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Wednesday 26 April 2017

John Parham

John Parham
1954 – 2017

Robin Bradley writes …
Along with many hundreds of people in the motorcycle industry, it was with great sadness that I learned of the death of John Parham at the end of last week.
John was my friend; John will always be my friend.

I first met John in 1989, I think it was, on my first ever business road trip to the United States - after quite by chance finding myself in the motorcycle industry earlier that year.
Unlikely as it was, I was planning to drive from Milwaukee to Des Moines, Iowa, on that trip, and would be going right past the door of J&P Cycles. I had wondered about calling him once I was in the U.S. and inviting myself to go and find out about him.

Coincidentally he called me at my office in England just 48 hours before I was due to leave. He was expressing interest in the magazine I then worked on. John said he was interested in options to grow international sales, so wanted a media info kit.

“Sure,” I said, “I could drop it off on Friday afternoon.” 

There was a moment’s polite silence, then in the characteristic Iowa accent that I’d come to love, he calmly explained that he was actually calling me from the United States. 

“Thanks for the offer, but it’s okay. You see, I’m calling you from Iowa, so you’d probably just better put it in the mail.”

“I know where you’re calling me from, and I’m driving right past your place in three days’ time,” I said.

Stunned silence.

“Urm, nah, I doubt that. Nobody “just drives by my place,” especially not from England. I’m miles from anywhere. What makes you think you’ll be driving past my place?”

“Well, I’ve got to get from Milwaukee to Des Moines, and I figured I’d go via Madison (to visit with S&S), Dubuque, and then cut across country – Anamosa is on the 151, and that’s the way I’m planning to drive … I’m flying out to Chicago tomorrow!”

Extremely stunned silence.


John became one of the first contacts I made in the custom parts industry on that first road trip … and 28 years later?

We all lost a friend at the end of last week.
There have been some excellent tributes paid to John on the internet, and rather than trying to do justice to an amazing man and his amazing life here, let me point you towards a couple of online resources.

There’s a great bio of John (and Jill) on the National Motorcycle Museum website here …

… and his original inductee proposal and a link to his acceptance speech at the induction ceremony, when he was elected to the AMA’s Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2015, can be found here …

“You and I will meet again, when we're least expecting it;
one day in some far-off place, I will recognize your face;
I won't say goodbye my friend, for you and I will meet again”

A Celebration of John Parham’s Life will be held at The National Motorcycle Museum May 6 at 10:30am

Photo by Onno Wieringa of Madness Photography

Polaris Q1 results

“Decent start to an important year” – CEO Scott Wine on Polaris Q1 results

Polaris has reported that overall sales revenue for the first quarter of 2017 increased +17% to $1,153.8 million, with Polaris North America retail sales “exceeding” company expectations.

The company says that Indian Motorcycle continued to gain market share in a soft quarter for the industry’s 900cc+ sector and that its ORV (Off Road Vehicles) market share is “stabilizing.”
The company has reported a first quarter 2017 net loss of $2.9 million, a loss that included costs related to the wind-down of Victory Motorcycles.
North American consumer retail demand for the Polaris motorcycle segment, including Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot, was down mid-single digits percent during the 2017 first quarter, while the overall motorcycle industry retail sales, 900cc and above, was down mid-single digits percent in the 2017 first quarter. However, Indian Motorcycle retail sales increased low double-digits percent.
“While we reported an expected net loss for the quarter, adjusted earnings were slightly ahead of our expectations,” said Polaris Industries CEO Scott Wine. “We saw continued strong performance from Indian Motorcycle, and our ORV business improved its performance in the face of heavy competitive activity and a sluggish powersports environment. Overall, our dealer channel remains healthy with inventories down eight percent, and we continue to diligently work to enhance our dealer engagement.”
With reference to some of the issues the company finds itself needing to address, not least the ORV and Slingshot recall problems it continues to encounter, Wine went on to say that the company is “aggressively investing in the development of innovative products that will further solidify Polaris’ position as the leader in powersports. Our first quarter results reflect our commitment to quickly and sustainably improve our strategic and tactical execution, continue enhancing overall safety and quality, and building superior products for our customers.” 

Motorcycle segment sales revenue in the first quarter of 2017 (including PG&A related sales) was $120.3 million, a decrease of -35 percent compared to $185.3 million reported in the first quarter of 2016 (which included $46.3 million of Victory Motorcycles wholegood, accessory and apparel sales). Indian Motorcycle wholegood sales increased in the first quarter driven by strong retail sales, offset by lower Slingshot sales, which were negatively impacted by low availability of saleable product due to quality holds during the quarter.
Polaris announced in January its intention to wind down its Victory Motorcycles operations. The company says the decision is expected to improve the long-term profitability of Polaris and its global motorcycle business, while materially improving the company’s competitive position in the industry.  Meantime though, Polaris will record costs associated with supporting Victory dealers in selling their remaining inventory, the disposal of factory inventory, tooling and other physical assets, and the cancellation of various supplier arrangements.
Gross profit for the first quarter of 2017 was a negative $19.9 million compared to positive $27.3 million in the first quarter of 2016. Adjusted for the Victory wind-down costs of $38.6 million, motorcycle gross profit was a positive $18.7 million, down from the first quarter last year due to product mix and lower Slingshot volume.
Overall gross profit decreased two percent to $242.5 million for the first quarter of 2017 from $247.6 million in the first quarter of 2016. As a percentage of sales, reported gross profit margin was 21.0 percent compared with 25.2 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2016.


International sales to customers outside of North America totaled $166.2 million for the first quarter of 2017, including PG&A, up two percent from the same period in 2016.
During the first quarter 2017, the company repurchased and retired 256,000 shares of its common stock for $21.8 million. As of March 31, 2017, the company has authorization from its Board of Directors to repurchase up to an additional 7.2 million shares of Polaris stock.
The company guidance range for the full year 2017 remains unchanged. Polaris says it expects adjusted net income to be in the range of $4.25 to $4.50 per diluted share, compared with adjusted net income of $3.48 per diluted share for 2016. Full year 2017 adjusted sales are anticipated to increase in the range of 10 percent to 13 percent over 2016 sales of $4,516.6 million, also unchanged from previously issued guidance.
Global Adjacent Markets segment sales, along with its PG&A related sales, increased 24 percent to $91.6 million in the 2017 first quarter compared to $74.1 million in the 2016 first quarter. Gross profit increased 38 percent to $28.1 million, or 30.7 percent of sales, in the first quarter of 2017, compared to $20.4 million, or 27.5 percent of sales, in the first quarter of 2016. Sales and gross profit were up primarily due to increased sales in the company’s Government and Defense business in the 2017 first quarter, which more than doubled from the previous year’s quarter sales. Work and Transportation group wholegood sales were up 12 percent during the first quarter of 2017, primarily due to increased Aixam sales and a full quarter of Taylor-Dunn sales compared to last year.
Aftermarket segment sales which includes Transamerican Auto Parts (“TAP”), along with the company’s other aftermarket brands of Klim, Kolpi, Pro Armor, Trail Tech and 509, increased significantly to $217.8 million in the 2017 first quarter compared to $15.5 million in the 2016 first quarter. TAP added $202.0 million of sales in the first quarter of 2017. Gross profit increased significantly to $41.6 million, or 19.1 percent of sales in the first quarter of 2017, compared to $4.7 million, or 30.3 percent of sales, in the first quarter of 2016. Adjusted for the TAP acquisition step-up adjustment, aftermarket gross profit was $54.5 million, or 25.0 percent of sales. Sales and gross profit dollars were up primarily due to the addition of TAP acquired in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Off-Road Vehicle (“ORV”) and Snowmobile segment sales, including their respective PG&A related sales, were $724.1 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $708.1 million for the first quarter for the prior year, representing a two percent increase, year-over-year. PG&A sales for ORV and Snowmobiles combined increased 13 percent in the 2017 first quarter compared to last year. Gross profit increased three percent to $213.0 million, or 29.4 percent of sales in the first quarter of 2017, compared to $206.0 million, or 29.1 percent of sales, in the first quarter of 2016. Gross profit percentage increased primarily due to product mix.
ORV wholegood sales for the first quarter of 2017 were approximately flat as the company began shipping at more normalized rates. Polaris North American ORV unit retail sales for the first quarter of 2017 were down mid-single digits percent from the 2016 first quarter, which included consumer purchases for side-by-side vehicles down low-single digits percent and ATV retail sales down low-double digits percent. The North American ORV industry was down mid-single digits percent compared to the first quarter last year. ORV dealer inventory was down nine percent in the 2017 first quarter compared to the same period last year.
Snowmobile wholegood sales in the first quarter of 2017 decreased three percent due to timing of shipments during the quarter. “While the snow season did not meet our expectations, dealer inventory finished below last year and we received a strong reception to our all-new model year 2018 Polaris TITAN™, the industry’s most capable extreme crossover snowmobile.”
Overall Parts, Garments and Accessories (“PG&A”) sales, excluding aftermarket segment sales, increased 13 percent for the 2017 first quarter. The increase was primarily driven by higher ORV and Global Adjacent Markets related PG&A sales during the quarter.
First quarter 2017 reported net loss was $0.05 per diluted share; adjusted net income for the same period was $0.75 per diluted share, slightly ahead of expectations
Total dealer inventory was down 8% year-over-year; ORV dealer inventory was down 9%.
Polaris reiterated its full year 2017 outlook with adjusted net income expected to be in the range of $4.25 to $4.50 per diluted share, with adjusted sales for the full year 2017 expected to be in the range of up 10% to 13%.

V-Twin Expo 2017 review part 6

V-Twin Expo 2017 review part 6

NAMZ: Just three years on from buying and adding the Badlands line of lighting modules to his established range of NAMZ electronic components, Jeff Zielinski says he has completely re-engineered the line with new platforms to speed up the manufacturing process. Two new modules were launched this winter, using the same mold and same circuit board, have helped to reduce machine time while simplifying the bill of materials and increasing fill rates into the high 90s. “It also made for a near perfect module” says Jeff. “They already boasted a less than a 1% failure rate per 20,000 units sold, but now we have unprecedented flexibility for new module designs. We continue to grow the company by producing new modules for motorcycles – right through to Indian, Victory and late model CAN/Bus Harley-Davidsons. Jeff says: “We’re so confident that we produce and engineer the very best lighting modules that we offer a lifetime warranty on all modules purchased after December 31st 2016. Why would you ever want to use anything else? Stay tuned as 2017 will be another banner year for NAMZ as we have some new items that are sure to thrill!”;


Paughco: The Carson City, Nevada based company continues to be one of the best manufacturers of frames, fenders, front ends, wheels, gas tanks, handlebars, triple trees, trike conversion components and everything in between. Founded in 1969, Paughco is one of the industry’s primary “go to” sources for custom parts and accessories for Harleys;


Memphis Shades: Recent new products from the Rossville, Tennessee based manufacturer include their spoiler windshields for Batwing fairings, ‘No-Tool’ Trigger-Lock windshield mount kits, their popular Fats and Slim windshields, and spoiler windshield for Road Glides that curves back towards the rider with an  optically correct vertical section that sends the airstream up and over the rider;


Spectro Oils of America: The Brookfield, Connecticut based v-twin oil specialist is again offering their annual pre-season stocking discount for existing and new dealers. From now until March 31st dealers can take advantage of this one-time offer to receive a 10% discount off their entire order. “The core of our business is a dealer first philosophy. We understand that the winter months can be tough for a majority of motorcycle dealers. We make this discount available before spring every year, so it’s easier for dealers to stock up on the products they need before the spring rush happens,” said Joe Russo, National Sales Manager for Spectro;


Le Pera: The legendary Californian seat manufacturer is in the second generation family ownership of Bob Le Pera Sr’s daughter Christine and son Bob Le Para Jr (right). Seen here with some random photo bomber (who actually looks a lot like Allen Alvarez of Daytona Twin Tec), Le Pera celebrate their 45th anniversary this year. Recent new products include their race-inspired Daytona sport seat, Aviator up front seat and Signature II chopper seat;


Drag Specialties: The Janesville, Wisconsin headquartered market leading distributor continues to be a strong supporter of the market’s independent specialist trade expo, as well as investing in events specifically for its own dealers. This year Drag Specialties will have hosted dealers at the Lucas Oil Stadium at Indianapolis just three weeks after V-Twin Expo (the new ‘Indy’?) and will do so again at their annual National Vendor Presentations and dealer showcase at Madison, Wisconsin, at the end of August;


Goodridge: Founded by Stuart Goodridge in the UK in 1969, Goodridge braided stainless steel brake lines have been designed to offer “the very best in braking performance. Unlike factory fitted lines, Goodridge brake lines won’t expand under pressure, giving you more precise braking right when you need it. Every Goodridge brake line is individually 100% pressure tested and guaranteed to be leak- free, corrosion resistant and backed by a lifetime guarantee”;

Indian Motorcycle

Polaris to replace Victory ‘Empulse’ with longer distance Indian branded E-bike

Having wound down production of Victory Motorcycles, including its ‘Empulse’ E-bike, Polaris has confirmed that it will now develop a new electric motorcycle under the Indian brand.

Expected to cover 120-140 miles on a single charge, compared with 75 miles for an ‘Empulse’, in a recent interview with Reuters, Steve Menneto (President of Indian Motorcycle) said: “We want to attract new riders with "fun" electric motorcycles. The characteristics of the (new) powertrain are going to be more applicable to be able to ride a bike in pleasure and twisties,” differentiating the planned new offer from the purely short-cycle urban mobility market that has largely been the province of E-bikes so far.
The company will be continuing to leverage their late 2014 acquisition of Ashland, Oregon based E-bike manufacturer Brammo, but Menneto declined to give pricing details about the new bike – except to say that it would be priced “competitively.” The company's suggested retail price for the Brammo derived Victory ‘Empulse’ was upward of $19,999. Harley is believed to still be some time away from being able to capitalize on the hype it generated with its “Livewire” prototype in 2014.

Steve Menneto (President of Indian Motorcycle)
Menneto also told Reuters that he expects the company's revenue from its motorcycle business to grow to $1 billion in the next five years from $708.5 million last year, and confirmed something that he told AMD Magazine in January, namely that the Indian product line will expand to include smaller displacement models.

Arnott Air Suspension Products

Arnott awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification

Merritt Island, Florida based Arnott Air Suspension Products, “the leader in aftermarket air suspension parts and accessories,” has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 Management System Certification.

Arnott’s TruAIR technology ‘Ultimate Ride’ kit is a premium air suspension solution for 1990 and up Tourers and features FOX shocks and a Goodyear air spring.

The internationally recognized and respected ISO 9001:2008 certification system is based on quality management principles, which include strong customer focus and continual improvement of robust, efficient processes.     
“It has always been Arnott’s goal to ensure our customers consistently receive high quality products and services,” said Arnott CEO Todd Nash. “Now, with the ISO 9001:2008 Certification in hand, we have both a current affirmation of our long standing commitment to excellence, and a roadmap to help us continue to meet or exceed customer expectations in the future.”

In addition to ISO 9001:2008 Certification, Arnott recently received TÜV Rheinland Product Safety and Quality Certification, assuring customers and partners in Europe that its products meet the highest safety and quality standards.
Last year, Arnott’s products also earned GOST ISO 9001-2011 Certification and the EurAsian Conformity (EAC) Mark for Arnott’s Quality Management System, which is required for export to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.
At the start of the year Arnott unveiled a new website design featuring their ‘Ultimate Ride’ and ‘Smooth Ride’ TruAir technology onboard air suspension kits for motorcycles, including Tourers and Softails.

Seen here at the recent Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice Dealer Expo in Texas, Arnott motorcycle suspension director Glenn Nash told AMD that “reaction to our latest generation of Tourer and Softail True on-board air suspension has been excellent. Expect far more application news soon”

National Cycle

Versatile polycarbonate ‘Mohawk’ fork-mount windshields

Maywood, Illinois based National Cycle has continued the minimalist, sporty design tradition that they are known for with their famous Flyscreen with the new ‘Mohawk’ – an updated design that features a taller and wider size, with a special ‘V’ profile for added wind management. 

As with their established Flyscreen, the new ‘Mohawk’ is adaptable to many motorcycles – cruisers, standards and naked style street and sport bikes.
Utilizing the Flyscreen’s mounting hardware, so there is a lot of built-in versatility, the fork tube mounts are available in three different diameters, while the headlight mounts will fit almost any bike with traditional left/right headlight mount brackets.
Features include thick 4.5mm dark tint, hard coated polycarbonate for durability and “long lasting good looks,” state-of-the-art manufacturing, smooth radius edges, superb forming and sharp optical quality.

A new 44-51mm diameter fork clamp has been added to the available application options, which is said to eliminate the need for excessive fork gaskets.  Patented brackets are engineered for fork width adjustment from 8.5”-11.0” (21.6 - 28.0cm) spacing and high strength, lightweight, machined steel brackets have the look of custom billet.
All National Cycle polycarbonate windscreens are protected by a 3-year warranty against breakage. Fork-mount ‘Mohawks’ are available with chrome or black mounts and fit up to 43mm and 52-56mm O.D. fork tubes, with 44-51mm versions coming soon; headlight-mount ‘Mohawks’ (also with chrome or black mounts) also available. Check out their website/distributor catalogs for a full bike specific fitment chart.


Midwest Motorcycle Supply

Can you have too much black?

Pevely, Missouri based manufacturer and distributor Midwest Motorcycle Supply has added to its Ultima wheels program for 2017 with a third finish option for their popular ‘King Spoke’ wheels – ‘Black-on-Black’, which is added to their Black on Chrome and Chrome on Chrome wheels.
All available from 16” to 26”, Ultima ‘King Spoke’ wheels have all steel construction with 48 solid spokes for durability. The look can be highlighted with matching polished stainless steel ‘King Spoke’ rotors and pulleys available in black, chrome or polished.
Also new for 2017, Ultima 60-spoke wheels come in sizes from 16” to 26” with a black billet hub, black rim and chrome spokes for a “true classic look.”


Maxima Racing Oils

“Oil Change in a Box”

Californian oil blender Maxima’s “Oil Change in a Box” is designed to ease the oil change process. Each kit comes with all necessary products to complete a full oil change including 20W-50 engine, transmission and primary oils, plus a K&N ‘Wrench-Off’ oil filter in black or chrome.

Depending on the year and model, synthetic or mineral engine oil kits are available for coverage from ’84 Evo engines right up to late model Twin Cams and ’84 to present Sportsters.

Also seen here, the Maxima “Quick Change Kit” includes one gallon of oil only, plus choice of K&N oil filters for ’99 and up Twin Cams. Maxima 5WT, 10WT and 20WT V-Twin fork oil options are also available.


Seen here at the recent Tucker Rocky dealer event, Maxima’s V-Twin Oils specialist Garrett Andrews says that “our oil change kit options are proving very popular as they give dealers the flexibility of service solution options they need”

Le Pera Motorcycle Seats

“Race inspired” can also be comfortable

With some companies, the term “racing inspired” is synonymous with “uncomfortable.” The “track” record that Le Pera Motorcycle Seats have earned proves that it is possible to combine race styling with all-day comfort. 

For riders who are going solo, the Daytona Sport from Le Pera slopes down towards the fender to blend seamlessly with the lines of the motorcycle, available in smooth, Diamond or pleated for almost all Harleys.
Still hand-crafting all their seats at their North Hollywood, California headquarters after nearly 45 years as the market’s design leader, all Le Pera seats feature a powder-coated steel base plate,  a specially poured high-density “Marathon” molded foam foundation and double stitched, hand-crafted cover with bonded polyester thread for durability.


Wednesday 19 April 2017


First quarter market share and stock price gains in the U.S. as reduced shipments help dealers move MY 2016 carry-over inventory

Harley-Davidson’s first quarter 2017 results paint a mixed picture of the company’s fortunes. Overall, their performance to March 31 was no worse than the factory had been forecasting when reacting to the “new reality” that their 2016 annual results represented back in January, with “First quarter U.S. retail sales in line with our projections,” according to CEO Matt Levatich.
“We remain confident in our full-year plan despite international retail sales being down in the first quarter. We are very pleased with our continued growth in U.S. market share and the progress our U.S. dealers made in reducing their inventory of 2016 motorcycles in the quarter.”
Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales in the U.S. were down -5.7 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, driven by soft industry sales and the company’s decision to reduce shipments of model year 2017 motorcycles - a decision that appears to have succeeded in helping dealers focus on selling down their model year 2016 retail inventory.
Harley’s U.S. market share for the quarter was 51.3 percent in the 601cc-plus segment, up compared to the first quarter in 2016.
Overall, international retail sales decreased -1.8 percent compared to the same quarter in 2016, resulting in worldwide Harley retail motorcycle sales being down -4.2 percent compared to the same period in 2016.


International retail sales were down behind weak sales in Asia Pacific (in particular, but partially offset by strong growth in percentage terms in Latin America). Retail sales in EMEA and Canada were both down as they competed against strong prior year first quarter growth of +8.8 percent and +16.3 percent respectively.
However, at just -0.4 percent down, their EMEA (mostly European) sales have actually held up well in the context of poor official “new model” first quarter registration statistics in Europe. Triggered by a rush in the final quarter of 2016 to pre-register held-over Euro 3 compliant inventory (in advance of the January 1 deadline for Euro 4 new model compliance), reported first quarter demand in Europe is being artificially supressed as tens of thousands of zero mileage pre-registered motorcycles (from all manufacturers) sat in dealer showrooms with massive discounts and incentives.
Following their 2016 fiscals, the company started to cast its “long-term strategy” as a ten-year plan – citing the objectives it has set itself as achievements to be realized through 2027. In doing so Harley has reiterated the plans unveiled in January this year, now adding more detail to the bones of its prior statements - not least in terms of the increasing emphasis it continues to place on its international business.
“We recently announced our plan to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally. We are energized by our focused strategy, and we believe our powerful brand and commitment to excellence will position us to drive demand for our products and grow our sport,” said Levatich.

Harley’s Q1 statement lists its five key 10-year objectives as aiming to “build” two million new Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S.; grow international business to “50 percent of annual volume” (which is hugely ambitious given the nature of the competition it faces outside the U.S.); launch 100 new “high-impact” motorcycles (which means it is ramping up its 50 new models in the next five- year plan dramatically); deliver “superior return on invested capital” for Harley-Davidson Motor Company - the ownership vehicle through which it has its S&P 500 share listing and, in a clear side-swipe at those who think the present domestic U.S. political climate should result in an abrogation of corporate responsibility in such matters, Harley says it intends that the growth of its business should be achieved “without growing its environmental impact.”
By way of a three-year strategic focus Harley says that in addition to creating new customers and launching new models it wants to strengthen and expand its dealer network, target competitive riders, expand its H-D Touring offer still further, maintain its Premium Brand status and embrace used H-D motorcycles (Harley added seven new dealerships internationally during the first quarter of 2017 and is targeting between 150 and 200 more international dealers by the end of 2020).
For 2017, Harley-Davidson continues to anticipate full-year motorcycle shipments to be flat to down modestly in comparison to 2016; the company says it expects to ship approximately 80,000 to 85,000 motorcycles in the second quarter of 2017.
Harley-Davidson continues to expect full-year 2017 operating and gross margin as a percent of revenue to be approximately in line with 2016, and for full-year 2017 capital expenditures to be $200 million to $220 million.
First quarter 2017 diluted EPS decreased -22.8 percent to $1.05 compared to $1.36 in the same period of 2016. First quarter net income was $186.4 million on consolidated revenue of $1.50 billion versus net income of $250.5 million on consolidated revenue of $1.75 billion in the first quarter of last year.

V-Twin Expo 2017 review, part 5

 V-Twin Expo 2017 review, part 5

Kibblewhite Precision Machining: Will Kibblewhite (right, seen here with sales engineer Mike Perry) oversees a Pacifica, California, facility where the science of replacement and performance valvetrain really has been turned into an art form. From their acclaimed Black Diamond, Tensilite and White Diamond valve programs, to stems, retainers, springs, guides, seals, seats, tappets and shims, the “KPMI System” is materials and design matched system engineering that produces compatible components that work together in glorious harmony – a not inconsequential consideration where any engine is concerned, but not least in the V-twin layout;


Mid-USA: The Hazelwood, Missouri based distributor’s new 2017 ‘En-Cycle-Pedia’ catalog showcased the results of 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;


RAM Mounts: Ranging from universal to custom, RAM offers a wide variety of bases to choose from depending on the style of bike and desired mounting location. Each base connects to their patented double ball and socket design - RAM was introduced in 1992 and offers “thousands of modular products for any adventure.” An innovative and versatile modular approach to managing a rider’s “creature comforts” it centers on a system of ball and socket mounts that revolve around an elastomeric rubber ball - incorporating a non-slip feature and shock and vibration dampening. Materials include high quality assembly hardware, durable composites, steel, stainless steel, rubber and aluminum; the mounting bases and complete kits are manufactured in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty;


Magnum Shielding: CEO Scott Hurwitz (left) and Engineering Manager Chris Hughson introduced the new Magnum ‘Caliber’ handlebar kits for 1 ¼” Bagger and Ape Hanger handlebars with 12,” 14” and 16” height options for select ABS and non-ABS models. Based at Pittsford, New York, Magnum says this is the industry’s only truly complete kit that combines great fitting and perfectly matching braided brake lines and control cables with their new chrome plated or black powdercoat finish premium quality ‘Caliber’ handlebars; check out their newly rebuilt website at


James Gaskets: The Dayton, Nevada based market leading gasket and seals manufacturer is working hard on a major new product project that is leveraging their state-of-the-art R&D, materials science and manufacturing investments with a program that will see them staying at the cutting edge of the late model replacement and performance gasket market;


The Leatherworks Inc: Home of the ‘Nickel’ saddlebags, Aimee Thacher always gets animated where quality materials and genuine craftsmanship are concerned, and that passion translates into just about the best quality design and craftsman made motorcycle luggage money can buy. Check out their leather-matched fitments for Indian models;


Design Engineering Inc (DEI): A year ago, the award-winning Avon Lake, Ohio based noise control and thermal barrier specialist Design Engineering Inc. introduced an updated version of its award-winning flexible heat shields to include additional sizes and premium finishes. Since then further additions to the DEI range have included their Protective Split Sleeve – “great way to add additional protection to exposed wire looms, hoses and cables,” according to DEI’s Director of Motorcycle Products Brian VanKoevering. Most recently DEI has extended its best-selling titanium exhaust wrap with LR (lava rock) technology with a great looking satin black finish edition. Extremely popular with customizers and performance tuners, installation is easy because the material is more pliable and no pre-wetting is needed. It is temperature resistant to 1,800 degrees F (nearly 1,000 degrees C) and available in all of Design Engineering’s popular roll lengths;

News Briefs

General Motors and Honda have announced establishment of what is described as the auto industry’s first manufacturing joint venture to mass-produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used in future products from each company. Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility site in Brownstown, Michigan, south of Detroit. Mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020 and create nearly 100 new jobs. The companies are making equal investments totalling $85 million in the joint venture.
Mahindra Two Wheelers, the Indian motorcycle manufacturer who bought a 51 percent stake in Peugeot’s Scooter business in 2014, has acquired the rights to the legendary British BSA name from Southampton, UK based BSA-Regal late last year.

The United States has seen a continued decline in ATV deaths and injuries with a recent government department report citing fatalities for the period 2007 to 2012 as -31 percent, with deaths of children in ATV related accidents -50 percent.

Portuguese Enduro machine manufacturer AJP has reported a third straight year of record growth in the United States, with 2016 sales +62 percent, 17 new dealerships added and two further new models taking their U.S. range up to five off-roaders. AJP has launched a new 600cc adventure bike (the PR7) in Europe for 2017.

The acquisition of Minneapolis based ATV, side-by-side and snowmobile manufacturer Arctic Cat (AC) by Textron Inc. for $247m in cash is being investigated by a New York law firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions. They contend that the basis that the Board of Arctic Cat may have “breached their fiduciary duties” by failing to make sure they got the best possible price for the business. AC is to join Textron’s Specialized Vehicles business, which also owns E-Z-GO, Cushman, Jacobsen, Dixie Chopper, Bad Boy, Ransomes and Douglas. Textron owns Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker, among others.

Stefan Pierer’s Austria based investment vehicle Pierer Industrie AG, the company behind KTM, Husqvarna, WP Suspension, and others, has made a $9m strategic investment in heads-up display (HUD) company NUVIZ. The San Diego, California based technology start-up hopes to have a heads-up display unit and connected rider system available in the first half of 2017.

Arctic Cat has finally won a patent infringement action first brought against it in 2011 in the Canadian courts by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP). Designs used on some 44,000 Arctic Cat snowmobiles, covering model years 2007 through 2015, were found not to have infringed 56 of BRP’s patents and patent claims.


OptiMate 4 - Version 3 has landed

First introduced in 2008, TecMate’s OptiMate 4 quickly became established as one of the most popular battery chargers in their line-up. 

Version 2, introduced in 2010, had two major updates - high frequency, fully electronic power conversion (able to receive global 100 – 240Vac power) and a dual program feature. Program 1 gave direct charging to a 12V battery via the battery clips or permanent battery leads with M6 (1/4”) rings; program 2 allowed charging to be activated through the CAN bus controlled 12V power port on motorcycles such as Beemers -  OptiMate 4’s keyless program communicated seamlessly with the CAN bus control and guaranteed 24-7 maintenance without the need of supervision.
The keyless entry and additional features, such as the ability to save a battery from as low as 0.5V and pre- and post-charging testing (allowing the user to monitor charge progress), quickly made the OptiMate 4 dual program the most popular and trusted charger in global powersport. 
The new Version 3 retains all these advantages and more. The more efficient power circuitry (California approved) now delivers 1 Amp of charge current, and refinements in the software control further speeds charging - with the visual LED instructions on the charger itself helping keep the user informed of charge progress at a glance.
Two models of the Version 3 are available - the standard V3 OptiMate 4 and a dedicated BMW CAN bus edition. 



Zodiac additions


Air cleaner kits for vintage Harleys
Zodiac continues to add to its fast-growing range of restoration parts for older models with these air cleaner kits, described as “perfect reproductions” of the OEM parts found on 1935 thru 1940 and 1941 thru 1955 models.


“Bagger Blues” stretched saddlebags and speaker lids
These Zodiac exclusive fiberglass saddlebag bodies and speaker lids are made in the Netherlands in precision build moulds by Double G Baggers. Described as a perfect replacement for the stock hard shell luggage, they are 6” (15cm) longer at the underside to provide an “unparalleled stretched look,” and have a lean angle clearance so the underside doesn’t drag on the pavement when cornering.
Bags for 1993 thru 2008 models come complete with a matching rear fender cover; bags for 2009 thru 2013 models come complete with a full rear fender. The fiberglass saddlebag speaker lids fit both stock and aftermarket hard shell luggage on 1993 thru 2013 Touring models and are ready to take 6 1/2” speakers. Bags and lids come with a white gel coat finish; hardware available separately.


S&S cam chest upgrade kits
For a complete cam chest upgrade in one labor-saving performance boosting step, S&S cam chest upgrade kits include everything required to refresh all 1999 to 2017 Twin Cams. The kits include S&S performance cams, a replacement for the stock oil pump, cam support plate, push rods and tappets.
The cam chest can also be upgraded to the 2007-up style oil pump system and S&S hydraulic cam chain tensioners, offering “improved engine performance, better, more consistent oil pressure and no more worries about expensive cam chain failure.” Kits are available for use with the OEM chain drive or complete with the S&S famous gear drive; the highest lift versions feature E-Z start cams.


Twin Power

Twin Power gasket kits

Made in the USA, Twin Power gaskets are offered as complete application-specific kits with all necessary gaskets and seals (or sold individually), with the “highest quality kits” including AFM (Asbestos Free Material) and MLS (Multi-Layered Steel) style gaskets.

Primary Gasket Kit

Top End Kit

“One of the biggest complaints we’ve heard about gaskets is how they’re packaged,” says James Simonelli, Brand Manager for Twin Power. “Many of the gaskets on the market are packaged in uneven quantities, which makes no sense. We’ve also reduced package quantities on many items to help keep inventory costs down.”
Simonelli says Twin Power gaskets offer improved sealing capability, minimal required load to seal, high-crush resistance, exceptional torque retention and outstanding resistance to blowout. Seen here are Twin Power’s primary gasket and top end gasket kits.


Drag Specialties - Feuling

OE+ hydraulic cam chain tensioner conversion kits

Available through Drag Specialties, these OE+ kits by Californian performance specialist Feuling allow engine builders to update early style mechanical cam chain tensioner Twin Cam engines to the late style hydraulic cam chain tensioner systems while mixing and matching components.

One of the many available permutations, this OE+ hydraulic cam chain tensioner conversion kit by Feuling is for use when updating a ’99-‘01 Magneti Marelli ignition system model engine with cam position sensor to the hydraulic cam chain tensioner system – requires an ’07-’16 style oiling system; also available for ’01-’06 Delphi ignition models and for Delphi or Magneti Marelli ’99-’06 style camshafts with the stock style splined drive camshafts and conversion cam plate, which allows the use of a hydraulic tensioner system

Whether using a Feuling cam chest kit with conversion camshafts, Feuling conversion cam plate oiling system with stock style ‘99-‘06 camshafts and/or conversion camshafts with a combination of factory, SE, Delkron or S&S oiling systems, these kits are said to offer endless combinations.
The U.S.A. made kits include cam and crank sprockets, sprocket alignment spacers, inner and outer cam chains and inner and outer hydraulic tensioner assemblies.

Stock replacement 17 and 34-tooth roller chain drive sprockets

Also seen here, Feuling 17 and 34-tooth cam chain drive sprockets for ’07-’16 Twin Cams are machined in steel as stock replacement roller chain drive sprockets that also work on ’99-’06 engines when upgrading to the hydraulic cam chain tensioners using the roller chain.


MAG Connection

MAG Connection adds Arnott Air Suspension

France based purchasing portal provider and distribution, buying consortium and vendor representation specialist MAG Connection continues to expand the fast-growing range of brands it represents.

The latest addition to their line-up is the Air Suspension range from Florida based specialist Arnott.
Described as “the leader in true on-board adjustable air suspension kits for motorcycles”, Arnott’s air suspension systems feature proven height and rebound-adjustable, nitrogen-charged FOX shock absorbers for a “custom-tuneable safe and comfortable ride.”
Available for 1990 to 2017 Tourers and 2001-2016 Softails, Arnott’s patent-pending TruAIR motorcycle air suspension kits consist of two options – their “Smooth Ride” and “Ultimate Ride” application-specific kits, featuring a rugged Goodyear air spring bladder and monoshock damper design. For added ride comfort, Arnott offers some Ultimate Ride kits with FOX's rebound adjustment dial, so the rider can quickly and easily modify the internal damping characteristics of the application-specific shocks.
Arnott pairs the shocks with a small but powerful compressor – these are not air cylinder or air-assisted systems, but true limited lifetime warranty backed air suspensions – hence “TruAIR”.


Arlen Ness Enterprises

“Monster Sucker” with hidden breather tech

Ness Enterprises have released a “Monster Sucker” 90-degree air cleaner kit featuring their award-winning, patented Big Sucker hidden breather technology with “more filter surface than any other aftermarket 90-degree design currently available.”

Ness’ hidden breathers are O-ringed at the heads and exit out of the mouth of the injector/carb to provide efficient engine breathing, maximizing performance and eliminating the need for any external hoses or hardware.
The inverted 90° style filter features a built-in inverted top to pull in air not only from all sides of the filter but also the front, which results in more performance-gaining airflow. Each filter is constructed from synthetic material that is water resistant, which in most cases eliminates the need for a rain sock. Filters are re-usable and do not require oil, just rinse and re-use. 

The kits are available for 2017-up FLT models M-8s and can include CNC-machined forged billet aluminum throttle servo covers in deep cut 10-gauge of beveled styles; covers can be added at any time to any standard Monster Sucker kits that were originally purchased without covers.

Also seen here, these intricately machined forged billet aluminum construction speaker grills “for a clean, sculpted look” are also available in 10-gauge, deep cut and beveled with a black anodized or chrome finish. Sold in pairs, they include the stainless mesh with matching billet dash accessories, windshield trim, horn kit, and more also available.
Finally, this CNC-machined billet aluminum gauge trim in deep cut, 10-gauge or beveled is a “simple and fast install that adds style to the inner fairing.” Each style has matching speaker grills and tank dash accessories for the complete look; available in chrome or black.