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Harley Davidson proves Moto Apparel Industry is Exploding

Posted by Nick Urso on
Harley Davidson proves Moto Apparel Industry is Exploding

Unless you are part of this ever-growing motorcycle community, you might not realize just how big of a community there is among motorcycle riders. The most recent United States Census Bureau’s estimate showed the amount of households that own a motorcycle at 10,124,400! That’s a lot of motorcycle riders — and each one of those bikers deserves the best gear.

 

Here’s another startling statistic: motorcyclists are three times more likely than the occupants of a car to be hurt in an accident, and over half of motorcycle riders are under-protected (not as protected as they should be).

 

Many of those under-protected riders are wearing regular shirts and pants that are not made from protective material, and let’s be honest — that is just not going to cut it for the open road when potential accidents can occur. Road rash on the legs is the number one most common motorcycle injury, and that area is also the least protected among riders.

 

NBT Clothing founder, Nick, is an avid motorcyclist who has been riding for over 11 years. After an accident in 2021 left him with a wrecked bike and a smashed knee, his ability to walk was affected for an entire month. That’s a huge deal for someone who lives on the go, is heavily involved in the fitness industry as an athlete and personal trainer, has two little girls to chase around at home, and of course, loves the thrill of the ride.

 

He was wearing regular jeans during that not-so-great-but-memorable ride. That’s because the only protective pants he could find out there on the market were uncomfortable, big, bulky, and just looked, well, bad — and if you know Nick, you know he is a stylish guy.

 

It was at that moment that he realized there was a huge need for a line of motorcycle gear that is not only functional and protective, but also makes riders feel and look good. He set out to create the kind of motorcycle clothing that he would want to wear while out on his bike. Clothes that are Built for the Journey and the Destination™ and that embody the concept of Style and Safety Redefined™.

 

Little did Nick know that he would be entering an industry that has been forecasted to reach $18,464 million by 2029! There is a huge demand for motorcycle apparel, especially since there have been many new protocols and laws put in place that require certain protective gear be worn by riders while they are out on their bikes.

 

Motorcycle apparel refers to anything and everything that a rider wears while riding, such as jackets, pants, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, shoes, helmets, base layers and glasses, just to name a few. The category encompasses apparel and accessories that are meant to provide care and safety to riders and reduce the risk of accidents.

 

Additionally, certain apparel is equipped to provide better vision clarity and benefits for various weather conditions like harsh windows, rain, snow or just colder weather in general. Distinct apparel also offers riders the opportunity to display their individual style and confirm proof of identity. This is especially helpful when you are out riding with a group and don’t want to lose your crew. Wearing something specific can help set you apart from any other random riders you may come across while out on the road.

 

Generally, the top five pieces of motorcycle gear that every motorcycle rider should always be wearing are a helmet, gloves, jacket, pants and boots. While the law is different in every state, most of them do require a helmet by law. The obvious benefit of wearing a helmet is that protection, right? Having full face coverage protects your face, the helmet itself protects your head, neck, brain, etc. Some helmets also provide the option to connect Bluetooth headphones, so you can listen to music, books or podcasts while you are riding. Helmets also keep out bugs and can protect the face from harsh weather.

 

Gloves are important for protection as well. If you crash and reach forward to brace your fall, the right kind of gloves can protect your hands from abrasion, or worse, breaking the bones in your fingers, wrist or hand in general. The same goes for boots. The right style protects your feet, ankle and toes during a crash, and also provides traction. There is not one circumstance where a regular tennis shoe or even an athletic sneaker will be secure or sturdy enough for riding a motorcycle. Do not even think about it.

 

From a style standpoint, most motorcycle gloves and boots have a very cool look — rugged, tough, and just pretty badass overall. Check out which motorcycle helmets and boots are Nick’s top choices to wear.

 

Gloves and boots protect the extremities to an extent, but it’s your motorcycle jacket and pants that are really important. That’s where NBT Clothing comes into the picture! With around 20,000 motorcycle riders suffering from road rash each year, the right motorcycle wardrobe is critical to safety.

 

However, just as Nick experienced, most of the gear out there does not look great. This leads riders to have to make a bold decision when choosing their apparel: do they want to look good, or ride safely? Unfortunately, many riders choose style over safety — but not anymore. Why choose when you can have both? NBT Clothing gives riders a third, and much better, option to choose from: style AND safety!

 

When it comes to jackets, you want it to be light enough that it is okay to wear in the warmer summer months and also can be layered under a coat in winter months. For both jackets and pants, you want them to be comfortable and allow your arms and legs to move freely without feeling any kind of restriction. It’s also ideal for both of these staple wardrobe pieces to have multiple secure pockets to keep things on hand like your phone, wallet, keys, etc.

 

Currently, the NBT Clothing catalog includes:

  • License to Ride Pant: Available in five different colors, this cost-effective motorcycle pant is what we call the “holy trinity of protection, style, and affordability.” They come with removable CE-approved armor in the knee and hip area, are made with spandex for extra comfort and flexibility, and feature a straight leg, slim fit.
  • The Defender Vest: This lightweight vest looks great over a t-shirt, flannel or jacket, and has conceal carry pockets and four additional snap-closure pockets, so there is a place for everything you need to have with you while you’re riding.
  • The Fundamental Shop Shirt: This is our newest product and quickly becoming a customer favorite. It’s fully Kevlar-lined, which provides extra protection, and also has full back and armpit mesh for breathability.
  • The Free Ridin’ Flannel: Available in three color options, this protective shirt has removable CE-approved armor in the shoulder, back and elbow areas, and reinforced aramid lining. Just like our pants, this product is also dubbed a “holy trinity of protection, style, and affordability” and has the same benefits.

 

All of our clothing items are sleek and fashionable enough to wear at any time, even when you are not on your bike! The idea is that you can look good while out for a ride, but not be bogged down by heavy, bulky clothing that honestly looks awful. NBT Clothing provides motorcycle apparel that can seamlessly go from bike to your daily activities without needing a complete wardrobe change in between. Whether you are just going out for a joy ride, or have plans to meet friends for lunch, need to stop and run a few errands, going to a sporting event or any other casual outing and are using your bike as your mode of transportation, NBT Clothing has you covered.

 

Of course, there are plans to continue to expand the brand, as with any growing company, but this is where our focus is right now. There has been a very exciting development for our brand recently though, that proves just how excited the motorcycle community is about finally having a stylish and safe option for motorcycle clothing. We are now available in our first Harley Davidson location! What an incredible moment it was for Nick to see firsthand how much his hard work has paid off when he went to the store to check out the NBT Clothing display. Take a look for yourself in this post on our Instagram. As Nick puts it, “No matter what, this will always be a moment I’ll never forget. Take this as motivation that anything is possible if you want it bad enough!”

 

Harley Davidson started in 1903 by four young men in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its mission was clear: More than building machines, we stand for the timeless pursuit of adventure. Freedom for the soul. This iconic brand encompasses everything that the motorcycle culture is about and is probably the most recognized motorcycle lifestyle brand in the world. We are humbled and honored that NBT Clothing has been accepted into this company, even if it’s just a small display area in one store. This is just the beginning!

 

Speaking of Harley Davidson, the company has just released its second quarter earnings report that focuses on its comeback after an unexpected suspension in manufacturing and highlights the positive effect that its apparel category had on the revenue generated.

 

The company had experienced a product suspension for about two weeks because of an issue with a third-party supplier. This, of course, affected the finances, as global motorcycle shipments were greatly affected and went down 15%. However, now that the suspension is over, the company is focused on getting back on track — and we are happy to see that!

 

The second quarter in 2022 saw a 4% decrease in consolidated revenue from 2021: $1,469 million versus $1,532 million, respectively. Its operating income saw a 1% decrease, $278 million versus $280 million. The difference is due to that suspension the company experienced, but despite that business hiccup, it still was not a huge loss.

 

Net income for the second quarter of 2022 actually saw an increase of 5%, at $216 million versus $206 million; and the GAAP Diluted EPS saw a 10% increase, at $1.46 versus $1.33. According to Law Insider, the GAAP Diluted EPS means “the diluted net income per share of the Company's common stock as determined on the GAAP basis plus the effect of restructuring and other charges as of Year-end for each Plan Year.”  That increase is because Harley Davidson repurchased $64 million of shares — that is 1.7 million shares total — on a discretionary basis during the second quarter.

 

Now let’s talk about the apparel side of things! There was a pretty big shift in the revenue for apparel from 2021 to 2022. The second quarter of 2022 saw a 39% increase, from $56 million in 2021 to $77 million in 2022! It looks like the revenue generated from apparel sales, and growth of the apparel category, really helped to offset the losses that occurred from the HDMC revenue being down 5%.

 

As a whole, Harley Davidson seems to be feeling very positive about the rest of this year, predicting an HDMC revenue growth of 5 to 10%, an HDMC operating income margin of 11 to 12%, and capital investments of $190 to $220 million. Of course, these numbers will be dependent on things like getting out and above the levels of inflation that 2021 brought upon the world, and that there are no further delays or suspensions when it comes to manufacturing, shipping, etc.

 

For the full earnings report and details, check out the company’s press release here: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/harley-davidson-delivers-second-quarter-financial-results-301594968.html

 

The ultimate dream for NBT Clothing is to become as commonly associated with the motorcycle culture and community as Harley Davidson is. Having a place in one of its stores is a great start. We could not have done that without our incredible customers, friends and family who have supported us since day one.

 

With the increasing growth of the motorcycle apparel industry, NBT Clothing’s goal is to be at the top, and stay there, as a leading brand in fashionable yet functional motorcycle gear. Help us reach the top by supporting our brand and becoming part of our community. Shop for NBT Clothing online, read our blog posts, follow our social media and share our posts… It all helps!

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