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Tuesday 28 February 2017

Carole Nash Irish Motorbike and Scooter Show

Your final warning – fun in Dublin

Always one of the favorite AMD World Championship affiliate events, the biennial 2017 Carole Nash Irish Motorbike and Scooter Show will be hosted at the Royal Dublin Society show halls from 3 – 5 March, featuring the Deltran/Battery Tender sponsored, Zodiac International supported Irish AMD International Custom Bike Competition, the national/Irish Champion winning €3,000 cash to cover expenses for competing at the 2018 AMD World Championship in Germany.

The international winner gets €2,000 and qualification for the AMD World Championship. There are additional prizes of €1,800 in products from Zodiac and €500 from Bridge Garage (Zodiac’s Irish agents).
Additional show features in 2017 will include a 'Race of Gentlemen' in the sand arena, where the flat trackers will also be racing over the three days. The ‘Race of Gentlemen’ will be a homage to the 1930s racing in the USA between the legendary Harley-Davison and Indian teams, which have been re-enacted in California recently. 

Rusty Pistons from the Czech Republic will sponsor the Rockabilly Stage (, and the show will deploy many of the now ubiquitous hallmarks of the current ‘Hipster Vibe’ – including a 3-station Barbershop with suitable memorabilia and d├ęcor, massage girls and a ‘Gentleman’s Club’ ambiance!
Ace Cafe London will be mounting their regular display of classic era authentic bikes with mods and rockers and the 59 Club memorabilia and staging the Ace Cafe Global Stunt Starz Competition with 25 top stunt riders from Ireland, UK and Europe battling it out for a €5,000.00 prize fund and the 'Ace of Aces' title.
At the time of writing, the two halls of the show are pretty much sold out as Ireland starts to share in the motorcycle market recovery seen elsewhere in Europe, resulting in a third hall being added as the 2017 ‘Dublin Show’ gets set for record exhibitor and visitor numbers. 

The first E-bike to compete in the AMD World Championship, Noel Connolly’s remarkable ‘Strom’ finished 11th in the Freestyle Class in 2016
Former AMD World Champions Mick O’Shea and Don Cronin (‘Rondine’, 2013) won the Steet Performance Class in 2016 with ‘Road Fever’, a 1987 Ducati 750

The Irish market continues also to emerge on the international stage as a vibrant source of design and engineering craftsmanship and creativity. In 2013 the Irish Motorbike and Scooter Show affiliate winners Mick O’Shea and Don Cronin scooped the AMD World Champion title with the much admired ‘Rondine’ – an exquisitely customized 1971 Moto Guzzi.
This year they again spearheaded an Irish invasion at Cologne that saw Mick and Don take home the Street Performance class win with ‘Road Fever’, a 1987 Ducati 750, and saw Noel Connolly add to the Irish trophy cabinet with an 11th place in the Freestyle Class for the remarkable ‘Strom’ – the first ever E-bike to compete at ‘The AMD’.

J&P Cycles

J&P Cycles Iowa Rally

J&P Cycles say their Anamosa, Iowa location will become the largest motorcycle aftermarket store in the world during the weekend of June 24-25, 2017 as the J&P Cycles Iowa Rally celebrates its 38th anniversary by becoming the site of Hot Bike Magazine's National Garage Build-Off for custom motorcycles. 

The competition is expected to draw the nation's top garage-built custom bikes competing for $3,000 and an invitation to the annual Hot Bike Tour, where their motorcycle will go up against famous builders in the Invitational Build-Off.

Located at J&P Cycles' original store, the free rally includes motocross stunt shows from Cowboy Kenny's Steel Rodeo Tour, live music throughout the weekend, food, beer and opportunities to support Camp Courageous, a camp for kids and adults with disabilities.
In conjunction with the rally, the National Motorcycle Museum is opening a new exhibit, Dirt Riding in America. Located near the rally in Anamosa, visitors will be among the first to experience the exhibit and will see more than 450 vintage bikes on display in the museum's permanent collection.
The Iowa Rally is a chance for riders to get up-close and personal with reps from more than 50 companies offering motorcycling products. It's a chance to see the newest motorcycle accessories, and ask questions to experts from companies like Vance & Hines, Kuryakyn, Dunlop, Klock Werks, Metzeler, Mustang Seats, Rinehart Racing, and many more.  Riders can even have selected parts installed on their bikes on site.

Vance & Hines

Vance & Hines to continue support of Flat Track racing

American Flat Track has announced a renewed, multi-year partnership with Vance & Hines as the Presenting Sponsor of the premier AFT Twins class. Beginning with the 2017 season, the class, which headlines the re-envisioned series and continues the legacy of the Grand National Championship, will now be known as AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines.

“Vance & Hines’ involvement in American Flat Track racing has been tremendous,” said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. “Their continued support and willingness to help grow this high-intensity sport is greatly appreciated and we look forward to having them return for another season.”

A company born from racing, Vance & Hines grew to be a leader in aftermarket motorcycle parts, from its distinctive V-twin exhaust systems to a wide range of products across the powersports world. The American manufacturer has been involved in a variety of motorcycle racing disciplines, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle, AMA Superbikes, and more recently professional Flat Track racing. In 2014, Vance & Hines became the Presenting Sponsor for the former GNC1 class – now AFT Twins. The company was eager to offer their support of the new, golden era of American Flat Track and is excited to be a part of the sport’s expansion.
“There’s never been a better time to be involved in Flat Track racing,” said Terry Vance, Chairman of Vance & Hines. “The sport is growing rapidly, and more and more you see the youth in America buying all brands of 750cc twin-cylinder motorcycles. At Vance & Hines, we want to be out in front of that movement and, in my opinion, there’s no better place to do that than American Flat Track. We’re proud to return for the third year as the Presenting Sponsor of AFT’s premier class.”

Biker’s Choice

Biker’s Choice catalog adds 3,500 new items

Tucker Rocky has released its 2017 Biker's Choice dealer catalog with more than 3,500 new products added to the product line.
Inside the 1,984-page desk-bender are “fantastic new products the company is proud to offer. Arlen Ness has added parts for both Victory and Indian motorcycles, and S&S is once again offering complete engines,” says Sr. Director of Marketing Dawn Zassick.
“Plus, the fast-growing Twin Power workshop staples and replacement components program has added many new products to their line, including clutch kits, valve and spring kits and the “Tension Reliever” manual primary chain adjuster, to name a few.
“Biker’s Choice is also proud to introduce more new premium brands to this year’s catalog line-up – leading brands such as suspension manufacturers American Suspension and Arnott, Drift Cameras, the internationally respected Koso Gauges range, race-bred precision manufactured Magura controls from Germany, Revere seats, LED accent lights by XK Glow and accessories from San Diego Customs.


Harley-Davidson appoints new directors to Board

Harley-Davidson, Inc. has announced the appointment of Troy Alstead and Allan Golston to the company's board of directors. Alstead is retired from Starbucks Corporation where he most recently served as Chief Operating Officer, and Golston is the President of the U.S. program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"We are delighted to have two new talented professionals join our board," said Michael Cave, non-executive chairman of the board of Harley-Davidson. "Troy and Alan bring valuable skills and have important perspectives as leaders in their fields that will be assets to the company."

Troy Alstead

Alstead is founder of Harbor O5 and the Ocean5 Foundation. He worked for Starbucks for more than 24 years in finance, operations management and international business roles. Prior to joining Starbucks, Alstead held various finance roles at NCR Corporation and Egghead Software. Alstead is on the board of directors of Levi Strauss & Co. and TopGolf. 

Allan Golston

Golston, who has been with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2000, previously served as its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer. He is a certified public accountant and has held positions with Swedish Health Services in Seattle and the University of Colorado Hospital. Golston is a member of the board of directors of Stryker Corporation, and is a member of the Stryker Corporation Audit Committee. 
The appointments of Alstead and Golston by board action brings the total number of directors to 13. Their terms will expire at the company's 2017 annual meeting of shareholders.

Joker Machine

‘Omega’ air cleaners for improved riding position

These ‘Omega’ air cleaners, designed and manufactured by Lake Havasu City, Arizona based accessory specialist Joker Machine, feature a compact design that adds “much needed leg clearance over the stock air cleaner and have a high flowing air filter for Sportster, Softail and Dyna models.”

At 4-3/16” wide and 3-3/8” tall, they sit off the bike by 3-5/8”, improving your riding position for a more comfortable ride. The high-flow K&N filter adds more horsepower and performance. They fit 2000-up Softail and Dyna, and 1991-up Sportster models (will not fit 2008-up FL throttle by wire models). Available in gloss black or chrome plated finishes.
They are CNC-machined from billet aluminum and available in gloss black or chrome plated finishes.



MID-USA adds products for 2017

Hazelwood, Missouri based distributor MID-USA has unveiled its new 2017 ‘En-Cycle-Pedia’ catalog after another busy 12 months - adding further to its extensive own brand range, many new accessory brands, and a slew of products for Harley’s 2017 M-8 Touring models.

At over 1,100 pages, their 2017 catalog includes many specialty products that prove that it is the details that matter as well as the big ticket items - often the hard-to-source items that aren’t needed often make the catalogs from long established distributors such as MID-USA so invaluable for OEM dealers independent custom shops.
For 2017 additions include stock replacement, upgrade and custom electrical, frame and body items, front end components and set-ups, controls, wheels, exhausts, shocks, complete drivetrains and parts, engine components and fuel system parts.

Kustom Tech

‘Seventies Line’ retro style hand control options

If you are looking for high quality details for your retro build or conversion, Italian made and designed ‘Seventies Line’ handlebar controls by Kustom Tech are just what you need.

Available as brake and clutch levers for 1” and 7/8” handlebars, with 12mm (15/32”) or 14mm (9/16”) bore piston master cylinders, they are available in a selection of 14 different finishes from polished and raw to satin and black.

Italian made forged aluminium retro style brake lever and master cylinder assemblies – the ‘Seventies
Line’ by Alessandro Pacelli, Kustom Tech left to right: 20-800 (12mm Brake, polished); 20-803 (14mm,
Brake, Polished); 20-801 (12mm, Brake, Satin); 20-822 (14mm, Brake, black); 20-805 (14mm, Brake, Raw)

Machined from forged aluminum, they are fully rebuildable and feature a retro style finned cover and smooth, ergonomically shaped lever; replacement levers and brass clutch and M110x1 thread brake cable register also available.



Andreani DB4 suspension dynamometer

Taking the concept of suspension diagnostics to another level, Italian suspension specialist Andreani’s DB4 is a new generation professional dynamometer, optimized for suspension testing of motorcycles, cars and mountain bikes. 

Thanks to the powerful 4kW AC-Motor, it allows you to test shock absorbers and forks in a wide range of speed and loads, choosing between several stroke settings.
Its advanced features allow any suspension operator to visualize a real time shock and fork load vs velocity graph, compare different click settings and valving options, measure dynamic suspension parameters and detect any operating anomalies.
The DB4 includes a state-of-the-art, real-time dedicated controller board that ensures a stable and reliable automation and deterministic data acquisition. The software provides an intuitive graphical user interface for data acquisition and simple but powerful tools for suspension analysis. It is compatible with the most common operating systems, and, as it is plug-and-play, does not require a dedicated laptop. 

The graphs and numerical outputs of the software and its sophisticated algorithms allows you to fully define and characterize the suspension’s state of tune using peak velocity, load displacement and instantaneous velocity graphs. In addition to the viscous response of the suspension, the suspension dyno also provides gas preload, mean gas-spring rate and static friction outputs.
Custom versions of the software can include hysteresis analysis, dissipated energy and damping coefficient calculations.


Tuesday 21 February 2017


American Motorcyclist Association CEO testifies against proposed motorcycle tariff

A proposed 100 percent tariff on European motorcycles would harm U.S. consumers by pricing affected models beyond the reach of American families, American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman told a federal trade committee last week.
Dingman said motorcycles should be removed from the list of products included in the proposed tariff.

“Many of the European-produced motorcycles in the affected categories are available at reasonable prices that allow for entire families to enjoy countless hours together outdoors, strengthening the family unit,” Dingman said during a public hearing of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Section 301 Committee.
“A tariff that threatens to significantly raise the retail cost of these motorcycles or curtail their supply, holds the potential to cause irreversible damage to outdoor recreation and the families that participate in it.”
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative proposed the tariff on 51cc to 500cc motorcycles imported from Europe as part of its ongoing battle with the European Union over U.S. beef raised using hormones. The EU will not accept the beef, so the Trade Representative is seeking leverage in negotiations.
The tariff would affect motorcycles with engines displacing 51cc to 500cc from Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Ducati, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.
There is no direct connection between motorcycles and the EU’s ban on the importing of U.S. beef products treated with hormones. The lack of an agricultural tie between the two products runs counter to sound trade policy, Dingman told the committee.
“American motorcyclists are unnecessarily caught in the crossfire of this completely unrelated trade dispute,” Dingman said. “Since my organization represents motorcycle-riding consumers, I can objectively and without vested commercial interest assure you that this action will do more to harm individual Americans than it will to leverage the European Union.”
Motorcyclists sent more than 10,300 e-mails to Congress on this issue, posted more than 9,400 comments to, and sent nearly 5,300 e-mails to President Donald Trump. Of the comments submitted via, 82 percent came from motorcyclists.
European makers of 51cc-399cc motorcycles used for racing provide nearly half the units available to U.S. consumers, and nearly a quarter of the market in the 400-500cc class. There are no significant U.S.-made options for consumers in those market segments.
In the on-road motorcycle segment, 100 percent of the models 300cc and smaller are imported to the United States from abroad.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative tried this same tactic in 1998 and 2008, but the efforts were thwarted when the AMA, the Motorcycle Industry Council and bike manufacturers and retailers rallied motorcyclists against the plan. At that time, the U.S. Trade Representative instead raised the tariff on a variety of European food products.
Others testifying against the tariff today included Carroll Gittere, President of Powersports Data Solutions; Iain McPhie and Ritchie Thomas of Squire Patton Boggs; John Hinz, President of KTM North America Inc. and Husqvarna Motorcycles North America Inc.; Mario di Maria, President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas Inc.; Rick Alcon, owner of R&S Powersports Group; Tim Cotter, Vice President of MX Sports; and Tim Buche, President and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council.


AIMExpo creates strategic partnerships with local dealers in new host city of Columbus, Ohio

Following the announcement that the 2017 American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) would be relocating to Columbus, Ohio, for the fifth annual event, two of the best known dealerships in the USA - A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson (A.D. Farrow) and Iron Pony Motorsports (Iron Pony) - “each expressed a desire to lend their local expertise to make AIMExpo’s move to the heartland of powersports a greater success,” says AIMExpo organizer MIC Events.

“Both dealerships call Ohio's capital home and will be working together with the AIMExpo team to help communicate the value of AIMExpo’s platform in its new host city to the greater powersports industry and to the region’s deep enthusiast consumer base.” AIMExpo will take over the Greater Columbus Convention Center this September 21-24.
A.D. Farrow is one of the most successful and storied Harley-Davidson dealerships in the United States, celebrating its 105th anniversary this year, first opening its doors in nearby Nelsonville, Ohio, in 1912. Now with three locations in the area, A.D. Farrow is Harley’s oldest authorized dealer.
“Columbus is everything our industry needs to have a great gathering,” said Bob Althoff, Dealer Principal, A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson. “First, it is a friendly place, and I sense a real anticipation on the part of folks hereabouts to roll out the red carpet for AIMExpo. Second, there is a concentration of riders here in central Ohio who will, I assure you, turn out in a big way. The visuals surrounding this year's AIMExpo will be a remarkable sight, and with perfect weather in late September, Columbus will be a terrific ride-in destination.” 

Iron Pony Motorsports boasts one of the largest dealerships in the United States, representing 12 different manufacturers inside its 133,000-square foot showroom. The family-owned dealership has been in business since 1975 and is dedicated to making the user experience the best it can be. This includes aisle after aisle of OEM and aftermarket products, hosting a rental program through EagleRider Columbus, and offering its Iron Pony Riding Academy in association with Motorcycle Safety Foundation and Motorcycle Ohio safety instructors.
“The city of Columbus and the surrounding region is full of passionate motorcycle riders and powersports enthusiasts,” said Frank Lark, Vice President of Marketing at Iron Pony Motorsports Group. “We interact with them inside our dealerships and ride alongside many of these folks, so we know firsthand there is a real desire to have a show here in Columbus that is the caliber of AIMExpo. We’re thrilled to be working with the AIMExpo team to help build excitement and make 2017 the best year yet!” 

As dedicated, high profile family-owned dealers, A.D. Farrow and Iron Pony will work alongside the AIMExpo team to integrate and build exposure for the event in the region surrounding Columbus. A co-branded presence at regional events, expanded advertising, marketing and social media campaigns, exclusive access for loyal customers of each dealership, and other initiatives will highlight the strategic partnerships.
“With 41% of U.S. powersports dealers within a 500-mile radius of the city, we’re looking to key local partners to help us tell the story of ‘Why Columbus’, and why dealers and consumers – both near and far - should visit AIMExpo,” said Larry Little, Vice President & General Manager, AIMExpo. “This strategic partnership with two of the most prestigious and influential dealerships in and around America’s 15th largest city is an important step in connecting the industry with the region, and in creating the setting for Columbus to become ‘Powerports USA’ to AIMExpo’s domestic and international visitors.”

Performance Motorsports International

PMI (Wiseco, ProX, JE Piston) sold for $150m

Dover Corporation has sold its Performance Motorsports International (PMI) division - owner of the likes of Wiseco, ProX Racing and JE Piston - to New York based private investor Kinderhook Industries, a diversified portfolio equity investor with around $2Bn. of capital under management.

A new holding company – Race Winning Brands (RWB) – has been formed to trade the former PMI business, headquartered with Wiseco Piston at Mentor, Ohio. The deal is reported as being for some $150m., with Dover retaining a small percentage stake in the new holding company.
Commenting on the transaction, Dover's President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert A. Livingston, said: "This transaction provides the new owner the opportunity to leverage the strong leadership position PMI has built over the years and grow the business.  At the same time, it allows us to focus on our higher growth core markets."

Kinderhook, owner of the likes of NitroFill, Superwinch and Bestop, will install operating partner Brian Reese as CEO of RWB, with former Mr. Gasket CEO (ACCEL etc) Bob Romanelli, also a Kinderhook operating partner, as executive chairman.
Paul Cifelli, the Managing Director of new owner Kinderhook is quoted as saying: “A fundamental tenet of Kinderhook’s investment philosophy is identifying unique investment opportunities where our experience, abilities and network of operating partners can help create value. Race Winning Brands aligns perfectly with this investment philosophy. We are confident that Kinderhook’s proven ‘buy-and-build’ strategy will allow us to expand RWB’s leadership position in the automotive and powersports performance markets.”
Financing for the transaction was provided by a debt syndicate led by Antares Capital, Varagon Capital Partners, Madison Capital and NewStar Financial.


E-H … “Reborn to be Wild” Part Deux?

After bravely trying to bring the brand back in the 1990s in an attempt to exploit Harley’s production shortfall at that time, Don Hanlon’s purpose-built Belle Plaine, Minnesota based Excelsior-Henderson factory hit the buffers in 1999 and filed for bankruptcy in 2000, despite making what were regarded at the time some good bikes (dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder anybody?).
News has now emerged that Denver, Colorado based Aaron, Bell International (ABI), an “independent investment bank” and M&A advisor, has been hired to explore options for a phoenix of the Minnesota based manufacturer.
In a press release that raises as many questions as it answers, ABI founder and president Ralph Bellizzi said: “We look forward to working with Excelsior-Henderson during this exciting time in America, with the resurgence of manufacturing pride and interest in motorsports.”
The release went on to say that the “convergence of several market factors has created a unique opportunity to reignite the heritage-rich Excelsior-Henderson brand. Recent motorsports industry reconfiguration, with Polaris Industries ending production of Victory Motorcycles to focus on its historic Indian Motorcycles, and Arctic Cat’s sale to Textron, combined with the strength of American motorcycle manufacturing and sales worldwide, make the market ripe for the re-emergence of the venerable “E-H” marque.”
Regardless of just how accurate an interpretation of current market conditions and opportunities those statements are, the release goes on to say that “Excelsior-Henderson’s deep, rich heritage is what elevates this opportunity well beyond the ordinary. As one of the original “Big 3” OEM motorcycle manufacturers along with Harley-Davidson and Indian during the early decades of motorcycling, Excelsior-Henderson’s heritage includes owners Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, and a long list of ‘firsts,’ being the first motorcycle to circumnavigate the world and officially ‘clocked’ at over 100 mph, to engineering and design innovations until ceasing production by owner Ignatz Schwinn of Chicago during the Great Depression.” [Bicycle magnate Schwinn bought E-H in 1911, but then closed it in 1931].
“In the 1990s, that engineering and design legacy was painstakingly carried forward with the rebirth of the brand and the development of a proprietary new Super X motorcycle by the Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycle Manufacturing Company. The company produced nearly 2,000 motorcycles featuring dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, closed-loop fuel injection, integrated cassette transmissions, anti-dive suspensions, and more. Owners of the motorcycles today are just as fervent about the brand as on the day they rode them off dealers’ lots.
“Despite discontinuing production in late 1999, the business opportunity remains relatively turn-key due to its intellectual property and intensely loyal, active customer base.”
Bellizzi said it’s impossible to overstate the unique opportunity this presents. “An offering like this is extremely rare. An entrepreneur or investor can essentially pick up where the previous company left off, bypass the most difficult barriers to entry, and build upon the established success of this heritage-rich brand in a highly lucrative industry. It’s literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Arnott Air Suspension

“Lower your bike, not your standards”


So says Merritt Island, Florida based Arnott Air Suspension on their new website - a site that features their ‘Ultimate Ride’ and ‘Smooth Ride’ system options. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, Arnott say they are the “leader in true onboard adjustable air suspension kits” and that dealers and their customers “should not be fooled by air cylinders or so-called ‘air assisted’ suspensions,” says Arnott’s Doug Taylor.

“Unlike many competitors, our TruAIR technology is true adjustable air suspension, not simple air cylinders, ‘air-assisted’ shocks or automotive cast-offs. We use monotube shock bodies for great looks and durability, and our ‘Ultimate Ride’ series features genuine FOX shocks. Our kits offer fast, on-the-fly adjustable air spring firmness, using a powerful onboard compressor.”
Applications include Tourers, Softails, Dynas, Sportsters, V-Rods, Tri-Glide trikes and Indian Motorcycle Cruisers, Baggers and Tourers.

Motorcycle Industry Council

Ackerman retains MIC Board seat

The Motorcycle Industry Council’s (MIC) 2017 Board of Director election results have seen Arnie Ackerman re-elected to serve as an MIC board member for another two years, and to therefore remain as the current Chairman of the MIC’s Aftermarket/Allied Trades Committee.

MAG Chairman Emeritus Arnold W. Ackerman is re-elected to the MIC Board of Directors and will continue as chair of its Aftermarket/Allied Trades Committee

Ackerman is Chairman Emeritus and founder of Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG). It was Ackerman who principally steered his Duff Ackerman and Goodrich investment firm into the program of acquisitions in the 1990s; a program that saw MAG emerge as a powerhouse in the market with ownership of leaders such as Vance & Hines, Performance Machine, Kuryakyn, J&P Cycles, Mustang seats and Progressive Suspension, among others.
He retained involvement as Chairman of MAG when DAG sold to L.A. based Leonard Green & Partners, and it was he who was a prime mover in shaping the deal for Tucker Rocky owner Lacy Diversified to buy MAG and merge it with TR in 2014.

Andy Leisner, Vice President/group publisher of Bonnier Motorcycle Group, is also re-elected; MIC Board Chairman Dennis McNeal, who has also retired from his position of Vice President of motorcycle operations with Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA and publisher and former second generation Daytona 200 winner Don Emde announced their retirement from the Board. Paul Puma, Executive Vice president of Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution, is newly elected to the Board.
Other MIC Board directors include Eric Anderson (currently owner and founder of VROOM Network); Michael Peyton, VP of BMW Motorrad USA; Jim Woodruff, COO of NPA; Chuck Boderman, VP motorcycles at American Honda; Russ Brenan, Kawasaki; Mike Doughty, Yamaha; Kerry Graeber,  Suzuki; John Hinz, KTM, and ex MIC General Counsel and current VP global government relations at Polaris, Paul Vitrano.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., where it shares offices with MIC Events and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and has a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization was founded in 1914, celebrating its 100th anniversary two years ago.

News Briefs

BRP's three manufacturing facilities in Mexico received a "Family Responsible Company" award from Mexico's Ministry of Labor and Social Security (STPS). This distinction is granted to companies in Mexico that apply and promote labor policies that contribute to the development of workers in an integral way, both at work and within their family environment.

British bike maker Ariel is to reveal a $61K model with carbon bodywork, black pearl frame and gold anodizing. The Ace R will be a Limited Edition of which only 10 units will be made and sold worldwide. After launching the Ace in 2014, Ariel has produced over 50 of its 201 hp V4 motorcycles. The company says that further development of the Ace has shown that the chassis will accommodate a considerable increase in power while remaining an easy to ride and flexible road bike.

Former Advanstar/UBM property Dealernews has been bought by DN 2.0 LLC, a Columbus, Ohio based acquisition vehicle established by Bob Althoff, owner of three Harley dealerships in the greater Columbus area, including A.D. Farrow, which claims to be the oldest Harley-Davidson dealerships in the world. Althoff intends to relaunch the 51-year-old powersports media brand “with a new mission and new utilities to serve franchised and non-franchised powersports retailers and service shops in the United States and Canada.” Former Dealernews publisher and content director Mary Green (Mary Slepicka) is joining as vice president and general manager.

A new “Grassroots” group called “Motorcycle Action Network” is launching in a bid to “Rid U.S. Transportation Agencies of Corporate Influence”. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, it is being headed up by self-styled long-time public safety advocate Fergus Nolan as a non-profit organization “dedicated to making roads safer for American motorcyclists and the drivers around them. The organization will raise awareness of federal and state transportation regulations that have been weakened by the U.S. motorcycle industry and its allies, costing thousands of lives every year.” Nolan says that it will initially focus on strengthening regulations set by the NHTSA in connection with motorcycle anti-lock brake systems (ABS).

Ducati sales were +1.1 percent in 2016 at 55,451, with USA their largest market (8,787 units sold). “Ending the year of our 90th anniversary with yet another record is a source of immense pride and satisfaction”, said Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. “2016 was the seventh consecutive growth year for Ducati.” During its second year on international markets, the Ducati Scrambler brand extended its worldwide success: over 15,500 bikes were delivered. Italy is their second most important market, where they were +20% in 2016; Germany is their third largest market (+8 percent in 2016). Ducati more than doubled its sales to China in 2016.

Khrome Werks

2:1 systems with two-step headers

Designed for “peak performance and style” and to “maximize horsepower and torque,” these 2:1 systems by Khrome Werks have 1.75” to 1.875” 16-gauge stepped primary headers that merge into a 2.5” collector with 2.50” high-flow baffles wrapped in stainless steel wool and high-temperature fiberglass.

The 2.50” tapered baffle exit cone is designed to enhance low-end torque; additional features include 2.25”, 220-degree, 16-gauge heat shields and 18mm and 12mm O² bungs welded into the primaries.
They are available slash-cut or with billet tips, in chrome, black or Khrome Werks’ proprietary ‘Eclipse’ finish (seen here), a high-temperature black chrome electroplate.



New brands and products from Zodiac

Cultured lighting options by Chopper Kulture
Designed by award-winning custom bike builder Mario Kyprianides of Chopper Kulture fame, these headlights, taillights and turn signals are fully E-approved and available in a selection of polished or black body and brass or polished bezel combinations.
The headlight has an outer diameter of 5” (125mm), is 4.8” (122mm) deep and comes with a headlight unit with a visible diameter of 3 5/8” (92mm). Made from billet aluminum in a polished, gloss black or flat black finish, with a matching aluminum or polished brass bezel, the bottom-mount bracket enables it to be installed on virtually all lower triple tree plates. 

The taillights are in billet aluminum in a polished, gloss black or flat black finish, with a matching aluminum or polished brass bezel; they are mounted with a single large bolt and bundled wiring by drilling two holes in the fender. They measure 2” (50mm) overall diameter and 2” (50mm) deep.
The turn signals utilize a variety of anodized finishes and blend a combination of aluminum and brass bodies with bezels normally found on much larger headlight trims; they measure 2 1/4” (57mm) long, 1 1/8” (28,5mm) deep and have a diameter of 27,6mm. They are a simple bolt-on install on almost any motorcycle. Sold in sets of two.


DEI flexible heat shields
Well known American thermal barrier and sound management specialist Design Engineering’s flexible heat shields feature a stainless steel bracket covered by the same materials used for their popular exhaust wrap; they are proven to block heat more effectively than conventional stamped metal heat shields.


S&S 100” and 110” Twin Cam ‘Power Packs’
These new S&S ‘Power Package’ Big Bore kits are a step-up from the usual configuration of their ‘Sidewinder’ Big Bore cylinder and piston packages for early Twin Cam 88s (as seen elsewhere in this edition of AMD Magazine) as they ship with matched cams, cam plate and oil pump. The TC 88” gets a bump to 100”/1,683cc, with the later 96 or 103 inchers going up to 110”/1,803cc. Kits include the 4" bore bolt-on cylinders with pistons and rings, as per the ‘Sidewinder’ kit, but also include choice of chain drive or gear drive Easy Start 585 camshafts, TC3 oil pump, TC3 cam plate, ‘Quickee’ adjustable pushrods with tubes, premium tappets and all required bearings and gaskets. Kits are available in silver and black powdercoat finish. Parts to fit 2006 Dynas are available separately; ‘99 thru ‘04 TCs will need an additional valve spring; pinion shaft run-out must be less than .003" to use gear drive cams.

Bitubo piggyback shocks
These Italian made high performance shock absorbers feature a “high resistance alloy steel housing,” nitrogen filled aluminum compensator reservoirs, hydraulic damping and 12mm steel damper rods, 12-step adjustable compression and adjustable spring preload. Available in tuned length fitments with chrome springs for selected FXR, Dyna, XL, V-Rod and Touring models.


Electronic box version G/G2
This new electronic box version G/G2 gives the option of routing just one sleek cable through the handlebars for a clean look. The handlebar switch cables connect to the small round transmitter, which slides inside the end of the handlebar; it converts the different signals so that they can all be sent to the receiver box through just one wire.
The receiver box is so small, it can be hidden anywhere on the bike. It connects to the wire harness and converts the signals which come from the transmitter back to the regular signals again - for turn signals, high and low beam, brake light and starter relay.
Additional functions include emergency flasher, adjustable self-cancellation, running light function for turn signals, choice of single combination start/stop button or separates, brake and rear light combination, neutral or side stand switch activation, eight status LEDs for overview and diagnostics.


“The Cure” main drive gear seal kit for 4-speeds
“The Cure” is a seal kit that will stop the oil leak from the main drive gear on Knuckleheads, Panheads and Shovelheads. The stable and reliable Harley-Davidson 4-speed transmission has been built for half a century, but the oil leak has always been an issue, because Harley designed the main drive gear spacer without a seal.
This state-of-the-art hardened two-piece stainless steel spacer features an additional Viton O-ring that permanently prevents oil leaking from between the spacer and the main drive gear. It can be installed easily without disassembly of the transmission as it is located just behind the main shaft oil seal. The kit replaces the spacer on all 4-speed transmissions from ‘37 through ‘77 and includes the spacer washer, spacer sleeve, Viton O-ring and detailed instructions.


Monday 13 February 2017

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Personally, the only thing I ever rode in a desert was a camel…

Regardless of whether or not it was a move with “inevitable” stamped all over it, that Polaris Industries finally decided it  had to cancel its Victory program is still a great shame - on many levels.
Reminiscent of the financial force majeure that led Harley to can its ownership of Buell Motorcycles and MV Agusta (after just 12 months, and the kind of eye-watering expense that Eric Buell must have dreamed of), it is a sad commentary on the nature of our times that almost a decade on from the ‘Lehman Apocalypse’ our industry is still struggling.
In Polaris’ case, the issue with Victory was one of available investment capital in the face of brand losses and a corporate balance sheet that just couldn’t sustain those losses any longer or generate the kind of investment capital the brand needed.
When I interviewed Polaris’ President of Motorcycles Steve Menneto about the decision, we were both in agreement that in an ideal world it would not have been necessary, but as we all know all too well, market conditions are far from ideal at this time.
Many have seen the demise of Victory as inevitable. Inevitable in the context of what the brand could ever come to represent, and inevitable in the context of Polaris’ 2011 acquisition of Indian Motorcycle from Brit Stephen Julius’s Kings Mountain, North Carolina based attempts to resurrect it.
The orthodox view has been that once Polaris acquired Indian Motorcycle, Victory had become a red headed stepchild overnight – a brand in search of a definition. However, Menneto (and others I know within the Polaris motorcycle organization internationally) is adamant that the company did have a vision for the brand, and that far from there being no opportunities for it, if anything, the future danger might have been successfully resisting the temptation to use the Victory brand to do all the things that it was assumed would be inappropriate for the Indian brand – drag racing being a case in point.
But that is to underestimate just what exactly it is that is at the heart of the Indian legacy, and, conversely, to underestimate just what a largely baggage and heritage-free but still accepted and respected brand such as Victory could have become once shorn of the need to be a primary cruiser or touring rival to Harley.

‘why only respond, rather than lead?’

The Victory opportunity was to bridge the yawning chasm between what is assumed a domestic U.S. manufactured motorcycle brand needs to be (what is assumed it can only be) and where, in 21st century market opportunity terms, it in fact can and needs to be headed.
From their origins as race bikes, at a time when motorcycle racing (and automotive racing for that matter) was first being invented and evolved, and as all terrain transport at a time when paved roads were only just being invented, domestic U.S. manufactured motorcycles (a few honorable but long since deceased exceptions aside) continued to respond to conditions and opportunities by becoming the kinds of touring and cruising platforms they are associated with as needing to be today.
Once the newly invented concept of paved roads evolved into the freeway network that started to emerge in the 1950s, American manufacturers switched direction seamlessly in response to the changed riding conditions and opportunities now available to them.
So how come it is assumed that just because (despite Victory hype at the time of the ‘Octane’ launch) there actually is no tradition of so-called “American Muscle Bikes” in parallel to the Muscle Cars of the ‘50s and ‘60s that one can’t now evolve and emerge in response to contemporary riding conditions? Why is it assumed that a motorcycle manufacturer can only respond to rather than create and lead taste?
Regardless of what one thinks about how successful the ‘Octane’ was ever going to be with a Scout engine, there is an opportunity available to “out-Rod” Harley’s VRSC. The opportunity to meet the changed challenges of 21st century urban riding with a concrete-chewing, traffic-handling alternate to the cruiser undoubtedly exists – the success of the current generation of road-going adventure tourers is testament to the growing need for manufacturers to respond to the altered or new realities of the conurbation.
The traffic conditions that gave rise to the cruiser have now matured and morphed. Not in such a way as to suggest that the day of the cruiser is gone, it isn’t; but instead in a way that shows that there are additional riding style opportunities out there, and now that Victory has gone away, it is hard to see either of the remaining two volume producers embracing the kind of platform engineering that competitors are offering successfully.
The success that BMW has had with its adventure tourers, the immediate success of Honda’s returned ‘Africa Twin’, and the way in which everyone else from Yamaha and Suzuki through to Triumph and even Ducati are falling over themselves to stake a claim to part of that real estate should, surely by now, have registered with either or both of Harley and Polaris?
While trail and rugged terrain exploration, touring and racing (Dakar etc.) provide the ‘ADV’ sector with its sex appeal (just as Marlon Brando did for Triumphs just as the fifties dawned, and as Hopper and Fonda did for choppers as the sixties gave way to the seventies), in fact 95 percent of the miles ridden on such platforms are on-road.
Indeed, that vast majority of those bikes are destined never to see desert coyotes or herds of Wildebeest doing their thing; instead it is survival in the urban jungle that brings the best out of those platforms. They are 21st century street bikes.
So, having made it through the 20th century by adapting to, responding to, and sometimes leading expectations where the riding and ownership experience is concerned, where is it written that neither Harley nor Indian can’t be selling that metal as well as their core product? I must have missed that memo!


Harley-Davidson CEO on Trump Meeting, Corporate Tax Reform

By Matthew Rocco, FOX News

Harley-Davidson is closely watching developments in Washington, D.C., as President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress seek major reforms to corporate taxes.
Executives from the motorcycle maker traveled to the White House (February 2nd) to meet with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and administration officials. Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said the president wanted to get the company’s input on the issues, from tax reform to trade.
“It was a great meeting, mostly because of the way the president and the administration really engaged with us on issues of importance to great American manufacturers like Harley,” Levatich said Wednesday during interview on the FOX Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria.”
“They really listened. They want to hear what we have to say because, as you can imagine, there are a lot of complicated things to figure out, whether it’s tax reform or trade issues.”
Levatich said a tax cut—possibly to 20%—would allow Harley-Davidson to reinvest in its business. The Milwaukee-based company pays an effective tax rate of around 35%, matching the current federal rate.
The company also stands to benefit from the potential border adjustment to the tax code, which is being debated on Capitol Hill and would exempt U.S. corporate export revenues from tax, but at the same time prevent companies from deducting the cost of imported goods and services. Some retailers, car dealers and oil refiners – who depend heavily on imports—argue this would force them to hike prices.
On the other hand, domestic manufacturers—especially companies that export goods from the U.S.—stand to benefit from such a tax. Harley-Davidson has faced stiff competition in the U.S. from Japanese competitors that offer lower-priced models.
“Harley has been heavily invested in American manufacturing since day one, and we’re a great representation of American manufacturing,” Levatich said.

____ ____ ____

President Trump's meeting with Harley shines light on this corporate immigration issue


By Ylan Mui, CNBC

President Donald Trump will meet [February 2nd] with executives from Harley-Davidson, a company that has long proudly manufactured its heavyweight motorcycles in factories across the United States.
But Harley-Davidson has outsourced a different type of work — information technology — that has thrust the company into the debate over high-skilled immigration. 
Harley Davidson signed an agreement with Indian tech staffing giant Infosys in 2012 to take over parts of its IT department. To handle the project, Infosys opened a new facility it Milwaukee, where Harley Davidson is based. About 125 positions were eliminated at Harley Davidson in the process. And workers who applied for a job at the Infosys facility claimed they were discriminated against in favor of South Asian employees.
According to the complaint, Infosys relied heavily on workers with H1B visas, which allow U.S. companies to hire from abroad in highly skilled fields in which there are a shortage of American workers. But the suit argues that there should have been plenty of qualified workers available, such as the ones who just lost their jobs at Harley Davidson.
Attorneys for the workers are seeking class certification. Infosys declined to comment.
Infosys is "filling a disproportionately large percentage of its workforce with individuals of South Asian race ... even when there are qualified individuals available in the United States," the complaint states.
Richard Strong, director of IT at Harley Davidson, said the company strongly encouraged Infosys to hire its former employees. The changes were part of a broader reorganization of its technology department, he said, and the company added a net total of 135 workers in even more highly skilled positions.
"Everybody had the opportunity to reapply for those positions," Strong said. "It was never a cost-cutting exercise. It was more of a realignment and retooling."
The suit underscores the potentially wide reach of Trump's proposals to overhaul the nation's immigration system. Though H-1B visas have long been considered essential in Silicon Valley — Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is one of the program's most vocal supporters — the program's ripple effects also extend to America's heartland.
It is unclear if immigration will come up during Trump's meeting with Harley-Davidson, but his administration has repeatedly criticized H-1B visas as undercutting U.S. workers, with suggestions that the H-1B program could be the focus of a future executive order. Trump railed against the practice on the campaign trail, at one point calling it a "cheap labor program."
Harley-Davidson executives did not meet with Trump alone. The meeting occurred in the Roosevelt Room [of The White House] and included union leaders — who have been staunch supporters of tightening the H-1B program.

Rick Whitehead

Rick Whitehead, 1954-2017

We’re saddened by the passing of our friend Rick Whitehead of Custom Cycle Engineering (CCE).

After attending Chico State Business College, he joined his father’s company DEW (Donald Edward Whitehead) Manufacturing in 1979.
Custom Cycle Engineering began making motorcycle parts in the 60s. In the early 80s DEW and CCE came together and started developing and manufacturing such parts as the temperature gauge dipstick (Baja Products), steel triple trees, spool hubs, close ratio gear sets, intake manifolds, and more. They supplied parts for catalog companies such as Drag Specialties, Custom Cycle Delight, Motorcycle Goodies. The company was passed over to the brothers Rick and Jim Whitehead in the 90s.
Rick ran CCE until his passing, and Jim will keep it going. Rick is survived by wife Sandy, daughter Heather and three grandchildren.
Robin Bradley says: “Rick was a really good guy, and the business he operated with his brother will always have a very special place in the history of the custom motorcycle industry; any business that Randy Smith could regard as a safe home for his creativity had to be the real deal, and Rick was just exactly that - I always enjoyed spending time with him when I could.

EBR Motorcycles

EBR Motorcycles to close

After just about a year, EBR Motorcycles, LLC, the latest iteration of Erik Buell Racing (“EBR” - located at East Troy, Wisconsin) is to close (again).

The company has started to wind down production. Owners LAP (Liquid Asset Partners), who re-established the company in January 2016 (after it had entered administration in April 2015), will conclude EBR’s affairs with the sale of production equipment and excess parts, commencing March.
In a statement, LAP said that “EBR will continue to honor warranties and provide technical and parts support to current dealers and riders who bought motorcycles manufactured by EBR.”

At the time of his acquisition, LAP CEO Bill Melvin said “I believe EBR has established itself as one of the premier motorcycle manufacturers in the world and has strong potential as a viable business.” What a difference a year can make!

The statement went on to say that “EBR will continue to review strategic alternatives with interested investors regarding production operations. The decision was a tough one for EBR as it has been solely focused on the growth and building EBR for success.
“The team at EBR has worked tirelessly, making every effort to build the company. There is no fault on any of the team at EBR for this decision. They and their families have our deepest gratitude for their efforts and dedication to EBR.
Despite investing in the region of $2m when he acquired the assets, it would appear that LAP owner Bill Melvin underestimated the challenges such an undertaking faced, and has lost confidence in EBR’s prospects in present market conditions.
“This difficult decision was based primarily on EBR facing significant headwinds with signing new dealers, which is key to sales and growth for a new company. In addition, EBR has had limited production in 2016 and 2017 that was under goal. The combination of slow sales and industry announcements of other major OEM brands closing or cutting production only magnified the challenges faced by EBR.”
Melvin effectively acquired the business after an investment, racing and joint development program with India’s Hero Motorcycle collapsed; Buell Motorcycles originally having been closed by the then Harley-Davidson CEO Keith Wandell at the height of the banking crises triggered recession in 2009.

Roland Sands Design

Super Hooligan 2017 Championship Race Series

Roland Sands Design (RSD) has announced a full Super Hooligan Street Bike Flat Track Racing National Championship Series for 2017.

RSD say “We’ve selected the best events in the country to be part of the series, which aims to establish the frightening, yet rewarding craft of piloting street bikes at break-neck speeds around dirt, grass and concrete tracks.
“The riders are the stars and are comprised of a unique and diverse background of everyday Joes, Flat Trackers and Road Racers to retired, washed-up Champions, as well as Nine-to-Fivers, Stunt and Motocross riders, and everything in between. It’s a no-holds-barred battle to the checkered flag on 500+ lbs. of fury.
“With races across the country ranging from custom bike shows and concerts to pro American Flat Track events and beach-side racing, the diversity promises a unique experience at each event. Indian Motorcycle has stepped up with a FTR750 Factory Indian Scout GNC race bike as the championship prize. Dunlop Tires, Motul Oils, K&N Filters and Bell Helmets are also involved in a big way, bringing fat contingency checks to the competitors, rewarding heroic rides and top finishers.”
RSD go on to say that “The spirit of hooligan racing comes from a simpler time, when you raced – and could ride home on – any bike you owned. With its roots in Southern California motorcycle culture, today’s flat track hooligan racing category is rapidly gaining in popularity with riders of all ages and experience levels across the nation by offering the fun of motorcycle competition in a less structured environment.
“Combining the craft of custom motorcycles and racing, the Super Hooligan rules are loose and limit the bikes to 750cc and up twins in stock frames with dirt track tires and no front brakes.

Street Bike Flat Track Race Schedule

The series started on February 12 at The One Pro - Salem, OR., and will continue on …

February 17 - Mama Tried’s Flat Out Friday - Milwaukee, WI
March 25 - American Flat Track Atlanta Short Track - Dixie Speedway/Woodstock, GA
April 22 - Hippy Killer Hoedown - Perris, CA
June TBD - Costa Mesa Speedway Super Hooligan Night - Costa Mesa, CA
July 22-23 - Dirt Quake USA - Castle Rock, WA
August 9 - Buffalo Chip TT- Sturgis, SD
August TBD - Wheels and Waves Invitational- Cayucos, CA
October 7 - American Flat Track Finals - Perris Auto Speedway/Perris, CA
October 14-15 - Bolsa Chica Banzai - Bolsa Chica State Beach, C

*Dates and events are subject to change.