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Tuesday 26 February 2019

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Keep Those ‘Evo’ Engines Running

Welcome to 2019, and with it comes what, for me, is a significant anniversary! While last year was the 60th anniversary of the Sportster, believe it or not, this is the 35th anniversary of the ‘Evo’. That was the Harley platform that was current at the time I came into the market - which was five years after its introduction, so this is also the 30th anniversary of my first experience of the motorcycle parts and accessory market.
The memories of first walking into the exhibition hall at the ‘old’ Cincinnati trade show are still vivid. That was in the days when all of the then available exhibitor community from the whole of the industry, V-twin and ‘metric’/dirt, was squished into every available square inch of, at that stage, a pre-remodel exhibit hall that was only around 60 percent of the size that the specialty footprint of V-Twin Expo would go on to overfill in its own peak years 15 to 20 years later.
So much changed in that time, and so much has changed again since. Personally, I still miss the V-Twin Expo and still have the utmost respect and thanks for the job that Jim Betlach and the Easyriders team did for creating such a shop window for our market, one that had a profound effect on shaping my time in the industry, just as it did for hundreds of other people.
As I write this, we are ‘girding our loins’ for the spring distributor dealer expos, and that is just one of the ways in which post-downturn market evolution finds expression now.
When I first walked into the Cincinnati show hall - as an experienced publishing geek, but utter newbie where the motorcycle industry was concerned - my first impressions were of a ‘bright and shiny thing’ that I didn’t understand, but right there and then I made it my solemn mission to decode it and continue my education.
Above all I wanted to meet the people. At that stage I had been around the market for some 18 months and had decided I would be quite happy to call it home if I could carve out a niche for myself simply because of the people. 

Sure, compared to many of the markets I’d been in by that stage in my career, the subject matter wasn’t too shabby either, but above all it was the characters and passion of the people I had started meeting that quickly got under my skin. As an antidote to a decade of rising up the greasy pole of a corporate London publishing career, it felt liberating. Rather than a life spent breathing the same air as bean counters, attorneys and HR types, this was fresh clean air.
I was always somewhat a fish out of water in my formal career years as I had print under my finger nails, and had done so since my early teens. Now I was meeting people with passion, enthusiasm and oil under their fingernails - and it felt much more of a natural habitat to me. Even though it would still take me years to decode it and find my way around the motorcycle market, I was finding myself driven and motivated by the challenge and, as it would unfold, ‘Cincinnati’ was one of the primary fields of play that gave me the opportunity to try and understand enough to be able to find my place.
It was some five years after that first time that I returned there with my own booth for the first time and with the launch of the first editions of our all-new dealer magazine under our belt. At the time I didn’t know, realize or understand that, actually, I was entering a market which was at that stage in a down cycle and that what I was doing, bringing specialty trade-level ‘channel’ readers together with matching specialty content, was what these days one hears being described as ‘disruptive’.
Just as I didn’t realize that the late eighties marked a market in a slump, neither could I (or anyone else) have realized just where the market would go in the years ahead. Timing, as they say, is everything, and in retrospect I can now see that for once in my life I had gotten it spot on!
The people I met, and the passion I found myself immersed in, manifested itself in many ways. The friendliness and welcoming attitude to someone who was all too ready to state his knowledge limitations saw me finding myself neck deep in a fast track learning experience. Above all with squish bands, flow rates, bore and stroke and all the bells and whistles of a burgeoning performance parts and accessories market that those I was meeting were able to take for granted but that was, for me, an all-new language that often defied understanding.
The opportunity that saw the market itself able to raise its businesses by the boot straps was, of course, what we now think of as that good old venerable ‘Evo’ - at the time of course, while recognized even then as not exactly state-of-the-art in the context of what was going on elsewhere in the motorcycle industry, it was the ‘new block on the block’, and being largely oil tight and reliable had already started to set a course towards growth for a market that had been languishing - indeed as Harley themselves had been.
It is sad that Harley are at bottom dead center of the cycle again now, but we can maybe take solace from history. Provided the impatience of the investor community and competitive pressure can continue to allow Harley time, we all hope that the ‘More Roads’ strategy will turn their wheel again in the medium to long-term.
Strictly speaking, history does not repeat itself, but it is cyclical. While all cycles look, feel and taste different from each other, there are common denominators, and the ‘Evo’ was, in effect, the Harley ‘More Roads’ strategy of its day.
So, the theme for AMD in 2019? To celebrate the 1984-99 Big Twins that did so much to rescue Harley and stimulate the aftermarket that we know today.
Any vendors reading this, who have ‘Evo’ specific parts and accessories, get in touch. Pictures and info sheets welcome. We are not looking to showcase generic products, universal accessories or variations on a theme that could be used by riders of any platform, or G&A.
What we are looking for are chassis and front end parts that are ‘Evo’ specific and, of course, engine and driveline components, assemblies and products - stock replacements and performance and handling upgrades that dealers can buy, sell and use to keep those (now officially) ‘venerable old Evos’ on the road.
As price point sensitivity and the ‘retro vibe’ continue to inform our market, the ‘Evo’ platform offers a great start point for projects, as seen by the increasing number of custom ‘Evo’ bikes now turning up in custom bike shows, our own included.
With Matt Levatich himself stating that “used is the new entry level of a couple of years ago,” the ‘Evo’ offers a genuine performance engineering canvas and a simplicity that can also engage home-wrenchers.

Arnott Motorcycle Air Suspension

Enhanced Smooth Ride Air Suspension Kits for Dynas

Merritt Island, Florida based Arnott Motorcycle Air Suspension has introduced two new, enhanced, Smooth Ride kits for ‘91-’07 and ‘08-17 Dyna models that feature a thicker monotube shock than provided in previous versions. A larger multi-ply Goodyear air spring holds more air - providing additional adjustability and greater comfort. An aluminum cover protects the air spring.

Operated via an onboard VIAIR high output compressor and micro-toggle or optional handlebar inflation switch, Arnott says the kits offer more than 3.10 inches of travel (13 inch extended, 9.90 inch collapsed).
At the core of the system are two custom-valved 13” nitrogen charged, monotube shocks with an Internal Floating Piston (IFP) that separates the gas from the oil, eliminating oil foaming and cavitation, “resulting in a better ride and less damage.” 
Using a patent-pending design, “Arnott adds a rugged Goodyear air spring to allow the rider the flexibility of setting the height of their rear suspension based on their weight, size, road conditions, load and riding preference. 

“Arnott pairs the shocks with a small but powerful compressor, custom-designed application specific mounting bracket and air distribution valve block which includes a muffler to control how fast air is released.” Arnott says it uses VOSS airline fittings, nylon airline tubing, a protective nylon split loom and fused wiring harness and relay assembly,
Each kit includes everything needed for a “fast and flawless installation”, including user manual, fused wiring harness and relay assembly, all necessary tubing, cable ties, fittings, bolt covers, protective aluminum covers and mounting accessories. Using aircraft-quality billet aluminum, each shock is backed by Arnott’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.


NAMZ Custom Products

New Pre-CAN Bus ATS Module Series

In 2012, when Oreland, Pennsylvania based NAMZ Custom Products bought Badlands, it set about updating and re-engineering most of the Badlands modules, however, the ATS or Automatic Turn Signal canceling modules were kept the same. 

These modules provide a low-cost option for customers since the factory version is over four times the cost. But they didn’t work on 2000 and up model Harley-Davidsons, so the company now offers an updated version that is 100 percent plug-n-play and fits ’00-’13 Touring and XL, ‘00-’11 Dyna and ‘00-’10 Softail models with aftermarket ignition modules only.
Early 2019 will see the debut of a brand new self-canceling ATS module series (part number ATS-03-D) that cancels like the factory module, using speed, distance and number of flashes. This provides a longer “on” time, replicating the factory flasher module, and will work on ALL pre-CAN bus models with stock or after-market ignition modules, carb or EFI.
Carrying a lifetime warranty (like all their products), NAMZ is celebrating its 19th year in business, selling market-leading wiring harnesses and related accessories, 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, Mid-USA, V-Twin, Parts Canada, Motovan, Les Importations Thibault, Parts Europe, Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse, W&W Cycles, Zodiac, Rollies Speed Shop and Wildrider International Pty Ltd. Dealers can also order direct from the NAMZ/Badlands website.



WNE - New Look for Indian and Harley-Davidson

Italian suspension specialist Bitubo introduced a slew of new products for custom models at EICMA (the “Milan Show”) in November, including these WNE shock absorbers, seen here for the 2014-17 Dyna FXDL 103 Low Rider, 2015-17 Dyna FXDL Low Rider and 2018 Indian Scout/Sixty.
Featuring newly designed full-length black covers, they are fully adjustable in both rebound and spring preload, allowing the ride to be tuned for the rider’s own personal tastes and needs.
Also available are new ‘Dark Edition’ (black spring/dark body) mono shocks for M-8 Softails featuring 7-click rebound and 24-click 12 mm hydraulic spring preload adjustment and up to 8 mm of length adjustment - “versatile ride tuning for the most demanding riders.”



JIMS ForceFlow M-8 Cylinder Head Cooler

Designed for M-8 engined Touring models, the ForceFlow from Camarillo, California based JIMS will keep the M-8 engine “running cooler in warm temperatures and in stop and go traffic.”

The smooth, streamlined styling helps drop head temperature by as much as 100 degrees. Available in chrome or black, it has a horn integrated into the design, so it can mount from the original horn location.
The cooling fan can be regulated by a thermostat or switched to be controlled manually. JIMS says this kit is highly recommended for performance engines. The complete kit comes with a high- powered fan, housing, thermostat, horn, all hardware and all wiring.


Vance & Hines

Staggered ‘Big Shots’ with Power Chamber

Available in chrome or black, Californian exhaust manufacturer Vance & Hines says its Big Shots Staggered “provide the best of both worlds” for 2018-2019 Softails.

They are described as “long and low” 2-into-2 style pipes that deliver “2-into-1 performance thanks to the Vance & Hines Power Chamber hidden crossover.” Complete with one-piece, full-length heat shields and straight-cut CNC-machined chrome end caps, Big Shots Staggered come standard with louvered-core baffles, but can also be fitted with optional quiet baffles.


Mueller Motorcycle

Lowering Kits for 2018 H-D Models

German parts and accessory specialist Mueller Motorcycle says it has responded to the riding and handling opportunities and challenges posed by 2018 Softails with a patented, TÜV approved and ABE pending lowering kit for 2018 FXBR and FXBB models. 

The company says that the down stroke is infinitely adjustable, with a lowering of up to 35 mm (40 mm for show purposes) on FXBB models and up to 40 mm for the FXBR. The company says the assembly is carried out without shortening the threaded rod, maintaining a sufficient travel and ride comfort and that the needle bearing does not need to be relocated because it is already mounted in the kit.



Cycle-Rama M-8 Beehive Spring Kits Performance and Stock Compression Cam Profiles

We here at AMD Magazine were pleased to hear from Wes Brown of Cycle-Rama fame, at Pinellas Park, Florida, with news about his high performance valvetrain upgrades for M-8 engines.

Cycle-Rama valve spring kits feature super-clean, iron-based wire springs with a proprietary blend of chromium and silicon alloys. The beehive style valve spring will work up to .560 lift, has a coil bend of .900 and uses stock retainers and keepers.
Wes says that “because of the unique oval design the valve train can handle more rpm and more aggressive cam profiles. We have designed these springs to optimize frequencies, to create a spring with outstanding endurance and reliability.”
Also available are Cycle-Rama Viton valve stem seals for M-8s, with high temperature tolerant Viton sealing lips “for maximum control and durability through the entire RPM range.”

Cycle-Rama also has a new generation of more aggressive cam profiles that are designed to have a slow initial opening, then ramp up fast with slow closing. “This will help to stop reversion and start the flow sooner,” says Wes.

Wes Brown told AMD that “this cam was installed and tuned by Freedom Harley-Davidson of Canton, Ohio. It clearly shows where our CF460 cam for the M-8 is producing power – it pulls hard from 1650 to 5800 rpm and has been shown to make 124.32 ft. lbs of torque with a slip-on exhaust and hi-flow air filter”

“Doing this allows the set up to build more port velocity and faster cylinder fill. This gives the rider increased throttle response and more low-end torque without any loss of top end power. More power is produced over a wide rpm range, which will make the motorcycle accelerate through the gears much quicker.

“Our Cycle-Rama cams have a quiet valve train and work great with stock or ported heads. For stock compression our CR460 cam for M-8s pulls hard from 1650 to 5800 rpm and has been shown to make 124.32 ft. lbs of torque in a stock 107 with a slip-on exhaust and hi-flow air filter.”



Kuryakyn additions

John Shope – ‘‘Vantage’’ Signature Series
Kuryakyn and long-time collaborator John Shope of Dirty Bird Concepts fame have introduced a second Signature Series collection for Indian Motorcycle models.
Produced exclusively by Kuryakyn, the ‘Vantage’ Signature Series by John Shope “showcases the distinct vision and style that made Dirty Bird Concepts a household name among the world’s top custom bike builders.

“Following the development of the Sprint Signature Series for midsize Scouts, Kuryakyn designers and Shope shifted focus towards Indian’s heavyweight platforms. The new ‘Vantage’ Signature Series reflects Shope’s trademark precision-sculpted lines and smooth, flowing contours. All components come ready to bolt on and ride, out of the box, with durable cast aluminum or high-impact injection-molded ABS construction. Finish options include chrome or black.

The ‘Vantage’ air cleaner cover is “built to perform with its high-flow design and included washable and reusable Kuryakyn-designed K&N filter element. The modular aluminum cover incorporates a satin black base and contrasting chrome or gloss black outer trim. Openings around the perimeter of the cover provide additional airflow while black stainless steel screen inserts block debris and add aggressive styling; chrome or gloss black for ‘14-’19 Indian models (except Scout).

Said to be following “similar styling cues, the ‘Vantage’ horn cover’s smooth, sculpted two-piece design provides contrast and dimensional depth. Available in gloss black as a direct replacement on all ‘14-’17 Chief, Chieftain, Roadmaster and Springfield models; ‘18-later models require Kuryakyn’s separately available horn cover adapter.
The ‘Vantage’ dash console replaces the shorter factory console and vinyl trim for seamless coverage down the center of the tank. The clean design “enhances the tank’s shape and incorporates ‘knockout’ covers for models with console-mounted ignition buttons, as well as power saddlebag locks and heated grip switches. Cast from A380 aluminum and offered in chrome or satin black for ‘14-’19 Chieftains and Roadmasters (except ‘18 Roadmaster Elite).

The ‘Vantage’ headlight bezel “completely transforms the outer fairing with its sharp, clean lines and formed headlamp visor. The durable and lightweight high-impact satin black ABS construction holds up extremely well to dings and debris without adding noticeable weight to the front end. It will reuse the factory hardware on ‘14-’18 Chieftain, ‘19 Chieftain Classic and ‘15-’19 Roadmaster models; available in chrome or satin black.

‘Dillinger’ Collection
The new Kuryakyn ‘Dillinger’ collection “showcases tough-as-nails industrial styling through a variety of accessories available for Sportster-specific and multi-fit applications. “Signature ‘Dillinger’ design cues incorporate unique pass-through styling with rugged modular construction and contrasting finishes that blend smooth and textured surfaces. Finish options include satin black or satin silver with zinc dichromate plating on all visible socket head cap screws to add distinctive contrasting elements.

‘Dillinger’ footpegs are available with male-mount splined adapters as direct replacements for most H-D models, or without splined adapters for a variety of fitments using Kuryakyn’s model-specific adapters. The all-aluminum construction features a raised top surface for traction and unique pass-through design to produce a lightweight and sturdy foundation for secure footing. Complementing the look is the ‘Dillinger’ shift peg, available as a direct replacement for all H-D models.

Available for a variety of H-D models with 5-3/4” headlamps, the ‘Dillinger’ headlight trim ring is a direct replacement for stock, cast from durable lightweight aluminum. The grilled design can be run horizontally or vertically.
‘Dillinger’ levers are cast from high-quality aluminum with a slotted and ergonomic design that offers comfortable, controlled pullback. Fitment is available for all ‘14-’19 XL Sportsters, with applications for ‘96-’17 H-D models with cable-operated clutch currently in development.

The ‘Dillinger’ handguards add aggressive styling, block wind in cold-weather riding and protect hands from debris. Modular construction from a combination of injection-molded ABS and aluminum offers a lightweight and durable handguard option that uses the mirror-stem bolt and mount on ‘04-’19 XL Sportsters for easy installation.
The fixed-mount ‘Dillinger’ luggage rack for Sportsters will “handle virtually any type of luggage and features a rigid design with slight rise at the tail to help keep loads securely in place.” Made from durable stamped steel; includes mounting plates that install discreetly between the fender struts and rear fender. Additional ‘Dillinger’ products currently in development are slated for early 2019 release.


Baker Drivetrain

Baker Klassic Kicker Gears

Baker Drivetrain started to manufacture its own design 6-into-4 transmissions with kickers over five years ago. “At the time, we could only purchase some Taiwanese kicker gears in volume,” says Bert ‘Gear Head’ Baker, “because nobody made them in the USA anymore.

“So, we stepped up. We now tooled up and now make our own, right here at our own facility in Michigan; they come as standard on all our 4-speeds, 6-into-4's, and kicker kits.
“You can spot the difference easily. Take a pair of imported gears and roll the teeth together - they roll like a mismatched pair of gears and are dangerous to have inside your tranny. Our Klassic Kicker Gears roll smooth as glass - they’re not cheap, but they are way more reliable and last a lot, lot longer without the potential for gear failure damage that is inherent with inferior product.”
They are available for ‘36-‘86 H-D Big Twin kicker equipped models, will work with the 14-tooth H-D starter gear and with our 4-speed and 6N4 kicker equipped transmissions.
The kit includes a 16-tooth starter gear, 24-tooth starter crank (and lock washer), clutch and clutch key and side cover gasket.


Wednesday 20 February 2019

MotorCity V-Twin Expo

MotorCity V-Twin Expo

We published news about the MotorCity V-Twin Expo a couple of weeks ago, but more news has reached us of a big uptake in support from some of the leading aftermarket brands.
Slated as a one day open/public show on Saturday February 23rd, the project is being headed up by MotorCity Harley-Davidson’s (Detroit) GM and Partner Craig Collins.
The latest news is confirmation of an impressive line-up of brand support from Vance & Hines, Performance Machine, Kuryakyn, Cobra Exhausts, Twin Power, Mustang Seats, Sport Chrome and Rockford Fosgate.

MCH-D has always been a ‘progressive’ store, always looking to try new things and often flying in the face of convention. Well known for a summer HarleyFest (June 8/9 2019) that can attract up to 10,000 people, which is outstanding for a dealership event weekend, Craig added a custom dimension to the dealership in 2016 with the launch of MotorCity Customs - an already award-winning and successful custom build business-with-the-business.

“I started MotorCity Customs the same year we bought the building and have had great success with it.  Unlike most H-D stores that won’t do anything but bolt on H-D product, we are completely the opposite.  Far from being anti-aftermarket, we embrace it and value the additional revenue and customization opportunities it brings to riders in our area.”

The entire facility is 106,000 square feet and sits on 12 acres.  The dealership occupies 75,000 square feet of that space. Craig and his business partner bought an old Sam’s building in 2016, which has been renovated into a state-of-the-art Harley-Davidson dealership.
Craig’s latest venture is inspired, and the MotorCity V-Twin Expo is something that he hopes to “grow into a really cool annual event. More grass roots and intimate than a big trade show – we’ve got about 30,000 sq ft we can use for the expo.”
Highlights for the day will include a live bike build going on and, being open to the public, MotorCity H-D will offer show pricing specials on all aftermarket product throughout the day with an install-same-day service on parts bought at the expo.


Indian Motorcycle Sales Up Overall In 4Q, With Heavyweights Down and Middleweights Up for FY 2018; Slingshot Continues To Be Down

Polaris has reported their 4Q and 2018 full year fiscals, with adjusted sales for the fourth quarter of 2018 increased by +14% to $1,627 million. Fourth quarter reported net income was $1.47 per diluted share, up 200% over the prior year; adjusted net income for the same period was $1.83 per diluted share, up +19% over the prior year.
Full year 2018 reported net income was $5.24 per diluted share, up +95%; adjusted net income for the same period was $6.56 per diluted share, up +29%, which was near the high-end of previously issued guidance. 

Reported and adjusted sales for the full year of 2018 increased +12% to $6,079 million and $6,083 million, respectively. North American retail sales increased +6% for the quarter compared to last year; ORV North American retail sales were up low single digits, driven by side-by-side vehicle sales.
Dealer inventory was up +1% year-over-year for the fourth quarter 2018, in line with expectations. Polaris announced full year 2018 adjusted sales and earnings guidance with full year adjusted sales growth in the range of +11% to +13% over the prior year and full year adjusted earnings in the range of $6.00 to $6.25 per diluted share, which includes the combined negative impact from external factors - including the annualized impact of current tariffs, adverse foreign exchange impact and higher interest rates of approximately $1.50 per share.
Motorcycle segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $87 million, down 15 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Indian sales increased slightly, but were more than offset by the decline in Slingshot sales.
North American consumer retail sales for the Polaris motorcycle segment, including both Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot, decreased high-teens during the 2018 fourth quarter. Indian Motorcycle retail sales decreased low double-digits, but their ‘middleweight’ models were up by low single digits.
Slingshot's retail sales were down substantially during the quarter. Motorcycle industry retail sales, 900 cc and above, were down low double-digits percent in the 2018 fourth quarter. Indian Motorcycle gained market share for the 2018 fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis.
Gross motorcycle segment profit for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $2 million compared to $5 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted for the Victory wind-down costs for both 2018 and 2017 fourth quarters, motorcycle gross profit was $2 million in the 2018 fourth quarter compared to $8 million for the 2017 fourth quarter. The decrease in gross profit was the result of negative product mix, along with tariff costs and higher logistics and commodity costs.
Scott Wine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Industries Inc., said that "our strong performance during 2018 demonstrated the dedication and flexibility of our global team as they drove improved financial and operating results for the year while adapting and executing our strategy to account for tariffs and other external pressures.
“Between sales growth in almost all of our segments, improved operational efficiencies and a lower tax rate, we more than offset macroeconomic and tariff headwinds, generating a +29 percent increase in earnings per share. Growth and market share gains in Off Road Vehicles, and the acquisition of Boat Holdings, further expanded our position as the global leader in powersports and established Polaris as a leader in the attractive, profitable and growing pontoon market.
“We are encouraged by our growth prospects for 2019 and beyond, but keenly aware of, and prepared for, the challenges and uncertainties presented by global trade and economic complications. We are doubling down on our commitment to be a customer-centric, highly efficient growth company, directing our investments and actions towards organic growth and productivity. Our devotion to safety and quality is never ending and provides the solid foundation for our future of innovation and profitable growth. We expect to demonstrate that in the year ahead with further market share gains in both ORV and motorcycles as we continue to advance our leadership position in Powersports.”

Donnie Smith Custom Bike Show

Donnie Smith Custom Bike Show

The 32nd annual Dennis Kirk Donnie Smith Bike Show Midwest Extravaganza will be staged at the Saint Paul River Center, St Paul, Minnesota, on Saturday March 23rd and Sunday March 24th.
More than just a (very good) custom bike show with a (also very good) cash prize fund and the imprimatur of an industry legend, the show features custom cars and bikes, a tattoo show, vendors from all across America, and a popular swap meet billed as “The Largest Parts Extravaganza on the Planet.”
The show has grown tremendously from its beginnings and weathered the downturn well to emerge as “the largest custom bike show in the Midwest.” Organizer Neil Ryan says that this year it will again comprise over 225,000 square feet of expo center indoor show space, with competition classes set to include custom Baggers, Choppers, retro Bobbers and custom Cruisers. 

In related news, Flat Track racing is returning to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for a second consecutive year, with The War of the Twins II being staged the evening before the show, Friday March 22, with sponsors including Lucas Oil and S&S Cycle.
For thirteen seasons, from 1968 to 1980, the Twin Cities was the spiritual home of authentic indoor flat track racing with the revered Minneapolis Armory hosting races “that filled the cold winter months with handlebar-to-handlebar, down-and-dirty race action. Over those years, hundreds of privateer racers found a home in which to compete. As one of the largest, most successful and longest-running flat track events, “The Indoors” put the sport on the map. 

“We were thrilled with the attendance and incredible reaction to the races last year,” said Neil Ryan, promoter of the Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show. “Flat track has played into that American spirit of independence, competitiveness, and the need for speed, the elements that make this such a great partner sport for the Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show. I rarely see a home run in its first year like we experienced. We expect this event to continue to grow and provide thrilling racing action for years to come.”

News Briefs

Combining on-highway riding with off-highway exploration, the AMA has released the schedule for the 2019 Beta AMA National Dual Sport Series, presented by Kenda Tires, featuring 16 multi-day events organized by AMA-chartered clubs and promoters in 12 states. Dual sport bikes are street-legal motorcycles that are capable of navigating a single-track trail. The series kicks off in April at Stanton, Alabama, before getting fully underway with four races in June that see the series move from Lack Haven, Pa. to the Ozark 200 at New Blaine, Ak., Wabeno, Wi., and Big Bear, Ca.

After a two-year absence, Kennedy Racing is returning to the 2019 American Flat Track (AFT) series in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines class with veteran rider and proven race winner Brandon Robinson and former AMA Pro Racing ‘Tuner of the Year’ Brent Armbruster.

The AMA has expressed its “deep appreciation” to the U.S. Senate for passing a motorcyclist anti-profiling resolution in December 2018 by unanimous consent - half of all U.S. motorcyclists say they have been profiled by law enforcement. The resolution urges state law enforcement officials to condemn motorcyclist profiling in their policies and training materials. Profiling is discriminatory as it means the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related apparel as a factor when law enforcement officers decide to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest or search a person or vehicle with or without a legal basis.

Mentor, Ohio based Wiseco, Rekluse and ProX parent company Race Winning Brands (RWB) has announced the appointment of industry veteran Bob Bruegging as the organization’s VP of Product Management. Bruegging comes to RWB from Cometic Gasket after two decades with Mr Gasket Corporation (ACCELL etc).

AMA CEO and President Rob Dingman has been elected as President of the Continental Union of the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) that represents the international motorcycle sport governing body in North America. He will also serve as chairman of the finance committee of the FIM Board of Directors and as the elected representative to the FIM Board for all FIM Continental Unions, and as a member of the board’s executive committee.


Cardo To Join Forces With JBL For High-End Communication System Audio

Cardo Systems continues its evolution as the leading wireless communication systems manufacturer for motorcyclists with a link-up with JBL - a division of the Harman Group and one of the most respected names in the top-end audio industry.

With embedded audio software technology developed by JBL specifically for Cardo at their Los Angeles audio labs, Sound by JBL now gives riders the highest standard of audio quality in Cardo’s latest generation of Packtalk communication systems, including the Freecom 4+, “establishing a new standard of audio quality for motorcyclists. Our collaboration with JBL will deliver a superior audio experience,” says Dr. Abraham Glezerman, Cardo’s founder and CEO.
“We have been relentlessly committed to enhancing our users’ joy of riding ever since pioneering the Motorcycle Bluetooth category back in 2004. This partnership is yet another powerful example of the innovation behind that ongoing commitment. JBL and its world-class audio solutions will allow us to bring our customers a new standard of sound for the best riding experience possible.”
After interviewing thousands of riders over the course of 15 years, Cardo Systems says it discovered that, collectively, the three things riders are most concerned about when looking for a communication device are performance, ease-of-use and sound quality.
Cardo can justifiably claim to have reinvented performance by introducing the next generation Dynamic Mesh Communication platform, improved ease-of-use with industry-first one-step natural voice commands and are now bringing premium audio to one of the most difficult sound quality environments imaginable.
Natural voice command operation allows riders to simply say “Hey Cardo” without having to press any buttons, and the always-on device reacts instantaneously. The big safety benefit: hands always remain on the handlebar, including activation of Apple’s Siri and “OK Google” by voice command.

The all-new Freecom 4+ combines JBL driven sound quality with Bluetooth based natural voice command operation and a razor-thin control wheel, available at a mid-range price point. The Dynamic Mesh technology that underpins the Cardo Packtalk concept allows up to 15 riders to join and leave communications and conversations with fellow riders over a distance of up to 5 miles without the network crashing and the riders needing to re-establish communications because it doesn’t use the conventional “cascade connection chain” technique.
Instead it is, quite literally, a “dynamic mesh” that allows any rider to join and leave at any time. It also features natural voice activation and JBL audio grade sound quality in a glove-friendly, ergonomic and aerodynamic package together with state-of-
the-art four-
way rider-to-rider, rider-to-passenger and single-rider intercom.
“We are excited to offer top-end technology at an affordable price point for the consumer,” says Glezerman. “With its best-in-class sound, truly natural voice operation and the innovative razor-thin wheel, Freecom 4+ underscores again our ongoing and firm commitment to developing the industry’s best solutions and providing consumers with communication systems that perform extremely well for virtually any riding style.”
Glezerman concluded by saying that “the Freecom 4+ is the best equipped and best performing Bluetooth communication system anywhere” - and it is hard to argue with that claim.
The Freecom 4+ and JBL equipped Packtalk products are expected to be ready for the US market in late 2019.


Zodiac Additions

Arlen Ness ‘Big Stopper’ Brake Calipers

Ness ‘Big Stopper’ 6-piston differential bore brake calipers are CNC machined from billet aluminum and feature caliper bodies that are “engineered for form and function.” The 3D sculptured design with cooling fins machined into the inner caliper halves are said to help dissipate heat, facilitating improved cooling while braking. Compatible with ABS and non-ABS applications, they include market leading high performance DP sintered brake pads, bleeder screw, banjo bolt, sealing washers, mounting hardware and shim kit.

CIRO Mini Floorboards

These mini floorboards are said to be designed “with comfort, style, and versatility in mind.” Multiple mounting points and splined peg adapters allow the rider to find the perfect position whether using them as passenger boards, highway pegs, or driver floorboards. “The unique, aggressive styling was created with an effort to maximize comfort, grip, and durability.” Available in ‘Two-Rail’ or ‘ASR’ designs in chrome or black.

‘Old Style’ Leather Solo Saddles

These old style solo saddles are said to be exact reproductions of OEM designs, with steel base plates. “They are covered with the finest grade of cow hide available, well waterproofed and practically wear proof.” They are available in either brown or black finish - with the black saddles also available in 1954 “Deluxe” style. Custom brackets need to be made for later model installs.

Torx Wyatt Seventies Style Helmets 

These E-approved classic design open face retro helmets “are real value for money,” says Zodiac. They feature a polycarbonate shell, polyester lining, strap with rear button to secure goggles and the standard 3-button system to fix the included sun visor and accessories such as flat and bubble visors. They are available in a wide range of colourways.


National Cycle

‘Heritage Line’ Beaded Heavy Duty Windshields

National Cycle’s popular Heritage line of Beaded Heavy Duty windshields regularly sells out, but the company has now announced that they are back in stock at its Maywood, Illinois headquarters warehouse, with the Heritage and classic styles available for immediate shipping - including the much sought after red and blue Beaded Heavy Duty windshields and separate components.

National Cycle’s Beaded Heavy Duty windshields are available as complete 5-bolt windshield assemblies, and as individual replacement components for vintage Harley-Davidson 7-bolt pattern windshield hardware. Lower windows are available to fit 1977-93 FLHS, 1960-84 FL, and 1949-59 FL models

The National Cycle 5-bolt pattern Beaded Heavy Duty windshield is an authentic three-piece beaded construction manufactured with modern, premium quality polycarbonate materials. The complete windshield is available with a clear top and a choice of clear, red, blue or black bottom section, and a standard round middle window.
“The outer frame hardware is bright chrome plated steel and internal hardware has a non-glare zinc finish. Windshield mount kits are available for an extremely wide range of makes and models, from legacy applications over half a century old to today’s newest domestic and import cruisers.
“Replacement components for upper windshields, lower windshields and adjustable middle windows in all four colors are sold separately for National Cycle 5-bolt pattern Beaded Heavy Duty windshields and for OEM Harley-Davidson 7-bolt pattern beaded windshields.”
All National Cycle polycarbonate windscreens are protected by a 3-year warranty against breakage.


Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

1 1/2” Bikini Bars

Designed for use with ’96 and newer style controls and master cylinders, these bars are slotted and notched for throttle-by-wire applications. Featuring a full 1 1/2” diameter in the clamping area, the bikini bars have custom bends “for the ultimate in comfort.” Special risers required; made in the U.S.A and available for most ‘96-‘19 models.

Single Fire Ignition Coil

Designed to stop high speed misfires resulting in increased mileage and to deliver improved performance and starting, the 30,000 V output and peak spark voltage increases by at least 20%. Available for ‘17-‘19 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX/FLTRX/FLTRU models.

Rear Brake Master Cylinder

Said to offer improved braking over the OEM caliper, this Drag Specialties rear brake master cylinder assembly comes polished and chrome plated and reuses the existing reservoir assembly. Available for ‘07-‘13 XL models.

Sportster Inner Clutch Hub

This Drag Specialties inner clutch hub is said to improve clutch function and features a reinforced insert. It accepts all OEM components and is available for ‘91-‘19 XL models.



The ‘Thresher Collection’ – “Comfort and Control”

Pioneers in isolation mounting “back in the day” with ISO pegs, Kuryakyn is introducing a new line of grips and pegs that are said to offer “the ideal combination of comfort and control.“

Featuring EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) M-class synthetic rubber Thresher grips are “designed with an ergonomic profile that’s formed to the shape of the hands for a comfortable contoured and commanding feel. Both the grips and matching Thresher pegs feature premium EPDM rubber surfaces with detailed shark tooth-inspired knurling for confident traction and vibration dampening. The durable EPDM rubber compound offers secure grip and will not harden, crack or wear over time.”

The universal grips for most 7/8” and 1” handlebar applications have a comfortable spindle-shaped design with tapered ends and an expanded palm area. The contoured grip bodies are constructed completely from EPDM rubber rated in the 50-60-durometer range for an ultra-soft cushioned base that dampens vibration and eliminates hand fatigue.
Aluminum collars and end caps “with subdued styling provide a clean look on virtually any type of motorcycle”, and the included bar-mounted end caps can be swapped out for bar-end mirrors or weights. Available chrome or satin black, additional OEM-specific fitments are in development for Harley-Davidson, Indian, Victory and a wide range of metric cruisers.

The matching footpegs and shift pegs feature sleek and streamlined aluminum castings wrapped in EPDM rubber, “with steel adapters that offer sturdy and secure foot placement. The detailed ‘shark tooth’ knurling is more pronounced on the pegs to ensure a greater amount of traction and vibration dampening for riders. Splined adapters allow precise footpeg positioning to let riders dial in their preferred placement.”
Available with male-mount adapters for most H-D models, and without adapters for a variety of OEM fitment via model-specific splined adapters (sold separately). 
Thresher shift pegs are available in chrome or black in two applications - as a direct replacement for all H-D shift levers, as well as the shift peg on Indian big twins or shift and brake peg locations on Indian Scouts and select Victory models.