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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Championship of the Americas

Gas Axe Chop Shop wins FreeStyle Class AMD World Championship prize at COTA/AIMExpo

AIMExpo presented by Nationwide Insurance closed its doors on Sunday September 24th after four great days at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Ohio, with promising dealer and consumer attendances leaving most exhibitors satisfied at the 
progress the show is making and positive about the event’s Midwestern United States debut after four years at Orlando, Florida.

The final day saw the results announced for the Championship of the Americas, AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building’s United States affiliate event, with the FreeStyle win, and expenses paid trip to compete at INTERMOT ‘Customized’, Cologne, Germany, in October 2018, being taken by Tim Dixon of Gas Axe Chop Shop in Tennessee.
Voted for by the competitors themselves, Dixon took the win with a 1959 Panhead engined hand- crafted chopper called ‘Pennie Lane’. Custom designed, using a Model A front axle/reverse shock set-up with a Model A front spring for the rear swingarm, all the work was done in-house by Dixon with most of it on manual machines with silicone bronze welding.

Tim Dixon of Gas Axe Chop Shop in Tennessee with ‘Pennie Lane’

The engine has an Andrews cam and the magnesium front wheel is from a 1960s dragster; all the brass/copper pieces were handmade.

People’s Choice winner, Mark Atkinson

The People's Choice went to the BMW Alpha built by Salt Lake City machinist Mark Atkinson, and inspired by a concept created by Turkish designer Mehmet Doruk Erdem.
The Street Custom Class win went to Dusty Pine/Dawg’s Chop Shop with the hardtail framed 1200cc 1993 Sportster that gave him the K&N Filters sponsored Modified Harley Class win at the Cleveland round of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show series that is staged each winter at the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows (IMS).
Pat Patterson of Led Sled fame took the Performance Custom class win (goose neck rigid framed 1200cc Sportster), with Shelby Griffin and Austin Andrella (Austin Martin Originals) scooping the ever-popular Retro Custom class win with a hardtailed 1972 Yamaha XS650.
Full details and more pictures will appear in a special COTA supplement to AMD’s November edition, along with a full AIMExpo show and vendor news report.

American Flat Track

Privateer Jeffrey Carver scoops AFT Twins by Vance Hines Round 17 in Texas on a Harley XR750

The season-long dominance of the Indian ‘Wrecking Crew’ was brought to an abrupt end at the season’s penultimate race, the Lone Star Half Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle at Fort Worth, Texas, on September 23rd (Round 17) when privateer Jeffrey Carver Jr took a dominant win, showing that there is life left in Harley’s venerable and still popular XR750.

It was the first win of the season for any rider on any Harley platform and only the third AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines race out of 17 rounds so far this year not to be taken by the Indian Scout FTR750 – the other two being when Briar Bauman and Henry Wiles took the Buffalo Chip and Peoria, Illinois, TTs respectively on their Kawasaki 650 Ninjas.
On the clay Half Mile track at the Texas Motor Speedway, newly crowned series Champion Jared Mees was second on the #9 Indian Motorcycles/Roger Racing Indian FTR750, with privateer FTR750 rider Johnny Lewis third, the Wrecking Crew’s Bryan Smith 4th on his #4 Indian Motorcycle/Allstate Insurance FTR750; Briar Bauman brought his #5 Zanotti Racing Ninja 650 home in 5th.
Two other XR750s scored top ten finishes (Robert Pearson 6th, Cory Texter 9th), with the top placed factory Harley XG750R coming home 11th (Brandon Robinson), followed by Jake Johnson 12th and Kenny Coolbeth Jr placed 14th.
Indian Wrecking Crew rider Brad Baker was side-lined for the Texas race with a training injury, which gave Larry Pegram the chance to deputize, bringing the Indian Scout FTR750 home in 10th.
With Indian having already sewn up the manufacturer and rider championship wins, the series now moves on to an 18th and final round at the Cycle Gear American Flat Track Finals presented by Indian Motorcycle, Perris, California, on October 7th.
Meanwhile the details of the 2018 season schedule are already taking shape with the Daytona TT again to be the season opener on March 15 at the Daytona International Speedway, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally again slated to see a double header with The Buffalo Chip TT slated for August 5, followed by the Black Hills Half Mile at Rapid City on August 7th.

Drag Specialties NVP Part 3

Biltwell: The big news this year from the Temecula, California based company has been of its ‘Lane Splitter’ helmet. Crafted around a proprietary ABS outer shell and featuring a shock-absorbing EPS liner with handstitched interior padding, cheek pads and Bio Foam chin bar cushion, generous vents in the chin bar “get the air flowing, and the outlet at the back lets hot air escape. The ‘Lane Splitter’ shield boasts extremely accurate optics and glove-friendly, simple hinge mechanics for high style and easy removal for replacement or cleaning”;


Nash Motorcycle Co: Founded in 2002, Taber Nash’s Los Angeles, California, based custom Chopper, Bobber and Hot Rod bike builder specializes in “mixing the old with the new.” Taber Nash says that “we are equally dedicated to manufacturing our unique and popular line of custom parts, coming up with new and innovative parts, as well as the ground up builds we have always excelled at.” That product line includes handlebars, retro styled bags, ‘Sticky’ Throttle analog cruise control, straight ‘Lewis’ exhausts, cast 174 stainless steel ‘Swift Kick’ arms, ‘Creepster’ fill caps, forward controls and ‘Gimpneck’, ‘Sancho’ and ‘Dropper’ frames;


TecMate: Manufacturer of the market-leading OptiMate brand of battery chargers, maintenance and diagnostic products, TecMate is at the forefront of the effort to educate the market about the advantages, but also very specific maintenance needs of the new generation of Lithium Ion batteries that are set to dominate the motorcycle industry in the years to come. The OptiMate Lithium 4s 0.8A (TM29x series) is the OEM recommended battery saving charger and tester and the OptiMate Lithium 4-bank x 0.8A (models TM484/485) is ideal for preparing new lithium batteries before fitment. New shipping laws being introduced will require that lithium batteries are shipped at no more than 30% charge, so the batteries should be recharged before fitment. All OptiMate Lithium chargers can reset the BMS in an advanced Lithium battery;


Cometic Gasket: The latest news from the Concord, Ohio based gasket manufacturer is of its complete line of gaskets and seals for the Milwaukee-8, including big bore kits all the way to 4.500”, cam change kits and any gasket or seal necessary to finish off a Hot Rod project. See the related article on page 45 in this edition of AMD Magazine for big bore details;


Kibblewhite Precision Machining: The Pacifica, California, specialist - where the science of replacement and performance valvetrain design and manufacturing really has been turned into an art form. From its acclaimed Black Diamond, Tensilite and White Diamond valve programs, to retainers, springs, guides, seals, seats, tappets and shims, the “KPMI System” is materials and design matched engineering that produces a program of 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;


Terry Components: The Spearfish, South Dakota electricals specialist offers starters from 1.4kw for engines up to 100ci, 1.5kw for ’07-’09 models, 1.8kw for 100 to 124ci engines and monster 2.0kw units for 124-145” engines;


JIMS: This summer saw owner and founder Jim Thiessen elected into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in recognition of his 50 years as a machinist and go-fast guy who has “generated trust with the riders, record breakers, racers and certified Harley mechanics around the world who use JIMS products on a daily basis.” Today JIMS is one of the industry’s leading producers of performance parts, accessories, tools, transmissions and high-performance engines – “all aimed at enhancing the Harley rider’s experience”;


Tolemar Group: After more than 15 years at Vance & Hines, Huntington Beach, California based Tolemar Group has hired John Potts as their new Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He will oversee the development of all three of the group’s motorcycle parts and accessory brands – LA Choppers V-twin accessories, Trinity Racing ATV exhausts and clutch kits, and Baron metric cruiser accessories;

News Briefs

The latest reports concerning stage one bids received by Volkswagen by the appointed July date for Ducati did not, after all, include Harley. Yay, hurrah for our side! It is thought that by the time the reports emerged connecting Harley with seeking bid advice from Goldman Sachs, the executive suite at Juneau Avenue had already cooled on the idea, as the full gravitas of their way worse than expected second quarter results dawned on them.
On the other hand, several bids were received by VAG advisor Evercore – motorcycle related and investor-led bids. As a second stage of bidding is set to get underway, the Italian Benetton family and India’s giant (and KTM partner) Bajaj Auto are thought to be in the holeshot.

However, their 47.96% ownership stake in KTM, recently announced plans to work with KTM brand Husqvarna to take the venerable off-roaders global and their Ducati ambitions haven’t stopped Bajaj Auto CEO Rajiv Bajaj from continuing to get creative where finding ways to spending the conglomerate’s $13 bn cash reserve are concerned. On August 8, they announced a non-equity tie-up with British manufacturer Triumph to offer a range of mid-capacity motorcycles in emerging markets.

AMD is pleased to note that former World Championship competitor Athena “Chickie” Ransom has re-opened her Vagabond Choppers emporium at Pompano Beach, Florida, after a torrid few years.

Harley was in 6th spot in market share terms in Germany for the first half of 2017 (6.8%), selling 5,975 units there – down by some -20% on the 7,488 units it sold in Germany in the first six months of 2016 for a 7.48% market share. Its top sellers so far this year are the XL 1200X (673 units), Dyna Street Bob (654 units) and the Breakout (652 units).

Making their debut at AIMExpo last week, Blud Lubricants of Skippack, Pa., is a division of American Synthol (Medina, Ohio) who introduced its HawgBlud V-twin formulated performance engine oil.


Kellermann Bullet ‘Atto’ Dark –
“The stealth indicator”!

First seen in AMD’s April edition earlier this year, German bullet lights specialist Kellermann has another version of its ultra-compact Bullet ‘Atto’ indicator available - the Bullet ‘Atto’ Dark, a special and almost invisible version of this already strong selling small indicator. 

The dark glass and the compact size let this new indicator almost disappear on the bike. It is said to offer “even more options to individually style and consequently ‘minimize’ the motorcycle. The dark version of the Bullet Atto really goes undercover on the motorcycle,” says company CEO Dr Stefan Wöste. “‘That is our new indicator with a built-in ‘stealth’ function.”
It may be discreet in size terms, but it is still a powerful and highly visible indicator. The optimized light channelling is managed through a smart system of lenses and reflectors. Apart from the established Kellermann high power LED technology used, their new EXtranz - Extreme Optical Transparency technology – produces a powerful warning light that “gets the job done.” 

The complete electronics of the Bullet ‘Atto’ Dark are in the casing, and this indicator can be plugged into the 12 volt net directly – it has European approvals for use as a front or rear indicator.
The new Kellermann Bullet Atto Dark is due to premiere on new projects by Diamond Atelier (, a premium customizer from Munich, Germany. Owner Tom Konecny says he is impressed by the new indicator: “A classy piece that is in line with our philosophy. Really small, and with the tinted glass almost invisible on the bike”!



Leather ‘Shorty’ gloves that have a story to tell

British riding style specialist Davida has extended its popular range of classic style ‘Shorty’ leather riding gloves with two new colorways (tan and grey) that have deep roots with riders of the 1950s and 1960s and influences from elsewhere in society. They have their roots in the motorcycling culture of the last century, before bike-specific gloves became widely available.

Short grey leather gloves were originally created for the German Luftwaffe in the 1940s and were a popular choice for post-war European motorcyclists who obtained them through the army surplus trade.  Originally produced for the early ranch workers, short tan gloves have a strong heritage within the Mid-West USA and were a favorite for many American motorcyclists in the early to mid- twentieth century.
Davida owner and major league long-distance rider David Fiddaman says: “The iconic and enduring style of the ever popular short-cuff leather motorcycle glove with its clean classic lines, minimal fuss and maximum comfort has never really been out of fashion, but now more than ever they are finding favor with new generation and veteran riders alike.”
Made from smooth, supple and soft cowhide with Kevlar thread stitching and comfy fleece lining to add contemporary riding values to a classic design, Fiddaman says “with our ‘Shorty’ gloves we have created a simple and uncomplicated glove that provides maximum tactile comfort and great dexterity - a must for every rider’s gear box.”


Arlen Ness Enterprises

Winged stretched gas tank in steel

Arlen Ness Enterprises has this new hand finished stainless steel winged stretched gas tank design available for 2008 and up stock Touring model and custom Bagger applications.

With a 6 gallon (U.S.) capacity, the “smooth flowing design gives factory tourers a custom look and more improved leg clearance than any other stretched tank available.”
It ships with a steel dash, rubber trim and all the necessary hardware. It won’t fit with the stock seat, so Ness is offering a choice of three of its custom seat designs to mate with the new tank - Silhouette Pleated, Sorrento and Villain.

The company says that on Road King models the factory (or aftermarket) gauges will need to be relocated.


Memphis Shades

Biker’s Choice adds Memphis Shades

Biker’s Choice has announced that it is now offering products from the Memphis Shades line of fairings, windshields and accessories.
Available lines include their Trigger-Lock interchangeable, tool-less removable fairings and windshields, spoiler windshields for FLH and FLTR fairings, replacement windshield plastic and accessories.

Charlie Hadayia Jr., VP Merchandising and Purchasing at Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice, told AMD: “Memphis Shades has been producing for over 34 years, and we are excited to have them in our product portfolio. This is part of our never ending efforts to build the most comprehensive portfolio of products that our customers, and in turn their customers, want. We have a lot of exciting news ahead for the 2018 season, so stay tuned, there’s more to come!”
Rossville, Tennessee based Memphis Shades is well known for their aftermarket motorcycle windshields and fairings. Their products are made using patented and proprietary processes, and feature five gradient colors, aluminum and stainless steel hardware and no-tool removal convenience.

Founder and CEO Allen Mueller told us: “This is an additional appointment of a new distribution channel for us, and we look forward to working with the Biker’s Choice and Tucker Rocky sales teams to help them introduce their dealers to the quality products that we have for their customers.”
Made in Lucite Acrylic (“for superior optics and construction”), Memphis Shades windshields and fairings are DOT (Department of Transport) approved and conform to American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) Z26.1 - 1996, Group 6, safety glazing material for use in windscreens for motorcycles.
Memphis Shades warrants, at no extra charge, all product components, metal and plastic against defects in materials and workmanship for 24 months. Lost or damaged parts are replaced at no charge.
The company makes model-specific fitments in a range of well known designs for Harley, Indian and Victory applications as well as a range of universals and windshields for metric models.
Windshield designs include their Memphis Fats and Slim, Batwing and Drop-Top windshields, and Markey Road Warrior and Sportshields; fairings for Harley models include Road Warrior, Bat Wing, Café, Gauntlet and Bullet.
Allen Mueller, flat track racer turned designer and manufacturer, founded the business in 1974 in the family barn. Since then it isn’t only the product line that has evolved - Memphis Shades now operates out of “a state-of-the-art 84,000 square foot manufacturing facility that is not far from the barn where it all began,” says Allen.


Premium OEM replacement clutch packs

BDL is offering a large selection of “superior quality” OEM replacement and upgrade clutch packs with fitments dating back to 1941 through for V-Rod and Buell. “These kits are 100% made in the USA,” says BDL CEO and founder Steve Yetzke, “and boast the very latest in application-specific materials and contemporary manufacturing procedures.”

All clutch plates are made of either 6061-T6 or high-tempered steel with BDL’s own race proven Kevlar material. Each plate design was tested so that maximum performance is achieved. Different groove patterns were designed for maximum oil circulation and heat dissipation. “The steady flow of lubricant will cool and determine the longevity of the clutch,” says Steve, “and ours are designed to exceed the durability and performance of the stock items they replace.”
All BDL’s Big Twin kits are packaged with frictions and steels and a pre-measured stack height for easy installation. Take a look at the BDL website for the wide range of Big Twin, XL, Buell and V-Twin options starting from 1941 Big Twins.


Khrome Werks

50-state compliant 2017 4.5” slip-ons and torque booster

Khrome Werks has announced that its 2017 4.5” HP-Plus slip-on mufflers and patent pending 2017 2-into-1 torque booster conversion kit are now certified 50-state emissions compliant and are therefore “qualified manufacturer declared emissions replacement parts” when used on 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring models.  

The company’s 2017 Touring 4.5” HP-Plus slip-ons are made from 16 gauge carbon steel and “engineered for performance, style and sound and dyno tested to show a +8% increase in torque and a +13% increase in power, compared to stock when used with a high flow air filter,” according to the company.
“They produce the Khrome Werks signature, authoritative tone without annoying high frequency noises” and are available in a choice of slash-cut or billet tipped in either triplex highly polished nickel chrome or matt black comparable to OE finish.”
A new absorptive carbon steel baffle covered with stainless steel matte and high temp fiberglass has been developed specifically for the 2017 M-8, and a bolt-in optional insert is available. Khrome Werks says it is “compliant with SAE J2825 sound test, with no appreciable loss of performance.” The tips are 6062 T6 billet aluminum with a high temperature powdercoat finish.

The 4.5” patent pending 2-into-1 torque booster conversion kit means dealers can give their customers the performance of a 2-into-1 system without the cost or installation of a full system. The kit converts the existing 2017 stock header “into a torque and power producing 2-into-1 system.”
The kit includes the 4.5” HP-Plus slip-on muffler and a uniquely designed 2-into-1 converter cap – “combined, your bike will see the instant power that a 2-into-1 exhaust system provides with performance increases of up to 12%.


Monday 18 September 2017


Street 750 twin shock upgrade

British suspension manufacturer Nitron has added to their fast growing list of Harley and custom applications with a twin shock upgrade for the Street 750, 2015 onwards. Designed as a direct replacement for the factory fitted units, the Nitron shocks offer a very wide range of both damping settings and pre-load adjustment.

Classic Twin
Stealth Twin
Twin Web

The well proven Nitron gas pressurized monotube damping system is said to “offer all riders immediate improvements in both handling and ride, making the bike much more comfortable, controlled and usable under hard and prolonged conditions with shocks that are individually factory tested, tuned and set up specifically for the model concerned.
“For more confident, more demanding riders the easy to use combined compression and rebound damping adjustment offers the ability for them to tailor the suspension settings to their own requirements and ensure they are getting the full potential from the bike.”
For quick and easy ride height adjustment and set-up, both spring pre-load and overall length are both externally adjustable. Color-conscious owners can also choose between the ‘Standard’ Nitron blue colored spring, the subtler ‘classic’ titanium black spring option, or the full black body and black spring ‘Stealth’ option.
They have a 35 mm large piston monotube design, 24-click combined compression and rebound damping adjustment, are Nitrogen gas pressurized, have adjustable length and pre-load settings, hard anodized titanium finish aluminum body, 14 mm induction hardened, super polished piston rod, progressive cellular bumpstop, Teflon lined ultimate low friction spherical bearings and ‘FLEXaLIGHT’ coated silicone steel springs.
All Nitron shocks are fully serviceable, rebuildable and backed up by a worldwide service center network.


Drag Specialties NVP Part 2

James Gaskets: After a year-long analysis of the operational characteristics of Harley’s 2017 Tourer engine, the market leading Dayton, Nevada based V-Twin gaskets and seals specialist is set to launch an all-new M-8 program for the 2018 season;


TechnoReseach: The Royal Oak, Michigan based tuning specialist has added over 25 new features to its arsenal for its ‘Centurion’ branded diagnostic tool. For the 2018 license additions include new tire pressure monitoring system features, carburetor tuning, ECU cloning features for blank ECU replacements and oil/chassis fan enable and disable. It has also released a new product, Centurion-Audio HD, which is the only tool on the market geared specifically for audio purposes;


Battistini Custom Cycle: Orange, California based designer Rikki Battistini’s ‘Leading Axle’ fork legs take their inspiration from 1970s motocross. They feature an axle that is offset over 1 1/2” forward and around 1/2” lower, “to give a perfect trail when fitting a 23” front wheel to any touring bike.” Described as a “true bolt-on part,” ‘Leading Axle’ fork legs simply replace the stock lower legs without the need to remove the fairing, trees or change the frame geometry – “the ‘Leading Axle’ fork leg has the corrected trail built right into the leg.” Utilizing the stock brakes, fender and all fork internals, Rikki says they can be replaced in under two hours;


Ciro: There aren’t many businesses in the V-Twin market experiencing the kind of growth that Hudson, Wisconsin based Ciro is seeing. From ‘Fang’ branded LED lighting through to performance, comfort and styling accessories, the company was founded three years ago by Aero Rudd, the son of industry legend and one of the original founders of Drag Specialties, Tom Rudd. Aero says that “Ciro strives to manufacture the highest quality parts possible and stands behind everything we do. We are always pushing the envelope to find or create the latest technology and manufacturing processes. We are immersed in a culture of creative energy that manifests itself in the highest quality components in the industry”;


Brouhard Designs: New design series from the Grass Valley, California based manufacturer include ‘Bomber’ and ‘Spiro’ floorboards, foot control and covers programs;


Rick’s Motorsport Electrics: The Hampstead, New Hampshire based specialist manufacturer has come a long way in the past 35 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 reconditioned) cost-effective direct replacement high performance Rick’s rectifiers/regulators that are built to exceed OEM specifications. 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;


Belt Drives Limited (BDL): Recent news from the Anaheim, California based manufacturer includes its  new CC-140-BB Competitor clutch conversion for Sportsters. The 140 version of its “industry standard setting” Competitor clutch series was developed exclusively for stock ‘91 and later Sportster clutch baskets. BDL’s patented ball bearing lock-up clutch is said to significantly lighten pull at the lever while providing smooth, slip-free lock-up. Each unit incorporates a designated number of steel ball bearings set in a model-specific diaphragm assembly. Conversion is a straightforward install, replacing the factory pressure plate, springs and hub;


Trask Performance: Products currently available through Drag Specialties include Trask’s ‘Assault’ series parts and accessories, such as bar risers, air cleaners, 2-into-1 exhausts, plus FL chain conversion kits, a Hi-Flow fuel rail and harness, fuel regulator housings, slip-ons for Scout and Victory, Twin Cam billet clutch baskets and ‘V-Line’ designs such as brake levers, bag latches, brake pedal pads, chin spoilers, and passenger and rider floorboards for Harley and Indian applications;


Ken’s Factory: Now available through Drag Specialties, Kenji Nagai’s award-winning product line of ‘Neo Fusion’ designs includes custom floorboards, risers, triple trees, one-piece clamps, grips and pegs, intakes, exhausts, covers, bagger products and lighting;

Design Engineering Inc.

DEI helps cool off the red hot Slingshot

Avon Lake, Ohio based thermal barrier and sound control specialist Design Engineering is now offering a custom-cut, 11-piece heat management kit for the Polaris Slingshot.

With its compact design and four-cylinder engine, the muffler, catalytic converter and exhaust manifold of the Slingshot all reside in close proximity to one another on the right side of the vehicle. This concentration of heat easily transfers into the passenger area – potentially cooking the floor and driver.
After some R&D work with a range of thermal and acoustic materials, DEI has developed a kit that is said to “address all of the heat and noise issues,” according to DEI Powersports VP of Marketing and Sales Tom Miller.    
The kit includes a double walled main heat shield, a single walled floorpan heat shield, nine additional pieces to cover the transmission tunnel, rocker panels and center console. “The end result is a cooler and quieter Slingshot, allowing for longer rides and improved rider comfort.”
Founded in 1995, DEI is a major manufacturer and supplier of high-performance automotive aftermarket products selling worldwide to all sectors of the international powersports market and specializes in the development of thermal and acoustic performance products.