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Can Harley-Davidson Get America Motorcycle Riding Again?

Disappointing fourth-quarter earnings for Harley-Davidson. Can CEO Matt Levatich make his vision a reality? Watch his speech from AimExpo 2017.

2017 wasn't the best year for Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) - Get Free Report . The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer reported fourth-quarter earnings of five cents a share on Tuesday, January 30, roughly 80% lower than a year earlier when earnings totaled 27 cents. Analysts expected Harley-Davidson to report fourth-quarter profit of 45 cents a share. TheStreet's Kinsey Grant breaks it down here.

The stock is getting roughed up in Tuesday's market selloff and it's not alone.

Harley-Davidson (HOG) - Get Free Report  has been in the midst of a cultural shift that could have a ripple effect for the entire motorcycle industry. 

Motorcycle Industry First

Last June, at The American International Motorcycle Expo @AIMExpo, Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich shared the stage with Polaris (PII) - Get Free Report  CEO Scott Wine. He passionately and blatantly spelled out that his company's mission to build the "next generation" of motorcycle riders. "Our future must be more about the software, not digital code software, but people. And how they think, why they ride and in fact maybe why they don't ride," said Levatich.

Building Motorcycle Ridership

Harley's 10 year plan is to get 2 million new riders. 

Levatich detailed the ambitious plan that would require the entire industry getting involved. Children, young adults, families, first-time riders will get to experience riding in a fun and safe way! And here's the thing, they take place where already adventurous people are gathering! In this case, it's a jam-packed Monster Jam event.

Well, that vision is now a reality. RiDE launched January 29 in Irvine, California. The new hands-on dirt bike and ATV experience is funded by the Motorcycle Industry Council. The Anaheim ride event is the first of 12 events across the nation at selected Monster Jam events.

Editors' pick: Updated January 29. Originally published Oct. 27.

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