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

By | General Posts

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.

Aprilia RS660 Supersport spotted testing undisguised

By | General Posts

by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com

Aprilia RS660 will soon be making an official entry to the markets soon and the latest spy shot reveals a lot of interesting details

Aprilia’s middleweight supersport – the RS660 has been snapped testing doing test runs, image courtesy Aprilia Forum. What is even more interesting is the fact that the middleweight Aprilia was snapped alongside a Honda CBR650R, possibly due to performance comparison and some other aspects. The RS660 test mule that has been snapped looks production-ready and can be seen devoid of any camouflage on the body. The bike can be seen with well-finished body panels. As there is no test equipment mounted on the motorcycle, this further confirms that the bike is ready to enter production soon. The global debut of the Aprilia RS660 was earlier slated to take place on 9th May but the same has now been postponed with the Covid-19 crisis.

At the 2019 EICMA, the Aprilia RS660 concept was showcased for the first time which left a lot of visitors awestruck. This is all thanks to an impressive design language including the all-LED headlamp cluster upfront with sporty looking LED DRLs that should make the bike looks majestic and predatory in the dark. Moreover, what makes the RS660 quite interesting and worth waiting is its low kerb weight of just 169 kg and hence, one can expect an exciting power-to-weight ratio which should make it a great weapon for the racetracks. Now coming to the powertrain, the Aprilia RS660 is powered by a 660cc, parallel-twin motor that is good for producing a peak power output in the region of 100hp.

The bike also gets an impressive electronics package that includes a six-axis IMU along with wheelie control, traction control, quick shifter and five riding modes as well. India launch of the Aprilia RS660 is most likely and that should take place soon after its global debut. The RS660 is seeming a worthy middleweight supersport and in the current scenario, it will lock horns against the likes of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R in the segment. Also, can you see it as something that can be a worthy alternative to the highly-respected Triumph Daytona? Well, only time will tell.

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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Harley-Davidson shifts strategy, to focus on core markets

By | General Posts

from https://www.livemint.com

  • The company’s shares climbed after the motorcycle maker’s new acting chief executive officer laid out plans to cut costs
  • The stock had plunged 49% this year through Monday’s close

Harley-Davidson Inc. shares climbed after the struggling motorcycle maker’s new acting chief executive officer laid out plans to cut costs and complexity and focus on the company’s strengths.

The stock rose as much as 17% after the unveiling of a strategy dubbed “The Rewire,” which Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said could make Harley one of few manufacturers to grow profits in the coming years.

“It is clear to us that HOG will be less adventurous in terms of trying its hand at segments and markets where the brand faces extremely low chances of success with high up-front costs and high risks of brand atrophy that could threaten the company’s long-term survival,” Jonas, who rates the stock the equivalent of a buy, wrote in a report Tuesday.

Jochen Zeitz, a board member and former CEO of sporting-goods maker Puma SE, took over as acting CEO at the end of February. He’s dialing back his predecessor’s turnaround plan to focus on expanding U.S. ridership, iconic profitable bikes such as the Adventure Touring and Streetfighter models, and electric motorcycles. Those goals echo the demands of an activist investor, Impala Asset Management, that reached an agreement calling for Harley to add an independent director to its board later this year.

‘Achievable Plans’

Harley “has become accustomed to over-committing and under-delivering; we need to set achievable plans and realistic goals,” Zeitz said during the earnings call. “It is clear that our strategy needs to be refocused to better align with our capacity and capabilities and also updated given our new reality.”

Harley shares were up about 12% as of 11:53 a.m. in New York; the stock had plunged 49% this year through Monday’s close.

Zeitz was mum on the subject of a permanent CEO search, batting away analyst questions by saying he’s focused on steering the iconic motorcycle maker through the crisis.

The fallout from the coronavirus was swift: U.S. sales had been up 6.6% before the pandemic took hold in mid-March, but the drop during the first three months ended up being Harley’s biggest first-quarter fall since 2010. After that 16% plunge in retail sales, Harley is in all likelihood headed for its sixth straight annual decline.

Slashing Costs

Zeitz resisted giving a new financial forecast, saying it’s too early to see the full scope of the virus’s impact. But he’s slashing costs and borrowing money to ensure Harley can weather the storm.

The manufacturer said it will save $250 million this year by freezing hiring, reducing salaries, trimming capital expenditures and retiming product launches. It’s also halting share repurchases.

Harley announced it’s in talks with major U.S. banks to secure $1.3 billion in funding and expects to tap capital markets for more in the coming weeks after sales of its motorcycles declined in every market worldwide, including a 13th consecutive quarterly drop in the U.S.

John Olin, Harley’s chief financial officer, said he’s tightening underwriting standards and increasing loan-loss provisions at the company’s lending arm. He stepped up provisions by $36 million and wrote off $8.9 million in credit losses in the quarter. Harley has been granting payment deferrals for some customers.

Harley-Davidson cuts dividend, halts buybacks to preserve cash

By | General Posts

by Ankit Ajmera from https://www.reuters.com

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) slashed its dividend and halted share buybacks on Tuesday to boost its cash reserves as global lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic hit motorcycle demand in the first quarter.

The company has $1.47 billion in cash and is in talks with big U.S. banks to get $1.30 billion in loan to ride out the crisis, it said, adding it would focus on its core U.S. market to prop up sales.

Harley shares, which have lost nearly half of its value so far this year, jumped as much as 17% in morning trading after the company rolled out its cash preservation plan.

“Harley continues to struggle with declining sales, but it continues to generate respectable free cash flow and we consider shares fairly valued at current levels,” said CFRA Research analyst Garrett Nelson.

To boost sales, the company also said it will “de-emphasize” on some unprofitable international regions.

The shift in strategy for the company that symbolized the counterculture movement of the 1960s comes as it struggles to woo the next generation of younger riders with its electric and more nimbler bikes in the United States.

Sales have been declining for the past five years in its largest market as its baby-boomer fan base ages. To make matters worse, the pandemic has further dented demand as Americans stay at home to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“We are at critical time in our history that requires significant changes to the company,” said acting Chief Executive Officer Jochen Zeitz, who took helm in February and is best known for turning around the Puma brand.

Zeitz’s plan to move the launch of new models to early part of the first quarter from August to better align with the start of the riding season helped U.S. retail sales in the first 10 week of the quarter to rise 6.6%.

But as the quarter drew to a close, overall sales fell 15.5% in the United States, taking a hit from the lockdowns. Retail sales fell 20.7% internationally.

Zeitz said Harley will expand its lineup of profitable motorcycles, while also focusing on selling new products such as adventure touring, sport bike Streetfighter and electric motorcycles.

Harley cut its quarterly dividend to 2 cents from 38 cents. Earlier this month, it pulled its 2020 profit forecast and decided to temporarily lay off most of its global production employees to reduce costs.

Motorcycles and related products revenue fell 8% to $1.10 billion in the quarter ended March 29. On an adjusted basis, it earned 51 cents, beating expectations of 41 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

China-made Brixton 1200 cleared for production

By | General Posts

by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com

China-made Brixton 1200 cleared for production: 1200cc modern classic has Bonneville T120 in its sights!

About the new 1200cc model, Brixton says that it “shows the way of Brixton Motorcycles into even higher capacity classes and proves the development competence of our brand.”

Brixton 1200 – a 1200cc modern classic has been cleared to enter production as per a report on Bennetts. The modern classic will lock horns against the likes of the Triumph Bonneville T120 in the segment. Showcased as a concept at 2019 EICMA motorcycle show, the said model will be made in China. However, Brixton comes under the KSR Group from Austria that is responsible for importing motorcycles from multiple Chinese manufacturers. The design and engineering part for the Brixton 1200 has been taken care of at KSR’s design center that is located in Krups, Austria. The Brixton will most likely draw power from a 1200cc, parallel-twin engine that will put itself very much in the Bonneville T120 territory. In terms of aesthetics, the Brixton 1200 looks like a proper modern classic with an all-LED rounded headlamp upfront, wired wheels, all-black theme and touches of chrome just at the right places.

About the new 1200cc model, Brixton says that it “shows the way of Brixton Motorcycles into even higher capacity classes and proves the development competence of our brand.” As of now, the exact timeline for the production of Brixton 1200 isn’t clear and the company says that it wants to create a technically mature vehicle without time pressure, a vehicle that meets more than just the high-quality requirements in these cubic capacity classes.

Apart from showcasing the Brixton 1200, the company launched Crossfire 500 and Crossfire 500X last year. The two get power from a 486 cc, parallel-twin motor good for churning out 47 bhp of power. The said models entered production soon after they were showcased as concepts and the same can be expected from the Brixton 1200 as well. More details on the Brixton 1200 expected soon, so stay tuned for all the updates!

Also, will the Brixton 1200 be able to give a tough fight to the Triumph Bonneville 120?

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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