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Tuesday 29 November 2022

Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC)

SBMC - 21 Members and Counting


The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) was founded in September 2021 by KTM, Honda, Piaggio and Yamaha and has grown quickly - it now has 21 members (and counting).

Founded with the mission to accelerate the deployment of swappable battery systems by developing and promoting new common technical specifications towards global and open standardization, in its first six months, the consortium took essential initial steps at an incredible pace.

The aim is to ensure full interoperability of swapping batteries to facilitate their application and boost sustainable mobility.

An SBMC Summit was held in July 2022, with 40 of its representatives convening at the KTM Motohall in Mattighofen, Austria. 

"This event was the perfect occasion to reflect on the progress made over the consortium’s first semester of existence, and to set the scene for upcoming activities towards standardization.

"The vision, strategy and operations of the consortium were established across its members, the committees and working groups. The consortium was equipped with the proper tools and instruments to fulfill its ambitions. The set of relevant technical specifications was agreed upon, and the SBMC’s work streams on prototyping and standardization were successfully kicked off."

Strategic positions were also taken, among which are the acceptance of the SBMC as Formal Liaison Member to the CEN-CENELEC and membership in CEN-TC301 and CEN-CENELEC JTC-13. 

The three European Standardization Organizations that have been officially recognized by the European Union and by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as being responsible for developing and defining voluntary standards at European level are CEN (European Committee for Standardization), CENELEC (the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) and ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute).

"The consortium’s constructive approach has enabled it to overcome the technical challenges of developing interconnected and compatible systems. The SBMC is on track to achieve its goals, as planned, and can now count on the best available expertise in the world to do so."

The current members are: AVL, Ciklo, Fivebikes, Forsee Power, Hioki, Honda, Hyba, JAMA, Kawasaki, KTM, Kymco, Niu, Piaggio, Polaris, Roki, Samsung, Sinbon, Sumitomo, Suzuki, Swobbee, Vitesco, VeNetWork, Yamaha.

News Briefs

H-D was in sixth spot in market share terms for the first eight months of the year in Germany, having sold 5,821 units for a 6.57% market share. Inevitably, BMW remained market share leader in its home market, with seven models in the top 30 for a 21.56% share (19,098 units YTD), ahead of Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and KTM.

Zero is the electric motorcycle market leader in Germany for the first eight months of 2022 with 266 units sold for a 23.35% share of Germany's electric motorcycle market. Vmoto is second, with KTM third, Energica fourth and, interestingly, H-D in fifth with 33 units sold YTD for a 2.90% share in one of Europe's most receptive markets where the gospel of EV is concerned.

The 2023 Mission Foods AMA Flat Track Grand Championship is to run June 14-20 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin, Ill. This is the only event in the USA where amateur riders can compete for an AMA National No. 1 plate in amateur flat track racing.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), United States motorcycle thefts increased again in 2021, by 26% over the 2019 figure, having been down by -3% in 2020. California again leads the nation in total thefts with 9,345 bikes stolen, followed by Texas (4,263), Florida (3,698), New York (2,662) and Washington State (1,947). Of the approx. 52,000 bikes stolen nationally in 2011, Honda was the most commonly stolen (10,282), followed by Yamaha (8,185), Kawasaki (5,904), H-D (5,811) and Suzuki (4,890). If Jochen Zeitz is serious about wanting to restore Harley to its position as the most desirable motorcycle brand in America, he clearly has some work to do!

Responding to demand and opportunity, legendary British auto and motorcycle engine developer Ricardo is to open a hydrogen test facility at its Shoreham-by-Sea headquarters in southern England. "The state-of-the-art facility boasts test and advanced development capabilities both in alternative fuels and electric vehicles, supporting a range of hydrogen and fuel cell services for Ricardo's global customers."

Vancouver based Damon Motors announced an order book that had exceeded a $90m order backlog globally to October 2022, with the potential of exceeding $250m through international partnerships, like the one with Latin America's Auteco. Damon says it has over 3,500 waiting customers and is preparing a pilot production facility at San Rafael, California - over 25% of Damon's orders are from buyers in California. To prepare to scale manufacturing, Damon says it has also leased a 108,000 sq ft facility in Vancouver, Canada, which is being readied for world production.

Japanese made motorcycle exports to USA (250 cc+) were 38,008 units for the first seven months of 2022, down by -9.07% for the year-ago period. The corresponding figure a decade ago (2013) was 71,152 units, having peaked (in 21st century terms) at 249,000 units in 2006. The data is for the 'Big Four' Japanese manufacturers - Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Yamaha. Though all four have spread their production globally even more than ever in the past 20 years, including into the United States, most of America's higher value units are still manufactured in Japan.

Motorcycle registrations in Italy were +4.56% for the year to August 2022 at 99,226 units. Total PTW registrations in Italy for the period to end of August show an overall market that is in negative territory at -3.69% YTD (206,247 units). However, though down on 2021 so far, it is still the second best first eight months for the Italian PTW market since 2011. Of the YTD total, 107,021 were classed as Scooters, which is -10.26% compared to the first eight months of 2021. The Benelli TRK 502/X was again the top selling motorcycle YTD at 5,712 units. Italy was again the largest market in Europe in 2021 with motorcycle registrations +26.49% (119,079 units) compared to 2020 - the best for more than a decade.

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

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Honors Six Inductees in 2022

Bringing together "motorcycling legends, enthusiasts and industry leaders from across the country," AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inducted six new members for 2022 at its annual Induction Ceremony.

Members of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2022 include Kenny Coolbeth, Greg Hancock, Effie Hotchkiss, Sandy Kosman, Ben Spies and James Stewart.

"Every year, with the exception of 2020, it's been our privilege to honor motorcycling's most accomplished and significant people in a very special AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction celebration," AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said when addressing the audience. 

"But it's more than just a great banquet and ceremony to honor the incredible inductees who've contributed so much to our sport - it's also a chance for us to come together in the interest of preserving motorcycle history for future generations."

Those gathered also honored the memories of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers who have recently passed away: Wes Cooley, Ed Fisher, Bobby Hill, Loretta Lynn and Preston Petty.

Left to Right: Alec Dare (representing Ben Spies), Nadia DeSimone (daughter of Sandy Kosman), Craig Dove (great-grandson of Effie Hotchkiss), Greg Hancock, Kenny Coolbeth and James Stewart.

Kenny Coolbeth

Born in 1977, Coolbeth began his professional flat track career in 1994. He raced to his first AMA Grand National win at the Columbus Half-Mile in 2002. He won his first AMA Grand National Championship in 2006 while riding for the factory Harley-Davidson team and followed that up with two additional championships in 2007 and 2008.

Throughout his successful career, Coolbeth raced to 37 AMA Grand National wins, putting him sixth on the all-time win list, along with 108 AMA Grand National podiums.

Coolbeth retired from professional flat track racing at the end of the 2018 season while still competitive in the sport. He continues to give back to the sport and now works as a rider coach and setup tech for the Turner Honda Racing team - "I was just a kid who knew how to ride motorcycles. I never dreamed I'd be in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, it's an amazing honor to be here."

Greg Hancock

Born in 1970, Hancock began racing in Junior Speedway competition at age 9. At age 15, he won the Junior Speedway National Championship, his first of many titles. Soon he began competing across Europe, and in 1997 won the FIM World Speedway Championship.

Through the 1990s, Hancock also won the FIM World Pairs Championship and claimed three FIM World Team Cup Championships. He went on to win his second FIM World Speedway Championship in 2011, winning it again in 2014 and 2016.

Throughout his nearly four-decade career, Hancock became one of the most decorated motorcycle racers of all time, earning four FIM Speedway World Championships, three FIM World Team Cup titles, as well as eight AMA U.S. National Speedway Championships.

Effie Hotchkiss

Born in 1889, Effie Hotchkiss began riding at age 16. She began working on Wall Street in the banking industry but got tired of the job's monotony. Using the inheritance her father left her, she purchased a 1915 Harley-Davidson 3-speed twin and a Rogers sidecar for her mother Avis and their luggage.

The two set off on their adventure on May 2, 1915, riding all the way to San Francisco, then started back towards their home in Brooklyn, N.Y., in late August. Hotchkiss became the first woman recorded to complete a transcontinental motorcycle ride, covering 9,000 miles over five months.

Hotchkiss quickly became a female icon for her endeavor and was celebrated in the very first issue of Harley-Davidson's 'The Enthusiast' and countless newspapers across the country.

Effie Hotchkiss' great-grandson attended the ceremony as her closest living relative and commented: "Thanks to the AMA for inducting my great-grandmother into the Hall of Fame. Today is the best day of my life."

Sandy Kosman

Born in 1941, Sandy Kosman had both the mind and vision of a genius. As a self-trained designer of high-performance chassis and wheels for customized road, off-road and drag racing motorcycles, Kosman was a builder of champions as well as a highly successful entrepreneur.

In 1965, at age 24, Kosman started Kosman Specialties, building lightweight motorcycle gas tanks in his basement. The business thrived, and he moved into a building in San Francisco, expanding his products and services over time.

Through his 30-plus years in business, most drag racing bikes, many flat track bikes and a few AMA Superbike race teams adopted Kosman products, including American Honda, Vance & Hines, Performance Machine and others. Despite no formal training, Kosman and his company became a household name in racing and performance circles.

"It's not been that long since we lost my father," Kosman's daughter Nadia DeSimone said, "but I know what being inducted into the Hall of Fame would have meant to him. Tonight feels like my last moment with him, and this means so much to my entire family."

Ben Spies

Ben Spies, one of the greatest American road racers in the sport's history, won five national titles and raced to 44 national wins during his career. Born in 1984, he came of age during the dominance of six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin, unseating the champ in his prime in 2006. In 2007, he defended the title in one of the tightest AMA Superbike Championship battles ever.

Spies' AMA National Championships include the 2006, '07 and '08 AMA Superbike titles, the 2007 AMA Superstock title, and the 2003 AMA Formula Xtreme title.

In 2009, Spies joined the Yamaha Italia team in World Superbike competition. His rookie year proved exceptional, and he won the 2009 World Superbike title. Racing MotoGP full time in 2019, his performance earned him Rookie of the Year. He retired from professional racing in 2013.

Due to illness, Spies was unable to attend the ceremony, but family friend Alec Dare accepted the Hall of Fame ring on his behalf. "I'm proud my family can look back on all the chapters in my life and see that I made it into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame," Dare read in a message from Spies. "Thank you to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and thumbs up to everybody here."

James Stewart

Born in 1985, Stewart displayed potential early, winning his first national amateur championship at age 7. Before age 16, he claimed seven AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships.

Going pro in 2002, he won the AMA 125 MX title later that year while riding for Kawasaki, becoming the first black man to win a title in the sport. Stewart won the 2007 AMA Supercross Championship, claiming a second in 2009.

Incredibly, Stewart won all 24 motos of the 2008 Pro Motocross series - a perfect season - securing the 450 Class National Championship.

Stewart's professional racing career ended in 2016 after tallying 50 AMA Supercross premier class wins and 48 AMA Pro Motocross national wins, cementing him as one of the greatest motocross racers of all time.

"I want to thank the AMA…this is such an honor," Stewart said in an emotional acceptance speech. "I was never the cool kid, I wanted to ride motorcycles. But now, when you say my name, it's Hall of Famer James Stewart. Out of all the things I accomplished in my career, this is the best part. This is like winning the ultimate championship. It's amazing!"

German motorcycle registrations

Germany: Motorcycles -7.76% to September

While most of Europe's 'Big Five' major markets (Italy, France, UK and Spain) showed motorcycle and PTW registration growth in 2021, Germany was the primary exception at -11.90% for motorcycles and -9.71% for total PTWs.

The current year started strongly in Germany, with some good results, but a downward trend has set in, with registrations at -27.39% (11,198 units) in June, -21.95% (10,394 units) in July, -7.96% (9,817 units) for August and now -14.93% (7,369 units) for September.

For the first nine months of 2022, motorcycle registrations were -7.76% at 95,950 units - the worst since 2017.

In total PTW terms, the German market is essentially flat, with new registrations for the first nine months of 2022 running at -0.47% (174,586 units).

The top selling motorcycle in Germany YTD was the BMW R 1250 GS with 7,518 units sold, for a 7.84% share of the total market - remarkable for a single model - and way ahead of the Kawasaki Z900 in second (3,335 units), followed by the Yamaha MT-07 and Ténéré 700, Honda CRF 1000 Africa Twin and CB 650 R Neo Sports Café, Kawasaki Z650, Suzuki SV 650, Honda CMX 500 Rebel and KTM 890 Duke in 10th spot.

With six models in the top 30 bestsellers, it is no surprise that BMW is (again) the runaway market share leader in its home market with a 21.27% share (20,410 total units sold YTD). Kawasaki is a distant second with a 10.91% share (10,467 units), followed by Honda (10.79%/10,350 units), Yamaha (8.43%/8,090 units) and KTM fifth (8.42%/8,078 units). The top ten sees Harley-Davidson in sixth, followed by Ducati, Triumph, Suzuki and Royal Enfield in 10th place (3.25% share/2,883 units sold YTD).

Harley's best selling model was the Sportster S (890 units), followed by the Pan America (651 units) and the Street Bob 114 (574 units). 

For the record - motorcycle registrations for the 2021 full year in Germany were -11.90% (116,407 units), with total PTWs at -9.71% (197,540 units) against 218,778 units in 2020 and 165,311 units in 2019. In 2020, the German motorcycle market grew by +16.89% (132,126 compared to a Euro 4/5 transition-distorted 113,039 in 2019).

BS Battery

BST 1000 - "A Complete Battery Testing Program"

French manufacturer BS Battery says that "having a comprehensive analysis of the battery's lifespan is crucial for the professionals who want to provide the best services possible for their clients - crafting useful solutions for workshops is one of the priorities of BS Battery."

BS Battery is a prolific new product designer which, it says, is a result of its "close collaborations with the technical engineers at the racing teams and motorcycle brands we support and supply.

"Our brand-new BST 1000 is a 12V lead acid and lithium battery tester that offers a complete testing program: battery test, cranking test, charging test and even report printing. Our BST 1000 is a good way to check the entire health of a motorcycle (and automotive) battery in a short period of time.

"The tester doesn't only focus on the voltage, it also examines the CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) to verify how the battery is truly operating, checks the alternator and the starter too. The indications appear on a large LCD screen."

It is delivered with a clamp set, pouch protection and a USB cable that is easy to connect to the computer to save or print out the diagnostics for clients.


Zodiac International

Zodiac International Additions

Bitubo Remote Adjustable Touring Model Shocks

This Italian designed and manufactured Bitubo WME22V3 shock absorber set has been developed specifically for H-D Touring models. Remote adjustable rebound and spring preload are fitted on one shock, the other has been set up to work seamlessly with the adjustable shock. They can be used to lower all 1980 to present Touring models and are sold in three lengths - 12" (305 mm) as stock on 2014 FLHX; 12.4" (315 mm) as stock on 2008 FLHTCU and 12.85" (326 mm) as stock on most 1980 to present Touring models.

Tommy & Sons 'Inception' Series FXRT Style Bolt-On Fairing Kit

For bringing the popular FXR/FXRT clubstyle look to 2018 and up Softails, these Tommy & Sons 'Inception' series bolt-on kits are available with and without lowers. Made in-house from fiberglass by Tommy & Sons in precision build moulds, they have a paint-ready white gel coat finish and ship with all necessary mounting hardware, brackets, headlight cover and windshield. A 7" headlight must be purchased separately. The fairing was originally developed for 2018 and later FXLR and FXLRS Low Rider, but can be custom fitted to other M-8 Softail models.

Twin Cam Rocker Box Sets

These stock style rocker box kits for Twin Cams contain two upper covers and two lower housings. They fit 1999-2016 Touring, 1999-2017 Dyna, 2000-2017 Softail and 2009-2016 Trike models and are available in chrome or gloss black.

"Fuel Friend" Canisters

These handy fuel canisters are available in 0.5, one and two liter capacity. They fit easily into a saddlebag, and the smallest one will even fit a toolroll or toolbox. The one liter version can be strapped against a frame or sissy bar and can also be used to store some extra oil in. UN approved for all types of fuel and oil. A lockable outlet for use with the one and two liter canisters is separately available.


Custom Chrome Europe

Kellermann Jetstream - "Simply the Best!" 

Custom Chrome Europe describes the new Jetstream DF LED sequential lighting turn signal and 3-in-1 rear brake and sequential lighting turn signal combo version by Kellermann as "probably the most spectacular motorcycle indicator ever built. It is simply the best we have seen!"  

Inspired by the shape of a jet airliner wing with integrated engine, the shape is extremely aerodynamic and therefore at high speeds very streamlined and efficient. 

"No other motorcycle indicator with sequential lighting and ECE approval gets even close to the brightness of the Kellermann product," according to CCE. "Jetstream is unmatched. Overtaking (especially) becomes safer as the vehicle ahead is warned by the extreme illuminating power - the danger involved in overtaking, or any lane change maneuver, is massively reduced." 

Features include the highest illuminating power yet seen from Kellermann or any other brand, backed by Kellermann's proprietary high-power LED technology, including state-of-the-art "IC" chip technology, 32 MHz real-time microprocessor controlled, Silent-Current, advanced power saving algorithm, high measure of visibility across a wide angle range and long-life Protection Guard. 

The Jetstream is suitable for 12 volt DC applications and comes in a high-quality, flow-optimized metal housing, with M8 x 20 mm thread and high-quality vibration-absorbing bearing. The Jetstream has global design protection, is ECE-approved and available in black with a clear lens.


Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

Derby Covers

These Drag Specialties derby covers are made from die-cast aluminum with a domed design. They are available in chrome, matte black, gloss black and wrinkle black for '18 FLSB, '19-'22 Softail models, '18 FLSB and '18 Softail models equipped with optional narrow profile primary cover.  

Detachables Latch Kit

Drag Specialties detachable latch kits are an upgrade for the satin black OEM latches used on detachables. Chrome-plated latches are easy to install with the included hardware, they are designed to fit all models equipped with detachable sideplates, one-piece sissy bar, racks and Tour Pak luggage mounting racks (except '18-later Softail models with Holdfast racks and uprights). 

Shifter Linkage

Constructed out of steel with a black powdercoat finish, this Drag Specialties shifter linkage features a custom round heim joist end with 5/16" hole and ball joint end with a 5/16"-24 stud. The 8 1/4" long rod is measured from the center of the hole to the center of the stud with the adjusters collapsed and fits '04-'22 XL models with forward controls (except Sportster S/RH1250S, Nightster/RH975). 

Brake Arms

These V-Rod brake arm upgrades are "uniquely designed and CNC-machined from forged billet aluminum."  They are available in chrome and gloss black for '06-'17 VRSC V-Rod models. 

LED Handlebar Marker Lights

These Drag Specialties LED handlebar marker lights are dual-function style with both white daytime running lights and amber turn signals. The housings are CNC-machined out of billet aluminum and mount using the mirror stems or mirror stem mounting bolts. They are available in a chrome finish with smoke lenses for '09-'14 FLHT/FLHX/FLTR and '15-'22 Softail models. 



Biltwell 'Bonanza' helmet

The lightweight and generously padded US DOT-certified 'Bonanza' helmet from Biltwell is a deceptively well equipped open-face, manufactured with an injection-molded ABS outer shell, said to be "rugged yet lightweight - the best combination of features for a motorcycle helmet."

The expanded polystyrene (EPS) safety liner dissipates impact loads "without compromising comfort." Snaps on the brow accept all Biltwell and select other brand bubble shields, visors and optical accessories.

The removable/replaceable comfort liner and cheek pads feature brushed fleece Lycra touch points to absorb and evaporate perspiration; the chin strap features brushed fleece Lycra touch points for comfort and an adjustable strap end retainer.

"Bubble shields are offered in nine colors and all snap easily onto the 'Bonanza', Moto Visors (seven colors) are a low-cost upgrade and Moto Goggles fit perfectly."


Stainless Powered Concepts (SPC)

Mufflers by Stainless Powered Concepts 

A new entrant to the aftermarket exhaust segment is Lake Elsinore, California based Stainless Powered Concepts (SPC) - founded in May this year by Mark Jacobs and Greg Miranda, two industry professionals with long standing roots in the exhaust space.  Mark and Greg are the former President and Sales Manager respectively at Two Brothers Racing. 

Speaking with AMD, Mark said "we realized that it was time for us to move on and pave our own way in the exhausts market. We were no longer having fun, and when that happens, it is best for all concerned to change things up.

'Big Bore'

"We fully understood that starting something new would come with many challenges, loaded with uncertainty, but the relationships that we had developed over many years have made this transition amazing.

"Our business philosophy is old school. To deliver one-on-one service to our dealers and end users, use only the best materials, create something that you would be proud to put on your own bike and understand the difference between knowing what to do and what not to do!"


Their initial product applications include M-8 Softails and Baggers, Twin Cam Baggers and 2006 - 2016 Dyna models. Initially, SPC has three muffler designs - 'Lanesplitter', 'Cutback' and 'Big Bore'.

"We construct our mufflers with hand tig-welded stepped headers for maximum torque. Our systems will include the necessary hardware for simple installation, as well as 02 sensors for both stock and wideband applications.  


"Our flagship Big Bore design includes a 4.5" cone with 2.25" to 2.5" stepped core. The end result is a perfect blend of sound, performance and look."


Wednesday 23 November 2022


Polaris Q3 2022 Earnings Results - Indian Motorcycle "Up High-Single Digits Percent"

In releasing financial and operational highlights from its Q3 results, Polaris has stated that worldwide sales were $2,341m, up by +32% compared to Q3, 2021.

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were reported as $3.17, up +69% versus last year; adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $3.25, up +64% versus last year.

Primary drivers in the quarter were "higher volumes, strong pricing and favorable mix, supported by modest sequential improvement in supply chain."

Retail sales for the quarter were down 8% versus last year, despite strong performance in Motorcycles, primarily driven by continued supply chain challenges and softness in Recreation Off-Road demand.

'record sales in the quarter'

Mike Speetzen, Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Inc., stated: "We maintained our focus on executing for customers, dealers and shareholders. Our results were bolstered by easing supply chain headwinds that enabled us to increase shipped volumes and take advantage of our strong pricing strategy - resulting in record sales in the quarter. 

"Mike Speetzen, Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Inc., stated: "Our results were bolstered by easing supply chain headwinds that enabled us to increase shipped volumes and take advantage of our strong pricing strategy - resulting in record sales in the quarter." 

"Looking forward, our diverse portfolio, commitment to innovation, strong financial position and track record of successfully navigating in various operating environments gives me incredible confidence in Polaris’ ability to deliver long-term profitable growth and shareholder value.""We believe we are well positioned to meet our commitments for the year, while our team remains highly vigilant and agile should indicators point to shifts in consumer behavior or new market dynamics. 

North America sales of $2,069m represented +88% of total company sales and increased +35% from $1,532m in 2021. International sales of $272m represented +12% of total company sales and increased +10% versus the third quarter in 2021. "Sales in the third quarter of 2022 were propelled by accelerated shipments towards the latter part of the quarter, as well as higher pricing and favorable mix."

Gross profit margin increased 26 basis points to 23.9%. Adjusted gross profit margin of 23.9% increased 15 basis points, driven by higher pricing. Operating expenses were $317m in the third quarter of 2022 compared to $273m in the third quarter of 2021 due to higher sales and marketing and R&D expense. Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales of 13.5%, were down in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the third quarter of 2021.

On-Road segment sales were bolstered by sequential improvement in component availability driving increased shipments, stable demand and higher pricing. PG&A sales increased +17%. Gross profit margin performance was driven by favorable product mix and higher volumes, which more than offset higher input costs and FX headwinds.

'North America ORV unit retail sales down high-single digits percent'

North America unit retail sales for Indian Motorcycle were up high-single digits percent. North America unit retail sales for the comparable motorcycle industry were down low-single digits percent.

Off-Road segment sales were driven by accelerated shipment volume, higher pricing and favorable product mix. Parts, Garments and Accessories (PG&A) sales increased +18%. Gross profit margin performance was driven by favorable pricing and higher volumes.

Polaris North America ORV unit retail sales were down high-single digits percent. Estimated North America industry ORV unit retail sales were up low-single digits percent. 

Marine segment sales were driven by accelerated shipment volume, higher pricing and favorable product mix. Gross profit margin performance was driven by higher input costs offset by favorable product mix.

Challenger Elite 

In terms of the 2022 full year business outlook, the company now expects 2022 sales to increase +15 to +16% versus prior guidance of +13 to +16%. The company expects adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations to be in the range of $10.10 to $10.30 for the full year 2022, unchanged from prior guidance.

Arai Helmet

LeMans Announces New U.S. Distribution Partnership with Arai

Arai Helmet and LeMans Corporation have announced a new partnership that will see the Japanese made, handcrafted helmet brand return to the Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited distribution centers for the first time in over 20 years. 

Despite its huge global reputation, Arai is still a relatively small, family-owned company "driven by the same mission through three generations. The staff at Arai are motorcycle enthusiasts. They ride and build each Arai helmet as if they were creating it for themselves or one of their own family. 

"Arai's mission has always been the protection and comfort of every person who chooses an Arai helmet. Its foundational principles of protection first, exceptional quality and rider comfort have never been forgotten in over seven decades of helmet design and manufacturing."

Michio Arai, owner and CEO Arai Helmet Ltd. and son of the founder of Arai said: "In the early 1950s, there was a rider who made the first motorcycle helmet in Japan for his own protection. During this time, not only were there no helmet standards, but there were also no motorcycle helmets on the market yet. Over time, others recognized the value of this man's creation and asked him to make helmets for them, and thus the Arai company was founded. 

"As it has been owned by the same family ever since, it is protection that still means more for Arai than anything else. The helmets we make have many benefits and features that riders can see and enjoy, but the true value of Arai is hidden in the complex internal construction invisible to the naked eye. This requires ongoing education and support to convey the Arai difference. I believe that the focus Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties have on dealer service is what Arai dealers and customers need." 

Akihito Arai, Vice President Arai Helmet Ltd. and grandson of the founder of Arai Helmet Ltd. added: "As I consider the long-term future of Arai, I believe we have found a strong partner in LeMans Corporation. The strength of Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties, combined with their focus on dealer service, is what Arai needs to reach more consumers looking for the opportunity to experience the Arai difference first hand."  

Brian Weston, Managing Director for Arai Helmet, Inc. said: "This new partnership will allow Arai and LeMans to continue to grow the Arai business and provide Arai's unique helmets to many more customers across the United States."

News Briefs

BMW Group has announced Q3 "Deliveries" of 51,778 units for its motorcycle division, +5.7% over the year-ago quarter. Revenues arising from motorcycle sales were € 822m (+28.1%), EBIT margin was +4.5 pts., and pre-tax profit from its motorcycle segment was € 89m, up from € 40m for Q3, 2021. Likely full-year "Deliveries" are forecast as having a "slight increase" over the 2021 full-year figure of 194,261 units.

Designed for local and last mile delivery, the Arcimoto 'Deliverator' has been named overall "EV of the Year" in the annual AutoTech Breakthrough Awards. "The awards program recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global automotive and transportation technology markets." Meanwhile, Arcimoto has been named the "Best Pod Company" in the Micromobility 1st Annual Rider's Choice Awards. The company stated that "while we're not quite sure what a pod is, we're pretty certain we've got the best one!" 

Zero Motorcycles has partnered with Austin, Texas based Rollick - the leading relationship technology provider for the Marine, Powersports and RV industries - to "power a better buying experience for customers and dealers." Zero has rolled out Aimbase, Rollick's industry-centric lead management platform. The company will soon include RollickDR, the digital retailing solution. "The platform will provide dealers with a more tailored experience when handling leads across systems and primarily in their preferred CRM provider." 

In the United States, the NHTSA has issued a recall on certain H-D Trike, CVO Trike, Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles - potentially affecting nearly 200,000 models. The issue appears to be a potential unintended brake light activation. NHTSA Campaign Number: 22V781000. 

The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) is staging an online conference on December 6, 2022 (14:45 CET). "The Motorcycle Industry’s Vision for Decarbonisation" will discuss the motorcycle industry’s latest net zero initiatives in the context of the EU's climate targets and the industry's Vision 2030+. 

Citing a "forever changed way that consumers shop" in the post-Covid world, Comoto (Cycle Gear, J&P Cycles etc.) owned online retailer RevZilla has opened another brick-and-mortar store, this time at Costa Mesa, California. However, Comoto appears to have concluded that "online shopping doesn't afford customers the ability to try on merchandise before hitting the checkout button. That can be an obstacle, or even a deterrent, when considering expensive gear. For RevZilla, physical stores not only address this barrier to purchase, but also allow the brand to interface directly with its customer base." Who'd a thunk it! 

Italy's Piaggio Group has opened another of its multi-brand experience Motoplex flagstore dealerships in the United States - this time in Atlanta, Georgia. The project is an expansion of its existing relationship in Georgia with Piaggio dealer Adam Gati's Southeast Motorcycles of Savannah. Located at 6401 Spring Street in Douglasville, the store will be designed to be a destination hub for Piaggio's premium brands - including Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Vespa and Piaggio. The Italian manufacturer now has hundreds of such stores worldwide, many in markets such as Montreal, Shanghai, Milan, Mexico City, Berlin, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Dubai. 

Eugene, Oregon EV designer Arcimoto says it has recorded a "record setting" third quarter in 2022, with 150 vehicles produced and 74 customer vehicles delivered - "representing an approximately 80% increase in customer vehicles delivered compared to Q2." 

Tucker is adding New Zealand electric utility bike maker UBCO to its product catalog in 2022. As you may recall from our previous coverage of UBCO's offerings, the company specializes in bikes with a 2X2 drivetrain. Currently (and perhaps fittingly), that includes two models: the 2X2 WRK and the 2X2 ADV. From trails to traffic, UBCO presents its 2X2 lineup as the type of electric workhorse bikes that are tough enough to handle whatever your daily routine requires.   

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

BRP, Inc. (Bombardier Recreational Products)

BRP Breaks Ground on New Can-Am Electric Motorcycle Plant 

BRP, Inc. (Bombardier Recreational Products) has broken ground on construction of its first EV manufacturing plant - "marking a major milestone in the company's electric journey."

Destined to be the manufacturing home of the Can-Am brand comeback - as electric two-wheel motorcycles - the new production facility will be in Querétaro, Mexico, adjacent to the current BRP campus in the city. 

Production of the Can-Am 'Origin' and Can-Am 'Pulse', the company's recently unveiled first two electric motorcycle models, is set to begin in March 2024, with expected deliveries to dealers and consumers during summer 2024.

"We have set out to reclaim our motorcycle heritage with the launch of a line-up of electric two-wheel motorcycles, and we are gearing up to execute on our plan," said Sandy Scullion, President, Powersports Group at BRP. 

"We are excited to begin the construction of this new state-of-the-art EV manufacturing facility in Querétaro, Mexico, on the same campus where we are already producing our Sea-Doo personal watercraft and ROTAX engines."

The plant is planned to initially generate 500 new jobs. BRP says it has been designed following the 'LEED' principles with sustainable materials, in line with BRP's Corporate Social Responsibility Plan, to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations. "Furthermore, the company intends to offer an inclusive work environment accessible to everyone, with modifiable workstations that can be adapted to different people."

Motorama 2022

Motorama, Madrid Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2022 

Words and pictures by Onno "Berserk" Wieringa, 

Slated as an AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliate for a second year after the show was postponed four times due to Covid, finally, Motorama Madrid was a great success. Although the number of custom bikes that showed up was down, after everything the event had been through, and given the uncertain times in which we live, the 11th edition of Motorama was "very cool," according to AMD World Championship Ambassador and Photographer Onno Wieringa, "with classy, well-engineered bikes showcasing the creativity of the custom market in Spain and further afield."

"Fernando Armenteros, organizer of the custom bike show at Motorama, did a great job, combining great custom work with some exciting show ideas, making it dynamic and lively for the enthusiastic visitors. There were special paint demonstrations, engine builders assembling a H-D Evo and many other dynamic activities to hold visitor attention. 

"On the first day, all the competitors were introduced to the public as each customizer came to the stage to be interviewed about their bike and, for the professionals, about their businesses. The judges made their rounds on the Saturday - scrutinizing the craftsmanship and creativity, engineering, fabrication and finish - paying particular attention to self-made parts and innovative design solutions." 

Best in Show: William Gomez with 'Sacrament' - an "exceptional Yamaha 600 Diversion featuring flowing lines and a single-sided front end"

Motorama filled two large halls at the iconic Pabellon de Cristal (Crystal Pavilion), the center piece of the exhibition and event facilities at Madrid's huge downtown Casa de Campo Park, overlooking Madrid's Royal Palace complex and cathedral.

The lower level was reserved for all motorcycle performance, parts, accessories, gear and apparel vendors, with all the big displays for clothes, helmets etc. The upper level was filled with motorcycle manufacturer displays  - including the Japanese 'Big Four', BMW, Triumph, Harley-Davidson and Indian.

Street class winner, H-D XR1200 Turbo by Sueca

Aftermarket distributor Custom Chrome Europe and several other custom parts suppliers had booths, and main stage presentations, shows and live music sets made sure there was action and atmosphere all day, every day - plenty to keep the enthusiastic crowds interested - with the main spotlight, the center piece of the event, being the AMD World Championship affiliate custom bike show, with many new bikes making their international debut.

Outside displays included yet more bikes, with rider parking lining the avenues approaching the facility. Adjacent to the entrance, Jekill & Hyde demonstrated its award-winning electronically controlled, three-mode sound management exhaust systems, and the demo ride programs were fully booked throughout three days of great late summer weather in the Spanish capital.

Custom class winner, a Viking style chopper 'Drakkar', built by Lluis of LIC Motorcycles

On the final day, all the bikes entered into the 'AMD' were rolled out onto the platform and had to be able to start (kick or electric) and ride down the ramp and stop for a photo in front of the large AMD/EME Madrid scrutineering center, start up again, ride a wide turn and back up the onto the platform. 

"This was a real draw, a real spectacle, and it went to the heart of 'AMD' values as a genuine design and engineering showcase that recognizes genuinely ridable craftsmanship, innovation and creativity," said Onno.

"The public loved to see that and cheered appreciatively - and loudly - for every bike once they re-started. This is how every bike show should be, showing that your bike is rideable. Unfortunately, not all bikes succeeded, and, sadly, some were disqualified for not being able to perform this 'AMD' run test, regardless of how innovative the ideas were, regardless of how convincing the craftsmanship appeared to be. 

'Dolbagg', a cool Sportster Bagger built by Custmotion (Marc Torrent from Switzerland) was awarded a VIP invitation for the next 'AMD' 

"After this spectacular climax all the bikes were lined up in front of the stage for the announcements. First in Custom was the huge Viking style chopper named 'Drakkar', built by Lluis of LIC Motorcycles, and first in the Street Class was a lovely H-D XR1200 Turbo by Sueca.

"Before announcing the 'Best in Show', a special VIP invitation for the next 'AMD' was awarded for 'Dolbagg', a cool Sportster Bagger built by Custmotion (Marc Torrent from Switzerland), with the biggest prize and qualification for the next 'AMD' awarded to William Gomez for 'Sacrament' - an exceptional Yamaha 600 Diversion featuring flowing lines and a single-sided front end." 

Congratulations to all the winners, and a huge thanks to the EME Motorama Show, Niko of Nikobikes in Italy for helping as a judge, and especially Fernando Armenteros for all his dedicated hard work, resulting in one of the best 'AMD' shows we've seen in a long time. 

Motorama Madrid 2023 is planned for March 10-12.


'Monarch' 4.5" Slip-Ons for H-D Touring Models 

These days, 4.5" seems to be the ideal muffler diameter for sound, power and looks. Firebrand has taken that formula one step further on the modern H-D touring machines with a highly tuned, louvered stainless steel baffle. 

But how do you tune a baffle, I hear you ask? "Contrary to many people's assumptions, a baffle isn't just a tube with some holes - or at least it doesn't need to be. Firebrand's expertise is using the size and angle of the louvers, as well as their location within the muffler, as critical design variables to capturing the exhaust gasses as they pass through. 

"Too big and they slow velocity, too small and you risk a pitchy sounding muffler. Get it right and your bike sounds and performs like a proper V-twin should. 

"The new 'Monarch' slip-on from Firebrand does exactly that and finishes the muffler off with a durable and perfectly matched coating and a billet tip. Available for 1999 through 2022 H-D Touring bikes in Asphalt Black or show chrome. All Firebrand exhausts are made in the heartland of the US and available through HardDrive."