Indian Motorcycle is America’s oldest motorcycle brand–although not, it should be pointed out, the oldest continuous manufacturer, due to an unfortunate number of bankruptcies. The venerable brand keeps being revived though, and in its current incarnation, the company has unveiled its 2010 lineup of Indian Chief motorcycles at Sturgis. Top among them is Indian’s version of a dark custom motorcycle, the Dark Chief.
A special model for the 2010 year is the Indian Chief bomber, a motorcycle whose styling is based on World War II aircraft. According to the company:
Inspired by WWII aircraft, the Bomber is a limited edition Chief model and will only be available for one year. The Bomber is available in Military Green and Silver Smoke finishes. The pin-up girl tank artwork is inspired by the Bomber nose art of that era. The leather used on the seat and saddlebags are reminiscent of the feel and color of an old bomber jacket.
If you want an Indian, be prepared to shell out some serious cash. The price for an entry-level model starts at $25,999, and goes up from there.
The global recession just keeps on hurting. Yamaha Motor Company announced that they have some problems, financially, and they substantially cut their profit forecast for the year.
Yamaha Motor Co., the world’s second- largest motorcycle maker, fell the most in nine months after the company quadrupled its forecast to a full-year loss of 182 billion yen ($1.9 billion).
The company dropped 9.9 percent, or 120 yen, to 1,096 yen at the close on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Yamaha, based in Iwata City, Japan, had previously forecast a net loss of 42 billion yen. It posted a loss of 74.7 billion yen in the first half.
The motorcycle maker cut its sales forecast by 12 percent as rising unemployment and falling wages reduces demand for Royal Star cruising bikes. Yamaha plans to close three factories in Japan over the next three years. The company cut its forecast for motorcycle sales in North America this year by 35 percent and lowered its prediction for European sales by 8 percent.
On top of the news from Yamaha, Honda also released some bad news today.
Honda Motor Co.’s domestic production of motorcycles is expected to fall 40 per cent on the year in fiscal 2009 as a result of stalled demand in Japan and delayed inventory adjustments overseas.
Honda’s Kumamoto plant, now its sole domestic manufacturing base for motorcycles, plans to produce 181,000 units this fiscal year, compared with slightly more than 300,000 units in fiscal 2008. The fiscal 2009 figure is also less than half of the facility’s annual output capacity of 460,000 units.
About 50 per cent of the motorcycles manufactured at the Kumamoto plant are for the domestic market, while 90 per cent of the units shipped overseas are for the North American and European markets. Owing to the global economic downturn, overseas and domestic demand has dropped sharply since last autumn, with midsize and large motorcycles among the hardest hit.
It’s a tough time to be in the pleasure/recreational vehicle business.