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Tuesday 28 July 2020


H-D Business Overhaul Intended to "Rewire The Company for Success" - 'Hardwire' 5-year Strategic Plan Due by Year End

Harley-Davidson has announced some of the actions it has taken to "rewire the company", stating that it is "setting the foundation for a 5-year plan as the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world." The company has also reported 2020 financial results for Q2 and the ongoing actions it is taking to manage the impacts of COVID-19 on its business.

Jochen Zeitz, Harley-Davidson Chairman,
President and CEO

"I'm very pleased with our accomplishments in these times of extraordinary challenges and uncertainty," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson. "Through all of this, we have made significant progress toward the goals of The Rewire, the positive feedback from key stakeholders and the early impacts we are seeing in the marketplace are very encouraging.
"A total rewire is necessary to make Harley-Davidson a high-performance company. Building on our strong brand legacy, we are reinvigorating our core profit driving business - powered by our strongest dealers, most exciting products and careful inventory management, while focusing on the most important opportunities for future expansion.
"We're overhauling our operating model and our product plan and are rewiring our market structure and organization to focus on the strengths of our brand and company. We are now working on our new 5-year strategic plan, The Hardwire, which will be grounded in enhancing the desirability of our brand and protecting the value of our iconic products."
At the heart of the new operating model is a much needed and long overdue reduction of complexity and an ability to react to business needs and opportunities with increased speed.

'refined line-up, high-impact launches'

"Vast changes to the company's operating model under The Rewire include all areas of the business globally, from commercial operations to center-led support functions. Significant work has been undertaken to eliminate duplication, inefficiencies and complexity throughout the organization. As previously announced, the streamlined structure requires 700 fewer positions across our global operations."

The company says it also plans to "rewire its product offering to more precisely match customer desires and to strengthen the value of its products" with a refined motorcycle line-up and high impact product launches. The company says it will also improve product timing and go-to-market plans "to achieve the greatest market impact."
Highlights of the new approach include streamlining planned motorcycle models by approximately 30 percent; balancing investments between current stronghold categories and new, high-potential segments; expanding product offerings of its best-selling motorcycles; delivering its first Adventure Touring motorcycle - the Pan America 1250 (in 2021); shifting annual product launch timing from August to early in the first quarter; reinvigorating launch efforts, including collaborations with key influencers to bring the brand and new products to life and drive brand desirability.
Among other plans, the company says it is set to launch a new marketing campaign including a collaboration with DC Comics' "extended universe" movie actor Jason Momoa "to celebrate the shared journey and unrelenting spirit of Harley-Davidson." Apparently.

Growth Through Parts & Accessories and General Merchandise
The company says it intends to intensify its focus on its Parts & Accessories and General Merchandise businesses, "encouraging customers to customize their entire riding experience to match their own style. Now part of the new Commercial function, new leadership has designed strategies for each business aligned to the company's motorcycle and market priorities with the goal of delivering a holistic experience in the marketplace."
Internationally Harley plans to "reset" its "global business" to concentrate on approximately 50 markets primarily in North America, Europe and parts of Asia Pacific, the "high-potential" markets that represent "the vast majority of the company's volume and growth potential" and is "evaluating plans to exit international markets where volumes and profitability do not support continued investment - in line with the future strategy."

The 2021 launch of the 1250 cc  'Pan America' Adventure Tourer is set to go ahead and rumors suggest that Harley will follow manufacturers such as BMW, Yamaha and Honda with a family of lower displacement variants in subsequent years.

In a very welcome step, one that smacks of the kind of grass-roots near-market connectivity between sales and marketing that Harley has singularly failed to embrace in the past 30 years, the company says it also plans to shift resources and marketing investments "into the regions for maximum impact.
"As part of this effort, the company has streamlined regional offices and created new groups of high potential countries that will have the autonomy to drive the business (within a clearly defined framework)." Additionally, the company plans to "optimize" its dealer network to provide an "improved and integrated customer experience." Among corporates, this is generally code for closing down a large number of outlets.
Harley-Davidson has "revamped its approach to supply and inventory management, focusing on products and initiatives that add value, while significantly reducing discounting and price promotions. This is expected to drive retail pricing to help preserve the value and desirability of Harley-Davidson motorcycles for its customers and brand."
"All of these efforts of The Rewire aim to provide a better starting point for the future and to build desirability for the Harley-Davidson brand and products."
In its Q2 news release, Harley has highlighted several "Rewire outcomes" that it says it has already been able to bank - such as $250m in cash savings (excluding restructuring charges) including SG&A and capital reductions expected in 2020; restructuring charges of $42m that are expected to result in approximately $100m in ongoing annual savings based upon actions taken; a reduction in global dealer inventory of -32 percent with U.S. 2020 new model year motorcycles selling at MSRP on average and used H-D pricing up significantly at retail and auction.

The 'Rewire' update does NOT name check the planned new 'Bronx' streetfighter model for 2021, which appears to confirm the widespread speculation that the project is to be dropped - at least for the foreseeable future.

"The Rewire is expected to continue through the end of the year, leading to a first look at the company's 2021-2025 strategic plan, "The Hardwire", expected in the fourth quarter. Building on the foundation and principles of The Rewire, the driver of the new plan will be Harley-Davidson as the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world for its customers, employees, community and investors."
In terms of its COVID-19 Response and Recovery the company says it "continues to proactively manage its business through the pandemic and has implemented robust protocols to keep workers safe in its factories. Most non-production workers will continue to work from home until the end of the year. Response and recovery plans include supporting global dealers and customers. At the end of the quarter, about 93 percent of our global dealers were open for retail motorcycle sales following pandemic interruptions."
Included in the company's broad cost and cash savings measures are SG&A reductions, curtailed capital spending, suspended discretionary share repurchases and a "prudent" approach to dividend payments. The company announced it will pay a third quarter cash dividend of $0.02 per share, in line with its second quarter dividend. The dividend is payable September 25, 2020 to the shareholders of record of the company's common stock as of September 10, 2020.
The company has also further strengthened its strong liquidity position with nearly $4.7bn in liquidity at the end of the quarter.

Second Quarter 2020 Results
Global retail motorcycle sales in the second quarter of 2020 were significantly impacted by COVID-19. Q2 U.S. retail sales finished down 27% compared to the prior year; -22% YTD. European (EMEA) retail sales were -30% Q2; -29% YTD. Worldwide motorcycle retail sales were down -27% Q2 and -23% YTD.

Revenue from the Motorcycles and Related Products segment was down in the second quarter of 2020 (-53% and -33% YTD). Revenue from motorcycle shipments specifically were -59% in Q2 and -36% YTD. Gross margin and operating margin were down during the quarter, primarily due to lower productivity and absorption resulting from the suspension of manufacturing.
"Second quarter 2020 results reflect the impacts of COVID-19 and also the actions taken in the second quarter to rewire the company. Q2 GAAP diluted EPS was $(0.60) versus $1.23 in Q2 2019. Excluding restructuring plan costs and the impact of recent tariffs, adjusted Q2 diluted EPS was $(0.35) versus $1.46 in Q2 2019. Second quarter net loss was $92m on consolidated revenue of $865m versus net income of $196m on consolidated revenue of $1.6bn in Q2 2019.
Financial Services segment second quarter operating income of $5m was down 94 percent driven by an increase in the provision for loan losses related to COVID-19's impact on economic projections.
Cash and cash equivalents were $3.9bn at the end of the second quarter of 2020, compared to $925m at the end of Q2 2019. Harley-Davidson generated $610m of cash from operating activities year-to-date 2020 compared to $496m year-to-date 2019.
The company paid a cash dividend of $0.02 per share for the second quarter of 2020. The company did not repurchase shares on a discretionary basis during the second quarter of 2020. During the quarter, there were 153 million weighted-average diluted common shares outstanding and 18 million shares remained on board-approved share repurchase authorizations.
Given the uncertainty that remains surrounding the impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is not providing financial guidance.

News Briefs

Buzz Kanter has announced that he has had to wave the white flag and suspend publication of American Iron due to the collapse in advertising revenue during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Kanter bought AIM in 1991, which had been launched in California two years earlier in association with HOG. It was conceived as a family-friendly antidote to the dominance back then of T&A titles - not least Easyriders Magazine. The focus was on "the tin and not the skin."

AFT has partnered with KICKER Performance Audio as the Official Sound System of the 2020 AFT series. "Starting nearly 50 years ago as a two-man operation specializing in professional systems, KICKER has evolved into the benchmark for all audio systems, including personal products for digital media devices." KICKER will be producing a custom PA system to work with existing jumbotron and victory lane equipment "to enhance the fan experience at AFT events."

Former MIC Chairman and Cycle World publisher Larry Little is retiring after more than 40 years in the powersports industry. In recent years Little is best known for conceiving and founding AIMExpo at Orlando, Florida. A one-time AMA Rider of the Year, it was Little who engineered the MIC's acquisition of AIMExpo and the establishment of its Events division. Little's original vision was for a European style joint consumer and trade, OEM and aftermarket expo. That has not worked in the 21st century American motorcycle industry context, and in January 2021 AIMExpo will be staged at Columbus, Ohio, as a three-day industry and dealer only expo.

Following Paul Aiken's decision to close Aeromach, his Charlotte, NC., based manufacturing and distribution business, Milan, Italy based exhaust manufacturer Manuel De Liso of QD Exhaust and V-Performance fame is looking for a new distributor in the USA for his line of handmade, high-performance H-D, Victory and Indian FTR exhausts.

It looks like the annual Custombike Show at Bad Salzuflen, Germany, in December each year may yet survive the bankruptcy of publisher Huber Verlag, with the owners of the expo center at which it is staged in negotiations to take over operation of the event. Meanwhile, news from Carsten Heil and Katharina Weber - as long-term former employees and buoyed by reader response, they are going to be able to take an IP license from the bankruptcy administrator to keep two of Huber's magazines in production - Custombike and Dream Machines.

Cycle World has reported that H-D has filed a patent for a new gyroscope based self-balancing aid. Rider assistance systems are not new thinking as such, with Yamaha, Honda and BMW all known to have been investing in ideas to address what has been seen as a barrier to entering the sport among young riders for a long time. Harley’s idea is for a traditional, spinning-mass gyro bolted inside the Tour-Pak top case, to help keep the bike upright at slow speeds and when stationary.

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

German motorcycle registrations

Germany: motorcycles +21.64% in June

Germany's apparently relentless march to market recovery continued in June with the latest data from the IVM, the motorcycle industry trade association in Germany, showing new model registrations +21.64% for the month (14,010 units) and now running at 'just' -5.80% for the YTD (70,877 units).

In the context of 2020, the motorcycle registration statistics in Germany for 2020 so far have been remarkable. Having been +37.14% (4,446 units) in January and -3.98% in February (9,252 units), motorcycle registrations were -18.70% in March (16,581 units) and -28.14% (12,064 units) in April, but started to recover spectacularly in May (+6.33%/14,524 units), suggesting that demand hasn't gone away, with consumers buying when they judge the moment is right.
Indeed, in total PTW terms, it looks very much like the theory that the urban mobility and isolation messages that PTWs have in their favour are being taken up by commuters. Total PTW registrations in June in Germany were a massive +48.42% over June 2019 with 25,712 new models registered in total, putting the YTD at +5.50 (110,863 units).
In market share terms, BMW remains 'Top Dog' in its home market with a modestly reduced 22.68% share YTD (16,076 units sold and six models in the top 20 best sellers in Germany YTD), followed by Kawasaki, Honda, KTM, Yamaha and Harley-Davidson in sixth place with an 8.34% market share, with 5,908 units sold YTD.
The top selling model was the BMW R 1250 GS (5,400 units YTD), with Harley's top seller in Germany being the Street Bob (770 units sold YTD) in 18th spot, followed by the Sport Glide (42nd place, 474 sold) and the XL1200 X (45th place, 435 sold).
Indian Motorcycle is yet to register a model in the list of the 50 best sellers, but is gradually gaining market share in Germany, sitting in 12th place now in Germany with 989 units sold in the first six months of the year.
Last year saw the German motorcycle market grow by +4.38% to 113,039 units, with PTW sales growing by +6.53% to 165,311 units.


V-Factor Gas Tanks

This V-Factor Street Pro stretched gas tank for custom use is designed for "long and low" style frames with 5" backbone stretch and 0 or -2" downtube stretch. It is 23" long, 15" wide and has a 2 1/2" wide tunnel.

Street Pro for custom use

There is crossover provision for 10 mm (3/8-24) banjo fittings located at the front of the tank and the 22 mm petcock bung is on the left side near the front of the tank.
The "weld-to-frame" brackets recess in the bottom of the tank gives a hidden look for the rubber isolated mounting brackets; 5.3 gallon capacity; ships in raw steel.
'Peanut' style Sportster

Also seen here, this 2.25 gallon 'Peanut' style Sportster gas tank (1995 - 2002) is available with left or right-side bung position and 22 mm external thread petcock bung. It uses a 1982 and later style vented gas cap and ships in raw steel. 'Peanut' tank for '82-'94 models are also available.


NAMZ Custom Cycle Products

Handlebar Wiring Harness for Indian Scout

Oreland, Pennsylvania based NAMZ Custom Cycle Products continues to "make it easy for you to do it right" by offering a new handlebar Xtension harness for 2015-2020 Indian Scout models. This 18-inch kit will fit up to 20" tall bars and includes 18-gauge OEM color wire, pre-crimped/installed terminals, the three OEM connectors, a color schematic for easy installation and heat shrink. 

"Our Indian Scout NHCX-IS18 kit provides you with everything you need to install it as soon as you receive it, no additional items needed, simply cut to length and solder it up."
This wiring harness is now easier than ever to find on the new look NAMZ website. Now clearly divided into NAMZ wiring products, Badlands lighting modules and Letric Lighting Co. LEDs, particular attention has been paid to making lighting modules easier find and the website easier to navigate.
NAMZ is celebrating 21 years in business, providing "world class" electrical components, LED lighting, Badlands lighting modules, wiring harnesses and installation supplies. NAMZ and Badlands products are available through Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Tucker, Mid-USA, J&P Cycles, V-Twin, Parts Canada, Parts Europe, Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse, W&W, Zodiac, Rollies Speed Shop and Performance Cycle Wholesale Limited, or directly from its new look website.


Bagger Nation

"The Fix" - Paul Yaffe's Rear Fender Frenched License Plate Solution

Paul Yaffe's Phoenix, Arizona based Bagger Nation is a veritable factory of creativity when it comes to stock upgrade ideas to improve the looks of any Harley, and this new for 2020 "The Fix" program for Sportsters and M-8 Softails is a classic Yaffe custom product.

"The Fix", seen here on Street Bob

Seen here for the M-8 Street Bobs and Slims, it eliminates the ugly and cheap looking plastic side mount license holder with an integrated frenched plate to "add a slick custom look, with hidden LED in the chrome or black license plate and optional row of four designer license frame matching 'Lightning Bolt' LED taillights.



Sport Glide

"The Fix" is a direct bolt-on replacement that is pre-drilled to use the stock hardware, is made on-site in Bagger Nation's own composite shop and ships in primer finish ready for paint; low draw COB technology 'Lightning Bullets' also available to replace the stock turn signals.


Le Pera Enterprises

Maverick Basket Weave for All Dynas

Boutique custom seat designer Le Pera Enterprises' 'Maverick' seat isn't just a stylish stock replacement but has been engineered to deliver touring comfort and maximum back support with a tapered mid-section for "stop and go ease."

For Dynas 2006-2017, it is now available with their popular basket weave pattern seating areas. The driver seat measures 13.75" wide, with the passenger seat giving 11.75".
Still handcrafting all its seats at its North Hollywood, California headquarters after more than 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.



KB Super Duty 120" M-8 Pistons with 'Line2Line' Coating

Boise, Idaho based distributor HardDrive/WPS continues to add to its V-twin product line with several new brands now available ready to ship to U.S. dealers - from National Cycle screens to ODI Lock-On V-twin grips and Flo Motorsports adjustable levers and MX style footpegs to BOSS Audio products and, as seen here, KB Super Duty Series pistons for 2017 and up 114" and 117" M-8 applications.

Designed for 120" displacement and giving an 11:1 compression ratio, they have generous valve pockets to accept 1 mm larger valves and are available for stock cylinders bored to 4.125" and in +0.010" increment bore sizes right up to +0.060 for 4.185" bore.
Based at Carson City, Nevada, manufacturer United Engine & Machine (UEM) is noted for its use of high-quality materials and advanced coatings. These Super Duty Series KB pistons have a hard anodized crown that aids with heat deflection and reducing corrosion from alcohol fuels and top ring groove hard anodizing eliminates micro-welding of the ring to the groove, maintaining a flat and smooth surface for best ring seal.
They have round wire locks and premium Hastings 1.2 mm, 1.2 mm and 3.0 mm rings with a steel nitrile top ring and a ductile Napier second; the complete kits include two pistons, rings, pins and locks.

These M-8 series pistons are made in forged 4032 low expansion alloy and feature 'Line2Line' .003" total thickness abradable skirt coating as standard - a polymer based formulation applied to the thickness of the piston-to-wall clearance for a ZERO install clearance. The coating abrades in on start-up to hone for the perfect fit per cylinder, eliminating piston rock for the best possible ring seal with no piston slap noise and a tight, quiet running clearance.
By reducing the clearance, engine efficiency is improved, lowering friction, maintaining an even oil film and protecting against scuffs and excess wear. Also available for Twin Cam applications, KB standard skirt coated and some 'Line2line' coated Super Duty Series performance pistons are offered in hypereutectic 390 alloy as well as 4032 alloy for some applications.


Motion Pro

Motion Pro - Pro Stocking Planner Optimizes Profits

Loomis, California based tools, cables and controls specialist Motion Pro's new Pro Stocking Planner enables dealers to offer their customers access to an easily re-stocked and fully supported inventory of the company's most popular products.

Such programs are pretty common in many markets, not least automotive, and while they are a feature of the 'metric' motorcycle market, such opportunities are less readily available for Harley dealers and aftermarket custom V-twin stores, as a lot of vendors find it difficult to offer 'critical mass' for the specialty requirements of the V-twin sector.

However, Motion Pro has been working hard to develop its specialty V-twin offer in recent years, and with more than 35 years of experience as a designer and manufacturer of its own products, they are in a unique position to combine high quality products for a wide range of applications with specialty items that they have developed themselves.
Motion Pro V-twin specialist Joe Fratis says that "since we unveiled the Pro Stocking Planner to dealers, the take-up among V-twin shops has been enthusiastic - they have never really had access to a program like this before.

"The versatility and ease of use means that the V-twin dealer can tune the selection of products he shows specifically for the demand he sees from his local market. It isn't a 'one size fits all' take-it-or-leave-it inventory package that makes him take slow movers alongside the product he can sell.
"The Pro Stocking Planner is flexible, and I am here as the V-twin specialist at Motion Pro to help an individual shop to tune the profile of its inventory to balance the V-twin-specific items they can't get anywhere else with high quality product that has a broad range of applications for all riders. They know what they can sell locally, so the Pro Stocking Planner lets them build their inventory according to the traffic they get."
Motion Pro unveiled the program a year ago and AMD first saw it at one of the distributor sales meetings earlier this year - it was quite apparent from the reaction of sales reps and dealers that this was going to be a winner in the V-twin market.

The online interface offers a choice of three categories - Cables and Controls, Tools or V-Twin. Based on their budget, dealers can then work the helpful drop-down menus to build a stocking plan to suit their store - the program is ultimately a digital best sellers list based on the experience of thousands of other stores (of all kinds) that provides helpful product suggestions to maximize profits.

Motion Pro's V-twin market specialist says that "since we unveiled the Pro Stocking Planner to dealers, the take-up among V-twin shops has been enthusiastic."

"A dealer does not have to be an expert in our range to start with, though they will quickly become one. That expertise is our job. What the Pro Stocking Planner allows him to do is to draw on our experience and knowledge and combine it with their own local expertise. Dealers can stock what their customers want and sell what they then choose to stock quickly and efficiently," says Joe.
The initial stocking plan offered will optimize the returns on the budget the dealer enters by providing quick product planning options. "Once you have built up a picture of the demand you can capitalize on in your store, then you can refine and tune future plans."

Kibblewhite Precision Machining

Black Diamond Complete Engine Valve Kits

These Black Diamond complete engine valve kits by noted Californian valvetrain specialist Kibblewhite Precision Machining include valve spring kit, a full set of Black Diamond stainless steel standard size valves, and (where applicable) H.T. steel valve keepers and valve stem seals.

All Kibblewhite Black Diamond brand valves are impregnated by a special process to a depth of .002" with a surface build-up of .0002" - this process improves wear properties, reduces friction and provides resistance to corrosion and wear.
Compatible with leaded and unleaded fuels, they are sold as complete kits for one engine; available for 1970 - 1985 XL and 1984 - 1999 Evolution Big Twins.


Tuesday 21 July 2020

American Flat Track

Mees Opens at The Double, Clocking Up 50th AFT Premier Class Career Win

The 2020 AFT series finally got underway at the Volusia Speedway Park at Barberville, near Daytona, Florida, with Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July double header rounds one and two of a theoretically planned nine-event/18-round championship season.
The event saw a debut for the newly renamed AFT Premier Class - SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines - and the return to form of five-time Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) taking the win in both races and bringing up the 49th and 50th Premier Class victories of his American Flat Track career. 

In the first race, 2019 Champion Briar Bauman took second, with Sammy Halbert third, Bronson Bauman fourth and Brandon Price fifth. The Indian Motorcycle 'Wrecking Crew' took first, second and fourth, with the FTR750 taking all of the first six spots - the top finishing Harley was Dalton Gauthier on the Harley-Davidson, Vance & Hines' XG750R with Jarod Vanderkooi bringing the second XG750R home in 8th, Davis Fisher ninth on another FTR750 and JD Beach 10th on the Yamaha MT-07.
In the second Volusia SuperTwins Half-Mile, Briar Bauman was second to Mees, with Brandon Robinson third, Sammy Halbert fourth and Davis Fisher fifth. The FTR750 took the first nine spots, with JD Beach on the Yamaha MT-07 in 10th and the three Harley XG750Rs in 11th, 12th and 13th place.
In the first of the two AFT Singles races, Australian rising star Max Whale (No. 18 Coondoo Cattle Co./Australian Road Services Kawasaki KX450F) came away with the first victory of his AFT career following a tense multi-rider shootout in 2020s AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys opener.
Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing/American Suzuki RM-Z450) finished second, followed home by Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R), who kicked off his AFT Singles career with a promising podium debut.
The 2019 series runner-up Mikey Rush (No. 14 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) narrowly held on for fourth after swapping the position back and forth with Tanner Dean (No. 38 1st Impressions Race Team Honda CRF450R). The class’ all-time winningest rider, Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F), opened her championship campaign in ninth.

In the second Singles race of the weekend, 2019 rookie sensation Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) took the win as an eight-rider pack fought for the lead throughout the eight-minute regulation of the Main, with Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) scooping second, and Mikey Rush (No. 14 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) third.
In the first Production Twins race, 2019 championship class runner-up Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650) scooped the win in hugely entertaining fashion, storming around the outside of race-long leader James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) in the contest’s final corner to steal away the checkered flag. Reigning AFT Production Twins champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) kicked off his title defense with a solid performance, rounding out the podium in third.
Danny Eslick (No. 64 Scott Powersports/R&D Machine Kawasaki Ninja 650) took fourth, with Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems of Dallas/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07) in fifth.
In the second race, Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) took the win, ahead of James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) in second, Danny Eslick (No. 64 Scott Powersports/R&D Machine Kawasaki Ninja 650) third, Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems of Dallas/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07) fourth, and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Weirbach Racing, Kawasaki USA Ninja 650) fifth.
With no racing at the Buffalo Chip or at Rapid City during Sturgis this year, there is, in theory, a six week gap to a yet to be confirmed double header in the North East of the United States on August 28 and 29, followed by the Springfield Mile, Illinois Double Header on September 5 and 6.

News Briefs

The MIC's Government Relations team is urgently calling on all members to "speak out against possible tariffs of up to 100 percent on all 500-700 cc motorcycles and scooters, as well as all parts and accessories, from the European Union and the United Kingdom." The United States Trade Representative proposed this on June 24 - a template letter is available for submission of comments before July 25. Scott Schloegel, MIC Senior Vice President of Government Relations, said: "While our economy is working to recover from the pandemic shutdowns, this could have disastrous implications for the powersports industry and its customers. The MIC and its members helped stop this proposal twice before and we must do it again."

Indian Motorcycle has filed trademark applications in several markets for a project it has termed 'EFTR'. It may be further evidence that parent company Polaris has recovered from the dead end that has characterized its 2015 acquisition of Brammo. Earlier this year, as part of a wide-reaching game of management musical chairs, Chris Musso moved from Polaris' international division into a newly created role as senior vice president of electrification strategy for all Polaris brands. Musso's past experience had included responsibility for EVs under Polaris' GEM, Goupil and Ranger off-road lines.


Following a February 2020 hearing that he chose not to attend, the British Pension Ombudsman has ordered disgraced former Norton CEO Stuart Garner to repay around $17.5m of misappropriated pension funds, costs and interest. Some 300 pension investors are thought to have been defrauded by Garner as he struggled for years to finance what can now be seen as a vanity project - one he never had the funds to see through. In April this year what remained of Norton Motorcycle was bought by Indian conglomerate TVS.

AFT is to introduce an expert team of athlete medical professionals that will be present at all rounds of the 2020 race season. The team will provide critical on-site medical care to competitors at no cost to its recipients. AFT has contracted Dr. Ray Rossi, an FIM-certified doctor with decades of experience in motorcycle racing, to provide a group of highly trained, specialized physicians to serve as a rapid-response team. Equipped with the proper medical equipment, a rapid-response UTV (provided by American Honda) based team will lead the on-track response to incidents where medical aid may be needed. 

In order to pay homage to Lilly Farrow, who ran the dealership as a single mother through the Great Depression and a couple of wars, as well as to recognize the new ownership family, AD Farrow H-D of Columbus, Ohio, (the oldest Harley dealership in the world) is now FARROW Harley-Davidson.

American Honda Motor Co. has reported that its sales in May more than doubled over May 2019, with on-highway sales +103% and off-roaders up by a massive +172%. BMW North America, Suzuki and Yamaha have also all reported strong sales through the health emergency, in Suzuki and Yamaha's cases especially of their off-road machines - two and four wheelers.

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

Indian Motorcycle and S&S Cycle

Indian Motorcycle and S&S Cycle to Race at Inaugural 'King of the Baggers' Invitational
Laguna Seca, California, October 23 - 25

Indian Motorcycle is aiming to 'Take It' to the entire field of Harley custom Baggers at the inaugural Drag Specialties 'King of the Baggers' invitational in October (rescheduled from July) when, in collaboration with S&S Cycle, it will race a modified Indian Challenger at the Laguna Seca Raceway, piloted by the highly decorated racing champion Tyler O'Hara.
Among the 14 teams invited to the first-ever 'King of the Baggers' race, S&S is the only Indian Challenger entry. Set to face off against a field of 13 Harley-Davidson Baggers, the appropriately named Indian Challenger is boasting "superior out-of-the-box performance, including a best-in-class 122 horsepower, an inverted front suspension and a hydraulically-adjustable FOX rear shock," according to Indian.

"When the Indian Challenger was released last October, it set a new standard for performance-oriented stock Baggers and offers the ideal platform from which to base our race modifications," said Paul Langley of S&S. "That said, we're leaving no stone unturned when evaluating the modifications needed to be successful at Laguna Seca."
O'Hara brings a diverse racing background to the event, having won titles in Supersport, Supermoto, Motocross and Flat Track racing. O'Hara also brings significant experience at Laguna Seca.
"I'm thrilled to not only be racing in the 'King of the Baggers' event, but to be piloting the only Indian Challenger in the field. It's an incredible opportunity for me, and I expect it will be a ton of fun," said O'Hara. "The Challenger is a remarkable machine in its stock form, but I know the S&S team will be working its magic to give us the best chance to be successful come race day."
"Just like the rest of the racing community and motorcycle industry, we cannot wait to see fourteen Baggers ripping around Laguna Seca," said Gary Gray, Vice President Racing, Technology and Service for Indian Motorcycle. "That said, we're extremely proud to be the lone Indian Motorcycle in the field, partnering with our friends, the elite innovators at S&S."
The 'King of the Baggers' event will be part of the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey on October 23-25. The inaugural race will join the premier MotoAmerica Superbike, Supersport, Liqui Moly Junior Cup, Stock 1000, Twins Cup and Heritage Cup racing.
Facing a field of nothing but Harley-Davidsons, 'King of the Baggers' serves up a compelling extension of Indian Motorcycle's Challenger Challenge program, a mobile demo tour and dealer test ride program that encourages motorcyclists to test ride the Indian Challenger head-to-head against the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special.
"We've seen incredible consumer response to the superior features and benefits of the Challenger when compared directly against the Road Glide," said Gray. "King of the Baggers takes that comparison to an entirely different level as we face off against the field at Laguna Seca."

Italian Motorcycle Registrations

Italy - June 2020 Motorcycle Registrations +54.99%

In statistical terms, when it comes to recovery rebounds, it doesn't bounce much higher than this!

After being -95.85% in April with just 526 new motorcycles registered in Europe's largest market, and "only" being down by -11.35% in May (11,150 units), the latest new motorcycle registration statistics for June available from ANCMA, the motorcycle industry trade association in Italy (the owner of EICMA), make extraordinarily good reading.
June motorcycle registrations in Italy were +54.99% with 16,861 new motorcycles registered, putting the Italian market at a way better than expected total of "only" -23.83% (48,066 units) for the first half year.
Italy is an important scooter and moped market, so total PTW registrations (of all displacements and styles) were +37.31% (39,078 units) for June and are running at -23.04% for the YTD.
The top selling motorcycles in Italy YTD have been the BMW R 1250 GS Enduro (1,870 units YTD), followed by the Honda Africa Twin (1,831 units), Benelli TRK 502/502X (1,525 units YTD), Yamaha Tracer 900 (1,331 units) and the Honda NC 750 X (1,258 units).
For the record, in 2019 the Italian market was again Europe's largest at +6.26% in motorcycle registration terms (98,883 units) and +5.65% in total PTW terms at 231,937 units.

Indian Partners with Roland Sands Design

Indian Partners with RSD for FTR 1200 Accessories

Described as a "collaborative line-up of FTR 1200 parts that brings 'Super Hooligan' racing inspiration to the street," the new FTR x Roland Sands Design collection "enables riders to customize their FTR 1200 with RSD's race-inspired elements to add both style and function.

"The RSD collection for FTR 1200 is the latest collaborative offering from the two brands through a relationship that has spanned more than five years, highlighted most notably by the RSD Super Hooligan amateur racing series, presented by Indian Motorcycle." The company says that it was RSD's experience of modifying the FTR 1200 for the 'Super Hooligan' series that inspired this line of parts. 

"FTR 1200 finds its roots and inspiration in flat track racing, and RSD brought that full circle, modifying and racing the bikes in last year's Super Hooligan series. This accessory line is a natural extension of that," said Ross Clifford, Vice President of Parts, Garments and Accessories at Indian Motorcycle. "The relationship with RSD has made sense from day one, considering we both share a commitment to finding and delivering the perfect combination of function and form, all fueled by a spirit of innovation." 
The FTR x Roland Sands Design collection for FTR 1200 includes an RSD 'Tracker' wheelset, swingarm stand spools, brake and shift levers, footpegs, frame sliders, handguards, engine cover, brake reservoir covers and handlebar grips.


ODI Lock-On 'Waffle' Moto-Pattern Grips

Boise, Idaho based HardDrive (WPS) continues to add to its V-twin product line with several new brands now available ready to ship to U.S. dealers - from National Cycle screens to BOSS Audio Products, KB Super Duty Series pistons, MX style footpegs and adjustable levers by FLO Motorsports and, as seen here, ODI Vans 'Waffle' style Lock-On V-twin grips.

The moto-inspired ODI grip system has been specifically designed for performance V-twin use. The full 'Waffle' moto-pattern reduces vibration transfer to the hands and provides improved grip in all conditions, and the heavily knurled base-pattern delivers solid traction control.

They are available in choice of black/black, black/graphite and black/bronze for 1984 and up cable throttle and 2008 and up Throttle-By-Wire applications.
WPS/HardDrive completed a new 245,000 sq ft warehouse at Midway, Georgia in January this year as an upgrade to its former Memphis, Tennessee facility. The company also completed expansions at its California facility and Idaho headquarters warehouse in 2019 - taking its six strong distribution center network in the United States (which also includes Texas and Pennsylvania) to over 1 million sq ft in total.


Energy One

Energy One Clutch Kits 1941 to Present

Tempe, Arizona based Energy One Performance Clutches has a range of popular solutions and established best-sellers for American V-twin motorcycles.


For 1941 - 1984 Harley Big Twins, the BTX-5 includes friction plates with 6061 T6 aluminum cores, five tempered steel drive plates and ten zero crush coil type clutch springs. It delivers 20% more than stock, can run wet or dry.


Then, for 1990 - 1997 Big Twins and 1991 to present Sportsters (and Buells through 2002), the BTX-11 includes nine friction plates with tempered steel cores, starburst groove pattern for maximum heat dissipation and oil circulation, and eight tempered steel drive plates. It delivers 15% more clutch area for high performance strokers.  Also included is a 15% stronger than stock diaphragm clutch spring. This kit eliminates the double riveted steel plate.


Finally, for 1998 Big Twin and Twin Cam models through present, the BTX-14 kit includes ten friction plates with 6061 T6 aluminum cores, nine tempered steel drive plates and a 10% stronger than stock diaphragm spring.  It delivers 11% more surface area than stock. The stack heights on all three kits are pre-set for easy, accurate installation.



39 mm fork tubes
Pro-One Fork Tubes, Trees and Accessories
Headquartered at Upland, California, Pro-One Performance Products has always been known for its fork tubes in 39 and 49 mm for a wide variety of models and applications. Available with hard chrome, Gold Titanium Nitride or black DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) finishes, they are sold in pairs and accept all OEM or aftermarket components.

41 mm 'Blind Top' Wide Glide triple trees

However, fork tubes are just a start-point for the Pro-One range. These 41 mm 'Blind Top' Wide Glide triple trees are CNC-machined from aircraft quality billet aluminum and offered with or without built-in LED turn signals.

The included fork tube plugs allow for a clean, finished look on the top of the triple tree; they are available in a stylish chrome or durable black anodized finish and pre-drilled to mount Pro-One hide way internal fork stop kits.

Fuel door

Offered in 0, 3 and 5-degree rake options, they include handlebar dampeners with chrome billet caps, a fork stem, and all the necessary mounting hardware; models with LED lights include additional smoked lens covers.

Custom handlebar grips are available in chrome or black anodized, with straight or rubber twist designs. They are thicker than stock grips to ease the tension on fingers when riding and the heavyweight construction reduces vibration transmission. They come with throttle sleeve.

Dash inserts
Ignition switch cover

Pro-One dash inserts "add some style while maintaining that stock look" – CNC-machined from billet aluminum; matching fuel doors and ignition switch cover separately available (also seen here). Available smooth or ball-milled in chrome or black for '08-'20 FLHT/FLHTC and '08-'09 FLTR.