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Posts Tagged ‘Gold’

Conflict Minerals

Conflict Minerals

It’s unlikely that you think much about this, but when you press the BOOM!™ Audio Infotainment ON button,  it activates the audio system’s logic board which is soldered together with tin.  The Tantalum helps keep highly conductive materials in check and helps signals pass swiftly through the device.  And the Tantalum Oxide helped engineers create thinner, smaller electronics to reduce the space required on the motorcycle.  And the Gold which is highly conductive and used sparingly, is used in wires and in integrated chip (IC) films when a very pure connection between components is required.

There are numerous components on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that may contain conflict minerals: brake pads, fuel tanks, on-board electronics, radiators and batteries.  I previously blogged on this HERE back in 2011.

For the uninitiated, conflict minerals — tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, or “3TG” — is sourced from or distributed by 10 countries in central Africa, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  The conflict minerals moniker comes from the fact that proceeds from their sale are used to fund armed groups that commit human rights crimes and other atrocities in regional African conflicts.  More people have heard about “Blood Diamonds” than conflict minerals, but the atrocities are similar.

A miner washes tin ore in the Kalimbi mine in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

A miner washes tin ore in the Kalimbi mine in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

And there is always the presence of the militant groups or organized criminal gangs, and the nexus between them which creates an intricate link between terrorism and organized crime.   These armed groups reap more than $100 million a year from the mineral trade in eastern Congo, and regularly slaughter innocents as they jockey to control the region’s most valuable mines and transportation routes.

Harley-Davidson has publically committed to supporting responsible sourcing of its materials from suppliers that share their values around human rights and environmental responsibility. The motor company is committed to complying with the “Conflict Minerals” requirements under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The 2010 law requires companies to publicly disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals.  And Harley-Davidson has until May 31, 2014, to file their first SEC disclosure regarding conflict minerals, with annual disclosures required after that.

Harley has posted and you can read their disclosure HERE.

In Section 4, it highlights that responses to their inquiries from ten suppliers which suggest that 3TG is sourced from Covered Countries, but it’s not clear if it was in the products or directly benefited armed groups.  Harley-Davidson communicated the need for additional information with the relevant suppliers and whether any of the 3TG that these suppliers reported were actually contained in components or parts that the suppliers supplied to H-D.

To be clear, Harley-Davidson did not find any evidence to suggest that any of the 3TG in their supply chain may have originated in a Covered Country or finances any armed groups in the Covered Countries, but did suggest that the quality of information that they obtained from their supply chains needed improvement and they were taking future actions to improve their processes.

So the question of the day is if given a choice, are you more likely to buy a “Conflict Mineral” free motorcycle?

I believe that H-D is a responsible global corporate citizen in all aspects of their business, both internally and externally.  But, wouldn’t it be cool if they pushed hard on this initiative and announced they are proud to manufacture the world’s first commercially available conflict-free motorcycle!

For more information you can track Harley-Davidson updates on this topic HERE.

A good video guide by VICE on the Congo is HERE.  The Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative is HERE.  Looking to get more involved?  Check out: The Enough Project; The Falling Whistles; The Responsible Sourcing Network; Resolve.

Photos courtesy of Reuters and the Periodic Table.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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New Data Reveals Female Motorcycle Riders Feel Happier, More Confident and Sexier Than Women Who Don't Ride

Female Riders Feel Happier, More Confident and Sexier Than Women Who Don’t Ride

It’s so classically Glamour and just in time for the New Year.

I’m talking about women and self-help books.  No, not the help of how to install a thermostat or how to assemble furniture, but that elusive key to finding happiness.

You see, Harley-Davidson commissioned a study and miraculously the results indicate that women who ride their own motorcycles are noticeably happier – in life, in relationships, and even in the bedroom – than women who don’t ride.

Seems self serving don’t you think?  But, let’s remember for a minute that all humans are somewhat self-obsessed, and if you think I’m writing this is about you, don’t take it personal.

Most men I know just want a gal that can apply makeup without an automobile mirror and be capable of leaving the house on 5 minutes’ notice.  I’m not a psychologist and haven’t a clue on the details of the study, but I wonder what was it about their persistent low self-esteem: how did it get that way? Were they awkward growing up? Not quick or witty enough?  Once they gained a shred of confidence, did they seek out companions they knew would make them feel inadequate? Why? Do they think they’re a narcissist? Or just a weak person?

Well guess what? We’re all different.  We’re a collection of experiences. We’re all special, which is precisely what makes us so un-special.  And if you harbor lingering dissatisfaction with yourself, figuring out what it is might be a pretty good way to start coming to terms with self-improvement.

But, that’s my $0.02.  

Let’s look to the Harley-Davidson “Help Desk” – and their study – of how women can jumpstart their journey to a more fulfilling life.

Conducted by Kelton (and commissioned by H-D) they interviewed 1,013 adult female riders and 1,016 adult female non-riders, and found overwhelming evidence that riding a motorcycle greatly improves a woman’s feelings of overall self-worth.

Key insights surrounding women who ride motorcycles in comparison to those who don’t include the following:

  • More than twice as many always feel happy (37 percent of riders vs. 16 percent of non-riders)
  • Nearly four times as many always feel sexy (27 percent of riders vs. 7 percent of non-riders)
  • Nearly twice as many always feel confident (35 percent of riders vs. 18 percent of non-riders)

According to the study, more than half (53 percent) of women who ride cite their motorcycle as a key source of happiness and nearly three in four (74 percent) believe their lives have improved since they started riding.

Somewhat interesting is that the study found that beyond positively impacting a woman’s sense of self, riding can improve relationships. When it comes to romance, women who ride leave non-riders in their dust, being more content with:

  • Communication with their significant other (60 percent of riders vs. 38 percent of non-riders)
  • Physical intimacy (51 percent of riders vs. 35 percent of non-riders).

I can see it now… a group of marketer’s in a Harley-Davidson conference room brainstorming a catchy title for a new self-help book:  The No Excuses H-D Motorcycle Guide To Intimacy

The book will go something like this…  distraught woman loses it completely, then rebuilds her life bit by bit.  By the last chapter she has purchased a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, found freedom, independence, self-expression, a rebel spirit and ridden from downtown Tokyo to Mt. Fuji and attended the San Tropez H.O.G. rally in France.  She has found a richly rewarding new life and a new mate with who she shares a deeper, more extraordinary love than she could ever have imagined possible.  Simply put, in the romance Olympics she has obtained a “Gold” medal!

Look for it on a bookshelf soon.

Photo courtesy of HD.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Amanda Beard

Amanda Beard

Something on the lighter side…I’ve kicked back and enjoyed the past few days of the Olympic Games because unlike many of you out there I dislike the Reality TV World and I find it interesting to see the physical and mental discipline of athletes who are at the top of their game for “5 minutes” of fame. 

Of course there is no lack of political baggage that comes with the Olympics from the Tibetan advocates to China’s human rights record.

But, speaking of the physical discipline there is no one drawing more attention inside or outside the Olympics for that matter than swimmer Amanda Beard.  She recently picked up a Ducati Monster motorcycle and told Sports Illustrated that she likes long motorcycle rides with brief stops at different swim clubs while doing clinics for kids.

Amanda might be a motorcycle riding compassionate U.S. Olympic athlete, but she’s received a lot of notoriety with an anti-fur ad she did-naked-for PETA.  She took time from her busy training schedule to bare her skin to help save animals’ skins – all in the interest to raise awareness of the cruelty inherent in the fur industry.

There are many people who don’t like it, don’t appreciate it, feel like she’s ruining the sport or giving female athletes a bad name and I’m sure there are just as many who love it, and feel like it brings more attention to swimming.  Say what you will about the anti-fur ad — Amanda is a top tier athlete with accomplishments to date being:

OLYMPIC MEDALS

Gold 1996 Atlanta 4x100m medley relay

Silver 1996 Atlanta 100 m breaststroke

Silver 1996 Atlanta 200 m breaststroke

 

Bronze 2000 Sydney 200 m breaststroke

Gold 2004 Athens 200 m breaststroke

Silver 2004 Athens 200 m individual medley

Silver 2004 Athens 4×100 m medley relay

 

Jewel Samad  AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

With China hosting the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, the ad may have come at just the right time. An investigation into the fur industry in China-states they supply more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the U.S.  Of course the cruelty of the fur industry does not end at the borders of China.

 

So those of you who had enough spectator badminton, synchronized swimming, ping pong, and trampoline—all which should, of course, be performed in the nude you can send your “Olympic Moment” petition to his Excellency Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong and state you’d rather go naked with, I mean like Amanda than wear fur. 

What about leather riding gear?  I’m conflicted on this one.  There is a lot more info at the Cows R Cool web site which offers up synthetic “skin-free” alternatives.  

Check it out.

Updated: August 14th 17:10 PDTLA Times is reporting that the US Team Captain failed to advance out of the prelim’s.  She didn’t even make it out of the heats finishing 18th with 2 min and 27.70 sec.  Maybe she was too distracted in “pressing-the-flesh” for her cause?  Most unfortunate.

 

Photo courtesy PETA

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