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Tuesday 27 October 2020


H-D Q3 - Unit Sales and Market Share Down; Cost Savings Drive Best Q3 Income since 2015 as Inventory and Dealer Network Continue to be Trimmed

In announcing its 2020 Q3 fiscals Harley-Davidson has said that it is "sharpening its focus and reigniting its culture" as the delayed model year introduction cycle results in reduced sales and dealer inventory shortages.
The company says that it has made "further progress implementing The Rewire, a critical overhaul of its business, setting a strong foundation for the company including a new operating model that realigns the organization for performance, reduces costs and sharpens focus on profitable products and markets. 

"The end of The Rewire will be the foundation for The Hardwire, the company's forthcoming 5-year strategic plan [to be unveiled in January 2021], to deliver profitable growth and shareholder value based on expanding the desirability of Harley-Davidson." In reporting its third quarter 2020 financial results it has reported "the strongest third quarter net income since 2015, reflecting initial positive impacts of The Rewire efforts" - in other words by implementing cutbacks and cost savings.
"We have driven significant progress across each key element of The Rewire playbook, and we believe the positive changes we have executed are setting our course for a winning future," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson.
"We have started on our journey to become a high-performance company where business structure, leadership principles and our culture are all aligned. The platform we are creating will support the work ahead as we continue to develop and execute our new 5-year strategic plan, The Hardwire."

Harley says it is "evolving its culture to drive a high-performing, winning organization. The company is ramping up the competitive spirit of its employees and dealers to promote the heritage and value of the Harley-Davidson brand. Earlier this year, the company revealed a new vision and mission that are guiding and defining the company's roadmap."
The Vision is cited as "building our legend [?!] and leading our industry through innovation, evolution and emotion"; the Mission as "more than building machines, we stand for the timeless pursuit of adventure. Freedom for the soul."
Harley claims that its 'Rewire' efforts to date have "strengthened the company's focus on customers and dealers and reinforced desirability for the company's brand and products, setting the foundation for its 2021-2025 strategic plan."
Anybody from outside the company who has tried to have dealings with Harley in the past decade or more will be painfully aware of just how sclerotic the corporate bureaucracy in Milwaukee (and elsewhere in the organization) had become. As remarked upon before, Zeitz is clearly aware of this and the company says that its "New Operating Model" is to be one of "Reduced Complexity and Increased Speed," and that it has already "eliminated duplication and complexity across global operations, resulting in significant expected ongoing SG&A savings and vast improvements in agility and efficiency.

"The company also refreshed the leadership structure and team with most of the leaders being new to their roles and many bringing new perspectives and capabilities from outside the company.
"Harley-Davidson plans to concentrate on approximately 50 markets, primarily in North America, Europe and parts of Asia Pacific, that represent a high percentage of the company's expected volume and growth potential. The company's international business has been significantly reset and refocused with investment and resources aligned with projected market potential. Under the new participation model, approximately 36 highest potential markets will remain, with the resources and autonomy within a clearly defined framework, to best drive growth and profitability.
Some "17 markets will transition to more cost-effective distributor models. This includes India, where Hero MotoCorp will be the exclusive Harley-Davidson distributor" and be "licensed to develop and sell a range of Harley-Davidson motorcycles."
Of the remaining global markets that Harley is currently in, 39 "will be exited due to volume, profitability or potential that does not support continued investment."

Additionally, the company says it has "streamlined its planned product portfolio by 30 percent and overhauled launch timing and go-to-market practices for maximum impact and success."
Highlights of the new approach will include "further streamlining - eliminating optional offerings in the product portfolio with low customer uptake; sharper focus - reducing complexity and directing resources toward the highest priority and core stronghold products; priority - deliver Harley-Davidson's first Adventure Touring motorcycle in 2021; outsource - new venture created for eBicycles with minority equity participation for Harley-Davidson" to be marketed as "Serial 1, Powered by Harley-Davidson."
In terms of its seasonal realignment, plans are underway for a "virtual, new model year launch for dealers and consumers in Q1 2021 - shifted from August to be closer to the start of the riding season."

Addressing the dire state that Harley's marketing has been in for the past 10 or more years the company appears to be embracing the blindingly obvious with "Marketing that drives desirability - the company executed new marketing campaigns featuring Jason Momoa, and Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, stars of The Long Way Up, generating significant leads and growing awareness, excitement and desirability for the Harley-Davidson brand and products." Highlights include 500 million+ views of 'United We Will Ride' video by Jason Momoa; 56 million+ views of The Long Way Up trailer; 92,000 visits to The Long Way Up page on and 105 million+ positive media impressions of Long Way Up.
To drive growth, Harley-Davidson has established new business units for Parts and Accessories (P&A) and General Merchandise (GM) "that enable each to invest resources to establish new channel strategies and better product assortments." The P&A Strategy will "better leverage opportunity to inspire riders through customization; synergize with motorcycle product strategy; improve pricing and inventory strategy; reduce SKUs by 15 percent for 2021 and enhance training and field support to drive sales growth."
Its GM Strategy will "realign product in critical categories; build category management plans; re-establish design principles centered around authenticity, brand heritage and quality; sharpen focus on the most profitable SKUs and reduce GM SKUs overall by 25 percent for 2021."
Adapting the playbook that served Jochen Zeitz well at Puma and at the parent Group that eventually became the Kering luxury goods empire (Printemps, Gucci, YSL, Boucheron, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney etc.), "Zeitz places a premium on Protecting Value."
Harley says it is now operating with a "remodeled approach to supply and inventory management with a focus on a powerful dealer network to better preserve the value and desirability of Harley-Davidson motorcycles for customers. Some initial outcomes of this approach as of the end of the third quarter include a reduced price gap between new and used Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S.; a reduction in global dealer inventory by over 30 percent" and, essentially, "eliminating promotions and discounting with a focus on brand building."

Harley says that "a strong network of profitable dealers is essential to delivering the most desirable Harley-Davidson experience. The company continues to optimize its network to strengthen priority markets and provide an improved and integrated customer experience."
The company says it "continues to proactively manage its business through the pandemic and has maintained robust protocols to keep workers safe in its factories. Most non-production workers will continue to work from home at least until the end of the year.
"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 will pay a fourth quarter cash dividend of $0.02 per share, in line with its second and third quarter dividends. The dividend is payable December 18, 2020 to the shareholders of record of the company's common stock as of December 4, 2020."

The company says it has also "maintained its strong liquidity position with $4.7bn in liquidity at the end of the quarter."
Net income in Q3 2020 was $120m, up 39 percent over prior year and the highest Q3 result since 2015. Q3 results reflect the actions taken in the third quarter under the company's The Rewire effort. Q3 GAAP diluted EPS was $0.78, compared to $0.55 in Q3 2019. Excluding restructuring plan costs and the impact of tariffs, adjusted Q3 diluted EPS was $1.05 compared to $0.70 in Q3 2019.
Global retail motorcycle sales in the third quarter of 2020 were down 8 percent compared to the prior year, reflecting, among other things, the company's shift in timing of the launch of new model year motorcycles from August each year to early Q1 to better align with seasonality.
Revenue from the Motorcycles and Related Products segment was down in Q3 compared to the prior year due to, among other things, the shift in model year change-over. Gross margin was flat compared to the prior year and operating margin was up during the quarter compared to Q3 2019, primarily due to aggressive cost management in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken under The Rewire.
Financial Services segment third quarter operating income was up 25 percent due primarily to a decrease in the provision for loan losses, driven by lower actual losses at the end of Q3 versus the previous quarter.
Cash and cash equivalents were $3.6bn at the end of Q3 2020, compared to $862m at the end of Q3 2019. Harley-Davidson generated $1.1bn of cash from operating activities year-to-date 2020 compared to $849m year-to-date 2019.
"Given the uncertainty that remains surrounding the impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is not providing 2020 financial guidance."

Highlights at the End of the Third Quarter:

•    $250m cash savings including SG&A and capital reductions expected in 2020
•    $115m annual savings from restructuring actions taken expected starting in 2021
•    $3.6bn cash and cash equivalents compared to $862m in 2019
•    $1.1bn of cash generated from operating activities compared to $849m in 2019
•    Global dealer inventory down over 30 percent compared to third quarter 2019
•    2020 motorcycles selling at full MSRP (avg. U.S. during the third quarter)
•    Used Harley-Davidson prices up significantly (U.S.)

S&S Indian Challenger Wins Inaugural King of The Baggers

Kudos to Drag Specialties - after the initial COVID-19 driven postponement, the welcome King of The Baggers race initiative at the famous (infamous?) Laguna Seca Raceway went ahead on October 24 as part of the MotoAmerica GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Speedfest at Monterey.
Featuring 8 laps of one of the world's most iconic race circuits ('Corkscrew' and all!), as a fun-laced showcase for the premium performance 'Bagger'/H-D Touring model market it was an idea that deserved to succeed, and succeed it certainly did.

None more so than the S&S Cycle prepared Indian Challenger raced by former MotoAmerica racer Tyler O’Hara, taking a dominant win thanks to a 600 lb weight reduction, boost of the stock 122 bhp to around 150 bhp and a race tuned S&S exhaust, among the other tweaks!
O'Hara brought it home ahead of the Vance & Hines/Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard in second - ridden by Hayden Gillim (who in 2019 came very close to earning the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship), followed by the Roland Sands prepared Indian Challenger raced by Frankie Garcia in third.


Indian Motorcycle

Calling All Junior Wrecking Crewers

Just as Harley-Davidson looks set to dump its Stacyc mini eBike experiment, Indian Motorcycle has partnered with stand-on scooter and balance bike brand Razor for the eFTR Jr - an electric mini replica of the championship-winning FTR750 flat tracker - to provide "an approachable, affordable and safe way to 'share the love of riding' with aspiring young riders."
Described as "unique in its dynamic styling" and allowing young riders "to feel like a member of the iconic Indian Motorcycle Wrecking Crew that dominated flat track in the 1950s," it features two ride modes (low and high), a seat height of 23.5 inches, and a maximum weight of 175 pounds.

The eFTR Jr can accommodate riders of eight years and older when in low mode, and 13 and over in high mode. The bike’s telescopic front forks and mono-shock rear suspension "provide a smooth, comfortable ride, while the bike’s rugged steel frame provides a durable structure for beginning riders." It also features dual-disc brakes no less!
“Whether it was a father, mother, uncle or family friend, most motorcyclists have fond memories of the person that introduced them to riding, and that’s the spirit behind the eFTR Jr,” said Ross Clifford, Vice President of Parts, Garments and Accessories at Indian Motorcycle. “We wanted our first youth offering to be electric to provide a safe, simplistic and clean form of motorcycling for children, all wrapped up in the signature look of the FTR750. The eFTR Jr can kickstart a lifetime of riding memories for the whole family.”


Indian Motorcycle says its product development team designed the eFTR Jr around Razor’s "trusted and proven electric powertrain." The eFTR Jr’s 36 volt rechargeable battery will run for a claimed 140 minutes in low mode at 10 mph and 65 minutes in high mode at 15 mph.
Launching in parallel with the eFTR Jr, Indian Motorcycle is offering a brand-new line of protective youth apparel, including an eFTR Jr helmet, body armor, gloves and an Indian Motorcycle Racing replica jersey, manufactured by Razor USA.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

LiveWire Scoops Production Electric Motorcycle E.T. Records

A H-D LiveWire motorcycle set all-new records for elapsed time and top speed by an electric-powered production motorcycle on a drag racing course in September.

Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines rider and three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, Angelle Sampey stepped off her H-D FXDR Pro Stock competition motorcycle to pilot the LiveWire bike to capture world record-breaking runs on the quarter and eighth-mile, covering the eighth-mile distance in 7.017 seconds and the full quarter-mile course in just 11.156 seconds at 110.35 mph. The 2020 LiveWire motorcycle's top speed is limited to 110 mph.
The records were set during exhibition runs at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. "This is another great pass at a bold future in Harley-Davidson's quest to lead the electrification of motorcycles," said the company.
"Let me tell you what's amazing," said Sampey. "That was the first time I rode the LiveWire. I could not wait to get it on the track. The LiveWire is so easy to ride. Just twist the throttle and go, and you really go!"
Sampey and her Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines teammates, Andrew Hines and Ed Krawiec, made a number of head-to-head drag race runs on stock LiveWire models, with Sampey posting the quickest times. Sampey is the winningest female in motorsports history with three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle championships (2000-2002) and 43 Pro Stock motorcycle wins.

Powerhouse Brands

Growth Driving 2021 Powerhouse Brands Facility Move

Powerhouse Brands, comprised of Performance Machine, Progressive Suspension and Burly Brand, will move its operations from La Palma, California, to a new state of the art facility in nearby Cerritos, California (aka 'Dairy Valley', Cerritos is one of the so-called Gateway Cities of southeast Los Angeles County).

The company says that the move to the new headquarters will support a 44% increase in the number of employees and will allow for the addition of a full second shift.
"It's a short ride from our current location in La Palma to Cerritos, but it will have a huge impact on Performance Machine, Progressive Suspension and Burly Brand," said company CEO and President Chris Lindstrom.
"Our new facility presents an opportunity for us to re-engineer our design, manufacturing and distribution processes which will result in improved efficiency and increased production capacity. This will be a big win for our customers in improved delivery time."
Lindstrom went on to explain that the new facility offers several features that will improve design, testing, production, shipping and the employee experience.
"Improvements such as a +27% increase in the size of our quality lab, with improved testing capabilities, new research and design labs and an engineering lab that is +20% larger than our current facility. The result will be enhanced testing capabilities with in-house wheel testing, brake system testing and in-house suspension testing.

"We'll have an in-house polishing department to ensure high quality product finishes, with in-house assembly and packaging updated with the latest technology and automation - warehouse space will be increased by +70% to provide better order fill rate.
"Simple things like updated offices will support employee collaboration and automatic touchless doors in main paths of employee travel will improve productivity and hygiene.
"With demand surging in 2020, we are preparing for continued growth in the custom motorcycle business. Dealers are seeing a tremendous increase in the sales of used motorcycles. That is ideal for us as our custom wheels, brake systems, controls, accessories and suspension products are all great items to purchase to personalize and enhance a rider's experience."
The move will begin later this year after the new location is completed and Powerhouse Brands expects to have the move completed in Q1 2021. The new 54,000 sq ft facility is located at 16121 Carmenita Rd., Cerritos, CA, with convenient access to the I-5 and CA-91 freeways.


Stay Connected - It's All In The Details

Sometimes it's the simplest things that make a difference, like making a connection to a battery to charge or draw power. Generally an afterthought for most, but not for TecMate.
With every OptiMate battery charger a set of unique O-04 battery clips and an O-01 weatherproof battery lead (otherwise known as ringlets/eyelets/pigtail) is included to make the connection to the battery. This may seem like a "small thing" that most people take for granted, but OptiMate O-04 battery clips have been designed specifically to meet the needs of powersport battery applications - not all battery connections are created equal!

Most crocodile or alligator clips have a slightly oval open mouth with the 'eyeteeth' or edges of the mouth touching when closed. The OptiMate battery clip is more like a hybrid alligator/platypus mouth (!), flat and straight with sharp little teeth - great for gripping onto square/cubed battery posts (the most popular kind in powersports) or flat tab posts for the small batteries used on entry level motorcycles.
They also fit on the round posts that are being introduced in the newest sector (or we could say 'craze') in powersport, the 4-wheel UTV or Side by Side (SxS) that has seen tremendous growth in the USA and Canada. Good contact is important - never mind the shape of the post.
OptiMate's O-01 weatherproof battery lead was designed with the specifics of powersport vehicle use in mind. Water, dirt and grime shooting up from the road have a nasty habit of penetrating anything and electrical connections can corrode fast if not protected.
"A corroded connection is a poor connection," says Martin Human, TecMate's CEO/CTO. "The added electrical resistance can cause a hotspot and loss of voltage during charging. OptiMate's battery leads have a protective rubber shroud that encloses the open pin of the SAE connector, making it electrically safe, and the rubber sealing cap protects the connector when not in use. Now, if you forgot to put the cap in position, and that connector is full of dirt, don't worry, twist off the shroud, clean it out and re-assemble. 

"We have added a few more innovations too - that connector flapping about in the wind has always bothered me. Zipties or strapping the cable to a strut never seemed to fully contain that heavy connector - then one day we thought, why not add ziptie/Velcro strap loops on the connector itself? Problem solved!
"Our latest innovation, the dual size ring system, came about because in the new powersport vehicle sector (UTV/SxS) there are a few batteries with M8 (5/16") screw terminals, deviating from the standard M6 1/4". A few different approaches were considered, and we eventually settled on the triangular removable adapter - when left in position, it's an M6 1/4" ring, when snipped off, it becomes a M8 5/16" ring. Simple but effective!"
TecMate has other battery connection accessories such as panel-mount sockets, the DIN connector accessories found on BMW, Triumph and Ducati Multistrada motorcycles and many others - with the designs always focusing on the best connection possible to that specific battery application. The latest idea is a magnetic system, making connection and disconnection very easy, and that will be starting to be seen on some of the new 2021 products.



Now This is What You Call Blue!

California based Biltwell's ECE-certified Gringo S "boasts fit, finish and safety technology identical to its full-face sibling, but features a CE-certified flip-up face shield for added safety and riding comfort."

Features include an injection-molded ABS outer shell - "rugged yet lightweight, the best combination of features for a motorcycle helmet" - and a three-piece expanded polystyrene (EPS) safety liner to dissipate impact loads and fortify the helmet structure for a secure fit without compromising comfort. A molded urethane chin bar pad dissipates energy from frontal impacts, a removable/replaceable comfort liner, cheek pads and a chin strap that feature brushed fleece Lycra touch points to absorb and evaporate perspiration and an adjustable strap end retainer.
The CE-certified polycarbonate shield includes anti-fog and anti-scratch treatments for safety and durability; a rugged shield hinge hardware with robust detents allows riders to open the shield at slow speeds for increased airflow, and molded recesses inside the EPS are designed-in to accept various aftermarket audio and communication components. Accessory cheek pads available to fine-tune the fit.
Oh, and did we mention the color? So deep, so rich, so classy, so cool!


Twin Power

Twin Power M-8 Electrical Components

Distributed exclusively by Tucker Powersports, Twin Power has introduced new high-quality M-8 electrical components that meet or exceed OEM specifications.


The new high-quality 1.4 kW starters are genuine, 100% new replacements, not remanufactured or refurbished items, and are backed by a limited manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. Available for 2017-2020 FLH/FLT and for selected (most) 2018-2020 Softails.


Offered in both molded and unmolded variations, these premium grade 48A replacement stators are wound with high-temperature 100% copper wire and feature heavy-duty, oil resistant leads with O.E.M. style connectors. The kits include mounting hardware, are produced by an ISO certified factory and backed by a one-year manufacturer's warranty. Available for most M-8 Touring and Softail models.

Electronic Regulators


"High quality 50A electronic regulators at an affordable price," says Brand Manager James Simonelli. Backed by a one-year manufacturer's warranty, they are available for 2017-2020 FLH and FLT.

Starter Clutch

Often hard to source, "especially for late-model applications," says Simonelli. This Twin Power starter clutch is a 100 percent stock replacement for all M-8 models from 2017-2020.

Ignition Coils

"Twin Power coils are a high-quality direct fit with at least 20% more voltage than stock," says Simonelli. "These high-quality, molded epoxy coils in a late O.E.M. style molded case are for 12 volt (0.4 ohm) H-D ignition systems and really do increase peak spark voltage by 20% or more - I've seen the test results! They improve starting, stops, high-speed misfires, mileage and overall performance." Available in black and chrome for M-8 Touring and Softail applications, they come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Starter Solenoids

Available for all M-8 applications and another component that is "not yet as readily available as it's going to need to be," according to Simonelli, "it is another robust, durable 100 percent stock replacement from Twin Power."


Bagger Nation

Sometimes Less is More!

The new Bagger Nation Café Racer-inspired front fender will give Sport Touring/Performance Baggers or FL Softails "that killer all business attitude Bagger riders have been craving," says Bagger Nation style guru Paul Yaffe.

Weighing in at just over 1 lb, this lightweight, 3-D formed, handlaid composite fender "is not only aggressive in style, but it's also super strong, laser straight, and is a direct bolt-on application for 1999 to present Touring models.

"The race-inspired minimal front end look will show off that wheel and tire and give the bike a performance edge. Whether you run a 16", 17", 18" or 19" front wheel (16"- 17"- 18"- 19" and 21" up to a 130 degree aspect ratio), our new Café front fender will fit your application perfectly.  
"We've even drilled the mounting holes, so you won't have to when you choose our fenders! Each Café front fender is handmade right here in Phoenix by our talented Arizona craftsmen. Pull them right out of the box, scuff them, paint them and mount them! No drilling, no shaping of any kind is required. Your painter will love us…and so will you!
"Our fenders include satin spacers or adapters (depending on the year) and all needed installation hardware to match the OEM finish on your fork legs. If you have chrome or black front forks, you can upgrade to the chrome or black spacers."


Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

Ignition Coil

Drag Specialties' 3 ohm single-fire ignition coil "improves overall performance including starting, stops high-speed misfires and also increases mileage." Available for electronic ignitions, it features a 30,000 volt output and peak spark voltage increase of at least +20%. It is available in a chrome finish.

Predator III Seats for Early XL

Drag Specialties Seats has expanded its popular Predator III line with seats for '57-'78 XL models. These new seats are constructed with high-quality automotive-grade vinyl covers and molded polyurethane foam for maximum comfort and styling. This uniquely styled seat features a 5 1/2" tall driver support that gently slopes down to the passenger seat area and is also designed narrower at the front for better leg clearance. "The 3/16" thermoformed ABS seat base gives the perfect fit while the carpeted bottom and rubber bumpers protect the bike's paint." It is available in smooth, diamond stitch or classic stitch. The length is 25 1/2 overall (12" L x 9 3/4" W front) (8" L x 6" W rear). It fits with most sissy bars and includes all mounting hardware.

Caliper Rebuild Kit

This kit features "high-quality replacement components necessary to do a complete rebuild of one front or rear brake caliper", including caliper piston and seals. The kit is available for '08-'20 FLHT/FLHR/FLTRX/FLTRU/FLTRK/FLHX models.

Replacement Air Filter Elements 

These Drag Specialties brand high-quality paper filter medium replacement air filters "meet or exceed OEM specifications." They are for use with a selection of aftermarket air filter housings such as some offered by S&S and Ness, plus Screamin' Eagle Stage 1 for '04-'16 XL (oval).

Reusable Air Filters

These durable, epoxy-coated wire mesh air filters are "designed to maximize airflow and provide peak filtration." Drag Specialties says they are 100% reusable and washable, are pre-oiled for quick and easy installation and made in high-flow four-layer surgical-grade cotton filtration media with a urethane body that won't crack or curl like rubber. They are vailable for '17-'20 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX/FLTRX/FLTRU/FLTRK/H-D FL Trike.


Wednesday 21 October 2020

American Flat Track

Bauman Secures V&H SuperTwins Championship for Indian; Rispoli gives H-D a Production Twins Championship; Lewis Scores a First AFT Race Win for Royal Enfield

Needing 'only' to finish in eighth or better in the final, weather-hit race of the 2020 Progressive American Flat Track season, defending champion and championship leader Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance/S&S Cycle FTR750) held off the challenge from nearest championship challenger Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) by finishing fourth to Mees' second place for a nine point Vance & Hines backed SuperTwins premier class AFT championship win.

Briar Bauman retained his #1 plate

24 hours earlier the results were reversed with Bauman the Elder taking what turned out to be a crucial second place in the first of the Friday/Saturday night Short Track Double Headers at the Daytona International Speedway, with Mees in fourth place, that gave Bauman some wiggle room going into the season finale.
The surprise of the weekend though was an impressive double win - first place in Race I and II - for Brandon Robinson (No. 44 HCRR Racing/Ben Evans Racing Indian FTR750) who stepped forward and stole the show for his first two wins of the season - wins that secured championship fourth spot for the 30-year old from Pennsylvania.
In Race I on Friday, Jarod Vanderkooi brought the No. 20 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X home for his best result of the season in third, equalling his best ever premier class finish and ultimately giving him a ninth place championship finish and a second third place podium spot of the season for the H-D/Vance & Hines XG750R.
Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750) came fifth in Race I, but scooped a podium spot in third in Race II to confirm third spot in the AFT SuperTwins Presented by Vance & Hines 2020 championship.

The third member of the Indian Motorcycle 'Wrecking Crew' is the younger Bauman brother, Bronson, (Indian Motorcycle, Progressive Insurance, S&S Cycle FTR750) and despite finishing in 9th and 10th in the two Daytona races, had done enough through the season to secure fifth spot in the championship standings, with Dan Bromley (Roof Systems FTR750) taking a season best equalling fifth spot in Race II.
In the AFT Singles, Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) secured the 2020 class championship at Charlotte the weekend before and finished in fourth and ninth spots respectively at Daytona. In Race I, Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing/American Suzuki RM-Z450) claimed his first victory of 2020 - a huge moment for his Wally Brown Racing effort, backed by factory Suzuki, after a promising second place in the season opener at Volusia.
Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R) was second, ahead of Australian Max Whale (No. 18 Coondoo Cattle Co./Australian Road Services Kawasaki KX450F) in third, and Mikey Rush, also on a YZ450F, in fifth.
In Race II, Henry Wiles went one better to take the win ahead of Max Whale, second again, Trent Lowe (Honda CRF450R) in third, Mikey Rush in fourth and Andrew Luker (No. 11 Rackley Racing/Keeran Racing Yamaha YZ450F) in fifth.
Max Whale took second spot in the Singles championship overall in 2020 for Kawasaki, with Henry Wiles third (Honda), Mikey Rush fourth (Yamaha) and Trent Lowe fifth (Honda). Thanks to Dallas Daniels' eight-win season dominance, the Manufacturer's Championship was taken by Yamaha.
In the AFT Production Twins, history was made in Race I on Friday when Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) claimed Royal Enfield’s first-ever AFT victory with a wire-to-wire dominance that demonstrated his Daytona Short Track prowess.
The season-long dominance of former road racer James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) was rewarded and provided Harley with something to be pleased about when he was crowned the class champion for 2020 with seven wins for the season and Harley taking the Manufacturer's Championship - reward for their backing and promotion of the class and a first since the introduction of the XG750R.
Behind Lewis in Race I, Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) took second, ahead of Ben Lowe (also on a MT-07) third, and Patrick Buchanan (Kawasaki Ninja 650) in fifth behind Rispoli.


In taking the Production Twins class championship win, James Rispoli gave Harley its first series win since introducing the XG750R to AFT racing.

Cory Texter and Johnny Lewis swapped places for a reversed one and two in Race II on Saturday October 17th, with Ben Lowe repeating his Friday third spot ahead of Ryan Varnes (Ninja 650) fourth and Patrick Buchanan fifth again.
Cory Texter took second spot in the Rider's Championship standings for Yamaha behind Rispoli, with Ben Lowe, also Yamaha, third, Ryan Varnes fourth and Danny Eslick fifth (both Kawasaki).

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

All-New 'ZeitzGeist' Headed Your Way Soon

When it comes to an unlikely and counterintuitive response to a recession, a pandemic that promotes the advantages of motorcycling and lays the groundwork for parts and accessory industry growth has to be the most unlikely 'super spreader' any of us will see in our lifetimes.
With consumers embracing PTWs (Powered Two-Wheelers) as a viable and preferable alternate to crowded, unhygienic, bad-air mass transit systems and as an economic non-public mobility solution (urban, suburban and otherwise) at a time of chronic economic uncertainty, it would appear the early signs of motorcycle industry reliance seen at the height of the first wave of coronavirus earlier this year may well be proving to be sustainable after all.
The vendors I have been speaking and emailing with the past few weeks are, almost universally, continuing to report that they are doing well - and are certainly doing better than might have been expected.
Simultaneously, the economic news is pointing to a slightly less dire downturn than had been widely expected and, with three weeks to go to the U.S. election at the time of writing, a Wall Street sentiment that is placing a premium on the less unstable outlook for markets than had been feared.
It's not that investors are embracing the likelihood and desirability of one outcome over another as such, but, at this time, the fact that it does appear increasingly likely that there will be a definitive outcome of some kind is reducing the destabilizing effects of uncertainty - always the primary enemy of any economy.
They say that a day is a long time in politics, so with three weeks to go, goodness knows how gauche that observation will appear to be by the time you get to read this. Whatever the outcome, we need it to be decisive and definitive. Uncertainty would be about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.
The used vehicle sales phenomena is affecting automotive as well as motorcycles, and even without the very particular factors that play to the motorcycle industry's advantage at this time, if our market tracks what is being seen in automotive, then illness and wider economic woes aside, the winter may not be as dark for motorcycle shops as had looked likely.

"running on vapors"

Of course, the fates and fortunes are not equal in the treatment they hand out, and not all motorcycle stores are themselves 'equal'. One irony is that whereas franchised motorcycle stores, and in our case authorized Harley dealerships in particular, are usually a better hedge against bad times than independence, the glacial pace of Milwaukee production and stockpiling of 2021 inventory until some time in January mean that Harley dealers are having a real bad time of it.
That much can be seen from the number of store closures and forced retirements (where once dealers were able to cash in), and with Jochen Zeitz projecting at least 160 fewer stores in the United States as he seeks to rewire the strategic plan in his own image, for once glorious independence and the pre-owned market aren't looking too bad as places to be after all.
It is also worth a shout out for Indian Motorcycle dealers too. The paucity of new Harley inventory can't be hurting them, especially where shifting the more difficult Big Twins has been concerned.
How long P&A and pre-owned units will remain a lifeboat is debatable of course, and the life of the independent shop is a precarious one at the best of times. Even when custom work and builds were flowing like milk and honey in the promised land of the early noughties, vulnerability lurked in every corner.
The near monopoly that the independent stores used to have over the back then largely unwanted used vehicle inventory has itself come under pressure. The emergence of the online and Brick and Mortar pre-owned specialists, the authorized stores now finding that they have the showroom floor space and price-points to justify once unprofitable pre-owned examples and, of course, their access to advantageous factory backed finance deals.
I have heard tales of riders slapping credit cards down on counters for pre-owned bikes while there still are any to be had. While that is one way of doing it, if consumers are not in a position to pay it down quickly, if life circumstances change on them, then what may have looked like a dream deal could quickly turn into a nightmare. Our industry has been there before.
However, regardless of the pitfalls, regardless of the risks and underlying uncertainties of where we are at in the economic and pandemic cycles, pre-owned motorcycles typically mean new handlebars, new seats, new brakes, new hoses and cables, maybe overhauled clutches, transmissions and engines and maybe even some nice new wheels and fenders - and one can do so much better than those tired old stock instruments and hey, while we're about it, why not some fresh sounds and creature comforts too. Let's face it, the timing of Harley's new Stage and other kits isn't accidental.
To judge by reports from vendors, distributors and independent shop owners alike, the love isn't being restricted to authorized stores alone though. For the first time in years there is momentum in the aftermarket parts and accessory industry at this time, and even four or five more months of it would allow us to bridge the gap to the 2021 riding season.
It also has to be remembered that ever since late August the market has been running on vapors in terms of the action usually triggered by the new Harley Model Year too. Indeed, some of the parts distributors I have been speaking with are also saying that inventory is their main problem right now.
Time will tell whether or not the move to a second half of January new model introduction cycle will have turned out to have been a stroke of genius or not, and we won't really know either way until we start to lap the MY21 announcement in early 2022.
With Harley due to unveil its all new 'ZEITZGEIST' in a few weeks and some hints already in circulation - closure of the Indian factory, distribution deal with HERO, go ahead for the QJ models in China, dropping Sportsters in Europe, delays for the BRONX - perhaps the 'bridge time' may be further reduced to more like three to four months?

Progressive International Motorcycle Show (IMS) series

Indoor Winter IMS Tour Permanently Dropped in Favor of Outdoor Summer Event Series

As COVID-19 and the broader 'new reality' challenging existing trade show and indoor expo events continues to reshape how specialty markets communicate with their consumers, news that the Progressive International Motorcycle Show (IMS) series, as we have known it for past decades, is no more.

Not just postponed, nor even just canceled for the next year, but done, gone, over.
Instead, phoenix-like from the ashes, an interesting new concept is slated to arise as organizer UBM (United Business Media AKA Advanstar) takes the shows into the summer and outdoors in a reimagined format for the annual tour with IMS Outdoors.
The United States' largest consumer motorcycle tour will return in summer 2021 "and be the most immersive powersports experience yet."
Backed by IMS' title sponsor of ten years, Progressive Insurance, Progressive IMS Outdoors "represents the revamp of the tour's nearly 40-year stint that will not only transition IMS from the traditional convention center set-up to a new open outdoor experience, but will also create a festival-like atmosphere that promotes enthusiasts of all ages and levels to come together to better engage with products, each other, and the industry.
"While continuing its presence as the nation's largest consumer motorcycle tour, Progressive IMS Outdoors will support the growth of the powersports community by offering a unique experience the industry has yet to see."
Commencing during the summer of 2021, Progressive IMS Outdoors will stop in a number of cities across the U.S., bringing powersports enthusiasts "multiple days of entertainment, learning and interactive activities. In addition to showcasing the latest street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, and ATVs, as well as the latest gear and aftermarket accessories, the new outdoor format will feature market adjacent products from micro-mobility to electric bicycles, overland and RV products and more, thus welcoming potential and qualified riders into the industry.
"Attendees can also expect the remodeled tour to be more interactive than ever with an array of on-road and off-road demo opportunities for all ages and riding abilities, including the continuation of the successful 'Discover the Ride' program. The reimagined tour, which has been five years in the making, comes at a perfect time as 2020 has seen off-road product sales soar."
"At IMS, we have always placed an emphasis on evolving our shows to better support the community and enthusiasts," says Tracy Harris, SVP, IMS. "Progressive IMS Outdoors will be the greatest evolution in the brand's 38-year history. Taking IMS Outdoors not only changes our venues, but opens up an array of opportunities for our team to deliver a truly first-of-a-kind experience for the community as the only event in the nation taking the proactive step to actively serve both the new rider and core audience."

Dates and locations for Progressive IMS Outdoors will be announced in December. As Progressive IMS Outdoors is an evolution of IMS' traditional tour, the shows traditionally held in various cities from November through February will not take place this year.
Planned dates will likely be between mid-May and October. At this time it is unclear as to whether the J&P Cycles sponsored Ultimate Builder custom competitions will continue (either as part of IMS or otherwise). We have seen indications both ways in third party channels, but UBM/Advanstar's announcement press release didn't mention the custom shows either way. Historically it has been the one feature that has effectively kept the indoor winter IMS tour series alive in recent years, and it is tough to see how they could be any less popular outdoors in the summer.
Also, it is unclear yet which of the major OE manufacturers will be backing the initiative - we certainly hope they will support this opportunity as their involvement will no doubt be critical to the viability of the concept. AMD Magazine certainly wishes the organizers well with the plan.
As a group (on both sides of the Atlantic), motorcycle manufacturers must not underestimate how important initiatives such as this could be to their own futures. In an era in which institutional memory is increasingly viewed as an unnecessary expense, those who work for the market's motorcycle manufacturing factories would do well to dwell on the impact their first motorcycle ride had on their senses.
There is plenty of evidence emerging to suggest that the motorcycle manufacturing community is in danger of overestimating the effectiveness of online "activations" and "engagements" and forgetting that riding is actually about an entirely illogical and visceral emotional experience that reaches the parts that screens cannot inspire.

Harley-Davidson Inc.

Harley Escapes $3m Air Pollution Reduction Sanction

Reuters reported that a United States judge approved a revised settlement with Harley-Davidson Inc. over excess emissions - after four years of wrangling, the new settlement dropped the originally included requirement that Harley spend $3m to reduce air pollution.
In August 2016, Harley agreed to pay a $12m civil fine and stop selling illegal aftermarket devices that caused its vehicles to emit too much pollution. It also agreed to spend about $3m to retrofit or replace wood-burning appliances with cleaner stoves to offset excess emissions.
In July 2017, the Justice Department cited a new policy by then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and in proposing to drop the $3m mitigation project set in motion an ongoing review of the penalty by a government auditor. 


A Screamin' Eagle "super tuner"

A wood burning stove

Finally, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan approved the settlement over the objections of environmental groups and a group of ten states, including New York, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts.
While the earlier agreement "containing the mitigation project might have been the 'best' resolution of Harley-Davidson’s alleged violations, the Court cannot say that the decree lodged before the Court is not within 'the reaches of the public interest," Sullivan wrote in approving the consent decree.
The settlement resolved allegations that Harley sold about 340,000 "super tuners," enabling motorcycles since 2008 to pollute the air at levels greater than what the company certified.
Harley-Davidson did not admit liability and has said it disagreed with the government, arguing that the tuners were designed and sold to be used in "competition only." Even though the settlement had not yet taken effect, Harley-Davidson has said that since August 2016, it sold only tuners certified by the California Air Resources Board and halted sale of the tuners in question and destroyed tuners returned by dealers.

News Briefs


The 17-outlet strong Chicago-based Windy City/Fox Motorsports dealership group says it saw record unit sales in July and a third straight quarter of growth in 2020 Q2. With 14 of its stores being H-D franchises, Windy/Fox has become a market bellwether since it was founded in year over year growth in Q2 of 2020 by Ozzie and Jill Giglio. The company says that over the last 20 years it has introduced over 100,000 motorcycles into the Greater Chicago area market through its Brick and Mortar outlets and - which claims to be "the largest used motorcycle marketplace in the U.S."


We here at AMD Magazine were saddened to hear of the death of Neale Brumby, 63-year old owner of Australian custom magazine Heavy Duty - "illness may take the man, but not his achievements."

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in USA has recorded less than 41,000 motorcycle thefts in 2019 - maintaining an overall downward trend that has seen motorcycle thefts fall by -12% since 2016 (46,467). Most thefts happen in the warmest states and in the warmest months. The most stolen brands were Honda (8,122), Yamaha (6,495), Harley-Davidson (4,737), Suzuki (4,686) and Kawasaki (4,641). Of the thefts in 2019, 18,857 (46%) were recovered. Most occurred in August (4,642) and the fewest in February (1,972).

Owner Babcox Media has announced that its B2B title Motorcycle & Powersports News will no longer be appearing as a print magazine - opting instead for the even more precarious life of being a digital only information service. Originally known as Motorcycle Product News, MPN was founded in 1974 and had a name change in an attempt to broaden its market in 2011.

SEMA has announced that its eMarketplace online 'show' solution will be staged from November 2-6. With INTERMOT and other expo organizers (trade and consumer) also trialing 'virtual' gatherings of one kind or another, there is widespread exhibition industry concern that any expectation that the "shows of old" will automatically re-emerge in a vaccinated post-pandemic world are naive. Not all change is good, but it is mostly inevitable and irresistible.


Tucker Powersports has introduced a new real-time stock check site for its dealers - Product availability can be searched by Tucker part number, vendor part numbers and, eventually, many OEM equivalent part numbers where there is such a product. The search results will display picture, description, MSRP, substitutes, catalog page link, which of the five warehouses has how many of the required item in stock and an 'Order It' tool function.

Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, it would appear that the much vaunted acquisition and relaunch of Easyriders Magazine in the hands of "brandmaker" Pepper Foster (co-founder of the Chip and Pepper fashion label) has failed after its first edition. The new owner had promised repositioning, improved quality, a brave new dawn, blah, blah. A second edition has failed to appear, and the reports we here at AMD are reading suggest the project is as dead as a battery on a bad day. It was quite apparent that the reboot would kick itself up its own ass as it was aiming for a confused and confusing matrix of demographics. Rather than leveraging the heritage that made it the icon it was, Foster's game-plan was to jettison its pedigree in chase of a rich vein of dollars that just doesn't exist. But one edition? Is that a record fail?

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

S&S Cycle

Street Legal 475 Cam/Calibration for M-8 Touring Models

Viola, Wisconsin based S&S Cycle, the master of 'Proven Performance', has long been the leader in performance cam development, and after years working with CARB to achieve a legal performance cam for the M-8, looks to be keeping that streak intact with the 50-state legal version of the popular 475 cam for M-8 touring machines. 

This bolt-in cam pulls over 100 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. "An excellent power-per-dollar upgrade for sure," says VP Marketing David Zemla, "but we've now combined it with a Powervision PV3 tuner with built-in tunes allowing for a simple set up without having to put the bike on a dyno. 


"To make it even more interesting, S&S has managed to make the cam warranty friendly, CARB legal, and available in chain or gear drive! PV3 can also be bar-mounted to monitor critical engine functions or just used for tuning. A first for our market."


Progressive Suspension

M-8 Shock Options

Shown here with or without remote reservoir for adjustable preload, these 465 Series shock absorbers by Progressive Suspension are a gas monotube design utilizing a 46 mm bore and deflective disc piston for precise damping.

465 Series
465 Series with remote reservoir

The beefy 16 mm hard-chrome shaft rides on custom Viton seals for low friction and leak-free life. Threaded body and a five-position rebound adjuster allows for fine-tuning to match the owner's riding style and load. Available with options including a standard rate or heavy duty spring and stock length.

The 465 is custom-tuned for each application, from the damping and spring rate all the way down to the jounce bumper and offers five positions of rebound adjustment. 
429 Series

Also seen here, Progressive Suspension 429 Series shocks are a high-pressure gas monotube with internal floating piston, deflective disc damping and threaded preload adjuster.
All models are available in standard and heavy duty 12.2", 12.6", 13.1" and 13.5" and backed by a lifetime warranty.


Le Pera

'Daddy Long Legs' Kick Flip for Baggers

New from legendary Californian custom seats specialist Le Pera, this 'Daddy Long Legs' version of its popular Kick Flip custom seat for 2008-2020 Baggers, "the maximized back support and ample seating area offer plenty of options."

Seen here in Basket Weave seating area finish (Diamond Stitch, Pleated Stitch and new Gripp Tape material also available), it features a 12.5" wide driver seating area and, especially made for taller riders, it moves the legs approximately 2" back from the original/standard 'KickFlip' geometry.
"Available for most Harley models, this is the perfect seat to take advantage of our Biker Gel and other various custom options such as leather seating and full leather," says Bob Le Pera Jr.
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.


Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

Handlebar Control Kits  

Drag Specialties' handlebar control kits are designed to work with all 1" diameter handlebars. The complete kits include a 5/8" bore single-disc master cylinder or 11/16" bore dual-disc master cylinder along with a clutch lever assembly and right and left switch housings that accept OEM switches and wires. They are available in matte black for '84-'95 Big Twins and '84-'85 XL (except Dresser models with radio control switches in housings).

Predator 2-Up Seats for FL

Drag Specialties Seats' new Predator 2-up seats are made with molded polyurethane foam for maximum comfort and designed with a narrow driver's cut for better leg clearance. The seat features solar-reflective leather in the seating area, a patented process that reduces surface temperature by as much as 25°F for a cooler seat and greater durability. The thermoformed ABS seat base gives the perfect fit with carpeted bottom and rubber bumpers to protect paint. They are available in smooth, smooth vinyl or double-diamond stitch with black, silver or red thread. The seats are made in the U.S.A. for '08-'20 FLHT/FLHR/FLHRC/FLTR/FLHX/FLHTC/FLHTCU models.

Tappet Block Covers for Twin Cam

Clean up the look of '99-'17 Twin Cam engines with a pair of Drag Specialties tappet block covers. These die-cast aluminum covers are available with a chrome or gloss black finish and include the gaskets and screws needed for installation. They are sold in pairs.

XL Alternator Stator

This new, precision made, robust construction Drag Specialties alternator stator meets or exceeds OEM specifications (replaces OEM #29900068) and features precise construction. It fits 2019-2020 Sportsters.

Solid-State Regulator

Drag Specialties' new solid-state regulators for '17-'20 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX/FLTRX/FLTRU models have high reliability aluminum alloy construction 12V regulators that provide accurately regulated voltage under all electrical loads. They have no relay contacts to wear and are environmentally sealed for protection against moisture and shocks. It replaces OEM# 74700025; available with a black finish.