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Vance & Hines Issues Statement on Federal Trade Commission Action

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Vance & Hines Issues Statement on Federal Trade Commission Action Against Harley-Davidson

Background: The Federal Trade Commission announced a complaint on June 23, 2022, against Harley-Davidson, ordering the company to “fix warranties by removing illegal terms and recognizing the right to repair, come clean with customers, and ensure that dealers compete fairly with independent third-parties.”

Link to Federal Trade Commission Press Release: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2022/06/ftc-takes-action-against-harley-davidson-westinghouse-illegally-restricting-customers-right-repair-0

Statement from Mike Kennedy, President & CEO of Vance & Hines:

“This action taken by the FTC is a huge win for motorcycle riders. While we still need to see how this plays out, we anticipate that riders will have more choices in how they repair and update their motorcycles during the warranty period, which is clearly a big deal for companies in the motorcycle aftermarket, too. I hope that the “it will void your warranty” threat for someone who just wants a better sounding or smoother running Harley is a thing of the past.”

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for May 2022

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National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) News provides updates on motorcycle industry, market, legislation, rights of bikers, motorcyclists in USA, and motorcycle news from around the world.

THIS MONTH –

  • US President Recognizes Motorcycle Awareness Month
  • Traffic Deaths Top 16 Year High
  • Teenagers More Likely To Die in Car Crash Than by COVID
  • European Motorcyclists Fight to Protect Rider Data
  • New Hampshire Outlaws Motorcycle Profiling
  • Seeking Support for Federal Anti-Profiling Measure
  • California may Establish Pilot Noise Camera Program
  • NCOM Nashville – Be There If you Care

CLICK HERE To Read the May-2022 NCOM Biker Newsbytes

ABOUT AIM / NCOM: The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

The 37th annual NCOM Convention in Nashville, Tennessee will draw hundreds of bikers’ rights activists from across America to “Music City, USA” from June 17-19 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Airport, 10 Century Blvd. (615-871-0033 for room reservations), to discuss and develop legal and legislative strategies regarding issues of concern to all riders.

For more information, or to pre-register (by June 10), call the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com. ALL motorcyclists are welcome and encouraged to attend!

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At Largest Market: Two-wheeler sales crash to 10-year-low in FY22

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Two-wheeler sales crash to 10-year-low in FY22; motorcycles fall below 9 mn
India is the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers and also the largest market for it. (China being second)

One of the primary reasons for this downfall is the spiraling cost of fuel prices.
by John from https://www.newswwc.com/

New Delhi: Rural distress impacted the Indian two-wheeler segment, one of the largest in the world, in a big way that their sales in 2021-22 fell sharply, for the first time in ten years, to 13,466,000 units, as per the latest data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). It was in 2011-2012 that the two-wheeler sales were close to this number at 13,409,00.

( India’s Financial Year is calculated as from 01-April-2021 to 31-March-2022 )

Throughout the year, demand for motorcycles and scooters was impacted by rural distress and higher ownership cost amidst soaring fuel prices. Sales of two-wheelers, particularly motorcycles failed to gather momentum even during the festive months, leaving the companies burdened with a pile of unsold stocks. As a result, the overall sales of motorcycles fell below the 9-lakh mark for the first time since 2016-2017, SIAM report said.

One of the primary reasons for this downfall is the spiraling cost of fuel prices. Barring two months, petrol prices escalated in almost all months of FY22, sometimes even thrice a month that severely impacted the demand of entry-level motorcycles which is the primary choice of the budget-conscious low-income consumers.

New motorcycle sales are directly correlated with fuel prices, as 62% of the country’s fuel sales are consumed by the two-wheeler segment.

According to market experts, spike in auto fuel prices has triggered the rate of deferment majorly among the consumers of below 125cc two-wheelers that hold about 80% of the total market. Besides, shortage of semiconductors and high container charges have also deterred the production levels of OEMs.

Besides, frequent price hikes by the OEMs to overcome the spike in input cost coupled with moderation in rural demand hugely deterred the buying sentiments of consumers.

Additionally, electric vehicle demand continues to witness pickup in the states with higher government incentives like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka etc., which are also key markets for conventional two-wheelers.

All the segments except the two wheelers are in green. Passenger vehicle sales grew 13.2% to 30,69,499 units in FY 22 compared to 27,11,457 units in FY21. Sales of passenger cars stood at 14,67,056 units, utility vehicles at 14,89,178 units and vans at 1,13,265 units.

As fuel prices skyrocket and concerns grow over the running cost of petrol and diesel vehicles, the electric vehicles market has quietly started to build up. As fiscal 2021-22 came to a close, the green brigade — still small in numbers — seems to be coming of age, also charged by government subsidies.

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Electric Cars Can Kiss My Ass

By General Posts

Eclectic article on Electrifying Changes in Our Lives

by the Wicked Bitch

Here it from the lady who has driven everywhere and tweaked the vehicle to get anywhere. ‘Charge’ up your courage and decide the road for your own fate.

“My dad bragged that I could tell a Ford from a Chevy by the time I learned to walk.. and when i did learn to walk, I left tiny handprints in the dust of an old yellow Volkswagen bug in the corner of the shop.”

CLICK HERE To Read this “Heart to Kickin’ Butt” article on Bikernet.com

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Mustang Seats Acquired by Veteran-founded Investment Firm

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Mustang Seats Acquired by Veteran-founded Investment Firm LDR Growth Partners

New Growth-Oriented Owners Will Invest in Company’s Factory Operations, Marketing Programs and Presence with Customers

Three Rivers, Massachusetts – April 4, 2022 – LDR Growth Partners today announced the acquisition of Mustang Motorcycle Products LLC, maker of Mustang Seats and related motorcycle accessories, in a private transaction closed last Friday. Mustang, known for high-quality, handmade motorcycle seats, was founded in 1980 near Three Rivers, MA, where the company maintains factory operations. Mustang was purchased out of Motorsport Aftermarket Group, owned by a group of investors, led by Monomoy Capital Partners.

“Mustang Seats presents a tremendous opportunity for us at LDR,” said William Brame, partner at LDR and co-head of its acquisition business. “Our unique approach is in providing growing companies the resources they need to continue to expand while identifying areas for new value creation. We’ll invest in people, technology, and the machinery the company needs to help deliver the iconic Mustang Seats to motorcycle riders looking for our products domestically and internationally.”

Mustang employs 85 people in a historic facility in Three Rivers. The company was founded by Al Simmons and named after the legendary P51 military aircraft from World War II. Mustang designs and manufactures a variety of styles of seats, with fitments for all major brands of motorcycles. The company also offers rider and passenger backrests and seating-related products.

LDR Growth Partners is a private investment firm focused on acquiring and growing unique, cash flow generating businesses in the manufacturing, industrial products, and transportation sectors. The company currently owns and operates Whitman Controls, a 50-year manufacturer of process automation controls with large, multinational customers across a range of industries. LDR, founded in 2011 by three US Army officers, is also the owner of LDR Advisory Partners and LDR Leadership, firms which focus on improving company, employee and leadership performance.

LDR intends to keep Mustang’s operations in its current primary location as it adds manufacturing technology, production capacity and marketing capabilities to the organization. The company has added nearly 20 additional employees since September of 2021 and the new owners anticipate hiring additional resources in the coming months to accomplish their goals.

“We believe in Mustang’s product, in its people and in the strength of the motorcycle accessory market,” continued Brame. “Our leadership is excited about entrenching ourselves in this company and in the riding community. We look forward to meeting our loyal customers and partners at rallies and events this year.”

“The leadership and employees here at Mustang couldn’t be happier about the news,” said Mustang GM Mike Cornelius. “The additional investment from LDR will help us take the next step forward. Our orders show that riders want Mustang Seats and our team is excited to continue to deliver them to our loyal dealers and customers.”

About Mustang Motorcycle Products
Mustang Seats are handcrafted in the USA to give riders the style they want and the comfort they deserve. Mustang is known worldwide as the highest quality motorcycle seats for virtually all brands of motorcycles. Based in Three Rivers, Massachusetts, the company sells seats and accessories through its network of premier powersports dealers and direct to consumers through www.mustangseats.com

About LDR Growth Partners
LDR Growth Partners supports growth-oriented businesses, management teams, and entrepreneurs with equity capital and precision support to scale operations and maximize returns under a spirit of market leadership, creativity, and innovation. LDR is led by a five-person cross-functional leadership team, and was founded in 2011 by U.S. Army Officers, with a common vision for business leadership and the power of building, supporting, and growing exceptional teams. The company has offices in Stamford, CT, Houston, TX, and Washington DC.
Visit their Website at http://www.ldrgp.com/

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for March 2022

By General Posts

Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) News provides updates on motorcycle industry, market, legislation, rights of bikers, motorcyclists in USA, and motorcycle news from around the world.

In this bulletin:

  • MOTORCYCLISTS HELP OUT UKRAINE
  • E.U. BANS MOTORCYCLE EXPORTS TO RUSSIA
  • U.S. TRAFFIC FATALITIES / FATALITY RATE HIGHEST IN A DECADE
  • ARIZONA LEGISLATURE APPROVES LANE FILTERING
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE LEGISLATOR CLAIMS BEING PROFILED FOR RIDING A MOTORCYCLE
  • MOTORCYCLES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN AND BODY
  • SMART MOTORWAY FAILS
  • 2022 NCOM CONVENTION – NEW DATES & LOCATION ANNOUNCED

CLICK HERE To Read the March 2022 NCOM Newsbytes on Bikernet.com

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for February 2022

By General Posts

Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) News provides updates on motorcycle industry, market, legislation, rights of bikers, motorcyclists in USA, and motorcycle news from around the world.

  • U.S. MOTORCYCLE SALES CONTINUE UPWARD TREND
  • BUMPER YEAR FOR BIKING DESPITE REPEATED COVID THREATS
  • BRACE FOR DAMAGED SUPPLY CHAIN RECOVERY
  • STUDY SHOWS THAT ETHANOL IS WORSE FOR THE CLIMATE THAN GASOLINE
  • RHODE ISLAND PROPOSES TAX CUT FOR MOTORCYCLE RIDERS
  • UK DECARBONIZATION PLAN EYES E-BIKES
  • DANES FACE MOTORCYCLE CONFISCATION FOR ‘INSANE’ RIDING
  • RESEARCHERS FIND DRIVERS AND RIDERS SEE DIFFERENTLY

CLICK HERE To Read the February 2022 NCOM News on Bikernet.com

ABOUT AIM / NCOM: The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

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Ride Review: Harley-Davidson Touring ST Models for 2022

By General Posts

by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com/

Balancing the raceway and the roadway.

Automotive and motorcycle dealers popularized the term “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” in the 1960s. While both motorsport and vehicle sales tactics have evolved over the decades, most manufacturers still leverage on-track supremacy for showroom success—including Harley-Davidson.

From the hillclimb to the drag strip, from board tracking to flat tracking, racing has been in the Motor Company’s DNA since Walter Davidson won the 1908 Endurance and Reliability Run. However, Harley’s Post-War production lineup made the brand synonymous with cross-country tourers in the latter half of the 20th century. Despite the XR750 becoming the winningest motorcycle in AMA (American Motorcycle Association) history and the company’s countless NHRA drag racing titles, the FL Touring platform remains the Bar and Shield’s top seller.

When MotoAmerica introduced the King of the Baggers (KotB) Invitational in 2020, the one-off race merged Harley’s flagship tourers with its racing lineage. Unfortunately, the MoCo’s first outing fell short of the top step, but the Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson team seized the 2021 KotB championship with Kyle Wyman in the saddle. H-D is wasting no time—or development dollar—following that title run, equipping the 2022 Street Glide ST and Road Glide ST with track-worthy components.

To test just how much race-bred technology has trickled down to its production models, the Motor Company invited us to Wilcox, Arizona to spin some laps around the inimitable Inde Motorsports Ranch. Harley certainly handled business on Sundays this previous season, and with the new ST range, it hopes to also dominate the competition on dealership floors.

Turning A Corner
With the U.S.’s interstate system crossing vast expanses of land, the Street Glide and Road Glide families prioritize comfort and convenience. Packing a six-gallon fuel tank, sub-27-inch seat heights, and a 64-inch wheelbase, the long-distance tourers allow travelers to munch miles to their heart’s content. On the other hand, track duty calls for a different set of attributes, and Harley outfits the ST models accordingly.

The design team lightens the load by trimming the front fender, adopting low-profile engine guards, and ditching the passenger pegs and seat. Harley developed the new saddle specifically for the ST tourers. That single-seat locks the rider in a more commanding position. The leather cover also allows users to smoothly slide across the saddle, easing side-to-side transitions through chicanes and back-to-back corners.

Gone are the Special trim’s stretched bags too. That decision may reduce luggage capacity from 2.7 cu-ft to 2.3 cu-ft, but it also supports the MoCo’s weight-cutting regiment. The efforts pay off as well, with the Road Glide ST saving 11 pounds at 842 pounds and the Street Glide ST coming in 13 pounds under its Special counterpart at 814 pounds.

To raise the ride height, H-D engineers exchanged the standard Street Glide and Road Glide rear shocks for units found on the Road King. The suspension swap bolsters rear wheel travel from 2.1 inches to 3 inches and stiffens the chassis for spirited direction changes. That nearly extra inch of travel may not increase maximum lean angle (31 degrees left, 32 degrees right), but it does modestly reduce trail to 6.7 inches.

What doesn’t show up on the spec sheet though is the confidence that the borrowed shock provides. In fast, sweeping bends, the STs feel planted and stable, encouraging riders to incrementally increase speed with each lap. Under acceleration, the shocks also accurately communicate grip, notifying the rider of the slightest slip of the rear wheel.

Both ST Glides retain the 49mm Dual Bending Valve Showa front end featured on all H-D Touring models, but the new rear suspension is a noticeable upgrade on the track. Performance-oriented customers will undoubtedly spring for the Screamin’ Eagle and Ohlins co-branded front and rear suspension upgrades in the long run, but the stock equipment does surprisingly well in the meantime.

Mo’ Powah!
The Street Glide ST and Road Glide ST may not boast the massive 131ci (2,151cc) Milwaukee-Eight V-twin powering the firm’s 2022 KotB race steed, but the performance baggers join the new Low Rider ST as the only non-CVO models touting the company’s 117ci (1,923cc) engine. Thanks to the mill’s 10.2:1 compression ratio, camshafts, high-flow air intake, and exhaust, the V-twin pumps out 127 lb-ft of torque and 106 horsepower.

Those numbers may sound daunting on the spec sheet, but the STs’ fueling and linear powerband make big-bore V-twin surprisingly tractable. The powerplant still offers gobs of torque on demand, but the smooth roll-on makes most of that 127 lb-ft (at the crank) quite useable. Again, those pushing for performance can always bump displacement to 128ci (2,097cc) or 131 ci (2,151cc) with the Screamin’ Eagle catalog.

Following a morning spent nailing apexes on the track, we rolled the Street Glide ST and Road Glide ST onto the surrounding highways, testing the performance baggers’ touring prowess on the open road. The 117ci engine may soup up the STs to set new lap records, but the V-twin remains ultra-smooth at speed.

In sixth gear, the Milwaukee-Eight spins just over 2,500 rpm at 70 mph and just below 3,000 rpm at 75 mph. Minor vibrations only course through the floorboards at 3,500, and the bars faintly buzz at 4,500. However, with the air/oil-cooled V-twin’s 5,500-rpm redline, those negligible tremors never become troublesome over the long haul.

While that even-keeled nature may be perfect for road trips, it can become problematic under heavy acceleration, especially in the lower gears. Due to the smoothness, I frequently hit the rev limiter before realizing I was banging on the 5,500-rpm redline. With time and practice, owners will be able to bypass that issue, but it squandered drive and momentum more than a few times on the road and track.

Middle-of-the-Road
Most Harley bagger fans have a preference between the Street Glide and Road Glide models. Chalk it up to aesthetics, creature comforts, or fairing coverage, but Harlistas typically favor one FL over the other. While ST variants offer the same track-oriented upgrades, they still have a personality all their own. For that reason, the Street Glide ST performed best on the track while the Road Glide ST proved its merit on the interstate.

With its fork-mounted fairing, the Street Glide ST offers enhanced visibility on track, allowing riders to keep their eyes on lines, apexes, and corner exits. However, the Street Glide’s short windscreen introduces turbulent buffeting to the rider’s helmet on the highway. That’s a problem that Harley’s Parts & Accessories (P&A) catalog can easily remedy but it’s never an issue on the raceway, where pilots frequently duck behind the fairing on long straights.

Conversely, the Road Glide ST’s frame-mounting fairing stretches away from the rider, providing comprehensive wind protection. That attribute comes in handy while touring, but the broad fairing also obstructs visibility on the track. In addition to wind protection and visibility, weight will play a role on closed courses. The Street Glide ST may shed 13 pounds off the Special trim, but its 814-pound wet weight is nearly 30 pounds under the Road Glide ST’s 842-pound curb weight.

That’s no small difference on the circuit, where every advantage matters, but most owners will use the ST models for long-distance trips, weekend canyon rips, and the occasional track day. With premium features like a Boom! Box GTS system, 6.5 TFT display, and two 5.25-inch speakers, we highly doubt that owners will want to risk sending their $29,999 bagger into a gravel trap. Instead, the ST line functions as a great starter kit for those interested in starting a performance bagger build, not a dedicated race bike.

Conclusion
Ultimately, the Street Glide ST and Road Glide ST are balanced entries into the performance bagger genre that don’t sacrifice too much on-road practicality for on-track performance. Despite lacking touring-friendly features like heated grips and stretched bags, the STs allow owners to ride to the track in the morning, spin laps all day, and cruise back home at sunset.

While the Street Glide and Road Glide may dip their toe into the performance end of the pool with the ST range, bagger racing is still in its infancy. If the MoCo continues to win on Sunday and sell on Monday, we can expect even more performance-focused components from Harley’s P&A and Screamin’ Eagle arms. Brembo radial master cylinder, a quickshifter, and 17-inch wheels come to mind first, but we’ll have to wait and see what the Motor Company cooks up following the 2022 King of the Baggers season.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes for January 2022

By General Posts

Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish with photos from the Bob T. Collection

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) News provides updates on motorcycle industry, market, legislation, rights of bikers, motorcyclists in USA, and motorcycle news from around the world.

ABOUT AIM / NCOM: The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

CLICK HERE To Read the latest NCOM News on Bikernet.com

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