Archive for December 15th, 2008

jim_ziemer1Harley-Davidson announced that Jim Ziemer (CEO) informed the board he will retire in 2009. 

A 40-year career that started by pushing a broom and running an elevator at Harley-Davidson at the age of 19.  He is one American CEO who started at the bottom.  However, Ziemer elects to retire at a time when the motorcycle company is grappling with a brutal economic climate and is selling fewer bikes while posting lower profits. The news comes on the heals of a loan advance of $500 Million made earlier today from it’s lenders.

Mr. Ziemer received compensation in 2007 valued at almost $4.1 million.  More salary information is available HERE.  Mr. Ziemer has been President and CEO of Harley since April 30, 2005 and served as VP and CFO from December 1990 to April 2005. He has been Director of Harley since December 2004 and Textron Inc., since March 1, 2007. He also served as President of The Harley-Davidson Foundation Inc. from 1993 to 2006.  Ziemer’s was named by President Bush to the Advisory Council for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He also served in the position of vice chair of Junior Achievement, membership on the campaign cabinet of the United Way and was a past committee chair post with the Next Door Foundation.

Mr. Ziemer met his wife, Yvonne during his Milwaukee High School graduation.  They had never met before that day and were seated next to each other. You can read much more about this interesting man and get a personal sense of his accomplishments and philosophy in the May 2008 University of Wisconsin commencement speech HERE (pdf).

Jim will be trading his worries and cares for the adventure of the open road.  Enjoy!

Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


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steedHarley-Davidson announced earlier this year that they were looking for female film makers who could capture the sense of empowerment, freedom, and adventure that is inherent when women get behind the handle bars of a Harley in a short film. The winning film maker would win: $5000 cash, a hi-definition video camera, a Harley-Davidson leather jacket, and a Los Angeles premiere party for her film.

Victoria Sampson’s (Need for Speed) was the grand prize film contest winner.  Harley rolled out the orange and black carpet for the gala event in L.A.  You can view her short film HERE on Facebook.  Melissa Kosar and Marta Masferrer each were selected as First Prize winners.  Congrats to all!

Victoria’s film is a well crafted short, but I can’t address whether it inspires women to get behind the handlebars of their very own motorcycle.


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outdoor_tempI guess it’s now officially winter here in the Northwest.  

It snowed most of the day yesterday in Portland and sub-freezing temp’s are on order for most of the week.  Not a huge revelation if you’re local to the area.  We’ve sure had some gorgeous fall weather for riding and I doubt we’re going to see anymore of those 50 degree days for good awhile.

snoxcycleBut just because it’s winter does not mean you can’t take out your motorcycle for a ride.  I’m of the viewpoint that when the snow and ice start coating the asphalt it’s no place for a motorcycle, but others may think differently.  In fact, if your so inclined there is a conversion kit that will turn a dirt bike into what’s called a SnoxCycle in a little over an hour.  For about $3K you could be riding a motorcycle on snow that is a thrilling experience.

Dirt bikes often get parked in the garage for much of the winter months, but this conversion will have you racing snowmobiles in record time.

SnoxCycle photo courtesy of Gizmag


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