagnostics and maintenance tool as a response to the more powerful and compact AGM (absorbed glass mat - a sealed valve regulating lead-acid battery) that were being introduced into the powersport industry in the late 80s, early 90s. 

AGM batteries are still lead-acid batteries, but with a difference, the acid is absorbed into mats (i.e. sponges) which effectively made it a 'dry' battery that could be turned upside down – no more acid spillage, the bane of the biker at the time.
Unfortunately, AGM technology also proved to be more difficult to recharge, and especially to recover it from a low voltage/sulphated state. Motorcycle OEMs, of course, wanted a charger for their riders mainly to ensure that the battery outlasted its warranty - but TecMate took it a few steps further, making those batteries last much longer than intended, some even up to 10 years! 

The result? Millions of happy AGM batteries that "have lived longer and performed stronger thanks to OptiMate's unique charging algorithm - one designed for AGM, but that works equally well on any type of lead-acid battery," says CEO and CTO Martin Human.
A reliable high-performance battery charger and TecMate's stable multistep reselling strategy, along with the engineering group's design acumen, have become the basis of a successful co-branding and ODM program that continues to gain partners.
One of those partners is Drag Specialties, who chose to co-brand OptiMate battery chargers. Drag Specialties OptiMate 1 and 3 sell internationally, and the most recent addition is the OptiMate 5 Power-Charger.
"The Drag Specialties OptiMate 5 Power-Charger is specifically designed to help riders out of that 'classic' jam - ready to go ride, but the bike's battery is 'dead'. With 4 amps of constant current on tap, this Power-Charger will bring that battery to 40-50% in an hour or two, enough to crank and start even the most stubborn V-twin engine.
"As a rider I need to know when I can start the engine and get on the road, so we added lights to say when." The first light is marked WAIT! (charging) and the second is marked GO RIDE! (and still charging), indicating that it is time to do just that if you are in a hurry to get on the road.
"If not, then the third light is the 24-7 OptiMate maintenance mode that lights up once the battery has reached full charge and then keeps it at 100%, so the next time there is no need to wait to be able to get riding."
The Drag Specialties OptiMate 5 ships with a swivelling hanging hook so that it does not have to live on the floor and be a tripping hazard, and it keeps those important indication lights in full view.
"That's the point of OptiMate battery chargers, they guarantee you can go ride at any time. OptiMate has been trusted by the powersports industry since 1994," says Martin.



SBS Rotors Now Available to US Dealers Through Drag Specialties

As SBS, the internationally respected Danish brake components manufacturer, comes to the end of its second year as the 'Official AFT Brakes' brand, the company has now confirmed availability of a full line of European made stainless steel rotors for dealers in the USA through Drag Specialties.
The program comprises both a standard OEM replacement range with the application-specific shape, construction and dimensions to make them a true OEM standard replacement line, and an OEM upgrade line.

The new SBS rotor range is "dedicated to riders who appreciate quality components on their bikes," says CSO Christel Munk Pedersen. "These new rotos are made in Europe with designs that are based on our extensive race and street know-how and experience."
The program contains both a standard range with an OEM replacement for durable and comfortable braking and the SBS upgrade rotors that are "specifically designed to increase brake feel, performance, comfort and looks.
"We have been in braking for more than 50 years and offer the most comprehensive brake pad range in this market. Together with the brake rotors we are now able to offer Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited dealers a complete V-twin package."
The SBS Standard line has the application-specific shape, construction and dimensions to make them a true OEM replacement rotor. "Typically, they have the round contour that is preferred by riders who want to stay with the original visual appearance of their bike," says Pedersen.
For those who want to upgrade their braking set-up, the SBS Upgrade range features characteristics that improve on the OEM and replacement rotors. "They offer increased performance and design features which improve the capability to get friction material constantly cleaned off the rotor surface.
"When it comes to quality, it has been important for us to offer a product range that matches the high level expected of our brake pads. We are known for delivering a high-quality standard with focus on performance, comfort and durability, and we haven't compromised with these new rotors. The SBS name is thought of as a quality stamp and is our customers' and their riders' guarantee of quality."

Tucker Powersports

Tucker Powersports "Creates a Stronger, Focused Leadership Team"

Following the separation of the Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG) companies at the end of July, Tucker Powersports announced today that it had completed the formation of its new leadership team.
"We have named key team members and recently added expertise to create Tucker’s new leadership team," said Sebastian Bretschneider, President and CEO of Tucker. "We now have a very lean and effective leadership structure in place that will enable the organization to focus on creating value for our customers and that will support and attract leading brands."

Danny Anderson has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of Tucker Powersports. In this newly created role, Danny will oversee purchasing, warehousing and transportation operations, inventory planning and merchandising. Anderson brings over 25 years of supply chain management experience at several fortune 500 companies.
Alejandro "Hondo" Huerta is made Chief Financial Officer with responsibility for Accounting, Finance, Risk and Treasury. Huerta spent over a decade as a senior finance leader within the consumer packaged goods industry. He has led major global bottom- and top-line initiatives including footprint rationalization and global business strategy implementation.

Sebastian Bretschneider, President and CEO of Tucker: "We have now implemented changes that make us more efficient and more effective, such as a significantly strengthened balance sheet, a reduced cost base, great leaders in place and a portfolio of strong house brands."

In addition, Tucker named industry veteran Greg Blackwell Chief Commercial Officer, leading the company’s Sales and Marketing functions. Blackwell had been serving as Tucker’s Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the last eight months and was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Leaders in Powersports.
Tucker’s leadership team is rounded out by their current VP of Sales Jason Potter, VP of Marketing Jim Barker, and Director of Talent Kristin Krotosky.
Tucker also changed its organizational structure, which led to the elimination of several positions through the process. "Change can be challenging," shared Bretschneider. "We are actively supporting those employees that are affected by our transformation in their swift and successful career transitions."
"We have now implemented changes that make us more efficient and more effective, such as a significantly strengthened balance sheet, a reduced cost base, great leaders in place and a portfolio of strong house brands. This makes Tucker much stronger and we are going to demonstrate that to the powersports industry," he concluded.


Metalsport Adds Wide Wheel Sizes

South Gate, California based manufacturer Metalsport has added additional wide wheel size options with availability of 21 x 5.5 and 23 x 5.5 2D styles and says it can cut any of its 2D styles and, "only at Metalsport," its 23 x 5.5 in 3D.

They are available as wheels or as wheel packages with tires (Vee Rubber black and whitewalls) and matching pulleys and rotors (in 2D and 3D), 18" rotor and caliper kits, and selected rear sprockets.



JIMS M-8 'On Bike' Valve Spring Compressor

When changing valve springs for performance upgrades, or simply replacing a leaking valve seal, it is necessary for the technician to completely remove the cylinder head from the engine, which adds unnecessary time and expense.
This "revolutionary and creative new tool" developed by Camarillo, California based JIMS eliminates this step completely.

"Our patent pending 'on bike' valve spring compressor kit for M-8 engines works with the cylinder head installed on the motor. Simply remove the rocker box covers and rocker arms and install this unique compressor on the rocker arm shaft. Once the cylinder is filled with compressed air, the technician can easily rotate the tool and compress the top collar of the valve spring, exposing the keepers to remove the top collar, valve spring and seal.
"This tool dramatically saves time for any technician working on M-8 performance upgrades or service work."


Horsepower Inc.

M-8 58 and 62 mm Throttle Bodies

Indianapolis based Horsepower Inc’s M-8 throttle bodies are designed to allow more airflow than the stock 55 mm throttle body. Offering 58 mm and 62 mm options, they are manufactured in-house by HPI out of billet material and include a fully CNC ported aluminum intake manifold. They are cruise control compatible and include a stock location for the air cleaner bolt pattern.

In the same routine as the earlier Touring electronic throttle-by-wire units, Horsepower utilizes the stock core electronics, and new units are turned around in about 3-5 business days.
The upgrades don’t stop at throttle bodies. HPI also offers its V2 air cleaner design for the M-8 models equipped with a contour designed velocity stack for maximum flow. 6.2 gram per second injectors are also available for the larger cubic inch applications.