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Harley-Davidson might have two all-new bikes coming, leaked documents suggest

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by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com/

These bikes would likely share powerplants with the Pan America and Bronx.

When you’ve been in business for as long as Harley-Davidson has, it’s really easy to let things get a bit stale and boring. We’ve seen that from H-D for a while, but over the past year or so, it’s been working to shake things up with bikes like the Livewire and the Pan-America, as well as the middleweight Bronx.

It would seem, based on some leaked documents from an investor presentation, that it’s not entirely done shaking yet. Specifically, this document suggests that there are at least two more motorcycles in the works — non-traditional Harleys, all — and I couldn’t be more excited.

The first (and the one for which I’m most excited) appears to be a reimagining of the XR1200 flat-track racer homage that H-D released in the mid-aughts. The would seem to be an answer to Indian’s excellent FTR1200, and if we can get some of that competitive spirit to move from the flat track to the showroom, then I’m all for it.

The second bike is a more 1980s sport-bike-meets-cafe-racer thing, but it’s not especially original or exciting looking, at least compared to the Pan America or the Bronx. That said, unoriginal doesn’t mean bad. It’s packaged well, with the big Revolution Max V-Twin engine sporting a cool bronze hue. It’s like Harley went back to the Buell days and then stripped off all the weird stuff so non-nerds would buy them.

Seeing as these are just leaked mentions of bikes, we don’t have a ton of information about them. Based on the images, we see that they will share the Revolution Max engine with the Pan America and Bronx, though in what displacements, we don’t know.

We also don’t know when we’d expect to see these bruisers make their official debuts, let alone be released for sale, though with the current state of global affairs, we’d bet it’s at least a year or two off, if ever.

Harley-Davidson declined to comment on future product.

Indian Army canteens to sell Harley-Davidson bikes

By | General Posts

The Indian armed forces can now buy a Harley-Davidson Street at Army Canteen at special prices.

Harley-Davidson has announced that it will retail its Street range through the Indian Army canteen. Indian armed force personnel, ex-servicemen and their dependents in India will be able to purchase both motorcycles at special prices through the Canteen Store Departments (CSD) across the country. Harley-Davidson India stated that through the Initiative, the brand hopes that it will make their models more accessible to servicemen who have long dreamed of owning a Harley.

Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director – Asia Emerging Markets and India, Harley-Davidson, said, “Harley-Davidson shares a long-term alliance with the armed forces across the globe. With both Street motorcycles being included in the inventory at CSD in India, we look forward to providing more access to members of the armed forces and seeing more members of the forces fulfil their desire to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

The two Harley-Davidson models that will be retailed through the Indian Army CSD will be the Street 750 and Street Rod models. Both models are powered by BS6 compliant 750cc, liquid-cooled, Revolution X V-Twin engine that develops 60Nm of torque. The Street 750 is offered in five colour options and has a seat height of 720mm with a weight of 223kgs. The Street Rod on the other hand is slightly different. The Street Rod is 6kgs heavier, has a seat height of 765mm and offered in four colour options. The Street 750 has a street value of Rs 5.34 lakh while the Street Rod is priced at Rs 6.55 lakh. Now, the members of the Indian Army will be able to purchase the two models at special prices. These are Rs 4,60,332 for the Street 750 and Rs 5,65,606 for the Street Rod (ex-showroom – applicable as per CSD).

Harley-Davidson completed 10 years of operations in India recently, to become the first premium motorcycle manufacturer to do so. Since 2009, Harley-Davidson has sold more than 25,000 units with the Street 750 being the most popular model for the brand. Harley-Davidson has always had special relationship with the armed forces. In India, the American motorcycle manufacturer launched its special Armed Forces H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) that is dedicated to the Indian armed forces. this H.O.G. includes serving and veteran members from all departments of the forces.

Harley-Davidson’s 2020 Mid-Year Model Lineup

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by Jason Marker from https://www.rideapart.com

I hate Florida. Hate it. I hate it with the furious passion of a million burning suns. Years ago I swore that I would never step foot in the Sunshine State again, a promise that I’ve kept religiously. Florida: Not Even Once. That said, when Harley-Davidson calls you up and personally invites you to Daytona Beach to ride brand new bikes and you haven’t touched a bike in three months because Michigan winters suck, well, if you’re me you find that even your most rigidly held beliefs are negotiable.

The Friday before Daytona Bike Week dawned cool and cloudy. I’d rolled in from Orlando International the previous evening around 20:00. After a lovely dinner with the Harley team and my colleagues—among whom was legendary MoJo and RA alum Peter Jones—and a good night’s sleep, I was ready to ride some bikes. We convened for breakfast and the tech briefing, and after a fair amount of drinking coffee and dicking around, we piled into the hotel shuttle and off we went to pick up our bikes.

Now, this wasn’t going to be a typical press ride. We weren’t all going to be riding the same bike all day. Not today. No, we were riding three different bikes—the new Softail Standard (which I can’t stop calling the FX Softail), the 30th Anniversary Fat Boy, and the hi-po CVO Road Glide. The plan was for the four of us to trade bikes on and off all day so that we got seat time on each model. Kind of unorthodox, but I was into it. I mean, I hadn’t touched a bike in three months due to winter and moving to a new house, so I was down for anything.

After an impromptu tour of the greater Daytona Beach metropolitan area thanks to our timid, easily confused driver, we arrived at Daytona International Speedway. The bikes were lined up all gassed up and ready inside Harley’s demo fleet paddock. We got a quick overview of the bikes, took a few minutes for the requisite social media stuff, and finally hit the road.

We spent the next few hours really putting the bikes through their paces. Now, Florida isn’t known for its stunning, technically challenging riding roads, but he Harley team did its best to find a route that wasn’t all straight lines and swamplands. They were the kinds of roads Harleys thrive on—primarily straights with a few sweeping turns and the occasional corner just to keep us on our toes. Overall a really nice ride in pretty weather and not once were we menaced by an alligator or accosted by Florida Man.

Since this was a ride in which I rode three different bikes, I’m going to break up the reviews into three sections—one for each bike. At the end, I’ll sum up my thoughts on all three as a group and give you all my final impressions which, I’m sure, is what you’re all here for anyway. So, without further ado, let’s talk about these sweet new Harleys.

2020 CVO Road Glide

The Road Glide is, hands down, my favorite Harley. It’s my fave despite my general dislike for touring bikes and other big, bulky things that can’t get out of their own way. I love its weird fairing, its close-set dual headlights, and its lines that, while clearly still based on an FL touring frame, seem longer and sleeker to me than their Electraglide siblings.

The monster, hi-po CVO is the Road Glide’s apotheosis. It isn’t just sleek and stylish, it’s also big. From its over-large front wheel to its massive Milwaukee 8 lump to the big sound of the BOOM! sound system, it has all the presence and charisma of Shaquille O’Neil in a $10,000 suit—i.e. a lot.

At the CVO Road Glide’s heart is a 117 cubic inch version of Harley’s stout Milwaukee 8 mill mated to a six-speed transmission. This big stonking engine is the largest installed by Harley in a production bike and comes equipped with an upgraded performance cam and a big old Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather (god I love that name) high-performance intake to let this monster breathe. The exhaust is a handsome two-into-two setup with a satin finish and black tips. We’re talking some big iron here.

Out front is a huge 21-inch cast wheel with a skinny tire, a nod to the current, totally bonkers big wheel custom style (which I absolutely love). The wheel is finished in gloss black with smoked satin accents and looks pretty great in that classic FL front end. Aft is a matching, more traditional 18-inch wheels wrapped, like the front, in classic Harley Dunlop rubber. Braking is provided by four-piston calipers fore and aft, backed up by a slew of electronic rider aids like Harley’s Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS), ABS, traction control, etc.

The CVO’s infotainment package is the top of the line BOOM! Box GTS system. Controlled by a bright, easy to read, 6.5-inch touchscreen, it comes with everything Harley has to offer. There’s the four-speaker—two in the fairing and two in the leading edges of the saddlebag lids—600 watt stereo, integrated navigation, and Apple CarPlay (with Android Auto coming down the pipe soon). It also features the new Harley-Davidson app, its very own cellular relay, and a slew of customization options. To top it all off, Harley throws in a BOOM! Audio 30K Bluetooth helmet comms system—a reskinned Sena 30K—with every purchase.

Looks-wise, the bike comes in a fantastic color that Harley calls Premium Sand Dune. It’s a kind of bone-white color with a satin pearl finish on it. Depending on the light it looks white, beige, or haze gray and it looks deep and rich in the sun. The color is offset by satin black and red accents, including very nice CVO logos on the saddlebags. The classic Road Glide shark-nose fairing is enhanced by “Fang” lowers which look rad and keep more wind off the rider. It’s an extremely good looking bike.

On the road, the CVO Road Glide is stately, king-like. It has gravitas. It also has an acceleration best described as glacial and a hilariously low, 5,500 rpm redline. I was constantly bouncing off the rev limited in first gear under heavy acceleration, which honestly is mostly my fault since I’m used to high-strung, 40-year-old, Japanese triples and inline-fours. That said, once you lug the CVO up to speed it moves. The big M8 117 pushes the bike along at a very respectable clip and provides the rider with short bursts of blinding straight-line speed which belie the bike’s bulk. Much like a gator or, since we’re talking about him, like Shaq.

The engine does its best work in 4th gear, loping along at around 2,200 RPM at 60 miles per hour. there’s a seemingly bottomless well of torque to draw from, too. The engine is rated at 125 foot-pounds and it pulls like a tractor in every gear. It’s honestly kind of impressive.

My biggest complaint about the CVO Road Glide is its size. It’s a handful, especially at low speeds. Despite the bike’s front suspension being specially set up for it, that big 21-inch wheel I like so much does the handling no favors. I found it kind of numb in traffic, and thanks to its sheer bulk, maneuvering the bike through tight spaces was hair-raising, to say the least. The CVO Road Glide is a lot. Almost too much, if you ask me.

To be fair, high-po, limited edition, $40K touring bikes aren’t exactly my cup of tea. If such a machine is your cup of tea, though, I think you’ll dig the CVO Road Glide. The combination of power, comfort, and looks is a potent one. It’s an excellent addition to Harley’s CVO collection. If you have the means, I highly recommend you pick one up.

2020 Softail Standard

Slid into the Softail lineup as a basic, blank-slate model perfect for customization, the Softail Standard is an extremely good looking bike. Offered only in black with a subtle throwback logo on the tank in dark gray, it’s a stripped-down, no-nonsense, short-ranged cruiser.

As befits a base model bike, all the fat has been trimmed off the Softail Standard. Harley pared away the bits, bobs, and superfluous systems. What’s left behind is simply a motorcycle—nothing more, nothing less—and probably the purest Harley experience currently available in the MoCo’s lineup. From its laced wheels and mini-apes to the basic 107ci Milwaukee 8 and mid-controls to the solo saddle, short rear fender, and simple two-into-two shotgun exhaust, the Softail Standard is just a good, solid bike.

The Softail Standard’s biggest selling point, according to Harley, is that the bike is a blank canvas for customization. To that end, Harley launched four complete custom bolt-on packages that new Softail Standard owners can have bolted on at their dealership. First, there’s the “Day Tripper” package that adds passenger accommodations, forward controls, and a small swingarm bag. Second, a “Coastal Custom” package that adds a quarter fairing, two-up seat, and new bars, risers, and footpegs. There’s a “Touring Custom” package that adds small saddlebags, a more comfortable two-up seat, a windshield, and assorted accouterment to improve comfort and turn the bike into a respectable touring machine. Finally, there’s the “Performance Custom” package that upgrades the engine with a Screamin’ Eagle Stage II kit and a host of intake, exhaust, and tuning upgrades.

I gotta admit, I really like this modular custom package idea. Harley touts them as a starting point, a way for new owners to see various ways in which their new bikes can be customized. They’re a pretty good deal, too, and run between around $1,100 (Day Tripper) to $1,700 (Touring Custom) Yankee Dollars. It’s a nice way to bundle popular accessories for riders who want a touch of customization but don’t want to go hog wild with it, as it were.

Now the bad(ish) news. Out of the three bikes we rode during the press ride, the Softail Standard was my least favorite. Sure, it looks phenomenal as you walk up to it and I really like its clean lines, but as soon as you throw a leg over it you discover something disconcerting in a Harley—it’s small.

Thanks to the weird ergos—mid controls, low-slung solo saddle, mini-ape handlebars—the Softail Standard feels cramped and tiny, especially if you’re a, uh, rider of size like I am. At 6’1 and 240 pounds with a 34-inch inseam, I was incredibly uncomfortable while riding this thing. The whole time I was aboard I was sitting right on my tailbone and had to keep shifting my weight around to relieve the pain in my lower back. I also could never find a good place for my feet on those pegs, especially since there’s no heel rest anywhere to be found.

Combine that with a vague-feeling shifter, weird spacing between the rear brake pedal and the footpeg (it’s both too close and too far away, if you get my drift), and a wicked crosswind during our ride and I never felt like I was in complete control of the bike. I mean, I was, but every time I was in the saddle I kept worrying that I might not be able to handle a road emergency if one came up. That kind of thing doesn’t really inspire rider confidence.

To be absolutely clear, I’m not saying that the Softail Standard is a bad bike. Far from it, in fact. Like I said earlier, I really dig its lines, its attitude, and those modular customization packages. Thing is, at its heart the Softail Standard is a short-range bike, built to bounce between stops close to home, not eat up the miles on the superslab. I’m sure it’s great at that, but I was on this thing for an hour at a time and, no sir, I didn’t like it.

My problems with the bike aren’t primarily due to how it’s built, they’re due to how I’m built. Someone smaller and/or lighter probably won’t have the same I did while in the saddle. If you are built like I am, well, caveat emptor big man. You might want to spring for some forward controls and more sensible handlebars (and a more comfortable saddle) if you’re looking to pick one of these up.

2020 Fat Boy 30th Anniversary Edition

Thirty years ago, Willie G. Davidson stood in front of a jet black tractor-trailer with a new bike and changed motorcycling. That bike, the questionably named Fat Boy, was a burly, low-slung brute with a huge FL front end, fat tires, solid disc wheels, and about fifteen miles of Harley-Davidson attitude. Since then, the Fat Boy has been the go-to ride for legions of Harlista bar pirates, killer cyborgs from the future, and my dad. Now, after three decades at the top of the heap, Harley has released a limited edition 30th Anniversary Fat Boy.

I’ve had a soft spot for the Fat Boy ever since it came out, mostly due to Terminator 2 and the fact that my dad rolls a ’96 model that’s seen so many paint jobs, engine upgrades, and mods that it’s essentially the Bike of Theseus at this point. There’s just something about it, an undeniable presence that is, much like the Softail Standard, quintessentially Harley.

Look, I’m not going to lie to you all here. There’s not a lot of blue sky between the 30th Anniversary Edition and a run of the mill 2020 Fat Boy 114. There’s the paint job, which is, admittedly, phenomenal. It’s Harley’s vivid black color offset with copper-colored accents and a slightly redesigned OG Fat Boy logo on the tank. The paint, combined with the blacked-out M8, handlebars, and other brightwork, lend an air of menace to the already looming Fat Boy. It’s just a paint job, though. Aside from the limited run, though—just 2,500 units—that’s it. That’s everything special about the 30th Anniversary edition.

Honestly, I was hoping for something more. Performance upgrades, maybe, or some one-off grips and floorboards to really set the 30th apart from its mass-market stablemates. That said, just because I felt that the 30th Anniversary Edition wasn’t quite special enough doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it. On the contrary, I loved it. It was my favorite of the three bikes I rode during the press ride. It’s comfortable, confident, surprisingly nimble, and respectably fast thanks to the big boy 114 engine. All that is, of course, chalked up to the huge overhaul the Softail line got in 2018, but still. The Fat Boy rules, and the 30th Anniversary Edition is like the cherry on top of an already delicious, and powerful, sundae.

Sorry about the length of this one, friends. After riding three different bikes over the course of just a few hours, I had a jumble of thoughts and impressions to work out, so thanks for sticking around this long. So, my final thoughts? At the end of the day, after thrashing each bike up and down Florida’s Atlantic coast, I felt a little like Goldilocks in the Three Bears’ house. Despite my love for it, the CVO Road Glide was too much—much too much—for me. The Softail Standard was too little, and its fantastic lines didn’t make up for the cramped confines and sore lower back. The 30th Anniversary Fat Boy, though, was just right. It had everything I could have wanted in a single, good looking package.

All three bikes are fantastic Harleys, though. They do exactly what they’re meant to and I reckon the MoCo’s marketing team will land solid hits with each bike’s target demo. I’m clearly not in any of those three target markets, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t. If you’re a CVO buyer, a new rider looking to get into Harleys, or a long-term Fat Boy stan, these bikes are just what you’re looking for.

Here Are the Three Stunning Harley-Davidson Pickup Trucks Available Right Now

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

At the turn of the millennium, Ford introduced a special version of the F-150 dedicated to another American icon, Harley-Davidson. Called Harley-Davidson Edition, the run of special pickup trucks lasted from 2000 to 2011, and most of them are still around today, selling for big bucks at auctions across the U.S.

But there’s another breed of Harley-Davidson flavored trucks presently on the market, much newer and even more hardcore than what Ford itself made before. And they all come from a company called Tuscany Motor.

The American customizer has been around since the end of the 1980s, and has grown since in a behemoth specialty vehicle manufacturer with a soft spot for making GM and Ford trucks really stand out from the crowd.

Tuscany’s Harley-Davidson line now includes three trucks, two from the Blue Oval and one from rival GMC. And all three of them are like nothing you can see on the road today.

Tuscany says all “were created to give motorcycle enthusiasts the opportunity to once again enjoy classic Harley-Davidson design cues in the top-selling vehicles in America.” To meet that goal, a lot of modifications had to be made, mostly visual, for both the exterior and the interior.

Usually, the exterior elements on the trucks that are inspired by the American bike builder are the special front grille, the wheels (that come on all models as Fat Boy-style milled aluminum pieces), the exhaust, the fender vents, and the tailgate applique. In all cases, orange is used throughout the builds, but the most impressive piece of visual tuning is the huge Harley-Davidson logo and shield imprinted on the tonneau cover.

On the interior, the presence of the bike maker can be seen on the leather seat covers, the gauges, the pedals, the floor mats, and the door entry sills.

As said, there are presently three pickup trucks with H-D DNA: the Ford F-150, Ford F-250, and the GMC Sierra 1500. All will be build in limited numbers, and can be ordered from this link.

Harley-Davidson Pulls The Wraps Off The 2020 Softail Standard

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by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://autos.yahoo.com/

Well, that didn’t take long. Just a week ago, Dustin was telling you about the impending Harley-Davidson 2020 Softail Standard revival. Today, the Motor Company made its official announcement, and it turns out Dustin’s speculation was right on the money when he suggested that it could be a base model waiting to be customized. Let’s take a look.

The 2020 Softail Standard is intended to bring a stripped-down, minimalist cruiser experience to the Harley-Davidson Big-Twin lineup. If you’re all about that Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin engine, and a smooth, uncomplicated, black-and-chrome aesthetic, then the new Softail Standard might just be for you.

Right out of the box, you’re looking at a straightforward, visually well-balanced bobber. The solo saddle curves up nicely to draw your attention back to that blacked-out, chopped rear fender, while your eye has no choice but to rest on the Milwaukee-Eight that beats at the heart of the whole thing. The two-into-two offset shotgun exhaust harks back to the slightly unbalanced look of the original, but gives it a more symmetrical, finished look. I’d personally go for a slightly bigger headlight, but keep the same shape and finish—and hey, that’s what customization is for, right?

You get a 19-inch front wheel and a 16-inch rear, both laced. The rear mono-shock has a preload adjuster you can access by simply lifting up the saddle. Front and rear disc brakes are standard, and ABS is an available option. The fuel tank has a 3.5-gallon capacity. This newest member of the Big Twin family can be yours for an MSRP of $13,599.

It wouldn’t be Harley without accessories, so you have a choice of four packages to start with. Three of them feature passenger seating and footpegs, and the fourth is all Screamin’ Eagle, all the time. The Day Tripper, Coastal, and Touring Custom packages range in price from $1,049.95 to $1,699.95, and offer different styles and configurations to get out of town with your favorite passenger riding behind you.

Meanwhile, the Performance Custom package runs $1,299.95, and includes Screamin’ Eagle Stage II Torque Kit, Pro Street Tuner, Heavy Breather Performance Air Cleaner, and Street Cannon mufflers.

Will 2020 mark a turnaround for motorcycle powerhouse Harley-Davidson?

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Matt Levatich is CEO of Harley-Davidson.

by Margaret Naczek from https://www.bizjournals.com

For 117 years Harley-Davidson Inc. has led the market in motorcycles and continues to hold a dominant market share in the U.S. heavyweight motorcycle market.

Despite its dominance in motorcycles, fewer people are buying bikes, and the number of U.S. riders are growing at a slow pace. For several consecutive quarters, the company faced declining sales, lower revenue and flat stock prices.

With falling sales numbers, 2020 is becoming a pivotal year for the company founded in 1903. Harley has plans to grow riders to 4 million by 2027, from 3.1 million now, and invest in new markets with its More Roads to Harley-Davidson initiative, which launched in 2018. Some analysts, however, are uncertain of Harley’s ability to achieve such goals.

“We are becoming a company that excels and exists to not only build great bikes, but to build riders,” Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said in the company’s fourth-quarter conference call.

During the call, Levatich listed four target areas that the Harley plans to hit in 2020 to retain early riders, a category segment that the manufacturer has struggled with. The company plans using riders to recruit and coach new riders, allow early riders to experience riding opportunities on their own turn and on their own terms and solidifying rider commitment through experimental opportunities like overnight rides.

New motorcycles such as Harley’s first electric motorcycle LiveWire, released in September 2019, or the new Pan America adventure touring bike and Bronx Streetfighter bike, which are expected to release late in 2020, are also part of the company’s efforts to turn U.S. motorcycle sales around and build a strong ridership base.

At least one dealer is hopeful about the strategy.

“It’s brave if you think about it,” said Goran Zadrima, regional manager at Milwaukee and West Bend Harley-Davidson. “A lot of companies in the past have attempted to go after the Harley touring market, and everybody fell on their face trying to take Harley in the touring market. The fact that Harley is getting into the adventure and the streetfighter market, that’s a huge market. There’s a lot of good brands out there, but the one thing that Harley has that nobody has anywhere is the dealer network.”

Kawasaki Announces New Agreement with Roadrunner Financial to Offer Financing for Credit Builders and First-Time Buyers

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Foothill Ranch, Calif. – Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. is pleased to announce a new financing agreement with Roadrunner Financial to offer competitive near-prime loans to Credit Builders with 550-660+ FICO scores. Roadrunner delivers a revolutionary lender experience through digital applications with instant decisions, comprehensive credit coverage, and unbeatable dealer and customer support.

Kawasaki joins a group of Powersports and Outdoor Power Equipment partners that utilize Roadrunner Financial to bring great finance offers to their customers. The relationship with Kawasaki allows Roadrunner to offer an enhanced program with improved near-prime rates with no fees for dealers.

“Roadrunner Financial is a key addition for Kawasaki and our dealers” said Kawasaki Senior Vice President, Sales and Operations Bill Jenkins. “The focus on a near-prime credit program will offer dealers new opportunities for financing customers on Kawasaki powersports products.”

“Roadrunner will give Kawasaki dealers a new tool to close deals that would usually walk out the door.” When asked about the new financing agreement, Jon Vestal, VP of Sales at Roadrunner Financial said, “We’re very excited to strengthen our relationship with Kawasaki. By targeting near-prime, we plan to deliver significant incremental sales for Kawasaki in 2020 and beyond.”

This new Kawasaki program from Roadrunner Financial will be available to Kawasaki dealers starting March 1st, 2020.

About Roadrunner Financial:
Roadrunner Financial offers financing for customers across the entire credit spectrum. Roadrunner’s credit program suite includes ‘Roadrunner Prime’, ‘Roadrunner Credit Builder’ for customers down to 550 FICO, a first-time buyer program, ‘Roadrunner Lease’, and a pre-owned vehicle program.

Founded in 2016 and based in New York, Roadrunner helps dealers finance more customers by taking the traditional hassles of lending and replacing them with one seamless process that can take as little as a few minutes. Roadrunner’s unique financing experience offers instant decisions, electronic contracting, and financing for more than 10,000 vehicles across 40+ Powersports & Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) OEMs. For more information, please visit www.roadrunnerfinancial.com.

ABOUT KAWASAKI
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) started full-scale production of motorcycles over a half century ago. The first Kawasaki motorcycle engine was designed based on technical know-how garnered from the development and production of aircraft engines, and Kawasaki’s entry into the motorcycle industry was driven by the company’s constant effort to develop new technologies. Numerous new Kawasaki models introduced over the years have helped shape the market, and in the process have created enduring legends based on their unique engineering, power, design and riding pleasure. In the future, Kawasaki’s commitment to maintaining and furthering these strengths will surely give birth to new legends.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, side x sides, and Jet Ski® watercraft through a network of almost 1,100 independent retailers, with close to an additional 7,400 retailers specializing in general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with approximately 250 of them located at KMC’s Foothill Ranch, California headquarters.
Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.®”, is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand is synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at www.kawasaki.com.

Facing financial crunch, UK based Norton Motorcycle goes into administration; India roll out hit

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by Ketan Thakkar from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Norton had set up an equally owned joint venture with Pune-based Kinetic Motoroyale in 2017 to start making mid-size motorcycles for India and Southeast Asian Markets by 2018. The project got delayed due to financial crunch at the UK-based entity.

UK-based premium bike maker Norton Motorcycle’s India roll out may be hit, as the company has gone into administration after failing to pay outstanding dues to the UK authorities.

According to a news report, the company is struggling to pay a tax bill and faces a winding-up order under the UK’s insolvency law.

Norton had set up an equally owned joint venture with Pune-based Kinetic Motoroyale in 2017 to start making mid-size motorcycles for India and Southeast Asian Markets by 2018. The project got delayed due to financial crunch at the UK-based entity.

When contacted, Kinetic Motoroyale managing director Ajinkya Firodia told ET that Norton was looking to raise funds. Firodia said he would be travelling shortly to the UK to understand the situation better and seek clarity.

“Norton Motoroyale (the joint venture) is a separate company and continues to exist and hold its rights in its territories of India and Asean countries. After our visit, we shall understand the extent of impact, if any. The India-side development of all parts is nearly complete for the 650 Atlas. For some parts developed in the UK or Europe for Norton, I shall seek clarity from the administrator,” Firodia added.

When queried if the 650cc bike would get further delayed, he said it was “difficult to predict” now.

Kinetic Motoroyale had set up a 30,000-unit capacity plant in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra. A range of Norton bikes were expected to be made at this plant for Indian and Southeast Asian markets.

According to media reports, Norton, which was rescued by property developer Stuart Garner in 2008, said the company owed tax authorities 300,000 pounds and could be liquidated if it was not given more time to pay.

The report added that two of Garner’s other companies were also in administration.

Founded in Birmingham, Norton began making motorbikes in 1902 and soon became associated with races such as the Isle of Man TT.

Models like the Dominator and the Commando are well renowned and some of the bikes have even been featured in films including the Bond movies. The Norton Interpol was used by the UK Police in the 1980s for patrolling.

Enfield to glam up, slim down bikes for women, GenX

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New bikes from Royal Enfield are likely to be the most affordable ones.

Royal Enfield is slimming down to conquer. It plans to make far lighter bikes, offering lower and more comfortable seating positions, to draw youngsters and women to a brand that has hitherto been associated with men who had truly arrived. And these will likely be the most affordable bikes as well from the maker of the iconic Bullet.

These bikes will weigh significantly less than the Bullet and be seated lower, styled after the roadster. Due for launch in the first quarter of 2020, these are internally codenamed J1C, and may sell under the Explorer brand.

The model has been developed after taking critical feedback from women and youngsters to offer them a bike with comfortable ingress/egress and steer away from the traditional perception of Royal Enfield ‘bulk’, said several industry executives aware of the plans.

“While we cannot comment about future product line-ups, we can confirm that at Royal Enfield, we assign huge focus on keeping our motorcycles accessible and approachable to all, in an endeavour to bring more people to experience pure leisure motorcycling,” a spokesperson told ET.

The company declined to discuss its product pipeline, features and pricing strategies.

Royal Enfield was losing a significant chunk of upgraders to competition as rivals launched several sports bikes. The Explorer is an attempt to wrest back the initiative, industry experts believe.

The launch of J1C is part of a new product onslaught, and the plan envisages launching at least one new product every quarter from 2020. After J1C, the company will be launching the new generation Thunderbird, which may be re-christened as Meteor, before the BS-VI versions of Classic and Bullet hit the road in 2020.

Royal Enfield has upgraded the existing UCE or Unit Construction Engine for BS VI emission norms to ensure adequate availability.

Struggling to arrest volume declines, Royal Enfield has undertaken a series of accessibility measures that include product enhancements, geographic expansions, and establishment of small-format retail stores.

To be sure, the total number of driving licences issued in India is 161.1 million, of which about a tenth is issued to women drivers. Women buyers account for about 7-8% of the existing Royal Enfield volumes. Although the numbers are still small, more women are buying bikes such as the Himalayan or Thunderbird X.

The new platform for women motorbike enthusiasts would open a vast opportunity for the company, which has seen untapped potential in Goa, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka.

Goa has the highest proportion of women drivers, with 23% of the total number of licences issued to women. For Chandigarh and Maharashtra, the comparable figures are 18.47% and 18.28%, according to the Road Transport Year book of 2016.

In the second quarter of FY20, sales volumes from Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka accounted for a quarter of the total at Royal Enfield.

The monthly run-rate of Royal Enfield dropped 15% to 60,334 in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. The Street expects sales volume of 7.25-7.30 lakh units in the current fiscal year, which implies a decline of about 12%, the first in at least a decade.

Royal Enfield may pull 500cc motorcycles out of production by 1 April next year

By | General Posts

from https://www.financialexpress.com

According to the report, upgrading Royal Enfield’s 500cc engine to BS-VI compliance will make the production of these motorcycles ‘unviable for the domestic market’.

As the deadline for India’s BS-VI transition closes in, Royal Enfield may be in the process of taking a drastic decision regarding its 500cc engine. According to a LiveMint report, Royal Enfield plans to discontinue its 500cc range of motorcycles from 1 April next year when BS-VI emission norms become a mandate in the country. The report further states that upgrading RE’s 500cc engine to BS-VI compliance will make the production of these motorcycles ‘unviable for the domestic market’. The sources close to the development also told LiveMint that the 500cc motorcycles would not be produced for international markets either.

The pushrod architecture of the existing 350cc and 500cc engines do not meet the stringent emission norms. As a result, the existing model lineup will be phased out… Royal Enfield plans to restore the 350cc segment with an all-new powertrain as that accounts for the bulk of sales. Meanwhile, it would quit the 500cc displacement – the report quotes the source.

The report goes on to quote the source that said that the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 were primarily developed for international markets and refresh the manufacturer’s rider followership in the domestic market as well. “As the 500cc line-up will be discontinued, the 650cc Twins will become the company’s export volume drivers.”

Royal Enfield has registered a drop in year-on-year sales in India over the past 11 months. However, exports have been going strong with the Interceptor 650 becoming a best-selling naked roadster in the UK recently.

As was speculated, Royal Enfield did not showcase new products at the EICMA motorcycle show this year and instead lined up its existing portfolio and custom-built motorcycles. BS-VI emission norms will be out in effect starting 1 April 2020 when we’ll know more about the subject.