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Tuesday 7 January 2020

EICMA 2019 Review Pt3

TecMate: Celebrating 25 years of the OptiMate brand, TecMate introduced its first OptiMate battery charger, diagnostics and maintenance tool as a response to the more powerful and compact AGM (absorbed glass mat - a sealed valve regulating lead-acid battery) that were being introduced into the powersports industry in the late 80s and early 90s. AGM batteries are still lead-acid batteries, but with a difference, the acid is absorbed into mats (i.e. sponges), which effectively made it a 'dry' battery that could be turned upside down – no more acid spillage, a real problem for bikers at the time. Unfortunately, AGM technology also proved to be more difficult to recharge, and, especially, to recover from a low voltage/sulphated state. Motorcycle OEMs wanted a charger for their riders, of course, mainly to ensure that battery outlasted its warranty, but TecMate took it a few steps further, making those batteries last much longer than intended, some even up to 10 years. Then, 10 years ago, TecMate saw the emergence of Lithium starter batteries as a growing trend that could become mainstream rather than (at the time) something a few racers or custom bike builders used to save weight and space. A range of OptiMate Lithium battery chargers was developed along the same lines as AGM counterparts, all able to safely recover batteries from a low voltage state and then test to confirm the battery is OK. OptiMate's Lithium standard range of battery chargers are now recommended globally by Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki and are the 'go to' chargers for a number of global Lithium battery manufacturers. CEO and CTO Martin Human says "part of OptiMate's success is due to this simple fact - no one cares about a battery until it's dead. Then the battery owner needs help, but 99.9% of people are not battery experts. OptiMate battery chargers are fully automatic with all the necessary battery intelligence built in - simply connect and OptiMate does the thinking for you. OptiMate has been trusted by the powersports industry since 1994";


BS Battery: One of the fastest growing battery brands and manufacturing operations in the motorcycle and wider powersports industry, Paris based BS Battery followed up the launch of its Premium Grade Lithium battery program earlier this year with its new BA10 dual charger. The company's 'Plug & Play' AGM (Advanced Glass Material) factory-activated 'SLA' Max battery range has three-terminal, heavy duty, higher cranking amp applications than OE battery upgrades for most current H-D models;

Zard: From "metal to emotions" and slip-ons to full systems, Zard is one of Italy's leading performance exhaust manufacturers, and EICMA saw them unveil a number of new products, including titanium racing slip-ons with removable dB killers and carbon end caps for the Indian FTR 1200. Weighing in at 1.8 kg/3.9 lbs (the stock system weighs 4.3 kg/9.5 lbs), they deliver a "significant increase in horsepower and torque at all rpm ranges". Zard claims an "astonishing and very cool sound" for its new system; a Euro 4 homologated version will additionally be available very soon. Also available for the FTR 1200 is a reduced weight headers kit in titanium with optional 'Snake Welding' and a Decat kit in AISI 304 stainless steel or titanium. Zard products are fully interchangeable with the stock designs they replace;

SC-Project: One of the fastest growing and most successful performance exhaust brands in the market, the track prowess of SC Project's Italian made exhaust technology informs a wide range of Euro 4 homologated complete system and slip-on options for most popular makes and recent models of sports and streetbikes, including Harleys. For the 2018 and up Fat Bob, for example, its GP-Evo muffler, characterized by its round and compact shape, is available in AISI 304 stainless steel with a standard satin or black satin finish, with AISI 304 stainless steel end cap with a satin finish. The complete kit includes slip-on mufflers, link pipes, springs and screws, heat-resistant adhesive, a 24- month SC-Project official warranty and homologation card;

Andreani Group: As part of its comprehensive suspension workshop tools range, Andreani recently introduced a labor-saving universal fork tube removal kit and universal suspension fluid injector for easy maintenance of oil levels in each fork and at EICMA introduced an upgraded version of its famous DB4 suspension dyno - the DB4 Plus features enhanced software, functionality and user interface options;


Bitubo: Recent new products from the Italian suspension specialist include an adjustable suspension cartridge for Touring and Softail models up to 2018 with a new pressurized cartridge, designed to improve anti-dive, especially in cornering, it is adjustable, precision-manufactured with components machined from solid and a 'Plug & Play' fully reversible installation with no modifications necessary;


Rekluse: Hosted at EICMA by Parts Europe, the company's high performance auto and manual clutches for off-road and street motorcycles include products for Harley and some Indian (Scout) applications such as the Radius X with EXP centrifugal automatic clutch, TorqDrive clutch pack and CoreEXP automatic coil spring clutch conversion for Sportsters. This year saw the Boise, Idaho based manufacturer introduce its own branded clutch/transmission oil, available as 10W-40 for 4-stroke engines, 20W-50 for 2-stroke transmissions/4-stroke engines and 20W-50 for the V-twin primary. Rekluse is the "Official Clutch" of the AFT series;


Saddlemen: Hosted at EICMA by Parts Europe, new products from the Rancho Dominguez, California based original gel seat experts included American-made GELcore saddles for selected Softail models;


Galfer: The originators of the 'Wave Disc' concept and popular custom-style 'Skull Disc', the Spanish manufacturer has come up with what it thinks will be another 'game changer' in the Harley and custom brake rotor market - the 'CUBIQ' brake rotor. Featuring a new style of Galfer designed brake track with hexagonal shapes, it is said to offer better braking than a conventional round disc design with up to 40% weight reduction. Improved cooling is achieved because the design increases the convection perimeter so there is more cooling surface around the brake track and better temperature dissipation - "the increased cooling surface optimizes the friction surface and enables a lighter brake track design". Galfer also says that because there is the same contact surface between pad and disc in each turn, the pads wear evenly and with homogeneous pressure; the reduced unsprung mass is said to reduce the dynamic unbalance (gyroscopic effect) and improve the maneuverability of the motorcycle;,


Showa: Having reduced its once controlling interest to a 33.5% stake, Honda has announced that it is to buy up all outstanding shares in Showa and two other well-known Japanese motorcycle component industry majors - Keihin and Nissin - in a massive deal with automotive supply giant Hitachi Automotive Systems to create a new combined business that swallows up all three of the component makers. These days Showa is known as a purveyor of suspension products to Harley-Davidson, but the company's links with Milwaukee go back to the 1950s. Founded in 1938 as a manufacturer of aircraft suspensions for the pre-war Japanese military, in 1950 Showa acquired Rikuo Motorcycle, which made licensed versions of Harley-Davidsons in the 1930s and 1940s. The Rikuo brand lasted until 1962. New products from Showa include the "SHOWA EERA HEIGHT FLEX" - a dynamic system that tunes the ride height;


Rinehart Racing: Hosted at EICMA by Parts Europe, the Arden, North Carolina based manufacturer's exclusive distributor in Europe, recent new products include what the company describes as "revolutionary Slimline Catalyst Duals" for 2017 and later Touring models - featuring a proprietary Power Flow catalyst "engineered to outperform even 'open' catalyst-free systems. The results observed in independent dynamometer testing show significant increases in power and torque compared to stock exhausts and other U.S. emissions-compliant systems currently on the market. The unique design moves the catalytic converter away from both the rider's and passenger's legs and feet, providing a cooler and more enjoyable ride; 

Ferodo: One of the most famous brand names in the motorcycle brakes industry, the company is celebrating another year of race success and a busy year off the track too with more than 500 new and updated brake pad applications, including for Harleys. Compound-specific pads for Harley applications include Carbon Grip pads specifically formulated for polished rotors (Ferodo PRP – Polished Rotor Pads) using a carbon based composite formula that is bound together with organic resin. The result is said to be a powerful combination of braking virtues for the custom market - excellent stopping power, lower heat generation, reduced brake dust generation and minimized rotor scoring;