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Harley-Davidson’s 2024 Factory King of the Baggers Team

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HARLEY-DAVIDSON FACTORY RACE TEAM LAUNCHES FOR 2024 MOTOAMERICA MISSON KING OF THE BAGGERS RACING SERIES

18-Race Schedule Includes Round at Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas

MILWAUKEE (February 16, 2024) – The Harley-Davidson® Factory Race Team today launches its 2024 season with an exciting video featuring team riders Kyle Wyman and James Rispoli aboard new race-prepared 2024 Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® motorcycles based on the all-new touring platform for the MotoAmerica Mission King Of The Baggers road racing series. The video, with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the team, dials up the fun and irreverence of the King of the Baggers series, and will debut today on the Harley-Davidson YouTube Channel and other social channels.

An exciting special round was recently added to the 2024 Mission King Of The Baggers Championship by appearing during the third round of the FIM MotoGP World Championship at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, April 12-13. This two-race appearance during the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas weekend will mark the first time an international audience will see the thundering King Of The Baggers bikes in competition. In addition to the two points-paying races on Saturday, April 13, there will be a three-lap Mission Challenge on Friday afternoon with the six fastest qualifiers battling for a $5000 winner-take-all purse. This special round expands the 2024 Mission King Of The Baggers schedule to 18 total races.

Wyman and Rispoli will compete aboard race-prepared 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide® motorcycles powered by modified Screamin’ Eagle® Milwaukee-Eight® 131 Performance Crate Engines. These motorcycles are based on the all-new 2024 Road Glide model, including the sleek new next-generation sharknose fairing design. Many of the race motorcycle body panels are formed with the same lightweight forged carbon fiber material featured on the 2024 CVO™ Road Glide® ST model. The team bikes also feature upgraded suspension components, including Screamin’ Eagle/Öhlins Remote Reservoir Rear Shocks, and competition Screamin’ Eagle exhaust, along with upgraded Brembo® Racing braking systems, Marchesini® wheels, and premium Harley-Davidson racing components produced by Protolabs®. The team motorcycles will appear in all-new livery featuring the classic Legendary Racing Orange color long associated with Harley-Davidson Factory Team racing bikes.

Wyman returns for a fourth season with the Harley-Davidson Factory Race Team. He won seven races during the 2023 King of the Baggers season and finished third in the season championship. Wyman is the most winning racer in MotoAmerica King of the Baggers history, with 12 total race wins in the 24 events since the start of the series in the 2021 season, plus the 2021 season championship to his credit. Wyman won the Daytona 200 in 2019.

Rispoli joins the team for the 2024 season after placing second in King of the Baggers series points in 2023 riding for the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team. In 2023, Rispoli won two races, and scored five second place finishes and three third place finishes. Rispoli began racing Harley-Davidson motorcycles as a teenager and earned the nickname “Hogspoli” after winning the 2020 American Flat Track Production Twins championship aboard a Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R. He also won back-to-back AMA Pro Racing Supersport championships in 2011-2012.

For the 2024 season, the Harley-Davidson® Factory Race Team is sponsored by Mission® Foods, Rockford Fosgate®, Brembo®, Öhlins®, Protolabs®, SYN3® lubricants, and Screamin’ Eagle® Performance Parts and Accessories.

The MotoAmerica King Of The Baggers series offers exciting competition between American V-Twin touring motorcycles prepared for competition and equipped with a fairing/windscreen and saddlebags. The 2024 series has expanded to 18 races over nine double-header weekends held in conjunction with the MotoAmerica Superbike Series. The series opens on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, March 7-9. To experience all the King Of The Baggers action in 2024, check out the Harley-Davidson Factory Race Fan Ticket Packages.

https://www.motoamerica.com/

2024 MotoAmerica Mission King Of The Baggers Season Schedule

(Two races each weekend)

March 7-9: Daytona International Raceway – Daytona Beach, Fla.
April 12-13: Circuit of The Americas – Austin, Texas (Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas)
April 19-21: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta – Braselton, Ga.
May 31-June 2: Road America – Elkhart Lake, Wis.
June 14-16: Brainerd International Raceway – Brainerd, Minn.
July 12-14: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – Monterey, Calif.
August 16-18: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – Lexington, Ohio
September 13-15: Circuit of the Americas – Austin, Texas
September 27-29: New Jersey Motorsports Park – Millville, N.J.

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The cousin for Harley-Davidson X440

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Even as X440 takes on the local behemoth Royal Enfield, the global two-wheeled giant Hero MotoCorp’s Mavrick 440 was unveiled in India at Hero World 2024.

Based on the Harley-Davidson X440, it features a power-roadster design philosophy and will be available for bookings in February 2024.

The Mavrick was co-developed in association with Harley-Davidson and is based on the X440. Available in five colour options, across variants, dealerships will accept bookings from February 2024 with deliveries beginning April 2024.

Harley-Davidson X440 and Mavrick 440 share the same engine and trellis frame. Yet it looks drastically different and may not appeal to those who loved the X440 design derived from Harley-Davidson XR1200.

Mavrick 440 will likely compete well against those left behind by the X440, including the big four Japanese brands. In all of this, the other retro-cruisers such as recently announced Honda CB350 and Jawa Forty-two and the Roadsters from Yezdi and TVS seem lost in the noise, with less brand appeal and even less after-sales expectations.

Find out the detailed specs, features and updates at
https://www.heromotocorp.com/en-in/motorcycles/Mavrick.html

With the launch of Mavrick 440, the buyers of Harley-Davidson X440 might also breathe a sigh of relief as the doubt for after-sales-service and parts might get resolved. Hopefully, H-D’s franchising strategy with Hero and Chinese QJ Motors (for China market) is a long-term strategy. I doubt if Harley-Davidson will again disappear overnight —since Hero has engaged so much resources, it is likely a tight, well-planned partnership.

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Hero MotoCorp announces streetfighter juxtaposed to Harley-Davidson X440

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Harley-Davidson X440 — not entirely fugly

Hero ‘Maverick’ is the upcoming streetfighter, positioned against Harley-Davidson X440. It will also go up against the popular Yamaha MT lineup.

Hero and Harley-Davidson are working together but who will win in their respective sales volumes? Hero MotoCorp is the exclusive distributor and service provider for Harley-Davidson in India. Together they built and launched the X440 last year to good pre-booking numbers.

The forthcoming Hero Mavrick will share identical foundational elements, such as the trellis frame and the 440 cc oil-cooled, single-cylinder engine. However, it will undergo several modifications to distinguish itself more distinctly from its American counterpart.

While Harley-Davidson X440 is categorized as a roadster, the forthcoming Mavrick will be positioned as a streetfighter.

It all starts with a cool name. That’s how marketing and branding works. I bet Hero MotoCorp will sell a lot more of these Maverick bikes than H-D’s X440 bikes—- no doubt inspired from a ‘Top Tom’ movie of the same name.

If Hero MotoCorp don’t show an advertisement featuring airplane pilots, aspiring owners will probably be disappointed. These will also compete well against existing Yamaha lineup including Yamaha MT-15. Bajaj Pulsar is still a well-known common model and Hero now has its Karizma ZMR as well as Maverick to rival Bajaj.

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Aprilia to compete with Enfields?

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There might be an Aprilia model to compete with Royal Enfield Classic 350 which is a top-selling model in its class since launch.

A new test mule has been spotted in Europe and it has a similar engine casing as the RS 457. It also features old-school styling and body parts that indicates that the world is finally noticing the timeless appeal (and profits) of Enfield models which have built a nice empire in mid-capacity motorcycles for over a decade now.

A new retro-styled test bike is getting testes around Europe which on close scrutiny of spied photos suggests it is an Aprilia.

Multiple aspects convince eager enthusiasts to claim it is an upcoming Aprilia motorcycle. Engine casing visible on the right hand side is similar to the RS 457’s unit. This test model’s motor appears to be larger in the images. It has a larger exhaust also. But there are many features giving it an appearance of RS 457.

However, the design is not very impressive so this would have to be a very early prototype. The aesthetics of its headlight, tank shrouds, and the tail section, seem as if they were all assembled by a local garage shop. A retrofitted model is not exactly a test mule so the mystery is intriguing indeed.

RS 457 uses a 457cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with 47.6bhp and 43.5Nm linked to a six-speed gearbox. It has a slipper clutch. Aprilia may carry these forward with different tuning. A slim USD front forks, dual rear shocks, and single disc at both ends are possible indications as well. Its alloy wheels and TVS tyres seem to be borrowed from the RS.

It could take any amount of time before Aprilia debuts this retro-styled motorcycle in production form. The current iteration of RS 457 has just been launched in India after months of anticipation. Royal Enfield has new competition from Honda CB350, Harley-Davidson 440X and Triumph’s partnership with Bajaj apart from the revived Jawa and Yezdi brands.

Since the response to H-D and Triumph’s small engine models were all perceived as a gamble– that paid off more than expected– it seems other brands are catching on to this retro-theme-segmentation within motorcycles which have smaller engines but larger than commuter class models.

Honda 350cc models meant for India were launched in Japan as well and the Triumph-Bajaj models may go overseas too. If Aprilia makes money with its retro-bike in India, then they may realize there is a market for them elsewhere too.

Meanwhile, news comes of a Trademark for a “Goan Classic 350” by Royal Enfield which is fast growing its range of models and brand-name list.

Will there be a 650cc version for Bullet and Classic? While Enfields are chasing and pushing for bigger engines, others want to break its global hold on 350cc engine market.

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Classic Legends to get USD 105m investment

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Mahindra and Mahindra, along with others to invest USD 105 mn in Classic Legends

The bestselling ‘Scorpio’ car manufacturer will invest USD 105 million along with existing shareholders and new investors, Mahindra said in an exchange filing.This will be over the course of next two to three years.

Mahindra owns 60% of Classic Legends, which manufactures two-wheelers such as Jawa, Yezdi, and BSA.

This is while investments in premium motorcycle segment in India is heating up with Harley-Davidson and Triumph partnering domestic companies, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj respectively.

Classic Legends has so far not made any inroads into this segment that is still largely dominated by Eicher’s Royal Enfield motorcycles.

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