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THE BIG QUESTION BIKERNET WEEKLY NEWS for August 6, 2020

Hand On for the Whacky Results

By Bandit, Rogue, Wayfarer, Bob T., Sam Burns, A.J., the Redhead, Laura, Joe, AC, RFR, and the rest of the gang
8/6/2020


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Hey,

You’ll see in the news wild announcements.
The Authorities shut down Las Vegas Bike Fest and Daytona Biketoberfest, but we’re still rocking in Sturgis.



It’s going to be a helluva test. I hope like hell no one gets sick. I don’t see a lot of mask wearing in these parts. This might be the only run this year. I’ve got LA brothers who still want to make it out. The opinions are all over the map. Some folks think it’s cool. Some folks need to make the money. Some folks think we’ll have an outbreak after the rally and are pissed off. I know of stores that will be completely closed during the rally.

One thing is for certain. Whatever happens, we’ll experience it, deal with it and move on.

But wait, Laconia is still happening. I’m sure they will look long and hard at the Black Hills Rally.

Let’s hit the news.



The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, BorntoRide.com and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Most recently Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.







LACONIA IS ON--We’re less than one month away!


Get ready, the 97th Laconia Motorcycle Week kicks off Saturday, August 22nd. If you haven’t booked your lodging accommodations yet, do so soon, as the summer temps have made New Hampshire’s Lakes Region a popular retreat from the heat. Expect a toned down version of the country’s oldest motorcycle rally but with plenty of the food, fun and rides you’ve come to expect.



Safety is our #1 priority

visitnh.gov/covid19


As you can imagine, there’s been a lot of zigging and zagging in the planning for this year’s rally. First, of course, we’ve postponed the event from our traditional June dates and later adapted to all the regulations and restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, things will look a little different.

We will encourage all attendees to wear a face mask when not riding and have teamed up with sanitization experts, Nano Coating Technologies, LLC (NCT NH) to assist us in disinfecting public surfaces as well as Partnership for Public Health of NH to promote COVID safety guidelines, such as frequent hand-washing/sanitizing and maintaining appropriate social distance.

Some events, like the popular Gunstock Hill Climb have been postponed to 2021 and vendor booths will be limited to non-profit organizations such as Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, the VFW, Laconia Kiwanis Club and Laconia Rotary Club to help minimize large gatherings.

While there will be less souvenir offerings as well as food and beverage options, nearly all restaurants, bars and hotels will be in full operation.
Expect a lot to remain unchanged


Despite all this, many of the things we all love about this event will remain the same. Nearby New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host races all week long, capped off by the 97th Annual Loudon Classic, August 28-30th.

The Gypsy tours and charity rides that attract hundreds are happening daily as well as entertainment at local establishments like the NASWA Resort, Patio Garden, Winnipesaukee Marketplace, and Tower Hill Tavern. Stay updated with all happenings including event changes by visiting LaconiaMCWeek.com daily.




Click to check their models.
Click to check their models.



POLARIS 2020 Second Quarter Results - "Far Above Our Expectations"

Polaris has unveiled second quarter results that CFO Mike Speetzen described as nothing short of "far above our expectations" as the better than anticipated performance of the motorcycle and wider powersports markets during the pandemic lockdowns starts to translate into filings.

For Q2, the company's reported and adjusted sales decreased 15% to $1,512m and $1,510m, respectively. The company reported a second quarter 2020 net loss of $235m. Second quarter reported net loss was $3.82 per share; adjusted net income for the same period was $1.30 per share.

North American retail sales increased 57% for the quarter compared to last year, with both ORV and Motorcycle retail sales up significantly.
Dealer inventory levels decreased 47%, given the strong retail sales growth and lower shipments resulting from the COVID-19 related temporary suspension of production during the quarter.

consumer retail sales for Indian Motorcycle increased mid-teens percent

Evaluation of the company's aftermarket goodwill and other intangibles resulted in a pre-tax $379m non-cash impairment charge taken during the quarter. Operating expenses, excluding the impairment charge, decreased 15%, given the substantial reduction in discretionary and non-essential spending in response to the pandemic crisis.

Polaris' liquidity profile remains solid with debt/EBITDA below three times and total liquidity of $1.2bn at quarter end; Polaris re-initiated full year 2020 sales and adjusted earnings guidance with full year adjusted earnings in the range of $6.40 to $6.60 per diluted share and full year sales in the range of $6.650bn to $6.750bn.
Scott Wine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Inc., stated: "Polaris' second quarter results significantly outperformed expectations, once again demonstrating the resiliency and dedication of our global team.

"We overcame a near complete shutdown of our dealers and the U.S. economy early in the quarter to capitalize on unprecedented retail demand for our motorcycles and off-road vehicles through May, June and now July. Our broad array of best-in-class products provided an attractive social distancing solution for both existing, and encouragingly, a wide range of new powersports customers.



Retail demand accelerated throughout the quarter, benefiting company performance as both new and existing customers took advantage of off-road vehicles and motorcycles to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining social distancing etiquette, partially mitigating the COVID-19 driven economic slowdown.

Motorcycles segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $141m, down 28% compared to the second quarter of 2019, driven by decreased sales of both Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot. Polaris motorcycles segment sales were down driven by the COVID-19 related temporary suspension of production that impacted shipments primarily in April.

Gross profit for the motorcycle sector for second quarter was $4m compared to $23m in the second quarter of 2019.

North American consumer retail sales for Indian Motorcycle increased mid-teens percent during the second quarter of 2020 in a weak mid to heavy-weight two-wheel motorcycle industry that was down high-teens percent.

North American consumer retail sales for Polaris' Motorcycles segment, including both Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot, increased low-twenties percent during the second quarter of 2020, while the North American motorcycle industry retail sales for mid to heavy-weight motorcycles, including three-wheel vehicles, was down high-teens percent in the second quarter of 2020.

Despite the strong retail sales, Polaris Motorcycles segment sales were down driven by COVID-19 related temporary suspension of production during the quarter.
The 2020 second quarter net loss includes a $379m pre-tax, non-cash goodwill and other intangible asset impairment charges related to the company's aftermarket business, principally Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP).

Gross profit decreased 24% to $333m for the second quarter; reported gross profit margin was 22.0% of sales.

 
2020 Business Outlook - The company re-initiated its sales and adjusted earnings guidance for the full year 2020. Adjusted net income is expected to be in the range of $6.40 to $6.60 per diluted share for the full year 2020 compared to adjusted net income of $6.32 per diluted share for 2019. Sales are now expected to be in the range of $6.650bn to $6.750bn, flat to down two percent compared to 2019 adjusted sales of $6,783m, due to the pandemic-driven plant shutdown in the second quarter 2020.

Posted by DealerWorld






TRIP REPORT FROM THE TWISTED ROAD--Before my hands so much as touched a throttle, I knew one day I would ride the Pacific Coast Highway. It was a bucket list item, something I let motivate me as I stumbled through my motorcycle license course, something I dreamed of as I took my first Harley home—white knuckling the grips—and something I saved for over the years, waiting and planning for the right time.

That time came last October in the form of Babes Ride Out, an all-women’s camping event happening in Santa Margarita – another bucket list item for me.

With a full-time corporate career, two dogs at home, and a budget, making the trip happen wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. My most pressing concern? Snagging a motorcycle rental. But what I expected to be a daunting, expensive, and complicated experience ultimately turned out to be seamless, budget-friendly, and life changing.

With that, I’d like to welcome you to blog numero tres, in which I share a little bit of the story of the best trip of my life and how Twisted Road was instrumental in making it happen.

The Plan
The moment my mind was made up and flights had been booked, I knew that securing a bike would be my biggest headache, what with Harley’s rental program Eagle Rider being a constant over-priced, limited option pain in my ass, and the Riders Share platform so limited in their offerings. My plan was to fly into L.A., rent a motorcycle, and ride it along the PCH to Santa Margarita, where I would ride sunup to sundown for three days with thousands of other women, then make the trek back.

I needed a bike that I could ride comfortably for many hours over the course of four days; something nimble for California lane splitting, fast enough to have fun on the twisties, light enough to maneuver through rough terrain, all without compromising my incredibly important cool-kid aesthetic. I present to you the Triumph T120 Black, otherwise known as the one that got away. But we’ll save that story for another time.

Late at night, just a few short weeks from the impending trip, I was looking at my options when I found Twisted Road, basically the Airbnb of motorcycles. Sexy interface, smooth online user experience, and a bounty of great bikes. Unlike Eagle Rider and Riders Share, Twisted Road seemed to have the most diversity in their offerings, both in bike style and price. There were sport bikes of every brand, a surprising number of restored classics, and even a few cutting edge new-to-the-market bikes. But I was there for the cruisers, and boy did I find them.

Sportsters galore, some stock, some altered with Vance & Hines exhausts, Biltwell handlebars, one even decorated as a Wonder Woman bike. And then I found her. The ultimate all black Triumph T120, upgraded exhaust, bars, suspension, heated grips, and beautiful seat. It was love at first sight. I booked it immediately.

The Twisted Roads rental was incredibly simple, I submitted my info and got an email shortly after from the Twisted Road folks, letting me know I had been approved. I liked how they have an approval process for the protection of both the renters and the owners. They connected me with the owner of the bike I’d be renting, and we made plans for my pickup.

The Trip
I flew into L.A. on a Thursday morning, hitched an Uber ride to Long Beach, and met up with Paul at his photography studio. Walking in, I saw the Bonnie lifted up, a smiley face made of duct tape on the headlight. Good vibes all around. Paul and I inspected the bike together, a requirement of Twisted Road, then got to talking about my trip. About five minutes in, we decided Paul had to play hooky for the day to teach me how to lane split in California, take me up some twisties, and ride with me to my first stop – Neptune’s Net.

The foundation of Twisted Road is laid by available bike rentals worldwide, but the heart and soul of the company is in how it builds, strengthens, and grows the motorcycle community. Paul and I became instant friends – connected by our deep love for two wheels and the open road, our need for the freedom only motorcycles can provide, and a passion for adventure.

Me and Paul at Neptune's Net

There was magic in the air as soon as we hit the pavement together. Riding in California is a trip – cars parting for you like the mythical sea— the taste of the ocean on your tongue and the smell of distant mountains filling your helmet. A hundred times in the first hour I thought “I could spend the rest of my life just riding this one highway”.

We made it to Neptune’s Net, most noted for it's appearance in the end scene in the Fast and the Furious, but known to me as the pit stop for bikers in need of classic fish and chips overlooking the ocean. Paul and I couldn’t help but reenact the scene before stuffing our faces with salty, oceany goodness. We parted ways here, and I started my solo journey to a tiny town hundreds of miles away.

“Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively, unless you can choose a challenge instead of a competence.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Click for Action!
Click for Action!







MRF 2020 FREEDOM FIGHTERS’ HALL OF FAME Inductee Announcement--The Motorcycle Riders Foundation announces the 2020 Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame Inductees.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is pleased to release the names of the 2020 class of Inductees to the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame (MRF HOF). These will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Minds conference September 25-26, in Indianapolis, Indiana. To include deserving activists from the motorcyclists' rights community that have already been recognized elsewhere, the class of 2020 Legacy Inductees are:

Dick "Slider" Gilmore
Charles Umbenhauer
This year’s MRF HOF Class of 2020 - Freedom Fighter Inductees are:

Wanda Hummel-Shultz
"Biker" Jim Rhoades
Lee Ryan
Marc Falsetti
Gary Klinker
Charlie Williams
Dave Dwyer
"Radio" Bob Letourneau
"Farmer" John Eggers
Michael "Boz" Kerr

Past Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame inductees are: Keith “Bandit” Ball, Mark Buckner, Wayne Curtin, Michael “Balls” Farabaugh, “Still” Ray Fitzgerald, Richard Gray, Bob Illingworth, Nathan “Buck” Kittredge, Ed Netterberg, Sherman Packard, Todd Vandermyde, Paul Vestal, Penny Walker, Ed Youngblood, Vince Consiglio, Fredric Harrell, Rodney Roberts, Simon Milward, JoAnne Packard, Karen Bolin, Lee Richardson, Jerry “JT” Thomas, and Teresa Hepker.

Congratulations to all from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Board of Directors.

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About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.







UNSAFE ROADWAY MARKINGS -– Notice of Dangerous Conditions –A letter to the City Clerk - Nikolin Vangjeli,
City Hall Room 206 - 455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

RE: : Roadway Markings – Notice of Dangerous Conditions – Public Records Request

Dear Clerk Vangjeli:

As communicated earlier last week by e-mail and phone conversation, a roadway danger and defect, for the citizen-biker owners and operators and their passengers, of the more than 2,800 Worcester registered motorcycles and 28,500+ in Worcester County, and others, as well as area bicyclists, pedestrians, and all other road way users, was created and allowed by the City of Worcester, on or about July 15 - 16, 2020, at and upon Major Taylor Boulevard.

The 'danger' and 'defect' was created by allowing use of an 'epoxy' highly slippery paint, especially and more so when moist and wet, without sufficient 'grit' to allow what our Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires in most of its proposals for road way repair / marking, that include marking or painting public roadways requiring “Material must be highly skid resistant and reflective, even on wet conditions and have glass beads throughout the material,” and may further to found to be in violation of requirements in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and Title 23 of the United States Code, in particular but not limited to Subpart F—Traffic Control Devices on Federal-Aid and Other Streets and Highways, and other Codes, and subject the City to loss of Federal funding for additional road maintenance and repair.

As such, this is Notice to the City of Worcester of this road way defect it and others created with the City's allowance and resultant dangerous condition, and is a request to rectify and repair this dangerous and defective condition immediately, by the City and/or its Partners – by adding to the newly created road way markings - additional 'grit' and/or other 'highly skid resistant' materials to / upon the paintings, and, that road way signs being placed in front and in advance of the affected road way until such changes are made, warning users of the dangerous conditions created and / or detour temporarily until the defect and / or corrections are made.

While Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 84, Section 34 may limit the City to $5,000 exposure for bodily injury and property damages if claimed within the thirty (30) day 'notice period' required and if the “sole cause” of this defect is attributed, that limit may be challenged and it also exposes other partners who may be obliged to repair, under ordinary negligence principals, which such limit of damages is not available. It is requested the City give “notice” to such Partners of this potential financial exposure and request their cooperation in correcting the defects, for the safety and well being of all road users.


--Paul W. Cote


PWC/s

cc: City Manger, Edward M. Augustus, Jr., via E-Mail - CityManager@worcesterma.gov

Tim Garvin / United Way of Worcester via E-mail - tim.garvin@unitedwaycm.org,



THREE WEEKS LATER--
 
FYI . . . after ALL that work . . . with lots of research and proof-reading help, timely communications . . .

resolution in principal reached today over the phone . . .

Within the next week, area will be covered with clear anti-skid high traction high grit content 'traffic paint' - per MA DOT specs - at no cost to City and safe(r) for all road users
. . .


Thank YOU ALL for your help over these past three weeks - and the open ears of City Officials and United Way's Tim Gavin leading to this resolution . . .


the DPW head rides . . . he 100% 'knew' this mural's paint content was incorrect, for all road users . . .
Tim at the local United Way confirmed he had 'fund money' from the targeted project donations to pay the City for the redo . . .
We are getting what we want - no compromise - with some good will earned for future 'motorcycle awareness' messages . . .

Thank YOU for your review / oversite over these 3-weeks . . .

--Paul Cote





RED CROSS NEWS BRIEF--
Isaias became a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina last night. It was downgraded to a tropical storm this morning but is bringing threats of damaging winds, flash floods and tornadoes as it races through the Northeast. Earlier the storm impacted multiple states and U.S. territories, including Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is the ninth tropical storm and second hurricane of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. Our staff and volunteers are tirelessly working with partners to support individuals needing help in the aftermath.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross is also supporting evacuees impacted by recent wildfires like the Apple Fire in Southern California, providing assistance to families affected by Hurricane Hanna in Texas, and helping people after apartment fires and other local disasters across the country.



Red Cross volunteer does damage assessment
After disasters, Red Cross volunteers assess damage as part of relief efforts to support people in need.
Support our disaster efforts

Many families will face unimaginable hardship as hurricane and wildfire seasons collide with an ongoing pandemic. As our Senior Vice President of Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services has said, “The pandemic has required us to adapt and learn new ways to operate, but we know that people are counting on us now more than ever, and we’ll be there — albeit looking a little differently than in the past — to meet the need.”


Red Cross volunteers distribute relief items like water and clean-up kits to disaster-hit areas while following social distancing protocols.

It is because of supporters like you that we're able to assist people in need during this unprecedented time. With this busy disaster season, your gifts help ensure that we can respond quickly when disasters strike, while maintaining the safety of our staff and the people we serve.

Our team's ability to meet the needs of those suffering depends on you and your generous support. Please donate now to help the Red Cross prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. You’ll be giving hope and help to those who need it most.


Lauri Rhinehart
VP, Humanitarian Services
American Red Cross






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