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Wednesday 31 January 2024


Polaris Reports "North America Unit Retail Sales for Indian Motorcycle Were Down High-Teens Percent"

Polaris has released its Q4 and full year 2023 results with increased sales for the full year, but reduced sales (compared to Q4 2022) for the final quarter of 2024.

Full year 2023 sales were $8,934m, up 4% compared to 2022; but fourth quarter sales were $2,289m, down 5% compared to the year-ago. The primary factors said to be affecting Q4 sales were lower volume, net pricing driven by higher promotional spend and higher finance interest.

Polaris reports Q4 share gains in Off Road with Powersports retail sales for the quarter up 7% percent versus 2022 - "driven by growth in snow and utility ORV, more than offsetting softness in On Road and Marine."

Polaris is forecasting full year 2024 sales and adjusted earnings guidance with full year sales expected to be down 5 to 7% and full year adjusted earnings per share expected to be down 10 to 15% (both compared to 2023).

On Road segment results were primarily driven by lower sales volumes, PG&A sales decreasing 4% and gross profit margin performance driven by increased warranty costs.

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

Off Road segment results were primarily driven by increased sales volume in snow, utility side-by-sides, and commercial partially offsetting continued weakness in recreation. PG&A sales increased 16%. 

Gross profit margin performance was driven by lower net pricing - driven by higher promotional activity, higher finance interest and unfavorable product mix. 

Polaris North America ORV unit retail sales were up 7%. Estimated North America industry ORV unit retail sales were up mid-single digits percent.

Marine segment results were primarily driven by lower sales volumes. Gross profit margin performance was impacted by the decrease in sales volumes and lower net pricing resulting in decreased leverage of manufacturing costs.

Polaris CEO Mike Speetzen is quoted as saying: "We came into 2023 confident in our industry-defining innovation and compelling product portfolios, enabling us to win the share battle across our segments within a complicated environment. 

"Earnings per share performance came in below our expectations due to unexpected operational challenges, however, the team has identified and has already begun making meaningful progress on our efficiency and margin initiatives for 2024 and beyond. 

"As reflected in our outlook, segments of our industry are expected to remain challenged in 2024, but we believe we will continue to capture market share with our robust lineup and new products coming later this year. The Polaris team’s relentless efforts remain focused on delivering the most innovative products in the industry, unmatched customer experiences and stronger operating fundamentals."

Performance Summary

  • For the fourth quarter, the company reported worldwide sales of $2,289m, down 5% versus the fourth quarter of 2022. North America sales of $1,995m represented 87% of total company sales and decreased 5% from $2,108m in 2022. International sales of $294m represented 13% of total company sales and decreased 1% versus the fourth quarter of 2022. 
  • Total company sales in the fourth quarter of 2023 were negatively impacted by lower volume, net pricing driven by higher promotional activity and higher finance interest.
  • As reported, fourth quarter net income from continuing operations attributable to Polaris of $103m decreased 47% and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations ("EPS") of $1.81 decreased 46% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. Adjusted net income from continuing operations attributable to Polaris for the quarter was $113m, down 44%, and adjusted EPS was $1.98, down 43%, in each case as compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
  • Gross profit margin decreased 300 basis points to 20.8% for the fourth quarter, as compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. Adjusted gross profit margin of 21.0% decreased 287 basis points, primarily driven by lower net pricing driven by higher promotional activity and higher finance interest, as compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
  • Operating expenses were $357m in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to $331m in the fourth quarter of 2022 due to higher general and administrative expenses. Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, of 15.6% were up 182 basis points in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.

Turn 14 Distribution

Turn 14 Powersports Updates

Following the acquisition of "select assets" (some eight house brands) from the now defunct Tucker Powersports, privately owned and operated Horsham, Pennsylvania headquartered Turn 14 Distribution has now found new digs to house the staff that have been retained from Tucker in Texas.

Just six miles from Tucker's former Alliance Gateway HQ and warehouse at Keller, Tx., the new building will house retained staff members and new hires, such as recently appointed brand management, product development and marketing staff, led by recently announced Turn 14 Powersports President Bob Schuetz.

"The collaboration that happens when we are all under one roof is really important, and our people are happy to be back together," said Schuetz. "Our move into this new facility will be a great start to an important year for Turn 14 Powersports."

The 10,000 sq ft office space is in a newly renovated building at 125 Bear Creek Parkway in Keller, Texas, which is northeast of Fort Worth. 

Meanwhile, it is announced that the inventory of Tucker Powersports is now moved to Turn 14 Distribution's three distribution centers, located in Pennsylvania, Texas and Nevada. "It's been a huge project for Turn 14 Distribution warehouse staff, with over 11,000 pallets of product, representing 146 brands and over 60,000 SKUs moving into Turn 14 Distribution possession." The company says it expects all inventory to be checked in and available to dealers by the end of January 2024.

In a January news release, the company went on to say: "Turn 14 Distribution takes pride in its carefully curated line card, which is focused on quality over quantity. The company typically carries a full line of products from a tightly managed number of suppliers. The company is currently onboarding 146 product lines from the recent acquisition." The products will be posted on for dealer access.

"Powersports sales and marketing efforts are moving forward to assist dealers for spring selling. Turn 14 Distribution uses both field territory managers and inside sales staff to support dealer needs. With this partnership, Turn 14 Distribution meets dealer needs in person in dealerships, while inside staff is available for prompt response to calls and emails. 

"In addition, Turn 14 Distribution has a Customer Support Team, separate from Sales, to ensure the company is meeting dealer needs. The company is building a marketing team for Turn 14 Powersports, led by former Tucker Marketing VP Lesley Madsen, and additional marketing resources for distributed brands. 

"Industry-leading API and data exports are available already, and the company has engaged with all the leading DMS Systems (Lightspeed, DX1, etc.) and channel providers. A data team is working on enhancing product data, so more information is available to Turn 14 Distribution's dealers."

The 'house-brands' acquired from Tucker include Answer, Biker's Choice, BikeMaster, DragonFire Racing, FirstGear, Kuryakyn, ProTaper, QuadBoss, River Road, Speed and Strength, and TwinPower.  

Tucker Powersports was the subject of recent winding up action by a court in Florida, leaving the aftermarket with some $30m in unpaid vender payables.

Progressive AFT

Progressive AFT and Mission Foods Renew Partnership

Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, has announced a partnership renewal with Mission Foods to continue its wide-ranging support of the series for a fourth consecutive season in 2024.

Included as key features of the multifaceted partnership agreement, Mission Foods will again serve as the title sponsor for the premier Mission SuperTwins class and the associated Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, while remaining the Official Tortilla, Chip and Salsa of AFT.

The nation's top manufacturer of tortillas, tortilla chips, flatbreads and other baked products, Mission Foods has been one of the most active and influential sponsors of AFT since making its high-profile debut with the series in 2021. Its support has only expanded since, and it will again serve as the title sponsor for its home round, the Mission Texas Half-Mile at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, April 27.

"We are proud to continue our partnership with AFT as the title sponsor of the SuperTwins class and Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge for 2024," said Juan Gonzalez, Mission Foods Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to keep connecting with fans on race weekends, and it further exemplifies our commitment to motorsports racing."

"Mission Foods is an exceptional partner, continually elevating the AFT experience both on and off the track," said Gene Crouch, Chief Executive Officer of AMA Pro Racing. "We're truly grateful for their energy and enthusiasm in supporting our athletes and engaging with fans."

News Briefs

Described as a "pioneering digital retail platform for powersports," Transax will sponsor the Dealer Tech Zone at this year's AIMExpo in Las Vegas, February 6-8. The company will also sponsor a Digital Engagement Dealer Workshop on Thursday, February 8, in addition to exhibiting on the show floor. 

BRP is celebrating 20 years as a standalone Bombardier spin-off (December 18, 2003). In those 20 years, the company has tripled its global market share "becoming the world’s leading powersports original equipment manufacturer (OEM)" and grown from 7,500 to 23,000 employees in 26 countries. Revenues have more than quadrupled to over CAD 10bn. BRP is still led by founding CEO José Boisjoli - a near 30-year veteran of the business in total - and sells through nearly 3,000 dealers worldwide in130 countries with a manufacturing footprint that has grown from 7 to 14 sites worldwide;

The AMA congratulates the Men's and Women's 2023 U.S. ISDE World Trophy teams after a pair of first place finishes sealed a dominant week in November at San Juan, Argentina. The U.S. Junior World Trophy Team added a second-place finish. The U.S. also saw success from its club teams, with the U.S. Club Team XC Gear finishing first among club teams, with the U.S. Team GTBN in second.

Polaris has been awarded a prestigious 2023 Popular Science Best of What's New Award in the automotive category for its all-electric Polaris RANGER XP Kinetic. "The combustion engine Polaris RANGER has been the No. 1 selling utility side-by-side brand for more than 15 years and with the all-new, fully electric RANGER Kinetic XP getting into the market this year, our utility customers are seeing firsthand the performance and power that electric powertrains can provide," said Josh Hermes, Vice President of Electric Off Road, Polaris. 

December saw the National Powersports Dealer Association (NPDA) announce that the Federal Trade Commission had released the final version of its Auto Rule (renamed the Combating Auto Retail Scams Rule - CARS). Designed to protect consumers from auto retail scams, the rule would have required powersports dealers to fundamentally alter the way they do business. However, the final language of the CARS Rule explicitly exempts powersports dealers and other non-automotive dealers from the requirements of the rule. Bob Althoff, NPDFA Chairman, said: "The NPDA appreciates the collaboration shown by our various partners to help overcome this regulation. We are also thankful that the FTC listened to the input and allowed for these exemptions." 

December saw the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in USA release its annual Traffic Safety Facts report for 2021. A compilation of motor vehicle traffic crash data, the 225-page report contains information on crash types, causes and participants involved. According to the report, motorcyclists made up 13.8% of all nationwide traffic fatalities in 2021, with 5,932 motorcyclists killed on U.S. roads. That is the highest number since data collection began in 1975. In comparison, the pre-Covid year of 2019 saw 5,044 bikers killed. The number of those injured on motorcycles reported in 2021 was 82,686, which is fewer than the all-time high of 104,442 in 2016. This total injury count represents 3.3% of the 2.5 million people injured in all motor vehicle crashes. It is important to note that 2021 showed a substantial increase in motorcycles registered. The data also shows an increase in vehicle miles traveled by bikers. NHTSA data shows 9.8 million registered motorcycles with approximately 19.6 billion miles traveled in 2021. Those increases mean that while the total number of fatalities and injuries went up, the rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles went down. Riders accounted for 95% of deaths, while 5% were motorcycle passengers; 57% of fatalities occurred by collision with another vehicle, 26% resulted from a collision with a fixed object, 4% collision with a non-fixed object, while 13% of fatalities occurred without a collision; 34% of fatalities involved a rider impaired by alcohol. That number is in line with the 31% of alcohol-related fatalities nationwide. Riders were wearing helmets in 59% of fatalities, while riders were not wearing helmets in 38% of fatalities. Another 3% of fatalities occurred where helmet usage was unknown; 29% of fatalities involved an unlicensed rider. 

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


Bitubo Adds David Zemla to U.S. Team

Italian suspension specialist Bitubo has announced the next stage in the development of its plans to build foundations for increased brand profile and sales in the United States.

Left to right: Product Manager Sean Delshadi, Sales & Marketing Manager; Sales & Marketing Manager Giorgia Mardollo; U.S. Chief of Operations David Zemla

Having hired former Progressive Suspension, Performance Machine and Burly Brand (MAG group) Product Manager Sean Delshadi to head up Sales and Marketing of the Bitubo brand in America, it has now hired another former Progressive Suspension and Performance Machine group man, David Zemla, as the Director of U.S. operations.

Most recently Zemla held one of the more prestigious roles in the American motorcycle parts and accessories aftermarket as VP of Marketing for historic U.S. performance parts manufacturer S&S Cycle.

At EICMA, Zemla told AMD: "I've spent my entire career working with premier level aftermarket brands and am more than excited to help grow Bitubo's U.S. operations."

Sales & Marketing Manager, and fourth generation leader at Bitubo, Giorgia Mardollo shared:  "We believe the United States have been a 'sleeping giant' in sales terms. Bitubo is one of the very few motorcycle suspension manufacturers that can convincingly claim to offer a world class level of high performance suspension, and with the right team in place, we can bring that expertise and top shelf product to a performance-hungry U.S. market." 

David hit the ground running in October and can be reached at

EICMA 2023 review part 4

Rokker: Swiss based protective riding jeans brand with a strong profile and good reputation in the custom motorcycle market. In what has become a 'crowded space', one characterized by claim and counter claim, Rokker is known for product that protects well, feels comfortable and looks good at the same time. Readily available to dealers in the custom market in Europe, dealers in USA can buy through Upshift Distribution in Philadelphia (;

Hepco&Becker: The German luggage manufacturer has manufactured luggage and accessories for select Harley-Davidson applications going back to the 1980s. As a prominent player in the ADV space, Hepco & Becker has been proactive to create accessories for the new Harley, including its Lock-it tank ring system, stainless steel heat shield, steel handlebar guards, side stand enlarger, crash bars and skid plate. As a luggage specialist, there are four rear luggage racks to choose from, plus its Xplorer cutout side carrier system - which follows the contours of the exhaust. Included in the kit is the side carrier and two aluminum cases reinforced with plastic all around for a combined luggage capacity of 77 l; 40 l for the left case and 37 l for the cutout case on the right of the bike. A matching 45 l Xplorer top case in silver or black is also available. Hepco & Becker products are distributed in USA by Moto Machines (;

Denali Electronics: The company was founded in 2012 with the introduction of an innovative LED lighting kit, purpose-built for the then under-served powersports market. "At a time when halogen and HID lighting was the industry standard, Denali focused on advancing LED technology to develop the brightest, most compact lights possible. In the years since, our passion for innovation and vehicle integration enabled us to develop best-in-class LED lights, horns and smart controllers with proprietary features and seamless integration into ATVs, Side X Sides and motorcycles." In 2022, Denali officially joined forces with U.S. manufacturer Vison X Lighting and parent company Brown & Watson International with its manufacturing in USA, Australia and Korea. "Our CANsmart technology allows us to read vehicle data in real time to deliver a seamless aftermarket experience that doesn't just meet OE standards, but exceeds them;"

Marolotest: The Nantes based French workshop equipment manufacturer is best known for its advanced workshop lift designs and technology and is no stranger to H-D authorized dealer workshops;

Race Winning Brands (RWB)/Wiseco: First introduced in 2017, Wiseco 'Black Edition' pistons feature ArmorFit and ArmorX proprietary coatings to conform to bore and reduce operating friction and noise, and increase crown, ring groove and pin wear resistance respectively;

Show Chrome: Though historically known best as a Honda Gold Wing parts and accessory specialist, recent years have seen the Wisconsin based vendor add the ATV/UTV and 'reverse trike' roadster markets to its portfolio. Though a small sector in the very different powersports industry landscape that Europe has when compared to the United States, it was busy and its focus on ergonomics and comfort was well received at EICMA;

Wolfgang Publications

Harley-Davidson Performance Baggers

This new book by Timothy Remus (of Wolfgang Publications fame) delivers a detailed look at the new breed of M-8 Baggers, and the Twin Cams that preceded them. The book includes interviews with people like Rick Ward and Bert Baker, and advice on brakes and suspension, from the likes of Beringer and Öhlins.

In addition to the techs and experts, the bulk of this entertaining book is filled with pictures and the story of what makes true Performance Baggers owned by regular riders - on Road Glide and Street Glide platforms. Each of those 20 stories cover the motors, the drivetrain and the chassis.

Some went all the way with a 143 cubic inch M-8 with a blower for 200 hp dyno runs. Other owners left the motor cases in the frame, and installed bigger jugs, ported heads and a tune to achieve 140+ hp. Same goes with the chassis: new shocks and replaced (or upgraded) forks. For brakes maybe they install new front rotors and retain the factory calipers or replace all the components. What they did or didn't do is a lesson to readers in all the possible options and why to use some modifications, in some circumstances, rather than others.

Written by Timothy Remus with the help with experienced builders and owners, H-D Performance Bagger is a high-quality guide for anyone with a late model Bagger or plans to buy that new Bagger.

Available from... and

Custombike Show

Custombike Show 

December 1-3, 2023

Bad Salzuflen, Germany

Words and pictures by Horst Roesler, Motographer

What do you call four halls, 20,000 sq m (200,000 sq ft) of exhibit space and a custom bike show with 240 bikes, 180 exhibitors and 22,100 visitors from 24 countries? In any language, a success of course! 

One of Europe's premier custom bike shows is back and back in force with a massive footprint, massive attendance, and a massive number of custom bikes.

The first weekend of December was never the easiest date in the annual European custom show calendar, with the build cycle 'between seasons', uncertain winter weather and Christmas looming large, but despite the challenges the Custombike Show has faced ever since it was founded in 2005, it is now back to its best.

Despite historic and current problems such as the 2008-2010 global financial crisis, the pandemic, organizer bankruptcy, ongoing economic uncertainty, multiple wars, inflation and more - to say nothing of the changing demographics and nature of the custom motorcycle industry - there has always been the need for a show like this to succeed in Germany,  and there is massive determination among German custom market enthusiasts, builders, parts and accessory vendors and growing OE support dedicated to making sure it does succeed.

The show is now thriving under the new ownership and institutional memory of the professionals at the host expo center and benefitting from the continuity of backing from former show promoter CUSTOMBIKE Magazine - now recovered from the near-death experience of its now defunct former show-owning publishing company.

One of the many returning highlights at Bad Salzuflen was the European Biker Build-Off. It featured Germany against Austria and BMW against Indian Motorcycles - for the first time there was no Harley participant on the contest.

The three-day event saw the usual focus on V-twin parts and accessory vendors, performance specialists and custom builds alongside a wide range of additional custom platforms, new bikes and older names and models. An example of the rapidly changing motorcycle industry show and expo landscape in Europe saw Kawasaki and BMW giving European premiers to new models at CUSTOMBIKE - rather than at the 'Milan Show' (EICMA), which had been staged just four weeks earlier.

The weather probably prevented the show from establishing a new record attendance, but there was a healthy crowd and a € 5,000 prize for 'Best in Show', and the title of European Champion attracted custom bike builders from all over Europe, including well-known names and show winners from Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Scandinavia and many other European markets.

The 'Live-on-Stage' International Biker Build-Off saw local BMW dealer Becker-Tiemann crossing wrenches with top Austrian specialist Indian (and Victory) customizer Styrian Motorcycles (SMC - Markus Krasser). 

The local Becker-Tiemann team created a Bobber-style R-18 'Classic' using BMW custom parts as well as Roland Sands wheels, Jekill & Hyde exhaust and own custom-made parts. 

SMC radicalized a 'Chief' into a wild, front and rear Airride equipped 'Chicano' that took the Sunday visitor vote by the smallest of margins - the contest saw both bikes starting at first try, which, historically, is not always the case in 'live' build-offs.

The trophy ceremony saw 14 categories - plus a Best of Show - and with the World Championship still in hibernation pending new ownership, the Bad Salzuflen show can genuinely claim to be the leading custom motorcycle showcase in Europe and a worthy home to a new, reimagined iteration of the European Championship.

For the first time no Harley team was on stage as the 2023 battle was themed "Indian vs BMW." Styrian Motorcycles (SMC) of Markus Krasser and a team-up of BMW Becker-Tiemann Bielefeld staff created two cool custom bikes that both started at first touch of the button and came quite close in the voting. SMC opted for a Chicano-style Lowrider with air suspension, with BMW opting for a classic R-18 Bobber in BMW tradition.

Best Of Show: Triumph again for Mirko Perugini of Gallery Motorcycles , Italy, who won 'Best Of Show' with his 120th anniversary tribute bike. Handcrafted around a 103-year-old model J F-head motor, it features outstanding craftsmanship and superb sheet metal work. 

Old School winner: Owned and built by young Swedish custom bike enthusiast Kevin Almlöf, this mild "Digger" is welded, modified and engraved by Kevin. The XL Sportster is of 1973 origin.  

Chopper winner: Of the wildest Choppers on display ever, Vito Klemencic of Slovenia's VK Custom Works created "History", a masterpiece of sheet metal work around a classic 45 cu in "Flathead," with outstanding details and one of the longest forks ever in Europe! 

Café Racer winner: Benelli SEI is a great base for any retro Café Racer and perfectly modified into a Seventies-style Café Racer. It was restored and modified by Markus Tellenbrock of Oelde/Germany with top restoration and customizing, with homemade six-in-six exhaust system and Café Racer parts in a classic Café Racer set-up.

Best Engineering: No doubt that 16 years is a long time for building a custom bike! But Otto Nijs not just built this wild V-8 turbo with NOX option, he also had it homologated for street use! All handcrafted rolling chassis, twin turbo charger to reach noise emissions and the possibility to achieve 1,000 hp out of 5,736 cc were his motivation.

Craziest Bike: There have been many bike show entries which could have been labeled crazy, but Tomas Pitlik's " TnorF", a 1938 cc engine in a "Megola" inspired frame set-up, did certainly catch the eye of every visitor who passed it! Frame and many parts are handcrafted. The bike was ridden onto stage by Tomas, who is well known for his motorcycle art and art motorcycles in the Czech scene.



Motorcycle Storehouse

FRED Kodlin

Parts Europe­


Custom Chrome Europe

Feuling Parts

M-8 Cylinder Head Breather

Harley may have dispensed with the cylinder head breather on its new design of VVT CVO heads, but in all likelihood, it will be some time before its new engine tech makes its way into the mainstream Softail and Touring models (if at all).

Oceanside, California headquartered Feuling Parts' new Feuling cylinder head breathers for M-8 engines are CNC-machined from billet 6061 aluminum with square surfaces, promoting excellent umbrella valve sealing. 

Longer main breather exit nipples with dual O-rings to promote better breather system sealing and properly sized breather inlets and location mean optimum engine breathing - the unique design maximizes breather volume and allows for easy serviceability. 

The breather bodies have multiple drain ports located on the inside floor and the ports are chamfered on ID to allow easy drainage, yet are squared off on the exits to deter filling from splash oil. Anodized in Feuling Red, the kits include the billet breather housings, billet covers, breather filter elements, umbrella valves and quality hardware.

CEO Luke Leatherman says that its breathers "work, seal and hold an engine vacuum. Testing shown on a healthy, sealed engine without external venting via the dipstick or transmission top cover will see 3-4 oz of oil in the sump, and once the dipstick is removed, another 3-4 oz will drain.

"These breathers can be used with external venting via dipstick, transmission cover and air cleaner and are a stock replacement for Touring and Softail M-8 engines - rocker cover gaskets will need to be additionally purchased; one-year warranty available."


Custom Chrome Europe

CCE - 49 mm DLC Fork Tubes

Available in Europe from Germany headquartered Custom Chrome Europe, these Custom Cycle Engineering (Oceanside, California) Diamond Like Coated (DMC) 49 mm fork tubes are available in black or chrome. 

DLC is a low friction, corrosion resistant and extremely hard finish. They are offered in the stock 603.2 mm/23.75" length in +2" over (654 mm/25.75" length) and +4" over (704.9 mm/27.75" length).

These tubes will fit a wide range of Softail applications, from 2018 and up. Sold in pairs of 49 mm tubes.

Manufacturing fork tubes for some 50 years, Custom Cycle Engineering start with DOM 1026 steel tubing that is ordered specially from a tubing mill, then it centerless grinds the outside diameter to OEM specifications and machines the rest of the tube to exact ID specs before being buffed to a durable mirror finish.


Tuesday 23 January 2024


Harley Announces 2024 "Returning Models" Already in Dealerships With New Model and Limited Edition Reveal Slated for Late January 

In advance of what it is hyping as the 'Dawn of a New Era' when "additional new models" were slated to premier on January 24 (10:00 a.m. CST), Harley-Davidson exactly no new models in a January 03, 2024, announcement about its announcement - confirming only that returning (and apparently unaltered) new models were already in dealerships at that stage.

Described as a "portion" of its 2024 motorcycle line, and restricted to models already available at authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships globally at the start of January 2024, the limited-production 2024 models from Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) and "more new Harley-Davidson motorcycle models" were slated for a "part deux" video reveal ("American Dreamin") in timing that, as much as anything else, has likely been optimized to maximize share price benefit -or ameliorate share price damage triggered by expected 2023 Q4 and full year fiscals that are likely to disappoint investors and their analysts.

The 2024 returning models "represent the following categories in the Harley-Davidson motorcycle portfolio, a collection of the sport’s most desirable motorcycles." 

Grand American Touring: For riders responding to the call of the open road. Grand American Touring models take riders beyond the horizon with the comfort and community that makes the journey spectacular, from the company that started the cross-country experience.

Cruiser: Iconic and diverse styling - from nostalgic to very modern - is paired with the ability to customize and make the ultimate personal statement.

Sport: Industry-leading performance and advanced technology offer an exhilarating riding experience combined with styling inspired by Harley-Davidson heritage.

Trike: Harley-Davidson Trike models offer an appealing option for those who appreciate the confidence of a three-wheel platform.

Adventure Touring: For riders who want the ability to go anywhere, those who see touring as detouring. The award-winning Pan America motorcycle is a versatile and inspirational machine that makes any surface a road.

And that was it! Nothing about those returning models, as such, and therefore no insight into any that have been dropped, and, most unusually, nothing about there even being new paint, accessories (or G&A) options for them.

This edition of AMD went to press some ten days before the planned reveal, so we can't be sure what they are driving at, but, reassuringly, Harley did remind us that its brand "stands for the timeless pursuit of adventure and freedom for the soul" and that potential buyers could go to the website to learn more. Good then!

That was the wording of Harley's release, suggesting that if there are any new model announcements, they may well be in a new category. That said, the most widely expected 'newbie' for MY2024 would have been an additional, lower displacement 'Pan America' ADV model on the modular 'Revolution Max' platform. Despite the 'hoop-la' that BMW has successfully managed to create surrounding its heavily updated 1300 cc GS adventuring touring iteration, mid-displacements are where buyers are focused currently - especially in international markets.

As far as the existing categories are concerned, Harley's release was light on tech detail - in fact, there wasn't any - and even more surprisingly, shorter on the usual hyperbole.

However, AMD is led to believe that the MY24 V2.0 announcement should see some Trike news and the start of migration of Harley's VVT tech to the Touring lineup with new Street Glide and Road models - albeit on the 117" platform.

There will likely be eight existing Softail models continued for all markets, plus the existing Sport Glide for "international" markets. The Sportster S and Nightster options are continued. Some kind of new race style model is also speculated, but sans-VVT (which is odd if true).

All things considered, it doesn't look like the market is about to be treated to the kind of MY2024 that is needed. That was the wording of Harley's release, suggesting that if there are any new model announcements, they may well be in a new category. That said, the most widely expected 'newbie' for MY2024 would have been an additional, lower displacement 'Pan America' ADV model on the modular 'Revolution Max' platform. Despite the 'hoop-la' that BMW has successfully managed to create surrounding its heavily updated 1300 cc GS adventuring touring iteration, mid-displacements are where buyers are focused currently - especially in international markets.

As far as the existing categories are concerned, Harley's release was light on tech detail - in fact, there wasn't any; and even more surprisingly, shorter on the hyperbole than usual, simply stating a bunch of the blindingly obvious.

News Briefs

Chinese giant CFMoto has staged a grand opening of its new 100,000 sq ft facility at Plymouth, Minnesota. It will house up to 120 employees and contractors and comes just four months after the opening of its massive new North American ATV/UTV manufacturing facility at Monterrey, Mexico. CFMoto is #1 ATV/UTV market share in 26 countries worldwide and, presently, the U.S. market accounts for some 40% of its $1.6bn annual sales in the sector.

BRP has reported revenues of CAN $2,467.8m for the third quarter of its 2024 fiscal year (to October 31, 2023), a decrease of -CAN $241.5m (-8.9%) compared to the year-ago period.  EBITDA of $444.9m was down -8.8%; 'normalized' diluted EPS of CAN $3.06 was a decrease of -$0.58 per share or -15.9%. North American quarterly retail sales were up for SSV, ATV and Snowmobile, offset by lower retail of PWC, 3WV and Sea-Doo Pontoon, resulting in overall flat retail when compared to the same period last year. "BRP delivered sound third-quarter results in the context of the current macroeconomic environment, with improved gross margin and market share gains despite reduced volumes. The decrease can also be explained by a softening in industry demand in the international market compared to the same period in 2022," said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP.

Electric vehicle brand SUPER73 will be title sponsor of the industry e-bike races at AIMExpo, Las Vegas, February 2024. The SUPER73 Industry E-Bike Throwdown will pit dealers, exhibitors, media and industry leaders in a series of races to see who will ultimately be crowned champion of the industry. SUPER73 will be bringing a range of its bikes from its "fully capable" urban commuters to its all-terrain Adventure Series. Many models are Bluetooth compatible and feature front or full suspension, fenders, a light and horn. The SUPER73 Industry E-Bike Throwdown will be held during the AIMExpo Industry Party powered by Turn 14 Distribution on Tuesday, February 6, at the AIMExpo indoor e-bike track. In other news, as at early December 2023, AIMExpo had secured expanded exhibit space, so it could accommodate additional exhibitors on the previously sold-out showfloor.

Ex-Apple and Tesla exec George Blankenship has joined top-end Swedish electric motorcycle manufacturer Verge as Chief Revenue Officer, responsible for "developing Verge Motorcycles' customer interface and customer journey, as well as its global store strategy."

The AMA has announced January 21 and February 10 for its 2024 Ice Race Grand Championship GP and Oval Events at Lake Winnebago, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, after the 2023 cancellation. These are the only amateur ice racing opportunities in which a racer can earn an AMA National No. 1 Plate. Racers will also compete for the AMA Ice Racer of the Year, AMA Vet/Senior Ice Racer of the Year and AMA Youth Racer of the Year. The GP event will run alongside the Steel Shoe Fund Three Hour Endurance Race, an annual endurance ice event that serves as the main fundraiser for the Steel Shoe Fund - a non-profit organization that assists flat track racers who have sustained serious injury during competition. In the event of a cancellation, the GP event will have a reserve date of January 28. The AMA celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2024. 

Yamaha Motor is to exhibit a prototype hydrogen powered outboard engine at the 2024 Miami International Boat Show in February.

BRP has bought a controlling 80% stake in Pinion GmbH - a manual and electric bicycle gearbox tech specialist founded in 2008 at Denkendorf, Germany. "Beyond our existing powersports and marine products, we are expanding our addressable market and entering untapped categories such as urban mobility and services," said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. Earlier in 2023, BRP also acquired e-drive systems and transmissions Great Wall Motor Austria GmbH from its Chinese parent company.

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

AIMExpo 2024

The Countdown Is On...

AIMExpo, Las Vegas, February 6-8, 2024

With "thousands of dealers" registered to attend, "hundreds of OEM and aftermarket brands" booked, "three days of new products, education and networking" and "two e-bike courses," the "countdown is on" for an AIMExpo that has seen the show floor sell out (and extra exhibit space booked) for "one event like no other for the powersports industry," according to the Irvine, California based Motorcycle Industry Council.

Following Polaris Industry and Indian Motorcycles' decision to return to AIMExpo, the latest news concerns Triumph Motorcycle's Triumph plans to be "Rolling Deep" into AIMExpo 2024 with an expanded MY2024 offer that includes its entry into the MX market, its 2022 acquired OSET brand of British made young riders' electric trails bikes, and the January 2024 announcement of its new Daytona 660 triple.

Triumph Daytona 660 triple

Now set to occupy "over 225,000 sq ft of show space at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with more than 17 OEMs, four major distributors, and over 300 exhibitors in attendance, the show floor is now completely sold out," Andre Albert, MIC Director of Marketing and Events, announced in December.

Additional show features include AIMExpo’s 'Disruptive Thinking' stage, "which will feature an impactful education program delivered by Motorcycle & Powersports News and AIMExpo"; New Product Central; the Dealer Tech Zone; the MIC Business Center and the AIMExpo Industry Party powered by Turn 14 Distribution.

From the custom point of view, in addition to the return of Indian Motorcycle and an increased V-twin vendor footprint, Andre was able to additionally announce that the "iconic Buffalo Chip will be bringing the Spirit of the Chip to AIMExpo 2024" - backing the 2 Wheel Custom Showcase.

Curated by bike builder Kevin Dunworth, it will "feature ten of the top builders from across the country." Rod "Woody" Woodruff, President and CEO of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, will personally select the bike and builder that fires him up the most for the 2024 Sturgis Rally and that best represents 'The Best Party Anywhere', awarding the chosen builder the "Spirit of the Chip" trophy. 

"I’m excited to see all the custom builds and to award the bike and builder that captures the spirit of the Buffalo Chip and the custom motorcycle culture it represents," said Woodruff.

Dunworth announced the final five builders for the 2024 AIMExpo showcase in January - Brian Buttera (Florida), Tim Dixon (Tennessee), Oliver Jones (Baltimore, MD), Anthony Robinson (Lancaster, California), and Paul Wideman (Hawk Point, Missouri), will be joining David Chang (Minnesota), Larry Curik (Illinois), Kacey Elkins (Kentucky), Roy Martin (Colorado) and Mark Rabideau (Wisconsin) "to showcase the talents and diversity of style in the 2 Wheel Custom Showcase."

2024 Progressive American Flat Track

AFT to Hit the Streets of Sturgis

AMA Pro Racing, in collaboration with Øuterkind and the City of Sturgis, has announced a major new event on the 2024 Progressive American Flat Track schedule: the inaugural Spirit of Sturgis TT. 

This "spectacle of motorcycle sport" is scheduled for August 11, 2024, coinciding with the final Sunday of the 84th Annual City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally - continuing a legacy of motorcycle racing for the city that dates back to 1938. 

"The history and the legacy of the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally started with racing," said Mark Carstensen, mayor of the City of Sturgis. "To host this event, Sturgis is building the bridge to the future."  

The Spirit of Sturgis TT is a culmination of the collaborative effort to combine the rich heritage and tradition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with American Flat Track's 70+ years of national championship racing to create a modern-day racing spectacle for fans. 

This groundbreaking event is taking place in the vibrant heart of downtown Sturgis and will feature "an innovative mix of street and dirt sections and free for the public to attend." 

Gene Crouch, CEO of AMA Pro Racing, states: "The Spirit of Sturgis TT is not just a race; it's a tribute to the enduring legacy of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, blending tradition with innovation. Racing through the storied streets of Sturgis promises a spectacular new chapter in the city's rich history in motorcycle racing, while offering an unparalleled experience for fans and competitors.

"The inaugural Spirit of Sturgis TT race is an embodiment of our agency's commitment to delivering an exceptional motorsports experience within the world's most iconic motorcycle rally," says Ben Keane, Partner in Denver, Colorado based Øuterkind. 

The 0.5-mile circuit will include legendary Main Street and each race will start and finish at the iconic Harley-Davidson Rally Point. 

The event will also feature the debut of the AFT AdventureTrackers class. This new category will introduce the latest production-based Adventure bikes, providing the motorcycle industry with an opportunity to showcase the rapidly growing segment. 

Custom Chrome Europe

Custom Chrome Europe -'Bolt On And Ride' Program Back After Four-Year Absence

Custom Chrome Europe celebrated 25 years in business in 2023. During that time, and born out of the widespread 'kit bike' phenomena that swept the parts and accessory community from the mid-1990s, CCE's 'Bolt On And Ride' concept (2009-2020) was always a more "considered" and "convincing" proposition. Rather than complete builds, they were a selection of custom builds designed by leading European custom bike builders.

The 'Bolt On And Ride' concept had been immediately popular, providing an easy access pathway for riders to be able to enjoy and share in the design ideas of many of the European market's leading customizers.

So, fast forward four years, and the Custombike Show at Bad Salzuflen in Germany in December 2023 (and subsequently Motor Bike Expo at Verona, Italy, in January 2024) saw CCE dive back into those waters and bring back an all-new iteration of the concept to market.

The presentations featured three designs and platforms by German customizers Rick’s Motorcycles, Bike Farm Melle and former World Champion custom bike builders Thunderbike, the latest custom parts available from CCE, Rick’s Motorcycles' FXRT-style fairing for M-8 Softails and numerous new Rick’s 'Clubstyle' parts showcased on their Low Rider ST. Rick's prior contributions to the BOAR program had included 'Black Bob' (2013) and 'Moccarica' (2018).

Bike Farm Melle, also established as Indian Melle has customized a 2023 Indian Scout "Bobber" for a more "Bobber spirited" Scout rolling on TTS "Fat Spoke" wheels and V-Performance exhaust system.

Thunderbike had previously built no less that nine BOAR customs, from the first Street Bob and Fat Boy in 2009 to CCE's "Custom Chrome 50th Anniversary" tribute in January 2020. Bike Farm Melle had one prior design in the BOAR program - 'Fisherman's Chop' from 2014.

Bike Farm Melle, also now established as Indian Melle, has modified a basic 2023 Indian Scout Bobber for a more "Bobber spirited" Scout, rolling on TTS 'fat spoke' wheels (Germany), with a V-Performance exhaust system (Italy), Ness pegs and CultWerk (Austria) front and rear fender to "bob-up" the basic Scout Bobber.

In 2024, Rick's Motorcycles will celebrate 30 years in business - and this radical "Clubstyle" "Bolt On And Ride" bike is another "Clubstyle" themed radical rider, featuring Rick's own FXRT/RP fairing, brand new and super-solid risers and triple-trees and many new Rick's parts that are new to the Custom Chrome Europe catalog.

Tunderbike produced a super-clean 2023 Fat Boy, featuring numerous brand-new Thunderbike and Performance Machine parts, including PM M-8 cam and rockerbox covers and Fred Kodlin's super-fat handlebar. Thunderbike added air suspension, air filter, a tail end conversion and numerous details and covers for a great 'bookend' to the similar Fat Boy and Street Bob customs they kickstarted the "Bolt On And Ride" program with 15 years ago.

Custom Chrome Europe partner Thunderbike, also creators of the first two "official" Bolt On And Ride" bikes in 2009, customized a superb 2023 model year "Fat Boy", featuring numerous brand new Thunderbike and Performance Machine parts.

Rick's Motorcycles' superb 'Clubstyle' interpretation of the Low Rider is a 'Clubstyle' themed radical, loaded with its already popular new parts and accessories that act as a precursor to its 2024 celebration of 30 years as one of Europe's custom motorcycle market leaders.