Regardless of how you feel about our president, our government, the political system… etc… After a two year battle the unintentional ban on the sale of youth ATVs and off-highway motorcycles caused by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was ended when President Obama signed H.R. 2715 into law on Friday, August 12, 2011. The new law had been passed by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives earlier in the week. It puts an end to the ban on the sale of youth ATVs and dirtbikes.
You maybe have been following this “mistake” in my blog, but the skinny is that the sale of youth dirtbikes and ATVs was banned due to perceived safety issues within the lead content provisions in the CPSIA. Since the lead on the vehicles was found to be in the battery there was an extremely low chance of any pro-longed toxic exposure to the young riders. The Motorcycle Industry Council was one of the leading proponents that worked on getting the lead content provisions of the CPSIA amended thus ending the ban.
Source: Motorcycle Industry Council
Chalk up a win for us… even if it was just a correction of something the gov. messed up the first time around.
Well, I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for months now… as I do every year. You see, my beautiful wife and I celebrate our anniversary on July 20th, and each year it is something I am proud of and excited to celebrate! But, this year was a touch different. You see, this year, instead of having to wait until Sturgis, the announcements of the new Harley line up happened on, you guessed it, my anniversary! Now, that is not to belittle my big day with the ol’ lady; of course I wait with baited breath each year to celebrate that milestone. This year was no different and I could not wait for our Anniversary Date, just as soon as I was able to get to the Harley shop and get the inside scoop from the Dealer’s Meeting.
So here’s the skinny:
2012 really does not have much new. Now, there are some big changes, but not a whole lot new.
The biggest news is that many of the line up have finally received a boost in the ol’ muscle department. The 103 engine that was first introduced in the CVO models a few years back, has trickled down to the standard fleet. For those who think a bit differently about those numbers, a 103 is about a 1688cc engine. More importantly for many is that the HP numbers are approx. 100 from the factory (which will probably change before you leave the parking lot as I am sure you are gonna put on a better breathing system and exhaust, maybe a Power Commander, and possibly even a hotter cam).
So, the 103 is found in all the touring models (including the standard Road King which was left out last year), all the Softails (cause we all know they are the Blvd. hot rods), and many of the Dynas. My guess is that the Dyna line will all get the update in another year or so… keeping some costs down and some entry models more affordable with the 96ci. (The Wide Glide, Fat Bob, and new Switchback got the 103 and the Street Bob and Super Glide Custom were held back with the 96).
The other big change in availability is that you can now get ANY of the big twin models with ABS. Some will like it, some will not. It is an option so you certainly don’t have to get it. I personally am looking forward to it because Harley is one of the few that have an independent system, meaning that the front and rear brakes are NOT integrated. This allows me to use the front or rear brake, as I see fit not a power transfer between the two. I don’t care what you say, I know the importance of each brake and if I want just front or back, then I want just front or back… ‘nuff said.
On to the new models:
The Night Rod® Special is updated with new tapered tail section, lighter-weight wheels, an inverted front fork and improved ergonomics.
NEW Black, split five-spoke cast aluminum wheels are three pounds lighter than previous wheels.
NEW Tapered tail section with flush-mount LED taillight.
NEW Pullback handlebar places controls three inches closer to the rider and optimizes overall feel with a low, wide position.
NEW Reduced reach, forward-mounted rider footpegs.
NEW Inverted front forks.
NEW Two-up seat with custom stitching.
NEW Stylized, black speed screen visor.
NEW Slim design, center-mount license plate.
Harley-Davidson celebrates a decade of power cruising with the V-Rod® 10th Anniversary Edition motorcycle, finished in Brilliant Silver Pearl bodywork that evokes the anodized aluminum bodywork of the original V-Rod model that introduced the liquid-cooled Revolution V-Twin engine in 2002. All V-Rod models will carry V-Rod 10th Anniversary badges.
The new Dyna® Switchback combines hard saddlebags and a windshield with the eager handling and Twin Cam 103 performance of the Dyna chassis. It’s a custom-touring bike ready for a long weekend trip, until the detachable bags and windshield are removed. Then in seconds the Switchback becomes a custom street cruiser with a gleaming headlamp nacelle, five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels and a mini-ape handlebar. This convertible concept makes the versatile Switchback two motorcycles in one.
The new CVO™ Road Glide® Custom is one of four limited-production 2012 models from Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO)™, each turned out with bold paint, gleaming chrome, and the most-powerful V-Twin engines offered in production Harley-Davidson motorcycles. CVO Road Glide Custom is a hot-rod bagger with a frame-mounted fairing topped with a smoked Wind Splitter windshield, a high-output, amplified Harman/Kardon® Advanced Audio system, and a color-matched, low-profile fuel tank console. This model takes the place of last year’s Road Glide Ultra CVO.
The Dealer News is out and the 2012 Models have begun to roll! The Sportsters and the Touring bikes are already shipping and will be available on dealer’s floors almost immediately. And for any of you who are getting into the three-wheeled world, the trikes are also being released.
I don’t have any super special or top secret details, but I know that ALL the touring rigs now ship with a 103 engine! So I have waited long enough. I see a Road King in my future… anyone want to buy an Anniversary Edition Deuce?? How about a 15 passenger van??? Or a Ford Focus Wagon?? Gonna have to sell all three, but that King will have a nice spot in the ol gahrahge when I am done!!
Oh, and if these bikes don’t tickle your fancy, the full release is July 20th… Which is earlier than the usual Sturgis Release, so HD is jumping on the “get the bikes out there before the season ends” bandwagon.
Love, Respect, and New Harleys,
MILWAUKEE (June 29, 2011) Harley-Davidson has begun delivery of all 15 models in the 2012 Touring, Trike (North America only) and Sportster lines to its dealers in the U.S. and Europe. These motorcycles will be available for sale immediately, giving customers an opportunity to get on a 2012-model Harley-Davidson with much of the riding season still available. Shipment of these select 2012 models has been accelerated to provide greater continuity of supply in dealerships during the peak summer selling season. Additional 2012 models will be announced on July 20 at the Harley-Davidson summer dealer meeting in Anaheim, California.
2012 Sportster: The six 2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster models range from the affordable Dark Custom roadster posture of the Iron 883™ to the track-inspired performance of the XR1200X™. Each Sportster model offers the heartbeat of an authentic American V-Twin engine and pace-setting style and performance.
Back for its first full year of production is the Sportster® 1200 Custom, the motorcycle that introduced the web-based H-D1™ Bike Builder factory customization process. Using Bike Builder, customers can personalize their 1200 Custom with seat, handlebar, foot control, wheel, security, paint and engine finish options that are installed right at the factory. Even more dealer-installed accessories can be added, and viewed, on the Bike Builder site. The customer can then print out a description of their bike and bring it to a Harley-Davidson dealer to review the motorcycle with trained staff, select additional accessories to be installed by the dealer to further customize the motorcycle, and then place an order. Customers can expect to be riding their new bike in as little as four weeks from the time an order is placed with an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer.
All 2012 Sportster models will have Michelin® Scorcher™ tires with a tread pattern designed, tested and styled specifically for the Sportster motorcycle to provide ideal grip, even wear and longer life. Fifteen Sportster paint options include seven new color choices for 2012. Side covers will be finished in either gloss black or denim black to match the finish on other bodywork. The Forty-Eight model will have a new tank graphic.
2012 Touring: For 2012, all eight Harley-Davidson Touring models are powered by a Twin Cam 103 engine with Automatic Compression Release and integrated oil cooler. Producing 102 ft. lbs. of peak torque at 3500 rpm, the Twin Cam 103 provides outstanding performance around town and on the open road. All Touring models also feature the 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission, 41.3 mm telescopic front forks, air-adjustable rear shocks and an Isolated Drive System for smooth power delivery. The Harley-Davidson Touring chassis has a single-spar, rigid backbone frame and two-piece swingarm designed to deliver responsive maneuverability and long-haul durability. Chassis geometry and suspension are calibrated to deliver confident handling and comfort.
All Touring models except the Ultra Limited will offer a new “tubeless” Chrome Lace Aluminum Wheel option for ease of tire replacement and repair. Six new colors or color combinations are among the 12 paint options offered within the 2012 Touring model line.
2012 Trike: The 2012 Tri Glide Ultra Classic brings original-equipment design, quality and service to the three-wheel motorcycle segment, based on chassis structure and geometry engineered specifically to handle the loads generated by the steering forces and weight of a three-wheel vehicle. With a deluxe Tour-Pak™ carrier and integrated trunk, a four-speaker/ 80-watt Harman/Kardon® Advanced Audio System, electronic cruise control and electric reverse drive, the Tri Glide Ultra Classic inspires confidence, passion and independence in any riding situation. The Tri Glide Ultra will be available in three color combinations: Vivid Black, Big Blue Pearl / Vivid Black or Ember Red Sunglo / Merlot Sunglo.
Details on the 2012 Harley-Davidson Touring, Trike and Sportster models are available at h-d.com/2012.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.harley-davidson.com.
The country’s largest touring motorcycle show, the IMS usually features several new models making their debuts in the United States.
The 2011-2012 tour kicks off Nov. 18-20, 2011, in San Mateo, Calif., and ends March 14-17, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Fla., at Bike Week.
Irvine, Calif. (June 16, 2011) – The 31st annual Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows® series is set to launch its 2011-2012 nationwide tour. The upcoming tour will have an increased focus on bringing more manufacturers and an engaging show experience to the widest audience of enthusiasts across the country. Motorcycle riders and powersports fans from coast to coast will have the opportunity to experience hundreds of new street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, ATVs, UTVs and more. The nation’s largest touring motorcycle event will also connect riders with products and services that support their motorcycling lifestyle, providing the opportunity to see, touch and try on the latest gear and accessories. This nationwide series will also feature new interactive entertainment, as well as educational experiences designed for all types of riders.
The 2011-2012 tour cities represent the most motorcycle-dense populations in the United States, reaching 75% of the nation’s motorcycle enthusiasts. The tour schedule offers attendees the unique opportunity to be the first to see the newest models, speak with knowledgeable product experts and be well-prepared for the upcoming riding season.
Here’s the full slate:
November 18-20, 2011, San Mateo County Event Center in San Mateo, CA
December 2-4, 2011, Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, TX
December 9-11, 2011, Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA
December 16-18, 2011, Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA
January 6-8, 2012, Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI
January 13-15, 2012, Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.
January 20-22, 2012, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, NY
January 27-29, 2012, I-X Center in Cleveland, OH
February 3-5, 2012, Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN
February 10-12, 2012, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago, IL
February 24-26, 2012, Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC
March 14-17, 2012, Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, FL
“We are thrilled to bring an enhanced Progressive International Motorcycle Show series to 12 cities across the nation for the 2011-2012 season,” said Kerry Graeber, Brand Director, Advanstar Powersports Group. “This year’s series will offer an emergence of additional OEMs, bike models and brands. Plus, with a number of innovative new features, this tour will be our most interactive yet.”
Media Days are scheduled to take place in Long Beach, New York and Chicago, showcasing the latest new vehicles and product debuts. Additional opportunities will exist for licensed riders to test ride new motorcycles at select cities on the Tour. For more information visit www.motorcycleshows.com.
Polaris… the name is synonymous with 4-wheel playthings and snowmobiles… and for those of us into two-wheeled fun, Victory and Indian Motorcycles.
Wait, what?? No, Polaris is just Victory, right? Well young lad, I got some news for you. Looks like Polaris has purchased Indian. At 5pm Eastern Time today, Polaris sent out the following press release, enjoy. Oh, and if you have any extra scratch in your pocket (yeah, right), you may want to think about investing in Polaris. The company has been a good investment for a while now and with this new acquisition, my hope is that it will continue to rise.
Love, Respect, and Polaris Indian Baby!
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle. The business was acquired from Indian Motorcycle Limited (“IML”), a company advised by Stellican Limited and Novator Partners LLP, U.K. Private Equity firms. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries Inc. “Indian built America’s first motorcycle. With our technology and vision, we are confident we will deliver the classic Indian motorcycle, enhanced by the quality and performance for which Polaris and Victory are known.”
With this acquisition, Polaris adds one of motorcycling’s legendary brands to its strong stable of Victory cruiser and touring bikes. Indian will operate as an autonomous business unit, building upon the potent combination of Polaris’ engineering acumen and innovative technology with Indian’s premium brand, iconic design and rich American heritage.
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Polaris. Polaris will utilize its well-known strengths in engineering, manufacturing, and distribution to complete the mission we undertook upon re-launching the brand in 2006: harness the enormous potential of the Indian brand,” said Stephen Julius, chairman of Indian and managing director of Stellican. “Polaris is the most logical owner of Indian Motorcycle. Indian’s heritage brand will allow Polaris to aggressively compete across an expanded spectrum of the motorcycle market.”
Novator Partners LLP is a London based alternative investment firm founded and led by the investor Mr. Thor Bjorgolfsson. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, Mr. Bjorgolfsson said “After a troubled past, our goal was to bring the legendary Indian bikes back on the roads. The initial phase of that project is done and now our great partners at Polaris will carry on the work to realize the full potential of this classic American brand.”
Conference Call and Webcast Presentation Tomorrow, April 20th at 9:00AM (CT), Polaris Industries Inc. will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the acquisition, as well as the first quarter 2011 financial results. The call will be hosted by Scott Wine, CEO, Bennett Morgan, President and COO and Mike Malone, Vice President-Finance and CFO. A slide presentation and link to the audio webcast will be posted on the Investor Relations page of the Polaris website approximately 30 minutes before the conference call begins.
To listen to the conference call by phone, dial 800-374-6475 in the U.S. and Canada, or 973-200-3967 internationally. The Conference ID is #36643140. A replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the call for a one-week period by accessing the same link on our website, or by dialing 800-642-1687 in the U.S. and Canada, or 706-645-9291 internationally.
About Polaris With annual 2010 sales of $1.991 billion, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets off-road vehicles (ORVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® Side X Side vehicles, snowmobiles and Victory motorcycles for recreational and utility use and has recently introduced a new on-road electric powered neighborhood vehicle. Polaris is a recognized leader in the snowmobile industry; and one of the largest manufacturers of ORVs in the world. Victory motorcycles, established in 1998 and representing the first all-new American-made motorcycle from a major company in nearly 60 years, are making in-roads into the cruiser and touring motorcycle marketplace. Polaris also enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P MidCap 400 stock price index. Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime from the Polaris homepage
About Indian Motorcycle Founded in 1901, Indian was America’s first motorcycle company, producing some of the industry’s most iconic models and becoming the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. In recent years, Indian has continued to produce these legendary motorcycles on a smaller scale. The company’s instantly recognizable badge is still associated with premium products and strong American heritage by casual consumers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. For more information on Indian, visit Indian Motorcycle.
About Stellican Stellican is a U.K. Private Equity firm specializing in the purchase, turnaround and re-launch of iconic, heritage brands which have gone bankrupt. In the last ten years, Stellican has been particularly active in the power sport industry. It currently advises funds, which own Chris-Craft Corporation, a premium boat and yacht builder based in Sarasota, Florida, which it acquired in 2001. Previously, Stellican advised funds that owned Riva boats in Italy.