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Tuesday 29 March 2022

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

How Did It Come to This?

Down the years, we here at AMD have been lucky enough to meet many dozens, indeed hundreds, of people from behind the former Iron Curtain and get to appreciate their friendship, creativity and craftsmanship.
Witnessing the emergence of the innate design and engineering genius that had been locked away for so long was a thing of joy. In the shape of the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, I will always regard providing a platform through which it could be seen on a world stage as a career highlight. Seeing the emergence of Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian custom design and engineering has been a wonderful journey.

Award-winning Kharkiv 'AMD' World Championship of Custom Bike Building regulars Yaroslav and Alexandra Lutitsky (Iron Custom Motors).

That journey felt that it had finally arrived at its destination when we saw Dima Golubchikov of Zillers Garage in Moscow crowned as the AMD World Champion Custom Bike Builder at INTERMOT in October 2018. The unique voting system meant that it was the votes of his fellow custom bike engineers that elected Dima as their World Champion - based purely and entirely on his design, engineering and craftsmanship achievement.
Given that there was no INTERMOT in 2020, it just so happens that Dima Golubchikov is still the AMD World Champion Custom Bike Builder - and given the news (page 64) of a continuing suspension of the 'AMD' World Championship - at least through 2023 - it is quite likely that Dima will remain the reigning World Champion for some time to come.
That Dima Golubchikov is a maker of remarkable motorcycles, there is no doubt. But he is not alone. To name-check just two others - the work that Yuri Shif (of Minsk in Belarus) has shown down the years has been nothing short of remarkable and includes my all-time favorite modified Harley - a tribute to Yuri Gagarin. Indeed, we always figured that he was a likely candidate to emerge as Eastern Europe's first AMD World Champion.
But we are also thinking at this time about Yaroslav Lutitsky of Iron Custom Motors and his wife Alexandra. Wonderful people who have competed in the 'AMD' on multiple occasions - winning the Café Racer class in 2016 and always doing well with all their bikes. Yaroslav and Alexandra live in Kharkiv.
A big fat call-out too for the excellent Dmitry Khitrov - a well-travelled gentle giant of a man and one of the nicest (and most energetic) of people you could ever wish to meet. There are many in the custom motorcycle industry all around the world - not least in the United States - who are lucky enough to have met Dmitry on one or another of his travels.
As the organizer of custom bike shows in Moscow (his 2022 event was due to take place at the start of April), and organizer of the group trips that Russian custom bike builders have been making to the 'AMD' at INTERMOT, he has been the spiritual leader of the custom motorcycle industry in Russia - its inspiration, its pathway to opportunity and its Godfather (in a good way!). We all hope that he will be able to be so again one day.
I don't care what these people's politics are. The whole point about freedom and democracy, about so-called liberal values, is that people are entitled to believe whatever they like - until it starts to compromise other people's ability to enjoy the same privileges. I am sure that these are folk who will be as aghast at current developments as all the rest of us in the 'West' are.
In that regard, I'm going to leave the final words on this subject to someone who clearly is mortified by what is happening.
When Timur Sardarov - CEO and owner of MV Agusta in Italy - and his family's ComSar Invest (an investment fund subsidiary of the Sardarov family's Black Ocean Group) finally stepped in and ultimately stabilized MV Agusta in 2016/2017 after the trauma of the Harley-Davidson, V 2.0 Castiglioni and Mercedes years, any initial fears about 'Oligarch Creep' in the motorcycle industry were quickly dismissed.
It soon became apparent that Timur was, and remains, a determined and above all passionate brand advocate who has been unstinting in his efforts to find and build a sustainable and future-proof pathway for that most storied of brands. It hasn't hurt his mission that along the way he also just happens to have been able to oversee bringing some really excellent motorcycles to market too.
In remarks in a letter to employees that was subsequently authorized for public release, and additional widely reported remarks posted to his Instagram account, he has made his feelings very clear.
"I have never felt so bad in my life, feeling absolutely disgusted, ashamed and betrayed by this horrific, stupid and cruel act of war. I believe Russians have never been so betrayed by any regime in our long, difficult and proud history! This act does not represent us!"
No equivocation there, and kudos to Timur for telling it how it is, despite what are likely to be the politically sensitive waters that he and his family may well find themselves having to navigate at this time.

Slava Ukraini

News Briefs

PSB reports that "motorcycle industry stalwarts Lloyd Greer and Tim Sutherland have acquired Bison Thunder Motorcycle in St. Paul and will offer their exclusive performance work, accessories and customizing skills at the dealership now operating as Indian Motorcycle St. Paul." The service center will be expanded with a second Lloydz Garage custom and performance hub - Greer and Sutherland have owned and operated Indian Motorcycle Charlotte in North Carolina since 2018, and last summer they opened Lloydz Garage on the grounds of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd has announced a one million euro donation to the Japanese Red Cross Society to support humanitarian aid for those affected in Ukraine and neighboring countries. The donations will be used to support the crisis response in Ukraine and the relief efforts in nearby countries hosting refugees.

The Board of Directors of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) announced its condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its decision to suspend the Motorcycle Federation of Russia (MFR) and the Belarusian Federation of Motorcycle Sport (BFMS) as a result. The Board of Directors of FIM North America unanimously concurred with the FIM Board's action and will honor its request by prohibiting riders from the Russian and Belarusian motorcycle federations from participating in FIM North America activities.

Though already much recognized and honored for their career contributions and passion for motorsports, Vance & Hines life-long petrol head performance obsessives Terry Vance and Byron Hines received another accolade at Daytona Bike Week this year - both were inducted into the Daytona-based Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Provisional figures for Piaggio, the Italian parent company of brands such as Vespa, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi, announced consolidated net sales of approx. € 1.668m for the 12 months to December 31, 2021. That's an improvement of +27% from  € 1,313.7m in 2020.

For its 2021 full financial year (to December 2021), Yamaha has posted net sales for its Land Mobility Division (principally, its motorcycle division) of 1,179.7bn yen (+24.6%/233.3bn yen over 2020) with operating income of 68.6bn yen (up by 272.4%/50.3bn yen from 2020). Although they don't release unit sales information, Yamaha says that sales were up "in all regions" but that inventory shortage and supply chain issues held back what could have been an even better pandemic bounce over 2020. Yamaha was not yet back in profit, but the losses have been massively reduced. Wolverine RMAX UTV sales were up in USA.

Rumors abound that the new LiveWire model due for unveiling at some stage in the next few weeks or months will be badged as the 'Del Mar'. A new S2 middleweight, based on Harley's scalable and modular proprietary Arrow driveline architecture discussed in the LiveWire SPAC NYSE flotation prospectus late last year, it is being touted as likely to be less expensive than the LiveWire - maintaining the more realistic price-point direction of travel.

Sydney, Australia based Blow Performance Exhausts has signed an exclusive distribution deal for China with Mark Wang, one of the co-founders of MOBAG CHINA. "We are very excited about the deal. Mobag has been a good customer of ours in the past and approached us with an opportunity that we gladly accepted." Beijing based Mobag Trading is said to be the largest distributor of aftermarket accessories in the motorcycle industry in China and the leader in V-twin aftermarket products there. Mobag sells to over 600 dealerships in China.

In support of the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Triumph has announced an upcoming partnership with American guitar brand Gibson. The collaboration will be based on the legendary 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar and the 1959 Triumph Bonneville T120 motorcycle.

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


Malibu Gets First LiveWire Experience Center

As the network of LiveWire availability in the United States evolves in advance of its NYSE flotation, the 74% Harley owned business has announced the "first LiveWire Experience Center - designed to offer a fully immersive experience centered on the all-electric LiveWire ONE motorcycle."
Opened in what is likely to be very EV-friendly, budget-no-object territory at Malibu on the California coast north of Los Angeles, it is described as being "inspired by the soulful connection of riding LiveWire ONE" and intended to "introduce the electric riding experience to visitors while also creating a community space for LiveWire riders."

Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, said: "California is one of the most established electric vehicle markets in the world and is an ideal location for the first LiveWire Experience Center. The LiveWire ONE motorcycle is designed for the pursuit of urban adventure and the Malibu area offers superb riding in a variety of environments, both urban and beyond.
"The Experience Center at Malibu Village will give both riders and non-riders a chance to engage with the LiveWire brand and ultimately experience the thrill of riding the most desirable electric motorcycle available today."
Created in collaboration with London-based designer Steve Lidbury, the interior expresses "cool urban adventure, with polished concrete, engineered wood, perforated steel and detailed textures. The 1,766 sq ft space incorporates a virtual showroom to support live video chats, displays of LiveWire technology and design, a collaborative showcase featuring displays by LiveWire partners, socializing and event space and LiveWire ONE motorcycles available for demo rides."

Tucker Powersports

Tucker Partners with Erik Buell

New York based FUELL Inc. and Tucker Powersports have announced a collaboration that sees Tucker appointed as the exclusive distributor of FUELL's premium products to the powersports industry for the USA.
As part of this multi-year, renewable partnership, Tucker will distribute the complete line of FUELL's premium Flluid e-Bikes as well as FUELL's branded accessories and replacement parts.
"Tucker Powersports is a world-class distributor with more than 50 years of experience serving thousands of dealers in the United States and Canada. With a support team of nearly 100 regional sales staff, 7,000 active dealers and strong marketing capabilities, Tucker is the ideal partner for FUELL to bring the brand to a wider audience and develop the brand, while adding a US premium brand to its portfolio of e-vehicles."

Erik Buell, CTO at FUELL Inc., is quoted as saying: "This is an exciting time for electric bikes as the worldwide electric bike industry has experienced tremendous growth and is expected to grow by over 50% to reach nearly $70bn by 2027.
"This new partnership is a real success for both brands. Providing desirable products through an exceptional dealer network that provides outlets and service near every rider has been Tucker's forte for a long time. FUELL's strengths are in innovative product design and manufacture.
"In the exploding marketplace for electric mobility, this makes a dream pairing for enthusiasts who want cutting edge designs but need solid local support. Tucker's leadership team has the breadth of knowledge and experience to go full bore into this emerging marketplace, and the leadership at FUELL is very excited for the future together."
For Tucker, Jamie Kempinski, Business Development Director, says: "Our dealers have been tremendously receptive to having e-power products in their dealerships. They will absolutely love the addition of FUELL e-bicycles to our offering.
"The outstanding performance and stunning design of FUELL Flluid, along with the personal touch offered by Tucker dealers, is a great combination to offer consumers looking for an electric-assist bicycle."
Founded in 2018, FUELL is a Franco-American joint venture between Erik Buell, legendary engineer and founder of Buell Motorcycles, and Francois-Xavier Terny, a serial entrepreneur with a sharp focus on innovation in product, process and business models.
FUELL describes itself as "a manufacturer of premium electric mobility solutions for urban center dwellers. The company's products are designed starting with a blank sheet, rethinking every feature and component to deliver innovative, premium products for those seeking to rely on electric two-wheeled forms of transportation.
"FUELL presents the best of personal mobility and freedom for premium customers, while offering unparalleled safety and advanced technology integrated with all the benefits of electric powertrains."


AMA Sanctions Esports Competition

Partnering with Init Esports, the AMA has sanctioned its first esports tournament with participants able to win AMA national titles in the discipline - "while the racing environment will be virtual, the competition and AMA National No. 1 plate up for grabs could not be more real."
"The AMA's mission includes promoting the motorcycle lifestyle, and that extends to the digital universe," said AMA Chief Operating Officer James Holter. "We're pleased to partner with Init Esports, a specialist in online competition, to develop the rules, structure and fairness of play that elevates online motorcycle racing to a recognized AMA discipline."
RiMS Racing, by NACON and Italian studio RaceWard, is the street bike simulation game that will serve as the platform for the competition.

Along with a copy of the RiMS Racing game, players will be required to purchase an AMA esports digital license - a step to increase accountability in esports and introduce gamers to the motorcycle industry. Non-motorcyclists who participate in the competition will be further exposed to the real world of AMA competition and amateur events, working toward the goal of turning gamers into riders.
"We created the digital competition license to encourage accountability in the gaming world," said Stefy Bau, Init Esports founder and CEO. "To drive or race a car or motorcycle in real life, you need a license, and by replicating this model in the digital world, our hope is to combat the toxicity we see in parts of the gaming industry. With greater accountability for the gamers, my hope is to provide a safe and fair environment that stimulates more diversity and inclusion in motorsports and gaming."
AMA esports license holders also enjoy discounts on gaming accessories and virtual perks. As part of the registration process, participants will link their Xbox, PlayStation or Steam/Epic account to their AMA esports license to have their lap times recorded for the challenge.
Phase 1 of the challenge will have competitors race at Laguna Seca (USA), Silverstone (UK), the Million-Dollar Highway (USA) and the Great Victoria Desert Road (AUS). Presenting the opportunity to improve track times from the first stage, Phase 2 will revisit Laguna Seca, Silverstone and the Million-Dollar Highway, with the fastest combined time on the four tracks determining the winner.
Road, track and weather conditions will vary throughout the competition. Along with the AMA esports championship, the winner will have the chance to experience two days with a U.S. Superbike team.

Cometic Gasket

AFT - Cometic Returns as Official Gasket

Concord, Ohio based Cometic Gasket returns as the Official Gasket of AFT for an eighth consecutive season.
From humble origins in a 1,500 sq ft facility, Cometic has grown to become a global leader, and while still a wholly owned and operated family business, "Cometic develops and produces some of the most advanced and innovative gasket and engine sealing solutions available in the cutting-edge 70,000 sq ft R&D and manufacturing center it now occupies.

"Through the use of forward-thinking materials science and manufacturing techniques, Cometic products ensure superior performance across a wide range of engine sizes and types.
"Cometic Gasket and AFT have become synonymous, and we're proud to continue as the Official Gasket of AFT in 2022," said Bob Gorman, founder and CEO of Cometic Gasket, Inc. "Powersports has been interwoven in the fabric of our organization since it was founded in 1989. At the same time, we've supported the series' teams and riders for decades. We're eager to get the season started and see some of the most fearless athletes in the world battle it out bar-to-bar for the 2022 championship."


T-Bar Handlebar Adapter

Machined from solid billet aluminum, this two-part Slyfox, California, T-bar is designed for batwing style fairings and bolts directly to the triple tree and allows for the installation of taller risers in addition to T-bars.

The adapter moves the handlebar 2 1/2" closer to the rider and raises the handlebar 1". No modifications to the screen are necessary, but it requires removal or relocation of the ignition switch and removal or modification of the front dash panel.


Hawg Halters Inc.

Hawg Halters - 'Dominator' Fork Legs

Introduced at Daytona Bike Week, these new Hawg Halters Inc. (HHI) 'Dominator' fork legs are available now in machine, chrome and black anodized finishes for all 2014 and up FL Touring models.

Precision-machined from 6061 billet aluminum, interchangeable brake mounts are available in axial or radial styles. They are supplied with a chrome moly hollow axle and said to deliver less flexing and improved handling.

They use stock or custom HHI fork covers, accept standard wheels and ABS, work with stock or upgraded shocks and are designed with integral fender mounts.


Le Pera

'Outcast' 2-Up with GT Inlay Options

In addition to its popular GT2 black perforated vinyl inlay with black double diamond stitching, Californian custom seat designer Le Pera's 'Outcast' 2-Up is now available with additional inlay options.
The GT1 is a stylish performance look white inlay with black double diamond stitching, and the GT3 is a contemporary high-tech look carbon fiber inlay. 

Designed for 2008 and up Baggers, the front seating area has the same area as its popular 'Maverick' with a tapered mid-section for stop and go ease. Available through Le Pera distributors, it features 15" driver seating and 11" for the passenger, with or without removable backrest, and additionally in a 'Daddy Long Legs' version for taller riders.

Still handcrafting all its seats at its North Hollywood, California headquarters after more than 45 years as the market's design leader, all Le Pera seats feature a highly detailed powder-coated steel, carpeted base plate, a specially poured high density 'Marathon' molded foam foundation and double stitched, handcrafted 'BikerTec' custom cover with bonded polyester thread for durability.


NAMZ Custom Cycle Products

OEM Match Color Wire

Always looking to help its dealers "do it right," Oreland, Pennsylvania based NAMZ Custom Cycle Products has introduced 100' spools of OEM colored wire. 

NAMZ founder and internationally recognized motorcycle electrics guru Jeff Zielinski says: "These neat and tidy 18-gauge wire on 6" spools are available in all OEM Harley-Davidson color codes - a perfect must-have for any dealership or custom shop."
Custom wire colors and striping are also available on request (in 250-foot minimums).
Celebrating 21 years in business, 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 in Australia and Performance Cycle Wholesale Limited in New Zealand.


Wednesday 23 March 2022

AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building

AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building to Remain Suspended for 2022

AMD Magazine owner and World Championship of Custom Bike Building owner Robin Bradley has announced that there will NOT after all be an 'AMD' Finals staged at the Cologne, Germany Expo in October 2022.
The 'AMD' program will therefore remain suspended for the foreseeable future "as we examine options for the future of the event program - options that represent a viable, sustainable and future- facing formula."

Evaluating the history of the 'AMD', Bradley says: "When we started to get involved in lending our magazine name to supporting custom bike shows in Europe in the 1990s (with Custom Chrome), the best years of the custom parts and accessory market were still to come. As the custom build market burgeoned in the 2000s, the AMD World Championship (as the event had become) thrived. It certainly did much to change the structure, staging values and profile of the custom motorcycle show scene. I am proud to be able to say that most would subscribe to the view that it did so for the better of the market and provided a timely and much needed injection of integrity - especially where class structures and judging have been concerned.
"There is no question that the 'AMD' remains a popular and powerful concept that is admired worldwide. It has proven to be a viable and valuable showcase for the design and engineering excellence that has always existed, and still exists, within the international custom motorcycle market.
"An important part of our mission has been to 'spread the word'. There was a large element of 'singing to the choir' about the custom show industry before the 'AMD' program gave it a focus that a wider public could relate to. It became essential that custom bike builders the world over were able to reach a wider audience, and we are very proud to have played a part in achieving that.


Dima Golubchikov of Zillers Garage in Moscow - seen here with 'Insomnia' - his almost entirely handcrafted, turbocharged Yamaha SR 400. Dima remains the reigning AMD World Champion Custom Bike Builder at this time.

"What was once niche has become mainstream, and the effects had been able to be seen increasingly in the sales being achieved by the major OE manufacturers the world over in the past decade, and in the direction of travel that motorcycle design continues to take.
"Our mission now is to consult and rebuild the 'AMD' concept with a viable, relevant, future-facing formula that is sustainable in both financial and timescale terms. Whether or not such an event program can ever be evolved to be environmentally sustainable, or sufficiently so, remains to be seen.
"Initially that isn't the primary objective and, of itself, that is a whole other debate - one that affects all the shows and events in our industry and affects everything we all do. To start with the bigger story is to create the platform - then it can be retro-engineered, once we understand what it is we are driving.
"Our focus in the short-term will be to find an event formula that can be staged on a long weekend rather than the week-long undertaking that builders and dealers have been presented with at an expo such as INTERMOT; and at a venue (or maybe venues) that can nonetheless deliver on the quality of event staging that has become the 'AMD' hallmark.
"That formula will also need to be one that recognizes, indeed showcases and promotes the new school of design, engineering and performance excellence that the PTW industry needs to see to prosper if two wheels are to take their place as a transport solution whose time has come. 

"The trick will be to do that without throwing away our market's heritage and, so far, I think that the versatility that we built into the 'AMD' formula from the start has proven to be robust enough for it to achieve that - we will never forget to dance with the girl who brung us!
"Finally (for now!), I want to pay tribute to Koelnmesse, the Cologne, German exhibition center that organizes INTERMOT, and to the IVM, the German motorcycle industry trade association that owns the show.
"Both have been outstanding partners who have dug deep and done much not only to allow the 'AMD' to prosper - and achieve many of its objectives - but also to help provide a platform that has allowed the custom motorcycle industry itself, and those making their living from it, to prosper, build their businesses and build futures for their families and lifestyles for their customers.
"Regardless of how the future of the 'AMD' now plays out, I for one will always regard having been able to play a small part in showcasing our market's creativity and craftsmanship as one of my greatest career achievements."

Motorcycle Storehouse

Motorcycle Storehouse 'V-Twin' Catalog - Volume 17

2022 sees Motorcycle Storehouse celebrate its 40th anniversary of supporting the custom motorcycle scene, "so it should come as no surprise that our newly rebranded 'V-Twin' catalog has evolved to become the most comprehensive H-D aftermarket catalog available today.  "Boasting over 50,000 replacement and custom parts and accessories from more than 250 brands, Volume 17 caters for V-twin motorcycles from as far back as 1912, all the way through to today's Revolution Max equipped models."

New brand highlights include the introduction of tire-titans Michelin and spark plug specialists NGK, with a significant expansion of Motorcycle Storehouse's private label brand - brake pads, cables and AGM batteries are now available as part of its fast growing MCS product line.
"All this, along with dependable fitment information, tech-tips and industry-leading exploded diagrams - this year's must-have resource for workshops, custom builders and enthusiasts alike!"


Mees Strikes Back in Texas
AFT Round 2 - Texas Half-Mile

Reigning AFT SuperTwins Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) rebounded from his Round 1 fifth place at the Daytona season opener to take the win at the Mission Texas Half-Mile presented by Roof Systems at the Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway on March 19.


SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle
Mees looked virtually unbeatable all night long, making it clear that anybody who wants to take his #1 plate from him is going to have to race hard. Mees drove underneath a quick-starting JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) to take control of the Main Event while still in its opening stages.
The defending champ pulled clear and cruised to the checkered flag, only suffering a minor scare when Beach (second) and his third placed Estenson teammate, Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), used traffic and their own battle for second to reduce the gap to back under a second over the race's final two laps.
The AMA says that the Yamaha 2-3 was another sign that the series' attempts to balance the field are working as hoped, while also providing positive feedback for Estenson Racing with regard to its offseason MT-07 DT upgrades.
It also underlined the potency of the talented Beach-Daniels tandem. That was made especially clear when Mission SuperTwins rookie Daniels not only diced with fourth placed two-time class champion Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), but got the better of him.
With Vanderkooi, Robinson and Fisher in fifth, sixth and seventh respectively, it fell to Bronson Bauman to bring home the leading H-D XG750R in eighth, ahead of Brandon Price in ninth on an FTR750 and Ben Lowe on an XG750R in 10th.

Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
While reigning Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) got his own title defense off to a bit of a quiet start at Daytona, all it took was a return to the scene of his maiden class victory in 2019 to get back to the top of the podium in Texas.
Ben Lowe (No. 25 Helipower Racing/Mission Foods Harley-Davidson XG750R) kept Texter honest in the final leg of the Main and was well positioned to capitalize on any mistake. While that mistake never came, Lowe did finish as the runner-up, earning a strong result at his primary sponsors' home round.
The still-mending Kolby Carlile (No. 36 KC36 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R) rounded out the podium. He did so only after fending off last weekend's surprise winner, Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07), who finished fourth, with new class contender Cole Zabala (No. 51 Memphis Shades/Corbin/Vinson Yamaha MT-07) in fifth, followed by Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) sixth.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
Best known for epic, come-from-behind rides exploiting the high line, Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) won in the complete opposite fashion on Saturday night. After beating polesitter Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) into the opening corner, Mischler immediately set about what would ultimately prove to be a race-long defense of the low line.
Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) took second from teammate Morgan Mischler third, with Mischler's teammate Dalton Gauthier fourth and Michael Inderbitzen (No. 54 1st Impressions Services of Florida Honda CRF450R) fifth.
There is a five week gap now until after Easter when the 2022 season makes an inaugural AFT stop at the I-70 Motorsports Park, Odessa, Mi., Saturday, April 23 (Round 3); then another five week gap until Red Miles I & II at Lexington, Ky., on May 28 & 29 (Rounds 4 & 5), after which regular weekly or alternate weekly racing gets going for the summer with the Laconia Short Track (Round 6) at Loudon, Nh., on June 11.

Buell Motorcycle

Buell Motorcycle Company Teases at Daytona with Two New Motorcycles

Words and images by Steve Piehl

Visitors to Destination Daytona near Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson got a sneak peek at two future motorcycles from the new Buell Motorcycle Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
With great ceremony, CEO Bill Melvin revealed two bikes on March 5, the Baja DR Dune Racer and the SuperTouring 1190. The company says both motorcycles are destined for production in late 2022 or 2023; both are dubbed as 2023 models.

The Baja DR Dune Racer was called "the world's fastest production dirt bike," and with a claimed 172 hp, it just might be. It features the long-travel suspension you would expect, and this model has the extended swingarm of a hillclimber. The display bike was nicely assembled, but was clearly a one-off created for show (and perhaps testing). It's expected to sell for US$20,000.
The Buell SuperTouring 1190 is an interesting exercise in trying to be a sport tourer/adventure bike, while flexing its muscles as a sport bike. The 1190 cc twin-cylinder bike is said to deliver 182 hp. It looks small compared to most sport tourers and adventure bikes, and its street tires and relatively short suspension made it clear that this tourer is designed for adventures on pavement.
The carbon fiber bodywork was well done and actually was a great complement to the massive Buell frame (with fuel tank) and large swingarm. It was displayed originally with the boxy-looking aluminum bags that ADV bike owners seem to love (which of itself is worthy of a separate editorial), but on another visit to the Buell display it was being shown sans-bags - which gave the bike an almost naked bike look. It's expected the price will be in the region of $22,000.

Buell staff at the reveal said that both of the models are far beyond being prototypes, giving us the impression that testing is going on right now, and likely sourcing of parts and supply chain building taking place as we speak.
Both bikes are available for advanced orders now.
Buell also had several of its current offerings on display, including the Hammerhead, which was introduced last year. The display bikes were ready for sale, so these new offerings were there, in part, to drive some traffic and awareness of the Buells that are available today.
Buell's approach on retailing isn't typical of most motorcycle brands today, and that's probably appropriate for a company of this size. As company officials explained, the organization is moving to a consumer-direct sales model on all of its products. 

When a customer orders a Buell motorcycle, they'll advise the company what dealership would be a good pick-up point. If that dealer's not currently a Buell dealer, the company will vet the dealers and work with them to deliver the bike to the purchaser.
Interesting process for a company from Michigan, the state that fought Tesla's consumer-direct model longer and harder than almost any other.
Die-hard Buell fans are likely overjoyed to see that Liquid Asset Partners didn't just sell off the remnants of Erik Buell's former company, but stuck around and are evolving the product into new bikes and new categories. That's a much better "next chapter" than just about anyone had expected.

Parts Unlimited

Parts Unlimited in Three-Year MotoAmerica Sponsorship Deal

Global powersports distributor Parts Unlimited, one of the series' longest serving sponsors, has signed a new three-year agreement to be an official partner of the 2022 Auto Parts 4 Less MotoAmerica Championship.

"Parts Unlimited has been with MotoAmerica since the beginning and they bring a lot to our paddock," said Lance Bryson, MotoAmerica's Director of Sponsorship. "Parts Unlimited is a racing company, so it's a natural fit for MotoAmerica. The coming season promises to be a thriller in all our classes and we're happy to have Parts Unlimited on board with us again."
"We're pleased to be able to continue our partnership with MotoAmerica," said Hylton Beattie, Parts Unlimited's Global Motorsports Director. "We like what MotoAmerica has been able to achieve with its series and it only gets better every season. Road racing is important to us and our customers, so working with MotoAmerica is always at the top of our list."

Tucker Powersports

Tucker - 100+ City ePower Experience Tour

Tucker Powersports has announced the industry's most extensive effort to expose dealers and customers to electric mobility products from its burgeoning ePower portfolio.
The Tucker ePower Experience launched in March and will make stops in over 100 cities around the United States offering test rides and product information on five of the program's brands.
Stops will be at powersports dealerships and staffed by Tucker reps along with brand ambassadors and representatives from some of the participating companies.

Tucker says it will "execute the tour with four event rigs, each one with a full complement of ePower vehicles and point-of-sale information." Products that will be available to ride are Fantic and Fuell ebikes, Evolve skateboards, Dualtron scooters and UBCO electric adventure vehicle (EAV). Safety equipment and riding gear will be provided. Host dealers will be provided with digital assets to help them promote the tour stop at their location.
"The Tucker ePower Experience is the easiest way for powersports dealers to understand the opportunity that exists with electric mobility products," said Jamie Kempinski, Tucker’s Director of Business Development. "And experiencing the products will help each dealer determine what products may be a great match for their own business plan."
Each of the rigs will function in a designated region. The Southwest, Northwest and Southeast legs kicked off in Las Vegas, Portland and Jacksonville, Florida. The Northeast route started in Windham, NH.  
A full, and expanding, schedule of tour stops is available on the ePower page of the Tucker website. Dealers interested in hosting the Tucker ePower Experience should contact their Tucker representative.

Vance & Hines

V&H AFT Production Twins Presenting Sponsor

Vance & Hines says it will field two riders competing in AFT racing for the 2022 season. Jesse Janisch will compete in AFT's Production Twins class aboard a Vance & Hines-built Harley-Davidson XG750R, and Brandon Kitchen will campaign a Husqvarna FC450 in the Singles class. Both riders will be supported by a technical team from the company's Racing Development Center in Brownsburg, Indiana.  

Brandon Kitchen

Janisch earned his spot on the Vance & Hines team in 2021 when he rode six races on the V&H H-D XG750R and ended the season with four trips to the podium and a win in Charlotte, Nc. His podium finishes were on two different mile tracks, a TT with his breakthrough win on the Charlotte Half-Mile - his first career win on a twin-cylinder motorcycle.
Originally from West Bend, Wi., Janisch is a veteran rider who has raced in both Twins and Singles classes for the past twelve years with a reputation for success on TT tracks.
 Brandon Kitchen has been considered one of the hot young stars on the AFT Singles circuit since his debut in 2020 when he won the Indy mile on a bike borrowed from Vance & Hines. The 2018 Michigan state champion had two top five finishes in 2021 after he was set back by an injury. He ended the season finishing twelfth in AFT Singles. 


Jesse Janisch

Technical support for the program comes from experienced Vance & Hines employees based at the company's Racing Development Center. Craig Koontz, a 12-year Vance & Hines employee who is a long-time motorcycle rider and racer, will be Flat Track Team Manager. Koontz was involved in the company's H-D XR1200 road racing program from its inception.  
Steve Polk has a decade's long history of preparing racing motorcycle engines for flat track and motocross, with some of the sport's top teams using his handiwork on the track. He joined V&H at the time the company began developing the XG750R for Harley; Polk takes the role of Flat Track Crew Chief.
Vance & Hines has expanded its involvement in flat track racing as the presenting sponsor of AFT’s Production Twins class and has announced a contingency sponsorship program that makes over $100,000 in prize money available to AFT riders. The company has partnered with Harley-Davidson and is the only organization designated to produce the Harley-Davidson XG750R race-only motorcycle - a turnkey solution for riders wishing to compete in AFT’s Production Twins racing.


Harley China Plan Stalled?
Letter from China by Ben Purvis

QJMotor is set to become a better-known brand outside its Chinese homeland during 2022 with a Moto3 race effort under its name and a growing ambition to offer its ever-growing range of bikes in Europe.
The Moto3 effort will be with the well known Avintia team, using KTM race bikes rebranded to sport the QJMotor branding, with European sales intentions heavily suggested by QJMotor's presence at EICMA last year. Given that the company's own brand is effectively a Benelli sister brand, owned by the same Qianjiang parent company, there is no surprise that it shares many of the same frames, engines and suspension components with Benelli models, and there's already a dealer and distributor network in place - should it decide to enter the European market. 

Indeed, QJMotor's latest new models, revealed in Chinese approval documents, look increasingly convincing from a European perspective.
It is Qianjiang, QJMotor's parent company, that has the deal to design and manufacture future Harley-Davidson models for sale in the Chinese market, including the long-expected H-D 338R project.
That model used a Benelli chassis and a parallel twin, effectively a smaller version of the one seen in QJMotor's new SRV500, but seems to have been put on hold, failing to be officially revealed and yet to be namechecked by Harley CEO Jochen Zeitz in his quarterly financial reports or analyst remarks, even though near-finished prototypes were spied more than a year ago.
If the Harley deal does result in a production bike, it might not be a million miles from the SRV500 seen here.
Just as Qianjiang has a deal with Harley-Davidson, it also has an arrangement to manufacture smaller models with MV Agusta. The first will be the newly launched MV Lucky Explorer 5.5, which shares many of its parts with QJMotor's 500 cc adventure bike and the near-identical Benelli TRK502.

Freedom Performance Exhaust

First Aftermarket 2-into-1 Systems for Indian Chief

Martin Arteaga, Corona, California based Freedom Performance Exhaust's CEO and founder, says that his company is "the first in the industry to produce a 2-into-1 aftermarket exhaust system for the Indian Chief."

With two-step baffles and triple-step header, the five-stem stream "gives ultimate horsepower, resulting in a nice, deep, smooth and throaty sound. The 2-into-1 Shorty and Turnout systems eliminate the catalytic converter, resulting in heat reduction of 40% as well as 220-degree wrap-around full coverage heat shields that can be used or removed."


The header and the heat shield are made in steel - a massive performance boosting 50% reduction in weight is claimed, compared to Indian's stock system for the Chief. The 2.5" OD "is made to fit our precision-machined, interchangeable aluminum end caps - including our 'American Outlaw', 'Combat', straight or slash tip, all of which come in a variety of finishes."
The triple-step header from 1.75" to 1 7/8" to 2" adds more flow and creates more anti-reversion to create more horsepower. All Freedom exhausts have been dyno tested and the company says that they have been found to have a gain of +10 horsepower and +12 pounds of torque over stock systems.


Zodiac International

Zodiac Adds European Made Rick's Parts for Sportster S

Zodiac International has been quick to embrace the aftermarket custom and performance opportunities represented by Harley's RH1250S Sportster S in Europe - a market where it is bound to become a strong seller in the coming years.
The stock styling and performance have "Europe" stamped all over them, but European customizers are already offering dealers and their customers performance exhaust upgrades and custom styling touches that raid the 'Euro-styling' fat rear end and streetfighter play-book.
One such is Rick's Motorcycles of Baden-Baden in Germany. One of the original European V-twin custom parts designers and manufacturers from the early 1990s, and these days also one of Europe's most successful authorized Harley dealers, Rick's is best known for its wheels, swingarms, frames and performance air cleaners.
Initially Zodiac has gone deep on Rick's lighting accessories, and especially on the range of ways that Kellermann's award-winning custom LEDs can be used on the Sportster S - if ever a model was a perfect canvas for Kellermann's Atto lights, this is it…

Handlebar Control Mounted Turn Signals 


The black powder-coated steel brackets of this handlebar mount for turn signal controls bolt straight onto the brake and clutch lever perches. Left and right-side bracket kits come complete with award- winning E-approved Kellermann Atto turn signals and matching load equalizing resistors. M5 stud mount kits are also available for Kellermann Atto turn signals.

Rear Turn Signal Kit


This bolt-on rear turn signal bracket with integrated reflector fits straight under the rear fender. It is available as a complete kit with a pair of Kellermann Atto 3-into-1 turn signal/taillight/brake light and load equalizing resistors, or as an M5 mounting stud rear turn signal bracket kit.

License Plate Side Mount


In order to eliminate the stock rear fender, this bolt-on side mount goes straight onto the pulley side of the swingarm. Made from black powder-coated billet aluminum, it is available as a mount bracket with hardware only, or with a choice of frenched license base plates with LED license plate illumination and hardware (18x20 cm, 18x14 cm or 17x21 cm).

Bar End Turn Signals


These billet aluminum brackets are for fitting on the handlebar ends, wiring for the turn signals can be routed through the handlebars. Brackets also allow you to fit the mirrors on the handlebar ends. Left and right complete kits come with E-approved Kellermann Atto turn signals and matching load equalizing resistors.

Belt Guard Kit


These stainless steel upper and lower belt guards are sold as a bolt-on set with matte black finish.

Mini Headlight Fairing


These bolt-on headlight shroud fit with the stock headlight. They are made from fiberglass in precision-built molds and ready for painter's preparation.

Front Fender


This front fender is 3D laser-cut from 2 mm steel with pre-drilled holes for easy mounting. Medium or short "Street Cut" front fenders are suitable for standard 160/70-17 tires. They feature integrated protection for the fork tubes and come in raw steel. It is strongly recommended to test-fit before having them painted.


Tuesday 15 March 2022


Kellermann Jetstream - "The World's Most Powerful Motorcycle Indicator"

Aachen, Germany based Kellermann GmbH is a global leader where LED technology and motorcycle indicators are concerned, noted for its advanced, durable, robust products, high grade materials, fit and finish - and as the global custom motorcycle industry's 'go-to' when discreet, stylish, high power lighting solutions are needed.

The new premium Kellermann Jetstream is probably "the most spectacular motorcycle indicator ever built," says LED design expert Guido Kellermann.
Available as a sequential lighting turn signal and as a 3-in-1 rear, brake and sequential lighting turn signal combo version, the design of the Kellermann Jetstream "integrates elements from aviation design and has the shape of a wing with an integrated jet engine. The distinctively and shapely designed Jetstream is a guaranteed eye-catcher both for its looks and for its power."

'two variants'

"Safety is always our number one priority," says Guido, "but who says products can't also look great? The shape is extremely aerodynamic and therefore also very streamlined at high speeds, resulting in less airflow turbulence for improved safety and comfort."

Dr Stefan Wöste, Kellermann CEO

However, the illuminating power of the Kellermann Jetstream is also extreme - "no other motorcycle indicator with sequential lighting and ECE approval gets even close," says Kellermann CEO Dr. Stefan Wöste.

 'aviation design'

"The brightness is unmatched. The turn signal is emitted as a super bright and slit-like beam along the edge of the wing. In the 3-in-1 version the equally strong rear and brake lights are added, with the well-proven Kellermann Atto technology placed in the jet engine channel."
Based on 16 high-power LEDs, the unbelievable illuminating power of the Kellermann Jetstream contributes towards more safety on the road, because the motorcycle is better and sooner seen when approaching at high speed or in poor weather.

Overtaking becomes safer as the vehicle ahead is strongly warned by the extreme illuminating power - reducing the danger of inadvertent or careless lane changing.
Made in Germany by Kellermann, the strong illuminating power also raises the safety bar during all other turning or braking maneuvers, with the sequential lighting turn signal at the front and rear - also the 3-in-1 combination during braking maneuvers.

'dynamically pulsating'

"This extremely bright and dynamically pulsating sequential indicator, with its unique light orchestration, pushes the envelope of what is technically possible and will define a new benchmark in the segment of exclusive motorcycle accessories."
Initially, the Kellermann Jetstream will be available in two variants. As a sequential lighting turn signal it can be installed at the front and rear of the motorcycle. The 3-in-1 version, with a combination of rear, brake and sequential lighting turn signal, can be installed at the rear of the bike.


Form, Function, Power and Safety

•    Highest illuminating power
•    Kellermann high-power LED technology
•    State-of-the-art "IC"- chip technology
•    32 MHz real time micro processor controlled
•    Silent-Current, advanced Power Saving algorithm
•    High measure of visibility across a wide angle range
•    Longlife Protection Guard
•    Suitable for 12 volt DC applications
•    Flow-optimized metal housing, high quality manufacturing
•    M8 x 20 mm thread
•    High-quality vibration-absorbing bearing
•    ECE-approved
•    Global design protection

Progressive American Flat Track

Briar Bauman Starts With a WIN
AFT Round I - Volusia Half-Mile

According to the AMA, "the 2022 Progressive American Flat Track season promised a new era of increased brand parity and - at least on its opening night with the Mission Volusia Half-Mile presented by Daytona Dodge at Volusia Speedway Park, Florida, March 11 - it certainly delivered."
The first round had been slated for March 10, but was delayed to March 12 before being abandoned altogether because of bad weather.


Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle
"While the virtuoso performance for victory on the part of 2019 and 2020 Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle champion Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) was nothing new, the finishing order behind him provided some fresh storylines.
"As Bauman went relatively unchallenged cruising to his 20th career premier-class victory, an intense battle for runner-up honors saw younger brother Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) second and JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) third.
The brand parity that was featured on the podium was reflected deeper down the order as well. Much-heralded Mission SuperTwins rookie Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) opened his premier-class career with an outstanding fourth, with reigning champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) fifth and 2021 third-ranked rider, Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Foods/Roof Systems Indian FTR750), sixth. Shayna Texter-Bauman, making her debut on the FTR750 for the 'Wrecking Crew' in the top class, brought it home in 13th spot.

Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
In the deepest field in its short history, the Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines saw Nick Armstrong - the class' 17th ranked rider a year ago (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07) - take the win, with established Production Twins powers Dan Bromley (No. 62 Vinson Construction/Viper Air Yamaha MT-07) and Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) taking second and third respectively.
Despite still recovering from the broken leg he suffered in last year's finale, Kolby Carlile (No. 36 KC36 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R) came home fourth, with Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650) making it three different makes in the top five.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
In the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER, Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) won from teammate and back-to-back class runner-up Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) in second, with 2019 class champ Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) third.
Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb's Dallas Honda CRF450R) and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) rounded out the top five.

S&S Cycle

S&S Diamondback 2-1 Touring Performance Exhaust

S&S says it was building performance baggers long before they were called that, and that as the home of "Proven Performance," its focus has always been on making big power.

Inspired by King of the Baggers, S&S says the Diamondback 2-1 exhaust system is a perfect example of its commitment to true performance. "Beginning with a stepped header for maximum flow and a merged collector specifically engineered to prevent exhaust gas reversion, this system wraps up with a 4" full stainless muffler that ends before the rear axle. 

"The Diamondback is not for your daddy’s bagger, but purpose-built to make big power and sound, have excellent cornering clearance and just the right look." It also provides clearance for taller shocks and is available in a brushed stainless or Guardian Black finish.



HardDrive Continues BMR/Veteran Homeless Charity Race Effort Support

Bagger Mayhem Racing, and its parent company BMR Media, LLP, has announced that its 2022 racing effort will include campaigning its Harley-Davidson Street Glide in the MotoAmerica King Of The Baggers series.

Backed by multi-year partner sponsor HardDrive, BMR will give a 2022 season debut to its Street Glide at the Daytona round of the MotoAmerica King Of The Baggers series. The team is also fielding a lightweight twins entry in select other events throughout the season.
Led by team manager and rider Bryan Shields, who will continue to do double duties as rider and manager in the 2022 season, Shields is the owner of Penn Ohio Cycles, a motorcycle sales, service and parts store in Ohio, and has announced that Penn Ohio Cycles will be continuing its sponsorship throughout the 2022 season.


Bagger Mayhem Racing and BMR Media, LLP partner Jason Pohuski will introduce the joint effort campaign of "Racing to End Veteran Homelessness" this season. The collaboration's launch of its non-profit organization, the BMR project will focus on the growing issue of Veteran homelessness. Through its racing efforts, BMR believes the team can bring increased awareness and support to veterans who need help.