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Wednesday 27 June 2018


Harley to Absorb EU Tariff hit in the Short-Term; Seek Overseas Manufacturing Solution in the Long Term

In a Form 8-K filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on June 25 (as required of public corporations in possession of news that can materially affect the interests of shareholders) Harley-Davidson stated that …
The European Union has enacted tariffs on various U.S.-manufactured products, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles. 

These tariffs, which became effective June 22, 2018, were imposed in response to the tariffs the U.S. imposed on steel and aluminum exported from the EU to the U.S.
Consequently, EU tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles exported from the U.S. have increased from 6% to 31%. Harley-Davidson expects these tariffs will result in an incremental cost of approximately $2,200 per average motorcycle exported from the U.S. to the EU.
Harley-Davidson believes the tremendous cost increase, if passed onto its dealers and retail customers, would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region, reducing customer access to Harley-Davidson products and negatively impacting the sustainability of its dealers’ businesses.
Therefore, Harley-Davidson will not raise its manufacturer’s suggested retail prices or wholesale prices to its dealers to cover the costs of the retaliatory tariffs. In the near-term, the company will bear the significant impact resulting from these tariffs, and the company estimates the incremental cost for the remainder of 2018 to be approximately $30 to $45 million. 

Harley CEO Matt Levatich is on record as stating that he believed that import tariffs on steel and aluminum would hurt Harley-Davidson and other U.S. manufacturers
On a full-year basis, the company estimates the aggregate annual impact due to the EU tariffs to be approximately $90 to $100 million.
To address the substantial cost of this tariff burden long-term, Harley-Davidson will be implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for EU destinations from the U.S. to its international facilities to avoid the tariff burden. Harley-Davidson expects ramping up production in international plants will require incremental investment and could take at least 9 to 18 months to be fully complete.
Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to U.S.-based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally. Increasing international production to alleviate the EU tariff burden is not the company’s preference but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the EU and maintain a viable business in Europe. Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson.
In 2017, nearly 40,000 riders bought new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Europe, and the revenue generated from the EU countries is second only to the U.S.
Harley-Davidson’s purpose is to fulfill dreams of personal freedom for customers who live in the European Union and across the world, and the company remains fully engaged with government officials in both the U.S. and the EU helping to find sustainable solutions to trade issues and rescind all tariffs that restrict free and fair trade.
Harley-Davidson will provide more details of the financial implications and plans to mitigate the impact of retaliatory EU tariffs during the company’s second quarter earnings conference call on July 24, 2018, at 8:00AM CDT.

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Bring on the Middleweights

Although it is tempting to laud the increasing popularity of lightweights as showing the way forward for the motorcycle industry in the United States, don’t fall for thinking that the future of the performance, parts, accessory and riding gear markets lies at that end of the market.
Guess why people buy low-cost motorcycles? Because they don’t have the money for more expensive ones! Nobody is going to invest $1,000 in a filter, cam and exhaust upgrade on a bike whose power is anyway limited to the kind of grunt that can be gotten out of bikes in the Honda Grom through Ninja 400 territory.
Sure, there are people racing them (which is great, especially in Europe) and customizing them, but those who think they are a platform for aftermarket R&D investments and trade show booths need to think again. They are not. That is not where their value lies; that is not why we should nonetheless be pleased about their popularity.
Their value is in the pathway they provide for entry level, cost-conscious riders to gain the confidence that can keep them in the Powered Two-Wheel and wider powersports marketplace as their wallet books and waistline fatten.
Entry level bikes are just exactly that, an entry level, a price-point solution, a starting place - and for that we should sing a dozen hallelujahs, because right now we need all the starters, all the entrants and all the affordable riding opportunities we can lay our hands on.
However, rather like the (returning!) Honda monkey bike, that first moto-crosser, that old Triumph, BSA, Jawa, Norton or (as in my case) MZ ET175, they are transitional acquisitions, a means to get somewhere else in riding terms - and therein lies their good news for those who would want to be able to see ROI from R&D, G&A and S&M investments (Sales and Marketing, fool!).
Although the modern-day entry level equivalents are vastly superior to their historic equivalents and can, in truth, provide years of perfectly satisfactory urban transport for a population which (in the northern hemisphere) will be greater than 75 percent urban and suburban dwelling within forty years of now, it is the pathway that is the story, but at present a pathway to what?
It’s a generalization I know, but in real terms there is a void where the next level of price-point and power band options needs to be for generations of consumers whose ideas of what the riding and ownership experience should deliver couldn’t be more different to the Boomers.
A few years ago we were bemoaning the entry level to be the choke point – meaning we could be storing up real problems for the future as the number of riders available to migrate up the price and power tree diminished.
Well, regardless of whether or not the numbers stand scrutiny to those of past decades (and, sadly, at this stage, they still don’t, but are what they are, like it or not), if the new entry level models that the OEs have developed (conspicuously the Japanese, Asian and European OEs, not the American manufacturers) are going to save our asses, as an industry, then it would appear that it is those same manufacturers who are going to reap the benefit and be the ones to pathway their consumers onto the sunlit uplands of higher displacement, higher performance and higher collateral spend products.
The trend in new motorcycle pricing in the past 20 years (on both sides of the Atlantic) has been relentlessly up, way ahead of where low earners can engage. List prices and the real prices achieved for current production models have grown, indeed exploded, far ahead of inflation, as manufacturers seek to recoup losses and fund more expensive technologies, product standards and requirements.
Worse, the relative cost of entry-level machines has actually increased even more than for larger displacement models, which is why the current generations of Groms and Ninjas can be so superior as riding machinery to what went before. Curiously though, this is a good thing, this speaks to a healthy future – that attitude to the ownership and riding experience? It is one that requires quality and reliability, and the emerging generations of savvy, digital-age 21st century consumers that we need to be making ready to sell to know that quality costs.
It is projects such as the British/US derived and tuned but Asian made and owned Royal Enfields, Zongshen Nortons, Baja Triumphs and Mahindra built BSAs and Jawas that are set to shake up the price-points and speak convincingly to the Millennial and Centennial attitudes towards the (largely urban) ownership and riding requirements in a way that current pricing and production values are not calibrated to achieve.
Add into the equation the opportunity for “cost-effective, energy efficient, easy to use and comfortable ELVs” to take ownership of the urban riding landscape, then there clearly is a diverse portfolio of pathways for the industry’s future in-play, but regardless of the progress Harley maybe deluding themselves into thinking they’ll make by the end of 2019, even with the Alta deal, in Milwaukee terms it isn’t the Bar & Shield that looks set to benefit despite owning one of the most iconic of retro-intellectual properties there is.

Headline … large as pos, single deck …
Call-out … ‘list prices have exploded’

Custom Bike Show - Twin Club MC

Custom Bike Show
Twin Club MC, Norrtälje, Sweden, June 2, 2018

One of, if not THE oldest custom bike show in the world, and the oldest (14th year) AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliate event, the annual Twin Club MC ‘Custom Bike Show’ took place in Sweden on the first weekend of June – Sweden’s national holiday weekend.

First staged in 1971 and a bellwether of custom design trends ever since (check out the awesome time capsule of photography from the show’s early years on the event website!), it is staged at the coastal former port town of Norrtälje about two hours north east of Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

Riding to Norrtälje on the first Saturday of June is a long and well-established tradition for custom bike riders from all over northern Europe (and further afield). For many it is the first big trip of the year.

Petri Ruusunen with ‘Velacimoteur’

The show is a one-day ride-in, staged in a remarkable and enduring collaboration between Twin Club and Norrtälje’s community and city council that speaks to the respect in which Twin Club is held (as organizers and ambassadors for motorcycling) and a healthy attitude towards two wheels as a leisure lifestyle and transport solution.
This year saw over 10,000 visitors to the downtown societetspark (city park) where the show is staged, with some 5,500 motorcycles turning the dockside venue in to a hard-miles, trailer-queen-free zone - some 240 of the bikes ridden there enter the custom show itself, of which nearly 70 entered the legendary H-D Chopper class, with over 50 in the mild-to-wild Custom class that has often yielded some of the most radical ground-up builds seen anywhere. 

Anders Lundgren and Lasse Sundberg (Roth Engineering)

To improve competitiveness, some classes were merged this year, so additional classes included Chopper (for non-Harley platform choppers), Racer, Classic, Modified Standard (a new class that expanded the traditional Modified Harley class to include multiple modified factory platforms, in keeping with an increasing trend being seen at shows in Europe), plus Best Paint and Custom Chrome Europe sponsored People’s Choice awards.
Claes Wärefors from Strängnäs, Sweden, won the H-D Chopper Class – a ‘Norrtälje’ regular and prior winner – who also won one of the jury prizes to compete to be this year’s AVON Tyres World Champion at the AMD World Championship at INTERMOT ‘Customized’ in Germany in October.

Winners of the jury prizes to compete in the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at INTERMOT ‘Customized’ are:
1. Petri Ruusunen with ‘Velacimoteur’
2. Anders Lundgren and Lasse Sundberg (Roth Engineering)
3. Claes Wärefors from Strängnäs

The second and third places in the H-D Chopper class went to Finland’s Janne Antttila from Pythänskoski and Rezi from Oulu.
Anders Lundgren and Lasse Sundberg (Roth Engineering) won the Custom class with a customized Indian Super Scout, and also scooped one of the jury prizes to compete at ‘The AMD’ in October, with the jury’s number one choice for the AVON Tyres sponsored Freestyle class at the AMD World Championship going to Finland’s Petri Ruusunen, a well-known artist and silversmith with several previously successful builds to his name.
This year he returned with an updated version of his ‘Velacimoteur’ – a combination of 1910s ‘oldest of Old School’ mixed with a little steampunk and date-proof unbranded engine of ‘Hybrid’ origin.

Claes Wärefors from Strängnäs

Gerhard Remmert of Bike Farm Melle, Germany, fame took two showbikes to Norrtälje, two different Harleys in two different classes (Custom and Racer), and headed back to Germany with third place prizes in both classes.
The Racing class was won by another well-known builder, Pål Steenersen from Rulperts Hog in Norway, a prior Norrtälje Modified Harley winner. This year's new class, Modified Standard, was won by Marko Antila from Seinäjoki in Finland with a Panhead from 1956.
The Public Choice winner (and second in the Racer class) were Strul MMC from Enköping, Sweden, who came to Norrtälje with their club build - a rare and converted Maico Mobil from the 50s, an early touring motorcycle made in Germany by Maico between 1950 and 1958. Conceived and marketed as a “car on two wheels”, the Mobil had body panels that enclosed the drivetrain, protecting its riders from the elements, included an integral pair of panniers and a mount for a spare tire. They took home a RevTech transmission courtesy of Public Choice sponsor Custom Chrome Europe.
This year’s long-distance hero was Giordano Sforazzini who came all the way from Rome, Italy – his third and, finally, successful attempt to ‘Ride-In’ on ‘Biga Valerio’ – a motorcycle engined Roman Chariot no less!
Our thanks, as always, to Twin Club MC for their meticulous organization, Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse and Zodiac International for their support of the event, and the City of Norrtällje authorities for their biker-friendly attitude and use of the central park for the event.
Save the date: ‘Custom Bike Show’ 2019, Norrtälje, Sweden - Saturday June 1.

News Briefs

B&B also reports the KBA data saying that as of 1 January 2018 there are 538,029 BMW motorcycles registered in Germany, followed by 519,215 Yamaha, 503,310 Suzuki, 427,352 Honda and 354,396 Kawasaki motorcycles.

CF Moto and KTM broke ground on the building of their new joint venture production facility in China in March. CF Moto GM Minjie Lai is quoted as saying the joint venture will bring CF Moto’s R&D and manufacturing capability “to a whole new level. CF Moto will benefit from KTM’s advanced technology and experience; KTM recognize how our manufacturing capacity, supply chain management and channel development could help them to implement their global strategy”.

iMotorsports recently announced the launch of Route 66 Indian Motorcycle. The addition of the Indian motorcycle line to iMotorsports’ Elmhurst, Illinois location follows the successful acquisition and operation of two authorized Indian dealerships in Florida - Indian Motorcycle of Orlando and St. Pete Powersports of St. Petersburg.

Fast Bike Industries of Hendersonville, North Carolina, U.S. importer for Italian suspension specialist Andreani Group, has also take on the British made Nitron range of shock absorbers and front suspension cartridge kits. The company says it currently sells to over 170 powersports industry dealers nationally.

Although the number of overall road deaths in Germany fell in 2017 (-0.9 percent, 3,206), motorcyclist deaths rose by +8.6 percent over 2016 (689).

BMW has been awarded the 2018 JEC Innovation Award in the Leisure and Sports category for the development and manufacture of a carbon fiber rear swingarm (as used on its HP4 race bike). Established in 1996, the JEC Group is described as “the world’s leading specialist organization for the development, manufacture and processing of composite materials”.

Following news that it had moved its U.S. headquarters to Plano, Texas, Canadian BRP, maker of Sea-Doo watercraft and Ski-Doo snowmobiles, is reported to be poised to spend some $385 million on acquisitions to expand its product line-up. Group sales in 2017 are reported at $3.4 bn, and CEO Jose Boisjoli is targeting growth to $4.6 bn by 2020.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2016 annual report of “ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries” (issued January 2018) once again affirms the decade-long downward trend in fatalities and injuries related to ATVs - down -29% for the period 2007 to 2013.

BRP has garnered six prestigious Red Dot product design awards for its Sea-Doo Spark Trixx PWC, Can-Am Maverick X3 and Trail SxS vehicles, Evinrude E-TEC 150-200hp G2 outboard engine, Ski-Doo snowmobile REV Gen4 platform and LinQ snowboard/ski rack for Ski-Doo snowmobiles.

As part of its Electro Mobility Strategy, BMW is investing € 200 m in a new “battery cell competence center” that will open in 2019 near its Munich headquarters in Germany. Among other objectives, the center will harness the group’s research so far into battery-cell development and production, and BMW is on record as saying that it plans to be using game-changing solid state battery technology in at least some of its vehicles by 2026. Where will Harley be building its 21st Century R&D campus, one wonders?

S&S Cycle

Who Wants to Rumble at the S&S Ranch?

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, S&S Cycle is staging a ‘Rumble At The Ranch’ Hooligan Flat Track Race and Party on a new custom laid out track that is being prepared on property adjacent to its facility in Viola, Wisconsin, on September 23rd.


At the site of a former horse racing track that hasn’t been active since the 1930s, the single-day “celebration of internal combustion happiness” will take place on a track that is being prepared by seasoned professionals and featuring a class structure that only the Midwest can pull off (Hooligan Lawnmower Racing anyone?).
Pre-registration is required and in addition to the Hooligan Lawn Tractor class, there is a Hooligan Shootout for 1986 and newer stock framed Twins of at least 750 cc (no dirt bikes, no pros); Margie Smith Invitational/Women’s Race - riders must be 12 years or older but must be 14 or older to ride 450 cc – the bikes must be full framed and have brakes; the Boonie Bike Brawl/Pull Start for 18 year old plus racers of rigid rears with 12-inch wheels and removable or foldable footpegs; and the Pit Bike Pillage/100 cc for riders 14 years or older, racing stock framed 4-strokes up to 125 cc.

All riders must wear boots that at least cover the ankles, gloves, full face helmets, eye protection and long sleeves. No knobbies are allowed and all bikes must have a kill switch - front brake calipers and levers must be removed.
Watch out for more ‘Rumblings’ from the Official Wisconsin Petrol Heads Club soon and more news about other ways that S&S has devised to mark its 60th anniversary.

Ultima Motorcycle Products

Ultima Black Billet Aluminum Brake Calipers and Brackets

Pevely, Missouri based Ultima Motorcycle Products has added new 4-piston brake caliper designs in a wrinkle black finish that use standard stainless-steel pistons and anti-rattle springs for “increased performance and excellent wear resistance.”

The company says that “all Ultima calipers offer reliable stopping power with great looks at an unmatched price.”
Sold as kits, front brackets are available for ’84-‘99 Harleys with 11.5” rotors (except FXSTS); rear for Softails ’87-‘99 (will work with 3/4” or 1” axles) and left or right for stock or Paughco Springers; rebuild parts and replacement brake pads are available.


Metalsport Wheels

The ‘Delusion’ is no Illusion

Southgate, California based Metalsport Wheels has added to its 2018 wheel design options again, with the ‘Delusion’, available from 16 to 32”.
Following on from the ‘Wedge’ and ‘Twisted’ 2D and 3D designs introduced earlier this year, the ‘Delusion’ is available in all chrome, all black, black with a second cut and chrome with custom paint accents on the face of each spoke.
Founded in 2007 by Ron Loynds, the family-owned and operated precision machining business offers over 30 forged and billet wheel designs in total over its 2D and 3D ranges, with front and rear fitments all the way from 16 x 3.5” up to 32 x 4”, all CNC-machined from 6061-T6 aerospace grade aluminum. It is housed in a 30,000 sq ft facility, employing 25 people.



M-8 Cylinder Head Holder

The different spark plug threads in the M-8 heads call for a different head holder, and JIMS has adapted its proven system for anchoring the head in a vice specifically for the new engines with this versatile dual-platform design tool. It is two-sided, one side threaded for Twin Cam heads, and the other threaded for the new M-8.

Also seen here, JIMS’ left main seal installer makes sure that the left crankshaft seal gets a perfect install to prevent the risk of unwanted oil transfer between the engine and the primary drive. 

It not only assists with perfect installation (which includes bottoming out when the seal is properly installed), but it has the added advantage of allowing the alternator stator to remain in place during the operation.



NAMZ CAN Bus Controller Touring Options

Oreland, Pennsylvania based NAMZ Custom Products owner, author and all-round electrics guru Jeff Zielinski says that “when wanting to change the stock handlebar switch controls on a 2011-up Softail, 2012-up Dyna, and all 2014 and up Bagger models, dealers have been finding out the hard way that it is nearly impossible to do it.

“The introduction of CAN Bus handlebar switch assemblies is just the latest in a long line of curve balls that the factory has thrown at owners and their dealers, but as ever, we here at NAMZ have stepped up to the plate with a solution.
“Our NAMZ CAN Bus controller (NCBC-N01 for Non-Baggers and NCBC-B01 for Baggers) simply plugs into the factory harness, so you can wire up any handlebar switch assembly you would like. It’s that simple.
Celebrating their 19th year in business, NAMZ sells fluid transfer lines, custom installation supplies and Badlands lighting modules. The full range of NAMZ/Badlands products is available through Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Tucker Rocky, Mid USA, V-Twin, Parts Canada, Motovan, Les Importations Thibault, Parts Europe, Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse, W&W, Zodiac, Rollies Speed Shop, Wildrider International Pty Ltd., or if out of stock, preferred distributor dealers can order direct from the NAMZ website.



Zodiac additions

Bitubo WME22V2 Shocks

Designed and made in Italy, Bitubo WME series nitrogen filled hydraulic shocks are said to improve riding comfort and vehicle control, and are fully adjustable to riding style and load. Featuring adjustable spring preload and rebound. They are available for most Dyna and Sportster models and are TÜV/KBA approved. Chrome or black spring covers are available.

Brass Balls Moto Floor Boards

Inspired by Motocross and delivering the grip to prove it, the tapered perimeter edge of these light weight and strong floorboards is said to optimize lean angle. They are precision machined from aircraft grade 6061 T6 billet aluminum. Sold in sets for left and right including adjustable mounting hardware, they are available in natural, black or gold anodized.

TBR Slip-ons for XG500/750

These Two Brothers Racing Competition-S slip-on mufflers are said to be a handcrafted system that “delivers unparalleled sound and performance for the ultimate race experience.” They are available short or long, in black with carbon fiber end cap.

Paradox Turn Signals and TTB combo lights

These billet aluminum LED lights are only 2 cm in diameter and 3.7 cm wide and long. They are available as turn signals and turn/tail/brake (TTB) combination light. E approved, they are sold in sets of two with a choice of clear or smoke lens.

Texas Leather Softail Swingarm Bags

Zodiac says that “these stylish Softail swing arm bags have enough room for the essentials and eliminate the need to stuff your pockets or bungee a bag across the passenger pillion.” Straps are included; they are available for most Softail models, except those with cross-over exhausts.

Zodiac LED Light Bulbs 

These LED 4000 lumen light bulbs are said to reduce power consumption (25 watt) whilst giving more light than a classic halogen bulb. They feature built-in electronics that fit in any headlight shell that has a minimal 43 mm depth from the bulb base in the reflector.

PM Vintage Air Cleaners 

PM says its vintage air cleaner housing was “stylistically designed for a timeless look” with “smooth, machine-cut shapes that promote a nostalgic feeling” with a drag-race inspired induction opening to boost air-flow. Features include built-in breathers for a clean installation. They are available in finishes including chrome, contrast cut and ‘Black Ops’ for selected Sportsters Evo and Twin Cam Big Twins (cable and throttle by wire), Tourers, Trikes, Softails, Dynas, M-8s, and Indians.

Ironhead Sportster Exhaust Headers

These down pipe sets for Ironhead Sportster models allow the installation of most universal mufflers or “make a great base to build your own drag pipes.” Installation on ‘79-‘85 Ironheads requires cutting and welding. They are available in black or chrome.


Thursday 14 June 2018

AMD World Championship

AMD World Championship Set for Record Bike Entries and Visitor Attendance in October?

With 17 weeks to go (at press time) until entries close for the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building (Cologne, Germany, October 3-7), the response to what will be the 13th ‘AMD’ has been universally positive. Entries are running way ahead at this stage in the planning cycle compared to prior years – either in Europe or in the USA – with over 80 bikes slated to compete already.

There is always ‘churn’, but the field is comfortably some 20 or 30 bikes ahead of the kind of pre-entry levels that would normally be expected at this stage and normally yields an eventual showing of some 70 to 75 or so bikes.
The primary reason appears to be the ongoing change and decline being seen in several of Europe’s historically strong custom shows and the increasingly widespread acceptance that INTERMOT ‘Customized’, where the AMD World Championship will be staged again (Hall 10 at INTERMOT/Cologne Exhibition Center, October), is now firmly established as the primary international custom motorcycle industry Expo in the world.

This year sees the Hall 10 footprint expanded as INTERMOT ‘Customized’ expands to occupy the whole of the lower level of what is the largest hall at the Cologne Expo Center, the only one of the original double-deck halls left, resulting in a satisfyingly retro and chic environment that works well for the custom motorcycle industry’s exhibition values.

the world’s largest custom industry expo

Hall 10 is located adjacent to the three primary public entrances to the Cologne Expo Center and in 2016 attracted some 150,000 visitors - this year the public days are expanded to five from four days.
With more than five prior World Champions already confirmed among the 2018 competitor community and bikes already slated to compete from some 26 countries worldwide, the Hall 10 attendance looks set to be another all-time record for a custom bike show at an international motorcycle industry expo.
In the interests of promoting craftsmanship and innovation, the AMD World Championship only features five classes, the most famous of which is the now almost universal Freestyle class concept first introduced to the motorcycle industry by AMD in 2004 - this is the class from which the competitors choose who will represent them as World Champion for the next 24 months. The other classes recognize the impacts that custom builders’ platform and design and engineering decisions have on custom outcomes to include the prestigious, immensely popular and highly influential Retro Mod class; Modified Harley-Davidson; Street Performance for cutting-edge high-performance engine and chassis work and a platform-diverse Cafe Racer showcase.
Most of Europe’s major V-twin industry parts and accessory distributors are already confirmed – Motorcycle Storehouse, Custom Chrome Europe and Zodiac International among them – with several of the major OEs again taking additional booths to showcase their customization programs.

News Briefs

Organized by Delicate Promotions, the FIM sanctioned AMA Land Speed Grand Championship returns to the Bonneville Speedway near Wendover, Utah, on Aug. 25-30. Also known as the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, the event features both American and international amateur land speed racing competitors vying for AMA and FIM records.

Hamburg based German retail multiple Detlev Louis is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Bought by U.S. investor Warren Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska headquartered Berkshire Hathway investment conglomerate in 2015, Louis started out as a motorcycle enthusiasts’ shop in Hamburg in 1938 and today has more than 80 stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with online retail operations throughout Europe.

The German Institute for Service Quality examined 1,145 brands and companies from 53 industries for consumer satisfaction levels, and Harley-Davidson was the winner in the Mobility category – ahead of the likes of BMW and Yamaha.

Taiwan has announced that it is to phase out gasoline powered motorcycles by 2035 – five years earlier than gasoline powered cars. With a population of just 23 million people, Taiwan is reported to have some 14 million motorcycles.

British three-wheel sports tourer manufacturer Morgan Motor Company, which uses U.S. made S&S X-Wedge 60-degree V-twin engines in its core models, is thought to be close to production of an all-electric Roadster in partnership with Frazer-Nash Energy Systems, owner of the legendary British Bristol Cars marque.

Polaris is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the introduction of its popular Ranger SxS vehicle series. The company has produced more than 1 m UTVs since 1998 at its Huntsville, Alabama factory.

Ducati has opened a new flagship store in New York City. The new dealership, with a renovated showroom of more than 700 sq m, is strategically located at 155 6th Avenue in SoHo in New York and opened its doors on April 19. Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said: “This new Monobrand Ducati Store represents a further step forward in the process of continuous improvement of the quality of our network internationally.”

B&B reports that data from the KBA in Germany shows the number of motorcycles registered in Germany as of 1 January 2018 reached 4,372,978 units – a record high number. Said to have increased by 1.4 percent in the prior 12 months, 79.9 percent are over 125cc, with 13.3 percent owned by women. Bavaria records the most (926,882), followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (833,009), Baden-Württemberg (675,708), Lower Saxony (418,922) and Hessen (330,822).

32nd Biker Fest

Italian Motorcycle Championship - ‘Biker Fest’

The 7th annual Italian Motorcycle Championship took place at the 32nd Biker Fest in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine, Italy, from May 10-13. The Italian Championship is the culmination of a fifteen-event network of custom bike shows held throughout Italy and promoted by Italian custom magazine Biker’s Life.
This year saw a change of venue for the custom competition, moving away from the Terrazza a Mare to the Aquasplash Water Park, allowing more space for the bikes, and situated next to the demo rides area and main Luna Park vendor space.

Close to one hundred bikes from across Italy competed in Freestyle, Modified Harley-Davidson, Metric, Streetfighter, Cafe Racer and Scrambler classes, with the Best in Show and three additional winners receiving 1,000 Euro expenses towards competing at the 13th annual AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at INTERMOT, Cologne, Germany, from October 2-7, 2018. 

Abnormal Cycles, ‘Mistica’

Best in Show was Abnormal Cycles’ ‘Mistica’, powered by a twin-cylinder 1919 MAG engine, in a frame based on a 1930 Moto Guzzi Sport 13 that features numerous hand-crafted parts.

Bepy Moto Service, ‘Apoghenesis’

Toro Moto, ‘Barralesta’

Also traveling to Cologne in October will be Bepy Moto Service’s ‘Apoghenesis’, a heavily customized Moto Guzzi California 1100 with a one-off frame, swingarm and front end.
‘Barralesta’ by Toro Moto is a 1985 BMW R65/3 Cafe Racer with an expanded 860cc engine, hand-beaten sheet metal bodywork and ad-hoc electric system, which can be controlled from a mobile phone via Bluetooth.

Gianni Pellegrino, ‘ZeroUno’

Gianni Pellegrino’s ‘ZeroUno’ is a Ducati Monster modified for rear wheel steering. The front handlebar steering is made up of a double return lever, so that the rear wheels can work with 20-degree steering.

James Gaskets

Replacement Big Twin transmission gaskets

Available through Drag Specialties, James Gaskets Foamet transmission gaskets are precision- manufactured in stiff chemical and heat tolerant aluminum, with the cross-linked Foamet Nitrile synthetic rubber chemically blown to create a soft, conformable layer that is permanently bonded to the SAE 5052 H38 aluminum core.
The Foamet compresses, providing excellent torque retention sealability, with no additional sealants required.

Founded in 1979, and still under family ownership at its 46,000 sq ft Dayton, Nevada facility, James Gaskets has always been well known for its investment in materials research and use of the best available metals and sealant techniques for the applications concerned.
In the case of James Gaskets' Nitrile Foamet technology (or Nitrile Butadiene Rubber - NBR - to give its full technical name), it delivers good overall resistance to oils, and the chemical 'packages' usually included in modern day oil formulas.
It also delivers excellent heat resistance with the added advantage of superior conformance to the sealing surfaces found in OE and aftermarket V-twin primaries and improved tolerance of the lower clamping loads used in V-twins.
Seen here for Big Twin transmissions, including for 2014 and up Touring bikes with the factory’s slimline primaries, James offer gaskets, seals and kits for most applications on all Harley-Davidson models from 1936 to present. Its popular gasket boards are widely regarded as a workshop credential and hallmark of service excellence.


Custom Chrome Europe

BDL Bagger 2” Open Belt Drives

From Californian specialist Belt Drives Ltd (BDL), these 2” open belt drives for Baggers are serious duty power handlers for ’07-‘16 Touring models with 6-speed hydraulic clutch.
In stock in Europe at Custom Chrome Europe, they are available in black or chrome, polished or wrinkle black finishes and feature BDL’s 2-piece motor plate.

The kits include a 69-tooth, 2” wide Bagger Basket, 52-tooth Twin Cam style front pully, 132-2” K Glass primary belt and BDL’s standard splined clutch hub.
They feature a complete set of 15 clutch plates, BDL’s ‘90 and up 6-hole ball bearing pressure plate, six-hole diaphragm spring collar, six-hole diaphragm spring, hydraulic clutch adjuster with retaining ring and a set of six shoulder bots (.750”).


Kibblewhite Precision Machining

KPMI Extends Valve Program to bring Selected Third Party Profiles up to its Own Standards

Based in Pacifica, California, leading valve train specialist Kibblewhite Precision Machining (KPMI) says it has responded to an increase in demand for its grade of products by updating several third party valve profiles that are currently on the market to meet its own design, manufacturing and quality control standards.

“We aim to provide a full line of Harley valves that crossover with the AV&V product line. Through this merging of styles, we are able to bring a new set of Black Diamond Valves to the market for Harley-Davidson Evolution and Twin Cam applications. We are also offering valve profiles that are compatible with aftermarket heads produced by S&S and Merch Motors.
“In addition, we are proud to present our first bimetallic White Diamond Blank Valves, which provide the ability to flame/induction harden tips as necessary after machining custom valve lengths and profiles.”
Founded in 1939 by James L. Kibblewhite and taken over by his son William, KPMI is respected worldwide for its range of over 3,000 ready-made powertrain components and its contract manufacturing, engineering, prototyping, and limited or full production runs for OEM and other parties.
Noted for quality control and investments in materials and high performance valvetrain research for 4-stroke engines, KPMI encompasses over 20,000 square feet of machine shop, office, engineering, and warehouse space and has spent the past few years aggressively updating its operations with eleven of the latest model CNC lathes (2010 and later), CAD, CAM, and custom machining equipment. Its “engineering department and machinists are ready and waiting to assist with custom requirements and drive ongoing production of high performance valvetrain systems for 4-stroke engines.”


Le Pera

‘Streaker’ for Sportsters

North Hollywood, California seats specialist Le Pera has three stylish new designs for 2018 - the ‘KickFlip’ for ’06-’17 Dynas; the new Sprocket for ’08 and up Baggers, and, seen here, the Solo ‘Streaker’ for Sportsters.

The ‘Streaker’ is available in ‘Smooth’, ‘Diamond’ or ‘Pleated’ stitch finishes, it is a “stripped down, simple and clean design,” says Bob Le Pera Jr.
Like all Le Pera seats, it has 46 years of handcraftsmanship invested into every detail and features a powder-coated 16-gauge steel base plate, a specially poured high-density “Marathon” molded foam foundation and a double-stitched handcrafted cover with bonded polyester thread for durability.


Motorcycle Storehouse

Motorcycle Storehouse Additions

ECE compliant Kellermann Bullet ‘Atto’ Turn signal

With an overall length of 14 mm, a high-quality metal housing diameter of 10 mm (1 cm) and lens diameter of just 7.8 mm, the ultra-small Bullet ‘Atto’ turn signal redefines miniature. The high output power LED and special ‘Extranz Extreme Optical Transparency’ technology “gives it a colossal light output, especially given the tiny dimensions of the ‘Atto’ - it is a miracle of miniaturization and an instant classic where custom styling is concerned.” Made with M5 x 6.5 mm threads, it is also available as position light for front use only.

Progressive Suspension 465 Series for 2018 Softail

The new M-8 Softail is of a different breed and one of the changes is the chassis and suspension. For the rear end Progressive Suspension has developed a series of new 465 absorbers tuned and specified for the chassis and suspension geometry and requirements of M-8 Softails. Motorcycle Storehouse says they are “perfect as a stock replacement or as a shorter shock in custom applications they are equipped with deflective disc valving and a high-pressure nitrogen filled aluminum body.” Available with the regular threaded adjustable pre-load system or Progressive’s RAP (Remote Adjustable Pre-load) located behind the left passenger peg for easy access. They come in stock, longer and shorter lengths with standard or heavy-duty springs; available with a total length of 343 mm (+10 mm longer), 333 mm, 321 mm up to 309 mm (-2” lower).

Rebuffini CAN-bus Compatible RR90 Hand Controls

Popular Italian custom parts manufacturer Rebuffini has designed and manufactured CAN bus compatible RR90 radial hand control kits especially for custom applications on 2011 and up models with CAN bus (Controlled Area Network-bus) wiring. “The control kits are CNC machined black anodized aluminum and come with lighted soft-touch switches, super compact dimensions and a flawless finish, fit and quality. Four kits are available to cover all ‘11-‘17 Softail and ‘12-‘17 Dyna for key-type or keyless ignition and cable or hydraulic operated clutch.”

S&S Mini Teardrop Stealth Air Cleaner Kits

Like the regular Stealth air cleaners, these miniature versions of the iconic S&S Super teardrop air cleaner cover are just 85% of the original teardrop size and will show more of the engine to give the bike a contemporary custom look. Large machined slots in the cover give it full functionality, guaranteeing that airflow is not obstructed despite its miniature size. They fit CV carb or stock Delphi fuel injection models; available with a chrome or gloss black cover.


S&S Cycle

Grand National and Slash Cut Slip-ons for ‘05-’17 Dyna Models

S&S Cycle continues to keep the new product introductions rolling as the company adds to the options that dealers have with its massive and ongoing “proven performance” engine component and exhaust product line option development programs.

The Dyna platform may have ceased production, but it remains an important and popular part of the custom market and S&S says it will “continue to make cool parts for them.” The latest product offerings include slip on mufflers in two different formats designed to look good and make big power. 

The Grand National version is styled after S&S’ flat track race mufflers and the Slash Cut is a clean interpretation of a classic shape. Both include the company’s removable dB reducers that allow riders to fine tune the sound for the perfect exhaust note. Available in ceramic black or chrome, S&S says that both promise a  more than welcome +17% hp gain over the stock exhausts. Fitment is available for most Dyna models, ’95-‘17.


Drag Specialties

New Products in Stock at Drag Specialties

Predator III Seats

Drag Specialties’ Predator III seats feature automotive-grade vinyl covers and molded polyurethane foam “for durability and maximum comfort.”  Seat comfort is further enhanced by the narrow up-front design, which means better leg clearance and a 6” tall driver back support. 
Finishes available include a smooth surface seat or a ‘Double Diamond’ stitch seat that comes in black, silver or red thread.  Additional features include a rubber bumper and paint-safe, fully carpeted 3/16” ABS thermoformed base plate.
The Predator III measures 11 3/4” wide up-front, 6 1/2” wide in the rear and 30 1/2” overall. Available for ‘08-’18 FLHT/FLHR/FLHRC/FLTR/FLHX/FLHTC/FLHTCU models, they fit with all Drag and most H-D sissy bars. 

Twin Cam Cylinders

Drag Specialties says that its Twin Cam cylinders are an excellent stock replacement for 88” and 96” Twin Cam motors with a 3.75” bore.  OEM black texture powder-coat with highlighted fins maintains the original factory look, and they fit all ‘99-‘17 Twin Cam motors.

XL Primary Covers

Drag Specialties’ chrome XL Primary covers are a durable die-cast aluminum direct stock replacement. They are lso available in blacked-out finish inspection, with derby covers additionally available. They fit ‘94-’03 Sportsters.

Heel/Toe Shifter

This FXD mid-control heel/toe shifter will “add some extra comfort and convenience”. Available in chrome or wrinkle black finishes to match or contrast against current parts already installed, they are constructed using durable die-cast aluminum.  Pinch bolt is included; shift pegs additionally available. Fits ‘91-’17 FXD models with mid-controls.

Cleaner, Polish and UV Protectorant

Drag Specialties’ cleaner, polish and UV protectant provides a micro-thin layer of UV protection “that maintains a factory shine on most surfaces, and quickly and easily removes dirt, insects and water spots with an anti-static formula that repels dust, dirt and water. Sold in 14 oz. cans, it polishes paint, aluminum, stainless and plastic and can also be used on windscreens, helmets and more.