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Motorcycles Sales Bounce Back Post Pandemic Slump

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by Sabrina Giacomini from https://www.rideapart.com

Rising from the ashes.

To say that 2020 has been an eventful year so far is an understatement. “2020, written by Stephen King” is probably the best description of this year’s events we found so far. Of course, with a pandemic forcing most of the global population into lockdown, the health crisis was bound to have an impact on the motorcycle industry.

For several manufacturers, between suspended production and customers shying away from the dealers, the months of April and May 2020 have been challenging to say the least. Thankfully, with life gradually resuming, so are sales, and the numbers are bouncing back.

Things Are Going Better Than Expected:

An increasing number of people and publications suggest that the pandemic will encourage more people to turn to motorcycles and scooters for transportation—the perfect type of commuter for social distancing.

In the U.S., buyers didn’t waste any time running for the hills—literally—as soon as COVID-19 poked its ugly head. Honda, BMW, Suzuki, and Yamaha’s North American branches reported that sales are thriving since the beginning of the year, particularly in the off-road segment. For instance, American Honda Motor Co. confirmed that motorcycle sales for May 2020 have more than doubled over May 2019—both in the road and off-road segments (+103% and +172% respectively). For BMW North America, while official sales numbers were not disclosed, the spokesperson did say that May 2020 sales were far exceeding last year’s.

The European market is showing a similar, positive trend. Italian sales numbers for June 2020 show a 37-percent increase over June 2019—not even over the catastrophic month of May 2020. More bikes and scooters sold in Italy post-pandemic than last year, back when nobody had even heard of a coronavirus. A total of 39,085 motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds have been registered in Italy in June.

The market is also on the mend in India where local branches are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Though the June sales numbers remain significantly below the 2019 numbers, they are on the rise after the May 2020 slump. For Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, the 210,879 units moved in June represent a 153 percent increase in sales over May. For Hero, sales increased by a staggering 300 percent between the two months. Royal Enfield is also back in the green with a total of 38,065 motorcycles sold in June versus 18,429 in May.

Despite a rocky start to 2020, it looks like the motorcycle industry is faring far better than we initially anticipated.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes June 2020

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Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

QUOTABLE QUOTE: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

~ Sun Tzu (544-496 BC), Chinese Military Strategist, authored “The Art of War”

ABOUT AIM / NCOM: The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

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The Escape Bikernet Weekly News for June 18, 2020

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It’s Crazy but We Will Survive

Hey,

Another wonderful day in paradise. I joke about the adage from the India-based movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” Great flick: Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end. Think about that anytime you’re in a jam. Think about it, when strange shit is happening in your hood, in the country or in the industry.

Harley seems to be struggling, but I look at it as a transition. And everything will be cool, when they come out of it. I’ve spoken to shop owners all over the country about the times. Here’s a good one. “We had a slow week when the Covid hit,” said Randy Aron of Cycle Visions in San Diego. “Ever since then we’ve been cooking.”

So, keep smiling, riding free and rockin’ the world. Let’s hit the news.

Get ready to ride and never stop, goddammit!

–Bandit

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Harley-Davidson To Drop From S&P 500 As Coronavirus Batters Struggling Motorcycle Maker

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by Bill Roberson from https://www.forbes.com/

Iconic American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson [HOG] continues to struggle. The company will move off the S&P 500 in the next week and will land on Standard and Poor’s MidCap 400 list of stocks instead, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Clothier Nordstrom Inc. and Alliance Data Systems Corp. will also fall off the S&P 500.

With a two-month work stoppage (since resumed) due to the pandemic coupled with an expected deep dive in sales due to the general halt in economic activity, the near future could be a rough ride. The most recent report on sales from the company show the numbers were down close to 18% year over year as of late April.

The S&P 500 delisting, set for June 22, comes while Harley-Davidson continues to navigate rough waters, including a personnel shuffle that included the CEO and a stock price that has hung in the $25 range during the pandemic but was as high as $73 in 2014 and over $40 per share in the last year. In the depths of virus-fueled market turmoil in April of this year, the share price dipped to nearly $15 but has since rebounded, almost reaching $30 just about a week ago. The drop from the index could hurt the stock price since many investors include companies in the S&P 500 as part of their portfolios.

Before the coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak, the Milwaukee,Wisconsin-based maker of heavyweight cruisers – and a fully electric model – had been on a sales and stock price slide for several years as the company searched for new buyers. Their core – and highly loyal – customer base has slowly eroded due to age and competition, notably from a resurgent Indian, which was once Harley’s main sales and racing competitor before shuttering post-WWII. The brand was recently revived by outdoor recreation equipment Polaris and has targeted Harley’s market while also attracting new riders with their Scout and FTR models.

Under the tenure of now-departed CEO Mark Levatich, Harley embarked on a risky tangent into the world of electric vehicles and debuted the all-electric LiveWire motorcycle two years ago. While the bike has received favorable reviews, a price tag near $30,000 has been a tough sell while pioneers in the electric motorcycle space like Zero sell models with similar performance for nearly a third less. Before Levatich left the Motor Company, as Harley is also known, the CEO said more electric models, including bicycles, were on the way. New CEO Jochen Zeitz, a longtime board member known as a turnaround specialist, hasn’t yet laid out the specifics for Harley’s future, saying he plans to “rewire” the company with a 5-year plan for growth.

Part of Harley’s current conundrum is a perfect storm of a waning traditional customer base, expensive motorcycles, and young people who have high debt, myriad transportation options and little brand loyalty. Harley-Davidson has been working to build their international markets over the years and growth there has been a strong point along with their finance arm, but slumping overall sales have driven the company’s market cap to under $4 billion, or nearly half of what the S&P 500 regards as a minimum to make the list.

Tyler Technologies Inc., Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. and Teledyne Technologies Inc. will all join the index, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Pandemonium Bikernet Weekly News for June 4, 2020

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It’s Nuts with News from all the Wheels

ANOTHER CRAZY DAY IN PARADISE—Nothing makes any sense, but there you have it. It’s all going to be so interesting as the country comes to grips with what’s going on in the streets. Do you want law and order or pandemonium?

I need to start working on new fender mounts for the Salt Torpedo. Oh, and I heard that the Sturgis Rally powers are meeting on the 15th to make the final decision on the rally.

I road tested the funky Panhead last weekend, and I’m almost finished re-editing my first book for reprint. It’s coming out again soon.

So, there you have it. Life is nut

–Bandit

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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NCOM Biker Newsbytes May 2020

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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

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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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Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG) SVP & CFO John A Olin Bought $256,770 of Shares

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from https://www.gurufocus.com

SVP & CFO of Harley-davidson Inc (30-Year Financial, Insider Trades) John A Olin (insider trades) bought 13,500 shares of HOG on 05/13/2020 at an average price of $19.02 a share. The total cost of this purchase was $256,770.

Harley-Davidson Inc produces and sells heavyweight motorcycles, as well as offers motorcycle parts, accessories, and related services. It operates in two segments, Motorcycles and Related Products, and Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Inc has a market cap of $3.01 billion; its shares were traded at around $19.66 with a P/E ratio of 8.48 and P/S ratio of 0.58. The dividend yield of Harley-Davidson Inc stocks is 7.66%. Harley-Davidson Inc had annual average EBITDA growth of 8.70% over the past ten years. GuruFocus has detected 2 severe warning signs with Harley-Davidson Inc.

Directors and Officers Recent Trades:

  • Chairman and Acting President Jochen Zeitz bought 51,020 shares of HOG stock on 05/13/2020 at the average price of $19.52. The price of the stock has increased by 0.72% since.
  • Chairman and Acting President Jochen Zeitz bought 97,850 shares of HOG stock on 05/08/2020 at the average price of $21.26. The price of the stock has decreased by 7.53% since.

The Mysterious Bikernet Weekly News for May 14, 2020

By | General Posts

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’s New Rewire Strategy Is A Bad Idea

By | General Posts

by Justin Hughes from https://www.rideapart.com

Why refocus the brand on capturing a rapidly shrinking demographic?

Earlier this week we reported on Harley-Davidson’s latest change in direction: to abandon some of their more ambitious ideas and focus on growing the core brand, with their core bikes, in the US. While models like the LiveWire, Bronx, and Pan America are already far enough down the pipeline to continue, beyond that we can expect nothing more than cruisers, baggers, and tourers from Harley for the foreseeable future. That’s too bad.

As an amateur radio operator, I have often heard the derogatory joke that the average age of one who participates in the hobby is “dead.” Sadly, that is beginning to apply more and more to the average age of a typical Harley rider. There are always exceptions. I’ve had my radio license since I was 15, and I’m actually considering an 80s or 90s Harley for a future project bike. But even I have a bit of gray in my hair and beard, something you will see in the vast majority of Harley enthusiasts. We’re only getting older.

From the investors’ perspective, I get it. They’re not in it for the bikes or the culture. They’re in it for the money, and especially these days the money isn’t there. Shareholder Impala Asset Management has been arguing for a while that a change in direction is needed, and chose to act during the recent management shakeup at Harley. While we hoped this might be good for Harley, it looks like they have chosen to take what it sees as the safe path, prioritizing short term profit over the long term survival of the company.

Given the crazy economic condition of the world right now, maybe that’s the right choice for now. It’s not like there will be any long term plans if the company doesn’t survive the next year, for example. Its existing models won’t save the company, though. While used Harleys are cheap, new ones are still expensive. Harley is essentially competing with itself, with all the used bikes out there that are may not be quite as good as the latest and greatest, but are certainly far less expensive. Harley tried some entry-level bikes with the Street series, but hasn’t seen the success they had hoped for.

Of course, there’s also the fact that there are other types of motorcycles in the world than cruisers, and that’s what most younger riders want. We like the LiveWire. We’re genuinely excited about the Bronx and Pan America. Even here, though, I’m worried. For example, while Harley has not yet announced pricing for the Pan America, some suspect it could be in the ballpark of $19,000. Why would the serious adventure rider spend that much on a new, untested Harley when they can pick up the tried and true BMW R 1250 GS for $17,895? Again, we don’t know that the Harley will cost more than the BMW, but if it does, it will essentially doom its sales to failure before it even gets into the showroom. The same goes for the Bronx, where riders would be more likely to go with a Yamaha MT-09 or even a smaller Triumph Street Triple.

It’s possible that the intention of the Harley Rewire is damage control for the current economic situation. Cutting research and development of new models is a natural choice in these circumstances. I just hope this is a temporary step until the world stabilizes again, and that we’ll eventually see some of the new models that Harley has put the brakes on. I want to see Harley survive as much as the next American motorcycle rider.