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Tuesday 31 March 2020

Motion Pro

Motion Pro - Official AFT Tools, Cables and Controls

AFT and Sacramento, California based specialist Motion Pro has renewed its long-term partnership with the company again named as the official vendor.
After nearly four decades of experience in the powersports industry, Motion Pro has become one of the most trusted manufacturers of tools, cables and controls for racers and riders of all types of motorsports. 


Furthering its commitment to the sport in 2020, Motion Pro has introduced a brand new contingency program available to competitors in the AFT Production Twins class. Riders who finish anywhere within the top-10 positions will be eligible for a contingency award, the most generous of which is a $5,000 offering for the first place finisher in the AFT Production Twins class.
"Motion Pro is a brand you can see being used all across our race paddock, from the big factory-backed teams all the way to the up-and-comers," said Michael Lock, AFT CEO. "Their commitment and support kicks up to a new level with this year's introduction of contingency cash and we are very grateful for the added investment that's going directly to the competitors." 
"Motion Pro has been supporting dirt track racing for over 35 years, and we are honored to sponsor AFT again in 2020," said Chris Carter, President and founder of Motion Pro. "Our tools and products make it easier for enthusiasts to maintain and repair their motorcycle, ATV or UTV.  AFT riders and mechanics helped us develop and test many of our unique and innovative products like the Rev2 throttle kit, Pro Fill air chuck and digital tire gauge.
"The grueling demands of AFT racing help us continually ensure the toughness and durability of our products and that they will meet the demands of the most exacting mechanics and riders in the world." 

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Harley - Compete, Why Don't You!

Following my "Mid-Cycle Cycles" piece last month, the rush to new models and updates continues - with more new paint from Harley, and a new 78 hp, 999 cc Scout Bobber Sixty (SBS) that Indian Motorcycle says "is a more attainable option for riders seeking Indian Motorcycle’s premium quality and craftsmanship combined with a stripped-down aesthetic."
With Harley having announced a base-level M-8 powered stripped-down monoshock Softail (I still think that's an oxymoron) for around $14k, both manufacturers are eyeing the competition for new metal that they face from the substantial inventory of used machines on the market, and from the appeal of bikes in the burgeoning $6k to $8k new model market (especially from the hugely capable and highly tuneable Royal Enfield 650 Twins).
The SBS falls nicely between the two - between the $6k sweet-spot and the $14k for an entry level M-8 Softail - and competes very effectively with Harley's Sportsters (and Street models in desire and tech terms) and capitalizes on the brand demand created for lighter weight, simple motorcycles by the much altered ownership and riding experience (to say nothing of budget/affordability criteria) of 'New Gen' consumers.
While in the short-term Indian, and others, continue to be able to exploit slow availability of Royal Enfield's 650s, for the money, the SBS is a lot of great looking and fun motorcycle - if Indian don't sell the crap out of it in the short, medium and long-term, then we are all in more trouble than any of us realize!
In which connection, I was going to use the SBS and Softail Standard as the jumping off point for a piece about the emerging brand wars between the two American V-twin manufacturers, the differing ways in which they are interpreting their futures and the very different balance sheets the two competitors have.
Indeed, there is an interesting compare and contrast to be made.
While a lot of Indian dealerships are finding the going tough, especially with the Big Twins (there have been store closures on both sides of the Atlantic) and with there already being speculation about for how much longer the Polaris board will subsidize their internal combustion engine motorcycle business, Indian is at least building a network and doing so at a time when, frankly, Harley is veering rudderless through a strategic plan that thought it would be a good idea to close out many of their loyal, traditional dealers and replace them with networks who couldn't care less if the profit came from the chocolate by the checkout so long as their brand investment cycle could be counted in months rather than years.

compare and contrast

While both firm's share prices have been taking a hit as Wall Street, London, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Hong Kong all let the bear in, in Harley's case the hit has been savage.
Having thought that a near halving of the share price in five years was a 'biggie' when I was prompted to write about it at the start of the year, as this edition of AMD Magazine went to press (March 13), it had pretty much halved in less than six months - from $40.48 at the end of October 2019 to $23.72 at close, having kissed the pavement at a new $19.23 ten year low just 24 hours previously as markets were hit with Coronavirus contagion.
If it sounds like I am obsessed by the share price, that's because I am. Not, unlike many, because I'm watching my own savings and pension pot tank before my eyes, but because Harley should be obsessed about it - interim CEO Jochen Zeitz and surviving (at this stage) CFO John Olin need to be obsessed about it because sure as heck, regardless of the recent effects of Coronavirus on all stocks, their owners and the analysts who advise them certainly are.
Olin was appointed CFO in 2009 by the CEO and imported 'Company Doctor' Keith Wandell, having initially joined Harley as Vice President and Controller in 2003. It is on his watch that Harley's financial fortunes have roller-coastered, and while no one person or company (or even industry) can own the can for the wild ride and changes that there have been in that timeframe, there comes a point in the rarefied air of board room altitude when the sticky stuff sticks and the casualties mount.
If Zeitz and his boardroom allies don't decide to go down the 'touchy-feely renaissance man' route for Matt Levatich's replacement and go instead (as I believe they should) for Wandell Mk II - if for no other reason than that the cupboard is bare now for internal promotions - then surely the hiring committee's second task before they can hit the beach this summer will be a replacement money man too.
There has been debate for some time now (in this column as well as elsewhere) about the advisability of Harley taking themselves private again. The recent increase in board-approved headroom for share acquisitions suggests that such a strategy may still be on the cards. Even if the strategy were to fall short in timescale or affordability terms, it does have the fall-back benefits of making it ever more difficult for a hostile bid to succeed, or at least to give the board greater control over being able to choose who their White Knight could be - one who would help them achieve that very worthy, highly advisable objective.
Regardless of the reasons why, if Harley's share price is destined to hover in the low $20s for any period of time, the risks of becoming Shark Bait multiply. If we are now headed into Bear Market territory, even if only for six months or less, then Harley's vulnerability just became an open wound telegraphing wounded availability to all predators.
The piece I was going to write would have talked about how smart Indian is being by taking the gloves off and 'Taking It To The Man' with its Challenger Challenge (regardless of what Harley is preaching about dreaming of buying a motorcycle off a snowmobile manufacturer) and getting as aggressive on price offer at the "entry level" as they possibly can.
That piece was also going to talk about just how embarrassingly, toe-curlingly amateur and gauche Harley's marketing has been ever since they actually came into the position of actually needing some as a result of the financial crash and evaporation of wait lists some 12-14 years ago.
Indian Motorcycle's focus on the metal rather than the brand (Wine Vs. Levatich, AIMExpo 2017) has exposed just how weak Harley's marketing has been. Trying to persuade 'New Gen' riders that their heart's desire of a lifetime of experiences and memories were a mere credit card swipe away was always naïve - always tainted by the hallmarks of those who learned their marketing in the classroom rather than in the showrooms and out on the road.

News Briefs

Riverside Harley-Davidson, California, has been named first in the world for new H-D bike sales and has been awarded the Gold Bar & Shield Award by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company for 2019.

San Bernardino, California based motorcycle dealer Chaparral Motorsports has bought the former WPS/HardDrive warehouse at Memphis, TN., to open a 108,000 sq ft East Coast fulfilment facility. WPS recently moved its East Coast operations to a new 245,000 sq ft custom built distribution center near Savannah, Georgia. Still family owned and operated, Chaparral has been in business for more than 50 years and encompasses a 160,000 sq ft footprint in San Bernardino, California, making it one of the largest multi-line motorcycle dealerships in the U.S. Chaparral says it will now be able to ship product to 85% of US based customers in two days or less.

Ducati has reported sales of 53,183 Ducati motorcycles for 2019 to customers in 90 countries (53,004 in 2018). Italy remains the number one market (9,474 units, +3%); the company saw double-digit growth in China (3,200 units, + 12%), Brazil (+20%) and Spain (+10%). A record number of advance orders (over 1,700) have been taken for the new Streetfighter V4, and the Panigale was the world's best-selling Superbike in 2019 (8,304 units for a 25% of the global Superbike market). In the United States, Ducati deliveries totaled 7,682 units, -2%, but ahead of overall domestic U.S. market decline for 2019 (-7%).

Lind Automotive Group is the largest Harley dealership group in the UK - the opening of the purpose- built two-story Watford H-D store north of London in February takes the company to five dealerships - already owning showrooms in Guildford, Newmarket, Norwich and Reading. Lind also owns BMW and Triumph stores.

Ambitious British motorcycle maker Norton has filed for bankruptcy amid a flurry of accusations of pension fund misuse and general financial malfeasance. It looks highly likely that some kind of Phoenix Norton project will emerge, with several motorcycle industry and former investors rumored to be trying to rescue the brand. Norton's Chinese proto-collaborator Zongshen could be a candidate, and while Triumph have ruled themselves out of the running, their Indian partner and KTM shareholder Bajaj Auto may be another.

Polaris announced a +2% in its regular quarterly cash dividend, raising the payout to $0.62 per share. This increase represents the 25th consecutive year of Polaris increasing its dividend effective with the 2020 first quarter.

The tough times for newstrade dependent print magazine publishers continues with leading German custom motorcycle and tattoo magazine publisher and event operator Huber Verlag filing for a form of bankruptcy protection. It is expected to emerge from what is essentially an administration process with the most popular of its publishing assets and its annual Bad Salzuflen Custombike Show (December) intact.

Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), an "operations-focused" Evanston, Illinois private equity investor which owns Torrance, CA. based Edelbrock LLC, has bought the COMP Performance Group - aka Competition Cams of Memphis, TN. Best known in the V-twin market for its V-Thunder range of cams and valvetrain components, initially at least the respective management teams will operate as independent organizations. Vic Edelbrock was a legendary automotive aftermarket performance parts engineer (best known for Edelbrock heads), racer and one of the founders of the American hot rod movement. On his son Jr.'s watch the company was active within the V-twin market for a decade or so around the turn of the century - especially with Twin Cam EFI Performer RPM kits for Twin Cam Big Twins. Vic Sr. was famous for being the first man to get one horsepower per cubic inch from a 283 Chevy small-block in 1958.

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

Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties Spring NVP Product Expo Part 2

Magnum Shielding: Upgrading handlebars is a change many motorcycle riders want to have done for a variety of reasons, including looks or comfort. Along with the handlebars, cables, brake lines and wiring also need to be replaced and that can create a whole host of problems for the dealer, installer and the customer. Upstate New York based brake line and control cable specialist Magnum Shielding has an excellent low-cost, budget-minded solution for that problem with its STAINLESS XR handlebar installation kits;


Cometic: Offering a full line of V-twin and Cruiser gaskets for models from 1936 through current day from stock to a fire breathing all-out race machine, Cometic can sell entire kits or single, individual gaskets off the shelf and also offers custom gaskets at shelf stock prices. EST "Extreme Sealing Technology" is at the heart of Cometic gaskets with materials such as Multi-Layer Steel (MLS) for head gaskets, Aluminum Foamet Material (AFM) for primary gaskets and stainless steel rocker box gaskets as the mainstay of the Cometic V-twin and Cruiser product line-up;


Feuling: The fully restored triple cylinder 'W3' by industry legend Jim Feuling will have pride of place in the hands of Hall of Famer Don Emde for the parade lap at Laguna Seca when MotoAmerica and Drag Specialties combine forces to make Bagger class road racing a reality with the inaugural 'King of the Baggers' on Saturday, July 11;;


Goodridge: Recent new products from the British brake line specialist include 12 mm mild steel, black plated adaptors that "have a true 12 mm banjo port connected to a 3/8 x 24 male connector - a perfect solution for many motorcycle models, including Harley FX models. Also newly available are Dyna, Softail and Sportster ABS adapters;


Avon Grips: The ergonomic grip specialist has a choice of technologies available for '18-'19 Indian Vintage, Springfield, Chieftain and RoadMaster applications. Avon Custom Contour grips are manufactured with Kraton rubber featuring a very soft, serrated texture to help grip - finished with 6061 billet aluminum end caps and collars. Avon Gel Grips are an ergonomic design in soft gel rubber with a vibration dampening tacky feel and billet aluminum ends in chrome or black anodized;


Kuryakyn: Recent new products include Prism+ LED 'EcoSystem Bluetooth controlled accent lighting and Phantom floorboards for Indian Motorcycle models and H-D Touring, Trike, select FL Softail models ('86-'17) and '12-'16 Dyna Switchback applications. "Phantom floorboards offer riders an easy bolt-on style and comfort upgrade over stock. Available in chrome or gloss black finishes, signature design cues include pass-through styling and sleek angular housings constructed from durable aluminum alloy with incorporated ribbed EPDM rubber inserts;


Legend Suspensions: Celebrating his 20th anniversary in the motorcycle suspension business, Jesse Jurren's Legend line POS programs have become a popular sight in custom shops and parts departments. From AXEO front end cartridge kits to Revo and Revo-A, Legend Air and Air-A and Revo ARC 13" and 14" remote and piggyback reservoir shocks, Legend has one of the widest ranges of Harley aftermarket suspension options available;


Hogtunes: Recent new products from the Canadian specialist include XL next level 2 ohm 5.25" speakers for 1998 - 2013 Harley-Davidson touring bikes. "Hogtunes XL offers speakers with better bass response, higher power handling and an overall better sound. Upgrade from our Gen 3 Hogtunes speakers, comparable to our Wild Boar audio speakers, but for '98-'13 bikes," says CEO Mike 'Pez' Pesdirz;


Trask: Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Trask's 'Assault' high-flow air cleaner features a billet aluminum backing plate with hidden, integrated breather system and a plexiglass outer cover with a snap-in velocity stack for improved airflow - available for '17-'20 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX/FLTRU/FLTRK and '18-'20 Softails. Also available through Drag Specialities, Trask 'Assault' risers with clamp are made from 6061 aluminum with black Cerakote coating and carbon fiber cover plates that keep the wires hidden;


Lyndall Brakes: With 20 years "engineering high performance friction material" under its belt, and still well known for brake pads, the new Indian Scout FTR750 and FTR1200 Custom features Lyndall black crown cut rotors. "We are proud to be a part of something that has so much thought and care put into it. This bike features only the highest quality parts and design." CNC machined in 11.5% chromium heat-treated 410 martensitic stainless steel for exceptional wear and corrosion resistance and double-disc ground to precise flatness and parallel, their ultra-light weight reduces unsprung weight for improved acceleration, deceleration and transitioning; an ultra-narrow bandwidth makes for a decrease in surface area, meaning an increase in surface pressure for a fixed amount of clamping force. The lug drive floating design distributes the sheer load over a multitude of lugs for maximum stability and the gas slots eject the hot gasses that are created under friction, improving pad performance;


RWD: Russ Wernimont's black anodized aluminum RS-1 Coil Over Shock Bodies have nitrogen-filled piggyback reservoirs, 5/8 " stainless steel shaft, black Eibach springs and needle valve technology with position-sensitive valving that provides additional bottoming resistance for a superior ride and digressive valving on the rebound side for more control when the shocks are deep into their travel. Manufactured for RWD by performance suspension specialist Walker Evans Racing at Riverside, California;


Khrome Werks: New products from the Pine Island, Minnesota based manufacturer include 'Edge' design exhaust tips for its 4.5" mufflers that are adjustable to the angle of choice (for Twin Cam and M-8 Touring models) and the new Satin Khrome and Smoked Khrome 4.5" muffler premium finishes, available with 'Tracer' or 'Edge' tips;


Pro-One Performance Products: Still based in California, and newly branded for a newer generation, Pro-One is now under the ownership of Joe Yang, the man who made, and indeed still makes, many of the parts that Pro-One has been well known for. From triple trees, DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) and GTN (Gold Titanium Nitrite) coated front fork tubes to front suspension cartridge kits, pegs, mirrors, grips, covers and more, look for even more "Premium Quality Custom Motorcycle Accessories" from a brand that is now into its fourth decade;


ODI Grips: Though best known for its MX and off-road grips, the Riverside, California based specialist has much to offer to V-twin dealers - from VANS/Cult V-twin waffle sole design grips to V 2.0 EMIG V2 lock-on grips and throttle tubes. ODI Powersport Sales and Marketing Manager Johnny Jump told us: "We've had quite a bit of demand for a throttle tube to pair these with, making it easier to mount them as replacements for the OE throttle tube. Since we already make a billet throttle tube for Supercross and Motocross racers, it was a perfect fit to our V-twin collection. Therefore, we have just released two new ODI Fusion throttle tubes for H-D V-twin applications;"


Honda-Hitachi to Acquire Showa, Keihin and Nissin

Having reduced its once controlling interest to a 33.5% stake some years ago, Honda has announced that it is to buy up all outstanding shares in Showa and two other well-known Japanese motorcycle component industry majors in which it also has significant stakes - Keihin and Nissin - in a massive deal with automotive supply giant Hitachi Automotive Systems (HAS) to create a new combined business that will swallow up all three of the component makers.
The new business will be jointly owned by Hitachi, who will own 66.6% of the shares in the combined business, with Honda owning the remaining one third. Honda currently owns 33.5% of Showa, having once held a controlling interest, 34.86% of Nissin and 41.35% of Keihin. It is reported that the combined business will have around 1.8 trillion yen in sales ($16.5 billion). 

The deal will bring together, into one integrated business, three areas of component manufacturing - suspensions, fuel management and brakes - that are increasingly interdependent; a trend that can only increase in the future as automotive and motorcycle systems themselves become ever more integrated and economies of scale become ever more important.
The merged company will focus on developing components for EV and self-driving systems, along with new on-demand mobility services, combining their scale in a bid to come up with products more quickly and efficiently.
Hitachi said that the increasing complexity of vehicle technologies required bigger R&D capabilities and a bigger global footprint and access to a bigger pool of talent. "The merged company will be a mega supplier and will deliver competitive advanced technologies and solutions," Hitachi Executive Vice President Keiji Kojima told reporters. "We will leverage our strengths and our scale to expand globally."
The new business will be known as Hitachi Automotive Systems in what is being termed an "absorption-type merger," with the Showa, Keihin and Nissin names likely to disappear altogether in time. Showa's OEM client roster currently includes Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki and Suzuki, with Nissin supplying those and Yamaha. It's not known how this merger will affect current OEM customers of the trio.
Honda has said that "this merger will enable combination of the respective advanced technologies of Keihin's powertrain business, Showa's suspension and steering business, and Nissin's brake system business with the strength of HAS."
Keihin needs little introduction as a once dominant and still legendary name in carburetors, and though best known in 'metric' markets, Nissin is believed to have equipped more motorcycles with brake calipers than any other manufacturer.
Showa has a storied history in the motorcycle industry, not least with its historic connections to Harley-Davidson. These days Showa is known as a purveyor of suspension products to Harley, but its links with Milwaukee go back to the 1950s, and using 'Honda' front ends (i.e. Showa front ends) was a significant pawn in Harley's 1985 near death experience. 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.
When Harley was in deep trouble in 1985, Showa front ends became a bargaining chip in Vaughn Beals' and the United States Trade Representative's financial and tariff dealings with Honda (and Yamaha).

Performance Machine

PM Adds to Raceline Wheel Series

Californian manufacturer Performance Machine has come out with two new lightweight wheel designs in its CNC-machined forged aluminum Raceline Series of performance products for the performance bagger enthusiast - the 'Assault' and the 'Revolution'. They are both available in ABS and non-ABS versions with PM Raceline Series hubs and shipping with included 1" brackets to raise the front fender for proper clearance.  

The latest generation of PM Raceline hubs are lighter by a further 1.5 lbs each side at the front compared to the company's standard 'Image' series hubs, and 1.5 lbs less at the rear for a 4.5 lb total weight reduction in addition to the saving achieved by the way PM cuts these wheels.
The 'Assault' features aggressive 11-spoke styling and lightweight agility. The rim lip is back-cut to reduce mass at the outer edges of the wheel for decreased rotational inertia and a reduction in unsprung weight. 

The Raceline Series hubs are a design with all of the excess material machined away for improved weight reduction, "this wheel is serious about maximizing performance on the street or at the track."
The 'Revolution' is a one-piece lightweight "masterpiece" that is also captured between the ultra-light modular PM Raceline Series hubs to create a wheel that weighs less than even the lightest stock wheels.
The nine-spoke transitioning to 18-spoke design and back-cut rim lip "provides the strength you need with the weight reduction and decreased rotational inertia you are looking for in a high performance wheel for the street or for the track."
Both wheels are available in a 21" x 3.5" front and an 18" x 5.5" rear in choice of either black or gold anodized finishes.


S&S Cycle

XL SuperStreet 2:1; GNX 4.5" Slip-On

Viola, Wisconsin based S&S Cycle has released a new 2-into-1 SuperStreet exhaust for late model Sportsters.
"The S&S R&D team took their proven 2:1 SuperStreet exhaust internals and ported them over to the Sportster platform - and the result is a pipe that is designed to make power - we are seeing up to a +11 percent increase in horsepower."

2-into-1 SuperStreet exhaust for late model Sportsters

Highly engineered bends wrap around factory controls (works with mids or forwards), exiting through a stepped header and 4" muffler. The entire system is coated in their latest super durable black and topped off with an aluminum race-style cap. The high-volume muffler produces "a rowdy tone that unleashes the true V-twin sound the Sportster was designed for."
Also seen here, these 4.5" GNX slip-ons for M-8 Touring models feature a 4.5" muffler sleeve with a tuned baffle, removable dB reducer and race-inspired tip.

4.5" GNX slip-ons for M-8 Touring models

"The GNX lets the sound and power flow out of the M-8," says VP Marketing David Zemla. "The M-8 engine is a powerhouse, but a low idle combined with a plugged up exhaust can conspire to mute the true sounds of freedom this machine was designed to roar.
"Our new 4.5 incher is designed to set the M-8's inner performance soul free so the true character of the M-8 can be heard. However, if you want to tune the sound to suit your tastes? No problem. The removable dB reducer is your new best friend."
Warranty-friendly, the GNX slip-on is additionally available in S&S' new Guardian Black finish and relieved for shocks up to 13.5".


Maxima Racing Oils

Maxima V-Twin Synthetic Oil Change Choices

Santee, California based Maxima Racing Oils offers its V-Twin Oil Change Kits in two options - full change or quick change - with a choice of chrome or black ProFilter wrench-removable oil filter. There is also a choice of enough oil to meet the needs of Twin Cam and earlier Big Twin engines, or for the larger capacity requirements of the Touring and Softail M-8 engines.

The full change kit for M-8 engines ships with five quarts of Maxima's high grade, proprietary formulated 20W-50 synthetic V-twin engine oil plus two quarts of V-twin specific Primary fluid, one quart of Maxima V-Twin 80W-90 transmission oil, drain plug O-rings and choice of ProFilter.
The quick change kit option will have the five quarts of Maxima V-Twin Full Synthetic 20W-50 and the same choice of black or chrome ProFilter.


Bagger Nation

Bagger Nation 'Fairing Drop' Block Kit

Paul Yaffe's Phoenix, Arizona based Bagger Nation has developed a simple and patented kit that helps to achieve the 'Fairing Drop' muscle Bagger look and dramatically increases the field of vision on 2015 to present Road Glides.

The CNC-machined 'Drop Block' is created from a solid block of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum and is a direct bolt-on part that allows you to lower the stock fairing 1.75" - delivering that drop front look without any frame or permanent modifications for an entirely reversible install.

Along with the 'Drop Block' the kit includes the Bagger Nation stealth fairing support bar. "This precision fixture is TIG-welded by Arizona craftsmen and assembled from US cold rolled steel and supports your fairing from the inside." Both are flawlessly gloss black powder-coated to disappear from sight when mounted - "allowing you to toss that ugly stock fairing support bar if you want. This is the most secure way to lower the fairing and it is a patented design."


Twin Power

Twin Power M-8 Replacement Clutch Kit

Twin Power, one of the original specialty V-twin parts and components brands, continues to add to its burgeoning range with this new USA made replacement clutch kit for M-8 models.

Described as offering riders "an affordable option with a stellar performance," James Simonelli, Twin Power Brand Manager, said: "We’re excited to add this clutch kit to the Twin Power line. It offers smooth engagement, a stock-like fit and increased service life at a great price point."
Each M-8 high-performance kit includes ten friction plates, nine steel plates, and three zero collapse coil springs. "We use the same race-proven friction material, tempered steel drive plates and pre-measured stack height that feature in all our Twin Power clutch kits - which means excellent drivability and long service life."


Friday 27 March 2020


More From Milwaukee - Two More 'Biggies' This Week...

In line with Wisconsin's emergency ordnance, Harley production in and near Milwaukee is now closed down until around the final week of April.
In another aftershock from the invitation for former CEO Matt Levatich to vacate his post, and maybe also in connection with the shareholder unrest that has now spilled into the public domain, ex-Chief Operations Officer Michelle Kumbier has now also been invited to seek pastures new.
Michelle joined Harley in 2007 as Vice President Materials Management & Quality and garnered a number of resume bumps, including responsibility for Product Development (2010) and VP Product & Operations (2015) en route to, effectively, being Levatich's second-in-command in product and operations terms as COO (2017).

ex-Chief Operations Officer Michelle Kumbier

Harley shares closed at $15.34 at close on Monday March 23rd, having been as low as $14.31 during the day, and before recovering to $20.75 at close on March 26. Polaris shares closed at $41.77 on March 23rd, having been as low as $41.22 - after starting the year at $103.03 on January 1st and having still been as high as $92.48 on March 4th. By close on March 26, Polaris had recovered ground to $53.09 - the market cap. is now $3.27 bn; Harley's is $3.18 bn.
All the major motorcycle manufacturer share prices are seriously down on their respective indexes around the world, with only KTM occasionally showing the flicker of a pulse. From Japan to Italy, China to Germany, there is no, or very little, production of any of the top dozen selling brands of motorcycles or scooters taking place. There is some limited small displacement local model production activity taking place in South America, India and elsewhere in Asia.


Polaris Suspends Production 

Polaris has moved to extend and expand its temporary production operations at "Select Powersports Manufacturing Facilities", expanded its dealer support programs, increased its cash position to maintain its financial strength and flexibility and withdrawn its first quarter and full year 2020 financial guidance.
Scott Wine, Polaris' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "As we confront the COVID-19 pandemic, we are focusing on the health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers and the communities where we operate, while also taking bold action to protect our business.
"We have been aggressive with employee safety and supply chain mitigation actions, so our plants have operated effectively to meet the strong retail momentum we saw at the start of the year through the second week of March.
"As anticipated, pandemic concerns ultimately began to impact demand, which dropped suddenly in the middle of last week, and we are adjusting our operations accordingly. Between our Retail Flow Management (RFM) system and our agile workforce, Polaris is built to react quickly during rapidly changing times. 

"However, with no near-term resolution to the COVID-19 related economic slowdown in sight, we expect these events to have a significant impact on our 2020 financial results."
The company is suspending production schedules and plant operations for one week at select powersports plants effective Tuesday, March 24th. The affected plants include:
United States: Huntsville, Alabama; Indian Motorcycle production at Spirit Lake, Iowa; Monticello, Minnesota; Roseau, Minnesota; Battle Ground, Washington; Osceola, Wisconsin; Mexico: Monterrey; Poland: Opole.


Further AFT Postponements

As at March 23rd, the AMA had announced the cancelation or postponement of two more races - the Texas Half-Mile at Fort Worth, originally slated for May 2, and the So-Cal Half-Mile at Perris, California (May 9).
The Sacramento Mile (May 16) had already been postponed to a date to be finalized, currently leaving the May 30 Lexington, Kentucky, 'Red Mile' as the season opener, with the Daytona TT, Atlanta Short Track and Charlotte Half-Mile having already been lost.


Other event cancelations …

As of March 24th, AMD had learned of the postponement or cancelation of the following further events that we list in our ShowZone and on our annual event wall planner, plus selected additional shows…

Harley Euro Fest at Port Grimaud, France 

The Handbuilt Show, Austin, Texas - rearranged for November 13-15

Arizona Bike Week, USA

Toronto Spring Show, Canada

Donnie Smith Custom Bike Show and Extravaganza, Minneapolis, Minnesota - the already revised April date is now also postponed 

European Super Rally, Öland, Sweden

META Show, Colorado

Isle of Man TT Races 

Most major races thru May are canceled or rearranged, including MotoGP and World Superbike rounds, Moto America, MXGP etc.

Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC)

MIC Adapts to Changing Times While Efforts Continue

With California in lockdown, the Irvine, California based Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) says that while "staff members are operating remotely and haven't slowed down one bit, in the interest of physical distancing, MIC offices are empty, but the work for association members goes on without interruption."

MIC President and CEO Erik Pritchard)

"Things change, we adapt," Erik Pritchard said. "Our industry is facing a new world, along with everyone else. The association approach stays the same: collective efforts to benefit the powersports business and riders at large. We're well aware that the coronavirus pandemic will affect our members, big and small, but we are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help us all ride it out, together.
"MIC leaders and department heads have canceled or postponed events in March and April, taking all precautions, while still performing critical functions and making plans for projects that can be done without assembling groups of people."

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield, Moto Anatomy Partner for Production Twins Effort with New S&S, Harris Flat Track 650

In addition to its partnership with AFT as the Official OEM Partner, Milwaukee-based Royal Enfield North America (RENA) is to back the Moto Anatomy campaign in the Production Twins class, with decorated flat track racer Johnny Lewis developing and racing a new Harris Performance built Royal Enfield Flat Track (FT) machine.

As the chassis engineers behind the Royal Enfield 650 parallel twins, Harris, which is owned by Royal Enfield and has an impeccable motorcycle race frame pedigree going back more than 30 years, is the ideal partner to build the Interceptor 650 based special edition with support from Royal Enfield and S&S Cycle.
"This racing effort is unprecedented in Royal Enfield's North American history," said RENA's Breeann Poland. "Johnny Lewis is a legitimate contender anytime he's on the track, and we couldn't have picked a better partner in his organization, Moto Anatomy.
"Flat Track continues to garner attention from both a professional and grassroots level and we feel strongly about our extended partnership with AFT and now Moto Anatomy. We are thrilled to bring the Royal Enfield brand to more enthusiasts, and this is a great opportunity to do that on a major scale."
Lewis has risen through the ranks of AFT and enjoyed success at both the amateur and professional levels. The concept Twins FT was first seen at the 2019 EICMA Show and was slated to make its media debut at the Daytona TT in March.
Lewis will then compete with the motorcycle for the first time at the Laconia short track event on June 13 and will run all AFT short track events for the remainder of the season in the Production Twins class. The Royal Enfield FT will also run the Sturgis Buffalo Chip TT and Peoria TT as a wildcard entry in the Super Twins class.
"I'm excited to lead the development of the Royal Enfield Flat Track Twin program in 2020," said Lewis, owner of Moto Anatomy. "Being involved at such an early stage in a brand's racing efforts has been a fantastic opportunity. While our focus is on development, there is great potential in the platform and it's encouraging to see a manufacturer with as much history as Royal Enfield entering AFT.
"It's also great to see Royal Enfield helping grow the sport of motorcycling in North America with its new rider initiatives."
Besides racing, Moto Anatomy will also use the Royal Enfield FT411, a modified variation of the Royal Enfield Himalayan set-up exclusively for flat track use, as part of Royal Enfield Slide School Presented by Moto Anatomy.
This flat track riding clinic will be available to the public at select events during 2020, giving riders the opportunity to learn the basics of flat track in a controlled environment.


Triumph/Bajaj Plan Going Ahead

Indian conglomerate and KTM shareholder Bajaj Auto has confirmed that the non-equity global partnership agreed in 2017 with British manufacturer Triumph to manufacture a new range of mid-capacity motorcycles is still alive and well.
More than two years of radio silence since the initial announcement in 2017, after Bajaj had ended its long-term relationship with Kawasaki, had led some observers to assume that the plans had gone south - perhaps because of India's plans to go all electric by 2030. It would not have been the first time that a planned alliance between Triumph and one of the Indian 'majors' had failed to mature.

However, the company has stated that the first bike under the partnership will be rolled out in 2022 and will carry a starting price tag in India of around €2,550 (£2,150 / $2,800) according to Triumph Motorcycle Chief Commercial Officer Paul Stroud. The new bikes will be manufactured at Bajaj Auto's Chakan facility and be of various styles in the 200 to 500 cc range.
"The Triumph brand is iconic the world over," said Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj, "so we are confident that there will be a huge appetite in India and other emerging markets for these new products."
This is the second time that Triumph Motorcycles has tried to partner up with an Indian manufacturer - a prior agreement some years ago with TVR didn't result in any bikes being built.
New information since the original announcement is that Bajaj will take over distribution of Triumph's UK built large displacement models in India (where it currently sells around 1,000 bikes out of total annual production of around 62,000) and export and sell the new models worldwide wherever it has an existing sales structure.
Indeed, remarks by Triumph Managing Director Nick Bloor in a January 2020 press conference in India appear to suggest that Triumph's own dealer network in Europe, USA and elsewhere could also be 'in-play' when he stated that "the products that will come out of the partnership will also help attract a younger, but still discerning customer audience and is another step in our ambition to expand globally, particularly in the fast-growing markets of South East Asia, but also driving growth in more mature territories like Europe."
International Dealer News predicted that this would likely be the case once the plan matured when the partnership was first announced in 2017.
There has also been some speculation as to whether Bajaj and Triumph might strike a deal to make suitably tuned and compliant versions available through KTM dealers in Europe and North America, however, it is believed that KTM owner Stefan Pierer's brand lust may instead have seen his eye settle upon Norton, which went into administration in the UK in January 2020.
Founded in 1944, the Bajaj Group traces its origins back to 1926. In 2015, Bajaj had a market capitalization of around $10 billion. It employs around 8,000 people and is the world's sixth largest manufacturer of motorcycles, second largest in India (behind Eicher Motors' Royal Enfield brand) and the largest exporter of the Indian two-wheeler giants. Bajaj and Kawasaki ended a 33-year alliance in India in 2017, some months before the first iteration of the Triumph partnership became public. At the time, the split with Kawasaki was widely interpreted as signaling that Rajiv Bajaj’s international ambitions lay beyond his significant stake in, and manufacturing and distribution deals with, KTM.


FOX RSD Signature Series Bagger and M-8 Shocks

Seeking a performance edge on his motocross-racing competitors, Bob Fox designed and manufactured his first motorcycle shocks in 1974 and from these beginnings near San Jose, California, FOX Factory evolved into a major player in the aftermarket suspension business.

These days the FOX shocks range is immense - offering racer and enthusiast suspension solutions right across the powersports industry - from motorcycles and snowmobiles to UTVs, ATVs, trucks, mountain bikes, off-road desert racers and motorsports.
The company is now offering Roland Sands Design signature series shocks for Harley performance baggers and M-8 Softails.
Made in Watsonville, California, FOX-RSD performance bagger twin shocks are remote reservoir, 3-position quick switch (soft, medium, firm) compression and rebound adjust designs for 1993 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Touring models.
13.5" M-8 Softail mono shocks (2018 - 2020) feature a model-specific ride tune and also feature the 3-position quick switch compression and rebound adjust and FOX' advanced high-flow, deflective speed-sensitive damping.


Drag Specialties 'King of the Baggers'

'King of the Baggers' Teams for Laguna Seca

Fourteen teams have signed up to compete in the inaugural Drag Specialties 'King of the Baggers' invitational event that hopefully will be part of the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, July 10-12, with the grid now full for the exhibition race.

Fourteen teams have committed to racing in the inaugural Drag Specialties 'King of the Baggers' invitational at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, July 11.

"It's been really cool to see how well the 'King of the Baggers' invitational has been received since we made the announcement," said MotoAmerica's Senior Sponsorship Manager Lance Bryson. "The guys over at Drag Specialties have really stepped up with our event at Laguna and we've got a lot of great companies building tricked-out Performance Baggers for the race. It's going to be a lot of fun and we think our fans are going to like what they see with this and the rest of the cool stuff we have planned for the Superbike Speedfest at Monterey."
"In all my years of working in the motorcycle industry, I have never been to Laguna Seca," said Brandon Holstein, owner/builder of The Speed Merchant. "So, I am beyond excited to be going for the first time and being a part of the first ever Drag Specialties 'King of the Baggers' race."
Alex Fox, founder of SLYFOX Performance, added: "I'm honored to have my brand be a part of this first-ever event of this magnitude. That Corkscrew section will be something to keep an eye on. This day will be one for the history books."
"This is for the fans and for the brands who love to build and ride – racing is part of Saddlemen's heritage, and we're honored to be on the starting grid with our moto family," said David Echert of Saddlemen.


Zodiac International Additions

ODI V-Twin Moto Handlebars

Motocross technology in a V-twin handlebar - these black, hard anodized aluminum handlebars are slotted for internal wiring and notched for throttle-by-wire, available in black in 1" and tapered from 1 1/8" in the middle to 1" at the controls. The clutch side is knurled for improved grip adhesion and the 1 1/8" diameter will work with stock Harley or aftermarket 1" handlebar controls.

ThunderMax M-8 Oil Cooler Fan 

Zodiac says that the ThunderMax oil cooler fan is the answer to overheating of oil-cooled M-8 engines in Touring models. The fan works by using the engine temperature and vehicle speed sensor to reduce heat and keep the engine running cool. It fits 2017 to present Touring models, except models with a twin-cooled M-8 engine.

Universal Stainless Mufflers

Universal stainless steel mufflers for 1 3/4" (44.5 mm) or 2" (50.8 mm) diameter headers. Mufflers are 10" (25 cm) long, have a 65 mm baffle diameter and include a body mounting clamp. Both sizes are available with oval or triangle style muffler.

Vity's Design Road Glide Signals

Sleek little EU approved, high brightness LED diamond front turn signals that bolt straight onto the fairing. They are available in black or chrome for 2015 to present FLTRX and FLTRXS Road Glides.



Metalsport Introduces Three New Designs for 2020

South Gate, California based Metalsport Wheels has introduced its first three new wheel designs for 2020 - "always starting with USA forged wheel blanks made from 6061-T6 prime aluminum, each of these designs are meticulously machined.

3D Don Juan 10

"One of our most popular designs, the Don Juan, now offers two new versions. First up is the 3D Don Juan 10 which features all ten spokes evenly spaced. The second design is the 3D Don Juan Crossblade. 

3D Don Juan Crossblade

"This new wheel features seven spokes with blades crossed. The detailing in both designs goes into the lip area to give you the complete 3D look. You can get both designs in a chrome or all black anodized finish. Sizes available from the 16 x 5.5 up to and including the monster 34".

2D Equalizer

"Our third design is called the Equalizer. This 2D wheel features ten spokes that have been split and overlapped - check out the detailing in the lip. The Equalizer is available in sizes 16 x 3.5 up to and including the monster 32". You can get this design in a chrome or all black anodized finish. All our wheels come with hubs and we offer matching rotors and pulleys. We can even offer the wheel with tire mounted."