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Harley appoints turnaround specialist Jochen Zeitz to revive sales

By | General Posts

by Rachit Vats, Sanjana Shivdas from https://www.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) on Thursday appointed board member and turnaround specialist Jochen Zeitz to the role of chief executive officer, as the struggling motorcycle maker looks to tap into his expertise to woo customers and revive sales.

Shares of Harley, which were down 47% this year as of last close, rose 5% to $20.6 in morning trade.

Zeitz, a former CEO hailed for turning around German footwear brand Puma’s near-bankrupt business, is known to have led a push for sustainability at Harley and was a force behind Harley’s LiveWire, the company’s first electric bike.

The company said Zeitz, who joined the Harley board in 2007, will continue to serve as the board chairman.

Harley has failed for years to increase sales in the United States, its top market, which accounts for more than half of its motorcycles sold. As its tattooed, baby-boomer consumer base ages, the Milwaukee-based company is finding it challenging to attract new customers.

To make matters worse, the pandemic has further dented demand as Americans stay at home to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In April, Harley slashed here its dividend and halted share buybacks to boost its cash reserves to weather the impact from the health crisis.

Zeitz was asked to take over after CEO Matthew Levatich stepped down in February following Harley’s worst sales performance in at least 16 years.

In his first call with investors as acting CEO, Zeitz lined up plans to cut costs and “de-emphasize” some of its unprofitable international regions.

The shift in strategy for the company that symbolized the counterculture movement of the 1960s comes as it struggles to woo the next generation of younger riders with its electric and more nimbler bikes in the United States.

Royal Enfield Taurus lives again! India’s only Diesel bike restored

By | General Posts

by Abhilasha Singh from https://www.financialexpress.com/

How many of us remember Royal Enfield Taurus? Popular in the 1980s and 90s, the Taurus or Royal Enfield Bullet Diesel is the only Diesel-powered motorcycle that has ever been mass-produced in India.

The lockdown inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic seems to have changed our job descriptions – instead of heading out, riding and telling you about new motorcycles, we’re forced to stay home and research from our laptops to bring you good reads. And hopefully, this blast from the past will be too. How many of us remember Royal Enfield Taurus? Popular in the 1980s and 90s, the Taurus was the only Diesel-powered motorcycle that has ever been mass-produced in India. A Surat-based custom shop has restored one to its original state and that gives us a chance to talk about the Taurus and why it was put to sleep.

So, apparently retro-fitting a diesel engine to Royal Enfield Bullets was quite the trend back in the day. This was an epiphany for RE which decided to launch a Bullet with a factory-fitted 325cc diesel engine. This was also the smallest engine that the manufacturer has ever used on one of its motorcycles.

Lovingly called simply the Bullet Diesel for obvious reasons, the Taurus looked identical to its petrol-powered counterpart except for a whole different view when you’d look down at the engine. ParPin Garage’s restoration job is commendable as it delivers a neat-looking ode to India’s only diesel motorcycle.

But are we saddened by the Taurus’ demise? Not really, no. The only aspect of the bike which is unbeatable is the fuel efficiency – it returned about 80-90 km to a litre. Numbers like that can get today’s commuter motorcycles to stop grinning. However, since it was a 6.5 hp diesel engine, the ride was so marred by vibrations, it could unsettle your shoulder bones and spine, and the speedo never climbed above 65 km/h. The fuel efficiency was the only reason the Taurus was very popular.

Even so, the Taurus’ USP of being a thrifty diesel-powered bike would also be the last nail to its coffin. As is the case with crude diesel engines, the Taurus left behind clouds of black smoke from wherever it passed. This was never going to clear the emissions norms which had by then started getting more serious, eventually leading to its discontinuation.

The Royal Enfield Taurus, however, will remain one of those special rare sightings that you yearn to see. It delivered to the demand in its time, it looked exactly like the motorcycles that army men rode, and it was and will remain India’s only diesel-powered motorcycle.

Honda’s upcoming inline-four ADV to take on Ducati Multistrada: Patent images leaked

By | General Posts

by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com

Looks like Honda’s Multistrada V4 challenger will come with a breathtaking design! Find all details here.

Honda is currently working on a full-fledged ADV and very recently, the patent for the same has been filed with the European Intellectual Property Office. While on one hand, Honda’s Africa Twin CRF1100L aims at serious off-roading, on the other, the said ADV model will have a focus on the roads and will compete against the likes of the upcoming Ducati Multistrada V4, BMW S 1000 XR and the Kawasaki Versys 1000 in the segment. One of the important highlights of the upcoming Honda ADV will be that it will feature an inline four-cylinder engine. The ADV will get 17-inch alloy wheels at both ends. As one can see in the patent images, courtesy RideApart, the bike will get a semi-fairing and should get a full-LED lighting system.

Moreover, in terms of features, the ADV is expected to get a fully coloured TFT instrument cluster and the unit should support Bluetooth connectivity as well. The bike is also expected to get an adjustable windscreen. Also, as one can see in the patent images, the bike will get inverted forks upfront along with a rear monoshock. Moreover, the bike will come with dual disc brakes upfront along with a single disc at the rear and a dual-channel ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) will be a part of the package as well. The bike will get a single-sided swingarm too.

Coming to the powertrain, there aren’t much details available yet. However, we believe that being a full-fledged, full-size ADV, the bike will draw power from a litre-class engine that should have a power output of well over 100hp. We can expect to see this bike sometime next year with a public debut likely at the 2021 EICMA motorcycle show.

Royal Enfield resumes production, appoints new CFO

By | General Posts

by Nehal Chaliawala from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

The company also said that about 120 of its dealerships will resume partial operations and about 300 will be operational by the middle of this month.

Classic motorcycles maker Royal Enfield on Wednesday resumed production and also appointed Kaleeswaran Arunachalam as the chief financial officer of the company effective immediately.

The company also said that about 120 of its dealerships will resume partial operations and about 300 will be operational by the middle of this month.

The company’s manufacturing unit at Oragadam, near Chennai, will be the first to begin operations in a staggered manner, with minimal staff over a single shift. Employees and shop floor staff residing in and around plant locations will be the first to work in these units so as to avoid long-distance travel.

Operations at the company’s other two manufacturing facilities – Tiruvottiyur and Vallam Vadagal – will be started in a phased manner.

Meanwhile, office locations including corporate offices in Chennai, Gurgaon and the UK Technical Centre will continue to remain closed, and employees will continue to work from home, the company said.

The company’s new CFO Kaleeswaran succeeded Lalit Malik who had been holding the position for the last 10 years. He will report to Vinod K Dasari, the chief executive of Royal Enfield and will be part of the motorcycle company’s management team, Eicher MotorsNSE 0.35 % said in a statement.

Lalit, who is also the chief commercial officer at Royal Enfield will continue in that role.

His previous experiences include stints at Mondelez International in India and Asia, and in his early career with Aditya Birla Fashions Limited and with TVS Motor CompanyNSE 4.88 % Limited.

“He has played an instrumental role in the transformation of Future Lifestyle Fashions Limited as a market leader in its segment, through retail formats and own brands, driven by a strong business and financial model,” the statement read.

Dayton Dude Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Is a Different Shade of Grey

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

A body in Audi Daytona grey instead of the omnipresent Nardo grey, and a number of technical enhancements were all it took to transform this Harley-Davidson Fat Boy into a stunning, light-absorbing motorcycle.

The customized motorcycle we have in the gallery above is the work of a Germany-based Harley custom bike builder by the name of Thunderbike. Established in the 1980s, the group was at first in the business of repairing mostly Japanese bikes, but made a switch to customizing Harley a couple of decades ago.

Their projects, which often come as Harley-based conversions, but at times include custom frame builds, have been around since the early 2000s, and the experience gained during these years shows.

This Fat Boy, called in Thunderbike speak Dayton Dude, is the newest model in the customization range. As most others, it features tons of custom parts, ranging from the most visible ones like the front and rear fenders to the smallest, like the turn signal and handlebar.

The motorcycle rides on bicolor-finish wheels, sized 21 inches at the front and 18 inches at the rear. To make sure all can admire the construction of the rear one, a pulley brake system has been used.

Another functional enhancement made to the Fat Boy is the air ride suspension kit that helps manage the distance between the steel fender and the rear tire.

All these new parts (the entire list of modification made can be found at this link) would probably have looked good anyway, but the light-absorbing matte hue on them and the Audi Daytona grey chosen to dress other parts of the bike make the entire build appear stunning.

The builders of the Dayton Dude describe the motorcycle as “one of the most harmonious Fat Boy conversion concepts from our workshop,” but no figure was provided for the cost of the conversion.

Spec Showdown: Triumph Rocket 3 Vs. Yamaha VMax

By | General Posts

by Sabrina Giacomini from https://www.rideapart.com

Power cruisers punch out.

For 2019, Triumph upped the ante on the Rocket 3 with the introduction of an entirely new generation. The upgrades included a new look and also a bigger engine which is no small feat considering the Rocket 3 already rocked the biggest production motorcycle engine on the market. Just like that, a new benchmark was set in the power cruiser segment. 

While the definition of power cruisers is rather broad, there’s only handful of 1,500cc-plusmodels the Rocket 3 can measure up toConsidering the Triumph sits at the top of the category with a higher price tag, we thought we’d take a look at how it compares to one of its more affordable competitors, its Japanese counterpart, theYamaha VMaxLet’s have a look at how the two models compare on paper. 

2020 Triumph Rocket 3R 2020 Yamaha VMax
Engine: 2,458cc, water-cooled, inline-three cylinder 1,679cc, liquid-cooled, 65-degree V4
Bore, Stroke, Compression: 110.2mm x 85.9mm, 10.8:1 90mm x 66mm, 11.3:1
Transmission and Final Drive: gears, shaft 5 gears, shaft
Performance: 165 hp/163 lb-ft -/123 lb-ft
Weight 641.5 pounds (dry) 683 pounds (wet)
Price: $21,900  $17,999

Performance 

Of course, we can’t talk power cruisers without discussing their performance. The Rocket 3 boasts the biggest production motorcycle engine of the industry which gives it an undeniable appeal versus the Yamaha. That being said, though its engine is almost half the size of the Rocket (displacement wise), the VMax can pull its own weight and give the Triumph a run for its money. 

While the Rocket 3 produces more torque than the Vmax (163 versus 143)there’s a possibility that the Japanese power cruiser outperforms its British counterpart on the pony front.  While Yamaha doesn’t disclose any horsepower figures, several sources suggest it produces “over 170 horsepower”, possibly even 200, according to some. That’s easily between 5 to as much as 35 hp more than the Rocket. Because the numbers aren’t from Yamaha, however, we can’t take them into consideration.  

What Yamaha does confirm, however, is that the VMax has a higher compression ratio than the Rocket 3 which means you get more bang (literally) for your buck.  

As for weight, the two companies both showcase different information. Triumph sticks to the dry weight (without the fluids) while Yamaha gives a more reallistic, ready-to-operate weight. Fueled up and ready to go, the Rocket 3 likely weighs about the same as the VMax, give or take a couple of pounds. Based on manufacturer-provided date, this means that the Rocket 3 offers the best power-to-weight ratio (unless Yamaha eventually confirms a horsepower figure.) 

Cruising

Though they like to flex their massive engines and show off their muscles, the Rocket 3 and the VMax are cruisers above all. How well do they perform on that front? Pretty darn well if I may say so.  

Neither Triumph and Yamaha have lost sight of their models’ role in their respective lineups and in the segment they compete in. As good as high-performance ratings look, riders are also interested in the ride itself—or shall we say the “cruise”? For that reason, both companies offer a wide range of elective accessories owners can outfit their cruisers with. The selection in both ranges includes saddle bags, luggage racks, heated grips, taller windscreens, etc. Triumph also offers the Rocket 3 GT which comes fully loaded with a number of additional accessories for a $700 premium over the Rocket 3 R’s starting price.  

Whether you prefer British or Japanese muscle, both offer equally good customization options to help make them more cruising and travel friendly. While creature comfort and equipment weigh heavy in the balance when buying a bike you’d like to travel onthe range is also another factor to consider. This is where the Rocket 3 gets to shine.  

The Triumph is armed with a 4.8-gallon fuel tank and despite the size of its engine, it’s rated at a reasonable 32.43 miles per gallon (mpg). This means that you should be able to get roughly 155 miles out of a single tank. The Yamaha has a smaller, 4-gallon tank. With a fuel economy rating of 27 mpg, this means you should get 108 miles out of a full tank of gas.   

Price 

There’s a healthy $4,000 different between the Yamaha and the Triumph. Interestingly, the despite the price gap, both models have a lot to offer in terms of standard equipment. However, the Rocket 3 does have a leg (or a wheel?) up on its competitor thanks to such standard features as Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, Showa suspension hardware, a beefier engine (of course), and cruise control. Plus, let’s not forget that the Triumph badge tends to come with a small premium anyway.  

While the VMax has quite the striking the design, this generation of the model has been around for over a decade compared and the platform is quite old by the industry’s standards. That being said, though it offers fewer standard features than the Rocket, the VMax manages to stay competitive and relevant thanks to its price also dating from 2009. Launch MSRP was $17,990 11 years ago which at the time was considered premium. A $9 increase in the span of a decade is more than reasonable. 

In Conclusion

The new-generation Triumph Rocket 3 is a beast worthy of its legacy with a bigger, meaner engine and some serious cruising chops. It doesn’t hold a candle to its American competitors. At $21,900, Triumph makes sure that customers get a good deal for their money by loading the bike up with features. Look-wise, from a subjective point of view, it’s also the better-looking bike with a flowing silhouette, dual headlight, and an overall assembly that looks more “finished”.

That being said, while the platform is a bit long in the tooth despite a few recent updates, the Yamaha VMax is just quirky enough to deserve to be on any cruiser lover’s shopping list. Between its massive air ducts and eclectic silhouette, the model stands out, for better or for worst. Plus, the 2.5L inline-three might be the biggest, most powerful engine of the two but the V4 has the most distinct sound.

The Rocket 3 is the power cruiser poster child and the VMax is the weird but endearing cousin.

Other Features

Wheelbase: 66 inches 66.9 inches
Seat Height: 30.4 inches 30.5 inches
Brakes: Dual 320mm discs with Brembo M4.30 Stylema 4-piston radial monobloc calipers front, Single 300mm disc, Brembo M4.32 4-piston monobloc caliper back, Cornering ABS Dual 320mm wave-type discs6-piston calipers with Brembo master cylinder front,  

298mm wave-type disc, single-piston caliper with Brembo master cylinder back 

Suspension Showa 47-mm inverted fork front, Showa monoshock with reservoir RSU with remote hydraulic preload adjuster 52mm inverted fork front, Single shock with remote reservoir and remote adjustable for preload back.
Features: High-specification Avon Cobra Chrome tires, LED headlight, 2nd generation TFT instruments, Four riding modes, Hill-hold control, Cruise control, Keyless ignition, USB charging port, Free ‘MyTriumph’ app.  slipper clutch, ABS, drag-style instruments, LCD.

May is national Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

By | General Posts

from https://www.limaohio.com

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds motorcyclists to ride trained and sober. As summer approaches, motorists should be aware of an increase in motorcycles on the roadways.

There were 3,585 traffic crashes involving motorcycles in 2019 that resulted in 165 deaths and 3,245 injuries. Overall, 79 percent of motorcycle-involved crashes resulted in at least one injury or death.

The patrol issued 1,552 citations to motorcyclists last year; 65% included a speed violation, 21% were for operating a motorcycle without a proper license and 6% were for OVI.

“Being trained and wearing the proper equipment are two ways motorcyclists can be responsible when riding this summer,” said Lt. Jonathon Gray, commander of the Van Wert patrol post. “All motorists should share the road and be aware of their surroundings, as well as other vehicles using the roadway.”

Ohio law requires helmets for riders under 18 and drivers with less than one year of motorcycle experience. Passengers on motorcycles must wear helmets when the driver is required to do so.

This BMW R nineT doesn’t need a stand but can rest on its belly instead

By | General Posts

by Abhilasha Singh from https://www.financialexpress.com

Today’s custom-build feature comes from Zillers Garage in Russia and there are more than one reasons why it needs everybody’s attention. For one, it looks rather otherworldly with a mix of retro but futuristic bodywork. Dmitry Golubchikov of Zillers Garage was commissioned by BMW Motorrad Russia and the inspiration from aviation. (Source: Bikeexif)

It’s based on a 2016-model R nineT, but all that remains from the original motorcycle is the engine, final drive arm and part of the frame. Everything else has been created in-house and it took a total of 10 months to put together. The entire motorcycle is wrapped in hand-formed aluminium with the boxer’s cylinder heads still poking out the bodywork.

The big arch is the highlight of the design and it also is a functional cockpit complete with a Motogadget Motoscope Mini Speedo and a set of push buttons. The head and tail lamps have been integrated in the bodywork and there’s even slide-out storage compartment in the tail which has a phone charging port and a socket to plug a battery charger into.

Now, about what we were on about in the beginning how this bike doesn’t need a stand of any kind to stay upright. It is designed to rest on its bellypan. A couple of buttons on top control the pneumatic system that raises to the bike when its time to set off.

The 18” wheels are fully custom and have been machined of aluminum to resemble turbines. Dmitry also fabricated a stainless steel two-into-one exhaust system, which snakes into the bodywork before emerging in a single muffler on the left. The bulges on each side of the main fuselage hide twin 3D-printed air boxes, kitted out with car air filters.

The extreme motorcycle design is complemented by a mute monochrome paint job. Everything wears the same shade of grey and accented only by subtle pin striping in light grey. Sure, a side stand is simple and cheaper mechanism to work out but that’s the point. This build is meant to be outlandish. Frankly speaking these are all the shades of grey we’re interested in.