Weekly Update

Greetings Riders,
Well, as you all know, the Arizona Cardinals were within 2:45 of a Superbowl victory this past Sunday. Just when you think the home team has won the game, a fellow motorcycle rider, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, orchestrates a march down the field to effectively rip the hearts right out of Cardinal fans that were anticipating years of ineptness to culminate into the biggest NFL prize of all. Not to be this year, but it will be something to build on for next year. As Cardinal fans, let's hope we don't wake up this December to find the Cardinals are 3-13 and this was all just a dream.
The Cardinals stock is rising, but that is one of the few. After spending 7 years in the mid 1980's as a stock broker with E.F. Hutton, I still tend to keep an eye on the markets and in particular the motorcycle industry. As you might have guessed, Harley-Davidson, ticker symbol (HOG) is one that I follow fairly close. The economy has had an affect on a lot of things and the beloved Harley-Davidson is no exception. What once was a streamlined money making machine with 20 years of consecutive quarterly increases, profits at the motor company have fallen on hard times tumbling 58% for the fourth quarter due to weaker demand for its motorcycles.
If you read the headlines, you might think HD was going to ride off into the sunset and never be heard from again. Here are a few of my favorites, "HOG Slaughtered: Harley-Davidson profit falls 58%", "Harley-Davidson running on fumes", "HOG hits pothole", "HD sees rough road ahead". Ok, you get the picture, financial writers were having a little fun at the expense of the motor company. So are they putting the last nail in the coffin a little early? That is yet to be seen, but here is what all the fuss is about.
Harley reported a 58% decline in net income for the fourth quarter and announced plant closures that would result in 1100 workers losing their jobs. Harley plans to consolidate two engine and transmission plants in Milwaukee into a Wisconsin facility. It will reduce its paint and frame operations at the York, PA plant and close a distribution facility in Franklin. They also plan to cut shipments between 10% and 13% in 2009. Throw in the fact that Harley stock is down over 70% in the last year to as low as $10 per share, based on these headlines, this is starting to look like a company that is going out of business.
Not so fast. Sometimes it is a good idea to read beyond the bullet points and headlines. What you didn't see in bold print is that HD still had revenues for the quarter of $1.29 billion compared to $1.39 billion a year ago, a 6.8% decrease on lower sales of bikes. Net income was $77.8 million down from $108.3 million from last year. For the full year, revenue was $5.59 billion, a 2.3% decline and net income was $654.7 million down 25% from $933.8 million. Wholesale shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles were 303,479 units, an 8.2% decrease compared to 330,619 units in 2007. In the U.S., retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 19.6% compared to the same period in 2007 and overall, the U.S. 651-plus CC motorcycle market decreased 25.5% shipping 76,581 bikes in the fourth quarter.
Now you know the numbers, here are some 4th Quarter Harley-Davidson FUN FACTS:
-In the motorcycle family shipment mix touring was 34.2% compared to 35.9% of the shipment mix in 2007.
-Custom, representing soft tails, Dyna, and VRSC motorcycles was 46.5% compared to 43.0% in 2007 and Sportster motorcycles were 19.3% of the total shipment mix.
-Revenue from parts and accessories was $152 million or a decrease of 7.9% from the year ago quarter.
-General merchandise revenue was $69 million, a decrease of 6.0% or $4.4 million.
-The firm plans to ship between 264,000 and 273,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles in 2009, which represents a 10% to 13% reduction versus last year.
Does this sound like a company that is going out of business? Must not be that bad. Billionaire financier Warren Buffett just stepped up with a loan of $300 million. Even if revenue dropped by 20% next year they would still do $4.4 billion dollars. As a Harley owner, I'm not worried about them going out of business, I'm worried about something that could be particularly troubling to the brand. HOG is currently selling at $13 per share with a dividend of $1.32 per share yielding over %10 to the shareholder, has a PE of 4.7 and over $500 million in cash with a market cap of $2.8 billion. When HOG was trading at $50 per share, the market cap was over $11 billion. For $5 billion, someone could come in there and buy the company at a bargain. Sound like a lot? I'm guessing the chairman of General Electric has that much in his top right desk drawer for an acquisition like this.
My point is this. Is Harley-Davidson going to have to tighten their belt and adjust costs like everyone else? They sure are. But the fact still remains that they are a 105 year old worldwide brand name that has their logo on everything from toilet paper to motorcycles that is going to be around for a long time. I remember the days of AMF and hope that the next 100 years remains with the same management philosophy geared toward riding that will protect the brand and the image.
If you missed last week's newsletter with the Arizona Bikeweek Preview, Click Here to View. As always, the newsletter is posted on the front page of after it is sent out.

Highlights This Week 

Saturday, February 7th
Red, Wild & Hot.
Chester’s Harley-Davidson teams up with United Blood Services
during its annual Chili Cook-Off contest.

Saturday, February 7th
Renegade Classics Huge Inventory Reduction Sale.
Now is the time to get those items you need for your riding trips this spring.
10-50% OFF Selected Merchandise. Music - Food - Fun.
Boots, Helmets, Leathers, Sunglasses, Bike Luggage & More.
Saturday, February 7th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Pre-Valentines Day Event.
Valentines Day is right around the corner. That means it's a great time to re-new your vows!
Save up to 15% on Select Merchandise including leathers & Jewelry.
Wednesday, February 11th
Sandbar Mexican Grill Wednesday Bike Night.
The Wii Bowling Tournament at the Sandbar, located at 9868 W. Northern 
will start on Wednesday, February 11th at 6pm and run for 6 weeks with the finals during AZ Bike Week. Sign up when you get there. It takes about 20 minutes to complete a game with 4 people playing. If you have never played, don't worry, it only takes a minute to get you going. This is a lot of fun!


Bike Nights This Week
Wednesday Night

Sandbar Mexican Grill Wednesday Bike Night. Wii Bowling Tournament Starts This Wednesday, February 11th! Ride by the Sandbar Mexican Grill this Wednesday night where the patio instantly sweeps you away to a tropical island paradise as thatch and tin roofs cover the bar. Sit on one of the many high topped tables on the sandy beach or sit at the palapa bar outside and watch TV while listening to music. Or go inside to the dining area featuring a huge bar with 30 HDTV's to choose from around the room all decorated in an island beach theme. Sandbar has a great menu of Mexican food and will be featuring build your own burrito's for $5.00. Choose any ingredients you want off the menu, pack them into your burrito all for $5.00. There will also be $2.00 off ALL Drinks which makes domestic bottles $2.00 and Margarita's $4.00. Ride by this Wednesday night to check out the Sandbar Wednesday Bike Night. Motorcycle Parking Only will be blocked off in front of the restaurant. Click Here to see Photos and details.  Click Here for Sandbar Web Site. 

Thursday Night 

The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.

Dirty Doggs Thursday Bike Night presented by Renegade Classics. The Dirty Dogg Saloon and Renegade Classics of Phoenix announce the start of a Thursday Night Bike Night called Holiday Happy Hour’s for the month of December.  Each week a lucky winner will receive a Renegade Classics Gift Certificate along with door prizes, drink specials and of course the Dirty Dog Girls.  The hours are 8-10; the Dirty Dog is located on the Southeast Corner of Shea and Scottsdale Road –480-368-8095.  Renegade Classics is located at 3102 East Cactus Road in Phoenix and more information can be seen at
Chester's Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Dos Gringos Mesa. Ride by the New Dos Gringos Mesa located on the northwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline in Mesa.  Dos is sure to make an impact and add some flare to the east valley. Enormous patio, complete with its own outdoor bar and separate dining areas on each side. Dos is a casual neighborhood hangout with great food and cold cervezas. Feel free to dine at one of our four tops, relax at one of the booths lining the edge or just belly up to the bar. Click Here to View. There will be drink and food specials and Raffles and Fun from Chester's Harley-Davidson. Ride with Chester's from the dealership at 5:30pm every Thursday located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa. 480-894-0404. 

This Week 

Saturday, February 7th
Red, Wild & Hot. Chester’s Harley-Davidson teams up with United Blood Services during its annual Chili Cook-Off contest. Find the HERO in you! Participants can “give red” by donating blood, “see wild” as Liberty Wildlife rescue organization will be present, and “eat hot” by sampling various chili’s! The United Blood Services bloodmobile will be at Chester’s from 9am-1pm. All donors will be automatically entered to win 1 of 2 shopping sprees for $1000. Be a contestant or a judge in the Chili Cook-off. Call Chester's to sign up your chili. 480-894-0404. Meet the Liberty Wildlife Animal Ambassadors from 10am - 2pm. Chester's HD is located at 922 S. Country Club in Mesa, AZ.

Saturday, February 7th

Renegade Classics Huge Inventory Reduction Sale. Now is the time to get those items you need for your riding trips this spring. Find 10% - 50% OFF Selected Merchandise from 11am - 3pm. Music, Food, Vendors and huge store wide savings will take place all day.The Dirty Dogg Girls will be at Renegade Classics of Phoenix at 3102 East Cactus Road for a charity calendar signing on Saturday, February 7th from 11-3.  The 2009 Dirty Dogg calendars were released earlier this month and this will be the first calendar signing in the valley.  A portion of each calendar sale goes to the Dirty Dogg Saloon charity of the month.  Come have your favorite bartender sign you calendar.  Bring a camera! For more information call Renegade Classics at 602-595-9597 or visit
Saturday, February 7th

Chandler Harley-Davidson Pre-Valentines Day Event. Valentines Day is right around the corner. That means it's a great time to re-new your vows! We are going to make it a fun and free event! This will be our second annual RE-NEW YOU VOWS DAY! We will start vows at 11 am with Tom Anthony from The Black Sheep doing the service with cake, refreshments and photos to follow. This is also a great time to have our second annual Bike Blessing. What a great way to start another safe riding season. Bike Blessing starts at 12 noon with Doug Boyd, also with The Black Sheep. Chandler Harley-Davidson is kicking off our Valentines Day sale. Don't miss out on great selections of merchandise for your Valentine and take advantage of some great savings. Come in and shop early for your best selection of current in-stock merchandise. SAVE UP TO 15% on select Leather, Jewelry & Watches. Stop in and renew your vows or just come by and be a witness. Start your blessed, safe riding season, have some food, and fun with all of us at Chandler Harley-Davidson located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, AZ. 480-496-6800.
Saturday, February 7th

Chili Lovers Cookoff at Desert Rose Bar & Grill in Arlington, AZ. Event time from 12 - 4pm, Cash prizes for the best chili entries, live music, vendors, raffle for gifts cards and prizes. Entry for event: $10 per adult. Venders contact Judge at 623 266-7657. To inter chili contact Terrye at 623 826-5293.

Sunday, February 8th

4th Annual Bikers Soar for Wildlife Poker Run. This is the 4th year for this run and from the beginning it has been a well attended event. You might have seen my articles and photos about the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center in the past. If not, CLICK HERE for Photos and Story. This year the ride is a 140 miles starting at Ridenow Powersports in Surprise at 15380 W. Bell Rd. The ride ends at Pioneer the Past Restaurant at I-17 and Pioneer Rd. just north of Phoenix.  At the end of the ride you will see the animals you are riding for, hear a live band, visit with vendors, and try your luck with the raffles, the 50/50, and much more. If you have family or friends who want to meet up with you at Pioneer, they can buy lunch for $7 and enjoy the day with you.  100% of the proceeds go to support, feeding and care of the wildlife received at the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center. The Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center Auxiliary (AMWCA) is a 501-C-3 Non-profit. Sign up now at   All details are on the website.  But if you have specific questions, contact Sandy at, 623-587-0139 or email at,
Sunday, February 8th

John Sliney Benefit Ride. John Sliney had a motorcycle accident on Jan. 19th which has left him in critical but stable condition in the hospital. John is an avid motorcyclist and long time member of the East Valley HOG. He has served as EV HOG Asst. Dir, completed many of the Iron Butt Rides and obtained the coveted status of Rough Rider. His is always in the top 5 riders in mileage every year. There will be a ride and food for a donation of $10. Click Here for flyer and all details. 

Next Week 

Sunday, February 15th
Arizona Military Heroes Poker Run. Begins 9:30am at Arizona Biker Leathers, 13833 N. 19th Ave. in Phoenix. Rider $15, with passenger $25. All money raised will go to the National Guard. Awards for best and worst poker hand. Tattoo contest. All riders and passengers receive a free ride pin.
Sunday, February 15th
CAL-AM Cruiser Motorcycle Charity Ride. Starts at Montesa @ Gold Canyon, 7373 E. US Highway 60 in Gold Canyon, AZ. Registration starts at 10am. Blessing of the bikes at 11:45am. Ride starts at Noon. Money to Muscular Dystrophy. $20 for rider. $25 with passenger. Information: Jacque at 480-982-3838.



Here is a movie that you should put on your list of things to do. When you watch the trailer you will see why. It appears to be an excellent movie that is based on a true story. It will air Saturday, February 21st at 8pm. In 2004, Lt. Col. Michael Strobl volunteered to escort home the body of a 19 year-old Marine killed in Iraq. It would prove to be a life-altering experience. Kevin Bacon stars as Strobl in this profoundly moving HBO Films drama that looks at the seldom seen military rituals for honoring its war dead. WATCH THE TRAILER, Very, Very Patriotic. 
From taking flying lessons, one thing I learned was to accelerate to lift off speed, gain altitude and then retract the landing gear, in that order. This pilot seemed to get that sequence confused. Click Here to View.
Here is what a guy does when he doesn't care about his bike and gets bored with the endless miles of roads. And when there is snow, it just adds to the fun. Click Here to View.  
Here are 4 video clips for you off road and 4x4 fans. Click Here to View.
Here is the classic Cat Vs. Dog video called "Get Out of My Bed". Who do you think will win? It might surprise you. Click Here to View. 

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

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