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Monday 30 June 2014

H-D reveals LiveWire project

H-D reveals LiveWire project – the Motor Company’s first electric bike

HARLEY-Davidson is to dip its toe into the controversial waters that are electric motorcycles with the unveiling of the 'LiveWire' project - a road going pre-production prototype with which it intends to gauge and garner consumer reaction.

The Motor Company intends to tour dealers along America's historic Route 66, giving riders the chance to test-ride the 'LiveWire', in an outreach market research exercise aimed at softening-up dealers and traditional Harley riders for a brand extension exercise that could easily come back to haunt the company if not handled creatively.

The plan is to continue the program domestically and internationally through 2015, with no firm commitment yet being made as to whether or not the bike will ever make it to retail at all, or as to what the eventual specification will be.

By leaving themselves open to respond to feedback, and allowing the present concept to put down roots, Harley-Davidson are being smart, both in brand management and technology terms; vehicle e-power, for 2 and 4 wheelers, remains a fast moving and unstable landscape defined by compromise.

"America at its best has always been about reinvention," says Matt Levatich, H-D President and COO. "And, like America, Harley-Davidson has reinvented itself many times in our history, with customers leading us every step of the way. Project LiveWire is another exciting, customer-led moment in our history".

Harley say that in order to gain as much feedback as possible, interested parties who do not get the chance to actually ride the bike can still offer their opinions through Jumpstart – a simulated riding experience.

The ride and feedback operation will begin on Route 66 and visit over 30 Harley dealerships in 2014. The ‘LiveWire Experience’ will then continue not only in the US, but also Canada and Europe in 2015.

"This builds on many recent reinvention successes for Harley-Davidson," continued Levatich. "In just the last few years, we've broadened our reach to serve an increasingly diverse society, as well as reinvented our approach to product development and manufacturing. This has resulted in cutting-edge products like the recently launched Project Rushmore touring bikes, Harley-Davidson Street 500 and 750 models, and this reveal of Project LiveWire."

In a classic demonstration of Marketing Rule One, Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer, addressed the sound-issue head-on in order to start the process of heading-off the complaints that will pour in from traditionalists and take ownership of a primary brand differentiator and place it into a differentiated context.

"The sound is a distinct part of the thrill," he is quoted as saying. "Think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier. Project LiveWire's unique sound was designed to differentiate it from internal combustion and other electric motorcycles on the market.

"We offer a no excuses riding experience in everything we do and we are led by what our customers tell us matters most. Because electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, we are excited to learn more from riders through the Project LiveWire Experience to fully understand the definition of success in this market as the technology continues to evolve.”

S&S Cycle sponsors 2014 WMDRA Sturgis races

S&S Cycle sponsors 2014 WMDRA Sturgis races

WESTERN Motorcycle Drag Race Association's AMSOIL Sturgis Nationals has announced that S&S Cycle is to be an Associate Sponsor of the 2014 races at the Sturgis Dragway in Sturgis, South Dakota

"Drag racing has always been a major factor in the history of S&S Cycle. Drag racing is what got George J. Smith, our company founder, interested in developing go fast parts for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first place," said S&S Racing Manager Justin Bramstedt. "We think it's important that S&S should promote drag racing both on the professional and grass roots levels."
In addition to the races, S&S will also be holding T124 demo day events on both days of the race event, offering riders the opportunity to run one of its T124 big motors down the drag strip.


New products from Zodiac

ZODIAC is now stocking the latest spark plug leads made by Taylor/Sumax. The 9mm Firepower spark plug leads feature black high-tension wires matched to silver 9mm gun-style spark plug boots. The Firepower wires provide a solid stream of fire power, which is said to eliminate carbon deposits on sparkplugs, resulting in more horsepower, more torque and better mileage.

Available as stock replacement kits or universal sets, the leads are compatible with all Harley ignition systems.

Among the Burly products stocked by Zodiac are the company’s sissy bars for use on Sportsters. The TIG welded, one-piece bars are available in a choice of short or tall versions, with the latter including a compact pad. The bars mount to the outside of fender rails for simple install and removal, and fit all 2004 to present XL Sportster models.


Zodiac customers can now purchase Danny Gray seats that have been equipped with the AirHawk ‘Comfort Seating System’, which distributes the rider’s weight equally over the entire seating area, minimizing hot spots during long rides. An integrated pump and bleeder valve lets the user easily adjust the amount of pressure while seated. AirHawk air cells are also said to provide shock absorption for the pelvis, seat and spinal column. All AirHawk seats are available with a rider backrest receiver and a range of accessory options. 


Among the options available at Zodiac are the Weekday Extra Large 2-up, Longhaul 2-up, and Driver Big seats and matching pillion seats. The Weekday Extra Large 2-up seat is designed for daily rider and passenger comfort and provides improved lower back support and highly contoured leg passage. The seat hugs the frame and matches the fender width on ‘06 to present FXST Softail and FLSTF Fat Boy ‘07 to present, ‘97 - ‘07 Road King, ‘08 to present Touring, and ‘08 to present Touring models.

The Danny Gray Longhaul 2-up is said to offer all day comfort for touring with lower back support for rider and passenger and a highly contoured shape that promotes re-positioning, inhibiting body fatigue on long rides, and it is available to fit all ‘08 to present Touring models. 

The Driver Big seats and matching pillion seats have a low profile design and contoured to cradle the user’s anatomy for maximum comfort, and the narrow cut leg pass is designed to get both feet firmly planted on the ground when stationary. Fitment options are ‘06 to present FXST Softail and FLSTF ‘07 to present, and ‘97 - ‘07 Road King.

The Easy Start clutch shell from Zodiac is supplied with a 66-tooth starter ring gear and nine-tooth starter motor pinion gear to improve starting of high compression and big inch engines. The shell features a factory installed bearing and bearing retaining ring, and takes stock style clutch hub and clutch discs. The shells are available for ‘94 - ‘97 Big Twin, ‘98 - ‘99 Big Twin, ‘99 - ‘06 Touring, ‘99 - ‘05 Dyna and ‘00 - ‘06 Softail applications.


The Variable Pressure Clutch (VPC) by Tak's Performance Parts uses a system that reduces spring pressure at idle, and as the centrifugal force increases in line with rising engine rpm it provides the clutch with the required pressure to match engine torque. This system is said to make for easy clutch lever work from idle to 3,000rpm, which requires many gear shift changes.
The unit fits behind most stock derby covers, works like a lock-up clutch, and is claimed to make it easier to find neutral and provide better clutch disengagement and feel than stock.

Zodiac has versions of the clutch to fit most H-D models and has now added the ‘13 to present CVO Touring and ‘08 to present V-Rod applications to the application list.

Tel: +31 (0)297 288 621

Avon Grips

New Gel Grip design handlebars

AVON Grips has released a new design of handlebar grips – the Gel Grip. This latest product from the specialist manufacturer is a rubber and billet aluminum grip for both Harley-Davidson and metric cruisers.

“The new Gel Grip is a very ergonomic grip, featuring the softest rubber that Avon has used in a street bike grip,” said Dave Kelly, President of Avon Grips.
The rubber used for the grips has a unique dimple texture and tacky feel, said to help reduce unwanted road and engine vibrations and "hand tingle". The new style grip is completed by billet aluminum, triple chrome plated or black anodized end caps and collars.
Matching foot pegs and shifter pegs are also available.  

Kingwood, Texas, USA
Tel: 281 358 6738

Custom Cycle Engineering

41mm Wide Glide triple trees for FLH Dressers

CUSTOM Cycle Engineering continues to develop its range of triple tree options, and one of its latest product launches is a top triple tree for use on Touring models.
The company’s 41mm Wide Glide triple tree features a new billet aluminum top plate, which has been designed to replace the old stock steel forged top tree that the Factory has been running from 1950 through 2013 models. The new top plate is a pinch bolt style and offers over 2-1/4in of clamping stability to the front forks to improve handling, tracking and overall stabilization.


Oceanside, California, USA
Tel: 760 941 6487


Forward controls for Big Twin four-speed and Softail

MID-USA has two new sets of forward controls available. Machined from billet aluminum, and available to fit Big Twin four-speed ’58-’86 and Softail ’86 onward applications, the controls are offered in a choice of holes or concave styles. Finished in black anodizing, the controls are drilled for a contrast cut look.

Hazelwood, Missouri, USA
Tel: 314 595 5555

Ride Wright Wheels

Ride Wright Wheels announces new forged line

RIDE Wright Wheels, best known for its comprehensive range of spoked wheels, has now introduced a new line of forged wheels –the El Camino.
The new forged El Camino wheels are manufactured from aircraft quality 6061 T-6 billet aluminum and available polished, chromed and painted, or can be ‘personalized’ to meet customer requirements. Ride Wright Wheels claim no other manufacturer can match the selection of options available.
The new El Camino line of forged wheels is made up of 19 different designs, all available with matching rotors and pulleys. 

Anaheim, California, USA
Tel: 714 632 8297

BC Battery Controller

Digital multi-language battery chargers

FORELETTRONICA, the Italian manufacturer behind the BC Battery Controller brand, has introduced a new series of “smart, digital” battery chargers and testers featuring an LCD display and selectable languages. The range includes their BC BRAVO, BC 3500 EVO and BC 9000 EVO. 

The backlit LCD display digital voltmeter helps the user follow every step of the charging and testing process. All the BC chargers automatically execute a microprocessor-driven 8-step charging algorithm, offering the opportunity to check the battery’s state of charge and cranking power, as well as the function of the alternator.

BC chargers are 100 percent made in Italy, and Forelettronica say that their technology represents a “complete solution for car and motorcycle battery care, allowing recovery and reconditioning of deeply discharged batteries and recharge, desulfate and maintain all kinds of 12V lead-acid batteries, including gel, sealed and AGM start & stop batteries”. 

The company says that the charger can remain connected to the battery indefinitely, with no risk and no need to disconnect it from the vehicle. Languages can be selected from English, French, Italian, German or Spanish, and the package includes a waterproof battery cable and insulated clamps.

Cisliano (MI), ITALY
Tel +39 02 903 85059

Tuesday 17 June 2014

'International Night'

'International Night' to be staged on INTERMOT's Trade Visitor Day

THIS year's INTERMOT will see the return of our popular 'International Night', from 18:30 to 20:00 pm on Wednesday October 1st at the Dealer Lounge Business Centre of the Koelnmesse exhibition centre.

The show is open to the media on Tuesday September 30th, with Wednesday October 1st being a Trade Day, and Thursday October 2nd to Sunday October 5th open for all visitors.

Since the move to Cologne from Munich in 2006, this is the first time that INTERMOT has promoted a specific Trade Visitor Day, with consumers only able to gain access by invitation.

To get your invitation to the free of charge IDN International Night at INTERMOT
(18:30 hours Wednesday Oct 1st) just email Sara Viney  (

Promoted by International Dealer News, and hosted by INTERMOT and the show's sponsors, International Night is unique - the only 'meet & greet' business reception specifically for industry professionals (of all kinds) and unique in the motorcycle industry.

The 'Cologne' Show has always been regarded as the world's primary international motorcycle industry expo, and with the backing of International Dealer News this is your opportunity to meet colleagues from the industry in a relaxed environment as the show closes (at 18:00 hours) on the Trade Visitor special day.

In 2012, INTERMOT underlined its position as “the most significant motorcycle industry international business platform” with the number of visitors increasing to 55,000 – with a record proportion of those trade visitors (43 percent) being from outside Germany and an 8 percent increase in the number of countries represented.

That year also saw the introduction of the Business District, which was developed to bring together a number of expo initiatives that had been developed for trade visitors in prior years.

This year it is once again located between halls 4 and 5, with the Dealer Lounge as the central meeting point.

In addition to International Dealer News the business district is being supported by other motorcycle industry trade magazines in Europe such as World of Bike and Bike und Business in Germany, British Dealer News in the UK, L’Officiel in France, Moto Dealer News (Italy) and Moto Taller (Spain).

The business district provides exclusive exhibition space for vendors who only want to meet other professionals in the international motorcycle industry and provides facilities for all kinds for professional visitors to be able to make meeting appointments away from the exhibition booths.

Additional trade initiatives operated by INTERMOT include the Dealer Card, which provides show access privileges and the online Matchmaking365 service, which is an expo visit experience optimizer – it enables trade visitors to gain an overview of the suppliers of selected product groups in the run-up to the fair, establish valuable business contacts and place targeted requests.

Matchmaking365 is a free of charge, time-saving service that helps trade visitors maximize the benefits of their visit.

This year sees the international motorcycle industry celebrate the 50th anniversary of its expo involvement with the city of Cologne, and highlights and a timeline from past shows will be showcased along with an “old timer” exhibition.

Bradley Report

Storz SP1200RR Cafe Racer

STORZ Performance used a ’07 1200 Sportster as the starting point for its SP1200RR Cafe Racer build, which was done to showcase the company’s product range of parts for ’04 to current XL models. 

Parts used on the bike, which has now been sold to a private collector, include
a hand-formed aluminum alloy gas tank, fiberglass tail section with Saddlemen seat pads, Storz’ own production Ceriani 55mm inverted front forks, Öhlins adjustable damping shocks, billet rear sets, BUB 2-into-2 high-level exhaust, Performance Machine brake calipers and hand controls, Galfer Wave rotors, and 18in rims shod with Metzeler rubber.
Storz currently has a new development bike in the works and also has a new video of the company’s history online on its website.

Ventura, California, USA
Tel: 805 641 9540


PowerSports Business has reported that a new analysis of preliminary state data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suggests that US motorcyclist fatalities are projected to have decreased in 2013, for only the second year since 1997 - by a probable 7 percent.


Sabertooth Motorcycles is fighting an Arctic Cat lawsuit over their 'WildCat' registered trademark by filing a countersuit of its own, Sabertooth reported. It is reported that Sabertooth owns the WildCat trademark, having federally registered it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its motorcycles and trikes, and been making use of it for eight years. Sabertooth say that Arctic Cat has tried three times to register the Wildcat name for its side-by-sides, but its efforts were denied by the USPTO each time because of the likelihood of confusion with its own WildCat trademark.


Just as the Orlando, Florida based AIMExpo announced that it has now clocked up its 300th exhibitor booking for its second annual show in October, Dealer Expo organizer Advanstar said that it has "more than 125 companies already contracted to exhibit at the 2014 Dealer Expo," and that "nearly 2,200 retailers have registered for the (Chicago, December) event as well."


Harley is recalling about 9,100 2013/14 FXSB and FXSBSE models manufactured from March 20, 2012 to March 10, 2014, to identify and fix a problem with the fuel level sensor signal. According to NHTSA "suspension variances may affect the gas tank mounting angle, causing the fuel level sensor to read inaccurately."


Black Book editorial director Ricky Beggs has said that used motorcycle prices in the United States increased slightly from March to April, but increased significantly from April to May as auctions saw rising prices and more sales. "Prices are up across the board, and for the first time this year, by fairly large amounts for most segments." Cruisers are up 3 percent month-over-month, split almost evenly between domestic V-twins and metric units. The scooter segment is up 3.2 percent, off-road bikes are up 2.9 percent and street bikes and utility vehicles are each up 2.5 percent.

OptiMate Lithium

OptiMate Lithium 0.8A features specific program

THE OptiMate Lithium 0.8A is a LiFePO4 battery maintainer that “protects the battery in the most effective way,” according to manufacturer TecMate International.

Designed as an affordable single or 4-Bank optimizer that has been specified for protection and maintenance of low voltage, LiFePO4 battery technology features include a specific programme that recharges and balances cells efficiently and safely and a maintenance programme that delivers current to the vehicle circuitry “protecting and keeping the battery at 100% charge.” 

TecMate CEO Martin Human explained that “LiFePO4 starter batteries are becoming more and more popular as an aftermarket replacement. However, those batteries need special care to perform at their best, so we have developed a dedicated charger/maintainer for their regular maintenance.

TecMate CEO Martin Human
“The OptiMate Lithium 0.8A is the perfect solution to make sure that the often expensive Lithium replacement battery will remain charged at 100% at all times, with all 4 of the 3.2V internal cells balanced – thanks to the exclusive OptiMate Lithium maintenance programme that we have developed.”

The company says that for quick charging and saving discharged batteries, the “bigger brother” OptiMate Lithium 5A remains available from TecMate – with 5 amps of charging current available and advanced recovery features.

Tel: +32 (0)16 805440

BMW Concept Roadster

BMW Concept Roadster

BMW still shows no signs of retiring its characteristic boxer-twin engine - it features as the power-plant in another new concept bike design, unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy, in May.
The Concept Roadster takes a different styling direction to the well received R Nine T that went into production as an anniversary special last year, and both represent different offers to the "Harley Beater" LowRide concept unveiled by former design chief David Robb at EICMA four or five years ago.

Ola Stenegard, the current Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad, says of the Concept Roadster that "it is exciting to look at, and at least as exciting to ride." Citing the “the interplay between the fuel tank, seat and radiator" as being "modelled to perfection in flowing style", it certainly has plenty of urban ergonomic credentials and design ideas, but is clearly aimed at a younger wheelie-popping hooligan torque-beast market for which the BMW brand would be an alien concept, rather than the riding demographic mid-point at which the BMW brand is generally to be found.

As such this iteration of Roadster thinking is a robust Concept , and another tick in BMW’s box as they continue to back brand value reinvention with convincing design and engineering solutions - a streetwise minimalist street fighting ‘Beemer’ for the stunting generation.

Based on a tubular space frame with single sided swingarm, the power from the 1,170cc 125hp twin makes it to the rear wheel via a Paralever cardan shaft drive, and the self-supporting, aluminium seat/tail section is machined as a one-piece unit.
While the Brembo brakes are likely to feature on the final version (if this concept is to make it as far as production), the Concept Roadster's near race-spec Ohlins suspension is unlikely to be offered as standard at an entry level price-point, and while the stylised exhaust collector and upswept single megaphone look true-to-concept, even BMW’s engineers may struggle to get that design configuration through emissions testing and noise controls.

Küryakyn includes Victory options

New range from Küryakyn includes Victory options

KÜRYAKYN has expanded its product range with the introduction of new parts, which include options for Victory motorcycles. Among the new Victory parts are lower fork covers. Available in a choice of black or chrome finishes, the covers fit directly over the lower fork casting with no need to disassemble the forks. Küryakyn has the covers available to fit ’10-’14 Cross Country and Tour, ’10-’14 Cross Roads and ’12-’13 Hard Ball models.

Designed to work with the covers are the new upper fork shrouds from Küryakyn, which fit the same model selections. The shrouds are offered in black or chrome and dress the fork uppers without the need to disassemble the front end. 

Featuring a raised front toe kick and Küryakyn’s Kinetic design, the new floorboard inserts are said to increase comfort. Available in chrome or gloss black, the floorboard inserts are a direct replacement for the OEM floorboard inserts on ’10-’14 Victory Cross Country and Tour, ’10-’14 Cross Roads, and ’12-’13 Hard-Ball models. 

The expansion of the Kinetic range continues with the introduction of Kinetic mini boards, which combine the size and convenience of a peg with the comfort of a full sized floorboard. They measure 5in long and 4in wide, and can be positioned forward, back or center at almost any angle. 

Somerset, Wisconsin, USA
Tel: 715 247 5008

Alto clutch plates

Viola V-Twin now carrying Alto clutch plates

S&S Cycle’s Viola V-Twin line of service parts for H-D and other American V-twin bikes has been expanded with the inclusion of clutch plates from Alto. Viola V-Twin is now stocking Alto clutch plates for use on ‘41-present H-D Big Twins and ‘57-present Sportster models.
Viola V-Twin has Alto steel clutch plates and friction plates available in separate sets. In addition, clutch diaphragm springs are available for later models. 

Viola, Wisconsin, USA
Tel: 608 627 1497

Figure Machine 'Vision' line

Figure Machine 'Vision' line - Clearly Cool

FIGURE Machine’s line of Vision parts, which feature polycarbonate windows, includes a selection of air cleaners for both Sportster and Twin Cam applications.

The range includes the Vision-4 Sportster air cleaner. Assembled from CNC aluminum with a UV and scratch resistant polycarbonate window on the front, in a choice of clear or tinted, the air cleaner features an internal breather system. Also included with the Vision-4 is a 4.25in diameter and 2.125in tall HA-0300 K&N reusable filter. Offered in a choice of powder coat finishes (vivid black, black denim or blonde silver), the air cleaner is compatible with both carburetor and fuel injected models.

The Vision-5 air cleaner for Sportsters shares many of the features of the Vision-4 with the addition of a larger filter element. This option uses an E-3200 K&N filter, which measures 5.375in x 2.125in.

A second Vision-4 is made by Figure Machine for use on Twin Cam motors. It has all of the features of the Sportster version and can be used on ’99 onward Dyna, ’99 onward Softail, ‘99-‘07 Touring, and ’99 onward Twin Cams with S&S E/G Carbs.

The larger filter equipped Vision-5 for Twin Cams can be used on both carburetor and fuel injection models and is available to fit ’99 onward Dyna, ’99 onward Softail, ‘99-‘07 Touring, ’08 onward Touring, ‘08-Newer Screamin’ Eagle 58mm throttle bodies, and ’99 onward Twin Cams with S&S E/G carb.

In addition to its range of air cleaners, the Figure Machine range of machined aluminum parts also includes an extensive range of license plate mounts. The newest version is the company’s ‘Low Profile’ version of its flat tag mount. It is made up of just the essentials needed to display a license plate; only a mounting bracket and a backing plate.
Like Figure Machine’s other tag mounts, it can be mounted either horizontally or vertically, and the position is adjustable side to side.  

As part of this new product release, the company has also added a new mounting bracket to all of its flat license plate products, which lays the plate right against the rear shock for a lower profile look. 
The new Low Profile tag mounts are available in black denim, vivid black, blonde silver and chrome.

Manassas Park, Virginia, USA
Tel: 866 900 4949