Biker News & Biker Lifestyle

Harley Davidson say NO to Lawmakers on rethinking Plant closing while introducing 2 more sportster models

By James “Hollywood”Macecari
It seems lately that everyone has been on suicide watch while watching Harley Davidson and it’s death spiral. Harley Davidson has made it’s final decision regarding the Kansas City Plant costing workers over 800 jobs. The Unions and even some lawmakers fought as hard as they could but in the end their was nothing they could do either . The Kansas City plant will join the many others over the country that have shut down. In the years to come the plant that use to be Harley Davidson will be nothing more than an overgrown weed invested plant.
“Unfortunately, there’s nothing our unions or local or congressional members could have done to relieve the pressure of excess capacity we have in the U.S. today,” Harley spokesman Michael Pflughoeft told the Journal Sentinel. “If there was, we would have reached out to discuss options.”
Name/Title Total Cash Equity Other Total Compensation
John A. Olin

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
$1,672,618 $1,566,057 $44,446 $3,283,121
Matthew S. Levatich

President and Chief Executive Officer
$3,124,828 $4,725,030 $106,445 $7,956,303
Lawrence G. Hund

President and Chief Operating Officer – HDFS
$1,509,993 $1,290,070 $25,766 $2,825,829
Paul J. Jones

Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
$1,254,006 $908,026 $95,359 $2,257,391
Michelle A. Kumbier

Senior Vice President, Motor Company Product and Operations – HDMC
$1,226,250 $961,035 $48,396 $2,235,
Source :
800 jobs are lost and above is what the top 5 at Harley Davidson make. These people are making millions putting people out of work ; worse of all, killing a legend of a company. But hey, good news is Harley Davidson is putting out two new sportsters that anyone could build out of an old ironhead themselves. All I can say is Harley Davidson is a mess and good luck with the new model sales.
By  – Associate Editor, Online, Kansas City Business Journal

Days after Kansas City’s congressional delegation made a plea to company officials to keep an 800-person manufacturing plant open, Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) said it won’t reconsider the decision.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the motorcycle maker says the decision won’t be reversed. Harley reiterated that the plant closing is based on the market, and is not a reflection of the “tremendous job” done by the workers in Kansas City.

Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill and Reps. Emanuel Cleaver and Sam Graves all signed the letter [PDF] that noted the 20-year history of the Harley plant and the “considerable incentive package” that brought it to Kansas City.

Union officials also have been applying pressure on Harley, calling out the company for mishandling the situation and its workers.

“Unfortunately, there’s nothing our unions or local or congressional members could have done to relieve the pressure of excess capacity we have in the U.S. today,” Harley spokesman Michael Pflughoeft told the Journal Sentinel. “If there was, we would have reached out to discuss options.”

Harley announced Jan. 30 that it planned to shutter the plant in the third quarter of 2019, moving the work to a factory in York, Pa. Company officials said layoffs in Kansas City would begin in July.

insane throttle motorcycle superstore

Source: The Drive

A garage-built custom…from the factory. Harley-Davidson introduced two new Sportster models to add to its goal of 100 models in 100 years, for the 100th-anniversary celebration in 2027. These two new, high-bar Sportsters have “throw-back styling trends from the custom-bike scene,” according to Harley-Davidson. That marketing line has a scent reminiscent of the old days and reminds me of the start of the FX line, which was said to be a factory-built custom. The two models are claimed to be new, but not really.

“Since its inception, the Sportster has offered the perfect combination of size, power and character that makes it appealing to so many different riders,” said Harley-Davidson V.P. of Styling & Design, Brad Richards.

Both bikes feature the same basic goodies as the rest of the Sportster line, the 1202cc Evolution 1200 V-Twin engine with a claimed 73 pound-feet of torque (Harley-Davidson doesn’t release horsepower numbers). They both sit on the traditional narrow chassis and twin-shock rear swing arm suspension. Both bikes feature nine-spoke cast wheels.

Iron 1200

The Iron 1200 features satin-black Mini Apes handlebars (8.75-inch rise, 32-inch spread and 6.5-inch pullback), a gloss black headlight “speed screen” fairing and a Cafe Solo seat. The paint scheme is a multi-color striped that wraps around the tank, it reminds me of the AMF paint schemes of the ‘70s. The Iron 1200 is mostly blacked out, with a gloss-black air cleaner, and blacked out exhaust and engine.

Forty-Eight Special

Designed to be the burlier of the two, the Forty-Eight Special has a 130-millimeter front tire and 49-millimeter forks. The 7.25-inch high Tallboy handlebars look a little high, but in my personal experience, is probably a pleasure to ride. The much smaller 2.2-gallon “peanut” tank, features rows of bold, horizontal stripes and available in Vivid Black, Wicked Red, and Billiard White. The engine has some more chrome bits than the Iron 1200.

Are these, in fact, new motorcycles? Depends on who you ask. From a dealership and manufacturer perspective absolutely, but for you or me, not really. It’s mostly cosmetic and bolt-on items the average guy could do at home. But that’s the advantage of the H-D brand. Unlike a car, it can easily and inexpensively adjust the looks and ergonomics to boost sales, which are needed right now.

“A Sportster is a relatively easy bike to strip down and reinvent. What we’ve done to create the new Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special is what Sportster owners have been doing with their own bikes for generations,” said Richards.

The fat-front-tire look is not my fashion, I hate it in fact, but apparently, it sells. The paint scheme, however, I can dig it. As a loyal Harley-Davidson fan and rider, I won’t knock the brand for introducing the two new bikes, I hope it’s a breath of fresh air to move more units, but I won’t run to my local dealership to check them out either. Call me when the XR returns.

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