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Tuesday 12 September 2023

News Briefs

Harley's new megastore for the Cologne-Bonn region in Germany has opened, plugging the gap created by Harley Europe's controversial termination of the dealer contract for K&K Holding (Gerog Kierdorf) at the end of 2021. Being operated by Managing Director Max Sedacek and Workshop Manager Peter Blittersdorf, it is the fourth location in the successful group owned by Andreas Reibchen, Stephan Kaminski and Peter Eul, the Manging Directors of H-D Bielefeld, Dusseldorf and Osnabruck.

PSB reports that in 2022 the North American UTV market dropped in unit volume for the second straight year by -5.6% in 2022 ("to just under 550,000 units"). This follows ten consecutive years of growth. Of the ten best-selling UTV models, four were made by Polaris and they accounted for 7.2% of the market. For YTD 2023, the ATV market (as it is referred to in MIC data) was down by a further -8.7% to 89,724 units for the first six months (-8,586 units).

Motorcycle thefts rose 7% last year, according to a new NICB report. Motorcycle thefts increased 7% from 2021 to 2022, marking a third year of rising thefts according to the NICB's 2022 Vehicle Type Theft Report. An average of 4,561 motorcycles were reported stolen each month in 2022. Thefts climbed steadily from a low of 2,879 in February, peaking in July at 6,394. Californians again led the pack in reporting the most motorcycle thefts with 9,838 stolen bikes in 2022 (30% of all motorcycle thefts in USA), followed by Florida (4,563) and Texas (4,145). The top 10 states for motorcycle thefts made up 60% of the 54,736 motorcycle theft reports in the U.S. in 2022. More than 40% are recovered.

Recent dealership sales closed by Performance Brokerage Servies (Irvine, Ca.) include Down Home H-D (Burlington, NC) to Phil Mitchell and Dan Roland; Boneyard H-D (Winterville, NC) to Steven Towers; Los Angeles H-D (Fullerton, CA) to Pacific Motorcycle Group from Rodin Younessi; Patriot H-D (Fairfax, Virginia) to PVM Enterprises (Paul Veracka) from Sheehy Auto Stores and Redding H-D in California to Rami Yanni and his expanding Wise Riders dealership group. 

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Earl Bowlby, a 10-time AMA national hillclimb champion, passed away Saturday, Aug. 5. He was 90 years old. Born on Oct. 27, 1933, in Hocking County, Ohio, Bowlby's love for motorcycles began as a teenager as he rode his paper route aboard a Whizzer motorbike during the 1940s. Bowlby's racing career didn't get started until the late 1950s, and instead of hillclimb, he first dabbled in drag racing. In 1960, Bowlby established his own motorcycle dealership in Logan, Ohio, and began to ramp up his racing activities. Bowlby tried a variety of disciplines, spanning from enduros to hare scrambles, but ultimately found his true calling: hillclimb. Earning his pro license at 32 in 1966, it took only two years for Bowlby to claim his first national victory with a win in Muskegon, Mich., in 1968. From that point forward, Bowlby dominated the national hillclimb scene, claiming ten national titles across his 25 years of professional racing, a record that stood until 2021. Bowlby also added six Canadian national championships to his trophy case during his career. In 1984, Bowlby became the first competitor to complete the triple crown of hillclimb by winning the national invitational at Muskegon while claiming the AMA and Canadian national titles. He captured more than 80 AMA national hillclimb wins in total and was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999 - donating his 1967 BSA 650 to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame collection.

Chinese auto brands are on track to account for just over 50% of the cars sold in their home market for the first time in 2023, thanks to a growing dominance in electric vehicles.

In April, Buell Motorcycles recalled certain 2021-2022 1190 RX and SX motorcycles - 30 units in total. The issue was improper installation of an index spring which "may result in the inability to shift into the intended gear or cause the gear to slip without warning."

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