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“The sun is get’n ripe and the water’s get’n warmer”
“The days are get’n longer , them shorts are get’n shorter, you won’t hear me complain”
“It’s a summer thing”

It’s the lyrics from country’s new comer, Troy Olsen who sings a song which highlights friends, beverages and flotation devices on the water.

And speaking of flotation…it’s well known that most Harley buyers use financing from Harley-David Financial Services (HDFS) when they purchase a new ride.  Not so long ago, H-D applied logic to its loan portfolio that was eerily similar to the housing bust.  The company used its in-house finance unit to chase after subprime borrowers, making it easy for them to buy $20,000 chrome-sters with no money down.  The risky lending—which later forced Harley to take million dollar write-downs — along with rising default rates created major problems.  Customers with low credit scores weren’t the only issue for HDFS.  Turns out those “creditworthy customers” walked from those no-money-down financing offers and along came the delinquencies as repossessions reached new levels.

Silvio Perez (Manheim) - Starts The Auction

In steps Manheim — a worldwide leader in the sale of used vehicles.  Being reported as a first, Manheim Seattle helped execute a massive auction sale of Harley-Davidson motorcycles which were ‘rounded up’ from the various repossession parts of the U.S.  The auction occurred last week and we had a man on the inside watching some of the action.

Essentially two auctions took place over a two-day period.  The first day was exclusive to H-D dealers and the second was open to any type vehicle dealer.  Of the 60+ motorcycles on day #1 about 40 sold with the remainder falling short of the minimum required bid.  Tells you a little about where the dealers are in terms of inventory and price right now.  The GM from Downtown H-D picked up a great buy on a Springer Screamin Eagle.  The 20 or so unsold were added to the second day of bikes scheduled for auction to all vehicle dealers.  The second day motorcycle inventory list were older bikes vs. the first day.  However, most but not all sold.  Several stalled at the minimum required and the auctioneer prompted the lady from HDFS as to any movement on the minimum bid as she looked to be pulling her hair out with the fast action pace of the event.

Crowds Swarm the Auction Motorcycles

The motorcycle repossession/auction business is somewhat of a hidden market business which the general public knows little about. Given that the housing market remains stressed with foreclosures and short-sales being high we can expect motorcycle delinquencies to remain high and as a result firms like Manheim will continue to flourish.

Photos courtesy of John (aka.“Burn-Out”) and Manheim.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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MJacksonHe wanted acceptance and to be so incredibly good that he couldn’t be denied.

Of course I’m talking about Michael Jackson.  A child star turned “King of Pop” who with Quincy Jones released a dance floor epic when disco was supposedly dead.  Together they concocted a synthesis of rock and beats that would not be denied.  Then there was the MTV television “Thriller” moment.  There’s only before and after.  Michael Jackson’s moonwalk was one of those events.  Like the moon landing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

And speaking of the moonscapes, I remember many years ago thinking how odd while watching a clay-mation video which included a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a MJ moon-walking rabbit called Speed Demon.  Clearly a head of its time.   Then last April the cash-strapped artist tried to have an array of treasures from his Neverland Ranch get auctioned, including his 2001 Harley-Davidson Touring Motorcycle which was outfitted as a police cruiser complete with lights and siren.

Now it’s over and the circus begins.  It’s been like a sad movie unspooling on the floor.  We can all debate the low points.  For me it started with plastic surgery and it ended with court cases.  And when Michael tried to explain, when he showed up in court in his pajamas, I tuned out and didn’t want to listen.   I didn’t give him much of a break.  The public no longer treats you human, as an equal, once you break through to stardom-phere.  I’m sure it got confusing and we watched his retreat.

I think we’ve lost something with the passing of Michael Jackson.  May he RIP.

Photo courtesy of Julien Auctions and MJ Productions.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Münch Mammut 1200 TTS

Münch Mammut 1200 TTS

The results are in for the MidAmerica Vintage Motorcycle auction.  Thirty-six bikes sold for a total of $188,680.  The event took place October 11th in St. Paul, Minnesota. The auction high water mark was set by a Münch Mammut 1200 TTS, which sold at $57,240.  Most of the other bikes sold in well under $5K each. View the complete results here (.pdf) courtesy of SCM.

The Münch Mammut (translated from German), at the time the largest and fastest motorcycle in the world was designed by Friedel Münch of Münch Motorrad, its standard engine was a “massive” NSU automobile 1200 cc, 4-cyl. It offered three engine options, including a supercharged version. The company also offered a varied combination of seats and tanks. It was best known for its comfort and speed. The original company declared bankruptcy in 1971, then again in 1973. Friedl sold the rights to his company, but struggled on with production for several more years.  He attempted a comeback with the Mammut 2000, a DOHC, 1998cc, fuel-injected inline-four, with Cosworth cylinder heads and Schwitzer turbocharger which pushed 260 bhp and had a limited top speed of 159 mph – and sold for more than $80,000.

With banks failing and stock values deteriorating quicker than a rusty Vespa these collectibles are a safe bet in these troubled times…

Photo courtesy of web site.

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