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Electric Cars Can Kiss My Ass

By General Posts

Eclectic article on Electrifying Changes in Our Lives

by the Wicked Bitch

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

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

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Bandit’s First Bike Feature in Easyriders

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by Bandit with photos from the late Pete Chiodo

I was working in a bike shop on Imperial Highway, US Choppers in 1970 to support going to Long Beach City College. I was into my first Shovelhead after I sold my 1969 XLCH, and perhaps my fourth bike build after the Sportster, a bent Triump 650 and a 45 trike ground up.

Through Andy Hansen and Bob George I started to rebuild engines. I met Andy on the USS Maddox, DD731, which was my last duty station in the service.

I started to work for Easyriders on the third issue in 1971. That puts me at about 52 years in the motorcycle industry.

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Clay’s Christmas – Blessings Come in Strange Packages

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New Episode 97 in Bandit’s Cantina – The Series

by K.Randall Ball with illustrations by Jon Towle and George Fleming

The Cantina bustled and Bandit kept the holiday tunes blasting while he stared at his budget sheet. It didn’t look good. The positive cash flow from the Sturgis Rally dwindled. He knew his time in Los Angeles waned and 2022 would be a turning point.

He put on a smiling Xmas face and walked down the stairs to the dining room. Most huddled together over their presents. Brothers discussed bike modifications and upcoming projects.

Marko came out from behind bar and nudged Bandit. “Looking good?” Marko said and then steered Bandit’s gaze to Clay, his thinning head of sandy-blonde hair resting against the polish bar top.

Clay was a too-regular. He started drinking early and didn’t stop. His poison Corona beers held him in place between piss and smoke breaks.

A friendly, helpful sort he wanted to assist folks and started to rebuild outboard motors and handled dinghy repairs. Never said a bad thing about anyone.

CLICK HERE To Read the Follow-up to the 2021 XMas Story

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Bandit Lights an Xmas Fire

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Bandit’s Cantina Episode 96 : a 2021 Christmas story

by K.Randall Ball

Bandit looked around at the dozen or so kids and looked at the sleek classic chopper with highbars he was building. The Knucklehead engine and transmission were now in place.

Marko approached and whispered something into Bandit’s ear, “Exactly,” Bandit added.

It was the week after Thanksgiving. Marko disappeared for a minute and returned with a couple of large boxes marked, “Xmas.”

“We need to do something to brighten Christmas for these kids. I’m going to paint the Chopper red and white for the holidays.” said Bandit.

CLICK HERE To Read the Christmas Episode of Bandit’s Cantina – The Series.

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Norton Motorcycles opens new Global Headquarters

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TVS-owned Norton Motorcycles opens new Global Headquarters: 8,000 bikes to roll out every year
from https://www.financialexpress.com by Pradeep Shah

The new headquarters is creating over a hundred new high-skilled jobs and more in the coming years and will be able to build around 8,000 motorcycles a year.

Norton Motorcycles has announced the completion of its new global headquarters that includes state-of-the-art manufacturing capability and the company’s new global design and R&D hub as well. The new HQ is a display of significant commitment by TVS Motor Company in its partnership with Norton Motorcycles. Within just 18 months of acquiring the iconic British marque, TVS has overseen the creation of its world-class facility in Solihull, West Midlands, UK.

The new Norton leadership, together with TVS Motor Company, has conducted a wide-ranging review of Norton Motorcycles operations, resulting in new appointments and processes and these have been specifically in engineering, design, and manufacturing areas in order to ensure the highest quality standards, the company stated.

Moreover, the new headquarters is creating over a hundred new high-skilled jobs and more in the coming years and will be able to build around 8,000 motorcycles a year.

As part of the new manufacturing process, every single component of every new Norton bike will be evaluated in a new quality-testing laboratory to ensure the highest build quality. Moreover, the company says that within the laboratory are inspection rooms, testing areas including destruction testing, and a rolling road while a customer reception and showroom, service workshop, and office are also housed at the new HQ.

The Norton manufacturing facility has also been engineered to be highly sustainable and to minimize waste. The brand says that the build used numerous sustainable and rapid build techniques on the project, the components of which are almost 50% reconfigurable as a proportion of total construction cost – in order to increase special flexibility. The new facility is supported by the West Midlands Growth partnership, the UK Government, and is a great example of Anglo-Indian cooperation.

Why Harley-Davidson Dealers Struggle

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Where Are We Headed?
by Stealth with photos from Sam Burns

I have been thinking about this for a good while now. I THOUGHT I was done with the Harley-Davidson dealer business, but every time I try to get out, I get pulled back in but probably not for long.

I have seen this business in the ‘90s. It was wide open. People standing in line to buy bikes, but not today. Next time you are at a dealership check out how many new bikes you see.

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Motorcycle dealers in Canada blame rising insurance for drop in sales

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Robb Hertzog, owner of Prairie Harley Davidson in Regina, inside their showroom.

by Gillian Francis from https://leaderpost.com

“I’m not going to say it’s all because of SGI, but I’d say three-quarters of it is.”

In just over three years, Robb Hertzog, owner of the Regina motorcycle dealership Prairie Harley Davidson (click here), estimates he’s lost well over $1 million worth of sales.

“I’m not going to say it’s all because of SGI, but I’d say three-quarters of it is,” he said in an interview Thursday, adding that skyrocketing insurance rates for motorcycles are leading to a decline in the amount of customers he receives.

Hertzog is one of many business owners in the motorcycle industry who have voiced concerns about the increasing expenses for bike owners. SGI is considering upping insurance rates again, by 15 per cent for insurance premiums greater than $1,000 and by $25 to $150, for those that total $1,000 or less, leaving businesses with increasingly dire prospects.

“They just can’t afford to ride anymore,” Hertzog said. “My younger clients are just not getting into it because when your monthly rate is as much or more than your loan payments, it makes it very, very difficult.”

Earlier this week, an SGI spokesperson told the Leader-Post that increasing fees are part of a plan to rebalance insurance rates. This would lead to an annual rate decrease for some types of vehicles and in an increase for vehicles like motorcycles that are perceived to have higher accident risk. A latest proposed rate increase is being reviewed by The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel.

Insurance rates for new models with large engines, like Harley cruisers, can range from $2,000 to $3,000 per year. While this is enough to dissuade individual motorists from buying, there is also a chain reaction that extends to other parts of the industry as well.

Hertzog explained the number of motorcyclists attending their community events and fundraisers is down by half, leading to a decrease in charity funding of a few thousand dollars, and his bike repair team is getting fewer clients now that people are riding less frequently.

Collin Cossette, owner of Action Cycle in Moose Jaw, switched from selling street models to off-road bikes, a decision motivated by a variety of factors unrelated to insurance, including losing a franchise. He said the demand for street models is not strong enough for him to want to go back.

The few street bikes he continues to carry, have remained untouched for years, brands that would have sold in the hundreds a decade ago. Most dealerships in his area, he said, have lost around 80 per cent of their sales now that more expensive models come with high insurance.

Rick Bradshaw, owner of Schrader’s Motors in Yorkton, estimated insurance rates have increased around 67 per cent in the past decade, causing their street bike sales to decrease from 50 per year to 20.

Most of the clients who visit Schrader’s are older adults who have more disposable income, while younger cohorts are dissuaded by the expense. Prior to the insurance hike, he said more young women were taking an interest in the sport than ever before, but he believes expense has since reduced this trend.

“You can be a high performance car enthusiast and buy a $100,000, loaded-up, 600 horsepower BMW car and you don’t pay any more for that car based on value … But for motorcyclists with the same zero clean record and no accidents, if that bike happens to have a bigger engine or more horsepower all of a sudden you’re penalized dramatically,” he said.

As for Hertzog, he thinks raising awareness of the issue is key to creating change.

“We’ve got to find a way to get people out riding and enjoy life, but it will be a bit of a cost on SGI,” he said. “But the cost of that is worth a lot because I think the industry and the sales and the amount of jobs that were lost are way more money than SGI will ever have lost.”

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.

Harley-Davidson to cut hundreds of jobs as part of turnaround strategy

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

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) on Thursday said it will lay off 500 employees this year as part of new Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz’s efforts to revive the struggling motorcycle maker.

As part of the overhaul, Chief Financial Officer John Olin will leave the company effective immediately. Darrell Thomas, treasurer, will become interim chief financial officer, it said.

Harley-Davidson’s sales have been declining for the past five years in the United States, its largest market, as its baby-boomer customer base ages. The economic pain caused by the coronavirus pandemic has further dented retail demand.

In response to weak sales, the Milwaukee-based company has cut production, leading to 140 job cuts last month at its factories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The latest cuts are in addition to those layoffs, a company spokeswoman said.

Zeitz, who took over in February, is hailed for turning around the Puma brand’s near-bankrupt business.

His restructuring strategy, dubbed The Rewire, is aimed at making Harley a leaner and more nimble organization. It seeks to reset product lines, focus on the company’s core strengths and prioritize profitable markets.

“Significant changes are necessary, and we must move in new directions,” Zeitz said.

Harley said the measures announced on Thursday will lay the foundation for a five-year strategic plan to revive sales that the company expects to share in the fourth quarter.

In all, the restructuring will eliminate 700 positions globally. It will result in a $50 million restructuring charge in 2020, including $42 million in the second quarter.

While the overhaul is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Harley said it will likely cause additional restructuring charges in 2021.

The company will provide more details of the financial impact in its second-quarter earnings report later this month.

Harley’s shares were last down 1% at $25.33.

Harley-Davidson Announces New Round of Job Cuts

By General Posts

by Eric Volkman from https://www.fool.com/

This is not the first time in 2020 the struggling motorcycle maker has reduced its workforce.

The economic pain wrought by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus continues to affect Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG). The storied motorcycle maker said Thursday it’s cutting roughly 140 jobs in two factories, one located in Pennsylvania and the other in Wisconsin.

The move comes just after the company’s announcement that it’s reducing production volumes. As with many businesses across the economy, Harley-Davidson has suffered from softened demand for its products. “Stay in place” measures, which had been in force in the early part of the pandemic, will likely remain (or in certain cases, be reintroduced given the sharp increases in cases lately).

A representative from the company, however, told Reuters in a statement that, “As course of normal business, Harley-Davidson regularly adjusts its production plan and appropriately sizes its workforce.”

This is not the first time in recent months that the company has announced reductions in its employee rolls. In late April, it furloughed most of its production workers around the world as part of a broader set of measures aimed at coping with the economic slowdown. It also enacted a raft of salary cuts.

Even before the onset of the global crisis engendered by the coronavirus, Harley-Davidson had been struggling due to the aging of baby boomers, a crucial customer demographic for the company. Its sales were falling, with a 6% year-over-year drop in revenue in fiscal 2019.

Harley-Davidson didn’t end the week on a positive note. It fell harder than even the beleaguered main stock indexes and stumbling consumer goods names on the day, slipping by nearly 6.9%.