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Tuesday 24 April 2018


Harley Q1 Revenue Up, but Domestic U.S. Sales Down by -12 percent in a 601+ cc Market That Was Down -11.1 percent
In an announcement that is long on hyperbole and the promise of sunlit uplands to come, in the context of the hopes pinned on the M-8 Softails, Harley-Davidson’s first quarter performance disappoints.

The good news is that revenue is up as the company’s model mix continues to track higher in mean price-point terms and that international sales were essentially flat (actually +0.2 percent up) against recent declines.
The bad news is that Harley still appears to be underselling a declining domestic U.S. market and seeing an ever greater proportion of its sales dependency migrating away from the kind of price points where growth is expected to be found in the next five years. While the M-8s (Softails and otherwise) are continuing to favorably affect the revenue position, there is no evidence that they are enabling Harley to grow new unit sales ahead of market decline.
Indeed, the company also announced that it is accelerating its strategy for growth, “anchored by its objective to build the next generation of riders globally” and that, in what is a tacit admission that its plans to return to growth have failed so far, the company says that it is “currently refining its plans, and this summer intends to reveal significant additional steps to improve performance and value creation through 2022.”
Harley-Davidson international retail motorcycle sales were up +0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 2017, and U.S. retail sales were down -12.0 percent. Worldwide retail sales decreased -7.2 percent.
“We are pleased to deliver revenue growth on the heels of our recent product investments in Softail and Touring. This, plus solid financial services segment performance and strong cash returns during the first quarter, underscores our commitment to drive shareholder value,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc.  “Our international markets returned to retail sales growth supporting our long-term objective to increase international sales to build the next generation of riders globally.”
The company says that during the first quarter it continued progress on its 2027 objectives: build 2 million new riders in the U.S., grow its international business to 50 percent of annual volume, launch 100 new high impact motorcycles, and do so profitably and sustainably.
The company’s release also states that, considering the prolonged softness in the U.S. industry, and what the company believes is untapped potential in international markets (and in certain high-growth spaces globally), the company is “crafting strategy accelerants to deliver significant value through 2022” and that it “plans to leverage its core business more fully and expand in new directions to accelerate value creation as it pursues its long-term objectives.”
Matt Levatich goes on to say that “our view of the highly competitive global motorcycle market is grounded in a realistic assessment of risks, opportunities and capabilities needed to inspire ridership and grow our business.  Our data-driven insights compel us to enhance and accelerate our strategies to ensure we deliver on our long-term objectives as we build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders.”
Continuing its “building riders” thesis, Harley states that as it “continues to make progress building the next generation of riders,” it has “increased its reach and impact during the first quarter through a wide range of efforts.”
The efforts cited include adding to the “long legacy of its Sportster motorcycle line with the introduction of the Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special models, the latest in a line of 100 high-impact motorcycles the company expects to introduce by 2027”; continuing to “grow the appeal of motorcycling by debuting Harley-Davidson Snow Hill Climb at X Games Aspen alongside ski, snowboard and other action-sports competitions” and that it “increased brand access by adding new international dealers and new apparel and lifestyle boutiques in popular shopping areas in China and India” and “welcomed riders and non-riders to celebrate freedom as the company recognizes 115 years of continuous motorcycle manufacturing in 2018”. Fans were “invited to join the global freedom movement on social media and join celebrations in Prague in July and Milwaukee over Labor Day weekend.”
Harley also sees its investment in a “collaborative agreement” with Alta Motors as “supporting Harley-Davidson’s commitment to lead in the electrification of the sport of motorcycling to reach new customers in new spaces.”
Still claiming that reducing manufacturing capacity is a good thing and a practical step towards growth, the company went on to say that it had commenced its previously announced “multi-year manufacturing optimization initiative anchored by the consolidation of its motorcycle assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. into its plant in York, Pa.” in order to “further improve its manufacturing operations and cost structure.”
The company says that it continues to expect to incur restructuring and other consolidation costs of $170 million to $200 million and capital investment of approximately $75 million through 2019 and expects ongoing annual cash savings of $65 million to $75 million after 2020.  In the first quarter, costs related to the manufacturing optimization were $47.6 million.
Harley-Davidson’s first quarter market share was 50.4 percent in the U.S. The 601+ cc industry in Europe was down -7.3 percent in the first quarter compared to 2017.  Harley-Davidson’s first quarter market share was up +1.3 percentage points to 10.4 percent in Europe.
First quarter revenue from motorcycles and related products was up versus the prior year. Operating margin as a percentage of revenue decreased in the quarter compared to 2017, primarily due to costs associated with the “manufacturing optimization initiative.”
Financial Services operating income increased +20.8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017. Harley-Davidson’s first quarter effective tax rate was 24.1 percent compared to 34.5 percent in 2017, due to the favorable impact of the ‘2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’.
Cash and marketable securities were $753.5 million at the end of Q1 2018 compared to $844.7 million in 2017. Harley-Davidson generated $191.6 million of cash from operating activities in 2018 so far compared to $159.9 million in 2017. The company paid a cash dividend of $0.37 per share for the first quarter, an increase of 1.4 percent compared to the prior year.
On a discretionary basis, Harley-Davidson repurchased 1.4 million shares of its common stock during the first quarter for $65.1 million. During the quarter, there were approximately 169.2 million weighted-average diluted common shares outstanding.  At the end of the quarter, 24.2 million shares remained on board-approved share repurchase authorizations.
Harley forecasts motorcycle shipments to be approximately 231,000 to 236,000 motorcycles in 2018; approximately 67,500 to 72,500 in the second quarter.

Biker Fest 2018

Biker Fest 2018 to Host AMD World Championship Affiliate Custom Bike Show

The 32nd annual Biker Fest (aka Italian Bike Week) at Lignano Sabbiadoro, on the Adriatic coast of Italy, north of Venice, is being staged from 10-13 May 2018.

The event will again be hosting the final of the 14-round Italian Custom Bike  Championship and will be the official affiliate round of the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building for Italy.
Last year saw thousands of bikers descend on Lignano Sabbiadoro for one of Europe’s oldest custom bike events, the brainchild of father and son team Moreno and Micke Persello, creators of the original Chopper and Custom Show at Padua back in the 1990s, and publishers of leading Italian custom lifestyle magazine Biker’s Life.
This will be the seventh time the ever-popular Biker Fest will play host to the climax of the Italian Bike Championship with no less than four builders winning 1,000 euro each of expenses to compete at ‘AMD XIII’ at INTERMOT ‘Customized’ in Cologne, Germany, in October 2018.
Over 100 bikes in total were on display at the impressive Terrazza Mare last year, and classes will again include Freestyle, Modified Harley-Davidson, Metric, Streetfighter/Sportsbike, Cafe Racer, Scrambler, Bagger and Old Style, with the three ‘Best in Show’ winners and ‘Public Vote’ pick scooping the ‘AMD’ prize money being put up by the show organizers.

Best in Show, Italian Motorcycle Championship 2017

With a larger vendor presence at the event last year, an expanded additional “customizer” vendor area was set up opposite the Terrazza (in addition to the usual vendor lot at Luna Park), where there were opportunities for builders and custom shops to present their work - a new feature that is developing into a popular opportunity for custom builders to connect with the over 35,000 riders who attend.
Exhibitors backing Biker Fest will again include Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse, Free Spirits, Italian suspension specialists Andreani and Bitubo, Asso Special Bike and motorcycle manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson, Indian Motorcycle, BMW, Honda, Aprilia, Ducati (Scrambler) and Moto Guzzi.

AFT Race News


KTM’s contingency offering for AFT Singles riders such as Dan Bromley, Sandriana Shipman and others totals $56,300 for 2018, and includes 2016-2018 KTM 450 SX-F models. An AFT Singles championship bonus of $5,000 is also included.

Japanese E-Bike manufacturer Mugen will race three Shinden Nana electric Superbikes at the Isle of Man TT Zero race as they go in search of a fifth straight and seventh overall win - with 2018 improvements said to include reduced mass and increased capacity as the performance of lithium-ion batteries gets ever better with less mass and greater capacity.

In addition to the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, this year’s INTERMOT ‘Customized’ (Cologne, Germany, October 3-7) also features The Sultans of Sprint and ‘Essenza’ - “the essence of motorcycles” - sprint specials and race series

With fresh American Flat Track contingency offerings from Suzuki and KTM, AFT’s contingency pool is now approaching $3 million, by far the largest in series history. Suzuki’s contingency for AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines is massive, totaling just over $424,000, and includes the V-twin power plants from the popular SV/DL650 and SV/DL1000 models. In AFT Singles they are offering $171,500 in payouts, taking their total contingency pool to $595,500 - the largest combined OEM posting in series history.

TCX Boots USA has posted contingency support to AFT Singles competitors for the 2018 season. The Italian-based company produces a wide range of motorcycle boots and has been a long-time supporter of AFT racers, including Harley-Davidson factory rider Sammy Halbert and Indian-mounted privateer Kenny Coolbeth. TCX’s contingency offering totals $10,000.

Dainese has returned as AFT Official Motorcycle Safety and Race Apparel for 2018. Along with its 2007 acquired AGV helmets brand (whose heritage goes back to 1947), Dainese can list icons such as Giacomo Agostini, the late Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts and Valentino Rossi among its past riders. The Italian firm is partnered with the Indian Motorcycle Wrecking Crew - Dainese-wearing riders were victorious in 14 of 18 races last season en route to securing the top three spots in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship. This season their involvement includes continued development of its breakthrough D-Air intelligent airbag-based protection systems.

Dillard Family Racing/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports are racing in the Indian and Harley dominated Twins class with three-time AFT race winner Stevie Bonsey aboard a liquid-cooled Ducati Testastretta 82. Having debuted in Round 2 at Atlanta, they will run in all eight of the mile races and the Lima half mile. Bonsey is racing again after serious injury in 2016. Lloyd Brothers “have game” with Ducati – they ended Harley’s near two-decade run of uninterrupted dominance at the series’ Miles with a victory at the Arizona Mile in 2010.

Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited NVP 2018 Part 2

DP Brakes: In addition to recent additions to its program of stainless steel replacement front rotors for late model Touring Harleys, DP Brakes, the pioneer of sintered metal braking technology, has updated its “quiet and dust free” OE brake upgrades  for 2018 Softail coverage. “We now cover most 2018 and prior Harley models - Sportsters, Dynas, Softails and FLHs - back as far as the early 1970s,” says Larry Mills, President of DP Brakes North America, “plus Street Glide trikes and the 500/750 Street models. In addition, DP brake pads are fitted as original equipment on all Performance Machine (PM) and HHI (Hawg Halters) calipers. Plus, they are very popular for those dealers servicing police bikes and H-D rental companies worldwide. Extensive dyno and highway testing have proved that DP brake pads have shorter stopping distances and improved overall performance;”


Drag Specialties Seats: One of the longest established seat manufacturers, Drag Specialties Seats’ new products for 2018 include Touring, Dyna, Softail, Sportster and Indian Scout designs, including the top-selling ‘Predator’ styles. Many Drag seats feature the company’s patented ‘Solar Reflective Leather’ technology. Designed to keep the seating area cool, even in direct sunlight, it has been shown to reduce surface temperature by as much as 25 degrees F for improved comfort and durability. Customer order program available;


Revolution Performance: The Plymouth, Wisconsin based engine upgrade specialist unveiled its long awaited 124” M-8 bolt-on big bore kit - taking the stock 107” ‘17-‘18 M-8 (‘18 Softails as well as -’17-‘18 Tourers) out to 124”. The company says the kit makes +25 percent more power and runs 30 to 40 degrees F cooler with no other modifications. “True bolt-on power and reliability,” says Revolution’s product specialist Andrew Dellenbach. The kit comes complete with new 4.250” all aluminum plated bore cylinders, new 4.250” flat-top forged pistons and new Cometic head/base gasket kit (0.030” head, 0.020” base);


Dynojet: The North Las Vegas based specialists’ award-winning Power Vision flash tuner now fully supports the latest ECM calibrations that are found in the MY2018 bikes, as well as the updated software levels for MY2017 bikes, including the new M-8 Softails. The Power Vision Update Client allows dealers to access the latest firmware and tune database, with additions that include calibrations for popular exhausts, intakes and cams for Touring models. Dynojet says that Power Vision is “the first and only touch screen flash tuning system for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Designed to flash the bike’s ECM with a proper tune for chosen modifications, it will monitor critical engine data, and even refine the tune while the bike is ridden with its innovative auto tuning feature”;


Custom Cycle Engineering: Available through Drag Specialties, legendary Californian parts specialist Custom Cycle Engineering’s black fork tubes are DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated for performance and durability, with their gold fork tubes featuring state-of-the-art titanium nitride coating. The company has been manufacturing extension fork tubes for more than 30 years, and start with DOM 1026 steel tubing that is centerless ground to OEM specifications, with the rest of the tube precision- machined to exact ID specs;


Biltwell: From handlebars to helmets, the California based parts, accessories and gear specialist has branded its way to a leading position in the new wave of vendors who are able to speak to the new wave of customers as demographics change the landscape of the custom motorcycle industry;


Hawg Halters: As reported elsewhere in this edition of AMD Magazine, the Georgia based specialist continues to develop its award-winning bolt-on X Series neck rake kit family, with the X-30 kit for 30” front wheel and fender installs. Hawg Halters offers a full range of accessories and performance parts to finish off X-30 and other conversions, including billet lower legs, fork covers, fender spacers, 18 inch single and dual caliper kits, and a full range of Renegade wheels, with matching brake rotor and pulley options;


Burly Brand: An example of a brand “whose time has come”, the Burly Brand stretches from luggage and air cleaners to pegs, handlebars, shock absorbers, fairings, cable kits, sissy bars and lights – all under the discerning guidance of brand manager Sean Delshadi;

Curtiss Motorcycle

Hello Curtiss, goodbye hydrocarbons!

Confederate Motorcycles has completed its transition to Curtiss Motorcycle with what CEO Matt Chambers says is “the first new Curtiss motorcycle in over 100 years.” In all likelihood it will also be the last too - at least the last internal combustion engine motorcycle under the Curtiss name as Chambers embarks on his plan to abandon hydrocarbons and re-invent as an E-bike manufacturer.

Sharing a name with its famous World War II fighter plane ancestor, the new Warhawk pays homage to the man who invented the first American V-twin motorcycle – Glenn Curtiss. The announcement marks the first product release since Confederate Motors rebranded to Curtiss Motorcycle earlier this year.

“We’ve spent the past 27 years working to optimize and perfect Mr. Curtiss’ V-twin invention,” explained Curtiss CEO Matt Chambers. “Everything we know is built into this machine. Because the Warhawk is based on our acclaimed P51 Fighter, the engine, powertrain and chassis are as solid as a bank vault. But now, we’ve cranked it to 11. There are no more rabbits we can pull out of the proverbial hat. There’s simply no way to make a more explosive hot-rod American V-twin than the Curtiss Warhawk.
“The American V-twin is undoubtedly the most iconic and revered powertrain in motorcycle history. As we prepare to lead an all-new golden age of electrified motorcycles, this Curtiss Warhawk represents the best and final chapter in American V-twin power and refinement. We’re building a handful of these Warhawks in honor of Mr. Curtiss and as a bequest from the brand of yesterday to the brand of tomorrow.”
Only 35 Curtiss Warhawks are scheduled to be crafted, with an MSRP of $105,000 USD. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Curtiss Motorcycle Company is on a mission to “lead an all-new golden age of sustainable motorcycles by designing and crafting the world’s best and finest electric motorcycles.”


Q-Pak Quad Valve Manifold System

Q-Pak is a new concept in air suspension component terms – a quad valve manifold system - that “redefines air suspension management,” according to Jeff Schwindt, founder and manufacturer of AirFX.

Schwindt says: “The new Q-Pak quad valve manifold system is a motorcycle-specific product that delivers outstanding performance. Its compact design (2.5” x 2.0” x 2.5”) has the smallest footprint in this category.”
The package comes complete with all the fittings installed, a muffler and electrical plug with 3 feet of wiring harness ready for installation, and Schwindt says that AirFX tests every system prior to shipping.
“The Q-Pak is an extremely efficient package, drawing only 0.4 amps, which allows for a wide range of installations from new to existing systems. Made by us here in the USA, it is fully serviceable and features a 300 PSI operating range rated manifold with built in air filters for long life and safe operation.”
Available direct from AirFX or through its distribution partner, Hawg Halters.



New battery activation made easy – and fast!

New battery activation is important to guarantee new batteries will deliver their rated power and cranking amps for longer than the warranty offered by the manufacturer - but doing so is never a dealer’s favorite way to spend time! 

One thing dealers don’t have in abundance is time. New battery activation can take a long time, and when under pressure to have a new vehicle ready for a customer within hours, it is an often overlooked but important aspect of pre-delivery preparation.
Since the 1990s TecMate has made battery activation easier for dealers and OEMs alike. Many motorcycle OEMs recommend TecMate’s OptiMate PRO-S battery charger and tester and the OptiMate PRO-4 4-bank version – both have automated battery activation and reduce the task to the level of ‘quick and easy’. 
After the acid pack has completely drained into the battery and a sealing strip has been fitted, they activate a new battery within an hour - and do so easily - all the technician has to do is Select NEW and connect the battery. Done! Yes, it really is that easy!
During NEW activation OptiMate PRO’s unique Ampmatic charge method and pulsing absorption mode fully activates all six cells and brings the battery from 70% to full charge within an hour or less. The green TEST light confirms the new battery is charged and ready for fitment.

For new factory activated batteries that may have been in storage for up to a year or more, there is a 2A and 4A selection that allows more time if needed. The best practice for factory activated batteries is to recharge every three months, in order to prevent ‘killer’ sulphation build-up weakening the battery. If a battery did sulphate to the point that it does not hold charge any longer, OptiMate PRO’s two-step recovery mode can bring it back from as low as 2 volts.
Smart dealers will, of course, know that fitting an OptiMate cable O-01 weatherproof battery lead allows them to upsell the customer on an OptiMate battery saving maintainer, so they don’t ever have to experience that battery being returned ‘under warranty’. OptiMate O-01 cables are available in four packs, a jar of 20 and even a box of 100.
There’s nothing worse than watching a new customer struggle with weak starting – giving them access to that immediate surge of full power straight away brings the grin that brings them back.



Trask Assault series air cleaner and extreme duty TC clutch basket

These ‘Assault Charge’ high-flow air cleaners from Trask feature a billet aluminum backing plate with hidden integrated breather system and a plexiglass outer cover.
Dyno developed and tested, the snap-in velocity stack delivers improved air flow; available raw machined, chrome or reverse-cut for 2017 FLHT, FLHR, FLHX, FLTRX and FLTRU.

Also seen here, this Trask clutch basket is said to be able to handle engine builds making in excess of 300 horsepower and is strongly recommended by Trask for engines producing 100 horsepower or more.

Available for ’07-‘17 Twin Cams, it includes mounting bolts and lock tabs, has a hard anodized red finish for added durability and is a direct bolt-on replacement for the stock clutch basket.



New and improved BikeMaster
motorcycle oil

BikeMaster, known for its “robust and competitively priced line of aftermarket parts and accessories,” has launched a new and improved line of motorcycle oils.

The full line of motorcycle engine oil carries an API standard of SL and a JASO rating of MA2. The company says that this JASO MA2 rating is the highest rating available with only 35-40% of market competitors meeting this standard, making it perfect for engines that share the same lubricating clutch and transmission oil.

“BikeMaster oil has better extreme pressure properties and higher film strength, offering superior transmission protection and operation,” said Katie Qatato, Brand Specialist for BikeMaster.
“Not only have we made improvements to the formula itself, but we’ve also upgraded our packaging to foil sealed bottles and heavy-duty cartons, so they can withstand more of what happens in the shipping process. Plus, we kept the pricing ultra-competitive, so it’s an incredible value.” Manufactured, blended and bottled in the USA.



2018 Softail updates by Lotterman Bikes

Respected German custom bike builder and parts manufacturer Lottermann has unveiled new TÜV approved parts for 2018 Softails. Available in various widths and two lengths, their steel ‘Stilletto’ rear ends accept the original and Lottermann’s seat designs.

Their new stock suspension lowering kit will lower the 2018 Softail to some 40 mm from the ground. The side mount license plate holder seen here is “machined from finest aluminum and includes our ‘Inside Plate holder’ so no screws are needed for install. The system fits on the stock mounting points, so you don’t need to drill or weld the bike.” It is available in black or polished to a mirror finish. 

Lottermann’s characteristic and popular custom exhaust sound is now also available for M-8 Softail and Touring models with stock headers, and for Softail models already fitted Lottermann’s original 60 mm diameter headers. The exhaust is electronically adjustable and comes with EU approval (EG-ABE).

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG)

Graves Announces Retirement from MAG

Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG) has confirmed that President and CEO Andy Graves has made the decision to retire from MAG effective July 31, 2018.

Andy Graves joined MAG as CEO in January 2015 and has overseen a tough period in the group’s history

Graves has been MAG’s CEO since January 2015 and said: “This is a personal decision based on my desire to spend more time with my family, pursue other interests, and engage more fully in service opportunities. I believe the timing for me to retire this summer coincides well with MAG embarking on a new chapter; this is the appropriate time for an effective transition of leadership.”

MAG has launched an external search for a new CEO and says that it is “confident that the company will welcome a new leader who will bring a passion for powersports, along with strong consumer, dealer and operating insights.” The Board has asked Graves to provide consulting support through July of 2018 to help facilitate this transition.
David Robbins, Managing Director of Monomoy Capital Partners, stated: “We are thankful for Andy’s strong leadership of MAG through the bankruptcy process and are grateful for his willingness to provide a smooth transition in this interim period.  We wish him the best in his retirement.
“MAG now has a healthy balance sheet and an ownership group eager to support new growth opportunities. The company is well positioned to lead the industry by developing and delivering the most desired brands and innovative products to riders anywhere they shop, from dealer to digital.”

Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited NVP 2018 Part 1

Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited hosted their most successful NVP and Product Expo in 20 years at the Indianapolis Convention Center in February. Following two days of sales training from vendors, the show opened to dealers and reps on Saturday, February 10th. “The entire event was fantastic,” reported Jeff Derge, Vice President of Sales. “There was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from vendors, reps and dealers from the minute the show opened. Dealer attendance on both days at the Product Expo was the highest of all past NVP shows. The dealer seminars offered Saturday and Sunday morning were crowded with dealers interested in new products and in-depth training from new vendors. Mike Collins, President and CEO, summed up the success of the show saying: “This was a great event. The quality and number of vendors and dealers was impressive. Our reps were very excited about our new products and programs. It’s the first step to a successful year for us, our dealers and hopefully for the entire industry.”

Belt Drives Ltd: New from the Anaheim, California manufacturer, the open belt drive kit for M-8 Tourers features a two-piece motor plate design with 2” primary belt and 52/69 pulley combination for a 1.32:1 final drive ratio. The diaphragm clutch is a 6-bolt configuration for a firmer feel and improved appearance; the kits include side and top guard for an aggressive, open dome look. It has a ball bearing pressure plate, and the springs and spring collar are enhanced for more positive lock-up engagement - “great for big-inch/high-horsepower motors.” Available in chrome or black/natural for ‘17-‘18 FLHT/ FLHR/ FLHX/ FLTRX/ FLTRU models with hydraulic clutch;


ASA/Jensen: Founded in 1977, Elkhart, Indiana based ASA Electronics, manufacturers of the Jenson brand of audio products, was recently granted ISO 9001:2015 Management System Certification. Recent new products include a follow-up to the award-winning HD1BT525 H-D replacement stereo package - all-new 6.5-inch speakers that are said to add “over an inch more of booming sound”;


Saddlemen: Recent new products from the Rancho Dominguez, California based original gel seat experts include American-made GELcore saddles for 2018 Softail models and 2013-2017 Breakouts;


Pertronix: Coming soon, the Spyke exhaust system will be available for ’04-up Sportsters and ’06-up Dynas, in stainless steel and black ceramic coating, featuring a 2 into 1 true merge collector design providing both increased performance and a “killer sound”. Spyke and Compu-Fire are not just working on new products, they have also announced a new stress free warranty policy, which “helps reduce turn-around time if that unlikely scenario ever happens. Providing new products and the best customer service is their 2018 focus.” Also, from the Patriot line, a new tuning tool for Harley fuel injection systems: “Today's motorcycles are tuned from the factory to have a very lean air/fuel mixture. This causes the bike to run hotter and sacrifices power. When exhaust, air filter or other engine changes are made, the situation is heightened. The Patriot Top Fueler is a simple plug and play type fuel controller that is user-friendly and does not require a computer or expensive Dyno time to install and use”;


Feuling Parts: The Californian performance specialist has a choice of ‘Reaper’ branded M-8 cams; HP+ premium camshaft kits; HP+ and RS (Race Series) oil pumps, oiling systems and camchest kits; OE+ hydraulic cam chain tensioner conversion kits; OE+ camplates and High Flow (HF) camplates for M-8 engines that increase engine oil flow and volume by enlarging the oil pump reservoirs and critical oil passages, including increasing the scavenge return holes from the pump to the camplate and into the engine case;


Daytona Twin Tec: Billed as “Innovation and Technology for Serious Tuners,” owner Allen Alvarez says theirs is the “only complete EFI system of its kind. Available in AlphaN, 100 kpa and 300 kpa speed density formats, the TCFI systems take serious tuners and engine builders to the next level - without compromise”;


Custom Dynamics: New products from the market-leading Youngsville, North Carolina motorcycle lights specialist include the new premium ‘ProBEAM’ line. Unveiled at the Drag Specialist Dealer Expo, this is the first motorcycle use of the kind of ‘Light Pipe’ technology seen in top-end automotive applications. Rather than an array of multiple LEDs, ‘Light Pipe’ is a formed tube with reflectors, magnifying LEDs located at either end. The design creates a distinctive look with increased visibility, greater reliability and, by separating the rear light from the brake light function, greater cognisance with following traffic. The location of the LEDs in the housing at either end of the curved tube also significantly increases peripheral visibility with a 90 degree ‘turn’ that is proud of the housing at either end.  Using its own components throughout its new ‘ProBEAM’ line, owner Dave Pribula says “these have been two years in development, and we have four patents to protect our design work. All our products are backed by our lifetime LED warranty, and these are the best available”;


KB Pistons: KB’s ‘SuperDuty’ piston series for Twin Cams feature ‘Line2Line’ abradable coatings. Applied to match the thickness of the piston-to-wall clearance for a zero install clearance, the coating abrades-in on start-up to hone for “the perfect fit per cylinder, eliminating piston rock for the best possible ring seal with no piston slap noise”;

News Briefs

On February 7 Harley issued a recall for ALL 2008-2011 Touring, CVO Touring and VSRC models equipped with anti-lock brakes – it could affect some 175,000 motorcycles in the United States, 251,000 worldwide. The issue is that the brakes may fail due to not flushing brake fluid – deposit build-up may cause a valve within the ABS hydraulic control unit to stick, reducing braking ability and increasing the risk of a crash … sounds like a whole generation of riders need to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance if you ask me (RB).

It will be hoped that Harley’s investment in Bay Area E-bike specialist Alta Motors has a happier ending than their prior involvement in with San Francisco E-sportsbike manufacturer Mission-Motorcycles*. Harley’s Project Livewire was, in large part, based on a bike built for them by Mission Motorcycles – who went broke not long after their work for Harley. It is to be hoped that this doesn’t mean that Harley has an E-curse on its plans – indeed it is being widely assumed that their Alta investment is as much a precautionary measure as it is strategic. (* Not to be confused with the dealer now known as SF Moto.)

In the UK, motorcycle enthusiast Prince William was given the VIP treatment by Triumph Motorcycles on the occasion of a recent visit to their Hinckley, UK factory, taking the factory and Visitor Center tour and test riding one of their new Adventure Tourers.

In the kind of coup that ‘Milwaukee’ failed to score when celebrating Harley’s 100th (American brand enthusiasts got Elton John instead), Harley Europe will see the Rolling Stones performing in Prague, the Czech Republic capital, on July 4 this year, the day before Harley’s 4-day European 115th Anniversary celebration kicks off.
Emergency Call Systems (eCall) are set to follow the automotive industry in Europe and become compulsory on new motorcycles. Such systems become compulsory on new cars in Europe from April this year and the motorcycle industry is also now firmly in the regulatory cross-hairs. BMW has been offering an S.O.S. alert system (their “Intelligent Emergency Call feature) as an option on selected models since last year. Estimates vary, but it is thought that such systems could save anything up to 2,000 lives a year in Europe. 

Doug Vancil and the Vance & Hines Top Fuel Harley team took the win at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, February 11. Qualifying #1, Doug and tuner Mike Romine put down the quickest pass of the weekend, posting a best 6.304 ET at 231.04 mph and then followed that up by dominating the Eliminations.

The first Ducati Scrambler sold exclusively online went on sale at the start of February in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Suitably the model is the “Scrambler Hashtag”. After a day in the mud will they be known as the Hashbrowns? (RB).

Motonation has announced it is now the exclusive distributor of Trilobite Premium Aramid Fashion in North America. Trilobite apparel is designed and developed by Biker’s Crown/Rusty Piston in the Czech Republic and has never before been distributed in the U.S. With the Heritage, Urban and Travel collections, advanced protective materials used include Dyneema, Cordura Denim and patented Trilobitex.

BRP announces the creation of a Powersports Group and a new senior management member with the appointment of Bertrand Thiébaut as Powersports President. The new group brings together the Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Can-Am and Rotax product lines into a single operating unit. The Spyder and Evinrude lines will continue to be operated independently.

Polaris announced a 3 percent increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend, raising the pay-out to $0.60 per share. This increase represents the 23rd consecutive year of Polaris increasing its dividend effective with the 2018 first quarter dividend. The first quarter dividend will be payable on March 15, 2018 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 1, 2018.

Mustang Seats

Mustang and Mees in 2018 AFT Sponsorship

Mustang Seats says it “will help ensure Jared ‘Jammer’ Mees continues to lead the pack throughout the 2018 American Flat Track racing season” with its sponsorship of the 2017 AFT Champion, who will be running a custom-designed Mustang seat aboard his Indian Scout FTR750 race bike.

Additionally, Mustang is to introduce an all-new line of Jared Mees Signature Series Seats designed exclusively for the Indian Scout platform, available in solo or 2-up platforms.
“I was interested in partnering with Mustang for the fact that the brand is driven for speed,” said Mees. “I’m stoked to be part of launching a line of products with my name attached to it, and I look forward to this partnership and providing insight on products that provide style, comfort and help to make a bike more personal for the rider.”
Jared Mees Signature Series Seats “showcase a race-inspired design and streamlined profile that hugs the frame to enhance the Scout’s flowing lines. Features include carbon fiber vinyl inlays blended with smooth outer panels for contrasting style, and a traditional hand-sewn tuck-and-roll stitch pattern with black and gunmetal grey thread color.
“A 10-inch wide, low profile driver area and raised tail section keeps riders settled in an aggressive riding position, while Mustang’s proprietary polyurethane based foam compound provides the all-day comfort riders expect from a Mustang seat.”

Drag Specialties

Parts and accessories for Indian and Victory

In announcing its 2018 parts and accessories catalog for Victory and Indian models, Drag Specialties says that “the demand for high quality products for Victory and Indian V- twin motorcycles has grown exponentially, and our new catalog is ready to help our dealers meet that demand.
“We’ve expanded our catalog to make room for loads of new parts and accessories from the top brands; everything from custom exhausts to seats, windshields, suspensions and more. “

Antigravity Batteries

Never get stranded again – Antigravity’s all new RE-START Li-Ion battery

Gardena, California based Antigravity Batteries has released what it describes as an all new “game-changing” RE-START series of lithium-ion starter batteries for motorcycles and powersports vehicles.
The new RE-START battery, with “built-in jump starting,” makes being stranded by a dead battery a thing of the past. 

For example, if a rider left his/her lights on overnight, this would normally be a dead battery emergency requiring jump-starting, push-starting or assistance.  But with the new RE-START batteries, you simply press the RE-START button located on the top of the battery to access the battery’s reserve energy, then start the vehicle and drive away.
There will also be a remote key fob button available, which will allow the rider to trigger the RE-START feature without having to remove the seat or a fairing to access the battery.
“The new RE-START batteries are the most technologically advanced motorcycle/powersports batteries ever built,” says CEO Scott Schafer.
“They are the first lithium-ion powersports batteries with a full Battery Management System (BMS) that actively balances the lithium cells while protecting the battery from overcharge, over-discharge and over-temperature conditions.
“These built-in protections make for the longest service life possible, up to two times the life cycle of lead/acid and other lithium starter batteries on the market. We’ve all been left stranded by a dead battery. It’s awful, frustrating, and in some situations, if you’re in the middle of nowhere, it can be very dangerous.
“Our objective as a leader in lithium-ion technology for motorsports was to create a vehicle battery that the customer can rely on and not worry about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery, and I’m happy and proud to say we have done it with this new battery!”
All Antigravity RE-START batteries have a new 4-terminal-post design which allows for easy connection for the user, and the ability for the dealer to carry less stock since one battery will work for right or left side connections on the vehicle. 
They also come in direct-fit OEM sizes, so there is no foam needed for installation as required by other brands.  All the new RE-START batteries come with a 3-year warranty. Sizes are available for most modern motorcycles and powersports vehicles, and also race cars.
Established in 2009 offering high power, lightweight and compact lithium-ion batteries for racing motorsports vehicles, Antigravity has since grown into a leader in lithium-ion battery products for all channels of motorsports. Located in Los Angeles, California, Antigravity Batteries ”is a company dedicated to building the best in lithium-ion products for the motorsports community,” says Scott.
“We offer the highest quality, most innovative and diverse line of lithium-ion battery products to meet the demands of all motorsports and powersports enthusiasts and beyond - from our multi-award-winning MICRO-START mini jump starters to our wide range of lightweight, high-power lithium-ion starter batteries for motorcycles and more.”


Rinehart Exhausts

Rinehart Exhausts in Europe

Parts Europe has added the Arden, North Carolina made Rinehart Racing performance exhausts program to its inventory for its dealers in Europe.
3-1/2” slip-ons for Softail

Available for selected Harley and Indian models, Rinehart says that their systems deliver new sound solutions for Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle models that “sound like power should sound”.
John Nowicki, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Rinehart Racing, said: “We are very excited to begin our partnership with Parts Europe and we were impressed with the sales team’s level of professionalism.”
Xavier Williart, Sales Manager Europe for Parts Europe, added: “We would like to thank Rinehart Racing for the faith they have in our people! We are glad to add another well-known brand to our portfolio to fulfil the needs of our customers. The high-tech logistics systems and good service we are known for will help start this collaboration successfully in the European market from the get-go.”

4-1/2” slip-ons for Fat Bob

The Rinehart Racing product line covers also all of the new 2018 Harley-Davidson and Indian models, and Parts Europe dealers have already received the new Rinehart Racing catalog automatically. This catalog can also be downloaded in the catalogs section on the PE website.
Seen here are a selection from the inventory that will be available in Europe, including Rinehart’s 3-1/2” slip-on mufflers with black end caps for Softail, black 4-1/2” slip-on mufflers with black end caps for Softail Fat Bob, and chrome 3-1/2” slip-on mufflers with black end caps for Indian Scout. 

3-1/2” slip-ons for Scout

European Dealers looking to access Drag Specialties or other European held Parts Europe inventory at the weekend can take advantage of PE’s new “Happy Monday” delivery service. Monday delivery is available on orders placed by 16:00 hours (CET) on a Saturday afternoon (UPS Express); an English language payment and processing phone service is available between 14.00-16.00 to support PE
dealers looking to use this service. The existing freight policy standards for each country will be retained.

Correction: A prior version of this news indicated that Rinehart Racing Exhausts are distributed in the United States by Drag Specialties; this was incorrect.

Lowbrow Customs

Affordable brass and aluminum gas caps

In addition to their popular Competition and Spinner custom gas caps for Harleys, Lowbrow Customs has three new U.S. made designs available in brass or aluminum. 

These domed, dished and banded style gas caps are precision-machined out of solid aluminum or brass and paired with an injection-molded base and gasket that fit 1996 and later Harley-Davidson Big Twin and Sportster motorcycles and most custom gas tanks. 

At 2-1/2” diameter, these vented gas caps are slightly smaller diameter than a stock H-D gas cap for that custom look and feature a knurled band for easy tightening and removal, with or without gloves on.