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Which Three-Wheeler Fits Your Style?

By General Posts

We offer a brief history of the Three-wheeled vehicle, and take a guess at the lifestyle each fits best.

In 2007, BRP put its three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder on the market and sold 2500 units in the U.S. By 2015, it had sold 1 million units globally. In 2017, it estimated the U.S. three-wheel industry to be good for approximately 40,000 sales a year, and that industry includes competition from historic names like Harley-Davidson and Morgan. Some bikers scoff at the three-legged mechanical portmanteau called an autocycle, but they’re here to stay; in 2020, BRP more than doubled its 2019 volume in the U.S.

Maybe you’re considering joining the growing crowd but aren’t sure which saddle to throw a leg over, here is a brief history of three-wheelers and the people who love them.

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Erik Buell Says He’s Not Involved in the Buell Motorcycles Revival

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

Last week’s announcement of the Buell Motorcycles revival caused a lot of emotion. Although mostly out from the public eye for quite some time now, the name is still entrenched enough in the public consciousness to hint that, had it not been for Harley-Davidson’s poor choices a decade ago, would have been a big player in the industry by now.

The revival of the moniker is fueled by the company holding control over it, Liquid Asset Partners (LAP). The comeback was announced by LAP’s Bill Melvin, who hinted at the revival and a flood of no fewer than ten models over the next three years. Those are said to range from dirt to touring bikes, and from dual-sport to cruisers. There’s possibly even an electric two-wheeler in the cards.

The official announcement left out any indication of Buell’s founder, Erik Buell, being involved in this. That led to speculation in some circles that the former Harley-Davidson employee might have a role to play. He doesn’t, of course, and made that perfectly clear in an email sent over to Road Racing World.

Buell Motorcycles was born in 1983 in Michigan, and by the 1990s, it was already beginning to become part of Harley-Davidson. As usual, the Milwaukee monster messed up a lot over the following decade, and in 2009 it killed Buell as a brand. Erik calls this outcome the result of unwise choices made by Harley’s executives.

Having lost Buell, the man moved on to create Erik Buell Racing, but for various reasons, that business failed too, and it eventually crossed over to LAP.

Presently, Erik Buell is involved in a company called FUELL, in the business of making electric “urban mobility solution for cities.” He says he has nothing to do with LAP’s announcement and is no longer involved with neither EBR nor Buell Motorcycles.

Triumph Motorcycles Announces New 2022 Bonneville Family

By General Posts

from https://motorcycles.einnews.com

Triumph Motorcycles’ legendary modern classic motorcycle family has been evolved, with a host of significant updates across the line-up, including enhanced performance, capability, and style.From the timeless classic Bonneville T120, T120 Black, and T100, to the stylish and contemporary custom Street Twin and new Street Twin Gold Line limited edition, the laid-back Bonneville Speedmaster cruiser and the pure custom Bonneville Bobber, each one has been beautifully evolved.

With a peerless bloodline that goes back to the iconic first 1959 Triumph Bonneville, the updated 2021 modern classic Bonneville family encompasses the legendary spectrum of British designed motorcycle icons, from the original Bonneville T120, T120 Black and T100, to the custom inspired Street Twin and limited-edition Street Twin Gold Line edition, the classic Bonneville Speedmaster cruiser and the stunning Bonneville Bobber.

Each one was born from Triumph’s advanced R&D facility in Hinckley, where the dedicated UK design team creates, engineers, and prototypes every motorcycle. Each one is crafted to maintain all of their legendary design DNA and to deliver the truly modern capability that lives up to Triumph’s world-leading reputation for premium quality and ride.

Joining the Thruxton RS, launched last year to international acclaim, the new Bonneville line-up will be enhanced further still in April 2021, with the official reveal of the new generation Scrambler 1200 and Street Scrambler, when full details will be released.

NEW 2022 BONNEVILLE T120 AND T120 BLACK
Timeless. Capable. Beautiful.

The definitive British motorcycle icon takes its torque-rich 1200cc twin performance, sophisticated setup and beautiful Bonneville DNA and significantly upgrades it, delivering a new benchmark for timeless character and easy riding capability. With a significantly enhanced handling set-up, courtesy of a significant 15.5lb weight savings, new lightweight aluminum wheel rims, and new higher specification Brembo brakes, plus new rider technology, including cruise control and enhanced riding modes and even more responsive throttle, the Bonneville legend continues.

Available in North America starting May 2021 for $12,050 USD

New 2022 Bonneville T120 and T120 Black    

ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

  • 1200cc High Torque twin engine
  • More responsive and lower emissions
  • ENHANCED HANDLING
  • 15.5lbs (7kg) lighter
  • New lightweight aluminum wheel rims
  • New higher-specification Brembo brakes and twin discs
  • More dynamic, agile, and neutral ride
  • ENHANCED TECHNOLOGY
  • New cruise control fitted as standard
  • Enhanced road and rain riding modes
  • ENHANCED STYLE AND DETAILING
  • New instrument face and branding
  • 116 ACCESSORIES

NEW 2022 BONNEVILLE T100
Classic. Capable. Beautiful.

The perfect introduction to the iconic Bonneville family, the latest generation of Triumph’s authentic and original T100 incorporates its torque-rich and thrilling performance, confidence-inspiring handling and timeless Bonneville style with a significant upgrade to the latest 900cc High Torque twin engine delivering 10HP more power and lower emissions. Add to that a lighter overall weight, higher specification brakes and suspension, the latest rider technology and sophisticated new detailing, and you get an even more beautiful and refined T100 ride.

Available in North America starting March 2021 for $10,500 USD

New 2022 Bonneville T100  

ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

  • 10HP more power, 64HP @ 7,400 rpm and 59 LB-FT @ 3,750 RPM
  • More responsive and 500rpm higher redline
  • 900cc High Torque twin engine
  • More responsive and lower emissions
  • ENHANCED HANDLING
  • 9lbs lighter
  • New cartridge forks
  • New higher specification Brembo front brake
  • ENHANCED STYLE AND DETAILING
  • New instrument face
  • New black powder-coated engine covers and cam cover
  • 117 ACCESSORIES

NEW 2022 STREET TWIN.
Fun. Stylish. Capable.

The latest generation of Triumph’s best-selling modern classic delivers all of the Street Twin’s torque-rich and thrilling performance, confidence-inspiring handling and contemporary custom style, and enhances it with the latest 900cc High Torque twin engine for lower emissions.  With an even more comfortable bench seat and a host of new, refined details and finishes, plus an extensive range of 120 Genuine Accessories, the beautiful and easy handling Street Twin is the perfect modern classic ride for new and experienced motorcyclists alike.

Available in North America starting March 2021 for $9,400 USD

New 2022 Street Twin    

ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

  • 900cc High Torque twin engine
  • Lower emissions
  • ENHANCED COMFORT AND STYLE
  • New deeper foam, more comfortable bench seat
  • New cast wheels with machined detailing
  • New bodywork and brushed aluminum detailing
  • HIGH SPECIFICATION FOR A CONFIDENCE-INSPIRING RIDE
  • Light and agile, with a low 30in seat height
  • Brembo front brake caliper
  • Two Riding Modes, LED rear light*, ABS, and switchable traction control
  • 120 ACCESSORIES

NEW 2022 STREET TWIN GOLD LINE LIMITED EDITION
Beautiful. Desirable. Exclusive.

This exquisite hand-detailed custom edition of the 2022 Street Twin delivers all of the new generation updates and celebrates the timeless classic Triumph logo and hand-painted, gold lining skills of Triumph’s expert paint shop. There are only 1000 of these beautiful motorcycles worldwide, each one coming with a certificate of authenticity personalized with the unique VIN number of the bike, making these even more exclusive.

Available in North America starting June 2021 for $10,150 USD

New 2022 Street Twin Gold Line Limited Edition

LIMITED EDITION OF 1000

  • Certificate of authenticity
  • HAND-DETAILED CUSTOM SPECIAL
  • Showcasing the gold lining skills of Triumph’s expert paint shop
  • Unique Matt Sapphire Black paint scheme with hand-painted gold detailing
  • ALL OF THE NEW 2021 STREET TWIN UPDATES
  • Enhanced performance and lower emissions
  • Enhanced comfort and style, including new bench seat, cast wheels, and bodywork 

NEW 2022 BONNEVILLE SPEEDMASTER
Beautiful. Capable. Comfortable.

The perfect laid-back, long-distance ride, the latest generation of Triumph’s classic British custom delivers all of the Speedmaster’s all-day capability and sophisticated style, and significantly upgrades it with enhanced engine performance, higher specification equipment and more premium detailing. With 79 accessories, including luggage, the new generation promises an even more comfortable, stylish and refined ride.

Available in North America starting March 2021 for $13,150 USD

New 2022 Bonneville Speedmaster    

ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

  • 1200cc High Torque twin engine
  • More responsive and lower emissions
  • ENHANCED HANDLING
  • Higher specification Showa 47mm cartridge forks
  • Improved rider and passenger comfort
  • ENHANCED STYLE AND DETAILING
  • New instrument face
  • 79 ACCESSORIES

NEW 2022 BONNEVILLE BOBBER
Pure. Brutal. Beauty.

As stunning to look at as it is thrilling to ride, the latest generation of Triumph’s stripped-back, elegant custom classic has all of the previous generation Bobber’s peerless authenticity and engineering innovation and adds all of the Bobber Black’s category-defining capability, for a new Bobber that delivers the best of both worlds. Significant updates include enhanced engine performance for an even more responsive and thrilling ride, higher specification technology and equipment, and an all-new blacked-out, chunkier style. With a range of 77 genuine Triumph accessories on offer, including an alternative high bar set-up, luggage and choice of seating options, and its class leading adjustable seating and foot peg position, the Bobber has been designed for riders to adapt to suit them and their style.

Available in North America starting March 2021 for $13,150 USD

New 2022 Bonneville Bobber    

ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

  • 1200cc High Torque twin engine
  • More responsive with reduced inertia
  • Lower emissions
  • ENHANCED CAPABILITY
  • New larger 3gal fuel tank
  • Higher specification Brembo brakes and Showa forks
  • New 16in fat front wheel
  • NEW BLACKED-OUT STYLE AND DETAILING
  • New black powder-coated engine, cam, and sprocket covers
  • New instrument styling
  • 77 ACCESSORIES

NEW 2022 TRIUMPH SCRAMBLERS.
Coming soon.

Full details of the new 2022 Scrambler 1200 XC and XE will be revealed on the April 13th, 2021.

Full details of the new 2022 New Street Scrambler will be revealed on the April 20th, 2021.

 

Partnership between the brands METZELER and Indian Motorcycle is strengthened

By General Posts

The partnership between the brands METZELER and Indian Motorcycle is strengthened: several new Indian Motorcycle models equipped with tires of the blue elephant brand

Along with the Indian Challenger, METZELER CRUISETEC™ will be original equipment tires of the Indian Roadmaster, Chieftain, Springfield and Vintage models. METZELER SPORTEC™ M9 RR will now be original equipment on the brand new Indian FTR

ROME, Ga. 15th February 2021 – The technical partnership between the brands METZELER and Indian Motorcycle forges ahead since the first collaboration between the German-born tire brand and the legendary US motorcycle manufacturer happened in 2019. METZELER brand was chosen as the development partner and exclusive supplier for the powerful touring model, the 2020 Indian Challenger. It was an extremely successful project, thanks to the joint work between two brands that share the same philosophies of enhancing their company heritage and at the same time aiming for the highest level of performance, in compliance with the most challenging quality standards.

From that moment, the technical collaboration between the two historic brands has been further strengthened and to date it has been extended to other important models of the American manufacturer. In fact from 2021, in addition to the Indian Challenger, METZELER tires will exclusively equip the brand new Indian FTR, which was recently unveiled to fans all over the world, and other iconic models from America’s first motorcycle company, such as the Indian Roadmaster, Chieftain, Springfield and Vintage.

For the Indian FTR, including the FTR S and FTR R Carbon versions, METZELER SPORTEC™ M9 RR tires were selected as original equipment, in 120/70 ZR 17 front and 180/55 ZR 17 rear sizes. Pulling inspiration from its American Flat Track race bike, the FTR750, the new 2022 FTR is an exciting motorcycle that combines style and performance, ideal for both weekend trips and daily use. The FTR offers incredible power, and at the same time, thanks in part to the agility conferred by the original equipment SPORTEC™ M9 RR tires, extraordinary handling. The powerful 1203cc, 120hp, 117.9Nm torque V-Twin engine precisely manages power delivery, which is safely discharged to the ground via SPORTEC™ M9 RR tires.

SPORTEC™ M9 RR combines in the best way the versatility typical of everyday use with the brand’s experience in Road Racing competitions, exploiting the latest technological advances in the German brand’s research and development field. SPORTEC™ M9 RR was designed for motorcyclists, primarily owners of supersport and naked machines, with a sporty riding style and who use their bikes almost every day, from the urban jungle to the winding roads out of town. Motorcyclists looking for riding pleasure and sporty performance even in the wet need a sport tire that provides precise and safe feedback while enjoying their bike’s performance at full capacity.

METZELER CRUISETEC™ has been selected as the original equipment tire for several models within Indian Motorcycle’s cruising and touring portfolio, including the Challenger, Roadmaster, Chieftain, Springfield and Vintage models, also in the Limited and Dark Horse versions.

METZELER CRUISETEC™ is designed to offer motorcyclists with power cruisers, custom and touring bikes, a tire that is more performance oriented than others in the segment to date. CRUISETEC™ has been developed to take advantage of the full performance potential of these heavyweight and powerful motorcycles thanks to the high level of grip even in wet conditions, revolutionary handling, and the structural characteristics oriented towards riding pleasure thanks to stability and precision.

Honda Drops Hot Upgrades for 2021

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by Silvian Secara from https://www.autoevolution.com

Of all the models mentioned in the company’s recent announcement, the 2021 PCX takes the cake for being the most innovative.

Given the abundance of exciting announcements made by motorcycle manufacturers as of late, we’re inclined to believe that 2021 is becoming a promising year for the two-wheeler realm. The latest statement to support that claim was made by none other than the almighty Honda, which revealed details on as many as four new entry-level machines for the 2021 and 2022 model years.

First and foremost, the company’s scooter lineup will have the honor of welcoming an updated PCX that boasts a 157cc single-cylinder powerplant. Back in 2009, this bad boy was unleashed on the U.S. market as PCX125, gaining an array of steady upgrades ever since. Besides a modest displacement boost, the newcomer prides itself with a modified chassis that offers “reduced weight and improved cornering performance.”

Additionally, the 2021 Honda PCX comes equipped with a 30-liter storage unit below the seat and Honda’s state-of-the-art Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) setup. In addition, each and every lighting component is an LED item. This tasty piece of Japanese machinery will hit dealerships as early as March, with an MSRP of $3,799 for the base model. On the other hand, the ABS variant will cost you an extra 200 bucks, which is what you might refer to as a bargain.

As we move down the scooter range, we’ll come across a fresh Metropolitan hosting a generous amount of storage space for your convenience, including in-dash and under-seat compartments. Should you be looking for a “European-style scooter engineered to embody American practicality,” you’ll be able to get your hands on a 2022 Metropolitan in April, for just $2,499.

Next up, the manufacturer’s insanely customizable Ruckus will also make an appearance for the 2022 model-year. The 49cc superstar retains the unmistakable design language that made it special in the first place, as well as the vast majority of its main characteristics. At the end of the day, why would you change a recipe that works so well? This rugged little thing will be priced at $2,799, and we should expect it to hit dealerships during the same month as its Metropolitan sibling.

Last but not least, the final entry from Honda’s 2021 small-displacement goodness is none other than the revered CBR300R – “a single-cylinder machine capable of conquering tight city streets or twisting back roads.” Customers may opt for the base variant, which can be purchased in April for a mere $4,799, while its ABS counterpart could be yours for $4,999.

In terms of paintwork options, the PCX will be clad solely in Pearl White, while the Metropolitan will be available in Pearl Soft Beige or Coastal Blue. Furthermore, Honda’s Ruckus wears either White/Pearl Blue, Gray or Midnight Blue/Tan from the producer’s color palette. Finally, the beloved CBR300R comes dressed in Grand Prix Red or Matte Gray Metallic.

Harley Davidson’s plan to take iconic motorcycle brand into transportation’s future

By General Posts

by Joe D’Allegro from https://www.cnbc.com

  • Harley-Davidson unveiled a new 2021 lineup featuring several advances in engineering, electronics and styling, and its first rival to BMW and Honda “adventure” bikes.
  • Hog motorcycle sales peaked 15 years ago and have dropped 40% since.
  • But as it cuts costs, total number of models and geographies under a new CEO, and looks to electric motorcycles and e-bikes, Harley could be in for a smoother stock market ride.

As a tradition-minded 118-year-old motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson may not seem ideally situated to prosper in a rapidly changing world where vehicles are increasingly electrified, self-driving, and shared. But the iconic company could be better positioned than many stock market investors betting on transportation suspect.

The company’s U.S. bike sales peaked at more than 260,000 way back in 2006, and have since dropped about 40%. Demographics are part of the story, and it is a well-charted one, in the stock price and broader narrative about Harley’s consumer market. In 1985, the year before Harley went public, the median motorcycle owner was only 27, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. By 2018, the median age had risen to 50. But the iconic “HOG” brand is turning itself around under the leadership of president and CEO Jochen Zeitz, who took the helm last year after drawing praise for a turnaround engineered at European consumer brand Puma.

Zeitz, and other new executives pushed the “Rewire” initiative, which has driven the manufacturer to exit international markets with low potential to focus on 36 high-growth-potential areas in North America, Europe and Asia. The company also laid off 700 employees to trim costs. It closed out 2020 by entering into a distribution agreement with Indian motorcycle maker Hero and spinning off its electric bicycle operations to a new firm where it holds a minority stake.

“We think they are on the right track,” noted Garrett Nelson, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research. He praised Harley’s late-October agreement with Hero as beneficial to both parties. “Harley gets access to Hero’s existing distribution network in India and Hero benefits from the sale of additional motorcycles at its dealerships,” he said. “It’s a trade-off. Harley surrenders some of the margin for access to the distribution network in the fast-growing market.”

He added that Harley should pursue similar opportunities with other established players to widen its exposure in faster-growing Asian markets.

Harley in a Tesla world

With the new financial strategy in place, Harley’s is now looking ahead. On February 2, it will introduce its plan for 2021 to 2025. Called Hardwire, the new plan is “grounded in desirability,” according to the company, though it has not released details.

Next month Harley also is unveiling the Pan America, a large adventure-style motorcycle meant to be at home both on- and off-road. It is the company’s first foray into the adventure bike market in which competitors like BMW and Honda already have a large presence. The recreational market has become a more intense focus for consumer brands as a result of shifts driven by the pandemic.

Nelson also was cautiously optimistic about the manufacturer’s prospects in an increasingly electrified future. The LiveWire, Harley’s sole current electric motorcycle, shows promise, but the company has been somewhat slow bringing it to market since its release in late 2019, he said.

“More of a concrete strategy on the electric bike, the Livewire, will be necessary,” Citi analyst Shawn Collins said, but he added that EVs remain a longer-term rather than immediate financial priority. “EV cycles are a rounding error at the moment,” he said of the sales.

The LiveWire retails for nearly $30,000, making it one of Harley’s more expensive motorcycle offerings for the 2021 model year, which range from $9,500 to $49,000.

“Over time, we are bullish on the opportunity, given that we think lithium-ion battery costs are going to continue falling in the coming years and electric vehicles are going to be heavily subsidized by the new administration,” Nelson said. “We expect the cost of electric vehicles to reach parity with internal combustion engine vehicles by the middle of this decade, as battery costs continue to decline.”

Harley-Davidson’s share price is at a 52-week high — like many companies in this extended bull market — but remains well below its all-time peak.

The company’s iconic brand remains attractive, even as its financial fortunes have fluctuated.

“Harley-Davidson is the most valuable motorcycle brand on the planet,” wrote Craig Kennison, a senior research analyst and director of research operations at Baird, in a recent research note. Harley’s strong brand, scale, and loyal customers give it an advantage over competitors, in his view. Meanwhile, Harley’s new leadership has put in place operational changes that should drive growth in 2021, Kennison said, including streamlining its product portfolio, reducing dealer inventory 30%, and instituting ongoing annual costs savings of $115 million. “We increasingly like the investment case for Harley-Davidson,” he wrote.

There may be more cost-cutting to come, according to Nelson. He said Harley should look to further shrink its global footprint to focus on markets that are the most profitable with the greatest long-term growth potential. But shrinking the overall footprint does not mean less focus on overseas consumers.

Revving up profits

“Right now, they are spread too wide,” Nelson said. “Between 2006-2019, the company grew its non-U.S. exposure from 22% of total unit sales volumes to 42%. We think they need to continue growing this percentage out of necessity because we believe its North American market is in secular decline.”

Harley’s issue is about the top line, or revenue from motorcycle sales, and Citi’s Collins said into its earnings and February investor day how management talks about increasing the top line will be a key to continued investor confidence. “Lots of people have faith in Zeitz, but he has a high bar,” Collins said. “There is no simple answer. … The top line has been horrible.”

The biggest problem for Harley is well known: the brand has had trouble appealing to younger riders.

Younger consumers have shown an aversion to purchasing motorcycles for safety reasons, and vehicles in general due to the rise of ridesharing, as well as financial and urbanization trends, according to Nelson, and Harley’s domestic demand has been waning for well over a decade.

“Harley at one point was unstoppable, in the 80s and 90s and even through most of the 2000s,” Collins said.

The Citi analyst noted Harley competitor Indian Motorcycle, owned by Polaris, has had success bringing in a new audience, and Zeitz has shown his ability to work “marketing magic” when he oversaw the turnaround at Puma, which had lost consumers to Nike and Adidas. “His job is to try and insert the magic back into Harley so a younger person wants to buy one. That’s what he has his eye focused on for the next three year to five years,” Collins said.

“Harley-Davidson has known for a while that it needs to reach younger customers,” said Dennis Chung, the production editor at Motorcycle.com. “The problem is that demographic doesn’t necessarily want the same things in a motorcycle that Harley-Davidson’s older base values.”

A lot will hinge on the next generation of Harley-Davidson’s popular Sportster lineup of mid-sized cruisers, according to Chung. “There is definitely value in the classic Harley styling, but it needs to be balanced with modern design and modern technology,” he said.

The Sportster lineup has been in continuous production since 1957, and is one of Harley’s oldest model lines.

One way Harley-Davidson is responding to a more tricky consumer market is by shifting its focus from growing market share on an absolute basis to increasing brand exclusivity. The Rewire plan was an acknowledgment from management that blanketing the globe in a search for new sales wasn’t the way to go.

“Instead of trying to increase its sales volume, Harley-Davidson is now trying to earn more profit from each sale, even if it means selling fewer bikes,” Chung said.

Harley-Davidson recently reported a 39% increase in net income in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, even though its global retail motorcycle sales in the third quarter of 2020 were down 8% compared to the prior year.

North American sales did grow in the third quarter for the first time in a long time, Collins noted, and there are broader trends in place that could benefit Harley. Sports and recreational vehicles sales are growing as a result of Covid and that tailwind could cross over to the motorcycle market as well.

“They do have the No. 1 brand in the market with 40% market share and the brand is unlike any other,” Collins said.

The European market, meanwhile, is growing and the new adventure bike Pan America should do well in that region.

The decision to reduce its product line by roughly 30% seems like a smart and necessary move because of overlap.

“A lot of Harley’s products are very similar. Eliminating some of the lower-performing products creates a more streamlined product portfolio, which helps reduce costs,” Chung said.

The company dropped a handful of models from its 2021 U.S. lineup – the FXDR 114, Low Rider, Breakout, Street Bob 107, Deluxe, Street 750, Street Rod, and Roadster.

As the company offers fewer models, it sells a range of accessories and customization options. This way, buyers can individualize their bikes in details such as paint, luggage, seats, stereo systems, brake upgrades, and other areas.

Collins said Zeitz understands the opportunity in bike parts and Harley lifestyle accessories, and while these are not strategies that can turn the business around at the top line level, they are important pieces in a more comprehensive plan to maximize revenue while keeping costs down and generating higher profits. He recently pegged as much as 15% upside in Harley’s stock ahead of next month’s earnings and investor day, writing in a note to investors that he continues to be encouraged by new management’s decision-making.

Even with a trimmed portfolio, the manufacturer still offers two dozen different motorcycles, mostly concentrated in the cruiser and touring market segments, as well as a trio of three-wheeled bikes.

“We believe Covid-19 has given Harley the opportunity to press the reset button on its strategy and refocus effort back on its core consumer, one which we believe holds the key to higher profit margins,” stated Morningstar senior equity analyst Jaime Katz in a November report. She praised the Rewire initiative as a means of balancing restoration of the firm’s core business and entry into new markets. Prioritizing profitability over scale should also refocus Harley on the success of high-margin parts and accessories and general merchandise segments.

“It’s okay to be in a shrinking market, if you’re improving the profitability of the products you sell,” Katz told CNBC.

NCOM Biker NewsBytes for January 2021

By General Posts

Brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.)
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

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

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The End Of Harley-Davidson’s Entry-Level Streets Era

By General Posts

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

The 500 and 750 are out.

Harley-Davidson has been taking some pretty drastic measures lately to secure its spot on the market. On January 20, 2021, we discovered the extent of those measures when the Motor Company confirmed its upcoming lineup. While the digital event focused mainly on what’s new and exciting in the Harley showrooms, it also marked the end of the road for some well-known models that quietly disappeared from the maker’s website.

In the “Street” category, the Sportster lineup was reduced down to only three models with the Iron 883 and 1200 and the Forty-Eight left to hold the entry-level fort. The beginner-friendly Street 500 and 750 have been officially discontinued, putting an end to Harley’s small-and-medium-displacement era.

The H-D Street 500 and 750 were first announced in 2013. The company already knew back then that it needed to go after a younger demographic and expand its presence in markets where smaller displacements thrived. Those are the boxes Harley was hoping to check with the new Streets.

At the time, former CEO Matt Levatich explained that the new Street lineup “fills a need for people who want to identify with a brand but have a motorcycle that is less intimidating, and more inviting. This bike is easier to ride and easier to learn how to ride.”

Armed with a new frame, the then-new Revolution X engine, and a small price tag (the 500 started at $6,700 back in the day), the Streets seemed to have all the makings of good starter bikes. They also made getting on a Harley far more accessible to a wider range of riders.

The models received mixed reviews with some praising their simplicity and accessibility while others criticized their lack of personality. Ultimately, the Streets, in particular the 500, turned out to be prized by riding school thanks to their docile nature and approachable stature.

Back in September, 2020, Harley’s French branch confirmed that the Sportsters wouldn’t be updated to Euro 5 standards and that it would therefore be pulled from the European lineup for 2021. We already had a feeling the decision would have a trickle effect on the U.S. lineup. Granted, some of the Sportsters remain, but for how long? There is already talk of a replacement platform.

So, what now? We reached out to Harley to inquire about potential replacements for the Streets. As things currently stand, the role of “the entry-level” bike is now bestowed on the not-so-entry-level Iron 883. Our contact answered that the company will continue to supply Street 500s to H-D Riding Academy dealers for training, but declined to comment about any future models.

We suspect the entry-level spots won’t be left empty for too long. Though the brand’s presence in Asia has been greatly reduced in 2020, the market for small and mid-size bikes remains prominent, especially at a time when people are looking for new, socially-distanced ways to commute.

2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Packs the Bulk of Accessories

By General Posts

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

So, the veils are off the goodies Harley-Davidson has in the works for 2021. The bike maker took advantage of its first digital event and unveiled the bulk of the models hitting the assembly lines for the new year, but also the accessories devised for them.

We already had a glance at the new Street Bob with the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine and the revamped line of CVO models, and now it’s time to glance a bit at the accessories created by the bike maker and its partners.

First off, the Rockford Fosgate audio system. Offered as standard on the CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide, it also comes as an extra for the 2014-later Touring motorcycles equipped with a Boom! Box infotainment unit.

There are two versions offered, Stage I and Stage II, and each has been designed to be installed in the fairing, fairing lowers, Tour-Pak luggage, or saddlebag lids. Both comprise left and right speakers and custom grilles, and can be backed by an amplifier coming from the same company.

Secondly, here come the cooled and heated seats. They are offered for Touring and Trike models, and have proved during testing they can bring the temperature down by 25 degrees, from 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) ambient temperature, in about 30 minutes.

Then, there’s a new Screamin’ Eagle high-flow exhaust for Softail models. The bolt-on hardware can be used with Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight 128/131 Stage IV kits or the Screamin’ Eagle 131 crate engine, and has been designed to be 20 percent lighter than the stock system. Available in satin black or stainless finishes, it can legally be used in 49 states, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

As for engine upgrades, the bike maker will continue to offer Stage III enhancements, namely 107ci to 119ci (1,753 to 1,950 cc) and 114ci to 122ci (1,868 to 2,000 cc).

Pricing and release date for these items were not announced.

Harley-Davidson 2021 Global Digital Event

By General Posts

HARLEY-DAVIDSON BRINGS THE WORLD TOGETHER TO DEBUT ALL NEW 2021 PRODUCTS IN THE H-D 2021 GLOBAL DIGITAL EVENT ON JANUARY 19

MILWAUKEE, WI (December 09, 2020) – Throughout Harley-Davidson’s 118-year history, the brand has never before brought the entire world together to experience the debut of all-new Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. On Jan.19th, 2021, that all changes with a single virtual event. During H-D 21, the company’s first virtual launch experience, Harley-Davidson will announce new 2021 motorcycles, parts and accessories, riding gear and apparel.

Those who participate will hear from Harley-Davidson leadership, product experts, and passionate enthusiasts who are leading and shaping the industry on all that’s coming to Harley-Davidson® dealerships in 2021.

To take part in the H-D 21 virtual launch experience, register now at www.H-D.com/21.

New Approach to Product Launches

The global virtual launch is part of the company’s streamlined and overhauled approach to bringing products to market for customers. Earlier this year, Harley-Davidson announced significant shifts including streamlining its planned product portfolio by 30 percent, shifting it’s new model year debut to align with the start of the riding season and amped-up marketing efforts to drive desirability and maximize impact in the market

“We’re thrilled to bring the world together virtually to showcase the inspiration and passion behind our 2021 motorcycles, including a glimpse of our first adventure touring motorcycle, Pan America™,” said VP Marketing Theo Keetell. “We look forward to sharing this moment with our customers and dealers from around the world.

Adventurer Jason Momoa Shares his Passion

American actor, producer and motorcycle enthusiast Jason Momoa will play a key role in the Jan. 19th event. Forever seeking new adventures, Momoa will share his thoughts on how Harley-Davidson’s upcoming Pan America motorcycle has expanded his passion for Harley-Davidson and created new opportunities to explore endless horizons beyond paved roads.

“Harley-Davidson has unlocked opportunities for me to find adventure with amazing people, awe-inspiring places, and expand my inspiration seen in the United We Will Ride content series,” said Momoa. “I was excited to collaborate with Harley-Davidson for a first look and chance to ride the Pan America 1250 motorcycle. It’s the perfect vehicle that combines my love of the outdoors, the unknown, and Harley-Davidson. People are going to be completely stoked about this bike that Harley-Davidson has created.”

Harley-Davidson Pan America Global Reveal Feb. 22nd, 2021

Harley-Davidson’s all-new Pan America™ 1250 adventure touring motorcycle will be previewed in the Jan. 19th H-D 21 virtual launch experience. Harley-Davidson will be bringing the world back together on Feb. 22, 2021, to reveal the motorcycle’s full details in a separate digital event with the spotlight on the new Pan America motorcycle.

Stay informed at www.H-D.com/PanAmerica.