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Tuesday, 23 August 2016


Harley busted – Federal penalties “agreed” for “defeat device” violations 
Harley-Davidson has settled a dispute with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), which will see it pay an agreed civil fine of $12 million and stop selling illegal aftermarket devices that cause its motorcycles to emit illegal levels of pollution.

The dispute centers on sales of some 340,000 “super tuners” that enabled motorcycles since 2008 to pollute the air at levels that are outside of the parameters that Harley should be observing in the context of their EPA product certification approval – in essence, Harley has been caught selling what the EPA regards as “defeat devices”.
According to the U.S. government, the sale of such “defeat devices” violates the Federal Clean Air Act. Harley was also accused of selling more than 12,600 motorcycles that were not covered by an EPA certification governing clean air compliance.
The settlement calls for Harley to stop selling the super tuners by August 23, and buy back and destroy all such tuners in stock at its dealerships. EPA said the modified settings increase power and performance, but also increase the motorcycle’s emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.
Harley will also spend $3 million on an unrelated project to reduce air pollution, the U.S. Justice Department said.
In a statement, John Cruden, Head of the Justice Department’s environmental and natural resources division, said “Given Harley-Davidson’s prominence in the industry, this is a very significant step towards our goal of stopping the sale of illegal aftermarket defeat devices that cause harmful pollution on our roads and in our communities.”
The statement went on to say that “Anyone else who manufactures, sells or installs these types of illegal products should take heed of Harley-Davidson’s corrective actions and immediately stop violating the law.”
Since January 2008, Harley-Davidson has manufactured and sold two types of tuners, which when hooked up to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, allow users to modify certain aspects of a motorcycle’s emissions control system.
The announcement comes amid greater scrutiny on emissions and “defeat devices” by U.S. regulators after Volkswagen AG admitted to using illegal software to evade U.S. emissions standards in nearly 600,000 U.S. vehicles.
“This settlement immediately stops the sale of illegal aftermarket defeat devices used on public roads that threaten the air we breathe,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
Harley must obtain a certification from the California Air Resources Board for any tuners it sells in the United States in the future. For any super tuners that Harley-Davidson sells outside the United States in the future, it must label them as not for use in the United States.
EPA said it discovered the violations through a routine inspection and information Harley-Davidson submitted.
In its own statement, Harley-Davidson sought to play the “good corporate citizen” card, while disagreeing with EPA’s interpretation of the law.
“This settlement is not an admission of liability, but instead represents a good faith compromise with the EPA on areas of law we interpret differently, particularly EPA’s assertion that it is illegal for anyone to modify a certified vehicle even if it will be used solely for off-road/closed-course competition,” said Ed Moreland, Harley-Davidson’s Government Affairs Director. “For more than two decades, we have sold this product under an accepted regulatory approach that permitted the sale of competition-only parts. In our view, it is and was legal to use in race conditions in the U.S.”
Harley-Davidson, one of many suppliers in the aftermarket performance parts industry, has safeguards in place to educate dealers and customers on the implications of installing Harley-Davidson performance products on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This includes clear product labeling of competition-only products and detail on what performance enhancements are considered street legal and for competition-use only, the legal consequences of tampering with emission controls and components, and what enhancements would void the vehicle warranty.
“Concern for our U.S. customers and dealers weighed heavily in reaching this compromise with the EPA,” said Moreland. “By settling this matter, we can focus our future attention and resources on product innovation, rather than a prolonged legal battle with the EPA.”
At one stage Harley’s share price had fallen as much as 8 percent after news of the allegations had surfaced in a U.S. lawsuit filed in Washington before the settlement was announced. On Monday 22nd Harley’s shares opened trading at $53.65 – only a tad off the pre-announcement level.

AMD World Championship

Over 70 bikes already 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.

Indeed, with the number of booths now being taken by aftermarket vendors (and additional custom program booths by OE manufacturers, including Harley-Davidson - see page 14 of this edition of AMD Magazine), overall reaction to the concept that organizers Koelnmesse are successfully developing has been excellent.
As this edition went to press there were already 54 builders confirmed for the AMD World Championship, coming to Cologne, Germany, from 24 different countries (including as far afield as the USA, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Russia and Ukraine); in total some 70 bikes are entered into the five classes, with six weeks still to go.
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.
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.

Sam Wheeler

Sam Wheeler

Legendary motorcycle land speed record racer and Bonneville Salt Flats regular Sam Wheeler was killed while test-running his EZ-Hook LSR Streamliner on the Bonneville Salt Flats on July 25th.

After having set the then fastest ever one-way pass of 355.303 mph on September 6th 2006, Wheeler had been continuing to chase the dream of setting a new two-way world record of over 400 mph ever since.
He survived a high-speed crash in 2006, just seconds after setting that new mark, but despite being fastidious about safety, on July 25th this year he lost control of his Streamliner at around 200mph. He was pronounced dead from his injuries at the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City later that same day.
After two years of adverse conditions at Bonneville, in 2016 hopes remain high that this year could see the Streamliners out in force again - sadly Sam Wheeler won’t be among them.

News Briefs

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in the United States is said to be “investigating” a potential problem with the anti-lock brakes on over 400,000 ‘08-‘11 Harley models fitted with ABS brakes.

Swiss endurance rider Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita has succeeded in his attempt to set a new world record for circumnavigating the world on a motorcycle. Riding a Victory Cross Country Tour, “Grizzly” rode through five continents in 119 days and 21 hours – which includes the time the bike was “in transit” between continents; his riding time was a “mere” 72 days and 13 hours to cover a total of 47,390 miles (76,277 km). He beat the previous riding time record by over 47 days!

High End Products, the Californian seat manufacturer and owner of the Danny Gray and Airhawk brands, is in legal dispute with two former Airhawk employees over alleged patent infringements and other “false accusations”. When Don Mahoney (owner of High End) bought the Airhawk brand from former owner Roho in 2015, Craig Johnson and Scott Parman decided to use their experience to establish Wild Ass, a rival seat brand that is distributed by TR/Biker’s Choice. Wild Ass has applied to have what they say are Airhawk’s “false claims” dismissed in the US Federal Court in California.

The MAG Retail Group (MRG), the “multi-channel retail division” of Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG – a TR/Biker’s Choice ‘sister’ company) that runs J&P Cycles and Motorcycle Superstore, has announced the addition of Sean Laughlin, a former Harley brand manager, as its new VP Marketing. He reports to current MRG president Kevin Strawbridge and replaces Scott Huddleston, who has become VP Finance, Accounting & Business Intelligence for MRG, retaining his Motorcycle Superstore GM role as a part of the move.

Reports are now suggesting that despite the flurry of hype created by 2014’s ‘Project Livewire’ Harley could still be up to five years away from having a viable e-bike model to sell, according to Sr VP Global Demand Sean Cummings. The ‘Livewire’ was a proof of concept demo model developed in association with the now defunct San Francisco Mission Motors operation. However, work on a viable ‘Livewire’ e-bike is at least now getting underway.

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Will MY2017 techno-conservatism see Harley fall even further behind their competitors?

The reveal of the 2017 Indian and Victory line-ups (several weeks ahead of Harley’s MY2017 announcement) shows Polaris continuing to lay down a solid foundation from which to continue applying the pressure on Milwaukee.
The problem, of course, with mid-cycle launches is that they can somewhat reduce the impact of such moments, but seeing the already announced models in the context of an overall “offer” continues to join the dots as Polaris fills and expands its footprint in a way in which, at the time of writing, remains the stuff of dreams for Harley dealers.
While colourway custom options dominate the collection, much as it has for Harley in recent years, the focus on “infotainment” adds contemporary riding value thinking (though on selected models only), just as it has also done for Harley.
There’s nothing wrong with “creature comforts” in the 21st century. It is easy to assume that they would be an anathema to the generations of riders who built the “custom style” motorcycle market, but don’t be so sure. Remember how many thousands of indignant righteous abandoned kick starters when they had the choice, and how many thousands appreciated the oil integrity of Evo cases when they replaced the Shovelhead in 1984?
All such developments are a child of their time, and in these times of radically different expectations from the riding experience and ownership experience, if anything, both manufacturers’ initiatives so far actually look lame.

"will eight be the new twin?"

Their embracing of ABS, for example, has been lukewarm and incremental at a time when other manufacturers are already populating the premium market with intelligent suspensions, ecall, and much more besides. Much the same happened with EFi and TBW, but such developments are now routine, and both Polaris and Harley-Davidson would benefit from accelerating their use of technology.
In connection with which, I’m writing this just two weeks before Harley’s MY2017 announcement at their dealer convention in Boston, and with so much riding on it, are the new engine rumors driving the current Harley share price rise?
Having fallen back from its July 2nd ‘blip’, Harley-Davidson’s share price opened this week (August 8th) at $54.13, having been as low as $42.39 as recently as June 27th.
With rumors swirling about what will be seen later in August, the investment community is either responding to the widely accepted undervaluation (especially relative to returns) that has plagued the stock price for most of the past 12 months, or the rumors about the new 107 inch (1753cc) Harley-Davidson “Milwaukee Eight” engine are having an effect.
It is being variously reported as being an air-cooled with pushrod actuation or air/oil-cooled (you pick your blog and you take your choice!), with 114” and 131” versions also mentioned. The name is said to be derived from it being Harley’s 8th engine family in its 113-year history, and reports from Sturgis suggested that the engine was there, with selected dealers and members of the press being given advance new model sneak peaks.
The exact configuration is also the subject of considerable speculation, with some even suggesting that it may not even be a 45-degree V-Twin – though the spy shots that have been flying around the internet appear to suggest a very cramped 45-degree layout. This would suggest a shorter stroke and bigger bore (to get those extra valves in). Either way, whatever is going on in those cylinders appears to be hidden behind an oversized, butt-ugly air cleaner in which the design has been driven by airflow needs alone, on a day when the stylists weren’t watching.
The most common reports suggest that it is an 8-valve engine (4 valves per cylinder), with single cam, dual plug heads that will be seen in a new Big Twin model for 2017, with it migrating to the Tourers for 2018. Though if that is the case, expect to see the “lean machine rapid response” manufacturing philosophy that is the Gospel according to Matt (Levatich) result in mid-cycle additions.
It is now some 17 years since Harley superseded the 15 years of Evo with the Twin Cam.
Investors are not normally known for sentiment where “the metal” is concerned, preferring instead to rely on their algorithms and trigger points – so it may well be that the new model range has little to do with the present share price activity.
Besides, it is not unknown for Harley’s stock price to drift north at this time of year, in advance of and in anticipation of hoped for good news ahead – the problem is that in most prior years disappointment has set in quickly, reminding all concerned not only that what goes up can and generally always will come back down eventually, but that where technology is concerned, “conservative” remains Harley-Davidson’s middle name.
If these rumors are anywhere near true, then while the announcement will, at least and at last, be one with more beef than paint, it is hardly a “future facing” package - overdue and still not speaking to market opportunities will be the likely verdict.
With sales still in decline, surely Harley aren’t going to be able to continue to hide behind market decline for much longer if they aren’t doing something other than spending ever more money on trying to sell “same old, same old” at a time when their competitors are doing anything but.
Taken holistically, the changes that have been seen in the motorcycle design and production offer landscape since the “Lehman Apocalypse” pressed demographic re-set on the market in 2008 are the stuff of legend.
Real legend, not the phoney stuff that Harley is peddling, and as we start to eye the 21st century’s third decade, it would appear likely that we are doomed for some more time yet to seeing them remain conspicuous among manufacturers in still trying to market product-thinking that hit a brick wall at the start of this one.
Unless the “Smart Manufacturer of the Year” has some new technology so carefully under wraps still that a month from now we will all be sitting back in admiration and applauding appreciatively from the dress circle? One can dream I guess!

Maxima oils

V-twin display rack

Maxima oils has introduced a dealer POS to showcase their fastest moving V-twin product lines. The 5-tier shelf unit comes on castors, with attractive graphic panels, and will hold up to 150 quarts of oil.
“We introduced this display to accentuate our V-twin line of products, but also due to the lack of market-specific engine oil displays for the V-twin segment and the lack of quality dealer merchandising displays in the custom market in general. Anything we can do to help dealers give their retail environment a lift has to be good for everybody,” says Garrett Andrews, Maxima product support.

Indian Motorcycle

2017 Indian Motorcycle line-up

Indian Motorcycle, America’s “first motorcycle company,” has announced a line-up of model year 2017 bikes that is said to “redefine premium yet again with industry-leading ‘Ride Command’ infotainment.” The 2017 family carries forward all 2016 models, including the recently released Scout Sixty, Indian Springfield and Chieftain Dark Horse models, “in a family of award-winning premium motorcycles includes cruisers, mid-size cruisers, baggers and touring bikes that encourage our riders to stand apart and ‘Be Legendary’.”

‘Ride Command’ Infotainment System
Described as motorcycling’s most advanced “yet user-friendly” infotainment system featuring “the industry’s largest and brightest touchscreen display, and highest resolution and fastest response time,” the system is fully integrated into the dash “for an up-close rider experience” offering “ an intuitive interface, customizable information displays, glove-compatible two-finger touch capabilities, and easy navigation to points of interest such as gas stations and restaurants.”

Standard on all 2017 Chieftain and Roadmaster models, features include a 7-inch 800x480 pixels display with 2-finger capacitive with swipe and pinch to zoom; fastest boot time (ready in about 10 seconds); 100-watt premium audio system (Chieftain/200-watt Roadmaster) with both touchscreen and handlebar audio controls; Bluetooth audio, AM/FM/weather band, USB flash drive support with USB song shuffle; GPS navigation with turn-by-turn directions, points of interest, compass, and more; critical information constant display (clock, air temperature, compass heading, fuel level and fuel range); convenient phone features available through Bluetooth pairing, including phonebook download, incoming call notification with name display, voice activated calling, incoming text notification, and more.

2017 Midsize line-up

Indian Scout
This middle-weight cruiser’s weight has been reduced to 538 pounds (dry); features include a low 25.3-inch seat height and available extended and reduced reach accessories and a 100 hp liquid-cooled 69 cubic inch V-twin engine.


Scout Sixty
For 2017, the Scout Sixty “returns in all its glory, encouraging riders to “Start Your Legend.” With the legendary handling and performance of the Scout, the Scout Sixty is offered at a very attainable $8,999 starting price. Powered by a potent 60 cubic inch engine mated to a silky smooth 5-speed transmission, this mid-size cruiser is arguably the best buy in motorcycling today.”

2017 Cruiser line-up


Chief Classic
Powered by the “proven and award-winning” Thunder Stroke 111 engine, the “aptly named Chief Classic has set a new benchmark as the classic American cruiser. Its iconic lines, world-class finishes, heritage inspired design, balance, and unrivaled engineering make it the ultimate choice for pure cruiser enthusiasts.”


Chief Dark Horse
“Embrace the darkness with the 2017 Indian Chief Dark Horse, the baddest, boldest bike on the road. With the endless power of the award-winning Thunder Stroke 111 engine, end-to-end matt black finish and just a touch of chrome, every other bike on the road seems tame. Featuring ABS, remote key fob for keyless ignition, electronic cruise control, a dry weight of 751 pounds and starting at just $17,499, the Indian Chief Dark Horse has it all – including a seriously bad attitude.”

2017 Bagger line-up

Chief Vintage
Indian Motorcycle say that the 2017 Chief Vintage is the “ultimate retro-vintage bagger, turning heads with its classic styling, iconic soft-sided saddlebags crafted from Desert Tan Genuine Leather - dripping in fringe and Indian Motorcycle nostalgia.” It features the “classic power” of the Thunder Stroke 111 engine.


Chieftain & Chieftain Dark Horse
“Lead the pack with two of America’s most commanding, versatile and awe-inspiring bikes. Both feature the Thunder Stroke 111 engine, TPMS, ABS, fairing with integrated driving lights and power windshield, cruise control, remote locking hard bags, keyless ignition, and much more. The Chieftain Dark Horse, starting at $21,999, is the newest addition to Indian’s bagger family, sporting a premium 100W audio system and an ominous nose-to-tail matt black finish with minimal chrome for a menacing presence that refuses to be ignored.” The Indian Chieftain starts at $23,999 and comes standard with the all-new ‘Ride Command’ system.

Indian Springfield
“Classic styling blended with thoroughly modern technology for a purist’s take on both touring comfort and urban versatility,” say Indian Motorcycle. Quickly converts into a cruiser with the quick-release windshield and saddlebags removed, or transformed into a high-capacity touring model. Remote locking hard bags and adjustable passenger floorboards come standard along with genuine leather seating, ABS, TPMS, cruise control, and a powerful headlight and dual driving lights.

2017 Touring line-up

Indian Roadmaster
“The Roadmaster returns for 2017 as the industry’s flagship tourer and the epitome of luxury and comfort. Powered by the rock solid Thunder Stroke 111 engine and offering nearly 38 gallons of storage, Roadmaster is “Your Ultimate Ride.” It offers a wealth of ergonomic luxury and innovations for rider and passenger alike, including a power-adjustable windscreen, heated grips, individually controlled heated seats for driver and passenger, ABS, TPMS, keyless ignition with remote locking storage, electronic cruise control and adjustable passenger floorboards and new for 2017 ‘Ride Command’ infotainment system.

Andreani Group

Adjustable XL and Dyna cartridges

Leading Italian suspension specialist Andreani Group is best known for its involvement in WSBK, MotoGP and World MX suspensions, but has also offered suspension solutions for Harley models.

The latest offering from the internationally respected R&D department is a specific cartridge for Harley-Davidson Dyna and Sportster models that is said “to increase the safety and comfort of these timeless bikes.”
The cartridge is totally serviceable and adjustable in compression, rebound and spring preload. Provided with caps, it is built with a sophisticated hydraulic system that “improves the behaviour of the bike in turns and when braking.”