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Wednesday 30 January 2019


Domestic US Harley Sales Lowest Since 1998

No doubt in an effort to distract attention from a disappointing 2018 full year and final quarter, one that saw the company undershoot its 4Q and original 2018 forecasts, Harley-Davidson sought to focus on the limited positives, the value it says it is continuing to return to shareholders and the “milestones” it says it has already met in pursuit of its ‘More Roads’ strategy document when reporting their 4Q and 2018 FY (January 29th, 2019).

In reality, the headline news was of worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson units down by -6.1% (228,051 units), the lowest since 2010 (the only year that has been lower since 2001), with 4Q at -6.7% (39,311 units).
International retail sales were flat for the year at +0.4% (95,183 units) and have been essentially flat for five years, but with domestic 2018 retail sales down to 132,868 units (-10.2%), their lowest since 1998, international sales were 41.74% of the total (as Harley continues to pursue a 50/50 international/domestic sales split).
In other news, President and CEO Matt Levatich has now confirmed that, as widely trailed, production of models for Europe and selected other international markets (such as China and the ASEAN markets) will be based out of the new Thailand plant that came on stream in 3Q 2018 (capacity expansion is already underway there).
Levatich said that “in 2018 we delivered value to our shareholders through improved earnings and cash from operations. The challenges we experienced during the year reinforced the commitment we have for our ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’ accelerated plan for growth. Our plan addresses the challenges of today and the opportunities we see for growth ahead, and we are energized by the momentum we are building. New and different people, riders and non-riders, are taking notice of Harley-Davidson and the thrill of riding.”

On a full-year basis, the U.S. 601+cc industry was down 8.7 percent and Harley-Davidson held market share of 49.7 percent. Harley-Davidson’s full-year Europe market share was up 0.5 percentage points to 10.3 percent.
Revenue from the Motorcycles segment was down in the fourth quarter, but up for the full year compared to 2017. Operating margin as a percent of revenue decreased in the quarter due to restructuring charges, incremental tariffs and higher recall costs. Motorcycles and Related Products segment (Motorcycles segment) revenue grew +1.1 percent compared to 2017.
On a full-year basis, earnings per share (EPS) was up year-over-year on positive revenue growth. The company says it “achieved all stated 2018 milestones associated with its ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’ accelerated plan for growth.”
Full-year 2018 GAAP diluted EPS was $3.19, up +5.6 percent; year-ago GAAP diluted EPS was $3.02. Excluding restructuring plan costs (including manufacturing optimization) and the impact of incremental tariffs, 2018 diluted EPS was $3.78. Full-year 2018 net income was $531.5 million on consolidated revenue of $5.72 billion versus net income of $521.8 million on consolidated revenue of $5.65 billion in 2017.
However, fourth quarter 2018 GAAP diluted EPS was $0.00; year-ago GAAP diluted EPS was $0.05. Excluding restructuring plan costs (including manufacturing optimization) and the impact of incremental tariffs, fourth quarter 2018 diluted EPS was $0.17. Fourth quarter 2018 net income was only $0.5 million on consolidated revenue of $1.15 billion versus net income of $8.3 million on consolidated revenue of $1.23 billion in 2017.
Despite the growing pressure on margins and net profitability during the year, Harley-Davidson repurchased $382 million of shares and paid dividends totaling $1.48 per share, up +1.4 percent versus the prior year.
Cash from operations was up over $200 million, or +20 percent, compared to 2017. The Financial Services segment finished the year with record earnings of $291.2 million, up 5.8 percent.
In its ongoing drive to further improve its manufacturing operations and cost structure, in the first quarter of 2018 the company commenced its multi-year manufacturing optimization initiative anchored by the consolidation of its U.S. motorcycle assembly operations into its plant in York, Pa. In the fourth quarter of 2018, costs related to the manufacturing optimization were $19.1 million, with full year at $102.4 million. The company expects to incur an additional $50 million to $60 million of operating expense in 2019, which is lower than its most recent expectations. The company now expects total capital investment of approximately $65 million through 2019, a decrease of $10 million from previous expectations, and continues to expect ongoing annual cash savings of $65 million to $75 million after 2020.
During the quarter, Harley-Davidson says it continued to make progress on the initiatives included in its ‘More Roads’ accelerated plan for growth to build the next generation of riders globally. Leveraging core strengths in the business, brand and dealer network, the company is investing in opportunities that inspire increased ridership sooner and deliver sustainable growth for the future. Harley-Davidson’s ‘More Roads’ plan supports the company’s strategy and 2027 objectives to build two million new riders in the U.S., grow international business to 50 percent of annual volume, launch 100 new high impact motorcycles and do so profitably and sustainably.
“During 2018 we met or exceeded all of the ‘More Roads’ plan milestones we set out to achieve. In the U.S., we finished the year with 52,000 more Harley-Davidson riders than one year ago. The groundwork for an exciting future is being built in real time, and that’s clear for riders today and Harley-Davidson riders of tomorrow. We are igniting a cultural movement for motorcycling,” said Levatich.
Through 2022, the ‘More Roads’ strategy aims to deliver on key goals, including new products (keep current riders engaged and inspire a new generation of Harley-Davidson riders); broader access (meet customers where they are and how they want to engage with a multi-channel retail experience); stronger dealers (drive a performance framework to improve dealer financial strength and the Harley-Davidson customer experience).
The company believes its accelerated plan will drive revenue growth and expand operating margins and expects to fund strategic opportunities while maintaining its current investment and return profile and capital allocation strategy.

Carole Nash Irish Motorbike and Scooter Show

Dublin 2019 – be there!

With motorcycle sales in the small but enthusiastic Irish motorcycle market on the rise, the biennial Carole Nash Irish Motorbike and Scooter Show will again be staged at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) expo complex and showgrounds in the Irish capital from March 1st to 3rd 2019.

As one of the longest standing AMD World Championship Official Affiliate events, with it will be staged the Irish Custom Bike Championship with not one, but two opportunities to win expenses paid entry to compete at the next ‘AMD’ at INTERMOT Customized in Germany in October 2020.

One prize will go to the wining domestic Irish custom bike builder, with the second to the builder of the bike judged to be the best ‘international’ entrant at this year’s show.
If ever a show has had a positive effect on helping to create and champion a national custom motorcycle market, the ‘Dublin Show’ is a case study of excellence, with Irish builders regularly appearing in the Top 20 at the World Championship and taking the win in 2013 when Don Cronin and Michael O’Shea of Medaza Cycles fame (Bandon, Co. Cork) scooped the most prestigious custom bike competition prize in the world with ‘Rondine’, their much admired 1971 Nuovo Falcone 500 engined custom Moto Guzzi with its one-off girder style front end.

Highlights on 2013 AMD World Championship winning bike Rondine include the use of a heavily modified V-Rod swingarm to create the girder style fork, V-Rod wheels at both ends and hand-beaten aluminum bodywork

Medaza Cycles came fifth in the 2018 World Championship with ‘Stechm├╝cke’

The Irish custom motorcycle market may be small, but it is growing, and the quality of the craftsmanship and design and engineering innovation that it produces every time the ‘Dublin Show’ is staged is up there with the best in the world – as is the hospitality and fun to be had at the show itself. It carries a ‘5-Star Highly Recommended’ rating from the team here at AMD Magazine and all those who have had the pleasure of spending a long weekend in Dublin for the show.

Jekill & Hyde

Jekill & Hyde Meets BSL: “Two Companies, One Vision”

Two of Europe’s more “radical” or “cutting edge” exhaust companies have forged an alliance to release a range of exhaust systems together.

Dutch exhaust sound specialist The Jekill & Hyde Company and Austrian specialist BSL Products are offering five models with the best products from both manufacturers in combination to produce a selection of road legal options for Harley-Davidson Softail and Breakouts from 2011 to 2016.

The Jekill & Hyde Company supplies the electronically adjustable mufflers with three different performance modes in two versions - Shorty and Jekill Bomb - in chrome and black, with five different end caps in chrome, black, aluminum and polished RVS.
BSL Products presents five models of headers with two different heat shield designs, Smooth and Hole, in chrome and black. BSL uses annealed stainless steel tubes with 1.5 mm wall thickness and 1 3/4 inch connection width. The larger manifold diameter is said to result in +8% increase in volume and thus a maximum exhaust flow. The interference tube for more power is included.
There is a specially designed online configurator that details the full range of options and further technical details.

Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC)

U.S. Motorcycle Ownership Among Women Now at 19 Percent

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), Irvine, California, has released the results of a survey that says nearly one in five motorcycle owners in the USA is now female, compared with one in ten less than a decade ago - the data suggests that women could soon make up one quarter of owners, “which would be a major shift in motorcycling demographics.”
Among all age groups, women now make up 19 percent of motorcycle owners. But the 2018 survey showed even greater female ownership among younger generations. Among Gen X motorcycle owners, 22 percent were women, among Gen Y, 26 percent were women.

“As the number of Boomer and mature motorcyclists shrinks and are replaced by newer riders, we could soon be looking at a solid 25 percent of motorcycle owners being female,” said Andria Yu, MIC Director of Communications. “We’ve seen with our own eyes many more women riders - on the roads, on the trails, on the track, with families, at motorcycling events, forming clubs and just being part of everyday group rides. Many people in the industry have worked some 30 years to achieve this, and now the data confirms it: more and more women are getting out there and enjoying motorcycles.”
The MIC polled 2,472 adults nationwide for the 2018 Motorcycle/ATV owner survey. “For decades, the MIC surveys have served as the census of motorcycling and have tracked a steady growth in the percentage of women who own bikes.
“Major efforts to increase the number of women riders go back to the late 1980s when top manufacturers and distributors came together and formed Discover Today’s Motorcycling, the industry outreach program built to introduce new riders to two-wheeling,” said Cam Arnold, a long- time industry executive who organises a ‘Women in Powersports’ networking event in New York City.
“The first DTM project in the 1980s spotlighted the historic 1916 Van Buren sisters ride across the country and garnered much media attention. Throughout the 1990s and until today, the big brands have dedicated increasing amounts of attention to the women’s market, and we’ve simply seen more and more positive imagery on TV, in movies and in many mainstream settings where women on motorcycles are just having fun.”
The 2018 owner survey also found that women motorcycle owners spend, on average, $574 a year on tires, routine repairs, maintenance, replacement parts and accessories and modifying equipment, compared with $497 by men.
“Motorcycling has grown in popularity and acceptance in American culture in recent decades, which is reflected in the survey. It found that 66 percent of women motorcycle owners say their family and friends would have a positive attitude toward motorcycles and scooters.”

Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

Chrome ‘Live to Ride’ Fuel Console Doors

These die-cast metal construction chrome or chrome with gold highlights console doors include a door spring, pivot and screws; available for ‘08-‘19 FLHT/FLHX/FLTR models.

EZ-ON Solo Seats

The EZ-On features an internal rubber mount/stud system to allow for easy installation and removal without the use of tools. These 21 ½” L x 12 ½” W seats come in a smooth, smooth solar reflective, scorpion stitch and scorpion silver stitch options; fit ‘18-‘19 FXFB.

1 1/4” Buffalo Bars
These chrome, gloss black or flat black 6” radius T-bars are slotted and notched for Throttle-By-Wire options, with 6” end rise, 31” overall width, 9” center width and 6” pullback.

Square Sissy Bar and Side Plates

Measured from the first bend on the leg to the top of the bar, this 10” H x 9 7/8” W gloss black square sissy bar, with matching side plates, is made from 9/16” solid steel for ‘18-‘19 FXFB/FXFBS models. The side plates features an easy bolt-on on design that does not require drilling. 


Le Pera

‘Super Villain’

Californian seat manufacturer Le Pera’s ‘Super Villain’ is a “truly unique seat that will change the look of your customer’s bagger and turn heads.”

Said to have all the style of the popular ‘Villain’, the ‘Super Villain’ “packs extra support and comfort for longer rides. This is a great seat for adding faux embossed leather seating or a simple accent color stitch. We also have the ‘Villain’ Daddy Long Legs available that will move taller riders back by 2” for increased leg room.”
Available in smooth, pleated, diamond and a variety of other options, the ‘Super Villain’ has a 14.5” width at the front of the seat, 11” at the rear. 

Still handcrafting all their seats at their North Hollywood, California headquarters after nearly 45 years as the market’s design leader, all Le Pera seats feature a powder-coated steel base plate, a specially poured high density “Marathon” molded foam foundation and double-stitched, handcrafted cover with bonded polyester thread for durability.


HHI/Renegade Custom Motorcycle Wheels

HHI Adds Widths to Renegade Custom Wheels Program for 2019

The first new wheel developments for the H-D Touring market from Hawg Halters since the announcement of the acquisition of the Renegade brand is the introduction of 21 x 5.5” and 23 x 5.5” wide tire wheels.

These wheels will be offered in chrome, black, and Phantom Cut finishes, with matching 11.8 and 13 inch true floating brake rotors available. Builders looking to finish off a package for their customers can also purchase matching air cleaners and derby covers for an integrated custom look.

Owner Mark Thompson told AMD Magazine that “HHI/Renegade Custom Motorcycle Wheels maintains a core philosophy of offering premium quality and uniquely styled, well designed, precision engineered products that reflect the needs of our dealer base.
“Production of these exciting new wheels will continue in our joint production facilities located in Georgia and Southern California.”



Fox Shocks for Touring Models

Said to offer “model-specific optimized ride tune,” these gas-charged monotube shocks from Fox (exclusively available from Boise, Idaho based distributor HardDrive) are made with a 1.5” 6061-T6 aluminum type III hard anodized body.
Designed with an internal floating piston, they feature advanced high-flow, deflective disk, “velocity-sensitive” damping, hand-adjustable, machine cut or all black aluminum billet spring preload adjuster and spring seat (with additional rebound damping versions also available) and have a 1/2” low friction, super-finished hard chrome shaft.
The ‘Carbon Black’ spring is available with standard or heavy duty spring rates. Fully serviceable and rebuildable, they are available in standard 13” or low 12” lengths for Touring models ’84- ‘16. A spring pre-load wrench is available separately.


Custom Chrome Europe

Taking it easy with the Mueller ‘Hydro Clutch’ from Custom Chrome Europe

The huge improvements in clutch operation seen in the past forty years still leave many models with heavier than necessary clutch lever pull. As the inches get bigger, and the horsepower increases, clutches have kept pace but haven’t really moved forward in terms of lever effort without intervention.

Improve riding comfort considerably with the Mueller ‘Hydro Clutch’, providing a 35% reduction in clutch lever effort on Twin Cam models

Now though, German custom parts engineer Werner Mueller has brought his decades of experience to the problem with the launch of the Mueller ‘Hydro Clutch’. Based near Inglostadt in Bavaria, Mueller “has game” where clutch products and other innovative parts designs are concerned - the Mueller ‘Power Clutch’ was a major step forward at the time of its launch, but with a claimed 35% reduction in clutch lever effort on Twin Cams, and a massive 45% reduction on Milwaukee Eights, the ‘Hydro Clutch’ replaces the OEM part on 2016 FLSS, FLSTBS, and 2014 and up Touring models with the hydraulic clutch, including M-8 Tourers.

Mueller ‘Hydro Clutch’ mounted on the M-8 gearbox, providing a 45% reduction in clutch lever effort on Touring models with the M-8 drive train

Maintenance free and with an easy, invisible installation, the ‘Hydro Clutch’ also delivers increased sensitivity and feel, and better controllability of the clutch operation. 

Fabian, son of Werner Mueller, introduced the prototype at CUSTOMBIKE 2018


Baker Drivetrain

Hydraulic Side Cover for M-8 Models

Baker Drivetrain now has a version of its popular hydraulic side cover available for Milwaukee-Eight engine models that is “still the tidiest design possible, yielding the strength necessary to get the job done.”

Featuring the new 28 mm piston in conjunction with supplied main shaft and countershaft retaining nuts, the design helps to alleviate the common fluid transfer issue between the transmission and primary; still also available for 1987 and later applications. 
One of the first parts in the company’s ‘FF’ product line, Bert Baker says “we took away all the ‘fat’ of the standard aftermarket side cover and left the function - the true art of any mechanical part - the parts that make it happen, that do the work and yield the results.
“We sucked the side cover up to the bearing door as much as possible by utilizing aerospace derived hydraulic ball plugs that enabled the bleeder screw and feed line ports to be right next to the gasket surface. We even put the conventional transmission dipstick on a diet.  Knowing what it’s like to be on the end of that wrench, hustling to get that bike done ‘just right’, we tooled up these covers to offer either front or rear banjo fitting ports.”
Manufactured out of virgin aluminum stock and forged on 1,500 ton presses with a one-hit die, the strength is matched by the smooth surface finish. Forged 6061 side covers tuck tighter to the transmission than the stock cable style side covers; compact and versatile hydraulic line routing enables the 3/8-24 banjo fitting to be on the front or rear of the transmission.
Compatible with stock ’87-’06 H-D 5-speeds, 2007 and later stock H-D 6-speeds, Baker OD6, DD6, DD5, DD7 and GrudgeBox transmissions or any other transmission that uses a stock equivalent mechanical cable style side cover, the system is designed to offer the same amount of adjustability at the hand control and engagement point as the stock mechanical clutch cable.
It utilizes the stock mechanical center rod assembly, enabling the wanted adjustment at the clutch lever, as well as being compatible with all types of clutch available on the market. The steel 1.5″ diameter piston rides on high grade .125″ thick Buna N O-rings, delivering smooth engagement throughout the stroke of the lever as well as durability against the transmission fluid and silicone based brake fluid used in today’s hydraulic clutch systems.
By using 5/32″ diameter aerospace derived stainless steel ball plugs in conjunction with some “crafty precision machining,” the fluid can be routed to the outside of the piston, while the banjo fitting remains right near the gasket surface.


Tuesday 22 January 2019


HardDrive Announces New Distribution Agreements with Three Major Industry Brands

Boise, Idaho headquartered distributor HardDrive American V-twin Products, the specialty custom parts division of Western Power Sports (WPS), has announced three new distribution partnerships with Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation (PYBN), MagnaFlow Exhaust and Rekluse (clutches).  

“I am extremely excited to start offering these brands throughout our HardDrive dealer network,” National Sales Manager Ronnie Wehr explained. “All three of these brands are well respected in the V-twin world and we couldn’t be happier to work with them. Each of these brands are distinct, giving HardDrive’s vast dealer network even more options for V-twin enthusiasts across the country.”

Bagger Nation SRT ‘Steam Roller’ touring front end kit

For over 30 years Paul Yaffe’s products have been industry staples in custom Harley-Davidson creation, always coming up with unique parts.  Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Bagger Nation’s diverse line-up “includes only the highest quality parts for Harley-Davidson touring motorcycles. This new relationship will allow HardDrive to further help market and distribute Paul Yaffe’s products in dealerships across North America.”
For PYBN, National Operations Manager Mark Goss said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with HardDrive. As a manufacturer of the highest quality parts for Harley-Davidson touring motorcycles, including the best-selling handlebars in the world, we feel this relationship will be very complementary to both companies, benefitting dealers and their customers.”

National Sales Manager Ronnie Wehr: “I am extremely excited to start offering these brands throughout our HardDrive dealer network

MagnaFlow describes itself as a “global leader in exhaust design and manufacturing with over 35 years of experience. MagnaFlow engineers use state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques to give V-twin riders that extra boost of performance, style and unmistakable sound. Proudly made in the USA, MagnaFlow develops and manufactures their products to exacting standards to ensure that every part is of the highest quality. HardDrive is proud to begin distributing MagnaFlow to dealerships across North America with their customer-focused service.”

MagnaFlow Hitman slip-on mufflers

For MagnaFlow, Director Chris McGee said: “We are excited with the addition of HardDrive as a sales partner to enhance the service and support of MagnaFlow to V-twin dealers and shops across North America. MagnaFlow and HardDrive are both family-owned and built from the ground up by good people with determination and a vision for the future. We look forward to more good things in the future with HardDrive.”
Founded on the philosophy of “good is not good enough”, Boise, Idaho based Rekluse is “continually innovating clutch technology, offering high performance auto and manual clutches for off-road and street motorcycles, including V-twin clutches - indeed Rekluse are the ‘Official Clutch’ supplier of the American Flat Track race series.
“Trusted worldwide, from weekend warriors to world champions in multiple riding disciplines, Rekluse proudly engineers, develops and manufactures in-house here in our home city of Boise, Idaho. Driven by purpose, progress and performance, Rekluse can always be relied on to inspire a better adventure.”

Rekluse's RadiusX is a high performance
centrifugal auto clutch combining our
TorqDrive and EXP technologies

For Rekluse, President Sean Brown said: “Rekluse is excited to add HardDrive and Western Power Sports (WPS) as a sales channel partner. This cooperation will broaden awareness of our expanding product segments including our V-twin and Harley replacement performance clutches. We are confident this new partnership with the HardDrive sales teams will help us continue building momentum for the Rekluse brand.”
HardDrive’s parent company WPS has been in the powersports distribution business for a combined 58 years. HardDrive distributes V-twin products to its dealers nationwide through six regional warehouses located in Boise, Idaho; Fresno, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; Ashley, Indiana; and Midlothian, Texas.
The new HardDrive 2019 catalog features over 2,200 new items added to the fast growing line-up of popular and hard-to-source brands and parts, accessories and performance items.
As well as MagnaFlow, Rekluse and Paul Yaffe’s Bagge Nation, additions from established vendors include JW Speaker (lights), ODI (Vans Cult grips), and Pingel (clutch, accessories, petcocks, drag race components). Highlights include a significant expansion to the company’s Danny Gray seats line, HardDrive premium re-useable air filters, Firebrand exhausts (now exclusive to HardDrive), Sawicki 2 into 1 exhausts for Sportsters, Forbidden Motorcycles 2018 Street Bob/Breakout risers with stock gauge integration; Big Bike Parts Indian and Victory accessories and Racing Bros front suspension cartridge kits for Touring models.


Swiss-Custom 2019

The Swiss-Custom Customizing and Tuning Show will again be staged at Swiss-Moto (Zurich, February 21-24, 2019). The show is again partnered with Custom Show Emirates 2019 (Abu Dhabi, March 28-30), with the Swiss-Custom winner receiving a trip to compete there this year.

Swiss-Custom is also partnered with The Rat's Hole Custom Bike Show in the USA, with one of the “sought-after Rat's Hole trophies being awarded in Europe - an award from the Rat's Hole Custom Bike Show is regarded as a veritable Oscar in the customizing scene.”
Customizers from across Europe can enter for pre-selection for one of the 50 spaces available in the show, with classes including American Stock from 1987, American Custom, Metric Stock, Metric Custom, Sportbikes, Streetfighter, Classic V2, Classic and Single and Radical Custom.

“Michael Lichter will present a selection of his most famous works and unveil some new, previously unseen images

The win in 2018 was taken by respected Lichtenstein based custom bike builder Reini Servello of Bobber Garage, who went on to win the Over 1000 cc Radical Class at the Sturgis Rat's Hole Custom Bike Show in August with ‘Monarch’.
An additional feature this year will see Michael Lichter curating a selection of his most famous works and unveiling new, previously unseen images.

“The Swiss-Custom win in 2018 was taken by respected Lichtenstein based custom bike builder Reini Servello of Bobber Garage with ‘Monarch’, going on to win the Over 1000 cc Radical Class at the Sturgis Rat's Hole Custom Bike Show in August and subsequently competing in the Avon Freestyle Class at the 2018 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building at INTERMOT Customized in Germany in October (


Rinehart Euro 4 Slip-Ons for Touring Models

Exclusively available through Parts Europe/Drag Specialties, Rinehart Racing from Arden, North Carolina has launched Euro 4 homologated slip-on mufflers for M-8 H-D Touring models.

“These stunning slip-on mufflers will add the perfect mix of both performance and style. Proprietary technology in the internal design of these slip-ons maximizes both torque and horsepower, letting the rider actually feel the performance. Rinehart Racing slip-on mufflers are characterized and easily identified by the iconic sound of Rinehart Racing, a deep throaty yet crisp rumble.”
They are available in 4” and 4.5” muffler diameter with a variety of finish options and end cap treatment options. They have a     stainless steel 2.5” louvered baffle, CNC-machined end cap manufactured from aircraft grade extruded aluminum billet, an internal chrome CNC-machined sleeve and are fully Euro 4 certified.
Rinehart Racing exhausts are exclusively available to dealers in Europe through Parts Europe.

Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield and 18-Year-Old Cayla Rivas Set New Bonneville Speed Record

If anybody is still in any doubt about Royal Enfield’s domestic U.S. middleweight ambitions, then they simply aren’t paying attention. With their new air-cooled 650 Parallel Twins about to start hitting dealerships at a sub $6k price-point sweet spot, neither should anybody be in any doubt about whether or not the machines are going to actually be, you know, “any good”!

Royal Enfield teamed up with 18-year-old motorcycle racer Cayla Rivas (Fresno, California) to set a new land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats at the end of August. The fully custom-built bike showcased the new Continental GT 650cc twin engine, which was tuned and designed by U.S. based S&S Cycle.
The chassis was developed by Superbike chassis manufacturer Harris Performance in the UK. Harris is one of the most successful race and performance chassis businesses in the history of the motorcycle industry, and Royal Enfield bought them three years ago as a first stage in realizing its ambitions to be able to produce convincing new models and more powerful models.

By the end of the week-long speed trials, Cayla, the daughter of former NHRA motorcycle racer Chris Rivas, hit a jaw dropping speed of 159 miles per hour on the measured mile, setting a new record for the class with a record return run of 157.03 mph (pending FIM certification). This will be the 13th record Cayla has set since the age of 12, and her new top speed.

Backed up by team Royal Enfield, Harris Performance and S&S Racing, Cayla entered the naturally aspirated 750cc class, initially in a bid to reach 130 mph. By the end of the week she had set a 157.145 mph record (after blowing the engine twice).
With S&S Cycle backing the engineering team at the Royal Enfield Technology Center in the UK, expect to see Royal Enfield stake an early claim to leadership of the burgeoning “Battle of the Middleweights” that is destined to play out in the next decade; and remember, the GT 650 and the even lower priced retro styled Interceptor 650 are likely just a market entry start-point for the world’s oldest and highest unit volume continuously produced motorcycle brand.

Le Pera

XL ‘Sprocket’

The first iteration of North Hollywood, California seats specialist Le Pera’s new ‘Sprocket’ Solo was for ’08 and up Baggers. Available in ‘Smooth’, ‘Diamond’ and ‘Pleated’ stitch finishes, “this sinfully ‘Bobbed and Chopped’ design creates enough back support for highway riding, with a bobbed back that updates one of our most popular designs from the 1970s,” says Bob Le Pera Jr. 

In response to dealer and public demand, Le Pera now have the popular ‘Sprocket’ available for Sportsters from 2010 and up (including 2019).
Like all Le Pera seats, it has 47 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 double-stitched handcrafted cover with bonded polyester thread for durability.


Arlen Ness Enterprises

Ness Stamped Steel Fenders - Rapper, Profile and Pro Steel Short

Arlen Ness Enterprises has added to its popular replacement and custom fender program with three new stamped one-piece 14-gauge steel designs that are available for selected Harley and Indian Motorcycle Tourers and Big Twins.


The ‘Rapper’ is a “curvaceous” full-length design that wraps the tire “to perfection”. They allow enough clearance for oversized 14” brake rotors and ship with direct bolt-on black anodized billet bracketry.
The 21” fenders measure 5.90” wide and accept all 130/60-23” tires; the 23-incher measures 6.30” wide and accepts all 130/60-23” tires. Fitment is for Indian and Harley, including ’99-‘13 and ’14-‘18 FLT and 2018 Softail FLFB/FLSL/FLDE/FLHC.
The ‘Profile’ is a 21” medium length stamped one-piece 14-gauge steel design for ’06-’17 FXD and 2018 Softail FXBB/FXBR/FXLR and ’13-up FXSB; also available 23” for ’13-‘17 FXSB and ‘18 FXBR Breakout.


Two versions of the performance inspired stamped one-piece 14-gauge steel ‘Pro Street Short’ are seen here.  The 5.90” wide 19” and 21-incher, and 6.30” wide 23” version are available for selected Touring and Softail applications, including ’99-‘13 and ’14-‘18 FLT, ’13-‘17 Softail FXSB, and ‘18 Softail FLFB/FLSL/FLDE/FLHC/FXBR.
The unique design of the 39/49 ‘Pro Street’ allows a 3.50” x 21” wheel with a 120/70-21” tire in a 39 mm narrow glide or 49 mm mid glide fork for “an amazing look”. Direct bolt-on black anodized bracketry makes install easy.
Fitments include 39 mm ’88-‘05 FXD/FXR, 39 mm ’88-‘18 XL, ’06-‘17 FXD and 49 mm ‘18 Softail FXBB/FXLR.



Motorcycle Hubs for Baggers

South Gate, California based MSI has added hubs to its line-up of 28 wheel blank sizes (in 2D and 3D formats), rotors, pulleys and sprockets.

“Now you can get hubs ready to go - all you need to do is decide which finish you need and the bearing. Our initial line starts with the hubs for the popular bagger; fitment for 2000 and up with front and rear hubs are available - we will gradually be adding further to the line-up throughout 2019.”
MSI hubs are made from 6061-T6 aluminum, manufactured in the USA, and “designed for easy installation - each hub comes with a pre-cut crush tube and socket head bolts.”



ECE-Certified Biltwell Gringo and Gringo S Helmets for 2019

European dealers who have been waiting for the vintage-inspired Biltwell Gringo and Gringo S helmets to meet ECE regulations need wait no longer – the California-based company has announced that all 2019 models of the popular full-face helmet line will not only meet DOT regulations, but also those of the even more stringent ECE.
“Designed by riders, for riders,” these helmets “harken back to the days when things were simpler and helmets weren’t festooned with ridiculous graphics and superfluous widgets,” says Biltwell co-founder Bill Bryant, and while the design might be rooted in yesteryear, the quality of construction and materials involved are thoroughly contemporary.


The injection molded shells are lightweight, the paint quality is “superior to helmets costing twice as much and the buttery interior now includes pockets in the ear recess area for communication systems.
“The original Gringo helmet gave fans of the retro/modern motorcycle movement a safe place to put their heads. Assembled by hand and featuring a hand-painted ABS thermoplastic outer shell for lasting beauty and maximum impact attenuation, inside they feature a three-piece EPS safety liner and urethane chin bar padding that meets both US DOT and ECE R22.05 safety standards for motorcycle riding.
“Gringo’s removable liner and cheek pads are hand-stitched with open-cell foam for breathability and feature moisture-wicking fleece Lycra touch points and polyester vent panels for all-day riding comfort.”

Gringo S

Biltwell offers accessory cheek pads in a variety of different thicknesses so the face-fit can be customized specifically for the rider. The generous eye port is said to provide great peripheral vision and is large enough to accommodate sunglasses or Biltwell goggles.
“A less-is-more aesthetic sets the standard for comfort and style among retro/modern safety gear for riders,” says Bill, “and now our enduring favorite is ECE certified for motorcycle operation. Europe’s stringent R22.05 test protocol is recognized as the highest standard in the world for rider safety.
“Offering both US DOT and ECE certification means you can wear Gringo S with confidence. Boasting the same safety and comfort technologies as our Lane Splitter, Gringo S looks right at home on every motorcycle in your stable, from scooter to shovelhead.”
The CE-certified polycarbonate shield is injection molded for maximum optical clarity and features a scratch-resistant treatment to fight microscopic road debris. Gringo S can be outfitted with accessory bubbles and flat shields in a wide range of colors and tints to fine-tune the style and vision, and its liner is removable for cleaning or replacement.
Both Biltwell helmets are available in sizes ranging from XS to XXL and there are ten different paint finishes per model “to satisfy the pickiest rider.”