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Tuesday 31 August 2021

Memphis Shades

Memphis Shades - Springfield Mile Babe DeMay Challenge

Rossville, Tennessee based Memphis Shades, the noted fairing and windshield brand and longest running sponsor of the AFT Springfield Mile, has stepped up for the September 2021 Miles with the introduction of the Memphis Shades Babe DeMay Challenge.
A $5,000 winner-take-all "dash for cash" for AFT Production Twins, Babe DeMay, a beloved Hall of Famer, passed away in October of 2020. His race shop had been in the Memphis Shades factory for 20 years, and the folks at Memphis Shades thought the only fitting memorial would be a race in his honor on September 4th and 5th. 


American Flat Track motorcycle racing is America's original "thrills, spills and chills" extreme sport, and Progressive AFT is a high adrenaline, competitive racing series that features world class athletes who reach 140 mph on the straights and 90 mph in the corners. In the United States, Progressive AFT races are televised on NBCSN and can be watched live on NBC Sports Gold. 

Known as the creators of "Style That Works", Memphis Shades designs and builds all its windshields, fairings and hardware in house - "raw materials in, finished goods out. Our products are made using unique proprietary processes, with patented hardware made of electrocoated aluminum and stainless steel, with stainless steel fasteners.
"Features that have made our products internationally recognized for their design excellence include angle adjustability, interchangeability and no-tool removal. Memphis Shades has a perfect fairing or windshield for any riding style."

Tucker Powersports

Tucker Postpones Road Show Tour

Fort Worth, Texas based Tucker Powersports has informed its dealers that it has now postponed its proposed Tucker Road Show tour program indefinitely.
The initial series of four regional events in selected markets (Las Vegas, Fort Worth, Charlotte and Kentucky) had originally been announced for the spring of 2021, before Covid caution triggered a delay to the fall. 

Since that time, AIMExpo has announced for January 2022 at Las Vegas and Tucker appears to have preferred to return to its original plan of co-staging its dealer appreciation event with the MIC at their rebooted trade only, three-day AIMExpo industry expo concept.
Tucker Sales VP Brad Turner is quoted as telling dealers that "recent input from dealers indicates that you would prefer to focus your time on maximizing sales to the numerous customers who are visiting your dealership, rather than travel to events such as the Road Show this fall.

In announcing an indefinite postponement for the Tucker Roadshow tour, Tucker VP Sales Brad Turner told dealers: "We understand the time and staffing challenges that you are having in this year of amazing growth."

"While we love the Road Show program as a way for the Tucker team and our suppliers to celebrate and thank our dealers, we understand the time and staffing challenges that you are having in this year of amazing growth. We hope to launch the Road Show program in the future.

"In the meantime, AIMExpo is coming in January, and we hope all of our dealers will join us in Las Vegas. Tucker will have a great presence for our house brands and our suppliers in the expo. Our sponsorship of the show will allow us to host a hospitality area for Tucker dealers right on the show floor."
AIMExpo is slated for the Las Vegas Convention Center for January 19 through 21, 2022.

News Briefs

The Harley/Serial 1 joint venture is now making deliveries of its inaugural line-up of e-bikes to pre-orders placed by selected dealers in USA.

PIERER Mobility AG, the KTM, HUSQVARNA and GASGAS owner, says unit sales doubled in the first half of 2021 at 176,045 unit sales (+95% compared to the first six months of the crisis hit previous year). Its burgeoning electric and conventional bicycle sales business was +25% over the first six months of 2020 at 53,378 units (39,603 of those were E-bikes). Group motorcycle unit sales were + 76% in Europe (73,224 units) and +160% in the United States (30,419 units sold).

Performance Racing Industry (PRI) has started a 'first-of-its-kind' membership program for the racing industry that will "make it possible for racers and enthusiasts to join racing businesses in a movement to protect and grow the industry." More than 300 businesses in the racing industry are said to have already joined since the program was first offered to PRI Trade Show exhibitors in March. Several companies have also extended their commitment to support the racing industry for a minimum of 10 years by becoming PRI Founding Members. Membership starts at $40 per year for a Pro Membership and includes entrance to the PRI show for qualified attendees, Save Our Racecars Advocacy, inclusion in the Performance Racing Political Action Committee, posting access on the PRI Jobs Board, digital magazine, membership card, welcome packet and stickers.

Cardo Systems has extended its cooperation with HARMAN for premium audio quality for motorcycle communications systems. The broader collaboration will include new integrated JBL produced and branded speakers, "delivering superior audio experience to users of Cardo's units worldwide."

Ducati has received North American radar certification for its Multistrada V4 S. Ducati describes the technology involved as a "revolutionary new system incorporated for the first time on a production motorcycle" that delivers Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection. Current model-year 2021 Multistrada V4 S owners can now have a radar software uploaded and calibrated by their dealerships.

Having recently divested itself of one of its H-D stores, 'Go Daddy' entrepreneur Bob Parsons' Arizona based GO AZ Motorcycles has added a sixth location - Star Island Motorsports (Prescott, AZ) - from prior owners Gary Hengeveld and Scott Walz. Prescott is now added to locations in Scottsdale, Peoria, Cottonwood and Flagstaff, along with H-D of Scottsdale, currently claimed to be the world's largest Harley dealership.

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


Base Model Sportster Pictures Leaked
By Ben Purvis

The next step in the liquid-cooled 'New Gen' Sportster plan has already been revealed, courtesy of images of a base model that leaked via a survey sent to some Harley customers.
The online survey included six pictures of a future 'Standard' Sportster to complement the 'S', complete with traditional bobber styling and a twin-shock chassis, but on the Revolution Max water-cooled DOHC engine that debuted in the Pan America and Sportster S.
The sharp eyed may have noticed three snatched close-ups of the bike in the official reveal video for the Sportster S that was shot in Scotland - no doubt as a teaser for the next step in the master plan.

The apparently planned 'Standard' Sportster will likely use the 975 cc version of the Revolution Max that had been intended for the 'Bronx' streetfighter. Option combinations will include silver, bronze or black engines, chrome or black exhausts and silver or black wheels.

While the Sportster S bucks tradition by using monoshock rear suspension, upside-down forks and high-level exhausts, the base model Sportster will feature much more familiar styling. The front gets a circular headlight with a small cowl around it above conventional forks and a large 19in front wheel.
The frame - made up of small front and rear subframes with the engine as a central, structural component - appears to be identical to the Sportster S, but the swingarm is different, with twin shocks mounted on alloy extensions either side of the bobbed rear fender. The rear wheel is much smaller than the front, probably 16 in in diameter, wrapped in a specially designed Michelin tire.
The tank is similar to the Sportster S, with the normal Sportster shape, but the seat is significantly lower and there's more rear bodywork. Mid-mounted footrests replace the forward controls on the S, and there's a very apparent radiator in front of the engine - Harley is making no attempt to pretend this is an air-cooled bike, so there are no fake cooling fins or attempts to hide the radiator.
A two-into-one exhaust, seen in Harley's official teaser images, is also apparent in the leaked pictures. Much lower than the Sportster S system, it leaves space for pillion pegs above it, which means saddlebags will also be viable.

What's unclear at the moment is the detailed specs of the engine. The Sportster S has a 1,252 cc version of the Revolution Max, sharing the Pan America's variable valve timing but significantly detuned with a peak power of 121 bhp instead of the adventure bike's 150 hp.
However, with slimmer forks and a single front brake disc, with a conventionally mounted caliper instead of the radial unit on the S, the base Sportster is likely to have less power.
Harley has already developed a 113 hp, 975 cc version of the Revolution Max engine, originally due to have been launched this year in the since-cancelled 'Bronx' streetfighter - which is also expected to appear in a future version of the Pan America. This smaller engine seems a likely initial choice for the base Sportster. 

Just as the old Sportster range featured 883 and 1200 models, the new line-up will eventually use both 975 cc and 1,252 cc versions of the Revolution Max. Options look likely to include silver, bronze or black engines, chrome or black exhausts and silver or black wheels. Harley's official teaser images imply that the version with silver wheels, silver engine and a chrome exhaust appears to have been given the green light.

Arlen Ness Enterprises

Ness 14" and 15" Big Brake Rotor Kits

More news from Dublin, California based Arlen Ness Enterprises concerning additions to its popular line of stainless brake rotors and fittings.
Last month AMD featured its new full stainless steel finish versions of its bestselling Jagged Series of high-performance floating brake rotor designs for factory or aftermarket wheels.
They were just one part of a broader extension to a line-up that now also includes new 14" billet big brake rotors, 13" stainless big brake rotors and stainless steel floating rotor hardware for Harley-Davidson models.

Among those seen here (just a small selection), the 14" big brake rotor kits for FLT hub mounts (FLT spoke mount also available) "drastically improve braking performance as well upgrade the style of the factory front wheel."
Made in 420 stainless steel and drilled for optimum performance and heat dispersion, the rotor is "engineered for optimum performance and heat dispersion." Billet brake caliper adapters are included in each kit to properly relocate the factory caliper to the proper position, and they utilize the factory brake caliper, rotor hardware and brake hose for easy bolt-on installation with no need to rebleed the brake system.
They are designed to fit '00-'07/'08-up H-D FLT touring bagger models equipped with 5-bolt hub- mounted rotors. "The massive 14" diameter increases braking performance by adding more leverage to the front braking system - similar to using a larger wrench to more easily turn a bolt. They will work with factory or aftermarket front fenders. The rotor carriers are CNC-machined from billet aluminum and black anodized."


Also among those seen here is a new limited edition all stainless steel big brake kit with 15" big brake rotors for factory or aftermarket front wheels that "drastically improve braking performance."
The CNC-machined billet brake caliper adapters included in each kit relocate the factory caliper for use with the 15" oversized brake rotor, and even at this size Ness has designed the application to also utilize the factory brake caliper, rotor hardware and brake line - matching Jagged factory sized rotors are also available - with all stainless inner carriers.
The 15 inchers fit Dyna, Sportster and Softail models, non-inverted fork, 5-bolt hub mount 18" wheels or larger, but will not work with Springer models. Matching rear rotors ae also available.



Oversized and Tapered Tracker Bars

Oversized and tapered 1-1/8 inch dirt bike style handlebars are common on lightweight dirt bikes and many European and Japanese sport machines. They have now become very popular on high-performance Harleys, migrating to high-performance Dynas and other platforms (especially Sportsters), and with good reason - they look great and encourage a riding stance that can improve rider control over the handling issues that all those ponies can create.
"However, construction shortcomings have limited their function and appeal," says Biltwell co-founder Bill Bryant. "Unfortunately, the aluminum material used to make tapered bars is not ideal for big twin bar construction. 

Tracker high OS
Tracker mid OS

"Unlike steel, which bends or cracks before breaking, aluminum can fail without warning, especially when subjected to the stress of controlling a 600-pound motorcycle. One great way to improve the strength of aluminum handlebars is to increase their wall thickness. Unfortunately, this isn't possible with modern Harleys because the resultant small inside diameter would make TBW module fitment impossible.
"Our Tracker OS bars taper to 1" at the ends and the tapered and butted 4130 chromoly we use solves all these problems. We employ advanced tube tapering and CNC bending technologies to ensure every Biltwell Tracker OS bar is stronger than stock and straight as an arrow. CNC slotting and notching lets you install throttle modules easily - no dangerous shims or drilling required.        
"They pair well with our Murdock OS 1-1/8" risers and have a 1-1/8" clamping area, but the taper down to 1 inch O.D. on the grip ends means they can accept stock and aftermarket H-D hand controls. The CNC mandrel-bent radiuses mean for laser-straight ergonomics for all-day riding comfort."
They are available in black electroplate and mirror chrome-plated finishes in three heights from standard ('near flat') to 'mid' to 'high'.
"The Technischer Überwachungsverein (the Technical Inspection Association for TÜV) in Germany is an independent laboratory that tests the fatigue strength, manufacturing quality and fitment for a wide range of consumer products, with special emphasis on automotive and motorcycle components and accessories. Biltwell handlebars and risers that have received TÜV verification are among the strongest and most thoroughly well-tested motorcycle parts in the world," says Bryant.


Corbin Saddles

Corbin 'Height Option' Front and Rear Saddles for Pan America

Never slow off the blocks when it comes to product applications for new models, Mike Corbin has joined the 'Pantheon of The Rapid' where Harley's new Pan America ADV dual-sport is concerned.
"Harley created a genuinely excellent Adventure bike with the Pan America," says Mike, "and we here at Corbin Saddles have been a big part of that world for decades. Despite the remarkable tech and great bike design, the tush cushion from the factory turned out to be somewhat less than exemplary.
"Not that we're complaining - their bad is our opportunity, and an opportunity for Harley's dealers too.

"To be fair, compared to conventional Touring models and Cruisers, getting the ergonomics right on this one is a challenge. Adventure bikes are tall by nature, and that creates a reach issue for a lot of riders. But in this case, the peg distance is a bit cramped too, while the reach to the bars is long - so having the correct body placement is critical. This predicament is complicated further by the admirable adaptive ride height feature.
"To meet the needs of various riders, we created a low (seen here), standard and high model to make the best possible seating options available, rather than using the adjustable bracket.
"This has allowed us to optimize seating for each position and ensures we keep a properly neutralized platform. The Corbin front seats remain simple to install and integrate with your factory key lock. Each one of our solo models will work with the factory rear seat or the companion passenger saddle. Our rear seat will also work with the factory front seat if that doesn't need to be changed."
Corbin has also built electric seat heaters into the saddle designs for those who want the added touch of luxury while out there "getting rugged." The clever design of Corbin seat heaters sees conveniently located switches placed on the left side of the saddles for ergonomic operation. The temperature is controlled and maintained automatically, and a tasteful stitch pattern in the leather seating areas "adds a touch of class and conceals the heating pads."


Performance Machine

Apex Heated Grips

"Winter is coming!" Performance Machine's Apex heated grips "maintain comfort and precise control in harsh, cold riding conditions."

These direct replacement grips feature an ergonomic design for comfort with Kraton rubber technology. Included with the set is a matching High-Low-Off heat switch controller that mounts seamlessly to the stock Harley controls.  Apex heated grips fit 1" bars for dual cable throttle and electronic throttle models. Available in chrome or Contrast Cut finishes with 6061 billet aluminum end caps.


Zodiac International

Zodiac International Additions

Old School Shoes
These Old School shoes are handmade in Europe from the finest cowhide with a pigskin lining and stitched visco-elastic sole for maximum comfort. They are available in eight exclusive designs for style with the highest quality. 

Rick's License Plate Side Mount Kit
A lateral license plate holder gives a clear view of the rear of the bike and rear tire. These kits are bolt-on and come complete with a billet aluminum support arm, license plate illumination and billet aluminum license plate holder. They fit all 2018 to present Softail models. 

The kits are available in a selection of national styles (German, Austrian, Swiss etc.) in chrome look, gloss black or matte black powder-coat finish.

'Sonic' Tool Bag
This 'Sonic' tool bag allows riders to comfortably carry tools on the back or by hand. Easy opening zippers allow access to the tools with numerous storage compartments. Enclosed pouches are located on both external and internal surfaces to provide additional security. 


Durable waterproof rubber bottom protects contents from the elements while providing a non-tipping base to work from. Adjustable padded mesh shoulder straps and breathable EVA padded back offer protection and comfort. Sturdy construction makes this backpack an ideal storage solution; it measures 33 x 24 x 47 cm, has a volume of 16 liters and takes up to 20 kg of tools.


Design Engineering Inc. (DEI)

Motorcycle Heat Shield Liners

Avon Lake, Ohio heat and sound management specialist Design Engineering Inc. (DEI) has these effective, discreet motorcycle heat shield liner kits, for "when looks are as important as performance."

The discreet installation maintains the outer look of the exhaust system, while insulating the outer heat shields. Each piece is precision-cut to fit between the exhaust pipe and the heat shield, blocking heat transfer and lowering the surface temperatures of the outer shields.

"DEI's heat shield liners are completely hidden when installed," says John Gabriel, powersports manager, DEI. "The kits reduce the amount of heat radiating from the exhaust system, giving the rider and passenger a cooler ride. This is especially noticeable when the rider stops and puts the feet on the ground."
Easy to install with no permanent modifications required, the heat shield liners have a dual-layer construction of aluminum and feature DEI's proprietary Dura 2000 insulating material, providing a more than 60% reduction in heat.
Available for stock and popular aftermarket head pipes, including black or chrome, the kits are CNC-cut for a perfect fit. The durable, long-lasting components install easily, and create no smoke or odors.


Friday 20 August 2021

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Pikes Peak Cancels Motorcycle Program Permanently

Having only recently announced 26 June 2022 as a planned date for the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Board of the Directors of the PPIHC has made the decision to discontinue motorcycle competition as part of the annual 'Race to the Clouds'.
"Motorcycle competition has been part of the history of the race off-and-on since 1916 and has been both thrilling and tragic for competitors and fans alike," explained Fred Veitch, Interim Chairman of the Board. "After two years of research, deliberation, thoughtful consideration and advice from colleagues in the motorsports industry, this has been a difficult decision, but we believe it is the right decision and one that is in the best interest of the organization at this time."


The PPIHC is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event is held annually on Pikes Peak - 'America's Mountain' - near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet, and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet above sea level. The PPIHC's automobile categories feature a wide variety of vehicles representing multiple forms of motorsport, everything from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art unlimited vehicles take on 'America's Mountain' pursuing victory.
Ever since the program to pave the road up the mountain (it was completed around 2011), the event started to change in character, with an ever greater diversity of motorcycles and powersports vehicles taking part - including Quads and electric motorcycles - and speeds and times getting ever faster.
Tragedy struck in 2015 and 2016, with two consecutive year motorcycle fatalities. In the last race before the pandemic forced cancelation in 2020 and 2021, in 2019, Ducati rider, four-time winner and former outright lap record holder Carlin Dunne was killed on the final turn en route to a new sub-10 minute record.

Carlin Dunne was a matter of yards away from recapturing his record time for the PPIHC when he was killed in 2019 on the final turn (at around 14,000 feet) in what we now know will have been the last ever running of the 'Race to the Clouds' to have involved a motorcycle program.

Following his death, an initial decision to suspend motorcycle involvement for 2020 was taken by the Board of Directors, pending consideration of the long-term viability of the event in general and the ongoing involvement of motorcycles in particular.
In a statement at the time, Tom Osborne, Chairman, stated: "Motorcycles have been a part of the PPIHC for the past 29 years, and their history on 'America's Mountain' dates back to the inaugural running in 1916. That said, the motorcycle program hasn't been an annual event. They have run 41 of the 97 years we've been racing on Pikes Peak. It's just time to take a hard look at every aspect of the race, including the motorcycle program, and determine whether or not the event may change."
Now we know that the 100th and subsequent running of the PPIHC will be without motorcycles, Australian rider Rennie Scaysbrook's 2019 winning time, in a new record of 9:44.963 on his Aprilia 1100 cc Tuono V4, will remain the record in perpetuity.
Lucy Glöckner, Rookie of The Year in 2018 and the only woman to enter the motorcycle program in 2019, was the second fastest overall riding a BMW S1000R - she was the first woman to break the 10-minute mark and will remain the fastest woman ever to compete on Pikes Peak.
Carlin Dunne will remain the fastest ever rider to complete the course on an electric motorcycle, having set a time of 10:00.694 in the Pikes Peak Challenge on a Lightning electric Superbike in 2013.

News Briefs


According to Credit Suisse research, more than five million people became millionaires across the world in 2020 despite economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic. "While many poor people became poorer, the number of millionaires increased by 5.2 million to 56.1 million globally. In 2020, more than 1% of adults worldwide are millionaires for the first time." Wealth creation appeared to be "completely detached" from the economic woes of the pandemic, the researchers said, with "lower interest rates and government support programs leading to a huge transfer of wealth from the public sector to the household sector." The number of ultra-high net worth individuals, usually defined as those having investable assets of more than $30m, grew by 24% worldwide in 2020, the fastest rate of increase
since 2003.

BRP Inc. has announced the launch of a substantial "issuer bid" to purchase for cancelation of up to CAN$350m of its shares. Proceeding by way of a combination of a "modified Dutch auction," BRP says it will buy back shares at between CAN$94.00 and CAN$113.00 per share in increments of CAN$0.25 per share. The offer is open to holders of multiple voting shares.

Currently enjoying its third significant revival since foundation in 1911 (by six eponymous brothers), Benelli is to mark its 110th anniversary with a new logo and a series of events. These will be concentrated around the Benelli Museum in Pesaro, Italy, where the (now Chinese owned) brand is based. A subsidiary of Qianjiang - Harley's partner in China - its museum features a collection of more than 200 historic Benelli and MotoBì motorcycles, housed in part of the original factory. Benelli Week 2021 will be held in Pesaro on 13-19 September.

The Economist magazine has highlighted serious concerns about the inflationary pressures in USA and Europe that are being exerted by Chinese export goods on Western markets. Business surveys carried out in China have revealed that domestic factory-gate prices climbed at an average annualized rate of 9% during May, the biggest increase in more than a decade. A principal driver was the soaring cost of raw materials, led by steel and copper. To make matters worse, the Chinese yuan has grown in value by nearly 10% against the US dollar over the past year, reaching a three-year high in May. It has also strengthened considerably versus the euro and sterling.

Plans for the return of Isle of Man TT racing in 2022 major on encouraging competitive involvement from a wider range of manufacturers. Although an at-a-glance program for the 2022 event spanning 29 May to 10 June contains the usual roster of eight races, significant content changes to promote industry relevance have been made to two of them. The Lightweight TT, which has been dominated by Kawasaki and Kawasaki-engined Patons in recent years, gets a new name - the Bennetts Supertwin TT - and a new rulebook. Regulations will now permit twin-cylinder machines up to 700 cc, such as the Aprilia RS660, Yamaha MT-07 and Yamaha YZF-R7. Sidecar TT contenders will be permitted to use 900 cc parallel-twin engines such as those currently found in the KTM 890 Duke and BMW's F900R.

New motorcycle registrations in Italy (ANCMA data) were +0.38% for June (16,951 units) and +54.95% (74,541 units) for the first six months of 2021 as industry data lapped the worst of the year-ago Covid impact numbers. Total new PTW sales were +55.70% (166,551 units) YTD. The top-selling motorcycles were the Benelli TRK 502/X, followed by the BMW R 1250 GS, the Honda 'Africa Twin' and the BMW R 1250 'Adventure' as dual sport models continue their inexorable rise in popularity.

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


Brembo Silicon Valley 'Center of Excellence'
Following its acquisitions of SBS and J.Juan, Brembo continues to further develop the foundations of the business for the next stage in its evolution as it seeks to future-proof its operations.

The 'Brembo Inspiration Lab' in California's Silicon Valley will be its first center of excellence and will focus on software development, data science and artificial intelligence as a "step forward in the path to become a trusted solution provider" and to "accelerate the digitalization of the company" - one of the key objectives of the 'turning energy into inspiration' strategic vision announced by Daniele Schillaci, Brembo's Chief Executive Officer, in September 2020.
"We are very pleased to open Brembo's first center of excellence in Silicon Valley. We are entering and investing in this world-renowned location for high technology and innovation with the clear and ambitious goal of addressing the unprecedented challenges impacting the automotive sector," Schillaci is quoted as saying.


"We are in an era of data science and the application of artificial intelligence, which offers us a great opportunity to build our future and strengthen our technological leadership. With the Brembo Inspiration Lab we accept the challenge to increase the company's digital culture and to bring 'Made in Brembo' innovation even closer to our partners."
The facility is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2021. It will welcome talent from various industries "to benefit the development of Brembo's future braking solutions."
With the opening of the new center, Brembo expands its international presence and continues to grow in North America, where it has been present for over 30 years. It maintains manufacturing hubs in Michigan, New Jersey and Monterrey, Mexico. Its North American headquarters and R&D center is located in Plymouth, Michigan.
The new center of excellence will also be a "point of reference for the technological and commercial development of Brembo's relationships with customers in the Silicon Valley."



For the first six months of 2021, Ducati says it "delivered 34,485 motorcycles to enthusiasts" for an increase of
+43% over 2020 and, more importantly, +9% over the same period of 2019.
"The order portfolio (motorcycles to be delivered) is the highest ever recorded by the company at the end of the first half," says Francesco Milicia, VP Global Sales Director for Ducati, "with +63% compared to the same period in 2020 and a growth of +284% compared to 2019.

Francesco Milicia, VP Global Sales Director: "June confirmed the positive trend that began with the excellent second half of 2020 and with the significant growth in the first quarter of this year."

"June confirmed the positive trend that began with the excellent second half of 2020 and with the significant growth in the first quarter of this year. Despite the great complexity seen in the supply and transport sectors, Ducati recorded truly significant growth, exceeding pre-Covid values by almost 10%. The excellent order portfolio demonstrates the fact that enthusiasts are appreciating the 2021 range and the family of Ducatisti is expanding ever more."
Growth was led by Australia (+82%), Italy (+55%), which remains its top market with 6,071 motorcycles, Japan (+53%) and North America (+51%). The bestselling bikes were the Multistrada V4, the Scrambler 800 and the Streetfighter V4, with excellent numbers for the new Monster too - it arrived in dealerships in April.
Ducati sells through 769 dealers in over 90 countries around the world. "The new Diavel 1260 S 'Black and Steel', which draws inspiration from the 'Materic' concept presented at Design Week in Milan, and the Hypermotard 950 SP, in the new dynamic livery that recalls the racing world, have just arrived in Ducati dealers."


HardDrive Exclusives - Lyndall B52 and TT Tracker Wheels

Boise, Idaho based HardDrive, the specialty V-twin aftermarket P&A distribution brand for Western Power Sports (WPS), is "going deep" on Lyndall wheels and brakes inventory this year.
"We first partnered with Lyndall in 2014, just a year after WPS formed HardDrive," says V-Twin Product Director Krys Brown. "So they are one of our longest standing manufacturers and were one of the fist market leaders to come on board.
"It is a solid and collaborative team effort between the two companies. We both feel the end goal is to get the highest level of quality products in the hands of the dealers and riders with a five-star level of customer service.

Tracker wheel and rotor

"We hold the exclusive distribution for two of Lyndall's wheel/rotor designs:  B52 and TT Tracker. American-made in California, passionate motorcycle people and a family run company - three elements that HardDrive/WPS can relate to!
"Lyndall is so in tune with the capabilities of its products that they are able to engineer excellent quality, durability and strength into its manufacturing processes. Just holding a Lyndall brake rotor immediately allows you to appreciate the craftsmanship and precision. Its wheels are immaculate too - the finish is just awesome.
"Their quality allows Lyndall to offer a lifetime warranty on its three-piece floating rotors when used in conjunction with its pads."

B52 wheel and rotor

Lyndall president Paul Kittrell Jr told AMD that "all our wheels are rotary forged from 6061-T6 aluminum. This is a super lightweight metal that is stronger than most steels, and our wheels are certainly lighter and stronger than the stock wheels. All our wheel designs, including the B52 and TT Tracker, are available with matching sprockets, rotors and pulleys - we laser-cut our sprockets and pulleys from 7075-T6 aluminum.
"Our rotors are designed and manufactured in Los Angeles, CA, utilizing the finest materials and CNC processes to ensure the highest quality, form, function, fit and finish. These are 100% American-made, fully floating, 2-piece rotors that are designed with an aggressive look and the ability to outperform any other rotor on the market. Our rotors are designed to operate at a cooler temperature while maintaining predictability and repeatability - even in the most challenging riding environments."
WPS/HardDrive completed a new 245,000 sq ft warehouse at Midway, Georgia, in January last year as an upgrade to its former Memphis, Tennessee facility. The company also completed expansions at its California facility and Idaho headquarters warehouse - taking its six strong distribution center network in the United States (which also includes Texas and Pennsylvania) to over 1 million sq ft in total.


Motorcycle Storehouse

Motorcycle Storehouse Additions

Arlen Ness - Touring Fenders for 180 x 18" Tires
"It is no secret that wide and large diameter Touring wheels is where it's at," says Netherlands based distributor Motorcycle Storehouse.
"These Arlen Ness fenders are of an extra wide design with notched (cut out) sides to fit extra wide 180 mm tires on a 5.50 x 18 rim. They are a reversible, modification-free, bolt-on installation with stock smooth slider covers (fork boots)."

Made from a single piece of 14-gauge steel and available for early '93-'13 and late '14-'20 Touring models, designs run from the smallest 'Pro Short' to the largest 'Radial Fat Wrap' - designed to follow the tire's contour perfectly.
Matching Ness fork slider covers, with cut-outs for these wide wheel applications, are separately available.

Cult-Werk - Softail Wide Fender Kit 'Racing'
"Made by Cult-Werk in Austria, when the opportunity arises to install an up to 280 series rear tire on a customer's Softail, this is one to check out.
"The kit comes with a steel inner fender carrier, a sturdy 5-axis CNC-machined ABS outer fender and a genuine leather seat. After the stock fender is removed, the 'Racing' steel fender is simply installed on the stock mounting points. 

"Then wiring is installed, and the ABS outer fender is bolted to the inner fender. This is a reversible install as permanent modifications are not required. It has a gloss black powder-coated finish and comes complete with LED taillight, LED turn signals, seat and hardware."

Rekluse - Automatic Clutches
"Amongst the more remarkable aftermarket products for H-D models are the new clutch kits by Rekluse. Its Torq-Drive system allows more drive plates (up to six additional discs) to be installed in the stock clutch basket.
"This gives additional clutch hold without other modifications, such as stronger clutch springs or mechanical lock-up solutions. 

"Another exceptional design, its 'automatic' centrifugal operated clutches are a modification-free, bolt-in solution. The centrifugal works just like conventional hand-operated clutches, to just below an (adjustable) 850 rpm to 1,150 rpm range, when the clutch disengages automatically.
"It uses 'wedges' that slide in (to disengage) and slide out (above 1,000 rpm) to re-engage the clutch - above 1,000 rpm, the rider uses the clutch lever to disengage as normal.
"Originally these clutches were made for motocross use - to prevent accidental stalls in heavy terrain. But on the street, such as in heavy traffic, starts and stops can be done in gear, without ever using your clutch lever. They are available for various late H-D models and are high horsepower and torque compatible."


Tucker Powersport

Twin Power Max+ Batteries

Tucker Powersport’s Twin Power brand has added a new line of American-made, high-performance batteries to its product range.
The Max+ batteries feature the same AGM technology as original equipment batteries "and are a great solution for owners of V-twins and Cruisers seeking a high-quality, OEM-type replacement battery, especially in a time of serious shortages in supply," says James Simonelli, brand manager for Twin Power and Biker's Choice brand products.  

"Max+ batteries are packed with features to enhance their cranking performance and longevity. Advanced AGM (Advanced Glass Mat) technology is employed in their design, and they are manufactured using a rugged OEM-style case and terminals. The stainless steel hardware and terminal inserts won’t rust or corrode. The factory-sealed, valve-regulated, maintenance-free design and leakproof pressurized vent system ensure safety and long life. Superior cold cranking amp performance and vibration resistance round out the impressive list of attributes.
"Most V-twin owners are very particular about the products and accessories that they install, and many choose to use factory-supplied components. If you are looking for the same features and performance as the OEM battery, then these American made babies check all the right boxes," says James. They are available for most popular late-model V-twin applications.


Letric Lighting Co.

Letric 'Color Series' Headlights

Oreland, Pennsylvania based Letric Lighting Co. is adding to its line-up with the release of six unique new headlights. Its all-new 'Color Series' LED headlamps are available in a choice of three different colors (red, blue or gold) and are 100% plug-n-play.
The 5.75-inch version offers 2200 lumen low beam and 4000 lumen high beam, while the 7-inch offers 2600 lumen low beam, 4400 lumen high beam with a full halo. 

These 'Color Series' lights feature 6000K color temp, Cree LED chips, IP67, DOT, SAE and E-mark compliant. "These new designs will enhance the visibility and style of any bike. Best of all, Letric Lighting Co’s high-quality LEDs are backed by our limited lifetime warranty."
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.


Drag Specialties

M-8 Transmission Top Covers

This transmission top cover is a die-cast construction top cover that includes an aluminum coated black foam gasket and a vent house. It is available in a chrome or black finish for '17-'21 Milwaukee Eights.


Arlen Ness Enterprises

Stainless Brake Rotors and Fittings

New from Arlen Ness Enterprises (Dublin, California), these full stainless steel finish versions of its Jagged series performance brake rotors are a high-performance floating brake rotor design that enhance the braking performance and style of factory or aftermarket wheels.
Made in 420 stainless steel and drilled for optimum performance and heat dispersion, they are available in 11.5" and 11.8" sizes.

The heavy-duty stainless steel design is made specifically for the weight of cruiser and touring models. They are universal fitment, so can be installed on the front or rear of H-D models equipped with the 5-bolt hub-mounted factory rotors.

Also seen here, these hand-polished stainless steel brake fittings are designed for builders obsessed with detail! These original Ness-Tech items "are back while supplies last!"
The line-up includes brake fittings, banjo bolts and brake tees, all made in stainless steel; each banjo bolt is hand-polished; the buttonhead design flows nicely with Ness Radius style banjo fittings and the torque head design provides as much torque as needed during install.


Tuesday 17 August 2021

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Roibin Bradley

That's What You Call Real American Capitalism!

The response to Harley's second quarter results by Wall Street investors and their analysis was less than wholly enthusiastic with its share price losing over $20 of value in the space of eight weeks either side of the announcement.
The general malaise and uncertainty that continues to shroud stock market sentiment so far in 2021, despite all three primary markets and indexes regularly posting new highs, is as much a comment on fear as it is on knowledge and understanding.
The global pandemic has rattled cages and regardless of the rapid comeback from the share price crash seen in March 2020, having mostly recovered most of its ground by Q4 last year, it has stalled since.
This appears to mean that the slightest 'head cold' sends sentiment tumbling, and in the case of Harley's share price, there is very little to justify the uncertainty.
In his Q&A session with analysis on the occasion of Harley's Q2 fiscals unveil in July, Zeitz appeared (to me at least) to be striking the right balance between pleasure at seeing good results and (already) 'proof of life' where the key markers of the Hardwire corporate strategy are concerned, and ongoing and widely shared caution in the face of motorcycle market, supply chain and wider economic headwinds.
Consumer confidence is just as fickle a beast as investor sentiment notoriously is - neither rational nor predictable, but irrational and unpredictable. Indeed, it is the jeopardy of market instability that makes stock exchanges the most compelling and highest stakes form of sports betting we have.
Matt Levatich and his trusty CFO sidekick John Olin made it a sacred tenet of their 'More Roads' corporate plan that the anticipated 100 new models in 10 years and other planned changes they were eyeing would be self-financing, with no major long-term debt being harmed in the making of their ambitions.

"buy shares while they are cheap"

While Jochen Zeitz has jettisoned most of the plans launched in the 'More Roads' document, one of the few fundamentals that he has carried forward has been to avoid using debt to drive capital expenditure.
Indeed, Harley's $2 billion plus cash position makes them so strong at this time that the debt it took on as an emergency guarantee of its ability to survive the pandemic remains largely unspent. The result being the possibility that Harley may resume share repurchases, in addition to its dividend payments and ongoing capital expenditure on new model development and the other reboot provisions of the Hardwire strategic plan.
So, what has happened to investor best practice of studying the fundamentals? Instead, the markets are into 'just because it isn't raining, doesn't mean that it won't rain' territory, and not only with Harley. They are turning being risk averse into a food group. No longer is it the purpose of investment to fuel profit opportunities, but instead it is to just act as an inflation hedge. What happened to American ambition?
I've been listening to those Q&A sessions for years, but these days you can almost hear the fear in the analysts' voices - a fear of the capitalist dynamic.
Regular readers will know that I was beating the drum of Harley as an ADV bike manufacturer for years before it eventually emerged that it was indeed edging in that once blasphemous direction - despite it, actually, being the real origins of American style motorcycling.
If you discount the engineering deficit that we now know doesn't exist, it never really was a gamble, more just a self-financed calculated risk. After just three months, the (albeit modest) planned production for 2021 has already sold out with the Pan America already emerging as the best selling ADV/dual sport model in the United States for May and June.
Harley is serious about its presence in what many still dismiss as a niche - it may well be, but it is not a trivial one. Although the ADV market is small in the United States in unit terms, way smaller than in Europe for example, Jochen Zeitz has made it clear that he does not believe it needs to stay that way and is determined that, domestically at least, Harley should lead it.
Now that's what you call American ambition!
During the second quarter, the Pan America was followed by the re-imagining of LiveWire as a Bar 'n Shield 'Brand Mate' and bringing conclusive to the pricing issue that has dominated the original model's progress - the metal has lagged the brand. But not now. Now the program makes sense.
Again, it may well remain a niche for some time to come yet. Indeed, if the gospel of 'Synth Gas' can finally attract enough believers, then maybe, just maybe, it will stay that way. Unlikely though that may be now, but technically it would be a perfectly plausible and valid solution.
Either way, LiveWire One positions the brand to compete in an ambitiously American way.
Then there comes what to do with the venerable Sportster. Does 65 years of faithful service buy a brand a break?
Rather than even worry about trying to break through the brick wall of emissions regulations in Europe, Harley elegantly danced round the issue by simply dropping the line there for 2021. Better still, in advance of achieving escape velocity from the profit killer so-called "entry level" $6k to $12k price point, say hello to their "all-new Sport category."
As seen elsewhere in this edition, the Sportster S is the first of a new family of performance-oriented Sportsters; that 975 cc Rev Max developed for the abandoned 'Bronx' streetfighter is going to come in useful after all.  
Compared to the glacial, sclerotic rate of corporate evolution since Keith Wandell laid down his scalpel, Jochen Zeitz has kicked sand in the face of stagnation and responded to the challenges by meeting them head on and beating them into submission.
In just 18 months he has shown Harley's baggage a clean pair of heels, and with all due kudos to the new management team and stricture, and to everyone downwind of them, if the pace of change in the past 18 months is anything to go by, you should all grab a bunch of them there shares while they are still going cheap!



Sonoma International Raceway, California, July 16 - 18

The past two years have delivered the biggest shake-up to the established motorcycle industry events calendar for a generation, with many people believing that the nature of motorcycle events - industry/trade and consumer - is likely to emerge changed for ever.
In addition to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the change premise is also predicated on the changing demographics as Boomers are replaced by the alphabet soup of digital era consumer age groups, the changing attitudes to and experience of the ownership and riding experience that we are seeing, and the widely touted impending demise of the internal combustion engine.

Custom Classic - requires a 1999 or earlier OEM engine (no replicas allowed), but custom or stock modified frames can be used. 

Hugo Eccles with Untitled Motorcycles won with a 1975 Moto Guzzi Supernaturale. The custom is a minimalist café racer that features an 844 cc engine and a 23% lighter build than its original 1975 donor. The hand-formed aluminum gas tank is a contemporary reinterpretation of the classic LeMans and encloses a state-of-the-art electrical system, and much more.

Dave Kelly secured runner-up with a custom-built 1939 Flathead.

With entry into riding two wheels under greater challenge than ever, kudos to Informa, the current owner of the venerable International Motorcycle Show series, for responding to the issues that forced the cancelation of the winter 2020/2021 series by taking it outdoors.
So far, consumer and industry reaction to the concept that made its debut at the Sonoma International Raceway north of San Francisco at the end of July has been mixed. Consumers appear surprisingly divided about the absence of the conventional indoor expo style exhibits.
However, it does appear that centering a cut-down event on the test rides, integrating them into the 'mother ship' rather than locating them a shuttle away, has gone over well.
By all reports, the attendance at this first 'IMS Outdoors' was light - especially compared to the crowds the series has seen in many of its Convention Center style expo venues in its illustrious 40- year history.
In terms of aftermarket opportunities, for potential customers to feel the "extended experience" the vendor count was equally thin, with OEM offerings trumping the modest sprinkling of aftermarket P&A and G&A shopping opportunities.
All that said, the mission that Informa has fallen back on is the proverbial 'mission to inform', and in terms of letting recent and potential riders get to grips with the core product, the bikes themselves, then they may well have closed the gap with the MIC and its AIMExpo (which is now 100% 'trade' focused) and added another voice to the unified hymn sheet the industry needs to be singing from.

Custom Street - based on 2000 and later major OEM engines and frames.

Dan Stern and painter Art Himsl
won with a 2004 Harley-Davidson Softail/sidecar that features handmade fenders and body panels. The sidecar hosted exotic wood flooring, full aluminum louvered polished belly pans and custom luggage behind the seat. The custom also features handmade taillights and trim work, hidden handlebar controls, a bronze powder-coated engine, and much more.

Phil Susoev secured runner-up with a 2003 Harley-Davidson Softail standard, custom-built by Ricky Bray at RKB Kustom Speed.

The OE support appears to have been pretty good, though there were some obvious absentees - the BWM, Triumph, Ducati and Honda factory involvement, to shout out four of the non-believers - and idiosyncrasies abounded elsewhere.
Harley was there, giving the LiveWire One a debut (there were some Serial 1 E-bicycles in evidence too), and whilst there were four or five examples of the new Sportster S in evidence, Harley was not offering test rides on them. That said, by all accounts, one of the longest lines to book test ride time slots on was for the Pan America.
Most of the other 'Usual Suspects' were 'working it', including Indian Motorcycle, but at what was a relatively small event in real estate terms (in the Pit Lane area of the Sonoma Raceway), there appears to have been less in evidence from the four-wheel side of the powersports industry than the organizers were originally pimping there would be.
This was the 11th annual UBCBS and J&P Cycles' ongoing involvement, indeed any involvement and backing from Revzilla and Cycle Gear too (all three share the same ownership), is valuable equity for the organizers. The co-promotional and leverage opportunities between Informa and Comoto are immense, and it is to be hoped that the organizers "get that" and are "playing nice."
Close cooperation between event organizers and 'stakeholders' and the deep and detailed understanding of mutual interests that should come with that are critical at this critical moment in the evolution of the market.
The industry needs to capitalize on the growth that is being seen at this time, to build on it and take the public's enthusiasm for our market's products and lifestyle choices to another level. Failure to 'seize the moment' would be criminal.
The need for a physical showcase in the United States is unanswerable, so it is time for partners, including our OEMs, to be just exactly that and to calibrate their partnerships by how well their collaborators do from the relationships that are there to be forged, not measure their own success by how little they leave on the table.
The adversarial model of years, of decades past, needs to be consigned to that past - it is not our friend. If we are to move forward, everyone involved in an enterprise like IMS Outdoors needs to prosper if the rebooted concept can look forward to another 40 successful years.
This is the 11th annual series for the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show (UBCBS), and with precious few opportunities for customizers to show the fruits of their efforts recently, but with plenty of time to hone concepts and execution, the results of this 2021 nine-city series should be among the best yet.

The popular Freestyle Class is where pretty much anything goes, and the only boundaries are those of the builder's own imagination and craftsmanship.
Gino and Denise Ilacqua with Jezabel Customs and painter Shane Leasure
won with a 1976 Custom Chopper. The motorcycle features throwback rocker boxes, a custom oil tank, twist bar, plus bent metal pieces using camper propane tanks and a vise to shape fabricated pieces, and so much more.

Andrew Harris secured co-runner-up with a 2018 Sur Ron Lightbee. The all-electric on- and off-road Supermoto features regenerative breaking and a complete lighting system including ambient RGB underglow.

UBCBS has a rich history as the largest motorcycle builder competition in the United States, featuring hundreds of motorcycles and offering the chance to win tens of thousands in cash and prizes.
Custom bike show mastermind, V-twin industry guru and UBCBS Director Bob Kay says: "We designed the competition to spotlight professional and amateur builders alike, attracting world-class builders to showcase their rolling works of art at each stop along the tour.
"Not only do the participants receive well-deserved recognition, but the custom motorcycles on display provide event attendees the opportunity to engage with some of the finest customs across the US." 

Joe Stoesser won the People's Choice award with a 1994 Harley-Davidson FXR. The custom, known as The Team Dream, is a perfect example of the last of the FXR. The motorcycle was built in a one-car garage in San Francisco, features a nickel-plated frame, one-off swingarm, candy paint and a few hundred hours of hand engravings.

Each stop along the tour holds a competition at the event comprised of three classes - Custom Street Class, Custom Classic Class and Freestyle Class - and the People's Choice Award. Winners from each category are entered into the championship round held in Atlanta [October 29 - 31], competing for the grand prize and renowned 'King of Builders' title.
"Congratulations to the winners in Sonoma - this year's bunch is truly a remarkable group of builders, with each bike telling a unique story. We are still accepting applications for the upcoming cities and welcome all creatives and builders to be a part of the fun," continued Kay.