Episode 89 of the Brap Talk motorcycle podcast is out with another “weekly” episode, for your two-wheeled listening pleasure.

In this episode, we sit down and talk a bit about motorcycle culture, and what makes owning a motorcycle akin to being involved in a cult.

This leads to an interesting conversation into what goes into branding and the motorcycle lifestyle, and ends with a surprise gift from one of the best in the business at this vary task. It’s a fun show, and we think you will enjoy it!

Harley-Davidson is recalling over 4,000 Sportster motorcycles because their brake fluid warning labels may detach from the brake fluid reservoir caps.

If this occurs, then the motorcycles would fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 122, “Motorcycle Brake Systems” and thus need to be recalled with the NHTSA.

In the mainstream news, we have seen no shortage of companies pulling out of business operations in Russia and with Russian-aligned firms, as a reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That growing economic and financial influence is also coming from the motorcycle industry, as we can count Harley-Davidson and Polaris as joining that list of brands who have made a stand against Russia’s hostilities.

The debut of the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 was the headline event from 2021 – with the Bar & Shield brand offering its first motorcycle that truly deviated from the company’s cruiser lineup.

An integral part of Harley-Davidson’s “Hardwire” plan to restructure the company for the future, the Pan America 1250 is a conquest bike for the American bike-maker, with an eye on scooping up some sales from rival European brands.

Was it a success? That depends on whom you ask. American publications certainly seemed to think so, with the Pan America 1250 taking top honors in several of their shootouts last year. Meanwhile, the European press was less-enthused.

We will let you decide if home-team bias, on both sides of the pond, are at play there. For our money, we’d put the Ducati Multistrada V4 S in our garage before the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, but reasonable minds can easily disagree on this thought.

Shootouts don’t balance the account’s books however, and for the bean-counters, the true measure of a motorcycle’s success is on the showroom floor.

To that end, Harley-Davidson sold just over 2,500 units of its Pan America lineup in the USA last year, according to our Bothan spies.

If you have a Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 or Harley-Davidson Sportster S in your garage, then your bike likely needs to head back to the dealership for this latest recall from the Bar & Shield brand.

Affecting 3,917 motorcycles, the recall from Harley-Davidson centers around the the instrument cluster, which may not display the speedometer and neutral indicator at startup when the module is below freezing temperatures.

Because of this issue, these motorcycles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 123, “Motorcycle Controls and Displays” and need to be recalled and fixed.

After spinning out the LiveWire brand from the Harley-Davidson name earlier this year, the MoCo is getting ready to take its electric motorcycle company public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Harley-Davidson is taking LiveWire public (with the help of AEA Investors and Bridges Fund Management) through an interesting method called a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which is a method of creating an IPO without going through all the work that such an endeavor usually entails.

“Harley-Davidson delivered a solid third quarter and we have seen many of our Hardwire strategic initiatives perform well, providing encouraging initial proof points of our five-year strategy,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO, Harley-Davidson.

That is how the Bar & Shield brand’s press release about its Q3 2021 sales starts out. The company goes on to acclaim its sales progress for this year, citing relevant metrics back to this time period in 2020.

Harley-Davidson has released its Q2 2021 earnings report, and the results are a bit mixed for the American brand. Compared to 2020’s numbers, Harley-Davidson is showing some unsurprising gains.

As such, the North American market is up 43% compared to last year, while worldwide results bounced to a 24% gain over 2020’s figures.

The story is the same for the first six months of sales for the Bar & Shield brand, with North America up 38% compared to last year, and worldwide sales getting an 18% increase.

All of this is to be expected, of course, not only because sales were down across the board in 2020, but also because the motorcycle industry is booming in 2021. In this regard, the bar of measurement for the Bar & Shield brand is rather low.

The next generation of the Harley-Davidson Sportster is here today, with the debut of the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S.

Teased originally as the Harley-Davidson 1250 Custom, we learned recently that the new bike, with its very modern design, would be designated as the next Sportster, and the name suggests that Harley-Davidson hasn’t shown us the last of this sub-brand’s rebirth.