Fast Motorcycle Industry News

Indian Motorcycle Dealers Disappearing: First, a big investment made to become an Indian Motorcycle King Mountain dealer during a period of long economic recession destroying the market of motorcycles over $35,000. Then, under Polaris, no true new Indian models until 2013 and maybe 2014, have discouraged or financially exhausted several dealers. After Wichita, Chicago and Toronto Canada, St Petersburg Florida has closed its Indian dealership. Does Polaris want, can or wish to keep any former Indian Motorcycle dealers? For now, not much that Polaris can do to support them. At this pace, it seems to me that when Polaris will be ready to launch new models, the network will be rebuilt only from a selection of existing Victory dealers.

Judge Rules Again That Towns Can’t Make Own Motorcycle Noise Rules. You know the story. Cities trying to impose limits on motorcycle noise that are stricter than what state law allows. Each time it is legally challenged by bikers, local ordinances are ruled illegal. It happens again this week. A Rockingham County, NH judge (Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHughha) ruled that “If each town in New Hampshire had the authority to enact different noise emission ordinances, the state would be subject to a checkerboard pattern of laws,” For example, a motorcyclist who complies with the state noise emission limit could be precluded from driving through a town because that town enacted a lower noise emission limit than the state. The judge’s decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Seacoast Motorcycles Inc., owner of the Seacoast Harley Davidson dealership in North Hampton, NH. Seacoast filed suit against the Town of North Hampton, successfully arguing that the town did not have legal authority to adopt its own motorcycle noise ordinance.

S&P Puts Harley-Davidson On Watch For Possible Upgrade. Noting expectations the motorcycle company’s credit measures will continue to improve due to restructuring efforts and strong operating trends. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has put its ratings on Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) on watch for a possible upgrade, The ratings firm has Harley’s corporate credit rating at triple-B, two notches into investment grade.

A LoJack Corporation Christmas Story: You all know that LoJack helps recover, among other vehicles, stolen motorcycles. A Sergeant First Class who had just returned from deployment in Afghanistan went to retrieve his 2009 Harley Softail that he stored in November 2010. He found out it had been stolen and reported the theft on Monday to the Everett (MA) Police Department, who activated the LoJack for Motorcycles System on the bike. Shortly after activation, officers with the Manchester, NH Police Department Auto Theft Unit began picking up the silent signal from the transponder hidden on the bike. They tracked the signal to a garage at a residence in Manchester. At the residence, the Manchester Police Auto Theft Unit executed a search warrant and were able to verify that the Harley was indeed the property of the Sergeant. The bike was recovered. Happy holidays, Sergeant.

27 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 Brett Dec 25th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I feel bad for dealers who invested 1 to 3 million on a King Mountain Indian dealership. Very unfair to them.

  2. 2 Harry Dec 25th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    City noise ordinances. All illegal. And towns continue to make their owns and just wait to be challenged in court. Shame.

  3. 3 ImagineThat Dec 25th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Wow a Judge that made a reasonable decision , imagine that some with common sense. I can’t see Indian surviving if they have a corporate model like this, How do they think they are going to sell any bikes, just through the factory direct marketing. I can’t see it.

  4. 4 Wolf Chop Dec 25th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Easy. They are going to sell through a selection of Victory dealers.

  5. 5 SnowRider Dec 25th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Any guesses how long the Minnesota Indian dealer will last. Doubt there’s enough oil in that well to keep it going. At some point the numbers don’t add up. Good luck Art Welch. It’s been fun reading your comments here. My guess is he’ll be making a paradigm shift pretty soon. Too bad.

  6. 6 Rick Lossner Dec 26th, 2011 at 7:35 am

    @snorider ….too bad?? Nothing like showing ones true colors. If I lived closer I’d be throwing a lot of business his way. One of the few that go over and beyond for customer service

  7. 7 Rogue Dec 26th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Noise ordiances and other laws that are not good for motorcycling Can Be Beat, all that has to happen is enough people speak out about them.
    There are plenty of laws on the books and many more being submitted in 2012. Become informed on the issues and then decide what is right for you.
    Once you are informed contact your elected official and let them know your feelings.Not everyone is going to agree and is okay.
    Just make sure you voice your opinion, I know I will be doing mine.

  8. 8 Art Welch Dec 26th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    @ rick… thanks Rick.

    @ Snow…….. you would love for me to respond to this on here… wouldn’t YA!!! =o)

  9. 9 Art Welch Dec 26th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Sadly, Pittsburg closed too.. Rob was a great Indian Dealer.

  10. 10 BobS Dec 26th, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Hate to see any dealer close, but was there really any alternative? Would the brand have even survived if Polaris hadn’t bought it? Down the road I see good things for the brand and it’s dealers but I think without the transition it was just a matter of time before it was dead again. You can’t build a nationwide network of dealers and have them be profitable when they only get to sell a few high priced units a year.

  11. 11 Victory Rider Dec 26th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Isn’t the Minnesota dealership the only mono-brand dealership left? I hear the Charlotte dealership just picked up Victory.

  12. 12 BadMonkeyMW Dec 26th, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    BobS is on the money here. A blind man could have seen this coming. Trying to resurrect the brand in the midst of a heavy recession with very high priced bikes was never going to work.

  13. 13 juanhunglow Dec 26th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Fresno, California sells Indians only and just moved into a new building. The Indian dealers knew full well what was in store for them. Long Term investment. The strong will survive, how it should be.

  14. 14 Rider2 Dec 26th, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I am surprised they didn’t let go Indian Motorcycle of Chicago, probably the worst dealer (any brands) in the nation.

  15. 15 Bago Dec 27th, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Polaris is the parent and will do things their way. Time for the next chapter in the book of Indian to play out. Blending Victory and Indian together at dealerships will grow both brands. It puts pressure on Harley to become more cost efficient and figure out how to sell their bikes to the 20-40 year old crowd. All in all it’s competition for American v-twin markets which eventually results in better and better bikes and more choices for riders.

    Have fun on vacation Art. Say high to the Taco Bell dog if ya see him. I always liked that lil guy.

  16. 16 Michael Infanzon Dec 27th, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Noise ordinance…

    Nice to see people are still fighting and not rolling over and playing dead. Cave Creek, AZ has a noise ordinance. Let’s see what the MRO’s here in AZ can do about now that precedence has been set. Another reason to support ABATE and other motorcycle rights organizations.

  17. 17 CafeSportyTC Dec 27th, 2011 at 11:15 am


    look ive see it on both sides, its nice for someone to know your there even if its thorugh noise, so that when you come up behind them the cage driver thinks “where the hell is that racket”. on the other end when my family was younger and babies were trying to sleep in the back seat it used to piss me off to no end that these “self important bikers” with basically straight pipes would sit at a light and blip the throttle incessantly waking my child up. Loud pipes do bring out peoples attention… but i can hear a stock harley long before he’s next to me even with the metallica blaring…
    i dont know where i sit on this issue… noise is good, and bad…
    congrats to the sarg getting his bike back… it sucks when your shit gets jacked.

  18. 18 Ex-Indian Dealer Dec 27th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Polaris has made it indirectly clear, that they have no intention on supporting any of the existing dealers. They would prefer to close them all down, and start fresh. If anything, they are all a thorn in their sides. They have made the indirect statement “Do what you need to do to stay alive because we’re not going to do anything to help you except make 300 bikes for the next 2 years.”

    I got sick of waiting for answers. They never came. So I thought, Screw it!

    I truley hope the Fresno, Minnesota, Michigan, and Omaha and whoever else is left, can pull through the next 2 years, because dealers, You’re on your own. Good luck!

  19. 19 Jeff Nicklus Dec 27th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Just because Polaris purchased Indian does not endear them to existing Indian Dealers, unless that was spelled out in Polaris purchase agreement of Indian. I would think, however, that existing Indian Dealers would be hustling to step up to the plate and secure the Victory brand. This would help them through the “tough times” as well as make them a slam dunk to remain Indian Dealers.

    I know that I have never set up a Dealer who did not carry our complete line of bikes and I am sure Polaris/Victory would feel the same.

    Just my thoughts!

    Over & Out,


  20. 20 Lou in Cave Creek Dec 27th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Actually, Michael, The town of Cave Creek does not have a noise issue with bikes, it’s Carefree. Unfortunately, no matter what direction you’re coming from, you need to drive through Carefree to get to Cave Creek. Keep the speed and obnoxious reving down and you won’t get hasseled.

    I live a mile from the center of town and I constantly hear some jerk-off badass wannabe with drag pipes tearing ass through town. Cave Creek is a very biker friendly town if you ride with some common sense and be respectful of the folks who live here. I definetly agree with joining your local Abate Chapter. Safe Riding………..

  21. 21 Michael Infanzon Dec 28th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I degress Lou. You’re correct about Cave Creek. I used to live off of School House Rd back before Tatum Ranch was built. The sign on the Eastbound side of Cave Creek Rd just north of Carefree Hwy… is that not Cave Creek though? Or has it been removed. I know the businesses are extremly biker friendly. Always have been. I hear those same jerks off of Deer Valley Rd too. At 2 am.

    You be safe also.

  22. 22 kc cheef Dec 28th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    The Steve’s look to have kind of been blowing smoke at a lot of folks.
    Lot of BS right here on Cyril’s blog from the Kings Mountain startup.
    You all check the archives and kind of look at the BS that was being shoveled.
    I’m as big a modern day Indian fan as anyone.
    But–the brand is now toast thanks to the Gilroy–then the Steves on Kings Mountain–and now Polaris screwing people.
    Right now Polaris isn’t only killing off Indian Dealers–Polaris looks to be killing off what’s left of warranties on Kings Mountain Bikes.
    Oh well!!

  23. 23 kodyw Dec 28th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I used to live on “no more road’ in carefree. the cops their are not motorcycle friendly. They wait for you to leave the hideaway or any of the bars farther down the road, and just listen for you to come. I got lots of tickets from those pricks. I would take the long way home, rather than go past the airport, or center of town, just to avoid the cops.

  24. 24 DJ Dec 28th, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    It has been said that there is a curse on the Indian Brand and all who try to resurect her will all suffer the fate as the ones before. Good luck Polaris..R.I.P

  25. 25 Traveling Biker Dec 28th, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I’ve been to almost all the Indian dealerships. The three that stuck out the most to me? Omaha, Minnesota, and Daytona (in no particular order). Great people and super nice. Never been treated better. Good Luck Dealers! I pray for you Polaris starts supporting you somehow!

  26. 26 Lou in Cave Creek Dec 30th, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Hey, Michael, I presently live off Schoolhouse Rd. myself. Love it! The sign you are thinking about is in Carefree. That 1st mile once you cross over Carefree Hwy is all Carefree until you see the “welcome to Cave Creek” sign. This is where the cops normally hang out, especially weekends when bike traffic is heavy. Things have been pretty mellow lately as far as ball breaking cops go.
    For those here in Phoenix…………take a ride on up!!!

  27. 27 Big Mack Dec 30th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Indian Motorcycle of Northern NJ is alive and kicking. They are new but strong, and will wait out the changeover.

    Happy New Year!

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Cyril Huze