Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Harley uses Buell styling with electric motorcycle lineup

York, Pennsylvania (October 31, 2018) -- Harley-Davidson, once strictly a purveyor of gas-powered motorcycles, has decided to go electric. The manufacturer will continue to build internal combustion engines, while diversifying its portfolio with a selection of battery-operated motorcycles.

The first electric offering is the company's Livewire bike, which debuted as a prototype in 2014. Riders around the world were allowed to test drive the concept and their feedback were used to design the real deal.

New Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Full details regarding the production-version aren't available yet. What's known, however, is it will be built at Harley-Davidson's manufacturing facility in York, PA, and sales are set to begin in 2019. The first wave of LiveWire bikes will be offered only in North American and select parts of Europe.

As for the bike's styling, it's somewhere between traditional HD, and the company's sport line, Buell, which closed its doors in 2009.

In additional to LiveWire, five other all-electric bikes are slated for release in 2022. Rumor has it, two will be middleweight, and three will be lightweight (bicycle or scooter-sized).

Livewire's design came straight from Harley-Davidson's Product Development Center in Wisconsin. But to help build its electric onslaught, HD announced it will open a new research and development center in Silicon Valley. The West Coast and Midwest facilities will work together to create the zero-emissions lineup.

"This new facility will serve as a satellite for the Willie C. Davidson Product Development center in Wauwatosa, which is where I'm located," explained Sean Stanley, H-D's chief engineer for EV platforms in an article from SAE. "It will initially focus on EV research and development and it includes battery power electronics, e-machine design, development and advanced manufacturing."

"I will be working directly with the EV-systems team there, establishing an EV architecture and building blocks that can support many of the vehicles that we plan to bring to market. At the PDC in Wauwatosa, we'll take those building blocks — that the Silicon Valley center develops — through the product development cycle to prepare for commercially available vehicles."

Video of the New Electric Motorcycle

Harley Davidson recently celebrated its 115th anniversary, and quite frankly, the company needs something new. Demand for its motorcycles in the U.S. has declined drastically, causing sales to drop 13.3 percent for the quarter compared to last year.

There are various reasons for the drop in sales. In additional to the fact that HD has traditionally attracted an older clientele that's no longer riding, it also faces a new 25-percent tariff imposed by the European Union on U.S. motorcycles.

Despite the fact the company is struggling stateside, it's doing well internationally. Sales overseas are up 2.6, but still, the company needs to do something at home. LiveWire, and the rest of the electric lineup will hopefully stir up some excitement and get younger people riding.

"EV technology has a lot to offer in the area of new experiences and connections to the motorcycle and environment around you. Simplistic, twist and go riding [as] there's no shifting. Reducing the noise to focus more on the experience of riding. The instant torque, reduced maintenance. A bike that's easy to control for novice riders, all the way up to performance that intrigues experienced riders," Stanley states.

Here's hoping the innovative bike will breathe new life into a 115-year-old company.

SOURCE: Future Car
Story By: Mia Bevacqua

Iconic Triumph Motorcycles ramps up with digital transformation

Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK (October 31, 2018) -- Like all brands in the modern world, Triumph Motorcycles is reinventing its internal processes to support closer relationships with customers and other stakeholders. While technology plays a big part in that transformation, it can’t be done without bringing the organization’s people along with the necessary changes. That’s a task that HR director Jonathan Parsons keeps a close eye on.

Triumph Speedmaster  

The iconic British manufacturer decided two years ago to replace a whole swathe of legacy systems with a business suite based around the Infor LN manufacturing ERP system, integrated with supply chain, customer relationship and human capital management applications. Helping people adjust to the new systems has been a crucial element of the preparation, says Parsons:

"Triumph is now rolling out the first phase, which links manufacturing systems to its dealerships. HCM is scheduled for early next year, with the full suite expected to be completed by the end of calendar 2019. It’s been learning from talking to other manufacturers who have undertaken a similar transformation, including Italian car maker Ferrari. The full deployment will support 1600 users across 24 countries, including manufacturing plants in the UK, Thailand, Brazil and India."

How Triumph has changed

It’s all part of big shift to bring the company’s internal operations into line with its external image as a premium lifestyle brand. In the past two years, Triumph has opened up its historic manufacturing base at Hinckley, Leicestershire, to offer factory tours as part of its on-site visitor experience. It also hosts school tours to encourage STEM education and careers. “Fifteen years ago it would have been unthinkable to allow customers in our factory,” says Parsons. That changed ethos has inevitably led to an overhaul of the internal systems:

On the inside we still felt not premium at all — we had a lot of manual processes, our data wasn’t connected. The partnership with Infor is about matching up how we operate on the inside with what people expect from the outside.

With the first phase connecting dealers into the manufacturing process, it means customers who order a new Triumph can make changes to the specification much later in the process, and can see the bike in various stages of build. The new system keeps them informed in a way that simply wasn’t possible before, says Parsons.

Customers expect that. In our old software platforms they wouldn’t allow us to forecast a delivery date for a motorcycle. Now we can tell the dealer and the customer when that bike will be delivered.

When the new HCM system goes online in the new year, Parsons expects that line managers will see huge benefits from self-service tools that will give employees the ability to update information directly, such as changes of address or holiday requests.

He’s also keen to start using Infor’s talent science tools, which will help employees to profile their strengths and development needs. One intriguing use case is to fine-tune the aptitudes of people joining product design teams, he says — harnessing more creative personalities early in the process, then switching to those with more attention to detail later on, when ability to deliver comes to the fore.

SOURCE: Diginomica
Story By: Phil Wainewright 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ural's newest motorcycle sidecar comes with a drone

Redmond, WA (October 23, 2018) BSB — Ural motorcycles are known primarily for their sidecars. While other motorcycle manufacturers may allow for the attachment of a tub on the side, only with Ural is the integral sidecar a defining characteristic of the riding experience.

The Ural Air Limited Edition 

Don't forget the availability of a powered sidecar wheel for true two-wheel drive, and don't underestimate the strength and durability of the entire outfit. But what Ural isn't traditionally known for is a focus on gadgets and technology.

The Ural Air Limited Edition Seat

That's apparently beginning to change in 2018 with the introduction of the Air Limited Edition. The big news is the addition of a 3D-printed cubby manufactured by StrataSys in the nose of the sidecar from which a DJI Spark drone can be deployed.

A custom mount from RAM holds the controller for the sidecar passenger. The two-wheel-drive Ural Air also comes with an integrated USB charging port to keep the drone's battery topped up and a telescoping selfie stick that holds an windsock. It's painted in a slate grey metallic scheme with blacked-out accessories and contrasting orange and white decals.

The Ural Air Limited Edition Drone Pad

Fog lights at the front of the sidecar are a nice, practical addition. And if you're worried that Ural will completely forget its diehard fanbase, don't – there's also a trunk-mounted luggage rack, jerry can, tool kit, and utility shovel. While a deployable drone may seem like a gimmick from a company like Ural, there are actually some real advantages to the idea.

The Ural Air Limited Edition

Lots of folks have done some pretty serious off-roading in Ural's two-wheel-drive sidecar motorcycles, and have found them supremely capable. And when the going gets really tough, the drone could potentially be used to help scout out the terrain ahead or to see what cool landscapes are nearby and worth exploring.

Ural is currently taking deposits for the Air, and they are expected to hit dealerships in November. Only 40 are planned worldwide, each with a $17,999 asking price.

Contact Ural Motorcycles for more information.

SOURCE: AutoBlog

Harley-Davidson recalls over 238,000 motorcycles

Milwaukee, WI (October 23, 2018) BSB — Harley-Davidson said it will recall 238,300 recent-model motorcycles world-wide due to a clutch issue, an effort that will weigh on the company’s earnings this quarter.

Milwaukee-based Harley said it informed dealers of a voluntary safety recall 2017 and 2018 Touring, Trike and CVO Touring models and certain 2017 Softail models due to issues with their hydraulic-clutch assemblies. The company expects the recall to cost $35 million and will take a charge in that amount in the fourth quarter. Harley also reported third-quarter results on Tuesday that beat revenue and profit expectations, sending shares higher in pre-market trading. To see if your model is affected, go to the Harley Owners Website at: Safety Recall Information and enter your models VIN number.

Harley-Davidson recalls 238,300 motorcycles

But the number of motorcycles the manufacturer sold in the period fell again, highlighting the challenges it faces amid shifting customer preferences. Harley reported that world-wide it sold 59,226 bikes in the quarter, down almost 8% compared with the year earlier. In the U.S., Harley’s largest market, sales were down 13% to 36,226 motorcycles. In all overseas markets, the company said sales rose 3% to 23,006 bikes. As Harley’s core customer base ages and slows purchases, it is scrambling to attract younger motorcycle riders who prefer bikes that are smaller and less expensive. Sales at the Milwaukee-based company have declined the last three years.

Harley faces other challenges too, including higher costs on imported steel and aluminium due to tariffs implemented by the Trump administration. Harley earned a profit of $113.9 million, or 68 cents a share, in the third quarter, compared to $68 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. After excluding some manufacturing costs, Harley said it earned 78 a share, compared to the 53 cents a share predicted by analysts surveyed by FactSet. For the quarter, Harley-Davidson said revenue from motorcycles and related products rose 17% from the year earlier to $1.12 billion. Analysts had predicted $1.07 billion.

Shares in Harley, which have fallen 24% so far this year, were up about 2% in pre-market trading to $39.49. The company also reported Tuesday that it expects costs related to its closure of a factory in Kansas City, Mo., to total $155 million to $185 million, down from the previous expectation of $170 million to $200 million through 2019. The company said it still predicts motorcycle shipments of 231,000 to 236,000 for the full year, the same as the previous guidance.

SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal

Friday, October 19, 2018

Jesse James: Some things are more important than motorcycles

Dripping Springs, TX (October 19, 2018) — Jesse James may have an outlaw’s name, but he has long been a friend to law-enforcement officers, including the ones he learned to shoot with when he was a boy growing up in California.

“My dad was a big NRA member and gun proponent,” he says. “He had lots of friends who were with the sheriffs, and we’d go out into the desert in California and shoot.” He turns almost wistful for a second. “Now the desert is all houses.”

Jesse James has been a lot of things over the years: hamburger-stand operator, motorcycle customizer and proprietor of West Coast Choppers, reality-television star, tabloid villain, and, now, gunsmith and Texas transplant, one among the exodus of Californians who have landed in the Lone Star State to something short of universal acclaim. A fair number of them have brought their politics to Austin from Palo Alto or wherever it was they couldn’t afford to live anymore, and the locals dread the Californication of Texas.

Jesse James, on the other hand, fits in pretty well.

“In 2010, my buzzer went off on California,” he says. He’d been living part-time in Austin since 2004, operating a motorcycle shop there. Eventually, California’s suffocating political and social atmosphere became too much, and he decamped to Texas for good. Moving Day in the Jesse James household is something else: “The amount of stuff you accumulate in two decades is amazing,” he says. He doesn’t mean tennis rackets and hedge clippers. “We had 17 semitrucks full of equipment.”

California isn’t what it used to be, and it’s not just all those stucco three-twos littering the formerly wide-open spaces of the Mojave Desert. The wide-open spirit that once attracted to the West Coast characters ranging from Jack Kerouac to Ronald Reagan has long since been supplanted by the tepid and sanctimonious spirit of progressive nanny-statism, oppressive taxes, endless regulation and Thou Shalt Nots, and the generally dreadful project of trying to convert a glorious strip of the formerly Wild West into Norway with nicer weather. Reagan may have won California in 1984, but, in the end, it was the Miracle Whip–on–Wonder Bread spirit of Walter Mondale that prevailed. Even Sonny Bono couldn’t win an election in the Coachella Valley today.

And nowhere does the shadow of Nurse Ratched fall more darkly in California than on firearms, the right to keep and bear them, and, most important, the class of people inclined to do so.

“The gun regulation — I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I moved to Texas,” James says. “I was like: Whoa. It happened when I was in high school, but I wasn’t paying attention.” For much of his time in California, James’s experience with firearms was a lot like that of any other California-based celebrity: the Hollywood version. “We rented a lot of guns for filming Monster Garage,” the reality show in which teams of colorful characters worked to create unlikely mechanical monstrosities, e.g., turning a DeLorean into a hovercraft. Unsuccessful projects were dispatched with dynamite, tank treads, and, on occasion, gunfire. “Full autos, .50-calibers. 

But I didn’t realize what it was really like until I bought an AR-15 in the 1990s and it was this weird composite breech-loading thing.” California law requires that AR-style rifles have fixed magazines rather than detachable and swappable ones, which more or less defeats the purpose of an AR. “It kind of made me mad,” he says. And his interest in gunsmithing? “It kind of found me.”

Unlike motorcycles or monster mutant cars, guns become family heirlooms, meaningful in a way that few other things are. “I’ll always build bikes and cars. But a motorcycle is just like a boat. You can sell it on Craigslist. Guns are a personal thing. It provides protection for you and your family, and that gives it a higher meaning. You’re not going to think about showing it off this weekend, but about two generations from now. And that seems more important than motorcycles.”

James says that when he decided to get into the gun business, some people assumed he was simply after a paycheck, looking to slap his famous name on someone else’s product. Instead, he undertook a serious course of study, spending time in the shop of master pistol-smith Jim Garthwaite in Pennsylvania. Welding, machining, lathing: not exactly new ground for him.

Jesse James is in many ways emblematic of the enduring but evolving gun culture of the United States. It’s a bright spot in the manufacturing economy, from old-line mass-market companies to low-volume artisanal shops. Once a primarily rural and blue-collar pursuit, the U.S. gun industry has gone urban and upscale: One of James’s more notable creations — a 1911-style automatic pistol hand-forged out of Damascus steel and incorporating a bit of metal taken from the Statue of Liberty during a restoration project — would set you back just a smidgen less than a top-of-the-line Mercedes sedan. Recreational shooting was once mainly about hunting, but today there are many thousands of American firearms that have never had a whitetail in their sights.

And while many Californians are rightly frustrated with the state’s ridiculous magazine regulations, the hot trend in shooting right now is precision marksmanship, dinging twelve-inch steel plates from distances of 2,000 yards and more, with a day at the range meaning only a dozen or so carefully considered shots. Heavy, bolt-action rifles chambered for relatively new rounds such as the 6.5 Creedmoor, which serve no practical purpose other than long-range plinking (most are far too cumbrous to use for hunting), are tough to keep in stock. Big names in gunmaking such as Savage and Ruger have had hits with high-tech precision rifles, but many smaller makers, including Dallas-based Modern Outfitters and Phoenix-based Surgeon Rifles, have got into the market with small-volume precision firearms sold at prices that would have made Oliver Winchester blush.

A great part of the popularity of precision shooting can be attributed to one man: Chris Kyle. The late Navy SEAL and author of American Sniper, who survived four tours in Iraq only to be gunned down by a troubled fellow veteran at a Texas shooting range, has become something of a cult figure. Go to any shooting range and you’ll see young men with the same short neat beard and Merrell hiking boots he sported, and a lot of sheepdog decals on their Jeep Wranglers. (In the moral cosmology of American Sniper, there are three kinds of men: wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. You want to be a sheepdog.) There are websites dedicated to obsessively documenting the gear he used, from rifles and body armor down to the compass he carried in case his GPS failed. Among his most famous exploits was shooting an enemy sniper from nearly a mile and a quarter away.

Inescapably, there is a political aspect to this: A statue memorial to Kyle was built with funds raised by tea-party groups. The political charge associated with gun culture is only partly about policy as such. There are the usual familiar debates about the Second Amendment, regulation, and public safety. But the real question at the bottom of it all is: Who are we? And who are we going to be? California? Or Texas?

Many of our current political fissures — which are, at their center, cultural fissures — go back to September 11, 2001, and the emotional and divisive politics associated with the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the PATRIOT Act and associated counter-terrorism measures, and the permanently reordered relationship between the United States and the rest of the world. It was not the finest moment in American political history: On the left, the Iraq War was met with absurd conspiracy theories and irresponsible hyperbole; on the right, “Support the troops!” became a kind of accusation. For subway-riding big-city Democrats and those who aspire to an urban and cosmopolitan life, Barack Obama became the ideal American. For truck-driving country boys and those who identify with them, it was Chris Kyle. That division has touched every aspect of our public life, down to our manners and habits of speech: the confessional invocation of “privilege” in Berkeley, the ritualistic incantation “Thank you for your service” at the Provo airport.

Of course there are gun lovers who voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton. A few of them, anyway. (You could forgive them for not talking about that very much.)

But, by and large, gun country is Trump country.

Jesse James is not exactly eager to talk about politics, but he isn’t shy about it, either. He talked up Donald Trump on Fox News during the campaign and built a rather lovely pistol in his honor. He and Trump go back: He was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice. Executives at the big gun manufacturers sometimes joked that Barack Obama was the best gun salesman they’d ever seen: Every time President Obama suggested some new restriction on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, the U.S. firearms industry enjoyed another year of record sales. But at James’s end of the market, Trump’s gun policies are probably less relevant than the 2016 tax cuts. “I deal on the extreme high end of the market,” he says. His customers care about the top rate on capital gains.

James used to do a fair amount of business in California, but today he makes only one gun that can be legally sold there. “You can’t sell AR rifles or 1911s, even though that’s a hundred-year-old design. It kind of sucks. That’s where I’m from, and I have friends and relatives there, and people who want to support our stuff but can’t. We shipped 200 pistols to California the week before the ban came down. We spent months filling every California order. I feel bad for people in California. Gun regulations are only the tip of the iceberg. Businesses, automotive shops, everything: You need permits for an air compressor, and if you don’t have one you get a $5,000 fine. It’s dinging the working man.” You can see 1st hand at Jesse James Firearms Unlimited where he has tons more. 

And that post-9/11 cultural divide runs through his business, too.

STORY:  Kevin D. Williamson
SOURCE:  NationalReview

Biker zombie apocalypse game "Days Gone"

VIDEO: (October 19, 2018) BSB — Days Gone is an open-world action game set in the volcanic scarred high desert of the Pacific Northwest. Players must cross ruthless landscapes and broken roads on their motorcycle to fight unpredictable weather, attacks from other human factions, infected wildlife and wandering Freaks - a brutal, dynamic world that's dangerous day and night.

Deacon St. John, a Drifter and bounty hunter who would rather risk the dangers of the broken road than live in one of the “safe” wilderness encampments. 

The game takes place two years after a global pandemic has killed almost everyone, but transformed millions of others into what survivors call Freakers – mindless, feral creatures, more animal than human but very much alive and quickly evolving.

There are two types of Freaks – Newts, which were adolescents when infected, are opportunistic hunters, preferring to hit and run from the shadows; and a Horde. Made up of hundreds of individual Freakers, Hordes eat, move and attack together, almost as one.

Some Hordes roam the highways at night, while others have found a food source that keeps it in a single location. Skills learned in his prior life as an outlaw biker have given Deacon a slight edge in the seemingly never-ending fight to stay alive.

In a world devastated by a global pandemic, St. John avoids the supposedly safe camps in the wilderness established by the last survivors of humanity and seeks his fortune on the ruined streets. Fight your way through the desolate landscape in search of supplies, resources and, above all, a reason to go on living.

Sony Interactive Entertainment and the in-house Bend Studio announced today that the release of Days Gone will be postponed for around two months. As a result, the open-world biker zombie action game will be released on April 26, 2019 - about two months after the originally scheduled date. 

"We recently decided to postpone Days Gone's release from the crowded February, and while developers are already looking forward to seeing Days Gone in the hands of fans, Bend Studio will take the opportunity to further polish the title," it says in the announcement.

SOURCE: Press A Key

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Brotherhood and loyalty are strong in the Desert Knights MC

Frederick, MA (October 18, 2018) BSB — In 1969, a music festival at Altamont Speedway in Northern California devolved into considerable violence resulting in the stabbing of 18-year-old Meredith Hunter and three accidental deaths. At the center of the violence was the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club — the group was hired as security for the bands.

Nearly 40 years later, the Desert Knights Motorcycle Club gathers in the hills of Appalachia, miles away from any roads with painted lines, holding a makeshift music festival of their own — one that’s in virtually no danger of devolving into violence.

Desert Knights M C National President and Founder “Boss” and member “Hops” lead the club on a memorial ride to a ceremony for club member. By Allen Etzler

More than three dozen members of the club gather in the mountains near Cumberland during Labor Day weekend on the property of Organarchy Farms — a hop farm that is run by one of the group's members. It’s an annual event the club holds in part as a blowout party near the end of riding season, and in part to honor a promise.

Three kegs, a cover band, a gaggle of Harley Davidsons, and a man from a local tavern who catered the gathering by bringing pizza, chicken tenders and nachos, shotguns, handguns, semi-automatic rifles anchor the party. On the surface, being surrounded by bearded, tattooed men wearing leather vests could make one feel intimidated at best and unsafe at worst.

But in truth, there may be few places safer.

The Desert Knights are a group largely composed of military veterans, though it does include some civilians. Most of the members were deployed in the desert era wars including Desert Storm and the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, thousands of miles away from any desert sand or hostile war zones, it’s no wonder that even the bikers view this pasture of green as a safe haven ... but that might not be for the reasons you’d expect.

The Desert Knights MC holds an annual Labor Day ride to honor a member who died in 2016.
By Allen Etzler 

"A lot of us don't drink much," founder and national president Trey Jones, who goes by "Boss," says. "It's hard for us to feel comfortable in an environment where we can drink because of what people think about bikers. So this is kind of a safe place where these guys can let loose and drink and be comfortable."

Pulling up to the farm on a sunny Saturday afternoon, several campers and tents are set up. They are surrounded by cars and motorcycles. A massive red sign hangs from one of the campers with the words “#DieselStrong” written on it — a nod to a fellow member. The members scribe words of encouragement on the sign throughout the day.

The Desert Knights are one of three branches of Red and Tan Nation — a veterans-based group founded in 2006 that focuses on offering brotherhood to help veterans who are struggling. The Desert Knights is a traditional veterans-based motorcycle club for American-styled motorcycle riders, while the Desert Riders — a second branch — is for sport bike riders. The third branch — the Desert Warriors, organized as a 501(c)19 — are the outreach arm of the Red & Tan Nation meant to provide brotherhood and camaraderie while actively working to improve the condition of service members. While the group has 14 total chapters, Frederick is the only place to have two chapters — one Desert Knights and the one and only Desert Warriors chapter to date, according to its website.

“I can honestly say this club probably saved my life,” says patch-holding member Shrek, who has been with the club for two years and serves as the club’s official photographer. “It was everything I needed. Before I joined, when I got back, I was kind of just floundering — doing a lot of dumb stuff.” Shrek is aptly named. He’s a towering man with a thick mustache and black-rimmed spectacles. He’s an Air Force vet who was deployed several times and now works as a prison guard. The club means the same to a lot of its members. The host of the event, a patch-holder called Hops, joined the group several years ago after a fellow member invited him. He’s one of the few civilians in the group.

Upon pulling up to Organarchy Farms, Hops stands with his elbows on the back of his truck drinking kegged light beer from a half-empty plastic red cup. He’s wearing a black hat that covers up long black hair tied into a bun, and a pair of black Vans sneakers to match. He has a thick black beard and his tattoos are the closest thing to a shirt he’ll wear pretty much all weekend. At the risk of mentioning the television series the club has come to despise, he’s reminiscent of a dark-haired Jax Teller.

The Desert Knights MC ride to a nearby cemetery as part of an annual trip for a member who died in 2016. By Allen Etzler

Early in the afternoon, Hops gets on the back of his flat-bed truck, which has a keg in a trashcan strapped into it, to fill up his beer. That's a mistake. The person who gets on top of the truck rarely gets off soon. He's bombarded by thirsty club members asking him for refills — several of whom claim to be too old to climb up onto the truck bed.

"Come on, man. I though we were brothers," says a club patch holder named Static. Hops takes his beer and fills it. It's the ninth one he's filled. He makes last call before he and his blue heeler named Hawk jump back down. Hops became involved with the club through another member. He may not have served in the military, but he respects their service and wanted to help service members who were struggling when they got out of the military. At first, he didn’t realize what the club would do for him personally. “I’ve always had a lot of friends like when I was in school and whatever,” he says. “But I never had those close, close friends who would be there for you at a moment's notice no matter what you’re going through. That’s what this has brought to my life.”

Brothers Bond
The bond is real — it’s as close to brotherhood one can find without actually being brothers. But just because they’re close doesn’t mean they’re all angels. They're rowdy at times, and nearly every fourth word is four letters and starts with the letter “f.” Like all brothers, sometimes they fight. Boss points to one of his front teeth, which was chipped 18 years ago at one of these parties. He found himself in a fight with Tank — a patch holder who couldn’t make it to this year’s event.

“It’s probably a good thing,” Boss says. “Because every year he brings it up and I get pissed off and we start to fight again.”

But even without Tank, the mixture of alcohol and testosterone makes for some tense moments in the evening. As the sun and kegs begin to fade, the trash talk starts to come out. It’s unclear exactly what is said, but suddenly Hops and a man named Peanut, who is from another club but attends some Desert Knight events to show support, get on their bikes and ride to a flat spot on open ground.

“He called me out, so I’ve got to step up,” Peanut says as they line up and prepare to race on grass that is still soggy from an earlier rain. As club members express concern — but still crowd around to watch — they each rev the bikes signaling they’re ready to race. Before they take off, a Desert Knights club member called Shine eventually talks Peanut out of racing.

Hours later, shortly after darkness has fallen, a near-scrap breaks out after a young man who is not with the club climbs nearly 40 feet high into a pine tree. Fearful of what could happen, club members shout for the young man to come down, to which he responds by flipping them the bird. The gesture sets off Static, who begins to curse and wait for the young man to get down from the tree.

As club members start to hold Static back, the young man finishes his descent and walks off in another direction avoiding further incident. “No, he’s a man, I’m a man. Let’s settle it like men,” Static says as members hold him back. “If he’s man enough to flip me off, he’s man enough to settle it with me.” But for every tense moment, there are several reminders that this group doesn’t meet the portrayal of what the an outsider might expect from a motorcycle club.

One doesn’t need to look past the president and founder to see that. Boss, a man who looks every bit to be a biker, is tattooed with a long graying beard. His skin looks not wrinkled, but worn in the sense that his body has been through a lot and it's built a body-sized callous. The hairs on his arms are joining his beard — half brown on their way to gray. He wears his colors at all times, along with steel toe boots with boot-cut jeans. He’s a retired Marine. He served in the Army, too.

Though he’s not the largest man in the group by any stretch, he commands respect. He’s, inarguably, a badass. He’s also, as it turns out, a writer. Not just a writer, but a writer of science fiction and fantasy novels. He recently self-published his first novel — a book called "Nali’s Wager" — and he has more than a dozen others he’s worked on in recent years. "Everyone looks at us and makes their judgements about what we are. That's fine," Boss says. "I'm not going to spend my time trying prove them wrong. I write because I like doing it. I don't think I'm that good. But it's something I enjoy."

As Boss discusses his books around a bonfire, Taz, a member of the Desert Warriors, jumps on stage and sings a heavy metal song while the cover band backs him up. When he finishes the song, he gets off stage to a rousing applause and some brotherly shoves in jest.

Brotherhood, after all, is why they’re here.

Honoring a Memory
Two years ago, while working on the farm, Hops’ cell phone began to ring with calls from other club members. A ride was scheduled for that day, and while Hops wasn’t supposed to be on the ride, his friend Lenny Youngblood was.

Lenny and Hops had been friends since high school, though they weren’t particularly close until Lenny returned from deployment with the Marines and joined the club. He moved onto Hops’ family farm after going through a difficult time with his then-wife. The two spent the better part of a year together as best friends. But on Sept. 10, 2016, Lenny was late for a ride, and Hops couldn’t figure out why. Hops went to the farmhouse where Lenny lived and didn’t see him in the bed. So he walked down to the garage and noticed Lenny’s bike was still in the garage.

"He must be at the house," he thought.

So he went back up to check again. This time, he walked in and noticed Lenny lying next to the bed unconscious. He wasn't breathing. Hops tried CPR, but his friend had been dead a while. There was nothing Hops could do. Lenny had overdosed. He was 30. “I just sat there and hung with him for a while,” Hops says now. Then he called Lenny’s wife. Then an ambulance. Then his brothers from the club. Before long, six club members showed up at Hops’ house to be there for him. But to also mourn their own loss.

Now, each year near Labor Day, Hops holds a massive party. The next day, the club rides down to Lenny’s burial site to pay respects to their fallen friend. Early in the morning, approximately 60 bikes gather at a gas station in Cumberland. They merge on the highway in two rows and take off, never breaking the tight formation.

Hops and Boss lead the club into a massive cemetery with rolling hills and trees covering the mountains. The sun shines and the clouds are pearly white as they park their bikes. Hops is the first one to Lenny’s tombstone, a small rectangular stone planted in the ground. He wipes the grass off the stone and he bends over, putting his elbows on his knees. He wipes his eyes under the dark sunglasses he wears.

“The allergies are bad out here,” Hops says.

As Hops and two other club members stand over Lenny's grave, the rest of the nearly 60 other bikers stand off to the side about 100 feet away in the shade provided by pine trees. The men at the grave share hugs and alternate kneeling down to touch the grave before walking back to join the group. Together, they pray. A club member stands in front of the group and leads in a prayer. He gets out a few words before the tears roll and his voice chokes up.

"Damn it," he says, holding back the tears and trying to force the words out.

He tries again. Then, a third time. But he can't bring himself to finish the prayer. He walks back into the group and they share a moment of silence. The group mourns as one, but the individuals all mourn in their own way. Some members put their arms around others. One kneels in the grass with his face in his hat. Another takes swigs out of a flask and asks nearby members if they want a swig, too. When talking about his friend, Hops is light on details of the death. It doesn’t matter where he is — if this is the topic of conversation, the allergies get bad.

“He was just the best,” he says. “You won’t find a better guy.”

Lenny had his struggles. But part of being in the club means that when you struggle, the club steps up to help you. And it tried to help Lenny in the same way it helped so many others from going over the edge. But, as members of the military will surely attest, you can’t always save everyone. That’s the hardest part of it.

“He’s the one guy that we felt like we let down as a club,” Hops says. “You always think could you have done something more. Could we have done something different? I don’t think there was anything more we could have done. But coming to grips with that is hard.” After Lenny’s death, Hops stepped in to provide for Lenny’s daughter Ayanna. He set up a trust for her to act as a savings account that she can’t access until she’s older. Through different rides, including the Labor Day event, the club raises money for her fund. Hops’ goal is to raise $1,000 a year to put into the trust, so she has money for school if she wants to go to college. But for the last two years, they’ve been able to raise more than $3,000 a year.

“I throw this giant party and blow a bunch of money on it every year, and he loved it,” Hops says. “He used to pimp the farm out in neon. It was awesome.” Now, club members pay to attend, with the money going to Ayanna’s trust. A man from the local tavern caters for free, and takes donations that go to the trust. Hops felt a sense of duty to Ayanna, and that's why he started the trust. Lenny was his friend, and he felt like he failed him. But this party isn’t just in his honor. In a way, it’s healing for Hops, too.

“I’ve never had 60 friends who would have my back at any time,” Hops says. “It means everything. Seeing all of these people show up, it’s hard to try and fight to hold everything back. It would mean everything if it was four bikes. It’s a big sign of respect. It might not be 10,000 bikes, but it’s our brothers.”

Staying true to the mission
The judgements often happen at bars, Hops says. It’s hard for members to go out and wear their cuts in public because often times, it leads to people stirring trouble with them. Much of that comes from a culture that encourages male machismo, but some of it also comes from envy. “Well, when you’re a young, good looking guy with a hot chick, a lot of guys are going to hate seeing that,” Hops says. “So, yeah a lot of times, they will come try you.”

The group has dealt with these situations enough that they know not to make the first move and it rarely devolves into anything dangerous. But, some members have been known to “check respect” and see if the person approaching the club member wants “to go outside.” When incidents like that occur, it usually reflects more poorly on the person donning the motorcycle getup. Despite the scowls and whatever preconceived notions the general public has about motorcycle clubs, the Red and Tan Nation maintains it is dedicated to one mission: helping veterans.

Since its inception, the group has set out to help veterans by giving them a support group that they may not be able to find even within the local VA. They also hope to provide veterans with a new hobby. But recently the group has developed organizations like Platoon 22, which raises awareness of veteran suicide and aims to provide services to struggling vets. It's also part of the Veterans Enhancement Program, which is a program that builds motorcycles for disabled veterans.

“The benefits are three fold," Static says of VEP. "You teach skills to vets. Hopefully, it’s something they like and they can go on to pursue more skills. It gets a bike to someone who wants one and gives them the chance to ride. And it allows a guy to wrench on a bike and hopefully get some s--- off their mind. If they’re there wrenching on a bike untill 2 a.m. it might be the night they don’t pull the trigger.”

While the club works hard to rebuff the stereotypes and assumptions made about most motorcycle clubs, those same clubs have, frankly, long fed that portrayal themselves. They dress in a deliberate fashion — leather vests often accompanied by bandanas and tattoos and rings.

When members have joined the Desert Knights in the past, they've often worn typical civilian wear like jeans and t-shirts. But as soon as they earn their patch, "he is wearing a ring on every finger, wrapping his skull with a bandana, and wearing a fresh pair of Harley boots," Boss says. For some, the biker image is truly who they are. For others, it's a desperate attempt to fit into the culture. Many do it in an attempt to intimidate, Boss says. "I guess if we were really worried about our perception, we'd clean up a bit — cleaner jeans, collared shirts, nicer shoes," he explains. "I dress differently for work than I do anywhere else, so I think to some degree we all feed that perception."

The club culture
From the 1960s through the turn of the century, motorcycle club culture developed a negative connotation — largely pushed through the actions of a few of the largest motorcycle clubs. Clubs like the Pagans and Hells Angels earned a reputation for running drugs and guns and starting fights, casting a dark cloud over bikers.

“I’m so sick of this 'Sons of Anarchy' kind of s--- that people think about when they think of motorcycle clubs,” says Boss. “That’s not what most of these clubs are about.” The groups that engage in criminal activity, which are often referred to as “one-percenters” in the motorcycle club community, dominated the playing field for decades, usurping turf and claiming it as their own. And while those one-percent clubs still maintain a presence, others, including Red and Tan Nation, won't just let those clubs walk all over them.

The Desert Knights handbook addresses one-percent clubs in frank terms. In an older version of the handbook, members are instructed to remain neutral. If problems arise, get out of the environment. But the current version gives them the freedom to stand up to other clubs to a certain point. A big reason for that is numbers. Motorcycle clubs rarely discuss the number of members they have. If a rival club knows how many members another club has, it could lead to an attempt to try to take over their “turf.” The Desert Knights don’t talk numbers either, but Boss does say they have one of the largest clubs in the region, which has allowed them to, in some ways, be less adamant about maintaining their neutrality.

“We have no problem getting along with them,” Boss says. "There's no ill will. They can do their thing. There’s a lot of good dudes in those groups. What I don’t like is another group telling me what I can or can’t do." Ultimately, if a club wants to cause problems, the Desert Knights handbook instructs members to call the police and then call Boss. But in 13 years since the club was founded, no member has ever called the cops if trouble broke out.

“They won’t do that, because that’s pretty frowned upon in the biker community,” Boss says. “But those clubs are willing to do things we aren’t. They’re playing by a different set of rules. Our guys have careers — some of these guys are pulling in six-figure salaries working for the federal government. We’re not going to blow that on a bar fight.”

Besides, there’s little this group needs to prove.

“These guys are made up of the most elite killing force in the entire world — the United States military,” Boss continues. “We’ve got body counts. We want to avoiding adding to that. We have enough going on.” For some members, the motorcycle club culture isn’t something in which they even want to engage. For them, the sense of brotherhood and opportunity to help other veterans drove them to get involved. Ice, a fairly new patch holder, joined the Desert Warriors, and doesn’t even ride a motorcycle. He is enlisted in the military, though he has never deployed, even though he wants to.

“You don’t practice all week for a football game to not play on Sunday,” he says. But he’s also seen what his brothers deal with sometimes when they get back. So, if he never gets deployed, but he can help them to recover and assimilate back to civilian life, that’s good, too.

“If you would have asked me in a million years would I be involved with something like this, I would have said ‘hell no,’” he says. “The motorcycle thing really isn’t for me. But, what this group stands for, the message this group has in terms of helping vets, I’m all about that.”

The club used to be a club for only Harley Davidson riders. But, when Boss wanted to shift his club to one with a heavier family-first focus, he realized some of the younger vets may not have $20,000 to spend on a motorcycle. So he changed the rules.

The club accepts almost anyone no matter the background or the mistakes they've made in the past. Boss has only one rule — no one convicted of rape or pedophilia. People who commit those crimes can't be fixed, Boss says. But upon returning to civilian life, vets often have more struggles than most. Sometimes, they have suicidal thoughts. Sometimes, they have anger issues. Sometimes, they wrestle with substance abuse.

"There's something wrong with all of us," he says. "But the goal of this club is to help make each other whole again. We literally are our brother’s keeper. And when our brother makes a mistake, we don't need to push him away; we need to bring him in and hug him. We don't always support the behavior, but we always support the brother."

"You kind of get used to it"

After leaving the cemetery, the club gathers someplace called Hillbilly Heaven Bar and Grill. It’s pitch black inside with a few patrons sitting at the bar. The club gathers to drink a few beers and share stories. Sometimes, too much time can pass since they’ve seen one another. Events like the one on this weekend are a chance to catch up. But it’s also the first time all weekend they’ve been around civilians with no knowledge of the club. And the faces surrounding them stare.

They stare at the vests the members don. They stare at the prospective member standing at the pool table with his arms crossed. They stare while an older woman scowls as Hops yells above the noise to request the club take a shot in honor of Lenny. She casts judgement with her looks as the group yells “to Lenny” and then downs the alcohol. It's about 1 p.m. “You kind of get used to it,” Hops says. “That’s the way they’re going to feel. They don’t realize we’re the first people to pull over if you’re stuck on the side of the road, or to hold the door or help a grandmother carry her groceries. And that’s fine.”

The group recently began what will be a yearlong process of building a bike for a club member named Diesel, who lost his leg in an accident during a club ride in August.

Several members of the Desert Knights MC say a prayer at the grave of Lenny Youngblood, a member who died in 2016. By Allen Etzler

He hasn’t been alone since the accident happened. And nearly all of the club members have visited him. During the Labor Day weekend ride, a club member named Ironside drove up from Alabama to Ohio to stay with Diesel and then stopped by the party on the way home. When returning home from a trip to Africa recently, Static had to skip meeting for dinner with his mother to drive out to stay with Diesel in the hospital, he says.

“When you’re a part of this, you help your brother out,” he says. “There’s no time or distance that is too great.” It’s a brotherhood that few outside of the military will understand. And it’s a brotherhood that sometimes results in club members feeding into that popular portrayal of bikers. A drunk driver caused Diesel’s accident and the driver nearly hit several other riders.

A patch holder named Easy rode next to Diesel as the crash occurred. Easy pulled off the road and his girlfriend, who is a trauma nurse, wrapped a belt around Diesel’s leg to stop the bleeding.

“She probably saved his life. Or else he would have bled out,” Easy says.

But, Easy didn’t stick around long enough to watch her tend to his friend. He and another club member took off down the road chasing the driver, who had fled the scene. The driver later turned himself into police out of fear, several club members say. Despite their occasional rowdiness and unwavering loyalty to their brothers that can sometimes result in aggressive behavior, they’re far from what society’s depiction of bikers has made them to be.

After one member downs his shot at Hillbilly Heaven, he realizes it’s time to leave. Time to head back to reality, where work and a wife and children take up so much time. Leaving, too, is the woman who scowled and scoffed as the rowdy bikers took a shot in memory of their friend.

He holds the door for her.

Story and Photos: Allen Etzler

SOURCE: The Frederick News-Post
More information about the Desert Knights Motorcycle Club at:

Monday, October 8, 2018

Good Cause: Motorcycle club's event feeds children

Rapid City, S.D. (October 7, 2018) BSB — The Twisted Misfits Motorcycle Club hosted their 5th Annual Hogtoberfest at the Robbinsdale Entertainment Center, a benefit for the Feeding South Dakota Backpack Program.

Over good food, good music, and good community interaction, the Twisted Misfits Motorcycle Club had a raffle rolling as well as an auction with a variety of items including their traditional Strider bike.

All of these items are donated by the community and the president of Twisted Misfits says "Hogtoberfest is chance for groups like his to join in and erase a stigma."

"The image out there of bikers and clubs has not ever been too good you know and we're just trying to change that image. there are good guys in clubs. We do have hearts and we're trying to bring the community together and just have a good time," said Johnny Osborne, president of the Twisted Misfits Motorcycle Club.

The Twisted Misfits hopes to raise more than $10,000 at Hogtoberfest 2018 and are confident the event will continue to grow.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Indian Motorcycle unveils the FTR 1200

Springfield, MA (October 5, 2018) BSB — Indian Motorcycle unveiled the FTR 1200 at a motorcycle industry show in Germany along with a campaign to support the launch.

The company is positioning it as its next landmark bike with the aim of bringing a new generation of riders into the brand.

The company has focused on being more than a traditional American V-twin brand, known for heavyweight cruisers and baggers, says Steve Menneto, president of Indian Motorcycle.

The 2019 Indian FTR1200 

“Our mission is to expand the brand’s reach to a wide range of riders and riding segments, and the FTR 1200 is a dramatic first step,” Menneto said.

“Indian Motorcycle was founded on performance and innovation, and we remain grounded by our founder’s mindset of constantly pushing forward.  In light of that history, the FTR 1200 is a natural extension for the brand."

Born of Indian Motorcycle’s recent back-to-back championships in American Flat Track Racing, the bike incorporates the aggressive styling of Indian’s FTR750 race bike and serves it up in a street-legal version.

The supporting launch campaign from Solve, “Born on the dirt. Built for the street.,” brings hooligan dirt-track racing culture to the pavement with a wheelie-popping SoCal vibe.

It includes a 92-second launch film, “Garage,” featuring the world’s top flat track racer, Jared Mees, as he deftly executes a harrowing near-death slide into a single-car garage that unexpectedly appears on his high-speed practice lap. With death eluded, his race bike transforms to finally reveal the new FTR 1200 as it’s unleashed to rally on the urban grid of Long Beach.

“The FTR 1200 represents a new era in Indian Motorcycle’s storied history,” says Sean Smith, Solve executive creative director/partner. “We took great care to signal a new day at every turn, from how we shot the riding footage, to the track, to the cast.”

In addition to the launch film, the campaign will roll out across social media, website and printed materials.

SOURCE:  Media Post

Friday, October 5, 2018

Hell's Lovers MC members face murder charges

Tulsa, Oklahoma (October 4, 2018) BSB — A Tulsa slaying that police say occurred during a brawl between rival motorcycle clubs this summer now has led to five alleged members facing murder charges.

Dwayne Anthony Arceneaux, 44, also known as D-Train, and Leon Anthony Harris, 47, were charged Sept. 19 in Tulsa County District Court with second-degree murder or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter in the heat of passion. They also face charges of aggravated assault and battery or, in the alternative, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and committing a gang-related offense.

Hells Lovers MC colors of Colorado 

Three others — Kenneth Ray Walters, 40, also known as Dallas; Kevin Lee Fields, 45, also known as Black Superman; and Mark E. Alexander, 48, also known as Dirty — were charged with the same crimes in August.

Prosecutors say the five men are members of the Hell's Lovers motorcycle club and were involved in an assault at Torchy's Briar Patch, 1111 S. 124th East Ave. on June 3. The assault resulted in the shooting death of 49-year-old James Mitchell, while a second man was hospitalized with a severe head injury.

On June 4, Fields told police he was at a Tulsa hotel the night before the assault when he got in a physical altercation with Mitchell and the other man, both of whom he said were members of the Thunderguards motorcycle club.

Fields, who identified himself as a Hell's Lovers prospect, said the fight stemmed from the two other men trying to take his club vest off of him, according to an affidavit.

Colors of the Thunderguards MC

Fields then reportedly called Walters, the president of the Oklahoma chapter of Hell's Lovers, and asked for help. Walters soon arrived with 10 to 15 men, and the group confronted Mitchell and the other Thunderguards member at Briar Patch, the affidavit states.

Mitchell was shot and killed during the ensuing fight, and the other victim was beaten unconscious with at least one unknown weapon. Fields told police he fled on his motorcycle and didn't see the shooter.

The surviving victim later said Walters was supposed to arrive at the bar and fistfight Mitchell.

But according to prosecutors, video surveillance of the incident showed that what the victims believed was to be a "fair one-on-one fight ended up being a retaliatory group attack."

During the investigation, police also identified Alexander, Arceneaux and Harris as being present during the assault.

Fields was arrested Aug. 6 and booked into the Tulsa County jail on $506,000 bond. Alexander also was arrested but was later released after posting the same bond on Sept. 25, court records show.

Arceneaux was booked into the Tulsa County jail Wednesday afternoon on $515,000 bond and remained there Thursday night.

The other two appeared to remain at large.

News Article written by: Kyle Hinchey
SOURCE: Tulsa World

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Republic of Texas Biker Rally: Deal reached, it's a go

Austin, Texas  (October 4, 2018) BSB — The Republic of Texas biker rally and the Texas Heat Wave car show will return to the Travis County Expo Center next summer, forcing the Travis Central Appraisal District to find another location for its property tax hearings. A 3-2 vote at the Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday rejected TCAD's request to rent the Eastside facility and directed county staff to negotiate contracts with the motorcycle and car events.

TCAD was set to rent the venue from May to August of 2019, when it expects to hear from more than 140,000 county residents protesting their property tax bills. After success at the Expo Center last year, TCAD Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler said she and her staff were looking forward to returning in 2019. They submitted a signed contract to the county and only needed approval from county commissioners, but ROT and Heat Wave, which have both been held in the county for over two decades, objected; TCAD's three-month occupancy would interfere with their 2019 event dates. The ROT rally is set for June and Texas Heat Wave for July.

The motorcycles will be back next year. Photo by: John Anderson

Last week, commissioners briefly took up the rental issue, but punted it a week so they could try to sort through the situation. The vote followed a tense debate in which commissioners offered a glimpse into how they each expect staff to work with business partners in renting out the Expo Center. On one side, Commissioners Brigid Shea and Gerald Daugherty argued that the county should work to maintain relationships with "longstanding partners," as Daugherty put it. On the other end, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and Commissioner Margaret Gómez suggested that staff should rent out the 128-acre site on a first-come, first-served basis. In the middle was Jeff Travillion, commissioner in Precinct 1, where the Expo Center is located. He hoped for a compromise in which all three entities would be able to use the facility. Eckhardt and Gómez were the two votes against continuing negotiations with ROT and Heat Wave.

Increased facility rental fees and miscommunication between county staff and the event organizers were at the heart of the dispute. Texas Heat Wave Promotions Director Chris Schneider said rental fees for his event rose from around $27,000 in previous agreements to over $40,000 in the new contract offered by the county. Schneider said Heat Wave was prepared to cut the check, but that he and the event's accounting team needed more time to consider "such a big decision." ROT President Jerry Bragg, however, was less comfortable with the price; it would have been a bigger stretch for his event to afford the increased rental fees. Meanwhile, TCAD was ready to sign a contract for its three-month rental, which would net the county nearly $150,000.

In addition to the increased rental fees, Bragg and Schneid­er expressed frustration with how county staff communicated with them about contract negotiations. Bragg said it was unclear whom he was supposed to work with to negotiate a contract, and Schneider said he was misled on how long his event would have to make a decision on agreeing to the raised rent. Travis County Director of Facilities Manage­ment Roger A. El Khoury refuted ROT's characterization at the Tuesday hearing. "I talked to ROT," he said. "I did everything I can. ... I'm not trying to dump them completely, but ROT did not come to the table and [another] opportunity came."

Now, that opportunity is lost. Crigler said TCAD will likely have to find an alternative venue, which could prove difficult for the appraisal district. "Time is a considerable obstacle for us at this time," Crigler said. "There were competing needs and desires from all parties, we're not going to pass judgment on anybody. ... We're going to respect the decision of the Commissioners Court."

Monday, October 1, 2018

Harley: Too many used bikes hurting new sales

Milwaukee, WI (October 1, 2018) BSB — Harley-Davidson Inc. is facing a particularly tough competitor for new riders: its own used motorcycles.

Three used Harley's are sold in the U.S. for every new one. A decade ago, it was the other way around. New motorcycle sales in the U.S. are down by half from a 2006 peak, while used sales are up 13%.

Harley wants to reverse it's sales slump by drawing new riders with 16 new middleweight bikes set to roll out by 2022 PHOTO: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

Milwaukee-based Harley in 2018 is heading for its fourth straight year of declining sales as the company’s core older customers scale back purchases while younger riders fail to pick up the slack. A glut of used Harley-Davidsons has emerged after years of strong sales growth and production volumes, and offers a variety of choices for those unwilling to splurge on pricey new models.

“It comes down to price, always,” said Jim McMahan, co-owner of a Harley dealership in Greensburg, Pa. “There are people who just don’t want to spend $18,000 to $25,000 on a new motorcycle.” Used Harley's in good condition can cost less than $15,000, dealers say.

Harley wants to reverse its sales slump by drawing new riders with 16 middleweight bikes it plans to roll out by 2022. Among them will be the company’s first electric model, debuting next year.

Harley hasn’t released prices for the new bikes, but dealers expect many of the models will be cheaper than the big bikes that make up the core of the current lineup. Offering more motorcycle choices at lower prices could lure younger riders to the Harley brand for the first time and help offset slumping sales of traditional models.

Heather Malenshek, Harley’s vice president of marketing, said used Hogs aren’t the company’s biggest problem. “The greatest challenge is to bring younger people into the sport,” she said. “Our used motorcycle base is a great way to get them in.”

But some Harley fans—including one Harley salesman—say the price of a new Harley deterred them from buying one. John Call, 31 years old, has sold Harleys at a dealership outside of Cleveland since 2016. In buying his first Hog last year, he chose a used 2009 Dyna Fat Bob for just under $10,000.

“A new Harley isn’t really practical for me,” he said. “I’ve got a growing family.”

Harley-Davidson motorcycles tend to have long lives. They don’t wear out easily or go out of style quickly and owners tend to take care of them, making the bikes appealing in the used-motorcycle market.

A prototype model of Harley's electric motorcycle, live wire. Harley plans to roll it out next year. PHOTO: Harley-Davidson

Harley has struggled to lessen its reliance on baby boomers, whose growing discretionary income and passion for hobbies including motorcycle riding brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1980s. Now, those riders are aging and buying motorcycles less frequently. But younger riders often can’t afford as many bikes as their parents or don’t see themselves living the Harley free-spirit lifestyle.

In response, the company is pursuing younger people who don’t fit the profile of a typical Harley fan: male and clad in a black T-shirt and leather vest. On Monday, Harley said it would start selling its popular branded apparel through Inc. Currently, Harley apparel is sold through the company’s website or at dealerships.

Two of Harley’s new models will be dual-purpose bikes for riding on both paved and unpaved roads, a motorcycle category that is growing in popularity in the U.S. Nine will be sports bikes with racing-style body features and seating to reduce wind drag. Harley doesn’t currently compete in either of these categories.

Some dealers said they doubt customers for those kinds of bikes will one day trade up for a new, expensive Hog. Ms. Malenshek acknowledged some might not, but said Harley also needs to accommodate riders who aren’t interested in its traditional models.

“The point of all of this is bringing new customers into the brand that weren’t there before,” she said. “They don’t all want to be in the lifestyle. You can have Harley on your terms.”

The new models are also designed to attract riders overseas, where Harley wants to generate half its sales a decade from now, up from about 39% currently. Harley in June said it would shift production of motorcycles bound for Europe out of the U.S., after the European Union imposed what would have amounted to a roughly $2,200 tariff on each Hog imported from the U.S.

President Trump and unions representing Harley workers said Harley was using the trade fight to justify existing plans to move production overseas. Harley said that assertion was false.

Many foreign markets are dominated by Harley’s competitors. Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries , Suzuki Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. make popular utilitarian bikes, while Germany’s BMW AG and Italy’s Ducati, owned by Volkswagen AG , make higher-priced models.

Harley faces those same competitors in the U.S., too, along with a resurgent U.S-based competitor in Indian Motorcycles, owned by Polaris Industries Inc.

Harley still accounts for about half of sales of U.S. motorcycles built for riding on highways. That share has held steady in recent years even as its own sales stalled because the market for new motorcycles overall has shrunk since the 2008-2009 recession.

And some riders of used Harley's do eventually buy a new one. Sarah Pellatiro of New Kensington, Pa., bought a new Harley Sportster this year for just under $12,000 after riding a used version for three years. Ms. Pellatiro said she chose the middleweight bike over a larger, more expensive model because she was confident she could handle it in traffic after gaining experience with a used Sportster.

“I got that bike right when I was still learning how to ride,” said the 32-year-old photographer and silversmith. “I don’t think I’ll ever ride any brand other than Harley from here on.”