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Tuesday 30 March 2021

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Congratulations Harley-Davidson!

Or maybe to be more precise, congratulations to Harley-Davidson's engineering teams and to 'corporate' (under Matt Levatich and Jochen Zeitz) for giving its engineers the freedom and space to sit at the top table of contemporary motorcycle industry technology.
No new platform is ever perfect, all design and engineering is a compromise, but the quantum leap needed to jump from Cruisers and Tourers (even the M-8 iterations) to the Pan America, genuinely is the kind of era starting initiative that isn't seen that often during even the longest of careers.
Regular readers will know that while I have been optimistic and excited at the prospects of seeing Harley 'get it right', I have also been pessimistic and fearful that they would not do so.
I guess it has as much to do with the split identity my own career has, one that sees me focussed on my 'day job' in the custom motorcycle industry, which is what I think of as 'home', and my moonlighting in the 'mainstream' (metric) motorcycle market in Europe.
Through International Dealer News I am accustomed to reporting on all the other major (and many not so major) OEMs and on most of the 'other' sectors of the international motorcycle industry - to a greater or lesser extent.
The advent of and subsequent gradual growth of the 'Dual Sport' market - or what is mostly thought of these days as being the Adventure Touring market, has been a long, gradual evolution rather than an immediate revolution.

a bloody good start-point

The first real ADV to appear from one of the 'majors' and go on to sell in significant numbers was Honda's 'Africa Twin'. Initially it was born out of Honda's Paris-Dakar success as the XRV650/RD-03. Those first 'Africa Twin' models were so closely based on their race bike design that they were produced by HRC - Honda Racing Corporation - rather than Honda Corporate. It made its debut in May 1988.
Within a year or two, Honda had upped its game in a market where the other principal players (certainly in race terms) were BMW, Cagiva and Yamaha, by upgrading to the four-time Paris-Dakar winning NXR750 derived volume produced XRV750 (RD-04).
From then on more than a decade of sales saw frame improvements and a steady increase in what we'd think of these days as creature comforts, rather than race aids, as Honda and the other manufacturers in the sector gradually moved away from their race bike origins with their production offerings and focussed on improving and developing their bikes' road-going characteristics.
Honda ceased production of the 'Africa Twin' in 2003. At that stage, end-of-series was a relatively more commonplace response to the increasingly tight emissions regulations than it is now. In response to the clamour from enthusiasts and dealers, especially as BMW ADV sales surged, Honda brought the 'Africa Twin' back in 2016 (as the CRF1000L) and has been updating it every 24 months ever since (narrower frame, Venture Sport version etc).
The reason for using the history of Honda's place in the ADV market as a case study for Harley's entry into this space is to demonstrate just how gradual the process of evolution in the market has been, even for one of the majors, and how central race results have been.
The market that Harley is entering is very different now. BMW and Yamaha are still there (the current Yamaha Ténéré 700 is pulling up trees in retail sales terms in Europe, and everyone knows about the GS of course) but, as a brand, Cagiva is mostly 'resting' at present.
Instead, Triumph (Tiger), Ducati of all people with its 'Multistrada', and KTM are the players eating away at the others. They are, effectively, growing the market by spreading the ADV gospel to their own brand-base. In doing so they are injecting capital into the sector and offering an ever-deepening arsenal of advanced tech in the cockpit, the engine, the chassis and the suspension. The ADV market is now mature, and contrary to the glamourous videos, is mostly to be found in urban, suburban and peri-urban environments. That's where some 80 percent of the miles get done.
The ADV market is no longer one where simply being robust enough is good enough. It is one where rugged and durable build quality have to be matched by design and engineering sophistication - with advanced suspensions, chassis tech that is so way ahead of anything we were seeing just 20 years ago and, thanks to regulatory pressure, engine technology that is just 'out there' compare to what we were seeing ten years ago. The future-facing progress that the 'mainstream' OEM community has been driven to make in the past decade has been staggering - probably more even than was seen in the prior three decades.
Hence my excitement being mixed with pessimism. The air the likes of BMW, Yamaha, Honda and, especially, Ducati all breathe is not the same that we have seen being allowed to fill the lungs of Harley's engineers in the same timescale. Despite the Rushmore touring chassis and the largely 80s/90s tech M-8, Harley's engineers have been held back in the past decade.
Could they step up? Would they be allowed to step up? As individuals, of course they could, but in the past watching Harley corporate changing direction has been like watching an aircraft carrier trying to do a 180 in a swimming pool. So, my fear was that either they wouldn't be able to do it at all, or that if they did, by the time they were ready to go to market, their target would have moved.
In contrast to Harley's historically glacial pace, European and Japanese (and even Chinese and Indian) manufacturers are lightning fast and responsive. There was potential for considerable brand damage - damage that might be generational in reputational terms.
So, to coin a phrase - "and now breathe."
Stage One has been successfully navigated. The Pan America (RA1250/S) is not just a good start-point, it is a bloody good start-point - for any manufacturer.

News Briefs


Hero MotorCorp, following closure of Harley's Indian factory and ending of direct involvement there, has announced former Ducati India Managing Director Ravi Avalur as the head of the division that will handle its relationship with Harley-Davidson. Hero, originally established as a Honda joint venture, and the former owner of Buell, is the largest PTW manufacturer by unit volume in India and has taken over all 11 of the dealerships that Harley had in India. Hero is expected to start production of key Harley models in India shortly.

Following its AIMExpo Connect virtual trade show in January, MIC Events has released data that confirmed 86 exhibiting companies; 12,949 virtual 'booth visits'; 677 products being shown; 140 videos being watched; some 51 'Show Specials' being available; 389 education attendees and 680 total 'attendees', including 318 retailers, 319 manufacturers and suppliers, and 41 media outlets.

PSB says that one of the "most beneficial aspects of the 2021 Powersports Business Online Learning Series is the ability to poll the live webinar audience in real time." Attendees were asked how they would characterize their January and early February business performance relative to plan. Some 43% of respondents said it had been "above plan", 49% "on plan" and only 8% "below plan."

As unlikely (and unrealistic) as it may seem, recent patent filings appear to suggest that H-D may be exploring the use of superchargers in stock builds again.

The advantages of Hydrogen as an alternate fuel have been well understood for decades. The prohibitive issues have remained the expensive, energy intensive production at anything short of huge scale and its subsequent storage under very, very high pressure. Now a German research team at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) in Dresden has come up with a product it is calling 'PowerPaste' that acts as a Hydrogen storage medium - it sounds like a paste, it looks like a paste, it is a paste! The researchers claim that it would be an excellent emissions elimination solution for motorcycles and scooters.

The Federal Tax Incentive for buying electric vehicles in USA has been extended through 2021. It was planned for it to end in December 2020, but will now be available, theoretically, for another year. It is not thought likely to apply to electronic assist bicycles - the vehicle must be capable of at least 45 mph. On qualifying vehicles, it could represent a tax credit refund of 10% of the new unit purchase price.

H-D closed out 2020 with 17th place in market share terms in the Austrian total PTM market with 709 units sold; down by -5.02% from the 872 units they sold there in 2019. Harley plans to remain active in Switzerland, with Austria and Germany being combined as one sales area. Overall PTW market leader in Austria is Vespa, with KTM the top selling motorcycle brand in its home market.

Data from JAMA shows that Japanese made motorcycle exports to USA were -27.63% for 2020 (42,931 units) and worldwide PTW exports -21.29% (311,998 units). Motorcycle shipments to Europe from Japanese factories declined by -26.53% in 2020 (130,038 units; down from 177,005 in 2019). After a strong start to the year (Jan-March, 65,744 units exported), exports declined heavily from April to December (just 64,294 units). In total PTW terms, shipments to Europe were -24.60% for the year (144,127 units).

Öhlins USA has announced that it is to support Royal Enfield's 'Build, Train, Race' programs in 2021. The suspension manufacturer says it will offer its "top-of-the-line" components to BTR participants for their Royal Enfield builds. Royal Enfield launched the BTR program in 2019, challenging professional road racer Melissa Paris and three other women to build flat track motorcycles and compete in select exhibitions during AFT races. Paris scored two second place finishes and a win in the BTR exhibition races. This year Royal Enfield is taking the BTR program road racing.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,, Cycle World,

Feuling Parts

Rocker Box Breathers

Noted Oceanside, California based Feuling Parts' rocker box breathers for Twin Cam engines, '99-'16 Touring and '99-'17 Dyna and Softail models, give the engine properly sized breather holes for optimum engine breathing. 

Machined from billet 6061 aluminum, with the square surfaces promoting excellent gasket and breather system sealing. Anodized in Feuling red, the kits include billet breather housings, gaskets, breather filter elements, umbrella valves and high-grade ARP hardware. New rocker cover gaskets are available separately.


Rough Crafts

Rough Crafts Air Cleaners With Ness Big Sucker Tech

Internationally recognized for his custom bike builds, award-winning designer and engineer Winston Yeh's Rough Crafts parts and accessory program is growing fast with these new air filter designs in chrome or black finished aluminum.

Featuring Arlen Ness Big Sucker breathing technology, each hidden breather is O-ringed at the heads, passes through the backing plate and exits at the mouth of the throttle body through proprietary shooter tubes, eliminating the need for any external hoses or hardware.


The synthetic filter media - which does not need to be oiled - can be washed and re-used for long lasting performance; the radius air inlet design provides unobstructed airflow and the common blow-by issues associated with M-8 engines is said to be eliminated.



NAMZ CCP - Eleven New Wiring Harness Kits

NAMZ Custom Cycle Products says it continues to "Make it easy for you to do it right" by offering dealers access to 11 new wiring harness kits - "each one of these new kits is designed to make installation of accessories a simple process."

Indian headlight adapter harness, 2020-up models

DIY “Add-A-Light” harness, fits all Harley-Davidson models from 1999 to current

Manufactured at its facility located at Oreland, PA, "these harnesses are built to the same quality standards you have come to expect with all NAMZ products."
For Indian Motorcycle models, the line-up includes a headlamp adapter harness (for all 2020-up Indian models with OEM headlamp, except Scout and FTR); a Y-harness for daytime running lights and warbonnet (all 2018-up Indian models) and a Y-power adapter harness (all 2014 through 2017 Indian models).
For Harley applications, there is a series of 100% plug-n-play front turn signal tap harnesses for adding additional front turn signals on a wide range of models - details from the NAMZ website.
EZ-install harness for 3-1 bullet LED & FL lightbars for 2010 through 2013 Street and Road Glide models

Additionally, and also available for a wide selection of models, a passing lamp control harness that allows the use of passing lamps while high beam is on; a choice of rear fender harnesses for installation of additional lighting to the rear of the motorcycle without cutting or splicing the factory wiring, and an "Add-A-Light" harness that fits all H-D models from 1999 to current - this DIY harness features all of the wire, heat shrink and lightning splices needed to make adding an additional LED light simple, providing ground running light, brake light and turn signal wiring for a left and right-side light.

EZ-install harness for '14-up Road King front turn signals/passing lights

NAMZ is celebrating 21 years in business, providing 'World Class' electrical components, LED lighting (Letric brand), Badlands lighting modules, wiring harnesses and installation supplies. NAMZ and Badlands products are available through Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Tucker, Mid-USA, J&P Cycles, V-Twin, Parts Canada, Parts Europe, Custom Chrome Europe, Motorcycle Storehouse, W&W, Zodiac, Rollies Speed Shop and Performance Cycle Wholesale Limited, or directly from the company's website.
Letric Lighting Co. products are available through Tucker and Rollies Speed Shop or also directly from its website.


Motion Pro

Motion Pro - Steering Stem Bearing Tool Designs

Californian tools, cables and controls specialist Motion Pro, founded in 1984 by legendary off-road racer Chris Carter, has added to its growing V-twin tools program with a Motion Pro steering stem bearing tool.
"A motorcycle's steering stem bearings are important components which can affect the feel and handling when riding. Often these components freeze up or break down due to excessive wear or corrosion. 

"Our new steering stem bearing tool design can easily handle the removal and installation process when replacing these components. Motion Pro now offers two versions to fit various H-D models, the 08-0558 built to work with earlier Harleys (Motion Pro recommends using our 'search by vehicle' function on for correct application fitment) and, most recent, the new 08-0667 steering head bearing tool - now available for use on Touring models 2014 and up.  

"Similar in design to the version offered for earlier models, this new design is for use with the larger bearings and shorter stem found on the 2014 and up baggers.
"Unique to these applications, both top and bottom bearings are pressed onto the stem and require this tool for removal and installation. What used to need a press or a torch can now be done easily with basic hand tools, in a matter of minutes.
"Whether for shop technicians or home wrenching, this tool will help make swapping the bearings on your steering stem a breeze."
In other news, as Motion Pro gets set for another year as the Official Tools, Cables and Controls vendor and as a contingency prize fund sponsor of American Flat Track racing, the company is also giving support to Rookies of '79 and Friends - the series' Official Charity Partner, a partnership extending into its fourth year in 2021.


Custom Chrome Europe

M-8 Softail 'ClubStyle' Fairing Kits

Custom Chrome Europe has a wide selection of German made Rick's Motorcycles complete fairing kits available for the so-called 'ClubStyle' look of bulky fairings that were used on police bikes (FXRP/FXRD/FXRT) in the 1970s.

By using modern 3D scans of an original bike, Rick's has been able to manufacture exact replicas in high-quality glass fiber plastic with ready-to-paint Gelcoat finish.
By producing them in two halves, these lightweight but strong and rigid replicas are finished smooth on the inside and outside and have mounting points that are strengthened with laminated stainless steel brackets.


The height-adjustable fairing mounting kits are made from laser-cut moldings and designed to take a 7" LED headlamp - with a 200 mm high windshield offered in black or smoked and headlamp windshield in clear or tinted.
They fit all Harley-Davidson Softail models from 2018 - front fork adjustments may be necessary on some models.



Scorpion Billet Clutch Basket

Californian clutch and cable specialist Barnett's Scorpion billet clutch basket for 2007-20 Harley Big Twins is "the ideal bolt-on replacement for broken stock baskets."

"This billet basket is the highest quality and most cost-effective replacement for your broken stock basket available," the company says. It is precision machined from tough 2024-T3 heat treated billet aluminum and hard anodized.
"This basket is superior in quality and durability to the stock basket. To install, simply remove the stock basket from the ring gear/primary sprocket and bolt on the new Barnett Scorpion basket. All hardware and instructions are included."


Motorrcycle Storehouse

Rough Crafts Turn Signals by Koso

Winston Yeh, the product designer and award-winning custom bike builder behind Rough Crafts, has teamed-up with electronic parts and accessory specialist Koso for these new Rough Crafts by Koso turn signals.

"Ultra-small and bright", these ECE approved LED lights (sold individually) are available as regular turn signals and as 3-into-1 taillight, brake light and turn signal combo units.



Speed Clamps

The Techs in the workshop at Biltwell's California headquarters have asked us to pass on a tip. They say that "T-bars and tall risers look great, but their dimensions can pose problems for mounting stock H-D speedo/tach assemblies, and generally require rewiring the gauges and a new speedo cable." 

They say they have a user and budget friendly solution for those who don't want to ditch the OE gauges or undertake a rewire. "Our speed clamps in flat or angled styles help solve this problem on 1" or 1.25" diameter risers. Depending on your set-up, gauges can be mounted in front or behind the risers at virtually any height that clears your tank."


Tuesday 23 March 2021

Indian Motorcycle

"Challenger Challenge" Back for 2021

As Indian Motorcycle continues to wage 'Bagger Wars' against Harley-Davidson, news that the company has slated a return for its “Challenger Challenge,” a season-long demo tour and dealer activation that pits the Indian Challenger vs. the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special "for the ultimate head-to-head comparison."

New for 2021, riders taking the Challenger Challenge will experience each bike with comparable performance upgrades, including for the Challenger, Indian Motorcycle Stage 1 oval slip-on mufflers, a PowerPlus Stage 1 air intake and PowerPlus Stage 2 performance cams.
For the Road Glide Special there will be Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle Street Cannon performance slip-on mufflers, a Screamin' Eagle Heavy Breather extreme air cleaner, a Screamin' Eagle Milwaukee-Eight Stage II Power Kit and a Screamin' Eagle Pro Street tuner.
"Taking center stage at the 2021 Challenger Challenge are Indian Motorcycle’s PowerPlus Stage 2 performance cams" - the same cams that helped power the S&S Indian Challenger to victory at the inaugural King of the Baggers race at Laguna Seca, California, in October 2020.
"Featuring best-in-class stock performance, the Indian Challenger gains 10% more horsepower with the Stage 2 upgrade kit - providing a new level of unmatched passing power and American Bagger performance.
In a test at the 1/8th Mile NHRA sanctioned Irwindale Drag Strip in California, Indian Motorcycle report the Challenger as registering 7.52 seconds, with 7.96 for the Road Glide.
After an initial outing for the Challenge at Daytona during Bike Week, the Challenger Challenge will tour with Indian Motorcycle demo events and at selected local dealerships.

News Briefs


H-D has a new EMEA VP, Kolja Rebstock, the former CEO and Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors' German business, and a former Daimler AG executive. Very much a new-era Jochen Zeitz hire, Harley's CEO stated that "since we are concentrating on strengthening our prioritized markets, including EMEA and especially the DACH region [Germany, Austria, Switzerland], a strong network of profitable retailers is essential. Rebstock has considerable experience in working with dealer networks and in implementing a specific brand experience at the point of sale. He will lead the execution of our five-year strategic plan, The Hardwire, across EMEA during these challenging times. His vast experience will be of tremendous benefit."

Testament to the success that departed CEO Scott Wine had during his decade long tenure as CEO, Polaris Inc. has been named in Fortune magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies for the first time.

In keeping with its long-term commitment to 'Support the Sport' at all levels of the industry, Parts Unlimited announced the return of its Racer Rewards program. 2021 will see PU offer more than $250,000 worth of parts, accessories and apparel though its dealer network to support amateur riders nationwide.

The AHDRA All-American motorcycle drag racing series kicks off its second season under the stewardship of Bill Rowe on April 17-18 at Atlanta Dragway; followed by May 22-23 at Cecil County Dragway; June 4-6 at Rockingham Dragway; June 19-20 at National Trail Raceway; August 8-10 at Sturgis; September 17-18 at South Carolina Motorsports Park (eighth mile); October 1-3 at Summit Motorsports Park (Norwalk), and November 6-7 at Gainesville Raceway, with a regional event April 30-May 1 at Darlington Dragway.

Recent Harley patent filings show the company building on the radar-assisted safety features it filed in the past couple of years - such as radar-assisted cruise control. The ideas include radar-assisted automatic braking systems, with additional sensors that can measure the rider's awareness and body position to determine if rider alerts should precede braking actuation - features such as a rear-facing camera set into the instrument panel and focused on the rider's face could be used, or a helmet-mounted camera focused on the rider's eyes. If the computer decides the rider isn't paying enough attention for it to safely apply the brakes automatically, it's tied into audible, visual and haptic alert systems, potentially using vibration motors in the bars like those in games console controllers, along with warning lights and a buzzer, before going ahead with the emergency stop.

Another idea H-D appears to be working on is GPS-assisted cruise control for groups of riders - to get all the bikes to use a GPS-assisted cruise control that can make sure they're riding at precisely the same speed. Even by only making occasional GPS speed checks, the computer will know how far off its own wheel-speed sensors are from perfection and compensate, ending the constant juggling of cruise control settings as riders try to keep pace with the bike ahead.

Lurking among a recent slew of EPA-certified brand names that Harley has included in a filing was the name 'REVIVAL' - alongside the Electra Glide Standard, Road Glide and Street Glide. It has been seen there and elsewhere as a Trademarked brand name. The missing-in-action 1250 cc custom, perhaps?

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,, Cycle World,


Harley Appoints a Chief Electric Vehicle Officer

Effective April, Ryan Morrissey will join Harley-Davidson as its first Chief Electric Vehicle Officer, bringing with him "over two decades of experience in disruptive technologies and the development of new business ventures."

Morrissey is another Bain & Company alumnus - the Boston, Massachusetts management consultancy where Harley found Edel O'Sullivan, its recently hired Chief Commercial Officer.
 Morrissey "served most recently as a Senior Partner and Head of the Automotive & Mobility practice in the Americas. In this role, he led the development of growth, adjacency and M&A strategies for OEMs, tech providers, and retailers specific to the long-range transition to electric vehicles and autonomous fleets.
"He has worked extensively with leading global OEMs in powersports, heavy equipment and automotive on developing digital channels, EV product strategy and software-based services. As part of Bain's work with financial investors, he has advised many leading investment firms on acquisitions in mobility.
"Morrissey began his career at Lutron Electronics, as the U.S. sales lead for its first generation of software-based control systems for energy management. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management."  
Harley CEO Jochen Zeitz said: "Ryan has extensive experience with leading OEMs, working on building businesses to develop, commercialize and support electric vehicles. I am excited to have him join the team to help us lead in electric. As we announced in February as part of The Hardwire 2021-2025 strategic plan, we'll be talking more about our electric strategy later in the year."
That would be once Morrissey has had the time to write one of course!


RumbleOn and RideNow to Merge

Irving, Texas based RumbleOn, a 100% online ecommerce company that aggregates and distributes pre-owned automotive and powersport vehicles to and from consumers and dealers, is to "combine" its business with Chandler, Arizona based RideNow - the largest powersports retailer group in the United States.
In fact, RumbleOn, a 100% online buy/sell and finance platform, appears to be buying the RideNow chain of brick and mortar powersports retail locations for a combination of cash and shares.

The two businesses have entered into a Definitive Agreement to form a publicly traded powersports dealership platform that is being described as "the first omnichannel customer experience in powersports in North America - delivering an unparalleled solution to powersports enthusiasts."
RumbleOn (NASDAQ: RMBL) says it sold more than 63,000 vehicles in 2020, generating revenue of approximately $1.3bn net income and that the combination with RideOn will "propel revenue growth and drive meaningful cost synergies" in a deal that values RideNow at $575.4m - $400.4m of which will be paid in cash, with $175m paid in RumbleOn Class B common stock. Up to $280.0m of the cash consideration is to be funded by new debt financing.
"The integration of RideNow's extensive footprint and strong retail brand with RumbleOn's technology platform will transform the nation's largest powersports dealer into the first, and only, omnichannel powersports platform in North America.
"Together, the combined company will have a dominant position in a $100+ billion market. The end-to-end platform will enable the combined company to reach more consumers in a secularly growing, but still highly fragmented market that is benefitting from changing consumer behavior."
Founded in 1983, RideNow has more than 40 full-service retail locations in 11 states. In 2020, RideNow sold 45,527 powersport units, including ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles and personal watercraft, generating approximately $899.4m in total revenue.
RumbleOn's ecommerce platform is described as providing an "efficient, timely and transparent transaction experience, without leaving home. Whether buying, selling, trading or financing a vehicle, RumbleOn offers dealers and consumers a friction-free experience - without geographic boundaries."


OptiMate 2 DUO - Making It Easy

When it comes to tires, most riders can quote various brands they like, the model that worked best for their riding style and the ideal air pressure for the terrain they ride in.
Unfortunately, that level of interest is entirely absent when it comes to batteries - despite being another key vehicle component. Very few riders really know what type or brand of battery is in their vehicle, or what the voltage should be when the battery is fully charged.
The typical rider attitude is, if it works, leave it well alone, until it doesn't - riders only care when the battery is dead, but then the mindset is about solving the engine starting problem, not about the battery itself. 

This prevailing attitude motivated TecMate to create the OptiMate 1 DUO, an easy 'no brainer' battery charger maintainer that does not require the rider to have any prior knowledge about battery type or size, be it lead-acid, filler cap, AGM, GEL, LiFePO4, LFP, 12V, 12.8V, 13.2V - as long as it is a starter battery in a vehicle with a 12V system, it can be charged and maintained with an OptiMate 1 DUO. Plus, it is incredibly easy to use - connect it to the battery after parking the vehicle and walk away. No further supervision required.
This ease of use has made OptiMate 1 DUO a very popular battery maintainer. The good news for dealers (and their customers) from TecMate CEO/CTO Martin Human is of expansion to the DUO line-up.  

He told AMD that "OptiMate 2 DUO is a more powerful 2 amp charger and maintainer, able to charge all powersport batteries faster. It retains the same 'ease of use' features of the OptiMate 1 DUO, but delivers more power, and with more power comes responsibility."
The OptiMate 2 DUO takes responsibility by detecting if a battery is damaged, and if it is, it will then automatically stop charging. This is important for lithium batteries with damaged cells - "they can overheat if charging is continued unabated."

For dealers and their customers with multiple vehicles, there are multi-bank options available. The OptiMate 2 DUO x2 can charge two batteries and the OptiMate 2 DUO x4 can charge four batteries of any type and size, simultaneously and independently.
"Preparation of batteries can be done without thinking," says Martin. "Just connect the battery to a station on the OptiMate 2 DUO multi-bank - never mind if it is lithium or lead-acid - and it will charge it up safely and then keep it 'fresh and ready' for sale or use.
"We have recognized that most riders just want their bike to start, never mind the battery type within. That's what our DUO line of chargers delivers - easy 'no brainer' charging. This ease of use has motivated Triumph Motorcycles to choose OptiMate 2 DUO as its new rider charger.
"No buttons, no decisions to make, just hook it up and it automatically charges and maintains that battery!"


Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

Solo Seats for Indian


This solo seat is made narrow up front for better leg clearance to ground contact - it moves the rider back 1" and 1/2" lower compared to the factory seat and features a 3" tall back for support. The seat base is made of 3/16" thermoformed ABS for a "perfect fit and comes with a carpeted bottom and rubber bumpers to protect the bike's paint." 

Molded polyurethane foam and a high-quality automotive-grade vinyl cover "provide comfort and styling." The seat is available in smooth, linear stitch with black thread or Double-Diamond stitch with black, silver or red thread and measures 23 1/2" long overall. The seat fits '14-'21 Chief/Chieftain, Chieftain Vintage/Classic/Limited, '16-'21 Dark Horse, '17-'21 Springfield and '15-'21 Roadmaster models. All mounting hardware is included.

Replacement Air Filter Element for V-Rod

This high-quality paper filter meets or exceeds OEM specifications. It is for use with OEM stock air filter housings on '02-'17 V-Rod models and replaces OEM #29437-01A.

Clutch Plate Kits

Designed to perform under extreme heat conditions, these clutch plates are said to allow "smooth, precise shifting and can be run wet or dry." The Aramid fiber friction kit includes ten plates that have "higher-density compound for increased durability. The steel 9-plate kit is manufactured under strict quality control standards." The kits are sold individually and they fit '18-'20 M-8, '13-'17 Twin Cam CVO/SE and '14-'20 HD FL Trike models (with slipper/assist clutch).

DS3 Premium Synthetic 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil

This all-new premium full synthetic oil "provides the ultimate in long-lasting protection against engine wear, protects engines from sludge build-up and aids in providing maximum power output." It can be used in H-D V-twins, including engine, primary and transmissions. "With its carefully selected additive package, this oil yields exceptional viscosity, stability and lasting anti-oxidation qualities of the kind that cannot be derived from conventional base oils."
It is "extremely shear stable, so the oil will stay consistent, even with gear and engine forces, extreme pressure additives protect gears and other engine parts. Excellent sealing characteristics provide maximum power output. Meets all warranty performance criteria for H-D engines and does not void new vehicle warranties." The oil meets or exceeds API CI-4/SL service rating and is available in quart and gallon bottles.

Forward Control Extension Kits

This aluminum forward control extension kit extends the OEM forward controls by three inches; available in either chrome or black. All necessary hardware is included in each kit, and the kit fits '18-'20 FLSB, FXBR/FXBRS, FXFB/FXFBS models. An extended length custom rear brake line is required when installing.


Magnum Shielding

Magnum Shielding 1" Handlebars - "Big Value, Small Price"

For those who don't want to overspend on new handlebars - for older bikes maybe - Pittsford, New York based handlebar kit specialist Magnum Shielding's budget friendly 1" handlebars are a "great looking option, delivering all the comfort the rider wants, but without the big price tag."
Magnum 1" handlebars are available in 10, 12 and 14 Bagger and ape hanger styles. Both styles are available with high luster chrome or gloss black powder-coat finishes.

"The 1" diameter handlebars are CNC-bent for an accurate fit and incorporate comfortable but aggressive looking wrist angles. Bagger style bars are designed to have the correct clearance on Batwing models.
"Aside from their great looks and comfortable design, Magnum's 1" handlebars have that built-in quality they are famous for. Magnum Shielding 1" handlebars are made with a premium construction that includes holes for internal or external wiring and slots for electronic throttle control that are all burr-free. All handlebars have 3 1/2" on-center knurling." 

Magnum has complete handlebar installation kits for most Harley models from 1996 and up for every budget. From economically priced XR Stainless kits to their premium Designer Series, "Magnum has you covered. Pair up XR Stainless installation kits with Magnum's 1" handlebars and you have a recipe for quick installation turnarounds with wallet-friendly consumer pricing."
Magnum Shielding has been a Tier-1 manufacturer of premium, matching, braided products for over 38 years, including brake lines, control cables and ignition wires. Every Magnum Shielding brake line is pressure tested and fully compliant with all DOT FMVSS-106 specifications and is assembled in the USA.


Midwest Motorcycle Supply

Midwest Motorcycle Supply 2021 Catalog

The 2021 catalog from Pevely, Missouri based Midwest Motorcycle Supply "has all the essentials that matter most - at affordable prices - plus our own proprietary Ultima products."
For 2021, the Ultima engine family that powers custom bike builds such as Rods & Rides Custom Motorcycle's trophy-winning Derakes, Bobbers, Choppers and Trikes. "Our dealers receive a weekly sale flyer featuring these bikes as well as any builds that they want to contribute and share.

"Our Ultima Twin Cam replacement engines are now available polished and in a stunning 'Blackout' finish in addition to regular natural and regular black. These finishes are also available on our Ultima Evo style Competition Series engines as well as our Ultima Shovelhead style engines.
"We have a rebuild program for Twin Cam and Evo engines, and engine parts like flywheels for early and late Twin Cams and Evos are available, right up to new replacement and performance M-8 parts.
"Our Ultima 2" late model primary belt drives are available for '06 and up Dyna and '07 and up Softails, with our black 2" and 3.35" Ultima belt drives all available in black.
"Our wheel line includes 'Vortex', 'Manhattan', 'Kool Kat' and King Spoke aluminum wheels, including 23" and 26" sizes. New this year are 30" King Spokes - all available in black cut series or polished.
"All our drivetrain products, such as our Ultima 3.35" and 2" belt drives and transmissions are rugged, long lasting units and available for Evo Softail and Twin Cam and Evo Dynas. Complete drivetrain packages are available, including the Ultima 6-speed RSD or LSD transmissions, powerful ThunderFire starter motors and ThunderVolt AGM batteries.
"Also in the Ultima family of products are a line of ignitions, throttle and idle cables, gaskets, polished or black anodized forward controls, handlebars, Springer front ends, calipers and brackets, gas and oil tanks, exhaust systems and much more."
The catalog art is designed to recognize Midwest's support for the "Red White and Blue line" (firemen, health care workers and police).

American Flat Track

AFT and 'Rookies of '79' Extend Relationship

AFT has confirmed 'Rookies of '79 and Friends' as the series' Official Charity Partner for a fourth straight year in 2021.
Now in its 12th year of operation as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, Rookies of '79 "stands as a constant, reassuring presence that allows racers to perform at their maximum with the assurance that someone will have their back even when circumstances are the direst.
"Support from Rookies of '79 is made available to any licensed Progressive AFT competitor injured at a series event. Since its inception, it has never turned away a rider seeking aid, providing the help necessary to allow many of them to return to the track, rather than end their careers prematurely due to injury." 


The Rookies of '79 name points to its founding members, "an astonishing collection of talent who graduated to the sport's global pinnacle together in 1979. That group includes some of the greatest racers to ever grace a two-wheeled machine, boasting such legends as Scott Parker, Wayne Rainey, Ronnie Jones, Charlie Roberts, Tommy Duma, Jackie Mitchell, Lance Jones and Johnny Wincewicz. Reunited three decades later, the Rookies of '79 decided to give back to the sport in a way that would help those who needed it the most."
When Rookies of '79 first became Progressive AFT's Official Charity in 2018, it had already raised nearly a million dollars to those ends. In the three years since, it has more than doubled that number, boasting more than two million dollars raised since 2009 to help injured riders and their families.
Parts and accessory vendors of note who have supported Rookies of '79 include Motion Pro and Memphis Shades.
This season will see 'Rookies' raffling off an all-new Indian FTR 1200 Rally donated by Indian Motorcycle. Two previous motorcycles provided by Indian Motorcycle raised a total of over $65,000.
"We are honored to be the Official Charity of Progressive American Flat Track," said Charlie Roberts, CEO of Rookies of '79 and Friends. "We would not be able to provide the assistance to the riders that we do without this relationship."

Zodiac International

Zodiac International Additions

Rick's 'Good Guys' Design Air Cleaners


Baden-Baden, Germany based Rick's Motorcycles' 'Good Guys' design air cleaner is made in Germany and features "precision, durable construction with a contemporary look. The housing and base plate are milled out of billet aluminum CNC and feature an integrated engine ventilation that leads the oil back into the intake passage, preventing uncontrolled oil leakage from the air cleaner body.
The air cleaner features integrated noise reduction, which is not visible from the outside. The noise reduction can be removed to optimize performance (but that will void the TÜV approval) and the K&N filter element and clever flow optimization in the air cleaner meet the highest requirements." TÜV approval is available for the Rick's air cleaner in combination with original exhaust systems and some adjustable aftermarket exhausts.
They are available for 1993-2000 Evolution Big Twins, 2007 to present Sportsters, 2016-2017 110 ci Softails, 2008-2016 Touring and 2016-2017 96 ci and 103 ci Softails, 2017 to present M-8, 2018 to present 107 ci M-8 Softails and 2018 to present 114 ci M-8 Softails. Design options in black bicolor, black or both include 'Good Guys', 'Apollo Five', 'Bandit', 'H.Lector', 'Rodder', 'Seven Sins' and 'Spoke'.

DK Custom - Rocker Lockers

This is the cure for that Harley top end tapping that everyone has been looking for. Rocker Lockers do exactly what the name implies - they lock the rocker shafts and get rid of the annoying tapping sound that so many Harley owners experience. They also center the rocker plate so that it is always located in the same position, eliminating different wear patterns on the rocker arm and valve and provide a better alignment of the pushrod in the holes.
They are easy to install with the included Teflon centering tool and come complete with step-by-step installation instructions. They fit all 1986-2006 Sportsters, all 2007 to present Sportsters, all 1984-2000 Evolution Big Twins and all 1999-2017 Twin Cams - with either OEM or aftermarket rocker arm supports (seen here).

ODI Fusion Alloy Throttle Sleeve for Indian

These durable, hard anodized black throttle sleeves feature an integrated Teflon sleeve for improved throttle pull and return. They fit 2018 to present Indian Challenger, Chief, Chieftain, Roadmaster and Springfield models.

ODI Hart-Luck Signature Full-Waffle Slip-On Grips

Slim Moto design in 1" diameter for Indian, Victory and all H-D models, except XG Street. The medium-compound, full-waffle pattern reduces vibration. The durable, heavy knurled base pattern provides improved traction and control. They are made out of genuine proprietary materials which provide excellent comfort and durability and are available in black, graphite, brown, dark red and dark blue.


Wednesday 17 March 2021

Motorcycle Storehouse

PDG Acquires Motorcycle Storehouse

Breda, Netherlands based Powersports Distribution Group (PDG) has announced a further addition to its fast growing portfolio of powersports industry businesses with the acquisition of Motorcycle Storehouse (MCS) from its current shareholders Nedvest and management.
PDG says it will "support the MCS management team in continuing its impressive growth trajectory. PDG aims to further develop MCS and strengthen its position as a leading pan-European player with the largest assortment of premium brands, including own brands of aftermarket parts and lifestyle products for Harley-Davidson motorcycles."

Iwan Vollebregt, CEO of MCS, comments: "We are excited about our cooperation with PDG, which will help us fuel and accelerate our ambition. PDG and its management team have shown that they have the relevant expertise and vision in the industry to help us continue our growth. More importantly, we are convinced that joining forces will open up many new opportunities, in several countries and market segments."
Headquartered at Groningen in the Netherlands, MCS is a "leading European player with the largest selection of leading brands in niche custom motorcycle aftermarket parts and lifestyle products with a track record of growth and 40 years of pioneering the industry."
This has created a pan-European platform with international reach and sales to more than 90 countries. With its 47 team members, a product offering of more than 70,000 SKUs, and more than 1,000,000 items in stock, MCS says it "offers the largest assortment in Harley-Davidson aftermarket hard parts and lifestyle products in Europe. MCS distributes its products globally from a state-of-the-art warehouse, and also operates a warehouse facility in the United Kingdom (Manchester), serving the UK market. 


Tom Beyers, CEO of PDG: "PDG is extremely impressed by MCS, the width and depth of their product assortment, their ability to create a large and loyal fanbase and their state-of-the-art operations and warehouse in Groningen. Their impressive leadership position in the Harley-Davidson niche segment will further establish the position of PDG as a European market leader."

Tom Beyers, CEO of PDG, commented that "PDG is extremely impressed by MCS, the width and depth of their product assortment, their ability to create a large and loyal fanbase and their state-of-the-art operations and warehouse in Groningen. Their impressive leadership position in the Harley-Davidson niche segment will further establish the position of PDG as a European market leader. We look forward to actively supporting MCS and its management in the next phase of growth."
PDG positions itself to be "the preferred partner for its customers and suppliers based on its broad premium product assortment, ease of ordering, availability, service level and perfect fit. PDG is proud to have the most professional and passionate individuals on board, to work with the industry's most respected brands and to earn the trust of thousands of customers every day."

The PDG Group currently consists of three divisions. General motorcycle aftermarket B2B distribution with Hoco Parts, a premium motorcycle parts & accessories aftermarket distributor in the Benelux, Denmark, the UK and France. "With the addition of MCS, we now also offer aftermarket B2B distribution for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Europe."
Additionally, PDG operates category management with DC Afam (Belgium), an aftermarket supplier to European motorcycle parts wholesalers, retail chains and large web-shops with transmission, battery and filter brands like Afam, Nitro and Shido.
Finally, PDG is a player in the vintage parts distribution segment with Dutch specialist CMS (Consolidated Motor Spares), "the leading global distributor of vintage Japanese motorcycle parts."
PDG is majority owned by Torqx Capital Partners in partnership with management and former owners.

Ken Tabata

2011 AMD World Champion Ken Tabata Passed Away

AMD was saddened to hear of the death of Ken Tabata of Tavax Engineering, Osaka, Japan. Ken was the winner of the 2011 AMD World Championship - a fitting reward for 3 1/2 years of determination, inspiration and innovation. 

Ken won at Sturgis with his much-admired Tavax 2011V - hand-sculpted, polished aluminum custom loveliness inspired by the coiled-up energy and elegant, fluid motion of a 'Cheetah' racing through the Savannah grasslands.
Using his own hand-fabricated custom frame, housing an S&S Shovelhead style engine with custom rocker boxes, cam box cover and air cleaner for the S&S carb, almost the only other items Ken didn't make are the modified stock transmission, Rivera Primo primary with a sprung pulley to provide the tension to keep the belt in place and the heavily modified and lightweight Marchesini wheels with Dunlops.
The advanced suspension system was all Ken's work. The swingarm itself is suspended by a single coil shock, which is activated by a sports bike style linkage system. At the front of the bike, linkages are also used in the suspension - where the fork begins at the axle as a leading link with a pair of pivoting arms in each of the fork legs, working on a horseshoe shaped piece that pushes a single shock in a design similar to that of a Springer fork.
Our thoughts are with Ken's wife Akiko, seen here with him at the 'AMD' at Sturgis in 2011.

American Flat Track

FT 2021 Volusia Half-Mile I & II
Rounds 1 & 2, March 12 & 13

The season-opening American Flat Track doubleheader at the Volusia Speedway Park, Barberville, FL., - 30 miles inland from downtown Daytona Beach - kicked off the much-anticipated 2021 season just as the final weekend of this year's Daytona Rally got underway.
In the opening Mission Super Twins presented by S&S Cycle, Brandon Robinson (FTR750) and JD Beach (Yamaha MT-07) sprang a surprise on 2019 Champion Jared Mees and 2020 Champion Briar Bauman, before the 2021 Wrecking Crew pair restored their pride with Mees taking the win ahead of Bauman in Round 2 the following evening.

This was Robinson's third consecutive class win after taking injury comeback glory by winning both races in the 2020 Daytona season finale doubleheader.
In the AFT Singles, Shayna Texter-Bauman took a doubleheader pair of wins on the factory KTM 450 SX-FTE, with Chad Cose taking the Round 1 win in the AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines on the H-D XG750R and a second place in Round 2 behind Cory Texter's Yamaha MT-07.


There is a seven-week gap now before the next race weekend, the Atlanta Super TT at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on May 1st, followed by the Mission Foods Texas Half-Mile Presented by Roof Systems at the Texas Motor Speedway - Fort Worth, TX. - on the same weekend as the J&P Cycles, Revzilla and Cycle Gear backed Get On! Moto Fest, which features an AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building qualifier on the same weekend at the same venue.

Round 1 March 12

Mission Super Twins Presented by S&S Cycle
1.    Brandon Robinson - Indian FTR750, Mission Foods/Roof Systems
2.    JD Beach - Yamaha MT-07, Estenson Racing/Yamaha Racing
3.    Jared Mees - Indian FTR750, Indian Motorcycle/Progressive
4.    Briar Bauman - Indian FTR750, Indian Motorcycle/Progressive
5.    Sammy Halbert - Indian FTR750, Coolbeth-Nila Racing/Roof Systems

1.    Shayna Texter-Bauman - KTM 450 SX-FFE, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2.    Dallas Daniels - Yamaha YZ450F, Estenson Racing/Yamaha Racing
3.    Michael Rush - Yamaha YZ450F, Estenson Racing/Yamaha Racing
4.    Max Whale - KTM 450 SX-FFE, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
5.    Tanner Dean - Honda CRF 450R, 1st Impressions Race Team/Floridian Plumbing

Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
1.    Chad Cose - H-D XG750R, Voodoo Ranger/Roof Systems/Vance & Hines
2.    Dan Bromley - Yamaha MT-07, Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction
3.    Cory Texter - Yamaha MT-07, G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing
4.    Dalton Gauthier - H-D XG750R, D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines
5.    Cameron Smith - Yamaha MT-07, Fredricktown Yamaha/Richie Reynolds Racing

Round 2 March 13

AFT Mission Super Twins Presented by S&S Cycle
1.    Jared Mees - Indian FTR750, Indian Motorcycle/Progressive
2.    Briar Bauman - Indian FTR750, Indian Motorcycle/Progressive
3.    Sammy Halbert - Indian FTR750, Coolbeth-Nila Racing/Roof Systems
4.    Brandon Price - Indian FTR750, Mission Foods/Roof Systems
5.    Brandon Robinson - Indian FTR750, Mission Foods/Roof Systems

AFT Singles
1.    Shayna Texter-Bauman - KTM 450 SX-FFE, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2.    Michael Rush - Yamaha YZ450F, Estenson Racing/Yamaha Racing
3.    Morgen Mischler - KTM 450 SX-F, Mission Foods/Roof Systems
4.    Dallas Daniels - Yamaha YZ450F, Estenson Racing/Yamaha Racing
5.    Henry Wiles - Honda CRF 450R, American Honda/United Rentals

AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
1.    Cory Texter - Yamaha MT-07, G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing
2.    Chad Cose - H-D XG750R, Voodoo Ranger/Roof Systems/Vance & Hines
3.    Dan Bromley - Yamaha MT-07, Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction
4.    Ryan Varnes - Kawasaki Ninja 650
5.    Dalton Gauthier - H-D XG750R, D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines

AHDRA Pro Fuel

Hawaya Backing AHDRA Pro Fuel and Nitro Funnybike

AHDRA Pro Fuel racers will have some extra financial security this year (Tim Hailey reports), and Nitro Funnybike racers will have a class sponsor - all courtesy of Johnny Vickers and Hawaya Racing.
Pro Fuel (formerly called Pro Dragster) racers will know before their trailers hit the road that they will be racing for a guaranteed purse, regardless of how many competitors show up in the class.

"Something that I'm pretty adamant about, because I've raced all my life too, is to see that the Pro Fuel racers know what to expect," said Vickers. "Hey, there might be only two here, only four there, but it costs the racers just as much money, just as much time off, and they are going to have just as much stuff break as if there's eight or twelve bikes.
"The racers that show up have done their part, and I'm gonna do my part to see that they're rewarded. So, if two bikes show up, one of them's gonna be the winner, and they're gonna get the full $1,200 winner's purse."
Runner-up is guaranteed $600, with $300 for semi-finalists and $200 for quarter-finalists, based on five or more entries.

"When Bill Rowe announced he was buying AHDRA, I said 'Well, put Hawaya on the carburetor class.' So that was a fast deal and a done deal and boom, we're off and running.
"It makes sense for us to go back now and offer more support for the AHDRA. We're trying to help grow the sport and help the racers as well."
That help will also extend to Nitro Funnybike, formerly called Pro Fuel. Vickers and Rowe both feel that until class participation develops, Nitro Funnybike is better off run with a purse scaled to the number of entries. But having a major sponsor like Hawaya shows that both are committed to building the class to a solid future.
The AHDRA all-American motorcycle drag racing series kicks off its second season under the stewardship of Rowe on April 17-18 at Atlanta Dragway, followed by May 22-23 at Cecil County Dragway, June 4-6 at Rockingham Dragway, June 19-20 at National Trail Raceway, August 8-10 at Sturgis, September 17-18 at South Carolina Motorsports Park (eighth mile), October 1-3 at Summit Motorsports Park (Norwalk), and November 6-7 at Gainesville Raceway, with a regional event April 30-May 1 at Darlington Dragway.

Classes are Top Fuel, Hawaya Racing Nitro Funnybike, Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel, GMS Racing Pro Open, Zipper's Performance Pro Modified, Modified, Law Tigers Pro Bagger, Horsepower Inc. Hot Street, Outlaw Street, 9.30 index, Vreeland's Harley-Davidson 9.90, 10:30 index, Universal Fleet & Tire 10.90, 11.50 index, T-Man Performance Bagger Eliminator, Mad Monkey Motorsports Eliminator, and Trophy.
This report was prepared by Tim Hailey. See and watch more motorcycle drag racing at