Unleashing the beast
A regular fixture at the annual V-Twin Expo, Jim and Cheryl Preisler’s Khrome Werks was best known for its mufflers, full exhausts, handlebars, luggage racks, engine guards, trailer hitches and a plethora of specialty parts and accessories that it manufactured at its DS Manufacturing facility at Pine Island, Minnesota.
Jim is an industry veteran, and he was one of the original “gang” at Drag Specialties when owned and operated by Tom Rudd (later of Kuryakyn fame), and once the sequence of events that followed Tom’s original decision to sell Drag Specialties unfolded in the 1980s, Jim and Cheryl found themselves the proud owners of the Drag Specialties manufacturing division (hence DS Manufacturing), and had operated it as an own brand, private label and contract manufacturer of motorcycle and automotive parts ever since.
Khrome Werks made its debut at Cincinnati in February this year as an own brand division of Lincoln Industries - the Lincoln, Nebraska based manufacturer is best known in the motorcycle business as a Tier 1 supplier for Harley-Davidson.
Indeed, Lincoln is one of Harley-Davidson’s largest domestic US suppliers, and particularly well known for their unique finishes on Harley exhausts.
The acquisition of DS Manufacturing and Khrome Werks has not only given Lincoln a foothold in the motorcycle aftermarket, but a solid foundation from which to build a, potentially, major presence. In turn, it has given the Khrome Werks brand the opportunity to see its place in the aftermarket deepened and expanded.
Founded in 1952, Lincoln’s manufacturing credentials and capabilities are impressive. The company says it is the “largest and most diverse privately held metal finishing company” in the United States, with over 600 people working on a 24/7 operation.
Selected seven times by Forbes magazine as one of America’s best medium sized companies to work for and identified by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s fastest growing private companies, Lincoln is TS 16949, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, and is one of America’s leading chromers and a fast-growing parts manufacturer, with expertise in a wide range of technically advanced finishing processes in addition to metal forming.
Those finishing processes extend way beyond simple and traditional chroming to include anodizing, cadmium coating on steel, chromate conversion coatings, diamond-like carbon (DLC) decorative chrome, hard chroming, satin nickel finishing on steel and brass, ceramics and fluoropolymer coatings, metal polishing and high temperature coatings, as well as thermal insulating textile materials.
OE customers include Peterbilt, Kenworth, Daimler, Volvo and Polaris, in addition to Harley-Davidson, with tube bending and fabrication at the core of their manufacturing operations, including multi-axis configurations from 3/8 to 8 inches in diameter.
Jim Preisler has always been known as an enthusiastic amateur drag racer and builder of notable “beasts” with impressive performance credentials. Under Lincoln’s ownership it is clear that performance will remain the beast that growls in the heart of Khrome Werks.
With manufacturing remaining at the Pine Island, Minnesota facility, Bill Ellerbee, Lincoln Industries’ President and former VP Operations, told AMD Magazine that “Khrome Werks has been a manufacturer of the best fitting, high-performance aftermarket accessories for Harley-Davidson motorcycles for more than 35 years.”
Ellerbee, who was closely involved with the Khrome Werks acquisition, went on to say that “from concept to production, Khrome Werks is the only fully American-made manufacturer in the aftermarket industry. Today, as part of Lincoln Industries, Khrome Werks is unleashing the most advanced technology and metal finishing to redefine style and power standards across all categories.”
In exhaust terms, the product line includes 16-gauge drag style stepped, interconnected header systems for 883 and 1200cc Sportsters, 2-into-2 crossover headers for tourers with 2.5” diameter heat shields, 2-into-1 touring systems with two-step headers, 2-into-2 touring systems with two-step crossover headers, and 4” high-performance touring mufflers with billet tips.
Also new is the integration of Lincoln Industries’ proprietary ‘StyleLinc’ Eclipse black chrome finish – a process that incorporates multi-step polishing to create a smooth surface, a multiple-pass cleaning treatment and three layers of nickel-plating for improved adhesion and corrosion resistance before application of their own in-house developed high-temperature black chrome finish.
All these new Khrome Werks products are available exclusively through Drag Specialties.
See the feature in full from AMD here >>>