Tag Archives: trademark

Honda doubles down on electric minibikes

Honda has doubled down on electric minibikes with a patent filing for their long-promised electric Super Cub and a trademark application for an electric Motocompacto.

The former has been around since Honda trotted out a prototype at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.

Electric minibikes

Honda said the EV-CUB electric scooter would be available from 2018, but that date has now long gone.

However, Honda has had a growing romance with the idea of electric power and especially electric minibikes.

In 2017, Honda signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hitachi to develop electric motors.

The following year, Honda said its self-balancing bike would also come in an electric version.

Honda's self-balancing motorcycle - short season damon last
Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle

The same year Honda said they would develop electric scooters and bikes with swappable batteries and even hybrid drivetrains.

Last year they applied for a patent for future electric motorcycles and scooters to feature an alarm to warn pedestrians unaware of the approaching quiet vehicle.

And earlier this year they applied for a patent for an electric Fireblade sports bike.

Yet here we are in 2020 and still the Japanese company has not delivered on its electric plan.

It’s not that we don’t think it will happen; it’s just a case of when.

Honda MotoCompo Honda doubles down on electric minibikes
1980s Motocompo

As for the Motocompacto electric minibike, it may look like the 1980s Motocompo commuter bike designed to fold up and fit in a car boot (trunk).

Honda patents

These latest filings are part of a blitz of trademark and patent applications by Honda over the past couple of years.

Some are quite weird and impractical, but others may actually make it to market.

We suspect Honda is just trying to dominate intellectual property on motorcycle inventions, rather than planning to put them all into production.

The patents include:

Forks Goldwing patent
Goldwing forks patent

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Deus sues movie over fake jacket

Australian motorcycle apparel, accessories and custom company Deus Ex Machina is suing two movie studios over a fake jacket used in the “schamltzy” teen romance film The Sun is Also a Star.

The green and yellow bomber-style jacket worn by the film’s female star Yara Shahidi features the brand name on the back.

However, it is not a genuine product of the company. In fact, it is nothing like any of their hipster-style motorcycle gear.

Deus filed the lawsuit for unspecified damages in Los Angeles, alleging trademark infringement by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Fake jacket

They claim the jacket is “gaudy and inferior” and “not consistent with and/or is inferior in quality” to their products.

“The jacket is not a product of Deus Ex Machina,” the plaintiffs allege.

“Deus Ex Machina is informed and believes that the jacket was created by defendants for the movie.”

The company has objected to being associated “with a schmaltzy teen-style love story” and “a flop”.

The movie certainly was a flop, costing $US9 million to make and grossing just $US6 million at the box office.

Deus also alleges the male lead, Charles Melton, posed for promotional photos on social media wearing genuine Deus Ex Machina gear.

They claim this creates the impression that Deus Ex Machina was “involved in promoting the movie and that the use of inferior infringing products and references in the movie to Deus Ex Machina were authorised”.

Yamaha SR400Yamaha SR400 by Deus


Deus ex Machina means “god from the machine”.

The company started in 2006 with customised motorcycles and has branched out int a worldwide hipster fashion phenomenon.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

More variants for Harley-Davidson Streetfighter

Harley-Davidson is expected to have several variants of its new Bronx range later this year including a naked streetfighter, a street tracker and a cafe racer.

So far, the company has only revealed the streetfighter version.

Harley-Davidson Revolution Max platform Bronx StreetfighterBronx Streetfighter

More variants

However, trademark drawings support a street tracker version and images from an internal presentation to investors also suggest a cafe racer.

Harley-Davidson tracker trademark drawing variantsHarley-Davidson tracker trademark drawing Harley-Davidson cafe racer variantsHarley-Davidson cafe racer Harley-Davidson tracker trademark drawingHarley-Davidson tracker

When the company unveiled its new water-cooled “midweight” platform in November, it included the company’s first adventure bike, the 145hp Pan America, and the 115hp Bronx Streetfighter.

Harley Revolution Max platform includes Pan America and Bronx StreetfighterHarley Revolution Max platform includes Pan America and Bronx Streetfighter

These are expected to be the first of many models to come with “Revolution Max” engines of 500cc, 975cc and 1250cc.

Many would consider the 975 and 1250 as big displacements, but Harley calls them midweight which they are in Harley terms as their current engines range from 500cc to over 1900cc.

When they introduce their bareknuckle 115hp/94Nm Bronx Streetfighter later this year, it may be joined by variants in various engines sizes.

Apart from a cafe racer and a street tracker, there could also be a sportsbike, according to this image from Japanese magazine Young Machine.

Harley sportsbike(Image: Young Machine)

Harley Sportsbike?

While we can see the cafe racer and tracker markets doing well, we wonder about Harley returning to making a sportsbike like its 1994 VR1000.


It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to give the Bronx a half fairing and extended belly pan as in the latest artist’s rendering.

VisorDown points out that a similar image is featured in the background of this photo from the Harley design house when the Bareknuckle was in its clay model stage.

Harley VR1000 teaseBronx clay model wth small sportsbike image indicated (Image: Visordown)

But the question is why would Harley return to sportsbikes after axing its Buell brand and selling MV Agusta in the wake of the GFC?

Sportsbike sales have been declining in sales in recent years, although super-hi-tech models have had a slight recovery.

Of course, all this speculation about new models rests on the ability of the company to survive pandemic and the change of boss and board.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MV Agusta plans Elefant adventurer

MV Agusta has been promising for some time that it will move into new fields such as small-capacity bikes and adventure bikes and now it has a name for the latter – Elefant.

The Italian company has applied for the trademark for Elefant which is Italian for elephant.

It also comes from the famous Cagiva Elefant (pictured above) which won the 1990 Paris-Dakar Rally with Italian rider Edi Orioli and is now in the Ducati museum in Bologna.

Ducati used that bike as the inspiration for their 1100cc Scrambler Desert X concept shown at last year’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

2020 Ducati Scrambler Desert XScrambler Desert X

We expect they will unveil the Desert X later this year.

If MV Agusta is successful with its trademark application, then the Ducati Scrambler 1100 off-road model won’t be called an Elefant.

Elefant history

The whole Cagiva/Elefant/Ducati/MV history is as messy as Italian politics.

Back in the 1990s, Cagiva owned Ducati and MV Agusta and their Elefant was powered by a Ducati engine.

Through a series of strange financial arrangements Cagiva came under MV Agusta’s umbrella.

Both companies were infamously bought by Harley-Davidson and quickly sold back to the son of founder and former owner Claudio Castiglioni in quick succession.

Cagiva production ended in 2012.

MV Agusta 75th anniversaryTimur Sardarov

MV Agusta still own the Cagiva brand and new boss Timur Sadarov confirms their plan to resurrect it for electric bicycles and motorcycles.

So their new adventure bike may be branded MV Agusta, not Cagiva.

However, we’re not putting aside for a deposit just yet.

There have been many promises of new models from MV Agusta over the past few troubled financial years but all we’ve seen is limited-edition variants of ageing models.

Now that they have a new Russian boss and Russian money they may move forward with new models. But don’t hold your breath!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Royal Enfield plan Sherpa and Hunter

Royal Enfield has applied for the trademarks of Sherpa and Hunter which we expect could be applied to the upcoming smaller and bigger Himalayan adventure models.

The current 400cc Himalayan has been a moderate hit so 250cc and 650cc versions could also score well for the Indian company, both in the subcontinent and overseas.

Several manufacturers have produced baby adventure bikes in recent years such as the Kawasaki Versys-X 350, and there has been a host of 650cc models available for many years.

Kawasaki Versys-X 300 with Bosch 10 ABS unit confirms
Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Sherpa and Hunter

Both Sherpa and Hunter would be ideal names for extensions to the Himalayan family.

Perhaps the Hunter would be the bigger model and the Sherpa the smaller one, given the company had a 178cc  Sherpa in the 1960s.

Royal Enfield boss Siddhartha Lal has long suggested the 650cc engine from the popular Interceptor and Continental GT could be used in the Himalayan.

The Himalayan is powered by a 411cc, single-cylinder engine producing just 18kW of power at 6500rpm and 32Nm of torque at 4250rpm.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Sleet invests
Royal Enfield Himalayan

That compares with the 648cc twin from the Interceptor and Continental GT which has 35kW at 7250rpm and 52Nm at 5250rpm

Indian websites have published spy photos of disguised 650cc Himalayans being tested on local roads, so they could be close to production.

However, the trademark application is probably a little late for a 2020 release.

We suspect they are more likely to come in 2021.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson protects valuable brand

Harley-Davidson has employed its first brand president as the company moves to protect its valuable trademark, even challenging a charity’s use of its logo.

Neil Grimmer joins the company after 20 years of building brands including founding Habit, the world’s first personalised nutrition life science company.

He will be responsible for all aspects of the Harley-Davidson brand including product planning, marketing, retail, apparel and communications.

Valuable brandHarley-Davidson brand

Neil will also be responsible for protecting the brand which has been valued as a $5 billion asset.

Harley-Davidson’s name, trademark, and bar-and-shield and bald eagle logos are among the world’s most recognised.

In the late 1990s, the company even tried to trademark their distinctive “potato-potato” exhaust noise, but failed in US courts.

Harley has a 40-year history of suing small and large companies for unlawfully using their brand for motorcycle parts, t-shirts jewellery and other products.

Now the Milwaukee company is opposing a trademark application by Panache Social Club which collects and distributes food, clothing, toiletries and school supplies for the homeless, less fortunate kids and people in need.

Harley told the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that the Panache trademark features a bar and shield logo that is identical to theirs.

Panache Harley-Davidson brand trademark
Panache logo

“Applicants are consumers of Harley-Davidson’s goods and services, particularly given the depiction of a motorcycle image within applicants’ logo,” Harley claims.

Harley is also concerned that Panache, which organises social clubs, also encroaches on the trademarks used by the Harley Owners Group, one of the largest manufacturer-sponsored motorcycle riding clubs in the world.

“When applicants’ claimed trademark is applied to their social services, there is a strong likelihood of confusion, mistake, or deception that the ordinary consumer will erroneously believe that applicants’ services either originate from or are sponsored, approved, or licensed by Harley-Davidson,” the company told the appeal board.

Pivotal timeHarley-Davidson brand

Harley boss Matt Levatich says the appointment of their first brand president comes at a “pivotal time”.

“The addition of Neil Grimmer to our seasoned group of leaders, enhances our capabilities and will sharpen our focus on strategic and long-term growth opportunities to ensure our future success,” he says.

“We have a clear vision, and the leadership team and organisation are aligned and energised around it.” 

Neil recognises that Harley-Davidson “is an iconic American brand recognised around the world as a symbol of personal expression and individual freedom”.

“It is nothing short of an honour and a privilege to work with Matt and the amazing team at Harley to bring the strategy to life and excite the next generation of riders, ushering in the next chapter of the storied legacy of Harley-Davidson.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian Motorcycle trademarks Renegade name

Indian Motorcycle last month trademarked the name Raven and now they have added the name Renegade pointing to a possible model assault.

There are no details further available from Indian Motorcycle, so we can only speculate about the new models.

Renegade name

A Renegade is “a person who deserts and betrays an organisation, country, or set of principles”, so it could be a whole new model.

Jeep has a Renegade model, so maybe the Indian Renegade will have similar all-road capabilities like a trendy scrambler.

Or perhaps it’s a smaller capacity bike for young rebels.

That would fit into our Learner-Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) and be a huge leg up for Indian Motorcycle Australia as the learner sector continues to thrive in a slow market.

Renegade could also be a variation of the FTR 1200 which arrives in the next couple of months.

Indian FTR 1200 adds accessories renegade
Indian FTR 1200

However, they already have the base model, S and S Race-Replica.

This week Indian Motorcycle announced a $1000 increase in price on the S race replica which now includes the titanium Akrapovic exhaust as standard.

2019 Indian FTR 1200 S Race Replica renegade
FTR 1200 S Race Replica with Akrapovic exhaust and the former standard pipe

Ride away prices for the FTR 1200 are now:

  • FTR 1200 (Thunder Black) from $19,995;
  • FTR 1200 S (Indian Motorcycle Red over Steel Gray, Titanium Metallic over Thunder Black Pearl) from $22,995;
  • FTR 1200 S Race-Replica from $24,995.

Raven name

Meanwhile, we believe the Raven could be a blacked version of the FTR 1200.

Indian already uses “Dark Horse” for blacked-out versions of their Chief, Springfield and Roadmaster models.

2018 Indian Springfield Dark Horse - scout bobber pricing halogen machine renegade
2018 Indian Springfield Dark Horse

However, Raven could be a useful name to differentiate blacked-out versions of their FTR 1200 street tracker and Scout models from their cruisers/tourers.

Either way, it looks like being another big year for Indian Motorcycle which last year recorded 8.7% sales growth.

This was the highest growth rate of any motorcycle companies in Australia and one of only three to record any growth.

Click here for the full 2018 sales results.

2018 Motorcycle Slump renegade
Total motorcycle, scooter, and ATV sales

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com