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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

AMD World Championship

Over 90 bikes entered in AMD World Championship

Custom builder community and wider industry reaction to the opportunities provided for doing business at this year’s AMD World Championship, the flagship feature at INTERMOT Customized in Hall 10 in October, continues to be overwhelmingly positive.

This year's Championship ring was handcrafted in England by Alabaster & Wilson in 18ct gold, diamonds and black onyx. Founded in 1887, Alabaster & Wilson are one of the founders of the internationally reputed artisan jewellery quarter of Birmingham, England and have been award winning makers of fine jewellery, medals, awards and ceremonial items to the British Royal family, Houses of Parliament, and many other famous British and international institutions for over 125 years. This is the highest grade Championship Ring yet awarded to the AMD World Champion of Custom Bike Building and a true one-off piece of art.

Indeed, with the number of booths now being taken by aftermarket vendors (and additional custom program booths by OE manufacturers, including Harley-Davidson), overall reaction to the concept that organizers Koelnmesse are successfully developing has been excellent.

There are 74 builders confirmed for the AMD World Championship, coming to Cologne, Germany, from 27 different countries (including as far afield as the USA, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Russia and Ukraine); in total some 96 bikes are entered into the five classes.
Set-up day for the event is Monday October 3rd, with Tuesday 4th as Press Day, Wednesday 5th as International Trade Visitor and VIP Visitor Preview Day, with public admittance from Thursday 6th through to Sunday 9th. The awards ceremony will be held at 4:00pm on Sunday 9th.

2014 winners

Hall 10 at INTERMOT is one of the best attended halls, being right alongside the two primary visitor entrances – in 2014 over 200,000 people visited INTERMOT in total, with the 11th AMD World Championship being won by Belgian Fred “Krugger” Bertrand’s “Nurb’s” – a futuristic 1650cc BMW.

Heartland USA

Lonny Spiva buys Heartland USA

Industry veteran and former Sales and Marketing Director Lonny Spiva has bought the Gardena, California based parts, accessories and styling and custom conversion kits manufacturer Heartland USA from founder Jim Grove.

Known for their E-Z rear fender conversions and quality accessories for the American V-Twin marketplace for the last 20 years, in Lonny Spiva, Heartland is now in the hands of an experienced and respected industry professional who numbers Biker’s Choice, Custom Chrome, Hard Drive, Custom Cycle Engineering and Renegade Wheels among others in a career that has well equipped him for an ownership role.
Speaking of his decision to retire and sell to Spiva, Jim Grove says that “Lonny was the first choice to carry the Heartland USA brand into the future. In the three plus years that Lonny was here at Heartland, his fingerprints can be found all over this brand. For example, he was instrumental in developing our first catalog.”
“I was excited when Jim called, I have always loved the Heartland brand, and now I have been given the chance to be a part of it in a very big way,” Lonny said about the future. “I feel I’ve come home, and I’m looking forward to conservatorship of the Heartland brand.”
Jim stated: “I know that Heartland will be in good hands with Lonny at the wheel. He has a passion for the business as much or more than I do.” Lonny added: “We’ll be getting busy straight away, so watch for new and exciting kits coming from Heartland in the upcoming months.”

News Briefs

Prompted by an analyst research report, BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) has confirmed that it is exploring options to enter the motorcycle market. Best known for their SeaDoo PWC line, snowmobile and Can-Am Spyder reverse three-wheeler, BRP once sold Can-Am bikes (1970s) when it was owned by aircraft and train manufacturer Bombardier, and is the owner of Rotax, the Austrian engine manufacturer.

Harley-Davidson has approved a cash dividend of $0.35 per share for the third quarter of 2016. The dividend is payable Sept. 23, 2016, to the holders of record of the Company's common stock on Sept. 13, 2016.

California has now, finally, legally recognized “lane splitting” by motorcycles.

Riding Denis Manning’s legendary “7” streamliner on the 3-mile short course at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, Valerie Thompson has become the world’s fastest female motorcycle racer. She recorded a measured mile average speed of 304 mph (489.66 km/h). Thompson made two runs over 294 and 304 mph, with a highest exit speed exceeding 313 mph, which also earned her the event top speed award.

Indian Motorcycle confirmed that its all-new Indian Scout FTR750 race bike will make its racing debut on Sunday, September 25 at the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile AMA Pro Flat Track at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds race in Santa Rosa, California. Debut race rider will be Joe Kopp – one of just 15 riders to complete the Dirt Track "Grand Slam," with victories on short track, TT, half-mile, and mile courses.

The United States is Europe’s third largest country of origin for imports of motorcycles and related products, with nearly 16% of the imported motorcycle product in Europe coming from USA. Japan remains the largest source (nearly 42 %) followed by China (20%).


The Ron Loynds story – the Californian wheel manufacturer Metalsport pretty much invented the “Big Wheel” craze with their 30 and 32-inchers.

Best known for their Big Wheels, South Gate (Los Angeles), California based Metalsport Wheels was founded in 2007 by Ron Loynds - but the background to the Metalsport story is one of a family owned and operated precision machining business with considerable aerospace credentials.

Ron, a life-long rider, started working in his stepfather’s “old school” machine shop when he was a kid. “I did the typical stuff when I started – cleaning machines, sweeping floors and such like. I guess he wanted to see that I could be trusted in “his space” without killing myself or breaking something!”
But he did neither, and after about 6 years was running the shop, and after being involved around 12 years in total, his father decided he wanted to retire, so Ron took over ownership and set about modernizing the business, “but without losing the sense of craftsmanship, precision and excellence that he’d schooled me in,” he says.
“In truth, the main thing I did was to simply roll my sleeves up and put in the hours. My father had been fine with his way of doing things, and that was fine of course – better than fine. But the equipment was antiquated and slow, and I knew that I had to bring it up-to-date and find new customers.”
Putting in the hours even involved sleeping at the workshop sometimes and having no other focus, a familiar story for many, I’m sure, but there is no substitute for sheer hard work and determination, and as for so many others, it worked for Ron.
As the business grew, he was able to start expanding. From having just the one “tin hut” to start with, as Ron puts it, he now has four businesses, with Metalsport housed in a 30,000 sq ft facility, employing 25 people, 22 of them in manufacturing.

Along the way he had developed a notable presence in the aerospace industry, designing and making tooling and components for the Apollo and space shuttle programs, and for military projects such as Minutemen and Sidewinder missiles - and others that he says he still can’t talk about publicly!
Ron’s first opportunity to turn his passion for riding into a business opportunity came in the early 1970s. Ed (“Big Daddy”) Roth turned up at Ron’s shop one day, saying that a friend had recommended he’d check Ron’s place out, and that he could maybe help him resolve a problem he was having with his VW Trike project.

The end result was that he designed and fabricated a new springer front suspension that immediately resolved the problems Ed had been having, and from that point the springer fork became a required part of Ed’s VW Trike kit.
Ron has had many very successful collaborations down the years, not least with Chip Foose. Ron’s involvement with the motorcycle industry deepened from that early involvement with Ed Roth by producing components for several aftermarket suppliers and specialty parts for noted custom bike builders.
Eventually Ron bought out the small motorcycle wheels division of a major automotive wheel manufacturer, and that resulted in opening up as Metalsport Inc.
These days the company offers over 30 forged and billet wheel designs in total over their 2D and 3D ranges, with front and rear fitments all the way from 16 x 3.5” up to 32 x 4”, all CNC-machined from 6061-T6 aerospace grade aluminum. 

The most popular in their ‘2D’ design range are the ‘Don Juan’ and ‘Don Juan Torque’, and the ‘Corleone’, ‘Impression’ and ‘The Whip’ in their ‘3D’ program.
Major machinery investments have been made along the way, and in addition to finished wheels, Metalsport has also become a large scale producer of blanks. Additionally, the company is one of the V-twin market’s largest vendors of Vee Rubber tires, and has always offered a range of other accessories, such as the stylish new patent pending, contour-hugging billet trunk and side bag racks for Harley’s Tour Pak hard bags.

It was Metalsport who, thanks to their partnership with Vee Rubber, effectively gave life to what went on to become known as the “Big Wheel” craze.
With 26-inchers the “hot ticket” and largest readily available option at the time, Ron invested in tooling for a 30-inch wheel and tire, and when that proved successful, followed it up 12 months later with their now famous 32-inch wheel and tire package.
Along the way Ron also pitched a line of whitewall tires, which also captured the market’s imagination. Vee Rubber subsequently invested in the tooling for a line of 10 tire sizes that were not available in the marketplace at the time.
As a Vee Rubber distributor, Metalsport stocks the Big Wheel and Whitewall tires along with standard replacement sizes for most Harley applications. Ron regards this as the missing link that gave Metalsport the opportunity to offer a complete package.
From wheels and hubs with matching rotors and pulleys right through to the tires – pre-mounted and balanced if the customer wants, “we can offer a complete, ready to install package.
“We make every effort to carry the tire sizes our customers need,“ says Ron, “we still offer pre-mounting and balancing before we ship, and we strongly recommend taking advantage of this service, especially if ordering 26” and larger wheels.”
Blanks for the wheels are machined from aluminum billet or rotary forgings, with the 26” and larger designs machined from billet plate. The company has invested in the tooling needed to produce 30” and 32” ‘2D’ and ‘3D’ wheel blanks and installed a monster 4-Axis CNC mill that is capable of machining any size wheel. Indeed, Ron says that Metalsport “is the only manufacturer of true ‘3D’ wheels.”
Metalsport sells its blanks to the industry at a cost saving of around 50 percent against the pricing of typical “billet blanks” available from other factories.
In order to further reduce costs and improve production speed, efficiency and quality control, Ron has also invested in Metalsport’s own on-site polishing facility, installing three upright polishing units and one automatic polisher just for wheels.
The facility is run by a ‘Master Polisher’ with “years and years of experience,” and Metalsport is also actively exploring the possibilities of investing in their own chrome shop.
Ron told AMD that the thing that has given him the most pleasure and been the most rewarding is “to have the opportunity to be a friend to, and to work with, some of the most talented people in the industry.”
Oh, and BTW - you didn’t get it from us, but there is a new wheel size in the works, but that is still “hush-hush” at this time – watch out for news about it in an upcoming edition of AMD Magazine just as soon as Metalsport are ready to go to market with it.


 See the feature in full from AMD here >>>

S&S Cycle

S&S adds to online media capacity

S&S Cycle of Viola, Wisconsin, has moved to strengthen its online marketing capabilities with the appointment of Savannah Rose in the newly expanded position of Social Media Coordinator. Savannah is an avid rider, not afraid to wrench and a “market leader in the evolving digital media environment.” 

Photo by to Michael Lichter

In addition to being well versed in digital media channels, with diverse skills and experience, she has experience in the next generation style events that now populate the annual events calendar – events such as Born Free, Chopperfest and others.
S&S Vice President David Zemla describes Savannah as a “market savvy media authority who understands the social as well as the marketing aspects and is versed in leveraging both, and we look forward to her unique take on consumer facing media.”
Savannah Rose relocated from California and is currently adding to her Sportster collection while traveling with the S&S team, and can generally “be found where the action is, with camera in hand”.

Mid-USA Motorcycle Parts

Control kits

Based at Hazelwood (St Louis), Missouri, Mid-USA Motorcycle Parts offer a wide range of control options, including these ‘V-Factor’ brand handlebar control kits for most 1996 and later Big Twins and 1996 – 2003 Sportsters.

For handlebars up to 1 ¼” diameter, they are available with a standard profile (OE height) master cylinder or with a stylish low profile master cylinder.
The kits can be shipped with or without chrome or black switches and a 48” wiring harness and OE style wide blade brake and clutch lever.

The new adjustable highway bar for 2000 and up Softails, also seen here, is available with or without footpegs. The bar is an easy install with a three-point mounting system directly onto the frame; the bar can be pivoted front or back.


Zodiac International

Zodiac International adds the complete Ciro product line

Founded in 2014 by Aero Rudd and a team of top flight designers, Ciro offers contemporary, unique, easy install, high quality construction accessory designs. The company made a big splash in the USA in 2015 and has now made the jump over the ocean with Zodiac International as their European distributor. Here are some highlights from Zodiac’s extensive inventory.


‘Cipher’ air cleaners
The ‘Cipher’ air cleaner, one of three designs in the current Ciro range, has a “unique, exotic and clean style that says performance in every sense and beautifully accents your engine.” It has an ultra-low profile design for maximum leg clearance and incorporates an OEM style crank case breather. The Ultra-Flow filter is said to produce a massive 45% increase in air flow over a stock 2014 air filter. Fits all 2008 to present Touring and Trike models, as well as selected Softails and Dynas with “Fly-By-Wire” throttle control. Ciro chrome cover (to hide the servo motor wiring harness) is also available.


Fairing intake trims and headlight bezels
Ciro has designed what Zodiac regard as “the most appealing and innovative fairing vent trim on the market to date.” The LED lighted version features light pipe technology that creates a contemporary effect without affecting the air flow. Made out of ABS, the module plugs directly into the stock wiring harness with no cutting, drilling or splicing. Fits all 2014 to present Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, Street Glide, Tri Glide and Ultra Limited models with an OEM Batwing fairing. “You can also add some fangs to the front of your bike with the Ciro headlight bezel - this new design is sculpted to perfectly fill the space around your headlight for a streamlined look and also features custom fang-shaped bright white LED running lights that automatically turn on and off with the headlight. “


Fork tin accents and lower leg covers
These covers are bolt-on and have a design element so you can see the amber reflector. Fits lower legs on 2014 to present Harley-Davidson FLHT, FLHTC, FLHTCU, FLHX, FLHR and FLHRC models. Also available with amber LEDs that highlight the lower leg and provide additional side lighting. Ciro’s fork tin accents complete a custom look – they fit easily on the stock fork tins without disassembly of the front forks on Touring models 1996 to present.

Master cylinder covers
These easy install handlebar master cylinder covers are said to enhance the boring look of the stock handlebar master cylinders - they bolt straight onto 2014 to present Touring models with hydraulic clutch and handlebar-mounted or Batwing fairing mounted mirrors.


Saddlebag accent lights and extensions
Described as “the parts that the factory forgot,” these filler panel lights complete the rear end of 2014 to present Touring models by filling the large unsightly gaps with a smooth, flowing chrome or black accent and LED light. This part dramatically increases visibility from the rear by incorporating an ultra-bright plasma amber turn signal along with red low intensity running lights and high intensity brake lights.
The Ciro saddlebag extensions “really finish the rear end of your bike and create that full-smooth and low custom look.” They are designed to maintain the lean angle and manufactured in the same ABS material as the original equipment bags, and give increased visibility with LED running-, turn-, and brake lights on both the sides and back. Easy plug and play installation on 2014 to present Road Glides, Electra Glides, Street Glides and Road Kings (except Screamin' Eagle models).


Joker Machine

Bagger levers

Joker Machine's new bagger levers brings their classic pistol grip lever design to late model FL Harleys. Finger indents offer a more comfortable grip, while making the levers easy to pull - described by Joker Machine as "a must for riders with smaller hands." Made from 6061-T6 billet aluminum, the levers are lightweight yet strong enough "to withstand almost anything." 

Available in raw aluminum, black or chrome plated finishes. All stock mounting hardware is re-used for a precision fit and action. Installation is easy, no special tools required. Fits 2014-up FL models.