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Tuesday 20 December 2022


Kawasaki Returns to AIMExpo amid Signs of Show Momentum

With Kawasaki confirming that it is to return to AIMExpo (Las Vegas Convention Center, February 15-17,2023,) it is starting to look like the MIC's January 2022 post-pandemic reboot of the show as a three-day industry only Expo, with the backing of Tucker's own dealer event dynamic, may indeed have been the rescue formula that it needed.

Kawasaki says that its Dealer Development & Training team will use AIMExpo "to connect and strategize with potential new dealers as it begins to grow its dealer network," said Kawasaki's Alan J. Schapel, Senior Manager, Dealer Development & Training.

"To be able to meet, face-to-face, with hundreds of dealers from across the country as we kick off the sales year is a tremendous opportunity. Dealers are often the first point of contact for our consumers - especially new riders - making them one of the most important ambassadors of our products, therefore, it is our priority to ensure that we select only the best new dealers to represent the Kawasaki brand." 

The MIC's Expo team says that, as at early December, the show was slated to "commanding more than 250,000 sq ft of exhibit space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Cinnamon Kernes, Vice President of Market Expansion at the MIC, said: "We are excited to have Kawasaki join us for AIMExpo 2023. Kawasaki was one of the earliest members of the MIC and has long been at the forefront of powersports trends and innovation. Its planned use of this show as a platform to connect with dealer prospects and focus on the B2B side of its business is exactly what AIMExpo is about - connecting the industry with the industry." 

In addition to the Kawasaki decision, and LeMans' announcement of a business-center presence, one of the critical pathways that could help turn the 2022 reboot into a genuine pathway for building show momentum is Tucker Powersports' decision not just to return to AIMExpo but to "double down" (as CEO Marc Wolfram put it) on its investment.

It plans to make "a significant sponsorship investment and to stage a huge presence on the show floor" and this year will bring its sales force to the expo to optimize their ability to boost the business that its dealers can do with their brands and distributed product lines in 2023. 

"Tucker will have an expansive 'campus' on the show floor to highlight the newest products from our twelve owned brands, as well as a special section for products which are offered exclusively through Tucker and to showcase the programs we have to support our 7,000+ dealers - including Tucker University, our online training program - and offer some fun with our sponsorship of the AIMExpo industry party."

AIMExpo says it has "invested heavily in the show's E-Bike Pavilion and Demo Ride area, and Tucker products will be a big part of the show. On Wednesday, the focus will be exclusively on Tucker's E-Power portfolio of products in that space." 

"We've worked hard to provide Tucker dealers with everything they need to be prepared for the spring selling season," said Tucker's Director of Business Development, Jamie Kempinski. "Our team and the staff at AIMExpo are committed to making this the best show ever."

Education will again "take center stage at AIMExpo with an expanded educational series on the main stage and the return of dealer-focused classroom sessions."

"From electrification to the impacts of external economic forces and ever-changing best-business practices, our industry and the future it must face continues to evolve at a rapid pace," said Andre Albert, Director Marketing and Events, at the MIC. "We've developed an educational line-up for AIMExpo 2023 with that in mind, to deliver information and actionable content that attendees will be able to bring back to their businesses and see positive results."

The MIC Board of Directors will kick off the series on the main stage on Wednesday with a State of the Industry panel, followed by key data insights from industry economists David Savlowitz and Michael Ponton of Competitive Analytics. On Thursday, industry leaders such as Marc McAllister of Tucker Powersports, Paul Langley of Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties, and Chera Gibb of Arrowhead Engineered Products, will analyse what the future of powersports holds from the distributors' perspective with AIMExpo's first-ever Distributors Panel.

"This is shaping up to be our biggest, most comprehensive educational series," Albert said. "If you want to know what the powersports landscape is going to look like in the future, and what industry stakeholders are doing to prepare for it, then you can't miss this show."

In other show news, AIMExpo's 'New Product Central' will be designed to "put the best innovations front and center," with up to 30 companies selected to give special on-stage presentations of their new product designs.

"Our industry's critical R&D efforts are developing and delivering new products and features faster than ever before," said Kernes, "and the 'New Product Central' feature will bring these products - and the people behind them - to the forefront." A camera crew will record each session, and the content will be available for use by the presenting companies for the rest of the year.

News Briefs

Husqvarna's Dalton Shirey has won the 2022 AMA National Hare and Hound Championship - locking up a second career title. The 3 Bros Hatch Husqvarna Racing rider finished more than two minutes ahead of the competition at Round 7, which took place Sept. 24-25 in Lovelock, Nev.

Yamaha Motor Corp., USA "continues to demonstrate its leadership in the powersports industry" and its ESG credentials "advocating access to public land for motorized recreation through the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI) and hands-on volunteer efforts by Yamaha employees." Most recently, Yamaha corporate team members joined the Southern California Mountains Foundation (SCMF) to help rehabilitate a frequently utilized OHV area of the San Bernardino mountains, planting more than 300 native species of plants around the Pinnacles OHV Staging Area to restore its boundaries and encourage responsible on-trail riding.

Following the lead set by Honda and others, Brembo is to establish a business incubator of its own, "Brembo Ventures" - a venture capital unit that "aims to accelerate the development of innovative solutions for the mobility of tomorrow." BV will also coordinate relations with the start-ups where Brembo is a shareholder. One such is its 6.8% acquisition of PhotonPath, a business that aims "to create new solutions for the digitalization of braking systems." BV also holds a 20% stake in Infibra Technologies - a 2014 founded research institute spin-off that develops and produces integrated photonic systems.

Aviation may only contribute 2.5% of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions, but it is a high- profile contributor to global warming. Green moves are happening, including work towards using batteries or hydrogen for short-haul flights. Sustainable fuel made from biomass and waste products is already being used by some airlines. However, what would solve the matter quickly is an all-new fuel, high in both environmental credentials and in energy density, based on modified bacterial fungicides. Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California have worked out how to create cyclopropane (cp) rings, one of the energy-richest chemical structures found in hydrocarbons, using genetically engineered bacteria. Aeronautical engineers already know the value of cp rings, in the 1960s, Soviet scientists used them in their design of Syntin, a rocket fuel that propelled the upper stages of Soyuz and Proton launchers. But making Syntin and other synthetic polycyclopropanated (pop) compounds remains hard and expensive - and usually involves a fossil-fuel feedstock. However, an anti-fungal molecule produced by Streptomyces roseoverticillatus, a common soil bacterium, one of only two known natural pop compounds, is full of cp rings and powerful enough to fuel aircraft with energy densities of up to and greater than 40 megajoules per liter, more potent than most widely used rocket and aviation fuels.

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

EICMA 2022 review part 1

It is a generalization, of course, and all such judgements are imprecise by their nature, but despite the multiple issues confronting all markets of all kinds at this time, the evidence from EICMA 2022 is that the mainstream international motorcycle industry remains mostly positive about its business prospects for the coming season.  

That was the primary 'take-away' for the AMD team from the 79th edition of EICMA, Milan, in November. After the post-pandemic 2021 'comeback' year had seen a near collapse in the (almost certainly exaggerated) attendance numbers being reported for the shows to 2019, to some extent there did appear to have been at least some 'bounce' in 2022. 

The organizers are not quoting an attendance number, but are claiming a 38% increase over 2021. In 2021, they had released a number, claiming a 342,644 total attendance figure - way down from the absurd 800,000 plus pre-Covid claims that the organizers had been making. That would put 2022 at around 472,000 total visitors. 

Whether or not one believes the numbers, the fact is that the show was busier this year. Despite all the reasons not to be cheerful (Russia's attack on Ukraine, consumer price inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, logistics, materials price rises and shortages, impending recession in some or all markets, high interest rates etc.), the motorcycle industry continues to be able to sell most, if not all, of the PTW unit inventory it is generating. In fact, lack of inventory has been the primary issue for dealers this past year. 

The powersports industry may yet again prove to be one of those few, rare markets that can grow in a downturn. 

With the magic of momentum filling its tires once again, expect to see the number of vendor booth comebacks that were seen in 2022 increase for EICMA 2023, with fewer withdrawals and more new generation business continuing to fill the halls of Edition 80.

Maybe even Harley-Davidson may deign to grace EICMA's hallowed aisles with its presence once again. Or perhaps the primary expo showcase for a market with 38 million total machines in-use and worth some 1.2 million new units annually doesn't get them out of bed anymore - not even for a LiveWire booth? Egregious oversight IMHO!

Stop Press - The latest batch of data from JAMA, the Japanese automotive industry that includes the 'Big Four' Japanese motorcycle manufacturers among its membership, suggests that as of late summer some of the backlog of finished but unshipped 'units' held up in Japan (and elsewhere) by the logistics issues has started to clear with increased inventory levels now hitting US and European showroom floors.

BS Battery: The France based OEM and aftermarket battery vendor now sells to dealers in the United States through Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited. BS Battery offers a wide range of battery solutions and options for all powersports industry applications - from motorcycle, scooter and large displacement V-twin touring and cruiser models to SSV, ATV, UTV, snowmobiles and watercraft. With an eye to the future, General Manager Benjamin Sebban told AMD that its focus at this time is on race-bred innovation in the lithium-ion space. "We have designed a unique, ultra-resistant casing that can resist up to 230°C, including ultra-robust terminals, to make sure our batteries can be used in extreme conditions." The inventory-friendly BS Battery Lithium range covers most of the existing powersports model fitments in the market - with just 12 models of battery, from 12.8 voltage up to 560 CCA (A), small, lighter weight (up to 70% lighter than lead-acid batteries) and maintenance-free, long lifetime solutions to high discharge rate and waterproof designs and features like integral voltage indicators to check the state of charge. "Approved and used by many top race teams, the BSLi02 battery is the right answer to the most demanding riders looking for higher performance, high resistance and high longevity," says Benjamin;

Powersports Distribution Group (PDG): Recently appointed Denis Brouwer as CEO. His strong commercial experience makes him ideally suited to plot a growth course for the Breda based owner of Motorcycle Storehouse, Hoco Parts and AFAM Group. "Our strategy is to help dealers to build on the bond between their stores, their customers and the distributors they buy from with world-class brands and products. PDG builds on the relationship between dealers and their local riding community by acquiring or partnering with accomplished wholesalers. Quite simply put, our long-term goal is to become Europe's leading parts distributor. This is ambitious, yes, but the growth realized in a little over four years proves that we aren't just talk";

Puig Hi-Tech Parts: 2022 saw the Barcelona based manufacturer showcase its materials research, product design and precision manufacturing capabilities with a special Yamaha MT-09 project - 'Diablo' - to showcase its "EverFlowing Design" concept. Described by Carles Puig as a design philosophy that can be translated into a design language that ticks all the most important boxes, the aim is to produce accessories that are functional - "without purpose, there is no design"; adaptable - "versatile designs that can be purposed to different uses and needs" and aerodynamic - "the basis of everything"; ergonomic - "designs for every kind of rider"; minimalistic - "designs with nothing unnecessary getting in the way"; smart-electronic - "technological and useful" and interactive - "a bike that responds with an improved riding experience." This design language informs the form-meets-function decision-making that goes into all its parts, including its fast growing 'CustomAcces' program - distributed to dealers in USA by Tucker V-Twin;

Zard: The Italian performance exhaust specialist has commissioned a 'Top Gun' 2:1 full kit with two-piece carbon heat shield and a range of carbon fiber parts for the Sportster S, including a new headlight fairing, radiator side covers and left rear side panel;

Andreani Group: International Sales Manager Diego Arduini told AMD: "This has been another good year for the Group, and our message to the market is 'watch this space'. We hope to have a major announcement to make soon about a massive expansion to our capabilities and market reach." Meanwhile, the Pesaro based company has continued to develop its specialty suspension tools and workshop equipment offer with additions to its SP Vacuum Pump series, Misano front fork suspension cartridge program and professional suspension technician course series;

Landport Batteries: The Dutch specialist offers batteries for all powersports applications, and that includes its specialty HVT ('Heavy V-Twin') range for H-D and custom V-twin applications. HVT is a starter battery with Absorbent Glass Mat technology (AGM) featuring advanced cranking performance and excellent vibration resistance. With its extremely robust and heat-resistant casing, this battery is specially designed for motorcycles that require higher starting power than others. AGM lead-acid batteries are already factory-activated (filled and charged) and therefore ready to use. Landport HVTs are 100% maintenance-free, completely sealed, spill-proof and leak-proof. They are available in a range of 6V and 12V batteries from 14Ah to 30Ah and in addition to advanced starting power and heat resistance, the rider gets excellent durability as well as vibration and weather resistance;

Australian sales figures for motorcycles and off-highway vehicles (OHV)

Australia - total motorcycle/OHV -18.4% January to September

The FCAI, the trade association for Australia's automotive and motorcycle industry, has released sales figures for motorcycles and off-highway vehicles (OHV) for January-September 2022.

A total of 70,382 motorcycles and OHVs were sold between January and September 2022. This represents a decrease of -18.4% over the same period in 2021.

The most popular segment, off-road motorcycles, achieved 41.09% of overall sales, equating to 28,923 units sold.  This is a decrease of -17.6% on 2021 figures.

Road motorcycles were the second most in-demand segment, recording 37.29% of sales with 26,245 units sold. This represents an increase of +0.5% on 2021 figures.  

The OHV segment of the market decreased by -48.3%. This amounts to a total of 11,165 units sold, representing 15.86% of the overall market. This decrease is due largely to Government policy mandating the fitment of operator protection devices (OPDs), which has led many manufacturers to cease supply of agricultural all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to the Australian market.

Scooters made up the smallest portion of the market with 4,049 new units sold, equating to 5.75% of total sales.  However, this figure is an increase of +18.7% on 2021 figures.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said that while the decrease in overall sales was disappointing, the increase in the scooter segment indicated that Australian motorists were considering the benefits of two-wheel transport. "More Australians are looking to scooters as a way of reducing their commute times, as well as their toll, fuel and parking costs," Weber said.

Barnett Clutches and Cables

Barnett Clutch Kit - M-8 Big Twins

One of the latest additions to the long line of H-D clutch kits by Barnett Clutches and Cables (Ventura, California) is this direct-fit upgrade clutch kit for the 2017-22 Harley Davidson FL Touring models and 2018-22 Softails. 

This kit features Barnett's segmented Kevlar friction plates, which are designed for more oil flow, longer life and smoother clutch operation. Also included are a set of tempered steel drive plates and a set of three heavy duty clutch springs. 

All kits are quality checked for exact stack height prior to packaging to guarantee proper fit and optimal performance. These kits are made in-house in California by Barnett. 


Design Engineering (DEI)

Turbo Heat Shields

Avon Lake, Ohio sound and thermal management specialist Design Engineering (DEI) has introduced a custom turbo heat shield that is available in a variety of styles and fitments for all turbo types, including for motorcycles.

"DEI's complete line of turbo heat shields provide the ultimate means of reducing turbo lag and serve as a superior heat barrier," said Mike Buca of DEI. "Whether you're racing, towing or just out for a cruise, maximize turbo performance with a DEI turbo heat shield."

Offered in attractive, easy-to-install designs, the shields come in kits that include any necessary locking ties or wire. 

Popular made in the USA DEI designs include the GEN-3 TITANIUM turbo shields - DEI's most technologically advanced shield line, featuring a silicone-coated TITANIUM LR outer layer, silica blend insulation layer with a glass-silica-stainless weave inner layer and protective stainless mesh liner.  

DEI Ultra 47 turbo shields are made from a tri-layer mix of an aluminum-impregnated glass fiber outer shell with a high-temperature insulating mat core and silica glass blend liner. They feature double stitching and heavy-duty capped anchor points. 

The ONYX Series black turbo shields feature a popular, high-tech, rich black finish and use an exclusive combination of premium heat-resistant textiles and newly designed stainless steel attachment anchors.

DEI also manufactures a design that is proprietary to Trask Performance for its turbo kits.  


Progressive Suspension

Progressive Suspension for FTR 1200

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022, Progressive Suspension's 465 Monoshock Series is a high-pressure, gas-charged monotube in aluminum with five-position rebound adjuster and threaded body for more precise sag adjustment.

Longer than stock, PM confirms that the wheel travel can be altered without causing clearance issues such as swingarm/axle to exhaust contact as well as chain/belt guard or tire contact.

These 465 Series shocks fit the Indian FTR 1200 line-up at the time of writing (2020 FTR 1200 Rally and 2019/2020 FTR 1200/S).



Kodlin Fastback Risers

Designed by Len Kodlin, these new Fastback risers are for M-8 Softail models. They are CNC-machined from billet aluminum with a black anodized finish, have a 1" bar clamp size and are available in 6", 8" and 10" heights. 

The risers ship with all needed hardware and fit all 2018 and up M-8 Softails with H-D digital gauges (such as Softail Standard, Street Bob and Lowrider ST). They are available from Kodlin USA and F. Kodlin Motorcycles in Germany, as well as through worldwide distribution partners.

The Kodlin USA operation continues to grow its product offering and recently appointed Drag Specialties and Parts Canada as North American distributors. 



Watsonian Keeping Harley-Davidson On-Side

Even though Harley dropped sidecars from its range in 2011, legendary British sidecar manufacturer Watsonian-Squire is 'keeping the flame alive'. The latest combo to roll out of its factory pairs the company's GP700 sidecar design with an Electra Glide Ultra Classic.

"Harleys have been one of the top three choices with our customers for the past 20 years," says Watsonian Managing Director Ben Matthews. "Like Triumph's modern classic range and Royal Enfield - the other most popular brands - they have a timeless appeal that complements our sidecars, torquey engines for pulling power, and their traditional tubular steel frames make fitting straightforward."

Designed for long distance touring comfort, the Ultra Classic is described as "the perfect partner for the Watsonian GP700, with its wide bench seat, generous leg room and deep screen. The lockable trunk provides additional luggage space and somewhere to store helmets and apparel securely when parked."

As standard, the sidecar comes with a black gelcoat finish, but custom-match painting, as shown here, is available as an optional extra. Customers can also choose between a classic 16" spoke wheel or a 10" cast alloy. Watsonian makes all its sidecars to order, in-house at its UK factory.


Burly Brand

Burly Brand Crash Bar kits

Brand Specialist Josh Rowlands of Burly Brand says that "from drifting and rolling burnouts to poppin' wheelies and hitting 12 O'clock, there's a new generation of riders on the scene, and they're here to stay.

Front crash bar for Dyna

"Whether you are new to the game or a seasoned pro stunter, we've designed our crash bars with the highest quality steel and finished them off with replaceable Delrin sliders for a look that kills and quality that defends the bike in the event of a wipeout." 

The front crash bar for Sportster, Dyna and Softail are TIG-welded for maximum durability, black powder-coat finished, use replaceable Delrin sliders and feature 7-gauge mild steel mount/gussets. The Crash Bar kit also includes Delrin sliders for the rear, along with the 1/2" 13 socket head cap screw hardware.

Rear crash bar for Touring models

"For Bagger applications, the kits have the same quality features but include a crash bar for the front and bars to protect the bags." 


Tuesday 13 December 2022

S&S Cycle

Brand Opportunities

Well, fortunately, the custom parts and accessories market isn't in such a bad position that it is facing an existential crisis - and neither is S&S Cycle - far from it.

But 'spreading the risk' and diversifying the product offer is central to business best practice, both for vendors and dealers. Indeed, as S&S President Paul Skarie pointed out in AMD last month, if "the force is with you" in terms of brand values and performance heritage, there is every reason for even the most traditionally V-twin specialist vendor to spread its wings, especially if undeniable heritage, world class manufacturing and "Proven Performance" are in the brand's DNA.

Can-Am Maverick X3 line

It has been an open secret for a while that S&S Cycle had been among a number of "senior" V-twin brands to have been eying the possibilities for it in the burgeoning UTV/SxS market. As with others, the 'Sand Expo' at Costa Mesa, California, in September 2020 provided the launch platform for its new Off-Road Division.

The launch product line was its new S&S Power Tune XTO exhaust - initially available for select Polaris RZR, Honda Talon and, as seen here, the Can-Am Maverick X3 line.

As Paul Skarie told AMD: "S&S is the market leader in the powersports performance arena and has a long history of making big, reliable power in everything it touches. We incorporate a highly engineered muffler body and dual outlet design, with a spark arrestor, in a 100% stainless steel muffler. 

"Naturally, S&S brings its own style to the SxS market and incorporates adjustable inserts that let the user optimize their system for both sound and performance. The proven baffle inserts are easily removed or replaced by pulling the end cap, and we've also made a complete tuning kit available. More durable, lighter and tunable are going to be the hallmarks of S&S in the off-road market, and the reaction at the 'Sand Expo' couldn't have been more positive."

Also seen here, S&S has leveraged its long-standing relationship as a Tier 1 OEM manufacturer for Kawasaki in the United States to launch this new complete turbo kit for Kawasaki KRX models - seen here for the KRX 1000 SxS.

Complete turbo kit for Kawasaki KRX models - seen here for the KRX 1000 SxS

S&S VP of Marketing David Zemla said: "The factory KRX motor was not happy with forced induction, and it took us 18 months to sort out a combination of parts that would make the kind of power that the model deserves. Our R&D team is reporting a 50% gain in horsepower and a 0-60 time that drops from the factory 11.5 seconds to a much more fun 6.2 seconds. The kit includes a massive fan-cooled air to air intercooler (others do not) as well as a 9:1 compression piston that allow for 10 psi of boost (double that of any competitor) and a pre-loaded PV3 tuner.

“This is an incredibly well thought-out kit that includes details others do not, like larger injectors, a high flow fuel rail, and even upgraded spark plugs. It even looks right, and as the old saying goes - if something looks right, then it probably is right."


News Briefs

BRP revenues set a record for a single quarter in the period ended July 31, 2022, at $2.439bn, up 28% compared to the same period in 2021. Normalized EBITDA of $418m was slightly higher compared to the same period last year and also represented a record performance for a single quarter. BRP retail sales increased on a high single-digit percentage basis and posted market share gains for SSV in North America despite limited product availability. Normalized diluted EPS of $2.94 was an increase of $0.05 per share or +2%, while diluted EPS of $2.94 was 20%/$0.48 per share up on the same period last year. North American retail sales for powersports products decreased by 14% due to limited product availability, driven by supply chain disruptions.

The BMW Group has announced a $1.7bn investment to build electric vehicles at a new plant adjacent to its existing U.S. manufacturing facility at Spartanburg, South Carolina. Some $700m of that investment will go into a new Envision AESC high-voltage battery assembly facility at nearby Woodruff, SC. The new facility will encompass over 1 million sq. ft. and produce next generation batteries for fully electric vehicles. Around 300 new jobs will be created on site. 

Gamechanger is an overused word, but Chinese auto manufacturer Leapmotor's first mass production model with CTC technology may well be a genuine case - and one with profound implications for how electric motorcycles and scooters are built. CTC stands for 'Cell to Chassis' - a technology where the chassis acts as the storage venue for the electric power. The battery module is integrated into the vehicle body. Very different to using the battery cluster or its case as a stressed member and a concept with major implications for design options and charge cycles.

Norton has announced that it will not now be putting either of the previously announced, affordable and much anticipated Norton Atlas middleweights into production any time soon (if ever - the Nomad and the Ranger). First unveiled in April 2019 towards the end of the now infamous Stuart Garner era, the Atlas was set to be an all-new, entry-level, retro-styled naked 650 cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin, co-developed with China's Zongshen. Now though, under the ownership of India's TVS conglomerate, the plan has been canceled - which will likely leave Zongshen and its domestic Chinese engine customers with a clear run at the platform, if not the brand names. Those who had paid deposits prior to the January 2020 closure of "Garner Norton" will have to seek redress from the bankruptcy liquidators. After the sale of Norton to TVS, interim CEO John Russell had originally told customers, in writing, that "Norton will build the Atlas," with production commencing in the second half of 2021, but present CEO Robert Hentschel has now confirmed that those plans have been abandoned.

Eugene, Oregon based Arcimoto has announced that its 'Deliverator' EV has been named the 'Overall Electric Vehicle of the Year' in the annual AutoTech Breakthrough Awards.

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

Bagger Racing League

Bagger Racing League - Five Rounds for 2023

The Drag Specialties sponsored Bagger Racing League, Custom Dynamics presented 'Battle of the Baggers' will return for a five-round championship series in 2023.

The season will start with a two-race doubleheader at the Pittsburgh International Raceway, PA, on May 6 and 7, 2023.

It then moves on to another doubleheader at the Blackhawk Farms Raceway north of Rockford at South Beloit, IL, (near the Wisconsin/Illinois border) on July 15 and 16.

The series will conclude with a fifth championship round later in the year, at the world famous Willow Springs International Raceway at Rosamond, California, on the weekend of November 18-19, 2023.

The 2022 GP class championship win was taken by Shane Narbonne on the Trask Performance Road Glide - giving the Phoenix, Arizona based performance and accessories specialist its second successive BRL series win.

PIERER Mobility

PIERER Mobility Takes 25.1% Ownership Stake in MV Agusta

Three months ago, PIERER Mobility (KTM, Husqvarna, GasGas etc.) announced a strategic partnership with Italy's Varese based MV Agusta to distribute the Italian manufacturer's motorcycles through its own dealer network in the United States.

MV Agusta has often struggled to be able to manage a viable dealer network in USA and, these days, with the Russian owned Italian marque (Timur Sardarov is CEO), to have a more stable production program stepping up its American availability made sense.

However, at the time of the announcement, there weren't many in the motorcycle industry in Europe whose immediate response to the news was that it was likely to be a first stage in a strategic alliance that would likely go deeper, and quickly.

Well, so it has proved. Very quickly. Stefan Pierer does very little without it being associated with a bigger picture, and in early November 2022 more of that picture started to emerge. This second stage strategic announcement has three elements to it.

First, KTM AG, the PIERER Mobility subsidiary that owns the KTM motorcycle manufacturing operation, will provide MV Agusta with supply chain support and take over purchasing. 

Second, MV Agusta will partly distribute its product range via PIERER Mobility’s worldwide distribution network. While the announcements from both MV and Pierer are not specific, this strongly suggests joint venture distribution of MV models by KTM way beyond just in the United States, if not yet fully integrating MV availability through the KTM distribution network.

Third, and most tellingly, effective November 2022, KTM AG (as opposed to Pierer AG) "will acquire a 25.1% stake in MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. by way of a capital increase." The structure of the deal suggests that MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov's primary driver in seeking to ally MV to KTM so closely is capital requirements and availability.

The extent to which that itself is driven by financial issues at MV, or by financing needed to fund Sardarov's ambitious plans for electrification of the MV range and other previously alluded to new model plans, will no doubt become clear in the months and years ahead - though don't expect a 25.1% stake to be the high watermark of Stefan Pierer's own ambitions for the strategic alignment. 

Although we here at AMD have no evidence to suggest this to be the case, it is pure speculation on our part, but one would have thought it likely that capital resources at Sardarov's family owned ComSar Invest/Black Ocean Group set-up must be under pressure as a result of sanctions. It was the Sardarovs' capital that rescued MV from its loveless marriage with Mercedes-AMG and MV who sold Husqvarna to BMW, who then 'flipped' it onto Stefan Pierer.

It is interesting that it has been Pierer who has stepped in, rather than Loncin in China, with whom MV has had a partnership agreement to produce models, including small displacement MV badged bikes, since 2019. In China, KTM is partnered with CFMoto. We'll see!

In other news, PIERER Mobility has announced that it is to distribute its Chinese partner CFMoto's motorcycles and scooters in select European markets from 1st January, 2023 - Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.

King Of The Baggers Races

MotoAmerica Announces 14 King Of The Baggers Races for 2023

MotoAmerica has announced an ambitious 14-race calendar for the Mission KOTB Championship in 2023.

Indeed, the overall MotoAmerica Championship schedule for 2023 features a record 100 races spread amongst its eight championship classes. The KOTB series will feature at Daytona and then at six of the nine MotoAmerica Championship weekends, with two races each weekend to make the 14 races.

The MotoAmerica season kicks off as it did in 2022 with the Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway. The iconic race will again feature AMA/FIM North America Supersport-class machines with riders from around the world taking part in the race's 81st running. 

"The 2022 MotoAmerica Mission King Of The Baggers series came to a dramatic conclusion at New Jersey Motorsports Park (September 12, 2022) with the Mission Foods/S&S Cycle/Indian Challenger team's Tyler O'Hara emerging from the Sunday afternoon rainstorm to clinch a championship delivering second-place finish. 

In addition to the 200, there will be two races for the three other classes set to run on the high banks: REV'IT! Twins Cup, Mission King Of The Baggers, and Roland Sands Design's Super Hooligan National Championship.

A few weeks after Daytona, MotoAmerica will return to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, for the opening round of the Medallia Superbike Championship, April 21-23, and the first KOTB Championship round.

There will be further KOTB series stops at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (June 2-4), the annual highlight that is the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (July 7-9), the Brainerd International Raceway, Minnesota (July 28-30), then the first ever standalone race weekend for MotoAmerica, including the KOTB series, at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, TX, September 8-10. 

The New Jersey Motorsports Park will play host to the final round of the 2023 MotoAmerica Championship, September 22-24, with Medallia Superbike, Supersport, REV'IT! Twins Cup and Mission King Of The Baggers all seeing their championships come to a conclusion in New Jersey.

AIM Corp.

Cable to Hydraulic Clutch Conversion Kits

This new LF V3 Road Glide-specific cable to hydraulic modified lever kit by AIM Corp. in California is designed to work with all 2021 and up models without having to modify any electronics to make the conversion work.

It is said to deliver improved consistent clutch feel with reduced lever effort as a result of the greater clutch plate lift over stock. "No more clutch adjustment is needed, and it is able to handle very stiff springs with little effort."

"We did the homework, so you don't have to," says AIM Corp. "This kit comes with genuine Harley-Davidson parts paired with an AIM Light Force V3 for an OE-like fitment. By converting over to our LF equipped hydraulic setup, you will see an improvement over lever feel, clutch modulation, greater clutch plate lift and easier to find neutral.  

"With high performance builds, stiff springs will put unnecessary wear and tear on your clutch cable, causing excess stretch and bad clutch feel. Converting to hydraulic will eliminate any sort of cable related issues and will provide a precise, crisp and clean feeling clutch consistently every time. As an added bonus, no more confusing clutch adjustments are needed.

"You can now pick and choose what you want in your kit. The essentials kit will come with the core parts that are required to swap to hydraulic, so there is no guesswork as to what is required."


Drag Specialties

Drag Specialties Additions

Hydraulic Clutch Master Cylinder Rebuild Kit

This Drag Specialties rebuild kit is designed for a 19/32" bore hydraulic clutch master cylinder and meets or exceeds OEM specifications. It is available for '17-'20 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX/FLTR models, replacing OEM #36700132.

Rail Grips

The raised rubber areas on these matte black Drag Specialties rail grips have been specified for comfort on even the longest of journeys. They fit 1" diameter handlebars and come in dual cable or throttle-by-wire applications. 

Backrest Pad

Designed for Indian Scout models, this backrest pad from Drag Specialties features a high quality automotive-grade brown faux leather vinyl cover. Its 14-gauge steel internal baseplate bolts directly to the OEM accessory backrest bar. It includes all mounting hardware and is available for '15-'22 Indian Scout and Scout Sixty models. 

530 Chain Drive Conversion Kit

Designed for converting the stock belt drive to chain drive using the existing cush drive isolator, this 530 chain drive conversion kit from Drag Specialties includes an aluminum sprocket hub adapter plate/spacer/bearing assembly, 24-tooth steel front sprocket, 51-tooth steel rear sprocket and installation hardware. 

It is available in chrome or black for '09-'22 FLHT/FLHR/FLHX/FLTRU/FLTRK models. The '17-'22 style features a 24-tooth 3/4" offset on the front sprocket; the '09-'16 features a 24-tooth standard front sprocket.

Ignition Switch Kits

These Drag Specialties ignition switch kits contain high-quality OEM-style replacement three-position switches for '99-'06 FLHT/FLTR models. The '03-'06 style replaces OEM #71640-99; the '99-'02 style replaces OEM #71526-93B.


Corbin Saddles

Dual Touring Saddle for Spyder

Internationally recognized for the breadth and depth of its product designs, applications and fitments, seen here is something we haven't featured from Mike Corbin (Corbin Saddles, Hollister, California) - a dual touring saddle for the 2020-2022 Can-Am Spyder RT.

"The most generously sculpted seating this side of your living room sofa and a whole new level of ergonomically designed perfection," says Mike. "Wide, sculpted seating positions create a larger area of contact for excellent weight distribution. Shaped like your body to eliminate pressure points and give long lasting support that will keep you in the saddle all day."

Corbin's rigid fibertech basepan provides a perfect fit and is built low to hug the frame. "This allowed us to create a foam shape that keeps you in the sweet spot to provide a feeling of increased integration with the bike and a more positive feeling of control. 

"The deep, supportive bucket design gives 4.5 inches of vertical support. All of this adds up to a very relaxed posture and comfortable ride."

A simple install that integrates with the Can-Am lock system, brackets come preinstalled on the saddle so it's ready to go right out of the box. If opting for electric heat, they include a wiring pigtail that integrates with the factory harness and preinstall all other components on the saddle.



Rebel 1100 Suspension Upgrade

Italian suspension specialist Matris has released suspension upgrades for the 2021 and up CMX 1100 Honda Rebel - a twin-cylinder 'bobber' styled platform that is proving increasingly popular as a custom platform.

To optimize handling, Matris' tested and proven Quad-Valve F15K asymmetric, hydraulic 20 mm cartridge is fully adjustable on compression, rebound and preload. 

No modifications are required to the OEM front fork to replace the OEM front suspension with the F15K cartridge, so it is a plug & play, 100 percent fully reversible install. A choice of spring rates are available to do the handling of the front end and can be tuned to accommodate variables such as rider weight and riding style.

At the rear, the top-level Matris M40KC "Dark" series twin shock offers full compression, rebound, spring preload and ride-height adjustments for a fully tuned response to riding conditions and the road surface.


Kraus Motor Co

Confidence in Control

Utah based Kraus Motor Co has added to its Pro-Line ergonomic product line with these new Apex SS3 Foot Control set-up for 'Baggers'.

"This kit has a lightweight and rigid design that allows for adjustability and enhanced control. The three different ratio settings deliver the perfect feel for shifts on 'Bagger' models. The adjustable toe peg allows for a shorter reach giving a more precise feel. 

"The heel shift peg can be positioned radially for comfort. The short brake arm and adjustable mini platform are lightweight and effective. This kit has been engineered to give a quicker responding, more precise performance riding experience."

All Kraus components are machined from solid billet aluminum and designed with a proprietary geometry to tighten up and improve the performance and handling.

Available in black anodized or machine finish, the SS3 kit comes complete with all necessary hardware and parts to bolt on to M-8 models 2017 to present.


Tuesday 6 December 2022


Letter from Ukraine

By DJ Maughfling

From inside Ukraine, it is possible to feel the change of season. Gone are the autumn leaves laying on the ground, replaced by snow and biting winds. Winter is arriving in Zhytomyr, and this brings with it new challenges for Supersprox. The winter has brought a strategic shift in the actions of the Russian military.

I was in Ukraine on the first days of the war. That was a tough moment. I believe that most Ukrainians and much of the world imagined that Russian forces could swiftly pass through the land with the speed and efficiency associated with a superpower. Looking back, it is clear to see that things have turned out rather differently. And the Russian government seems to be bringing itself everything that it has been fighting to push away.

We lost power and installed a generator.

Whilst I try to avoid the war topic at work and focus on managing the business, it is impossible not to hear soundbites from time to time. In the western news, I can hear talk of the need for negotiation and the fear of waning support. However, the general opinion remains one of continued support of a Ukrainian nation that has been invaded by Russian forces. This assumes that Russia is fighting against Ukraine! But Putin's tone in his domestic speeches to the Russian people, and his actions, have changed recently. Now he says that his war is actually against America, NATO and Europe, not the people of Ukraine.

Presently, Putin's words and the words of the Russian state media are more about hatred of the West. Compared to the start of this war, he has changed the tone. In the first days he said that Russia was invading Ukraine to save the Russian minority from persecution and genocide. He specifically cited the Ukrainian Nazis, who he said were committing crimes against Russian minorities. 

Now he is intimating that all Ukrainians are brothers of one family, they need to be protected against America and NATO. He now says that the Ukrainian Nazis were, in fact, American and British infiltrators.

This brings us to the point where Russian artillery started shooting at Ukrainian infrastructure, which, due to the deadlock in the Southeast, seems to have come about at the Dnepr River. A physical barrier of water that neatly cuts through Ukraine from Chornobyl in the north, running south to the Black Sea, near Crimea and Odessa. The river crossing is making progress difficult for both sides to move.

Winter at Supersprox

And that is where the situation turned darker because the bombing of infrastructure is, clearly, connected to the retreat of Russian troops and the stall at the Dnepr. It appears to be stepping up to the next level, where troops move back and fire all sorts of munitions at Ukraine civilian infrastructure. Targeting infrastructure that supports the lives and wellbeing of ordinary Ukraine citizens, more than the Ukraine military. Targeting civilians in the winter! And all the time, Putin is claiming that he is saving Ukraine.

This tactic is surely not going to break the Ukrainian resolve. From what I noticed, the Ukrainian people become more determined every time the power, heat and water are lost. In the Supersprox factory the staff adapt to each new situation. If the power goes down, we can run off the generator, but with some limitations. Not all machines operate as they should and constant power spikes damage electronics. Our heating system was put out of action, bringing the working temperature in the factory below 10C (50F). Not a single person complained about the cold. There are no streetlights in the city, but I never hear people say that it is unacceptable.

We lost power and installed a generator. We lost city water supply and dug a well. We anticipate that the internet can be lost, so we are probably going to install Starlink satellite for internet. Every time the Russian war on Ukraine pushes us, we push back! And that is the same all over Ukraine.

Militarily, Russia is not able to overrun Ukraine. Bombing civilian infrastructure is making the people more resolved to throw out the invaders. Putin's threats against Finland and Sweden brought them swiftly to the NATO table.

From the start of the war, I have tried to keep away from expressing any political point of view. My goal was to support our Ukraine team and save the company, so that they would have something to do after the madness is finished. When I hear people in the West complaining about the cost of the war, and whether the West should be involved or not, I lose sleep.

As a British Citizen, working 11 years in Ukraine, I understand how different we are culturally. There is no way to politely withdraw from this war. Showing weakness and fear will only bring the troubles of the East to the citizens of the West. 

Putin is not a man who respects kindness. In his eyes, that is weakness to be immediately exploited.

I believe that we all have good times and bad times. It's what makes us, it defines who we are as people. This is a time to endure, and to make choices that will benefit future generations, even if we must suffer a little in the process. Otherwise, Russia will be at our borders and that could undermine global security for our children's lives.