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Wed Jun 21, 2017, 08:57 PM

Harley-Davidson enters race to buy Italian rival Ducati: sources

Source: Reuters

U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (HOG.N) is lining up a takeover bid for Italian rival Ducati, potentially bringing together two of the most famous names in motorcycling in a deal that could be worth up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion), sources told Reuters.

Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto (BAJA.NS) and several buyout funds are also preparing bids for Ducati, which is being put up for sale by German carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE).

A deal with Harley-Davidson would bring together the maker of touring bikes like the Electra Glide that are symbolic of America with a leading European maker whose high-performance bikes have a distinguished racing heritage.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson has hired Goldman Sachs to work on the deal, one source familiar with the matter said, adding tentative bids were expected in July.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-ducati-m-a-idUSKBN19C1XX?il=0



As a Ducati rider, I'm not super excited about this.

31 replies, 4467 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Harley-Davidson enters race to buy Italian rival Ducati: sources (Original post)
Calista241 Jun 2017 OP
pangaia Jun 2017 #1
bucolic_frolic Jun 2017 #2
gay texan Jun 2017 #3
Dawson Leery Jun 2017 #4
GreydeeThos Jun 2017 #5
Brother Buzz Jun 2017 #6
Calista241 Jun 2017 #7
Sailor65x1 Jun 2017 #9
Gravitycollapse Jun 2017 #11
AtheistCrusader Jun 2017 #17
Gravitycollapse Jun 2017 #24
AtheistCrusader Jun 2017 #26
Sailor65x1 Jun 2017 #27
Sailor65x1 Jun 2017 #28
Sailor65x1 Jun 2017 #19
Gravitycollapse Jun 2017 #25
Sailor65x1 Jun 2017 #29
Calista241 Jun 2017 #12
Sailor65x1 Jun 2017 #20
AtheistCrusader Jun 2017 #15
Sailor65x1 Jun 2017 #21
djg21 Jun 2017 #18
ToxMarz Jun 2017 #8
jmowreader Jun 2017 #10
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2017 #14
AtheistCrusader Jun 2017 #16
melm00se Jun 2017 #13
Sailor65x1 Jun 2017 #22
EX500rider Jun 2017 #23
Not Ruth Jun 2017 #31
2naSalit Jun 2017 #30

Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 08:59 PM

1. Interesting... my first bike was a Ducati 350 single... in.. 1968.



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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 09:15 PM

2. First Euro-American Internecine Corporate Culture War

This is a real mismatch

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 09:23 PM

3. HD will run this company into the ground.... N/T

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 09:28 PM

4. Who would want to be bought out by Harley Davidson?

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 09:36 PM

5. Not to worry, Trump will get involved and sour the deal

With Trumps deal making ability, Harley will be losing a million dollars a day until they back out.

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Response to GreydeeThos (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 09:52 PM

6. Harley-Davidson already dissed Trump by balking on a 'Thank You' tour of the plant

So you can bet the orange anus will exact revenge and fuck up the deal.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/politics/donald-trump-milwaukee-harley-davidson/index.html

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 09:56 PM

7. On paper, this acquisition would make a lot of sense.

Harley's main customer base is aging, and they're way behind in modern technology. Harley's lack basic electronic aids like Traction Control and ABS. Ducati, probably at the behest of VW, is at the leading edge of developing and deploying this type of technology on their bikes.

And their two product lines do not overlap. The closest conflict would be with the Ducati Diavel, which i guess is similar to virtually every other bike in HD's range, but even the Diavel has a different buyer and different market. Ducati's tend to be purchased by a younger, very enthusiastic, passionate audience. And your average HD rider would be murdered by his mates for even looking at a Scrambler or a Panigale.

And Harley's past performance with owning product lines outside of their core brand is abysmal. Harley owned MV Agusta (a Ducati competitor) for less than 2 years and essentially paid the original owners to take back the brand. Harley's Buell experiment lingered forever before failing spectacularly.

I am not excited about this development.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 11:53 PM

9. Your information is somewhat outdated.

 

I have a Ninja and a Low Rider in my garage. Both have very effective ABS, and Ducati builds nothing that can catch either of them. Ducati was way behind the curve on usable rider aid tech.

There is a reason Harley has better than 50% of our market. It's because they build bikes that are the best at being what they are meant to be. The key is in experienced riders knowing what those bikes are meant to be rather than trying to turn apples into oranges. Additionally, Haeley's demographic has actually been getting younger, not older. A recent push into new styling and feature levels has only begun to accelerate that trend.

Ducati does build a beautiful machine, no doubt. But it is a brand that has needed a refresh for a very long time. And to an experienced rider, it becomes clear that Ducati shares more traits with Harley than it does with its sportbike building brethren.

Having spent time on Ducati bikes in the street and on the track, I for one am excited to see the possibilities here.

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Response to Sailor65x1 (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 05:01 AM

11. Extremely doubtful your Ninja or Low Rider can keep up with a Panigale.

Unless your bikes are running sub 10-second 1/4 miles (and they almost certainly are not), you won't be sticking with a Panigale. And unless your Ninja is an absolute track monster, it won't be keeping up with the Panigale in the twisties either.

Japanese competitors have only recently been able to compete with Ducati when it comes to electronics and rider aids.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 10:37 AM

17. Ninja H2/R has supplanted the Panigale R as fastest production bike (2016).

The Kawi's are heavier, but make up for it with stupid amounts of horsepower.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #17)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 03:52 PM

24. I'm 99% certain that poster does not have an H2 or H2R.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #24)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 04:12 PM

26. Couple hours ago the poster specified, so 100%.

Doesn't really change the point. After-market mods can bring many bikes up to, and beyond the performance of a stock Panigale R.

Basically have to throw it on a Dyno to settle the question, since track performance is tightly coupled to the rider's ability.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #26)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 04:22 PM

27. Absolutely right

 

And it didnt't take much, and the overall cost was well below a stock Pani. Even without the mods though, the Panis just don't stick well enough.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #24)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 04:23 PM

28. I wish!

 

No, I sure don't!

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 12:28 PM

19. The Low Rider will obviously fall off in the twisties,

 

But my statement in regard to the Ninja is based on the Pani and the rest of them stuck firmly in my rear view on the track. Ducati has had ttouble with suspension for a while, without eniugh power differential to make up for it, and even the better riders have trouble keeping them stuck at speed. They just can't keep up. You must have felt this when running yours at the track? And yes, I absolutely can do 10s although I don't like eating up clutches. Admittedly I'm not doing this with stock bikes but the total investment on one is still low enough to beat the Ducati pricing.

Ducati, like I said, has more in common with HD because Ducati is largely a nationalistic brand (Which is not necessarily a bad thing!). HD does a better job, however, making their bikes fill the chosen role than Ducati does, although Ducati builds a beautiful bike. Having capital infused in a deal could get Ducati back under the top riders, and don't you like that possibility at least?

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Response to Sailor65x1 (Reply #19)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 04:07 PM

25. No, no. Sub 10s. My 99 R1 could run 10s.

The 1199 and 1299 Panigales can run 9.XX second 1/4 miles.

Stock for stock, a Panigale is going to be faster around a track than anything offered by Kawasaki. Either you've substantially modified your bike or the Panigale rider need some lessons; or both.

I respect the world of HD, but they have very little positive experience building race bikes. I don't want them turning Ducati into another Buell.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #25)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 04:40 PM

29. Forgive my time generalizations

 

In most circles, no one who says "10s" means their bike comes in at EXACTLY 10 seconds. So let's go with 9.xx and I'm still with you.

And as far as the track, that's just not my (Or any other track rider I know) experience against the Pani. Are you running a Pani at the track yourself? Because that statement is a bit tough to support.

You are correct; my literbike is modded, but not nearly as much as you probably think.

I do strongly think though that this could be a positive thing for Ducati, and I hope I'm right because they are a great company.

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Response to Sailor65x1 (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 07:31 AM

12. That is simply not possible.

My Monster has the same torque a Harley Low Rider S has, and weighs 200 lbs less. The laws of Physics still apply, even to such wonderful machines as motorcycles.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 12:31 PM

20. If you're running stock,

 

Then no, your torque isnt even close. I think you could be confusing the metric/SAE numbers?

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Response to Sailor65x1 (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 10:17 AM

15. My 110,000mi 2001 BMW has ABS.

I definitely would object to upthread post that ducati is on the 'leading edge' of such tech.

Which Ninja? 1k?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #15)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 12:33 PM

21. No argument on BMW

 

BMW has been well in front in tech for years.

Yes, a 1K but admittedly not stock.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 12:18 PM

18. HD tried this already.

It already ran Buell into the ground. http://www.buell.com/content/buell/en_US/home.html

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Jun 21, 2017, 11:33 PM

8. Whatever happens I'm sure Goldman Sachs will make out like the bandits they are

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 12:43 AM

10. Talk about false advertising...

I visited Ducati's website to see what bikes they have on offer, and found they sell a "Ducati Diavel Diesel." Turns out the "Diesel" is the clothing company, not the fuel. Bummer, man.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 09:39 AM

14. There actually have been diesel motorcycles.

I'll say this about Ducatis and Harleys: at least I can tell them apart, unlike just about all the cars on the road today.

I love that camo seat cover.

Diesel-Sipping Motorcycle for the Marines

By DEXTER FORD FEB. 24, 2008



Marine Kawasakis are converted to diesel power so they can burn the military's universal fuel.
Credit Dexter Ford for The New York Times

THE United States Marine Corps, legendary for doing more with less, has used dual-purpose motorcycles for scouting, messenger service, convoy control and military police work. ... But the motorcycles sold today for use on-road and off have a big drawback for military service: they use the wrong fuel. ... Other American and NATO military machines, from diesel generators to stealth bombers, run on JP-8 to simplify fuel supply logistics. While JP-8, a formulation of jet fuel similar to kerosene and diesel fuel, works fine in those engines, commercially available motorcycles require gasoline.

That situation presented an opportunity for Fred Hayes, chief executive of Hayes Diversified Technologies, a military contractor in Hesperia, Calif., that has built specially adapted motorcycles for the Marines and the Army Special Forces for more than two decades. The bikes are modified to run in the harshest environments on earth with special lighting and more rugged suspensions and tires.

When the Marines requested a motorcycle that would run on JP-8, other military contractors proposed outlandish turbine-powered machines. But the Marines wanted a bike that would actually work, and soon, at a reasonable cost. Hayes won the contract. ... The resulting HDT M103M1 uses the chassis, a few engine components and all the internal transmission parts of the Kawasaki KLR650, a workhorse capable of anything from daily commuting to Sahara exploring. But the Marine machineís major engine components are all new, built for diesel service. ... The difference was apparent the instant I thumbed the starter button. In place of the gasoline-powered KLRís anxious idle, the Marine machine came to life with the low clatter of a London taxi.
....

One of the great advantages of the M103M1ís diesel engine is its efficiency. At a steady 55 m.p.h. it gets 96 miles a gallon, according to Hayes, about twice the mileage of the gasoline engine.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #14)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 10:21 AM

16. Those are hand built though.

They get gas powered KLR's delivered, strip them down and convert the whole thing. Hayes Diversified Technologies (HDT) does the work.

Former KLR rider checking in, and man oh man did we drool over the diesels. Acquiring one is next to impossible though.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 09:15 AM

13. This deal could make a lot of sense

but it is entirely dependent upon how Harley would integrate and operate their (potential) new acquisition.

From a style and rider perspective, the two product lines couldn't be more disparate. There are a few upsides to this:

1) This would widen the new company's sales footprint without cannibalizing existing sales.
2) It would provide a brand/path for riders as the age (generally you don't see older people/couples hunched over the tanks of a sport bike).
3) each brand has technology that could be shared across the entire newly formed company.

if I were consulting HD, I would advise them to place someone open/flexibly minded at the top and operate the 2 companies separately but with technology and idea sharing across the 2 silos.

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Response to melm00se (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 12:39 PM

22. Agree 100%

 

It would be my hope.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 02:40 PM

23. "Harley-Davidson enters race to buy Italian rival Ducati"

LOL, Harley is as much a rival of Ducati as Nash-Rambler would have been to Ferrari.

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #23)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 05:46 PM

31. V Twin notwithstanding

 

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Jun 22, 2017, 04:42 PM

30. That would be a shame...nt

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