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Harley-Davidson beats forecasts as international sales rebound

By | General Posts

by Rachit Vats, Ankit Ajmera from https://www.reuters.com

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) beat expectations for profit on Tuesday and stuck to its full-year shipment forecast, allaying fears of another major hit from European import tariffs and a further slump in sales in its main U.S. market.

Shares of the company rose as much as 8.8% to $40.36, as it posted the first rise in international sales in a year during the third quarter and a 3.6% dip in U.S. retail motorcycle sales – the smallest decline in nearly three years.

Profits continued to sink – by 24% – but the results offered some hope that one of the biggest names in motorcycles was finally beginning to arrest a slide in global sales that it has been fighting for years.

Sales in the world’s biggest motorcycle markets in Asia, which Harley has targeted with smaller bikes that go against its traditional profile, rose 8.7% in the quarter and are up about 1.6% this year overall.

The company plans to source half of its revenue from overseas by 2027 and international retail sales rose 2.7% to 23,619 motorcycle in the quarter.

While worldwide shipments fell 5.8% to 45,837 motorcycles, they topped analysts’ estimates by over 1,000 motorcycles, and the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company stuck to its 2019 shipment target of 212,000 to 217,000 bikes.

“As we look to the remainder of 2019, we are encouraged by the momentum of retail sales trends through the first nine months of this year but also recognize substantial headwinds that we continue to face,” Chief Financial Officer John Olin said.

The company is also cutting spending and said it now expects 2019 capital expenses of $205 million to $225 million, about $20 million less than its previous estimates.

Excluding items, the company earned 70 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations of 52 cents while revenue from motorcycles and related products overall fell 4.9% to $1.07 billion.

The company, which has been criticized by President Donald Trump for its plan to shift some U.S. production overseas, has also been battling the effects of trade tensions on its business globally.

Harley said on Tuesday retaliatory import duties imposed by the European Union and China on its bikes would cost the company about $105 million in 2019, up from its prior estimate of $100, with about $90 million of the hit coming from EU tariffs.

Brussels in June raised import duties on U.S.-manufactured Harley bikes to 31% from 6%, and the company said the impact from tariffs more than doubled in the third quarter from a year ago to $21.6 million.

In response, Harley plans to begin shipping bikes from its Thailand plant but a delay in regulatory approval from the trading bloc means it will not see any benefit in earnings before the second quarter of 2020.

Is Harley-Davidson About To Head Back Down Sportbike Alley?

By | General Posts

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

The clues were there all along.

If you think of Harley-Davidson in 2019, it’s hard to think of anything else than cruisers and baggers. It is, after all, the segments the manufacturer has developed the most over the years and pretty much the only one it serves nowadays. That’s not to say that the company didn’t try its hand at different things over the past century. One of the company’s most notable attempts at breaking the mold happened in the 90s with the introduction of the VR1000 race bike. Now, a patent filing suggesting that the Motor Company could be working on a VR1000-inspired bubble-fairing sportbike piqued our interest.

Following Harley’s AMF Dark Age and painstaking restructuring, the company started getting back on track as the 80s rolled in. With the new cash flow, it was now allowed a few frivolities, including dreams of motorsport. As early as 1986, Harley started toying with the idea of producing a sportbike to enter in the AMA Superbike series. That’s when early ideas about the VR1000 emerged.

It took almost a decade for the bike to see the light of day and to roll off the production line. Ultimately, only 50 units of the VR1000 were ever produced—half of which were outfitted for the street.

Sadly, the company took too long to execute and finalize the project. By the time the VR1000 was put on the track in 1994, competitors were already lightyears ahead. The company and the factory team never truly managed to make up for the lost time, continuously plagued by never-ending issues and bad luck. Harley ultimately discontinued funding to the racing program in 2001.

And Today…

In the hopes of refreshing its image, Harley-Davidson released a five-year timeline that includes the introduction of a variety of what it hopes to be game-changing models. The list includes the Pan America ADV and the Streetfighter but those aren’t the only motorcycles Harley is banking on. Hiding in plain sight in one of the company’s promotional vehicle, the clay model of a bubble-fairing sportbike got a few seconds of screen time. Next to the model: a VR1000. Subliminal!

We didn’t give the clay model much thought since it wasn’t part of the conceptual designs the company released. Now, with the publication of a new Harley-Davidson patent that describes the design of a new bubble fairing (sporting a similar headlight to the Pan America’s), we think that Harley is getting ready to make a bold move. If you think the Streetfighter and the Pan America are daring, it looks like Harley isn’t done surprising us.

Also spotted in the video, in the shot showing the Streetfighter prototype, the idea board in the background includes the drawing of a model sporting a racing fairing, suggesting the faired sportbike could be a derivative of the Streetfighter. If the company doesn’t take too long to develop the suspected new model, it could still launch it in time to join the vintage fad. That’s as long as it doesn’t trip in its own feet like it did with the LiveWire (and incidentally, with the VR).

With the Pan America on track to be released in 2020 followed by the Streetfighter, there’s no say when the sportier model would be released. Hopefully it won’t take another five years…

Maturing US Market Coupled With Global Auto Slowdown Affecting Harley-Davidson’s Top Line

By | General Posts

by Trefis Team https://www.trefis.com

Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG), whose stock currently trades at around $35, generates its revenue primarily from its Motorcycle segment, which is projected to account for 86% of total revenues in 2019, while the Financial Services are expected to contribute 14% to the top line. In this note we discuss the revenue segments of Harley-Davidson, their historical performance, and expected Total Revenue for 2019. You can look at our interactive dashboard analysis ~ Harley-Davidson’s Revenue: How does HOG make money? ~ for more details. In addition, here is more Consumer Discretionary data.

What Does HOG offer?

  • Harley-Davidson Motor Company was founded in 1903. In 1986, Harley-Davidson, Inc. became publicly held and currently is the parent company for the groups of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HDMC) and Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS). The company specializes in heavyweight (601cc+) cruiser and touring motorcycles.
  • The Company’s long-term strategy, announced in 2017, is to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally and includes the following 2027 objectives:
  • Build two million new Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S.
  • Grow the Harley-Davidson international business to 50 percent of its total annual volume.
  • Launch 100 new, high-impact Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
  • Deliver superior return on invested capital for HDMC that falls within the top quartile of the S&P 500.
  • Grow the business without growing its environmental impact.

Operating Segments:

  • Motorcycles and Related Products Segment: The Motorcycles segment consists of HDMC, which designs, manufactures, and sells at wholesale, on-road Harley-Davidson motorcycles as well as motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise, and related services. The Company conducts business on a global basis, with sales in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific.
  • Financial Services Segment: The Financial Services segment consists of HDFS which is engaged in the business of financing and servicing wholesale inventory receivables and retail consumer loans, primarily for the purchase of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. HDFS also works with certain unaffiliated insurance companies to provide motorcycle insurance and protection products to motorcycle owners. HDFS conducts business principally in the U.S. and Canada.

What Are The Alternatives?

  • Major competitors are Triumph, Yamaha, Ducati, and Royal Enfield brands.
  • Mediumweight and lightweight segment motorcycles are also an alternative, but Harley has started to add some of them in its offerings.

What Is The Basis of Competition?

  • The principal factors that determine consumer vehicle preferences in the markets would include overall vehicle design, price, quality, available options, reliability, and functionality.

Harley-Davidson’s Total Revenue has fallen by 4.7% between 2016 and 2018, and is expected to fall further by 5.9% in 2019.

  • HOG’s total revenues fell from $6 billion in 2016 to $5.7 billion in 2018. This represents a decrease of 4.7% primarily due to the Global Slowdown and Maturing US Market.
  • We forecast the revenues to be around $5.4 billion in 2019, reflecting a further fall of 5.9% y-o-y.

Revenue expected to be around $5.4 billion, primarily from contribution of Automotive segment – For detailed bifurcation of Total Revenue please check our interactive dashboard – Harley-Davidson’s Revenue

  • Revenue from Motorcycle and related products segment has fallen by 5.7% between 2016 and 2018, and is expected to fall further by 6.6% in 2019.
  • Financial Services segment Revenue has grown by 3.2% between 2016 and 2018, but is expected to fall by 1.1% in 2019 amid the fall in sales.

 

The Shifting Bikernet Weekly News for October 3, 2019

By | General Posts

We Are Living in the Best of Times and should Celebrate

I feel a shift coming. In some respects, I hope it’s a shift in the direction of Freedom. We are actually living in the best of times. Everything on the planet has improved for the better and we need to celebrate, not control and punish.

More and more I hear amazing stories about the lives of folks around me and the amazing things they accomplished. Markus Cuff played drums for Emily Lou Harris for several years. Then he started to shoot photos of bands in the ‘80s and I started to hire him to shoot tech articles for Easyriders. Since then he’s shot features for tons of magazines and for Bikernet.com ™.

I’m working on the Salt Torpedo slowly trying to finish the firewall, the fire suppression unit installations, the helmet cowling and strengthen the front axle swingarm mounts.

I fixed my 1969 Panhead, and the 1928 Panhead battery is toast. I’ve had two of these batteries take a shit and would like to try anti-gravity batteries, but they cost a bunch. I may try again.

In the meantime, ride fast and free forever!

— Keith ‘Bandit’ Ball

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WEEKLY NEWS – Join the Cantina Today

Indian motorcycles taps into 100-year roots with Japan relaunch

By | General Posts

By Chester Dawson and Reed Stevenson from Bloomberg and https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Even though Japan’s population is shrinking and economic growth is tepid, the archipelago is one of the top five markets for heavy bikes. Polaris is seeking to boost Indian’s single-digit market share to 10% by 2025.

A century ago, Indian motorcycles were the brand of choice for Japan’s police. They were called “aka-bai” — or red bikes — because of their color. Now, the maker of big American two-wheelers is seeking to recapture some of that glory with a brand relaunch.

Recreational vehicle maker Polaris Inc., which makes and sells Indian bikes, is betting that it can gain market share from entrenched foreign rivals such as BMW Motorrad and Harley-Davidson Inc. Instead of relying on a single distributor, the Medina, Minnesota-based company now has its own operations in Japan, with plans to double its store count to 30.

Even though Japan’s population is shrinking and economic growth is tepid, the archipelago is one of the top five markets for heavy bikes. Polaris is seeking to boost Indian’s single-digit market share to 10% by 2025. It has taken direct control over local marketing, which it had outsourced after buying the Indian Motorcycle brand and relaunching it globally in 2011.

“We weren’t doing the rational thing in Japan,” said Kintaro Izumida, general manager of Polaris in Japan. He works out of an office in Yokohama with about a half-dozen other employees. “Now we’re going to do that.”

Harley provides a rich target as the longtime market leader among import brands, with a 44% share of the 20,385 bikes sold last year, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association.

Japan’s domestic bike makers — Honda Motor Co., Kawasaki Motors Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp. and Yamaha Motor Co. — specialize in smaller-engine mass market bikes, with relatively few high-end motorcycles with engine displacements of more than 1000cc.

“They are very strong manufacturers with really strong brand, but we don’t really go head-to-head,” Steve Menneto, president of Polaris’s Indian motorcycle division, said in a phone interview. “For a small island, it’s amazing how much appreciation there is for motorcycles, and premium motorcycles at that.”

The move comes as U.S. motorcycle sales face headwinds, which is prompting American brands to look abroad for growth. Last month, Harley-Davidson said it anticipates international sales to expand to half its business.

Japan is a natural market because it has the type of well-heeled buyer who can splurge for bikes that start at $8,999 for the Indian Scout, and top $29,000 for the brand’s Touring model. Partly due to its international exposure, Polaris’s sales rose in the first six months and the company forecasts a full-year gain in the low to mid-teens over the segment’s 2018 revenue of $546 million.

Indian’s retro-styling and long history in the U.S. and overseas is a selling point in Japan, where brand identity is a key differentiator. That extends beyond the bikes into lifestyle categories such as Indian-branded accessories and apparel, which account about a fifth of his division’s revenue.

“The awareness of the Indian brand in Japan is pretty strong,” said Izumida, noting it was the favored brand of a famous sumo wrestler who became the father of pro wrestling in Japan.

Global Driving Protection Gear Market is Expected to Reach USD 12.34 Billion by 2026

By | General Posts

Driving Protection Gear Market by Product Type (Helmet, Armor, Gloves, Knee Protection, Others), Material Type, Vehicle Type, Consumer Group, Distribution Channel, Region, Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2019 to 2026

/EIN News/ — New Jersey, NJ, Sept. 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Increase in threat of diseases in livestock and growing preference towards meat and dairy products are two major driving forces of the market. The global driving protection gear market is expected to grow from USD 8.23 Billion in 2018 to USD 12.34 Billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period 2019-2026, according to the new report published by Fior Markets.

Driving protection gears are accessories and equipment which aim to protect the people from harm while driving. Protective clothing may include certain types of jackets, gloves, boots, and pants. The increasing rate of accidents and mishaps has led to improving driving safety due to which the government has made it mandatory to wear personal protective equipment such as protective clothing and helmets. Additionally, functional refurbishments including weather resistance besides optimal safety are also generating the need for such accessories.

Growing concerns regarding road safety is a major factor driving the market. In addition, rising motorsports popularity and increasing demand for superbikes across the world has also influenced the demand. However, severe competition for driving apparels from the unorganized sector is restraining the growth of the market. Nevertheless, innovations and advancements in the manufacturing processes to obtain protection gears utilizing innovative technologies are expected to drive the growth of the market in forthcoming years.

DOWNLOAD FREE SAMPLE REPORT AT https://www.fiormarkets.com/report-detail/385893/request-sample

Key players in the driving protection gear market are Alpinestars S.p.A, Dainese S.p.A, Fox Head Inc., SCOTT Sports SA, Lemans Corporation, Sparco S.p.A, Leatt Corporation, EVS Sports, Troy Lee Designs, and OMP Racing S.p.A. among others. Key players active in the market are involved in collaborative agreements and expansion to bolster the growth of the market.

For instance in 2019, OMP Racing SpA announces extension of the agreement, The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). OMP Racing is a world leader in the design and creation of accessories and components for motor sport and, among other initiatives, it will be supplying technical racing clothing to FIA Officials and Safety Car Drivers across the Federation’s championships. This will include fire retardant overalls, shoes, helmets, gloves, and underwear all products deriving from the work of research and developement in the company’s manufacturing facility located in Ronco Scrivia, near Genoa (Italy).

For instance in 2019, Dainese announces the market launch of D-air ski and AWA black. The D-air system is an intelligent airbag that inflates in a controlled manner with uniform pressure, creating a protective shield around the skier’s body. The heart of the system is the airbag, with its internal microfilaments that prevent deformation and allow the highest level of protection across its entire surface. The system’s brain is its deployment algorithm, artificial intelligence that recognizes the beginning of a fall and prompts airbag inflation. AWA Black is making its debut during this season of winter sports. This is the Dainese collection designed for use at 360° and it is the latest evolution of AWA – All Weather Activity – technology. The highly technical products are meant for the modern skier who takes an athletic approach to life off the slopes as well. The range includes three jackets for both men and women: AWA Black Knit, AWA Black Parka, and AWA Black Jacket. Each jacket is constructed with a high-tech membrane made of materials like Gore-Tex and D-Dry, and with natural, eco-sustainable fillings including Merino Down, Microrollo, goose feathers, and baby camel wool.

The helmet segment is dominating the market with a market share of 29.30% in 2018

The product type segment is classified into helmet, armour, gloves, knee protection, elbow protection, and others. The helmet segment has dominated the market in 2018. A helmet is the most important safety product for a motorcycle rider which helps you to protect your life. It is a form of protective gear worn to protect the head. More specifically, a helmet compliments the skull in protecting the human brain.

Leather segment valued around USD 4.21 Billion in 2018

Material type segment includes leather, synthetic and natural fibres. The leather segment is dominating the market with the highest share in 2018. Leather has traditionally been used for motorbike jackets as it provides excellent durability. There are a large number of modern fabrics, though, which provide better protection and breathability.

Two wheelers segment held the market share of 60.10% in 2018

Vehicle type segment is divided into segments such as two wheelers and four wheelers. Two wheelers segment is dominating the market in 2018. Since ages, two-wheelers have been mostly preferred by the people as it fuel efficient, can easily be used to cross traffics and is more convenient than four-wheelers.

The women segment valued around USD 5.16 Billion in 2018

The consumer group segment includes men and women. The women segment was valued around USD 5.16 Billion in 2018. Today, the introduction of the automatic transmission in two-wheelers, increasing urbanization, better roads has led to an increasing number of women consumers opting two-wheelers.

Browse full report with TOC at https://www.fiormarkets.com/report/driving-protection-gear-market-by-product-type-helmet-armor-385893.html

The online segment dominated the market and valued around USD 4.93 Billion in 2018

The distribution channel segment includes online and offline. The online segment is dominating the market and valued around USD 4.93 Billion in 2018. The online distribution channel is gradually gaining importance as consumers find it more convenient to browse through various options available and select and shop from it without even searching and going to the store specifically.

Regional Segment Analysis of the Driving Protection Gear Market

North America (U.S. , Canada, Mexico)
Europe (Germany, France, U.K., Italy, Spain, Rest of the Europe)
Asia-Pacific (China, Japan India, Rest of APAC)
South America (Brazil and Rest of South America)
Middle East and Africa (UAE, South Africa, Rest of MEA)

Asia Pacific region dominated the global driving protection gear market with USD 3.31 Billion in 2018. The Asia Pacific region is dominating the market. China, Japan, and India are major markets in the Asia Pacific driving the protection gear market. Increasing millennial population, rising disposable income, and a change in lifestyle are increasing the demand for premium motorcycles in India. Europe is the fastest growing region because of the rising sale of premium motorcycles and sports cars in Europe which is increasing the demand for branded driving protection gear products.

E-scooter manufacturers are rushing into Germany

By | General Posts

European scooter companies such as Circ, Tier, Voi are vying with international players such as US-based Lime and Bird in the world’s fourth largest economy.

by Avik Das from TNN

BERLIN: A gamut of electric scooter companies has flooded the streets of Germany, specially Berlin, after the federal government opened up the segment in June in an attempt to reduce congestion and carbon footprint.

European scooter companies such as Circ, Tier, Voi are vying with international players such as US-based Lime and Bird in the world’s fourth largest economy, where the car still remains the preferred mode of commute in spite of a strong public transport system.

Dutch company Dott, which recently raised 30 million euros in its Series A round, is also looking to enter Germany.

Berlin-based Tier, which started operations last year in Vienna, has got a fleet of 20,000 scooters, of which 1,000 are in the German capital. “We are starting in one city every week and have already completed 5 million rides with 1 million in Berlin in just 30 days,” said Tier cofounder Julian Blessin. Tier has till date raised about 33 million euros.

Most major European countries, barring the United Kingdom, have already allowed these 10 kg vehicles to ply and companies and experts say Germany has the potential to be one of the largest markets after France because of the number of cities.

Urban consumers, who are already familiar with cab hailing companies like Uber, are attracted to electric scooters as they are fun, provide a new experience and help them avoid traffic jams. The result: investors are opening up their purse strings. Swedish company Voi has raised 75 million euros and Berlin-based Circ 55 million euros. These companies need more money to compete with those like Lime, which has raised nearly $800 million.

Jashar Seyfi, general manager for Lime in Berlin, says a lot has happened in the city. “The technology companies are pushing the industry in terms of mindset, people understand what shared services are and how it benefits, which makes the city have a huge appetite for these shared services rather than private cars. Germany has the potential to become the most important micro mobility market in the world, due to its large cities,” said.

Electric scooters are also easy to use. One just needs to download the app, scan the QR code at the nearest available vehicle, kick start with a foot, accelerate with the right hand and brake with the left. The scooters can attain a maximum speed of 20 km per hour and are allowed to move on the dedicated bicycle lanes.

But there are concerns too. “The average e-scooter currently has a life-span of just three months. E-scooters were originally designed for private use, not for rental, so the heavy usage, rough handling, and even vandalism that users inflict on them have dramatically cut down on their durability. Yet despite the modest cost of an escooter, it takes almost four months, not counting marketing and overhead expenses, for a rental company to break even on its investment,” Boston Consulting Group (BCG) cautioned in a note in May.

Safety is also a concern. These include drunk driving, driving on the main roads, parking indiscriminately on the pavements, and falling off the vehicles causing injury. Companies say they are making efforts through in-app tutorials to make people adopt the basic precautions before riding.

But traffic researcher Prof Heiner Monheim believes the concern for safety with these scooters is greatly exaggerated. “These do not have the power to produce high impact from collision. On the other hand, these vehicles can be made more relevant if they are integrated with the city public transport system,” he said.

Motorcycle Makers Are Getting Hip to Women-Only Rallies

By | General Posts

Anxious to find new audiences after a decade of declining sales, the giants like Harley-Davidson and BMW Motorrad are finally taking notice of a self-made community.

On Valentine’s Day, Sharry Billings posted a photograph on Instagram. Below the image of herself, her hair a red caramel and her smile open, she wrote: “I love you so much I wanna squeeze you!”

The object of her affection? “All the motorcycles I have owned and will own in the future,” she explained. Alongside the photo of her astride a Harley-Davidson, she wrote that bikes “have changed my life, healed my soul, and brought me more love and friendships than I could have ever imagined.”

Billings goes by @sistermother13 on Instagram, but the main account she oversees is @thelitaslosangeles. The Litas is a group she joined three years ago as a way to connect with other women riders in her city. She’s co-led the L.A. branch for two years. When she joined, it provided her with much-needed healing and camaraderie after her kids grew up and she got divorced. Billings had ridden as a teenager and into her 20s but took a hiatus later. “It was always in my heart,” she says. But when she was married with young children, “I thought it was a little too dangerous.”

After the breakup in 2015, she found herself longing for escape. And adventure. “My prayer at the time was, ‘God, I don’t want to date.’ These men are not happening,” Billings says, laughing. “The first thing that came to my heart was the motorcycle I wanted. It was a Harley.”

She bought the bike, took the ride. Then she joined the Litas. “I’m very grateful to have found my heart again,” Billings says.

Founded in Utah by Jessica Haggett half a decade ago, the Litas have expanded to include hundreds of branches around the world (Litas Denver, Litas Lisbon, Litas Rome), with members ranging from twentysomething singles to 60- and 70-year-old retirees with grandkids. They take regular rides, often along wild back roads, including the Pine Mountain Ridge route near Ojai, Calif., that Billings took with 32 other riders one Saturday in July. It’s about riding with your own style and pace but surrounded by like-minded friends.

“If you’re learning to ride, you’re going to kill yourself riding with men—they ride like bats out of hell!” Billings says. “And women—I’m generalizing here—tend to be more careful. We are mothers, we are sisters, we feel obligated to stay alive.”

The Litas are singular but not uncommon. All across California, Oregon, and Utah, from Texas to New York, women-only motorcycle groups and riding events are springing up like wildflowers. They go by names such as the Miss-Fires (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the Chrome Divas (Austin), and Leather and Lace (Daytona Beach, Fla.). They do regular rides: Tuesday night pizza runs, say, or weekend coffee meetups—and they take periodic excursions to women-only destination events such as the Wild Gypsy Tour, which is organizing a festival in Sturgis, S.D., in August, and the Dream Roll in Ashland, Ore.; it’s early June event near Denver was photographed for this article.

The biggest crowd follows Babes Ride Out, a series of events founded by Anya Violet and Ashmore Ellis in 2013. It started with 50 women riders who gathered to camp out in Borrego Springs, Calif. They built fires, pitched tents, drank beer, and played games on Harleys, Husqvarnas, and Hondas while soaking in nature and one another’s company.

These groups are tapping into an undercurrent of the motorcycle industry. As sales have faltered, dropping more than 40% from 2008 to 2010, then recovering somewhat by 2014 but never to previous levels, manufacturers including Harley-Davidson Inc. and BMW Motorrad have struggled to create appeal beyond their core demographic of older white men. Their efforts include offering electric and less-expensive motorbikes and introducing exciting conceptual prototypes. Female riders offer enthusiasm and youth, and, yes, they’re spending money that brands crave.

The number of women who own motorcycles has almost doubled since 2010, according to a 2018 study by the Motorcycle Industry Council. Today, 19% of owners are women, up from 10% in 2009 and 8% in the late 1990s. And the number of female riders gets higher as you go younger: 22% of Generation X riders are women, and 26% of millennial riders are women. What’s more, the average woman who owns a motorcycle spends $574 annually on maintenance, parts, service, and accessories, while the average man who rides spends $497.

While the industry on the whole dropped 40% from 2008 to 2010, the amount of women who own motorcycles has almost doubled

“We are riding a ton,” says Joy Lewis, who started when she was 12. “I have a friend who put 20,000 miles on her bike in one year.” Lewis’s father, an Alaskan crab fisherman who owned a Harley, got her hooked. “We spend a lot of money on our gear and our bikes, and a lot of things to go with them. I think that’s starting to be appreciated.”

Andy Jefferson, a spokesman for Husqvarna, says one of the brand’s priorities must be to provide support for women’s motorcycling. “We were like everyone else—going after a piece of the pie,” he says. “But everyone was looking at men, and there are all these other people—women—that nobody even really talks about in conversations about how to sell more bikes.” The brand lacks figures for how many of its owners are women but is “working to change that,” Jefferson says. “That’s part of the problem.”

Husqvarna honed in on women riders five years ago when it started sponsoring Babes in the Dirt, an offshoot of Babes Ride Out that’s more focused on off-road and dirt-bike riding. Last year the company spent $50,000 to $60,000 in support of the three-day rally, lending 27 motorcycles and nine staffers to service the bikes and teach.

“We counted between 80 and 100 girls out there [trying out] Husqvarnas,” he says. “The number is not huge by any means, but those are 100 people we didn’t have before. It also jumps down to their brothers and sisters and kids. We never would have got these people without doing this.”

But more important, “we want to get you to ride a motorcycle,” Jefferson adds. “If you ride with Babes and have fun and go buy another brand, great. We just want people riding.”

At BMW Motorrad, which on July 1 named Trudy Hardy vice president for the Americas, the company is sponsoring women-only events including the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride. It’s also covering travel expenses and appearance fees for brand reps such as Elspeth Beard, an architect who was the first British woman to ride her motorcycle around the world. The brand also sends pro racer Jocelin Snow and Erin Sills, who holds a 242 mph land speed record, to attend events at local dealerships.

Harley-Davidson has expanded its retail line in recent years to include a host of riding jackets, helmets, boots, and gloves sized and styled for women. It’s perhaps the most critical field of growth for the 116-year-old Wisconsin brand, which has seen sales steadily decline since 2014. The average age of a Harley owner is 50. The average price of one is $15,800—more than many millennials will spend on a car, let alone a motorcycle.

“Even just in the last five years the conversation has shifted,” says motorcycle aficionado Lewis. “I’m sitting here in leather Kevlar pants as we speak, about to go into a meeting. Not only are companies making cute technical stuff that you could wear to work—rather than some weird leather pants with pink embroidery all over the butt that you’d never wear—they’re making things we can actually use.”

Attendees at events for Babes Ride Out (or BRO, the ironic abbreviation they’ve adopted) come to America from as far away as Sweden and South America. Some have ridden since they could walk; some can’t operate a bike at all, preferring always to be a passenger and imbibe the inspirational atmosphere. There’s always plenty of denim and leather on-site—but the hipster kind, not the leather-daddy look. Local shops give classes on basic bike maintenance. Some women get tattoos to commemorate the experience.

“People camp, and there are trailers, too,” Lewis says. “The idea is that you grab coffee and breakfast, and then during the day everyone is out riding. And then all the stuff happens in the evenings with bands or karaoke and slow races”—feats of throttle control.

Earlier this year, a 96-year-old woman joined them at camp; she’d first ridden cross-country on her motorcycle 75 years ago. Last summer the annual California desert meetup saw 1,700 women ride in Yucca Valley; 500 attended an East Coast campout in the Catskill Mountains in New York; 700 attended the most recent Babes in the Dirt in Lebec, Calif.

“Maybe people think that women who ride are pretty tough and badass, which is probably true, but all in all, women riders come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and lifestyles, so any label that you want to give them does not really work,” co-founder Violet says. “I can honestly say that there is no ‘type’ … and we like it that way!”

Be Here Next for Motor-Loving Ladies

The Dream Roll
Set at New Frontier Ranch in the southern wilds of Oregon, the Dream Roll offers camping, tattoos, dirt trails, an on-site bar, and water activities near stunningly picturesque Crater Lake. Aug. 23–25; Ashland, Ore.

Wild Gypsy Tour – Sturgis Buffalo Chip
The biggest and baddest Gypsy festival of the year, the five-day South Dakota event will appeal to the truly unbridled spirit with Super Hooligan races, minibike showdowns, the Wall of Death—and multiple concerts including Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Snoop Dogg, and Styx. Aug. 3–7; Sturgis, S.D.

Babes in the Dirt East
A mix of flat-track and motocross riding gives dirt-loving ladies a place to experience and perfect their off-roading skills. Where Babes Ride Out focuses on asphalt routes, here you’ll be on trails. Sept. 20–22; Greenville, Tenn.

Babes Ride Out 7 – Central Coast
BRO 7 will include the jewels of years past: karaoke, free beer, performances from local bands, route maps for area rides, and hands-on classes for working on your bike. B.Y.O. tent. Oct. 11–13; Santa Margarita, Calif.

Royal Enfield enters South Korea

By | General Posts

The iconic British motorcycle manufacturer arrives in Korea with its first flagship store, commencing its full operation, including after sales, spares and service.

Cult motorcycle maker, Royal Enfield on Friday has announced its entry into South Korea, with Vintage Motors (Kiheung International) as its official distributor-partner in the country.

The iconic British motorcycle manufacturer arrives in Korea with its first flagship store, commencing its full operation, including after sales, spares and service, the company said in a statement.

Vimal Sumbly, APAC Business Head, said, “Our focus is to sustain and expand our reach in International markets especially in Asia pacific region. Royal Enfield has seen consistent growth in the APAC region with a 20% year-on-year growth. Korea is an important chapter in the growth story and we are thrilled to commence business here. We fully committed to focus all our energies on becoming part of the fabric of this country’s rich motorcycling culture.”

This strategic announcement is in line with Royal Enfield’s focused international thrust of leading and expanding the global mid-sized motorcycle segment (250-750cc).

Pablo Lee Jr, CEO, Kiheung Motors said, “Royal Enfield motorcycles will offer Korean two wheeler riders an opportunity to upgrade to a robust long-distance, leisure riding culture with its modern-classics machines, that are brilliant for long rides on the highway at the same time perfect to commute in heavy traffic in the city”.

Royal Enfield enters South Korea, with line-up of three of its widely popular models featuring single-cylinder engines currently up to 500 cc: Bullet (500cc), Classic (500c), and Himalayan (410cc).