Here are a couple of stories that came across my desk that I think are relevant and interesting to the powersports business community.
1 – Alabama Passes Meadows Autocycle Bill Allowing Three-Wheeled Vehicles to be Operated without a Motorcycle License or Helmet
– Arcimoto, Inc.® (NASDAQ: FUV), makers of rightsized, outrageously fun, ultra-efficient electric vehicles for moving people and stuff, today announced that drivers of Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicles in Alabama will no longer need to have a motorcycle endorsement or wear a helmet under legislation signed by Governor Kay Ivey. The bill, HB 37, sponsored by Representative Charlotte Meadows, brings Alabama in line with other states that do not require a motorcycle license or helmet to operate an autocycle such as those built by Arcimoto.
“From time to time we find statutes and regulations that need to be changed because they are no longer appropriate for new, innovative products,” said Representative Meadows. “With the necessary changes provided in HB 37, I am happy to welcome another new company to Alabama!”
“We’d like to personally thank Representative Meadows and Governor Ivey for moving this legislation forward and giving drivers in Alabama access to clean, sustainable transportation options,” said Mark Frohnmayer, CEO and Founder of Arcimoto. “We can’t wait for locals and tourists alike to explore the great state of Alabama in a pure-electric FUV.”
Arcimoto vehicles are currently available in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. As soon as sales are ready to begin in Alabama, Arcimoto will reach out to preorder customers there to complete their vehicle reservations. You can save your spot in line by placing a $100 refundable preorder at Arcimoto.com/order.
For the latest company update, check out our Full Year 2021 Stakeholder Webinar. Follow Arcimoto on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn. Investor information about the company, including press releases, stakeholder webcast replays, and more can be found at http://arcimoto.com/ir.
About Arcimoto, Inc.
Arcimoto is a pioneer in the design and manufacture of rightsized, ultra-efficient, incredibly fun electric vehicles for everyday mobility. Built on the revolutionary three-wheel Arcimoto Platform, our vehicles are purpose-built for daily driving, local delivery, and emergency response, all at a fraction of the cost and environmental impact of traditional gas-powered vehicles. Based in Eugene, Oregon, the Arcimoto team is dedicated to creating world-class EVs that make the world a better place. For more information, please visit Arcimoto.com.
Safe Harbor / Forward-Looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements that express our intentions, beliefs, expectations, strategies, predictions or any other statements relating to our future activities or other future events or conditions. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our business based, in part, on assumptions made by management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict and include, without limitation, our expectations as to vehicle deliveries, the establishment of our service and delivery network and our expected rate of production. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may, and are likely to, differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements due to numerous factors discussed from time to time in documents which we file with the SEC. In addition, such statements could be affected by risks and uncertainties related to, among other things: our ability to manage the distribution channels for our products, including our ability to successfully implement our rental strategy, direct to consumer distribution strategy and any additional distribution strategies we may deem appropriate; our ability to design, manufacture and market vehicle models within projected timeframes given that a vehicle consists of several thousand unique items and we can only go as fast as the slowest item; our inexperience to date in manufacturing vehicles at the high volumes that we anticipate; our ability to maintain quality control over our vehicles and avoid material vehicle recalls; the number of reservations and cancellations for our vehicles and our ability to deliver on those reservations; unforeseen or recurring operational problems at our facility, or a catastrophic loss of our manufacturing facility; our dependence on our suppliers; changes in consumer demand for, and acceptance of, our products: changes in the competitive environment, including adoption of technologies and products that compete with our products; the overall strength and stability of general economic conditions and of the automotive industry more specifically; changes in laws or regulations governing our business and operations; costs and risks associated with potential litigation; and other risks described from time to time in periodic and current reports that we file with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and except as may be required under applicable securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
2 – Kawasaki Ninja Models To Be Featured In “Top Gun: Maverick” – From Kawasaki Motors Corp, U.S.A.
There are few motorcycle movie scenes more iconic than Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell riding his Kawasaki Ninja®GPZ 900R along the flight line at United States Navy Fighter Weapons School in Miramar, California back in 1986. That scene helped cement Mitchell’s “Maverick” image as a TOPGUN hero. 36 years later, Maverick is not only back at TOPGUN, but back riding a Kawasaki, only today he chooses to ride the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2™ Carbon in the new Paramount Pictures blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” opening May 27th, 2022.
“Working with the “Top Gun: Maverick” team has been amazing,” said Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., Vice President, Marketing, Chris Brull. “When we had the chance to jump onboard and see our Kawasaki Ninja motorcycles on the big screen again, we had to be involved. We know that Maverick is a dedicated Kawasaki rider and we made sure he had a full garage of Kawasaki models.”
To celebrate “Top Gun: Maverick,” Kawasaki has partnered with Paramount Consumer Products to launch limited edition t-shirts exclusively sold at participating Kawasaki dealers in the U.S.A. These t-shirts feature both the iconic Ninja GPZ 900R featured in the original Top Gun as well as the supercharged Ninja H2 Carbon. Visit your local Kawasaki dealer while supplies last.
A total of four supercharged Ninja H2 Carbon machines and restored two Ninja GPZ 900R motorcycles were provided to the “Top Gun: Maverick” production team along with some additional surprise models that may appear in Maverick’s personal hanger featured in the film.
“Top Gun: Maverick” will premiere in theaters nationwide on May 27th, 2022 and fans can now experience the breathtaking power of the world’s only supercharged production hypersport motorcycles by owning a Ninja H2™, Ninja H2 Carbon or Ninja H2™R.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) started full-scale production of motorcycles over a half century ago. The first Kawasaki motorcycle engine was designed based on technical know-how garnered from the development and production of aircraft engines, and Kawasaki’s entry into the motorcycle industry was driven by the company’s constant effort to develop new technologies. Numerous new Kawasaki models introduced over the years have helped shape the market, and in the process have created enduring legends based on their unique engineering, power, design and riding pleasure. In the future, Kawasaki’s commitment to maintaining and furthering these strengths will surely give birth to new legends.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, side x sides, and JET SKI® watercraft through a network of approximately 1,100 independent retailers, with close to an additional 7,700 retailers specializing in general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with approximately 260 of them located at KMC’s Foothill Ranch, California headquarters.
Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.®”, is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand is synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at www.kawasaki.com.
About Paramount Consumer Products
Paramount Consumer Products oversees all licensing and merchandising for Paramount (Nasdaq: PARA, PARAA), a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, Paramount Consumer Products’ portfolio includes a diverse slate of brands and content from BET, CBS (including CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Distribution), Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Showtime. With properties spanning animation, live-action, preschool, youth and adult, Paramount Consumer Products is committed to creating the highest quality product for some of the world’s most beloved, iconic franchises. Additionally, Paramount Consumer Products oversees the online direct-to-consumer business for CBS and Showtime programming merchandise, as well as standalone branded ecommerce websites for Star Trek, SpongeBob, South Park, and MTV.
3 – American Motorcyclist Association Opposes Planned E15 Waiver – From American Motorcyclist Association
The American Motorcyclist Association strongly opposes the emergency waiver to allow summertime sales of E15 recently announced by the Biden administration, along with any attempt to weaken the already inadequate labeling standards at the pump that puts motorcyclists at risk of misfuelling.
None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in this country is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. E15, which contains 15 percent ethanol, is in fact illegal to use in motorcycles, boat engines, lawn mowers, chainsaws and other outdoor power equipment products.
“E15 has been shown to damage carbureted and fuel-injected motorcycles, reduce gas mileage and decrease shelf life of the gasoline,” said AMA Director of Government Relations Michael Sayre. “The fact that it is illegal to use in motorcycles, and that clear labeling at the pump is not required, poses a significant risk for misfuelling.”
A similar EPA waiver in 2018 to allow for year-round sales of E15 was challenged in court by the AMA and the American Petroleum Institute (API). A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that the waiver misinterpreted the Clean Air Act and the waiver was struck down.
The planned EPA waiver is set to be finalized before summertime sales begin on June 1. E15 sales are traditionally barred between June 1 and September 15 due to the blends’ higher volatility, which contributes to smog in the warmer months. According to the White House, the EPA will also consider working with states to expand E15 availability and modifying labeling at the fuel pump.
The AMA greatly opposes modifying labels at the pump that could potentially misinform customers. The AMA instead advocates for stronger labeling at the pump to make the potential dangers of E15 clear and concise. The inadequacy of labeling can be seen in the rise of Unleaded 88, a fuel that contains 15 percent ethanol and is deliberately mislabeled.
In lieu of proper labeling, the AMA continuously spreads awareness to members about the potential damage E15 can cause.
The EPA has acknowledged the growing scientific consensus that ethanol-blended fuels are worse for the environment than non-ethanol fuels, and economists and analysts doubt the waiver will have any measurable impact on lowering prices at the pump.
To learn more and take action, visit https://www.votervoice.net/Motorcyclist/campaigns/94109/respond.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. Besides offering members money-saving discounts on products and services, the AMA also publishes American Motorcyclist, a recently revitalized and monthly full-color magazine (and digital version of same) that covers current events and motorcycle history with brilliant photography and compelling writing. American Motorcyclist is also North America’s largest-circulation magazine. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit americanmotorcyclist.com.
Not a member? Join the AMA today: americanmotorcyclist.com.
4 – NPA steps up as Gold-level sponsor of Accelerate Conference – From Powersports Business
With dealership registrations rolling in while the snow is still falling at PSB headquarters in Minnesota and excitement brewing for the 2022 edition, Powersports Business is proud to announce that National Powersport Auctions (NPA) has signed on to be a Gold-level sponsor of the Accelerate Conference, set for Nov. 14-16 at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando.
5 – Motorcycle dealers respond to website leads as quickly as car dealers now: study – From Powersports Business
Harley-Davidson dealerships ranked highest in the 2022 Pied Piper PSI Internet Lead Effectiveness (ILE) Motorcycle/UTV Industry Study, which measured responsiveness to internet leads coming through dealership websites – behaviors tied directly to retail sales success. Dealers selling Indian motorcycles were ranked second, followed by Polaris side-by-side dealers.
“Quick response to web customers is critical to selling, placing an order, or building the foundation for future sales,” said Fran O’Hagan, CEO of Pied Piper. “Dealers who respond quickly, personally and completely to website customer inquiries on average sell 50% more vehicles to their web customers as opposed to dealers who fail to respond.”
Dealers for four of the top scoring brands – Harley-Davidson, Indian, Polaris and Can-Am – not only scored well in 2022, but also have dramatically improved their web response behaviors over time. Over the past five years, dealers for those four brands have on average more than doubled how often they answer web customer questions by email or text, from 27% of the time in 2018 to 59% of the time in 2022.
Industry average ILE performance increased three points to 43, the industry’s highest average score to date. This year for the first time, dealers for two brands – Harley-Davidson and Indian – performed better, on average, than typical car dealers, who in general began focusing on web customers years before powersports dealers.
6 – Adventure More in the Midwest: Polaris Adventures Select Membership Program Expands to Four New States – From Polaris Inc
Outdoor adventure lovers now have more ways and more reasons to explore the Midwest as Polaris Adventures, the outdoor experience arm of global powersports leader Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII), expands their new pay-by-the-month membership program. Polaris Adventures Select provides access to the best of the Polaris product portfolio including on-road vehicles, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and pontoons at participating Polaris Adventures Outfitter locations. Beginning today, the Polaris Adventures Select membership program is available in Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin in addition to existing programs in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah.
This first-ever monthly membership program in the powersports industry allows members to rent vehicles without the cost and long-term commitment of ownership. Tailor-made for those new to powersports as well as current riders wanting flexible riding options and access to a variety of vehicles, Polaris Adventures Select delivers more value, more flexibility and more service to any outdoor adventure experience.
“The only thing more thrilling than driving the latest Polaris vehicle is being able to drive them all,” said Vic Koelsch, senior vice president, chief digital and information officer at Polaris. “We recognize that consumers are continuing to search for new ways to explore the outdoors and, through Polaris Adventures and the Polaris Adventures Select monthly membership program, we are making it easier and more accessible to adventure all year long. Members have complete freedom of where they want to go, the ultimate flexibility of how they want to ride and more value from an exclusive membership with endless benefits and perks.”
The Polaris Adventures Select membership program is simple:
- Sign up to buy credits: Sign up for a pay-by-the-month membership plan. Choose from three different plans to fit any lifestyle and budget.
- Book adventures: Use credits to book an adventure. Pick how, when and where to ride.
- Go ride: Adventure awaits and membership is the perfect way to get into the driver’s seat more often, for less.
- Repeat: Sign up today and ride tomorrow, next month or whenever the next adventure arises.
Membership starts at $149/month. As part of the program, members acquire credits to be redeemed for product access to Polaris ATVs, Polaris RANGER®, RZR® and GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles, Slingshot® open-air roadsters, Indian Motorcycles®, snowmobiles and boats in limited markets.* Vehicles can be reserved for pick up, delivered directly to the rider’s home or reserved for an on-trail, on-road or on-water experience hosted through a Polaris Adventures Outfitter. Fuel, safety equipment, insurance and maintenance are all included.
Booking for Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin is available now and riding will begin May 18, 2022 (weather dependent).
|Location||Participating Polaris Adventures Outfitters|
|Michigan||County Wide Adventures: Harbor Springs, MIRZR Ripn’ Rentals: Saint Helen, MI3 Wheel Rentals: Troy, MIWildlife Refuge Cabins, Atlantic Mine, MIBest Bear’s Off-Road Adventures: Irons, MI|
|Minnesota||Power Lodge Adventures: Brainerd, MNLake Darling Resort: Alexandria, MNYour Boat Club Waconia: Waconia, MNERX Motor Park: Elk River, MN|
|South Dakota||Adventure Rentals: Custer, SDSpearfish Canyon Lodge: Lead, SDAdventure Rentals Hill City: Hill City, SDIndian Motorcycle Sturgis: Sturgis, SD|
|Wisconsin||Trailhead Adventures: Rice Lake, WIThrottle RX Rentals: Danbury, WIHayward Power Sports: Hayward, WIBear Bogging Adventure Tours: Warrens, WIB&B Adventures: Mercer, WITrack Side Rentals: Eagle River, WIIndian Motorcycle Rentals: Milwaukee, W|
In addition to these new Midwest locations, Polaris Adventure Select membership is also available in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah. Members can ride in their backyard or at any other Polaris Adventures Outfitter location nationwide – more than 175 in total.
Interested riders can reserve their membership by visiting adventures.polaris.com/select-membership-program/.
About Polaris Adventures:
Polaris Adventures brings together a network of Outfitters to provide premium ride and drive experiences at epic destinations nationwide. Creating safe, memorable, year-round adventures for all skill levels, Polaris Adventures offers worry-free half and full-day options for couples, families and adventure groups in state-of-the-art Polaris vehicles. Visit adventures.polaris.com to learn more.
As the global leader in Powersports: Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII) pioneers product breakthroughs and enriching experiences and services that have invited people to discover the joy of being outdoors since our founding in 1954. With annual 2021 sales of $8.2 billion, Polaris’ high-quality product line-up includes the Polaris RANGER, RZR and Polaris GENERAL side-by-side off-road vehicles; Sportsman® all-terrain off-road vehicles; Indian Motorcycle mid-size and heavyweight motorcycles; Slingshot moto-roadsters; snowmobiles; and deck, cruiser and pontoon boats, including industry-leading Bennington pontoons. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments, and accessories, along with a growing aftermarket portfolio, including Transamerican Auto Parts. Polaris’ presence in adjacent markets includes military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. Proudly headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris serves more than 100 countries across the globe. www.polaris.com
*Not all vehicles are available at every Outfitter location. Check with local Outfitters to confirm availability. Marine only available in Arizona and Minnesota currently with future plans to expand.
7 – Polaris Slingshot Reclassified in the State Of New York – From Polaris Inc.
Polaris Slingshot, the show-stopping, the adventure-seeking three-wheel open-air motorcycle has announced that beginning April 20, drivers in New York can operate a Slingshot with a standard D-class driver’s license, instead of the previously required motorcycle endorsement. The state of New York has both reclassified the three-wheeled motorcycle as a three-wheeled motor vehicle (often referred to as “autocycle”) and provided operator licensing requirements similar to nearly every U.S. state.
Polaris Slingshot does not operate as a traditional motorcycle, offering a unique three-wheel configuration with two wheels in the front, one wheel in the rear, a steering wheel, side-by-side bucket seats, seat belts, and an automated manual transmission or manual transmission option typically found in traditional automobiles.
“We’re excited to open up the door for more New Yorkers to experience the open-air driving experience only a Polaris Slingshot delivers,” said Chris Sergeant, Vice President of Polaris Slingshot.
Currently, Slingshots are well-represented in the state with an engaged group of owners and dealers. Enabling people to enjoy the Slingshot ride with a driver’s license fulfills the desire heard by many who are eager to get behind the wheel and join in the community. Whether it’s a beautiful backdrop of winding roads in upstate New York or the hustle-and-bustle of New York City, the state offers endless destinations to make the most of the Slingshot’s open-air experience.
Fusing style and excitement with limitless personalization opportunities, the 2022 Slingshot lineup empower drivers to make their mark by defining their ride and choosing their own adventure. From the entry-level S model (MSRP $20,799) to the top-of-the-line Signature LE (MSRP $35,799), there is an option for all interested in the driving exhilaration that only a Slingshot can deliver.
New product updates for 2022 including an all-new Vented Sport Hood, stylish Excursion Top, and premium Brembo® Brakes can be further enhanced by thoughtfully curated accessory collections from Slingshot, providing owners with endless personalization options to truly make their mark.
Slingshot offers four curated collections to dramatically enhance the Slingshot experience for the driver’s personal preference and driving style. Some of the enhanced features within these collections include a 100-watt Rockford Fosgate® audio system, a seven-inch touchscreen display powered by RIDE COMMAND, Apple CarPlay®, and a Premium Interior Lighting Kit by XKGlow®, which allows owners to outfit the interior of their Slingshot with six LED lights and LED light pods in various locations. With the mobile Slingshot LED app, owners can simultaneously set two different light zones to any color and choreograph the lights while music plays.
Learn more about the entire 2022 Slingshot lineup at Slingshot.Polaris.com or on social media: Facebook.com/PolarisSlingshot, @Slingshot on Twitter, and @PolarisSlingshot on Instagram. For information on Slingshot rental locations, visit Adventures.Polaris.com.
About Polaris Slingshot
Polaris Slingshot, a wholly-owned brand of Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII), continues to define the category through style, ride experience, and community with our three-wheeled autocycle. With AutoDrive and manual transmission options, an open cockpit, side-by-side seating, 5” ride height, and a 2.0-liter 4 cylinder engine, Slingshot comes in a variety of models that are sure to make a statement. Step into a Slingshot for an adventurous and unrivaled ride experience. Learn more, visit slingshot.polaris.com.
Slingshot is a three-wheeled motorcycle. It is not an automobile. It does not have airbags and it does not meet automotive safety standards. Three-wheel vehicles may handle differently than other vehicles, especially in wet conditions. Always wear a DOT-approved full-face helmet and fasten seatbelts. The Driver may need a valid motorcycle endorsement. Drive within the limits of the law and your own abilities. Read, understand, and follow your owner’s manual. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unless otherwise noted, trademarks are the property of Polaris Industries Inc. © 2021 Polaris Industries Inc.
ROCKFORD FOSGATE® is a registered trademark of Rockford Corporation.
Apple CARPLAY® is registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
XKGLOW® is a registered trademark of Danial E. Julian DBA XKGLOW
Brembo® is a registered trademark of Freni Brembo S.p.A. Corp of Italy
8 – Did your dealership stand out in 2021? Let’s hear about it! – From Powersports Business
Did your dealership and its team achieve benchmarks for success in 2021? Are you building off that momentum from your outstanding efforts in 2022? Nominations for the 2022 Powersports Business Best in Class Dealership Awards, showcasing the success of dealerships of all sizes in a particular segment of their business, are rolling in to PSB world headquarters. Deadline for nominations is June 1, but go ahead and complete it today while the sun has disappeared in it’s still snowing in some parts of the country!Share