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Tuesday 28 January 2020

AMD World Championship 2020

AMD World Championship 2020 - Over 70 Bikes From 20 Countries Already Slated to Compete

Following news last month about the growth of the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building's Official Affiliate event program, as we enter 2020, the year of the 14th World Championship ('AMD' XIV), there is news of further growth in the number of pre-entries for the October 2020 Championship.

At the time of writing there are still nine months to go before entries for the 'AMD' close, and there are already up to 60 'Builders' and over 72 bikes from over 20 countries (including four builders and their bikes from the USA) slated to compete in the five classes at INTERMOT Customized, Cologne, Germany, (October 6 to 11).
This is well above the comparable stage for any prior year, with 53 confirmed entries and another 19 Affiliate event winners receiving automatic entry - either for their Affiliate event winning bike or a new build – 2020 looks set to be another banner year. Plus, if 2018 is anything to go by, more than half the bikes this year will have been built specifically to make their global debut at the 'AMD'.

This year will see the first significant refinements to the World Championship class structure for a decade. The primary class from which the competitors (and selected prior competitors and VIP judges) will choose their 2020 World Champion will again be the Avon Tyres Freestyle class, and Avon are again offering free tires to builders for competing bikes.
The Modified Harley-Davidson class has been renamed Modified American V-twin class to allow Indian models that meet the criteria to compete head-to-head with Harleys for the first time.
The start-point must be a 1984 or later Harley-Davidson, or 'Gilroy', 'Kings Mountain' or later/current Indian engine and frame as the basis. The stock frame geometry must be maintained; the only modifications allowed are smoothing of welds and other moldings, sheet metal additions, tab and/or bracket relocation or removal and arising smoothings/ moldings (such as exhaust bracket relocation for example).
Swingarm/rear end changes, of any kind, including replacement swingarms, are permitted; fat or skinny rear end conversions are permitted; as is frame or rear end lowering or raising, provided the basic stock frame geometry is unchanged. Case internals can be replaced, along with cylinders, heads and internals. Turbochargers, superchargers, NOS kits etc. are permitted. Screamin' Eagle/JIMS and Gilroy Indian era S&S engine cases are permitted. Frames/cases can be from two different models (from the same manufacturer).
The Retro/Modified class is for any modified motorcycle with any drivetrain on any chassis configuration that is based on a pre-1984 engine, styled to have the appearance of a motorcycle manufactured prior to 1984. Use of some contemporary parts/design elements is permitted.

Dmitry Golubchikov of Zillers Garage was the first Russian winner of the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building in 2018 with 'Insomnia', a Yamaha SR 400 based masterpiece.

Entirely new for 2020, the Modified Street Custom class is for all manufacturers/brands with a 1984 or later major OEM volume production engine and frame as the start-point. The neck may be cut to rake or stretch the frame, and hard tail sections and wide tire alterations are acceptable, but the bike must be a two- or three-wheel motorcycle configuration.
Previously two separate classes, Café and Street Performance have been combined as a class designed to showcase customs where the primary intention of the customizer is to improve the street use performance of a motorcycle, and showcase the customizer's streetable performance engineering, tuning and handling skills and techniques. This class is open to all or any kind of motorcycles, of any platform or drivetrain, air-cooled or liquid-cooled (or even alternative energy) - 'metric', Whitworth/AF and SAE measure motorcycles, all kinds of performance engineering and enhancement/tuning techniques, including supercharging, turbocharging, NOS, fuel injection etc., with vintage or modern café racer, drag or sport bike styles among those permitted.
Also new for 2020 are a series of 'Cross Class' Awards - including the Detlev Louis sponsored Public Choice (as selected by public ballot) and New Energy Vehicles (NEV) - to be chosen from entries utilizing electric, hybrid, hydrogen or fuel cell power, or any other energy sources considered to qualify.
INTERMOT Customized fills Hall 10, one of the largest at the Cologne Exhibition Center complex, and one of the six halls in use for INTERMOT this year, with the 'AMD World Championship' as the center piece. Set-up day is Monday October 5th; Press Day is Tuesday 6th; Trade and Preview Day is Wednesday 7th; Public days are 8th - 11th October, with the live streamed awards ceremony at 3:00 pm on Sunday 11th.

News Briefs

It's hard to say whether it is rumor or hard news, but the smart money is on Harley releasing two new mid-cycle 2020 models - a CVO Road Glide and a Softail Standard. It is also thought likely that, with the 60-degree 'Revolution Max' engine 1,100 cc Pan American ADV and 975 cc Bronx Streetfighter taking center stage for the MY2021 announcement, the 'core' range will most probably be dominated by accessory upgrades and paint jobs.

PSB report that Black Book used vehicle pricing has started to fall more sharply this winter than has been the case in recent years. The biggest movers are metric cruisers, down -4.6%, with domestic V-twins down by -3.5%. The only segment to see an increase in pricing in November was snowmobiles, +1% over October values.


Metalsport has announced that Shell Barr, who had recently retired from Vee Rubber after almost 10 years, has agreed to join the South Gate, California wheel manufacturer. “With his in depth knowledge of the product, Shell will be a great asset to our team,” stated Ron Loynds, President of Metalsport Inc. Prior to Vee Rubber, Shell was the Technical Service Manager for Triumph Motorcycles America for almost 15 years, National Service Manager for Cagiva North America and held numerous service and parts management positions within motorcycle dealerships in the Northeast.

Harley has issued a recall in the USA of certain 2019-2020 FLHTCUTG and FLRT Trike models on the basis of possible unintended rear brake activation. The potential number of units affected is up to 12,624.


The BMW sponsored Concorso d`Eleganza Villa d´Este (on the shore of Lake Como - Cernobbio, Northern Italy) will be staged from 22 to 24 May 2020. Registration is now open, and this signals the start of the selection procedure when decisions are taken on which vehicles will be on show.

Honda R&D Co., Ltd., a research and development subsidiary of Honda, has announced that it has acquired all of the outstanding shares of the California-based Drivemode, Inc. in order to further strengthen "new value creation" in the areas of digital and connected mobility products. Drivemode is a start-up that develops and operates smartphone-based connected services. Honda R&D and Drivemode have been collaborating and conducting joint development activities since 2015 through the Honda Xcelerator program, an open innovation program Honda has been pursuing on a global basis.


Dainese has announced the grand opening of its latest flagship retail location in Las Vegas. Featuring an "innovative retail concept that creates a journey through moto history with memorabilia, including one of Valentino Rossi's suits, all surrounded by the world's most advanced protective apparel. Designed by Renato Montagner, the retail environment immerses visitors in the rich heritage of the Dainese and AGV brands while profiling all riding styles including racing, touring, street and urban".

Ford is to transfer most of its operations in India to Mahindra & Mahindra as part of a joint venture with the Indian carmaker, BSA and JAWA brand owner, and 51% owner of Peugeot scooters. Mahindra will own 51% of the joint venture, valued at $275m. Both firms will continue to own their own brands and sell them through their own separate dealer networks.


Harley eBicycles

Overshadowed by the launch of LiveWire, the Harley dealer convention in Milwaukee in August also saw an update on another of Harley's 'More Roads' to electrification with the official unveiling of its planned line-up of electric bicycles.

Though seen here as "future concept" prototypes still, with no confirmed production and dealer ship date yet confirmed, the company is planning three models described as "two step-over city style e-bikes and one more step-through frame."
Harley says that these first electric pedal-assist bicycles are "light, fast and easy for anyone to ride. Designed to shine in urban environments, this all-new line of eBicycles is just one more example of how Harley-Davidson’s 'More Roads' initiative is actively working to inspire a new generation of two-wheeled riders around the world.”
Commenting on the apparent design and tech of the platforms, specialist electric vehicle blog Electrek said: "First of all, we see the standard e-bike parts. There’s a mid-drive motor down by the cranks, though it’s a bit blockier than I would have expected. That chunky down tube very well may be holding the battery, or it could be integrated into the brick above the motor.
"Either way, there’s not a ton of battery space on those bikes - along with the serious cycling saddles and lack of cruiser-style pedal forward geometry, that’s likely a hint that these will be pedal-assist electric bicycles that require some user pedal input to engage the motor, not throttle-only e-bikes.
"There appears to only be one brake lever on each electric bike, and while one brake lever is a standard affair for motorcycles, it’s pretty rare on bicycles outside of coaster brake cruisers - and it’s nearly unheard of on electric bicycles," perhaps hinting at a reverse pedal engaged foot brake, but Electrek says that "the hydraulic disc brakes we see on these bikes wouldn’t be optimized for that type of braking, so maybe there'll be a linked hydraulic brake system."

Blackstone Tek

BST hyperTek

The South African carbon fiber wheels specialist has attracted high value, high profile exposure all around the world following EICMA for the debut of a new Pierre Terblanche designed 'thing of beauty' in its hyperTek electric motorcycle. 

The BST hyperTek, designed by Pierre Terblanche

In new wheel terms, BST has two new lines - Torque Tek for American V-twins (H-D, Indian and custom cruisers) and the GP Tek for sportsbikes. Said to be the strongest motorcycle wheel BST manufactures, the Torque Tek has a front load rating of 518 lbs/235 kg and 904 lbs/410 kg at the rear - a split midway on the spoke optimizes the support of the outer rim to fit the strength and power of custom choppers and Harley-Davidsons. 

Torque Tek for American V-twins

The Torque Tek design is not only strong but also very light, tipping the scales from only 10.58 lbs/4.80 kg (depending on the fitment), and it too has the new BST painted and serviceable coating between the tire and rim to protect the wheel during tire changing.
Depending on fitment sizes, the front weighs in at 10.69 lbs/4.85 kg and the rear at 10.85 lbs/4.8 kg. The front load rating is 518 lbs/235 kg with 904 lbs/410 kg at the rear. The front is available in five size options from 16 x 3.50 to 26 x 3.50; the rear in four options from 16 x 5.00 to 18 x 5.50.


Michelin Commander III

Building on the success of its Commander II, Michelin's new Commander III line-up for V-twin Cruisers and Touring bikes will be available for purchase starting in January 2020 and is "designed to deliver exceptional wet grip and extraordinary durability.

"The Commander III Touring tire is designed to go the distance for Baggers with excellent wet grip and longevity that is designed to exceed its predecessor with new tread compounds engineered to deliver outstanding wet grip without compromising longevity." Features include distinctive tread patterns and patented velvet sidewall designs.
"Michelin developed this tire line to optimize riding enjoyment with a focus on improving the tread life and wet grip versus the already widely accepted Commander II tire line," said Shane Messner, Director of Two-Wheel at Michelin North America. "The commitment to 'Michelin Total Performance' makes the Commander III tire line the trusted choice for the V-twin community."


Panasonic OneConnect a Standard Feature on Selected 2020 Touring Models

Selected 2020 Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycle models will be equipped with H-D Connect Service, "designed to enhance the motorcycle experience by connecting riders to their motorcycle through a cellular connection to the Telematics Control Unit (TCU), utilizing Panasonic’s OneConnect service."

Initially announced as a feature for LiveWire connectivity, the Panasonic OneConnect service "complements the latest version of the Harley-Davidson app and the new Harley-Davidson Connect service. Together, these systems introduce subscription-based cellular connectivity to equipped Harley-Davidson motorcycles to keep riders connected to their motorcycle through their smartphone.
"The H-D Connect service utilizing Panasonic’s OneConnect allows owners to connect remotely to their motorcycle to view key vehicle health information. It also provides the owner with reassurance of being able to remotely monitor their motorcycle’s security.
"H-D Connect Service is a standard feature for 2020 Touring (except Road King/S and Electra Glide Standard models), Tri Glide Ultra and CVO models, as well as the LiveWire.
Features include motorcycle status, tamper alerts and stolen vehicle tracking service, automated service reminders and notifications.

American Flat Track

Weekend Date for 2020 DAYTONA TT Season Opener

American Flat Track (AFT) has announced that its 2020 DAYTONA TT season opener is moving to a weekend date on Saturday, March 14. "The 2020 running of this Bike Week at Daytona spectacle has America's Original Extreme Sport joining forces with another motorcycle racing staple: the iconic DAYTONA 200."

A multi-year agreement has been signed between AFT and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) - "the doubleheader event will usher in a new level of excitement for motorsports enthusiasts.
"Traditionally racing two days apart, the DAYTONA TT and DAYTONA 200, sanctioned by the AMA and operated by the American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA), will now run together on the second Saturday of the historic Daytona Bike Week festivities.
"Fans will be able to enjoy the 79th DAYTONA 200 during the day and stay into the evening to cheer on the athletes of American Flat Track at their season-opening DAYTONA TT."
Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track, said: "2020 is shaping up to be a breakout season for AFT. After incorporating the Start-Finish banking for the first time at the TT in 2019, we are further enhancing the track design to encourage even more passing into Turn 1 for our season opener in 2020."
The 2019 running of the DAYTONA TT saw history made as AFT introduced a multi-surface racetrack by incorporating the front stretch of the historic Daytona International Speedway tri-oval into its purpose-built dirt TT course. 2020 will see this taken to the next level with further track enhancements.


AHDRA Schedule, Sponsors Coming Together

Following the news that the AHDRA series is to make a comeback in 2020 (Kudos Bill Rowe!), a schedule and class line-up has been published.
The season opens at the traditional nitro Harley headquarters of Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina in May, then moves north to Numidia, Pennsylvania, before hitting the Midwest at Cordova, Illinois.

Then it is on to the Sturgis Dragway (August 10-11) and into Canada for the end of August at the Napierville Dragway in Quebec. After a four-week break, racing resumes at the Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Georgia, and stops at the Orlando Speed World Dragway in Florida before the season wraps up at Gainesville, Florida, at the end of October.
"Thank you everyone for the amazing outpouring of support," said Rowe. "I really didn't know what to expect when we got into this, but the response has been amazing. Stay tuned for more news to come."
AHDRA is owned by Pulse Marketing, the Hellertown, Pennsylvania-based motorsports promotion company run by veteran drag racer Rowe and his family.

2020 AHDRA Schedule

May 15-17 Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, North Carolina, USA
- presented by Cox Double Eagle Harley-Davidson

May 30-31 Numidia Dragway, Numidia, Pennsylvania, USA
- presented by Vreeland's Harley-Davidson

July 3-5 Cordova International Raceway, Cordova, Illinois, USA

August 10-11 Sturgis Dragway, Sturgis, South Dakota, USA

August 29-30 Napierville Dragway, Napierville, Quebec, Canada
- Nitro by invitation

October 2-4 Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Georgia, USA

October 15-17 Orlando Speed World, Bithlo, Florida, USA
- presented by MTC Engineering

November 6-8 World Finals at Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, Florida, USA
- including a $5000 All-Star race on Saturday night and the AHDRA banquet in Gainesville on November 9th

Parts World

Parts World AG

At  the start of 2019, Swiss distributor and custom specialist Andy Mueller's Parts World AG became part of the massive and diverse Hostettler Group. Best known as the Swiss Yamaha importer and for its popular iXS apparel brand, Hostettler was founded in 1906 and the Group has 13 companies - including ten trading companies - and employs more than 700 people. 

Founded in 1997, Parts World is a natural fit for Hostettler's multi-channel distribution model and has been constantly expanding its business model as an internet pioneer. It operates a modern online shop and has built up a "perfectly coordinated logistics and sales structure with its trading partners in order to offer customers a seamless, cross-channel buying experience and to strengthen the Swiss motorcycle retail trade."
Parts World is an official Swiss importer for renowned brands such as Akrapovic, Airoh, DEI, Fehling, Five Gloves, Gray Sheep, Kellermann, Kineo, Müller Motorcycle, Performance Machine, Rizoma, Roland Sands Design, Motorex, Öhlins and Italian exhaust specialist Zard.


Corbin Donating 'Sparrow' to Petersen Automotive Museum

In 1996 the original Sparrow concept vehicle made its debut at the San Francisco Auto Show. Heralded as both "quirky" and "brilliant", the overall positive reaction led to the production of what was then the world's first single passenger EV.

The project scratched more than an itch for inventor Mike Corbin - as an electronic engineer by training he had always believed passionately in the future of electric vehicles and was many decades ahead of his time.
The original "Bug Eyed Sparrow" is being donated to the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles for the viewing enjoyment of all to see for generations to come. The Sparrow is and has been an inspiration for the modern-day electric car.

Wednesday 22 January 2020


Polaris Announces Changes to Senior Leadership Team

Polaris has announced that current President of Motorcycles, Steven Menneto, has been named President of Off Road, with Michael Dougherty, current President of International, adding the role of President of Motorcycles in addition to his present duties.
Chris Musso, the current President of Off Road, has been named to a new role as Senior Vice President of Electrification Strategy. All three leaders will continue to report to Polaris Chairman and CEO Scott Wine.

Steve Menneto

"Sometimes to think outside you must look inwards. Winning the competitive battle requires us to allocate and utilize our resources optimally, and that begins with placing our most seasoned and proven executives in roles where they can assume broader responsibilities and deliver greater impact," said Wine. "These leadership changes leverage existing talent, and add vital capability, as we further our efforts to be a customer-centric, highly efficient growth company."
As President of Off Road, Menneto will be responsible for Polaris' off-road vehicle (ORV) and snow business segments.
During his four years as President of Motorcycles, Menneto successfully developed and cultivated a customer-first approach across the business. As the result of his leadership, Indian Motorcycle has been the fastest growing motorcycle brand in the industry, gaining market share every year and leading the industry in owner satisfaction ratings. Menneto joined Polaris in 1997, following two years as a Polaris dealer. During his tenure at Polaris, Menneto has served in various leadership roles including Vice President of Motorcycles and Director of ORV Sales.

Michael Dougherty

Speaking to Michael Dougherty's new role, Wine said: "Throughout his two decades with the company, Mike has played a significant role in fostering our powersports leadership on the global stage. He is a talented leader who has demonstrated an ability to conquer the multifaceted challenges commensurate with developing new markets and driving profitable growth over the long-term.
"With Indian Motorcycle, our largest brand outside of North America, Mike's rich international experience will prove invaluable to a business that is expecting continued growth from international consumers."

Chris Musso

Scott Wine has been deliberately cautious in electrification terms, despite the acquisition of Brammo at an early stage in the development of the EV market. The appointment of Chris Musso to the new post of VP of Electrification Strategy is being seen as a statement of intent. At present Polaris' current electric vehicle product offerings include GEM, Goupil and the RANGER EV. Musso joined Polaris in 2017 as President of Off Road.

The Chill

The Chill, Kansas

News from Wichita, Kansas based Larry Moore (of Moore Customs, an AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building stalwart), of a two-day Custom Bike Show being staged from 20-22 March. 

'The Chill' will be staged in Wichita and feature a Pro-Invitational where top custom bike builders will compete for the Chill Man trophy,  bikes from top local builders, a Big Dog Motorcycles special showcase, over 50 vendors and 22 motorcycle design classes including Baggers, stock, street and drag bikes.

Larry Moore will be returning to the AMD World Championship (INTERMOT Customized, Cologne, Germany, October 6-8) later this year as he seeks a podium spot following his Avon Freestyle Class fourth place finish in 2016 with 'Kontrolled Kaos', his much admired, cunningly disguised third-tube, leaf-sprung, hard-tail-esque Softail.

News Briefs

After almost 40 Years, ABC Harley-Davidson of Waterford, Michigan, has been sold by owners Edwin Alder and Dennis Atherton to Dwane and Kari Cannady and Larry and Mary Clark. Dwane Cannady, a first-time buyer, was GM for a Pacific Northwest H-D store for over 10 years and has wanted to move back to the Midwest and own and operate his own dealership, which will remain at its current location, but will be renamed as Arsenal H-D.


Indian Motorcycle is up to 14th place in market share terms in Germany for the first 
ten months of 2019 with 1,179 units sold YTD for a modest but growing 1.09% share (+12.72% in market share terms over the same period of 2018). 

AMA has announced its 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days for July 10-12 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington for the 26th year. Features will include vintage motorcycle racing, a "massive swap meet", vendors, entertainment, seminars and more. A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days showcases classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous.

H-D was in sixth place in motorcycle market share terms in Austria for the first nine months of 2019, with 6.06% (807 units sold). Indian Motorcycle was in 15th place with 0.66% (88 motorcycles sold) of a market worth 13,309 units in total YTD.  Royal Enfield is in 13th spot, with a 0.95% share (126 sales). Unsurprisingly, KTM is market leader in Austria (24.31% share, 3,236 units sold YTD), with BMW second (12.84%).

Residents of Wisconsin can now operate the three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot with a standard driver's license, rather than the previously required motorcycle license or endorsement. The reclassification of the vehicle as an 'Autocycle' takes immediate effect.

Cycle World has named the Ducati Diavel 1260 S as its best cruiser of 2019, with the BMW R 1250 GS ADV as the best Touring model. Its best lightweight street bike is the Kawasaki Z400; best middleweight is the Triumph Street Triple R, and best 'Open-Class' street bike the much admired KTM 1290 Super Duke GT.

Indian is to recall 52,745 Chief, Chieftain, Roadmaster, and Springfield models from 2014 - 2019 because the gear position display may be inaccurate. The gear position switch contacts may oxidize, causing the gear position display to inaccurately show that the motorcycle is in neutral when it is actually in gear.


Two AMA Ice Race Grand Championship events are scheduled a week apart in January in Wisconsin - the High Voltage Ice Races (oval racing) on January 12 at Wilson Park in downtown Milwaukee; the second is a Grand Prix-style competition, concurrent with the Steel Shoe Fund's three-hour endurance race, January 19, Kettle Moraine Lake, Campbellspor. The events will be scored separately, and class winners at each event will be awarded AMA National No. 1 plates.

BRP North American Powersports retail sales grew 24% in Q3 FY19, with side-by-side vehicles (SSV) retail growing more than 30%; revenues were $1,643.6 m (+17.9%). The quarter saw the company complete acquisition of Telwater Pty Ltd, an Australian manufacturer selling boats under brands such as Quintrex, Stacer and Savage, and introduced six different electric vehicle concepts.


Swiss-Moto 2020
Zurich, February 20 - 23
The 17th annual Swiss-Moto, Switzerland's largest motorcycle, scooter and tuning show, will take place in Zurich again in 2020 with "numerous industry leaders and new brands already having confirmed their participation," according to Messe Zurich.
Features next year will include a revival of the popular Streetbike Freestyle Show and a focus on the response to the motorcycle driving licence regulations for young people aged 16 and over in the new "SWISS-MOTO Youth" meeting point 2020.

In the wake of the Swiss Federal Council's decision to allow young people aged 16 and over to ride motorcycles and scooters with a displacement of 125 cm3 (maximum 11 kW) by 2021, the organisers' new "SWISS-MOTO Youth" initiative will be a platform that appeals to young people between the ages of 14 and 17, with the show welcoming future riders with a mix of shows, news, gaming and the opportunity to experience first road tests.
Organiser Yves Vollenweider sees a big opportunity in the change of the law: "This adjustment opens up exciting opportunities for both the motorised two-wheeler industry in Switzerland and for Swiss-Moto as an expo.
"For us, as an important sector engine with a digital reach of around 1.7 million people interested in public transport and a media coverage worth over 1.3 million Swiss francs, it is clear that we are now responding to and promoting the many advantages that motorcycling has to offer. A target-group campaign is planned that uses humour and creativity to highlight the many advantages of riding a motorised two-wheeler at a young age, such as the unrivalled price/performance ratio compared to public transport and the independence that two-wheelers bring to their lifestyles.
"As an additional highlight, after a ten-year break, the organisers are reviving the crowd pulling Streetbike Freestyle Show. Action is provided by international stunt professionals with spectacular stunts, smoking burn-outs and daredevil manoeuvres on two or one bike."


Harley Launches Major Support for 2020 AFT Production Twins

Harley has announced a major increase in their support of AFT's Production Twins class. For the first time authorized Harley dealerships will now have the race-proven XG750R available for purchase, "ensuring that more competitors will field these race-winning machines during the 2020 AFT season".

Harley has also announced a $250,000 contingency package. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Harley-Davidson XG750 next season, this expanded pledge of support shows our lasting commitment to the sport of flat track,” said Jon Bekefy, GM of Brand Marketing for Harley-Davidson. “Harley-Davidson dealerships fielding the XG750R will provide an opportunity for our community to rally behind this great American sport.”
In 2019 there were "moments of brilliance" for riders on the XGR750R during the Production Twins season, with Dalton Gauthier and James Rispoli making regular podium appearances and scoring two wins aboard a privateer XG750R backed by Black Hills Harley-Davidson.
With $7,500 awarded to XG750R riders for each AFT Production Twins race win, plus a $25,000 championship bonus on the line, the contingency package offered by Harley is structured so that a total of $15,000 will be up for grabs to XG750R riders at each AFT Production Twins round in 2020.
The XG750R is available for purchase for $35,999 and deliveries will begin immediately. Supply is limited and priority will be given to dealerships.


Isle of Man TT
Isle of Man, GB • May 31-Jun 14

Street Vibrations Spring Rally
Sparks, NV, USA • Jun 5-7

Custom Bike Show
Norrtälje, Sweden • Jun 6

Wheels & Waves
Biarritz, France • June 10-14

Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany •
June 11-14

Republic of Texas
Austin, TX, USA • June 11-14

Laconia Motorcycle Week
Laconia, NH, USA • June 13-21

European H.O.G. Rally
Portoroz, Slovenia • June 18-21

Hamburg Harley Days

Hamburg, Germany • June 26-28

Punta Bagna Valloire
Valloire, France • June 26-28

Born Free
Silverado, CA, USA • June 27-28

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Colorado, USA • June 28

Prague Harley Days
Prague, Czech Republic • July 3-4

American Tours Festival
Tours, France • July 3-5

Custombike Summer Days
Mannheim, Germany • July 17-19

World Ducati Week
Misano, Italy • July 17-19

Fuel Cleveland
Cleveland, OH, USA • July 25

Bike and Music Weekend
Geiselwind, Germany • July 30-Aug 2

Polish Bike Week
Karpacz, Poland • July 30-Aug 2

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Sturgis, SD, USA • Aug 7-16

Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials
Bonneville, UT, USA • Aug 29-Sep 3


Wharf Rat Rally
Digby, Canada • Sep 2-6

Glemseck 101
Leonberg, Germany • September 4-6

European Bike Week
Faaker See, Austria • Sep 8-13

Cherokee Blue Ridge Run
NC, USA • Sep 11-13

New Order Chopper Show
Kobe, Japan • Sep 20


Mondial de la Moto
Paris, France • Oct 1-11

Columbus, OH, USA • Oct 1-4

Artistry in Iron
Las Vegas, NV, USA • Oct 1-4

Cologne, Germany • October 6-11


AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building
Cologne, Germany • October 6-11

Daytona Beach, FL, USA • Oct 15-18

Motorcycle Trade Expo
Stoneleigh Park, UK • Oct 18-20

Oslo Motor Show
Oslo, Norway • Oct 23-25

Las Vegas, NV, USA • Nov 3-6

Milan, Italy • Nov 3-8

*Bigtwin Bikeshow & Expo
Houten, Netherlands • Nov 5-8

*Salao Duas Rodas
Sao Paulo, Brazil • Nov 17-22

Bad Salzuflen, Germany • Dec 4-6

*Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show
Yokohama, Japan • Dec 6

Affiliated shows with the World Championship are shown in blue

Dates/venues subject to change or cancellation. (*) Some dates provisional. "Check before you buy"

Performance Machine

One-Piece Pro-Am Wheels

These Performance Machine forged aluminum wheels place the highest material strength in the same direction as the operating load, creating a light and strong wheel, and feature a contour rim lip for a graceful arc from rim to lip.

They are available in Gold Ops finish (featuring gloss black on top of a contrasting textured black finish) or Black Ops finish (gloss gold on top of a contrasting textured gold finish) for outstanding durability and looks.
For '14-'19 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX front wheels, a fender relocation bracket is included for use with stock front fenders.

Also seen here, Performance Machine two-piece brake rotors are made with a 420 stainless steel outer band and specifically designed for use with Performance Machine wheels only (3.25" bolt circle).
Available for '08-'19 FLTR/ FLHT/ FLHR/ FLHX, H-D FL Trike (Trike is front only) in Black Ops or Gold Ops finishes.


Metalsport Wheels

Metalsport Adds Vee Rubber's VTR 350 Tire Product Line

Recent news from South Gate, California based Metalsport Wheels has included the addition of wheel and wheel/tire package applications and fitments for the current generation of Indian Motorcycle models with 6061-T6 aluminum hub fitments for the most popular Indian design - the Chief models from 2014 and up, available with matching floating rotors.

The latest news from Metalsport is of another diversification - this time with replacement tires for Can-Am Spyders. The company says that it and its sister wheel blank business MSI will maintain inventory on the Vee Rubber VTR 350 Arachnid tire product line - these tires were specially designed for Can-Am Spyders "to provide excellent traction and great mileage. They are great all-weather tires that provide awesome handling and exceptional grip in the wet."
Features of the Vee Rubber Arachnids are said to include "outstanding straight-line performance for acceleration and braking, heavy duty construction for the additional weight and two-up riding, a newly formulated compound specifically for Spyders for exceptional mileage and a tread depth of 10/32. They are also available in a new touring construction for RT 1330 Ace models."
The tires are radial, tubeless and said to weigh-in at approximately 16 lbs.
Metalsport offers a full line of 3D, 2D and now hybrid finished wheels featuring over 25 designs, including the Chip Foose Signature Series. "We have one of the largest selections of wheel sizes in the USA and wheel sizes start from the 16" wheel to our monster 34" wheel.
"All our wheels come with your choice of hub and we offer matching rotors, pulleys, sprockets and hubs. We can even offer the wheel already mounted with a Vee Rubber tire."


Mid-USA Motorcycle Parts

PowerHouse Dyno Proven Cams for Big Twin Evo

Available in six grind/lift configurations for a versatile range of applications whether using hydraulic or solid lifters, these PowerHouse brand cams from Hazelwood, Missouri based Mid-USA Motorcycle Parts are "dyno proven for maximum performance - from bolt-in, for more all-around performance and touring, to .620" lift for those ground-pounding street and strip machines."
Available bolt-in with stock .500" lift for hydraulic lifters, the OE replacement PowerHouse cam is said to deliver "excellent mid-range performance with stock or ported heads. Low end power is not sacrificed for heavy two-up riding and they provide more snap throughout entire rpm range. They pull surprisingly hard with stock heads to about 5,600 rpm and are easy to tune for all types of carburetors and exhaust systems."
For hydraulic or solid lifters and recommended for use with performance valve springs, PowerHouse .530" lift cams are said to be an "excellent cam for 80 ci 9:1/10:1 compression and work well with stock or ported heads. The ideal performance cam for lighter Big Twins (FX and FXR type) wanting a good mid-range with fairly strong top end reworked carburetor jetting with a performance exhaust and ignition liberate the potential of the .530" PowerHouse cam."


PowerHouse cam options - from .500" to .620" lift

For hydraulic or solid lifters, and definitely requiring performance valve springs, the PowerHouse .560" is said to be the best cam in the range for higher compression 80 ci 9:1/11:1 applications and for strokers up to 96 ci that want lots of torque. "For use with stock or ported heads, they should only be used with performance exhaust, carburetion and ignition. They have a very strong mid-range with the ability to pull very hard up to about 6,500 rpm, depending on cylinder head air flow."
For hydraulic or solid lifters, the PowerHouse .565" is said to be a hotter version of the popular viper cam and has a sophisticated profile fast intake ramp with slower closing ramp for maximum cylinder fill. Requiring springs with a minimum of 175/190 lbs. seat pressure, it is described as a "perfect combination with high compression 10:1 plus compression for 80 ci and small strokers. It provides very strong upper mid-range, with 6,500 rpm top end power. For use with mild to wild ported heads, good free flowing exhaust, performance carb and ignition, dig in for the ride of your life."

Also for hydraulic or solid lifters and performance valve springs, ported heads are recommended for the .595", and solid lifters should be run to prevent damage from valve float if the application is going to exceed 7,000 rpm. The valve spring pressure should be minimum 180 lbs. seat pressure, and high compression 80 ci 11:1 compression engines "will really turn on with the .595" PowerHouse cam. This cam makes power from mid-range to extremely high rpm and is a hot set-up for 88 ci/98 ci street strokers and a killer cam for street strokers up to 103 ci below 10:5 compression."
Finally, and for solid lifters only, the sophisticated profile fast intake ramp and slower closing ramp for maximum cylinder fill of the PowerHouse .620" require a spring with a minimum of 190 lbs. seat pressure. "The best choice for 115 ci/140 ci 10:1 plus compression super big inch monster motors, it also works well with high compression 11:1 compression small stroker 88 ci/98 ci REV monsters, but doesn't start kicking until you're over 4,500 rpm - great for street use and occasional trips to the local track."


Custom Chrome Europe

Custom Chrome Europe Additions

'Highsider' LED solutions 

Custom Chrome Europe is stocking 'Highsider' LED solutions from Paaschburg & Wunderlich in Germany.

The E-marked and approved range includes the 'Proton One' 11 mm x 20 mm high x 24 mm deep turn signal, taillight and brake light; the even smaller 11 mm x 12 mm high x 16 mm deep 'Proton Two' 3-in-1 turn signal, taillight and brake light; and the 'Proton Three' turn signal, taillight and brake light measuring 11 mm x 12 mm x 22 mm. All three have a black metal housing and tinted lens.

Fechter Drive 'Falcon' mufflers

Also seen here, Euro 4 Falcon double groove slip-on mufflers from Fechter Drive in Germany have high gloss polished stainless steel manifolds with 'groove style' end caps. They ship with EG/ABE, have a welded mount, removable dB killer and are available in silver or black for 2017 - 2020 M-8 Touring models.

'Torc' gloves 

Made in high tear and abrasion resistant 100% premium aniline goat leather with soft polyester lining and high tensile strength nylon stitching throughout, feature-rich 'Torc' gloves from Custom Chrome Europe come in a range of five designs in total with a selection of colorways and safety enhancements.
Additional features include high tensile strength nylon stitching throughout; pre-curved fingers with accordion pleats for snug and comfortable fit; internal thermal polymer alloy knuckle duster for added protection, waxed finish and leather reinforced palm.


Tuesday 14 January 2020

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Can Harley Do It?

With two new mid-cycle models due to be unveiled by Harley in early 2020 - a CVO Road Glide and a Softail Standard - this year will be dominated by the August MY2021 introduction of Harley's all new liquid/air-cooled 60-degree 'Revolution Max' engine and the 1,100 cc Pan America ADV and 975 cc Bronx Streetfighter it will power.
The rumors are that with the new platform taking center stage, changes to the 'core' range most probably will be limited to paint jobs and accessory upgrades - especially connectivity and 'infotainmant' as Harley continues to track the creature comfort advances that have been made by other manufacturers.
The 'Pan America' and (what we now know to be) the 'Bronx' Streetfighter were among the initiatives outlined in the 'More Roads to Harley-Davidson' strategic plan unveiled in the summer of 2018 - and unveiled for the first time in public at EICMA and then Long Beach in November.
Other highlights on the Harley 'More Roads' wish list included a continuation of its determination to invest in growing more riders through its rider training academy program, and continuation of the revolution in the structure of its dealer network (in the United States especially) with 'old school' brand-passionate Harley dealers being replaced by dealer groups and, as we discovered in 2019, private equity backed dealer group ownerships.
In 2019 the major stubbed toe in Milwaukee centered on the stillborn appointment of its first ever Global Brand President - a significant tuning of Harley's leadership structure - and an appointment that is rumored to have had as much to do with lining up a replacement for CEO Matt Levatich (should he decide to press the retirement option button in 2020) as it did to trying to rebuild Harley's shambolic marketing programs and structure.

"strong platform in Europe"

The plan had been to bring one central executive to the senior decision-making table with overall responsibility for coordination of brand management and development - a much needed and decades overdue move.
However, the appointment didn't work out, and to be fair to Harley, the rumors are that the "toe stubbing" apparently had as much to do with the peccadilloes of the appointee as it did with being a fundamental HR failure by Harley themselves. Not that I am one to throw stones in that particular glass house!
In principle, the plan to appoint a single board level manager with overall marketing responsibility to coordinate programs and "evolve the brand to support the company's strategy" makes perfect sense, even if it does beg the question 'why wasn't it always thus'?
Harley's statement at the time of the appointment went on to say that "as the company expands into new segments and new geographies and seeks to inspire diverse, new riders around the globe, the Global Brand President will be responsible for all aspects of the Harley-Davidson brand including product planning, marketing, retail, apparel and communications."
At the time of the announcement, I worried that although I see "marketing" as such as being a primary weakness at Harley-Davidson, no way should marketeers be allowed anywhere near engineering decision-making or productionization. That way madness lies!
However, being able to coordinate the planning of what needs to be engineered and produced with the available business opportunities is fundamental to any manufacturer's game plan.
In the 1990s, when Harley canned the still much loved FXR just at the time when streetfighters were the 'new black', it was patently obvious that the ever growing retail price-points of the Tourers and Softails would ultimately lead to a disconnect between Harley and market opportunity as its traditional 'Boomer' core customers aged out.
While I have every sympathy with a corporation that wants to preserve its perceived brand value and MRSP policy in order to make more from less (a perfectly valid and laudable business objective), it was inevitable that the schism between the demographic that could move up the price elevator with Harley and the unit volume opportunities in the future motorcycle industry were going to bite them.
Meanwhile, one of the other 'More Roads' strategic objectives does look like it could be somewhat of a salvation - namely the plan to aggressively grow demand for Bar 'n Shield badged PTW product outside the United States to around 50 percent of production by the middle of this new decade. Coincidentally an ambition echoed by Indian Motorcycle at around the same time that Harley broke cover on its plan.
Although Harley-Davidson sales internationally haven't been as strong in 2019 as might have been hoped, especially in the all-important European markets, compared to a decade ago, Harley is nonetheless in a massively enhanced position, both in national market share and unit sales terms in many of the most important international markets.
The fact that a decision that saw Harley embrace the 60-degree V-twin combi-cooled layout in a marriage of engineering with product planning some two or three years before announcing a Global Brand President, shows that Harley can do it, namely bring market opportunities and engineering and production planning together.
Even if the softer numbers in the U.S. market lower the bar of achieving 50 percent of production to be sold internationally, the currently robust European market (in particular) can prove to be a life- saving platform for Milwaukee if they continue to refine the start-point and can do better in price-point terms there.


WPS/HardDrive Opens New Georgia Warehouse Ahead of Schedule

Western Power Sports and HardDrive, their specialty V-twin parts and accessory program, have announced the completion of a new 245,000 square foot warehouse at Midway, Georgia.  

Scheduled to open in late January 2020 (two weeks ahead of schedule), "this state-of-the-art facility is part of an ongoing effort to increase support for its vast dealer network across the south eastern United States." 

Designed and built from the ground up, this new WPS distribution center "combines the latest in warehouse automation and the industry-leading service WPS is known for. This new location will fundamentally change how WPS is able to serve the entire southern region, opening the door for one-day shipping to a greater number of dealers."
"This new warehouse is a great opportunity to better serve the powersports dealer network and the future growth of the company. It delivers on the latest in automation and allows us to properly facilitate dealers who need products quickly. The building is complete, the four-story pick module and racking are close, and we have started filling the warehouse with product and plan on shipping soon," WPS CEO Craig Shoemaker explained. "This has been in the works for several years and we are excited to start shipping orders out as soon as possible."

Shoemaker said that to maintain maximum efficiency, the current 109,000 square foot warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee, will be integrated into the new Georgia location. All shipping operations from the Memphis facility will switch over to Georgia.
"The new warehouse is a vital component of the continuous growth WPS has experienced and shows our continued commitment to supporting our industry and dealer network.  With recent expansions at two current WPS facilities in California and Idaho, as well as an additional warehouse in Pennsylvania, WPS will continue delivering its dealer network with the ultimate in service and speed – all while offering more brands than ever before." WPS also has warehouse facilities Indiana and Texas.