Sons Of Anarchy Vrs Harley Davidson – Round One

Oh dear it would seem there’s no end to the woes of Harley Davidson.

Flagging sales and financial problems have dogged it of late and now one of the best advertising opportunities the company had, has had enough of getting nothing in return.  On his Twitter page series writer Kurt Sutter issued the stunning announcement that Harley’s would no longer be used on the show due to poor response from HD and bootleg SOA merchandise being sold through HD outlets.  His exact tweets were;

– SOA has boosted HARLEY sales and we get next to nothing in return. now i find harley shops are selling bootleg soa gear. fuck you HD usa.

– next season, SOA upgrades to VICTORY, the other great american bike. i’ll make a story point about it, start to put a dent in the HD market.

If he’d said this in a fit of rage at what he sees as an unfair situation he hasn’t deleted the posts, but has since tweeted a slight retraction to clam the issue;

– Okay so I probably won’t pull them off harleys,that’ll hurt the show, I just hate when big companies throw their monopolistic weight around.



However despite this tweet following two hours after the previous ones the damage appears to have been done, with disgruntled fans making the pitch for Victorys, Indians, or customs to take over two-wheeled duties on the show.

While it may be a few idiot shop owners selling bootleg gear and not HD themselves sanctioning such practices (hopefully) the lack of reciprocal promotion of the show by HD is ridiculously inept PR.  Which ever chimp is wearing the Harley CEO hat currently should pass it along.

Follow http://twitter.com/sutterink for more developments

Many thanks to The Borg, http://twitter.com/The_BORG for the heads up on the story.

 

Erik Buell Racing 1190RS on the road soon

While Harley Davidson lurches from crisis to crisis, its former employee/partner Erik Buell’s company Erik Buell Racing is on the rise.

Erik’s race bikes have been award winners on the American circuits and the time spent drawing up plans for new road bikes while under HD’s wing will not be in vain it would seem.  Coming soon will be a road ready version of EBR’s successful race bike, the 1190RR.

A teaser video of some form will be appearing on Erik Buell’s music label Rat Pack Records website today, September 14th, which will be a music video that will somehow feature a first look at the new road ready 1190RS.  Also on the site is merchandise marked with the EBR 1190RS logo.  The website states;

The 1190RS will be the new street bike from Erik Buell Racing! The design is currently in the pre-production / testing stage and is not yet available for public sale. Show your support and be the very first to get your new 1190RS and new EBR logo merchandise! Check back here Tuesday, September 14th for the 1190RS “teaser” video featuring music from Wratchet Head the new project from Michael Wilton of Queensryche!

While it doesn’t sound like we’ll be getting much in the way of technical specs during a brief music video, it’s a good way to start getting the word out that the company is ready to tackle the market despite the poor economy.  Surely someone is kicking themselves at  HD for their overly hasty decision to dispose of Buell and his team.

Check out Rat Pack Records for the music video

Visit Erik Buell Racing for details of their current sports bikes

Some of the merchandise available for the 1190RS-

Captain America Rides a Harley!

It’s all Harley Davidson news this week, a nice break from Italian brands I suppose.

This is a spy shot from the upcoming ‘Captain America : The First Avenger’ movie due out July 22nd 2012.  Currently filming in England the movie will tell the origin of Captain America, from patriotic but too unhealthy to fight Steve Rogers, to super soldier serum enhanced, shield swinging, hero of WWII.  The Daily Mail newspaper got the spy shots of Cap on his Harley WLA, with a few ahem ‘modern’ additions, ridden by a stunt double for the film’s star Chris Evans.

He is being chased by some fantastically styled Nazis, probably henchmen of Cap’s arch enemy The Red Skull, played by Hugo Weaving in the movie.  The film is made by Joe Johnston who also made the retro styled ‘The Rocketeer’ and from the ‘futuristic’ look of the Nazis bikes he’s brought the same designs to this period film.

For more pictures head over to The Daily Mail

Harley Davidson’s European Bike Week Event

Austrians prepare to be deafened!

Now in it’s 13th year Harley Davidson is holding its European Bike Week Event,  7th to 12th September, with 100,000 bikers expected.   All the regular event fixtures will be there with plenty of live music, food, and some fantastic bikes on show.  Despite Harleys difficulties it great to see that this event didn’t fall under its cost cutting efforts and will be a great showcase for HD in Europe.  Harley Davidson press for the event says;

‘Once again, the Austrian region of Carinthia will come alive with the sound of V-Twins rumbling through its veins as European Bike Week enters its 13th consecutive year.

With 12 massively successful parties in its back catalogue, can this event get any better? Oh yes it can! The 2010 party promises to once again live up to its title as Europe’s biggest free biker festival. If you’re a regular visitor, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. If you haven’t been before, get the dates in your diary – September 7-12 – it will be an event to remember!

There is a full music line-up on the main stage from Tuesday to Saturday, free demo rides and an even bigger customizer area that will host the Custom Bike Show, which is once again affiliated to the AMD World Championships where one lucky winner will be given the chance to compete at Sturgis in 2011!

The Harley-Davidson Hospitality Bar moves to the main plaza alongside the Expo Area and the infamous dealer mile. Hot Dot Cafe and Choppers Bar return to keep the party alive into the early hours!’

RTWW can’t make it this year but it’s penciled in for 2011.  If you’re heading to the event and get some good photos send them to us at info@ridethewildwind.co.uk

For full event details visit – http://www.europeanbikeweek.com/en/home.asp

More Difficulties for Harley Davidson

The world’s best known bike company continues to struggle against adversity and has been dealt another blow with its long time advertising company Carmichael Lynch no longer wanting to work with them.  Carmichael Lynch have reportedly said they’ve basically exhausted their ideas to promote HD and are cutting their ties after 31 years of Harley advertising campaigns.  With sales still not recovering due to the economic circumstances, and rumors of a potential move from its home in Milwaukee to Kansas City, or further afield, to save costs, this is a critical time for Harley.

While still popular in America, where motorcycles and Harley Davidson are one and the same, there must be a significant impact internationally from Japanese and European manufacturers as the sheer numbers of bikes of all types for all abilities squeeze HD out of the market.

Price cuts in the UK have just been announced to try to stimulate interest, with £700 being cut from the Nightrod Special as one example.

The European Bike Week event taking place in Austria this week is a very successful Harley Davidson sponsored affair and is expected to attract some 100,000 bikers, with Harley bringing in Sturgis stars and others to showcase their machines.  However its hard to see a European riders swapping their Ducati road going missile for the comfort and chrome of a Harley.

HD is going to have to start thinking outside the box to turn things around.  Obviously, like every business, the recession has been very damaging, but perhaps they were a bit short sighted to cast off Buell in a rush, as there were some excellent machines due from their subsidiary which marketed right could have helped financially.  Or perhaps Harleys have reached saturation point in the market as they have been around for a hell of a long time now.  It’s always said that every biker should own a Harley at some point in their biking life, perhaps everybody has.

While it’s unlikely Harley will fail they’d better stop scaring us!

MV Agusta’s 675cc F3 Back on Track

Last year there were many spy shots and rumors of a 675cc sports bike under development from MV Agusta, and promises of reveals at different shows across Europe.  Unfortunately due to the company’s previous faltering fortunes under Harley Davidson’s control, the bike was shelved until the sale or dissolution of MV.  Thankfully now that MV has been saved by former owner Claudio Castiglioni, his first act has been to dust off the F3 bike and make it the model to lead the resurrection of the Italian brand.  So it’ll be cameras at the ready again around Schiranna in the hopes of some new spy shots.

Spy Shots featured previously on http://www.motoplanete.com

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MV Agusta is Italian Again

After a brief flirtation with its american buyer Harley Davidson, MV Agusta returns to its Italian roots following the sale of the company back to former owner Claudio Castiglioni.  While this is great news for Italy’s resurgent motorcycle industry, it’s unlikely that the funds will make a dent in Harley’s failing finances, with rumors again swirling around HD leaving its Milwaukee home for pastures cheaper.

It would seem the world of bikes has been focussed like a laser on Italy for most of 2010 with revolutionary bikes from Ducati, and more to come, Moto Morini breathing life on the embers of its business, Moto Guzzi showcasing some great concepts for its future plans, and now MV Agusta has its country men at the helm once more.

The press release from MV Agusta is below;

Varese, August 6th 2010 – Claudio and Giovanni Castiglioni, through their family holding company have repurchased from Harley Davidson 100% of the shares of MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. which owns historic brands MV Agusta and Cagiva.  Harley-Davidson announced in October 2009 its intention to sell MV Agusta to concentrate on its core business and brand.  In connection with the repurchase transaction Lazard and Co. have acted as the financial advisor along with counsel Alessandro Varrenti (CBA) and Giuseppe Galeano whom provided legal and tax assistance in conjunction with family counsellors Giuseppe Carteni (Leadlaw), Andrea Lanata and Sergio Caramella.

Along with Giovanni Castiglioni, the company will be headed by Mr. Massimo Bordi, a well known Italian manager.  A 62-year-old engineer, Bordi took Ducati to success during the years when that company was owned by the Castiglionis and continued to manage it successfully under the ownership of Texas Pacific Group.  Since 2003 Massimo Bordi has been the CEO of Same Deutz Fahr, contributing largely to the success of the company.  Massimo Bordi commented that “MV Agusta has full capacity to once again become a major player in the high luxury brand motor bikes, this brand is one of the most recognized worldwide. We will implement a number of reorganization and managerial actions in the near future.  Both the current and new models under development have a very strong character, great innovative features and a very unique design, I have no doubts about their future success. “Claudio Castiglioni, the historic intimate soul of MV Agusta will continue as chairman, and will concentrate on the development of the new products.

Upon signing the agreement with Harley-Davidson, Claudio Castiglioni stated “MV Agusta is the crown jewel of Italian motorcycles, I am thrilled to have completed this transaction.  I have already won once together with Massimo Bordi, we made the most beautiful bikes in the world and we will continue with this tradition”.


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