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Tuesday 27 July 2021

Polaris Inc.

Polaris Reports Record Second Quarter Sales

Polaris Inc. has reported Q2 sales increased +40% to $2,117m - reported gross profit margin was 26.0%, up by 403 basis points over the prior year. The company states that the increase was primarily due to lower promotional costs and increased pricing, partially offset by increased input costs including supply chain constraints, logistic, labor and commodity prices.
North American retail sales decreased -28% for the quarter compared to uncharacteristically strong retail sales in the year-ago period, driven largely by low product availability due to supply chain constraints limiting production. On a two-year basis, retail sales were up +14% over second quarter 2019 pre-COVID levels and market share improved during the quarter for its ORV and boat sector operations.


Motorcycles segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $212m, up +50 percent compared to the second quarter of 2020, driven by increased sales of Slingshot, Indian Motorcycles and related PG&A. Gross profit for the second quarter of 2021 was $24m compared to $4m in the second quarter of 2020. As with the overall corporate performance, the increase in gross profit margin was driven by increased volume and lower promotional costs, partially offset by increased input costs from supply chain constraints.
North American consumer retail sales for Indian Motorcycles increased high-twenties percent during the second quarter of 2021 in a mid-to-heavyweight two-wheel motorcycle industry that was up mid-thirties percent. North American consumer retail sales for Polaris' motorcycle segment, including both Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot, increased low-twenties percent during the second quarter of 2021. North American consumer retail sales for the motorcycle industry, including both two-wheel and three-wheel, increased mid-thirties percent during the second quarter of 2021. 

Polaris Inc. CEO Mike Speetzen: "We delivered double digit sales and earnings increases compared to our pre-Covid results from the second quarter and first half of 2019."


Indian and Slingshot market share losses were driven by a lack of product availability during the quarter driven by supply chain challenges.
Polaris Inc. CEO Mike Speetzen is quoted as saying: "'Think Outside' is resonating with new and current customers alike, with continued strong demand and second quarter results that beat last year's COVID-impacted quarter, as anticipated.
"Even more notable, we delivered double digit sales and earnings increases compared to our pre-COVID results from the second quarter and first half of 2019. All of our segments performed extremely well, posting strong increases in both sales and profitability in the face of a challenging supply chain and increasing input cost environment.
"While supply chain-related headwinds and higher input costs will continue into the second half of the year, the Polaris team's operational dexterity and nimble approach has been nothing short of spectacular. I remain confident in our ability to meet the product demands of our dealers and consumers and deliver value for our shareholders."

Aftermarket segment sales of $240m in the 2021 second quarter increased 15% compared to $208m in the 2020 second quarter. Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP) sales of $206m in the second quarter of 2021 increased 9% compared to $189m in the second quarter of 2020.
The company's other aftermarket brands sales were up +80% compared to the second quarter of 2020. Gross profit increased 32% to $63m or 26.2% of sales in the second quarter of 2021, compared to $48m or 22.9% of sales in the second quarter of 2020. Gross profit percentage improved during the quarter due to higher volume and increased pricing.
Parts, Garments and Accessories ("PG&A") sales increased 35% for the 2021 second quarter, with all categories and business segments growing sales during the quarter.
International sales to customers outside of North America, including PG&A, totaled $311m for the second quarter of 2021, up 64% from the same period in 2020. All regions realized significant sales increases year over year.

North American consumer retail sales for Indian Motorcycles increased high-twenties percent during the second quarter of 2021 in a mid-to-heavyweight two-wheel motorcycle industry that was up mid-thirties percent.

2021 Business Outlook - Given the 2021 first half results, and the expected continued solid retail demand and current dealer pre-order sales from consumers, the Company is increasing its full year earnings guidance and now expects adjusted net income to be in the range of $9.35 to $9.60 per diluted share, compared with adjusted net income of $7.74 per diluted share for 2020.
Full year 2021 sales guidance was narrowed and is now expected to be in the range of $8,375 to $8,500m, up 19 to 21%.


LeMans Appoints Paul Langley as New Chairman

Fred Fox founded LeMans in the basement of his house in 1967 and since then has dedicated his life to building LeMans into a leading global powersports distribution company with 1,100 + employees and eight warehouses. 

Indeed, Fred's drive and determination has done much to shape the parts and accessory aftermarket we have today, and his leadership and the team he has built have made major contributions to the businesses his company buys from and sells to.
However, on reaching 85 years of age, Fred has decided to slow down a little in the new role of Chairman Emeritus. Paul Langley has been named Chairman of LeMans.
"I have enjoyed a strong partnership with LeMans for the past twenty plus years and know that LeMans is one of the most successful and well managed companies in our industry," said Paul. "I am honored to serve as Chairman, which is a privilege I must earn each day forward.
"There will be a steep learning curve, new problems to solve, and I look forward to working with familiar and new faces in our electrifying industry. Having Fred close by affords me the benefit of tapping into his wisdom on a regular basis."
LeMans is the parent company of Parts Unlimited, Drag Specialties, Parts Canada and Parts Europe.  Paul is no stranger to senior powersports industry management roles, having successfully served in leadership roles with S&S Cycle, Vance & Hines and Dynojet.


AFT Round 8 Appalachian H-D Half-Mile
Port Royal Speedway, PA., July 24, 2021

Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle
Reigning Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) denied Brandon Price (No. 92 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) a first-career AFT victory in a spectacular inaugural Port Royal Half-Mile presented by Appalachian Harley-Davidson at Port Royal Speedway, Port Royal, Pennsylvania (July 24, 2021).

One day after dominating the pre-race test, Price looked more than capable of doing the same in Saturday's Main event. The Mission Roof Systems rider worked his way up from outside the top five and into the lead with apparent ease, grabbing the lead just a minute-and-a-half into the contest.
It took the remaining eight-and-a-half minutes for Bauman to reel him back in, frequently employing a very wide line that provided the requisite momentum when it came time for the decisive strikes - Californian-turned-Pennsylvanian Bauman threw in a pair of hard passes over the race's final two laps to put Price behind him and keep him there to the checkered flag for the 19th win of his career.
Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) translated his first-ever Mission Challenge win into the early lead. However, he ultimately found himself overhauled by Price, Bauman, and, finally, Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), who snatched away the final spot on the podium.
Fifth went to Davis Fisher (No. 67 BMC Racing/Dick Wall 60 Indian FTR750) by a mere 0.008 seconds over Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma City FTR750). Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) finished an uncharacteristic seventh. Bauman left Port Royal with a 25-point championship lead over Robinson (164-139), with Mees in third at 133.

AFT Singles
Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) took sole command of the AFT Singles championship by adding a third victory to his 2021 title campaign. It didn't come easily though - the Australian was forced to go back and forth with a hard-charging Kody Kopp (No. 143 Smartop/Jones Honda/Latus Motors CRF450R), whose performance went a long way to fully justifying the rookie's preseason hype.
Kopp took second from high-line maestro Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Mission Roof Systems KTM 450 SX-F) by 0.022-seconds. Trevor Brunner (No. 21 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) and Trent Lowe (No. 48 WBR/Suzuki Motor of America RM-Z450) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), the 2019 AFT Singles champion, earned his first win of the season with a large contingent of home-state fans cheering him on.
Gauthier shook free from 2018 AFT Singles king and fellow Pennsylvanian Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07) relatively early. He then went about building up his advantage on the way to a blowout victory, stating afterwards that "I can't thank the Vance & Hines guys enough for giving me an awesome motorcycle."
Title leader and holeshot expert Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) made Gauthier's breakthrough a bit easier by stumbling off the start from pole. By the race's midpoint, Texter clawed his way into a three-way battle with Bromley and 2020 AFT Singles champ Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07).
Despite taking part in his first-ever oval race aboard a twin-cylinder (he earlier won his class debut at the Atlanta Super TT), Daniels overcame the twin challenge presented by Texter and Bromley to lock down second spot with Texter third, for an imposing 31-point class championship lead after this eighth race of the season, with Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) fourth, ahead of Bromley's Yamaha (fifth) by 0.007 seconds.
With no races during the Sturgis Rally this year, next up will be the Mission Foods New York Short Track I & II doubleheader, presented by Mad Max Indian Motorcycle at Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, New York, August 13-14; the Peoria, Il. TT (August 21st); the Memphis Shades Springfield Mile I & II (September 4th and 5th); the Sacramento Mile I & II (September 11th and 12th), followed by what is presently slated to be the final race of the season, the Charlotte Half-Mile on Friday October 8.
However, with the DuQuoin Mile proving to be the season's second weather-induced cancelation on July 17, there may be an addition to the remaining schedule to be announced.

Mission Super Twins Presented by S&S Cycle
1. Briar Bauman - Indian FTR750, Indian Motorcycle/Progressive
2. Brandon Price - Indian FTR750, Indian Motorcycle, Mission Foods/Roof Systems
3. Jared Mees - Indian FTR750, Indian Motorcycle/Progressive
4. Jarod Vanderkooi - Indian FTR750, Mission Foods/Roof Systems
5. Davis Fisher - Indian FTR750, BMC Racing/Dick Wall 60/Roof Systems

1. Max Whale - KTM 450 SX-FFE, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2. Kody Kopp - Honda CRF450R, Smartop/Jones Honda/Latus Motors
3. Morgen Mischler - KTM 450 SX-F, Mission Foods/ Roof Systems DFW
4. Trevor Brunner - Honda CRF450R, American Honda/Progressive Insurance
5. Trent Lowe - Suzuki RMZ 450, WBR/Suzuki Motor of America

Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
1. Dalton Gauthier - Harley-Davidson XG750R, D&D Cycles, Vance & Hines, Boswells H-D
2. Dallas Daniels - Yamaha MT-07
3. Cory Texter - Yamaha MT-07, G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing
4. Johnny Lewis - Royal Enfield 650, Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield
5. Dan Bromley - Yamaha MT-07, Memphis Shades, Vinson Construction

News Briefs


Airspeeder (based out of South Australia) is the world's first electric flying car racing series. Yes, you read that right. The brainchild of a certain Matt Pearson, who runs Alauda - "the world's first performance electric flying car manufacturer" - it is hoped that the planned global race series will eventually see a full grid of eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) craft, manufactured by Alauda, managed by individual teams, and operated by elite pilots, compete at heights of up to 40 m off the ground and at top speeds of 200 km/h. The air races will take place on electronically created tracks and be streamed globally, minimizing the environmental impact of more complex logistics and infrastructure. Alauda's Mk 3 is described as "the world's first fully functional electric flying racing car." Pod racing anyone?

Alisa Clickenger and North Carolina based Women's Motorcycle Tours have announced Mad Maps as the Official Mapping Partner for the 2021 Suffragists Centennial Motorcycle Ride July 31-August 20, 2021.

AFT has signed SUPER73 as the Official Electric Bicycle for the 2021 season. "SUPER73 has created a unique brand that skilfully fuses motorcycle heritage with today's youth culture. Merging segment-defining style, thoughtful design, responsible manufacturing technology and an incredibly fun riding experience, SUPER73 has helped to define the e-bike category since its introduction in 2016." Features include aluminum alloy frame, inverted coil-spring fork, rear coilover monoshock, disc brakes and a 960 watt-hour battery with multi-class rider modes accessed through the SUPER73 smartphone app.

During the Get On! Moto Festival in Texas in May, "the motorcycle industry took an important step toward expanding its audience." Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoaches helped more than 130 people experience the thrill of their first ride. "In just 30-45 minutes, participants - who had little to no prior experience - were able to get a glimpse of what it's like to ride, in the paddock area at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth."

The Progressive IMS Outdoors Tour is partnering with Strider and non-profit 'All Kids Bike'. Via the Discover The Ride 'Kids Zone' program, in conjunction with Strider, the reimagined 2021 event series will introduce a fleet of bikes and an educational PE curriculum to nine elementary schools across the U.S. "The Kids Zone with Strider, the latest addition to Discover The Ride, will elevate the industry-leading new rider program by introducing two experiential courses geared toward all riders ages two through 15 at each stop along the 2021 tour. Furthermore, to complement the onsite attraction and extend support to the local community, the organizers of the Progressive IMS Outdoors tour join the 'All Kids Bike' movement dedicated to teaching all children in America how to ride in kindergarten PE classes."

Alisa Clickenger and North Carolina based Women's Motorcycle Tours have announced sponsorship by brick and mortar PG&A retailer Cycle Gear, part of the Comoto Group. Additionally, Cycle Gear will provide marketing support to increase visibility and reach for the 2021 Suffragists Centennial Motorcycle Ride - which culminates at the Women's Motorcycle Conference, Arlington, VA, on August 19-22, 2021. "With 151 stores in 38 states, and with their terrific customer service, they're the perfect partner for our expansive and historic cross-country event," said Clickenger.

The Bagger Racing League is taking over the 14th annual Legends Ride at the Sturgis Rally (Monday, Aug. 9, 2021). The run will set off from historic Deadwood and head to the Buffalo Chip led by ride captains from the Bagger Racing League. The first 200 sign-ups for this year's ride will get free access to the Stone Temple Pilots concert that night at the Buffalo Chip.

AFT will return to the Cal Expo Fairgrounds after a two-year hiatus for the legendary Sacramento Mile with a first ever doubleheader weekend on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday 12.

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

NAMZ Custom Cycle Products

Wiring Products and Lighting Modules for Indian and Victory Motorcycles

Always striving to "make it easy for you to do it right!", Oreland, Pennsylvania based NAMZ Custom Cycle Products has spent over 21 years coming up with "solutions for problems that shouldn't exist."

Badlands plug-n-play Victory front run/turn module for Cross Country 2011-up.

President and Chief Technical Officer Jeff Zielinski says NAMZ has always been best known for its range of wiring and lighting products for Harley models, "but did you know we also make products for Indian and Victory motorcycles too?"
"If you're installing new handlebars, you may be interested in our handlebar extension kits for both Indian and Victory models (NHCX-I24, NHCX-ID24, NHCX-V24 and NHCX-VD24), and we also have heated grip extensions for Indian motorcycles as well (NHGX-I24).
"Not only do we sell wiring products for Indian and Victory motorcycles, but we also offer Badlands lighting modules for both brands. We have illuminator modules with built-in load equalizers which add run-brake-turn functions to existing turn signals, which we have available for both Indian and Victory models."
Indian 24" complete handlebar control extension harness, fits '14-up Indian Chief and Springfield models.

Run-brake-turn dynamic and static sequential modules for Indian and Victory motorcycles are designed for three LEDs per side and provide sequential flashing turn signal functions. Dynamic modules function to turn each LED light on and off individually before the next light in the sequence, whereas with the static modules, each light will turn on in sequence before turning off in the same order.
"Our OEM brake light eliminator for Indian models (IHL-IND-S) removes brake light function from rear turn signals for all Indian Scout models (except Scout Bobber) and allows for the use of any aftermarket taillight to work as run-brake without codes. It is designed to work with OEM turn signals with labeled factory connectors for easy installation.
"We also offer several universal lighting modules for custom applications for use with additional motorcycle manufacturers." 

Plug-n-play taillight eliminator for '14-up Scout.

NAMZ is celebrating 21 years in business, providing "world class" electrical components, LED lighting (Letric brand), 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 the company's website.


American Prime Manufacturing Inc.

Comp Master Clutches

American Prime Manufacturing Inc., located in Southern California, manufactures and distributes clutch products (among other transmission related components), many of them specifically made to replace or repair products manufactured by Rivera and Primo.
Company President Ben Kudon says: "We specialize in Comp Master brand clutches for American V- twins, but we also manufacture a wide range of other parts - all detailed on our website."

Severe duty performance replacement clutch pack for 1056-0002 Comp Master clutch and Rivera pro clutch

Ben says that the Comp Master clutches outperform their OE counterparts, "from any angle, and they are manufactured and assembled right here in the U.S.A.
"They are designed and manufactured with quality and reliability uppermost, so dealers can rest assured that their customers are well looked after. All our Comp Master clutches are easy to adjust and provide reliable, trouble-free operation.


Complete Comp Master clutch kit, fits 1990-1997 Big Twins with primary chain drive

"Comp Masters are assembled with care from quality components, not mass-produced from inferior materials in order to be able to save a penny. All the materials used are from high-quality billet and then machined to exacting tolerances.
"Our three different diaphragm springs give dealers a choice of stock-like performance with our black spring to our silver competition spring for performance motors, and finally our gold spring for race applications.   


Steel inner drive hub, fits tapered main shaft Big Twins 1936-1984

"All our friction plates are covered with our proprietary carbon Kevlar friction material, which produces aggressive engagement while transmitting power fluidly. Our friction plates also provide more surface area for better engagement and slip-free riding if adjusted correctly."



Beringer 4-Piston Rear M-8 Softail Caliper

Noted French brakes specialist Beringer - a long-time favorite with high-performance engineers and customizers - has this new 4-piston axial rear brake caliper design (with adapter plate) for H-D M-8 Softails from 2018 and up (excepting for FXDR).

Compatible with the original rotor, or can be mounted with a Beringer 291 mm rotor, it is CNC- machined from an aeronautical aluminum and developed with the deep, long-term experience that Beringer has gained in domestic, European and worldwide motorcycle competition classes and championships of all kinds, at the highest levels.
"Thanks to innovations and unique technical solutions, these calipers have the advantage of responding more quickly and providing riders with exceptional braking feel." Available in 12 colors, it features four durable and powerful 27 mm pistons and is sold with matched sintered metal pads.



Power Commander V - 2020 Indian Challenger

Dynojet has updated its range of Power Commander V applications to include the 2020 Indian Challenger. This fuel-only unit will optimize the fuel curve for any added aftermarket accessories.
"This sleek module seamlessly optimizes the air/fuel ratio without directly changing the ECU, meaning that it can be easily uninstalled to revert back to the factory default settings. It takes the guesswork out of pairing efficiency with performance.

"Better than ever (and smaller than ever), Power Commander V now has a fuel change range of -100/+250%, giving the best mix of performance and fuel efficiency at all times. This fuel tuner holds two maps at a time for multiple drive options (via the Power Commander V map switch accessory), as well as ten throttle position columns. The plug-and-play kit can be installed discreetly underneath the seat."
Dynojet has created and tested tunes for a variety of aftermarket parts compatible with the 2020 Indian Challenger, allowing riders to upgrade their ride. It comes with Power Core software that connects dyno runs with fuel tuners "to unlock the ride’s potential."
It is upgradeable with additional features such as auto-tune and launch control (included on fuel and ignition models, available through the ignition module accessory on all other models). Analog input allows the install of any 0-5 volt sensor and to build an adjustment table based on its inputs such as boost or temperature. It easily connects to a computer via USB, ships with a one-year warranty and each cylinder can be mapped individually and for each gear, giving riders more granular control.


Klock Werks

Klock Werks 'Billboard Flare' for Indian Scout

Mitchell, South Dakota based Klock Werks says "our goal is to provide stability for the rider" with its latest 'Flare' windshield.  It "improves the air pocket for the rider" compared to other Scout windshield designs.
Leveraging Brian Klock's "years of air management experience from racing and setting land speed records at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats, as well as on the road, the 'Flare' is available for 2015+ Indian Scout and 2016+ Indian Scout Sixty motorcycles. The 'Flare' windshield measures 21.5" tall (measured from the top of the headlight cut-out to the top of the shield) and 21" wide."

The addition of the 'Flare Wings' for Indian Scout motorcycles allows for increased torso-area wind deflection. "The 'Flare Wings' divert air from underneath the windshield to help eliminate the side buffeting and swirl experienced when riding a stock setup. Thirty degrees of adjustment allows the rider to tailor the air to their needs.
"The patented design features a 'flip', found at the top of the shield, to create an improved pocket of air for the rider and passenger. The 'hips', located on either side of the shield, add stability by creating downforce. As with other 'Flare' products, the 'Billboard Flare' and 'Flare Wings' are made from polycarbonate and hard coated for additional abrasion resistance."
"Our love of the Indian Motorcycle brand made it an easy choice for us to focus our design efforts. Creating a better riding experience for Scout owners is our top priority," said Brian Klock, President of Klock Werks. "We continue to use information we learned from racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats to inform design decisions."
Klock Werks set more than fifteen land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Its time racing created opportunities to test designs and products in arguably some of the toughest conditions on Earth.
"Years of racing and setting records, along with the time we spend riding on the street, creates an opportunity to give riders the best testing and technology we have to offer," Klock added. "The technology we used to race is exactly what your customers get when you sell them a Klock Werks Flare windshield."



KessTech Exhaust Sound Management for Indian Big Twins

German exhaust sound specialist KessTech (part of the MEC/Motorcycle Equipment Company consortium with Austrian custom parts specialist Cult-Werk) has announced that it now has sound managed exhausts available for all MY21 Indian heavyweight models.


Custom configurable, KessTech says it has been making H-D and other exhausts "for more than 30 years. What began as mechanically adjustable exhausts are today a piece of High-Tech Made in Germany.


"KessTech is the market leader for adjustable exhaust systems with an EU type approval for motorcycles. With more than 55 highly motivated and specialized employees, the company produces these high-quality systems at its headquarters in Obertheres, Germany. More than 50,000 adjustable exhaust systems have been sold."


Wednesday 21 July 2021


Harley Delivers "Strong Second Quarter Financial Results"; Launches H-D1 Marketplace

"I'm pleased with the pace of improvements and with the strong quarter that we have delivered," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson.
"We are starting to see the initial proof points as we execute our Hardwire Strategy, as demonstrated by these positive financial results. We are encouraged by the signs of consumer positivity in the market; however, we remain mindful of the significant supply chain challenges that we expect to continue to impact the sector."

Results In Brief from the H-D News Release…

  • Delivered Q2 GAAP diluted EPS of $1.33, up $1.93 over Q2 2020
  • Q2 H-D, Inc. total revenue up 77 percent over Q2 2020
  • North America Q2 retail sales up 43% over Q2 2020 and up 5% over Q2 2019
  • Delivered strong Motorcycles and Related Products (Motorcycles) segment gross margin and operating margin driven by the Rewire product portfolio adjustments
  • Delivered Financial Services segment Q2 2021 operating income growth of $90 million over Q2 2020 driven by a lower provision for credit losses
  • Launched LiveWire as a standalone brand and introduced LiveWire ONE - the electric motorcycle built for the urban experience, with the power and range to take you beyond
  • Revealed Sportster S, the all-new Sportster motorcycle built on the Revolution Max platform
  • Launched H-D1 Marketplace on July 21st, 2021 as the ultimate online destination for pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles in North America.

Second Quarter 2021 Results


Q2 consolidated revenue was up 77 percent versus Q2 2020 driven by strong growth in the Motorcycles and Related Products segment. Bottom-line results reflect significant operating income improvement with strong results in both the Motorcycles and the Financial Services segments.

Global retail motorcycle sales in the second quarter were up 24 percent, driven by a strong Q2 North America retail performance. EMEA Q2 retail sales declines were a result of the company's decision not to continue selling Street and legacy Sportster motorcycles in Europe. Latin America retail sales were impacted by a reduction in dealers and pricing actions across the portfolio, which were executed as part of the Rewire strategy.

Revenue from the Motorcycles and Related Products segment was up significantly during the second quarter primarily driven by a 100 percent increase in wholesale shipments as the company lapped last year's COVID-19 related shutdown.
Parts and Accessories second quarter revenue was up 32 percent while General Merchandise was up 47 percent over Q2 2020.
Second quarter gross margin was up 14.5 percentage points to Q2 prior year while second quarter operating margin finished up 32 percentage points over Q2 prior year due to volume gains behind lapping last year's COVID-19 related shutdown, improved motorcycle unit mix and lower restructuring expense.

Financial Services segment operating income was up significantly over prior year in the second quarter, primarily driven by a lower provision for credit losses.

Other Results
Harley-Davidson generated $644 million of cash from operating activities year-to-date in 2021, $34 million favorable to year-to-date 2020. Cash and cash equivalents were $1.7 billion at the end of the second quarter, down $2.1 billion to the end of Q2 2020 as the company has intentionally brought down cash balances as it believes the pandemic-related liquidity concerns have eased.

Tax Rate - The company's second quarter effective tax rate was 25 percent.

Dividends - The company paid cash dividends of $0.15 per share in Q2 2021.

As a result of its Q2 performance, for the full-year 2021, the company now expects:

  • Financial Services segment operating income growth of 75 to 85 percent, an increase from the previously communicated range of 50 to 60 percent.
  • GAAP Motorcycles segment operating income margin of 6 to 8 percent given the recent EU's decision to keep the current tariff at 31 percent while tariff negotiations occur. If the company is successful in materially mitigating the additional EU tariffs in 2021, the company expects the operating income margin would be 7 to 9 percent.

Additionally, for the full-year 2021, the company continues to expect:

  • Motorcycles segment revenue growth to be 30 to 35 percent.
  • Capital expenditures of $190 million to $225 million.
  • Cash allocation priorities remain to first fund growth through The Hardwire initiatives, then to pay dividends. Given the company's strong cash position, the company may also choose to execute discretionary share repurchases.

Get On! Moto Fest

Team AMD USA Qualifier -
Get On! Moto Fest

Texas Motor Speedway, May 20 - 23, 2021

With the world tentatively headed towards a post-pandemic reboot, industry veteran Bob Kay and custom bike builder and show organizer Kevin Dunworth operated the first in their program of 'TEAM AMD USA' world Championship of Custom Bike Building qualifiers - hosted by the Get On! Moto Fest in Texas in May.

Builders from all over the USA headed for the Texas Motor Speedway at Fort Worth just a week after the U.S. CDC lifted its travel restrictions and mask mandates - all hopeful to qualify for an expenses paid trip to represent the United States custom bike building community at the next AMD World Championship. The next 'AMD' ('AMD' XIV - postponed from 2020) is presently slated for INTERMOT, Cologne, Germany, in October 2022. 


The structure of this competition was 'winner takes all' prizing with trophies for second to fifth places. "As usual, we had some heavy U.S. hitters bringing some amazing builds," says Kevin. "The first thing we did was to have everyone meet for a morning ride on the Friday of set-up. This was a 22-mile ride through the Texas countryside with a medallion handed to each builder for completion of the route.  

Winner: Rick Bray/RKB Kustom Speed, 'King Solomon', 1981 Shovelhead 76 ci

"There is a handicap for any bike that does not complete the ride under its own power - come the judging, it can't get the same full points as the bikes that do complete the ride. So, compared to display only shows, the heat was on and you could feel the tension as many negotiated their custom starting procedures, or kicked these beautiful machines to life.   
"With the test ride done and spectators starting to gather around the area, the unique 'in it together' camaraderie of the now established 'AMD' vibe kicked in with all the builders joining forces to get the bikes positioned and the display completed - helping each other and getting the bikes clean and ready for the crowds. The brotherhood of common goals and respect for each other superseding the underlying seriousness of the competition in a very cool display of shared commitment to the art.
"Once the display was ready and the event officially open, the comments from many industry peers and first time spectators were music to the ears of the competing builders. Mostly there was astonishment that the bikes had been ridden hard just hours before - the ultimate compliment and appreciation of the high standard of design and craftsmanship on show - the ride and the display showcasing the quality of the engineering and the marriage of form and function."
Second place: Ryan Gore/Paper Street Customs, 1978 Harley Shovelhead

Third place: Colt Wrangler, 1977 Yamaha XS650 'Theory Coffee Build'

Bob Kay headed up the chairman duties, with Team AMD USA team member Brian Buttera and Kevin rounding out the three-man judging panel. After the scores had been weighted for the ride, the Peer Group Review Judging (where the builders themselves cast votes - not for their own bikes though!) counted for around 50 percent of the judged score.
"Yes, the weekend saw some tough weather," said Kevin, "and as has been widely reported, the AFT races on the Speedway had to be canceled, but the bike show was under cover and with the hardcore aficionados not being put off, the visitor numbers may have been lighter than expected, but they were a knowledgeable and experienced crowd.
"Bob Kay did the MC duties at the awards ceremony - the main award, with the place on Team AMD USA, was the inaugural John Parham Memorial Award. John had been involved in motorcycle events and shows around the Midwest from the 1970s and founded the company that became the J&P Cycles we know today in 1979.
"John's family and peers were in the crowd, initially unaware of the tribute that we were about to pay to the man who did so much to shape the custom parts industry that we know today.
"With the public votes, builder 'Peer Group' votes and ride points tallied, the winner of the inaugural John Parham Memorial Award, and the trip to represent the USA at the AMD World Championship, was won by Rick Bray (RKB Kustom Speed) of Lemoore, California, with his 1981 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead 'King Solomon'.

Fourth place: Anthony Robinson/Gasoline & Coffee, '73 IronHead

Fifth place: Shaun and Aaron Guardado, Suicide Machine, carbureted 2020 H-D M-8

"Ryan Gore of Paper Street Customs (Fort Collins, Co.) took 2nd with another Shovelhead; Colt Wrangler (Colt Wrangler Motorcycles, Mason, Tx.) was 3rd with a Yamaha XS650 'Theory Coffee Build'; Anthony Robinson (Gasoline & Coffee, Lancaster, Ca.) scooped 4th with a Harley Sportster, and Aaron and Shaun Guardado of Suicide Machine (Long Beach, Ca.) were 5th with a Softail. The People's Choice award went to AJ Harris of Command Co Moto - a veteran owned and operated motorcycle shop right here in the DFW area.
"Despite confusion about post covid travel, and conflicting events elsewhere in the United States on the same weekend, both Bob Kay and I feel we got great feedback for the event and nothing but compliments about the contest, the way it was staged and operated.
"Our thanks to Comoto and its staff for their professionalism and helping to create a display and environment that showcased the quality and craftsmanship that the builders brought, and for the welcoming and enthusiastically supportive atmosphere that they created for the competitors who made the journey.
"The feedback has been exceptional, especially for a first year event. Many builders have already been asking about the next date. We are just as determined to see this develop into a fixture on the American Custom Bike Show circuit as Comoto are to see the Get On! Moto Fest itself prosper and establish itself as a genuine new force on the American motorcycle event landscape."

News Briefs

Alisa Clickenger and North Carolina based Women's Motorcycle Tours have partnered with Indian Motorcycle and Polaris Slingshot for the Women's Motorcycle Festival and Conference (August 19-22) - "promoting the event and supporting conference attendees for the 4-day landmark event in Arlington, VA. When Polaris asks for rider input, they do indeed listen. They are doing an outstanding job of supporting female riders. That's the reason so many women are turning to the Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot brands of motorcycles," said Alisa Clickenger, Women's Motorcycle Tours' Founder and Event Producer.

German based customizer and parts and accessory designer and manufacturer Wannabe Choppers has signed with Paughco for North American distribution of its product lines. Owned and operated by Ricki de Haas, Wannabe has been no stranger to the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building and custom bike show scene in general in Europe, but these days its focus is on P&A development with a distinctively styled and always ergonomic take on how good custom parts should work and look. In Europe its products are distributed by Motorcycle Storehouse.

Victorville H-D in California has been sold (by 28-year owners Cary and Marianne) to Rami Yanni of Wise Auto Group. Located on the southwestern edge of the Mojave Desert, it sits on the I-15, off the iconic Route 66 and opposite the Roy Rogers Museum. The sale was transacted by Performance Brokerage Services. Rami Yanni is no stranger to the Harley brand - the purchase of Victorville is his fourth H-D store. Rami currently owns H-D of Yuba City, California, Redwood H-D in Eureka, California, and Reno H-D in Nevada.

New River Gorge H-D (Hico, West Virginia) has closed. The store was a full-service shop with motorcycle sales and service, parts, apparel and merchandise sales. It was opened by Dennis Di Filippo in 2004 as a secondary location to his West Virginia H-D of South Charleston (formerly H-D of Charleston/Dennis H-D).

Through its Motorcycle Equipment Company (MEC) joint venture with Austrian custom parts specialist Kult-Werk, German sound management exhaust specialist KessTech has agreed a partnership deal with Austrian exhaust manufacturer Remus. The two companies will "work closely together on future product development and sales." From now on, the KessTech brand will be associated with non-adjustable exhaust systems without valve control, as well as its established electronically adjustable exhaust system technology - distributing adjustable and non-adjustable systems for Harley, Indian and BMW models.

April 10th and 11th saw some 25,000 bikers in France and Belgium protesting the EU decision to finally mandate standardized technical monitoring standards for motorcycles across the region. Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands have already rejected the introduction of the Periodic Technical Inspection (PTI). The present testing regime in EU nations is variable, with some countries not requiring such checks at all. The EU claims a causal link between motorcycle technical standards and accident rates - something that is hotly contested by riders and some researchers alike.

Celebrating "a decade of riding dapper", on Sunday, May 23rd, the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR) - a men's health charity motorcycling event - raised an incredible $4.1m in 2021, taking the global total of funds raised since the event began to over $31.5m. Some 65,000 classic and vintage motorcycle enthusiasts "came together" in 913 cities and 116 countries around the world. In 2021, the funds raised by the event have been donated directly to its global charity partner, Movember. Prizing for 2021 included four brand new motorcycles from Triumph Motorcycles. Additional supporting partners in 2021 included London based Hedon Helmets, Belstaff apparel and ELF (a France based brand of TOTAL - the world's 5th largest oil company). The DGR was founded in Sydney, Australia, in 2012 by Mark Hawwa.

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

Tucker Powersports

Tucker Powersports Launches New Boating and PWC Product Line

Tucker Powersports has returned to the personal watercraft (PWC) and boating business with an extensive catalog of accessories, parts and apparel - this marks a return to this segment after a fifteen-year hiatus. 

"Nearly 1,500 of our current customers sell watercraft in their dealerships," said Brad Turner, Tucker's VP of Sales. "Those dealers and their customers are demanding greater access to PWC accessories and gear, it's only natural that Tucker will have the products they need."
The new Tucker Water catalog features a broad range of products for watercraft owners. Wearables include life jackets, fishing shirts and shorts, gloves, aqua socks, boots and sunglasses. Replacement parts include marine-grade batteries, engine components like gaskets, filters, fuel pumps, regulators, starters, stators and bilge pumps and grips. There are also trailer parts and upgrades along with safety equipment, cleaners and waxes, anchors, lubricants and tools.
Brand names found in the 132-page catalog include Airhead, Gator Waders, West Marine, 100%, Yuasa, NGK, Motion Pro, K&N, ProTaper, Scott, Kenda, QuadBoss, Red Line, Maxima, Motul and BikeMaster.
"This is an exciting and rapidly growing market segment," continued Turner. "We plan to expand this product line with more gear and more great brands. When a dealer needs products for on-road, off-road, two-wheels, four-wheels, e-bicycles, scooters or great gear for their watersports, Tucker will be there to help."

MIC - 'Ride With Us'

MIC - 'Ride With Us' Market Expansion Initiative

Officially launched in June, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC - Irvine, California) says that its 'Ride With Us' program is the powersports industry's first multifaceted market expansion program.
"In late 2019 at MIC's Communication Symposium, we shared the MIC's vision for growing ridership - more riders, riding more," said Paul Vitrano, chairman of the Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors and senior vice president and senior assistant general counsel of Polaris. 

"We were excited to begin operationalizing the plan in early 2020, but the pandemic caused us to pause and refocus our efforts on helping powersports businesses remain open."
Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the MIC, continued, saying: "While we were navigating the coronavirus, we were also working hard to prepare for the post-pandemic environment. Our preparation included a number of initiatives tied to each phase of the new rider journey - inspire, explore, engage and integrate - as well as bringing on new talent and supporting new-rider education initiatives.
"Ride With Us is purposefully being launched within the first post-coronavirus riding season, and we will be rolling out various tools and campaign elements to help grow the industry. We also will be announcing the Vice President of Market Expansion to execute the expansion strategy."
The MIC says it is leading a task force composed of industry-leading marketing talent to help develop the program. The task force provided direction on the brand, logo and style guide for the 'Ride with Us' campaign and will deliver additional elements of the program, including social media content syndication and social media best practices for MIC dealer members.
As a part of the 'Ride with Us' program, the MIC is also delivering new 45-minute first-ride experiences for people who have never ridden a motorcycle before. The activation was beta-tested at Comoto's three-day Get On! Moto Fest in Texas in May.
"Our industry has needed a unifying market expansion effort targeting potential and returning riders, and the MIC is delivering it with Ride With Us," said Vitrano. "We urge all industry stakeholders to rally around this initiative as it rolls out to support people at every stage of their journey to becoming a lifelong rider."


Polaris Names Chris Wolf as New Chief Product Excellence, Quality and Safety Officer

Polaris has announced that Chris Wolf has been named to the role of Chief Product Excellence, Quality and Safety Officer to replace Todd Gross, the existing Vice President of Global Product Safety and Quality, who is to retiring.

Polaris CEO Mike Speetzen said: "Polaris has set out to make product safety and quality a competitive advantage and accelerate how we deliver on our commitment to product excellence across all our brands and businesses globally. Elevating this role reinforces those goals and the importance of this work. Over the course of his career, Chris has been a terrific advocate for our customers. Along with his extensive leadership experience and robust engineering and technical background, Chris' deep understanding of our businesses, products and processes will be a tremendous asset to our efforts to deliver safe, quality vehicles."
Wolf will lead the Global Product Safety and Quality team and continue to serve as a member of the company's executive leadership team, reporting to Ken Pucel, Executive Vice President of Global Operations, Engineering and Lean.

Bagger Nation

Updated 'SHARKNADO' Kit Packs Added Bite

Paul Yaffe's Phoenix, Arizona based Bagger Nation first dropped its award-winning 'Sharknado' fairing into the crowded Bagger parts and accessory waters back in September last year.
The reaction, internationally, has been enthusiastic and 12 months later Yaffe has updated the package to offer more parts and components such as the headlight and wiring harness and an additional 'Flare' windshield option.

"Our 'Sharknado' fairing certainly caught the imagination of the market last year with a unique and completely new, aggressive style for Sport Glides and other H-D models (including Fat Bob). We have a talented crew of craftsmen here at Bagger Nation and hand make the fairing right here in Phoenix.
"This mini shark nose profile will set your client's custom project apart. Each 'Sharknado' fairing includes our patent-pending integral EZ Mount system, which makes it a simple 'bolt-on' job for most applications."  
The 'Sharknado' utilizes the 2018 and later Fat Bob style LED headlight, and Bagger Nation are now able to offer a choice of two sizes of Klock 'Flare' tinted windshields. "The Klock Werks 'Flare' windshield not only enhances the lines of this style of fairing perfectly," says Paul, "but its advanced aerodynamics means even better handling and rider comfort."
The 'Sharknado' is 3-D formed from hand-laid composite, finished inside and out, and arrives in a pro-grade gelcoat finish ready for scuff and paint.
In addition to being able to add the 'Sharknado' headlight to their order, Bagger Nation's new headlight is 40% brighter, has a lower retail price point, and a full dealer margin. Dealers wanting to use or sell the 'Sharknado' can also add a Bagger Nation M-8 Softail turn signal wiring harness to make it even easier to install Bagger Nation Quad-Pod lights or any other aftermarket turn signals.
"Also new, if your customer wants a heads-up display, then just add the 'Sharknado' digital gauge plate to mount the new Softail digital gauge cluster to the fairing. This lightweight aluminum housing houses the digital gauge and creates a clean, finished look - if you order it at the same time as your fairing purchase, then our technicians will give it a professional factory installation at no extra cost."
The 'Sharknado' digital gauge plate requires the purchase of a Harley Softail digital gauge, but Bagger Nation now also offers the M-8 Softail instrument module harness for easy install of the Softail digital gauge to the inner fairing.
Among a slew of additional Bagger Nation options, customers can also add Paul Yaffe designed 'Quad-Pod' light pod kits for the 'Sharknado' fairing with daytime running lights "for a perfect custom signal install."



Keep It Clean with Moroso Air-Oil Separators

Exclusive to Boise, Idaho based HardDrive, the Moroso air-oil separator/catch can system keeps the H-D cylinder head breather system fully functional by filtering out the crankcase vapors, oil mist and condensation that normally vent to the intake system.
This will keep the air filter, throttle body, intake, pistons and valves free of excessive oil and carbon build-up.


Headquartered near New Haven, Ct., and with a specialty ignition wire manufacturing facility in Pa., Moroso Performance Products have been manufacturing oiling systems and oil system accessories for over 50 years. One of the world's most respected suppliers of automotive equipment for racing and street performance applications, Moroso manufactures over 4,000 products, from oil pans and oiling systems to ignition wire and components, valve covers, fuel system equipment, air cleaners, hard core racing tools, chassis and suspension equipment and numerous other performance parts. The company has an impressive list of customers, ranging from grassroots racers to top level NASCAR and NHRA/IHRA race teams.
Their air-oil separator/catch can system for Harley applications is different than others on the market. It separates the vapors breathing from the engine, collecting them in their air-oil separator/catch can system while clean, filtered air (rather than contaminated air) recirculates back into the intake.

The system plumbs inline of the breather system. Once the air-oil separator system fills, it is simply drained as a service item. This can be done at oil changes and normal service intervals. The two-piece design simply unscrews for easy cleaning and service. The system does not vent into the atmosphere like other breather kits on the market - keeping the oil in the canister.
It is available with a polished or black body for most H-D Twin Cam and M-8 Touring models and works with the stock and Screamin' Eagle air cleaners and selected Vance & Hines V02 and S&S teardrop air cleaner and filter applications.
For other and custom applications (including 1991 - 2013 Sportsters), Moroso offers a universal air-oil separator for air cleaners that do not bolt to the cylinder heads, or when factory breather bolts are not used with an air cleaner backing plate.
All kits include the Moroso billet air-oil separator/catch can, mounting bracket and hardware, 6 ft of 3/8" PCV compliant breather hose, two 3/8" barbed inlet fittings and installation instructions.

Moroso also offers high performance Ultra 40 spark plug wires as a stock upgrade for selected Touring (1980 to present), Softail (1984 to present), Dyna, FXR, XL (1986 to present), Shovelhead and Street models.
WPS/HardDrive ships to its dealers in the United States from some one million plus sq ft of distribution center space at facilities in Midway, Georgia; Fresno, California; Midlothian, Texas; Ashley, Indiana; Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania and its Boise, Idaho headquarters.


S&S Cycle

Serious Breathing for Serious Inches

S&S Cycle, the Viola, Wisconsin based home of 'Proven Performance' had quite an impact with its tuned induction air cleaner when it was first introduced a few years ago.
"Air flow is everything in a performance engine, and naturally it begins at the air filter," says S&S' David Zemla. "Factory units are downright boxy and can be pretty restrictive, so what’s the answer? Our new tuned induction air cleaner deals with these challenges with not one, but two air filters mounted to highly engineered runners.

"The tuned induction system utilizes laser cut tubes merged into a single collector and is fed by high flow air filters placed directly in an unobstructed air stream. The end result is maximum performance for your engine and a stylish package as well."
The tuned induction system offers twice the filtering area over stock intake systems and increases horsepower and torque across the rpm range.

The unique filters are washable and designed to last for years and can be paired with an available rain sock as well. Available in chrome or black and now in brushed stainless, the TIG welded intake is "the perfect solution for the performance and style-minded rider."
Fitment is available for most M-8 powered models as well as 2008-2017 Twin Cam Touring and Softails.



Zodiac Additions

Replica Linkert M88 Carburetor


Completely built in Europe from all new parts, this replica carburetor looks 100% the same as the original that is found on 1940 and later WLA and WLC 45 ci side valve (Army) models.

Final Drive Chain Conversion Sprockets for 2008-Up Touring

Convert from the stock final belt drive to chain without losing the cush drive system in the rear wheel. The adapter features two regular (OEM 9276B) wheel bearings and fits 2008-2016 Twin Cam Touring and 2017 to present Milwaukee-Eight Touring models.

5 3/4" Odyssee Bottom Mount LED Headlights

This EU-approved 5 3/4" (146 mm) diameter LED headlight has a high-intensity hi and low beam and position light. It has a heavy-duty reinforced bottom mount and comes prewired.


Custom Chrome Europe

Magna Power Will Change to RevTech Power

Custom Chrome Europe is rebranding its well-known Magna Power battery range under its popular RevTech brand - the RevTech Power AGM batteries are identical in construction to the Magna branded items and therefore CCE says it is able to continue to offer OEM quality Made in the USA AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries.

AGM are advanced lead-acid batteries that provide superior power to support the higher electrical demands of today's vehicles and start-stop applications. AGM offers better cycling performance and minimal gassing and acid leakage when compared with conventional lead-acid batteries.
Features of RevTech Power AGM batteries include secure and versatile poles with the blind hole (produced using a special drilling technique) ensuring 100% contact between the screw, cable and pole. The cables can be side or top mounted, and stainless steel battery pole screws prevent rust and corrosion.
RevTech Power batteries offer "very high cold starting performance, low discharge and arrive factory activated, pre-charged and maintenance-free."


Wednesday 14 July 2021


Next Generation Sportster Motorcycle Combines Unbridled Power with Contemporary Technology

Describing it as combining "unbridled power with contemporary technology," Harley-Davidson has now announced that it is to bring its long awaited 1,250 cc Revolution Max 60-degree custom V-twin to market.
In doing so, and in anticipation of the likely shorty-term demise of the existing line of XLs, Harley has badged it as the Sportster S - "an all-new sport custom motorcycle designed to deliver a thrilling riding experience that ushers in a new era of Sportster performance."
Highlighting the "on-demand torque" delivered by the 121 hp engine, basically the same power plant developed initially for the Pan America, Harley says that "a taut, lightweight chassis and premium suspension deliver responsive, intuitive handling" offering riders "extraordinary power and performance" and creating "a new standard for the most enduring Harley-Davidson model."

The Sportster S is slated to start reaching dealers in the fall, and although the MSRP is considerably higher than the price-point at which Sportsters have traditionally been positioned, at $14,999 Harley has continued the start-point pricing realism that it started to show with the Pan America and continued with the also recently announced LiveWire ONE.
"The Sportster S is the next all-new motorcycle built on the Revolution Max platform and sets a new performance standard for the Sportster line," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson. "This is a next generation Sportster defined by power, performance, technology and style. And it's part of our commitment to introduce motorcycles that align with our strategy to increase desirability and to drive the legacy of Harley-Davidson."
Harley says that "in profile, the Sportster S model appears crouched and powerful. The fuel tank and tail section frame the engine as the predominate centerpiece of the motorcycle. The massive front tire recalls the fenderless front end of a classic bobber, while the tail section, high-mount exhaust and slim solo seat draw inspiration from the Harley-Davidson XR750 flat tracker. The thick inverted forks and wide-profile tires suggest high-performance sport bike."
"Every visual design element of the Sportster S model is an expression of the motorcycle's raw power," said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design. "This is a wolf in wolf's clothing.
"The powertrain is highlighted with a Chocolate Satin finish on the lightweight magnesium engine covers. Textures, colors, finishes and details were selected to give the Sportster S model the look of a custom show bike that just happens to be parked in the owner's garage."
This new version of the latest Harley-Davidson liquid-cooled V-twin engine is tuned to make "tremendous torque at low rpm, with a torque curve that stays flat through the powerband - engine performance designed to deliver strong acceleration from a start with robust power through the mid-range." As with the Pan America, the engine is integrated into the vehicle as the central member of the chassis - minimizing overall weight. The use of lightweight materials helps achieve a desirable power-to-weight ratio. It has a US 3.1-gallon fuel tank and weighs in at 502 lbs. The high-mount 2-into-1-into-2 exhaust is "designed to produce a pleasing low-frequency tone."


The Sportster S model is equipped with a "host" of technologies designed to the enhance the riding experience. Three pre-programmed, selectable Ride Modes (Sport, Road and Rain) electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle, and the level of technology intervention.
Two Custom Modes may be used by the rider to create a set of performance characteristics to meet personal preference or for special situations. Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements by Harley-Davidson, "a collection of technologies, intended to enhance rider confidence during unexpected situations or adverse road conditions, are designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking, in a straight line or while in a turn."
A round, 4.0-inch-diameter TFT screen displays all instrumentation and supports infotainment generated by the rider's Bluetooth-equipped mobile device and helmet headset, including music, incoming and outgoing calls, and navigation supplied by the Harley-Davidson app. All-LED lighting includes a Daymaker Signature LED headlamp designed to produce a homogenous spread of light, eliminating distracting "hot spots." The headlamp has a "distinctive oval or capsule shape that adds style to the front end and will identify the Sportster S model to other riders and motorists."
The powertrain is also a stressed member of the chassis, eliminating the traditional frame, a design that significantly reduces motorcycle weight and results in a very stiff chassis that contributes to precise handling. A welded tubular steel trellis swingarm features a braced design and stamped X-member to further stiffen the chassis, "while its shape adds distinctive style to the motorcycle."

The Sportster S model is equipped with fully adjustable, premium front and rear suspension - SHOWA 43 mm inverted cartridge forks and a SHOWA piggyback reservoir rear shock.
The rear suspension features hydraulic pre-load adjustment using a convenient knob located on the left side of the motorcycle. Lightweight cast aluminum wheels with a staggered, five-spoke design are shod with wide Dunlop/Harley-Davidson Series GT503 tires.
Premium Brembo braking components produce outstanding braking feel and performance. The single front brake features a new Brembo radial monoblock four-piston caliper and a 320 mm diameter disc. The rear brake is a two-piston Brembo caliper and a 260 mm diameter disc.
Unladen seat height is 29.6 inches, low enough for most riders to get feet down at a stop. Brake and clutch hand levers are adjustable for reach, to best match rider hand size or preference. Harley optimistically states that the relaxed riding geometry created by the forward foot controls and a low handlebar put the Sportster S rider in an "aggressive posture on the bike" - a stance that Harley tacitly accepts as being less than optimal for this model by the availability of a mid-control conversion kit as an accessory option.
The aftermarket will no doubt be quick to additionally offer revised handlebar and triple tree layout options that are more in keeping with the nature of the new model's potential.
The Sportster S model is pre-wired for accessory heated hand grips for added comfort in cool weather and is equipped with two dedicated power points for heated riding gear (heated hand grips and heated riding gear/apparel each sold separately), plus a USB-C port for charging a phone or other device. An external ambient temperature sensor and a low-temp warning on the display screen alert the rider to changing conditions. Cruise control and a proximity-based security system are standard equipment. It is (initially) available in Vivid Black, Stone Washed White Pearl and Midnight Crimson.
In addition to the mid-controls kit, other accessory options include a pillion kit, solo seat, compact detachable windshield and expandable tailbag.