While schedules keep changing, more events have been canceled and production remains disrupted for the motorcycle manufacturers, RevZilla remains in operation at this time while working within guidelines for keeping employees safe and trying to help health care workers on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus outbreak.
If you're staying at home and working on motorcycle projects to make profitable use of your time, orders for parts are still being fulfilled. RevZilla managerial staff and Gear Geeks are working remotely from home. The phone lines are still available if you need help or advice, with the only difference being you will get it from a Gear Geek sitting on his or her sofa instead of an office chair at ZLA HQ. RevZilla's distribution centers remain in operation while following Centers for Disease Control guidance for preventing spread of the coronavirus among employees. To make things easier for customers during this time, RevZilla has extended the return policy to 90 days and is providing free shipping on all domestic orders in the United States.
RevZilla is also doing its part to contribute. Employees recently participated in a blood drive to replenish depleted supplies and the company has donated $50,000 in inventory to hospitals and emergency management teams, primarily motorcycle goggles that are appropriate for use by health care workers who are dealing with a shortage of personal protective equipment.
The Common Tread team continues to produce original content on our regular schedule, though since we're all working from home, you'll be more likely to see stories about projects in the garage than first-hand reports on riding new motorcycles in far-flung locations. The video team is also still at work and Spurgeon is posting video updates (like the one below) every Wednesday from the state-of-the-art studio formerly known as his basement garage. Catch them on RevZilla's YouTube channel or Instagram.
In addition to the video just released on the #IRodeToday Sweepstakes, in which you could win your choice of a Yamaha YZF-R3 or MT-03 and other prizes, the video team has some other projects coming out soon on YouTube. That includes Spurgeon's report on his test ride of the 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro and GT Pro in Morocco, to be released on Saturday, and episode nine of Highside/Lowside on the following Saturday, April 11. The podcast version will be available Wednesday, April 8.
RevZilla's sister companies, Cycle Gear and J&P Cycles, also remain in operation, though with some limitations. Some Cycle Gear stores are closed, in accordance with local restrictions, while others are open and providing only curbside pickup of orders. Call your local store to confirm current hours of operation. J&P Cycles is also still in operation and fulfilling orders.
While we can't share the ride together, we can share the music that makes up our personal soundtracks. What do you listen to while riding or wrenching? Let us know in the comments and we'll release Volume 1 of the Indian Motorcycle Community Playlist on @spotify this Tuesday. #indianmotorcycle
Elsewhere in the industry...
Last week, Indian Motorcycle parent company Polaris suspended production at the plant in Spirit Lake, Iowa, that produces Indian motorcycles, along with several other plants producing other kinds of vehicles around the United States and in Mexico and Poland. A statement from the company said that Polaris is taking other steps to position itself for softer sales, including suspension of share buybacks and postponement of capital expenditures to preserve cash. That follows other companies that have already interrupted at least part of their production, including Harley-Davidson, Ducati, KTM, BMW, Husqvarna, MV Agusta (which initially remained in production but had to close due to stricter measures in Italy) and others.
Indian and other manufacturers, such as Triumph, have also implemented plans to help dealers by suspending interest payments due from dealers on unsold inventory.
Professional racing schedules are being revised every week and many motorcycle events have been canceled. Some of the largest summer rallies have not yet been changed, however. The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association board of directors said a decision will be made by April 30 about whether the event will be postponed from its June date. The current plan would be a postponement until August. To date, no changes have been made to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally scheduled for August.
To end on a positive note, remember last year when Andy wrote about trying the shared Revel electric scooters as another urban mobility option? The company is now offering free rides to health care workers trying to get to work and has expanded its service area in New York City to include some of the hardest hit hospitals in upper Manhattan. Also, remember Motoveli, one of the print motorcycle magazines we featured recently? Founder Ryan Snelson has put together a team of volunteer motorcyclists to distribute personal protection equipment to health care workers who need them. Riders are still showing determination in the face of adversity.