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Wednesday 25 May 2022

Comment by Editor-in-Chief, Robin Bradley

Harley-Davidson and The Theory of Relativity

Everything is relative. Relatively speaking, Führer Putin is having his ass handed to him by Ukraine and, relatively speaking, Harley's Q1 Fiscals weren't so bad.
They were relatively okay-ish, way better than they might have been, but being held back by events way above the motorcycle industry's pay grade. The underlying trend shows Harley with wind in its sails, and with any semblance of a global return to sanity, then relative to the 'macros', I think it'd be seen to actually be doing quite well.
Certainly, that fickle bellwether of the stock price isn't showing a panic attack on Harley shares, maybe mild stress response at most. One of the few bright spots in a market in a tempestuous sea of uncertainty.
Relatively speaking, it has been an interesting month for news - assuming you can look beyond the destruction of democracy and all that we hold dear.
For obvious reasons, the LiveWire 'Del Mar' soft launch got my attention. This is the first 'S2' Arrow platform iteration and the approach that Harley/LiveWire is taking has good thinking stamped all over it. The long gestation period between announcement and showroom (neither the limited production Launch Edition nor the volume production model will appear until the spring of 2023) is proving to be a not uncommon feature of the EV industry - two and four wheels.
Indeed, BRP recently confirmed the long-expected comeback to the motorcycle market for the Can Am brand with a proposed range of electrics (see AMD May) that won't be in showrooms until 2024.
However, with rumors about a delay in the LiveWire SPAC NYSE float perhaps having more horsepower than I initially thought, maybe there is an element of "jam tomorrow Dear Investor, please last the course with us" about Harley's play - and if so, then it is not a bad move, given that the present market instability could stretch well into the future.

“moto-culture meets urban mobility”

It certainly does look like the war between Ukraine and Russia has got a way to go yet - unless NATO does decide to pull the splinters out of its arse and get down of its fence. Well done Finland for swallowing the difficult decision to abandon its time-honored neutrality, and looks like Sweden is going to do the same. Well done Vlad, you fascist dimwit!
'In other News' (as the saying goes), the cancelation of the planned IMS series for 2022 is a disappointment. For me it smacks of a familiar syndrome in the powersports industry - a major corporation (this time British!) having an unrealistic P/E ratio baked into its own investor expectations and, frankly, not understanding what it is they bought or how to nurture it.
The loss of the series robs us all (including the MIC and its outreach programs) of something that - given the attendance and test ride reports from 2021 - should and could have been profitably invested in and have been built into a viable and valuable platform. From what I can gather, there was nothing wrong with the year-one IMS Outdoors experience that couldn't have been improved with a bit of creativity and lateral thinking.
The news that Yamaha, Suzuki and, eventually, Kawasaki and Honda are to step up their collaboration in pursuit of hydrogen power for PTWs is something I've been hoping to see for a long time. Indeed, there is also an uptick of mainstream and financial media 'noise' about the viability of pump-ready low carbon ICE synth-gas in-play.
The 3D printed trellis frame from Spain is worth a read, as is the resurfacing of rumors about the H-D 'Bronx'; and there is news about new ownership for Mustang Seats in the latest stage of the great MAG 'unwind'.
However, it is the news about 'Reload Land' - a new moto-culture meets urban mobility electric PTW (Powered Two-Wheeler) fest planned for Berlin, Germany, this summer - that really floats my boat this month.
Very sensibly, the organizers are being relatively modest in their forecasts for their event - it is always better to manage expectations and over-deliver to create momentum.
'Reload Land' is positioned as a very different approach to future transport than that being taken at some of the major Expo Centers. It is grass roots and authentic rather than corporate big picture - and for that exact reason it, actually, 'feels' like it could well be a very convincing 'bigger picture' insight into how the electrification of motorcycling could (and maybe should) evolve.
It will become evident soon enough whether or not there is room for both approaches to succeed at this still early stage - the grassroots and the corporatist approaches - but make no mistake, there certainly is a need for them both to do so, and there is a symbiotic relationship between the two approaches that requires them both to exist.
Another necessary next step is a near-simultaneous need for emergence of a convincing crop of (no doubt online) grassroots motorcycle electrification media to complement the shows. There are some broad-based electrification outlets already, principally in America - such as Electrek - and some of the traditionally ICE based custom blogs are paying attention, but regardless of the changes at play, the fundamentals of communication have remained unchanged in 6,000 years - even if they look, feel and work differently with each passing generation.
As a publishing 'lifer', if I were 20 years younger, I'd be all over it! In show terms too. This is another reason why the market (especially the OEM community) could come to regret the passing of the IMS Outdoors concept. It is to be hoped that others who are skirting the area, such as the Comoto Get On! Moto Fest series, and other precisely targeted streams such as the Electrify Expo series, are able to build platforms that can convincingly speak 'new gen'.
Relative to other event projects we are seeing in Europe in particular at this time, this is one of several reasons why the new 'Reload Land' project could well turn out to be informative and influencer in equal measure.

AFT News Briefs


SBS Friction has returned as the Official Brake Pad of Progressive AFT. Always a major race supporter, the 2022 season marks the fifth consecutive year in which SBS has served in that capacity in AFT racing. Founded in Denmark nearly 60 years ago, the company boasts a glorious motorsports tradition with dozens of two-wheel world championships, including in WorldSBK and MXGP.

Öhlins USA has been named the Official Suspension of Progressive AFT for the seventh successive season. "The iconic brand added to its long and illustrious championship-winning history in 2021 with reigning Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle champion Jared Mees. "Racing is our passion, and Progressive American Flat Track represents the pinnacle of motorcycle dirt track racing in the world, so we're excited to continue our partnership," Mike Himmelsbach, Motorsports Market Manager at Öhlins USA.

Mechanix Wear has been named as the Official Work Glove of the 2022 Progressive AFT series. "Mechanix Wear gloves were born in motorsport. Debuting at the 1991 Daytona 500 more than 30 years ago, the brand has since established itself a global leader for mechanics, trade professionals, manufacturing, military and law enforcement tactical teams alike."

Loomis, CA. based tools, controls and cables specialist Motion Pro is again a MotoAmerica Partner for 2022, as the Official Tire Pressure Gauge of the MotoAmerica Series. Founded by Six-Day ISDT gold medalist Chris Carter in 1984, Motion Pro "designs innovative tools and products that help owners maintain and repair their motorcycles, working closely with championship-level riders and professional mechanics all over the world."

Chad Cose is to race for the 1st Impressions Race Team. He will compete aboard a Honda CRF450R in the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER class for the remainder of the 2022 Progressive American Flat Track season. A seat on the four-rider effort opened up following the injury of Michael Lainhart at Texas Motor Speedway.

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


Bronx Revival? By Ben Purvis

Is Harley-Davidson's theoretically canceled water-cooled streetfighter project about to get a new chance of making it to market?
The managerial machinations of Harley-Davidson over the last few years have seen the company’s plans zigzagging between bold ambitions to enter multiple new markets and a focus on traditional customers’ needs with a more limited (so far) entry into one new market - the ADV sector.
However, with LiveWire having hovered between being on life support and now being given a second chance under CEO Jochen Zeitz' management, another project that appeared to have been canceled - the Bronx streetfighter - may have just been given a new hope.
The Bronx was part of former H-D CEO Matt Levatich’s wide-ranging ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’ strategy, announced in 2018, which also saw the development of the Pan America adventure bike and the water-cooled, DOHC, VVT-equipped Revolution Max engine. Originally shown as a nameless streetfighter concept at the ‘More Roads’ presentation, a year later the bike was shown at EICMA in Milan with the Bronx name with plans for it to reach dealers in 2020 as an early 2021 model.

Those plans came to a screeching halt in early 2020, just weeks before the bike’s intended debut, when Levatich was ousted and Jochen Zeitz stepped into the Chairman and CEO role. Zeitz refocused the company’s plans with his ‘Rewire’ and subsequent ‘Hardwire’ strategies, slashing the ambition of proposed future model ranges in numeric terms at least, and zeroing in on Harley’s traditional cruiser market.
The Pan America went ahead - the booming ADV market was too tempting to ignore, and the bike’s development was already virtually complete - but the Bronx appeared to die.
The ‘High-Performance Custom’ concept, originally shown as part of the ‘More Roads’ presentation, was accelerated to production as the Sportster S. The Nightster followed with the smaller capacity 975 cc version of the Revolution Max engine - between them effectively replacing the old air-cooled Sportster range.
Speaking in an earnings conference call in late 2020, Zeitz said: “We did not hesitate to delay or cancel products like the streetfighter that do not provide the right timing or return profile or advance others that were slated for later market introduction.”
Now it appears the emphasis was on delay rather than cancel, as Harley-Davidson has just applied for a new US trademark on the Bronx name.
Although the company already had a US trademark on the title, the new application appears to be in reaction to a law change - the Trademark Modernization Act - which came into force in the United States in December 2021. 

The Act is intended to stop companies from sitting on unused trademarks, making it easier to cancel them if a product bearing the name doesn’t reach the market within three years of the application.
The new trademark application is filed under the ‘intent-to-use’ basis, defined by the US Patents and Trademark Office as “a bona fide intention to use your mark in commerce with your goods and/or services in the near future.”
Since the original version of the Bronx, as shown in 2019, was very close to production when Harley put the brakes on the project, it shouldn’t take much more development to bring it back.
The original specs, which include a 975 cc version of the Revolution Max engine making 115 hp and 70 lb-ft, as well as Brembo brakes, upside-down forks and monoshock rear suspension, are unlikely to change radically - although it’s worth noting that Levatich originally intended the ‘streetfighter’ range to encompass multiple models, so a higher-powered version using the 145 hp, 1,250 cc Revolution Max engine from the Pan America was always likely, originally, to follow the original Bronx.


Biltwell Inc.

Temecula, California based Biltwell Inc. has seen recent changes to its management with long-time VP of Sales and Purchasing Mike D. Ellis leaving to take on new challenges, including involvement in a family business, after 12 years at the company.

New to the Biltwell team is Davin Wirtanen, who takes over as VP of Sales effective immediately. Davin is a "good friend" of Biltwell owners and co-founders Bill Bryant and Harold McGruther, an industry pro, and avid enthusiast of all things two-wheeled, "so he's a perfect fit," says Bill.
"Davin will lead our company's sales team and is committed to strengthening the relationships Mike Ellis and others at our company have nurtured and grown for over 15 years."

Blow Performance Exhausts

Zodiac Adds Blow Performance Exhausts

Dealers in Europe can now access the award winning Australian Blow Performance exhaust program from Zodiac International.

Blow Performance owner Domenic Pompeii told AMD that "we've been in discussion with Zodiac for a while, but these are difficult times for vendors to make commitments to new product lines with confidence and kudos to Zodiac for 'stepping up' in these difficult times.

"Zodiac has now committed to the Blow Performance brand, persuaded by the modular approach we take to making it easy for dealers to sell Blow Performance Exhausts.
"Our 'KUTBAK KITS' mean dealers can cover most Harley-Davidson Big Twin model applications with just four exhaust systems. Our systems connect with a center bolt and connection housing and attach to the gearbox, not to the chassis.


"We give dealers a winning combination quality, authentic design, convincing real-world performance with power and torque boosts in the Rev ranged where riders want them and by the way we stand behind our products."

National Cycle

National Cycle - FLHT/FLHX Custom Replacement Windscreens

Maywood, Illinois based National Cycle is bringing custom options to the table for 2014-22 FLHT and FLHX riders. "These new windscreens have a unique custom personality and a flavor all their own."

The National Cycle 'Fly Boy', 'Bad Boy' and 'Gee Bee' are made from tough 3.0 mm Quantum hardcoated polycarbonate. "This high quality material, along with state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, provides outstanding impact strength and scratch resistance unmatched by any windscreen maker worldwide.

"Quantum hardcoated polycarbonate is the material of choice for serious motorcycle riders. It is ten times more abrasion resistant than FMR hardcoated polycarbonate, and 30 times more than windscreens made from commonly used acrylic or 'aircraft plastic'."
These windscreens are available in dark tint, are easy to install and are protected by a three-year warranty against breakage.


Le Pera

'TailWhip' for Sport Glide and Lowrider

Designed for 2018 and up Sport Glide and Lowrider, the 'TailWhip' by boutique Californian motorcycle seats craftsman Le Pera "takes our 'BackFlip' one step further with a 'whipped-up' tail in the back for a passenger."

It offers 12.25" of width for the driver and 7" for the passenger and is available in Basket Weave, Double Diamond and Pleated. "If it's more comfort for the passenger or just another platform to let your adventurous side explore, the whipped-up tail of the TailWhip will give you what you are looking for."  

After more than 45 years as the market's design leader, Le Pera is still family owned and still handcrafting all its seats at its North Hollywood, California headquarters. 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.


Coastal Moto

Intelligent ABS 21" 'Atlantic' Front Wheel

Available with intelligent ABS bearings that are "linked brake ready," the design of this 21" x 3.5" 'Atlantic' front wheel from Coastal Moto means that no ABS system reprogramming is required.

Drag Specialties says that "this 'cast' one-piece aluminum wheel is available at a fraction of the cost of billet or forged wheels and comes with Coastal Moto pre-installed bearings and valve stems."
The wheel is available in solid black gloss, black cut finish for dual-disc set-ups.



Barnett Clutch Spring Conversion Kit

Barnett's clutch spring conversion kit for 1998-2017 Harley-Davidson Big Twins (except 2013-17 narrow primary models) includes a CNC precision-machined billet aluminum pressure plate and two sets of six heavy duty coil springs. 

Designed to replace the stock diaphragm spring/pressure plate assembly, this spring conversion kit is designed to provide smoother shifting and a more progressive, linear clutch engagement.
The two spring sets of different tension ratings allow for three different spring pressure options, "making it ideal for stock to high performance applications. Installation is 'bolt-on' with no modifications required. A hydraulic version is also available."


Arlen Ness Enterprises

SpeedLiner Foot Control Kits

All new from Dublin, California based Arlen Ness Enterprises, its SpeedLiner control line features performance-based design control kits, CNC-machined from billet aluminum, that "include every component needed to take your foot controls to the next level."
"Each SpeedLiner performance part features our 3D knurled design with extreme CNC-machined detail, resulting in an aggressive yet overall clean look."

Available in black anodized and chrome finishes, each kit includes the brake arm, shift rod, inner shift arm and solo or heel/toe shifter. Fitments are for 2008 and up FLT Touring models with a separately available adapter kit offered for 2000 - 2007 models (they will not fit FXD, FXR Softail and XL models with mid controls).

"Our shift rod features specially designed spherical bearings, hydraulically pressed in for an ultra-clean look, eliminating the need for heim joints."


Monday 16 May 2022


LiveWire 'S2' Del Mar LE Revealed

LiveWire, Harley-Davidson's soon to be floated electric bike subsidiary, has previewed its second generation of battery-powered machines in the form of the 'S2' Del Mar Launch Edition - and secured deposits for the first 100 bikes in just 18 minutes, despite production (or at least deliveries) not being slated until the Spring of 2023.
The 'S2' Del Mar is the first LiveWire to use the company's new 'Arrow' modular platform. The Arrow architecture is essentially a structural battery case that allows a variety of battery capacities to be used, as well as a range of different electric motors, while smaller subframes bolted to the front and rear of the central structure allow it to be shared across bikes of different sizes and geometries. 

The Del Mar is the only 'S2' model to be shown so far and adopts a flat-track-inspired look that was initially previewed in official Harley-Davidson sketches in 2020. A lozenge-shaped headlight sits in a stubby nose cowl that mimics the front number board of a flat-tracker, while the bars are wide and the wheels fairly narrow 19-inch alloys.
The bike is claimed to be good for 80 hp (59.6 kW), with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds and a range of around 100 miles in city conditions. The relatively short range (the bigger LiveWire One manages 146 miles in the city) gets a payoff in the form of a lighter battery, with the 'S2' Del Mar expected to come in at under 440 lbs/200 kg, ready-to-ride. In comparison, the LiveWire One (formerly known as the Harley-Davidson LiveWire) is 500 lbs/255 kg, has 105 hp and does 0-60 mph in three seconds dead.

At the moment, LiveWire hasn't made any claims for the Del Mar's range outside the city, but since the LiveWire One is only good for 70 miles between charges at highway speeds, the Del Mar might well exhaust its battery in around 50 miles in the same conditions.
The limited Launch Edition version of the Del Mar gets its own dedicated cast alloy wheel design with intricate spokes intended to represent the wiring on a circuit board, as well as a hand-applied paint finish that takes a full five days to complete. With that in mind, at $17,699 in the United States, the MSRP doesn't look unreasonable, coming it at around $5,000 less than the LiveWire One. The full production version of the Del Mar, with simpler wheels and less exotic paintwork, is due to cost $15,000 in the USA when the bikes reach production in Spring 2023. The mass-made version will be available as soon as the limited Launch Edition models are being delivered.
Once the Arrow platform is in production, we can expect further LiveWire models to come thick and fast, with a range of styles and performance levels. Later on, a lighter-weight 'S3' range is due to appear with a scaled-down version of the same Arrow design, followed by a heavyweight 'S4' line-up, likely to replace the original LiveWire One and expand the options further still.

Reload Land

Reload Land - the First European Electric Motorcycle Festival
Berlin, Germany, June 24 to 26, 2022

From June 24 to 26, 2022, Berlin, Germany will see the first annual 'Reload Land', a first dedicated and curated 100 percent electric festival for the electric motorcycle community in Europe.

"Reload Land will showcase the best of the world of electric motorcycles, e-scooters, e-bicycles and custom rides. Around 20 exhibitors and up to 5,000 guests are expected. The event will attract a wide variety of likeminded futurists and will be a creative hub combining business and fun, all powered by electric engines. 

Co-founders Stephan Lindenfeld and Maximilian Funk

"Reload Land will be the platform for the movers and shakers of the fast-growing electric motorcycle industry and anybody who is interested in exciting electric rides. The perfect opportunity to network and showcase new electric concepts and production rides in the cutting-edge, future-shaping metropolis that is Berlin. 

"New brands will be visible for the first time as they make their way from the online world into the real world - coming together for the first time as the new stars of an exciting new movement."
Endorsed by the AMD Championship program, one of the highlights of the festival will be a curated selection of custom electric motorcycles. The festival will offer "the right mix of exhibitions, presentations and test rides in a vibrant location. Not only for the open-minded motorcycle enthusiasts, but for a future-facing urban mobility audience." 

'silence doesn't kill emotions'

The festival is being staged at  - Europe's largest motorcycle community garage - "an authentic two-wheeler paradise, the showground will be both outside and indoors at the Craftwerk location, spreading over two levels inside, covering together over 3,000 sq m (approx. 30,000 sq ft)."
On June 25 there will be a silent Sundowner Ride through the city "ending at our partner location Deus Fountain Berlin to glide into a party with electronic music on a perfect summer night."
"Reload Land - the future is today - so let's celebrate unique new rides in a vibrant location and dive into a new world of two-wheeled mobility."


Harley Investor Day Update - Hardwire Stage II

Held May 10 at the Harley Museum in Milwaukee, Chairman, CEO and President Jochen Zeitz restated the forecast results contained in its 2022 Q1 results posting and addressed the Hardwire Strategic Plan progress to date, issuing updated guidance beyond 2022.
"We have a clearly defined vision and strategy that we believe will capture profitable growth opportunities. Despite the macro challenges, we are already seeing the proof points of The Hardwire, and now we are taking it to the next level.

Jochen Zeitz: "We have a clearly defined vision and strategy that we believe will capture profitable growth opportunities. Despite the macro challenges, we are already seeing the proof points of The Hardwire, and now we are taking it to the next level."


"In motorcycling, when you want to get more out of an engine, you upgrade it by adding a Stage II kit, that is what we are doing with our Hardwire strategy, tuning the engine of our business for improved acceleration and increased performance."
Zeitz reaffirmed the 2022 outlook, reiterating its initial full year guidance, with Harley continuing to expect HDMC revenue growth of 5 to 10%; operating income margin of 11 to 12%; HDFS operating income to decline by 20 to 25% and Capital investments of $190m to $220m.

The "Hardwire Stage II" financial targets 2021-2025E include: 

  • HDMC revenue growth (CAGR/Compound Annual Growth Rate) from 2021 to 2025E of between +5% to +7%  
  • Operating margin of 15% by 2025
  • HDFS operating income growth (CAGR) from 2021 to 2025E of -3% to -5%
  • Operating income growth from 2022E to 2025E of +3% to +5%

This HDMC revenue 2021-2025E guidance excludes LiveWire One branded motorcycles and includes H-D branded Motorcycles, Parts, Accessories, Apparel, Licensing and Experiences.

In addition, the "Hardwire Stage II" includes consolidated financial targets at Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HDI) for 2021-2025E of:

  • Revenue CAGR for combined HDMC & LiveWire: +9% to +11%
  • Operating margin for combined HDMC & LiveWire: 12% by 2025
  • Capital expenditures for HDMC & LiveWire:  $250 - $300m per year
  • Targeting $400m of cost productivity for HDMC by 2025

Mustang Motorcycle Products

Mustang Seats Acquired by Veteran-Founded Investor

Three Rivers, Massachusetts based Mustang Motorcycle Products LLC, maker of Mustang seats and related motorcycle accessories, has been acquired by LDR Growth Partners - a private investment firm "focused on acquiring and growing unique, cash flow generating businesses in the manufacturing, industrial products and transportation sectors."
Mustang "specializes in high-quality, handmade motorcycle seats" and was founded in 1980 by Al Simmons, a keen pilot, who named his business for the legendary P51 Mustang. The acquisition is the latest stage in what has been described as "The Great MAG Unwind."
Mustang was bought by the Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG) in 2004. MAG was eventually taken over by the then Tucker Rocky owner Lacey Diversified (of Indianapolis) in 2014. Mustang has now been bought by LDR from the group of investors (led by Monomoy Capital Partners), who themselves acquired MAG in the fall of 2017 when it emerged from its bankruptcy filing. 


Standard Touring seat

"Mustang Seats presents a tremendous opportunity for us at LDR," said William Brame, partner at LDR and co-head of its acquisition business. "Our unique approach is in providing growing companies the resources they need to continue to expand while identifying areas for new value creation.
"We'll invest in people, technology and the machinery the company needs to help deliver the iconic Mustang seats to motorcycle riders looking for our products domestically and internationally."
LDR was founded by three US Army officers in 2011. It is also the owner of LDR Advisory Partners and LDR Leadership, firms which focus on improving company, employee and leadership performance, and of Whitman Controls - a 50-year Bristol, Ct., based manufacturer of process automation controls. Mustang presently employs 85 people in a historic facility in Three Rivers. 

Super Tripper

LDR intends to keep Mustang's operations in its current primary location as it adds manufacturing technology, production capacity and marketing capabilities to the organization. The company has added nearly 20 additional employees since September of 2021 and the new owners anticipate hiring additional resources in the coming months to accomplish their goals.  

Wide Tripper

"We believe in Mustang's product, in its people and in the strength of the motorcycle accessory market," continued Brame. "Our leadership is excited about entrenching ourselves in this company and in the riding community. We look forward to meeting our loyal customers and partners at rallies and events this year."
"The leadership and employees here at Mustang couldn't be happier about the news," said Mustang GM Mike Cornelius. "The additional investment from LDR will help us take the next step forward. Our orders show that riders want Mustang seats and our team is excited to continue to deliver them to our loyal dealers and customers."

MX Sports and Bagger Racing League

MX Sports and Bagger Racing League Collaborate For 2022 Events

MX Sports and Bagger Racing League (BRL) are to collaborate for the 2022 Bagger Racing League events. MX Sports will assist with promotions, marketing and event organization for the season as Bagger Racing League returns after its exhibition race back in 2020.
"BRL has continued to spread into a trailblazing series comprised of six classes featuring Harley- Davidson vs. Indian Motorcycles," said Rob Buydos, CEO of Bagger Racing League. "The Bagger Racing League combines a blend of American V-Twin motorcycle culture and the thrill of racing into one.

"I am extremely excited to have such a world class partner as MX Sports. With their help in assisting promotions, marketing and organization we are looking to move up into the next level of excitement and professionalism in the sport."
Each round will be televised as the audience witnesses extreme competition all weekend long, surrounded by an extensive line-up of sponsor displays including manufacturers, Harley-Davidson and Indian dealerships, independent custom motorcycle shops, stunt shows, open pits, and much more.


"MX Sports is eager to assist the Bagger Racing League in all phases of its operation," said Tim Cotter, MX Sports Director. "This segment of motorcycling is vital to the industry. The Bagger Racing League is fantastic racing content, and we are looking forward to making it better together."
Classes for the series will be Lite Weight Twins, Big Twins, Pro Stock Bagger, Bagger GP, F/S Cup and ATU.

2022 Event Schedule:

Round 1 Utah Motorsports, May 13-14
Grantsville, Utah

Round 2 Milwaukee Mile Speedway, September 1-4
West Allis, Wisconsin

Round 3 Daytona International Speedway, October 14-16
Daytona Beach, Florida

Hoban Brothers Racing

Hoban Brothers Teams With Rossmeyer H-D and Michael Barnes for 2022 KOTB/BRL

Newton, Wi., based Hoban Brothers Racing presented by Man-O-War Motor Products has teamed up with Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson and rider Michael Barnes to compete in the 2022 MotoAmerica Mission King Of The Baggers series and select Bagger Racing League series races.
"We are super excited to be partnering with Hoban Brothers Racing, John Dahmer and Michael Barnes in order to race our Bruce Rossmeyer Harley-Davidson Bagger again this season. We have some great memories with Michael Barnes when he rode for the Rossmeyer/Richie Morris racing team in the AMA Daytona Sportbike series in 2009 and are happy that Michael will be piloting our home-grown Harley-Davidson Bagger for four races in the AMA series and one race in the BRL. 

"We are also super-stoked to have the support of Harley-Davidson Motor Company as we strive to keep the Harley-Davidson brand on top where it belongs," said Shelly Rossmeyer Pepe, General Manager of Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson.
"It is truly amazing to be working with Shelly and Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson, Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Michael Barnes as it was imperative that we all worked together to make this opportunity happen, especially after Hoban Brothers and Rossmeyer Racing were not able to start the race at Daytona this March.
"We are also pleased to have Michael on board and look forward to the team and Michael working together to achieve the goals we set last year. Michael is a proven winner as he won the inaugural Bagger Racing League Premier Bagger class at Utah Motorsports Campus and was a podium finisher in the MotoAmerica Mission King Of The Baggers race at Laguna Seca in 2021."
Barnes has a pro racing career that spans 33 years with seven national wins and 48 podium finishes. He won the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 series championship in 2012, and he won the Daytona 200 in 2016, becoming the oldest rider (at 47) ever to win that race. "We are lucky to have all of our sponsors back this year, Jimmy Light from HPi and Tom Reiser from TMan Performance were a large part of our success, along with our guys from Darkhorse Crankworks from last year, to have their support in race engine development again this year is huge for our team," says John Dahmer, Manager of Hoban Brothers Racing.
"I'm really excited to have signed a deal with Hoban Brothers Racing and Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson. Huge thanks to Shelly Rossmeyer for teaming up with us for 2022. I'm eager to throw a leg over our Harley-Davidson Road Glide and get our season started. John Dahmer of Hoban Brothers Racing has really been working his tail off to get our team back on track and I can't thank him enough. I'm looking forward to competing in the remainder of the MotoAmerica King Of The Baggers and selected BRL races. A personal thank you for my apparel sponsors' continued support: Moto-Liberty, RS Taichi, 6D Helmets and Sidi boots," says veteran rider, Michael Barnes.
Daytona Harley-Davidson/Hoban Brothers Racing presented by Man-O-War Motor Products plans to kick off its campaign June 3-5, 2022 at Road America - Hoban Brothers' home track - in the MotoAmerica "King Of The Baggers" series where they qualified 3rd in 2021, followed by three more MotoAmerica races - July 8-10, 2022, WeatherTech Raceway/Laguna Seca; July 29-31, 2022, Brainerd Int'l Raceway, and, Sept 9-11, 2022, New Jersey Motorsports Park - culminating with the Bagger Racing League Race, October 14-16, 2022 at Daytona International Speedway.


OptiMate Lithium – Ten Years On and Even Better

When TecMate exhibited at the Indianapolis Dealer Expo in 2010, CEO/CTO Martin Human was on a mission - to research the emergence of lithium batteries, a then new power source that was said to be a more powerful and lighter aftermarket replacement for lead-acid batteries.
Following visits to the likes of Shorai, Ballistic and other exhibiting battery companies, it became apparent that there was a need for a dedicated aftermarket battery charger for lithium batteries - one that could be relied upon to safely recharge the battery, especially from a deep discharged state, which is when it is most vulnerable to damage. 

Following his subsequent research into the specific lithium technology primarily in use at the time - namely Lithium Ferrous Phosphate (LiFePO4, also known by its acronym LFP) - the OptiMate Lithium LFP 4s 5A (TM-290 series) was released in 2012.
It quickly became the reference charger for powersport lithium batteries, endorsed and globally recommended by Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha as the lithium battery charger of choice for their worldwide network of dealers.
It also formed the basis for other OptiMate lithium battery charger models that followed, including the highly popular 'riders' charger', the OptiMate Lithium LFP 4s 0.8A (TM-470 series), also endorsed and recommended by Yamaha and Kawasaki.
Ten years on, and lithium starter batteries have reached 'mainstream' level, with motorcycle OEMs now releasing models with a lithium battery as stock. Motorcycles have also 'moved on' in technology, with electronically adjustable options for suspension, engine power and torque and ride modes, with larger screens that display and connect with phone and GPS information. 

Many rider options remain only selectable when the engine is not running, for obvious safety reasons. That can be a problem for the smaller lithium battery that typically has two to three times less amp-hour capacity than the lead-acid battery it replaced. Some advanced lithium batteries include resettable protection against deep discharge, turning off power when the lowest allowable charge level is reached, but a standard lithium battery should not be discharged too low.
Martin says that "the new OptiMate Lithium LFP 4s 6A (TM-390 series) addresses all those concerns. It includes all the safety and charging features of the ground-breaking TM-290 series, and it offers two more features to cope with modern demands.
"A TUNE mode that delivers a stable 13.6V with up to 5 amps of power that protects the battery against discharge when the parked motorcycle's rider settings are adjusted.
"The second is a pushbutton activated BMS reset function that will reset and re-energize a battery with built-in deep discharge protection.
"The OptiMate Lithium 4s 6A (TM-390 series) replaces the OptiMate Lithium 4s 5A (TM-290 series), and is now available from TecMate worldwide, including the newly formed TecMate Japan."



HardDrive Product Highlights

Gold Fork Tubes 


These fork tubes feature a durable gold titanium nitrite coating that helps resist wear to the surfaces and reduces friction from the seals. They are available in 49 mm and 39 mm diameters with standard and oversize lengths.

GripMax Footpegs


Fully adjustable "for the perfect fit," these GripMax footpegs are precision CNC-machined from 6061 billet aluminum. They are high strength and lightweight for a durable and reliable MX style footpeg in black, red, gold, chrome and raw for a custom color application.

48 Fat Spoke Wheels 

This gloss black hub/rim combo chrome 48 fat spoke wheel features a smooth contour billet hub and heavy rolled steel rim. "They are available in a wide range of sizes to customize even the newest of bikes."

M-8 124" Big Bore Cylinders


These bolt-on big inch cylinders for M-8 engines come powder-coated black with machined fins for a "seamless OE match." A separately available piston and gasket kit is required.

Perimeter Brake Rotors

Polished to mirror finish, these perimeter brake rotors ship with all necessary hardware and fit 2014 and up FLT cast wheels.

Fatty Drag Bars

Available in cable or Throttle by Wire, these 1.25" Fatty drag bars are said to offer a "comfortable wrist angle" and heights of 10", 12" and 14". They are drilled for internal wiring and are available in chrome or satin black.

Performance Oil Filters

Featuring a heat-resistant, anti-drain back valve (ADBV), these silicone rubber performance oil filters have a higher heat resistance compared to standard nitrile rubber and an oval inlet hole for even lower flow resistance. The M-pleated filter media increases Dust Holding Capacity (D.H.C.) and reduces pressure drop. The media is resin-impregnated to ensure structural integrity during its operation under pressure and temperature spikes.


Design Engineering (DEI)

Pan America Heat Shield Kit

Avon Lake, Ohio based sound and heat management expert Design Engineering (DEI) has a huge range of heat shield kits available for Harley and Indian Motorcycle (and aftermarket) exhausts and has just added a design for Harley's well received Pan America adventure tourer.
Covering the exposed catalytic converter area of the stock exhaust "it will substantially reduce the heat near your foot and peg, making for a more comfortable ride. 

"Our exclusive DEI heat shield liner improves the factory rear cylinder heat shield while keeping the stock shield look. The catalytic converter shield is an OEM quality shield with premium insulation enclosed in 306 stainless steel. 

"This type of shield is far more effective than conventional metal shields and will reduce heat by more than 50%. The rear cylinder heat shield liner uses a combination of our Dura 2000 insulation and dimpled aluminum - a proven dual layer combination that delivers optimal heat resistance and dispersal."


Wheels & Waves

After the travails of event organizers the world over the past two years, it will be great to see Wheels & Waves back on the calendar - it is due to be staged at Biarritz, on the Atlantic coast of south western France from June 29 to July 3, 2022.

Wednesday 11 May 2022

IMS Outdoors

IMS Canceled

Owner Informa has announced the suspension of its IMS Outdoors event series for 2022.
It had been hoped that the 2021 decision to reimagine the traditional winter indoor expo tour formula into an outdoor activity-based formula last year might have breathed new life into the program, however, that has proven not to be the case at this time.

A statement by Informa said that "after 40 years of producing the International Motorcycle Shows and IMS Outdoors, we have made the difficult decision to suspend the IMS Tour in 2022.
"The powersports industry is at a crossroads with where and how brands promote their products amidst the continued manufacturing and sourcing delays associated with the pandemic. These current hurdles that our brand partners are facing would have made it difficult for us to produce an IMS that would meet your, and our, expectations.
"Therefore, we will not be moving forward with the planned 2022 events, including the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show."
J&P Cycles had already decided not to renew its long-standing sponsorship of the UBCBS, respected industry veteran Bob Kay having separately decided to step away from his duties as organizer of the custom shows.
The International Motorcycle Shows were originally owned and operated by Advanstar Communications. They were acquired in 2014 for $972m by British media conglomerate UBM/United Business Media. It in turn was swallowed up by London Stock Exchange listed Informa in 2018.

News Briefs


Indian Motorcycle has gone with Metzeler Cruisetec tires as original equipment for its 122 hp and 128 ft-lbs of torque Pursuit Dark Horse and Pursuit Limited. Indian and Metzeler have also extended their partnership to include the recently added Scout Rogue and Rogue Sixty models.
Indian Motorcycle Leipzig, Germany, (aka ReWa Mobile GmbH) has signed on as an official Zero Motorcycles dealer - two years after Polaris signed a ten-year exclusive 'rEV'd up' electric powertrain technology partnership agreement with Zero. At the time Polaris stated that it intended "to be in a position to offer customers an electric vehicle option within each of its core product segments by 2025." The first result of the collaboration was the all-new full-size electric RANGER UTV in 2021. Expect to see many more Indian Motorcycle dealers signing up with Zero in the years to come.

What is believed to be the last batch of original $30k/€ 30 LiveWire bikes has been sold by the four-store authorized H-D Factory Group dealership in Germany. They are being offered with a choice of one of five add-on incentive packages worth € 5k - one of which, the 'Electric package', includes a free Serial 1 e-bike. With LiveWire headed for SPAC heaven, the first iteration of a new model for the brand as an independent (though still 74% H-D owned) business is slated for a July 8th public debut at the Irvine, Ca., IMS Outdoors. That will likely be an S2 middleweight iteration of its proprietary and scalable 'Arrow' drivetrain platform architecture named the Del Mar.

Lexus Europe has unveiled a Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV) concept - "a unique hydrogen-powered vehicle offering near zero-emissions driving combined with extreme off-road capability. It reflects a commitment by Lexus to ensure exhilarating driving can co-exist with a carbon-free society centered on responsible mobility. For demanding off-road driving, the first Lexus hydrogen ICE will meet all the carmaker's stringent requirements for QDR (Quietness, Durability, Reliability)."

A January SEMA Future Trends research report examined supply chain disruptions, their impact on the specialty-equipment industry and provided industry trends and forecasts for the future. Conclusions included an expectation that supply chain issues that have impacted the automotive [and motorcycle] industry should largely have eased by the end of 2022. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of industry companies expect sales growth in 2022. Over 80% of SEMA members report supply chain disturbances severely or moderately impacting their business in 2021. However, prices are likely to remain high into 2023. Product shortages, shipping and transport delays and higher rates (shipping container rates are up 400% compared to October 2019), along with elevated input and commodity prices (steel is up 262% from October 2019), will be factors to watch in the automotive market.

After a successful debut at Atlanta in 2021, Powersports Business magazine has announced Orlando, Florida for its second annual Powersports Business Accelerate Conference on November 14-16, 2022, designed to "bring together dealers and industry leaders to focus on key issues, business growth and future planning."

RawHyde Adventures is celebrating its 20th year "serving the adventure motorcycle community." Founded and still operated by Jim Hyde, Las Vegas based RawHyde is "the nation's premier adventure motorcycle training & tour organization. We have trained nearly 20,000 motorcyclists to become more proficient and confident in their riding skills since we started and have led hundreds of guided adventure tours worldwide." The company has multiple strategically located properties, including its 100-acre, California City, California facility on the edge of the Mojave Desert. This property was transformed into the Zakar Terrain Park and Event Center.

Lighting specialist J.W. Speaker has announced an Official Lighting Partnership with Gard Hollinger and Keanu Reeves' Hawthorne, California based ARCH Motorcycle Company. J.W. Speaker will provide its premium LED headlights for all ARCH Motorcycle units built in 2022, including the ARCH KRGT-1 and the upcoming ARCH 1s and ARCH Method 143 models. They will also partner in developing customized LED lighting technology for future ARCH models.

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


Monimoto Security Device

Vilnius, Lithuania security device maker Monimoto - maker of Europe's fastest growing anti-theft GPS tracker - is warning against using Apple's AirTag to secure motorcycles.
In a release issued in the United States by distributor Tucker Powersports that points to a report published recently by Monimoto, the company has detailed the challenges of using Apple's AirTag to secure a motorcycle versus using a GPS-based tracking device such as the Monimoto 7.
"Apple is wise to take steps to stop the use of AirTags as a way to stalk someone," said Andrius "Bruno" Rimkunas, a motorcycle security expert and co-founder of Monimoto.
"However, these procedures, and the AirTag's reliance on other Apple devices for location and communications, are exactly why motorcycle owners should select a different device - one that provides immediate alerts and ensures owners never need to worry about losing the motorcycle they love." 

Anti-theft GPS trackers like the Monimoto 7 have proven to be much more effective at protecting vehicles such as motorcycles and bicycles than the Apple AirTag. Monimoto devices use both GPS and 4G/5G cellular technology to help determine the location of a stolen bike, assisting authorities with a prompt recovery.

Andrius explains that Apple AirTags use Bluetooth technology to connect to any Apple device in a nearby area. When an owner realizes that his or her protected item is missing, the owner can request a signal from the AirTag to provide its location.
"This could be hours after a theft occurred and the protected vehicle could be far away from its original location. To avoid stalkers from using AirTag, Apple has programmed the product so anyone with an iPhone can see if an AirTag is nearby, which alerts thieves to find and remove the tag from a vehicle they have stolen.
He says that, in contrast, GPS tracking devices like the Monimoto 7, will immediately alert owners that their motorcycle is being tampered with. In one recently documented case, a Monimoto user in New York City was able to disrupt a potential theft by checking on his bike after receiving an alert.
"Our Monimoto 7 stands out among GPS trackers in that it uses both global positioning from viewable satellites and also 4G/5G cellular signals to identify the specific location of the bike and to communicate with the owner by phone calls and notifications on a smart phone.
"The device is not connected to a vehicle's electrical system, which means it continues to operate for 12 months on its internal battery, even if the motorcycle's battery is disconnected. The weatherproof case makes it perfect for the rigorous environment of a motorcycle and our rating on Trust Pilot, the Apple Store and Google Play store are tops in this field.
Founded in 2016, Andrius says that "the Monimoto 7 is more than just a smart anti-theft GPS tracker for two-wheelers. It's small, easy to install and uses the latest eSIM, 4G/5G IoT connectivity combined with a sophisticated backend and mobile app. It comes with an embedded, international eSIM card and is powered by two autonomous, long-life batteries, so it won't drain the battery on a motorcycle or e-bike and never falls victim to a thief who cuts the battery cable."
The report is posted to Monimoto's website and includes links to source material from Apple and other news sources to explain AirTag features and anti-stalking measures, as well as reference materials for GPS trackers.