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British Review of new Harley-Davidson Street Glide ST

By General Posts

by Geoff Hill from https://www.mirror.co.uk/

Another icon of the American dream

It weighs as much as a small tank, goes like stink and handles very nicely for such a beast, so even though it costs more than an average UK hatchback, for Harley fans it’s a metal and rubber incarnation of their mythical aspirations

I was having a beer one night in Los Angeles in 2013 with the head of Triumph USA when we got to talking about Harleys.

He’d been sent to LA in advance of that year’s launch of the Thunderbird LT, an extremely capable cruiser which Triumph hoped would convince American riders that there was more than one type of bike in the world.

On his first weekend there, his Harley counterpart took him to an open day at Bartels, the city’s biggest Harley dealership, where hundreds of riders and their families were enjoying a free hog roast, burgers, raffles, gifts, music, beer or soft drinks and test rides.

“See? This is what you’re up against. It’s not just about the motorcycles,” said the Harley guy.

I was reminded of it in 2018, when I rode a Harley from Oxford to Prague for a three-day bash to celebrate the company’s 115 th anniversary to find 60,000 Harleys and 100,000 riders and partners, all with leather waistcoats, tattoos and chains, proclaiming their particular allegiances with patches saying Naples Military Chapter, Hanoi Chapter, Jeddah Chapter and so on.

It is, of course, all harmless fun – middle-aged men who during the week are Reg in Accounts, but at the weekends become Rebel Reg, King of the Road, riding west on his iron steed into the setting sun for a burger and beer with his sweetheart in a Route 66 diner.

And while non-Harley fans who have never ridden one wrongly condemn them as basic and agricultural ridden by chaps wearing chaps with tassels, no other motorcycle make in the world earns such astonishing passion and camaraderie.

And it’s not just from patriotic Yanks – there were Harley fans there from 75 countries, all of them walking, talking expressions of an infinite yearning for the innocence of an American dream which the rest of us may think blossomed into its fullest fruition in the Fifties, then died in the Sixties and Seventies after Kennedy and Vietnam, but which was still alive in the heart and soul of everyone walking around Prague on those sunny days.

On a slightly smaller scale, my biking buddy Gareth and I rode down on his Kawasaki Versys 650 and my BMW R 850 R to the recent open day at the local dealers. It’s called Belfast Harley, and it’s in Antrim. You need to be Irish to understand that.

We arrived to find the expected chapter members with their patches, leather and denim and tattoos, and a small woman looking slightly terrified as she tried to reverse her large Road Glide into a parking space.

“Help, I’m going to fall over!” she muttered. We strode manfully over to help, and she finished the job and got gratefully off.

“I’ve only had it two weeks. It’s very heavy, but I love it when it’s moving,” she said.

“Just don’t stop, then,” I said helpfully, and Gareth and I went inside to see Wilmer the boss about the two bikes we were going to take out for a test ride – Gareth the Pan America and me the new Street Glide ST.

ROAD-TEST REVIEW:

The ST is basically a standard Street Glide on steroids, with the 1868cc engine thrown in the bin and replaced by a 1923cc version, increasing the power and torque from 93bhp and 117 ft lb to 103bhp and 124 ft lb.

And, er, the price from a sharp-intake-of-breath £25,795 to a get-me-to-the-defribillator-on-time £27,795. No wonder Harleys are mostly sold on PCP. Still, they hold their value, so you get a good deal when you trade them in for a new one after three years.

The standard Glide is a beefy 375kg wet, and although the ST has shaved off 6kg to 369kg, that’s like a sumo wrestler claiming he’s gone on a diet by only having 10 chickens for lunch instead of 11.

I was just glad I wasn’t a small woman trying to reverse it as I trundled carefully out of the car park and opened the throttle.

Well, heavens to Betsy, that’s impressive. In spite of weighing the same as a small tank, it soared towards the horizon with surprisingly alacrity, helped by a bottomless well of creamy torque and a solid but precise gearbox which was light years away from the agricultural clank factories of Harleys of old.

With that weight on board, handling is never going to be quicksilver, but it’s agile enough for such a big beast, allowing you to dip and sway through A-road bends with happy precision, particularly as the Showa suspension is set firm for good handling, although at the expense of comfort on rough roads, as I found when it bottomed out on one bouncy stretch and left my spine an inch shorter.

The Brembo brakes haul it in so briskly and smoothly that, unlike most big Harleys, I didn’t need to call on the rear brake for assistance when steaming a bit hot into a corner.

As for the details, the mirrors are excellent, the traditional analogue dash is supplemented by a large TFT screen for the entertainment and comms systems, and the speakers in the fairings are pointless, like all speakers on all bikes anywhere.

The batwing fairing and sliver of screen, meanwhile, do a surprisingly good job of keeping the wind at bay, since I still have nightmares of a turbulent 90mph dash through France at night on a Harley with a batwing fairing while wearing an open-face helmet and shades.

So if you’ve got the dosh and like the whole Harley social thing, it’s significantly better than the standard Street Glide.

Oh, and Gareth loved the Pan America, so he got on the Versys and rode home to tell his wife that they’re selling the house, her mother, the dog and the camper van.

I haven’t heard from him since, so he’s probably buried in a shallow grave in the garden, and if anyone’s looking for a tidy used Versys, get your people to talk to my people about his wife’s people.

SPECS (price in British Pounds currency)
Harley-Davidson Street Glide ST
Engine: 1923cc air-cooled V-twin
Power: 103bhp @ 5,450rpm
Torque: 124 ft lb @ 3,500rpm
Colours: Black; grey
Price: £27,795

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International Motorcycling Advocate Deb Butitta Dies in Crash

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June 4, 2022: International Motorcycling Advocate Deb Butitta Dies in Arizona Crash

It is with a heavy heart and a great sense of loss that the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) shares the passing of Deborah Butitta. Deb had been committed to serving and protecting motorcyclists’ rights at the state, federal and international levels during the last four decades. Deb was taken from us due to internal injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash after a truck turned left in front of her on June 3, 2022.

Deb was particularly active with ABATE of Arizona, holding many different offices through the years, and in 2001 was selected as the first designated lobbyist for the Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (AZCMC). Deb was a member of many state motorcyclists’ rights organizations, including the MMA of Arizona. She also served on the MRF Board of Directors for many years and was instrumental in the formation of MRF A&E (Awareness and Education), a 501(c)(3) charitable, non-profit organization created to assist the MRF in providing resources to promote motorcycle awareness and ‘share the road’ programs, along with all aspects of motorcycle safety education including rider training. A highly successful businesswoman in her own right, Deb was extremely well connected, not only in the motorcycling community and industry, but legislatively and in some very influential social circles as well. These relationships were of incredible value to the bikers of Arizona and the entire country.

Deb’s accolades and awards are many, including being inducted into the MRF Hall of Fame in 2020 and the Sturgis Hall of Fame and Museum in 2021. Deb is a past winner of the MRF President’s Cup (2003), the MRF Founder’s Award (2017), and the MRF Lifetime Achievement Award (2020). Among her many other duties, Deb served as the MRF’s State Representative for Arizona for 14 years. For several years now, the MRF has given the ‘Deborah Butitta Award’ to it’s highest performing State Representative in her honor.

A true leader, Deb had a profound influence on many of her fellow activists. Few people have dedicated so much of their life or contributed as much to motorcycling as Deb Butitta. Personally and professionally, her passing leaves a tremendous void in our “family”.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.

Visit: http://mrf.org

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New FIM Supercross World Championship planned

By General Posts

MUBADALA CAPITAL BACKS SX GLOBAL
TO LAUNCH NEW FIM SUPERCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Queensland, Australia (March 1st, 2022) — Mubadala Capital, the asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, one of the world’s leading sovereign investors with US$243 billion of assets under management, today announced its investment in SX Global, an Australian company established to develop, promote, and commercialize the FIM Supercross World Championship.

Mubadala Capital has established a track record of successfully investing in category leaders across sports, media, and entertainment—including EMI Music Publishing, Endeavor Group Holdings, Reigning Champs, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES Network), among others—and this investment continues its history of backing world-class management teams in building differentiated global sports, media and entertainment businesses.

Mubadala Capital’s investment will support SX Global’s expansion plans for supercross and its efforts to capitalize on the exclusive rights it has secured from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) to manage and promote the new FIM Supercross World Championship, bringing the exciting sport of off-road motorbike racing to fans across the globe in a new competitive format.

“Our commitment to SX Global and the FIM Supercross World Championship builds on our strategy and track record of selectively investing in premier content properties with strong global appeal,” said Adib Martin Mattar, Head of Private Equity at Mubadala Capital. “We expect that our investment in SX Global will introduce the exciting sport of professional supercross to a global audience and build lasting value by delivering an authentic, exciting and fan-centric experience.”

SX Global’s President, Tony Cochrane, added, “We’re proud to partner with Mubadala Capital, a company that shares our vision and global aspirations for the FIM Supercross World Championship. With the international reach, resources, and business building experience of Mubadala Capital alongside us, we’re looking forward to establishing FIM Supercross World Championship as a leading global motorsport and entertainment property.”

Representing Mubadala Capital on the SX Global Board of Directors will be Matt Kim and Russ Pillar, who collectively bring decades of experience backing and leading global sports, media, and entertainment companies. They will be joining Tony Cochrane, SX Global’s President; Adam Bailey, SX Global’s Managing Director (Motorsport); Ryan Sanderson, SX Global’s Managing Director (Commercial); Tom Potter, Rush Sport & Entertainment; and Tavo Hellmund, Founder, Event Partners Marketing, on SX Global’s Board of Directors.

In December 2021, the FIM awarded SX Global the exclusive organisational and commercial rights to stage, manage and promote the FIM Supercross World Championship. Under the leadership of the SX Global Team, and with the financial backing and support of Mubadala Capital, Supercross will become a true global sports property, competing on a legitimate international platform for the first time in history. The FIM Supercross World Championship will commence in late 2022.

For more information on the FIM Supercross World Championship visit https://fimworldsx.com/
For more information on SX Global visit https://sxglobal.com/
[ For Mubadala Capital interview requests, please contact Salam Kitmitto (sakitmitto@mubadala.ae) ] [ For SX Global interview requests, please contact Gus Burrows (gus@amemanagement.com.au) ]

Mubadala Capital

Mubadala Capital is a wholly owned asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, a leading global sovereign investor headquartered in Abu Dhabi. In addition to managing its own balance sheet investments, Mubadala Capital manages over $10 billion of third-party capital on behalf of institutional investors in all its businesses, including three private equity funds, two early-stage venture funds, a public fund, and two funds in Brazil focused on special situations.

Mubadala Capital and its affiliated entities have a long track record of owning and/or operating globally recognized sports, media, entertainment and premium content and services properties including EMI Music Publishing, Endeavor Group Holdings, Reigning Champs, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network.

SX GLOBAL – BOARD

Matt Kim – Non-Executive Board Member
• Matt Kim is a Senior Principal at Mubadala Capital and leads the team’s sports, media and entertainment investment activities. He possesses over a decade of investment experience, and prior to joining Mubadala Capital, Mr. Kim was an investment professional at Bank of America Capital Advisors, where he focused on evaluating private equity investment opportunities globally.
Mr. Kim graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship and is a CFA charter holder.

Russ Pillar – Chairperson
• Russ Pillar is a Senior Advisor and Operating Partner of Mubadala Capital where he initiates, evaluates, and manages investment opportunities globally. He is a tenured sports/media/consumer CEO, with executive roles across the Virgin Entertainment Group, Prodigy Internet, the CBS Internet Group, the Viacom Media Group, the Los Angeles Marathon, and Reigning Champs, among others.
Mr. Pillar previously held directorship roles for more than three dozen private and publicly traded sports, media, retail, entertainment, and technology/tech services companies. A Phi Beta Kappa cum laude graduate of Brown University with an A.B. in East Asian Studies, he also is a Henry Crown Fellow at The Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Tony Cochrane AM – President
• Tony Cochrane’s passion and experience forge a formidable combination and have ultimately resulted in some unforgettable milestones in entertainment and sport generally over the past 45 years both in Australia and on the global stage.

Over the past 45 years with partners and solo, Tony has produced and promoted over 400 sporting and entertainment events throughout the world, sold in excess of 25,000,000 tickets with gross sales exceeding two billion dollars, and written nearly $250,000,000 in sponsorship sales.

In his time as Executive Chairman of V8 Supercars, Tony Cochrane was considered the founding father of the ‘modern’ era of motor racing in Australia, the touring car category that was arguably amongst the world’s best. During this period, V8 Supercars had an extraordinary rise to the top of sport within Australia and on the world motorsport scene. It became a multi-million dollar industry under his strong leadership. His credits and performance in world motorsport are uniquely recognised both in Australia and overseas. He holds an FIA acknowledgement and an Order of Australia for his contributions.

Adam Bailey – Managing Director – Motorsport
• Adam’s experience in Supercross began as a competitor in the early 90s. He established an athlete and event management agency in 2005 that represented some of the most respected athletes and brands in this space. These networks led to valuable and unique international industry relationships.

Launching AME Management with Ryan Sanderson in 2012, the duo combined their experience to establish a boutique sports marketing agency in Australia and launched AUS SX Holdings and the AUS-X Open event in 2015. The events went on to achieve sell-out crowds annually for five years including the successful creation and expansion of the FIM Oceania Supercross Championship into New Zealand in 2018 and 2019. Adam leads key aspects of brand creative strategy, content, industry partnerships, international talent and operations.

A creative marketer, many of Adam’s unique PR, marketing and content strategies have helped see the events become recognised and respected, globally.

Ryan Sanderson – Managing Director – Commercial
• Ryan spent five years at V8 Supercars Australia under Tony Cochrane’s reign. In Ryan’s tenure as Sponsorship Manager, he serviced some of Australia’s largest sponsorship properties, managing over 20 V8 Supercars Championship partners, with over $22M in annual spend.
Ryan and Adam launched AME, a sports marketing agency together in 2012 and then sold-out Supercross events in Australia & New Zealand from 2015 – 2019.

Ryan secured major commercial partnerships for both AUS-X Open & S-X Open Auckland Supercross events including Monster Energy, Australian Tourism & State Government funding, Boost Mobile, Michelin, Komatsu, Castrol & Repco/NAPA. Ryan developed leading entertainment, fan engagement and innovative commercial experiences, as well as international TV broadcast distribution including IMG, Seven Network, Fox Sports Australia, CBS, Eurosport & Fox Asia to over 382 million homes.

Ryan brings a unique skillset to SX Global and has extensive international broadcast, promoter and commercial partnership networks globally.

Tom Potter – Non-executive Director | Europe
• Tom is a former racing driver, and a commercial veteran of the McLaren and Williams F1 Teams. Tom founded Rush Sport & Entertainment in 2010 which has grown internationally to become one of the most successful businesses in motorsport sponsorship and marketing services whilst also delivering record-breaking deals for other major entertainment properties such as The Rolling Stones. Rush is responsible for placing over $700million sponsorship of F1, Formula E and IndyCar properties since 2016 alone. Rush has helped identify, structure, negotiate, activate and measure sponsorship investments for brands including Petrobras, Mercedes-Benz, Prudential, IHG, Marriott, Avis, Renesas, Adecco (Modis), Progressive and Saudi Aramco.

Few can boast the level of energy, insight and understanding of global motorsports’ commercial landscape and entertainment value. Tom is an expert at leveraging sports marketing and the sports business environment to create value and accelerate growth.

Tavo Hellmund – Non-executive Director | North America
• Tavo Hellmund was the founder of the FIA Formula-1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, the co-founder of the FIA Formula-1 Mexican Grand Prix and a co- founder of the Circuit of the Americas race track in Austin, Texas. Tavo Hellmund has been the founder and President/Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, LP, Event Partners Marketing, LLC, Grand Prix Partners, LLC and Tavo Hellmund Inc. since 1994.

These companies manage and provide event project management, day of event oversight, staffing/volunteer services, venue planning, consulting and logistics support, marketing, sales, sponsorship, public relations and consultation services for sporting and special events around the world. Tavo Hellmund’s global event production experience includes brokering, sanctioning, producing or promoting over 150 sporting and entertainment events, which have generated more than 1.5 billion dollars in sales.

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BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2022

By General Posts

from https://www.bmw-motorrad.com/en/experience/stories/adventure/gs-trophy-2022.html

The unknown beauty of Albania
Rugged mountains, vast valleys, wild rivers, dense forests and a fantastic coastline: BMW Motorrad will bring the International GS Trophy to Albania in late summer 2022. The country, which is considered an insider tip for off-road touring, is incredibly rich in flora, fauna and culture. The best Enduro riders in the world can look forward to discovering this as yet quite unknown beauty on their GS bikes, in numerous special stages, and experience the #SpiritOfGS up close.

Once in a Lifetime
Seven days of pure adventure. Seven days that took two years of preparation. Seven days that change lives. Each rider only has one opportunity to take part in the International GS Trophy. But it is not a classic race – these intense challenges, in which participants demonstrate their knowledge and riding prowess, are all about team spirit and skill. And the journey is made memorable by nights in the tent under the stars, unique landscapes and cultures, as well as new friends from all over the world – the #SpiritOfGS doesn’t get much better than this.

National qualifiers – The chance for the adventure

A foretaste of the International GS Trophy will be provided by the national qualifiers, where there will be a separate ranking for men and women for the first time. The riders who best master rough terrain, navigation exercises with the GPS and knowledge questions about the GS can secure one of the coveted places in the national team and thus a ticket to Albania. However, who are the most team-minded and skilled endurists in the world will be decided in Albania. You can find more information about qualifying on the respective country page.

CLCIK HERE TO VISIT YOUR NATION’S QUALIFIER PAGE:
https://www.bmw-motorrad.com/en/experience/stories/adventure/gs-trophy-2022.html

Check Out the Location Reveal Video on YouTube:

Documentary
Behind the scenes in New Zealand

Eight days, 22 teams, 2,500 kilometres: These are the hard facts of the 2020 International GS Trophy in New Zealand. To find out how big the organisation effort and support team was, how many spare parts travelled to the other end of the world, and how the navigation devices were charged on the go, see our three-part documentary on Amazon Prime (available in Germany, Great Britain and the USA).

WATCH ON AMAZON PRIME: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08J8F2M65

Harley-Davidson 2021 Global Digital Event

By General Posts

HARLEY-DAVIDSON BRINGS THE WORLD TOGETHER TO DEBUT ALL NEW 2021 PRODUCTS IN THE H-D 2021 GLOBAL DIGITAL EVENT ON JANUARY 19

MILWAUKEE, WI (December 09, 2020) – Throughout Harley-Davidson’s 118-year history, the brand has never before brought the entire world together to experience the debut of all-new Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. On Jan.19th, 2021, that all changes with a single virtual event. During H-D 21, the company’s first virtual launch experience, Harley-Davidson will announce new 2021 motorcycles, parts and accessories, riding gear and apparel.

Those who participate will hear from Harley-Davidson leadership, product experts, and passionate enthusiasts who are leading and shaping the industry on all that’s coming to Harley-Davidson® dealerships in 2021.

To take part in the H-D 21 virtual launch experience, register now at www.H-D.com/21.

New Approach to Product Launches

The global virtual launch is part of the company’s streamlined and overhauled approach to bringing products to market for customers. Earlier this year, Harley-Davidson announced significant shifts including streamlining its planned product portfolio by 30 percent, shifting it’s new model year debut to align with the start of the riding season and amped-up marketing efforts to drive desirability and maximize impact in the market

“We’re thrilled to bring the world together virtually to showcase the inspiration and passion behind our 2021 motorcycles, including a glimpse of our first adventure touring motorcycle, Pan America™,” said VP Marketing Theo Keetell. “We look forward to sharing this moment with our customers and dealers from around the world.

Adventurer Jason Momoa Shares his Passion

American actor, producer and motorcycle enthusiast Jason Momoa will play a key role in the Jan. 19th event. Forever seeking new adventures, Momoa will share his thoughts on how Harley-Davidson’s upcoming Pan America motorcycle has expanded his passion for Harley-Davidson and created new opportunities to explore endless horizons beyond paved roads.

“Harley-Davidson has unlocked opportunities for me to find adventure with amazing people, awe-inspiring places, and expand my inspiration seen in the United We Will Ride content series,” said Momoa. “I was excited to collaborate with Harley-Davidson for a first look and chance to ride the Pan America 1250 motorcycle. It’s the perfect vehicle that combines my love of the outdoors, the unknown, and Harley-Davidson. People are going to be completely stoked about this bike that Harley-Davidson has created.”

Harley-Davidson Pan America Global Reveal Feb. 22nd, 2021

Harley-Davidson’s all-new Pan America™ 1250 adventure touring motorcycle will be previewed in the Jan. 19th H-D 21 virtual launch experience. Harley-Davidson will be bringing the world back together on Feb. 22, 2021, to reveal the motorcycle’s full details in a separate digital event with the spotlight on the new Pan America motorcycle.

Stay informed at www.H-D.com/PanAmerica.

Global Motorcycle Sales In Free Fall Due To COVID-19

By General Posts

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

Even before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, many financial experts were speculating on the impact of the global crisis. Once motorcycle manufacturers and dealerships closed their doors to observe social distancing orders and promote public safety, we knew that the market could undergo a massive reduction in productivity and sales.

Now that economic reports for the month of March are available, we’re able to assess the impact on the industry—and it isn’t good. We all knew that global motorcycle sales stumbled in 2019, but with the advent of the novel coronavirus, we could see a further decline for markets like India and a contraction of previously growing sectors in Europe.

In India, the world’s largest motorcycle market, domestic manufacturers saw steep downturns in March. Year-over-year sales figures declined for Hero MotoCorp (-43 percent), Royal Enfield (-44 percent), Bajaj (-55 percent), and TVS Motor Company (-62 percent) during the third month of 2020.

Foreign makes weren’t immune to the economic slowdown with Suzuki India selling 42% less units during the period as well. Not all the news was bad though, as Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India managed to increase sales by 10 percent. Despite the bleak numbers, Suzuki India Managing Director Koichiro Hirao emphasized the company’s responsibilities during the global pandemic.

“At present, our first and foremost priority is to ensure the health and safety of the employees and all stakeholders,” said Hirao. “As the industry fights the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing shutdowns and taking precautionary measures, we believe that industry will overcome this difficult time and bounce back with positive growth in the coming months.”

Though Suzuki India is enduring its own woes during this time, the company still reported a 5.7-percent increase in sales during the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

“We are pleased to close this financial year on a positive note with 5.7 percent growth amid the precautionary measures taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Hirao.

In Europe, Italy’s motorcycle market crumbled with sales numbers plummeting by 66 percent. Scooter and moped purchases fell by 62 percent while motorcycle sales collapsed with a 69-percent reduction. However, the country’s motorcycle market also experienced growth in the first and second month of 2020.

Calculating the overall sales for the first quarter of 2020, Italy only dropped 24 percent compared to last year. Regardless of the meager returns, the BMW R 1250 GS sold the most units—presumably to those looking for an apocalypse-appropriate motorcycle.

With the majority of factories and dealerships still shuttered, who knows what April’s sales data has in store. Manufacturers are keeping an optimistic eye on the future with hopes that the industry will bounce back once closures and social distancing measures are rolled back. Until we reach that post-COVID-19 world, we’ll have to continue speculating about the future of the motorcycle industry.

Harley struggles to fire up new generation of riders with electric bike debut

By General Posts

by Rajesh Kumar Singh from https://www.reuters.com/

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) is betting on electric motorcycles to attract the next generation of younger and more environmentally conscious riders to reverse declining U.S. sales.

But as Harley ships its first “LiveWire” bikes – priced at $29,799 – to dealers, there is little evidence the 116-year-old brand is catching on with new young customers.

The problem lies mostly with this “super-premium” product’s price. The bike costs nearly as much as a Tesla Model 3, and aims for a market that does not really exist: young, “green” and affluent first-time motorcyclists.

The sleek sport bike has been available for preorder in the United States since January. However, the bulk of the orders are coming in from existing and old riders, according to interviews with 40 of the 150 dealerships nationwide that are carrying the bike this year.

The dealers Reuters spoke with account for little over a quarter of LiveWire dealerships and are spread across Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, California, Nevada, New Jersey and New York.

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

In 2018, Harley posted the steepest sales decline in four years in the United States. U.S. sales are tipped to fall again this year.

Harley Davidson’s U.S. Retail Sales

Grappling with an ageing customer base and the waning charm for its big bikes, Harley has failed to post sales growth in the United States – its biggest market – in the past four years.

The heavyweight motorcycle maker’s stock price has declined by 42% in the past five years. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index .SPX has gained 47%.

Price Barrier
When Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich announced LiveWire’s launch last year, his hope was the ease of riding motorcycles with no gears or clutch would help attract young and environmentally conscious urban riders.

In an interview with Reuters in February 2018, Levatich said the bike would help address Harley’s demographic problem.

“It is more about the next century than the last century,” he said at the time.

The preorders, thus far, have belied those hopes, according to the dealers.

“It is appealing to a demographic that is already riding,” said Gennaro Sepe, a sales manager at a Harley dealership in Chicago. His store has received four preorders for the bike. All of them are from existing riders.

Harley declined to comment on LiveWire preorders.

The motorcycle maker is not the only company investing in battery-powered transportation.

Tougher emissions rules in Europe, China and the United States are forcing auto companies to switch to electrified models. A survey of U.S. millennial motorcyclists, published in February by the Motorcycle Industry Council, found 69% of the riders interested in electric motorcycles.

Harley’s dealers said they are getting inquiries from young customers, but are struggling to translate them into sales. A key reason: LiveWire’s retail price.

“Interest is very high,” said a sales manager at a New Jersey-based dealership, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to media. “But once you get to pricing, interest is thrown out of the window.”

Over half of young college graduates in America, whom Harley is courting with battery-powered bikes, are saddled with student loans that entail average repayment of $200 to $300 per month.

Harley is not offering any discount or incentives to push the sales, either, the dealers said.

In an interview with CNBC television in May, Levatich called LiveWire “one of the best engineered products on the market” and said it was worth its price.

Gary Jon Prough, general sales manager at a dealership in Countryside, Illinois, said the vast majority of millennials cannot afford the bike as LiveWire is targeted at young and affluent customers with incomes above $100,000 a year.

Tesla’s Way

To drive up sales, Prough and other dealers expect Harley to go Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) way: launch more affordable battery-powered vehicles after creating a buzz with the premium model.

Tesla’s first electric car cost over $100,000, but prices came down with subsequent models. Its Model 3 now comes with a base price of $35,000 and was instrumental in lifting its vehicle deliveries to a record level in the latest quarter.

Traditional Harley Davidson entry-level bikes cost about $6,900.

The motorcycle maker has plans to bring out four more electrified models in the mid-power, low-power, e-bicycles and kids’ two-wheeler segments by 2022.

But unlike Tesla, Harley does not enjoy the true first mover’s advantage.

California-based Zero Motorcycles is already selling electric bikes in the United States with retail prices ranging from $8,500 to $21,000. Its top-end bike – SR/F – is similar to LiveWire, but costs nearly $9,000 less.

Still, Bob Clark, a dealer for Zero’s bikes in Chicago, says he has not yet sold one SR/F to riders under the age of 35. All three electric bikes he sold to young riders this year were in the $10,000 price range.

“Young riders are environmentally conscious, but are also very price-sensitive,” Clark said.

It is not just pricing. LiveWire’s limited range is also hampering its sales.

The bike can travel 146 miles (235 km) in the city or 95 miles in combined city and highway riding per charge. An ordinary household outlet can provide an overnight charge, while Level 3 direct current fast chargers stationed at Harley dealers will fully charge the bike in 60 minutes.

This renders LiveWire less effective for longer-distance rides, limiting its appeal among rural riders who prefer touring bikes.

Seven Harley dealerships told Reuters they have not even bothered ordering the bike, which would require investing in a Level 3 charging station and training staff.

An Ohio-based dealer, who had initially signed up for LiveWire, said he pulled out at the last minute as he was not sure of the bike’s demand in his area.

Delayed Arrival

A delay in LiveWire’s arrival in stores has left the dealers in the Midwest and the East Coast with hardly a month to aggressively push the bike before the snow season sets in. Winter generally means a lull for motorcycle sales.

When dealers began taking preorders, the delivery was expected in August, but was later shifted to September. On Sept. 30, the dealers Reuters spoke with were still waiting for the first bike.

In a Twitter post on Oct. 2, Harley said the bikes are starting to arrive at authorized dealers. The tweet also carried a picture of the first LiveWire that was “rolled off the line” at its York, Pennsylvania, facility in late September.

With the demand rather limited, the dealers said, Harley has decided to keep the supplies tight in order to protect the bike’s brand value and prevent any price-discounting pressure. The dealers said they are all expecting to receive less than 10 LiveWires this year.

James Hardiman, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, reckons Harley would sell between 400 and 1,600 LiveWires in the first year. That is not even 1% of the 228,051 bikes it sold worldwide last year.

“This is going to be largely a rounding error certainly this year and even next,” Hardiman said.

Maturing US Market Coupled With Global Auto Slowdown Affecting Harley-Davidson’s Top Line

By General Posts

by Trefis Team https://www.trefis.com

Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG), whose stock currently trades at around $35, generates its revenue primarily from its Motorcycle segment, which is projected to account for 86% of total revenues in 2019, while the Financial Services are expected to contribute 14% to the top line. In this note we discuss the revenue segments of Harley-Davidson, their historical performance, and expected Total Revenue for 2019. You can look at our interactive dashboard analysis ~ Harley-Davidson’s Revenue: How does HOG make money? ~ for more details. In addition, here is more Consumer Discretionary data.

What Does HOG offer?

  • Harley-Davidson Motor Company was founded in 1903. In 1986, Harley-Davidson, Inc. became publicly held and currently is the parent company for the groups of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HDMC) and Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS). The company specializes in heavyweight (601cc+) cruiser and touring motorcycles.
  • The Company’s long-term strategy, announced in 2017, is to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally and includes the following 2027 objectives:
  • Build two million new Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S.
  • Grow the Harley-Davidson international business to 50 percent of its total annual volume.
  • Launch 100 new, high-impact Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
  • Deliver superior return on invested capital for HDMC that falls within the top quartile of the S&P 500.
  • Grow the business without growing its environmental impact.

Operating Segments:

  • Motorcycles and Related Products Segment: The Motorcycles segment consists of HDMC, which designs, manufactures, and sells at wholesale, on-road Harley-Davidson motorcycles as well as motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise, and related services. The Company conducts business on a global basis, with sales in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific.
  • Financial Services Segment: The Financial Services segment consists of HDFS which is engaged in the business of financing and servicing wholesale inventory receivables and retail consumer loans, primarily for the purchase of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. HDFS also works with certain unaffiliated insurance companies to provide motorcycle insurance and protection products to motorcycle owners. HDFS conducts business principally in the U.S. and Canada.

What Are The Alternatives?

  • Major competitors are Triumph, Yamaha, Ducati, and Royal Enfield brands.
  • Mediumweight and lightweight segment motorcycles are also an alternative, but Harley has started to add some of them in its offerings.

What Is The Basis of Competition?

  • The principal factors that determine consumer vehicle preferences in the markets would include overall vehicle design, price, quality, available options, reliability, and functionality.

Harley-Davidson’s Total Revenue has fallen by 4.7% between 2016 and 2018, and is expected to fall further by 5.9% in 2019.

  • HOG’s total revenues fell from $6 billion in 2016 to $5.7 billion in 2018. This represents a decrease of 4.7% primarily due to the Global Slowdown and Maturing US Market.
  • We forecast the revenues to be around $5.4 billion in 2019, reflecting a further fall of 5.9% y-o-y.

Revenue expected to be around $5.4 billion, primarily from contribution of Automotive segment – For detailed bifurcation of Total Revenue please check our interactive dashboard – Harley-Davidson’s Revenue

  • Revenue from Motorcycle and related products segment has fallen by 5.7% between 2016 and 2018, and is expected to fall further by 6.6% in 2019.
  • Financial Services segment Revenue has grown by 3.2% between 2016 and 2018, but is expected to fall by 1.1% in 2019 amid the fall in sales.

 

The Battery Wars of the near future

By General Posts

U.S. legislation aims to thwart China’s electric vehicle dominance

WASHINGTON: A U.S. senator plans to introduce legislation on Thursday to streamline regulation and permitting requirements for the development of mines for lithium, graphite and other electric-vehicle supply chain minerals, part of a plan to offset China’s dominance in the space.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, the Republican chair of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will introduce the Minerals Security Act alongside Senator Joe Manchin.

“Our challenge is still a failure to understand the vulnerability we are in as a nation when it comes to reliance on others for our minerals,” Murkowski told Reuters.

France, Germany agree on first battery cell consortium

France and Germany have earmarked 1.7 billion euros ($1.90 billion) to support several company alliances looking to produce electric car battery cells, a step aimed at reducing the dependence of European carmakers on Asian suppliers.

BERLIN: France and Germany have asked the European Commission to green-light state subsidies for a cross-border battery cell consortium involving carmaker PSA with its German subsidiary Opel and Total’s Saft, FAZ newspaper reported on Monday.

The economy ministries of both countries sent a letter of intent to the European Union’s executive body asking Brussels to quickly give its go-ahead, the newspaper said, adding that the sum of the planned support was not mentioned.

Harley-Davidson Acquires Company That Makes Electric Bikes for Kids

By General Posts

Harley-Davidson is trying to attract a new generation of riders at a very young age. The iconic motorcycle company announced Tuesday that it was buying StaCyc, which makes two-wheel electric bikes for kids.

StaCyc has two models — the 12eDrive and 16eDrive — that the company describes as “the perfect choice for little rippers” between the ages of 3 and 7.

The bikes have a top speed of about 10 miles per hour and sell for a range of $649 to $699.

Harley-Davidson said in a statement that Harley-Davidson branded versions of StaCyc’s two models will be available at select Harley-Davidson dealers in the United States in the third quarter of 2019.

“The StaCyc team shares the same vision we have for building the next generation of riders globally and we believe that together, we will have a significant impact in bringing the fun and enjoyment of riding to kids everywhere,” said Heather Malenshek, Harley-Davidson senior vice president of marketing and brand, in the statement.

Harley-Davidson is increasing its bets on electric vehicles as sales of traditional bikes slow.

The company has already announced plans to launch the LiveWire premium electric motorcycle this fall. It is also developing other electric bikes that it plans to start selling in 2021.

Harley-Davidson needs new growth opportunities as the company struggles to deal with tariffs from the Trump administration that have hurt earnings.

Sales and profits are expected to fall this year and revenue is only expected to rebound slightly in 2020.

Shares of Harley-Davidson have rallied this year with the rest of the market, rising 10% so far in 2019. But the stock is trading nearly 20% below its 52-week high.