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Tuesday 25 February 2020

Comment by Editor-In-Chief, Robin Bradley

Harley's Share Price Has Nearly Halved in Five Years

This edition of AMD Magazine went to press the week before Harley's (and Polaris/Indian's) 2019 full year results were published, so whatever I say here on the subject of Harley's financial performance will likely have been superseded (good or bad) by its Q4 and Full Year 2019 numbers.

Although it had appeared that Harley's sales numbers (in particular) were starting to show somewhat of a rebound during March 2019, the subsequent performance through the second and third quarters didn't show that anything had sustained.
Apart, that is, from the fact that third quarter sales numbers were not, in fact, as bad as many had been expecting. Whether or not a 3.7% decline in domestic U.S. quarterly sales (compared to Q3 2018) will turn out to have been anything to hang the proverbial hat on will be seen soon enough.
That decline has to be set against a domestic U.S. industry decline of -1.7% for the period. However, statistically speaking, Harley's rate of decline has been slowing and at -1.7%, the overall motorcycle market in USA was as close to flat as it had been in years.
Reasons to be cheerful? Maybe not quite that, but the first stage in any kind of return to growth is for market decline to stop. Whatever Q3 presaged, it is unlikely to have been anything like dramatically good. Nothing can change the fact that Harley's Q3 profits saw a drop of over 24% compared to Q3 2018, with revenue falling by around -5 percent. However, Harley's -3.6% Q3 domestic sales decline can be set against growth of +2.7% internationally - hence my remarks last month about Harley's mid-decade objective of seeing at least half of sales happening in international markets appearing to be at least one 'More Roads' strategic objective that Harley can achieve.
Despite the fact that Harley's international sales have actually declined for eight out of the past twelve quarters, international sales are already at around 40% of production - so it looks like the decline of the domestic motorcycle market means that Harley is pushing against an open door with that objective.
 

11th consecutive quarterly decline

Though it should be noted that the objective has morphed since the original 'More Roads' iteration. Harley appears to be pointing to wanting to see 50 percent of revenue derive from international markets by 2027, rather than the originally stated 50 percent of volume. A small but nuanced change in strategic objectives given the likely price points for Harley's 338 cc Qianjiang/Geely produced lightweights for Asian markets.
Harley's Q3 shipments guidance maintained a 212,000 to 217,000 unit forecast for 2019 as a whole (which is greater than -5% down on 2018) while remaining pretty much non-committal over what the final quarter would look like.
The third quarter marked an 11th consecutive quarterly decline in U.S. sales, and the 19th in the last five years that have seen its domestic sales decline. Five years. As David Bowie once sang - "Five years, my brain hurts a lot." One thing we can all be certain about is that Harley doesn't have five more years in which to get it right, get it turned around.
So far Harley's shareholders have been remarkably patient. Harley has been 'Shark Bait' for a long time already, and as has been famously observed - "money never sleeps." As Rich Duprey (Motley Fool) said of its Q3 results: "Net profits tumbled to $86.6 million, or $0.55 per share versus the $0.68 it reported a year ago. Even adjusting for one-off events like the impact of tariffs and costs of its restructuring plan, earnings still fell from $0.82 per share to $0.70" - a -15% decline. The Wall Street algorithms won't be liking that!
At the time of writing (January 13), the Harley share price was trading at $35.37, having opened at around $37.00 in January 2019 and hit a 12-month high of just $41.00 in April, and low of just over $30.00 in September, and that in one of the Bullish of Bull markets on record. On a brain-hurting five-year view, Harley's share value has nearly halved from $65.00 in January 2015.
Having badly stubbed its toe with its doomed efforts to appoint a 'Brand Supremo', having achieved considerably less traction for the $30k 'LiveWire' than had been hoped for, and a lot of work still to be done before the new 60-degree V-twin 'Revolution Max' engine Pan America ADV (1,250 cc) and Bronx streetfighter (975 cc) are anywhere near 'in shape' to go eyeball-to-eyeball with its rivals (and limited time left to finesse the launch iterations before final product design lock-down will be needed), it looks like Harley will be getting a roasting from a so far surprisingly supine investor and analyst community when CEO Matt Levatich and CFO John Olin have to face the music on January 28th.
For me, personally, it is the 'LiveWire' miscalculation that has been the most egregious - but then again this is a subject on which my European perspective makes the project look like a triumph of marketing vanity over Powered Two-Wheeler (PTW) industry best practice.
Had Harley's new-look downtown metro-chic dealer network been in play, then sure, it would have been exactly the kind of zeitgeist play that would have had the doors swinging. However, since, realistically speaking, price-point and range speak to neither Harley's traditional core base or much sought after new Millennial base, it is no surprise that there are just as many dealers starting to come over all negative about the machine's prospects as there are those whose Kool Aid drip stands have not yet been unplugged.

Yaffe's Baddest Bagger Show

Yaffe's Baddest Bagger Show - Daytona, March 13

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Yaffe's Baddest Bagger contest, so to keep it fresh, his Bagger Nation team has revised just about every aspect of the popular event series.



This "new and improved" show series will feature new classes, new judging, new trophies, new prizes and an all-new party atmosphere and five events throughout 2020.
The competitions are open to all H-D "FL" and "FX" series rubber isolated touring models (Road King, Road Glide, Street Glide, Electra Glide, Ultra Glide, FXRT, FXRP, FXRD, FXDXT, FLSB) as well as any other brand that celebrates the touring segment with saddlebags.
Entry into Yaffe's Baddest Bagger Show is $30 per bike, which includes a Baddest Bagger T-Shirt and commemorative event sticker. Class awards, 1st and 2nd place will be awarded in each of the five classes; specialty awards (Best Of) will include Best Paint, Best Attention to Detail, Most Innovative,  People's Choice, Yaffe's Pick and Flash's Pick.

The new classes are:
MODIFIED: mild body mods, bolt-on accessories, custom wheels up to 23", finish changes including custom paint
RADICAL: frame/rake mods, body mods, custom wheels up to 26", finish changes including custom paint
PERFORMANCE: built for performance enhancement, front wheel no bigger than 21", engine, braking and suspension upgrades, finish changes including custom paint
STEAM ROLLER TOURING (SRT): wide front tires, 18, 20, 21, 23, unlimited modifications, finish changes including custom paint
UNLIMITED: scratch built, extensive body and frame mods, no wheel size restriction, one-off innovation and engineering, finish changes including custom paint

The 2020 Five-Event Series comprises:

  • Yaffe's Baddest Bagger at Daytona Bike Week/Friday March 13th/Daytona International Speedway
  • Yaffe's Baddest Bagger at Arizona Bike Week/Friday April 3rd/WestWorld Complex
  • Yaffe's Baddest Bagger at Chicago - NEW for 2020 - stand alone event/Saturday June 6th/Fox River Harley-Davidson
  • Yaffe's Baddest Bagger at Sturgis Rally & Races/Tuesday August 11th/Full Throttle Saloon
  • Yaffe's Baddest Bagger at Daytona Biketoberfest Rally/Friday October 16th/Daytona International Speedway

'Yaffe's Baddest Bagger' is a "not for profit" event with all proceeds benefitting its 501-C3 partner - Bikers Against Bullies USA.
For further details, see baggernation.com/ybb

News Briefs





More from the H-D new model rumor mill - this time about another possible mid-cycle launch. It is thought to be a 114" anniversary issue Softail, as at early January 2020 is apparently already in production.

Tucker Powersports has added Motul lubricants to its portfolio of distributed brands, including its 2017 introduced and domestic U.S. formulated/manufactured 100% synthetic Twin Oils line. Headquartered in France and founded more than 150 years ago, Motul is noted for its innovation and commitment to automotive and motorcycle racing, supporting race series such as AMA Flat Track and the Roland Sands Super Hooligans among others.

Sad news from the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia with the death of Portuguese Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team rider Paulo Goncalves on stage seven - competing in his 13th Dakar.

 


The Mama Tried show, Milwaukee, March 13 - 15, is offering the chance to win a 1951 Harley-Davidson WR factory production race bike, with rebuilt engine and full restoration. Entry costs $20.00 for a show sticker and ticket for the drawing. You don't have to be present to win.

AFT returns to the legendary New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 13, 2020. "The Laconia Short Track will once again bring another level of excitement to the 97th year of the historic Laconia Motorcycle Week."

 


HardDrive dealers will now be able to buy Dunlop tires from the Boise, Idaho based distributor after WPS inked a distribution agreement with the largest motorcycle tire maker in the United States. "We are genuinely excited to begin this new relationship with WPS," explained Dunlop's Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing Mike Buckley.  WPS/HardDrive distribute through warehouses in Idaho, California, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Texas and its newly opened purpose-built 240,000 sq ft facility near Savannah, Georgia.

Harley's Chinese collaborator of choice, Geely Automobile Holding, is in talks to take a stake in troubled 107-year old British luxury car maker Aston Martin. Geely already owns the formerly British Lotus brand, Volvo (Sweden), Benelli (Italy), and has a 9.69% stake in Germany's Daimler - parent of Mercedes Benz. Famously the maker of fine automobiles for British Secret agent James '007' Bond, Aston Martin isn't the only iconic British marque Geely has rescued - being the owner and manufacturer of the equally iconic black London Taxi.

 


Ducati has scooped up another Good Design Award ('Red Dot Award' - assigned by Chicago Athenaeum, Museum of Architecture and Design, the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies German 'Red Dot' Award) for the Diavel 1260 S. "A true style icon, the Diavel 1260 continues its winning streak in international design competitions," says Ducati. "Powerful and beefy, this motorcycle combines maxi-naked performance with muscle cruiser ergonomics." Powered by the internationally respected 59 hp Testastretta DVT 1262 engine, this is the kind of air that Harley will hope its 975 cc 60-degree V-twin 'Bronx' streetfighter will breathe.

Polaris has issued a recall of certain 2019 Slingshot motorcycles. Some 1,903 units are affected - a 10A circuit breaker may be defective, tripping unexpectedly and causing a sudden loss of power and an engine stall.

Indian Motorcycle

Roadmaster Elite - "Ultra Premium Touring Machine"

Indian Motorcycle has introduced a 2020 mid-cycle addition to its Big Twin line-up - a 225 production, limited edition return of the Roadmaster Elite - "offering classic styling, premium amenities and industry-leading technology." 



Powered by the Thunder Stroke 116 engine, the 2020 model "pairs modern touring amenities with iconic Indian Motorcycle styling - each and every Roadmaster Elite undergoes a meticulous paint process that takes more than 30 hours to complete and is finished by hand. The new Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Gunmetal Flake paint with offset red pinstripes and exclusive red elite badging with matching pushrod tubes delivers a new, meaner and sportier look. The 19-inch precision- machined wheel under the valanced front fender adds to this look, while still maintaining a classic aesthetic." 


Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle: "Designed specifically for riders who pay attention to each and every detail."

An upgraded 600 watt PowerBand Audio Plus system "means riders will be heard" (in the next county!) from "high-output fairing, trunk and saddlebag speakers that are 50 percent louder when compared to the stock audio system - it features an enhanced, noise compensating nine-band dynamic equalizer that auto-adjusts specific frequencies to the optimal level at different vehicle speeds."   
“The Roadmaster itself delivers the ultimate touring experience, but the Roadmaster Elite takes that experience to an even higher level, designed specifically for riders who pay attention to each and every detail,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “Whether riding around town or across the country, the Roadmaster Elite is a statement maker – packed with all the modern touring amenities riders would ever need or want, with an aesthetic that is captivating.”
The Thunder Stroke 116 engine features a new high-flow cylinder head that delivers class-leading performance (126 ft-lbs of torque) and three selectable ride modes. Pricing starts at $38,999 in the U.S. and $46,999 in Canada.

Upgrades 

Optional extras for the Roadmaster Elite include a color-matched open front fender in Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Gunmetal Flake for a more aggressive look and Stage 1 or 2 performance upgrades such as a Thunder Stroke performance air intake or high flow air intake; Stage 1 slip-on exhaust kit with choice of end caps and Stage 2 performance cams (+13% hp and +7% torque).



Zodiac International

Zodiac International Additions

Red Thunder Slip-On Mufflers


Founded in 2014 in Italy, these Red Thunder slip-on mufflers are easy to install on the stock exhaust headers and E-approved - so they are street legal in all EU markets. Subject to model, they are available in sets of one or two mufflers, in a range of finishes, including black ceramic coated, satin stainless steel, chrome and polished stainless steel for a wide range of models such as 2014-up XG500 and XG750 Street; 2018-up M-8 FXFB and FXFBS Softail; 1999-2016 Twin Cam Touring; 2017-up M-8 Touring and 2015-up Indian Scout models.

S&S 124 ci and 128 ci 'Power Packages' for M-8 




The S&S Power Package is "the ideal combination of performance and savings, designed to transform the M-8 without breaking the bank." For the latest generation Harleys, S&S is packaging its brand new 124" and 128" bolt-in Big Bore kits with a 550 cam, cam plate and high flow oil pump as well as valve springs, lifters and pushrods. All kits can be installed without machining the crankcase and are available with gear or chain drive cams. Selected fitment options for 107 ci and 114 ci oil cooled and twin cooled M-8s include all black with gear or chain drive cam; black with highlighted fins and chrome or black pushrod tubes with gear or chain drive cam; all black cylinders with chrome pushrod tubes and chain or gear drive cam; black granite with highlighted fins, chrome pushrod tubes and gear or chain drive cam.


USB Chargeable Tracking Device


 
The Urban Tracker is a small and discreet device that has the ability to geo-localize any item of value - objects, pets, loved ones or your bike.  Innovative technology makes it reliable in the open air as well as in a closed environment where standard GPS devices often fail. The location of the device is calculated using the mapping of visible network transmitters, using geolocation details available from public and private information sources. As mobile networks are visible in both indoor and outdoor environments, the Urban Tracker works in both cases. It needs no registration/credit card and works out of the box with its embedded SIM. Includes 200 free geolocation report messages, further messages can be bought when needed. With the free app, available from the App Store for Apple or Google Play for Android mobile applications, it is possible to locate and trace the position of all items, even with more than one Urban Tracker. It measures a compact 55 mm x 65 mm x 19 mm.

Vans Cult Grips


These grips feature the classic Vans waffle sole pattern with a domed center section for improved comfort and vibration dampening - ODI created a grip that will become as much a classic as a pair of Vans. Available in a range of colorways for 7/8" (22 mm) handlebars on Buell, Harley-Davidson XG500 and XG750 Street and most European and Japanese motorcycles; or 1" (25.4 mm) handlebars for most Harley-Davidson, Indian and Victory models.

ZODIAC INTERNATIONAL BV
www.zodiac.nl

Barnett Clutches & Cables

Barnett Clutch Cables 2014-19 Indian Chief/Chieftain/Roadmaster/Scout

Barnett Clutches & Cables has introduced new clutch cables for the 2014-19 Indian Chief/Chieftain, Roadmaster, Scout and Springfield. 


These cables feature their High Efficiency inner wire, which Barnett was the first to introduce to the motorcycle industry. The HE wire is nylon coated and lubricated with a super slick silicone lube and, combined with the Teflon inner lining, provides longer life, ultra-smooth cable action and reduced lever effort.
On the outside, all fittings are chrome plated where applicable and three casing types are available- Traditional Black Vinyl, Classic Stainless Braid w/clear coat and Platinum Series (Platinum Series not available on Scout). As with all Barnett cables, the clear coat is guaranteed not to discolor from sun exposure. Available in stock and custom lengths, these 'high end' clutch cables are made in the USA.

BARNETT CLUTCHES & CABLES

www.barnettcables.com

Motion Pro

Steering Race Tool

From California based specialist Motion Pro (the official cables, controls and tools vendor to the AFT race series), this 2-in-1 design steering race tool quickly and precisely removes and installs the outer bearing race from the steering head on most Harley-Davidson models without the use of a hammer and punch.


The puller design ensures the bearing is pulled perfectly straight to eliminate possible damage to the frame - it has a precision-machined anodized aluminum cup that eliminates the frame damage risk.
The hardened steel puller jaws engage securely on the inner bearing lip for race removal; the hardened steel driver precisely fits the tapered bearing race during installation, and it has a brass thrust washer for easy use and long life.

DRAG SPECIALTIES
www.dragspecialties.com
www.motionpro.com

Baker Drivetrain

Baker Stock Replacement DD5

The Baker Drivetrain DD5 "is not just a replacement for the stock 5-speed - the torque capacity, long term durability and shift quality are greatly improved over stock and will handle up to 200 hp with no problem," says 'Guru of Go' Bert Baker.
Features include a one-piece countershaft with fifth gear, larger door bearings, billet 6061-T6 chrome door for strength, hard chrome plated shift forks for wear resistance, smooth roller shift system with redundant neutral that vastly improves neutral finding and a five-year limited warranty.
Bert says that "it handles over 200 ft/lbs of torque - more than stock - and gives way smoother shifting; our longer lasting components make it more reliable and durable, and until you have experienced the ease with which the DD5 allows you to find neutral, you don't know what you've been missing."
All DD5 bearing doors have the same outer profile as a stock 5-speed, so exhaust brackets, torque arms etc. fit like stock. The DD5 door comes with or without an ear - the ear door is for exhaust bracket mounting (and does not fit 1993-2006 FL applications). The DD5 door bearings are larger, providing 25% more dynamic load capacity than the stock bearings used through 1998.
"Our 5-speed shift system with roller detent guarantees smooth shifts every time and our redundant neutral ensures that finding neutral is easy. We mount a plunger detent on the left side pillow block and cut a plunger track into the shift drum itself.  The plunger follows this track during operation (shifting) and when shifting into neutral pops into a pocket. This system lets you feel that you’re shifting into neutral - no more guessing.  The shift drum features more aggressive timing on the fork groove profiles and is case-hardened to 58 Rockwell for wear resistance and crisp shifts. We built our reputation on smooth shifting 6-speed transmissions, and our 5-speed drum designs benefit from the engineering lessons learned."
The splined main shaft comes as standard on the DD5 builder’s kit. A +.800″ main shaft and pulley for wide tire applications is available upon request. The 2.94 1st gear ratio is described as a good all-rounder; the optional 3.24 1st gear is recommended for heavy GVW applications; the R-Ratio 2.82 1st gear is recommended for light hot rods. "We recommend a 2.21 2nd gear ratio for use with the 2.94 and 3.24 1st gear ratios. The 2.08 2nd gear is normally paired with the 2.82 1st gear for racing applications.
"All DD5 gearsets come with a one-piece counter shaft, eliminating the well-known Achilles heel of the stock 5-speed under high horsepower and/or heavy GVW applications - namely that the 5th gear cracks radially and splits in half with catastrophic results. Our one-piece design is good to 200 hp. All our gears are made out of 8620 steel – shaper-cut before heat treatment (58-62 Rockwell ‘C’) then precision-ground with diamond coated tooling; these extra steps ensure not only a quieter gear pair, but enables much tighter backlash control."
Applications include '87-'89 Softail, FXR, FLT-FLH; '90-'06 Softail, FXR; '90-'92 FLT-FLH; '91-'05 Dyna; '93-'06 FLT-FLH.

BAKER DRIVETRAIN
www.bakerdrivetrain.com

Fehling

Accessories for Softail Breakout

Well known German accessories manufacturer Fehling offers dealers access to one of the largest handlebar, engine guard and protection parts, luggage rack and related parts ranges in the industry. 



So far this year we have shown Fehling's new TÜV approved 'Z' bars, made in 1" (25.4 mm) outer diameter steel tubing and available in a choice of heights; a selection of their accessories for Harley's late-model Dyna Low Rider (FXDL) 2015 and up and Breakout from 2013 and up; and, most recently, a one-piece protection guard in 38 mm (1 1/2") tube, luggage holder, rear rack, driver sissy bar with pad and carrier, steel regulator case and oil cooler covers, rear rack and curved solo rack in 16 mm steel tube for the Softail Deluxe.





Fehling now has more accessories available for the 2018 and up M-8 Breakout - a protection guard, sissy bar with pad and carrier, driver sissy bar with large rounded pad and carrier, solo rack and rear rack, luggage holder and covers for the controller case and oil cooler case in stainless steel.
Fehling specializes in anything that involves steel tube bending, mostly chromium plated. The company designs and makes all its own products in-house at their factory near Dortmund in Germany. Founded in 1945 as specialist metal forming and processing engineers, the company specializes in motorcycle parts, currently employs around 25 people and is still in the founder's family ownership.

ERNST FEHLING GMBH & CO
www.fehling.de

Sifam

Powerflux Oil Filters

French distributor and brand owner Sifam has an extensive range of versatile, convenient and easy to install Powerflux oil filters available for a wide range of applications from BMW, Honda and Ducati, to Yamaha, KTM and Harley and Buell models.


Providing a high quality of oil filtering, Sifam says they can handle most extreme conditions. Providing all-application, all-condition protection, they are produced specifically to meet "the high levels of manufacturing quality control and filtration performance required by modern motorcycles."
"Made from the finest materials available so they can last for a very long time", quality at a good price is what all riders and their dealers are always looking for, and Sifam says that these Powerflux oil filters "deliver". The filter media is paper or metal, subject to application. The model-specific configurations ship with seals where appropriate.

SIFAM
www.sifam.fr

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Polaris

Polaris 2019 Results - Motorcycles Segment Sales, Including PG&A, Totaled $119 million, up +37% - "led by strong sales of Indian motorcycles"

Polaris has reported increased Q4 2019 sales of $1,736 million (+7%), with +12% for the full year 2019 at $6,783 million, confirming its position ahead of Harley-Davidson in total turnover terms.
Although Polaris is a much broader based powersports industry business compared to Harley's reliance solely on motorcycles, the two 'have form' where total revenue rivalry is concerned - Harley having been 'sniffy' about its Minneapolis based proto-rival 'back-in-the-day' when H-D sales from motorcycles alone were larger than Polaris' total sales revenues.


North American retail sales increased +2% for the quarter compared to 2018; North American ORV retail sales were up low-single digits percent; Indian Motorcycle retail sales were up low-single digits percent.
"We ended the year with positive fourth quarter retail momentum in both Off-Road Vehicles and Motorcycles, supporting strong full year, with broad-based sales growth of 12 percent," stated CEO Scott Wine.
"While TAP grew modestly in the fourth quarter, non-TAP Parts, Garments and Accessories (PG&A) and aftermarket sales stole the show - eclipsing $1 billion for the first time in 2019. Our recent leadership changes were made to spur both tactical and strategic growth, and the +37% increase in Indian Motorcycle sales in the fourth quarter, driven largely by the Indian Challenger, demonstrates what is possible as Mike Dougherty takes over that important segment.
 

'Polaris Q4 sales +7%'

"Steve Menneto is aggressively moving to accelerate retail performance in Off-Road Vehicles and Snowmobiles, building off a strong year of financial performance in our largest business. In 2019, we delivered strong operational performance across Polaris, especially productivity and delivery, and we expect further gains to create value for customers and shareholders in the year ahead.
"Our commitment to being a customer-centric, highly profitable growth company is unwavering, and I am extremely confident in this Polaris team to deliver on that promise."
Motorcycles segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $119 million, up +37% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, led by strong sales of Indian motorcycles. Slingshot reported a sales decline during the quarter. Gross Motorcycles segment profit for the fourth quarter of 2019 was negative $2 million - primarily due to increased promotions and higher warranty costs.
North American consumer retail sales for Indian motorcycles increased low-single digits percent during the fourth quarter of 2019 in a weak mid to heavyweight two-wheel motorcycle industry that was down high-single digits percent.
 

 
CEO Scott Wine: "We ended the year with positive fourth quarter retail momentum in both Off-Road Vehicles and Motorcycles, supporting strong full year, with broad-based sales growth of 12 percent."




North American consumer retail sales for Polaris' motorcycle segment, including both Indian Motorcycles and Slingshot, decreased low-single digits percent during the fourth quarter of 2019, while the North American motorcycle industry retail sales for mid to heavyweight motorcycles, including three-wheel vehicles, was down mid-single digits percent in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Off-Road Vehicles (“ORV”) and Snowmobiles segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $1,140 million (+7%) for the fourth quarter of 2019, driven by growth in side-by-side sales. PG&A sales for ORV and Snowmobiles combined increased +7% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Gross profit increased +12% to $315 million in the fourth quarter of 2019; gross profit percentage increased 103 basis points during the 2019 fourth quarter due to favorable product mix.
ORV wholegood sales for the fourth quarter of 2019 increased +13%, primarily driven by positive mix. Polaris North American ORV retail sales were up low-single digits percent for the quarter, with side-by-side vehicles up low-single digits percent and ATV vehicles up mid-single digits percent. The North American ORV industry was up mid-single digits percent compared to the fourth quarter last year.
Snowmobile wholegood sales in the fourth quarter of 2019 were down -10%, pressured by a challenging comparable in the prior year period due to the timing of pre-season SnowCheck order shipments.
 

'Larger than H-D at $6.7 bn, +12% for 2019 full year'

Global Adjacent Markets segment sales, including PG&A, decreased by -1.0% to $120 million in the 2019 fourth quarter primarily due to lower sales in the commercial, government and defense business. Gross profit increased +6% to $35 million or 29.1% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to improved operational efficiency.
Aftermarket segment sales of $221 million in the 2019 fourth quarter increased +4%; Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP) sales of $185 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased +1%; the company's other aftermarket brands increased sales by +22%. Gross profit decreased to $49 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to higher tariff costs.
Boats segment sales decreased -7% to $135 million in the 2019 fourth quarter primarily due to negative product mix and planned dealer inventory reductions. Gross profit decreased -1.0% to $26 million or 19.0% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The company reported fourth quarter 2019 net income of $99 million, or $1.58 per diluted share. Off-Road Vehicles (“ORV”) and Snowmobiles segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $1,140 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, up +7%, driven by growth in side-by-side sales. PG&A sales for ORV and Snowmobiles combined +7% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Gross profit increased +12% to $315 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Gross profit percentage increased 103 basis points during the 2019 fourth quarter due to favorable product mix.
 
Like Harley, Indian is launching mid-cycle 2020 model range additions - this is the new and returning Ride Command System equipped Roadmaster Elite. With a limited production of 225 motorcycles, highlights to this year’s "meaner, sportier iteration" are the inclusion of a new Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Gunmetal Flake paint job, an upgraded 600 watt PowerBand Audio Plus system, along with Indian’s most powerful air-cooled engine - the Thunder Stroke 116 featuring "a class-leading performance" with 126 ft-lbs of torque.


Adjusted net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was $115 million, or $1.83 per diluted share compared to $113 million, or $1.83 per diluted share in the 2018 fourth quarter.
Gross profit increased +8% to $423 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 from $391 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Reported gross profit margin was 24.4% of sales for the fourth quarter of 2019, up 34 basis points compared to +24.0% of sales for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Operating expenses increased +13% for the fourth quarter of 2019 to $308 million, or 17.7% of sales, from $272 million, or 16.7% of sales, in the same period in 2018. Operating expenses in dollars and as a percent of sales increased primarily due to ongoing investment in research and development and strategic projects.
For 2020 the company says sales are expected to increase in the range of 2 to 4% over 2019, with net income expected to be in the range of $6.80 to $7.05 per diluted share for the full year. "While the negative impact of tariffs remains a significant headwind on an annualized basis, the year-over-year impact is expected to be minimal to the company’s 2020 full year earnings guidance."

News Briefs



VW has 'bet the farm' on its electric future, committing over € 66bn ($72bn) to an electric car future. The group plans to have introduced up to 75 all-electric models by 2029, plus some 60 hybrid vehicles. € 33bn of that will be dedicated to developing electric cars across its global brands - Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and its Skoda and Seat Europe specific brands.

 


BMW Group, BASF SE, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics have started "Cobalt for Development" to promote responsible artisanal cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The pilot project intends to improve working conditions at a pilot mine site and living conditions in the surrounding communities.

Yamaha Motor is investing further in Autonomous Driving Technology Developer "Tier IV", strengthening development capabilities for low-speed autonomous driving vehicles through the development of Autoware (autonomous driving OS software). Through this investment, Yamaha Motor aims to strengthen development capabilities and acquire knowledge regarding low-speed autonomous driving technology. This additional investment forms part of "ART for Human Possibilities, Rethinking Solutions", one aspect of the company's long-term vision to provide multi-use vehicles and alternative mobility systems to regions where there are many elderly and other people with limited access to transportation.

 


Harley was in sixth place for a 9.05% market share in Germany for the eleven months to November 2019, having sold 10,052 units, -6.91% over the same period of 2018. There's no surprise that BMW is market share leader in its home market with 24,447 units sold YTD for a 22.03% share, followed by Honda, KTM, Kawasaki and Yamaha.

Michelin has signed an agreement to acquire 80% of PT Multistrada Arah Sarana TBK ("Multistrada"), a tire manufacturer based in Indonesia. Michelin will pay USD 439m for the controlling stake. With a production capacity of more than 180 thousand tons (i.e., 11 million passenger car tires, 9 million two-wheel tires and 250 thousand truck tires), Multistrada generated net sales of USD 281 million in 2017. With this transaction, Michelin will strengthen its presence in the highly promising but local-production dominated Indonesian market by acquiring a very competitive local plant with good quality facilities and immediately available production capacity.

 

AMA has announced two new extreme off-road series - nine events in two qualifying series "provide more opportunities to secure a spot in the 2020 AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship, the Tennessee Knockout on Aug. 14-16" - the new format and additional events open up 26 more spots at the TKO.

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has announced that South Korea has doubled the number of industrial robots it has in operation within the past five years to 300,000 and now ranks third globally behind Japan and China.

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

Indian Motorcycle

The 'Challenger Challenge' - The Gloves Are Off

Indian Motorcycle says it has "drawn a line in the sand" with its 'Challenger Challenge' a "head-to-toe comparison of the new Indian Challenger Dark Horse with the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special."
Indian Motorcycle says that a "national demo tour, local dealer demos, advertising and episodic video series serve up bold demonstrations of the Indian Challenger's superiority" over Harley's category leader - "May the best V-twin win!" 



A fully-loaded premium bagger designed as a superior alternative to the category leader, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special, Indian's campaign "invites motorcyclists to test-ride the Challenger and Road Glide Special back-to-back for the ultimate head-to-head comparison."
Launching at Daytona Bike Week on Friday, March 6, the 'Challenger Challenge' product demo tour will visit Indian Motorcycle dealers around the country, as well as select motorcycle rallies and events, including the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August. In addition to the national tour, select Indian Motorcycle dealers will have a Road Glide on hand [that will pimp Harley's Q1 numbers - Ed] to ensure that any customer who visits their dealership can take the 'Challenger Challenge'.
Indian Motorcycle says it will support the 'Challenger Challenge' with a digital media campaign, highlighted by an episodic video series where action sports icon Carey Hart and his loyal sidekick, Bryan "Big B" Mahoney, pit the new Indian Challenger head-to-head against the Road Glide Special in a series of tests "that showcase power, torque, braking and handling."  In addition to the digital media campaign, the content series can be found on IndianMotorcycle.com, Indian's social media and YouTube channels. 
"The Challenger's combination of power and dexterity is at another level," said Hart. "The first time I rode it, I knew that they had something special. But riding the Challenger back-to-back against the Road Glide, it's not even fair. The Challenger absolutely crushes it."
"Over the years, the Road Glide has firmly entrenched itself as the category leader and has become the default choice, but our bike is simply better and our confidence in this product is what this campaign is all about," said Mike Dougherty, President, Indian Motorcycle. "The difference when riding these two bikes back-to-back is undeniable, and we're excited for riders to experience it for themselves with the Challenger Challenge."

TecMate

25 Years into the Future

It has been 25 years since leading battery charger, maintenance and diagnostics manufacturer TecMate brought the first OptiMate brand charger to market as a result of technology developed when working on a problem-solving project for Honda.
Since those early days TecMate has stayed at the forefront of technology and riders' needs, responding to the ever-changing demands being made on motorcycle batteries - including introducing one of the first ever Lithium-specific chargers (2010).
For founding partner, CEO and Chief Technology Officer Martin Human it has always been "all about the ride," and as he told AMD at EICMA, "ours is a fast-evolving landscape. The proliferation of consumer devices has brought new demands and opportunities, and the proliferation of battery platforms has brought challenges and ever more complex problems to be solved.
"Riders depend on OptiMate to be there for them, to be solving those problems before they even realize what problems may lie ahead - and that is just exactly what we are going to keep on doing for the next 25 years.
"We have saved millions of batteries since 1994 and have always recognized that energy is precious.


click to enlarge

"In 2014 we decided that we needed to design products that use less energy. The result was the OptiMate 7 - the first fully efficient battery charger with modern, efficient dual converter technology that uses 50% less energy compared to other chargers.
"But we aren't stopping there. The next 25 years in our story will be a 'Green Story' - energy efficient, ECO friendly products that can enhance the ownership and riding experience."
To mark its anniversary, TecMate has launched a new user-friendly, feature-rich website to help its dealers help their customers to choose the right charger for them. Loaded with videos, instruction guides and advice, "dealers and riders will come to know our new online tool as the industry's premier 'Go To' problem-solving resource - if there is a solution, that is where they will find it."
"OptiMate's energy-saving, plug-in-anywhere (100-240V) electronics deliver more charge for less," says Martin. "If AC power is a problem, we also have SOLAR and DC charging options, and our OptiMate accessories range includes battery testers and monitors, USB chargers and premium cables and connectors - all of the kind of premium quality and reliability that has gained the trust of over fifteen major vehicle and performance battery OEMs and millions of happy owners worldwide."
www.tecmate.com

AFT SuperTwins

AFT SuperTwins Roster

The line-up of teams and riders for the 2020 inaugural AFT SuperTwins competition has been announced.



The most recent evolution in its revitalization of the sport of professional flat track, the AFT SuperTwins class "represents a unity of the elite teams and most skilled athletes who compete at every round of AFT competition." At every event eighteen of the top riders in the sport will grid up for the AFT SuperTwins Main Event.
www.amaproracing.com


Progressive International Motorcycle Show series (IMS)

J&P Cycles UBCBS - Dallas

The Dallas round (January 3 - 5) of the Progressive International Motorcycle Show series (IMS) saw Timothy Scates and painter 'Paint by Pygmy' take home first place in the Freestyle Class with a 2006 ASVE Bobber featuring a wishbone Springer front end, custom-built twisted down the tube frame, gas tank, handlebars and exhaust, internal wiring, custom engraving, Danny Gray seat, 21-inch Invader front wheel, 16-inch Invader rear wheel, 1936 Ford spare tire ring rear fender, and a Hurst floor shifter valued at $50,000.
Runner-up was Danny Ratliff with 'Brass Balls' and painter Ryan Townsend with a 2012 Darwin Digger Bobber featuring an incredible airbrush by Townsend coupled with a sleek custom build valued at $30,000.
All the winners will move on to compete in the championship round in Chicago, Illinois, (February 7 - 9) and the chance to scoop deep into the series' $70,000 cash and contingency prize pool.
Celebrating its tenth consecutive year "shining a spotlight on the most beautiful, one-of-a-kind custom motorcycles across the nation, UBCBS is the largest and one of the most sought-after touring custom bike competition in the nation. This elite-level custom motorcycle builder competition features more than 300 motorcycles across the eight-city IMS tour.
This year’s categories include Custom Classic, Custom Street, Freestyle and People’s Choice, with judging by a panel of industry experts.
www.motorcycleshows.com


Freestyle winner: Timothy Scates and painter Paint by Pygmy
Freestyle
Winner: Timothy Scates and painter Paint by Pygmy took home first place with a 2006 ASVE Bobber featuring a wishbone Springer front end, custom-built twisted down the tube frame, gas tank, handlebars and exhaust, internal wiring, custom engraving, Danny Gray seat, 21-inch Invader front wheel, 16-inch Invader rear wheel, 1936 Ford spare tire ring rear fender, and a Hurst floor shifter.
Runner-up: Danny Ratliff with 'Brass Balls' and painter Ryan Townsend were selected as runner-up with a 2012 Darwin Digger Bobber featuring an incredible airbrush by Townsend coupled with a sleek custom build.

Custom Classic
Winner: Shelby Combs with OKC Chop Shop and painter Manny’s Fine Line won first place with a 1975 Harley-Davidson KLCH featuring a Led Sled frame, Lightening Rod Fabrications front fork, hand tooled leather seat, foot clutch and jockey shift, and Beringer brakes.
Runner-up: Dell Battle with Dangerous Dezigns and painter Brad H. Design were selected as runner-up with a 1991 Harley-Davidson Sportster featuring a sporty 72 style.

Custom Street
Winner: Kevin Anderle won first place with a 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster. The café racer custom was built from a 2006 Sportster 1200 (200 original miles found in a garage), and features a Dyna polished rear wheel, Progressive shocks, custom rear license bracket, rearset foot controls, relocated rear master cylinder, coils, horn, ignition switch, Harley-Davidson clip-on bars, speedo bracket, aluminum seat pan, and more.
Runner-up: Krystal Hess with Motorcycle Missions and painter End Fabrication were selected as runner-up with a 2012 Harley-Davidson Road King with Liberty Sidecar valued at $50,000. The motorcycle was donated to Haas Motorcycle Museum to be used by Motorcycle Missions as a therapy bike for its Veterans and First Responders. The custom build was revealed on October 5, 2019 at Adam Sandoval's Bring it Home Ride, which brought home the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's largest parade of Harley-Davidsons. 




People’s Choice winner Brian Emig and painter World’s Finest Custom Paint

People’s Choice
As voted by IMS attendees, Brian Emig and painter World’s Finest Custom Paint took home the People’s Choice award with a 2019 Hardley-A-Davidson BMF. The custom motorcycle features a stroker shovelhead, and all mounts, amps and fixtures are handmade.

Motorcycle Storehouse

Motorcycle Storehouse Additions

M-8 High Volume Oil Pump

This replacement high volume oil pump for M-8 air/oil cooled models features a larger feed and return gerotor assembly, rear cover and relief valve and spring. It improves feed by +126%/123% and scavenge +131%/146% at 1,000 rpm/2,500 rpm compared with the OEM 4th generation M-8 pumps. Ready to install and complete with instructions, it is available for '18-'19 Softail and '17-'19 Touring (excluding the water cooled models).

Motion Pro - New Tools

Californian specialist Motion Pro (the official cables, controls and tools vendor to the AFT race series) continues to release a seemingly continuous flow of labor savers and new ideas for V-twins of all ages. Seen here is a tapered steering head race puller designed for 47 to 52 mm OD races, a steering head race driver for 41-42, 47-48, 51-52 and 55-56 mm OD races, and a new shock bearing puller that removes and installs 24 mm OD bearings.
To remove stubborn dowel pins from crankcases and transmission cases, the kit seen here includes 8, 10, 12 and 14 mm pin collets (with 12.5, 13.8, 17, 19 and 21 mm separately available) that allow for strong clamping of dowel pins, as well as a puller rod for stuck pins, and a slide hammer attachment for those really, really stuck pins!




Roeg 2020 Helmet Collection

The Roeg Moto Co. 2020 helmet collection includes the retro styled, handfinished, ECE approved full-face Peruna helmets and revered open-face Jets - "now available in no less than twenty happy, shiny colors (yes, black can be happy too!). Whether you're a 'Hot Jalapeno Green' kinda guy or a 'Flaming Red' gal, you'll be sure to stand out from the grey and gloomy clones."

Knipex Pliers



German tool manufacturer Knipex is an established plier specialist noted for the "finest quality available for the professional market. At this level, quality outweighs pricing, and even for a non-professional, the feeling of a quality tool stays when the higher price is long forgotten."
Originally founded as a forge in 1882 and still in 4th generation family ownership, everything from design to final manufacturing is done in-house at the Knipex facility in Wuppertal, Germany. Product offerings include a wide range of pliers, as well as wire strippers, crimping tools and VDE (Verband der Elektrotechnik) insulated pliers that conform to IEC 60900DIN, EN 60900 and VDE 0680. These VDE approved tools are individually tested at 10,000V and ensure safe working up to 1,000 volts.

MOTORCYCLE STOREHOUSE BV
www.motorcyclestorehouse.com

Le Pera

Le Pera 'KickFlip' for Dyna

Last month we featured Le Pera's new 'TailWhip' design for Dyna applications, but here is the popular 'KickFlip' design from which that was evolved.



This version is their 'KickFlip' Daddy Long Legs for taller riders. Along with the maximized back support and 11" of ample seating area, the Daddy Long Legs will move the rider back by approximately 2" compared to the original 'KickFlip'. It is available for '06-'17 Dynas and '08-up Baggers.
Standard options include Diamond, Pleated Basket Weave, Diamond Gripp and Pleated Gripp tape for traction.
Still handcrafting all its seats at its North Hollywood, California headquarters after more than 45 years as the market's design leader, 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.

LE PERA ENTERPRISES

www.lepera.com

BS Battery

HD Connect Compatible SLA 'MAX' - Power for the Biggest of Big Inchers

Paris, France headquartered BS Battery has three battery options available for a wide selection of Harley applications - an OE replacement, an Upgrade and an UPGrade+.
Speaking at EICMA (Milan) recently, owner Benjamin Sebban told AMD that "this isn't just a standard good, better and best offer, because even our OE replacement has improvements over the stock Harley battery it replaces. This is a Better, Excellent and Outstanding menu of power options that can get even the biggest inch engines started, time after time, and keep them running smoothly and reliably."


The 12V BS BTX14L MF (Maintenance Free - also called a VRLA battery/Valve Regulated Lead Acid) is more than a simple OEM replacement. It is a sealed battery with "gas recombination" technology, which brings less maintenance with no water refilling needs. These batteries are supplied with an acid pack and would be activated by filling the acid before first use.
The AGM construction (Absorbed Glass Mat) uses saturated absorbent glass (boron silicate) mats between the plates instead of a gelled or liquid electrolyte. It has up to a 12.6 Ah capacity (20 Hr), delivers 200 cold cranking amps, reduced plate sulfation, a higher life cycle (up to three times longer than conventional batteries), longer voltage hold and increased power and is maintenance-free because it does not need water refilling.
Suitable for cold weather use, because it is sealed after filling, under normal operation there is no gas emission through the venting hole. 


The 'Excellent' in the BS range (the Upgrade battery option) is the ready-to-start 12V, 200 cold cranking amp BTX14L - SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) - a brand new 'Factory-Activated' line that is said to be  maintenance-free, non-spillable and ready to install with zero gas emissions and extended life.
Also an AGM and VRLA battery type, it offers multi-positional fitment versatility due to its environmentally friendly, spill-proof design, extreme vibration resistance, increased power and extended life.


At the top of the range, the 'Outstanding' option is the Upgrade+ BTX14HL SLA 'MAX' 'Factory-Activated' AGM/VRLA that delivers 220 cold cranking amps with up to a 14.7 amp hours capacity (20 Hr).
Featuring increased power, extreme vibration resistance, maintenance-free, spillproof, multi-positional fitment, extended life low discharge rate, and - the 'MAX' is HD Connect compatible. All three options are OEM homologated.

BS BATTERY SAS
www.bs-battery.com

Tedd Cycle/V-Twin Manufacturing

'Black 5-Hole C-Thru' Derby Cover

 

Newburgh, New York based Tedd Cycle/V-Twin Manufacturing's new 'Black 5-Hole C-Thru' derby cover in billet aluminum and glass comes with a black finish and features a leak-proof and oil-resistant glass window. It fits 1999 and up FXST and FLST, '99-'17 FXD and '99-'15 FLT models and is also available in chrome.
Tedd Cycle, USA, www.vtwinmfg.com