Highland Motorcycles rests hopes on new assembly plant, plans for production

I had the chance to TEST ride these bike a few years ago at the OPEN House in 2010 as they were getting ready to release bikes.   This was just before the tragic crash that halted future plans.  It’s great to see a possible future for them.   The bikes were eye-opening with jaw dropping potential.    You thought a KTM 950 SE was insane.  Put that motor in a your KTM 300 chassis and bump the HP up another 15-20.   These guys were not afraid to give it there all.   Great people and New Ideas.   I hope they can pull it off!

US Highland V-Twin

My KTM 950 on the way to CA.

US Highland has signed a lease for a 17,000 sq. ft. space in Tulsa, Okla., to assemble the motorcycles it says it hopes to bring to market soon.

The company plans to ramp up production in two new buildings, where equipment is being carted in, and the company is hiring assemblers. New CEO and president John Fitzpatrick said he hopes to have engines, and maybe even motorcycles, in customers’ hands this year.

The company has been rebounding from the loss of three top executives in a light plane crash in July 2010. After the crash, the company operated for six months but was hindered by majority investors in Sweden who reportedly refused to provide funding or give up control. The investment group, according to local reports, even considered abandoning the company.

“It was the intellectual property that gave the company value despite what had happened,” Ron Brewer, managing director of Tulsa’s Southbridge Advisory Group, told the Tulsa World. “Developing a new [engine] can take years and costs about $30 million.”

Fitzpatrick, a Tulsa native and former executive with Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles, was hired as US Highland’s CEO last Sept. 20. He told the local media that he hopes to restart assembly on engines within three months and hire 30 to 50 employees. “I really think that in three to five years we could have 600 employees at a 300,000 sq. ft. facility,” he said.

You can find more pics here: http://s196.photobucket.com/albums/aa101/cjracerktm/CA%20Trip%202010/US%20Highland%20OPEN%20House/#!cpZZ1QQtppZZ24

 

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