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Tuesday 24 November 2015


Polaris steals the show at Milan as manufacturers scramble for a stake in burgeoning international custom market

Polaris Industries upstaged Harley-Davidson and did a pretty good job of eclipsing most of the other new model announcements at this year's EICMA "Milan Show" with the expected unveiling of a new Indian model and powerful new Victory powerplant.

With a starting MSRP of $8,999, the new Scout 'Sixty' is the lowest priced Indian model yet offered by Polaris and clear play for the entry-level custom market that Harley had no doubt hoped to maintain ownership of with their Sportsters

The new Indian Scout 'Sixty' is an entry-level 999cc cruiser priced at $8,999 - the lowest price point that Polaris have yet offered an Indian model for, and a clear shot across the bows of Harley's Sportsters and the other new models that are staking a claim for market share in the fast growing mid-power, low-price 'naked' and cruiser-style street bike market.

Sharing the same cast aluminum chassis, twin shock/telescopic front fork suspension and independent front/rear anti-lock brakes as the Indian Scout model that Polaris launched at Sturgis in 2014, the Scout 'Sixty' has a new 60 cubic inch (actually, 61 cubic inch), 4-valve 78 bhp liquid-cooled, closed-loop fuel-injection 60-degree v-twin engine version that is said to produce 65 ft lbs torque at 5,800 rpm.

At a claimed 78 bhp Polaris say the new version 999cc/60 cubic inch 60-degree liquid-cooled engine makes the 'Sixty' the most powerful motorcycle in its class

Featuring a 25.3 inch seat height, split dual exhaust with crossover, 542 dry weight, 4.7 inch trail with 31 degree lean angle and 61.5 inch wheelbase, the low center of gravity of the Scout 'Sixty' gives it the kind of riding geometry and ergonomics that will make it a well priced, well specified competitor for the other offers in its class as Indian joins the race to find new riders looking for a user-friendly pathway into urban riding.

"The Indian Scout has been a stunningly successful introduction for us," said Steve Menneto, President of Motorcycles at Polaris. "The new Scout 'Sixty' expands that reach even further to include new riders who desire the legendary quality and craftsmanship of an Indian Motorcycle."

The shape of Victories to come? "Victory Ignition Concept" is Urs Erbacher's homage to the 2015 Pikes Peak racer - an interpretation of Victory's brand transition from cruiser to bruiser as the company makes a play for the American Muscle void that Harley has so far failed to fill with its V-Rods

Victory brand transition from cruiser to bruiser
Immediately following the Milan launch, Roland Sands headed-up a five strong race-prepared field of customized 'Sixties' in a stock frame production platform street-bike based "Super Hooligan" racing class at the AMA Pro Flat Track "Superprestigio of the Americas" event at the Orleans Hotel Arena, Las Vegas, on November 21st, following an unveiling and test race three days earlier at Long Beach, California.

Meanwhile Polaris simultaneously unveiled the equally well-trailed new 1200cc engine derived from its Project 156 endeavours at this year's Pikes Peak international hill climb.

The new street version Victory 1200cc engine has the same base architecture as the prototype engine used in Project 156 - a liquid-cooled, 4-valve, 60-degree v-twin with double overhead cams;  the crankcase, v-angle, rotating bottom-end, transmission and clutch set-up are all the same

Slated to power an upcoming new Victory model that is expected to have been announced at the Progressive Insurance International Motorcycle show, New York, December 11-13, the engine made its Milan debut with the first pre-production unit to come off the Osceola, Wisconsin, line in an Urs Erbacher special (Fat Attack Custombikes, Switzerland) dubbed the "Victory Ignition Concept."

Victory Motorcycles' General Manager Rod Krois said that "the engine design, which uses designs from other Polaris products, having sold over 200,000 engines, will deliver on the promise of modern American muscle that is in the DNA of every current and future product we sell. Victory will continue to aggressively plot a new course for itself and where an American motorcycle brand can go."

Clearly aiming to fill the ever growing void that Harley-Davidson has failed to fill convincingly with its V-Rods, the repositioning of the Victory brand will see it become a compatible and complementary offer to the Indian franchise; one that targets the emerging direction being taken by a much changed 21st century riding landscape.

Swiss drag racer and custom bike builder (and former AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building competitor) Urs Erbacher seen here at the EICMA unveiling of "Victory Ignition Concept" - built to showcase the Project 156 Pikes Peak derived 1200cc engine that will be at the heart of the new model announcement that Victory will make in December

Also a liquid-cooled, 4-valve, 60-degree v-twin, the engine has double overhead cams and is the same base architecture as seen in the prototype engine used in Project 156 – the crankcase, v-angle, rotating bottom-end, transmission and clutch set-up is all the same.

For the launch, concept bike drag racer and custom bike builder Urs Erbacher and his team have handmade twin headers that snake out from the cylinders into a single pipe and then in to an Akrapovic muffler - the idea being to create the shortest exhaust for maximum performance.

The front and rear suspension are adjustable - with Marzocchi forks giving 50mm extra height at the front for an improved lean angle and Brembo brake compatibility, and an Ohlins shock at the rear between the frame and the swingarm - also 50mm longer, adding to the extra lean angle. The superlight 17 inch aluminum wheels are fitted with Metzeler Racetec Interact tires.

With Triumph, Ducati, BMW, MV Agusta and most of the Japanese manufacturers unveiling new models at Milan, especially in the fast growing middle-weight and naked, retro and custom style categories, the steady return of new motorcycle registration growth and recovering pre-owned market on both sides of the Atlantic have also started the firing gun for the parts and accessories industries.

Milan saw more new replacement and aftermarket product introductions than in the past three or four years added together and with a record attendance announced by the organizer (ANCMA - the Italian motorcycle industry trade association), it would appear that some degree of genuine growth is finally available for those with the right products.

The custom area at EICMA featured bikes brought together by leading Italian custom motorcycle magazine LowRide, and with new v-twin and custom-style product being introduced by mainstream parts and accessory vendors as well as the slew of new custom initiatives, programs and models from the motorcycle manufacturers themselves, the predicted trend that the 21st century would see the custom market increasingly taking center stage in the mainstream motorcycle market in Europe and elsewhere appears to be locked-in for the foreseeable future.

Bullet Air Corporation

Clearly cool parts from Bullet Air

New from French parts and accessory designers Philippe and Thomas Blot, a Harley enthusiast father and son team, these new designs of high-speed air filters and clear velocity stacks are available in a selection of dimensions (or custom applications) to fit most popular carbs, including CVs, S&S, Mikuni and other aftermarket brands.

The application-specific polished 6061 aerospace grade T6 heat-treated precision CNC machined aluminum cone attaches to the carb (or intake) with a one-piece adapter ring.
The durable clear 'dome' is manufactured from shock and heat resistant borosilicate - a material that is similar to, but sometimes regarded as superior in thermal shock resistance properties, to lime-soda based US specification Pyrex branded glass.

Borosilicate glass is a type of glass with silica and boron trioxide as the main glass-forming constituents and is known for having a very a low coefficient of thermal expansion - which means it will also be a lot more resistant to discoloration as the surface of the glass will remain less prone to particulate impregnation for longer.

Manufactured in France, like any retro-fit accessory, some re-mapping may be necessary when being used on fuel-injected engines, but they do work and "work well with fuel injection" as well as normally aspirated engines, according to Thomas Blot.


Draggin Jeans

Draggin Jeans are Back in Black

THE latest option from Draggin Jeans is the BLKGEN, made from stretch denim, with a straight leg, mid-rise waistband and a sports liner that is said to draw away moisture in summer and keep the wearer warm in winter.
Made with Draggin’s own abrasion-resistant Roomoto fabric, which is claimed to offer unrivalled safety and climate control, heat and sweat are drawn away from the skin while an anti-bacterial treatment keeps them fresh.
Draggin is the world’s first Preferred Licensee for motorcycle garments built with DuPont Kevlar fibre, and it was this partnership that created Roomoto for abrasion resistance and day-long comfort.
CE approved armor is also available and can be fitted to the knees and hips for additional impact protection, if required.
Also, as a Preferred Licensee, Draggin Jeans has been invited to attend this year's
C-Games at Austin, Texas, where Managing Director and former skate champion Grant Mackintosh will be showcasing the use of Kevlar in his designs on the DuPont booth.


Heli Modified

Multi-adjustable bars for Indian models

FOUNDED more than 25 years ago, New England based specialist Heli Modified say that their focus is "helping motorcyclists find their elusive comfort zone for all day riding comfort." 

Made in the USA, HeliBars handlebar and riser combinations are custom matched to the make and model, to provide riders with better handling ergonomics "without distracting from the excitement of riding" or changing the overall look. The company says that they take "meticulous care to address the deficiencies of stock handlebar designs and geometry before designing the perfect fix."
The company has now introduced a version of its HeliBars multi-adjustable 'Horizon' handlebars for use on Indian Chieftain and Roadmaster models.
The patented design of the 'Horizon' allows optimization of the rider’s wrist angles. The company claims that its handlebar is the only one that offers three planes of adjustability. Rear offset is adjustable from 2-4in, width goes from 2-3in narrower than stock, and rise is up to 2in over stock.

'Horizon' bars are made from DOM tubing with pivots CNC machined from solid 6061 billet aluminum, and they utilize the stock control clamps and accept heated grips.
All HeliBars are backed by a one-year warranty on materials and workmanship, and the company says that they offer a 30-day money back guarantee if a rider is not completely satisfied.


Klock Werks Kustom Cycles

Ergo Bars "solve a problem, serve a purpose"

Klock Werks Kustom Cycles has designed its Ergo bar options specifically to adjust the rider’s wrist to a more natural relaxed position compared to the stock bars on FLH models. 

“Many of our products solve a ‘problem’ and serve a purpose, all while still adding style to your bike,” said Brian Klock, President of Klock Werks. “Our Ergo bars came from a number of years listening to riders share things they wish were different on their bikes. While there will never be a product that fits 100 percent of riders out there, our Ergo line does offer three different styles to cover a large range of riders and preferred riding positions.”
Offered in Standard, Up, and Back styles, Klock Werks ERGO bars accept stock controls and housings, are predrilled and slotted for internal wiring and are designed to work with stock length cables, wires and heated grips. Fitments are available for ‘86-‘13, and ’14-onward FLHT, FLHX, and FL Trike and custom applications in a choice of black or chrome.


Lloydz Motorworkz

Quicker throttle at lower rpms

Lloydz Motorworkz of Pine Bush, New York, has this Precision Timing System that allows for 6 degrees of retard and 8 degrees of advance timing adjustments, for use on all '08 and up Victory models. 

The HOH-PTS-08 offers approximately 8 HP, 15 ft lbs of torque and complements the PCV and other fuel controllers. It can also be used to help eliminate pre-detonation ("pinging") on some engines, works with any combination of parts and will make timing adjustments at under 2,500 rpms.
LLOYDZ recommends replacing the cam cover gasket when installing their timing system, which is available from them separately.


Memphis Shades

Updated 'Memphis Fats' Drop-Top

Memphis Shades has designed an improved version of its popular Memphis Fats windshield. Featuring a Venturi wing that smoothes the air-flow and "virtually eliminates buffeting", according to the company, the air is boosted up and over the rider, "producing the benefits of a shield up to 3 inches taller - adjusted to 16 inches you get the wind protection of 19 inches and a clear view of the road."

It is available in 'Ghost,' a light black tint with 85 percent visible light transmission, or 'Black Smoke' with polished or Night Shades (Black) stainless straps; available in three height adjustment ranges - 13-16, 15-18 and 17-20 inches.
Made of Lucite for durability and "distortion free clarity", for fine-tuning there is 1 1/4 inches of tool-free adjustment - the Drop-Top uses the patented no-tool detachable Trigger-Lock mounting hardware system. It fits the standard 5 3/4 to 7 inch headlight sizes and 9 inch headlight cut-outs (such as the Road King).


Storz Performance

Storz parts for Street

Storz Performance is now offering billet footpegs and a billet horn bracket for the 500 and 750 Street models. 

The CNC machined and knurled aluminum footpegs for rider and passenger replace the heavier stock footpegs and shifter knob. 

A CNC machined mounting bracket is available to relocate the stock horn.


Zipper’s Performance Products

Chain conversion kit

NEW from Zipper’s Performance Products, this cushion-drive chain conversion kit for 2009-up Touring models is for high output engines and is said to have "a modular design for strength and easy ratio changes."

Supplied with a steel front sprocket, a 7075-T6 heat-treated aerospace aluminum rear sprocket and O-ring chain (available in standard metallic, gold or black), it is equipped with a chrome-moly axle and severe-duty slider style chain adjusters, eliminating the cam adjusters.
The system bolts-on without requiring modifications to the swingarm.


Thursday 19 November 2015

Bienville Studios

Bienville launch Legacy Motorcycle

Bienville Studios, a business founded by former Confederate Motorcycles designer JT Nesbitt, has launched the Bienville Legacy Motorcycle as a commission under The ADMCi (American Design and Master-Craftsmanship Initiative) Foundation.

Bienville is the first aftermarket manufacturer to make use of the American designed and made V4 from Motus. The 100ci motor, with a claimed 185hp output, is used as a stressed member in a tubular 4130 chromoly single-radius bend frame.
Suspension on the bike is made up of patented bilaterally symmetrical carbon-composite blades at both front and rear. The system, which uses titanium axles, axle nuts, hardware and linkages, features worm-gear-driven eccentric adjustment for chain tension and adjustable trail; rake can be adjusted between 27 and 28 degrees. Each pair of carbon blades is connected to a single composite leaf spring that runs along the length of the machine and provides springing for front and rear suspension. 

Carbon composite wheels in a 17in diameter and 3.5in front and 5.5in rear widths carry 250mm Swedish-made ISR rotors and these are matched to radial mount four-piston calipers.
The performance of the Bienville Legacy can be further enhanced by specifying a supercharger kit, which is claimed to take the output up to 300hp. Personal fitting and custom geometry is included with each model and there is a first-right-of-refusal buy-back program in place, too.
Three Bienville Legacy motorcycles have so far been produced and two are going to be taken to Bonneville later this year.

Photo credit: Marc Bondarenko

Drag Specialties

Smart move!

Drag Specialties has published a new catalog for 2016 - not unusual for the Wisconsin based distributor, especially at this time of year. However, this is a catalog of parts and accessories for Victory and Indian models. On over 96 pages the company has brought together some 775 part numbers from 59 of its vendors as this still small but potentially important market sector continues to grow and get everyone's attention!

Custom Chrome

Custom Chrome continues to expand product range

RECENTLY added to the Burly brand product range is a new one-piece Sportster sissy bar that is available short or tall with integral back pad; it mounts to outside '04 and up fender rails.

The Road Captain fairing by Dead Center Cycles has been designed to add 'batwing' styling on Dyna or Sportster model fairings. Manufactured from ABDS plastic, it is supplied ready to fit, in a gloss black finish, with model-specific mounting bracket kits required. Windshield sold separately (any OEM windshield with current three-hole pattern can be used).

Among the windshield options offered by Custom Chrome are "Project Rushmore" style windscreens by Windvest. Some 3 to 4 inches taller than the stock designs, they are said to create smoother airflow; available in a variety of sizes for 14-Up Touring models.

Custom Chrome is now carrying an extensive selection of ABS hard luggage from Hardstreet. The range includes the brand's Classic Saddlebag kits to fit all Softail, Dyna and custom applications (some models may require rear turn signals to be relocated). These bags are 22in long, 9-1/2in wide and 12in tall. Also available for the same applications are the 8in wide Slimbag kits. A further option for Sportsters are the Hardstreet Sixer saddlebag kits that measure 18-1/2in long, 8-1/2in wide and 12-3/4in tall. All of the bag options are available in a choice of gloss or satin black finishes. The company also offers turn signal relocation brackets, available in either a license plate or bar style and they accept the stock turn signals. 

Continuing its range of parts for Sportsters, Custom Chrome also has seats from La Rosa. Both solo and 2-Up seats, in a durable synthetic leather material, are available for ’82-’03 Sportsters. The 2-Up is available with either a smooth or tuck and roll covering. 

The La Rosa parts selection sold through Custom Chrome includes the company’s Zipper Solo Side Bags. Based on the design of the existing Solo Side Bags, this version gains an easy access zipper; available for Softail and Sportster 04-Up models in either black or rustic brown leather.

New to Custom Chrome's Motor Factory range, these black replacement performance coils are said to meet or exceed OEM specifications, typically increasing peak spark voltage by 20 percent or more according to the company.


Custombike Show

Custombike Show, Germany

Operated by German custom motorcycle magazine publisher Huber Verlag, their 11th annual Custombike Show is slated for December 4th - 6th at Bad Salzuflen (between Dortmund and Hannover) in Germany.
Last year the event saw some 30,000 visitors, over 300 exhibitors and 800 or more custom bikes spread over 20,000 sq m (over 200,00 sq ft) of exhibit space.
Following the long established Bigtwin Bikeshow and Expo at Rosmalen in the Netherlands in November, "Bad Salzuflen" is one of the three main indoor winter custom shows in Europe - with Moto Bike Expo slated for Verona, Italy, in January.

Midwest Motorcycle Supply


The Ultima Products division of Midwest Motorcycle Supply is offering new "Manhattan" front and rear wheel designs in 16, 18 and 21 inches in polished aluminum with optional matching polished stainless steel rotors and pulleys.
Midwest Motorcycle Supply, USA;

Rivera Primo

Rivera Primo HedLed Touring kit

RIVERA Primo has responded to customer requests and introduced a new version of its HedLed – the HedLed Touring kit. The new kit is made up of one of the company’s LED solid state 7in headlamps and two proprietary 4-1/2" all LED spot lamps, both with high and low beams, said to be capable of outshining any halogen or HID light and most other LED headlamps on the market. 

The Touring kit "combines the look of traditional lights with the low amperage draw of LEDs, making them suitable for use with older alternator systems found on earlier models."

The integral LED turn signals/running lights on the 7in headlamp are wired in separately, while the high and low beams are a simple plug-and-play into the OE wiring harness (2014 and later models require a separately available adapter harness). Use of Rivera Primo’s Programmable Load Equalizer allows the integral turn signal’s ultra-bright amber LEDs to strobe or function as regular turn signals. Alternatively, they can be wired directly to a 12V switched source to stay on all the time as daylight running lights.
The 4-1/2" spots are DOT compliant dual high and low beam and will work with the headlight on low or high beam or as a stand-alone headlight with some slight wiring modifications.


The Leatherworks

Indian Scout leather-match saddlebags

THE Leatherworks are offering leather saddlebags for 2014 and up Indian Motorcycle models, made in the exact same leather used by Indian themselves. Shown here is Leatherworks’ 211 for the 2015 Indian Scout, in leather that is an exact match to the stock seat.

The bags include the long straps needed for carrying extra cargo on top of the bags when required and measure 11" tall by 15" long by 7" deep. They can be customized with chrome studs, conchos, key locks and many other custom details offered by The Leatherworks.
They install using the quick-release bolt-on "Easy Bracket" saddlebag support system kits sold by Leatherworks. The kits include left and right side brackets, with four stainless steel docking points to mount to the motorcycle fender rail and all necessary hardware to mount the brackets to the saddlebags with only basic tools.
Matching seats, tool bags and accessories are also available, along with versatile and customizable luggage configurations for all 2014 and up Indian models and larger motorcycles, including their new 119 extra large retro style classic saddlebag with flap lid.



Forward controls for Softails

IN addition to options for Sportster, Dyna and V-Rod models, these individually adjustable forward controls from WUNDERKIND-Custom are now also available for Softail models.

CNC-machined from high tensile aluminum and coated with their own BLACKPearl Eloxal, they fit the original with an offset of up to 5 cm. The arms can be adjusted for length and the controls for position. Foot brake cylinder and side stand are included. Additional inlays in black or silver are also available.


Antigravity Batteries

Get started!

LAST month we featured Antigravity Batteries' impressively compact and impressively powerful YTX12 24-cell lithium ion motorcycle battery - a 720 cranking amp beast that is ideal for stock, custom and high performance applications on engines up to 2400cc.

Deceptively small and powerful is also the name of the game with Antigravity Batteries’ Micro-Start XP-10, an ultra-compact pocket sized (92 x 3 x 1.25") 18 ounce punch-packer that will power personal accessories and jump-start motorcycle, UTV/ATV and up to 7-liter diesel engines.
Offering 600 peak amps and 18,000 mAh capacity, the XP-10 features short circuit protection, a 12v standard output port, a 19v output for laptops, USB 4-in-1 cable, jumper clamps and a universal cable with tip-kit, and is available with a range of Antigravity accessories such as a tire inflator/air pump, harness kit, and accessory cables and plugs.