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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

EVENT UPTATE: Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials cancelled

2015 Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials cancelled

Also known as the AMA’s Land Speed Grand Championship, this year's Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials have had to be cancelled.
The following is from a press release posted to the event website by organizer Delvene Manning's Delicate Promotions team ...

"Over the past year, we have all been working towards the goal of racing motorcycles at the Bonneville Salt Flats [again at the end of August this year].
"As the event management, it is always our intent to run the premier motorcycle land speed racing event, the AMA Land Speed Grand Championship, at Bonneville. However, we are always beholden to mother nature to provide us with good conditions in the environment that we all dedicate our time and resources to.
"Last year we were able to hold an event when conditions were stacked against us. This year, the conditions have been improving, but not at the pace needed. We have assessed the conditions and we are unable to sustain the minimum standards for a premier event.
"Due to this, we are cancelling the 2015 Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, AMA Land Speed Grand Championship, presented by N-Grained Inc.

"It’s been an extremely difficult decision to make, and one we have not taken lightly. Our dedicated team has put in countless hours to evaluate the options for course layouts, the quality of the course, pit locations, salt flats on/off accessibility, course volume sustainability, and the impact on salt flats resources.  Although we are cancelling, other events are still scheduled for this season. Our decision does not affect the ability for other events to proceed."
Read the full release, including current salt condition and weather related issue explanations at

Indian Motorcycle Riders Group

Indian launch IMRG in Europe

ALREADY established in the USA, the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group (IMRG) is now expanding to include owners living in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Dario Baraggia, EMEA Brand Manager for Indian Motorcycle, explained the reasons behind the expansion: “It’s to encourage community and camaraderie among Indian Motorcycle owners, no matter which country they live in. We hope that the IMRG will connect members so that the ownership of an Indian Motorcycle, of any era, whether in Europe, the Middle East or Africa, is as authentic as owning one in the USA.”
Members will join a dealership based local ‘chapter’. A special IMRG website has been launched and it has a ‘Riders Dashboard’ with details of planned ride-outs, events and meetings. Owners will be registered to the IMRG by the dealer. Previous and existing owners can become members by visiting their local Indian Motorcycle dealer.

S&S Cycle

David Zemla joins S&S

DAVID Zemla has joined S&S Cycle as their new Vice President of Marketing.  David is a motorcycle industry veteran with an impressive track record of marketing successes. Before coming to S&S, David served in marketing leadership positions in several well-known, respected and successful companies such as Performance Machine, Burly and Progressive Suspension.

The company says that Zemla brings a "comprehensive skill set to S&S. In addition to being well versed in traditional marketing channels, he has expertise in contemporary marketing techniques including content creation, website design and management, social media marketing and marketing analytics. He has an in-depth understanding of the technology and best practices to leverage these powerful tools."
S&S President Paul Langley describes David as “the kind of knowledgeable, connected and innovative person we’ve been looking for to lead our marketing efforts.”
Speaking about his appointment, Zemla said “I'm excited to play a pivotal part in the next chapter of this storied brand.”

Design Engineering Inc

DEI celebrates 20 years of "keeping you cool and quiet"

AVON Lake, Ohio based Design Engineering Inc (DEI) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Perhaps best known for its popular exhaust wrap, DEI was founded in 1995 by Dale and Nancy Markley and is still in family ownership under the leadership of their son, David.

The focus of the business has always been on "developing the most advanced performance, heat and sound control products" and the product line includes thermal barriers, plug boots and plug wire sleeving, fuel line protection and the exhaust wrap and high temperature silicone coating products that have become ubiquitous with custom designers looking for a performance meets retro look.
DEI premium exhaust wraps are designed to keep heat contained within the metal pipes of the exhaust system. This keeps the heat expanded longer, increasing the velocity of gas flow out of the exhaust header and exhaust system mufflers. DEI says that wrapping header pipes can reduce ambient temperatures by up to 50 percent, while providing additional horsepower, engine protection and rider comfort.

Dale and Nancy Markley started the business in their garage, but now have a 24,000 sq ft facility on four acres and employ 30 people.

MAG Connection

MAG Connection adds new product ranges

MAG Connection, the French custom V-twin parts buying consolidator and distributor, has added two new product lines with the addition of Image Motorcycle Products and TC Bros Choppers.

Image Motorcycle Products are a California based manufacturer of hand-crafted accessories, including Harley kickstands, custom foot pegs, gas caps and mirrors, all offered with a lifetime replacement warranty against breakage.

The TC Bros program was founded in Wauseon, Ohio, by Tim and Tyler Cobb in 2006. The range includes handlebars, battery boxes, forward controls, hardtail kits, oil tanks, fenders and lights.


BSL exhausts

BSL exhausts available through Zodiac International

Founded in Austria by Wolfgang Wakolbinger and Klaus Peinbauer in 1996, Bike Shop Linz (BSL) started to prototype their own exhaust pipes in 1999 with the first products going on-sale in 2000.

Wolfgang Wakolbinger (left) and Klaus Peinbauer opened for business in 1996 and introduced their first exhaust designs in 2002

BSL's 1,000 sq m (10,000 sq ft) shop and factory at Linz, Austria
Before they opened their workshop their custom bikes had become highlights at some of Europe's most popular shows, many of them built on Harleys that they had imported from the United States - this was commonplace in Europe in the 1990s at the time when Harley's European management structure and dealer network was still a work-in-progress and when wait lists were driving price premiums for new models.
Once they had their business up and running their initial custom fabrication parts offerings such as carbon and GFK fenders and chassis components were complemented by selling selected well known European made products such as the German made HPU frames program.
In 2001 and 2002 BSL concentrated on the demanding and expensive process of gaining street-legal certification for their exhausts; their popular and well received 'Hot Shot Pipes' made their debut in 2006.
Steel fenders and custom air cleaners were followed in 2008 by the launch of their internationally type approved Euro-3 Hot Shots and Touring model systems.
Well known European Harley-Davidson aftermarket parts, accessory and performance specialist Zodiac International started to distribute BSL exhausts in 2006 and since then the product line has grown rapidly.


To celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2010/2011 BSL unveiled a big program of celebration product initiatives  - 15th Anniversary Hot Shot pipes, Skull Headers, 96 Headers, more brand-new street-legal exhaust applications, including for Tourers and new Air-Cleaners.

Now they are eying their 20th anniversary next year - and the company is operating out of much expanded facilities of over 1,000 sq m (approximately 10,000 sq ft) and employs 12 people.

BSL currently makes exhausts for all Evo, Twin Cam and V-Rod models and makes Panhead, Shovelhead and custom bike exhausts on special order

BSL products GmbH

K&N Engineering

High-performance FL and XL 72 filters

NEW from K&N are two high-performance air filters for ‘14-‘15 H-D Touring models and the Sportster Seventy-Two.

K&N is offering high-performance air filter upgrades for the ‘14-‘15 Road King, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Tri Glide Ultra, Electra Glide Ultra Limited, Street Glide and ‘15 Road Glide and Free Wheeler models, plus the CL Seventy-Two.
K&N reusable air filters use a cotton gauze filter media to reduce air restriction into the engine, which can lead to increased performance, acceleration and throttle response. To ensure that the air filter will last for the life of the motorcycle, K&N uses zinc-coated top and bottom plates for corrosion resistance.
A feature of the XL1200V Seventy-Two, that separates it from the rest of the Sportster family, is the use of a nostalgic round chrome air cleaner. To build a replacement air filter for the ’12-‘14  Seventy-Two, K&N has designed precision molded nylon mounting plates to sandwich the filter media and form a solid mounting surface.

K&N’s high-flow replacement air filters are washable and reusable and can be serviced using the company’s ‘Recharger’ air filter service kits. Each kit includes a bottle of air filter cleaner and a bottle of air filter oil. The filters each come with a 10-year/million-mile warranty while also providing long service intervals, making them ideal for long-distance riding or touring.


Metalsport Wheels

"New Generation" white wall tire

METALSPORT Wheels is now carrying the "New Generation" 21in white wall tire, developed by Vee Rubber.

Said to offer improved wear, handling and load rating, it is DOT approved and offered with a comprehensive warranty. 


TC Bros. Choppers

XL bolt-on forward controls and rubber-mounted license plates

TC Bros. Choppers not only has an extensive line of handlebar options for H-D models, but also bolt-on forward control kits for use on ’91-’03 five-speed Sportsters.

The company’s forward control kits feature CNC machined 6061 aluminum folding foot pegs with a knurled, non-slip finish, and heavy duty, steel mounting brackets that are TIG welded and powder-coated gloss black. The pivot points utilize oil impregnated, precision fit bronze bushings, and the kits include stainless steel linkage rods, as well as everything needed for install, whether the bike came with factory mid controls or forward controls.
A further option available from the Wauseon, Ohio specialist is a side mount plate holder designed to allow the license plate to be mounted horizontally or vertically on either side of the bike. 

Each kit includes three different mounting brackets (axle, shock, and weld/clamp on) to allow mounting to virtually any motorcycle.
Also included in each kit is the TC Bros. exclusive ‘Hardtail Proof’ rubber mounting system that isolates the taillight from vibration, allowing for maximum bulb life.


TMT Moto

In the Retro Mod class at the 2014 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building there was one bike that had many people scratching their heads in wonder at what it was powered by. The clue was in the bike’s name – Nimbus 4 - Nimbus being the name of a Danish motorcycle manufacturer active between the ‘20s and ‘60s, and the motor used in TMT Moto’s custom build

TOMAS Turner, of TMT Moto in the Czech Republic, first entered the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building in 2013 when he placed 2nd in the Retro Modified class with his Shovelhead build T5. Tomas returned to the Championship in 2014 and this time took the win in the Retro Modified class with Nimbus. This time his build was centred around a unique engine choice with a Nimbus 75 inline four-cylinder being seen for the first time in the Championship’s history.
Nimbus was the name given to the motorcycles produced in Denmark by Fisker and Nielsen between 1919 and 1960, followed by the production of electric motors, and from 1910 the first vacuum cleaners in Europe under the Fisker brand name.
Despite being the highest selling motorcycle brand in Denmark during the ‘30s, the Nimbus motor that Turner sourced is one of the later models produced primarily for use by the Danish military and postal service, and like all of the bikes made, features shaft drive to the rear wheel.

Original Nimbus frames are made from steel strips riveted together, and Turner chose not to try and modify it, but instead to rework a H-D Wishbone frame, stretching it as necessary to fit the longer in-line/Nimbus motor and drivetrain package. Along with the rear of the frame being heavily modified to accommodate the shaft drive, the head stock was also heavily raked to lower the front end. At the front a WLC Springer front fork was used in conjunction with the frame to keep things simple.
A pair of 16in rims were then laced up to the hubs and shod with Firestone 5.00-16 tires, to keep a period look, further accented by the use of a WLC drum brake on the front wheel to match the fork.
It is not only the engine that is an unusual choice on Nimbus, many of the other parts used in the build are from different sources. The gas tank for example was once a fire extinguisher, the tail pipe on the exhaust was once the whistle on a steam train, and the shift lever for the transmission came from an old car.
The unusual touches continue on Nimbus with the finishing kit that includes a ’20s Vitalux headlamp and a solo leather seat suspended on a series of linkages and a pair of leaf spring.
Whether it was Turner’s unusual choice of engine or the extremely high level of detailing and repurposing parts from a variety of sources, or a combination of both, his fellow competitors at the 2014 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building thought enough of Nimbus to vote it into first place in the Retro Mod class. All that remains to be seen now is whether Turner will return to defend his title in that class or make the move up to Freestyle and attempt to take the ultimate title.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

AIMExpo 2015

AIMExpo Garage Party

THE American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) has now announced more details surrounding the first-ever Garage Party, "an all-new interactive show element that incorporates live music, a custom bike building competition, an extensive display of past and present custom V-Twin motorcycles, a wide range of AIMExpo exhibitors, and an entertaining after-party at the new Ace Cafe Orlando."

 AIMExpo will be staged at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) on October 15-18, with the Garage Party getting underway with a special event on Friday evening at Ace Cafe Orlando.

Industry veteran Bill Dodge of Bling Cycles will host the Garage Party, with former Hot Bike Girl Leticia Cline serving as the official Garage Party Ambassador.
"I am overwhelmed with all the support we have received for the Garage Party,” said Bob Kay, AIMExpo V-Twin Director. “Exhibitors, brands, dealers, media and iconic builders throughout the V-Twin industry have jumped at the chance to get involved. What the Garage Party represents, which is also a theme carried throughout AIMExpo, is a fresh and exciting way to celebrate our passion for motorcycles. It is sure to attract a lot of attention and we can’t wait to kick things off on Friday at the brand new Ace Cafe here in Orlando.”  

The festivities kick off on Friday, October 16, with a meet-and-greet at Ace Cafe Orlando for competing builders in the AIMExpo Championship of the Americas. Open to fans and members of the industry, this gathering will feature some of the most talented custombike builders from both North and South America and will serve as the formal start of this world-class qualifier event. The winner, who will be crowned on Sunday afternoon, will earn a coveted entry to the 2016 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, held at the INTERMOT international motorcycle fair in Cologne, Germany. Four classes of motorcycles – Freestyle, Retro Custom, Street Custom and Performance Custom – will be on display throughout the weekend.

The Chopper Legends Showcase gets underway on Saturday morning where custom diggers and choppers from the 70's, 80's, 90's and today will be highlighted. Featured builders include Dave Perewitz, Charlie Hadayia, Sr., Jesse James, Freddie Arnold, Kyle Shorey, Paul Ponkow, Denny Berg and Pat Patterson.
On Saturday afternoon Bill Dodge will lead a ride from his shop in Daytona Beach, Florida, that will bring riders to the front doors of AIMExpo in Orlando. Live music will keep the Garage Party going on Saturday night, followed by the official AIMExpo after-party taking place at the Ace Cafe Orlando.
In addition to the Championship of the Americas competition and Chopper Legends Showcase, the Garage Party area will feature a number of AIMExpo exhibitors that build retro café and bobber motorcycles, supply parts and engines, and serve as one of a kind motorcycle artisans. In addition to long-standing V-Twin brands such as S&S Cycle, Barnett Tool and Engineering and James Gaskets, AIMExpo will also feature two new brands as Jason Paul Michaels, creator and co-founder of Dime City Cycles, debuts his new venture, Standard Motorcycle Co., and Kyle Shorey introduces Speed Foundry of Texas to the industry.

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Harley need weapons of mass seduction

THIS edition of AMD Magazine was timed to include Harley-Davidson's second quarter financial news - the details were posted at the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) the day before we sent this edition to press.

Therefore it is difficult to be too judgemental about the investor community's' reaction to the numbers in terms of how the share price reacted, however, on the initial announcement Harley shares jumped a couple of Dollars or so from around $55.00 to the $57.00/$58.00 region.

A modestly positive response despite the trailed poor news simply because in April Harley-Davidson had taken the precaution of already revising down their original 2015 forecasts after just one quarter.

This meant that analysts weren't scrambling to explain to their investors why the company did worse than they had been predicting; instead they could approach the numbers with a certain sangfroid because with results that were "within guidance", their own investor guidance survived the trauma of bad numbers, appearing sage rather than ill-informed.

Such is the dance that new Harley-Davidson President and CEO Matt Levatich is now engaged in. Welcome to the unwelcome realities and unrealities of your new world Matt! In a classic case of unfortunate timing, Matt's well deserved elevation to the top job sees him inherit a post Wandell malaise that is going to take quite some sorting out.

It could have been worse of course. To give Keith Wandell his due, as I tried to do repeatedly throughout his tenure, without some kind of matrix of drastic action Harley-Davidson could indeed have seen all achievements since 1984 come completely unravelled.

'a cycle appears to be established'

 They didn't, and for that Wandell is to be respected. He is to be given credit for securing Harley's transition through the downturn regardless of what many think about some of the decisions taken to secure survival; regardless of what many now think about the shortcomings of the plan and the effectiveness of its implementation.

There is no question that Matt Levatich is inheriting a company with as many weaknesses as strengths and as many battles still to be fought as have already been won.

One such is how to keep the investor community on side. A group of people known to take their money and invest it elsewhere in a heartbeat (I know I would) if the ROI prospects were faltering - certainly in the medium to long-term.

Which brings that share buy-back plan back into sharp focus. The $2.00 to $3.00 share price uptick in reaction to Harley's second quarter fiscals already appeared to be running out of steam a mere 24 hours after their release, just as the initially positive reaction to the share buy-back plan had done when first announced in January, and again when confirmed as being debt-based in June.

A cycle appears to be established, a pattern emerging. Harley manage to create a circumstance in which the share price gains ground, but the reaction doesn't sustain - in the medium term the share price remains moribund in the mid fifties to low sixties region each time, well south of its early 2014 post-recessionary peak in the upper sixties and low seventies, and well south of where investors will be wanting to see it.

And why exactly does this need to matter to Matt Levatich? Because the last thing the company needs right now is for the first 24 months of his watch to be plagued by the unwelcome advances of predators - at a time when instead it needs the strengths Levatich brings to the table as a motorcycle and manufacturing man, so it can build on Wandell's survival mode of management with a stage two plan that takes Harley to a next level in product offer terms.

Harley's EPS is still reasonable, of itself, but not exactly competitive (check out what has been happening with Polaris investor ROI for example). The prospects of share buy-back "without Dollar limit" will certainly have gotten the attention of those looking for short-term shareholder value, and encumbering the balance sheet with the $750 million of long-term debt the company has committed itself to in funding this latest stage in its ongoing share buy-back strategy does have the advantage of making Harley's balance sheet a tad less attractive to raiders.

However, if investor reaction to this year's new model introductions is as short-term, lukewarm and unsustained as it was to last year's, then coming as it will a month or so before a 3rd quarter fiscal announcement, there could be implications for Harley as early as this fall/winter.

That Harley is betting the farm on third quarter and full year motorcycle sales and unit shipment guidance being met is nothing short of a dice-roll.

Either Harley already have some very cool news in the locker with which to seduce the masses, or Levatich could find himself engaged in a war for which Harley's arsenal is ill equipped.

Bare Knuckle Choppers

Retro style velocity stack

BARE Knuckle Choppers' new Retro velocity stack has been designed as a direct result of customers asking for an alternative option to use on Super E and G and Linkert carbs. 

Cast in aluminum and then machined before being left with a raw finish or polished, the cover plate used doubles as the screen retainer, which is available short or tall in a choice of stainless steel or brass.

Hawk Point, Missouri, USA
Tel: 636 338 4355

Barnett Clutches & Cables

Barnett low profile lock-up pressure plate

BARNETT has expanded its range of clutch options with the introduction of a low profile lock-up pressure plate. For use on ’98-onward Big Twins (except ‘15 CVO/SE and ‘15 FLHTC L models) it is designed to fit under stock or aftermarket primary and derby covers while increasing the capacity of the stock clutch and keeping lever effort to a minimum.

To achieve the increased capacity, Barnett uses stainless steel weighted arms that are said to progressively increase pressure to the clutch as rpm increases. Three different sets of six coil springs (light, medium, heavy) are included for a variety of spring pressure options. The coil spring design is also said to provide smoother shifting and a more linear engagement compared to a diaphragm type spring. 

Barnett has versions of the low profile lock-up pressure plate to work with both cable and hydraulic clutch applications.

Ventura, California, USA
Tel: 805 642 9435

Custom Chrome International

Radiantz lighting at Custom Chrome

MORGAN HILL, California based specialist v-twin aftermarket distributor Custom Chrome has a range of lighting options available from Radiantz, including a selection of LED license frames. 

The chrome billet Add-On license plate lights bolt onto vertically or horizontally-mounted license plates and offer full spectrum LED whites (H.I.D. type) in 3in or 6in lengths.
The chrome finish Real Flex license plate frame 3 has a white LED license plate illumination with a bottom red LED running or auxiliary brake light. The two side LED lights can be wired to be either red or amber in many configurations as running lights, auxiliary brake lights or turn signal/marker lights. The LEDs themselves are in a clear tube and they fit most license plates measuring 7 x 4in. 

Radiantz’s Real Flex license plate frame 2 features a white LED license plate illumination with two side LED lights wireable as either red LED running or an auxiliary brake light. The LEDs are in a smoke tube and are supplied with mounting hardware and a dual element circuit. 

The lighted license plate frame in chrome or satin black aluminum billet license plate frame comes with built-in six white LED plate lights, includes hardware and are available in 6in horizontal or 3in vertical configurations.

Radianz state that their turn signal LED bulbs provide the maximum number of LEDs and use the widest possible 38-degree viewing angle. The LED bulbs use the existing lens and bucket, and are a direct plug into the bulb socket. Fitment options include all Deuce models from ‘00-‘07 and all models (except FLT, FLHT, Road King, V-Rod and FL Softail models) from ‘02-’07; all models from ‘86-‘01 (except FLT, FLHT, FLHS, Road King, 01 FXDX and FXDXT models, FL Softail and Deuce models) and all FLT, FLHT, FLHS, Road King and FL Softail models from ‘86-‘04. 


Fat Katz

El Loco 32" fenders

NEW from Californian craftsman Fat Katz, El Loco 32” front fenders are available in two styles, the El Loco wrap fender and the El Loco Classic FL style fender. Made of 13 gauge cold rolled steel, they are offered with or without billet spacers.
Fat Katz also offers a full line of fender designs in size options from 16" right up to these new 32 inchers.


Hawg Halters Inc.

Sealed bearing forward controls

AVAILABLE in black, chrome and phantom cut, these classically designed controls from Hawg Halters come in both standard and extended versions, with an assortment of optional footpegs and designs.  

Mechanically they feature the "clean technical design you expect from the Dahlonega, Georgia based company", and they incorporate features such as dual sealed ball bearings, which provide a smooth positive actuation "for many miles of safe riding," the company states. Available for Softail, Dyna and Touring models.