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Tuesday 17 October 2023

News Briefs

As of late August, MIC Events said that AIMExpo (Las Vegas, February 6-8, 2024) had already signed more than 15 OEMs and "hundreds of additional exhibitors that will occupy more than 225,000 square feet of exhibit space." Show highlights include a return for the Disruptive Thinking education series (being sponsored by Motorcycle & Powersports News); two e-Bike demo areas; New Product Central; the Dealer Recharge Zone on the show floor; the MIC Business Center, where MIC members will have access to meeting rooms, basic business services, a lounge, beverages, and lunch. At the time of writing, it appeared that AIMExpo was still anticipating Tucker Powersports' participation in the show, on an apparently similar basis to that seen in February 2023, including sponsorship of the Industry Party.

According to data from Moody's, the number of corporate debt defaults in 2023 have already blown past last year's total by June 30, 3023. 55 US firms defaulted on their debt in the first half, a +53% increase from total US corporate defaults in all of 2022. Global debt defaults could keep surging as financial conditions continue to tighten, the firm warned.

K&N Engineering has appointed Craig Scanlon as CEO - replacing Randy Bays, who is taking up a board role. Scanlon brings 20+ years of leadership experience in automotive and performance powersports to K&N. He spent eighteen years at Polaris, "where he played a pivotal role in building multi-billion-dollar businesses including the Polaris RZR and Polaris Ranger brands." He also spent four years as CEO of Transamerican Auto Parts. His love for racing, particularly off-road racing, has seen him compete in prestigious events like the BITD and SCORE series, culminating in his recent victory at this year's San Felipe 250. 

This summer H-D moved to fill the CFO vacancy created by Gina Goetter's abrupt decision to quit the role after just three years. Jonathan Root, SVP of Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS), has been handed the hot seat, one that may prove to be a 'poison chalice' in career terms. "Jonathan is a proven leader with extensive knowledge of our business, matched with strong financial acumen – we're excited to have him in place to lead the finance organisation at Harley-Davidson," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson. 

KTM parent company PIERER Mobility Group (Austria) has reported 190,293 motorcycles sold in the first half of 2023 (up from 163,334 in H1, 2022). Motorcycle unit sales were +16.5% with bicycles bucking the global trend with growth of some +39% (71,401 e-bicycles and bicycle units). The Group sold 76,767 motorcycles in Europe (+25%) and 59,212 bicycles (+40%). Almost 60% of motorcycle sales were outside Europe, with North America worth 50,472 units (+13%) and India worth 33,029 units, up by a massive 81%. Revenue growth of +20.2 % set new record € 1,387.6m ($1.5bn USD). The group's motorcycle businesses and brands posted +19 % revenue growth; group-wide Europe accounted for 59 % of revenue, with North America delivering 28%. In Europe, KTM, Husqvarna, and GASGAS saw an increase of +20% in registrations, achieving a market share of 10.2% (up from 9.9% for the year ago period).

The NHTSA (campaign #23V591000) has announced that Harley-Davidson is to recall 65,224 Softails due to a shock absorber fastener fault that may be able to allow the rear shock to puncture the rear tire. Models affected include certain 2018-2019 FLDE, 2018-2021 FLHC, 2018-2023 FLHCS, 2018 and 2023 FLHCS ANV, 2020-2023 FXLRS, 2022-2023 FXLRST, and 2022 FXRST motorcycles.

Santa Fe, California SSR Motorsports has taken on the role of distributor for QJMotor products in the United States. Zhejiang Qianjiang Motorcycle Co., Ltd. (QJMotor) is the parent company of Benelli Motorcycles and is Harley's contract manufacturer in China. PSB reports that QJ models, which have been available in the U.S. since the spring, complement SSR's line of on-road motorcycles, off-road motorcycles and side-by-sides. The QJ lineup features the SRF135 street mini and the SRT750X adventure bike. "QJMotor has models that are right for the U.S. market and hit some key price points and model segments," says ex Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited, Tucker Powersports, Metzeler, Hisun and KTM industry veteran Greg Blackwell, recently appointed as SSR's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. The initial QJ lineup features 11 models, from the SRF135 street mini to the mighty SRT750X adventure bike.

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