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Tuesday, 30 August 2016


At last – is this the Harley engine that won’t burn your legs, shake your teeth out and leave you last at the lights?

Well, not quite, especially where power comparisons with competitive offerings (Indian Motorcycle aside) are concerned. But that hasn’t stopped Harley from boasting that the “all-new ‘Milwaukee-Eight’ engine delivers more power and an improved motorcycling experience for riders and passengers while retaining the iconic look, sound and feel of its predecessors.” 

True, it is a mostly all-new design, certainly as far as the heads are concerned. The Milwaukee-Eight engine is said to offer “quicker throttle response, more passing power, purer sound, a smoother ride and more of the feeling riders want from a Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycle engine.”
In other words, is Harley accepting that previous engines offer poor throttle response, poor power in real-world traffic conditions, way too much noise and way too much in the way of vibrations?
It kind of sounds like that from their press release, and note the detail of their remarks here – “more of the feeling riders want from a Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycle engine.”
One line of speculation suggests that in a parallel to what happened with the two-stage introduction of the Twin Cam in 1999/2000, there is likely to be a ‘B’ version of the ‘Eight’ next year for the cruisers – or in a new mid-cycle cruiser-esque launch or launches.
However, are Harley quite clearly signalling here that, in fact, the ‘Milwaukee-Eight’ is destined to be a tourer engine “only”?
In which case, will the cruisers be allowed to trade on the Rushmore hype of the Twin-Cooled motor for some years to come, or (could we be this lucky?) is there in fact another big step in refreshment and refinement of the offer to come with, whisper it softly, another engine platform also about to emerge at some stage in the next six to 24 months?
Either way, the new ‘Milwaukee-Eight’ engines will power every 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring and Trike motorcycle model. They will be offered in two displacements and three variations.

The 107-inch version (1750cc) features precision oil-cooled cylinder heads for the Street Glide/Street Glide Special, Road Glide/Road Glide Special, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Road King and Freewheeler models.
Based on the existing cooling technology introduced with the Rushmore tourers, a Twin-Cooled 107 incher (107 CID, 1750cc) features liquid-cooled cylinder heads for the Ultra Limited/Ultra Limited Low, Road Glide Ultra and Tri Glide Ultra models.
Then a Twin-Cooled ‘Milwaukee-Eight’ 114-incher(1870cc) featuring liquid-cooled cylinder heads will power the CVO Limited and CVO Street Glide models.
The new engine is said to produce 10 percent more torque than the engine it replaces in Touring models. In addition to increased displacement, it features a higher compression ratio and four-valve cylinder heads with 50 percent more intake and exhaust flow capacity. The valve train requires no adjustment as the design of the rocker arms enables valve lash to be set at the factory for life. Dual spark plugs for each cylinder contribute to more efficient combustion. A single chain-driven camshaft is lighter, mechanically less complex and creates less friction and noise.
Weighing the same as the lower-powered engine it replaces, the power-to-weight ratio of the ‘Eight’ is one of the significant factors in delivering increased power - there can be no doubt that even as you read this, the aftermarket will be busy working on lighter weight, higher strength components to push that ratio way further.
The 107-inch version of the ‘Eight’ is said to accelerate 11 percent quicker 0-60 mph, equal to a two to three bike length improvement, and 11 percent quicker from 60-80 mph in top gear, equal to a one to two bike length improvement, compared to the Twin Cam High Output 103.
The 114-inch version is said to accelerate 8 percent quicker 0-60mph, and 12 percent quicker 60-80mph than the Twin Cam 110.
Heat has always been a big issue for Harley. The ‘Eight’ is described as offering “improved rider and passenger thermal comfort due to reduced heat absorption, increased heat rejection and a redesigned exhaust system. A precision cooling strategy [has been developed] based on the specific demands of the motorcycle model, using a targeted flow of either oil or liquid coolant around the hottest areas of the cylinder heads.
“A new knock sensor for each cylinder enables more precise timing control. The rear exhaust pipe is repositioned and the exhaust catalyst is relocated to move heat away from the passenger. Idle speed is lowered from 1,000 rpm to 850 rpm.”
Rider comfort is also enhanced by the new, slimmer primary drive cover, and the low-profile shape of the (less than aesthetically nourishing) air cleaner cover, providing improved rider legroom around the engine and an easier reach to the ground for many riders. All Milwaukee-Eight powered models are fitted with an Assist and Slip Clutch with improved hydraulic actuation that reduces clutch lever effort by 7 percent.
The rubber-mounted engine features a single internal counter balancer that is said to cancel 75 percent of primary vibration at idle “for a more refined feel and more comfortable experience for rider and passengers while retaining the classic character of Harley V-twin engines.”
Lighter valves, a single camshaft, optimized cover designs and improved driveline components eliminate mechanical powertrain noise. The engine intake and air cleaner are designed to reduce intake sound while ensuring maximum air flow. As a result, the new engine is mechanically quieter, “enabling a richer exhaust tone, meeting all global noise and emissions standards, while allowing the unmistakable rumble of its exhaust note to resonate.”
The charging system delivers 50 percent more output to the battery at idle to “better support the power demands of Touring riders, including accessory lighting, performance audio, and heated gear and other accessories.”
Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson’s Director of Styling, is quoted as saying: “The ‘Milwaukee-Eight’ engine is styled to project power. I compare it to the back of a swimmer, lean in the waist but broad and muscular in the shoulders.
“The rocker covers look like skin stretched taut over muscle, like the rocker arms are about to burst out of the engine. For the first time since the Knucklehead, the rocker covers reflect the action going on below. And they are massive. When you sit on the bike you can look down and see more of this engine.”

Victory Motorcycles

Victory 2017 – “Increased power, more standard amenities and amplified style prove performance is in our DNA”

Victory Motorcycles say they have “always focused on performance. The design brief for the very first Victory motorcycle was simple: build a motorcycle that’s more powerful and handles better than any other American cruiser.” Eighteen years later and Victory claim they “remain dedicated to the pursuit of performance.”

After achieving a 2nd place podium position at the Isle of Man TT with the Victory RR, becoming the 2nd and 3rd fastest motorcycles to climb Pikes Peak with the Empulse RR and Project 156, accomplishing a circumnavigation of the globe in record time with Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita and his Victory Cross Country Tour, and setting a Guinness World Record burnout with Joe “Vertical” Dryden aboard an Octane, Victory say that for 2017 “America’s most innovative and aggressive motorcycle manufacturer is geared up for its most powerful year ever, redefining what an American V-twin motorcycle can be.
“Whether it’s our 1200cc Octane, five-model Cruiser family, Magnum, Magnum X-1 and best-selling Cross Country Bagger models, Cross Country Tour and Victory Vision Touring models, or our electric Empulse TT, our 2017 bikes are just the beginning of a new era in American motorcycle performance.”


Octane – “Power to Burn”
Already unveiled to much acclaim earlier this year, the Octane “has the heart of a Pikes Peak International Hill Climb racer and a 0-60 mph time that makes it the quickest Victory ever produced.” Featuring a high revving, liquid-cooled 60-degree V-Twin with four-valve heads and dual-overhead cams that makes 104 horsepower and 76 foot-pounds “of tire-shredding torque,” power is only half of the musclebike equation, according to Victory.
“There’s also a stiff and lightweight cast-aluminum frame, sharp steering geometry, a tight wheelbase, and 32 degrees of lean angle that together deliver agility previously unknown to American V-Twin motorcycles.”


Gunner – “Superior firepower”
Described as being “inspired by the original bobbers built by returning World War II vets who were hungry to recreate the adrenaline rush of flying a P-51 Mustang fighter,” Victory openly state that they are “taking aim at the competition” with this modern bobber.
Powered by the 106 cubic-inch Freedom V-Twin mated to a “smooth-shifting” six-speed overdrive transmission, the Gunner has 110 ft.-lb. of torque, a low 25-inch solo saddle and pullback bars.


High-Ball – “Stripped down speed demon”
With no radio or radiator, no saddlebags or sissybar, Victory say there is “nothing to take the attention away from the big-bore V-Twin sitting in the belly of this beast. Reach up and grab some attitude with the ape-hanger handlebars and let the 16-inch spoke-alloy wheels roll.”


Hammer S - “Pro Street performance”
Described as the “most aggressive” cruiser in the Victory line-up, it features the big-block Freedom 106 V-Twin engine, inverted forks, sportbike styled four-piston brake calipers, an extra wide pro stock-inspired 250-series rear tire, a sleek rear cowl with a hideaway passenger pad and bodywork “wrapped in musclecar racing stripes - a streetfighter with an American soul.”


Vegas – “Attitude from every angle”
Featuring the 110 ft-lbs torque Freedom 106 engine/six-speed overdrive combination, the Vegas is described as having “clean custom styling, a color-matched frame and a contrast-cut 21-inch front wheel” and being the “cleanest looking and most powerful factory custom made today.” Additional features include a tucked-in headlamp, pullback handlebars, slash-cut muffler tips, flush-mount LED taillight, and “blacked-out details that make the rich Sunset Red metallic paint with matching frame really pop.”


Vegas 8-Ball – “Rolling the dark streets”
“Sinister and blacked-out, sparse use of chrome details and a 21-inch contrast-cut Falchion front wheel,” additional features include chrome gauge cluster and black risers.


Magnum X-1 – “Limited edition model designed for serious music and motorcycle fans”
The 2017 Magnum X-1 “takes the stage” powered by a 200-watt 10-speaker surround sound audio system. “Loaded with custom features such as contrast-cut billet wheels – featuring a 21-inch front – a new custom paint scheme and LED lighting, this may be the only motorcycle on the market that attracts both custom motorcycle fans and concert groupies.”


Magnum – “Speed and style”
“Move boldly through your world on the Magnum muscle bagger,” say Victory.” With a larger-than-life 21-inch front wheel – the biggest wheel ever fitted to a production bagger – LED headlight and new muscle colors that demand attention, Magnum makes a mark on anyone who sees it. Turn on the cruise control, crank up the high-performance Bluetooth-enabled audio system blasting 100 watts from 6 speakers, and enjoy the ride knowing that anti-lock brakes monitor your traction at all times.”


Cross Country – “Muscle for miles”
“Lead your pack anywhere with the overachieving Victory Cross Country® bagger, now with even more standard features including ABS, cruise control and Bluetooth-enabled audio. Powered by our 106 cubic inch Freedom V-Twin, delivering best-in-class horsepower and 106 ft-lb of torque, the Cross Country is a muscular bagger aided in its smooth running nature by inverted front fork, air-adjustable rear monoshock and dual front disc brakes with standard ABS and 21.3 gallon, lockable, weatherproof sealed saddlebags.” Upgrades include the “Made For Victory By S&S” Stage 2 Kit – S&S cams and high-flow air dam together with an available Victory Accessory exhaust system for 20% more horsepower and 10% more torque (for Cross Country, Cross Country Tour and Magnum models).


Cross Country Tour – “Packed with power”
“Cross America in record time,” say Victory. “Take the standard Cross Country bagger, hit it with a dose of comfort and convenience features like a 200W eight-speaker Bluetooth and USB audio system, and what you get is the Cross Country Tour - a V-Twin touring bike ready to go anywhere comfortable and quickly.” Said to offer the largest total cargo capacity on a production touring motorcycle (41.1 gallons), Victory’s ‘Comfort Control System’ is designed to provide upper and lower air controls that channel the wind to maximize comfort “while a padded passenger backrest, three-position adjustable floorboards and dual zone heated seats give your passengers the control they deserve. An air-adjustable rear suspension further aids rider and passenger comfort, while ABS and new LED lighting helps keep your mind at ease.”


Vision Tour – “Uniquely American, uniquely Victory”
“What if you cast off all convention and set out to build the ultimate American touring bike without any rules or restrictions on how that bike had to look, feel or act?” Victory say the result would be their Vision – “America’s most comfortable touring bike.” Features include wind tunnel derived, frame-mounted full-coverage fairing, extra-rigid cast aluminum frame, air-adjustable rear suspension, and four-valve overhead-cam Freedom 106 engine, standard ABS and cruise control, a heated seat and heated grips, and 29 gallons of storage capacity.


2016 Empulse TT – “Twist and go”
“We’re equal opportunity speed freaks,” say Victory. “Whether it burns hydrocarbons or kilowatt-hours, we don’t care as long as it’s fast. The Empulse TT is fast where it matters most. Built on the same platform that claimed a spot on the podium at both the Isle of Man and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, it accelerates up to 100+ mph and has a 10.4 kWh battery module that can fully charge in 3.9 hours.” Features include sport-tuned inverted front forks and an adjustable suspension. Victory say this is “the only electric bike equipped with a gearbox – a six-speed transmission – although shifting is entirely optional as it also operates in a twist-and-go mode for maximum convenience.”

News Briefs

BRP has reported revenues up by 3.5 percent to CAN$929.9m for the first three months of its current financial year to April 30, 2016. Gross profit was down by -8.8 percent to CAN$194.1m due to adverse exchange rate conditions and a 25.8 percent increase in operating expenses - largely blamed to provision for some of the several unfavorable CanAm lawsuit findings against it.

In France Paris city authorities have now followed through on their plan to ban motorcycles built before June 1st 2000 from the city’s streets between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00 pm, Monday to Friday. The ban takes effect from September 1st this year and is part of a slew of measures Paris is taking in response to EU threats of fines over air pollution issues there that, apparently, mean that Paris’ air pollution is even worse than that notoriously seen in Beijing!

Headed up by former Yuasa executive Linda Barton, the Coppel, Texas based Universal Power Group (UPG) has Standard Conventional, Premium Dry Charge AGM and Platinum AGM, LFP and V-twin specific batteries available in its ‘Kinetik’ brand program of powersports specific batteries. Specifically designed with rugged construction for the rigors of V-twin applications, their Platinum VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) batteries with AGM separators are said to be maintenance-free for all Harley models since 1964.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida based Travertson Motorcycles (Christian Travert and Tim Cameron) are best known for their pioneering motorcycle and trike designs, including the famed ‘V-Rex’ Harley V-Rod engine bike and ‘Striker’ reverse trike design. Our thanks to Nicole Travert for news that they are importing and selling the noted French made EMC line of shock absorbers. Featuring a patented 3-tube design, their ‘Custom line’ products are fully adjustable, heavy duty gas shocks ideal for heavier weight motorcycles.

Although reported to be only worth some 1,000 or so units a year, Indian Motorcycle last year joined Harley (and a plethora of other large displacement manufacturers) in the rush for market presence in the so far largely low-cost, low cc powered two-wheel market in the Indian sub-continent. Parent company Polaris already has manufacturing joint ventures there, and Indian has now opened a seventh dealership in the architecturally noted Le Corbusier planned post-independence metropolis of Chandigarh in the Punjab.

North Dakota Harley dealers Bill and Brenda Houim are to open a second store, Black Magic Harley-Davidson, at Williston, ND., some 120 miles from their Minot based Magic City H-D facility.


Harley at INTERMOT Customized

Harley-Davidson has stepped up to the plate for INTERMOT this year. The company has massively increased the size of its usual booth and added a second one in the INTERMOT Customized Hall (Hall 10) adjacent to the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
Their mission is to showcase their ‘Dark Custom’ program as a specific “sub-brand” dedicated to the “riders who are looking for the unique ‘Reduced to the Max’ stripped down contemporary look of a platform that is built for customizing,” according to Daniel Becker, the Marketing Project Manager for the Dark Custom program at Harley-Davidson GmbH.

Versatility of their ‘Dark Custom’ Street, Sportster and Dyna platforms (adjacent to the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building in Hall 10) will showcase dealer customized examples from this year’s ‘Custom Kings’ contest as well as the “Reduced to the Max” stock platforms

The 240 sq m (2,580 sq ft) booth will showcase all seven models of Harley’s current ‘Dark Custom’ line-up – the 750 Street, 883 Iron, ‘48’ and new Roadster Sportsters, plus the ‘Dark Custom’ Street Bob, Fat Bob and recently launched Low Rider S Dynas.
Additionally, the booth will showcase examples from this year’s ‘Custom Kings’ dealer competition in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
This year’s chosen platform for the contest was the Sportster Iron, with a customizing budget set at around € 4.000,00 (US$4,500,) half of which had to be spent on product from Harley’s own ‘Dark Custom’ P&A offer, the other half could either be factory P&A or aftermarket parts and accessories.

“The booth design process has been fun,” says Daniel. “Because our range is so broad, it isn’t often that we are able to dedicate such a large space to a specific platform, to a specific look and feel. I guess “shabby chic” might be one way of describing the look we are presenting – personally I prefer to think of it simply as just plain “cool”. Something that is on the cutting-edge of current consumer taste, especially among the new generation of riders that we are attracting – riders who will be an important part of the industry’s future, and riders who have a very new series of attitudes to the motorcycle ownership and riding experience.
“With our ‘Dark Customs’ we think we are “with them” when it comes to meeting those expectations and able to provide the kind of versatile yet contemporary design ethos they are looking for.
“If our sales in Europe are anything to go buy, we do appear to be right in the “sweet spot” with the ‘Dark Customs’, and the results our dealers have achieved in this year’s ‘Custom Kings’ competition show that our dealers understand what riders are looking for.”

Hawg Halters Inc.

Softail neck rake builders kit

Hawg Halters Inc. has added to its extensive range of big wheel conversion kit options with this new custom Softail neck rake builders kit – said to make building a “full-on” custom Softail a lot easier.

“If you want to run the latest air suspension system, obtain the maximum lowered ride height or build a bagger conversion out of your Softail, then this kit does it all,” the company says.
The HHI Softail neck rake builders kit includes a unique HHI designed weld-on neck rake kit and an FL style short neck triple tree to complete the installation with. This new kit fits 2007 and later models, and the triple tree comes in machine or black finish.
The company says that its wide range of front end components and considerable experience in guaranteeing the best handling and performance means that if you are working on an earlier model Softail, dealers are welcome to call them to discuss their options.


Arlen Ness

New Ness accessories

These all-new Ness dash accessory packs are fully inclusive kits with fuel door, ignition switch cover and dash accent in chrome and black anodized finishes.

Made from 10-gauge, slot track bevelled and deep cut, they fit 2015 - up FLTRX and 2008-13 FLHX/FLTRX models. 

Also seen here, their new Roadglide windshield trim (2015 and up) is said to “provide a clean transition between fairing and windshield.” Machined in the U.S.A. from 10-gauge, slot track bevelled and deep cut billet aluminum in the U.S.A., they are available in chrome or black anodized finishes; each kit includes chrome mounting hardware.
Also available for 1996-2013 FLHT / FLHTC / FLHTCU / FLHX and 2014 - up FLT models.


Vance & Hines

Vance & Hines RaceShop Components

Back in February we featured the first product released by Vance & Hines in their new RaceShop Components program – valves and spring kits for Twin Cam engines.
The Santa Fe Springs, California, and Indianapolis based manufacturer has since released more additions to the range – a range that sees the market-leading exhaust manufacturer leveraging founder Byron Hines’ and Terry Vance’s race credentials and expertise to produce a line of components for street bikes that owes its pedigree to their decades of success on the drag strip.

“Our high performance products are manufactured with state-of-the-art equipment, utilizing stringent quality control procedures to significantly improve all components for prolonged durability and reliability,” says VP of Sales & Marketing John Potts.
“Whether building a street performance engine or a drag motor, Vance & Hines engine components are drop-in upgrades providing needed stability while reducing premature wear. All components are made to exacting tolerances ensuring maximized performance.”
The additions include these high performance “Bolt-In” camshafts for 2006 – 2016 Dyna, 2007 – 2016 Softail and 2007 – 2016 Touring models. Designed with a silent ramp profile, which is said to eliminate valvetrain noise, they ship with high performance inner cam bearings and a Cometic gasket set.

Their high performance pushrods are made from hardened and tempered 4130 Chromoly. They are designed for high-stress and extreme spring pressures (7/16" x 0.095" single taper 5/16" x 24 TPI) and feature “witness markings” for quick install and precise adjustment.
Vance & Hines high performance ‘Beehive’ style spring kits are designed with “the latest advancements in valve spring technology. Our springs are nano-peened, polished and 100% inspected through load testing.

“They exceed stringent quality standards, offering superior valve stability at high rpm range, are the premium choice for your performance upgrade and “drop-in” ready. No machining of heads is required.”
The retainers are made from 4140 Chromoly steel that has been heat-treated and processed to maintain high strength and lightweight design; the keepers are type FMOD7 with 7-degree lock angle, have triple radius groove and standard install height. Equipped with Chromoly spring bases, the kit comes with Viton seals designed for maximum retention of elastic properties along with “excellent resistance to fluids, heat and aging.” Fitment is for 2005-2016 Twin Cams, 2004-2016 XL Sportsters and 2009-2013 XR Sportsters.
RaceShop forged 2618 aluminum high performance pistons feature Moly coated piston skirts, high-strength, lightweight Chromoly wrist pin, and phosphate coating to reduce micro-welding and pin galling. Forced pin oiling prevents scuffing at start-up and precision-machined ring grooves prevent ring flutter and positive ring seal. The kit includes two pistons, wrist pin, ring set and pin locks.

They are available as Big Bore 107” pistons for 2007-2016 Dynas and 2007-2016 Touring and Softail models; 1999-2006 Dyna and Touring models and 2000-2006 Softails equipped with 4-3/8″ flywheels.

Their high performance hydraulic lifters are described as having a tighter inner diameter grind for substantial lower leak down; they feature direct lubrication to axle and roller needle bearings and allow the use of higher spring pressure and increased rpm capability. Available for 1999-2016 Twin Cams, 2000-2016 XL and 2009-2013 XR Sportsters.
RaceShop high performance chrome coated valves are precision CNC-machined from a stainless one piece forging for higher strength and durability. The high grade allows the design to withstand high heat and maintain roundness. They feature a micro-polished stem for smoother finish and less friction, resulting in improved performance and multi-angle back cuts for enhanced flow.
They have a 7mm stem, and Vance & Hines say these are the first to market to introduce a V-twin hollow stem; intake valve is 1.900” and 2.000”, and they are an estimated 4 grams lighter than OE valves, making them ideal for higher revving engines, according to the company. An Inconel 1.630” exhaust valve is also available for extreme exhaust temperatures.

These high performance valve and spring sets include two valves with springs, retainers, spring bases, keepers and Viton valve seals. Available for 2005 – 2016 Twin Cams.

Vance & Hines has also introduced a range of high performance, fully synthetic lubricants. Their 5W30 primary lubricant is designed to maximize clutch performance and reduce wear while providing smooth operation; their 75W140 transmission fluid is said to be non-corrosive, able to handle severe load and provide maximum protection for gears.

Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc.

Spin True lead-free wheel weights

California based Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc. (KPMI) has developed what it describes as “a true lead-free spoke wheel weight that won’t come loose.”

Designed and machined in-house at Kibblewhite’s Pacifica facility, they are made from chrome plated stainless steel, with prototypes machined and then tested on a full range of wheel sizes. “At no time during any of our testing did a wheel weight come loose. Spin True wheel weights were designed to cover ranges of nipple sizes.  The two most popular nipple size ranges were developed with six variations in weight, spanning 0.25oz to 1.5oz. 
They fit nipple diameters from 0.250” to .350” and are “tough, corrosion resistant and attractive. The patent pending design features symmetrical halves that bolt together and lock onto the nipple.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the reason for the ban on lead wheel weights is that they fall off of wheels, get ground up in passing traffic, and the lead then enters and contaminates ground water, lakes and streams when it rains. 
At least seven US states have already instituted a ban, with more sure to follow soon.  The EU banned the use of lead in wheel weights more than 10 years ago.


Baker Drivetrain

Baker Sportster 6-speed conversion

The new
Baker Drivetrain XL6 is a six-speed overdrive ‘cartridge style’ gearset that converts any existing 5-speed 1991-2003 Sportster or Buell to a Baker six-speed, with 2nd through 5th gear ratios remaining effectively the same as stock, and a 6th gear that is a true overdrive for a 511 rpm drop at 75 mph.

Featuring a 6061-T6 billet aluminum trap door, the complete gearset includes shafts and gears, less the 5th (main drive) gear pair - the 5th gear pair from the existing 5-speed is re-used.
The gearset is pre-assembled to the trap door including bearings, thrust washers and retaining rings; the shift drum and detent plate have “optimized geometry” with “no flimsy retaining clip to hold the detent plate to the drum – ours is bolted on with a machine screw.
“We use a low effort detent spring, three billet steel shift forks with roller pins and cotter pins and a steel template for accurate case modification.”
Available for stock Sportster applications (1991 – 2003) and for S&S cases with their special bearing door configuration.



ECE-compliant air cleaner kits

Kuryakyn and their sister brands Crusher and Bahn are offering four styles of what the company claims are the industry’s first ECE-compliant air cleaners.

Available for all ’07-’15 XL1200 Sportster models, all the kits include a baffle plate designed and certified to meet ECE requirements while “providing ideal airflow” to the included washable and reusable lifetime-warranty backed K&N full perimeter and end-breathing filter element.
Available styles include the Kuryakyn Mach 2 (seen here) and Mach 2 Co-Ax in chrome or gloss black, the forged aluminum Crusher Maverick in chrome or satin black, and the forged aluminum Bahn high-flow air cleaner in chrome or black anodized “Tuxedo” finish.


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.