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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

V-Twin Expo 2017

V-Twin Expo set for clash-free weekend at end of January

The two day, annual V-Twin Expo is being staged earlier than usual in 2017 - on January 28th and 29th at its usual Cincinnati, Ohio venue; avoiding the Super Bowl and other event clashes that are blamed for holding back attendance in prior years.
There has been considerable market speculation about the status of the event in 2017, with rumors about exhibitor pull-outs and disquiet about the show’s prospects.
“There have been some vendors who have decided not to exhibit at V-Twin Expo in 2017,” Show Manager Jim Betlach said to AMD Magazine at the end of November, “but that happens and the show continues to be reflective of market status and it continues to be the only one of its kind.”
Betlach went on to say that “very often the show decisions that vendors take at any given time are driven by their own business cycle requirements and don’t affect V-Twin Expo’s status as still being the primary custom parts and accessory industry shop window and the largest, indeed only dealer event of its kind in the world.”
At the time of going to press the exhibitor list showed a healthy range of exhibiting companies that most in the market would regard as cornerstones of our industry. Taken with the selection of new exhibitors and returnees booked for January 2017, and Betlach’s observation that it is “vendor cycles” that are affecting exhibiting decisions as much as anything has some credibility.
Confirmed exhibitors include ‘majors’ such as Drag Specialities, Ness Enterprises, Barnett Tool & Engineering, Baker Drivetrain, Avon Tyres, Belt Drives Ltd., Bassani Exhaust, DynoJet and DynaTek, HardDrive, James Gaskets, JIMS, K&N, Khrome Werks, Kibblewhite, LePera, Mid-USA, Rinehart Racing, Rivera Primo, RC Components, Zipper’s Performance and others – at late November it stood at some 120 exhibiting companies in total and as the show nears that figure will increase as it always does.
“There’s no question that 2016 has been a soft year for vendors. In fact, the past two or three years have not seen the market kick-on from the recovery. It simply has not sustained. A lot of people blame the election, which always has an impact every four years, but mostly I am hearing that it is the economy that is holding the market back,” Betlach said.
“Yes, the changes to how people get their information and buy their products have has an effect on the market. But the channels have always been under pressure one way or another. It is the consolidation we have been seeing and the financial issues faced by some vendors is also having an effect.
“When the economic realities of the real-world situation in which custom shops and vendors are operating is not good, then regardless of what the so-called experts and economists say about jobs and growth those realities affect people directly and we have certainly been seeing that. Everybody is seeing that.
“It isn’t just the V-twin industry either, the whole of the motorcycle industry is soft. What is concerning is that unlike through the downturn, even staples and service items have been soft. We need to get the election behind us and get back into a climate where people want to have fun and start riding their motorcycle again.”
There will be many who agree with Betlach’s sentiments, but many who will also continue to point the changes taking place in the events landscape, especially in the January and February timescale, and to the demographic changes that some say are rendering the show concepts of old redundant.
While there may be some truth in that, events such as SEMA and the CES suggest that it is more a case of market scale that is affecting motorcycle dealer shows; which is also why, to a large extent, some distributors are seeing own-events where they believe they can maximise the business they do with their existing dealers as important stop-gaps.
One senior and well respected V-Twin Expo exhibitor that AMD Magazine spoke to (who wished to remain anonymous) told us “Look, we’ve all seen this before. It isn’t rocket science. While new motorcycle sales are soft, we are all going to be scrabbling. When Harley get back on the horse, and they will, then everyone else will be able to also. Follow the money. If we see money come back into the market, then confidence will follow. That may sound like stating the obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs stating.”

J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows’ $50,000 purse J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder finals set for Chicago

Over 350 custom motorcycle builders across the U.S. started competing for $100,000 in cash, prizes and the ‘King of the Builders’ title as the 8th annual J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show (UBCBS) got underway at the 2016/2017 Progressive International Motorcycle Shows (IMS) in Long Beach this November.
The “elite-level custom motorcycle builder competition is the largest of its kind in the U.S.,” being held at all seven IMS shows, including the Championship round in Chicago. “IMS attendees are offered a unique opportunity to see one-of-a-kind bikes and meet the artists who create these custom machines.”
The show hosts four classes of competition including Freestyle, Modified Harley-Davidson (presented by Harley), Modified Custom and Modified Retro (presented by Royal Enfield). Judging will be conducted by the competitors themselves, with the top builders in each class receiving cash and prizes, along with special category awards for “Originality,” “People’s Choice” and “Sho Dog.” 

Jeremy Cupp won the ‘King of the Builders’ title at the Chicago final in February 2016

Two brand new categories have been added for the 2017 IMS tour that include “Best Paint” and “The Ingenuity Award.” An awards ceremony will take place in each city, “including short interviews to provide attendees insight into the story behind the award-winning bikes.”
Each class winner at all the IMS stops will be invited to join the final round at IMS Chicago on February 10-12, 2017, awarding a total of $50,000 in cash and prizes. J&P Cycles is the title sponsor again, supporting the “People’s Choice” award along with Bell Helmets, Harley-Davidson is the presenting sponsor of the Modified Harley class, and Royal Enfield is the presenting sponsor of the Mod Retro class. Condor, J&M and K&N are also on-board as product sponsors, providing gift certificates to select class winners and runner-ups throughout the IMS Tour and Championship.
Zach Parham, GM J&P Cycles: “J&P Cycles is proud to present the eighth year of the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show and support the community of motorcycle builders. We’re inspired and humbled by the vision and self-expression of the hundreds of bikes entered each year. And we look forward to celebrating and recognizing the winners this year.”

Dave Dupor’s 2016 Series Modified Harley winner

Steve Iacona’s 2016 Series Modified Retro winner

Award-winning industry veteran Jeff Najar will continue to work with the J&P Cycles UBCBC for the 2017 IMS Tour. Najar has been involved with motorcycling and the enthusiast community from an early age.  Over the course of his career, he has owned and ridden motorcycles of all types, sharing his enthusiasm as a hobbyist with others. Najar has designed and managed numerous custom bike shows across the U.S.
Jeff Najar: “Since its inception, the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show (UBCBS) has become a spark of creativity and competition in custom building for the best motorcycle artists, designers and craftsmen in the country. During the 2016 IMS tour, some of the most influential and well-known names in custom work participated in UBCBS such as Cory Ness, Paul Yaffe, Chris Richardson and Bill Dodge, among others.
“The 2017 edition is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in the history of the series, with the ‘King of the Builders’ being crowned at the National Championship at IMS Chicago, IL, on February 12, 2017.”
Past winners of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Competition include the 2016 “King of the Builders,” Jeremy Cupp, a talented custom builder from Virginia, who also led in the Freestyle and sponsored categories, followed by runners-up Dave Dupor, Champion of the Modified Harley Class, at $11,500 in cash and prizes; Bill Dodge, Champion of the Modified Custom class and UBCBS winner from IMS Miami 2016, at $9,200 in cash and prizes, and Steve Iacona, Champion of the Modified Retro class, at $3,900 in cash and prizes, among others.

At the time of going to press the remaining series dates included …

 Washington D.C. – January 6-8
Dallas, Texas – January 13-15
Cleveland, Ohio – January 27-29
Minneapolis, MN - February 3-5
Chicago, IL - February 10-12


AMA seeks to ensure motorcycle compatibility as U.S. D.O.T. publishes mandatory V2V technology proposal

The AMA has called for motorcyclists to be included in the discussion, planning and implementation of the policies and regulations governing the rollout of mandatory vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology in new cars.

It acknowledges that such technology can “benefit all road users,” but Wayne Allard, AMA Vice President of Government Relations, says “we have been representing the interests of the motorcycling community since Day 1 on this issue. We certainly recognize and appreciate the potential for improved safety as vehicles communicate while in operation, but we want to ensure that the detection and response sensors and software can detect motorcyclists and respond appropriately.”
The AMA says that the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a proposed rule (December 13) that would advance the deployment of connected vehicle technologies throughout the nation’s light-vehicle fleet. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles, enabling new crash-avoidance applications that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles “talk” to each other.
The proposed rule would require automakers to include V2V technologies in all new light-duty vehicles, which are passenger cars and some pick-up trucks. The rule proposes requiring V2V devices to “speak the same language” through standardized messaging developed with industry.
In addition, the Federal Highway Administration plans to issue guidance for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, which the D.O.T. says will help transportation planners integrate the technologies to allow vehicles to “talk” to roadway infrastructure such as traffic lights, stop signs and work zones to improve mobility, reduce congestion and improve safety.
“This new technology could help motorcyclists immensely by alerting drivers of a rider’s presence as they prepare to make a left turn or approach a motorcycle from the rear,” Allard said. “The AMA has submitted comments to the D.O.T. and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since this technology first came to light. And we plan to work with the current administration, the incoming administration and Congress on these issues.”
Among the AMA’s concerns are that software and sensors be designed to recognize motorcycles and respond appropriately; that personal privacy be protected and deployed tech be ‘Hack-Safe’; and that there be an option to turn off the signal to prevent unwanted tracking - though just how compatible such an option would be, given the parallel development of autonomous driving systems on cars, remains to be seen.

News Briefs

Harley declared a $0.35 cash dividend per share on November 28, payable December 30, to common stock holders as at December 16.

Lightspeed, the dealer management software provider, says that the 1,600 plus domestic U.S. powersports dealers of all kinds who use their systems are reporting October overall sales down by -5.2 %, with parts sales -8.5%, service -5.4% and vehicle unit sales -3.9 %, compared to October 2015.

INTERMOT say that their 2016 attendance was up, at 220,000 visitors. A big part of the increase is thought to be due to the debut of ‘INTERMOT Customized’, the new show-within-show concept that plays host to the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building. The show saw Hall 10 at Koelnmesse emerge as the acclaimed new international headquarters event for the fast growing and fast changing custom motorcycle market. Some 70 percent or more of show visitors are reported as visiting ‘INTERMOT Customized’ – making it the #1 best attended custom bike show in the world. 

AMD Magazine will be publishing an updated 2017/2018 edition of its popular International Aftermarket Directory in the spring of 2017. Acclaimed as the most comprehensive (indeed the only) V-twin market-specific buyers’ guide, it will feature something in the region of 50 individual pieces of information about some 3,000 plus vendors from more than 100 countries on more than 200 pages – no wonder it’s known as “The King” of buyers’ guides!

Viola, Wisconsin based S&S Cycle has teamed up with Nextep Funding to release “Power Terms Financing” – described as a “first of its kind financing tool [for its dealers] that allows riders to invest in S&S performance product [and dealer installation if required] with minimal cash outlay.”

Polaris declared a regular quarterly $0.55 per share cash dividend payable on December 15, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 1, 2016.

Baker Drivetrain say that prototype units of their ‘Grudge Box’, a new generation overdrive that is said to be able to handle over 200+hp, have passed internal testing and are now out with experienced test riders to prove durability before shipping, which is expected to be in time for Daytona Bike Week installs. Features include a .92 overdrive 6th gear for a 250 reduction in those gas guzzling rpms.

With some 22 months still to go, the first two entries have already been received for the 14th AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at ‘INTERMOT Customized’ at Cologne, Germany, in October 2018 – entrants from the UK and Switzerland! Entry forms are live online at


Zodiac #41 ‘Bikers Book’ for 2017

This brand new issue #41 of the Zodiac Bikers Book “contains more parts and more pages than ever before,” according to the Mijdrecht, Netherlands headquartered distributor.

At over 1,600 pages and more than 34,000 part numbers, Zodiac has again expanded their product line with almost 5,000 new parts and accessories from vendors all around the world. There are hundreds of new and exclusive Genuine Zodiac parts and accessories (with 2-year warranty) as well as products from well-known and new, emerging vendors.
New products include sound-adjustable slip-on mufflers from Italian exhaust maker MCJ, the complete new product line from Ciro, Galfer ‘skulled’ disc brake rotors (a Zodiac exclusive), Chopper Kulture parts and accessories, OttoDiCuori suspension components and accessories from Italy, T-Bags biker luggage with lifetime warranty, Italian made Mupo and Bitubo shock absorbers, stock replacement parts for the vintage 45CI Sidevalve, performance parts for Sportster, Big Twin, Twin Cam, and even the Milwaukee Eight models from S&S Cycle, Freedom Performance Exhaust, ThunderMax, JIMS, Kibblewhite Precision Machining, SuperTrapp/Kerker, Mikuni and many others.
Zodiac say they will also have all the new parts and accessories from iconic brands such as Arlen Ness, Biltwell, Kustom Tech, Le Pera, Performance Machine and Roland Sands Design in stock, along with new lines from Aquatic and Cycle Sounds (radios and audio related equipment), La Rosa spring seat mounting kits, and hundreds of selected parts and accessories for model-specific and universal use.
Zodiac has sales offices throughout Europe and produces its annual catalogs and regular dealer bulletins and newsletters in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.

Drag Specialties

2017 Drag Specialties Victory & Indian catalog

Following the success of its first such offering, Drag Specialties has moved to release an updated and expanded 2017 catalog of parts and accessory fitments for Victory and Indian Motorcycle models.

The company says that “the Victory and Indian V-twin market is running strong, and the 2017 Drag Specialties/Parts Unlimited parts and accessories catalog is ready to help your dealership meet the demand.
“We’ve expanded our catalog to include even more parts and accessories from the top brands; everything from custom exhausts to seats, windshields and more.”

INTERMOT Customized 2016 review cont.

STANDARD MOTORCYCLE PRODUCTS: Tracing their history back to 1919, Long Island, NY based SMP is best known in the motorcycle industry for their huge range of Harley OE replacement components such as cam position sensor plate assemblies, EFi parts, switches, points sets, condensers, relays and their ‘Blue Streak’ brand “Super Fast” ignition coils that feature a quick rise time for easier starts. A standalone product that will enhance the performance of the motorcycle’s ignition system it delivers more spark energy than the OEM Harley coil under full load and can deliver 45,000+ volts for maximum performance. Fully encapsulated for long life, it will withstand extreme conditions and is compatible with stock and aftermarket ignitions;


EHINGER KRAFTRAD: Uwe Ehinger and Katrin Oeding founded their high-end concept design, custom bike and concept parts and accessory business in 2008 – just as the market headed into recession. Their success shows that the demand for quality and design transcends economics – craftsmanship and innovation will always succeed;


KAWASAKI: Another of the OEs who invested in a second INTERMOT booth to showcase the custom results that can be achieved with their platforms, along with a series of customized specials;


YAMAHA: Now headed into its third year, Yamaha’s ‘Yard Built’ program has seen dealers and noted guest customizers (such as 2010 and 2014 AMD World Champion Fred “Krugger” Bertrand) reinterpret their ‘Sport Heritage’ platforms;


DELTRAN EUROPE: Headed up by European motorcycle industry veteran Erwin Van Hoof, Deltran Europe is a subsidiary of the Deland, Florida based manufacturer of the Battery Tender range of charging and diagnostics products;


DR JEKILL & MR HYDE: German/Dutch exhaust manufacturer Dr Jekill & Mr Hyde specialize in electronically adjustable exhaust systems. They showcased their new system for the Harley XL Roadster – the first Harley model before the new 2017s to achieve its European homologation after new EU noise measurement rules (ECE R 41-04) came into force in 2016. It is available with choice of end caps, in black or chrome, as a muffler only or as a complete system with a stainless steel manifold;


BOSS HOSS: The German V-8 specialist has grown from Monte Warne’s Dyersburg, Tennessee workshop where he created the first Chevvy V-8 powered motorcycle that maintained cruiser looks in 1990 into a 22,000 sq ft manufacturing facility. In 2006 they became the first V-8 motorcycle manufacturer to receive full vehicle type approval from the European Commission;

Victory Motorcycles

‘Desert Racer’ wins ‘Operation Octane’

Victory Motorcycles has announced that its ‘Operation Octane’ custom-build competition for authorized Victory dealers was won by Bernhard Peintner of Iwan-Bikes in Germany with ‘Desert Racer’; a total of 26 dealers from around the world entered the competition with three weeks of public voting closing 21 November.

The winning bike in International markets was 'Desert Racer' built by Iwan-Bikes in Germany

The winning bike in North America was ‘Evil Ethel’ built by Rick Fairless’ Strokers Dallas; the runner-up bike in international markets was ‘Grifter’ (built by Brisan Motorcycles in Australia), with ‘King Octane’ (built by Coastal Victory in Myrtle Beach, USA) taking the runner-up spot in North America.
Bernhard Peintner, the Dealer Principal at Iwan-Bikes in Germany, who made ‘Desert Racer’, said: “We won! A thousand thank yous to all guys voting for us. We really won! International Champion of the ‘Operation Octane’ contest. The ‘Desert Racer’ has special knobby tires, a low handlebar, a metal radiator protector, off-road footrests, and a real leather seat make you ready for hard rides. The front suspension is protected and the rear fender is specially designed for muddy roads. The paint job was all airbrushed by hand; it’s a real military color. We also added throw-over bags to finish the look.

The runner up bike in International markets was 'Grifter'

The winning bike in North America was 'Evil Ethel' built by Strokers Dallas

Clint Davis, Dealer Principal at Brisan Motorcycles in Australia, who made ‘Grifter’, said: “We’ve been associated with the Victory brand since the beginning. Building ‘Grifter’ was a heap of fun for the team and allowed us to take the Octane in a totally new direction. The finished bike is already creating enormous interest in the showroom.
“Our goal was to create a motorcycle that was still recognizably an Octane, but meaner, leaner and more eye-catching than the standard bike. It also needed to sound fantastic, be great fun to ride and turn heads wherever it goes. The resulting build combines a hand-made tail section, repurposed Arrow exhaust with lobster back headers, metallic cherry and graphite paintwork, and 18″ Performance Machine wheels.”
North American Champion Strokers Dallas said of their ‘Evil Ethel’: “Take a mean bike and make it meaner. That’s the vision we had in our mind for our evil Victory Octane that we call Ethel.”

King Octane (built by Coastal Victory in Myrtle Beach USA) took the runner up spot in North America

North American runner-up Coastal Victory said the following about ‘King Octane’: “Keeping with the Victory brand tradition, we added fenders from a Victory Kingpin (modified to fit), had our painter (Rusty Nash) add a SIC custom paint job and topped the build off with a Ness intake and a Bassini 2-into-1 exhaust.”
“We knew these Victory dealers were going to produce some stellar rides, and they did not disappoint,” says Nate Secor, Manager of Marketing, Victory Motorcycles. “Congratulations to all of the participating dealers on their impressive creations!”
All the bikes can be seen at

Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice

Adjustable motorcycle dolly

Measuring 65 in. total length and able to handle 1,100 lbs. capacity, this adjustable motorcycle dolly from Bikemaster (Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice) is said to be more stable than full-length dollies and to feature high-quality wheels and bearings for easier movement. 

BikeMaster say that when not in use, it takes up less space than other designs. It is made from 8 mm heavy-duty, laser-cut plate steel.
The kickstand arm adjusts to fit most motorcycles where the center of the rear wheel to kickstand measures 34-50 in. It also has two aluminum diamond plates to protect the dolly side stand rails.


Progressive Suspension

Progressive Suspension shocks for XG 500/750

Progressive Suspension offers two shock absorbers as upgrades for the notoriously poor suspension of Harley’s Street 500 and 750 models which, when combined with their front fork spring kit, make for a full replacement suspension system that will deliver “optimal performance and comfort.”

The 412 series shocks are their most economical option and boast a simple, durable design to improve performance over the OE stock shocks.

The 430 series shocks provide threaded pre-load adjusters for tool-less adjustment “on the go.” Both are available in lengths from 12” to 13.5”, in chrome and contrast cut finishes, choice of standard or heavy spring rate for a combined rider weight over 250 lbs.
Also seen here, Progressive’s 10wt type E and heavy duty 20wt fork oils, recommended for use with Progressive Suspension's fork products, are said to have been formulated in the USA with a special additive package to “help provide superior damping and long lasting lubrication along with anti-foaming, anti-rust and anti-corrosion attributes.” 

They are said to maintain temperature stability, minimize fluid leakage and resist fading, increase the service life of the fork seals and exceed all known OEM and Harley-Davidson warranty requirements.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

2017 show season

The 2017 show season - a selection

The ‘majors’ may be over for another year (two years in the case of INTERMOT), but with the debut of ‘INTERMOT Customized’ showing that there is vibrancy on the biggest of stages, now is the time of year when the spotlight falls on the dealer, specialty and custom shows.

The new year kicks-off with the popular UK Dealer Expo opening its doors for the 22nd time for three days from 15-17 January - by far Europe’s largest, longest lived and most successful dealer show -

A week later Motor Bike Expo (MBE) will fill four halls at the Verona Expo Centre in northern Italy from Friday January 20 to Sunday 22. A combined custom and ‘mainstream’ consumer expo, “Verona” has seen attendance grow ever since its move from Padua in 2009 -

At the end of January, Sweden’s annual show, MC-Massan, returns to the capital Stockholm (26-29 January 2017) in its biennial rotation with Gothenburg (, then The One Show at Portland, Oregon, 10-12 February (


Meanwhile, in the United States the annual specialty V-Twin Expo will take place at its usual downtown exhibition center venue in Cincinnati, Ohio (Saturday January 28 and Sunday 29 (
Billed as “The Only Show of its Kind,” which it is, V-Twin Expo remains the only independently owned and operated dealer show for the Harley-Davidson aftermarket and custom V-twin parts and accessory industry. Owned and operated by Easyriders Events, their winter 2017 Bike Show Tour reaches a crescendo at Columbas, Ohio, on February 11-12 after stops at Sacramento, CA; Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; and Atlantic City, NJ.
At the same time as V-Twin Expo, from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight on Saturday January 28th, Garage Brewed ( at the Rhinegeist Brewery, Cincinnati, kicks off a busy few weeks for motorcycle dealers and riders in the United States and internationally.

The market’s two major parts and accessory distributors are holding their own dealer shows in February: Tucker Rocky/Bikers Choice are playing host to their dealers in Texas on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 of February, and just 10 days later Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties set up shop at the RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February.

In fact, that weekend there are at least four motorcycle industry events in play that we know of, with the annual MCN London Motorcycle Show taking place from January 17-19, featuring the Zodiac/Harrison Billet London Custom Bike Show, the excellent Swiss Moto being staged at Zurich from February 16-19 (, and the increasingly popular Mama Tried at Milwaukee from 17-19 February (

The following weekend sees the largest annual show in the Netherlands, Motorbeurs, taking place from 23-25 January at Utrecht (
Highlights in March and April include (but are not limited to!) the biennial Carole Nash Irish Motorbike & Scooter Show, taking place at Dublin, Ireland, from March 3-5. Always a popular show that not only dominates the small but growing Irish market, but that also pulls in exhibitors internationally, ‘Dublin’ is an AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliate show and has provided a former World Champion (Don Cronin, Medaza Cycles, with ‘Rondine’ in 2013)


After that MotoSalon and Motocykl (featuring the Bohemian Custom Bike Show), both at Prague, both March 2-5 ( and, and Moto Days, Rome, March 9-12 ( and the Radical Custombike Show organized by MC Pecquencourt in north Eastern France, March 11-12 ( all overlap with Daytona Bike Week, Florida, USA, March 10-19 (

The focus then shifts MotoMadrid in Spain from March 24-26 (, followed by the 30th annual Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show at St Paul, MN, on March 25-26 (, followed by the Tokyo Motorcycle Show, March 24-26 (; InaBike, Jakarta, Indonesia, March 29-April 1 (; Custom Show Emirates at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Center, UAE, on March 30-April 1st (; Arizona Bike Week, April 5-9 (;


Motorcycle Taiwan, 20-23 April (; with the Moscow Custom and Tuning Show, another AMD World Championship affiliate event, from 21-23 April.

The annual Handbuilt Motorcycle Show, Austin, TX, will be staged concurrent with the US MotoGP on April 22-23 (probably!; the Laughlin River Run, April 26-29 (; Biker Fest in Italy, May 18-21, another AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliate (; the increasingly popular and well respected Bike Shed in London, May 26-28 (; the European Super Rally in the Czech Republic, May 31-June 4 ( and another of the 2017 AMD World Championship affiliate events, the internationally renowned one day Custom Bike Show staged by Twin Club MC at Norrtalje, Sweden, on June 3rd (

EU ‘Big 5’ motorcycle registrations

EU ‘Big 5’ motorcycle registrations +7.5 percent through October

The latest data released by ACEM (the Brussels based international motorcycle industry trade association) shows motorcycle registrations in the largest European Union markets were up by +7.5 percent in the 10 months to October 2016 at 700,098 units.

The strongest market performance among the “Big 5” was recorded in Italy, where motorcycle sales were up by +11.5 percent for the first 10 months of the year at 178,060 units.
Spain was +10.3 percent at 127,265 units; the UK was +8 percent at 102,616 units; Germany was +5.6 percent at 151,189 units, and as such the largest market so far this year; with France modestly but reassuringly up at last at +2.4 percent at 140,968 units.

INTERMOT Customized 2016 review

The debut of ‘INTERMOT Customized’ in Hall 10 at Koelnmesse/INTERMOT in October has been widely acclaimed as heralding the start of a new headquarters event opportunity for the international custom motorcycle industry. Featuring the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building as the primary attraction, here is a selection of exhibitor information.

DAYTONA TWIN TEC: Florida based fuel injection tuning specialist. International Sales Consultant Hector Melendez told AMD that “sales in Europe are strong. There is a very real demand here for products that combine comprehensive features with ease of use”;


DETLEV LOUIS: Bought last year by legendary US investor Warren “Sage of Omaha” Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway investment group, Hamburg based Detlev Louis is a well known parts and accessory distributor, mail order specialist and owner of a network of over 70 retail stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company can trace its origins back to the 1930s and used ‘INTERMOT Customized’ to launch its new custom parts and accessories program. They also entered their bike “Alouise” into the Cafe Racer class at this year’s AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building;


FRED KODLIN: The well-known German customizer was one of several prior exhibitors to return to INTERMOT to contribute to the critical mass achieved at the first ‘INTERMOT Customized’ show-within-show concept that saw exhibitors benefit from the draw of the AMD World Championship;


INDEPENDENT CHOPPERS: Independent Choppers of Dusseldorf, Germany, was founded in 2000, and 15 years on have built a strong reputation, garnering awards and international press recognition for their work;


ESSENZA: A collaboration between leading customizers and selected OEs (Harley-Davidson, BMW, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha), “ESSENZA – The Essence of motorcycles” is a 1/8 mile sprint race series for custom bikes (as opposed to dragsters) – 16 bikes in 2016, including a custom R nineT by Winston Yeh of Taiwan, the 2013 AMD World Championship Modified Harley-Davidson World Champion. The concept is limited to twin cylinder machines of no more than 1200cc displacement. Two prizes have been at stake – fastest bike and a design prize sponsored by German parts and accessory specialist Detlev Louis – with both counting 50/50 towards an eventual winner;


SULTANS OF SPRINT:  One of two new custom bike race series in Europe in 2016, the final rounds of the “Sultans of Sprint” was staged in the outside activity area race track of INTERMOT, and saw Young Guns Speed Shop of Switzerland take the series win. The Sultans of Sprint challenge was a gathering of “motorcycle freaks from all over Europe to race custom sprint bikes - air or oil-cooled 4-stroke twin cylinder engines of up to 1400cc. Not focused only on speed, performance and power, the 'Sultans of Sprint' challenge also rewarded the contenders for their style, creativity and craziness. The participating bikes were 100% custom built by the best custom workshops and enthusiasts. The Sultans of Sprint is a class of its own … a race for turbocharged flying carpets built and raced by creative gearheads”;


SW-MOTECH: Several mainstream exhibitors doubled-up their INTERMOT booth investment – SW-MOTECH showcased their recently introduced ‘Legend Gear’ modular fit system soft luggage range. They are currently expanding their product range of soft luggage for Harley-Davidson, look out for details in upcoming editions of AMD;

Khrome Werks

Drag-style slash-cuts

Following our feature in the July edition of AMD about Nebraska based Lincoln Industries’ ownership of Khrome Werks, our thanks to Drag Specialties for information about these Khrome Werks’ drag-style slash-cut exhaust systems for all ‘04-’16 Sportsters (883 and 1200cc). 

Described as “engineered for performance, style and sound” they are available in chrome, black or in Khrome Werks’ proprietary StyleLinc ‘Eclipse’ black chrome finish – a high-temperature black chrome electroplate process that includes three layers of nickel-plating for approved adhesion and corrosion resistance, with multi-step polishing and multi-pass cleaning treatment.
Features include 1.75” to 2.125” 16-gauge stepped, interconnected headers and 2.50”, 220-degree, 16-gauge heat shields, 18mm and 12mm O² bungs welded into the primaries, conical formed port caps for optimum flow and HP-Plus baffles.


Free Spirits

Dyna mid controls

New from Italian parts and accessory specialist Free Spirits, these billet aluminum, CNC-machined mid controls for Dyna models are available in either black or anodized finish. The movements run on sealed bearings and the newly designed gear linkage is said to give more precise shifting. 

The kit includes a new brake fluid reservoir and Italian made Brembo master cylinder. All Free Spirits controls are modification-free and entirely reversible. Check out their all-new fully interactive website too.