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Tuesday 13 April 2021

News Briefs

In 2015, AMD Magazine drew serious opprobrium from several "market observers" when we were less than positive about the decision that then CEO Matt Levatich took to approve the sale of Harley licensed product through Amazon, citing the negative effects it could have on showroom traffic and dealer profits. "You're just an old school Luddite," said one! Lashings of "told ya so" schadenfreude therefore in the AMD production office with the appearance of a Dealernews report that Harley has reversed that decision - choosing instead to prioritize dealers' own e-ecommerce efforts. "We want to have a fully integrated, digital e-commerce business with our dealers," said Zeitz. "Amazon was not really something that got our dealers into the mix."

Master custom motorcycle builder Don Hotop of Fort Madison, Iowa, passed away on February 22, 2021. He was just 69 years old. He owned Don's Speed & Custom and Hotop MC Designs for more than 40 years.  A member of ABATE and Hamsters USA Motorcycle Club, he was also inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame. A statement from the National Motorcycle Museum at Anamosa, Iowa, said: "We have lost a great fabricator, designer, builder and customizer."

Recent additions to the Parts Unlimited 'We Support the Sport' Racer Rewards program include the Thor U.S. Victory Sports Mega Series, the North Carolina Hare Scrambles Association (NCHSA) Championship Series and the Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship Series, the first electronic mountain bike series to join Racer Rewards.

According to a recent patent filing, Honda is developing a bike-mounted drone - a drone with four rotors that sits in a housing in the extended tail of a motorcycle. The idea is that it's a completely autonomous flying machine that can be released on command and return automatically to the bike when needing a recharge.

Zero Motorcycles and EagleRider have formed what is being touted in USA as "the first national network of electric motorcycle rentals. The partnership with EagleRider ("the world's largest motorcycle rental, tour and membership company") has started with full sized electric motorcycles being available for rent at its Las Vegas, NV, San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix, AZ, and Miami, FL, locations.

Annette Clayton is to retire from the board of Polaris Industries Inc. after 18 years as a non-Executive Director. Clayton's 'day job' is as CEO & President at French end-point to cloud connecting products, eco systems and sustainability management provider Schneider Electric's North American HQ near Boston.

Historically, H-D has been a reluctant collaborator with the MIC and its related group of specialty trade associations. Indeed, registration statistics apart, Harley has kept the Irvine, Ca., industry representatives at arm's length. However, H-D Government Affairs Manager Jason Tolleson has accepted appointment to the board of trustees at MIC's co-located sister organization Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Is this the start of a thaw in relations under new CEO Jochen Zeitz?

The Ranch H-D (Texas), formerly known as Independence H-D, is moving locations. Bought in August 2016 by Susan Gipson, she says that "at the time, we knew we would eventually need more space." That time has now come, and she will be moving the store from its present 15,000 sq ft to 52,000 sq ft right next door to its current location in the college metropolitan community of College Station - home of Texas A&M. The Gipson family will own its new building, having previously been on a lease. The extra space will allow them to add RV sales.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,, Cycle World,