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Harley-Davidson Unveils 2021-2025 Strategic Plan; Targets Increased Profitability

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from https://www.rttnews.com

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG) on Tuesday unveiled ‘The Hardwire’, its 2021-2025 strategic plan that targets long-term profitable growth and shareholder value, and also aims to enhance its position in the strongest motorcycle segments.

The motorcycle maker targets increased profitability and low double-digit earnings per share growth through 2025. It also projects single-digit revenue growth in the Motorcycles segment, with solid growth expectations across all businesses.

Harley-Davidson said it will invest in the core segments of Touring, large Cruiser and Trike to strengthen and grow its position. The company will expand into Adventure Touring and increase profitability within the Cruiser segment to unlock untapped volume and margin.

The company noted that Pan America, its first Adventure Touring motorcycle, is an example of the company’s selective expansion into a high-potential segment that has untapped potential in the U.S.

As part of expanding its Financial Services offerings, the company will launch Harley-Davidson Certified, a pre-owned motorcycle program supporting growth expected across all complementary businesses.

The company said it will strengthen its commitment to electric motorcycles with the creation of a dedicated division focused exclusively on leading the future of electric motorcycles, following the success of its LiveWire motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson also said it will extend employee ownership to all employees by offering an equity grant to about 4,500 employees, aligning with its new approach to Inclusive Stakeholder Management.

from https://www.bennetts.co.uk

Harley-Davidson outlines vision for the future

Back in July 2018 Harley-Davidson unveiled an incredibly ambitious and detailed plan for its future – confirming 16 new water-cooled models from 500cc to 1250cc in an array of styles, a new small-capacity machine, huge electric bike expansion plans and a reinvented shopping experience. It was a multi-year, multi-pronged onslaught that was intended to expand the firm’s reach away from its cruiser comfort zone and bring huge new opportunities.

Now virtually all those ideas have been dropped with the unveiling of Harley-Davidson’s new ‘Hardwire’ strategy, which replaces the previous ideas of bold expansion into uncharted territories with a renewed focus on the firm’s core touring, cruiser and trike segments and established, wealthy markets.

The change isn’t unexpected. Harley CEO Jochen Zeitz has been taking the firm in this direction with his interim ‘Rewire’ strategy since last year when he replaced Matt Levatich at the firm’s helm. The ambitious 2018 strategy, which had been dubbed ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’ and intended to see the firm through to at least 2022, was Levatich’s brainchild and Zeitz immediately reversed course on taking over.

Harley’s new plan isn’t as attention-grabbing as the ‘More Roads’ strategy but it’s a play-it-safe route that’s intended to bring the firm back to growth and sustained profitability after a few tough years culminating in the coronavirus pandemic that saw sales volumes and incomes slashed in 2020.

On the surface it’s easy to see the Hardwire as a step backwards. After all, in an ideal world the ‘More Roads’ plan, which would have brought Harley into completely new fields including adventure bikes, naked roadsters, even sports bikes, could have transformed the company’s image. However, that might be a rose-tinted view to take.

Sure, expansion is a good thing, but the risks were at least as big as the potential gains. After all, every one of the new markets that ‘More Roads’ proposed to enter was already populated by other manufacturers, all with years of experience and product development focussed on those fields. Just as firms like Honda or BMW have always struggled to get a foothold in Harley’s cruiser territory, the chances are that H-D would have hit rocks in its efforts to muscle in on markets dominated by others. Worse, the focus on new goals brought the risk of Harley taking its eye off the ball in the US cruiser market that it dominates, opening the door to rivals who’d be only too happy to take a slice of that pie.

So what are the ‘Hardwire’ ideas? According to the firm, the first priority is profit. Not something that customers might want to hear – after all, it’s their money that goes into those profits – but shareholders will no doubt be happy.

The route to more profit is, according to the plan, strengthening Harley’s position in the touring, large cruiser and trike segments. In other words, focussing on the bikes that the company already sells rather than putting all its hope into potential future products.

Next up comes ‘selective expansion’, with the focus on the headline model from 2018’s plan that has survived the cull – the Pan America adventure bike. Virtually every bike firm on the planet has looked on with envy as BMW romps from sales record to sales record with successive generations of the R1250GS, and it’s a market that Harley believes it can take a bite from. The bike’s full reveal will come later this month along with more news of another survivor of the ‘More Roads’ plan, the as-yet-nameless cruiser that bears the same water-cooled Revolution Max engine that debuts in the Pan America.

Electric bikes – a field that Harley has become an unlikely leader in after the development efforts that went into the LiveWire – will also play a part in the firm’s future. Harley is creating a separate division to focus on electric products, separating them from its main R&D efforts. During a conference call when the plans were announced, Zeitz suggested that the near-term future for electric motorcycles remained urban transport, perhaps a hint that the planned Harley electric scooter that’s been in development for a couple of years will be the next move in that direction.

Elsewhere, Harley wants to grow its non-motorcycle business, the parts and accessories, merchandise and financial services arms of the company that have long provided a reliable back-up income stream. As part of this, the firm plans to create a used bike resale scheme – Harley-Davidson Certified – for customers who want a factory-approved second-hand Harley.

During the announcement of the Hardwire plan, Zeitz mentioned more than once that the firm is going to be staying quiet about upcoming models until their launches – a significant reversal from the ‘More Roads’ plan which set out a detailed roadmap of several years’ of planned model introductions and one that means in future the firm isn’t going to be in the uncomfortable position of cancelling bikes that it had previously announced. That’s exactly what happened with the Bronx streetfighter, which was pulled from the firm’s plans just months before it was due to go on sale, having again been part of the ‘More Roads’ expansion strategy.

It’s worth noting, however, that despite a renewed focus on the US market and established product areas, Harley’s extensive footnotes to its plan reveal it still intends to ‘develop and maintain’ a relationship with Chinese firm Qianjiang, which is developing the proposed Harley 338R small-capacity parallel twin, and a relationship with Hero MotoCorp in India, which will be distributing Harleys there and also using the brand’s name on Indian-developed products in the future.

The rest of Harley’s announcements today related to the firm’s financial performance in 2020, which was understandably deeply impacted by the COVID pandemic.

For the full year, the firm’s overall revenue was down 24%. In 2020 the firm shipped 145,246 bikes, down 32% on 2019’s total, with ‘touring’ and ‘cruiser’ models making up more than 76% of those machines, while the smaller ‘Street’ and ‘Sportster’ ranges combined added up to less than 24%.

Winter Riding Destinations from Cycle Trader

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For many of us around the country, the colder months have hit… and they’ve hit hard. Looking for a warm-weather escape so you take that bike out of storage? We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite warm-weather rides perfect for cruising this time of year. You can send us a postcard to thank us later. You can send any season riding story to Bikernet.

Pack your bags and beat the winter blues by checking out one or more of these winter riding destinations.

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Honda Gives the Gold Wing Bigger Trunk and Android Auto

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

Not a week has passed in the new year and Japanese bike maker Honda already announced the first changes to the lineup for the 2021 model year. As you might have guessed, these changes first and foremost target the iconic Gold Wing family.

The touring bike line, in production in the Japanese stables since 1974, bets even more on its ability to handle whatever needs the rider has for long stretches of road. With that in mind, the biggest change pertains to the trunk capacity of the Gold Wing Tour.

According to the Japanese, the trunk can now hold two full-face helmets, thanks to an increase in capacity by 11 liters, to a total of 61 liters. Additionally, the passenger seat has been improved by giving it a “more relaxed angle” and taller profile, but also by making it of thicker foam.

Last but not least, the 45-watt speakers have been bettered as well, there is now a standard XM radio antenna, and optimized automatic volume-adjustment. The bike family now also supports Android Auto alongside the existing Apple CarPlay integration.

“Honda listens to its customers, a fact that is highlighted in our latest new-model announcement,” said in a statement Lee Edmunds, Senior Manager of Powersports Marketing for American Honda.

“In the case of the Gold Wing and our smallest street-legal CRF models, the 2021 iterations reflect improvements that were highly requested by people who ride them every day, and the motorcycles are better as a result. We look forward to customers getting the chance to experience the updates themselves.”

Sporting all red turn signals as the single most important visual upgrade, the new Gold Wing family goes on sale in February in five variants, with prices starting at $23,900 for the standard version and going to as high as $32,600 for the Gold Wing Tour Air Bag DCT.

Advisor Uses Motorcycle Trips To Inspire Herself And Clients

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by Karen DeMasters from https://www.fa-mag.com

Financial advisor Rachel Sloan uses her cross-country trips on her BMW motorcycle—one of them alone—to help her live in the moment. She then tries to transfer that spark to her clients.

Sloan, who spent a decade working on Wall Street, has changed her life more than once to get as much fulfillment out of her circumstances as possible. She wants her clients to plan for the future, but also not miss the joy of the present.

“Sometimes we get sparks in our lives,” Sloan said in a recent interview. “I was talking to a friend on day who said she had wanted to try hot yoga for six years but had not done it. That made me look at my life to see what I wanted to do that I hadn’t done, and it was learn to ride a motorcycle.”

That initial inspiration led Sloan to ride across the United States, from her home in Glens Falls, N.Y., twice, once to the West Coast and once to the Midwest.

“I always wanted a BMW and within a few days of making that decision, I was at the dealer and bought a motorcycle,” Sloan remembers. “I had them deliver the motorcycle to my house because I did not feel comfortable taking it for a test drive. I learned to ride and a whole new world of people and places opened up to me.”

She joined the BMW Riders Association and learned the group was holding a rally in Portland, Ore. “I thought that would be perfect. That was in 2013. A 70-year-old friend joined me,” she said. Sloan and her friend rode across the United States, camping along the way. She took 30 days off from work for the trip and wrote about her experience in a series of stories for her local weekly newspaper and for a blog. “People in town felt like they traveled with me and when I got back, they felt they knew me.”

It was not the first time she had made a drastic change in her life. After graduating from college, she moved to New Mexico from New York and sold life insurance. “But I decided I was really a New York City person and returned to the East Coast.” She spent a decade on Wall Street at Bankers Trust, Morgan Stanley and Chase Manhattan Bank, which is now JPMorgan Chase. Then the slower pace of life in Upstate New York began to pull her and she moved to the area in the early 2000s and worked for Merrill Lynch, But large firms had lost their appeal and in 2009 she started the sole-proprietorship firm, Sloan Advisory Group in Glens Falls, so she could work with individuals.

“While I was working for large firms, friends and acquaintances would ask me questions about their finances and I realized there is a lot of bad advice out there. I thought I could help,” she said. “I love connecting with people and hearing about their lives. Relationships are everything in life. Between riding cross country and through my work I have met some wonderful people who are living joyously.”

Sloan Advisory Group, which has $35 million in AUM and 40 clients, serves young professionals and couples, clients approaching retirement and widows and widowers.

“My clients, many of whom have been with me a long time, are pretty awesome people,” she said.

HOG Heaven 2020 CVOs

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117-Inch, High Tech, Street Glide CVO

Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations has always set the gold standard of style and luxury.

All three 2020 CVOs get the Milwaukee-Eight 117 motor. This powerplant is exclusive to the CVO line. It has the highest displacement of a stock Harley-Davidson, and more power than any other Motor Company showroom engine. With an elegant blaze of red paint, the engine features an incredible color mix of accented rocker box lows. With 125 ft/lbs of torque, the M8 117 is amazing. You are looking over the top of 100mph before you blink.

Harley Davidson’s 2020 CVO Street glide is a hybrid of many advanced technologies that guarantee both control and confidence while on it. The bike’s systems are configured to produce excellent control including chassis control, including electronic brake control and powertrain technology.

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Five tips that you must know to prepare for an amazing motorcycle road trip

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from https://www.traveldailynews.com

Be it your first or hundredth road trip; preparation is a must thing. It is essential to consider all the aspects before you hit the road. The right preparation leads to a comfortable and worry-free ride.

Being on a motorcycle road trip is one of the best experiences. Nothing is as impressive as being on a long motorcycle ride all alone; there’s just your thoughts and solitude to accompany you. If you are looking for a bit of fun this summer with some added adrenaline rush, rent a motorcycle in San Francisco or get your own one and hit the road for some of the best rides of the country.

With that being said, before you set out for your long-distance motorbike ride, our frequent bikers bring you some useful tips that sure can make your two-wheel voyage much better.

Be it your first or hundredth road trip; preparation is a must thing. It is essential to consider all the aspects before you hit the road. The right preparation leads to a comfortable and worry-free ride.

So without a further ado, let’s dive right into the 5 most important tips you should never miss.

Choose the best bike for you and reduce your baggage
A road trip on an uncomfortable bike can get you in the worst place, and that’s not the experience one would want to go through. If you are on the move for a lively and adventurous motorcycle ride, choose your ride wisely. Ensure it suits your body and will function the same in the long run. If you have your own bike, you can modify it to improve the comfort level. However, if you are renting one, do your research and consult with the party you are dealing with to get the best.

Choose a bike that you can easily take care of. As long as off-road trips are concerned, bikes that have softer seats, great headlights, agreeable handlebars and safety guards will be the best options. Do not fall for just the appearance of the motorcycle as that should be the last thing on the list. A comfortable ride is your first step towards the smooth and enjoyable road trip.

Moving to the packing tips for beginners, you can find plenty of options for luggage carries in the market. Our experts suggest saddlebags as they are easy to transport. You can fix them on the sides of the back seat of your bike and ride without any burden. If you are looking for options, tail bags, and tank bags can be a great deal.

Once you decide what type of bag you are going to take with you, choosing the amount of luggage is your next crucial step. No matter how much distance you are planning to cover, remember to keep your luggage as light as possible. Carry fewer clothes, sachets, and disposable stuff to maintain the ideal weight. It is recommended to make a list before you start packing your bag.

Drink plenty of water and take breaks along the way
Sadly, many riders do not really give importance to the concept of ‘hydration’. The reality is, it should be in the top 3 critical things throughout your ride. Therefore, keep a proper back up of water while you are in action. Keeping the body hydrated should be the priority, and if you do not like stopping again and again to drink water, get a hydration pack. Such packs keep the water cold and come with a long tube that helps you drink water on the go without stopping.

About breaks, they are necessary to be on the top of your game. When you do not rest while travelling, a continuous sitting on a bike causes saddle sores. If your body is asking to stop, be wise enough to understand the signal and act accordingly. If you do not take required rest, it will unnecessarily lengthen your journey and turn it into a frustrating one. While on a break, check if your bike is in the right conditions or if it needs refueling. Being careful and attentive can save you from unwanted glitches that can ruin your trip.

Prefer off hours eating
It is always ideal to hit the restaurants or cafes at the off hours while on a road trip. Why? Well, most of the people usually stop at restaurants on the regular dinner and lunchtime. If you enter the place at the same time, the chances of spending hours in a waiting queue are more. This can delay your journey and eventually ruin your plans. If you can adjust, off-hours eating can save you from long lines and unexpected delays.

Map is your best friend, don’t lose it
We cannot remember all the roads, and thus, it is better to rely on the helping hand; in this scenario — GPS, maps, etc. If you are ready to invest a bit more, you can purchase a helmet with Bluetooth connection. It guides you throughout the trip without having to stop.

In the case of remote locations with no network availability, going old school can help. Keeping the hand copy of maps is your way to be on the right track. If not that accurate, it can at least tell you what area you are currently in.

Don’t forget your earphones
Well, not all highways are quiet and peaceful. Sometimes, they can be extremely loud and annoying. Earplugs can come to the rescue in such time and save you from immense pressure on your ears. If you are a music lover, headphones can be a great alternative. After all, what can be better than a solo bike trip with the music you love?

Final words
To ensure the best bike ride:

  1. Get your bike thoroughly checked before you begin your journey.
  2. Get done with a little bit of tweaking your bike if needed.
  3. Always carry spares to stay away from difficult times on the highway.

By spares, we mean things like accelerator cables, brake cables, tubes, etc.

Finally, we know it is very tempting to go for a cooler and more powerful bike. Throw that temptation away! Just because you have handled the bike nicely on a test ride, it does not mean that you are the master. Instead, move up to a more smart, sensible and comfortable option.

Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special Possibly the best big cruiser in the world

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by Fraser Addecott from https://www.mirror.co.uk

A huge engine with oodles of torque on tap, plus all the latest electronic wizardry – including sound system – make this Harley one of the ultimate touring bikes

If your idea of what defines a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is a big, powerful, laid-back tourer, this is surely it.

The Street Glide Special is all of the above – and more.

In fact, big and powerful are understatements.

Harley’s best-selling model is driven by the awesome air/oil-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine.

That 1868cc V-twin pumps out 120ft lb of torque.

But this bike is not just about muscle – there’s refinement too.

irst of all it looks stunning, with lusciously deep paintwork (in a range of seven colours) and on-trend blacked-out everything else.

Climb aboard and settle into that plush seat, and you’re presented with a console which resembles something you might find on an aircraft.

Grouped behind the batwing fairing are four clocks, a large touchscreen infotainment display, two speakers and even the two mirrors.

That 6.5in Boom! Box GTS screen has pinch, drag and swipe functions, even with gloves on, so you can move through the navigation, music, communications and weather options.

It’s all connected to your phone via Bluetooth or can be plugged in.

With the key fob safely in your jacket pocket, hit the start button and that V-twin roars into life sounding the way only a big Harley can sound.

For me, the big fairing and console create a psychological impression that the front end is going to be heavy and unmanageable.

The Glide is by no means light and it’s true home is out on the open road as opposed to nipping in and out of traffic around town, but it’s actually more manoeuvrable and controllable than you might think.

That’s helped by the low seat height, which means you can always get your boots firmly planted on the tarmac.

The engine is a delight, with oodles of torque on hand when you twist the throttle in any of the six gears, and shifting smooth but firm.

The suspension is as plush as the rest of the bike looks, with non-adjustable Showa Dual Bending Valve front forks and manually adjustable rear set-up.

At speed, the bike is beautifully stable and through the bends, well, obviously this is no sportsbike, but it performs admirably, holding a line with no cause for concern.

The Glide comes with Harley’s Reflex Defensive Rider System.

This includes ABS and electronically linked front and rear braking, cornering traction control, drag-torque slip control – which prevents the rear wheel slipping under harsh deceleration – hill-start control and tyre pressure monitoring.

As with all Harleys, none of this comes cheap, but it’s a fantastic all-round package and you’ll be riding one of the best big cruisers on the planet.

The Facts: H-D Street Glide Special

Engine: 1868cc V-twin

Max power: 89bhp

Max torque: 120ft lb

Price: £22,895

The Gift of an Experience

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What can you give someone as a gift who deserves the world? An experience to remember. What kind of experience can you gift someone who loves to ride? You can rent a motorcycle for them in a beautiful place that they’ve never ridden—and plan some awesome routes. Here is a little about my experience with Twisted Road; maybe you’ll find inspiration to give someone the gift of a motorcycle trip (or treat yourself to one!).

A Little Backstory & Our Dilemma

My name is Avory, and I grew up in Michigan; my whole family still lives there. But for me, that cliché thing happened where “the mountains called,” and you know… Colorado got me. For my mom’s birthday this year, I wanted to share the beauty of Colorado’s canyon roads, rivers, and mountains with her. She’s been riding basically her whole life, but she hasn’t ridden outside of a few midwestern states. I figured the best way to do that was to throw motorcycle exploring into the mix.

Then comes our dilemma: for the sake of time and convenience, I didn’t want to have my mom ride her baby, an Indian Chief Classic, all the way from Michigan to Colorado by herself. Renting her a bike was the first thought I had. While there are a few motorcycle rental companies out there, I found that Twisted Road provided the best inventory of motorcycle brands and model choices. Everyone has their preferences, and my mom is loyal to her Indian Motorcycles. Through Twisted Road, I found the only Indian for rent in all of Colorado—and it was perfect for her.

The Reservation & Rental Pickup Experience

Finding the bike on Twisted Road was easy—the website is very user friendly, and for those looking for something specific, the filters come in very handy. I was able to filter by brand to find the Indian Scout, and was very excited to see it available.

When we went to pick it up, the owner, Derek, was really cool (as most everyone I’ve met in the motorcycle community has been!). He did a walk-around and explained the aftermarket parts he’d put on, checked the air pressure in the tires, and let us know to call or text him with any questions. It was a super easy process! Kickstand up and we were on our way.

Our Riding & Adventures in Colorado

We only had 2.5 days of actual riding, but managed to get out to some pretty awesome places. We rode Rist Canyon through Stove Prairie up to The Mishawaka for dinner out on their deck over the water; it’s a must. Sunset above the canyon and Cache la Poudre River is incredibly beautiful. The Poudre Canyon out to Estes Park was also an awesome experience. My mom’s face when she got off of her rented Indian was like a kid on Christmas; it was the best gift I could’ve given her. She said it was the best ride she’s been on in her life.

Overall, it was an incredible experience that we’ll never forget. I think everyone could use some throttle therapy this year. There are so many beautiful places to go see, and doing so by motorcycle makes them all the more enjoyable. Whether you’re able to fly or road-trip, this is your sign that you need to pick a spot on the map and find a bike to ride for when you get there. You won’t regret it.

As mentioned before, the motorcycle community has brought some really amazing people into my life. If you’d like to connect, follow me on Instagram, @_aaaves!

CHECK OUT https://www.twistedroad.com

This Hulking BMW K1200LT Is A Half-Ton Triking Heavyweight

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by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://www.rideapart.com

1,200 pounds of three-wheeled fury.

For some riders, a BMW K1200LT is the perfect touring machine. The big Beemer is designed to transport you and a passenger—or just a whole bunch of stuff you need to carry—in absolute, confidence-inspiring comfort. Could it be bigger, though? More comfortable? More stable? More… everything? Well, if this video is anything to go by, it absolutely can.

Behold, a K1200LT trike! It’s outfitted with a Hannigan trike conversion kit—which adds around 320 pounds and a ton of extra stability—and a five-gallon auxiliary fuel tank to keep you going even longer on your journey. As you might guess, the cost of the kit alone isn’t cheap—currently $8,995 at the time of writing, and that’s not including any installation.

So, as SRK Cycles suggests in this video, you might save yourself money, time, and effort by buying one that’s already been converted. Now, I personally haven’t witnessed many BMW trikes in my area; both Harley and Honda Gold Wing trikes are much more commonly spotted around here. If you’re looking to stand out while staying stable and comfortable, that might be one way to do it.

The K1200LT came with a reverse gear from BMW, which is a definite plus if you’re contemplating turning it into a trike. If you thought the regular motorcycle was a bit of a bear to maneuver backward before, just imagine what happens when you add an extra 320 pounds to the total weight—not counting the weight of a rider, passenger, and/or assorted stuff you might carry on a trip. Weight at the curb for a K1200LT is around 833 pounds, so the total is up to around 1,200 pounds by the time the conversion is complete.

Will this three-wheeler be as much of a conversation starter as, say, a sidecar? Unlikely, but you’re probably not looking at those two three-wheelers for the same reasons, anyway. If you’re thinking of going the trike route, opting for a nicely finished, well thought-out version is always going to make you happier in the long run than cheaping out.