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The future of Ducati seems to be always up in the air, especially with Volkswagen AG’s constant back-and-forth when it comes to selling the motorcycle brand.

The German’s latest attempt to sell Ducati may have faltered in the boardroom, but there is new reason to believe that acquisition talks could be started for Ducati, as KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has expressed interest in owning the Italian motorcycle company.

Talking to German-language publication Speedweek, Pierer expressed his interest in adding Ducati to his stable of motorcycle marques, and floated some ideas on how Ducati could fit into KTM’s overall two-wheeled strategy.







His thoughts are…interesting, to say the least.







The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) announced today that the proportion of female motorcycle owners in the USA is on the rise, with 19% of the industry now comprised of women.

That figure is strong increase from the 14% ownership rate that was reported just three years ago, and it shows the changing demographic within the motorcycle industry.







In Episode 4 of the MOTR Podcast, I sit down with Reid Wilson, Senior Director of marketing and planning at Indian Motorcycle.

Our conversation comes just hours after I rode a pre-production version of the Indian FTR1200 street bike, which serves as a jumping off point for a conversation about where Indian is headed as a company and a brand.

The FTR1200 is a pivotal motorcycle for Indian, as the machine helps mark the transition occurring at the American motorcycle company. Up until now, Indian had wanted to be the next Harley-Davidson…and now it wants to be the next Honda.







Reid’s insights into the Indian FTR1200 and the company’s overall positioning help us understand what is going on behind-the-scenes at Indian, which makes for an interesting conversation. I think you will enjoy his insights.

You can find the latest episodes of the MOTR Podcast on iTunes, Google PlaySoundCloud, or via your RSS feed, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

If you’re not already, you should also listen to our sister podcasts, the Two Enthusiasts Podcast and The Paddock Pass Podcast.







Source: SoundCloud







One of the more interesting announcements to go unnoticed at the EICMA show in Milan, was that Vibram was looking to get into the motorcycle industry.

Known best for its five-toed “shoeless” shoes, the Italian company actually has a rich history, which includes being part of the first successful summit of K2 (arguably the most difficult mountain to climb in the world).

Now Vibram makes its business selling rubber soles to shoemakers, with the company’s brand gaining traction (pardon the pun) in the B2B realm with partners like CAT, Danner, The North Face, and many others.







Now looking for new markets to penetrate, it only makes sense to see Vibram coming to the motorcycle industry.







Ten Kate Racing BV, the private limited company housing the Ten Kate Racing team’s racing activities, has been declared bankrupt by a Dutch court.

The Ten Kate team had been forced to file for bankruptcy after last-minute attempts to put together a WorldSBK effort for 2019 had failed.

Ten Kate placed the blame for the bankruptcy squarely on Honda.













We teased the news a little bit in our A&R Pro coverage of the EICMA show, but the one missing element in Ducati’s Milan presentation was its sales figures from the 2018 model year.

There is good reason for their absence though, as Ducati’s successive record years of sales are about to be no longer.

With Audi releasing its quarterly report, we can now see why, as the Italian motorcycle brand sees its deliveries to customers down 3% for the third quarter of this year – down 6.3% so far for 2018.













Interesting news today on the business front of the powersports industry, as Tenneco Inc. announced its intention to purchase Öhlins Racing A.B. for $160 million.

The move would see Tenneco own a majority stake in Öhlins, while a minority position in the company would remain with founder and namesake Kenth Öhlin.

The move is an interesting one since Tenneco has been in the suspension business before, owning the Marzocchi suspension brand.













Done and dusted, the EICMA show in Milan is the biggest trade event in the motorcycle industry, and each year we see dozens and dozens of machines debut in Italy, with much fanfare.

With the bevy of new model releases that occur though, it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. So, we are going to break down the big headlines and moments from this new bike season for you, starting with one of our most talked about brands: Ducati.

Ducati traditionally starts off the EICMA festivities, hosting a pre-event somewhere in Milan days before EICMA. The day of this launch seems to get pushed back further and further each year, as other brands have jockeyed for position, and so this year's pre-event event was held on the Sunday before EICMA.

To its credit, Ducati does EICMA right, and the Italian company has honed to perfection the balance between of hosting a live event for gathered press and VIPs that is also suitable and entertaining enough to be broadcast live on Italian TV and across the internet.

The EICMA show unveiling might be geared now for mainstream consumption, but for those in the industry there are still some valuable inferences to learn from what is said...and what isn't said.

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One of the more interesting developments announced at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy was the debut of the Arc Vector electric superbike, which is being back by InMotion Ventures, the investment arm of Jaguar Land Rover. Yes, as in the car manufacturer.

The link to Jaguar Land Rover was an easy one, as Arc founder Mark Truman was formerly part of the company’s skunk works team, called White Space. Other funding partners include Mercia Fund Managers, the Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund which is part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and a number of industry specialist angels.

Arc has been teasing the Vector for the past several weeks, with plenty of buzzwords to go along with its electric motorcycle offering. The company plans a multi-pronged approach to get into the motorcycle industry, which includes creating a line of smart apparel (co-developed with Knox) that includes a helmet with a heads-up display (HUD).













MV Agusta has raised an additional €40 million in funding, the Italian firm reports, bringing its total in fundraising to €50 million over the last 12 months, as the company moves past its previous financial troubles.

With the capital increase comes a change in the leadership structure at MV Agusta, with Giovanni Castiglioni continuing as the company’s President, while investor Timur Sardarov takes on the role of the company’s new CEO and Chairman of the Board.

This arrangement should mean that Castiglioni will focus on the day-to-day business of MV Agusta and its product lineup, while  Sardarov will mind the company’s financial future and big-picture strategy, including the company’s new business plan.













Another sales quarter, and another report of dwindling sales from Harley-Davidson. The details of the news are the same as well, as sales in the United States continue to disappear, while sales abroad improve modestly.

As such, Harley-Davidson is reporting a 13.3% sales drop on motorcycle retail sales in the United States (36,220 units), with international sales up 2.6% (23,006 units), both compared to Q3 2017. This means that Harley-Davidson’s total sales are down 7.8% for Q3 2018, with 59,226 units sold.

Comparatively, the relative market for Harley-Davidson (bikes 601cc or more in displacement) were down in sales for Q3 2018, to the tune of 9.8% – though we should note that the Bar & Shield brand accounts for roughly half of this relevant market.