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Tuesday 7 April 2020

News Briefs

Following news of its acquisition of J&P Cycles, RevZilla and Cycle Gear owner Comoto Holdings of Philadelphia has hired/acquired "visionary content producers Ari Henning, Zack Courts and Spenser Robert [On Two Wheels and Throttle Out] to the company's content and media team for Comoto's family of brands to educate today's riders and inspire those of tomorrow." Comoto was formed in 2016 by Boston area based private equity investor J.W. Childs.

A bipartisan group of United States Congress House representatives recently introduced the Recreational Trails Program Full Funding Act, which would boost funding for trails to at least $250 million. The MIC has worked closely with the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable in strongly pushing for this legislation. "The RTP is a critical program to ensure the development and maintenance of trails for motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides," said Scott Schloegel, the MIC's Senior Vice President, government relations.

Just as Harley prepares to get its wheels wet in the ADV Touring (Dual Sport) market, the competition is hotting up. BMW's dominance is well documented, and the Honda Africa Twin has pulling up trees worldwide since it was brought back into production five years ago. Triumph's Tiger ADV model has sold well for many years, but the British manufacturer has now launched two new tech-rich special edition Tiger 1200 models - the Desert Edition and the Alpine Edition. The 1,215 cc triple engine delivers peak power of 139 hp at 9,350 rpm and maximum torque of 90 lb-ft at 7,600 rpm. Features include semi-active suspension and shift assist.


MIC members elected two new directors for the organization's board, and re-elected secretary/treasurer Jim Woodruff for another two-year term. Dealernews Editor Robin Hartfiel, who has served on the MIC Aftermarket Committee since 1992, was elected to take the seat of Eric Anderson, of VROOM Network, whose term expired. Rod Lopusnak, General Manager of Triumph North America, was elected to take the seat vacated by Mike Peyton of BMW Motorrad USA.

Montreal, Quebec based distributor Motovan was forced to obtain the Canadian equivalent of a bankruptcy protection filing in December, reporting that it does not have the liquidity to purchase the levels of inventory necessary to support its operations. The company expanded outside of Canada in 2015 through the acquisition of US-based Motorcycle Tires & Accessories LLC (MTA), but the acquisition has not proven to be successful - the US company generating negative EBITDA since its purchase, and the shift in management's focus from the Canadian operations to the integration of MTA negatively impacted Canadian revenues as well.


BMW has filed a patent for wireless electric motorcycle charging. Its concept has a wireless charging receiver built into the pad at the base of the electric motorcycle’s side stand - the only non-rubber component that comes into contact with the ground. When the rider parks the electric motorcycle, the side stand’s pad would land on the wireless charger (which houses an AC coil). Wireless charging power is correlated to the distance between the charger and receiver, so works best when the two are in nearly direct contact - the BMW design does exactly that.

According to PSB, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Tim Conder is forecasting side-by-side sales to continue to grow in 2020: "We are cautiously optimistic for steady powersports market growth in 2020 (subject to weather) given recent retail momentum, clean channel positioning and constructive consumer fundamentals. We expect motorcycle units to be down by low single digit percentage. Heavyweight declines will likely be less bad (more in line with the market), but we do not see any catalysts that could reverse the segment's structural headwinds."