Blind Bob the Alligator Wins Broken Spoke Burnout Contest

File this in the “Things You See at Bike Week” category. Now, while seeing a guy in an alligator suit at the Broken Spoke during Bike Week is a peculiar enough sight, seeing him compete in the burnout contest later that night took things to the next level. After they got his buddy’s motorcycle strapped down, Bob was led to the bike where he carefully felt his way up from the back fender to the controls. Soon he was working those controls like a boss, hand-shifting his way to a big, smoky burnout. Bob didn’t stop ’till the back tire blew, endearing himself to the crowd on his way to winning the burnout contest. No small feat considering Bob is blind. Rock on, Bob!

Going to Daytona Bike Week – Motorcycle Packing Tips

If you are packing up your motorcycle to head down to Daytona Bike Week this week, here is a great list of suggestions and ideas on how and what to pack.

Tips to pack for a motorcycle tour

TRAVEL TIPS FROM EXPERIENCED TOUR RIDERS

  • Lightweight synthetic clothing – such as T-shirts and underwear – can be washed in a hotel sink and dried overnight (cotton fabrics take too long to dry in this manner).
  • Zipper-lock plastic bags of various sizes can be used for organizing items in saddlebags and duffle bags. They can make it easier to find and retrieve particular items without unpacking your entire motorcycle. Use the one-gallon size to pack one day’s worth of clothes – jeans, undergarments, and shirt. This makes it easier to unpack just what you need.
  • Don’t fold your clothes – roll them. They take up less space that way.
  • Pack items that have more than one use. A multi-tool is handier than a basic pocket knife.
  • When traveling with other riders, conserve space by comparing packing lists and eliminating duplicate items.
  • When traveling (two-up) with a spouse or “significant other”, can you share a tube of toothpaste and shampoo for a week.
  • On long trips, consider bringing your rattiest underwear (or other clothing), then just throw it away when you’re done with it!
  • Don’t forget power cords and chargers for your cell phone and other electronic devices.
  • Check the cargo weight limits of your bike – as wells as the bags and racks – and adjust tire pressure and suspension accordingly.
  • Few things are as easy to pack as money or credit cards. If you’re struggling with whether or not to bring a particular item, consider simply buying it on the road if you need it.
  • If you watch the ounces, the pounds will take care of themselves. When possible, lighter is better.
  • When loading your bike, keep as much weight as possible close to the bike’s center of gravity. That means low and toward the tank, distributed evenly from side to side.
  • A day or two before you leave, do a dry run. Pack the bike and go for a short ride, then adjust the load as needed.
  • If you’re camping, set up your tent once or twice before you leave (and don’t forget to waterproof it). Practice setting it up in the dark.
  • With your bike fully loaded, check your headlamp to make sure it’s properly aimed.
  • Pack all your cold weather and raingear (raingear on top) no matter what time of year it is.
  • Plastic bags make great boot liners if you forgot your gaiters. If you forgot your rain gloves, rubber dishwashing gloves are cheap and easy to buy.
  • A small towel can be wrapped around your neck during a rainstorm to keep water from running down your back – and doubles as a shop rag.

Harley News: HOG Fourth Quarter & Full-Year 2016 Results

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 31, 2017 – Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) fourth quarter 2016 diluted EPS increased 22.7 percent to $0.27 compared to $0.22 in the same period of 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2016, net income was $47.2 million on consolidated revenue of $1.11 billion versus net income of $42.2 million on consolidated revenue of $1.18 billion in the year-ago period. Full-year 2016 diluted EPS increased 3.8 percent to $3.83 compared to diluted EPS of $3.69 in 2015. Full-year net income was $692.2 million on consolidated revenue of $6.0 billion versus net income of $752.2 million on consolidated revenue of $6.0 billion a year ago.

“The global competitive environment remains intense, but our 2016 results demonstrate that our increased investments to drive demand and bring impactful new products to market are working,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. “We are energized by our resolve to compete and win in the U.S. and in major international markets. Our market share performance gives us great confidence in the strength of our long-term strategy.”

For the full-year 2016, worldwide Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales were down 1.6 percent compared to 2015. U.S. retail sales decreased 3.9 percent, partially offset by international growth of 2.3 percent.

During 2016, the company reported its best-ever retail sales results in Asia Pacific and EMEA. In the 601+cc motorcycle market, the company grew its number one market share position in the U.S. and grew market share in Europe. The company added 40 new dealer points internationally and reported that U.S. dealers trained more than 65,000 new riders through the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. The company also launched its model year 2017 lineup of motorcycles, featuring the new, highly-acclaimed Milwaukee-Eight™ engine, and upgraded suspension, on all new Touring motorcycles.

“Our long-term strategy is all about growing ridership in the U.S., growing reach and impact internationally, and growing share and profit in every market we serve,” stated Levatich. “Our goal over the next 10 years is to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders worldwide.”

In the fourth quarter, worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles declined 0.5 percent versus the prior year behind modest declines in some international markets partially offset by slight growth in the U.S.

Fourth quarter revenue from motorcycles and related products was down versus the prior year behind fewer motorcycle shipments. Operating margin as a percent of revenue increased in the quarter compared to the same period in 2015, resulting from lower SG&A.

Financial services operating income fell 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the year ago period.

Income Tax Rate

For 2016, Harley-Davidson’s effective tax rate was 32.4 percent compared to 34.6 percent the prior year. The lower effective tax rate is attributed to the successful closure of various tax audits in 2016.

Other Results

Cash and marketable securities amounted to $765.5 million at the end of 2016, compared to $767.4 million at the end of 2015. Harley-Davidson generated $1.17 billion of cash from operating activities in 2016 compared to $1.10 billion in 2015. On a discretionary basis, the company repurchased 1.7 million shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter of 2016 at a cost of $91.0 million. In 2016, Harley-Davidson repurchased 9.7 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $459.1 million. In the fourth quarter of 2016, there were 177.6 million weighted-average diluted common shares outstanding. At the end of 2016, 19.3 million shares remained on a board-approved share repurchase authorization.

Guidance       

For 2017, Harley-Davidson anticipates full-year motorcycle shipments to be flat to down modestly in comparison to 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, Harley-Davidson expects to ship approximately 66,000 to 71,000 motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson expects full-year 2017 operating and gross margin as a percent of revenue to be approximately in line with 2016 and its full-year effective tax rate to be approximately 34.5 percent.

American Iron Salute: Heroes In Uniform

aisalute-coverAmerican Iron is proud to announce the release of a special edition publication dedicated to men and women in uniform. American Iron Salute: Heroes In Uniform is a tribute to those who serve our country as soldiers, police officers, and firefighters. American Iron Salute: Heroes In Uniform is available on newsstands today, and it features a variety of custom tribute motorcycles, in-depth stories on motorcycles’ deep connection to the military, the history behind Harley-Davidson and Indian in service, and product reviews from brands that proudly support our servicemen and women. AI Salute is also available via Greaserag.com, and as an instant digital download: AI Salute Digital.

The American Iron family of publications is growing! American Iron Magazine is published 13 times per year. American Iron Garage, our all-tech magazine, is increasing to 6 issues per year and now offers subscriptions. And special editions like American Iron Salute are available as special interest motorcycle titles.

American Iron Salute (Print) GreaseRag.com or local Newsstand.

American Iron Salute (Digital) AI Salute Digital