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Tuesday 24 November 2020

Scott Wine

Polaris Chairman and CEO Scott Wine to leave for new challenge at end of 2020

Minneapolis based Polaris Industries Inc., the parent company of Indian Motorcycle and market- leading snowmobile, ATV/UTV and PWC manufacturer, has confirmed that long-time CEO and Chairman Scott Wine has decided to leave the company at the end of December 2020 to take up the CEO position at Case New Holland - the London headquartered, NYSE traded $28bn a year turnover agricultural equipment and On-Highway transport vehicle manufacturer.
As Chairman and CEO of Polaris, Scott Wine oversaw the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle and saw annual sales more than triple in his twelve years from $1.9bn to around $7bn.

Wine, 53 and a former U.S. Navy officer, joined Polaris twelve years ago. He steered Polaris through the 2008-2010 global financial crisis and has masterminded sales growth in that time from some $1.9bn to around $7bn last year - higher than primary motorcycle rival Harley-Davidson - and establishing Polaris as a global powersports industry powerhouse.


The growth propelled Polaris into the Fortune 500 (PII) and established the company as America's leading powersports industry manufacturer. It was under Wine's management that Polaris bought Indian Motorcycle in 2011. Wine drove a strong, some would say aggressive, mergers and acquisitions program during his time. He leaves Polaris with a portfolio of 30+ active brands and having just pushed the button on an innovative relationship with Zero to drive vehicle electrification across several Polaris markets.
"For the last twelve years, I have had the extraordinary honor of leading the best team in powersports, and it is incredibly rewarding to reflect on all that we have accomplished together," said Wine. "I am most proud of the team and the culture that have made working here so gratifying. Having witnessed first-hand the ingenuity, passion and drive that permeates the company, I leave with complete confidence that Polaris' future is bright. I also want to offer my sincere thanks to my incredibly talented colleagues and to the Polaris Board for their guidance and leadership during my tenure."

SBS Friction

Brembo Buys SBS Friction

Italian automotive and motorcycle brakes industry giant Brembo has signed an agreement for the acquisition of a 100% stake in SBS Friction A/S of Svendborg, Denmark.
A Brembo news release states that "the transaction will allow the integration of such a strategic component as brake pads in Brembo's current product range, with particular attention to the environment, and further strengthening Brembo's leadership in the motorbike sector.

Alberto Bombassei, Chairman of Brembo: "The transaction will allow the Group to integrate brake pads in its two-wheeler product portfolio, strengthening its leadership in this strategic sector."

"This acquisition is in line with Brembo's new mission to become a respected solution provider, with a view to meeting the new sustainable mobility paradigms and offering the best driving experience".
Alberto Bombassei, Chairman of Brembo, is quoted as saying: "We are particularly glad to welcome SBS Friction to our Group. Despite the highly complex market context, Brembo has maintained its natural propensity to invest in innovation. This acquisition is an important step in our strategy: it enables us to integrate even more specific competences in a key sector to further strengthen our range of 'made-in-Brembo' solutions for the benefit of our customers."
Peter Eriksen Jensen, Chairman of SBS Group, stated: "Brembo has long been a trustworthy partner that knows the value of SBS Friction's technological knowhow and its strong niche position. We are pleased that SBS Friction will get a strong, long-term industrial owner who will support the company's continued development. The transaction is a good solution for SBS Group, SBS Friction, the employees and the city of Svendborg."

The transaction entails a consideration of 224m Danish Kroner, equal to approximately $35.7m, which will be paid using available cash, and is subject to the customary adjustment mechanisms as for similar transactions. Enterprise value is 300m Danish Kroner, equal to about $47.8m. The agreement is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2021.
SBS Friction's revenue declined by 11% in the first half of 2020 to DKK 74 million (around $11.8m) due to COVID-19, while the profit margin (EBITDA recurring) increased by +2.8% points to 27.3% on the back of efficiency initiatives and postponement of certain activities. In the second half of 2020, the company's results have so far exceeded the level realized in the record year of 2019.

Magnum Shielding

Carbon Fiber Braid - The New Black?

Common purchases bikers often make after taking ownership of a new or used motorcycle are exhaust, seat and handlebars. Exhaust for performance, sound and style, seat for comfort and style and handlebars for ergonomics, safety and style.  
Even if the bars aren’t changed, accessories are a common way to achieve a custom new look and to improve the functionality of those "front end essentials," says upstate New York Magnum Shielding's General Manager Tom Vierthaler.

"handlebar installation kits are also available"

"That is where control cables and brake lines come in. They’re usually needed when replacing handlebars, but even on their own they can really complement a motorcycle’s paint scheme and overall appearance and deliver important performance improvements to one of the bike's most important safety component systems."

As a brake line and control cable specialist, Magnum Shielding has an unimpeachable pedigree in delivering well engineered, well designed and well thought-out brake components, and one of their latest introductions is a new type of braid with a novel carbon fiber appearance.
The braid is available as part of their premium Signature product line and has excellent coverage for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, no matter if the application is ABS brake lines for a 2020 Touring bike, or throttle cables for a 1983 Sportster. Fitments are also available for many Indian models including Challenger, with new additions all the time.  

"PTFE tubing braided with DuPont Kevlar Aramid Fiber reinforcement"

Magnum’s new CARBON-FIBER product line is a premium Signature braid addition to their existing STERLING CHROMITE, BLACK PEARL, POLISHED STAINLESS and COPPER CANYON choices. The braid is created from distinct black tone colors, blended and interwoven in such a way that it mimics the look of high-tech carbon fiber. "Even at a distance, this new black alternative braid makes a statement that’s undeniably unique and eye-catching as it complements black motorcycles or any bike with a blackout color scheme," says Tom.
The new CARBON-FIBER braid comes with polished black chrome fittings and all lines and cables match perfectly. "Rest assured that the brake lines, hydraulic clutch lines and control cables provide a precise OE fitment.  The high-quality factory-style construction uses fittings, tube assemblies and manifolds that provide trouble-free installations with professional looking results. All Magnum CARBON-FIBER brake line and control cable coatings offer exceptional protection for paint and chrome.


"Magnum Shielding’s premium CARBON-FIBER brake and clutch lines incorporate PTFE tubing braided with DuPont Kevlar Aramid Fiber reinforcement, Signature Magnum braid, and a clear PVC outer jacket that will never discolor. The Aramid Fiber reinforcement greatly reduces line expansion for the ultimate in high performance braking. Every Magnum brake line is pressure tested and fully DOT FMVSS-106 compliant.
"Premium CARBON-FIBER braided control cables feature matching Signature braid, durable clear coating, and are manufactured with components that meet or exceed OE specifications. The high efficiency cables are constructed with anti-friction inner liners, nylon adjuster inserts, and are factory lubricated for smooth, consistent, long lasting operation. Clutch cables also incorporate a rubber seal in the transmission fitting to eliminate any fluid leaks. All cables fit like factory and have the built-in quality Magnum is known for.

"crimping terminals onto individual wires is not required"

"In addition to the large selection of individual brake lines and control cables that allow you to create your own personalized fitment, the CARBON-FIBER product line is also available in handlebar installation kits. Each kit includes everything for a handlebar replacement - DOT brake lines, throttle and idle cables or terminated throttle-by-wire extensions, clutch cable or hydraulic clutch line, hardware, plus fully terminated turn signal and switch wiring extensions.
"Crimping terminals onto individual wires is not required as the fully terminated wiring makes life easy when completing a handlebar installation. Many wiring extensions are plug and play, further reducing the time needed to finish the job."


AIM Corp.

Hydraulic Conversion Kit for Six-Speeds

Huntington Beach, California based AIM Corp. has announced a new LF hydraulic conversion kit for H-D six-speed models from 2007 and up, including M-8 models and 2006 Dynas.
"This is a full replacement of your factory cable clutch system to our hydraulic clutch setup," according to the company. 

"This setup utilizes genuine Harley-Davidson components paired with our popular AIM Light Force slave cylinder. By converting over, you will see a massive improvement in terms of easier clutch pull, better modulation, greater plate lift over cable and easier to find neutral.
"Also, when using stiff springs to hold for high horsepower and torque builds, more often than not the clutch cable will stretch and will cause issues when adjusting and getting proper performance. By switching to hydraulic, it will eliminate that, and you will have a consistent clutch feel every time and no more messing with cable adjustments. 

"We will be offering three different packages that will suit everyone's needs. Our starter kit will provide the bare minimum to get started - allowing for you to source your own clutch line to length - and a cover setup for those that want a different color preference.
"The complete kit consists of everything needed to bolt on and go - it will come with a banjo to banjo clutch line setup for an affordable easy installation. Lastly, our complete Plus Kit will come with everything you will need for a seamless OE plus install. This kit is suited for a seamless installation that delivers a true factory look and feel."


Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

Fuel Filter Kit

Designed as a direct replacement to the OEM filter, the kit includes the fuel filter and O-ring. The fuel filter kit fits '18-'20 Softail models.

3/4 Solo Seats for Indian

Available for '18-'20 Scout Bobbers, this seat has a 4" rise at the back for added support and adds Café Racer inspired solo seat styling. Made with extremely durable, high-quality automotive-grade seat cover material, the ABS thermoformed seat base provides a perfect fit, and the carpeted bottom has rubber bumpers to keep the paint scratch-free. It installs using the OEM hardware. The seat measures 22" long overall and is 11" long x 11 1/4" wide at the front and 9" long x 5" wide at the rear. It is available with a smooth or diamond-stitch pattern.

Replacement Piston Kits

These cast aluminum pistons are OEM quality or better construction and available in multiple sizes to fit '99-'06 Twin Cam 95" engines with a 3.875" bore. The kits have a compression ratio of 10.25:1 and include two pistons, wrist pins and circlips (use OEM or Hastings piston rings, sold separately). They are available in standard, +.005", +.010" or +.020" over-sizes.

24 mm Rear Drive Belt

Drag Specialties' carbon fiber reinforced Goodyear engineered Falcon SPC belts offer up to 33% more tensile strength than conventional aramid reinforced belts. The high-temperature rubber compound offers excellent flex and long service life. The durable material is designed to withstand belt-penetrating debris without breaking. The 134-tooth belt fits '18-'20 Softail models.

Alternator Stator for '18-'20 Softails

This Drag Specialties brand alternator stator is built to meet or exceed OEM specifications and features precise construction and high-quality wire windings for years of reliable service. It fits '18-'20 Softail models.


Bagger Nation

Bagger Nation 'Swoop' Rear Fender for H-D Trikes

Paul Yaffe's Phoenix, Arizona based Bagger Nation has added further to its extensive range of fender options with its 'Swoop' trike fender. "These swoopy beauties will transform an ordinary stock looking trike into a fat fender Hot Rod," says Paul.

"Our direct bolt-on 'Swoop' stretched trike fenders remind us of a mid-century custom street rod cruising the boulevard! With the rapid growth in popularity of Harley's Trike platforms, and with the introduction of the Free Wheeler, there are more trikes than ever out on the road.
"We offer fitment options for both H-D Electra Glide Trikes as well as the new H-D Free Wheeler - these big swooping fenders look great with the stock wheel size, but are large enough to accept a 20" x 8" wheel without any problems."

Each Bagger Nation trike fender "is 3-D molded from the highest quality materials and handlaid by skilled Arizona craftsmen to assure a perfect fit and finish every time." These direct bolt-on replacement fenders include all the needed install hardware and are just one of the many Bagger Nation parts that fit H-D Trikes.


Barnett Clutches & Cables

Barnett Clutch Tools

Ventura, California specialist Barnett Clutches & Cables' decades of experience as a leading clutch and primary components manufacturer has translated into an unparalleled range of specialty clutch tools.

From diaphragm spring compression tools to clutch 'lock plates' that assist in removing inner hubs, Barnett clutch tools make clutch replacement and maintenance a lot easier.
Available for Sportsters through 1970, 1986-present Sportsters, 1941-84 Big Twins, 1990-'97 Big Twins and 2001 and later Victory models. Clutch tools designed specifically for use with the Barnett Scorpion line of clutches are also available.


Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde

'Project 21' - Electronically Adjustable 2:1 'Clubstyle' M-8 Exhaust

Famous for its EU approved electronically adjustable exhaust systems, Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde (J&H) has a new Clubstyle 2:1 that is the result of "months of design, prototyping and testing," according to J&H's Sjoerd Ottenheim, the Product Manager for the project. "Finally we are ready to present the 'Twenty-One' - a unique and electronically adjustable 2:1 exhaust for Milwaukee-Eight Softail models."

Staged at the Venray Circuit in the Netherlands (formerly known as Circuit de Peel), the launch took place with the unveiling of a new project bike and group of Clubstyle motorcycles that showcased the sound of the exhaust - "a full, deep sound," says Sjoerd.
“The Twenty-One produces a sound that really takes the power of the M-8 engine to new heights - it really is a surprise, and the better feedback from the exhaust really enhances the riding experience. It challenges the rider to demand that little extra from the M-8, and the 'Twenty-One' delivers.
"The exhaust has been subjected to extensive sound tests to create this exceptional sound experience. It has been designed with input from a specific group of performance and Clubstyle riders. 

"First as a design in the computer, then as a 3D model, after which we could proceed to make a prototype. There was more to making this exhaust than just the sound of course. While sound management is what we here at J&H are best known for, the materials, the finish, the emissions and the power, in terms of hp and torque, all influenced the development and the final result. 

“The headers and muffler are made of stainless steel to achieve the balance between performance and legal requirements. There are different color end cap options available, all specially developed for the M-8, but we also expect to be able to evolve this first M-8-specific 'Twenty-One' for additional models in the future - additional Harleys and other brands too."
The 'Secret Sauce' that J&H brings to exhaust sound management is its unique electronically controlled and handlebar-operated valve system.

"Our exhaust systems embody three different personalities: the Dr. Jekill mode, Dynamic mode and Mr. Hyde mode. With a simple push of a button, the valve that is placed halfway up the muffler closes or opens, which provides more sound and performance. According to the riding circumstances you can choose whether you are in the Dr. Jekill mode (mild), Dynamic mode (responsive) or Mr. Hyde mode (not so mild!). The rider decides.
"Either way, the Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust is a completely street legal system and complies with European legislation and laws - in short, while your riding style might be able to get you into trouble, with J&H the exhaust can't!"
The production edition 'Twenty-One' will be available in heat resistant brushed or matte black finish and offered for M-8 Softails.


Tech Spec for 'Clubstyle'
H-D Softail Low Rider S
by Mario Kyprianides, Chopper Kulture

  • Engine: 114" H-D M-8
  • Air intake: Ness (CCE)
  • Cam chest kit and vented dip stick: Feuling
  • Gaskets: Cometic
  • Clutch cover, forks, sprocket: Cera Carbon
  • Clutch cable: Barnett (CCE)
  • Tuning: Don Performance
  • Exhaust: Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde
  • 'Project 21' two-into-one
  • Frame and wheels: Harley-Davidson
  • Skidplate: Speedmerchant
  • Adjustable suspension: Hyperpro
  • Brakes: Rebuffini and Brembo
  • Brake lines: Goodridge (CCE)
  • Saddle: Saddlemen
  • Indicators: Kellermann, Atto Black
  • Hand controls, grips and mirrors: Rebuffini
  • Fairing: Memphis Shades
  • Handlebars, levers and Flo footrests: Factory Frankfurt
  • Handlebar bushings: CCE
  • Carbon side covers: Italian Performance Parts
  • Powder coating: MBT
  • Paint: Chikos Pinstriping, Chicano paint job

Text: Robin Bradley
Photography: Onno "Berserk" Wieringa (


Regina Launches Lube-Free Z-Ring HPE Chain

Founded in Italy in 1919, Regina is introducing what it says is the world's first motorcycle chain that eliminates the need for 1,000 km periodic and workshop service interval re-lubrication.
The company describes its High Performance Endurance (HPE) chain as a Z-ring chain that is the result of extensive lab and street testing to demonstrate that it has a reliable useable life that is at least equivalent, if not greater, than a traditional, regularly re-lubricated Z-ring chain.

The magic ingredient is a hydrogen-free Tetrahedral Amorphous Carbon (ta-C) coating, currently considered to be the most advanced among DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coatings, often used on front forks, that is applied to the HPE chain bushing and roller surfaces.
"The ta-C coating reduces energy dissipation and increases efficiency in the secondary transmission, combining the very high hardness of the coated surface with a low coefficient of friction. The elimination of chain cleaning and lubricant spatter during operation minimizes environmental impact.

"The innovative ta-C coating process was developed through intense R&D activity by Regina engineers and is entirely carried out in our Cernusco Lombardone (LC) plant in Italy [between Milan and Bergamo].
"The elimination of the periodic re-lubrication and the greater efficiency of power transmission raise the HPE chain to an extremely advanced technological level compared to traditional sealed chains - unthinkable until today and unparalleled on the market," said Paolo Garbagnati, CEO of Regina.
"We would like to thank all the women and the men who made the achievement of this important goal possible, including all the passionate riders, who, confidentially and professionally, contributed to the project with many extensive test rides." The HPE chain will be available on the aftermarket starting January 2021 and works with the same front and rear sprockets used with traditional sealed chains.


News Briefs


Authorized Harley dealerships continue to tumble like ninepins as changing market conditions continue to affect the network. One of the latest has been Brian Bentley's Brian's Valley Forge H-D (Norristown, PA.). Bentley is keeping his primary store open - Brian's H-D at Langhorne PA. - and is quoted as saying that the decision has nothing to do with COVID-19 and that he thinks he can continue to serve his catchment areas from the primary store.

PSB reports that authorized Harley dealership closures in the USA announced since June this year (for various reasons) include H-D Southampton, Greenfield, MA; Barnett's Las Cruces, NM; Calumet, Munster, IN; Goe H-D, Angleton, TX; Iron Town H-D, New Berlin, WI, and, controversially, Abernathy H-D at Union City, TN.

Just as H-D pulls its own manufacturing facility from the Indian motorcycle market, news that following a decline triggered by India's economic downturn in 2019, the market there has grown strongly this year despite the COVID-19 emergency. Market leader and H-D proto-partner HERO Motocorp has reinforced its market leadership there with sales up by +16.1% to 697,293 units for September alone. Honda India is in second spot, with newly minted Norton owner TVS third, KTM and Triumph partner Bajaj in fourth and Royal Enfield fifth.

As this edition of AMD went to press, PSB's Dave Mahon had additionally reported that owner Shelly Embrick had ended the 45-year relationship that her Cycle World of Athens, Georgia store has had with H-D. Embrick said the decision to part ways was driven by market sales and Harley's plans to "drastically" reduce the number of motorcycles it produces annually. The store will still continue to sell and service pre-owned Harleys along with new and used Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Polaris vehicles and remains a Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Polaris partner.

We here at AMD magazine were saddened to hear of the death of industry veteran, custom bike builder and 2020 Sturgis Hall of Famer Skeeter Todd.

Founded by lawyer Mark McCormack in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1960 with legendary professional golfers Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as its first clients, the modern-day iteration of (now) New York City based IMG is a very different business. The now private equity owned global conglomerate's latest (but not first) brush with the powersports industry has seen it signing a new multi-year partnership with Russian owned MV Agusta - "to build a licensing program focused on brand extensions and lifestyle products that reflect the company's commitment to performance, quality, innovation and consumer engagement within local communities" and to "expand its presence globally through a new range of consumer products."

AMD was saddened to hear of the death of Carl Morrow of Carl's Speed Shop, Daytona fame. Carl opened his Speed Shop in Daytona in 1969 and was respected worldwide as a leading street, drag strip and Salt Flats performance engineer and tuner with records aplenty. Carl believed that the best performance was reliable real-world performance. His 2" CV Typhoon slide carb design is still spoken of in hushed tones and his friendship will always be valued by hundreds.

Speaking of Daytona, AMD sends its best wishes to Bill Dodge of Bling Cycles who is recovering from a horrendous motorcycle accident involving a driver who made a left turn in front of him. A former AMD World Championship competitor from the days when the event was staged at Sturgis, we wish Bill a speedy recovery. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Bill's recovery.

H-D was in 7th spot in market share terms in Switzerland for the eight months to August, having sold 1,622 units, which was down by 9.44% over the same period in 2019. Indian Motorcycle is up to 10th spot in its European home market, selling 523 units through August. Yamaha is market share leader in Switzerland, ahead of Kawasaki, BMW, Honda, Triumph and KTM. The Yamaha MT-07 is the best seller there, ahead of the Kawasaki Z 650 and Z 900, the BMW R 1250 GS, and the Yamaha MT-09 in 5th spot.

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

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines

Vance & Hines and H-D to Race in Different Directions

In what has to be fall-out from CEO Jochen Zeitz' Project 'Rewire', the hugely successful Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines' 20-year race partnership is to end, with both businesses taking new paths to checkered flag glory.
It is not known what, if any, role the recent success of the Latus Motors H-D race team's AFT success may have played in Harley's decision to reposition its race efforts - the Gladstone, Oregon dealership delivered Harley its first 'new era' AFT Championship title when James Rispoli won the riders' and manufacturers' Production Twins Championship on the XG750R at Daytona on the final weekend of the rebuilt 2020 AFT series.


Vance & Hines has stated that with Harley choosing not to field factory racing teams in American Flat Track (AFT) or NHRA drag racing in 2021, it will be redeploying its racing development team "towards creating high performance products for a variety of vehicles, brands and race series in both two and four-wheel segments.
"We thank Harley-Davidson for being a partner with Vance & Hines for 20 years. Together, in AFT and NHRA, we have celebrated 116 wins and 11 championships," said founder Terry Vance. "Harley-Davidson has been one of the best partners we've ever had."  
The company has said that the Indy Operations Team will be refocused on performance products for two and four-wheel vehicles and will be redeployed under the name Vance & Hines Racing Development Center (RDC).  "Vance & Hines will continue its racing tradition in 2021 with sponsored riders in a variety of racing series."
In addition, Vance & Hines will remain the sole licensee, manufacturer and seller of Harley-Davidson XG750R Production Twins motorcycles and Harley-Davidson XG750R Super Twins motorcycles. This racing variant of the Harley-Davidson Street 750 was the motorcycle with which Rispoli and Latus Motors won the AFT Production Twins championship in 2020. The Production Twins bike is being manufactured and shipped to Harley-Davidson dealers at this time. 

"Vance & Hines is having its best year in over a decade. We're strong and we have a strategy that drives our growth and expansion in our current markets and in new ventures," said Mike Kennedy, President and CEO. "While we loved our time running the factory race teams for Harley-Davidson, we couldn't be more excited about the future."
Vance & Hines has been contracted to run factory race teams for a range of companies during its 41-year history including Suzuki, Yamaha and Ducati. The partnership with Harley-Davidson was focused on drag racing and flat track racing.
Meanwhile, in what is an interesting move and one in-line with what is known so far about the firm's future intentions in terms of supporting "stronger and better dealers," Harley-Davidson has said that it will "refocus racing efforts on dealers' competitive programs" with support in AFT SuperTwins, Production Twins and NHRA Pro Stock Competition.
In doing so it says it is "harkening back to the foundations of the company's competitive spirit by refocusing on building within the brand and celebrating the heritage of grassroots flat track racing by offering support to its entire dealer network through the development of contingency programs."

"Harley-Davidson's heritage is rich with racing lore and legacy, and throughout our brand's history, Harley-Davidson dealers have been the cornerstone of our racing programs," said Jon Bekefy, General Manager of Brand Marketing. "We are excited to continue to support the XG750R racing motorcycle and NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle efforts through our dealers."
The company went on to say that "as it leans into a more grassroots approach, Harley-Davidson would like to thank the Vance & Hines organization, the riders, team members, and every individual involved with the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle and American Flat Track (AFT) team efforts for their passion, commitment and expertise for over a decade of winning competition and championship titles.
"Over the past 18 seasons, the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle team has been wildly successful, generating 107 wins and ten championships, proving to be one of the most successful programs in the history of the sport.
"Additionally, Vance & Hines has been instrumental in ushering a new era of flat track competition with the development of the Harley-Davidson XG750R SuperTwins and Production Twins motorcycles and earning a championship in AFT Production Twins for the 2020 season. Vance & Hines will continue to manufacture and support the sale of XG750R SuperTwins and Production Twins bikes to qualified teams.
"In a return to the foundations of Harley-Davidson's racing efforts, the company will refocus efforts by offering support to dealer racing programs in 2021, including the development of contingency programs for AFT. To kick off, Harley-Davidson is already committed to supporting Latus Motors Harley-Davidson as they campaign their XG750R in the AFT SuperTwins series."

S&S Cycle

S&S 540 and 590 Torque Cams for Big Bore M-8 Models

As a follow-up to its 50-state legal 475 cam/calibration for M-8 Touring models, S&S Cycle, the  Viola, Wisconsin based masters of 'Proven Performance', has released 540 and 590 torque cams for Big Bore and even bigger Big Bore M-8 models.
As a next step, the new 540 torque cam for Big Bore M-8 models is designed to work with 124" and 128" big bore kits and produce "stump pulling torque" down low in the rpm range as well as maintain respectable horsepower numbers. 

540 torque cam for Big Bore M-8 models

Available in gear or chain drive and in a complete cam chest kit with pump, plate, pushrods and tappets, you can check out the dyno charts for the 540 online. S&S is citing an impressive 130+ lb-ft on a conservative 124" build!
The S&S 590 cam for even bigger bore M-8 models "is capable of making massive power! It happily accepts big bore kits, stroker cranks and, of course, high lift cams."

590 torque cam for 131" M-8 Stroker kit applications

The primary supplier of that sort of go-fast stuff is S&S Cycle of course, and the new 590 lift cam is designed to work with the 131" stroker kit and other huge bore combinations. "Producing massive horsepower, especially in the higher rpm range, the 590 is available in gear or chain drive and is specifically for use with monster bores, ported heads and high rpms to make maximum horsepower. Not recommended for stock bore engines!"
You can check the dyno charts for what S&S has seen this cam making online, but the company is citing 146 hp and 145 lb-ft torque on a 131" stroker build.


Postponed Shows

Custombike-Show/Germany Postponed to December 2021; Motor Bike Expo/Verona Postponed to Spring 2021

Following the financial problems encountered this year by custombike magazine publisher and show organizer Huber Verlag, the operators of the Bad Salzuflen, Germany, regional expo center, where Huber had staged its annual Custombike-Show on the first weekend of December each year, had taken over ownership of the show and hoped to be able to stage it as usual in December this year.

However, with infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise again in Germany and the rest of Europe, the show has been postponed until December 3-5, 2021.
Meanwhile in Italy, Motor Bike Expo (the 'Verona' Show) has announced the postponement of its 2021 show from the planned January dates to later in the spring of 2021.
"Aware of the difficult situation we all face, we have come up with an alternative solution. With the hope that the international situation will soon take a significant turn for the better, we are convinced that the best choice at the moment is to postpone MBE 2021 to the beginning of spring.

"At this stage it is impossible for us to guarantee the expected level of success of the event, both in terms of commercial results for exhibitors as well as offering the full, dynamic visitor experience.
"For these reasons - and above all for the protection of everyone's health and to offer an even more significant and satisfying edition of the event - postponement is the best option."
The organizers of Motor Bike Expo are looking at the positives where they can and have quite rightly pointed to one big upside of a spring timing, namely that many more visitors will be able to come to the show by motorcycle.
"As with every situation which may initially seem negative, we focus on the positive implications and new opportunities that this scenario can present to us, such as the possibility for visitors to reach the event directly by motorcycle, further expansion of exhibition spaces with greater use of outdoor areas, strengthening of test ride activities and an increase in outdoor entertainment activities.
"Longer days and milder weather can be a winning combination and we look forward to being able to deliver a different kind of show when we all hope the world will be in a 'better place' in terms of this health crisis."

News Briefs

Organizer Ruth Lemass has had to announce cancelation of the Carole Nash Irish Motorbike & Scooter Show slated for March 5-7 at Dublin. The show would have been the next due AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building official affiliate event. The plan at this time is to stage the next 'Dublin Show' in March 2022.

The annual Bigtwin Bikeshow & Expo, originally slated for October 30 through November 1 this year, at Expo Houten near Utrecht in the Netherlands, has also been canceled.

Harley-Davidson recently removed the 'Bronx' streetfighter motorcycle from the Future Vehicles page on its website. According to PSB, BMO Capital Markets says that at a stroke, this removes sales of 1,550 units and $17m from 2021 forecasts, with knock-on impact on its 2022 unit forecast of 1,430 units and a further -$18m of revenue to $4.322bn.

PSB (via reported that as at September 15 at least three motorcycle dealerships had been destroyed by the forest fires in Oregon - D&S Harley-Davidson, Medford (Est. 1971); Hansen's BMW Motorcycles, Medford (Est. 1972) and Oregon Motorcycle Adventures KTM, also at Medford, Oregon (Est. 2004).

Paul Veracka has acquired a seventh Harley-Davidson dealership. After 13 years of ownership, Hendrick Automotive Group has sold its only H-D store, Old Glory Harley-Davidson of Laurel, Maryland, to Paul. He and his brother Michael split the Veracka family H-D dealer group between them last year. Paul additionally owns High Octane H-D of North Billerica, Massachusetts; Palm Beach H-D; Rockstar at Ft. Myers; Motown H-D in Michigan; Alligator Alley of Sunrise, Fl. and Manchester H-D in New Hampshire. The dealership will retain the Old Glory name and remain at its current location.

Reports suggest that H-D has gone ahead with closure of its Bawal, India factory and may therefore be set to drop its Street 500/750 line, at least in Europe. Asian Pacific operations will likely be focused at its Thailand plant. Meanwhile Hero MotoCorp has emerged as Harley's most likely new distribution (and manufacturing?) partner in India - presumably using CKD kits.

It is thought that the China-exclusive model 338R being designed by Geely subsidiary and Benelli owner Qianjiang Motorcycle will go ahead, with the Bronx Streetfighter definitely not seeing the inside of showrooms until 2022 at the soonest.

Bonnier Corp has been sold, with the remnants of its powersports publishing operations, to New York based online consumer credit platform provider Octane. Founded in 2014 and known in Wall Street circles as a 'Fintech', it would appear Octane wants to leverage the Bonnier brands to generate powersports vehicle lending leads. That is known as click bait to more traditionally minded mortals. The brands sold include Cycle World (RIP), Motorcyclist, Dirt Rider, Motorcycle Cruiser, UTV Driver, ATV Rider and EV website Cycle Volta.

The Performance Racing Industry trade show (PRI) has announced cancelation of its 2020 Trade Expo. Due to have been staged at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis in December, PRI President Dr. Jamie Meyer stated: "Our goal is to always do what is best for the motorsports industry, and PRI will continue to lead with business solutions for an ever-changing future."

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

Vance & Hines

Vance & Hines M-8 'Torquer' 450 Slip-Ons

The start-point for Vance & Hines in developing its new Torquer 450 slip-on muffler was better sound from Harley touring bike exhausts, and although it took two years of R&D, the company says it has found it with the recently introduced Torquer 450 slip-on.

Vance & Hines President Mike Kennedy says that "this is the best sounding M-8 slip-on available and we can build them at Vance & Hines for a great price." Torquer 450 slip-ons are the company's newest entry into the 4.5-inch diameter segment of the exhaust market that "deliver superior sound and improved horsepower and torque, the best performance of any Vance & Hines slip-on exhaust." 


Vance & Hines developed a new free-flowing LS275 baffle (patent pending) specifically to address the concerns of owners of Milwaukee-8 powered Harley-Davidson motorcycles. "Style is important to every rider, so the new mufflers were designed with maximum visual impact," continued Kennedy. "They feature a huge 4.5-inch diameter slip-on and new stylized CNC-machined billet end caps."
They work with stock headers or Vance & Hines' own Power Duals. Available in chrome or black, Vance & Hines says that its MRSP for the Torquer 450 is "the lowest price of any 4.5-inch pipe in the industry." Fifty-state emissions compliant for model years '09-'20.


Motorcycle Storehouse

Motorcycle Storehouse Additions

The Bike Shed Moto Co Apparel Collection

Since 2011, the Bike Shed (London & Los Angeles) has been "a place of common ground where people from all walks of life come together to share their passion for two wheels."  
Motorcycle Storehouse is now stocking the Bike Shed apparel line for dealers to be able to "share in the opportunity to capitalize on a high profile, sought after brand and give their customers the opportunity for bragging rights and quality apparel options that look great on or off the bike."

Multifunctional Cockpit

This digital speedo cockpit offers a compact IP67 rated waterproof housing packed with functions such as speedometer (0-399 km/h or 0-299 mph), trip meter (0-999,99 km or miles), odometer (0-99,999 km or miles), tachometer (switchable max. 10,000 or 0-20,000 rpm), clock, gear position, fuel warning mode, temperature in Celsius/Fahrenheit for ambient air, engine water (cooling fluid) and engine oil.
For water and oil, an overheat warning is programmable between 0° and 180° Celsius. All regular indicator lights for left/right turn signals, neutral, high beam and a warning light.
The included magnetic reed sensor is used for bikes that have no electronic speedo pulse and can be installed on the wheel, sprocket and such like. Two M5 screw holes have a mount pitch of 45 mm on the back of the instrument. The included stainless bracket comes with slotted holes to allow an adjustable mount hole pitch between 63 mm to 112 mm. The approximate dimensions are 132 mm x 58 mm x 30.5 mmm and there are sensors additionally available.

SP Connect - Anti-Vibration Module

This module is used between the smartphone and all SP Connect mounts with standard damping head. It additionally reduces engine vibrations through specially developed elastomer damper inlays that dampen in all directions.
It is especially useful to protect the more vibration-sensitive components of late model smartphones, including the mechanical image stabilizers of the camera, and is said to stop up to 60% of vibrations. CNC-machined from aircraft grade aluminum, it offers portrait and landscape orientation and 360° rotation in 6° increments.
The module is available in a chrome or black finish and is compatible with a wide range of SP Connect mounts.


Kodlin Motorcycles & Parts

Kodlin Lower Riser

Designed for 2018 and up M-8 Softail Breakout models, this is a "stylish must" for the Breakout, especially when doing a handlebar conversion and needing to replace the stock pullback riser. It works with the stock upper clamp and speedometer housing, is made from forged aluminum for durability and strength and is an easy install available in black or chrome. They are sold in pairs, and come with installation instructions and TÜV documents.
Kodlin Motorcycles & Parts,

Freedom Performance

A Beast for the Fat Boys

Corona, California based exhaust specialist Freedom Performance has introduced a new 2-step union 2-into-1 exhaust system.

CEO Martin Arteaga says: "We've had this in mind for some time, and it is now ready for market - this is something for the Fat Boy enthusiasts of the world and is a beast of an exhaust!"
Made at Freedom Performance in California from 100% American forged steel, it has a 3-stepped head pipe for anti-reversion with a 2-stepped baffle, increasing torque between 13-15 lbs and horsepower by 15-18%, "for a 5-stepped combination of extreme power," says Martin.
"We make all our performance exhaust components here in Southern California to high-grade specifications. The American formed steel tubes and the Freedom design handpolished end tips are CNC-machined from aircraft 6061 standard aluminum."
Available with Straight Star or 4.5" end tips, it is offered in chrome, sculpted black and pitch-black finishes.


Le Pera

'Sprocket' Solo for Baggers

New from legendary Californian custom seats specialist Le Pera, the 'Sprocket' is a "classic style with modern comfort" that is "sinfully Bobbed and Chopped to make this solo a guaranteed head turner," according to Design Meister Bob LePera Jr.

Available for 2008-2020 Baggers, and seen here in diamond stitch, standard options include choice of smooth, diamond and pleated stitch; contrast color stitching is available for each. Many other custom materials and stitch graphics are available as well (pillion not available). It gives a 11.5" wide seating area.
Still handcrafting all its seats at the company's North Hollywood, California headquarters after more than 45 years as the market's design leader, Le Pera seats feature a powder-coated steel base plate, a specially poured high density "Marathon" molded foam foundation and double-stitched, handcrafted cover with bonded polyester thread for durability.


American Prime Manufacturing

APM OEM Replacement Performance Clutch Packs with 15% Stiffer Spring

Santa Fe Springs, California based American Prime Manufacturing has two new OEM replacement clutch packs available that were "designed with performance and economy in mind," says company president Ben Kudon.

"If you have a fairly stock machine that has the livin' hell beaten out of it, then the first thing to do is to congratulate your customer, but tell them that they are probably going to need better clutch performance," says Kudon.
"We use a proprietary aggressive clutch material on these new performance replacement clutch packs to provide riders with the performance they need to reliably handle the power - on hard ridden Harleys where the stock clutch doesn't cut it.
"Utilizing the stock clutch basket, these extra plate kits do away with the problematic spring plate to give more clutch surface area for better and more consistent feel and engagement. Both kits include a new severe duty diaphragm spring, and although we are able to sell them at a sensible price, make no mistake, these clutch packs have been made for reliability and durability."
These high-performance extra plate kits fit 1990-1997 Big Twins and 1991-later XL models (1048-0026) and 1998-2017 Evo Big Twins & Twin Cam models. Both kits include nine friction plates and eight tempered steel drive plates with a 15% stiffer diaphragm spring.


Wednesday 11 November 2020

King Of The Baggers

King Of The Baggers
Kudos to Drag Specialties!

There's no saying how much money Drag Specialties spent on creating the inaugural King of the Baggers race at Laguna Seca (California) in October, but it can't have been a trivial sum. However, as an investment into the future of the Bagger market, and as a specific stimulus for giving the burgeoning Performance Bagger market timely momentum, they are to be congratulated … Genius!


Apparently, the idea and vision for what can seem like an unlikely concept at first flush (Baggers racing down the iconic "corkscrew" - really?) goes back some 18 to 24 months before the race was eventually able to take place.
Drag Specialties is said to have floated the plan to a couple of dozen of their vendors in total. Eventually thirteen of them lined up on the start grid of one of the world's toughest and most technically challenging motorcycle race circuits. The prize was the ultimate in Performance Bagger bragging rights during the MotoAmerica GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Speedfest weekend at Monterey in October.

The outcome saw Indian Challengers claim two of the three podium spots as highly decorated motorcycle racing champion Tyler O'Hara took the victory on the S&S Cycle Indian Challenger, with veteran rider Frankie Garcia taking third on the Roland Sands Design Indian Challenger.
Hayden Gillim was the filling in the Indian sandwich, bringing the Vance & Hines prepared Electra Glide Standard home in second, with Travis Wyman for Trask Performance fourth and Cory West for SLYFOX Performance in fifth.

"It's an incredible honor for us to race on this historic track,"
said Gary Gray, VP Indian Motorcycle.


Barely 24 hours after an accident where he "looped" his 600 lbs machine during qualifying, Frankie Garcia rebounded to take the holeshot. But it was O'Hara who immediately established a commanding lead through the first three laps. 

With five laps remaining, an off-track "adventure" sent O'Hara back to third and moved Garcia up to second, allowing the Vance & Hines bike through for a taste of the lead before O'Hara began a patient, methodical comeback, working his way past Garcia and dramatically passing Gillim while diving into the famed "corkscrew" during the penultimate lap.
O'Hara held strong for the final lap, winning by 1.9 seconds and earning Indian and S&S Cycle the inaugural "King of the Baggers" crown.
"It's an incredible honor for us to race on this historic track at this historic event, against a field of incredibly talented teams and riders," said Gary Gray, Vice President, Racing, Technology and Service for Indian Motorcycle.

"We're absolutely thrilled to come away victorious. Tyler, Frankie and the S&S Cycle and RSD teams did an incredible job and, ultimately, they were able to show the world just how special the Indian Challenger is. We couldn't be prouder of them or our bike."
The history-making was witnessed by race fans the world over as the inaugural King of the Baggers reached social media viewers in record numbers – recording over two million views and more than 30,000 Facebook shares.
"Watching thirteen Baggers carving through Laguna Seca's famed 'Corkscrew' was a special moment in motorcycle racing," said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. "That said, watching the new Indian Challenger defeat eleven highly modified Harley-Davidsons was a monumental achievement and dramatic validation for the work our product designers and engineers have put into developing the Indian Challenger."
It was an idea that deserved to succeed and despite the pandemic-induced four month delay, succeed it certainly did - with this landmark first race playing out in dramatic fashion, there is already talk of a three or four race series for 2021.