Victory Octane vs Indian Scout vs Harley-Davidson Sportster Comparison

Just announced a few weeks ago, the Victory Octane looks set to capture a new generation of cruiser riders in America. It will be Victory’s most powerful, fastest and lightest bike yet – all the while being the cheapest, too. And while the Victory Octane does have many similarities to the Indian Scout, its real target is Harley Davidson and their Sportster 1200.

Harley-Davidson has come under increasing pressure from Polaris and their two brands, the resurrected Indian Motorcycles and their home grown brand, Victory. The reborn Indian has been a huge success for Polaris with the Indian Scout receiving glowing reviews and selling well, too. It’s for this reason we thought we’d take a look at the just released Victory Octane to see how it compares to its stablemate, as well as the highly popular and long established Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200.

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Choosing what bike to compare the Scout and Octane to was in itself a challenge. HD’s range is so wide with so much choice within each line that it’s hard to really narrow it down. And while the Sportster approaches the game quite differently with its air-cooled twin valve donk as opposed to the liquid cooled engine found in the Victory and Indian, all three bikes are designed to be gateway motorcycles to their respective brands.

But even then, the Sportser range offers six different choices of model to choose from and it is definitely one of the biggest advantages that Harley-Davidson offers – choice. Yes, Both Indian Motorcycles and Victory offer a large range of factory equipment and accessories to customize your bike, but no one does range and choice in the motorcycle world like Harley-Davidson. And even once you’ve decided on which of the six Sportster models to go with, the accessories (both factory and aftermarket) available to buy are unmatched. For the purposes of this comparison, we’ve chosen the Sporster 1200 Custom which from an ergonomics and general feel perspective seems to best match the two other bikes we’re looking at here best.

Engine

Both the Victory Octane and the Indian Scout use the same basic engine – and it’s a good one. There’s no sluggishness here which you can sometimes find in HD motors as the engine in both the Octane and Scout provides strong pulling power while remaining flexible across pretty much the entire rev range.

octane-1

The Octane’s engine is a 1,179cc V-twin, slightly larger than the Scout. Other differences include its own camshafts, a 2mm larger bore as well as redesigned cylinder head and engine cover castings. Those translate into subtle rather than earth-shattering differences between the two although you would have to consider the Octane as feeling more sporty. The Octane produces 104 horsepower, the Scout slightly less at 100. The Sporster has a rather sad by comparison 62 horses..

The Indian Scout is no slouch compared to the Octane and will hit the metric ton in a shade under 5 seconds. Not sportsbike quick by a long shot but it’s over half a second faster than the Sporster. But that’s not the only negative when it comes to the Sporter’s performance when compared to the other two machines here. The Sportster just feels sluggish down low and to really get things moving you need to keep the engine spinning in the top to mid-range. That then provides it’s own problems as the already noticeable vibrations become even more worse.

There’s just no getting around the fact that despite having a slight displacement advantage, the Sporster has a rather anemic motor and is completely outclassed by both the Octane and Scout and out of the two choices between the Octane and Scout, the newer Octane just edges out its brother.

winner victory

 

Handling

The front end feel of the Sportster is just too soft and squishy. Front end dive even under moderate braking is more than should be acceptable on a modern bike. The rear too leaves much to be desired and bounces and moves around enough that it doesn’t provide a great deal of confidence, especially when the road gets a few more corners. Most of these issues would be solved by the use of better quality springs – something you’d expect from a not inexpensive bike.

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In comparison, the Scout feels far more capable and it doesn’t sacrifice any comfort to do so. Both the front and rear suspension work very well together and provide a near perfect compromise between handling and a plush ride. There’s also far more options when it comes to suspension adjustment and despite sitting lower to the ground than the HD, actually has better corner clearance.

The Octane takes it up another notch again, although it’s still far from a sportsbike. That’s probably more to do with the ergonomics rather than the componentry of the bike though as both the peg and bar positions are slightly more aggressive than either the Sportser or Scout. As far as cruisers go in fact, the Octane is right up there among the most sporty we’ve come across and in fact many traditional cruiser riders would probably struggle to scrape the pegs or exhaust cans on it unless they really tried. It does feel a little harsher than the Scout though which in our opinion is a perfect blend of comfort and handling for a cruiser.

winner indian

Brakes

All three bikes provide fairly mediocre performance in terms of braking. All run with single discs both front and rear and it’s especially poor of the Octane not to run a twin disc setup at the front given it’s the fastest of all three bikes here – in fact it gets to the 60mph mark nearly a second quicker than the Sportser and a few tenths than the Scout. American cruiser riders have become accustomed to just single discs up front, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right way to go about it.

Worst of all, the Octane doesn’t even provide ABS as an option – a ridiculous proposition for a brand new bike in the year 2016. The Scout’s brakes feel slightly better than offered by the Sportster and that’s probably due to the fact that the Harley weighs a tremendous 587 lb – nearly 30 pounds more than the Scout and nearly 40 more than the Octane.

winner indian

Customizing

It goes without saying that a big part of the cruiser scene is based around customizing and it is where Harley-Davidson rules supreme. Given their time at the top of the market, HD not only has huge amounts of official customizing options, but the third party market is also massive. That’s not to say that you can’t customize your Scout or Octane, it’s just that your options may be more limited than what is available on the Sportster.

Model Year 2016 New Model Photography

That is especially true for the Octane – at least at this stage. Your only customizing kit for now will be what Victory has available. Aftermarket options will no doubt eventuate should the Octane prove a popular model – just like they have for the Scout – but for now it’s comparatively slim pickings if compared to HD.

winner hd

Value

Both on paper and in the real world, the Sportster 1200 Custom just doesn’t offer the same value as either bike from Polaris. Starting at $10,899 in the US (but that’s before any options that commonly apply to Harley’s), it is $400 more than the Victory Octane. It is cheaper than the Indian Scout by $400 itself, but for that saving you are getting a bike with an engine, suspension, brakes and potentially reliability that is inferior to both the Octane and the Scout – sometimes by a large margin.

For us, the Victory Octane is the winner here. At $800 cheaper than the Scout but sharing many of the same components, it’s clear that Polaris is positioning this bike to capture new and young riders who otherwise might be consider the Street 500.

winner victory

Overall

In the end, it will probably come down to personal preference whether you fork out the extra money for the Scout which is a more traditional cruiser (both in looks and style) or the Octane which is designed for cruiser riders wanting to release their inner hooligan just a bit more.

The Scout probably comes out as the better bike than the Octane – but only just. It feels just slightly more refined than its new sibling which is perhaps trying to be a bit too raw in some respects – most notably in the handling department. That and the lack of ABS as even an option sees us tilt our head ever so slightly towards the Scout.

winner indian

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Harley-Davidson Continues Profit Slide at the Hands of Victory and Indian Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson, who commands a massive 52 per cent market share in the United States is facing growing headwinds in part thanks to increasing competition from Victory and Indian Motorcycles, both companies under the Polaris umbrella. HD’s global sales were down 1.4 per cent in the third quarter while profits fell 6.5 per cent. And the trend looks unlikely to reverse anytime soon.

For those hoping that HD might see this as an opportunity to improve their product offering, think again. Instead, CEO Matt Levatich announced 250 job cuts (equating to roughly 4% of employees), the savings from which will be funneled into a huge marketing spend – up a massive 65% for next year.

Which really highlights the issue with Harley-Davidson – its continued reliance on style over substance. No doubt, Harley-Davidson’s image is its biggest draw, but it’s also its greatest weakness. Essentially, you either love Harley-Davidson’s or hate them and hence why Polaris has made such inroads with both Victory and Indian. Polaris has created one brand and resurrected another and have relied instead on good quality motorcycles at fair prices.

Not only has it captured some older riders who previously would have opted for a Harley, it’s grabbing younger and newer riders for the brand before HD gets a chance due to their cost. Polaris reported just two days ago that its motorcycle sales jumped 154% in its latest quarter to $160.4 million and given that Victory sets to expand its range to sportsbikes plus their acquisition of electric manufacturer Brammo, that momentum is likely to continue.

In fact, buyers in the US and other countries can now get a brand new Victory or Indian bike that is sometimes cheaper than a second hand HD. And when your bikes continue to suffer quality concerns, that second hand purchase is increasingly risky.

Harley-Davidson have often been criticised for the quality of their bikes. Some of that is undeserved as they do make some good machines. But it’s also fair to say that some of their bikes are overpriced and below par. The statistics back this up. Recalls of Harley-Davidson bikes have increased tremendously over the last few years. All manufacturers issue recall notices but HD has stuck out like a sore thumb in recent times.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, 210,000 HD bikes were recalled in 2014 and 312,000 have been recalled this year as of September. That compares with an average of 94,000 annually in the 10 years through 2013. Recent Harley recalls have involved problems including a faulty cylinder that could prevent the clutch from disengaging, a defective fuel-pump seal, and a clasp that could allow saddlebags to fly off the back of the bike. Harley reported 35 crashes or other incidents from the defects and six minor injuries.

The article further stated that the recalls have cost Harley-Davidson about $30 million in the three years through 2014. That is up from $7.9 million in the three years through 2004, even though Harley sold about 27% more motorcycles in the U.S. in the earlier period.

So what can Harley-Davidson do? It needs to realise that the baby boomer generation that was behind so much of its success is waning and they need to completely overhaul their image for broader appeal. To do that they need to start making quality bikes with technology that comes from the 21st century and isn’t priced so far ahead of competitors. So far, Matt Levatich doesn’t seem to be too interested in rocking the boat. Let’s hope it doesn’t spring too many more leaks.

Indian Motorcycles To Return To Flat-Track Racing

In an interview with Alan Cathcart (see here) at CycleNews it has been revealed that Indian Motorcycles will go racing in the AMA Pro Flat-Track series either late next year or early in 2017. Indian and Harley-Davidson went head to head in flat-track as early as the 1930’s – now that rivalry looks set to be reignited.

“I don’t have anything more to tell you at this stage, beyond the fact that the decision has been made, and we’re definitely going racing with Indian in the oval-track world with a factory-supported team” said Steve Menneto, Vice President of Polaris Industries’ motorcycle division.

But what would Indian enter into such an event? They currently sell nothing that would be suitable for oval dirt track racing both in engine capacity or chassis design. Rumors have been circulating for the last year or so that Indian would launch a competitor to Harley-Davidson’s Street 750 and Menneto certainly hinted that might be the case. Yes, a circa 750cc Indian V-Twin is on the cards.

It’s been a huge year for Polaris Industries. Firstly they announced the purchase of Brammo’s electric motorcycle division and subsequently entered the Isle of Man TT with a Brammo powered Victory motorcycle. Victory also entered the Pikes Peak Hill Climb with a prototype machine (titled Project 156) – which has now been confirmed as a 1200cc engine that will be used in an upcoming Victory motorcycle some time next year.

One last little tidbit from the interview was the mention of the Victory Core – a brilliant concept bike made way back in 2009. Menneto stated “I’m interested in producing it, because it says a lot about the Victory brand from a marketing perspective, so I’ve got the team looking at doing that. Are we going to build the Core? We’re trying really hard to figure out a way…”

 

Ducati Ranked Top Dealer For Second Year Running

The annual Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (let’s call it PSI for short) for US motorcycle dealerships has been released and for the second year running, Ducati has been named as the number one brand for customer satisfaction. In fact, it’s the ninth consecutive year that Ducati and Harley-Davidson dealerships were ranked either first, second or third.

The ranking by Pied Piper  is based on mystery shoppers and looks at walk through the door sales, internet leads and telephone leads. Brands showing the greatest overall improvement from 2014 to 2015 were Aprilia, KTM and BMW. Brands with declines from 2014 to 2015 were Can-Am, Indian and Star. All of the five top-ranked brands for 2015 – Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Victory, Triumph and BMW –improved their performance compared to the previous year.

In a good sign for consumers around the US, thirteen of the seventeen brands improved their performance, resulting in the highest industry average PSI score of the nine years Pied Piper has been benchmarking the U.S. motorcycle industry. An example of industry wide improvement is the substantial increase in test rides offered. Five years ago an immediate test ride was offered only 15% of the time, while the possibility of a future test ride was mentioned 19% of the time, for a grand total of test rides of any type mentioned 34% of the time. The 2015 study showed that immediate test rides were offered 35% of the time and future test rides were mentioned 28% of the time, for a grand total of test rides of any type mentioned 63% of the time.

Other examples of industry wide improvement include salespeople requesting customer contact information 57% of the time vs 46% of the time five years ago, salespeople asking about trade-ins 39% of the time vs 27% of the time five years ago, and salespeople encouraging customers to sit on a bike 81% of the time vs 70% of the time five years ago.

Pied Piper has found that on average, when motorcycle dealerships are ranked by their PSI score, dealerships in the top quarter sell 22% more motorcycles than dealerships in the bottom quarter. “So much about the motorcycle business is difficult for a dealership to control,” said Fran O’Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. “In contrast, dealerships can control the sales process used by their sales team, and the results are clearly worth the effort.”

Ducati Ranked Top Dealer For Second Year Running

 

Harley-Davidson Recalls 46,000 Bikes Because Riders Were Crashing

Harley-Davidson is recalling almost 46,000 motorcycles in the United States due to the potential issue of bikes staying in gear due to clutches that wouldn’t fully disengage. In the affected motorcycles, the clutch master cylinder may lose the ability to generate enough lift to disengage the clutch, especially if the motorcycle has been parked for an extended period of time. This was apparently caused by a chemical reaction inside the clutch system creating gas bubbles which may cause loss of clutch lift.

The recall comes in the wake of various customer complaints and as a result of 27 accidents which resulted in injuries in four of those crashes – likely from riders panicking and not rolling off the throttle or applying the brakes when the clutch wouldn’t disengage.

The recall covers models from the 2014 and 2014 years such as the Electra Glide, Street Glide, Road Glide and Road King.

Harley-Davidson will notify owners and dealers will flush the clutch system and rebuild the clutch master cylinder, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 23, 2015. Owners in The United may contact Harley-Davidson customer service at 1-800-258-2464. Harley-Davidson’s number for this recall is 0165. More details of the recall are located here. No word as yet if the recall will be extended worldwide.

Harley-Davidson Recalls 46,000 Bikes Because Riders Were Crashing

Harley-Davidson Revenue Down, Profit Up for Q1 2015

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) first-quarter 2015 diluted earnings per share increased 5.0 percent to $1.27 compared to diluted EPS of $1.21 in the year-ago period. Net income was $269.9 million on consolidated revenue of $1.67 billion compared to net income of $265.9 million on consolidated revenue of $1.73 billion in last year’s first quarter. Revenue in this year’s first quarter was down from the year-ago period primarily on unfavorable foreign currency exchange and slightly lower motorcycle shipments.

“While the first quarter had its share of headwinds, our business is strong and we remain clearly focused on executing Harley-Davidson’s strategy to be customer-led in everything we do, grow our reach among new customers in the U.S., grow internationally and continuously improve every aspect of our operations,” said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. “We continue to manage Harley-Davidson for long-term performance from a position of great strength.”

Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales
In the first quarter of 2015, worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 1.3 percent compared to last year’s first quarter. Dealers worldwide sold 56,661 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 57,415 motorcycles in the year-ago quarter.

In the U.S., dealers sold 35,488 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the quarter, down 0.7 percent compared to sales of 35,730 motorcycles in the year-ago period. The company believes increased, aggressive competitive motorcycle discounting was among the factors adversely affecting first-quarter U.S. retail Harley-Davidson sales.

In international markets, dealers sold 21,173 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the quarter compared to 21,685 motorcycles in the year-ago period, with unit sales down 1.1 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 5.6 percent in the EMEA region and up 0.3 percent in the Latin America region and 5.7 percent in Canada.

“Given the first-quarter retail results, and ongoing, increased levels of aggressive competitive discounting in the U.S. which we expect will continue, we are taking the precautionary step of lowering our estimated growth rate for full-year motorcycle shipments in order to manage supply in line with demand and protect the premium nature of our brand,” said Wandell.

The company now expects motorcycle shipments to grow approximately 2 percent to 4 percent in 2015, compared to its previous forecast of approximately 4 percent to 6 percent shipment growth.

“Despite the current headwinds, we believe Harley-Davidson’s brand fundamentals remain strong,” said Wandell. “Our brand is among the most iconic in the world and our motorcycles continue to generate great interest. Dealer sales of the newest Project Rushmore motorcycles – including the Road Glide and Low models — were robust in the first quarter, as were sales of the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and 500 motorcycles in international markets. Sales in many of our emerging markets were up significantly in the quarter, including India, China and Mexico. And we continue to grow our network of nearly 1,500 independent dealerships in more than 90 countries globally.

“We also recently received the annual data on our U.S. demographic market share, which we believe demonstrates the strength of the brand long-term,” said Wandell.

In 2014, Harley-Davidson was the number-one seller of new on-road motorcycles to U.S. young adults ages 18-34, women, African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasian men ages 35-plus for the seventh straight year. In the 601cc-plus U.S. on-road market, Harley-Davidson sold more than three times as many new motorcycles to young adults ages 18-34, more than seven times as many to women, more than five times as many to Hispanics, more than five times as many to African Americans and more than nine times as many to Caucasian men ages 35-plus as the nearest competitor. Data are based on Harley-Davidson’s analysis of Polk U.S. new motorcycle registration data from IHS Automotive for CY2008-2014.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Results
Operating income for the Motorcycles and Related Products segment (the Motorcycles segment) was $345.5 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to operating income of $347.7 million in the year-ago period. Operating income in the quarter was primarily impacted by unfavorable foreign currency exchange, partially offset by strong productivity gains.
Revenue from sales of motorcycles to dealers and distributors was $1.26 billion, compared to revenue of $1.31 billion in the year-ago period. The company shipped 79,589 motorcycles worldwide during the quarter compared to shipments of 80,682 motorcycles in the year-ago period.

Revenue from motorcycle parts and accessories was $183.9 million during the quarter compared to $198.1 million in the year-ago period. Revenue from general merchandise, which includes MotorClothes apparel and accessories, was $66.4 million compared to $64.1 million in the year-ago period.

Gross margin for the Motorcycles segment was 39.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 37.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014. First-quarter operating margin for the Motorcycles segment was 22.9 percent compared to operating margin of 22.1 percent in last year’s first quarter.

Financial Services Segment Results
Operating income from financial services was $64.7 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $63.2 million in last year’s first quarter. First-quarter financial services results reflect favorable net interest and higher non-lending income, partially offset by increased provision for credit losses.

Guidance
Harley-Davidson is revising its full-year guidance for motorcycle shipments, reflecting its commitment to manage supply in line with demand, and now expects to ship 276,000 to 281,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2015, an approximate 2 percent to 4 percent increase from 2014. The company previously had provided full-year shipment guidance of 282,000 to 287,000 motorcycles. In the second quarter, the company expects to ship 83,000 to 88,000 motorcycles, compared to 92,217 motorcycles shipped in the year-ago period. The company continues to expect full-year 2015 operating margin of approximately 18 to 19 percent for the Motorcycles segment. The company also continues to expect 2015 capital expenditures for Harley-Davidson, Inc. of $240 million to $260 million.

Income Tax Rate
For the first quarter of 2015, Harley-Davidson’s effective tax rate was 34.4 percent compared to 35.0 percent in the year-ago quarter. The company continues to expect its full-year 2015 effective tax rate to be approximately 35.5 percent.

Cash Flow
Cash and marketable securities totaled $1.23 billion at the end of the first quarter, compared to $1.03 billion in the year-ago quarter. In the first quarter of 2015, Harley-Davidson generated $174.7 million of cash from operating activities, compared to $203.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. On a discretionary basis, the company repurchased 2.9 million shares – or $182.5 million — of Harley-Davidson, Inc. common stock during the first quarter of 2015. In the first quarter of 2015, there were approximately 211.8 million Harley-Davidson weighted-average diluted common shares outstanding, compared to approximately 220.5 million shares in the year-ago quarter. At the end of the first quarter, 18.6 million shares remained on board-approved share repurchase authorizations.

Harley-Davidson Revenue Down, Profit Up for Q1 2015

Project LiveWire Tour Goes Global

Remember all the buzz and excitement about Harley Davidson’s Project LiveWire when it was first announced? Well, it’s worn off a bit since it first debuted and perhaps even more so since Harley Davidson’s own CEO said it would cost $50,000 and have the range of 50 miles if it were released today.

That said, if you’re still interested in seeing the LiveWire in the metal or even having a ride of it but don’t live in the United States, then we’ve got good news. Harley-Davidson has announced that the Project LiveWire tour is going international with the first stop being at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

Project LiveWire has reset expectations about what a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can be,” said Harley-Davidson Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer. “The first phase of the Project LiveWire Experience tour provided valuable feedback about the features and experience riders expect from an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle. This year we’re expanding that experience to a global audience to gain even deeper insights from riders to help us shape the future direction of this exciting technology.”

There will be a contest for residents of Europe to have the opportunity to ride the bike at select locations in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The tour will also continue in the United States and journey north into Canada as well.

Call us cynical but so far as we can see, Project LiveWire is more marketing exercise than an actual attempt by Harley-Davidson to bring itself into the 21st century. We’d be happy to be proven wrong though.

For more information, visit the Project LiveWire website.  The full press release is below.

Project LiveWire Tour Goes Global


Riders around the world will have the chance to add their voices to help shape the future of Project LiveWire™, Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, as the company’s Project LiveWire™ Experience tour expands globally in 2015.

Building on the excitement of Project LiveWire’s debut last year, select consumers in Asia, Europe, Canada, and the United States will have an opportunity to ride and provide feedback on the bike, helping to guide the development of the new motorcycle, beginning this week with events at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.

“Project LiveWire has reset expectations about what a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can be,” said Harley-Davidson Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer. “The first phase of the Project LiveWire Experience tour provided valuable feedback about the features and experience riders expect from an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle. This year we’re expanding that experience to a global audience to gain even deeper insights from riders to help us shape the future direction of this exciting technology.”

While not for sale, the Project LiveWire™ motorcycle was specifically designed for the purpose of seeking insight into rider expectations of an electric Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. The Project LiveWire Experience invites customers to test ride and learn more about the story of the motorcycle and provide feedback on their experience. Even those who don’t yet ride will have the opportunity to feel the power of Project LiveWire through the Jumpstart™ demo – a simulated riding experience.

In 2014, more than 15,000 customers provided feedback on Project LiveWire, including more than 6,800 who took demo rides, as part of a 30-stop tour across the United States and at a special consumer event for Latin American customers in Miami. Longer term plans for retail availability of Project LiveWire will be influenced by feedback from riders during the Project Livewire Experience tour.

Highlights of the 2015 tour, which encompasses events in eight countries on three continents, include:

  • Media and invitation-only consumer rides at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit from Feb. 25 to March 4.
  • A contest for riders throughout Europe to enter for a chance to be one of the first 1,000 people to ride Project LiveWire at one of five locations in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands from May to August.
  • A 13-stop tour in the United States and Canada visiting select Harley-Davidson® dealerships and consumer events beginning in April.

“We are led by what our customers tell us matters most,” said Richer. “Because electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, we are excited to learn more from riders through the Project LiveWire Experience to fully understand the definition of success in this market as the technology continues to evolve.”

An Innovative Approach to Advance the Possibilities of Personal Freedom
Project LiveWire blends the company’s styling heritage with the latest technology to deliver a new expression of the signature Harley-Davidson look, sound and feel. The motorcycle offers a visceral riding experience with exhilarating acceleration and an unmistakable new sound.

Fans can learn more about Project LiveWire, at www.projectlivewire.com. More information about specific dates and locations will be posted on the web site as details become available. Harley-Davidson also invites anyone who is interested in the possibilities of the future to follow and engage with the company on its social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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.h-d.com.

 

News Round-Up – New H-D CEO announced, Dainese Release 2015 Jeans Range, RedShiftMX in Action

Matt Levatich To Take Over as New CEO of Harley-Davidson

Current CEO of Harley-Davidson, Keith Wandell will retire from the role on 1 May 2015 and will be replaced by Matt Levatich who currently sits in the role of President and Chief Operating Officer. The retirement of Wandell will bring to an end a six year tenure and one which saw him steer the company through a major global recession – one that hit the motorcycle industry hard.

As it stands, Harley-Davidson has probably never been in better health for many decades, with every increasing profits and huge cash reserves. “We have accomplished a lot to reposition Harley-Davidson for a bright future,” said Wandell, “and the most important achievement has been the development of great leaders at all levels of the organization. Our executive team has been integral to the creation and execution of our strategy and assuring a strong company going forward.”

Matt Levatich, 50, joined Harley-Davidson in 1994. In addition to an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Levatich holds a graduate degree in engineering management and an MBA from Northwestern University. He also served as the President and Managing Director of the MV Agusta before H-D sold the Italian marque in 2010.

Matt Levatich New Harley-Davidson CEO

 

Dainese 2015 Motorcycle Jeans Collection

Kevlar jeans are pretty important to wear as the abrasion resistant qualities of denim jeans is basically the same as tissue paper. But they’re often incredibly ugly, heavy and hot. But thankfully if there’s anyone that can make kevlar jeans stylish, it’s Dainese. In 2010 Dainese was the first company to make jeans a “technical” garment, and now the company has created an entire collection dedicated to denim—100% made in Italy.

The range features ten models, four types of cut and special colors, thanks to the choice of washed, used or rinsed finishes that make the Dainese jeans range a must-have for all riders who want to feel comfortable and stylish without having to forego safety—a trademark of the Vicenza, Italy-based brand. Each garment has technical features including an inner lining that is reinforced with DuPont Kevlar fibers and reflective inserts that not only make the items comfortable to wear, but also increase safety.

For more info, visit www.dainese.com.

Dainese D1 Evo 2015

 

Development of Alta Motors RedShift MX Continues

The idea behind the Alta Motors RedShift MX is fantastic – an electric supermoto or dirtbike (both versions are being worked on) that would promise huge decreases in maintenance costs and even downtime for racers with the ability to quickly swap batteries.

The RedShift promises to produce 40hp from it’s 11lb engine and the total weight of the bike itself is only 265lb. The trade off for this low weight is the fact that the maximum range will be about 50 miles – useless for the road but somewhat practical for competition. It’s been a few months since we last heard anything about the RedShift, but as the video below shows it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

[vimeo 118624089 w=500 h=281]