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Wednesday 16 September 2020

News Briefs

Polaris Inc. announced today the declaration of a regular quarterly $0.62 per share cash dividend payable on September 15, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 1, 2020.

The female participants of Royal Enfield's BUILD, TRAIN, RACE program spent two days working with AFT racer Johnny Lewis at the Viola, Wisconsin S&S Cycle Speed Ranch last month. S&S created an oval dirt track out of a former horse racing circuit on land owned by the company to celebrate its 60th anniversary with a weekend of racing and general tomfoolery. However, they are continuing to maintain and groom it for use for special events, training and product development purposes - oh, and 'cos it's fun!

In addition to the Drag Specialties sponsored 'King Of The Baggers' race at Laguna Seca, the rescheduled MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey, California (October 23-25), will also now stage a hillclimb event that will see racers attempting to tame the hill that is home to the famous Corkscrew. The event will be produced by Elevated Action Sports (EAS), an extreme moto company based in the San Francisco Bay area that has been hosting motoclimb and extreme enduro races since 2015. Rumors that 'KOTB' Grand Marshall Don Emde may be tempted out of retirement for a one-time burst of derring-do are regarded as "premature."

These days under Chinese ownership, the storied and once hugely popular Italian SWM (Speedy Working Motorcycles) brand has signed a domestic U.S. distribution deal with Watertown, South Dakota based Central Powersports Distribution. Initially founded in 1971 near Milan, SWM made Observed Trials, Enduro, MX and off-road Sachs and then Rotax engined 50, 100, 125 and 250 cc bikes until 1984. Reborn in 2014, the current range features lightweight singles.

Santa Cruz, California based Zero Motorcycles has announced a 'Cash for Carbon' motorcycle trade-in program. Consumers trading gas motorcycles towards the purchase of new electric motorcycles from Zero get an additional $1,500 in value.

Warren Buffett (of Berkshire Hathaway/BH fame) loaned some $300m to Harley during the 2007/9 financial crisis. "It was the bridge we needed to get us through a rough time," then H-D CFO John Olin said in 2014. BH is said to have made around $150m in profit from the five-year loan. H-D is said to have tried to renegotiate the terms of the loan at one stage - the 'Sage of Omaha' is said to have declined the kind invitation to do so. However, he could have made more than $1bn if he'd invested $300m in H-D stock over the same period: "I knew enough to lend them money, I didn't know enough to buy the equity," said Buffett.

Brembo, both directly and through its parent company Nuova FourB, has completed the acquisition of a "long-term" 4.99% stake in Milan based tire maker Pirelli S.p.A. Taken over by China in 2015, a 2017 IPO saw 40% of Pirelli's equity refloated on the Milan Bourse. Brembo revenues for the first half of 2020 amounted to € 951.1m (-28.2%) at an EBITDA margin of 15.1%/€ 143.3m; EBIT margin was 4.1%/€ 38.8m. Net investments for the period amounted to € 73.4m; net financial debt was € 597.5m.

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