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Evening News- Red-Hot Action Expected at Lexington’s Red Mile as American Flat Track Arrives in Kentucky: Ten Questions With Harley-Davidson MotorClothes’ :Wisconsin bracing for retaliation tariffs on Harley-Davidson and agricultural products

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Source- American Flat Track

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 31, 2018) – A lot can change in a year. Last year during this very week, American Flat Track was headed to the Indian Motorcycle Red Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle of Lexington with its defending Grand National Champion – Bryan Smith (No. 4 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) – leading the charge and looking nearly unstoppable.

Smith was riding a four-race win streak into the series’ inaugural stop in Lexington, while fellow Indian factory rider Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing SDI Scout FTR750) was merely the leader of the pack desperately chasing Smith.

But at the end of a 130-mph evening at the Red Mile, Mees stood as the victor. It didn’t come easily, as Mees only narrowly aced ‘Slammin’ Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R) by 0.013 seconds to claim the checkered flag.

Since that night the wins have come a whole lot easier for Mees, and, by contrast, less so for Smith (and everyone else for that matter). Dating back to that inaugural AFT race at the Red Mile, Mees has garnered 13 of the last 19 AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event wins, earned the 2017 title and assembled a massive title lead to this point in 2018.

As for Smith, he’s gone winless over that same span. Just mark it up as a little extra motivation in his quest for revenge. He and the rest of 2018’s version of the aforementioned pack should tip their hats to Jeffrey Carver Jr.(No. 23 Roof-Systems/Indian of Metro Milwaukee Scout FTR750), who once again demonstrated that Mees is not, in fact, invincible.

Carver rode like a man on a mission last weekend in Springfield. Was that simply an outlier performance, or the first sign of yet another landmark shift in momentum that could potentially alter the balance of power?

Nobody can accuse the AFT Singles action of being predictable or in any need of a shake-up. It’s pretty difficult to top six different winners in seven races. And when you scan the entry list there’s no shortage of worthy challengers who could very easily make that factoid seven different winners in eight races following the Red Mile.

That said, if the long list of frontrunners doesn’t act soon, Dan Bromley (No. 62 KTM North America/Bromley Motorsports 450 SX-F) could emerge from the chaos and further tighten his developing grip on the title race. His sterling record of two wins, two runner-ups and two third-place results this season have allowed him to pile up an 18-point advantage while no one was looking.

That lead is over Brandon Price (No. 92 Parkinson Brothers Racing/DPC Racing Honda CRF450R), who was involved in a crash during last weekend’s Springfield TT. The White Hall, MD native has been sidelined while he recuperates from the crash, but he’s eager to get back to the track. Bromley’s lead over third-ranked Jesse Janisch (No. 132 Roof Systems/West Bend Harley-Davidson-backed Yamaha YZ450F) is an imposing 36 points.

And then there’s 2018 Texas Half-Mile winner Kevin Stollings, who won at the inaugural Red Mile last year but was penalized points for being out of compliance with sound requirements post-race. So you just know Stollings will be hungry to avenge things this weekend.

As always, there’s a blast to be had in the lead-up to the race and away from the track once the weekend finally arrives. The party starts rolling tonight, Thursday, May 31, at The Break Room, located in Lexington’s Historic Distillery District (1178 Manchester St. Lexington, Ky.), featuring live music from the Home Grown Head Band starting at 7:00 pm ET.

And on Friday, June 1, Indian racers Bryan Smith, Davis Fisher and other top Indian riders will be at Indian Motorcycle of Lexington (1973 Bryant Rd, Lexington, Ky.) from 5:00-7:00 pm ET to sign autographs and take pictures with fans on the eve of the Red Mile.

And on Friday, June 1, Indian racers Bryan Smith, Davis Fisher and other top Indian riders will be at Indian Motorcycle of Lexington (1973 Bryant Rd, Lexington, Ky.) from 5:00-7:00 pm ET to sign autographs and take pictures with fans on the eve of the Red Mile.

As for race day, there’s much to partake in, and several options for fan-friendly enjoyment, including:

  • Fan Zone, including bounce house for kids and plenty of amazing food and drink
  • Turn One Bleacher Seating: tickets are still available for ideal seats where you can enjoy all the action, complete with good food and a full bar
  • VIP Suite tickets: indoor seating tickets with spectacular, lower-level views of the track, with snacks, dinner, drinks, beer, wine and a souvenir race program are going fast, so hurry
  • A selection of Kentucky microbrews and liquor featuring Stillhouse whiskey will be offered
  • Popular Kentucky rock band Frontier will be playing a range of music throughout the event, from originals to covers that span the decades – not to mention the national anthem during Opening Ceremonies
  • Additionally, Elvis will be in the building! Elvis Presley performer Jason Baglio, whose voice and look is amazingly genuine, will hang with fans and perform Elvis favorites

As always, military and first responders can score $20 tickets in the Turn One Bleachers, and children 12 and under are free in selected seating areas.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at  https://www.showclix.com/event/red-mile-2018. If you can’t make it down, FansChoice.tv has you covered beginning at 3:30 pm ET (12:30 pm PT) with Opening Ceremonies scheduled for 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT). Finally, be sure to tune into the feature broadcast of the Red Mile when it debuts on NBCSN on Saturday, June 16 at 5:00 pm ET (2:00 pm PT).

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Source: Forbes

Karen Davidson, the great-granddaughter of Harley-Davidson’s co-founder William A. Davidson, has been shaping the design direction for H-D General Merchandise’s apparel and accessory division for nearly 30 years.

After studying fashion design in college and successfully running her own leather design business for a while, Davidson decided to join the motorcycle company in 1989. In 1991, she was awarded the prestigious industry award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in New York in 1991 for fashion influence.

As the company gears up to celebrate its 115th year of inception, Harley is launching its exclusive lifestyle apparel stores throughout Asia, with a long-term strategy to build next generation of riders through casuals and off-the-bike clothing.

I rapped with Davidson when she recently visited India to inaugrate one of the lifestyle stores in the east Indian city of Kolkata.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Noma Nazish: When did you start riding and what was your first motorcycle?

Karen Davidson: I started riding when I was 9. My dad [Harley Davidson’s styling expert Willie G. Davidson] had procured a small motorcycle, one of our lightweight motorcycles – an older one an M50. All of us got a chance to experience it.

NN: What was it like growing up in the Davidson household as a female?

KD: It was the same as my brothers, we all had the same experiences. This was great as the brand meant I could do what my brothers did. There was no separation between what I

did versus the boys. We all got on the motorcycle together, went to a lot of events, races.

We had a lot of fun, a lot of adventures and we were on the road a lot. We also enjoyed many

different activities with customers, our riders. In fact, it had a major influence on me, on

what I was inspired to do later while being around the riding culture at a young age. Not

that I knew what I was going to do eventually!

NN: When did you decide to join the family business? How has the journey been so far?

KD: I officially joined the business in 1989. The journey has been amazing! To be able to step into something very new – which at that time we had just created [Harley’s clothing line]. It was very exciting as no one had done it before, you could go in and create newness, you could make improvements. It was fun and a challenging experience.

NN: Tell us more about Harley-Davidson’s lifestyle apparel? What does the clothing brand hope to achieve?

KD: The lifestyle apparel is a well-coordinated and high-quality collection. It expresses the brand in a very unique way. We hope that through it people learn more about the brand and immerse themselves deeper into the brand experience. They can take a piece and mix it with their own favorite pieces and make a unique look. But as they do that, there is some association with the brand. Maybe they’ll get curious about riding and the whole H-D experience and that may allow them to research about motorcycles and what’s going on at the dealerships.

NN: Where do you find your inspiration when it comes to designing Harley-Davidson

merch and apparel?

KD: I do the typical trend analysis and market study but when I step out I actually look at what customers are wearing. I experience textures, trims and customizations. I also talk to a lot of people on what they want which is very inspiring.

NN: What made you decide to expand your business in Asia?

KD: We’re getting a feel of the market and have high hopes. We hope people are going to learn more about the brand and will get involved in a much greater sense. As of now, Harley-Davidson has four lifestyle and apparel stores in India and a few in China. We’re thrilled with the response so far. We’ll see what this evolves to but we’re definitely anticipating a good response!

NN: Besides motorcycle riding, what other hobbies/passions keep you busy?

KD: I love horses, I have a horse! I like skiing as well. I like moving and I always like things that take you out, keep you moving and athletic. I am also a race fan!

NN: What has been your favorite biking experience to date?

KD: It has to be the 100th anniversary – I remember we did a very long trip from Milwaukee to

the West Coast and back to Milwaukee. During that journey, we made a lot of stops, talked to a lot of customers, gathered riders and we all ended up in the birthplace of Harley-

Davidson – Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That trip was an emotional crescendo to an amazing trip of shared memorable experiences with a lot of customers which made it very special!

NN: How has the riding scene evolved over the years? What’s it like for female bikers today?

KD: It is completely mixed! When I go to rallies and big events you can see how amazing the

demographic shift has been. There’s been a lot of change and diversity that shows up at

these events and among those who partake in riding celebrations – be it young or older, across

cultures.

NN: What advice would you give to young women who want to get into motorcycling? 

KD: Go for it! Enjoy your experience step by step. Take pride every step of the way. Your accomplishments mean a lot. Celebrate those accomplishments as you get into riding, as you master the sport, as you get better at it and know that you are an influence to other women. The strength that you have and empowerment you feel, know that it’ll inspire other women that are looking at you. They might think, “if she can do it, then I can do it too!”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Journal Sentinal 

Harley-Davidson motorcycles, dairy products, ginseng, cranberries and other Wisconsin goods are likely to feel the sting of retaliation from steep tariffs on foreign metals announced Thursday by the White House.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Canada, Mexico and the European Union would be subject to a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum beginning at midnight. Other countries, including Argentina and Brazil, agreed to limit metal exports.

“The president’s overwhelming objective is to reduce our trade deficit,” Ross said. “We believe that this combined package achieves the original objectives that we had set out, which was mainly to constrict the import of steel and aluminum.

European trade officials have previously threatened to respond to Trump’s move with duties on U.S.-made motorcycles, orange juice and bourbon, among other things.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday that the European response to increased tariffs would be “united and firm.”

Wisconsin could be hard hit, as the state is the world’s largest exporter of ginseng and cranberries, and it’s among the top exporters of dairy products.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. could feel the pinch in both the rising costs of steel and aluminum, and in higher prices of its motorcycles sold outside the U.S.

“We support free and fair trade and hope for a quick resolution to this issue. We believe import tariffs on steel and aluminum will drive up costs for all products made with these raw materials, regardless of their origin,” Harley said Thursday.

“We are currently evaluating our options for managing anticipated cost increases following today’s announcement. Additionally, we believe a punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in other major markets would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, our suppliers and our customers in those markets,” the company said.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Harley, the world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles, has faced tariffs in trade disputes. The EU threatened tariffs on its bikes in 2003.

Harley plans to open a motorcycle assembly plant in Thailand this summer, as the tariff on motorcycles assembled in the U.S. is about 60 percent in Thailand, according to the company.

Trouble brewing

The steel and aluminum tariffs could raise prices for a plethora of other Wisconsin-made goods, from beer to green beans, that use metal for product containers.

“These tariffs are a new $347 million tax on the U.S. beer industry,” said Jim McGreevy, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Beer Institute.

“Over the long run, these tariffs will drive aluminum prices higher globally, increasing the cost of beer production for all brewers. The tariffs are already having an immediate and disproportionate impact on American brewers and American jobs.”

The beer makers, and many others, say the aluminum they use should be removed from the proposed tariffs and quotas.

“Aluminum used to make beer cans is not a national security threat,” McGreevy said.

Wisconsin is one of the nation’s leading producers of canned vegetables. And, like the brewers, the vegetable canneries import a substantial amount of metal.

“We are right with the aluminum (bottle and can) guys on this and are very concerned,” said Nick George, president of the Midwest Food Processors Association, based in Madison.

Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois combined produce nearly half of the nation’s processed vegetables, with a wholesale value of roughly $2 billion.

The tariffs “definitely could raise prices” for consumers, George said.

“This tax will hurt,” he said.

The U.S. ships more than 95 million pounds of cranberries a year to countries in the European Union.

Nearly 40% of the crop is exported, and in some years, Wisconsin has accounted for more than half the world’s supply of cranberries.

For cranberry growers, the threat of tariffs in the EU’s 28 countries comes at an especially bad time, with growers awash in too much fruit and low prices.

It “would significantly hinder our ability to compete in these markets,” said Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

“Any potential tariffs on cranberries are concerning to us,” he said.

Makers of construction and agricultural equipment are bracing for higher costs, too.

Under the threat of tariffs, some steel prices have increased as much as 40 percent, said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, a Milwaukee-based trade group that represents construction and farm equipment companies.

It’s hard for equipment manufacturers that use a lot of metal to pass on these higher costs to customers in a global marketplace, according to Slater.

“We will be competing against countries that don’t face the same tariffs,” he said.

Down on the farm

Agricultural equipment makers could also be harmed by a drop in farm income if Europe, China, Mexico and Canada turn elsewhere for corn, soybeans and other commodities.

“It puts a huge amount of uncertainty in the marketplace,” Slater said.

“Moreover, tariffs and quotas will wipe out the positive economic benefits of last year’s tax reform.”

Mexico says it will answer tariffs on steel and aluminum with duties of its own on a variety of U.S. products including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel, among other things.

The European Union and China have threatened tariffs on U.S. agricultural commodities including corn, soybeans and dairy products.

China is the biggest consumer of U.S. soybeans.

“When China says it will start buying from Brazil, that sends shock waves through U.S. grain farmers,” said Stephen Deller, an agricultural economist with the University of
Wisconsin-Extension in Madison.

“If Canada and Mexico decide to retaliate and put trade barriers on agricultural goods, then we are in a world of hurt because Wisconsin’s biggest trading partners are Canada and Mexico,” Deller said.

Agriculture depends on exports.

About 90 percent of Wisconsin milk is turned into cheese, and about 90 percent of Wisconsin cheese is sold outside the state’s borders.

Nearly all of the ginseng root exported from the U.S. comes from central Wisconsin. Two out of every three rows of soybeans from Wisconsin are sent to other countries.

Tariffs “are a significant concern,” said Jim Holte, president of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

“I would think that most farmers would take this as a piece of bad news that’s going to be somewhat of a challenge for them,” Holte said.

Wisconsin lost 500 dairy farms in 2017, and more than 150 have quit milking cows so far this year, putting the total number of milk-cow herds at around 7,600 — down 20 percent from five years ago.

RELATED: As dairy crisis crushes farmers, Wisconsin’s rural identity in jeopardy

Nationwide, dairy farmers have been pummeled by more than three years of falling income and rising costs.

It’s a bad time for a trade war, according to Darin Von Ruden, president of Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Without access to foreign markets, Von Ruden said, farmers will continue to see prices for their products fall.

Trump’s negotiating tactics are creating tremendous uncertainty with trading partners, according to Deller.

“Some people would argue that it’s working because it’s throwing our partners a curve ball and they are not sure how to respond. But the downside is the business community hates uncertainty. And if businesses don’t know what’s going on, they aren’t going to be making long-term investments,” Deller said.

USA Today contributed to this report.

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