Fast Motorcycle Industry News

cyril-Huze-fast-news74Harley-Davidson President And CEO Matt Levatich About Indian Motorcycle. During the 4th quarter earnings call on January 28, Matt Levatich, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, made the following statement in an interview with financial magazine The Street: “We respect Indian, they have sold motorcycles in the U.S. that didn’t exist a few years ago. Our belief is that some Harley-Davidson sales went to Indian, but every other bike manufacturer lost sales to Indian, too. This isn’t a one-shot deal. And Indian is only in the range of mid-single digit percentage market share, we are at 50%. This is not some sky is falling fear at all. It’s respect. It’s great for Harley-Davidson and the industry — it spurs us to raise our game. And guess what we are doing, we are raising our game. Bring it on. We don’t like to lose.”

Owner Of Erik Buell Racing Liquid Asset Partners Makes Parts Available To Buell Owners. Liquid Asset Partners is currently reviewing options for an individual, a company to acquire or finance the EBR motorcycle business to take it to the next level. At the same time, Liquid Assets Partners offers repair parts to the owners of the EBR RS, RX and SX models, as well as performance parts for previous Buell models that had been available from EBR

Danny Gray Seats Terminated Its Relation With Harley-Davidson. Danny Gray announced this week that it has terminated its 17 year relationship with Harley-Davidson and no longer supplies Harley’s custom seat program. The company has also announced that it has severed ties with industry giant, Tucker-Rocky. Dealers may continue to purchase their Danny Gray seats through Western Power Sports (WPS) and Drag Specialties.

Primo® Belt Drives Moved In Two New Locations. The company got started 43 years when the founders started to pull SU caburetors off British imports to graft them onto Harley motorcycles. During all these years Primo remained located in the same Whittier, CA area. The company moved on February 1st and is now serving its customers from two new facilities. A Los Angeles satellite location in Paramount, California housing the sales staff and some assembly. The new Headquarters, warehouse and production is now in a 70000 sq. ft. facility in Goleta (Santa Barbara County), California.

Hollister Rally Looking For A New Promoter. Hollister council members Monday are set to consider a contract with Roadshows, Inc. to promote the 2016 motorcycle rally in early July. Roadshows was the one company that submitted a bid to the city for the July 1-3 rally after last year’s promoter, Las Vegas-based ConvExx, departed over a dispute of $90,000 owed to Hollister. In the proposed agreement with Reno-based Roadshows, which runs the Street Vibrations events there, the promoter would pay $135,000 to cover city costs such as police, fire and public works. That is $45,000 less than the desired amount from the city, $180,000. Council members are set to meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Hollister City Hall, 375 Fifth St. Also in the agreement, the document lays out several other provisions related to matters of debate during prior rallies. • The city would require the promoter to pay the $135,000 by June 1 or the deal would be canceled. Last year’s promoter missed his last payment before a July 1 deadline, but the event went on regardless. • The city would maintain all naming and trademark rights related to the rally, two years after a promoter sought trademarks on the event’s name.

Brembo Fighting Brakes Counterfeiters. Italian Brembo SPA, the acknowledged world leader and innovator in the field of car and motorcycle brake technology is fighting the sales of brakes passed off fraudulently as genuine. Brembo equipment is now sold in packagings containing a card with a 6-digit code. The customer can enter this number online, allowing him to immediately know if the brake part he bought is genuine or is a counterfeit. With this process, Brembo knows the vendor and if there is a fraud can launch an investigation.

28 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 P. Hamilton Jan 30th, 2016 at 10:01 am

    So, Harley is acknowledging the Indian competition. Good for both manufacturers. Better bikes coming?

  2. 2 Donnie Jan 30th, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Hope that Liquid Assets finds a buyer and that Erik Buell makes a come back with somebody better than him at financial management.

  3. 3 BobS Jan 30th, 2016 at 10:23 am

    The real shitstorm Harley is facing isn’t competition from Indian, it’s sleeping in the bed they made. Harley could punch the Revolution motor out to 1600 cc’s and put it in the 2017 Street Glide for a truley awesome bike, It would blow away the Indian Chieftain. And the Harley “lifestyle club” would hate it. The medicine the MoCo is going to have to swallow is things are going to have to get worse before they get better. Hopefully Levitech is getting ready so his company doesn’t need bailed out again because future success will be in the form of Harley’s next comeback. After H-D is down in the dumps and getting creamed THEN the ‘faithful’ will accept better bikes along with the rest of the riding public.

  4. 4 Bill Melvin Jr. Jan 30th, 2016 at 10:23 am

    It’s official, Let the Harley vs Indian wars begin! (again).

    I believe EBR fills a nice spot neither has, and has significant room for sales in Asia & EU as American Power & Speed! Third time’s the charm.

  5. 5 Roscoe Jan 30th, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Nice to hear HD acknowledge Polaris MC sales. Polaris is extremely tiny in comparison and it will take many years for them to even get close to HD in sales, reputation, and loyal customers.
    I get a different vibe from Polaris than HD. Both companies are for profit, and I can see
    Polaris moving away from MC sales as soon as they see it not being profitable. HD has no choice.
    I’d like to see Victory/Indian distance themselves from Polaris and become more of a stand alone company.

  6. 6 Catamini Jan 30th, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Roscoe. You wrote “I can see Polaris moving away from MC sales as soon as they see it not being profitable”. Really? What a wrong statement and assumption. Evidently you don’t know the motorcycle business.

  7. 7 Terence Bohler Jan 30th, 2016 at 10:56 am

    BobS. You got it wrong. The after baby boomers generation is not into speed. Youngsters are not interested by engine size and touring. Cyril explained this well a few weeks ago. You just wrote about your own taste, but your taste is not tomorrow’s market and certainly not a strategy for H-D future or any other mc brands.

  8. 8 Blackmax Jan 30th, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Wow !!
    Very strong statement from H-D !
    Good !!!
    Acknowledge the threat, then beat it, If you can ???
    As the poster before said competition makes for better bikes for us ….
    But they damn sure better make some better bikes / motors, etc…
    Or all this is just spitting in the wind

  9. 9 CW Jan 30th, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Poor choice by DG Seats

  10. 10 Roberto Jan 30th, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Harley needs to bring back the Softail Standard.

  11. 11 James just another crazy kiwi Jan 31st, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Motorcycling is at a point again where there is allot of choice and manufacturers are lifting their game.
    Ducati Scrambler is picking up sales , the new Triumph Bonneviles sure look amazing. BMW has some brilliant bikes and the big four all produce great motorCycles.
    Indian is in their honeymoon period, eventualy their growth will slow down but I suspect they will know this and will be planning new realeases when this starts to occur.

    My advice is enjoy it, the last time this happened was a very long time ago .

  12. 12 Highrider Jan 31st, 2016 at 3:56 am

    I have a few Harleys and 1 Victory now since 2011. My newest HD is a 2014 CVO Road King.and my other modern HD is a 2008 FXSTC.

    I can honestly say, while I like the Victory, it is no Harley, the fit and finish come nowhere close to the Harleys.

    The saying from Victory is ride one and you will own one is true, but only one.

    The Indian 111 motor is nowhere as smooth as the HD 110 and while I think they are a nice attempt, their styling will get old quick, as well as the resale is not great either.

    Harley just needs to capitalize on what they have and move forward, things will swing around again, as fads and population riders change.

    As a previous writer noted , it will benefit the industry.

  13. 13 Mike Johnson Jan 31st, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I like BobS observations here. The HD engine cannot simply be made larger and larger to compensate for design deficiencies inherent in titanic V-2 engines.
    What HD riders really want is automatic or dual clutch transmissions that will handle the shifting for them so they will not have to learn a new engine’s shifting points.
    At this point the T-Cam engines are in their 17th year which is about as long as HD has ever gone matching the Panhead from the Dark Ages and a 1500 Revolution could definitely be tuned to do the job.
    Many of the current T-cams are trophies only ridden 1- 2,000 miles per year by their elderly, wealthy owners and when these people pass over the air cooled designs will go with them.

  14. 14 JohnnySpeed Jan 31st, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Mike Johnson – I’m a a rider in the younger millennial demographic and an HD rider. I’ve owned 3 different Harleys in the last 10 years and a variety of other manufacturers bikes. Not all riders want auto trannies or giant liquid cooled engines with massive electronic control. If I had wanted a VRod engine in my bike, I’d have bought a VRod or a VMax. I like air cooled v-twins. But I’m very happy that the industry is at the point where it can offer basically any type of riding experience desired. It doesn’t matter what you like, you’ll probably find it out there. It just so happens that 50% of the market likes Harleys. Which is great for guys like me who buy used

  15. 15 5toed Willie Jan 31st, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Concerning Gray;

    Just a bit of information for those who are not aware of the HD process.

    They are continually known in the industry for finding state of the art suppliers making deals until they get designs they can copy, they slightly modify designs and cut out the suppliers.

    IE trike sales, paint designs, wheel designs, seats, and the list goes on.

    The CVO is a perfect example of HD forcing custom bike builders out and taking their market share. In 2009 Bruce Rossmeyer took a group of cop bikes with anti lock brakes and turned them into the early version of the CVO

    HD said it would never build bike with antilock brakes, What are they doing now. They are building the factory version of the bikes Bruce built. HD said there is no market for a over 30k bike how much is a loaded CVO now?

    Some really high quality suppliers have decided to pull out before they are forced out by a large corp bully. Sometimes many of the public never know what is really going on behind the scenes.

    Everything stated here can be googled and found with a small amount of research

  16. 16 Woody's Jan 31st, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    “What HD riders really want is automatic or dual clutch transmissions…” What planet was this survey taken on? I’ve never heard that from even one Harley guy. I have heard frustration that year after year most of their bikes the same basic engine, yet it get more defective each time instead of being fine tuned. Seriously, the whole TC cam chain follower thing was the last straw for many dedicated H-D riders. Then you add the ones who went to spend $$$ going to a gear drive instead of the chains and were told after teardown that it was too sloppy at 18k miles to do without re-doing everything. Many of us LOVE being, “stuck n the past” but we want the bikes to have the reliability of a Honda Civic considering the MoCo was making single pin V-twins long before the first Civic rolled out. Harley seems to be using some perverted version of REVERSE process control, and that doesn’t work when the sticker prices keeps climbing at the same time.

  17. 17 Woody's Jan 31st, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Good for Brembo, when folks buy a Brembo product, they deserve to actually get one! Shame the industry has to fight these counterfeiters. A lot of companies have their stuff made offshore by outside entities and then wonder why there’s 2 on the market for every one shipped here under license, wonder if that happened here. With the “Chinese Hondas” it was probably more like 5:1.

  18. 18 Sportman Jan 31st, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Companies like Indian and Victory are what ends up being best for the consumor. The motor company has no choice but to up their game. How sweet it is.

  19. 19 Sportman Jan 31st, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I love my Harley and theres not a bike made that I would trade it for except a better Harley.

  20. 20 richard halter Jan 31st, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Nice to read the opinion of all of you. I ride Harley, and I like an engine with loads of torque and able to take me up on any Alpines roads (I live in Switzerland) and also able to take me through long journeys too. I choosed and Ultra Ltd and did some modifications to it after one year and 42,000 kms. I change the braking with Beringer and with floating disks, the front and back suspension with Ohlins, and I change the 103 engine with a 120 R. The package is fantastic, but the headache started with this engine, who broke at 7000 kms, the first time (problem with the tappets). The engine was replaced, and the same occurred with the second one, after more or less the same mileage, despite having installed a bigger oil cooler with a fan. I open the engine and analysed why it broke. The oil pump was a mess, as well as one of the roller of a tappet vanished in the engine. It seems that the oil sump was not cleaned properly either, (it’s impossible to do it from models after 2012), you have to replace it after a broken engine, and the dealer did not do it, thinking that a good cleaning will do.
    So, you can imagine that I was a bit upset, being again on holidays with my half, and facing a new expensive bill.
    I decided to change the engine with an S&S 124 T series. What a difference!
    Harley is using cheap parts makers, and when you increase the volume you need to make sure that all moving parts are able to sustain such increase with quality parts.
    I am glad that Indian is competing with Harley nowadays, this may help us in a way that they will take care of their production and brings engines that are viable in the future.
    I have also a CVO Breakout 2014, with a 120 R, but I immediately changed the oil pump with an S&S and added an oil cooler with a fan too, and changed the tappets with high resistance ones from S&S. The engine is working well, with no more nasty noises. So good to know that the oil pressure is constant at any revs and any temperature now!
    In Europe we ride a lot, and most of the time on twisty roads and hilly ones. Torque, acceleration is the motto as well as good breaking, no fading!
    We are not looking at top speed, this is not the field of these engines and these bikes either. Cruising at 120 km/h is our daily cup of coffee. but when we can open the throttle, we enjoy passing japanese bikes and others, you must see their faces 🙂
    Be at 5000 rpm and clock a 200 km/h on the 6th gear, what a pleasure!
    To resume, we like Harley, but they have to improve… quality and engines viability.
    Friends with 110 engines suffered the same problem than me… bloody tappets!!!
    They must rethink their oil circulation to keep a correct and constant pressure all along so no moving parts are suffering.
    Hope they will read this!
    Wishing you a lot of enjoyment on your bikes, be safe!

  21. 21 richards Jan 31st, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve had 5 Harleys. ALL good bikes with NO serious issues. My 2011 Road King has 38,000 miles on it. The only thing I’ve replaced are the tires. It has cruise, abs, F I, fly by wire, air adjustable shocks and I can ride it for 10 hours and do not suffer from numbass or back pain etc. I think the naysayers likely don’t know what their talking about.

  22. 22 bigalyts Jan 31st, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Wow, thank you Richard Halter. I value an opinion like yours and believe it to be the Gospel. i am sure they can argue the Issues you had are extremely rare and your Oil Tappet problems are because of the brand of Oil or the Fuel or the lack of maintenance or break in problems. Maybe you have not had the proper Serving intervals or some BS. at the end of the day I believe that what you have had Problems with are deficiencies that are a part of Engineering and they would never want to admit this and complete a recall. Good for you and good to have a Message Center like Cyril has for all to read and evaluate FAIRLY & without BIAS.

  23. 23 Kris Feb 1st, 2016 at 1:07 am

    I’ve had 3 Harley’s here in london uk over last 20 years ( as well as Kawasaki ninja) , ride all year round and never had any problems (except bike thieves lol ).

  24. 24 richard halter Feb 1st, 2016 at 4:22 am

    Thanks Bigalyts for your comments. Just to put the records straight, all servicing and assembly were done at an HD dealer. So fully in line with Factory recommendation.
    The problem I am mentioning is well known to Milwaukee, and this has not yet been corrected.

    Concerning the comments of Richards: the status of the roads in Europe are more bumpy than the ones in USA and we have curves and loads of cornering.
    If you know a bit on HD suspension, you will discover that only one side of the suspension is working… this explains the reaction of your bike when cornering left, and compressing, she bumps you up, instead of absorbing…
    As I said, the roads aren’t the same in USA…so you won’t experience it often.

  25. 25 2Wheels Feb 1st, 2016 at 9:52 am

    @5toed Willy, your “facts” are pretty interesting. I was working as an engineer in the CVO group in 2000 (CVO’s first models were MY1999), so I’m very interesting to read that Bruce Rossmeyer built “early” CVO’s in 2009. Also, H-D police bikes had ABS as early as 2006 and offered this for all Touring models in 2008. Not sure what site you Googled but maybe you need to do more research…

  26. 26 Woody's Feb 1st, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    @Richard, great review, but certainly not a bible 😉 Except for the Alps, the US has every type of road/riding you can think of. Also, if I had my bike redone by the same shop 2x and it fell apart 2x, perhaps I’d consider sharing the blame with the mfr AND the repair shop. As much as I like my Harleys, I have owned several metrics and I always chuckle at Harley riders who spend megabucks hopping up their H-D’s and then make fun of the “riceburner that couldn’t keep up”. I could purchase an old 1520 Honda GoldWing and if I invested into it what you put into yours, you’d think your bike stopped when I passed you 🙂 I do agree that in the long run lately, the best upgrade for a new Harley is sell the engine before you even bother riding it, and have a nice S&S installed in it’s place. Enjoy your ride, at the speeds you mention, it should outlive all of us!

  27. 27 Knucklehead Feb 1st, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Harley Davidson you say. I would imagine most of us ALL got into this lifestyle because of THEM. They lasted this long for a reason. Can they improve in some areas? Sure. Will they? Of course they will. Will the always negative folks still find fault? Yes. Will the non-naysayers move forward? WE sure will. And we will continue to ride the best and the rest.

  28. 28 boston jim Feb 8th, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Hey Richard H., I’m sitting here, outside of Boston, we’re in the midst of a snow blizzard & I’m enjoying a cup of Swiss Miss Cocoa! Your story, sounds exactly like my pal Ray, from Laconia, story. He has a circa 2010 CVO Touring H-D, 110, that had nothing but problems. Two winters ago he bought a S&S 124 T (touring) motor, he loves it, he can’t get over how much better it is, than the H-D motor! Why can’t H-D build a GOOD motor?

    Several years ago, H-D, had a motor rebuilding program, your local H-D would pull your motor, crate it up, & send it to H-D. If you had SE cams, etc., in the trash they went, sure they did? I’m not positive, but, I heard they (H-D) doesn’t do it exactly like that anymore. I heard or read, that NOW, you take your bike to your local H-D Dealer, they pull the motor, crate it up, BUT, instead of sending it to H-D, they ship it to S&S, if your SE or S&S parts are good, they will put them back in! Any truth to this scenario, anybody? Share what you know as fact!

    Richard, I wish you the Best of Luck, with your New Motor! Did they send you a gallon of their 20W-50, made by Spectro. I went to S&S, 50th, back in 2008, took the tour several times! At the end of the tour, they would say, “buy one of our motors, & we’ll give you a gallon of Mobil V-Twin 20W-50”! They were endorsing Mobil for at least 10, years. There is NO WAY, Spectro is better than Mobil, only AMSOIL is better than MOBIL! Be Safe, Boston Jim,

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