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Harley Davidson bikers enjoy Jaber Causeway morning ride

By | General Posts

by Ben Garcia from https://news.kuwaittimes.net

As part of US Embassy’s ‘Discover America’ activities

KUWAIT: US Charge d’Affairs and Deputy Chief of Mission Larry L Memmott flagged off on Friday a Harley Davidson motorcycle ride on one of the longest bridges in the world – Sheikh Jaber Causeway. It was part of the activities of 11-day Discover America 2019 event being held in Kuwait.

“I am happy to be here to inaugurate this event. It’s a 10-day demonstration of our culture, tradition, musical, food, restaurants, business, cars, education and today, motorbikes,” said Memmott. “Harley Davidson is a proudly American brand; in fact, it’s very iconic. It’s part of our cultural heritage and we are very proud of their achievements. If we talk about Harley Davidson, it’s about tradition and history, because they are in existence for the last 116 years and counting and will be there perhaps forever,” he said.

Riders from various nationalities participated in the event, which started from the Harley Davidson showroom in the Free Trade Zone in Shuwaikh down to Subiya via Jaber Causeway and back. “We are happy to host this major as event part of Discover America. We have participants from all over Kuwait; they hail from various nationalities and backgrounds. I think we have more than 100 bikers. They are here to support us,” Memmott said.

Prior to the motorcycle ride, bikers gathered at the Harley Davidson showroom for breakfast and a briefing. Harley Davidson is also offering a 25 percent discount on all its merchandise displayed at the showroom. “Please visit and be there in the remaining days of event as we want to demonstrate mostly American brands; participating outlets normally give major discounts to everyone. Just like Sultan Center – they have more than 4,000 products on display and they are all from America. Most of the items will be offered at a discounted price. Also, we have seminars and business opportunities for everyone – we have movies and concerts too,” Memmott added.

Discover America is an annual event organized by the US Embassy in partnership with the American Business Council of Kuwait to promote US products and services. This year’s event is being sponsored by Ali Al-Mutawa Commercial Company, McDonalds, Cadillac by Alghanim, Del Monte, Francorp and IFA Travel and Tourism.

Harley struggles to fire up new generation of riders with electric bike debut

By | General Posts

by Rajesh Kumar Singh from https://www.reuters.com/

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) is betting on electric motorcycles to attract the next generation of younger and more environmentally conscious riders to reverse declining U.S. sales.

But as Harley ships its first “LiveWire” bikes – priced at $29,799 – to dealers, there is little evidence the 116-year-old brand is catching on with new young customers.

The problem lies mostly with this “super-premium” product’s price. The bike costs nearly as much as a Tesla Model 3, and aims for a market that does not really exist: young, “green” and affluent first-time motorcyclists.

The sleek sport bike has been available for preorder in the United States since January. However, the bulk of the orders are coming in from existing and old riders, according to interviews with 40 of the 150 dealerships nationwide that are carrying the bike this year.

The dealers Reuters spoke with account for little over a quarter of LiveWire dealerships and are spread across Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, California, Nevada, New Jersey and New York.

Harley has for years failed to increase sales in the United States, its top market accounting for more than half of its motorcycles sold. As its tattooed, baby-boomer base ages, the Milwaukee-based company is finding it challenging to woo new customers.

In 2018, Harley posted the steepest sales decline in four years in the United States. U.S. sales are tipped to fall again this year.

Harley Davidson’s U.S. Retail Sales

Grappling with an ageing customer base and the waning charm for its big bikes, Harley has failed to post sales growth in the United States – its biggest market – in the past four years.

The heavyweight motorcycle maker’s stock price has declined by 42% in the past five years. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index .SPX has gained 47%.

Price Barrier
When Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich announced LiveWire’s launch last year, his hope was the ease of riding motorcycles with no gears or clutch would help attract young and environmentally conscious urban riders.

In an interview with Reuters in February 2018, Levatich said the bike would help address Harley’s demographic problem.

“It is more about the next century than the last century,” he said at the time.

The preorders, thus far, have belied those hopes, according to the dealers.

“It is appealing to a demographic that is already riding,” said Gennaro Sepe, a sales manager at a Harley dealership in Chicago. His store has received four preorders for the bike. All of them are from existing riders.

Harley declined to comment on LiveWire preorders.

The motorcycle maker is not the only company investing in battery-powered transportation.

Tougher emissions rules in Europe, China and the United States are forcing auto companies to switch to electrified models. A survey of U.S. millennial motorcyclists, published in February by the Motorcycle Industry Council, found 69% of the riders interested in electric motorcycles.

Harley’s dealers said they are getting inquiries from young customers, but are struggling to translate them into sales. A key reason: LiveWire’s retail price.

“Interest is very high,” said a sales manager at a New Jersey-based dealership, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to media. “But once you get to pricing, interest is thrown out of the window.”

Over half of young college graduates in America, whom Harley is courting with battery-powered bikes, are saddled with student loans that entail average repayment of $200 to $300 per month.

Harley is not offering any discount or incentives to push the sales, either, the dealers said.

In an interview with CNBC television in May, Levatich called LiveWire “one of the best engineered products on the market” and said it was worth its price.

Gary Jon Prough, general sales manager at a dealership in Countryside, Illinois, said the vast majority of millennials cannot afford the bike as LiveWire is targeted at young and affluent customers with incomes above $100,000 a year.

Tesla’s Way

To drive up sales, Prough and other dealers expect Harley to go Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) way: launch more affordable battery-powered vehicles after creating a buzz with the premium model.

Tesla’s first electric car cost over $100,000, but prices came down with subsequent models. Its Model 3 now comes with a base price of $35,000 and was instrumental in lifting its vehicle deliveries to a record level in the latest quarter.

Traditional Harley Davidson entry-level bikes cost about $6,900.

The motorcycle maker has plans to bring out four more electrified models in the mid-power, low-power, e-bicycles and kids’ two-wheeler segments by 2022.

But unlike Tesla, Harley does not enjoy the true first mover’s advantage.

California-based Zero Motorcycles is already selling electric bikes in the United States with retail prices ranging from $8,500 to $21,000. Its top-end bike – SR/F – is similar to LiveWire, but costs nearly $9,000 less.

Still, Bob Clark, a dealer for Zero’s bikes in Chicago, says he has not yet sold one SR/F to riders under the age of 35. All three electric bikes he sold to young riders this year were in the $10,000 price range.

“Young riders are environmentally conscious, but are also very price-sensitive,” Clark said.

It is not just pricing. LiveWire’s limited range is also hampering its sales.

The bike can travel 146 miles (235 km) in the city or 95 miles in combined city and highway riding per charge. An ordinary household outlet can provide an overnight charge, while Level 3 direct current fast chargers stationed at Harley dealers will fully charge the bike in 60 minutes.

This renders LiveWire less effective for longer-distance rides, limiting its appeal among rural riders who prefer touring bikes.

Seven Harley dealerships told Reuters they have not even bothered ordering the bike, which would require investing in a Level 3 charging station and training staff.

An Ohio-based dealer, who had initially signed up for LiveWire, said he pulled out at the last minute as he was not sure of the bike’s demand in his area.

Delayed Arrival

A delay in LiveWire’s arrival in stores has left the dealers in the Midwest and the East Coast with hardly a month to aggressively push the bike before the snow season sets in. Winter generally means a lull for motorcycle sales.

When dealers began taking preorders, the delivery was expected in August, but was later shifted to September. On Sept. 30, the dealers Reuters spoke with were still waiting for the first bike.

In a Twitter post on Oct. 2, Harley said the bikes are starting to arrive at authorized dealers. The tweet also carried a picture of the first LiveWire that was “rolled off the line” at its York, Pennsylvania, facility in late September.

With the demand rather limited, the dealers said, Harley has decided to keep the supplies tight in order to protect the bike’s brand value and prevent any price-discounting pressure. The dealers said they are all expecting to receive less than 10 LiveWires this year.

James Hardiman, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, reckons Harley would sell between 400 and 1,600 LiveWires in the first year. That is not even 1% of the 228,051 bikes it sold worldwide last year.

“This is going to be largely a rounding error certainly this year and even next,” Hardiman said.

Colony Machine H-D Hardware, since 1969

By | General Posts

Owner of Colony Machine, Mark Borcoman, by their newest CNC turning center.

Lowbrow Customs is the only place, world-wide, that you can find every single Colony Machine product (over 3,500!). Founded in 1969, Colony produces top-quality, made in the USA hardware for Harley-Davidsons 1911 to current. Their new 2019 catalog just came out and contains hundreds of new parts.

Click here to download the Colony Machine catalog as a PDF file. Perfect for quick reference or for printing out just the pages you need.

You can also shop Colony products at Lowbrow Customs.

A U.S. Ally Is Turning to China to ‘Build, Build, Build’

By | General Posts

The Philippines is converting a historic American military base into a city. Its key funder? China.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte checks the scope of a rifle at a ceremony marking the turnover of free Chinese military assistance to the Philippines at Clark Air Base in June 2017.Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

CLARK, Philippines—Vince Dizon makes sure his guests take in the view from his ninth-story office before they leave. A set of windows looks out over a hazy, expansive airfield that was the center of the United States’ largest overseas military base, until it was handed back to the Philippines in 1991.

The concrete skeleton of a new commercial-airline terminal can now be seen in the distance. Dizon, who leads the Philippine government agency charged with redeveloping old military sites, is fond of telling visitors that the Americans built a runway of such quality that the U.S. Space Shuttle could have landed on it.

Three decades on, the area is still dotted with vestiges of Clark Air Base, where Americans first established a presence during the Spanish American War while searching for grazing land for their horses. A manicured veterans cemetery is managed by the U.S. government; a building that was once a base hospital sits abandoned outside the gates of a new water park; an American Legion post is wedged between two “entertainment bars”—the infamous red-light district, which flourished thanks to demand from U.S. troops, didn’t leave when they did.

Now, though, the Chinese, not the Americans, are the ones fueling investments here. Officials from Dizon’s agency, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, and China’s Gezhouba Group, an engineering and construction company that has moved aggressively into foreign markets in recent years, are finalizing the details of a $2 billion, 500-hectare industrial park, Dizon told me, while Chinese loans will fund a railway linking Clark to the coastal city of Subic, the site of a former U.S. naval base. Separately, Chinese firms are also angling to take over a failing shipyard in Subic.

The projects are part of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s aptly, if not creatively, named “Build Build Build” economic strategy, under which the government plans to transform the Clark base into a green, disaster-resilient, stand-alone city that developers hope will relieve pressure on Manila, the perpetually gridlocked capital some 60 miles south.

Chinese investment in what will be known as New Clark City “is critical,” Dizon said in an interview. “It is how it all started.” He sees the investments as symbols of a “newfound friendship and relationship” between Manila and Beijing. It is one of several similar projects launched across the Philippines, and across Southeast Asia, as China and Chinese companies plow money into projects, largely as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s much-touted Belt and Road Initiative. The globe-spanning infrastructure and investment program has been criticized by Washington, but has nevertheless won admirers: Last month, Italy became the first major European economy to join.

This redevelopment of a former symbol of American might here in Clark by a Chinese developer may be the best example of the shift under way in Southeast Asia, as a more assertive Beijing courts traditional American allies in a part of the world where Washington’s power long went unchallenged. “It is so important,” Dizon, who worked on Duterte’s presidential campaign in communications and was appointed to his current job by the president, said. “I think it will be one of the major legacies of this shift in foreign policy under President Duterte.”

Though Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines say they still need an American military presence in their backyard and fear a rising China—Duterte himself has told Beijing to “lay off” an island claimed by the Philippines in the South China Sea—a debate is raging on what that relationship with Washington should now look like. Analysts that I spoke with noted worries in the region that President Donald Trump’s White House appeared uninterested in Southeast Asia compared with its predecessors. At the same time, staunch American allies, including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, have looked to China as the rare country that is hungry to sink billions into infrastructure projects and fund development.

To be sure, China’s efforts in Southeast Asia have not been without difficulties. Beijing has inserted itself as a power broker in Myanmar’s (also called Burma) long-running civil wars and Rohingya crisis, and has stirred public resentment as it pushes to restart a highly controversial, and currently suspended, hydropower dam project. Though Malaysia has recently revived two major Chinese-backed projects, it had initially turned away Belt and Road investments whose price tags became too high to bear. And even as the Philippines invites Chinese investment, it has almost no security relationship with Beijing. (By contrast, Manila maintains exceptionally close ties with Washington, its former colonizer, which is still widely trusted and respected here.)

Read: China is quietly reshaping the world

Yet the shift in ties between the Philippines, as well as much of the rest of Southeast Asia, and the U.S. is clear. Vacancies for ambassadorships in the region have piled up and include Singapore and Thailand. Trump in March nominated an ambassador to ASEAN, the regional bloc, after a more than two year vacancy, and Patrick Murphy, the nominee for ambassador to Cambodia, continues to face confirmation delays. David Stilwell, nominated last year to be assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, also has yet to be confirmed.

Barack Obama—who lived for part of his childhood in Indonesia—took a particular interest in Southeast Asia, and while his administration’s “pivot to Asia,” meant to be a centerpiece of his foreign-policy legacy, was never fully realized, even those limited efforts have not been replicated. A 2016 summit convened by Obama with Southeast Asian leaders, the first of its kind, has not been held again. After attending part of the 2017 ASEAN Summit, Trump skipped two Southeast Asia–focused meetings last year.

The Trump administration has defended its handling of Southeast Asia. In particular, the White House has sent a large number of officials to visit the region. Murphy, who currently serves as the principal deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, met with Southeast Asian officials in March to “reaffirm our embrace of ASEAN centrality.” An increased number of military operations in the South China Sea have also been a central, and highly visible, part of the administration’s efforts to push back on China’s combativeness in the contested waters. And Washington, which will publish an Indo-Pacific strategy report this year, has announced new funds for technological and infrastructure initiatives across Southeast Asia, though the amounts on offer are a fraction of what China is spending.

These moves are not gaining much traction. A February survey of 1,008 Southeast Asian experts, business leaders, and policy makers by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, a think tank in Singapore, found that 68 percent believed that U.S. engagement with the region has either decreased or decreased substantially. A similar proportion were unsure of, or had little confidence in, Washington’s reliability as a strategic partner and provider of regional security. Separate surveys last year from the Pew Research Center and Gallup found Trump’s image remains poor internationally, while countries continue to recognize the rising power of China.

Read: China’s plan to buy influence and undermine democracy

“How can you reportedly be spending so much time in Asia and yet not [be] reassuring anybody by doing it?” Greg Poling, director of the Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me. “There is a sentiment in Southeast Asia that U.S. officials come in and want to lecture about the things that matter to us and don’t have nearly enough patience for the things that matter to Asian partners.”

Nina Hachigian, who served as the U.S. ambassador to ASEAN during the Obama administration, said she doesn’t see “the strategic vision for Asia as a whole and what the U.S. role and interests are.” Hachigian, who now works in the Los Angeles mayor’s office, added that China could exploit that to tell regional allies “that we can’t be trusted, that we are not really Asian anyway, that we are unreliable, that we will leave, that we are only in it for our own interests.”

China’s infrastructure-building is perhaps something that the U.S. does not want to, or cannot, compete with—Manila’s finance secretary, Carlos Dominguez III, for example, publicly lamented last year that American investors “have no interest” in the country’s redevelopment plans. But the U.S.’s once rock-solid defense ties may also be under pressure.

Recent focus in Manila has been on the Mutual Defense Treaty, which was signed in 1951, five years after the Philippines gained independence from Washington. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in March reassured the Philippines that the U.S. would come to the country’s defense if it were attacked in the South China Sea—a significant statement that aimed to address long-standing consternation here over the lack of a firm American position on the issue. But just a week later, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that it was not the lack of reassurances that worried him, but rather that the Philippines would be drawn into “a war that we do not seek and do not want,” noting that increased U.S. naval operations meant the Philippines “is more likely to be involved in a shooting war.”

While stressing that the two countries remain steadfast allies, Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to Manila, admitted to me in an interview that “it may not be the simplest time to be working on the U.S.-Philippines relationship for various reasons.” He pointed to “political rhetoric” from the infamously brash Duterte as one of the factors that complicated the relationship. The U.S., Kim said, was looking at whether “any adjustments could be made to update and improve” the 1951 treaty, issues that might be “identified together” with counterparts from the Philippines. (Changes to the text of the treaty, though, would require ratification from lawmakers in both countries.)

Dizon’s concerns are more immediate: He is hoping to drum up more Chinese support for New Clark City. Local media reported that two deals were signed between China and the Philippines at a Belt and Road event in Beijing in April. As I said goodbye to Dizon after our interview, a team from Chinese state television was waiting outside his office, getting ready to film a story on the enormous construction project. The Clark development would, he told me as he walked to join them, “spur the long-term relationship between China and the Philippines.”

Trump warms to Harley Davidson, says EU tariffs ‘unfair’

By | General Posts

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to reverse course on Harley Davidson Inc, saying European tariffs facing the motorcycle manufacturer were “unfair” and vowing to reciprocate, after urging a boycott of the company last year amid a steel spat.

The Wisconsin-based company last year announced plans to move production of its motorcycles destined for the European Union to its overseas facilities from the United States to avoid EU tariffs imposed in response to Trump’s duties on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump retaliated by calling for higher taxes, threatening to lure foreign motorcycles to the United States, and backing a boycott of the iconic American motorcycle maker.

On Tuesday, Trump appeared more sympathetic, calling the EU tariffs “unfair” but giving no other details about any planned U.S. action in a tweet citing comments by a Fox Business Network host.

“So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!” Trump wrote.

On Saturday, Trump is scheduled to travel to Wisconsin to hold a campaign rally as he seeks reelection in the 2020 presidential election.

Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on any planned actions, as both the EU and the United States prepared to launch larger trade talks.

Representatives for Harley Davidson could not be immediately reached for comment on Trump’s tweet.

The company on Tuesday reported quarterly profit that surged past expectations and stuck to its full-year shipment forecasts amid concerns over falling U.S. sales and European import tariffs, sending its shares up 3 percent.

Bison Glove deal – limited time

By | General Posts

Limited Time only get our most popular Bison Glove for only $60. This short wrist American Bison glove is made in the USA. This glove also provides great tactility and dexterity. Each glove is hand antiqued and conditioned with an organic recipe. Each glove’s appearance is unique; no Scoundrel is the same. The cuff is finished off with a strong orange stitching. If you want good looks and quality workmanship look no further than the Scoundrel glove by Grifter Company.

This short wrist American Bison glove is made in the USA. This glove also provides great tactility and dexterity. Each glove is hand antiqued and conditioned with an organic recipe.

Each glove’s appearance is unique; no Scoundrel is the same.

The cuff is finished off with a strong orange stitching. If you want good looks and quality workmanship look no further than the Scoundrel glove by Grifter Company.

https://www.griftercompany.com/collections/gloves/products/scoundrels

Due to Demand of this Sale your gloves may take a up to a week to ship

Proclamation on Second Chance Month, 2019

By | General Posts

Americans have always believed in the power of redemption ‑‑ that those who have fallen can work toward brighter days ahead. Almost all of the more than two million people in America’s prisons will one day return to their communities. In each case, they will have served their sentence and earned the chance to take their places back in society. During Second Chance Month, we draw attention to the challenges that former inmates face and the steps we can take to ensure they have the opportunity to become contributing members of society.

Inmates are often eager to leave behind the challenges presented by incarceration. Too often, however, they find the transition to life outside of prison to be daunting. If they are not able to find jobs and housing and rebuild relationships with family and friends, they may find it harder to escape the cycle of reoffending. Sadly, 5 out of 6 State prisoners are rearrested within 9 years of their release, and more than a third of former Federal prisoners will be rearrested within 5 years of their release. In addition to the harm caused to the victims of crime, these high recidivism rates place a significant financial burden on taxpayers, deprive our labor force of productive workers, and leave families without spouses, children, and parents.

My Administration is committed to helping former prisoners reenter society as productive, law‑abiding citizens. For this reason, I signed into law the bipartisan FIRST STEP Act. This new legislation makes several positive reforms to increase the likelihood of successful prisoner reentry. The legislation provides improved opportunities for inmates to engage in educational coursework and vocational training, and establishes pilot mentorship programs. It also allows prisoners who successfully complete evidence‑based recidivism reduction programs to earn time credits to apply toward prerelease custody or supervised release, reducing their time in prison. Because maintaining family and community ties is key to a successful reentry into society, the bill includes provisions that allow inmates to be placed in facilities closer to their home communities, facilitating family visitation during their time of incarceration. Finally, the law makes adjustments to sentencing rules that will make our criminal justice system more fair, reducing penalties for certain drug offenders.

This month, we celebrate those who have exited the prison system and successfully reentered society and renew our commitment to providing support and resources that former inmates need to meet their responsibilities, rediscover their self‑worth, and benefit from the gift of a second chance. We also express our sincere gratitude to all those who play a significant role in helping reduce recidivism, including faith‑based and community organizations and employers willing to hire workers notwithstanding a criminal history. By reducing recidivism and putting former inmates on the path to success, we can reduce crime and enhance the safety of our communities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as Second Chance Month. I call on all Americans to commemorate this month with events and activities that raise public awareness about preventing crime and providing those who have completed their sentences an opportunity for an honest second chance.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

DONALD J. TRUMP

NEWS AT https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-second-chance-month-2019/

Enfield Twins North America Launch

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The highly anticipated Royal Enfield Twins — INT 650 and Continental GT 650 — are coming to North America!

This spring, you’ll have a chance to ride the Twins during an eight-city launch tour throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. We are excited to announce four stops and dates on the launch tour. Stay tuned for more details on what to expect, how to participate and additional locations:

• Miami, FL – May 10 – 12
• Milwaukee, WI – June 1 – 2
• Toronto, ON – June 6 – 8
• Denver, CO – June 14 – 15

2019 Himalayan model
Royal Enfield has debuted the 2019 Himalayan — now standard with ABS and a new, limited-edition color option, Sleet. The favorite adventure-touring model was introduced in North America last March and has taken the riding community by storm. With an MSRP of $4,749 in the U.S. and $5,925 in Canada, the new models will be available in dealer showrooms in the U.S. and Canada this April.

Grand Opening
Be sure to swing by and check out Royal Enfield at Spirit Motorcycles on April 13. Those in the Bay Area can come out, take a spin on a Royal Enfield and enjoy BBQ, music, giveaways and more. For more information, please visit www.SpiritMotorcycles.com.

One Ride Event
Spring is right around the corner, and so is One Ride. The annual global event brings Royal Enfield riders together to return to the joy of pure motorcycling on Sunday, April 28.

Last Call $500 Retail Promotion
It’s your last chance to take advantage of Royal Enfield North America’s spring offer. Extended until April 30, riders who purchase a new Classic 500 model will receive $500 worth of gear, including a branded motorcycle cover, jacket and a pair of saddlebags. The Royal Enfield Classic 500 has been a best-seller across the globe for more than a decade. The Classic 500 offers timeless styling and modern technology and now comes with a passenger seat, ABS and rear disc brakes as standard equipment.