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NCOM Biker Newsbytes May 2020

By | General Posts

All 50 states are now in various stages of reopening, and along with restrictions being lifted and the COVID-19 curve flattening, hopes for more normalcy are high; and none higher than amongst the motorcycling community.

Most industries have been hit hard by the global pandemic, and motorcycle sales and production have been among the most impacted, with factories shut down, dealerships closed, events cancelled or postponed, and even ridership restricted in many parts of the world.

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Memorial Day Bikernet Weekly News for May 21, 2020

By | General Posts

Say a Prayer for the Brothers and Sisters who Fought for Freedom

Hey,

This is one of those strange holidays. It’s at a time of the year when the party lamps are lite. On the other hand, it’s a time of thought and prayer for those who died in battle.

We have a tremendous amount to celebrate this weekend with the country reopening, more businesses reopening and the celebration of life. But take some time out this weekend, to ponder those who have died in any combat including our own motorcycle freedom fighters. And think about life and our good fortunes to be living in the best of times of life on earth.

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The Mysterious Bikernet Weekly News for May 14, 2020

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Some ups and downs…

I completely understand the need not to overwhelm our medical industry. And recently the Sturgis Rally discussion surfaced. One report worried that all the decision makers had solely financial cards in play and that the decision might be forced in one direction, to make money off the rally.

I said the players run the gamut from Zero tolerance control freaks to freedom riders, party animals and the money makers. I hope they can find balance. But in the end motorcycling wins. As long as we are riding, we’re safe and free. Just ride through Sturgis and keep going. Ride into the hills of the Badlands. Ride through Yosemite and Zion. Ride through Flagstaff and Monument Valley. Just Ride!

Think about it. Life can be fucked or fun, it’s up to each one of us. Find the path and follow it to Nirvana or another Redhead, both are heaven. And make sure you ride all the way…

Freedom Forever,

–Bandit

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Harley-Davidson Dealerships Ranked #1 in 2020 for Responding to Website Customers

By | General Posts

from https://www.oaoa.com

Associated Press |

MONTEREY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 4, 2020–

Harley-Davidson dealerships ranked highest in the 2020 Pied Piper PSI ® Internet Lead Effectiveness ® (ILE ® ) Industry Study, which answers the question, “What happens when motorcycle or UTV customers visit a dealer website and inquire about a vehicle?” Dealerships selling Indian motorcycles were ranked second.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200503005001/en/

2020 Pied Piper PSI – Motorcycle / UTV Internet Lead Effectiveness Industry Study (USA) – Ranking by Brand (Graphic: Pied Piper)

The study was completed before the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic, but in the aftermath of the pandemic dealer response to website customers has become even more critical.

Pied Piper submitted customer inquiries through the individual websites of 6,012 dealerships between July 2019 and February 2020, asking a question about a vehicle in inventory, and providing a customer name, email address and local telephone number. Pied Piper then evaluated how the dealerships responded by email, telephone and text message over the next 24 hours. Twenty different measurements generate dealership Internet Lead Effectiveness ® (ILE ® ) scores, which range from zero to 100. 13% of dealerships nationwide scored above 70, demonstrating an extensive and effective website-response process, while 36% of dealerships scored below 30, showing failure to personally respond in any way to their website customers.

The study found widespread industrywide improvement from 2019 to 2020, with the industry average ILE score increasing from 33 to 42. Brands which led the industry in improvement over the past year were Indian, Harley-Davidson, Polaris and Yamaha. Only three of thirty-three brands failed to increase their score from 2019: Club Car (Ingersoll Rand), Cub Cadet (MTD Products) and Arctic Cat (Textron).

Nearly all of today’s customers first use their smart phone to shop before ever visiting a dealership in person. Pied Piper finds that most dealers today understand that responding to web customers is critical to sales success, but there is still plenty of variation in dealership behaviors. “The key to driving improvement in both web-response behaviors and sales,” said Fran O’Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper, “is to show dealers what their web customers are really experiencing. It’s often a surprise.”

PSI ® Internet Lead Effectiveness ® (ILE ® ) Industry Studies have been conducted annually since 2011. The 2020 Pied Piper PSI-ILE Industry Study (U.S.A. Motorcycle/UTV) was conducted between July 2019 and February 2020 by submitting customer internet inquiries directly to a sample of 6,012 dealerships nationwide representing all major brands. Examples of other recent Pied Piper PSI studies are the 2020 PSI-ILE U.S. Auto Industry Study (Toyota brand was ranked first), and the 2019 “PSI for EVs” U.S. Auto Industry Study (Tesla brand was ranked first for selling in-person). Complete Pied Piper PSI industry study results are provided to vehicle manufacturers and national dealer groups. Manufacturers, national dealer groups and individual dealerships also order PSI evaluations—in-person, internet or telephone—as tools to measure and improve the sales effectiveness of their dealerships. For more information about the fact-based Prospect Satisfaction Index ® process, go to www.piedpiperpsi.com.

Magnificent Bikernet Weekly News for April 30, 2020

By | General Posts

Life is Amazing, but a lot of Events are Cancelled

Hey,

Is life wonderful or not. As we roll into May, more bored folks are coming up with wild conspiracy theories regarding the Covid attack, from political twists to Chinese takeovers.

I’m too busy repairing the Salt Torpedo, working on the expanding headquarters in Deadwood, building Dr. Hamster’s Pandemic Panhead and hammering away on the second chapter of my third Chance Hogan book. A friend from Simon and Shusters recommended, years ago, that I write a series. I spoke to the recently passed, Clive Cussler, from Phoenix, who wrote one series after another. He agreed.

Just be thankful for what you got–William De Vaughn 

See, life is amazing from the plants blooming in the Bikernet patio, to the lines on Christian’s bike, to the scalloped paint job Deny 925 is creating, to another magnificent sunset over the harbor and the thoughts of building another shop in Deadwood surrounded by rolling pine covered hills.

We will deal with this punk virus and keep riding towards the light. It’s an interesting news, hang on.

 

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Norton will fill the high-end technology deficit for TVS Motor

By | General Posts

by Chanchal Pal Chauhan from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Norton is one of the most iconic British brands, besides Triumph, Royal Enfield and BSA. Incidentally now all of the remaining famed British brands either have Indian owners or strong engineering relationships with local entities.

Another Indian company bags a storied European brand.

This time it’s TVS Motor, the third largest two wheeler maker from the world’s biggest bikes and scooter market, and getting ‘Norton’ under its belt would not just fill the technology deficit, but would also make it a serious contender in the super-bike category, something its rivals are always vying for.

Industry veterans cite it as a major catch for any aspiring Indian company aiming to hit the global circuit in style. “Norton is a major brand in the developed markets of Europe and the US and at Rs 150 crore, it’s a steal. The brand has a major pull and would fill the void for TVS Motors in technology and take it many years ahead of its rivals,” says a two wheeler specialist.

TVS Motor Company has announced the Norton acquisition on Friday. Norton is one of the most iconic British brands, besides Triumph, Royal Enfield and BSA. Incidentally now all of the remaining famed British brands either have Indian owners or strong engineering relationships with local entities.

Typical of the cash-starved British brands, Norton was started in Birmingham in 1898 by James Lansdowne Norton. It has a fantastic global appeal, a strong unique design and British heritage carried for decades. It has always been closely associated with “Motor Racing” and also makes superbikes in various categories across markets.

It is a brand which has a huge opportunity for TVS to scale up and create value. TVS Motors can now focus on these developed markets with a known brand and the hugely expanding recreation biking segment. This classic and unique British design and heritage will be the core for the company looking at building out a future in premium, luxury and classic bikes as well.

TVS has spent about 16-million British Pounds on the acquisition, funded through internal approvals and, it is an asset purchase. The cash savvy Indian companies have been on the prowl with Bajaj Auto acquiring KTM and Husqvarna marquee brands in the past.

Meanwhile, the SUV major, Mahindra&Mahindra through its two wheeler company had also acquired another iconic British motorcycle brand, BSA a few years back. Mahindra also owns 60 percent of Classic Legends Private Limited (CLPL), who had re-introduced the Yezdi brand back into India.

The two wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp had acquired American superbike maker Erik Buell Racing or EBR, – the East Troy, Wisconsin-based firm, to harvest cutting-edge technology and design to develop future models. However, the deal turned sour and the Indian entity lost a good amount of money.

EBR, a fairly new enterprise, turned bankrupt a few years after the acquisition and the technology it was developing almost got wasted for Hero MotoCorp and failed to harvest any of its investments. Subsequently, it has developed new technology centres at Kukas in Rajasthan and Germany to fill the tech-deficit.

The cash-rich Indian companies have been looking at the global spectrum of motorbiking and Norton gets TVS to that niche level.

Virtually on a bankruptcy mode, Norton had undergone a rough patch in the past two-years, though TVS has not taken any of its past liabilities or the responsibilities. While the Chennai-based entity has committed to meet all customer commitments and will carry on with all the existing employees too. There are about 55-60 of the permanent employees serving Norton at the time of acquisition as per the company website.

Industry insiders say what is the need for TVS to acquire Norton of UK at approximately Rs 150 crore at such an unpleasant hour, amid the coronavirus scare and massive uncertainties, especially when they already have a tie up with BMW Motorrad.

An industry veteran quipped, “BMW tie-up restricts them to 500cc (in terms of engine capacity), whereas with Norton acquisition they can wheel out 650-1800cc of biking. Moreover this opens up the entire Europe and the US markets for them … Norton may not be too popular in the West, but mind you it is strong in technology and engines, which will determine the future of performance biking and motor racing…”

According to Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director, TVS Motor Company, “Norton is an iconic British brand celebrated across the world, and presents us with an immense opportunity to scale globally. We will continue to retain its distinctive identity with dedicated and specific business plans.”

Due to the challenges it (Norton) faced in the last few years, TVS insiders believe in the flipside there’s potential to scale up the company to create massive value in the long-term from the new acquisition to the Indian two wheeler company.

Norton is a brand that always stood for bespoke production, craftsmanship and unparallel motoring luxury along with unique design and innovation, something TVS has been looking for and really seeks to build out. In fact, each bike costs upwards of 25,000 British Pounds and is custom-built for the customer in those markets.

As for the industry gains, TVS would be eyeing huge synergies across supply chain and distribution. These gains would be beyond the product and the company would be looking forward to the new products in the pipeline. TVS has got all the intellectual proprietary and brand rights and is looking forward to resurrecting and scaling it in the future.

TVS Motor Company, a reputed manufacturer of two-wheelers and three-wheelers in the world, has operations across a dozen international markets like Indonesia, Philippines, Yeman, Columbia, Kuwait, Yeman, Honduras etc. The new string; Britain’s iconic sporting motorcycle, Norton will carve out TVS into a storied motorcycle maker of modern times and will reflect its rising prominence in the highly competitive international two-wheeler market.

The Bright Light Bikernet Weekly News for April 23, 2020

By | General Posts

It’s just life and it’s inspirational the Human Spirit
By Bandit, Rogue Wayfarer, Barry Green, Bob T., Sam Burns, the Redhead, Laura, Andreas, Gearhead and the rest of the crew#

Hey,

I love all the doom and gloom, the blame and the conspiracy theories. As you will see, Joe Smith sent us some damn interesting images from the Spanish Flu era in 1918 that killed 500,000. We survived to have an economic collapse in 1929. There’s never a dull moment in life. The light at the end of the tunnel is bright!

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NCOM Biker News Bytes for April 2020

By | General Posts

Convention Rescheduled Pandemic, Motorcycle Market, Essential Workers and More…
By Bill Bish

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists 35th annual NCOM Convention has been rescheduled for the middle of October at the Marriott Indianapolis East (7202 East 21st Street), the same location in Indiana as previously planned.

“At this time, the NCOM board urges you and your families to follow the advice of the health departments and keep yourselves safe,” said James “Doc” Reichenbach II, Chairman of the NCOM Board of Directors, adding that “Losing one person is one too many.”

Stay tuned for further details as NCOM continues to monitor this deadly global outbreak and its impact on the motorcycling community.

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Manga Series Tells the Story of Soichiro Honda, Watch It Free

By | General Posts

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

For more than a century, manga comics have been enchanting fans all over the world. The unique style of this type of Japanese drawings has been used to tell all sorts of stories, from far-fetched science fiction to historical dramas. And manga has even been used to tell the tale of Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda.

The Japanese engineer’s life, from his exploits during World War II to the establishment of the company and the efforts made to take it international, is being told in six episodes lasting between 10 and 20 minutes.

The series was initially launched in 2015 and released well into 2019 as the Honda Soichiro Hon Den manga. Given there aren’t many things to do these days given the global circumstances, Honda decided it’s time to revisit the artwork and pitch it to the global audiences in need of some boredom cure.

The creation is not your usual manga, as it blends the iconic Japanese-style cartoon drawings with actual audio files and historic photographs to create something unique, and is available in both English and Japanese.

What we know today as Honda started life as the Honda Technical Research Institute in 1946, after its founder spent several years taunting the auto industry by making parts for Toyota. The entity as we perceive it today came to be in 1948.

Honda’s first product was a motorized bicycle powered by the company’s first ever mass-made engine. That first motorcycle, known as the Type A, would then grow into the Type D, the product that gave birth to the Dream line of two-wheelers.

Slowly, Honda grew into being perceived in some circles as the maker of some of the best motorcycles in the world, and has been leading the industry in terms of volume since the last years of the 1950s’ decade.

Honda also entered the auto industry, but it did so rather late in its life. The first four-wheeler made by the Japanese was the T360 kei car, in 1963, the same year when another model, the S500, was also introduced.

You can watch the entire manga series on Honda’s life and exploits below this text.

 

The Cure Bikernet Weekly News for March 26, 2020

By | General Posts

We Can Party Once More, Hopefully

We will continue to party until the end, whether they like it or not.

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, BorntoRide.com and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Most recently Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

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