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Monday 26 June 2017

Championship of the Americas

Championship of the Americas at AIMExpo, Columbus, Ohio, September 21-24
All ‘Builders’ invited to enter to win a trip to the AMD World Championship in 2018

Registration is now open for the Championship of the Americas (COTA) at the 5th annual AIMExpo in September – a year that is likely to see a huge V-twin dealer and consumer attendance as a result of the move to the Midwest and decision by both Indian Motorcycle and Harley-Davidson to become exhibitors.

The most prestigious show in North America when it comes to the world custom bike building scene, the Championship of the Americas is the only official AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliate in the Americas. 

In addition to all the great prizes and the excellent industry network opportunities, the winner of the FreeStyle class gets $7,500 in expenses to ship him and his bike to Cologne, Germany, for the 2018 (October) AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at the prestigious ‘INTERMOT Customized’ Expo.

Staged during the INTERMOT expo, arguably the most important motorcycle industry exhibition in the world, the winner gets the VIP treatment as a member of ‘TEAM USA’ and of the COTA/AMD crew at the event and a shot at bringing home the ultimate accolade as World Champion Custom Bike Builder.
The AMD World Championship at ‘INTERMOT Customized’ is estimated to have been viewed by over 160,000 show visitors; INTERMOT regularly attracts over 210,000 industry and consumer visitors from all over Germany, Europe and worldwide – some 116 countries in 2016.
The Championship of the Americas is based on AMD World Championship rules. There are 4 classes: FreeStyle, Retro Custom, Street Custom and Performance Custom, which provide different platforms for builders to decide the style and brand to design their entry around. 

Jordan Dickinson (Union Speed Cycle) of Minneapolis took the FreeStyle win and with it the Champion of the Americas prize for 2016 that scoops him bike air freight and personal travel expenses to represent USA at the October 2018 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at ‘INTERMOT Customized' in Cologne, Germany

In addition, this year will feature an online component, the Trending Awards, for the best Bobber, Cafe Racer, Chopper and Tracker entries.
All the rules and forms are available online, or call Bob Kay on 817-312-0380. Columbus is shaping up to be the biggest and best AIMExpo yet with the Championship of the Americas smack dab in the middle of the Custom Culture Area, surrounded by the likes of Factory Harley-Davidson, S&S, Biker’s Choice, TC Bros, Andrews Cams, Red Line Oil, JRI Shocks, AD Farrow, Ace Cafe and Simpson Helmets, with more exhibitors signing up every week.

American Flat Track

Briar Bauman/Kawasaki busts Indian’s 8-race win streak
AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines – Round 9
Lima Half-Mile, Ohio, June 24, 2017

The 2017 edition of the Lima Half-Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle “had it all - intense race action, dramatic twists and turns with massive championship implications, and an underdog winner.

Photo credit American Flat Track/Scott Hunter
 “Round 9 of the American Flat Track schedule had all the makings of a promoter's dream, however, racer-promoter Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750) was helpless to do anything but watch from the fences as Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650) delivered a virtuoso performance to reign supreme at the Lima Half-Mile” - Mees’ home track.
Mees, who came into the event as the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship leader, was assessed a ten-second penalty for jumping the start not once, but twice, in his Semi. That added time pushed him down from fourth position to 11th – and consequently, on the outside of the Main Event looking in.
Bauman, the 2012 GNC Rookie of the Year, crushed the competition in both his Heat and Semi, storming around the pea-gravel on the high line with apparent ease, doing much the same in the Main Event – taking the win by a 2.793-second margin of victory after tangling with a lapper on the final of the 25 laps.
Bauman's Kawasaki-mounted win marked the end of Indian's season-long victory streak, while also bringing Harley-Davidson's 21-race unbeaten streak at the Lima Half-Mile to a halt in the process.

Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) was second, with Jeffrey Carver Jr. third (No. 23 Carver’s BBQ Kawasaki Ninja 650), Davis Fisher 4th and Henry Wiles 5th, both also on Ninja 650s.
Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) was 6th, his worst result of 2017, but enough to retake possession of the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship lead by five points for Mees.
The Harley-Davidson XR750s were 7th (Ryan Wells), 8th (Brandon Robinson) and 17th (Dustin Crow).
The series now moves on to Elbridge, New York, on July 8, for the Rolling Wheels Half-Mile; followed by the Harley-Davidson Calistoga Half-Mile (Calistoga, California July 29th – the third of three straight mid-season Half-Miles) before landing in South Dakota for two races in three days during the Sturgis Rally – The Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle (August 6) and The Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half-Mile at Rapid City (August 8).

News Briefs

Polaris Industries Inc. announced the declaration of a regular quarterly $0.58 per share cash dividend payable on June 15, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 1, 2017.
Following setting a new coast-to-coast record for crossing the United States, Californian Carl Reese has been at it again. Riding a BMW K1000 on Continental Tires’ 8.5-mile test track at Uvalde, Texas, in February he set a new record of 2,119 miles for the total distance ridden on a motorcycle in 24 hours.

Harley continues to hold 5th spot in Germany with a 7.92 percent market share for the first four months of the year (3,324 units sold through April 2017), which is actually down on their share for the same period last year, when they sold 4,464 units for a 9.49 percent share – reflecting the worldwide decision to short dealers of M8s and other 2017 models and the stampede to Euro 3 pre-registrations before the December 31st deadline. Harley’s top sellers so far this year are the Breakout, the XL 1200 X and the Dyna Street Bob. 

MAG continues to refine its structure under group CEO Andy Graves with its various off-road businesses being consolidated into an off-road specific division. Based out of Chandler, Arizona, former Arctic Cat and Honda Motor Company executive Chris Lindstrom will be President of a MAG Off-Road Group that will combine MAG acquisitions DragonFire Racing (Mesa, Az.) and Renthal (UK), with former Tucker Rocky brands QuadBoss, ProTaper and MSR Hard Parts.

Indian Motorcycle sold 205 units in Germany in the first four months of 2017, which is some 21 percent down on 2016 for a 14th spot, 0.49 percent market share; some 170 Victory models are reported as sold in the same period.

Harley recorded 6th spot in market share terms in the UK for April, ahead of some notable scalps (in European terms) including Suzuki, Ducati and KTM. They also scored 6th place in the small but custom-friendly Austrian market for the first quarter – only 215 bikes, but up on 2016 in a country where there is quality and strength among the aftermarket shop and builder community despite the strict regulations there.

Last month we reported how Polaris CEO Scott Wine’s annual compensation had fluctuated in-line with the company’s financial fortunes – dropping from $8.8m in 2014, to $7.1m in 2015 to $5.46m last year. Meanwhile Harley CEO Matt Levatich’s “compensation” package has gone the other way according to the Milwaukee board, from $5.4m in 2014, to $6.5m in 2015 to a whopping $9.3m in 2016.

Drag Specialties & Parts Unlimited

Drag Specialties & Parts Unlimited Showcase 2017 Part 4

Hawg Halters: Recent new products from the Dahlonega, Georgia based company include billet fork leg covers that are “stunning taper-cut designs manufactured in our own facility from aerospace grade 6061–T6 heat-treated aluminum. They are available for late-model tourers in chrome, black and shadow cut, with classic smooth or cut-out styles,” says Owner and Chief Engineer Mark Thompson (seen here left, with Sales Specialist Thomas Stearnes). Also new this season, their ‘Spartan’ forged billet wheel with contoured three dimensional spokes in show chrome or shadow cut in sizes from 16 to 32 inches. Matching “true” floating rotors and pulleys are also available;


Joker Machine: Geoff Arnold - recent new products from the Lake Havasu City, Arizona based manufacturer include their new ‘Streamliner’ LED turn signals for 1996-up FLHT models and ‘Omega’ air cleaner series, featuring a compact design that adds “much needed leg clearance over the stock air cleaner.” They have a high flowing K&N air filter for 1991-up Sportster and 2000-up Softail and Dyna models. At 4-3/16” wide and 3-3/8” tall, they sit off the bike by 3-5/8”, improving the riding position;


S&S Cycle: Paul Devine, VP Sales – this is already proving to be a big year for the Viola, Wisconsin based manufacturer of “Proven Performance” with a major new product blitz underway and their development of Indian’s FTR750 American Flat Track race bikes seeing their prowess as tuners and performance engineers scoring a “three for three” start to the re-envisioned 18-race 2017 series - with the Mile races still to come when rivalry with the Harley team is re-joined in Mid-May;


Comp Cams: Chris Ryan - VThunder Extreme Energy Cams kits for Harley Twin Cam engines come complete with camshafts (for improved low to mid-range or mid to upper rpm range horsepower), adjustable pushrods, spring kit and Torrington bearing;;


Andrews Products: “Engineered solutions to drive the design and manufacture of camshafts, pushrods, transmission gears and related parts for street and strip Harley applications since 1972”;


Goodridge: John Crinch, National Motorcycle Manager: “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 more precise braking. Every Goodridge brake line is backed by a lifetime guarantee, having been individually 100% pressure tested and guaranteed to be leak- free and corrosion resistant;


Cardo Systems: One of the world’s leading manufacturers of rider communications systems, the company never seems to stop innovating. Jamie Cheek, their North American VP Sales, told AMD that their new Scala Rider ‘DMC’ (Dynamic Mesh Communication) technology “allows for full intercom conferencing from two to 15 riders at a range of up to five miles, with parallel audio streaming allowing riders to listen to music or GPS instructions during their conversations. Our Packtalk/Smartpack entertainment system allows for full uninterrupted intercom communications from two to 15 riders. We are proud to provide the only products in the industry that have the DMC technology”;

National Cycle

‘Heritage Line’ beaded windshields

Maywood, Illinois manufacturer National Cycle has added to its ‘Heritage Line’ by bringing back its polycarbonate beaded windshields in “nostalgic” red and blue. Also available as replacement uppers and lowers for OEM seven-hole hardware in clear, red, blue or black (left) and five-hole National Cycle original beaded (right).
National Cycle, USA,


Electric shifting for everyday riding

Wisconsin based Pingel’s electric shifter offers “the most bang-for-your-buck speed performance product that money can buy,” says drag race maestro Wayne Pingel, adding “another dimension to riding for speed and fun.”

As an alternate start point to swapping out the exhaust, air cleaner, cams and installing high compression pistons and the other conventional stage one upgrades, or at least doing so at the same time, “your first modification to your motorcycle should be our electric shifter,” says Wayne, “everyone who tries it is immediately amazed at the riding improvement it delivers to the performance of any stock or already modified motorcycle.”
The Pingel electric shifter provides for wide open or partial throttle clutchless shifting in a claimed 40 milliseconds. “I guarantee that you can’t shift this quickly manually. You can keep your feet on the highway pegs and just feel the instant acceleration, and it’s as easy as just pushing a button.”
Pingel have what they describe as tested and proven “genuine” bolt-on kits available for Harley-Davidson, Victory, Indian, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki models and versatile universal kits for all makes – check out their video online.



OptiMate USB O-108 on-bike charger 

Finding a USB charger that can stand up to the rigours of the riding environment, while delivering the correct amount of charge and without draining the motorcycle’s battery, isn't straightforward, with many cables and ports falling short. 

However, new to the OptiMate range of motorcycle purpose built products, their USB O-108 on-bike charger delivers a powerful 3.3A - enough even for the latest smartphones with USB-C charge connectors. Built-in microprocessor controlled battery protection prevents the motorcycle's battery from being accidentally discharged after parking, and once parked, charging is limited to a maximum of three hours before it shuts off automatically. It restarts when the engine has restarted and the vehicle charge voltage is back to normal. 

As a failsafe, even during riding, the O-108 USB automatically cuts charging to the USB device if the vehicle’s battery voltage drops below 12.3V (approximately 50% charge remaining in an AGM battery).
An easy-to-read LED display enables the user to see at a glance if it is delivering full or restricted (3 hours max) power or has shut down due to the battery voltage being too low.
All OptiMate USB chargers are 100% true power rated and deliver a continuous and consistent charge. They also come with a built-in Apple 'handshake', to guarantee iPhones and iPads charge at the appropriate maximum.
Weatherproofing comes as standard, to prevent moisture causing problems and guarding against any damp issues with the bike's electrical system. 



More from Zodiac

Aquatic Factory waterproof OE replacement stereo
This Aquatic Factory stereo is a high-end replacement for the OEM stereo on 1998 thru 2013 Touring models. It exactly fits the OEM mounting location and is Plug & Play with the OEM wiring harness and handlebar controls. These units are IP55 rated fully waterproof and feature detachable face plates that cover a compartment big enough to store a Smartphone up to the size of a Samsung Galaxy Note or iPhone 7 Plus.
Both versions support Bluetooth, MP3, AM with 12 presets and FM radio with 18 presets, USB device charging, have a 3” screen, a 288 Watt amplifier, 3.5mm stereo jack and stereo pair of RCA inputs, Bass/Treble and Balance/Fader. The Standard version has a monochrome DOT matrix LCD display. The SuperLuxe version has a full color screen with Album Artwork display, and also has direct connection options for iPhone and iPod, USB input, iPod and iPhone navigation, DSP EQ and loudness control, plus a light in the storage compartment.
It also comes with a waterproof dummy face plate to replace the control face plate when the bike is parked, as well as an extra waterproof remote USB socket. The dummy face plate is separately available for use on the Basic and older DeLuxe version.


‘Night Owl’ E-approved 5- 3/4” LED headlight unit
Super bright headlight unit with high and low beam CREE type E-approved LEDs - comes pre-wired with 3-post H4 connector to fit almost any 5-3/4” headlight. A connector for use on selected 2014-up models with a H13-style connector can be separately ordered.


Reverse gear kits for Big Twins
This Dutch made complete and easy to install reverse gear kit features a CNC-machined billet steel and aluminum housing and hardened gears. The complete unit is only 20mm (.790”) thick and fits between the transmission trap door and clutch control cover. It features a hand-operated billet aluminum lever to put the bike in reverse gear - just pull the clutch lever when the bike is in neutral and switch into reverse.
The included relay and switch make the neutral indicator light go out, so the bike can be driven backwards, using the clutch and throttle just like driving forward. Installation does not affect any of the forward gears. The kit includes everything needed - installation instructions, gaskets and hardware. Available for most 1987 and later Big Twin and Twin Cam, including the 2017 Milwaukee- Eight Touring models. Additional parts kits available for 2006 – 2016 models equipped with an OEM or Screamin’ Eagle hydraulic clutch; these reverse gear kits are designed for use on Touring models. Installation on other models may interfere with the rear exhaust header and consequently require modification of the provided shift lever and/or exhaust header or the installation of an aftermarket exhaust system.


RST adjustable brake and clutch levers
These 7-stage adjustable brake and clutch levers provide functionality combined with an attractive design. They provide optimized clutch control and a predetermined braking point, exactly adjusted to the rider’s hand size. Precision machined from billet aluminum, they are assembled with stainless steel hardware; the TÜV/ABE approved design folds back in case of an accident. Brake and clutch levers are sold individually and fit stock Harley and Victory handlebar controls.


Shinko E270 Super Classic tires
The Shinko E270 has a full aspect ratio saw-tooth design that gives the tire a classic appearance. Featuring a four-ply rated nylon carcass for extended wear, they are available in blackwall, single stripe whitewall, or double stripe whitewall versions. The E270 is S-rated for speeds up to 118mph (180km/h) or H-rated for speeds up to 130mph (210km/h), and can be used front and rear (must be used with inner tubes).


Drag Specialties

Kerker 4” slip-ons

Drag Specialties is offering these 4” Kerker ‘Stout’ and ‘Slash-Cut’ slip-ons by SuperTrapp.
Kerker ‘Stouts’ feature streamlined, internally tapered billet aluminum end caps with recessed fasteners pre-installed.

‘Stouts’ – “bold, strong power curve from mid-range up”

Said to provide a “bold, strong power curve from mid-range on up, with significant horsepower and torque gains over the stock mufflers they replace, the 4” bodies are available in chrome or black ceramic, with inlets shaped for better flow into OEM and SuperTrapp True Dual headpipes.

‘Slash-Cuts’ – high performance, deep sounding, fiberglass wrapped, rebuildable core

Kerker 4” ‘Slash-Cuts’ feature chrome finish, a 45-degree slash end design and a proven Kerker high-performance, deep sounding, fiberglass wrapped, rebuildable core.


Wednesday 21 June 2017

American Flat Track Twins series

Indian score another podium sweep as Mees takes Oklahoma win

The eighth round of the American Flat Track Twins series presented by Vance & Hines, the OKC Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle in Oklahoma City, Ok., June 17, saw Jared Mees score a second consecutive win on his No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750.

Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) had dominated the early laps (of 25 in total) with Grand National Champion Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) in second, holding Mees back to third.

Photo credit American Flat Track/Brian J. Nelson

Having eventually worked his way into second, behind Baker, but with lapped riders cramping Baker’s style, Mees was able to close in on Baker and take the lead from him on lap 24.
“The Indian Wrecking Crew again made good on its moniker at the OKC Mile as Smith secured the fourth Indian Motorcycle podium sweep of the 2017 season by finishing a lonely third. In fact, Indian's nearest challenger on the evening, fourth placed Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Estenson Logistics Yamaha FZ-07), came home more than 23 seconds behind the win and over 17 seconds off the podium.”

Following four straight wins on the part of primary rival Smith – including three straight on the Miles – Mees now boasts a two-race Mile win streak of his own. To tilt matters even more in favor of the suddenly hot Mees, the series now prepares to go heavy on his preferred battleground – the Half Mile.
Mees now sits all alone on top of the championship fight at 177 points to Smith's 169. Shawn Baer (No. 32 McNews Automotive KTM LC8 950) picked up his first top five of the season in fifth.
The Harley-Davidson XR750 riders continued to struggle to keep up with the pace of the Indians with Briar Bauman 6th (Zanotti Racing/Rod Lake Racing/WPS), Danny Elsick 11th (H-D Statten Island/CR Motorsports), Brandon Robinson 13th (H-D/Vance & Hines/Speed & Strength), and Bronson Bauman 15th (H-D Statten Island/CR Motorsports).
Having just completed five consecutive Mile races in six weeks, the AFT Twins series presented by Vance & Hines will now head for three consecutive Half Mile races – the Lima, Ohio Half-Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle on June 24; the Rolling Wheels Half Mile at Elbride, New York, on July 8, and the Harley-Davidson Calistoga, California, Half Mile on July 29.

MAG Connection

France based specialist MAG Connection inks European representation deal with HardDrive

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.

In May, the company announced that it had agreed a deal to represent HardDrive, the Boise, Idaho based American V-twin products distributor in Europe.
“HardDrive has rapidly become a strong source of aftermarket V-twin products for the industry and maintains an active focus on expanding distribution across the globe.  We are excited to partner up with the team at MAG Connection to bring our HardDrive offerings to their customers throughout Europe. 
“Our 18,000+ part numbers and over 200 vendors will be readily available on to view and to purchase. MAG Connection is a reliable choice for European motorcycle dealers and we are excited to watch this business relationship grow.”

Custom Bike Show

Custom Bike Show
Norrtälje, Sweden, June 3rd

Arguably the world’s oldest custom motorcycle show, the Custom Bike Show in Sweden (June 3) saw some 230 bikes competing in eight classes for the chance to win expenses to compete at next year’s 13th AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at ‘INTERMOT Customized’, Cologne, Germany, in October 2018.
The ‘Custom Bike Show’ was the first event to become an AMD World Championship Affiliate 13 years ago, and this year was the 43rd ‘Custom Bike Show’ organized by Sweden’s Twin Club MC since it started in 1971.

The show is a one day ‘Ride-In’ staged in the city park at the hugely supportive, motorcycle-friendly coastal city of Norrtälje an hour north east of Swedish capital city Stockholm – estimates suggest that this year saw more than 5,000 bikes and over 9,000 show visitors in total descend on the small community from all over Sweden and neighboring countries such as Norway, Finland, the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) and Germany.
Sweden is well known as the “motherload” for choppers, and anyone who thinks Swedish style long fork choppers have been consigned to history should be reassured by the 60 bikes competing in the show’s largest class, the ‘Chopper Class’, with Sami Järvelä from Scrap Mc, of Rauma, Finland, taking the class win and the first of the three AMD World Championship prizes.
The growing popularity of BMWs as custom platforms was in evidence, especially among the 30-plus field competing in the ‘Cafe Racer’ class, though none made the podium, with the class win being taken by Jaakko Mäkelä, also from Finland (Nousiainen) with an NSU (remember them?), with second and third places taken by Swedes Dan Andersson from Borlänge second with a Triton (a cross between Triumph and Norton), and third place going to Johan Syrén from Sundbyberg with a Triumph Thruxton.
The always innovative creativity of customizers in Europe was in evidence with Petri Ruusunen’s ‘Velacimoteur’. From Turku in Finland, his brand new design of a hand-built 1910s style antique look engine may have had some of the other “old school” show purists scratching their heads (“how can you enter the show with an engine that never existed?”), but as an exercise in the purest form of custom craftsmanship, it had “original” stamped all over it!

AMD World Championship Prize Winners

(all seen here with AMD brand ambassador Onno Wieringa of Madness Photography)

Sami Järvelä
Scrap Mc, Rauma, Finland


Haken Lindberg
Stockholm, Sweden


Anders Goth
Linghem, Sweden

Even in the highly creative and often exotic circles of the European custom bike building scene, noted for its often eclectic platform choices, NSU engines are rare sights these days. Surprisingly so, given how popular they were in Europe, in the 1950s especially, and given how creative the ‘retro’ scene has proven to be in the past decade.

Founded in Germany in 1873, their first motorcycle appeared in 1901. During WW II it was NSU who produced the Kettenkrad, the NSU HK101 - a half-tracked motorcycle (with an engine from the Opel Olympia) that has become a familiar sight in European theatre period war movies.
Under the guidance of chief engineer Albert Roder, NSU grew strongly, and at one stage (1955) was, in fact, the largest motorcycle manufacturer by annual volume in the world. Bonneville World Land Speed records in 1951, 1953, 1954 and 1955 fuelled that popularity, with Wilhelm Herz becoming the first person to ride a motorcycle (an NSU) over 200 mph (322 km/h) at Bonneville in August 1956.
The company was also a car manufacturer, from 1905 until 1932, and re-entered the auto market in 1957, launching what was then the world’s first rotary Wankel engined car in 1964.  However, that was ultimately to prove their financial undoing with NSU being swallowed up by present day Ducati owner Volkswagen in 1969 and folded into their Auto Union/Audi subsidiary; NSU motorcycle production ceased in 1967 – their last model was the ‘Quick 50’.

Jaakko Mäkelä

Motorcycle Aftermarket Group (MAG)

MAG names Zach Parham as President of company’s Retail Group

Irving, Texas headquartered Motorcycle Aftermarket Group (MAG) has named Zach Parham as the President of MAG Retail Group, which includes Motorcycle Superstore and J&P Cycles. Parham replaces Kevin Strawbridge, who is stepping down to pursue new opportunities.

Zach Parham, 32, has been with the company for 10 years, and his most recent role was Vice President Merchandising and General Manager for J&P Cycles. He has been a member of the MAG Retail Group leadership team for several years and has held roles of increasing responsibility throughout his tenure with the company.
Parham takes the reigns after helping J&P Cycles achieve its best retail sales month in the company’s 38-year history in April. Motorcycle Superstore achieved an enviable 9.3 (out of 10) customer satisfaction score in May, as measured by BizRate.
“It’s an honor to represent these legendary brands, and I am eager to lead our talented team towards a successful future,” said Zach Parham. “Kevin led us through some difficult but important changes, which have set us up to take the business to the next level. I’m driven by our relationship with our customers and am committed to making our customer experience even better by being the innovator in motorcycle industry retail.”
“We appreciate the work that Kevin and Zach have done to transform our retail business. Consolidation of operations, improvement in fulfilment and expansion of our customer support are improvements that our customers feel,” said Andy Graves, President of Motorcycle Aftermarket Group (MAG).
Zach is the second generation Parham to lead J&P Cycles. Zach’s father, John Parham, founded J&P Cycles in 1979 and led the company until its sale to MAG.

Drag Specialties & Parts Unlimited

Drag Specialties & Parts Unlimited Showcase 2017 Part 3

TechnoResearch: Mark Boler, left, with former Magneti Marelli Senior Powertrain Controls and Software Engineer Sandro Scaccia – Drag Specialties picked up distribution of the Detroit based fuel injection and performance tuning specialist two years ago. The program includes the ‘Tune Builder’ mapping tool, ‘Direct Link’ flash tuner, ‘Centurion’ branded Super Pro and Super Pro Plus diagnostic tool systems, and the ‘Maximus’ tuner - described as the “most advanced, easy-to-operate single-user flash tuning tool for all fuel injected Harley-Davidsons”;


Pertronix: Former Performance Machine and Vance & Hines man Mark Finnie (center) is now CEO at the San Dimas, California based manufacturer that bought the Spyke and Compu-Fire starter product lines from Billy McAhill two years ago. Seen here with Ian Morier, left, and Jim Hairston, the company is on the new products trail with big plans for the retooled product lines;


RAM Mounts: Jake Cook, Powersports Account Manager, shows a versatile range of mounting bases for most styles of bikes and desired mounting location. Each base connects to their patented double ball and socket design, backed by a lifetime warranty. RAM Mounts, owned by National Products Inc., offers made in the USA universal and custom solutions and is based in Seattle, Washington. RAM Mount system was introduced in 1992 and offers “thousands of modular products for any adventure” and “an innovative and versatile modular approach to managing a rider’s “creature comforts,” centered on a system that revolves around an elastomeric rubber ball, incorporating a non-slip feature and shock and vibration dampening”;


Speed Merchant/EMD: Speed Merchant’s Jess Franco (left) with French manufacturer Nicolas Pigeyre. Speed Merchant are U.S. importers for the French made EMD range and head up Drag Specialties’ exclusive distribution of the EMD and their own Speed Merchant parts and accessories programs;;


LA Choppers: Along with metric and Harley custom accessories vendor Baron, Huntington Beach, California based LA Choppers is owned by precision manufacturer Tolemar. Stylish Fusion line branded CNC-machined hard parts and accessories include covers, grips, risers, top clamps, pegs, and air cleaners in a range of finishes, plus Fusion exhaust systems for Sportsters and Tourers;


Rick’s Motorsport Electrics: The Hampstead, New Hampshire based specialist manufacturer has come a long way in the past 20 plus years. Internationally recognized as a manufacturer and distributor of quality electrical motorsport parts and components, Drag Specialties offer their dealers access to new (not exchange or re-conditioned) high performance Rick’s rectifiers/regulators that are built to exceed OEM specifications, available as cost-effective replacements. A direct replacement for the stock item on ‘88-’99 Evo Big Twins and ‘84-’89 Big Twins, they come with the factory plug ends for an easy install. Part of their market-leading ‘Hot Shot’ series, they feature MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor) technology, so they run cooler than OE, which equates to a longer lasting, more durable design. Rick’s is also offering a new line of H-D regulators that are made in the USA to OEM specs;


Arlen Ness Enterprises: Product Specialist Bill Brazzillo (left) - recent new parts include the M-8 ‘Big Sucker’ air cleaners, “Monster Sucker” 90-degree air cleaner kit, also featuring their award-winning, patented Big Sucker hidden breather technology (“with more filter surface than any other aftermarket 90-degree design currently available”), intricately machined forged billet aluminum construction speaker grills (also available in 10-Gauge, deep cut and beveled with a black anodized or chrome finish), CNC-machined billet aluminum gauge and matching billet dash accessories, windshield trim, horn kit, and more;

The Bike Shed

‘The Bike Shed’ London, May 26 - 28

Billed as “Europe’s best independent annual motorcycle show” and London’s “new wave” motorcycle emporium”, chic moto store ‘The Bike Shed’ opened the doors of its 8th annual bike show. Staged at London’s historic and charismatic Tobacco Dock (at the end of May) for the fourth time, the weekend saw some 14,000 “New Core” visitors drooling over a high-class selection of 200 plus custom bikes displayed for the edification of an urban and much bearded audience.
This was the fourth time for the show at the Thames-side former Victorian warehouse venue in East London’s Docklands – and as custom bike shows go, it is a world in which contemporary custom styling collides with artisan catering and a limited number of “curated” exhibitor opportunities.

Organizer and ‘Bike Shed’ owner Anthony ‘Dutch’ van Someren: “Our goal was to create the best independent motorcycle exhibition event in the world, without any compromises on quality or experience”

Organizer and owner Anthony ‘Dutch’ van Someren told us that at least a third of the bikes were from first-timers, shed builders or semi-pros, and they got to enjoy the same upscale presentation values as the bikes by established names and manufacturers.
The formula is to mix the bikes in with a weekend of “live music, live art, live pin-striping/screen-printing/leatherwork, photography, food, coffee, bars, tattoos, barbershop and curated retail and brand exhibition,” says Dutch. The sponsors were Ohlins, Triumph, Indian, BMW, Yamaha, Ducati Scrambler and European apparel brand Rev’It.

Photo by Autohouse

The exhibitors are presented in an “open area” style that blends them in with the bikes and circulatory space in a way that the conventional “barrier booth” thinking just doesn’t permit.
With apologies to anyone we are omitting, the sponsors exhibited alongside Honda, CCM (a British off-road and Enduro bike manufacturer), Fantic (Italian based small displacement Chinese engined off-roaders), Royal Enfield, Italian helmet brand DMD, British helmet brand Hedon and Liverpool, England based helmet manufacturer Davida.
“After months of preparation we’re all really chuffed [Google it!] that the show went so well and was so well attended, with 14,000 people through our doors over the weekend. Our goal was to create the best independent motorcycle exhibition event in the world, without any compromises on quality or experience.
“The main hero bikes were all invitational, and more curated than ever, and we think the bar was raised, yet again, with custom builds from all over the world coming from as far away as the US and Taiwan. 

Krazy Horse’s Paul Beamish with one of the many customized Scouts he had on display

Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts, Taiwan, with his MV Agusta, “Ballistic Trident”, displayed in conjunction with Ohlins

“We’re already planning Bike Shed London 2018 for 25/26/27 next May, and it will be even bigger and better, especially with the facilities and hospitality, where we know we can do so much more – we now have 18 months under our belt operating our Old Street store on a 7 days-a-week basis, so we have learned a lot about what people are looking for, and the views and expectations of the 600-member strong Bike Shed Motorcycle Club drives everything we are able to come up with.”
Celebrating the creativity of the new wave and Cafe Racer custom motorcycle culture is at the heart of ‘The Bike Shed’s holy trinity of store, social and show and, as an event, it stands alongside the new generation of events such as ‘The One Show’ at Portland, Oregon, ‘Mama Tried’ at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ‘Handbuilt’ at Austin, Texas, ‘Born Free’ in California and the Indian Motorcycle sponsored ‘Wheels and Waves’ at Biarritz, France , rather than being “just another” orthodox European or U.S. style custom bike event, at which there is nothing “craft” about the beers and nothing salubrious about an experience that may have gotten us to where we are today, but isn’t fit for purpose where motivating and engaging new generations of consumers is concerned as we already eye the third decade of the 21st century.
“This is NOT a motorcycle trade fair,” Dutch had said prior to the weekend, “it’s an exhibition in a giant pop-up member’s club, where everyone is invited. There’s plenty of space to chill out and enjoy the crowd, and people tend to want to hang out all weekend, soaking up the entertainment and the vibe.” 

Paul Milbourn Customs with “Titanium V” Moto Guzzi V11

PDF Motociclette from Bergamo, Italy

Rocket Bobs’ “Speed Weevil”, winner of Artistry in Iron last year

Every element of this unique and privately-run event is hand-picked by the organizers and the bikes (and exhibit booths) are displayed without ropes or barriers of any kind, “so visitors can get up close and into detail with their pictures.
“Every brand, retailer, artist, photographer and exhibitor is selected and approved by us. Every barista, bar tender, burger (or salad box) and coffee bean is tried and tested, and the organizing staff are all bike-loving volunteers and members of the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club (BSMC). The event is extremely family friendly, safe for kids, and enjoyable for non-bike riders as well as custom aficionados.”
Pro-builders this year included prior AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building winners and competitors such as Rough Crafts (Taiwan), Old Empire Motorcycles (UK), Sur Les Chapeaux de Roues (France), PDF Motociclette (Italy), Black Track (Luxembourg), Rocket Bobs (UK) and others.

Live art at the Davida booth
However, in many respects the most interesting development is the involvement of Indian Motorcycle at a custom bike show in which we counted, at best, around ten Harleys and two Buells. Onboard as an official partner, Indian gave a UK debut to their ‘Spirit of Munro’ streamliner and Young Guns of Switzerland’s ‘Miracle Mike’ sprint-racing Scout in advance of its derring-do at the Essenza Sprint and “Punks Peak” races at ‘Wheels and Waves’ in June.
‘The Bike Shed’ is able to leverage some 647,000 Facebook followers and 105,000 Instagrammers, and Dutch says that “we reach and engage with around 5-6 million people in the weeks of our annual events. Our online social media reach is genuinely global and 100% organic. ‘The Bike Shed’ main website serves 700,000 pages a month to around 200,000 unique users - and the BSMC is privately owned and run by family and friends.”