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Tuesday 14 April 2020

News Briefs

Having dropped by -45% in five years (to a worst of $30.47), the Harley share price jumped by almost +5% in afterhours trading when news of Matt Levatich's "mutual" decision to leave Harley was released (28 February). However, within two further days of trading it had dropped back, at one point touching a near 10-year low of just $29.00 on 3 March; then came the Coronavirus run - it closed at $23.72 on March 13, having kissed the pavement at $19.23 the day before.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame has announced its 2020 inductees - with Allen Alvarez, Jody Perewitz, Arlin Fatland, Skeeter Todd, Dave Mackie and Micah McCloskey and Vicki Sanfelipo among its Class of 2020. Don Hotop is to receive the Arlen Ness Lifetime Achievement Award, and Rushmore Chapter A.B.A.T.E. Group luminaries Wayne and Susan Lettau are to be recognized with the 2020 Freedom Fighters Award.

The Coronavirus panic has already claimed international motorcycle show calendar casualties. The Tokyo Motorcycle Show (slated for the end of March) was cancelled, Motorcycle Taiwan (April 15-18) has been postponed to October 21-24, 2020, with the 10th INABIKE in Indonesia rescheduled to March 24-26, 2021. At this stage, the biennial IMOS, described as the "biggest motorcycle show in Indonesia" is still scheduled to go ahead on 11-15 November 2020 at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC).

Back in December, H-D and its Benelli brand owning Chinese collaborator Qianjiang held a Design Freeze Signing Ceremony for production of the new 338 cc parallel-twin powered 'baby Harley'. AMD has not been able to substantiate rumors that the upcoming 1,250 cc Pan America and 975 cc Bronx will also be built in China. However, Harley's well documented parts ordering software issues, which already pushed their debut date to November 2020, suggests that they will be built in the USA, and as the software problems become compounded by Coronavirus triggered supply chain issues, don't be surprised if that date also slips.


Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN) is the latest motorcycle magazine/media to succumb to the seemingly inexorable desire for BS instead of proper information and journalism - it shut up shop at the start of February when Ann Arbor, Michigan based owner Lumina Media, LLC was dissolved. Founded in 1969 (by Roger Hull) as Road Rider, it became MCN in 1991 and was ad free and fully subscriber supported - not a long-term business model in these times when the human race, in media terms at least, appears to know the price of everything and the value of nothing!

Yamaha global motorcycle unit sales continued to decline in 2019, but its European operations improved according to BDN financial editor Roger Willis. Total revenue from the company's Land Mobility division fell by -1.6% to $10bn. Operating profit was -14.1% down at £293m; turnover directly attributable to motorcycles dropped by -2.5% to just under $9bn. Worldwide sales volume sank by -5.9% to 5,056 million units. Europe's contribution grew by +1.1% to $1.2bn, with unit sales +5.7% at 186,000 units; North America fell by -6.8% to around $380m with volume -6% at 63,000 units. Their Japanese domestic market lost -5.4% volume at 88,000 units.

A reminder that in June 2019 the City of Sturgis changed the way it determined when the City of Sturgis would recognize the start date of the motorcycle rally, with the 2020 Rally start date officially slated as Friday August 7.

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