Harley-Davidson warns that motorcycle sales are slowing

New York (CNN Business)Plagued by tariffs and declining interest in motorcycles in the United States, Harley-Davidson's sales continue to struggle.

The company delivered nearly 69,000 bikes for the quarter, down 5% compared to the same period a year earlier. Overall sales fell 6% to $1.4 billion.
Harley-Davidson (HOG) has been trying to keep costs lower by shifting some of its manufacturing to Thailand, where it can avoid some tariffs and build motorcycles closer to European and Asian customers who are showing more interest in Harley's products than American customers. Harley has been shipping bikes across the world from the United States.
The company recently received the necessary regulatory approvals to ship Thailand-built motorcycles to the European Union, which will reduce the amount of tariffs Harley has to pay. But that approval process took "considerably longer" than the company had planned, eating into its profit, which tumbled 19% to $195.6 million last quarter.
Weaker-than-expected demand in Europe ate into the company's sales forecast. The company slashed the number of bikes it expects to ship this year to between 212,000 and 217,000. The company, based in Milwaukee, previously said it expected to deliver between 217,000 and 222,000 motorcycles for 2019.
Harley's sales have dropped for several years as interest declines among younger people. President Donald Trump supported a boycott when Harley announced plans to shift some manufacturing overseas in response to tariffs.
In an attempt to rev up its business, Harley is focusing on international sales and new bikes.
Earlier this year, Harley released photos of two lightweight electric vehicle concepts that resemble slimmed down motorcycles, or electric bicycles without pedals. It declined to say if the prototypes will come to market.
The company also struck a deal in June to make small motorcycles in China. The country is a bright spot for Harley: Sales in the country increased 27% in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Harley's stock fell more than 4% in early trading Tuesday.

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Harley-Davidson Softail Models 2006 Factory Parts Catalog

Harley-Davidson Softail Models  2006 OEM Factory Parts Catalog Download
Content: Parts Catalog
File type: PDF
Total Pages: 204+
Language: English
Fits Models:
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FXST/I Softail Standard
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FXSTB/I Night Train
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FXSTS/I Springer Softail
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FXSTD/I Softail Deuce
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FLST/I Heritage Softail
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FLSTF/I Fat Boy
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FLSTN/I Softail Deluxe
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FLSTSC/I Softail Springer Classic
– 2006 Harley-Davidson FLSTC/I Heritage Softail Classic

Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is required to view the Catalog, which you can get from Adobe website for free.

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LEGO Creator Immortalizes Harley-Davidson's Fat Boy

Fresh off of debuting the classic 1960’s Ford Mustang, LEGO Creator has decided to focus its attention on immortalizing another automobile classic: Harley-Davidson‘s Fat Boy.

The life-like bike measures over 7 inches high (20 cm tall), 7 inches wide (18 cm wide) and 12 inches long (33 cm long) and takes 1,023 pieces to create. In terms of design, the set includes a Milwaukee-Eight two-cylinder engine with moving pistons that engage when the rear wheel is spun; a handlebar that can move the front wheel; a functional kickstand; and two exhaust pipes and levers for the transmission and brakes. Additionally, the piece is outfitted in the same red and black “Wicked Red” color scheme as the 2019 life-sized Fat Boy.

“Bringing this Harley-Davidson motorcycle to life in brick form is incredibly exciting,” said Mike Psiaki, one of Lego’s design masters, in a statement. “The model truly captures the iconic design, advanced engineering and attention to detail of this iconic motorcycle, offering an immersive building experience and a unique collector’s item for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts and Lego fans of all ages.”

The building blocks company also aptly created a 70,000 piece, full-sized Fat Boy to celebrate its latest offering to fans. Interested fans can purchase LEGO Creator’s Harley-Davidson Fat Boy starting August 1 for a retail price of $99.99 USD at select LEGO stores and lego.com. Members of LEGO VIP will be able to purchase the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy set earlier on July 17.

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What Do You Want to Know About the 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire?

The LiveWire is Harley’s revolutionary look to the future of motorcycles. In stark contrast to the company’s entire history, the LiveWire is all electric. The just-under-500-pound EV bike is expensive, some might say far too expensive, at $29,799. It’s also ridiculously quick with a 3-second 0-60 time, and can manage 140 miles of range in city riding.

The first LiveWire concept was unveiled way back in 2014, and we’ve been anxiously awaiting the production version of the EV bike ever since. Later this week I’ll get the opportunity to ride the production-ready bike in Portland. So, what do you want to know?

The LiveWire is a departure from Harleys past as well, featuring streetfighter-ish good looks, sporty mid-controls, and a cast aluminum trellis frame. With a battery array where you’d normally find a big V-twin, the bike looks straight out of a futuristic sci-fi feature.

I look forward to seeing what it’s like to ride a bike without shifting, as the “gearbox” holds a single beveled gear cog. Even among EV bikes, setting the motor longitudinally is unique to Harley, necessitating a 90-degree bevel to turn a belt drive to the rear wheel. I imagine it will be strange to experience an eerily quiet Harley, but it has a truly unique whine thanks to that beveled gear.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the riding experience, as just looking at it you can see it holds a lot of performance potential. Will it lure new bike buyers into Harley showrooms? Will traditional Harley buyers want it? Will it be worth the massive price tag? I’ll let you know after I’ve ridden it.

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Harley-Davidson CEO talks about countering tariffs with Thailand plant and on going quiet with LiveWire

While the United States’ tariffs remain an obstacle to Harley-Davidson’s international markets, CEO Matthew Levatich hopes to use the company’s Thailand plant to access the European market with lower costs. 

Levatich spoke about the tariffs and Harley-Davidson’s new electric motorcycles at Code, an annual technology conference. Levatich defended Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG), which has been criticized by President Donald Trump in the past year. 

Last year Trump attacked the company in several tweets for plans to move part of its production of motorcycles abroad and over the closure of the company’s Kansas City factory, which had its last day of production less than two weeks ago.

“To set the record straight, we sell motorcycles in over 100 countries across the world over 90% of them are made in our plants in the United States. The engines have been built in Milwaukee since the very beginning,” Levatich said. 

“If you walk around our factories there’s no doubt about the fact that we are heavily invested in American manufacturing,” he continued.

Though Harley-Davidson is largely U.S.-based, the company was not immune to the effects of a trade war between the United States and Europe. In response to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, in June of 2018 the European Union enacted retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports of bourbon, jeans and motorcycles. 

These tariffs raised the duty rate from 6 percent to 31 percent overnight, Levatich said.

Because of uncertainty about when tariffs will end, Harley-Davidson plans to use its Thailand plant to assemble U.S.-made components of motorcycles to keep tariffs at 6 percent.

While President Trump called the shift oversees a capitulation, Levatich called it necessary.

“We run the business based on facts and circumstances. Those are significant costs to the business. We have no idea when the tariffs are going to go. We have to figure out a plan and our investors want to know what our plan is. These are our obligations as a company,” he said.

The increased tariffs would have caused a $2,000 increase in the price of motorcycles in Europe — if the company had not assumed the cost.

“We made the decision to cover that tariff to pay that toll and preserve our retail prices in Europe and to carry that burden,” he said.

And the burden came with a price tag of $100 million a year, said Levatich.

While Harley-Davidson was forced to make some hard decisions, the company didn’t stop innovating. Harley-Davidson is working to grow its ridership through its introduction of electric bikes, Levatich said. The company is expected to ship its first ever electric bikes, LiveWire, in August. 

In the summer of 2013, Levatich rode one of the first prototypes of LiveWire. The bike, while like the traditional gas-powered Harley-Davidson in many ways, bears one significant difference. The engine is quiet. 

During his ride, Levatich recounted cresting a Milwaukee hill at high speeds and being able to hear birds and even crickets.

“It’s not what you don’t hear, it’s what you now hear,” Levatich said. 

Levatich hopes the electric motorcycle will draw new riders to Harley-Davidson because of its easy use. Without a clutch or gears, operating the bike is a simple “twist and go,” said Levatich. And with an acceleration of zero to 60 mph in three seconds, riders can go far.

“This company was founded by four young men in Milwaukee in 1903 who wanted to go farther faster with more fun,” Levatich said. “Throughout the entire history of the company we have been fixated on the ride.”

And though the ride may be different without the loud engine, Levatich thinks that the new design will be popular with a younger, urban generation of riders.

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