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Wednesday 25 September 2019


Harley-Davidson Adds 'Amplify Brand' Strategy to 'More Roads' Strategic Plan

In what sounds like a reboot for its July 2018 announced "More Roads to Harley-Davidson" growth plan and a first input from its recently hired and first ever Brand President Neil Grimmer, Harley-Davidson has announced that it is to add an additional dimension to its much vaunted strategic plan, stating that "with deeper consumer insights driving its refined plan and sharpened objectives, Harley-Davidson is strengthening its efforts to build the next generation of riders."
In a September 24 news release Harley says that "the company plans to focus investment and build new capabilities to invigorate the Harley-Davidson brand and experience to spark passion that deepens rider commitment. 

Matt Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson: "We see a meaningful opportunity to leverage the power of the brand."

"Brand and consumer-facing teams are being structured and aligned with an even deeper consumer focus to reach people with consistent and engaging brand experiences. To reflect this, 'Amplify Brand' has been added as a growth catalyst in the "More Roads to Harley-Davidson" plan and will bolster the existing growth catalysts of new products, broader access and stronger dealers."
Matt Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, stated that "we see a meaningful opportunity to leverage the power of the brand to demonstrate how riding a Harley-Davidson fills the mind, body and soul in ways that help riders live for real.

'intensified rider-centric approach'

"We'll continue to fuel all aspects of the riding experience and add new solutions to fully develop, engage and retain riders through their journey, starting with the very first spark of interest."
The company goes on to say that its "intensified rider-centric approach and extensive consumer research show that bringing new riders in and keeping all riders riding - no matter what their experience level, age or life stage - is critical to achieving its objectives.

Neil Grimmer, hired in 2019 as Harley's first ever Brand President

"As a result, Harley-Davidson has sharpened its objectives through 2027 to better align with its expanded efforts to build committed riders. In the U.S., the company plans to expand to four million total Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S. through 2027. There were about three million total Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S. in 2017. This objective reflects the company's broader efforts to attract new riders and also retain riders each year. Measuring total riders considers and accounts for all riders - those who join Harley-Davidson each year and also those who exit. As previously stated, the company's U.S. objective to build two million new riders in the U.S. was focused only on riders who joined the brand in a given year.
'grow international business to 50% of annual revenue by 2027'

"Outside the U.S., the company has sharpened its objective through 2027 and plans to grow international business to 50% of annual revenue. Previously the growth target was motorcycle unit volume, which was not inclusive of all of the company's efforts to grow internationally, including IRONe electric-powered two-wheelers for kids, eBicycles and a refreshed apparel approach."
Levatich went on to say: "We're on a quest to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders. We are activating our refined plan with focus and an intensity to create new pathways to Harley-Davidson and expand access and appeal to more people around the world."


Tucker Implements Tariff Protection Policy for Dealers

Fort Worth, Texas based Tucker Powersports has moved to "protect the profitability" of its dealers in the face of the impacts of tariffs on Chinese made product sold under its own brand names.

"Following several initiatives targeted to generate profitable growth opportunities for our dealer customer base and to strengthen our ability to offer superior services to them, Tucker is announcing that it will increase the retail sales prices on goods sourced from China as of October 1st to offset the cost of tariffs on these products recently imposed.
"To protect the relationships with dealers, Tucker 'Exclusive Brands' will adjust their MSRP to maintain dealer margin. This step is another example of Tucker's commitment to its dealer partners. Tucker is in discussions with other brand partners whose products the company distributes to coordinate similar steps.

"While dealers will see a cost increase on the specific products with tariffs, they will also see the MSRP increase to maintain the current dealer margin on these products.
"The ongoing and looming tariffs have dominated the headlines of our media and trade journals across many industries for weeks. While tariffs reach rates in excess of 30%, the price increases we implement will not exceed half that rate," according to Alejandro Huerta, Tucker's Chief Financial Officer.
"Our exclusive, high-quality premium Tucker brands have strong market positioning to avoid significant change in demand as a result of the price adjustments," said Jim Barker, Tucker's Vice President of Marketing.
"Generating margin growth opportunities for Tucker dealers and strengthening Tucker's ability to serve our customers are our key priorities," stated Sebastian Bretschneider, CEO of Tucker Powersports. "We will continue to implement initiatives that protect and grow the profitability of our dealers and the powerful brands they provide their consumers."
Bretschneider emphasized that "profitability is the key criteria for any business decision we make for our dealer customers and Tucker. With that we combine a great passion for powersports and its enthusiasts with sound and logic business principles."
The company went on to say that it continues to focus on profitability with dealers and brand partners - "this is another way of following through with the commitment of protecting dealer margin for Tucker dealers."
Tucker says that it has posted a list of the affected products and part numbers for its dealers at:

AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines

Briar Bauman Crowned 2019 AFT Twins Champion

Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) has secured the 2019 AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Championship with one race to go after finishing third in the Indian Motorcycle Minnesota Mile at Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minnesota on Saturday, September 21st.

Photo: Scott Hunter/American Flat Track

Multi-time reigning champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) took the win, with Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley Brands/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki Ninja 650) second, but a 15th podium, any podium, in his 17th race of the season was all the younger of the Bauman brothers needed to secure his first AFT Twins Crown.
Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee FTR750) brought it home in fourth, with Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750) fifth. Going into the final race of the 2019 season (the Meadowlands Mile, East Rutherford, NJ) on Saturday, September 28, Mees is second in the standings, ahead of fellow Indian Wrecking Crew rider Bronson Bauman third, Jeffrey Carver Jr. fourth and Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750) fifth to give the FTR750 a potential championship top five riders.

Following 15 thrilling laps of Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys action, Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) edged Ryan Wells (No. 94 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) by an impossibly close 0.004 seconds for a third victory of the season, with rookie standout Dallas Daniels (No. 163 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and championship leader Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450) moving a step closer to winning the Singles title by finishing fourth.
In the Production Twins, Kolby Carlile (No. 136 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07) made certain the AFT Production Twins championship fight would go down to the season finale with his second class victory of the season.
Chad Cose (No. 49 Parkinson Bros Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650) took second, with Cody Johncox (No. 196 Sunnyside Cycles/Luczak Racing Yamaha MT-07) picking up his second podium of the season ahead of Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07) fourth and Dalton Gauthier (Black Hills Harley-Davidson, Pro-Beam by Custom Dynamics, Harley-Davidson XG750R Rev X) fifth.

News Briefs

Spartan, "the world's largest obstacle course race (OCR) and endurance brand," has announced an exclusive national (USA) sponsorship with Harley, naming the Motor Company the "Official Motorcycle" of Spartan US. "This collaboration brings together two brands built from a common bond of community, adventure and individual transformation, and offers a new element of thrill at Spartan races across the United States as well as at select Harley-Davidson dealerships."
Polaris has revealed "a new corporate brand platform that represents its remarkable 65-year evolution to a global market leader with more than 30 brands. "Think Outside" – the evolved Polaris brand position – articulates the company's corporate brand in a way that supports its vision, defines its pioneering spirit, sets it in the marketplace and expresses the value offered through its expansive products and services."

During the Sturgis Rally, Hamsters USA raised $318,344 for special kids at LifeScape in Rapid City, SD. Hamsters USA has raised and donated funds at the annual meeting for the last 14 years, "with a deep desire to give back to the greater Black Hills community," which many Hamsters consider their second home. This year's event brought the cumulative total of 14 years to over $3.3 million in total dollars raised for LifeScape in Rapid City. 

Harley was in fifth place in total PTW market share terms in Switzerland for the first seven months of 2019, having sold 1,631 units. Market share leader is Yamaha, followed by BMW, Honda and Kawasaki. Total new motorcycle registrations were down for the seven months to July 2019 by -0.99% (19,058 units)., the MIC's media outreach operation, has been developing its 'FirstRide' experience for media and influencers. Andria Yu, director of - "We all want to build ridership, and that starts by helping put someone behind the handlebar for their first time. staff have been developing the FirstRide experience, a fun, three-hour session designed to give beginners their initial brief, feet-on-the-pegs ride from point A to point B on a closed range. The program is being presented to select mainstream journalists and influencers in New York and Southern California. It serves as a proof of concept that could be used by the MIC, its members and dealers.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek

Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC)

MIC - Strategic Plan to Attract New Riders

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) is launching a broad, long-term initiative to bring more people into the world of motorcycling with the announcement of a strategic long-term plan to "grow ridership" to be announced at AIMExpo, Columbus, Ohio, September 26-29.

"It's clear the industry needs to reach and inspire new customers. While many of us, with our individual businesses, have taken steps to grow ridership, we also should be working together, and the MIC wants to help make that happen," said Paul Vitrano, MIC board chair and Senior Assistant General Counsel at Indian Motorcycle and Polaris Inc. 

"To help us fully understand the barriers to entry, and to create an inclusive strategic plan that will be available to all stakeholders, one that will address conquering those barriers, we have partnered with a team of researchers and strategists to bring fresh perspectives to this challenge and opportunity."
The MIC has hired consulting firm Centauric LLC to lead the first phase of this initiative. "Centauric has committed an impressive multi-disciplinary team of behavioral scientists, engineers and business consultants, and takes a unique approach to problem-solving. We are excited to be working with them on this critical initiative," Vitrano said.
Centauric "has begun conducting secondary and additional primary research that, after a series of ideation and solution labs involving a mix of industry stakeholders, will lead to a strategic plan. The plan will be presented at AIMExpo.
 "This is not designed to be a quick fix, nor is it just about sales," said Chuck Boderman, MIC Vice Chair and Vice President, Motorcycle Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "It's about showing people how motorcycles can fit into and enrich their lives, no matter where they live, what they do, what their hobbies are, or how old or young they are.
"This will take time, so we are committed to building a campaign that takes the long view."

Zodiac International

'Da Hooligan' - a 'Zod-Bob'

Text and pictures by Onno "Berserk" Wieringa /Madness Photography

As multi-European Top Fuel Champions, Zodiac International has long been noted for its in-house dyno tuned and engineered performance project bikes, and seen here is 'Da Hooligan', the latest chapter in a Zodiac specials story that started at least 25 years ago.
This 2018 107ci/1750 cc M-8 Fat Bob is the latest stocker to get the Zodiac treatment with all parts used available from their "Bikers Book" catalog. As is usual with Zodiac, the emphasis has been on relatively straight forward and inexpensive modifications for a 'real world' performance project that they can put within the reach of all their dealers' customers, built by Zodiac CEO Vincent Pels and his team at their in-house Dynojet dynamometer and CNC-equipped race workshop.

On the basis that if you are going to improve the performance, then addressing the shortcomings of the stock chassis' mannerisms is always the place to start for Vincent. His three priorities were first and foremost handling the upgraded power, then inexpensive engine tuning that strikes the right balance between gain and budget, and then the looks - the package you wrap it all up in.
The handling has been beefed up with Italian made Bitubo components - a fully adjustable Bitubo cartridge kit for the H-D fork tubes at the front and preload and rebound-adjustable Bitubo shocks at the rear.
First up was an S&S air cleaner, Andrews M462 camshaft and a Two Brothers Racing 2:1 exhaust, fuel and injection tuned using the advanced and proven Czech made Diag-4-Bike system. On 'Da Hooligan' the results of these simple steps have been an increase in the stock 75 bhp and 110 torque at 3,000 rpm to 109 bhp (a thumping 45% increase) and 127 torque (172 Nm).

Having been among motorcycles with the Zodiac drag racing team all his life, Vincent did the mapping himself. In tuning the Fat Bob he explained that "we have not focussed on top end horsepower. It always sounds great, those big numbers, but what a rider ultimately wants is an engine with lots of torque at lower rpms, a strong bike that reacts well on the throttle in all rpm ranges."
In terms of accessories, Zodiac raided the warehouse for a Burly Brand fairing that had exactly the right width for the fat front fork. Zodiac has developed a kit that consist of a 5 3/4 headlight housing mounting kit for the headlight and the Burly fairing with a plug & play Zodiac wiring kit. "For the headlight we opted for a Vision-X LED with halo ring and, together with adjustable RST levers, Zodiac 'Argile' grips and a set of (Italian made) Otto di Cuore minimalistic indicators, so the Bob got completely different looks."
At the rear the original large bracket with license plate holder and all the stock lighting was removed. The Zodiac Revox rear light turned out to fit perfectly under the rear fender and a set of Otto di Cuore indicators sit very discretely on fender struts. Zodiac has also developed a custom side mount for the license plate, including the required lighting, and a set of PM 'Formula' series (cam, transmission and derby) covers gives the engine a custom touch.

Indian Motorcycle

Smoke Them Miles
Custom builder Thor Drake of See See Motorcycle Coffee Co fame (Portland, OR.) has apparently had a dream - to cook while out on the open road. So he decided to bring together two heritage brands - Indian Motorcycle and Traeger Wood-Fired Grills - custom building a one-of-a-kind Indian Springfield Darkhorse with an Ironwood 885 wood pellet grill attached as its sidecar. "This Springfield Darkhorse features a fully functional Traeger ironwood grill, allowing the rider to experience the thrill of riding while cooking a delicious wood fired meal. Leave those greasy spoon diners in the rear-view mirror and chow down on juicy brisket, smoky ribs and killer pulled pork wherever your travels take you."

Midwest Motorcycle Supply

Ultima Machine Shop Services

Words by Robin Bradley

Pictures by Howard Schroeder, Midwest/Ultima

Following our article back in June about Midwest Motorcycle Supply's Ultima program and the Evo and TC 'A' engine rebuild programs, we were contacted by Brian Brace, the Program Manager and lead engineer for the Ultima Products program, and he told us more about the machine shop services that they offer to their dealers …

The article we published in June was as part of our 2019 series marking the 35th anniversary of Harley's now venerable Evo platform - arguably the engine that not only saved Harley-Davidson, but that created the foundations of the aftermarket we have seen "evolve" ever since.
Brian told AMD that at Ultima it is their engine cases that are the "rock solid foundation to our motors. These cases are extremely beefy and built to handle high horsepower and torque.  CNC- machined in-house from C356-T6 aluminum castings, all Ultima case halves are line-bored as a married set to insure a perfect center line, with Colony Machine chromoly cylinder studs to top them off.

Ultima engine cases
"Ultima’s crankshafts are completely assembled in-house.  Our cranks are dynamically balanced to provide a smooth core to our engines.  Ultima engines use a 3-piece crankshaft similar to the Twin Cam crankshafts.  High quality bearings, crankpins and H-beam rods with .927 wristpin ends make these cranks virtually bulletproof. 
"The flywheel halves are pressed together with our custom 80 ton press – and with .008” press fit on the crankpin, shifting of the flywheels is never an issue. Then the final assembly is trued to no more than .002” total run-out."

Ultima crankshaft assemblies

Brian says that Ultima cylinders are machined to tight tolerances and honed in-house.  Every cylinder is plateau-honed with diamond stones in torque plate fixtures that insure a perfectly square cylinder top to bottom.  All the 4.25 inchers are baked and slowly cooled to stress-relieve the liner, with the 3.875” and 4” bore cylinders having a thicker liner (therefore stress-relieving is not necessary). Cylinder bores are held to very tight tolerances within +/- .0001”.
"Ultima cylinder heads are machined to tight tolerances also," says Brian. "All valve seats are cut in- house on Newen fixed turning machines.  Every head is then assembled using high quality components from Pac Racing, Ferrera and AV&V.  All heads use chromoly spring retainers.  The 140” CNC-ported heads use titanium spring retainers.  Compression releases are standard in all of our heads and after assembly every head is vacuum tested to insure the valves seal completely."

Ultima cylinder heads

All sub-assemblies then come together on the assembly line, where the short block is then assembled, with every engine getting a high-volume billet oil pump.  Camshafts for Ultima engines are manufactured and ground by Andrews to Ultima specs.  Johnson hydraulic roller lifters are then installed in the lifter blocks with chrome or black powder-coated lifter blocks, cam cover and Ultima pre-programed ignition module installed to finish off the lower end.

Engine assembly
"The upper end then starts to come together, with the cylinders matched to top quality forged aluminum pistons from Mahle.  Multi-layer steel head gaskets and Colony head bolts seal up the cylinders and heads.  The intake manifold is now installed and vacuum-tested to insure proper seal, and Ultima chrome or black rocker boxes with our patented stainless steel reed assembly top off the engine.  Ultima American made 4140 adjustable pushrods carry the load from the lifters to the 4140 forged steel roller rockers. 
"Then the engine reaches the test stand.  At this point it is run with an electric motor to prime the oiling system.  Oil pressure and compression are checked at this point and after passing these tests, the carburetor is mated to the intake manifold.  The motor is then cleaned up and inspected for leaks.  Finally, the motor is bagged and boxed in sturdy spray foam packing and ready to ship to your door."

Brian went on to explain that having all these capabilities in-house puts them in a superior position to be able to let their dealers share in their experience and expertise.
"Basically, there isn't much we can't do. Our engine rebuilding service is available to our dealers worldwide. By offering this service, the dealer's customer gets a quality rebuild complete with a 6- month, 6,000 mile warranty.
"However, it doesn't stop there. We are also offering this service for S&S and Harley-Davidson Evo V-twins as well - adding another option to get that motor rebuilt correctly, and at an unbeatable price."
Ultima offers this service for all Ultima engines, 80" thru 140", and select Big Twin Evolution style engines and the Twin Cam "A". Ultima machine shop services extend from the crankshaft and cases to the cylinders and heads. This includes, for Evo models, "True and Rebuild" for the Evo crankshaft; disassemble inspect, fit new rod set to new crankpin and bearings, balance and reassemble with sprocket or pinion shaft as an additional option.
"We will bore the case for big bore cylinders (Evo and Shovelhead) and recondition the deck base gasket surfaces.


Kibblewhite Precision Machining

M-8 Cylinder Stud

Pacifica, California based Kibblewhite Precision Machining (KPMI) has these new M-8 cylinder studs made from 180,000 psi yield strength, fine grain, heat treated, aircraft grade alloy steel.  

Kibblewhite "rolls" the threads, heat treats and then centerless grinds the entire body of the stud. Rolling the threads creates the toughest and strongest thread possible, and centerless grinding removes notch sensitivity.  The case end thread is designed to have a slight interference fit to minimize distortion and maintain good thread contact during torque procedure.
The final process for all KPMI studs is to encase the entire stud with premium corrosion resistant black oxide treatment.



Italian Made M-8 Softail Triple Tree Kit

This 'Revolution' triple tree is available from noted Italian parts manufacturer Rebuffini. It is sold on its own, or as part of a complete front end kit incorporating Öhlins FG324 or FG424 inverted front forks (for '18-'19 FXBB/FXLR/FLSB/FXFB).

Available for '18-'19 FXBB/FXLR/FLSB/FXFB models, including a 25 mm axle. The 'Revolution' triple clamp is made from CNC machined billet aluminium, the top tree thickness is 39 mm and 59 mm for the lower tree.
The trees will take stock OEM style risers or handlebars with center to center-hole distance of 3 1/2″ (88.9 mm). They are prepared for handlebar dampers or rigid bushings with 1/2" screw holes.
Subject to model, Öhlins inverted front forks are 232 mm with 0° rake, or for FXFB 247.7 mm with 0° rake, and are finished in black anodized with Öhlins black tubes or black anodized with Öhlins golden design tubes.


Tuesday 17 September 2019

Indian Motorcycle

Indian Says its 2020 Thunder Stroke Line-Up is "Bigger, Better and Badder"

The headline news from Indian Motorcycle for its 2020 Thunder Stroke Big Twin line-up is that the Thunder Stroke 116 engine is now standard in select models, that the Ride Command infotainment system is getting upgrades and that there is a new Roadmaster - the Roadmaster Dark Horse - a redesigned Springfield Dark Horse, and a return for the Chieftain Elite.
"These new features and upgrades are a result of our consistent communication with riders, listening to their feedback and incorporating it into our ongoing product development efforts," said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. "Today's rider wants more power and expects cutting-edge technology. That's exactly what we're delivering in 2020."

Thunder Stroke 116  

For the first time in the company's history Indian Motorcycle will offer a 116 cubic-inch Thunder Stroke engine as standard in select models. "Straight from the factory, the new 116 cubic-inch air-cooled V-twin engine features a new high-flow cylinder head that delivers class-leading performance with 126 ft-lbs of torque."  The Thunder Stroke 116 is now standard on the Springfield Dark Horse, Chieftain, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Limited, Chieftain Elite, Roadmaster and Roadmaster Dark Horse.

Ride Command with Connected Services
For 2020, Indian Motorcycle has updated its Ride Command system with Connected Services – "a completely redesigned version of its industry-leading infotainment system. Still measuring seven inches, with glove-touch technology, Ride Command now features a new quad-core processor to provide the fastest infotainment experience available." New connected features include traffic and weather overlays.
Additionally, Ride Command features "intuitive destination search capabilities and improved customizable ride screens. Indian Motorcycle's Ride Command is the industry's largest, fastest and most customizable infotainment system on two wheels." 

Roadmaster Dark Horse

Said to draw inspiration from the "overwhelmingly successful" Chieftain Dark Horse, the Roadmaster Dark Horse "brings a modern and aggressive attitude to Indian Motorcycle's premium touring motorcycle. With blacked-out finishes and just enough chrome to stand out from the 2020 line-up, the Roadmaster Dark Horse features a streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags, 19-inch front wheel with an open fender, an extended reach rogue gunfighter seat, blacked-out engine and matte paint color schemes. Powering this mean touring machine is the Thunder Stroke 116, while premium touring amenities abound, including a touring trunk, lower fairings, heated grips and a mid-adjustable windscreen."

Springfield Dark Horse

"Following extremely positive rider feedback from the 2020 Jack Daniel's Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse that was launched at Daytona Bike Week, Indian Motorcycle is now offering a similar design package for the 2020 Springfield Dark Horse. While the Thunder Stroke 116 delivers unrivaled power, the bike gains an enormous level of attitude with slammed saddlebags, rogue seat, 12-inch mini apes and premium blacked-out finishes." 

Chieftain Elite 

"As it has been with previous iterations, the Chieftain Elite is an ultra-premium bagger, combining style, technology and performance. The 2020 Chieftain Elite packs the Thunder Stroke 116 and Indian Motorcycle's booming PowerBand Audio Plus system with integrated fairing and saddlebag speakers. PowerBand Audio produces crystal-clear sound that is 50% louder than Indian Motorcycle's standard audio system. The 2020 Chieftain Elite's premium styling includes a two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Candy paint with matching motor highlights and badging, precision-machined elite wheels, pinnacle mirrors, select rider floorboards and a flare windshield. 

Across the Range

Chieftain Dark Horse
Chieftain vintage
"Furthermore, the complete 2020 Thunder Stroke line-up features additional updates with the Chief Dark Horse and Chief Vintage now sharing the same chassis as the Springfield and Springfield Dark Horse. The result is improved handling and an adjustable rear suspension for both Chief models. Secondly, the Springfield and Chief Dark Horse will each come standard with a 17-inch front wheel for improved stability. Lastly, the 2020 Roadmaster receives a lighter weight and redesigned trunk rack for added style.

Accessories Include up to +20% Power Upgrade Options
Indian Motorcycle's 2020 line-up of performance accessories for the Thunder Stroke 111 and Thunder Stroke 116 "significantly modify the overall look, sound and performance of each engine."
The stage-1 slip-on exhaust, available in black or chrome, improves sound for both the Thunder Stroke 111 and Thunder Stroke 116. Indian Motorcycle's new stage-1 oval slip-on muffler kit and stage-1 performance air intake together increase horsepower by +4% with the Thunder Stroke 111 and +8% with the Thunder Stroke 116.
By adding the stage-2 performance cams, riders will gain +13% more horsepower when compared to a stock Thunder Stroke 111. The Thunder Stroke 116 stage-2 performance kit, which includes cams, higher flowing fuel injectors and throttle body, produces a +17% horsepower boost when paired with both stage-1 accessories.
"Riders can also upgrade any Indian Motorcycle model packing the Thunder Stroke 111 with its Thunder Stroke 116 stage-3 big bore kit, which produces +20% more horsepower when compared to a stock Thunder Stroke 111.
"For riders looking to add additional passenger accommodations, Indian Motorcycle offers headdress passenger floorboard pads for added cushion to combat road vibration and match the currently available headdress rider floorboard pads, 12-inch quick release passenger sissy bar and a new, more modern styled passenger backrest pad. Additionally, Indian Motorcycle will offer 12-inch ape hanger handlebars for all Chief and Springfield models." 

AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hine

Briar Bauman Earns Fifth Season Win - FTR750 Sweeps Top Five at Williams Grove

Round 16 of the 2019 AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines (the Williams Grove Half-Mile at Mechanicsburg, PA, September 7) saw Indian Motorcycle consolidate its 2019 Manufacturers Championship win as Wrecking Crew rider Briar Bauman added a fifth win for the season so far with two races to go.

This was the 14th win of the year so far for the FTR750 as the current series points leader extended his championship lead, with Indian Motorcycle Racing privateers Brandon Price and Davis Fisher finishing second and third. Jared Mees finished fourth and is now 35 points behind Bauman, who leads the series with 305 total points, with fellow Wrecking Crew teammate Bronson Bauman third with 221 points. Robert Pearson (No. 27 R/J Performance/Hite Trucking Indian FTR750) rounded out the top five.

"Briar continues to showcase his talent and determination to win a Twins championship," said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle. "He's maintained his focus throughout the entire season and is running his best races we've ever seen."
Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450) registered a second consecutive AFT Singles victory to expand his championship advantage in title fight crunch time.
Morgan Mischler (No. 69 Waters Autobody Racing/D&D Powersports KTM 450 SX-F) was second; Englishman Oliver Brindley (No. 24 Roof Systems of Dallas/FX Solutions Yamaha YZ450F) was third; reigning champion Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) was fourth, with third-ranked Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) keeping his title hopes alive with another top-five result in fifth.
As a result, Gauthier now leads Bromley by 15 points (266-251) with two races left to decide this year's champion.
In the 15-lap AFT Production Twins rock-steady Ryan Varnes (No. 68 Varnes Racing/RoyBuilt Kawasaki Ninja 650) registered a virtual wire-to-wire. Holeshot with polesitter Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 Black Hills Harley-Davidson XG750R Rev X) was second, with title leader Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07) third.
Varnes' second win of the season catapults him into second in the championship standings and pulls him to within 16 points of Texter (165-149) with two rounds remaining.
Kolby Carlile (No. 136 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07) is now ranked third at 140 points after slashing past both James Rispoli (No. 71 Black Hills Harley-Davidson XG750R Rev X - fifth) and Kevin Stollings (No. 999 Roof Systems/Motion Pro Kawasaki Ninja 650 - sixth) to take fourth.
The season continues on September 21 with the Minnesota Mile at Canterbury Park in Minneapolis, MN, before the Meadowlands Mile finale at East Rutherford, NJ, on September 28.

News Briefs

As a patron of the event, FEMA (the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations) will speak at the First International Conference on Road Safety for Motorcyclists on Friday 20 September 2019 at the AISICO Test House & Lab in Pereto, Italy. Staged in collaboration with the European Union Road Federation (ERF), the ongoing work to make guardrails more motorcyclist-friendly is a priority theme. FEMA says the need of an international debate about this subject arises from the release in April of a new Italian decree about the road safety system for motorcyclists. The decree follows the EU regulation CEN/TS 17342:2019 and describes the technical specifications to reduce the impact severity of motorcyclists' collisions with safety barriers.

New motorcycle registrations in Germany were +6.24% January to July at 87,512 units sold - the best first seven months there since before 2008. The top selling model YTD remains the BMW R 1250 GS (7,739 units); with seven models among the top 30 best sellers, it is no surprise that BMW has stretched its German market dominance still further, having sold 21,198 units in total YTD for a 17.04 percent market share. Honda was second, KTM third, Yamaha fourth and Kawasaki fifth.


A 1965 Aston Martin DB5 "Bond Car" achieved a record-breaking $6,385,000 during a single-marque auction with Aston Martin at RM Sotheby's Monterey auction in August, exceeding the previous record by nearly $2 million.

New motorcycle registrations in the UK were +2.33% January - July 2019 at 65,442 units. The largest single sector there are 'Naked' style bikes, accounting for nearly a third of sales (22,742 units), with Adventure Sport the second largest (12,820 units YTD - the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure the best seller). The 'Custom' sector was worth just under 5,000 units for the first seven months, with Harley's Sport Glide the best seller.

Japanese made motorcycle exports to USA for the first six months of 2019 were -20.48 percent 29,762 units. Total PTW exports (motorcycles, mopeds and scooters) to USA were -12.71 percent at 47,196 units. Motorcycle exports to USA from Japan were nearly 102,000 units in 2009, having peaked at around 217,000 in 2006. The increasing number of units being made by Japanese manufacturers elsewhere in Asia, the US and South/Central America goes some way to providing historical context for the data.


H-D is facing a class action lawsuit for an allegedly defective anti-lock braking system on the basis that dealers and riders were not warned about an alleged defect in the ABS wiring harness that could have resulted in the "possibility of sudden, unexpected ABS braking failure for over 150,000 motorcycle owners across the country." Plaintiffs in four states have filed class action lawsuits on behalf of the owners of Touring model motorcycles produced from 2008 through 2010.

Global dividends for April to June reached $513.8bn (£423.6bn), up 1.1% from a year earlier. The growth rate is slowing though as the global economy also slows. A strong dollar is also making the growth look sluggish. It is estimated that companies worldwide will pay out a total of $1.43 trillion in dividends in 2019.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek


Zodiac Additions

Ciro 'Shock & Awe' 2.0 Lighting

"Awe as in awesome! Shock & Awe 2.0 takes LED lighting to the next level," says Mijdrecht, Netherlands based Zodiac International. "Ciro has packed the new app full of exciting features such as a racing mode to track your speed, music and microphone integration, three-channel output, brake function, and more! With the Ciro Bluetooth app riders can choose from millions of colors to find the perfect match for their bike or any other vehicle they choose to accessorize." Sold as a complete engine lighting starter kit, a physical controller is also included, but that does not support as many functions as the app does.

Hyperpro 'Link System' Suspension Springs

These 'Link System' suspension springs are the result of many years of R&D on front forks, shocks, springs and suspension systems by Dutch specialist Hyperpro. Zodiac says that "most of the time a linear spring is either too hard or too soft at the beginning and/or at the end of its compression stroke cycle. A so called one-step progressive spring is an improvement, but is still a compromise between comfort and safety. The sudden change from soft to hard is often felt as a handling disadvantage and can lead to "speed wobbles". Hyperpro came up with a non-compromising solution: the "Link-System Curve Design" for springs. With this construction, a spring can be designed to satisfy all the demands of modern motorcycle technology. Hyperpro gives you a sensitive initial part of the stroke with a smoothly increasing spring rate for safety and anti-dive at the end of the stroke. Together with the use of the highest quality materials and precision- machining, this results in the best springs that money can buy." Hyperpro fork springs are manufactured to DIN-2095, class 1, are specially polished for minimal friction and carry a lifetime warranty against breaking. These shock springs are said to provide superior road holding and handling under all conditions and are thoroughly tested on a computerized dyno and on the bike in question. Zodiac has them for almost any Harley since 1984.

Two Brothers Racing Comp-S Exhaust for XG750

Corona, California based Two Brothers Racing 2-into-1 exhaust systems "are designed to deliver maximum torque" - they feature race-inspired stainless steel headers that "have pounds off the competition to ensure a long lasting, weather resistant, amazing sounding exhaust." They come complete with heat shields and are available ceramic black coated with carbon fiber end cap.



Springer Style E-Mark Headlamp

This E-approved, street legal 7" Springer-style headlamp from Dock66, Duisburg, Germany is a classic full size (175 mm diameter, 140 mm deep). Available in black satin finish, it has a conical bucket and 160 mm visible headlamp insert and plastic "prism reflector" lens.
"The timeless sophistication of this Springer-style headlamp is perfect for chopper and custom projects and for bringing a bit of design authenticity to 'new age' custom projects. The classic bottom mounting matches lots of Harley-Davidson models and - with a custom mounting - many other motorcycles and custom bikes."
The H4 12V 60/55W driving light and high beam and 12V 5W position light bulbs are included, along with electrical wiring.


Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

EZ-On Mount Low-Profile Solo Seats

Drag Specialties' low-profile solo seats feature a solar-reflective leather in the seating area and automotive-grade vinyl on the sides. The combination is a patented process that reduces the surface temperature by as much as 25°F and results not only in a cooler seat, but is said to deliver higher durability and longer life over conventional leather or vinyl.
A flexible urethane foam interior provides maximum seat comfort, while the seat's geometry places the rider 2" further back and up to 1" lower than the stock seat for a better riding position with a low, clean look. The 3/16" ABS thermoformed seat base has a carpeted bottom and rubber bumpers to protect the motorcycle's paint job.
An EZ-On mount system allows for seat installation and removal without the use of any tools. It can be used with Drag Specialties' solo rear seats (sold separately) and includes all necessary mounting hardware. Available with either black or silver double-diamond stitching for '08-'19 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX/FLTR models.

Programmable Electronic Speedometers 

These 4" speedometers are plug-n-play replacements for the OEM speedometers found on '04-'13 FLHT/FLTR, '08-'10 FXCW/FXCWC,' 04-'11 FXD/FXDL and '04-'13 XL models.
They feature a programmable speed display and an odometer display that can be set to show previous speedometer mileage. The low fuel warning light functions on all models except '04-'06 XL models. Warning light functions must be programmed on the OEM speedometer in order to operate with these speedometers.
Available with a black or white face and in mph or km/h., the OEM fuel sender resistor kit is required for '07 XL models.

OEM-Style Fork Tubes

These are highly durable, chrome finished fork tubes in 20.875", 22.875" and 24.875" sizes. 20.875" replace the OEM items on '97-'13 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX/FLTR models without cartridge style forks. The 22.875" tubes fit '00-'17 FLS/FLST models and 24.875" tubes fit '00-'17 FXST/FXDWG models. All tubes accept OEM components and are said to offer less drag and improved seal wear over other fork tubes. They are sold in pairs.

Advance Unit Assembly

This new advance unit assembly includes a stainless steel base with steel cam, fly weights and springs. The assembly works with all '70-'99 Big Twin models (except Twin Cam), as well as all '71-'85 XL models. A mounting bolt is included.

Clutch Shell

This Drag Specialties high-quality replacement clutch shell with starter gear for '84-'89 Big Twin models is a direct OEM replacement.