Biker News & Biker Lifestyle

Now Indian Motorcycle is Considering Moving Some Production Overseas: Norton’s all-new Scrambler 650 takes shape : Fire department, motorcycle club mourns loss of Raymond captain

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The Drive

In the same week that Indian Motorcycle released a video proudly celebrating building its 100,000th engine at the Osceola, Wisconsin assembly plant, the brand says that it’s considering moving some of its production overseas. Unsurprisingly, Indian Motorcycle cites the same reason that Harley-Davidson does for confirming its shift to more overseas production: New tariffs on American-made motorcycles coming into the E.U.

But it’s not a done deal quite yet. It’s an idea that Indian is kicking around and examining whether it would be the right move for the brand. “The recent EU retaliatory tariffs have required us to expend time, energy and resources to evaluate mitigation plans, including the possibility of moving production of Indian Motorcycles destined for Europe from Iowa to our facility in Poland,” said Indian Motorcycle spokeswoman Jess Rogers to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Indian Motorcycle is owned by Polaris Industries and Polaris has a factory in Opole, Poland where it makes some of its off-road vehicles. The Poland factory opened in 2014 and has the capacity for up to 500 employees.

“The growing impact of this trade war is increasing the production costs of our vehicles. We continue to examine various options for managing the cost increases from both tariffs and the domestic materials pricing,” said Rogers.

Like with Harley-Davidson, if this production shift were to be confirmed, the Indian motorcycles produced in Poland would only be for foreign markets to avoid tariffs on U.S.-built bikes being imported into the E.U. All of the Indian bikes sold here in the U.S. will continue to be built here at home. As of this writing, Indian Motorcycle still does all of its production in the U.S. which is a point of pride for many of its riders and employees.

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This is the latest picture of Norton’s all-new 650 Scrambler which is due to be unveiled at the NEC show in November and could be a game- changer for the revived, Donington Park-based British firm.

The Atlas is to be powered by an all-new, 650cc parallel twin which is effectively half of Norton’s latest 1200cc motor and will produce 70bhp-100bhp, depending on spec. It will also have an all-new, tubular steel frame by Spondon (which Norton also own) and top-notch components such as Brembo radial calipers.

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The bike will come in ‘high’ off-road-style spec and ‘low’ road trim. It is expected to sell for under £10k, which could transform Norton as a business.

“We’re right at the end of the design phase, about to start the tooling and should see the first engines in the next couple of months,” Norton’s Head of Design, Simon Skinner told MCN. “This picture (above) is based around the fully engineered CAD, so the geometry is right, the frame is right, the balance is right, everything is now spot on.

“I’ve tried to make it a little bit edgier, so that it sits naturally between our 961 Commando and the V4. It’s not a retro scrambler like, say, BMW and Triumph are doing. I didn’t want to create a retro bike. Instead the closest other bike out there is probably the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled but this a more premium, more powerful motorcycle.”

This ‘high’, off-road-style version has more premium parts such as twin Brembo M50 monoblocs while the more road- focused ‘low’ version is expected to cost less than £10k.

Skinner added: “It was always planned to be a sub-£10k motorcycle. And that is still the plan. If we want to grow our volumes we have to be at that price point. It’s a game-changer for us.

“The bike at the NEC will be an early prototype. It’ll be roped off and have a similar level of finish as the V4 had when we first unveiled it.”

Norton have decided to call this exciting new model the Atlas, which is a name the firm used back in 1962. The original Atlas was a 750cc parallel twin and a Scrambler version went on sale in 1963.

Supercharged sportsbike next for Norton

Norton are also developing a new sportsbike, based around the same 650cc parallel twin engine but this time supercharged. It is expected to weigh around 150kg and have over 150bhp. It will also feature a completely different frame including a carbon fibre swingarm. “It’s still under development and coming along nicely,” Skinner told MCN. “In fact it’s not that far behind the Scrambler. Who knows, that might be at the NEC too.”

And if you’re looking your next two-wheeled pal, visit MCN Bikes for Sale today.

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A group of local firefighters is mourning the loss of one of their own after Raymond Captain David Mains was killed in a motorcycle accident yesterday in Massachusetts.

Mains, a dedicated community member and decorated firefighter, was also a loving husband and father with a passion for riding motorcycles. He was a member of Fire and Iron, a motorcycle club for firefighters.

“The dedication and passion he put into this club is what he put into his family and the fire department,” fellow member Mike Doze said. “He was always there when we needed him.”

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Mains was also passionate about helping children with disabilities, such as his son.

Mains leaves behind a wife and four children.

A Facebook page has been set up to help raise funds for the Mains family. The page can be found here:

“We’re going stick together like we always have,” Doze said. “We’re going be there for each other, we’re going to be there for the whole family.”

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