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Tuesday 25 February 2014

J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show

Bare Knuckle Choppers take Ultimate Builder Series Championship

At the Chicago Progressive International Motorcycles Show (Feb 8th-10th) Paul Wideman of Bare Knuckle Choppers won the freestyle class in the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show and scooped the Championship series win for 2013/14.

Wideman took home a cheque for $5,000 with Jon Shipley (of Hoosier Daddy Choppers) taking $3,000 and a Harley-Davidson 120R engine for his win in the Modified Harley class.

Operated by Bob Kay and Jeff Najar’s Biker Pros team, the series concluded at Seattle the following weekend where Urban Custom Cycles took the top prize for that round.

Wideman’s Championship winning bike is a 1940 EL Knucklehead in a handmade frame and front end; the 74 inch engine features shaved and resized flywheels, large port heads and Kibblewhite valves.

Second place in the Freestyle class at Chicago went to Chop Doc Choppers (Ron Harris) for their ‘ol 48’ board tracker.

Paul Wideman of Bare Knuckle Choppers won the 2013/14 J&P Cycles
Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show Championship

James Gaskets

Living in a material world

Strictly speaking, manufacturing motorcycle gaskets isn’t rocket science, but science it certainly is – and even as a non-engineer I’ve learnt from many of my betters in this industry that materials science is the alpha and the omega of durability and performance.
The reputation that James Gaskets has for product quality needs no introduction or endorsement from me, but sometimes it is easy to underestimate the lengths that the top echelon of product manufacturers in our industry routinely go to in creating and maintaining their reputations.

At Big Bike Europe last year, I had the pleasure of falling into conversation with James Gaskets’ VP Ralph Cholez, and while at best only every third or fourth word worked for me, it is quite clear that the materials science and engineering that goes on behind the fa├žade of their discreet Dayton, Nevada factory certainly works for dealers and riders.
The subject of conversation was their FoaMet gasket material, which in recent years has been acclaimed as one of the most advanced developments in sealing technology. Basically it is an NBR (Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) coating which, depending on the application, is applied either to an SAE 5052 Aluminum or SAE 1010 steel.
Proven in a wide range of sealing application, NBR is a family of unsaturated copolymers of 2-propenenitrile and various butadiene monomers (I did warn you about understanding only one in three words!).

The physical and chemical properties vary depending on the polymers nitrile composition, but this form of synthetic rubber, which is essentially what it is, is noted for its resistance to hydrocarbons (oil and gas) and other chemicals.
Widely used in the automotive and aeronautical industries, Ralph told me that its wide range of temperature tolerance (-40 to 108 degrees centigrade) makes it a durable and reliable addition to the range of gasket material options that the company uses.

2014 V-Twin Expo awards

V-Twin Expo awards


The annual industry awards at the V-Twin Expo saw Steve Menneto, Vice President of Motorcycles for Indian and Victory at Polaris Industries (and recently elected MIC Board Member), named Industry Leader of the Year, with Terry Vance, co-founder of Vance & Hines, being chosen for a lifetime achievement award.
Performance Product of the year went to Daytona Twin Tec for their ECM CAN Bus Twin Scan 3; Metalsport 3-D ‘Big Homie’ wheels were named Accessory of the Year.
Rick Whitehead of legendary Californian parts and accessory manufacturer Custom Cycle Engineering saw his steering damper design for Baggers named Value Product of the Year.
There were awards too for the burgeoning audio sector of the market, with John Lazzeroni’s J&M Corp’s Rokker XT DSP Amp named Tech Product of the Year, and Canadian Hogtunes taking Audio Product of the Year for their saddlebag speaker lids.

Hogtunes saddlebag speaker lids were named Audio Product of the Year at the V-Twin Expo awards
Performance Product of the Year – Daytona Twin Tec for their ECM CAN Bus Twin Scan 3
Value Product of the Year – Custom Cycle Engineering for their steering damper for Baggers


The art of selling brakes

It is no surprise that if anybody can be relied upon to take “the art of selling brakes” to a new level in marketing design terms, it would have been an Italian manufacturer!
In this case, it was Brembo, and the occasion was the ‘Milan Show’ (EICMA in November last year), with an avant-garde booth dripping with design loveliness that had a practical engineering message as well as intended brand status signals.

With the company now firmly ensconced as a Harley-Davidson vendor and currently ploughing hundreds of millions of Euro into expanding their US facilities, the company pulled out all the stops at Milan to position itself as the motorcycle industry’s premium brake product manufacturer.
Part meeting palace and part art gallery, Brembo’s aftermarket parts program was treated with the kind of display reverence normally associated with Europe’s collections of fashion industry designer consumer goods or crown jewels!
Our compliments to Brembo’s marketing team for delivering value from what was no doubt a substantial investment!

MIC celebrates 100 years

100 years of industry representation

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. First incorporated as the Motorcycle Manufacturer’s Association in 1914, the name changed to include allied trades and then again to include scooters before becoming the MIC in 1969 when it merged with the California based Motorcycle Safety Council.

The organization initially offered and then dissolved an Associate Member Class for dealers, bringing it back a year ago under the presidency of Tim Buche, who took over from Alan Isley in 1996.

Although such a role is never going to be straightforward, ex-Suzuki man Buche is widely respected for his executive management of the MIC, not least through the recent downturn, ATV lead content issues and the dramatic growth and decline seen in powersport vehicle sales since the early to mid 1990’s.
The MIC board consists of 12 members, six of whom are elected, with six appointed by the motorcycle manufacturers and distributors who pay membership dues based on powersport vehicle sales market share. Last year saw Polaris/Victory motorcycle man (and former racer and trainer) Mark Blackwell take over from Larry Little as MIC Board Chairman.
Commenting on the anniversary, Blackwell said that “this is not only a proud moment for everybody who has been a part of the MIC, it’s also significant for the motorcycle community as a whole.
“As we celebrate this milestone, it’s important to remember that from the very beginning, the MIC’s mission has been to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling – and we look forward to continuing with that mission into our next century.”
In addition to Tim Buche, today’s MIC executive staff includes General Counsel Paul Vitrano, Senior Vice President of Government Relations Kathy Van Kleeck, Senior Vice President of Member Relations Scot Begovich, Vice President Pamela Arnette and Vice President of Research Pat Murphy, along with a staff of 20.
“The MIC’s hundredth anniversary actually coincides with another landmark event,” said Buche. “The 1914 transcontinental ride of motorcyclist Erwin ‘Canon Ball’ Baker”.
Now, one hundred years later, the MIC will officially support the May 2014 Cannon Ball Project, a re-creation of Baker’s famous ride led by MIC board Member Don Emde.

MID-USA Motorcycle Parts

MID-USA Motorcycle Parts

Hazelwood, Missouri based distributor MID-USA Motorcycle Parts has an updated 2014 edition of its "En-Cycle-Pedia" available for its dealers, and with it the company inviting you to "expand not only your horizons, but your bottom line as well".

Recent new parts introductions include OEM replacement swingarms for 1989/1999 Softail frames, and an exclusive line of moly coated 96 and 103 cubic inch standard compression replacement pistons that use stock Hastings rings. Manufactured to factory specifications they ship with wrist pin and clips.
The company has also updated its custom rear fender program, introduced some custom oil gauges, 'Speedline' passenger footboards and fork panel accent strips, in addition to old-style vintage-look mini ED air cleaners and billet oil coolers that are available in choice of chrome or black.

MID-USA Motorcycle Parts

Wunderkind custom parts

A new brand of German made custom parts designed and produced by sport and street bike specialist ABM

The German motorcycle market has always had a strong "cross-over" habit. Independent custom shops there have always had a "tribal" allegiance to their air-cooled v-twin mission, but the definition of that mission isn't as blinkered in Germany as it has been, historically, in some markets.
Making any bike look better, handle better, or go faster is 'righteous', regardless of the platform.
That's not to say that the custom shops there (and elsewhere in Europe) don't focus and spend most of their time on Harleys and air-cooled custom bikes, they do, but as has been seen by the evolution of customizing in Europe, ever since cross-over from
the streetfighter scene radically accelerated development in the 1990s, dealers there are quite happy to take inspiration from other markets and other motorcycling traditions.
It is no surprise therefore to find that the reverse has recently started to happen in the vendor community. With the sport and street bike markets coming under unprecedented pressure in recent years, many mainstream parts and accessory designers are now looking to leverage their reputations for race-bred track-grade sports bike parts manufacturing in the air-cooled custom parts market.

One such is ABM in Germany. When it comes to top-end precision machining, weight saving materials applications and ergonomic design credentials. Founded in 1985, ABM have been sitting at Europe's sport and street bike parts and accessory manufacturing table ever since. Last year he unveiled'WUNDERKIND' ("Miracle Child"), a line of custom parts and accessories developed with Martin Tischer, and based on ABM’s sport bike experience, and seen here on the project Dyna Streetbob that the company took on the European expo circuit last year.
The initial product line, launched last summer, includes a CNC machined aluminum dash board that takes Harley or replacement gauges; adjustable footrest with choice of detailing; replacement horn and cover kit; an air cleaner, with K&N filter, that is said to deliver increased power due to "inverted technology" that gives improved breathing without loss of suction power and low-noise due to Passive Noise Cancellation technology; and advanced triple tree systems that have been a centre-piece of ABMs sport and street bike programs for more that 25 years.


Wednesday 19 February 2014

Optimate 3 battery charger

OptiMate 3

TECMATE’S latest battery charger is the OptiMate 3; an all-in-one tool for use with 12V batteries. Like the company’s other chargers, the OptiMate 3 is easy to use and fully automatic. However, it is also now microprocessor-controlled, lighter, more efficient, and comes with global input (100-240V).
TecMate says the OptiMate 3 is 33 percent more powerful than the unit it replaces and is capable of recovering a battery from deep discharge and optimally recharging it. It can also check that the charge delivered is the best possible before then checking how well the battery can retain the charge, and display the battery’s status.
The OptiMate 3 is available in dual and quad-bank formats as well as the single option, with the two and four outputs being independent, meaning they can handle up to four different batteries completely independently.

All versions of the OptiMate 3 have all been listed by the California Energy Commission as approved for sale in California, verifying that they meet strict energy use requirements, especially when the charger is idling (no battery connected) and during long term maintenance charging.
As reported in American Motorcycle Design last week, Drag Specialties has become the exclusive distributor in the United States for the OptiMate program.

Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
Tel: +1 905 337 2095

Drag Specialties 2014 catalogs

Drag Specialties 2014 catalogs

DRAG Specialties has published the 2014 editions of both its FatBook and OldBook alongside its 2014 Drag Specialties/Parts Unlimited tire catalog.

The 2014 FatBook has over 1,750 pages featuring the most up-to-date Evolution through Twin Cam parts, accessories and fitment information. It includes product lines form the likes of  Vance & Hines, Saddlemen, Memphis Shades, Python, Klock Werks, Covingtons, Carl Brouhard, Revolution Performance and more. This year’s edition sees the inclusion of new names like Biltwell Inc. and Lowbrow Customs.
The 800-page 2014 OldBook for pre-1984 H-D models is organized in an easy-to-use format that features sections specific to Shovelhead, Panhead, Knucklehead and Ironhead XL, along with a general section for all-inclusive items. 
In addition, the all-inclusive 2014 Drag Specialties/Parts Unlimited tire catalog has a full section of tires strictly dedicated to the specialized needs of those riding American motorcycles. 

Janesville, Wisconsin, USA
Tel: 608 758 1111

Tel: +49 (0)6501 9695 2000

Spectro new products

Spectro launches new
products at V-Twin Expo

SPECTRO Oils of America used the V-Twin Expo to launch two new additions to its product line for 2014; Suspension Cleaner and Golden 4 Semi-Synthetic 20w40. Both of the new products have been formulated due to customer demand.
Spectro Suspension Cleaner is an aerosol cleaner that is said to quickly remove grease, oil, dirt and grime from suspension components, and any metal surface, without leaving any residue.

"Spectro Oils Suspension Cleaner is a direct result of the dissatisfied customer,” said Dave Miller, President of Spectro Oils of America. “The launch of this new product was due to the demand for a higher quality cleaner of suspension components by our dealers. This fast drying formula interacts with the oil film, leaving a clean residue-free surface."
The second new launch is the Golden 4 20w40 viscosity oil. It is a semi-synthetic specifically targeted at Victory and Indian motorcycle owners to meet the viscosity requirements of those particular brands including JASO MA2 for wet clutch compatibility. Formulated to meet the demands of air and oil cooled American V-twin engines, Golden4 semi-synthetic 20w40 is batch blended using Spectro's G4 Technology, which is said to offer a longer drain interval and the highest shear stability.
"Victory dealers have been asking for this product, and coupled with the strong launch of Indian and continued Victory growth it should be a good seller,” said Ken Ciocci, Foreign Sales Manager at Spectro Oils. "Based on the successful formulation of Spectro's iconic Golden 4 20w50, customers who use Spectro Golden 4 20w40 will also experience smoother shifting and clutch action."

Spectro's G4 Technology refers to the company’s 100 percent Pure Group IV Platinum Full Synthetic, which is crafted from modern Group IV PAO (polyalphaolefin) synthetic base stocks. The PAO molecules are assembled to provide superior strength and endurance. The Group IV synthetic molecule is said to be engineered to better resist being sheared in the gears, and to fight degrading oxidation due to high temperatures.

Brookfield, Connecticut, USA
Tel: 203 775 1291

Motorcycle Storehouse new catalog

MCS launches Clothing and
Lifestyle catalog

MOTORCYCLE Storehouse (MCS) has expanded its product range to the point where it has launched a stand-alone 256-page ‘Clothing and Lifestyle’ catalog. The new programs from the Netherlands-headquartered international distributor feature riding gear, street clothing and accessories for riders and non-riders. Most products listed are unisex, but the catalog also features a ladies section, and there is even a children’s section, too.
Those sections, and the catalog itself, feature over 6000 products like T-shirts, work shirts, hoodies, jackets, gloves, caps, beanies, bandanas, sunglasses, embroidered patches, stickers, biker pins, work boots, sneakers, helmets, Kevlar pants, tank pads and more, from company’s such as Jesse James and West Coast Choppers, Lowbrow Customs, K&N, Biltwell, S&S, King Kerosin, Lethal Threat, Holy Freedom, 101 Inc., Helly, Bandit helmets, Shark helmets, and DMD helmets.

Tel: +31 (0)50 303 9775
(01133 from the US)

Middle East Motor Tuning Show 2014

Middle East Motor Tuning Show 2014

SHARJAH, which is approximately 3km from Dubai, will be hosting the 2nd edition of the Middle East Motor Tuning Show (MEMTS) for motorcycles, custom bikes and cars over the weekend of March 13th to 15th.
The MEMTS International Custom Bike Show is being organized by Thunder Media's Frank Sander, with Arabian top bike builders competing against customizers from Europe and the USA. The custom bike and motorcycle related program will feature stunt shows and exhibitors from United Arab Emirates (UAE), Europe and the USA.
Bobber Garage of Liechtenstein will go head-to-head against Abu Dhabi-based and international-renowned customizer Mario Kyprianides of Chopper Kulture in the premiere Middle East Biker Build-Off. Kyprianides, a successful customizer with bike show honors at Daytona, Sturgis and Faak will be customizing live on stage against the team of Reini Servello, both creating brand new custom bikes in front of the audience. Both teams have signed international top airbrush artists Markus Pfeil of Pfeil Design, Austria, and Danny Schramm of Schrammwerk, Germany, who will perform live pinstriping on their high-class paint jobs.
Since the entire Middle East is passionate about tuning and US cars, this year’s event will be organized in co-operation with the famous Las Vegas based SEMA Show. The car section of the event will feature extreme drift shows using Japanese drift cars and 4x4 drifts, as seen in the Fast and Furious movie series. A top-class custom car competition and live tuning will also entertain the audience. All weekend, VIPs from tuning and racing scenes will perform autograph sessions in and outdoors.

Helmet City

Helmet City 2014

Delray Beach, Florida based specialist Helmet City has updated its dealer catalog with additional shell styles and graphics for 2014.
Founded in 1997, Helmet City is a true specialist – “helmets are everything that we do, and the only thing that we do” says CEO Al Sobel.

“We offer Open-Face, Half-Helmets, Full-Face helmets, Flip-Ups with retractable visors and a range of Polo half helmet designs that gives dealers access to a program that means they have something for every rider that walks into their store.
"Altogether we offer over 100 shell styles and graphics options in up to 6 sizes and at any one time we have over $1m of inventory in stock and ready for immediate dispatch"
“All our helmets meet or, generally, exceed DOT standard; all the way from the ABS shell novelty Polo half helmets right up to our top of the range Carbon Fiber full face.
“A long time ago we decided that we would be a wholesale only business and despite the downturn we have stuck to that principle – dealers who buy from us won’t find us discounting out the products they’ve invested in for their stores at rallies or swap meets”.

For a copy of the 2014 Helmet City catalog email National Sales Director Elaine Mixon ( or visit their website at to see the full range online

Goodridge sold

Goodridge sold, launches ABS brake and clutch lines

LEADING brake hose manufacturer Goodridge was sold on December 30th 2013 by the Goodridge family and shareholders, and acquired by Rubicon Partners and Grovepoint Capital LLP (RG Industries).
Rubicon says it plans to utilise its "extensive industrial expertise, strategic vision and hands-on operational approach to take Goodridge to the next level in its development."
This is said to include RGI investing extensively in automotive quality production and product development. Under RG Industries' ownership the business will be well placed to take advantage of future growth opportunities and develop even stronger relationships with its enviably prestigious customer base."
Jamie Ramsden, Goodridge's Vice President Americas, said "our business relationships will remain unaffected, and we now have a partner that looks to aid growth and improvement of the business, in every market sector, and every location. We view this as a great step to continue to grow the business."
The company has recently announced the launch of a range of brake and hydraulic clutch lines designed to fit 2014 ABS and non-ABS Harley-Davidson models. 
Available for the all new Rushmore Project, Softail, Dyna, and XL applications, the range includes complete bolt-on kits and universal adapters to mate to Goodridge universal brake lines.
The new brake and clutch hoses from Goodridge feature PVC coated stainless steel braided brake hoses with a Teflon inner liner, and polished stainless steel or chromed steel hardware components.

Torrance, California, USA
Tel: 310 533 1924

Bagger Nation 'Speed Freak' line

Yaffe continues to develop his Bagger
Nation 'Speed Freak' program

The ‘Speed Freak’ bag latches have hidden mounting hardware

Under his Bagger Nation brand, Paul Yaffe has  released a collection of parts titled Speed Freak.
The Speed Freak range starts at the front of the bike with their Yaxle, front axle and fork slider covers. The bolt-on pieces are machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and are available in black anodized or chrome finishes to dress the bike’s forks.
Another part in the Speed Freak line are turn signal eliminators. The eliminators are now offered for Street Glides. The machined aluminum parts can be ordered in chrome or black anodized, and all mounting hardware is included to fit them to the holes in the fairing when the stock turn signals are removed.
To continue the Speed Freak theme at the front of the bike, Bagger Nation has matching grips available. Like other Speed Freak parts they are machined T-6061 aluminum, and a version is available to work on throttle-by-wire applications. The clutch side grip has Bagger Nation’s exclusive “Stash Tube” hidden storage as well as hidden double mounting system, which makes it safe and clean.
Black anodized or chrome are the finish options on the Bagger Nation Speed Freak ignition covers.
Moving down and back along the bike and the Speed Freak part line extends to pillion foot pegs and shifter pegs. Both options are bolt-on replacement parts machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, and available in chrome or black accent finishes.
Brake lever covers are another part available as part of the Speed Freak range. The chrome or black accent finish part fits directly over the stock, stamped-steel brake arm.
On the other  side of the bike riders can fit a Speed Freak style Wedgy shift linkage. Supplied with all necessary mounting hardware, the linkage is a bolt-on fitment.
In the rear the Speed Freak range from Bagger Nation are the saddlebag latch covers. The CNC Machined aluminum covers hide the mounting hardware once installed.
The New Monsta 45 exhaust system from Bagger Nation Racing are 4.5” diameter and are available with Speed freak styling.

A version of the turn signal eliminator is now available in ‘Speed Freak’ for use on Street Glide models

A shifter peg completes the control options offered in ‘Speed Freak’ design by Bagger Nation

A shift linkage is available in
the ‘Speed Freak’ line

Bagger Nation’s exclusive “Stash Tube”

Yaxle with ‘Speed Freak’ styling

Black anodized or chromed are the finish option on the ‘Speed Freak’ passenger pegs

An ignition cover is included in the ‘Speed Freak’ line of parts from Bagger Nation

Throttle-by-wire bikes can be equipped
with ‘Speed Freak’ grips

Released as part of his Bagger Nation ‘Speed Freak’ line, Paul Yaffe’s
fork slide covers  are available in chrome or black

The ‘Speed Freak’ brake cover cleans up the stock steel brake arm

New Monsta 45 exhaust system with ‘Speed Freak’ styling

Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Tel: 602 840 4205