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Ujjwal Dey

To Beat Slump, Enfield Looks Beyond the Thump

By | General Posts

Co to launch a more affordable bike in the 250cc segment, open 350 small outlets in hinterland

Royal Enfield, the cult-bike brand from Eicher Motors, is considering a new 250 cc variant to arrest a slide in volumes and market share, and as part of a broader push to make it more accessible to buyers.

The Royal Enfield brand had gone off the radar of aspiring youth looking for an upgrade, as enthusiasm dampened somewhat due to an increase in prices of about 8-10% over the last couple of years on account of a transition to BS IV emission norms, a spike in insurance cost and the introduction of a mandatory anti-lock braking system.

A slowing economy and about a dozen product launches in the 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh price band also added to the company’s woes.

From strong double-digit growth over the last five to six years, Royal Enfield has slipped into a double-digit decline in the last four months.

Under new CEO Vinod Dasari, however, the bike maker has rolled out a plan to set up 350 small outlets in the hinterland, apart from considering a new 250 cc bike variant. The 250 cc study is being carried out by the Indian R&D centre, even as the UK Technical Centre moots new, bigger displacement bikes for the global markets.

RE is also planning to debut a no-frills bike for all its brands, giving a prospective buyer the choice of personalisation and accessorisation.

RE will be able to address the value and premium segment, giving power to prospective buyers, according to the idea pushed by Dasari.

If a prospective buyer does not require all the bells and whistles, he/she can buy a no-frills version, and if the customer wants to spruce up the motorcycle, he/she has the option of adding hosts of accessories to make the vehicle stand out.

According to people in the know, the brand’s prominence and consumer interest remains high. Yet, it is not translating into sales, and factors such as price and features have become critical, which the company needs to address immediately.

When contacted, a company spokesperson declined to comment on future product plans, but said that accessibility had always been important for Royal Enfield in product development and experience.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on bringing classic, evocative and fun-to-ride motorcycles for our customers. We have persistently worked on keeping our motorcycles accessible, from the perspective of availability, ride experience, as well as ownership experience,” the spokesperson said. On the role of customisation, the spokesperson added, “We have a range of genuine motorcycle accessories that allow buyers to customise and personalise their motorcycles. We believe it is a core aspect of self-expression for our riders. We will continue to work towards making this experience more seamless for the customer.”

The company has enjoyed one the highest operating profits among automakers, thanks to its ability to pass on higher costs to customers with ease. However, the moderation in volumes over the past one year suggests that customers’ ability to buy at any price point is gradually waning and rising product prices is emerging as a deterrent to convert enquires into sales. The company’s volumes grew a measly 0.6% in the last fiscal year, its lowest volume growth since 2010.

With a double digit decline in sales for four consecutive months, Royal Enfield is staring at the first year of de-growth in almost a decade and the company is unlikely to meet its production guidance of 9.5 lakh units.

The company admitted that the current dip in volumes is largely related to an economic slowdown rather than brand fatigue. Over last five years, it has been a case of both volume and realisation, where the brand enjoyed a strong pricing power. Experts, however, differ to say that the impact of price increases on volumes in the last nine months indicates brand fatigue is setting in.

To be sure, Royal Enfield has 28.5 million searches on Google, up 9% YoY, which is around 2.37 million searches per month compared with the next three competitors, who rack up searches in the range of 0.6-1.1 million.

The Street is currently pricing in volume growth of 807,000-856,000 for the current fiscal year, which implies growth of -2% to plus 3%. The company has given a production guidance of 950,000 units after the March quarter earnings. This indicates that the Street is not expecting any improvement in volume growth in the near-term.

A new initiative, of Royal Enfield Studio Format Stores, is another step towards ensuring wider accessibility across smaller towns in India.

Royal Enfield has planned to add 350 new Studio Format Stores in 2019-20. This will take the retail touch points to 1,100 towns and cities with 1,350 stores. These stores will have a complete ecosystem of sales, service, spares, apparel, accessories and also rides and events

The small stores will be 225 square feet for sales and 275 square feet for the workshop, compared with 1500 square feet for full-size stores.

The company is expecting sales of 12-20 units per month from the small format stores.

Besides, if the small format stores formula clicks, it plans to open more than 1000 outlets in future.

Electric cars: New vehicles to emit noise to aid safety

By | General Posts

New electric vehicles will have to feature a noise-emitting device, under an EU rule coming into force on Monday.

It follows concerns that low-emission cars and vans are too quiet, putting pedestrians at risk because they cannot be heard as they approach.

All new types of four-wheel electric vehicle must be fitted with the device, which sounds like a traditional engine.

A car’s acoustic vehicle alert system (Avas) must sound when reversing or travelling below 12mph (19km/h).

The EU says the cars are most likely to be near pedestrians when they are backing up or driving slowly, although drivers will have the power to deactivate the devices if they think it is necessary.

The charity Guide Dogs – which had complained it was difficult to hear low-emission cars approaching – welcomed the change, but said electric vehicles should make a sound at all speeds.

Roads minister Michael Ellis said the government wanted “the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone” and understood the concerns of the visually impaired.

“This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road,” he added.

From 2021 all new electric cars must have an Avas, not just new models.

The government has announced plans to ban new petrol and diesel cars and vans being sold by 2040.

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles made up 6.6% of the new car market in May, compared with 5.6% during the same month in 2018.

Does this throw a major wrench into loud bike laws. Remember “Loud Pipes Saves Lives” and the auto industry proved it.–Bandit

New from 5-Ball Leathers

By | General Posts

We softened the leather on all of our Jak shirts and added collars to the full sleeve Jak shirts. The collars have snaps to hold them down on long, fast runs. It’s the coolest, most comfortable leather riding shirt around and at a terrific price.

We just received a new order and they are already sold out. Check out all of our leathers right here.

Remember the Bandit’s Bedroll? We are thinking about making them out of leather. Hang on for the next report.

SHOP NOW – 5-Ball Racing Garage Shop

Weekly News and ROT Rally – join the Cantina

By | General Posts

What’s hip and what’s real?

We see it constantly around us. It’s one of the things I liked about being a biker. It was just me and my motorcycle. I wore what I wore for me and nobody else. Most of us looked like hell most of the time. Who cared?

Life is changing fast and in many respects I don’t like the business formula thrust on us by many companies. I try to keep Bandit’s Cantina and Bikernet simple and to the point, no games.

As I often say behind a bottle of whiskey. “Time will tell and shit will smell,” as told to me by a Richmond Hells Angel when I was a prospect.

READ THE WEEKLY NEWS BY CLICKING HERE

Texas ROT Rally hits a homerun

This is a ’70s style event where alcohol meets full-frontal nudity. Over 200,000 made the annual pilgrimage to the Austin area to party like it was 1999 and with a good number of them entering the rally.

The ROT is a throwback rally where the Harley faithful connect at the Travis County Expo Center for music, stunt shows, vendors and custom bikes.

READ THE ROT RALLY REPORT BY CLICKING HERE

Freedom Coalition Fest Ride this Saturday

By | General Posts

New Rides Listed! Tons of Cool Places to Go!

THIS SATURDAY!!!
GROUP RIDE FROM LIFESTYLE CYCLES.
SKIP THE LINE!
PRE-REGISTER, COFFEE & DONUTS AT 8:00AM.
KICK STANDS UP AT 10:00 AM!

At Lifestyle Cycles, we LOVE hitting the open road. Like no kidding, any chance we can, we jump on our bikes and take a run somewhere. Doesn’t matter where … anywhere. Sometimes just to be on the road, feel the wind, and hear the roar of the exhaust pipes is all it takes. And while it’s cool to take a solo run now and again, we also love taking trips with others. We figure you’re that way too, so that’s why you need to join the Lifestyle Cycles Riding Group! All you need to do is click this link to our Meetup page and click “Join This Group,” and you’re an official member! Seriously, that’s all it takes, and you’re in! We do a TON of rides from quick lunch runs to full day trips. So check it out, join our group, and be a part of our family.

You read right, our Riding Group has 3,315 members!

If you’re looking for family and a place to belong, welcome home! We’re an easy going, laid back group, looking for others who just enjoy safe group riding! Our Riding Group has rides all over California … and even journeys to other states from time to time! We LOVE seeing amazing sites, riding fun roads, going to all kinds of events, having half and full day rides, overnight stays, 2-3 day journeys, and of course, eating at some of the most amazing, off-the-beaten-path places most people don’t even know exist! But the absolute best part is meeting and hanging out with some amazing people, and making some new friends. Join us and be part of an awesome riding group family!

Everyone is welcome (as a side note, we also have members in multiple states), and ALL motorcycles, trikes/can-am’s are welcome. We’re all brothers and sisters that really just enjoy each other’s company and riding. We try to have rides a couple times a month, and even some quick breakfast and lunch rides. We love and encourage our members to suggest places they want to go to or have been and want to share.

So at this point you’re probably asking, “So how do I join?” Super easy. Just click here to go to our Meetup page and click “join.” Easy, right? Welcome to the family!

Seriously. Lifestyle Cycles is so committed to getting you on one of our awesome pre-owned motorcycles (check them out here: https://tinyurl.com/yysd4e7e) that we’ll take just about anything in on trade toward a bike! We’ve taken classic cars, boats, ATVs, slot machines, boats, jewelry, watches, pinball machines, and of course, motorcycles. So take a look around your place and see what you have that might be of value. It just might be the very thing to get you closer to the pre-owned Harley of your dreams! We’re not kidding, bring in whatever you’ve got and let’s take and look and see what we can do! Call us at (714) 490-0155. We’re at 1510 N. State College Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92806

COME SEE WHY LIFESTYLE CYCLES IS THE NUMBER ONE MOTORCYCLE DESTINATION IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!

We carry Street Glides, Road Glides, Tri-Glides, Road Kings, Ultras, Sportsters, Softails, Dynas, and much more! We have a bike to fit just about every budget! You know you’ve been wanting to get a bike, and now is the perfect time! So what are you waiting for? Stop on in today and let’s turn your dream into a reality!

Sales/Parts/Apparel Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM
Saturday: 9AM – 5PM
Sunday: 10.AM – 4PM

Service Dept Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 8AM – 5PM

We Will Be Closed Thursday, July 4th.

Paris clamps down on electric scooters as law of the jungle rules

By | General Posts

More than 1,000 tickets have been issued and about 600 scooters impounded, authorities said, and a new surveillance force has been set up.

PARIS: If you’re spending time in Paris this summer and decide to check out one of the 20,000 electric scooters buzzing along its boulevards, you might want to be careful how you ride and where you end up parking.

Over the past year the city has become awash with the zippy two-wheelers, with 12 start-ups offering the chance to download an app and dash across the Seine for not much more than the cost of a metro ticket.

But the scooters’ popularity, and the relative lack of rules around their use, has prompted City Hall to impose overdue restrictions, with fines for driving them on the pavement or parking them in doorways, crosswalks and other busy places.

After two deaths and scores of injuries, residents have become increasingly vocal against the scooters, which are expected to number up to 40,000 by the end of this year.

From July 1, a spot fine of 35 euros ($40) will be levied on bad parking, while those caught on the sidewalk will be hit with a 135-euro penalty. A speed limit of 20 km/hr has been imposed across the capital.

Even before the legislation kicks in, police have been stepping up their efforts.

More than 1,000 tickets have been issued and about 600 scooters impounded, authorities said, and a new surveillance force has been set up.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has described the scooters as “anarchic”, while transport minister Elisabeth Borne told Le Parisien the city was experiencing “the law of the jungle”.

To regulate the number of scooters, City Hall has introduced a fee of 50 euros per scooter for the first 499 units, rising to 65 euros for companies operating more than 3,000. The biggest operators include Lime, Bird and Jump, operated by Uber.

Yet despite the efforts to put the squeeze on wild scooter riding, pedestrians remain sceptical.

“The fines make sense, but can we enforce them and how?,” asked Yuwei Yeh, a 47-year-old commercial retailer.

“Maybe if we use AI and cameras we can catch people, but we don’t have enough police officers and security guards to fine them, so it will only be a small portion.”

Karim Coulibaly, a 22-year-old employee with Lime said he thought the new laws would not limit the use of electric scooters, but that it was a good thing they are being moved off sidewalks and on to roads.

A representative of Bird said the company had introduced designated parking zones and had not seen a “significant” number of vehicles impounded.

Weekend Round-up for June 25, 2019

By | General Posts

Jim on the right with me, Micah and Marilyn Stemp.

It’s a Mix of Madness and Metal

By Bandit with shots from Wrench and Michael Lichter, the good ones. Oh and girls from Barry Green

I rode to Camarillo to Jim’s Retirement party after having lunch with Rebecca, my 5th wife. In a world gone mad and bikers from hell roaming the city nights, it’s cool to see a solid family like Jim’s unit blossom around motorcycle parts and everything is made in America at JIMS. Mike and his son were returning to the Headquarters after the Born Free Weekend.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ROUNDUP IN THE CANTINA – Subscribe Today

Harley recalls 46,000 bikes for leaky oil linked to two crashes

By | General Posts

Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) said Friday it will recall approximately 46,000 motorcycles in the U.S., citing a potential oil leak that has been linked to two crashes.

The recall includes certain 2017 Electra Glide, Road Glide, Road King and Street Glide bikes. The affected motorcycles were built between July 2, 2016 and May 9, 2017.

The bike maker said an oil line may come loose, causing oil to leak onto the rear tire’s path. There have been nine reports of displaced oil lines. Harley is aware of two crashes and one minor injury due to the issue.

Dealers will repair a clamp on the engine oil cooler line at no extra cost to owners.

Safety Vs Freedom Weekly News for June 20, 2019

By | General Posts

In a world gone insane with regulation you see that freedom still matters. In Missouri they are about to repeal the adult helmet law. The accident rate for motorcycles hasn’t increased in a decade, yet the number of riders on the road has, but who cares. We ride for freedom and excitement, not to improve safety statistics.

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, BorntoRide.com and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Most recently the Smoke Out and Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWS IN THE CANTINA – Subscribe to Cantina today

Southern California city elects a paw-litician for life

By | General Posts

Mayor Max II of Idyllwild, California sits in the back of his pickup truck, wearing a tie and hat, barking his greetings to locals. He’s not your average mayor.

He’s a dog.

The golden retriever, whose full name is Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II, has been mayor of the Southern California town since 2014. But he’s actually the second dog to be elected for the town’s highest office since Mayor Max I in 2012, when Idyllwild first elected a canine.

In 2012, nonprofit Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends ran a sponsored election for the non-incorporated town. Any resident could nominate their pets, and constituents paid $1 donations to vote. The proceeds went to help save animals, and the election raised $31,000 for the animal rescue.

Max I was in the running with 13 other dogs and two cats. Max won with two-thirds of the vote. His owner Phyllis Mueller, who says she’s his chief of staff, says she and her husband campaigned hard… but they also wrote a $20,000 check.

(MORE: Meet the ‘pilot’ pup that has flown thousands of miles)

“I thought it would be fun to have my dog be the mayor,” Mueller says. “You were asked to pay a dollar a vote and you were encouraged to buy the election.”

But Max I was an old dog when he took office and passed away within two years. Phyllis Mueller looked everywhere for the right successor, and says when she first met Max II’s litter it was obvious which of the pups should be the mayor. He apparently looked right at the camera and posed.

He was a young politician beginning his term at only 11 weeks old, and in the third election Mayor Max II was appointed mayor for life.

Mayor Max II and his deputy mayors (two other golden retrievers) make appearances at city events and festivals, go to local hospitals and schools, and even make house calls to those in need. Their fleet of “mayor mobiles” have custom license plates and the mayor’s logos.

“When people ask what party they would belong to, I always say they would be independent,” Mueller jokes.

Mayor Max II’s ultimate goal is to help make the world a better place. Now, that’s a paw-litician worth electing.