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Mustang Seats Acquired by Veteran-founded Investment Firm

By General Posts

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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Check out the treats found at the Harley-Davidson Museum this October

By General Posts

Skulloween Bike Night returns and a first-ever outdoor Movie Night premieres.

MILWAUKEE, USA (Sept. 30, 2021) – The Harley-Davidson Museum has been an anchor of the Menomonee Valley neighborhood since opening back in 2008. The H-D Museum is also a proud sponsor of Valley Week, which aims to showcase some of the fantastic ways to experience the nature, destinations and the Menomonee River Valley’s fascinating history in the heart of Milwaukee. As a part of the festivities, the Harley-Davidson Museum is thrilled to present an outdoor movie night on Friday, Oct. 1.

Bring the whole family down to the H-D Museum for a screening of Trolls World Tour for the Valley Week finale. Pack a blanket or chairs to get cozy under the night sky. Come early to have the kids take a spin on an H-D® IRONe™ electric balance bike, nab a (temporary) tattoo or grab a bite from MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant.

But the family-friendly fun doesn’t stop there. Beginning Saturday, Oct. 16, the ever-popular engineering merit badge program returns for in-person, hands-on experiences. And don’t fret, the virtual program remains a popular option for scouts from around the country on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings.

And just in time for Halloween, Milwaukee’s favorite haunt, MOTOR, brings back Skulloween on Oct. 28. The night will feature live music, raffles for Harley-Davidson® gear and more shenanigans for ghouls who just want to have fun! Dress up to win the costume contest and go home with a $250 Harley-Davidson Museum Campus gift card! Don’t miss out!

PROGRAMMING / EVENTS
Valley Week Outdoor Movie Night
Friday, Oct. 1, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Bring the whole family down to the Harley-Davidson Museum in the Valley for an outdoor screening of Trolls World Tour and more fun activities as we celebrate another successful Valley Week!
Grab some dinner, drinks, or snacks from MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant for dine-in or carry-out to pair with the movie or check out the refreshments available outside. Enjoy kids activities prior to the film, including H-D® IRONe™ ebike demos and airbrush tattoos.

Skulloween
Thursday, Oct. 28, 5 – 9 p.m.
Head to one of Milwaukee’s most popular haunts, MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant, for a celebration of all things black and orange! In addition to food and drink specials from MOTOR, Skulloween Bike Night will feature live music and raffles for Harley-Davidson® gear. Those who dress to impress will have a chance to win bragging rights in our costume contest. The costume with the most votes at the end of the night will win a $250 Harley-Davidson Museum Campus gift card!

Annual Pass
Looking for interesting things to do and ways to fully enjoy our programs and exhibits? The Harley-Davidson Museum’s new Annual Pass offers individual, family and VIP levels to fit your lifestyle. Just some of the perks of the new Annual Pass include: admission discounts, free admission for children under age 18, merchandise discounts at The Shop, dining discounts at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant and more.
Plus, if you purchase an Annual Pass in 2021, those passholder perks can be enjoyed all of 2021 and 2022. Visit H-D Museum.com to see complete ticket details for exclusions and other terms and conditions.

Engineering Merit Badge (Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.)
All scouts are welcome to come earn their Engineering Merit Badge at the Harley-Davidson Museum! This experience will be partially facilitated as scouts explore the history of Harley-Davidson as well as the engineering of motorcycles as they complete the nine merit badge requirements. Advance registration is required. Program registration closes one week prior to the scheduled program date. Ticket includes: Downloadable activity booklet used for the program, partially facilitated program, blue card signed by the facilitator (one blue card per scout registration) and an exclusive H-D Museum® patch.

Scout Virtual Engineering Merit Badge (Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.)
This new 90-minute online program is open to scouts from all over the country. Our program facilitator will guide the troops and explore the role an engineer plays while creating a Harley-Davidson® Motorcycle. Nine requirements for the Engineering Merit Badge will be discussed during this virtual, interactive program. Advance registration is required. Program Fee: $20 per Scout, which includes an activity booklet used during the program and a special H-D® patch upon completion of the program.

MUST-SEE EXHIBITS AND INSTALLATIONS
Revolution Max Engine
(on display now)
The brand-new Revolution® Max 1250cc engine powers a new generation of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. See the liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twin that delivers for the Pan America™ adventure touring model and the performance cruiser Sportster® S motorcycle. On view in the Museum lobby.

Clubs & Competition (on display now)
In the early part of the 20th century, motorcycle culture was a homegrown phenomenon. It grew out of the passion of riders for their evolving sport. The camaraderie that developed around riding and attending competitive events led to the formation of motorcycle clubs that hosted destination rides, family picnics with motorcycle games and other riding competitions.

The newly reinstalled display case in the Clubs & Competition gallery highlights clothing from club members from primarily the 1930s and 1940s. The clothing selections on view include full dress uniforms, shirts, sweaters, jackets and caps, customized by the owners with their club name and logo, and pins or patches indicating membership in the American Motorcyclist Association. The H-D Archives™ collection includes Motorclothes® apparel sold in H-D® product catalogs but also non-H-D produced clothing items that have been proudly customized by riders.

Experience Gallery: Model Year 2021 Harley-Davidson motorcycles (on display now)
Always a favorite photo opportunity for riders and non-riders alike, the H-D Museum’s Experience Gallery has been refreshed with five 2021 Harley-Davidson motorcycles –including the all-new Pan America™ and the Sportster S!

Harley Fox (on display now)
Gail Anderson’s 1986 Softail® Custom motorcycle, “Harley Fox,” built by her partner Bob Burrows, took top prize at the first Ladies of Harley® (LOH) ride-in show during Daytona Beach Bike Week in 1987. With her custom bike and themed riding gear, Anderson presented a striking image that fit the growing visibility and exciting new options for women riders in the 1980s.

Alfonso Sotomayor’s 1957 Model FL (on display now)
The Harley-Davidson Museum is proud to announce its collection has recently grown with the addition of a 1957 Model FL that was ridden by famed Mexican stunt rider and racer Alfonso Sotomayor Canales.
Harley-Davidson’s history in Mexico dates back to at least 1913. In the 1920s, the brand was more frequently spotted throughout Mexico City as the motorcycles proved popular with the local traffic police who would also perform stunts with their Harley-Davidson® bikes. After racing from the 1930s into the 1960s, Sotomayor launched his own stunt riding career by performing the famed “Salto de la Muerte” or Jump of Death. Learn more about Sotomayor’s feats of derring-do and Harley-Davidson’s early entry into Mexico with this new display located in the Custom Culture area.

“Off-Road Harley-Davidson” (on display now)
In the decades before America paved its highways, early riders had to be prepared for all sorts of terrain: sand, clay or dirt – and wandering those makeshift byways were Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. Today, it’s called off-road or adventure touring; back then it was just called riding. Since 1903, Harley-Davidson motorcycles proved their toughness by riding over wooded hills, through stone-choked creek beds and up mountain sides. “Off-Road Harley-Davidson” tells the history of motorcycles designed for rough roads, the people who rode them and the adventures they shared.

“Building a Milwaukee Icon: Harley-Davidson’s Juneau Avenue Factory” (on display now)
A recently recovered cache of architectural drawings includes plans for the original Juneau Avenue facility. The pencil drawings, along with archival photographs, demonstrate the whirlwind pace of the company’s early growth. While building an international business—going from producing just over 1,000 motorcycles in 1909 to manufacturing 27,000 motorcycles in 1920—the company’s Milwaukee factory experienced near-constant expansion. Construction through this relatively brief period created the buildings that today, a century later, are still the proud home of Harley-Davidson.
“Building a Milwaukee Icon” provides a snapshot of Harley-Davidson’s formative years and illustrates a chapter of Milwaukee history when the city was known as the “Machine Shop to the World.”

Google Arts & Culture, “An Amphibious Sidecar Tour of the Salton Sea” (on display now)
100 years ago, John Edwin Hogg and Phillip Johnston visited the Salton Sea. Their exploits earned detailed coverage in the September 1921 issue of “The Harley-Davidson Enthusiast™” magazine due to the unexpected role their Harley-Davidson® motorcycles played in the adventure.

MOTOR® BAR & RESTAURANT
MOTOR® Bar and Restaurant is now open seven days a week – including dinner service on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays! Whether you’re hankering for an authentic all-you-can-eat Wisconsin Friday fish fry or just want to reconnect with your “virtual” colleagues, MOTOR provides the perfect backdrop to toast great food and good times. Plus, October’s bands for Saturday’s BBQ & Blues are scorchers.

10/2/2021 No BBQ & Blues (private event)
10/9/2021 Steve Cohen

10/16/2021 Craig Baumann

10/23/2021 Robert Allen Jr. Band

10/30/2021 Blue Highway Duo

1903 EVENTS
Book your holiday party now! After months of missing out on events and gatherings, it’s time to reconnect with friends, family and colleagues. Intimate or grand, the team at MOTOR Bar & Restaurant and 1903 Events are ready to take care of all the details so all you have to worry about is where you left your dancing shoes.

About the Harley-Davidson Museum
Discover culture and history through stories and interactive exhibits that celebrate expression, camaraderie, and love for the sport at the Harley-Davidson Museum. A visit to the H-D Museum is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. With an unrivaled collection of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and memorabilia, a 20-acre, park-like campus, and a calendar full of activities, the H-D Museum is one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations for visitors from around the globe. Make your plans to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum at H-DMuseum.com.

Polaris factory decisions controlled by Supply Chain Bottlenecks

By General Posts

By Bob Tita from https://www.wsj.com

Supply Chain Bottlenecks Drive Factory Decisions at This Maker of Boats, Motorcycles, ATVs.

Polaris is changing manufacturing processes on the fly to adapt to parts shortages; ATVs missing seats, snowmobiles without shocks.

Polaris is juggling 30 or so supply-chain constraints for its ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats and utility terrain vehicles.

Like other manufacturers struggling with wobbly supply chains, sports-vehicle maker Polaris Inc. is deciding what to produce based on what parts it has on hand.

Polaris is changing its manufacturing and sales strategies on the fly to cope with shortages of materials and parts and an unreliable global transportation system that has disrupted precise production planning.

The company said it is juggling 30 or so supply-chain constraints for its all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats and off-road utility vehicles. Polaris changes its plans sometimes daily for what it produces. The company switches models for a while as supply-and-logistics managers scrounge for parts and materials for other models it is unable to build.

When there aren’t enough seats in the supply pipeline to produce four-seat versions of utility terrain vehicles because of a shortage of foam padding, for example, Polaris shifts production to two-seat or three-seat models. When more seats become available, factories circle back to four-seat models or add the missing seats to vehicles that have already been assembled.

“If you’re mixing and matching, eventually you’ll attain a good product mix,” said Kenneth Pucel, operations chief for the Medina, Minn.-based company.

Companies spent decades conditioning their supply chains to deliver just enough components and materials to match production schedules to hold down costs for storing parts. The absence of backup stocks of parts left manufacturers more exposed if a few large suppliers couldn’t deliver on time.

Tight markets typically provide opportunities for some companies to siphon customers away from competitors. But retail dealers say the supply-chain disruptions, transportation bottlenecks and labor shortages for manufacturers are now so pervasive that it is hard for anyone to capitalize. Polaris dealers sold out and the company couldn’t resupply them at their normal levels; instead, customers are now placing deposits on orders sent to factories.

Polaris shipped out some snowmobiles to dealers without shock absorbers and had dealers install them later when supplies recovered.

Chris Watts, owner of America’s Motor Sports dealership in Nashville, Tenn., said he carries Polaris and other brands. But his stocks of those brands are mostly depleted as well. “Customers are buying whatever they can get their hands on,” Mr. Watts said.

Like many manufacturers, Polaris had an unexpected surge in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic. When restaurants, movie theaters and fitness centers closed, consumers shifted their spending to boats, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and other outdoor vehicles. Polaris’s retail sales in North America last year grew by 25% from 2019 and increased by 70% in the first quarter from last year.

Polaris, which last year had sales of $7 billion, has a leading share in off-road vehicles with about 40% of the North American market, according to industry analysts.

Before the pandemic, Polaris could increase orders to its parts suppliers when needed. But this time, suppliers were less responsive. After a weekslong shutdown of factories last spring to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus, stocks on hand were depleted. Making matters worse were clogged ocean ports, the freak winter storm that struck Texas in February and a ship blocking the Suez Canal that delayed vessels hauling shipping containers with Polaris’s parts and products from Asia.

Polaris said it devised workarounds to ease the company’s reliance on the hardest-to-get components, including semiconductor chips used in vehicle gauges. The company said its engineers redesigned the gauges on the fly to operate with different chip sets that are more readily available than the chips the company had been using.

When the supply of foam for seats tightened following the storm in Texas in February, Polaris built vehicles without seats for weeks and installed them later when resin for making plastic foam became available again.

About one-third of the vehicles coming off the company’s assembly lines are being held back until missing parts arrive, the company said. That is about twice the volume of new vehicles that typically need to be reworked.

The availability of shock absorbers has been particularly erratic. When shocks for snowmobiles ran out during the fall production season, Polaris shipped some snowmobiles to dealers without them and sent the shocks later for the dealers to install.

“It wasn’t efficient from a cost standpoint, but it bought us time,” Chief Executive Michael Speetzen said.

Shock absorbers for single-seat all-terrain vehicles became so scarce late last year that production managers at the Roseau, Minn., plant switched to a two-seat variant of the four-wheel motorcycles instead that used different but available suspension components. The production lines at the factory that welded metal frames and produced plastic moldings for ATVs were reset overnight to allow production of the two-seat models to begin the following morning.

“You pivot away from parts shortages. Our team is good at building what we can,” said Mr. Pucel.

Mr. Pucel said at least 10% of the company’s suppliers have been under stress since the pandemic, often struggling to obtain enough materials from their own suppliers or to come up with the money needed to purchase additional equipment to increase production. He said the number of suppliers struggling would be greater if Polaris hadn’t culled underperforming companies from its supplier base a couple of years before the pandemic.

Polaris has intervened to purchase equipment and materials for some suppliers in exchange for reduced prices. When production of plastic resin in Texas stopped because of the February storm, Polaris allocated some of its own resin to its suppliers.

In anticipation of extended higher demand, Polaris is expanding its Monterrey, Mexico, plant where some of its most popular utility terrain vehicle are assembled. The company is increasing boat production at its Elkhart, Ind., plant and reopening another in Syracuse, Ind. It has hired about 1,000 more employees in the past year, a 7% increase in the workforce.

Maintenance on equipment and rush jobs to realign assembly lines to produce different models often happen overnight or on weekends. Disruptions in production and the social-distancing procedures in plants because of Covid-19 have been rough on employees.

“The whole organization has been on high alert,” CEO Speetzen said. “It’s one of the things I worry about.”

First Harley-Davidson Pan America Bikes Roll off the Lines, Video Shows How

By General Posts

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

At the beginning of March, American bike maker Harley-Davidson kicked off production of the Pan America, the motorcycle family that is supposed to turn things around for the Milwaukee company by opening up an entirely new segment.

It took Harley less than a month to move from the bike’s full reveal to the start of assembly. The Pan America is being put together on the lines of the Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations facility in York, Pennsylvania. In the video attached below, you can get a taste of both how Harley’s employees celebrated the start of production, and how things are done at the facility.

Shown for the first time on February 22, the Pan America targets adventure seekers, Harley’s first foray into the segment. Two versions of it will be available, 1250 and 1250 Special, sharing most of the components.

The most important one is the engine, the liquid-cooled 1,250cc that is part of the Revolution Max V-Twin family. The powerplant develops the same amount of power in both versions, 150 hp, despite the fact that the two tip the scales at different values: 534 lb (242 kg) for the 1250 and 559 lb (254 kg) for the Special.

The 1250 family comes with 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, a 5.6 gallons (21 liters) fuel tank, and all-LED lighting, while the special touches come in the form of Michelin Anakee Wild tires, Brembo brakes, and adjustable front and rear suspension.

The Pan America bikes are expected to hit dealerships’ shelves this spring. Harley has decided to ask $17,319 for the entry-level bike, but expect that to go much higher if the customer also opts for all the accessories and apparel designed specifically for it.

From mechanical bits meant to improve the motorcycles’ performance to visual upgrades and clothing, there’s nothing the bike maker seems to have missed in preparing the launch of the two models.

 

Norton Motorcycles invests in advanced new factory headquarters

By General Posts

Norton Motorcycles invests in advanced new factory headquarters in Solihull

  • The Norton Motorcycle Co Ltd has moved to a new location in Solihull, West Midlands
  • The new HQ will be a permanent base for all staff and incorporates state-of-the-art design, engineering, manufacturing and quality capabilities
  • Opening of the newly fitted out factory comes after a multi-million pound investment from Norton’s new parent company, TVS Motor Company
  • Commissioning is near completion and opening is expected in Q1 2021
  • Over 50 high quality, new jobs have already been created and more are expected to follow as the business activity grows providing a welcome boost to the local economy.
  • The site in Solar Park, Solihull is the most advanced facility that Norton has ever had

The Norton Motorcycle Co Ltd has announced that the company is moving to a new headquarters. The state-of-the-art production site located in Solihull, West Midlands, will open following a multi-million pound investment by Norton’s Indian parent company, TVS Motor Company. It will be the most advanced manufacturing facility in the 122-year-old motorcycle brand’s history.

The premises will be the central hub for all of Norton operations, providing a permanent base for all staff. The new headquarters will be home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support teams as well as the skilled production team that is resuming manufacture of motorcycles. Some of the specialist tooling and equipment previously used by Norton has been carried over to the new site in Solihull, but the site is benefiting from substantial new investment.

The new manufacturing facility will make use of modern-day, quality-assured production processes. Skilled technicians will deploy bespoke bike building techniques and state-of-the-art new manufacturing equipment to ensure all bikes are built with great precision and quality, a hallmark of both Norton and TVS Motor Company. Norton will resume production of the Commando Classic model at the Solihull site, building a limited quality to honour customers that had ordered and paid for a deposit on these bikes. Production of the V4SS will commence soon and the full opening of the facility is expected in Q1 2021.

Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director of TVS Motors, said: “The opening of the new headquarters represents a significant step forward for Norton Motorcycles. The opening of this state-of-the-art facility will create the foundations for a sustainable long-term future of Norton. The new bikes will meet the world class standards our customers expect.

“2020 has been a tough year for the world but we are excited to be moving into our new home and we are delighted this has been created by the Norton and TVS teams in just 9 months. This new facility underpinned by strong quality processes will produce bikes truly worthy of the illustrious Norton brand and take it into the future. We are setting out to create a future for the company, our employees, our customers and our partners that lives up to the highest expectations and enable Norton to once again become the real force its history deserves.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The arrival of Norton’s global headquarters to Solihull is a real vote of confidence in our region as we look to recover from the pandemic. It speaks volumes to the strides the West Midlands has taken forward in recent years that Norton has chosen to come home after more than a decade based outside the region. This investment not only re-establishes our historic partnership with Norton, but will set a world-class benchmark for exceptional motorcycle manufacturing at the heart of our region, creating hundreds of jobs in the process at what is an incredibly challenging time economically.

“This investment also represents the start of an important partnership between the West Midlands and TVS Motors. With Tata-owned JLR also based in the region, the West Midlands has a good relationship with India that we are constantly looking to improve through the West Midlands India Partnership. This investment by Norton exemplifies what exactly we are trying to achieve with the partnership, and I am delighted to welcome the company back home.”

The new Norton headquarters demonstrates the continued investment by parent company, TVS Motor Company. The Norton Motorcycle Co Ltd was acquired by TVS in April 2020. TVS is committed to ensuring the long-term of Norton as a self-sufficient brand, true to its core values and heritage.

About Norton Motorcycles

Norton Motorcycles was founded in 1898 as a manufacturer of fittings and parts to the two-wheel trade.

Norton Motorcycles went on to become one of the most iconic British motorcycle brands, manufacturing famous models such as the 650SS, Atlas, Commando, Dominator, Manx, Navigator and more – constantly innovating in motorcycle technology, with features advantageous for lightness and strength in motorcycle racing. Norton Motorcycles has an unrivalled history in motorsport and the brand name is synonymous with Isle of Man TT racing.

In April 2020, Norton Motorcycles was acquired by TVS Motor Company, India’s third-largest motorcycle manufacturer. Under the leadership of TVS, Norton is based out of a new manufacturing facility in Solihull, West Midlands, building British bikes in England using traditional hand-crafted techniques with modern day machinery for consistently high quality.

Ducati resumes motorcycle production at Bologna plant in Italy

By General Posts

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

Production at Ducati’s Bologna factory been reorganized. From an eight-hour shift, the working shifts have been converted to two seven-hour shifts in order to allow a minimum number of people.

Premium bike maker Ducati has announced a steady resumption of production at its Borgo Panigale factory in Bologna, Italy starting today. With the Covid-19 outbreak, the Italian superbike manufacturer had temporarily suspended production at the said plant on 13th March to reorganize production schedules. The company said in a press statement that the gradual improvement in health conditions has allowed the government to enable companies, whose activity is primarily aimed at exports and for firms for which prolongation of the suspension would risk losing the country additional market shares, to resume production.

Ducati says that masks will be mandatory for everyone working inside the factory, regardless of the social distancing. Ducati says that it will be an extremely difficult year but starting up again is still a beginning. The company says that it has a lot of orders for the Streetfighter V4, Multistrada GT and the Panigale V2. The brand adds that the first phase of return will only involve a portion of workers that work on the production lines. The workshop staff will begin first followed by engine assembly workers and starting tomorrow, motorcycle assembly workers will begin working.

The brand also says that the use of smart working will remain mandatory for the employees and only for those who are not in a position to carry out their work from home will be allowed to enter the factory. That said, all resources employed in the commercial, marketing, IT, personnel management, finance, purchasing and logistics areas will be working remotely. Ducati has announced that the production at its Bologna factory been reorganized. From an eight-hour shift, the working shifts have been converted to two seven-hour shifts in order to allow a minimum number of people to be inside the plant at the same time.

Moreover, the canteen will also be active but only with one seat for every four chairs. Ducati says that the technicians that are engaged in R&D activities who cannot do their work from home were already at work as allowed by the specific ATECO code. That said, the engineers of the engine test rooms along with those who carry out motorcycle tests and employees who carry out laboratory testing are all present at Borgo Panigale. The company claims that the delivery of Ducati motorcycles along with the development of new products is very much in place as all designers, project managers, and those in the calculation department will be working remotely.

Building the H-D Juneau Plant

By General Posts

From Woodshed to Red-brick Behemoth in Ten Short Years

We’ve all heard the stories of how Harley-Davidson began life in 1903 in a Milwaukee woodshed on the site of what is now the headquarters of Miller Brewing Company. But with motorcycle production set to jump from around 1000 units in 1909 to nearly 30,000 by 1920, the Motor Company’s industrial digs had to change, and in a big way.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE ON BIKERNET

New details of Zero SR/F set to compete at Pikes Peak

By General Posts

With the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb quickly approaching, Zero Motorcycles has released new details surrounding the preparation of its new SR/F for the race.

Zero’s internal engineering team, in collaboration with several brand partners including Gates Carbon Drive, Showa, Pirelli Tires, SME Group, Dymag and Hotbodies Racing, have transformed the powerful streetfighter into a full-blown racer for the June 30th event. Come race day, AMA-professional racer Cory West will pit the bike against some of the biggest names in the industry, testing adaptations including an upgraded suspension, handlebar-mounted brake levers, custom rearsets and more.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., (June 20, 2019) – Zero Motorcycles, the brand that defined the category of electric motorcycles, introduced their most innovative and powerful motorcycle yet with the launch of SR/F earlier this year. Now, Zero’s internal engineering team, in collaboration with multiple partners, has transformed its new streetfighter into a full-blown racer, which AMA-professional racer Cory West will put to the test at the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 30.

“The racing effort for Pikes Pike at Zero is entirely run with internal engineering staff, who mostly commit their lunches, nights, and weekends to the cause,” said Brian Wismann, VP of Product Development at Zero Motorcycles. “No dedicated team members or factory-level budgets here. The bike was built with the support of key suppliers to the Zero production line, plus some clever designs from an engineering team let loose to experiment.”

With 110 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque, Zero’s production SR/F already boasts impressive performance stats that challenge competitors representing the biggest names in the industry. Through the company’s “Blue Sky” program, which encourages Zero engineers to explore their creativity and reach for new heights, the SR/F has become an even more formidable contender, thanks in large part to the help of existing brand partners including Gates Carbon Drive, Showa, Pirelli Tires, SME Group, Dymag and Hotbodies Racing.

In lieu of the chain kit typically used for race bikes, Zero engineers opted to stick with the same Gates Carbon Drive belt found on the production model. Their hope is that the smooth delivery of torque from the concentric pivot and constant tension belt will give the SR/F an advantage when pitted against gas bikes, which need to shift and respond to power pulses and surges from internal combustion engines.

In order to upgrade the suspension on the SR/F, Zero tapped Showa for their rare Balance Free Front Fork (BFF) and Balance Free Rear Cushion lite (BFRC-lite) rear shock. The Showa components also serve the dual purpose of adding a contrasting visual accent against the matte black of the bike. Adding utlity and further visual character to the racer, Dymag forged aluminum wheels provide crucial weight savings, plus aesthetic appeal befitting the Pirelli Superbike Slicks fitted to them.

Additional adaptations to the SR/F from Zero’s engineering team include two handlebar-mounted brake levers, which allow for better rear brake modulation while banking deeply into right hand turns – only possible through the clutch-less design of Zero’s direct drive electric motor. Custom rearsets were also designed to accommodate the bike’s unique swingarm pivot, which is concentric with the motor output shaft.

Bringing together the overall concept is designer Tom Zipprian’s custom bodywork, which was 3D printed in-house specifically for Pikes Peak and reinforced with carbon fiber. Large number plates are required per race regulations, and this serves to stylishly accommodate those as well as provide useful data on testing the potential aerodynamic benefits of similar elements that generate downforce.

About Zero Motorcycles

Zero Motorcycles is the global leader in electric motorcycles and powertrains. Designed and crafted by hand in California, Zero Motorcycles combines Silicon Valley technology with traditional motorcycle soul to elevate the motorcycling experience for intelligent, innovative riders around the world.