topbanner ad

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

AMD World Championship

AMD World Championship entries running ahead of schedule

Entries for this year's AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building opened at the beginning of February, and as at mid-March, after just seven weeks, and including our affiliate event qualifiers, there were already 46 bikes entered by 38 competitors from 13 different countries - including entries from as far afield as Israel and Japan!

Following the success of the 2014 experiment of hosting the AMD World Championship at the 200,000 plus attendance INTERMOT Expo in Germany, the event is now slated to be held there in October this year (October 5 - 9), and also in 2018 and 2020.
Tapping into INTERMOT's ready-made attendance achieved the aim of giving the custom motorcycle industry access to the largest possible audience of potential customers yet achieved by the AMD World Championship.
The competitor community voted the 2014 experiment a success, and as a showcase to energise existing custom fans and enthuse new potential customers for the sector, the AMD World Championship's presence at INTERMOT is a "slam dunk," according to Championship Director Neil "ShowMaster" Blaber".

"The principle of providing the custom market with a focussed presence at one of the world's largest motorcycle expos was incredibly well received by the competitors who took part," Blaber said.
"Since the 2014 event we have had time to gauge the level of wider industry reaction to the presence of the AMD World Championship grade bikes being seen in the context of INTERMOT and to take the pulse of the custom market about INTERMOT as a long-term host for the AMD World Championship. In both respects the response has been entirely positive.
"There is no perfect hosting solution for any custom event, just as there is no perfect custom show; but throwing the focus onto attracting new customers has been exactly what the custom industry has said it needs, and the response in terms of entries for October this year, at this early stage, has been very encouraging. I can't recall ever having had so many at this early stage before."
Show organizer Koelnmesse has responded to the 2014 success by now creating a dedicated 'Show-within-the-Show' concept for the custom motorcycle market, with 'INTERMOT Customized' slated to be stage in the 235,000 sq ft Hall 10 - one of the six halls of the state-of-the-art Koelnmesse complex in which INTERMOT will be staged this year.
Located very close to three of the primary public entrances to the show, visitor analysis suggested that the AMD World Championship and its adjacent exhibitors saw some of the strongest attendee traffic of the entire show in 2014 - and with the marketing muscle of INTERMOT itself now in full flow behind the 'INTERMOT Customized' concept this year, this year is expected to see possibly the largest audience ever for any custom bike competition, anywhere.

V-Twin Expo review part II

MC BAGGERS: The patented no-cut, no-weld Steel Kore (previously known as EZ-ON) rake kits have proven increasingly popular as the word has spread. Having achieved TUV approval in the notoriously demanding German market, the company has introduced an ABS bearing that solves the problems of wheel size/distance travelled readings and calibrations where the wheel size has been upgraded. At V-Twin Expo the company had custom conversions on display that showcased their 23", 26" and 30" Steel Kore kits;


AVON PERFORMANCE GRIPS: Dave Kelly's Avon branded 'Kraton' rubber grips line offers solutions for all styles of handlebar and riding, including gel grips, 'Caliente' heated grips for winter, ergonomic billet grip designs, grips for Indian Motorcycle models, standard push-pull as well as ride-by-wire throttle sleeves for 2008 and up Tourers;


Lloydz Motorworkz: Distributed by Biker's Choice, the Pine Bush, New York based Victory and Indian parts specialist (also known as Hardon Horsepower) makes drivetrain and clutch parts, engine accessories, large valve performance heads and 107/114 and 109/116 inch big bore kits. Seen in AMD last year, their Precision Timing System allows for 6 degrees of retard and 8 degrees of advance timing adjustments on all '08 and up Victory models. It offers some 8 hp and 15 ft lbs of torque and complements the PCV and other fuel controllers. Lloydz' Erica Marie told AMD that "it can also be used to help eliminate pre-detonation ("pinging") on some engines, works with any combination of parts and will make timing adjustments at under 2,500 rpms." Product lines distributed for them by Biker's Choice include an air intake filter for Victory Vision models that is designed to increase intake efficiency and minimize airflow turbulence in the Vision's unique air intake design that is said to deliver almost 40 percent more air flow over the Stage 1 filter;


DTR: Here's an interesting feature for dealer and custom bike builder websites - Jacob Fraleigh's DTR is a bolt-on "build-a-bike" software tool that allows riders to pick and choose their parts and accessories to style and design the bike of their dreams - all on your own website. The "request a quote" function then sends you their list of chosen parts - the result is increased parts sales and workshop billing for dealers and increased parts sales leads for manufacturers;


SPECTRO OILS OF AMERICA: Celebrating 50 years of operation, Brookfield, Connecticut based Spectro Oils offers a full line of high-performance lubricants from stock through to high-performance, high-output engines. Products range from fully synthetic, semi-synthetic to petroleum based oils, transmission fluids and primary fluids, as well as a number of specialty oils and cleaners. The company says that each batch is formulated and blended to meet or exceed all OEM specifications and that their 'Heavy Duty' line of products is popular throughout the V-twin market. The company also has a "Golden-4" semi-synthetic 20W40 for Victory models;


K&P ENGINEERING: Specializing in high-performance stainless steel micronic oil filters since 1995, K&P's fully cleanable and reusable oil filters are unaffected by water, heat and pressure. Owner Dave Fisher uses proven technology to "deliver a superior level of filtration, with magnetic pre-filtering and high flow rate that meets or exceeds manufacturer specifications";


HAWG HALTERS INC: Mark Thompson's Dahlonega, Georgia based operation continues to grow and innovate - recent news includes enhanced Bike Build Kits, complete with Renegade wheels, Avon tires and a full range of triple tree conversion options including their popular X-23 bolt-on kit for 23 inch wheels and a full range of neck and triple tree kits for 23 to 32 installations. Check out their complete Road Glide Builders kit featuring a new adjustable fairing bracket;


BARNETT TOOL & ENGINEERING: Congratulations to Mike Taylor of Californian clutch and cables specialist Barnett - deserved winner of this year's V-Twin Expo award for a lifetime of achievement;


KHROME WERKS: The big news from the Pine Island, Minnesota based manufacturer is its acquisition by respected Lincoln, Nebraska based Tier One Harley-Davidson chroming specialist Lincoln Industries. Their Eclipse finish (a proprietary high temperature black chrome finish) proved popular at the show. A massive new products blitz is underway, featuring complete exhaust systems, slip-on mufflers, handlebars, luggage mounts, sissybars and more;


NELSON-RIGG: The Californian luggage, covers and rainwear specialist's range includes the versatile modular capacity lifetime warranty backed 'Riggpaks' range of all weather, expandable touring bags, which use their unique "Full-Nelson" mounting system;

News Briefs


Vance & Hines has renewed its partnership with AMA Pro Racing as Presenting Sponsor of the Harley-Davidson GNC1 class for the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track season. Vance & Hines started its presenting sponsorship of the GNC1 class in 2014 - co-founder Terry Vance says that "the reason we got involved in the first place is that we felt Flat Track racing has a very bright future and the best overall chance of accelerated growth of any form of motorcycle racing in the coming years."

Moto Illimitees of Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada, has won Indian Motorcycles' 'Project Scout' dealer contest with their "Boardtracker" customized Scout interpretation.

Much of the extra $60m of marketing budget announced by Harley-Davidson last year is being spent on a an integrated broadcast and social media campaign called "Live Your Legend" in which the company seeks to market the desirability of its metal based on the social and generational attributes of shared experience, friendship and legacy - inviting new generations of riders to build their own brand story.

For the first time since 2006 the Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle Factory Team will feature two riders - Brad Baker and Davis Fisher - on the 2016 AMA Pro Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines Flat Track series - competing in all GNC1 Twins races, beginning with the Circuit of the Americas half-mile in Austin, Texas, on April 9.

Polaris is to move production of its 'Slingshot' three-wheeler to its new Huntsville, Alabama factory when it is completed later this year, leaving their 400,000 sq ft Spirit Lake, Iowa plant entirely dedicated to production of Victory and Indian motorcycles. With some 1,000 employees, Spirit Lake is expected to see motorcycle production "level-off" at around 900 units a week once the transition is complete. The plant originally produced personal watercraft when it opened in 1994.

The entire production run of the Limited Edition Jack Daniel's Indian Springfield and Indian Chief Vintage models was sold in just one day. The first-ever production vehicles to feature Jack Daniel's livery were created to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel Distillery, with a maximum of 150 total units. Of the 149 units sold, 97 were purchased by customers in the U.S., and 38 found a home with international customers. The final unsold unit, #1 of the limited edition series, an Indian Chief Vintage version that was the custom painted prototype built by Klock Werks, will be auctioned at Las Vegas in October with all monies benefitting Operation Ride Home. Designed in conjunction with Brian Klock, Jack Daniel's and Indian Motorcycle have partnered to give Brian Klock the last motorcycle of the limited edition run - the Jack Daniel's Indian Springfield #150.

Bagger Bolts

Bagger Bolts security system

Good news for all security conscious riders of 2000-2016 Harley-Davidson touring bikes with hard saddlebags. Designed by two bikers in New Jersey, the Bagger Bolts security system installs in minutes and prevents the bags from falling off due to overloading or weakening of those standard factory (DZUS) spring clips. The system will increase the load capacity, security and theft protection of stock tourer hard bags and their contents.

The designers say that it is impossible to remove the saddlebags from the outside, without destroying them in the process - rendering them useless to would be thieves. However, convenience is not sacrificed as the design means that the bags can still be attached and detached in a matter of seconds with the specially designed ratcheting tool that is included in the kit.
All the parts included are manufactured in the USA using hardened steel and come with a lifetime guarantee. Exclusively distributed by AET INC. 


Covingtons Customs

Covingtons have it covered - Part II

Two months ago we featured a series of cover designs from Woodward, Oklahoma based Covingtons Customs, as detailed in this year's Drag Specialties program.

No doubt also to be available through Drag Specialties, seen here is a selection of new-for-2016 CNC machined billet aluminum Bagger cover designs.
Available in finned or dimpled style, the range is offered in chrome or black for Baggers, '07-'15 Softails, FLHTs and '06 - '15 Dynas. Jerry Covington says their new 6-speed transmission top covers will enhance the look "with a streamlined, dimpled or classic finned style."
Their new 6-speed transmission side covers are available for cable or hydraulically actuated applications, while their rocker covers fit '99-present Twin Cams, using stock gaskets to replace the OEM fitment as an "easy engine enhancer without having to remove the entire rocker assembly."
Also seen here, Covingtons' new cam cover (sold singly) fits 2000 and later Twin Cam engines and includes mounting hardware.


Horsepower Inc

Larger size TBW intakes for bigger inch engines

Indianapolis based Horsepower Inc (HPI) has expanded their throttle-by-wire product line by offering two larger sizes to accommodate the larger cubic inch motors.

Now available on exchange, 62-64mm and 68mm versions require the stock unit with working internal electronics and will be turned around in 3-5 working days - you will receive back a whole new throttle body, intake manifold, flanges and seals.
These larger size throttle bodies accept any stock bolt pattern air cleaner if the opening size is modified. All popular intake port configurations are available from 1.710 to 1.900 with B2 and Hurricane Head oval ports coming soon.
They are fully CNC ported in-house, utilize the stock fuel rail and map sensor, with the stock electronics tested before and after rebuild. They include billet intake flanges and seals, a Cometic throttle body gasket, double sealed bearings and maintain the stock bolt pattern and location. All components are made in the USA.



Italian made organic and sintered brake pads

Italian brakes specialist Newfren has updated its brake pads programs with new compounds and applications, offering its distributors access to a comprehensive range with coverage for most popular makes and model of cruisers, street bikes and off-roaders.
Their Road Line now features a single premium R01 Sintered Race formula that Newfren say is developed for high-performance and race applications. 

Described as an "innovative sintered racing titanium technology" with a friction coefficient HH+ rating, it features a new Zirconium ceramic "NWF Pro Tech" heat shield.
The company has two lines of sintered and organic pads for street bikes - the TT Pro range, which is said to be ideal for track and road use and is recommended for the new generation of high-performance street bikes and the Touring range - specially formulated for long distance riding, they are said to offer durability, comfort and stability in dry and wet conditions.
Seen here, their 'BH' organic and 'SH' sintered pads for Harley-Davidson applications.
Founded in the 1950s by Alessandro Barbero, Newfren were innovators and early adopters of a number of new brake technologies, such as bonded friction material, gravity and high- pressure die casting, and brake shoes without rivets.
The company is still in family ownership with Valter Barbero at the helm and has just completed a 24 month, multi-million Dollar investment program in new manufacturing technology at its 65,000 sq ft facilty/100,000 sq ft site at Cirie near Turin, where they make brake pads, shoes, backing plates, clutch plates and parts and brake discs and assemblies.


Rogue Pipe Works

'Jack' pipe for Scouts


Rogue Pipe Works (RPW USA) of North Bend, Oregon, has released this new full exhaust system for the Indian Scout and Indian Scout 60. Called the ‘Jack’, it was designed for a custom Indian hill climb bike (the 'Black Hills Beast') and on display with Indian Motorcycles last summer in Sturgis.  Now available to dealers, the ‘Jack’ pipe is "beautifully crafted, polished stainless steel, loaded with power and torque and a pipe that the Indian Scout rider will love."  Made to fit with or without saddlebags.


J-Four Classic calipers


JayBrake J-Four Classic calipers are progressively sized four piston billet aluminum calipers that bolt directly on to stock H-D ’84 – ’99 front legs with 11.5” rotors (except Springers).  Brackets are needed for use with the rear rotor.  Right or left side fitments are available in a smooth or radial design in polished, chrome or black.  SuperTrapp, USA,

Dakota Digital

Speedometer recalibration

Dakota Digital's new SIM-1A electronic speedometer recalibration unit is the latest product offering in a long line of speedometer recalibration modules from the Sioux Falls, South Dakota manufacturer.

It is said to deliver improved resolution and accuracy of the speed signal and expanded adjustment capabilities. The range of correction has been increased to adjust the speed signal up 4x and reduce x.25.
A direct plug-in for most 1996-‘06 Harley-Davidson models (2007-up models hardwire) using stock electronic speedometers, the SIM-1A will allow the rider to dial in the speedometer after changing gearing or tire size.  The overall size has not changed, but operation and troubleshooting is easier with an added LED indicator. 


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Low hanging fruit is high 'Octane' stuff

As anticipated, the new Victory Octane dares to go where Harley has feared, or failed to tread.
Clearly aimed at the contemporary taste for post-streetfighter street-performers, it marks yet another bold initiative in what is increasingly looking like a slam-dunk for Polaris. With Indian competing (convincingly) head-on with Harley's core legacy cruisers, then picking off what looks like a major business opportunity with the Victory 'Octane', and thereby making one of Harley's pathways way more difficult than it would have been if Milwaukee had struck first or managed to better evolve their initial V-Rod offerings by now.
The Scout is likely to compete hard against the Sportster, and the Springfield will offer yet another option against Harley's core Big Twin market. The news that an, albeit at this stage race-only, 750cc twin, set for flat-track, is proving to make it even more imperative that the much vaunted new models that Harley is expected to unveil this year had better be about platform and not just capacity.

"those perpetrating the fraud couldn't see the paradox"
Strategically 'Octane' is not rocket science. The niche it is likely to now define has been pretty apparent as a yawning chasm of opportunity for some years. With other 'low hanging fruit' just waiting to be picked-off (adventure Tourers and urban Enduro in particular), it is stating the blindingly obvious, but the motorcycle market has emerged from the downturn much changed.
Our demographic is increasingly more broad based in terms of its riding and ownership tastes and expectations, and increasingly less tainted by the tribalism of the past, less weighed down by motorcycle culture baggage and a lot more inclined to want their choices to offer stretch and challenge rather than conservative reinforcement of preconceptions and stereotypes.
From a custom parts and accessory industry perspective, all this is undiluted good news.
The platform of choice no longer needs to be limited to someone else's take on 'cool' and, at last, well gone are the days when "custom" had itself fallen under the spell of "cookie cutter". The irony of the mainstream of the custom market as seen at the majority of shows and in the majority of magazines between the late '90s and around '09, especially in the United States, is that custom had become conservative.
It had descended from an expression of individuality into class structures that forced custom motorcycle design and engineering back into the box it was supposed to break free from - righteous disdain rather than "nice idea, way-to-go" had become the response to anything adventurous. The so-called 'keepers-of-the-flame' purists, uncritically greeted innovation with indignation, censure and downright hostility - yet those perpetrating the fraud just couldn't see the paradox.
When the events program that eventually became the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building first appeared on the scene, we attracted no end of criticism from those who "liked it the way it was" and who championed a status quo that would see it forever remain thus if they had it their way. We were always all for the market's heritage being preserved and celebrated, but someone needed to showcase the also much needed unrestrained way forward that would be needed for the industry to be able to reach future generations of riders.
Fast forward 10-15 years, and much of what we were doing has itself morphed from radical to mainstream (mission accomplished!), and as a whole new generation of builders and shows take that forward further still, "the child truly has now eaten the parent" (to resurrect a much used phrase from this column in years past). Now the mainstream OEs are falling over themselves to offer platforms that kick sand in the face of conventional productionization to instead embrace platforms that are canvases for personalization - a concept that was once their enemy is now their friend.
The Victory 'Octane' is self-evidently a major opportunity for the aftermarket. As you'll see in next month's AMD Magazine edition, the likes of Yamaha with their 'Yard Built' program, and Ducati with the their 'Custom Rumble' competition, are aggressively targeting the riders that might otherwise have felt no option but to be drawn to conventional air-cooled 45-degree V-twins to get their self-expression kicks. Above all though, they are targeting those who would never have realized that you didn't need to be a so-called "Master Builder" in order to be able to go to the party. Please sir, can we have those consumers as our customers too?
In the early 1990s, especially in Europe, that "conventional" custom platform attracted many from the 'metric' and especially from the then burgeoning 'streetfighter' style market away from the yards of plumbing and acres of plastic that characterized the wrap for Japanese power plants - precisely because of the versatility that the V-twin offered as an "engineer's canvas".
Some 25 years later, and what goes round has spun again. The 'retro-vibe', the garage-build, and the scramble for Scramblers and new beard styles are in the vanguard as a market that was once niche has itself become the primary driver of overall international motorcycle industry growth - certainly in the northern hemisphere.
The news that Erik Buell may again be back in business is, of course, welcome, but it is a very smart move to make the first model to come out of the re-financed factory - the 1190 SX - the 'streetfighter' styled 1190 variant that EBR had just started building when it all went smelly for them a year ago.
With BMW using their R nineT as their weapon of choice, and the slew of new-for-2016 Triumphs about to be augmented by a production 'Bobber', Indian and Victory are only the tip of the iceberg of competitive pressure that now haunts Harley-Davidson.
Meanwhile, over in the lil' ol' aftermarket - bring it on I say! The more OE capital that is being sunk into the message of individuality the better it is for custom parts makers, designers and retailers of all kinds.
The more that consumers are encouraged to think of life beyond the crate, the better. Another few more years of this, and even though the metal may be a different shape and carry a different badge, perhaps finally we'll be back where it all started.

AMD Class of 2016

The 11th annual AMD Class of 2016 industry photograph at V-Twin Expo

  • 1      Lisa Baker - Baker Drivetrain
  • 2      Bert Baker - Baker Drivetrain
  • 3      Monica Pletcher - ASA Electronics
  • 4      Tamara Smith - James Gaskets
  • 5      Sukoshi Fahey - Avon Tyres
  • 6      Colleen Barnett-Taylor - Barnett Tool and Engineering
  • 7      Blaine Birchfield - KWB Marketing
  • 8      Beth Thompson - Hawg Halters Inc
  • 9      Lisa Barton - Universal Powersports Group
  • 10    Joe Distefano - Pro Riders Marketing
  • 11    Adam Daniel - Rush Racing Products
  • 12    Ryne Sandler - Mid-USA Motorcycle Parts
  • 13    John Dunne - Spectro Oils
  • 14    Fred Roetker  - ASA Electronics
  • 15    Ken Ciocci - Spectro Oils
  • 16    Terry Daniel  - Rush Racing Products
  • 17    JJ Handfield - JJ Sells PowerSports
  • 18    John Dahmer - Darkhorse Crankworks
  • 19    Mike Taylor - Barnett Tool and Engineering
  • 20    Dale Berg - Goodridge USA Inc
  • 21    Tom Seymour - Saddlemen
  • 22    Larry Nerada - Hawg Halters Inc
  • 23    Alez Marquez - DNA Specialty
  • 24    Larry Mills - DP Brakes
  • 25    Martin Arteaga - Freedom Performance Exhaust
  • 26    Mark Thompson - Hawg Halters Inc
  • 27    Ricardo Rea - Freedom Performance Exhaust
  • 28    Chad Bunfill - Metra Electronics
  • 29    Tim Shell - Metra Electronics
  • 30    Tom Hinderholtz - Autogem LLC
  • 31    Trevor Cleveland - James Gaskets
  • 32    Chris Jensen - SBS
  • 33    Gary Maurer - Kustoms Inc
  • 34    Alex Josefson - Spectro Oils
  • 35    Larry Miller - Mid-USA Motorcycle Parts
  • 36    Karl Fahringer - Cycle Electric
  • 37    Joe Majesky - Yuasa Battery
  • 38    Jeff Wells - SuperTrapp
  • 39    Joel Felty - Headwinds
  • 40    Allen Mueller - Memphis Shades
  • 41    Michael Curry - Memphis Shades
  • 42    William Kibblewhite - Kibblewhite Precision Machining
  • 43    Jim Thiessen - JIMS USA
  • 44    TR Reiser - T-Man Performance
  • 45    Tom Hoban - Darkhorse Crankworks
  • 46    Jeff Zielinski  - Namz
  • 47    Ray Karmansky - SuperTrapp
  • 48    Kenny Price - Samson Exhaust
  • 49    James Simonelli - Biker's Choice
  • 50    Ray Pratt - Performance Cycle Wholesale
  • 51    Ian Buchanan - Performance Cycle Wholesale
  • 52    Scott Hakins - S&S Cycle
  • 53    Bob Kay - AIM Expo


Spectro celebrates 50 year anniversary

March 2016 marks a great milestone for Brookfield, Connecticut based specialist Spectro Oils of America, as they celebrate their 50th anniversary. 
In 1966, Spectro was founded in Connecticut by Robert H. Wehman, where the company has remained family owned and operated for 50 years.  Spectro was one of the pioneers in the 2-stroke motorcycle oils industry, which gained traction during the 1960s.  The company has grown substantially over the years, and is one of the most respected names in the powersports industry worldwide. 
"All products are batch blended in-house with precise attention to detail at Spectro Performance Oils' headquarters in Brookfield, CT," says company President Alexander L. Josefson. "The Spectro philosophy is simple - use the best ingredients to produce unmatched product performance." 

Spanning six decades, the Spectro product line has reached far beyond the 2-stroke market, to include full-synthetic, semi-synthetic and petroleum lubricants for a wide range of applications.  Spectro offers lubricants for nearly every niche of the powersports market and is especially well known for its 'Golden' heavy-duty 4-stroke oils blended specifically for the very particular demands and characteristics of the air-cooled V-twin.
In addition, Spectro offers a number of custom blends and a full line of suspension and brake fluids, as well as air filter cleaners and oils. Spectro has also formed a number of strategic partnerships with well known V-twin and wider powersports industry leaders, providing them with a private label blending program for their customers’ specific needs.

Bates Footwear

Bates Footwear available through Biker's Choice

Rockford, Michigan based Bates Footwear has announced a new partnership with Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice to distribute their 2016 'PowerSports Line'.

"We are extremely pleased to be joining forces with Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice," said Julie McCauley, Bates Footwear Marketing Manager. "Since the launch of our PowerSports footwear in late 2015, we’ve been working to develop our dealer network to get our products in front of more motorcyclists. To secure distribution at this level not only helps us achieve that goal, but also makes a strong statement that we are committed to this industry and we’re here to stay."

The full Bates PowerSports Line, which includes the Adrenaline, Beltline, Taser and Marauder boots, will be available through Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice dealers beginning of March 2016. Bates says it drew upon its experience making tactical and military footwear to create a line of motorcycle boots that not only offer performance and protection, but also all-day comfort on and off the bike.

Avon Tyres

Avon Cobra for Trike front ends

Avon Tyres has announced a 16" Cobra tire specifically designed for trike front wheel applications.
Features include a flatter profile to resist the scrubbing-off effect that trike fronts are typically prone to, and with bigger blocks of rubber in the construction to resist the irregular wear that can occur.
The sidewall has "Trike" emblazoned on it to differentiate it from regular Cobra motorcycle tires and the special construction is said to help with heavy loads.
Last year the British custom tire specialist moved to add to its durability credentials with the announcement of an innovative road hazard warranty program that offers a free replacement of any new tire if it suffers accidental, puncture or impact damage soon after purchase.
Avon followed that up with a 15,000 mile limited treadwear warranty for its Cobra and Storm 3D X-M tires. If the tread wears to the treadwear indicators within the first 15,000 miles of normal use, the company will award a credit adjustment in the form of a prepaid card for the unused mileage. Available on tires purchased in the U.S. and Canada, the warranty covers the tire for a maximum of two years from the date of purchase.

Danny Gray

Danny Gray seats brand quits Harley and TR

Owned by Santa Ana, California based High End Products, the Danny Gray seats brand's 17 year relationship with Harley-Davidson as a custom seat vendor has been terminated, and following withdrawing distribution through Tucker Rocky, the brand will be sold through Western Power Sports/HardDrive and Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties - its two remaining distributors.

John Strahl, VP Sales & Marketing for the brand, said that "we’re going to be advertising in all of the leading publications and on several social media platforms this year and are planning an aggressive PR campaign that will help us achieve our goals.
"We have also developed a new, nationwide dealer direct program that will help them strengthen customer relationships and sell more custom seats." A "Build Your Own" custom seat program is scheduled to launch in early spring.
High End has invested heavily in the Danny Gray brand, including the R&D and tooling that resulted in the 2014 launch of their IST (Independent Suspension Technology) line of motorcycle seats - a system designed to eliminate the compression and shock the body receives from riding on a traditional solid seat pan.
That technology was itself a spin-off from the 2011 High End Seating Solutions joint venture established with the Bellville, Illinois based medical equipment industry specialist ROHO Group. HESS was established to leverage ROHO's Airhawk brand 'Dry Floatation' seat cushion technology. High End had been a long-time seat maker for Harley-Davidson and operates from a 25,000 sq ft facility at Santa Ana.
HESS owner Don Mahoney went on to fully acquire the Airhawk brand from ROHO last year. Danny Gray got his start in the motorcycle seats business in the early 1970s, selling initially to Arlen Ness. Gray and High End teamed up in 2004.

Azzkikr Custom Baggers

Azzkikr's Indian 'Frontier 111' Custom Springfield

Indian Motorcycle has unveiled its first custom edition of the recently announced Indian Springfield - "Frontier 111" - designed for them by Len Edmondson of Phoenix, Arizona based Azzkikr Custom Baggers fame.

Continuing Indian's commendable program of engaging with leading aftermarket custom motorcycle and parts designers and manufacturers, Indian describe this bike as combining Edmondson's "acute attention to detail and outrageous craftsmanship" to "offer a truly show-stopping example of a thoroughly modern retro bagger that features classic lines via contemporary artistic flare."
The Frontier 111 has obvious salutes to pedigree by incorporating the heritage of the Indian brand's skirted front fender, a leaf-spring equipped springer front end, jockey shifter with foot clutch, and historically inspired color palette, surrounding Indian Motorcycle's powerful Thunder Stroke 111 engine.
"We have been working on the cutting edge of the custom bagger movement for years now" says Edmondson "but it's not often that you get to reveal a custom based on a motorcycle the factory just introduced.
"From day one, we wanted something that reflected the big front wheel trend, but still spoke to the heritage and style that is uniquely Indian.
"Everything on the bike aside from the triple tree [custom made by KewlMetal] was hand-made or manufactured in our shop to an OEM quality standard to fit on the Springfield's stock frame, so nothing on it makes any actual changes to the engineering of the present bike. In other words, if I wanted to send parts to someone to reproduce this bike with a new Springfield, they could put it together using the same bolt patterns. That makes this build truly revolutionary."
"The Indian Springfield is a touring bike that is meant to be ridden, and by building an extreme custom around the stock frame, the Frontier 111 stays true to the spirit of the motorcycle," commented Reid Wilson, Marketing Director for Indian Motorcycle. "Len and his team did an amazing job with this build and it was very exciting to unveil this bike at the 75th Anniversary of Daytona Bike Week."
See more about Azzkikr's Frontier product line for Indian motorcycles at:

Lowbrow Customs

Cast aluminum and "Weirdo" #5 from Lowbrow

Since the advent of CNC machines, casting has fallen to the wayside in part due to the tooling costs. However, Lowbrow Customs are on a mission - to encourage customizers to embrace the "timeless, soulful look and feel" of cast parts, and is offering a line of investment-cast aluminum front and rear master cylinder covers for a wide array of Harley-Davidsons from 1982 to 2015, for both front and rear master cylinders.

Also seen here, their investment-cast aluminum air cleaner covers for S&S carbs "add some vintage styling to Super E or G equipped motorcycles in mere minutes".  Choose between 'Finned', 'Fish Scale' or Smooth in polished aluminum or black - they utilize the stock S&S backing plate, air filter element and mounting hardware.

Adding to their existing line of heavy gauge steel engine stands, Lowbrow Customs just released black powder-coat designs for the Harley-Davidson Twin Cam A, Twin Cam B and Unit Triumph motorcycle engines. 

Finally, the fifth instalment of "Weirdo", Lowbrow Customs' popular periodical that features new motorcycle parts and accessories from around the world, customer bike photos, tech tips and underground motorcycle event coverage, is available now. Produced on an ad-hoc basis, it is a retro-fest and a gold mine of parts and accessory ideas. 


Trask Performance

Replacement Hi-Flow air filter kit for Scouts

This new hi-flow air filter kit from Trask Performance is a direct bolt-in replacement for what Trask describe as the very restrictive stock filter assembly on Indian Scout models.
It is said to greatly improve both the airflow and volumetric efficiency of the Scout’s engine by allowing it to scavenge as much air as possible to fill the cylinders.

Dyno-developed and tested, Trask say that this PowerFlow filter will provide the Scout with an instant increase of up to seven more additional horsepower and torque in the powerband, with no additional mapping or remapping required.
Made from high quality pliable rubber, four to six layers of cotton gauze and epoxy-coated wire mesh, Trask say their PowerFlow filters are durable, washable and reusable, designed to provide the engine with excellent protection that is made to last while saving money and increasing horsepower.



'WTF' Shovel-style rocker covers

French nostalgia-style parts and accessory manufacturer EMD (Esteves Motorcycle Design) has introduced 'WTF' cast aluminum Shovelhead styled rocker covers for Evo Sportsters and 1340 Evo Big Twins.

Created as an homage to Harley's iconic Shovelhead engines, EMD say that their WTF Shovel rocker box covers "will give modern Harleys that Seventies flavor."

They are a direct bolt-in replacement for the OEM top rocker boxes and extend down over the lower rocker boxes to create the Shovelhead illusion. Original hardware and gaskets are compatible and the overall dimensions are identical to the stock design.
They are available in raw casting or black finish and are the latest EMD design in a range of retro-themed cast components that includes cam covers, primary covers, fork shrouds, headlight buckets and more.


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame - Class of 2016

"From pioneers and innovators to customizers and dealers, the 2016 inductees into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame represent every aspect of what makes motorcycling great." That is what Tigra Tsujikawa, Marketing and Development Director for the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, says in announcing this year's inductees.

The Museum was chartered back in 2001 to recognize individuals or groups who have made a long-term positive impact on the motorcycle community. Arguably the most diverse - and deserving - group ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, the Class of 2016 will be honored during the annual Rally on August 10, 2016.
Chartered in 2001, "The Hall of Fame's mission is to honor those who have made a positive and significant impact on the sport and lifestyle. It honors the men and women who have dedicated much of their lives to improving, promoting and advancing motorcycling."
"Having a living off-road legend like John Penton demonstrates that the Hall of Fame recognizes all aspects of our great sport," says Tsujikawa. "Many consider John to be the godfather of the dirt bike industry, and his pioneering of small, lightweight 2-strokes changed the world of off-road motorcycles," not to mention shaping and defining KTM to this very day.

The five inductees for 2016 are...


Bert Baker - V-Twin motorcycle drivetrain innovator, businessman and patriot, Bert Baker is committed to using materials, labor, creativity, know-how and grit born of America.


Jerry Covington - Whether it is on TV or the cover of virtually every biker magazine in the world, it is hard to miss custom builder Jerry Covington. What does get overlooked is Covington's behind the scenes commitment to the motorcycle community, and his selfless donation of time and resources to those less fortunate through his various charity projects.

John Penton
- One of the most influential figures in off-road motorcycling in the world, John Penton developed a legendary brand of motorcycles that bore his name (better known as KTM today). He also founded Hi-Point, an accessory and distribution company that had 50% of aftermarket sales in the U.S. and set the mold for modern distribution powerhouses like Parts Unlimited, Tucker Rocky and WPS.

Gary Spellman - Using motorcycling as a means to further charitable causes, philanthropist Gary Spellman has been effective in utilizing motorcycles to raise money for charities, benefiting first responders and their surviving families. He has also brought major business owners into the family of motorcyclists as well as creating the Peace, Love and Happiness Charity Ride with fellow Hall Of Famer John Paul Dejoria.

Buddy Stubbs - Talk about being born into the business, Buddy Stubbs was raised in his father's Harley dealership in Decatur, Illinois, and has spent his entire life in and around dealerships, including opening two of his own in the greater Phoenix area. This year marks his 50th year as a dealer, and more significantly as an ambassador to the motorcycle lifestyle.

The 2016 Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame 2016 Induction Breakfast will be held August 10, 2016 at the 'Lodge at Deadwood' in Deadwood, South Dakota.

V-Twin Expo 2016 Part I

WOOD PERFORMANCE: Bob Wood's emporium of extraordinarily powerful performance parts has NHRA records and race experience aplenty behind it - check out their Daytona winning Knight Prowler cams and Alpha Series directional roller lifters incorporating the new EDM technology - a patented, pressurized oil system;


SUPERTRAPP INDUSTRIES: From the original and still hugely popular diffuser disc system tunable mufflers to 'Mega Shots', 'Super Megs' and Megaphone' series of silencers and complete systems, the range of products and brands now available from the Cleveland manufacturer includes their Kerker exhausts program, JayBrake controls and Jardine accessory ranges they bought at a time when the rest of the motorcycle parts industry thought the world of opportunity was ending!


SBS FRICTION: One of the leading high performance brake pad manufacturers, SBS of Denmark has now opened a full time US sales and technical support center near Chicago, headed up by brand manager Chris Jensen, seen here on the left. Formerly Parts & Accessories Manager at EBR, Chris brings a wealth of experience to the Harley brakes aftermarket, including time as a performance parts shop owner and performance specialist at Ohlins and Pirelli;


P3R FLYWHEELS: Making its debut at V-Twin Expo this year, the patent pending P3R Polygon H-D Twin Cam crankshaft features a heat-treated steel crankpin that has been polygon and cylindrically ground in one fixture for "absolute concentricity between the polygon pin ends and the bearing diameter with less than 0.0001 run out." The company has confirmed that "the P3R polygon flywheel can transmit three times as much torque as any other hub to cylindrical shaft assembly";


TECHNORESEARCH: Headed up by former Magneti Marelli Senior PowerTrain Controls and Software engineer Sandro Scaccia, the Technoplus line was picked-up last year by Drag Specialties. The program includes the 'Tune Builder' mapping tool, 'Direct Link' flash tuner, 'Centurion' branded Super Pro and Super Pro Plus diagnostic tool systems, and 'Maximus' Tuner - described as the "most advanced, easy-to-operate single-user flash tuning tool for all fuel injected Harley-Davidsons";


ARLEN NESS: There's another big season ahead for the iconic Californian bike builder's parts and accessory program with new parts designs aplenty, a new 10-Gauge line that includes an outer primary that is said to be "the only custom accessory of its kind on the market," and all-new lightweight 10-Gauge  floorboards. "The best way to predict trends is to create them," says Mr Ness!


THE LEATHERWORKS: Artisan leather craftsmanship doesn't come much better than Aimee Thacher's Leatherworks program of handmade-in-California luggage and 'Nickel' saddlebags;


BAD DAD: Recent new products form the Fort Wayne, Indiana Bagger parts specialist include several bolt-on fender designs, new forward controls, Bagger seats and turn-down slip-ons for hard bags;


THUNDERMAX: The ThunderMax XMS (Exhaust Matched Series) is now available for 2008 touring models with Rinehart, Bassani, D&D and Samson Exhausts, with more brands being added. Meanwhile, ThunderMax says their all new Wave Tune technology is the "most powerful, advanced and user-friendly electronic fuel management system available" - 2016 model coverage now available;


UNIVERSAL POWER GROUP: Lisa Barton, Director of Powersports at the Texas based UPG, brought their KINETIK brand AP Series high performance battery program to V-Twin Expo for the first time - from conventional lead-acid and dry charge or sealed AGM to valve regulated lead acid (VRLA-Platinum V-twin) and ultra light extreme-rate Li Fe PO4 (Phantom LFP) V-twin specific batteries, KINETIK say they have it all ... "Energy, Power and Style";