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Monday 28 August 2023


European Guidelines on Anti-Tampering Rules for Motorcycle Exhaust Silencers

In a press release dated May 31, 2023, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) said that it "shares the concerns of citizens, politicians and regulators regarding the impact of noise in daily life" and that "sound emissions of motorcycles have been regulated in the EU, with maximum permitted levels defined since the 1990s, through European type approval requirements."

The release stated that "as part of the solution to address these concerns, ACEM has recently developed a set of guidelines in cooperation with key aftermarket exhaust industry players" and that "the aim of these guidelines is to avoid diverging, non-effective interpretations of anti-tampering rules for exhaust silencers, in particular for non-original equipment that may be alternatively fitted on motorcycles over their lifetime.  

At the time Antonio Perlot, ACEM Secretary General, was quoted as saying that "this initiative, bringing together the expertise of recognized players in the motorcycle sector, addresses one of the main causes of motorcycle noise in the streets. 

"Approved silencers with too easily removable baffles or dB-Killers are today still present on the market, which may result in unacceptably high levels of noise on the road.

"Putting forward state of the art solutions, the guidelines will help type approval authorities towards a more harmonized assessment of conformity to anti-tampering rules for exhaust silencers. The call is now on all stakeholders to apply them without delay."

For sound level and anti-tampering rules of motorcycle exhaust silencers, the EU type approval framework Regulation 168/2013 mandates the application of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regulations no. 92 (aftermarket silencers) and no. 41 (original motorcycle). 

These regulations were developed and are maintained by the Working Party Noise and Tyres (Groupe Rapporteur Bruit et Pneumatiques - GRBP), under the World Forum for the harmonisation of vehicle regulations (WP.29), operating within the UNECE.

In December 2022, ACEM presented the guidelines to national type approval authorities at a stakeholder meeting organized by the European Commission. Following an informal approval by authorities at EU level, the International Motorcycle Manufacturers' Association (IMMA) introduced the guidelines in February 2023 at GRBP, the world forum on sound level of vehicles. A final document is expected be adopted at the next GRBP session in September 2023.

This initiative has been jointly developed within the motorcycle sector, by ACEM, IMMA, and a selection of motorcycle exhaust manufacturers - Akrapovic, Arrow, Giannelli, Lafranconi, LeoVince, MIVV and SC-Project.

The guidelines clarify the technical requirements "to ensure robustness of fixing solutions for silencing baffles and dB-killers, to prevent their easy removal", and AMD is now able to present a light-touch edit of those guidelines.


These are the key elements and recommendations contained in the IMMA Informal document (GRBP-77-20) submitted to the UNECE Working Party on Noise and Tyres (GRBP).

They form the proposed industry guidelines on the anti-tampering provisions for Non-Original Replacement Exhaust Systems (NORESS) - namely, aftermarket exhausts - in UN Regulation No. 92.

The aim of the guidelines is to support "manufacturers, national Type-Approval authorities and enforcement authorities in their understanding of the requirements under section 6.3.1 of UN Regulation No. 92."

The stated intention is to give guidance on the interpretation of the guidelines with a view to "provide NORESS manufacturers with regulatory certainty, to ensure the implementation of a high level of anti-tampering measures, and to provide national authorities with a set of harmonized best practices for these requirements."

The two key definitions in the guidelines concern:

Baffle: the component or sub-assembly that contributes to the noise attenuation performance of a silencer, e.g. 'dB killer'.

Tamper-proof: an exhaust is considered tamper-proof when grinding, cutting or drilling is required to remove an exit-cone, a fastener or a baffle from a silencer.

Permanent and irrecoverable damages - "removal causing permanent/irrecoverable damage to the assembly" is understood as a being the result of using other mechanical means than traditional, low cost, easily available tools such as hammer, screwdrivers, or pliers.

"Permanent/irrecoverable damage" includes damages to the aesthetics of the product or damages which would prevent the reintroduction of the removed part(s)."

'Photo: ACEM'

To avoid any uncertainty, the document is very specific in terms of the interpretation of anti-tampering:

"The NORESS or its components shall be constructed in a way that does not permit removal of baffles, exit-cones and other parts whose primary function is as part of the silencing/expansion chambers.

"Where incorporation of such a part is unavoidable, its method of attachment shall be such that removal is not facilitated (e.g. with conventional threaded fixings) and shall also be attached such that removal causes permanent/irrecoverable damage to the assembly.

"Baffles and exit-cones should not be removable by construction/design. Exhaust manufacturers [must] therefore take the necessary means so that the NORESS integrity would not be easily compromized by users/owners.

"Exit-cones should be tamper-proof. In detail, this means that conventional threaded fixing or similar methods used to fasten exit-cones to the rest of the assembly are not considered as tamper-proof.

"Should manufacturers use conventional threaded fixing or similar, exit-cones should be also fastened to the exhaust casing by another method such as gluing or welding. Rivets (stainless steel, not aluminum) or break-head bolts may be used to secure exit-cones to the exhaust casing. Should manufacturers use non-stainless steel rivets, exit-cones should be also fastened to the exhaust casing by another method such as gluing or welding. Alternatively, exit-cone fasteners should be filled with epoxy or similar substance;

"The baffles should be fixed to the exhaust casing or to the exit-cone so as to ensure that removal of the exit-cones should not facilitate the removal of the baffle. The baffle should be tamper-proof: examples of its fixing methods include sufficient welding or use of threaded fixings covered by epoxy or similar substances.

"Cosmetic end caps (exit-cones) may be attached with conventional fasteners if removal of the end cap does not facilitate removal of baffles or attenuation devices, and is not a part whose function is as part of the silencing/expansion chambers.

"Baffles and other parts should be welded to the exhaust (exit-cone or exhaust casing) as a primary method of attachment. It is the manufacturer's choice and responsibility to make sure that such welding covers a sufficient perimeter of the outer rim of the baffle to avoid easy removals.

"Screws and other threaded fixings can be used as a secondary way to secure the baffle to the exhaust, or as an alternative to welding if welding is not technically possible due to different materials being used for the exit-cone and the exhaust casing, for example. In such cases, these fixings should be secured by welding, or filled with epoxy or similar substances.

"Baffles should never be attached to the rest of the assembly by use of circlips or similar method of assembly as this would not be considered a tamper-proof method of attachment.

"The NORESS or its components shall be constructed in a way that does not permit removal of baffles, exit-cones and other parts whose primary function is as part of the silencing/expansion chambers. 

"Where incorporation of such a part is unavoidable, its method of attachment shall be such that removal is not facilitated (e.g. with conventional threaded fixings) and shall also be attached such that removal causes permanent/irrecoverable damage to the assembly."


CFMoto developing girder forks for big tourer By Ben Purvis

Although the telescopic fork has long set the standard for motorcycle front suspension, there's always been a niche group of bikes using less conventional designs. Whether it's Bimota's Tesi system or BMW's Telelever, there are positives and negatives to alternative front ends, but the girder fork design that was championed by Norman Hossack in the 1970s has gained some recent success in the field of large-capacity touring bikes.

Big, heavy motorcycles put telescopic forks under a lot of strain, and the girder fork's ability to separate braking and suspension forces is a benefit to them, allowing a compliant ride without excessive brake dive. Honda has adopted a variation of the idea on its current generation of Gold Wing, and BMW has long used a Hossack-style setup on its K-series models, including the current K1600 six-cylinder range.

Now China's CFMoto is exploring the same idea, filing patent applications that show a Hossack-style fork on a variation of its 1,279 cc, V-twin powered 1250TR-G tourer - the biggest, most powerful Chinese-made motorcycle currently on the market, albeit only in its home country at the moment. Don't be fooled by the fact the engine in the patent illustrations appears to be a single: it's actually the same KTM-derived V-twin used in the 1250TR-G, but the rear cylinder has been omitted from the drawings.

CFMoto's patent relates only to a small detail of the design, which is essentially similar to the setup BMW uses on the K1600. The front wheel is supported by cast alloy legs, themselves attached to a pair of wishbone-style links that connect them to the frame. A single coil-over shock provides the springing and damping, and the design allows a more direct transfer of braking forces from the front wheel to the bike's chassis without running all that strain through the steering head.

The CFMoto tweak to the design revolves around the use of a spherical bearing in the scissor-style linkage above the girder forks that transmits steering inputs from the bars to the front wheel. Normally, on designs like BMW's, that bearing would be replaced by a more conventional hinge.

It's not CFMoto's adaptation of the design that's intriguing so much as the fact it's being considered by the company at all. CFMoto has had a remarkable transformation in recent years, becoming one of the most credible manufacturers that China has to offer. Its close ties with KTM, for whom it builds many engines and even complete bikes, including the recently-reintroduced 790 Duke and 790 Adventure, are a sign of CFMoto's competence, and its own bikes are looking like increasingly tempting alternatives to the established Japanese and European offerings. A big tourer with alternative, Hossack-style front suspension would go a long way to further shaking off residual impressions that China's motorcycle industry can only make cheap knock-offs.


BSA Bantam, Lightning and Thunderbird Planned By Ben Purvis

The reintroduction of the BSA brand under the ownership of Indian automotive giant Mahindra has been quite subdued so far - with initial sales focusing on the UK market before expanding elsewhere - but the first model has already proved a success, and more are planned.

Initially, BSA's offering is the single-cylinder Gold Star, using a 652 cc engine that's loosely related to the old Rotax motor used in the BMW F650, and sales in the UK appear to have been strong, with the bike topping the charts in the 'modern classics' category in March.

The current model Gold Star

Now there are hints at how BSA will follow up on the Gold Star, with new trademark applications being filed for rights to the 'Bantam,' 'Thunderbolt' and 'Lightning' names.

The Bantam name is perhaps the most familiar, having been part of the BSA range for more than two decades from 1948 to 1971. Always a small-capacity single-cylinder offering, originally derived from a DKW two-stroke design, the original provided an entry-level step into the BSA range, and the new version is sure to do the same. While it certainly won't be a two-stroke, Mahindra already has in-house options when it comes to making a smaller-capacity retro bike. The company owns the Jawa brand, offering 295 cc and 334 cc, retro-style singles that could easily become the basis for a cheaper, smaller BSA to rival bikes like Royal Enfield's 350 cc singles.

Both the Thunderbolt and Lightning titles are also steeped in BSA heritage. The originals were both twin-cylinder, 650 cc bikes in the 1960s, sitting above the Gold Star in the range, and it makes sense for the new models to adopt a similar layout and position. Originally, the Lightning was a high-performance derivative of the Thunderbolt, and the fact that trademark applications for both names have been made simultaneously hints that the same could apply to the next-generation machines. 

Since the current Gold Star already competes against Royal Enfield's 650 cc twin-cylinder bikes, despite being a single, any future Thunderbolt or Lightning is likely to be larger, potentially bringing the bikes into competition with Triumph's 900 cc Bonneville derivatives.


Hartje Adds Bel Ray in Germany

German wholesaler Hermann Hartje KG (based at Hoya, near Hanover) has continued its expansion program, striking a deal with German oil specialist Meneks AG to distribute the American Bel Ray lubricants and chemicals range.

This latest addition follows the news at the start of the year that Hartje had expanded its partnership with British vendor Oxford Products to distribute the full range of Oxford branded parts, accessories and apparel from its fast-growing portfolio.

"We are delighted to be working with Meneks and Bel Ray," says Jens Engelking, Head of Moto at Hartje. "This partnership enables us to offer our customers in Germany even more diverse lubricant solutions. Especially with the popular Bel Ray V-twin products, we now offer powerful lubrication for Harley-Davidson motorcycles so that our customers can offer their partners the highest quality and performance. The partnership between Bel Ray and Hartje is further proof of both companies' ongoing commitment to quality and customer satisfaction."


Norton pensions fraud saga still ongoing

A British newspaper has reported that Members of the UK Parliament are to launch an inquiry into the pension fraud prosecution of former Norton Motorcycles owner Stuart Garner. Basically, with investors still waiting for refunds of embezzled money (refunds that will likely never come in full), the inquiry will seek to establish if the prosecution of Garner was influenced by the prior support that he had received from local, regional and national government officials and business agencies - including multi-millionaire former British Finance Minister George Osborne.

Former Norton owner Stuart Garner (left) seen with then UK Finance Minister George Osborn on a visit to the Donington Park Norton HQ in July 2015.

The Guardian newspaper reports that MPs will ask UK pension regulators about how the £10m scam was investigated. Financial regulators are to be summoned to parliament to explain how they prosecuted a fraud case that has not led to anyone serving prison time.

During the period of his ownership, Garner and his iteration of Norton received a series of publicly funded grants and business incentives, along with tributes from the likes of George Osborne. Garner even managed to use Norton's brand to secure himself a cameo role in the 2015 Bond film Spectre and travelled with a government trade mission to China on Theresa May's jet when she was UK Premier.

Garner received an eight-month suspended prison sentence in 2022, with the judge saying that the former gamekeeper turned businessman would probably have been locked up if the Pensions Regulator, which was prosecuting the case, had alleged dishonesty - which, controversially, it did not do.

However, new findings include allegations Garner forged the signatures of business partners in order to allow him to more easily raise Norton funds; tapped sources of public money after making seemingly inaccurate claims to government bodies; oversaw a business where motorbikes returned to Norton for servicing were stripped of parts - which were then used to build bikes needed for new orders; owned an additional (fireworks) business where about £1m of assets appear to have been transferred from Norton just prior to the company being placed into administration in early 2022.

These latest allegations come on top of Norton pension holders complaining for years that Garner had repeatedly ignored their requests to return their retirement savings. In total, savers transferred about £10m during 2012 and 2013. Fresh evidence suggests that much of that money was immediately spent by the company to simply keep Norton running.

Norton slumped into administration in January 2020, leaving the pension fund owed about £14m at that point. In June 2020, Garner was ordered to repay the money after another UK Pensions oversight body, the Pensions Ombudsman - which is separate from the Pensions Regulator - ruled that Garner had indeed acted "dishonestly".

The UK Fraud Compensation Fund has now said that victims will be eligible to apply to it. However, it is estimated that victims will receive roughly half of what they thought they were owed. 

Norton was acquired out of administration by Indian conglomerate TVS in April 2020 and has since begun marketing new bikes as a separate business from the one owned by Garner.


Can-Am's Hub-Steered Triple By Ben Purvis

Can-Am will return to the two-wheeler market after decades away when it launches its Pulse and Origin electric bikes - part of a modular range of battery-powered machines - in 2024. 

However, a newly published patent application shows that a radical combustion-engined machine has also been under development.

The bike shown in the document features a selection of unusual design elements, including the hub-center steering system that's the basis of the patent - plus an inline three-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission.

It's a design that clearly shares much of its DNA with Can-Am's gasoline-powered three-wheelers, the Spyder and Ryker ranges, adopting a similar long, low profile to those machines, but eliminating one of the front wheels. The Ryker, in particular, is closely related to the new design, lending its engine and transmission to the project.

At the moment, the Ryker can be had with a choice of a 600 cc twin-cylinder or 900 cc three-cylinder engine, both made by Can-Am's Austria based sister company Rotax and allied to a twist-and-go CVT transmission. The same powertrain appears to feature in the new two-wheeler, with the drawings showing something that looks like the larger three-cylinder Ryker engine nestled in its trellis-style frame. 

Like the Ryker, it carries the engine longitudinally. Only Triumph's Rocket 3 shares a similar layout with a three-cylinder engine. The suspension that's the focus of the patent is intended to maximize the potential lean angle and to limit the number of linkages needed in the steering system. 

It features two parallel front suspension links, with an upright at the front, giving a single-sided appearance. While rival hub-steered bikes like Bimota's Tesi aim to maintain a conventional riding position, with the bars above the front wheel, the Can-Am puts the rider further back, as on the Ryker and Spyder trikes. 

That layout means there can be a steering column running down from the bars to a position behind the front wheel, with a pitman arm and a tie rod transferring the steering movement to the wheel. It's a setup that has fewer joints and linkages than most other hub-steered bikes, potentially reducing vagueness in the steering and improving feedback.

The weight distribution, with the rider positioned so far back, will clearly be closer to a cruiser than a sports bike, but the hub-steered front end means the rake and trail can be tweaked to whatever geometry the company wants. 

As with other front swingarm systems, the suspension also separates braking and suspension forces, allowing softer springing without introducing dive when you're on the brakes. 

Although Can-Am's initial motorcycle plans are all electric, the company isn't tied purely to battery power. The existence of the Spyder, Ryker and an array of Can-Am ATV and side-by-side models shows that the combustion engine still plays a big role in the brand's future, so a motorcycle using the same power source could well join the electric bikes once the company has re-established itself in the two-wheeled market.

 'crazy-looking creation emerges in patent application'

BS Battery

Powerbox PB-02 

New from French battery specialist BS Battery, this PB-02 is an upgraded version of the 'Powerbox' portable jump starter.

With a high jump-starting capacity of 1,200 amp and a compact red design, the PB-02 is "ultra safe and includes 'smart cables' with spark-proof connection and reverse polarity protection, allowing riders to safely jump-start a 12V lead acid dead battery, even a dead one, on all types of vehicles - motorcycles, scooters and cars."

BS Battery says that with improved starting performance, the Powerbox PB-02 is now able to deliver 1,200 amp for jump-starting 7.0 liter gas and 6.0 liter diesel engines.

This versatile and lightweight portable charger allows charging and recharging of USB devices on-the-go and is equipped with three light modes - torch, strobe and SOS. 



Andreani 'Rally' Suspension Cartridge for Pan America

First launched in 2021, as a companion range to its Misano brand road/track application suspension cartridge kits, the 'Rally' range of front suspension cartridges from Italian suspension specialist Andreani has been developed specifically to meet the rigorous demands of the Off-Road and ADV sector.

Since then, and, as a result of its ongoing investment into the R&D capabilities that comes from major race team collaborations, the Andreani 'Rally' cartridge has evolved into an increasingly sophisticated and sought-after product. 

In recent months, new applications have been developed, allowing riders to invest in a new generation of products that leverage Giuseppe Andreani's off-road racing career and ADV experience. In the past year, those applications have included for the Ducati Desert X, the Husqvarna 701 Enduro, the KTM 690 Enduro, the Yamaha Ténéré 700 WorldRide, the Honda XL750 Transalp and the Triumph Tiger 900. 

As a result of Andreani's in-house R&D department's active role in the paddocks of the Off-Road sector, and with significant ADV market product testing and development work, the company has now additionally developed the 'Rally' cartridge for installation in the Harley-Davidson Pan America, which, along with the Honda Transalp, is the most recent heavyweight entrant into the burgeoning ADV market - which speaks to just how strong, durable and reliable the 'Rally' cartridge design really is.

The 'Rally' cartridge is said to deliver maximized stability and optimized comfort, safety and performance on any terrain. "This cartridge excels in absorbing shocks, allowing riders to fully enjoy a responsive riding experience with confidence," says Giuseppe.

Features of the updated Andreani 'Rally' cartridge range include double piston in compression, 20 mm diameter piston, hydraulic end of stroke, a new anodized top cap, increased excursion and full adjustment.

"These updated cartridges are extremely easy to install and do not require disassembly of the fork bottom during installation. They come complete with springs matched for the application, rider weight and riding style."


Vance & Hines

FP4 - Stage 2 Maps for SE Cams

Vance & Hines says that its FP4 maps for street legal Screamin' Eagle camshafts are "well established as a tuning solution for Stage 1 upgrades," but that "like exhaust systems and air intakes, the FP4 Tuner is now ready to embark on a rollout of Stage 2 FP4 maps for Screamin' Eagle Street Legal camshafts."

Available now in the FP4 app, owners of 2021 and later M-8 114 cubic inch air-cooled Touring models can select maps for SE Torque and Power camshafts paired with Vance & Hines exhaust and air intake upgrades using the drop-down menus for selecting their map. 

This initial rollout will be followed by maps for the same camshafts on 114 cubic inch twin cooled Touring models as well as 117 cubic inch Touring models for the SE Power camshaft. 

M-8 Softail models are also planned for map development for these same SE street legal camshafts. In total, the development plan will cover all standard M-8 107, 114 and 117 cubic inch engines for Touring and Softail models compatible with the SE Torque and/or Power camshafts.

"With its state-of-the-art Bluetooth enabled app-driven technology, FP4 empowers you to do 100% of your tuning from the palm of your hand, all while maintaining 49-state emissions compliance and thereby keeping your Harley-Davidson factory warranty intact". 



Nightster Sissy Bar

New from Ferndale, Washington State based Motherwell is this high-quality sissy bar addition to its motorcycle luggage racks and sissy bar line-up for the '22 and '23 H-D RH975 Nightster.

"All parts are made with high-quality steel, TIG-welded and powder-coated for strength and longevity, and checked for safety and quality before leaving our shop. More than 30 years of experience go into every product we make, and it doesn't ship unless it meets our ruthless quality standards," says Kelly Motherwell.

"This cool and sleek backrest is available in gloss black and is designed to take the design of Harley Nightsters to the next level. With its unique curves, our 21" sissy bar adds sophistication, style and safety."


Tuesday 22 August 2023

AMA Land Speed Grand Championship

2023 AMA Land Speed Grand Championship Canceled

Just five days before it was due to formally get under way (August 27th) the AMA was forced to announce cancelation of this year's annual AMA Land Speed Grand Championship - due to significant rain on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats.

Among the hopefuls, multi-time record holder Denis Manning was hoping to take 'Lucky 7' back to the salt to see if his rebuilt "Big Bang V4" could retake the record with Chris Rivas at the controls.

The 2023 AMA Land Speed Grand Championship, along with the FIM Land Speed World Records, was cancelled due to the remnants of Hurricane Hilary and related storm systems delivering significant rain on August 21.

"We're disappointed that we'll be unable to run the AMA Land Speed Grand Championship this year," said AMA Track Racing Manager Ken Saillant. "We always enjoy holding this event and it's unfortunate the weather once again didn't cooperate with our best efforts to run a successful event."

Following powerful rainstorms in the area during the past week, and with even more impending rain on the way, the event assessment team - led by Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials promoter Delvene Reber - determined that all track locations and alternatives would not be safe for competition.

Denis Manning founded the event that went on to become the AMA Land Speed Record Grand Championship in 2004. This is the second consecutive year it has been cancelled

"We put it all on the line every year," Reber said, "and after the 2022 cancellation we were looking forward to an exceptional race surface and return of our amazing participants to twist the throttle and add their name to the record books. It is surprising and heart wrenching to be cancelling due to the impacts from Hurricane Hilary. We know that everyone wants an exceptional experience, and we are looking forward to next year when we can bring world class motorcycle land speed racing back to the Bonneville Salt Flats."

Reber added that the BMST will be in touch with participants soon with further information. Additional updates will be provided on the event website at


USA - Motorcycle Sales +4.7% Through Q2

The MIC is reporting that among leading brands, sales of new motorcycles and scooters increased by +4.7% through the second quarter of 2023 (315,257 units YTD) compared to the same period the previous year.

At +16.5% (86,583 units YTD) "Off-highway sales in the second quarter of 2023 have seen the most substantial [segment] percentage increase year over year," said Buckner Nesheim, MIC Director of Research & Statistics.

"There is strong growth across several product categories, and this is particularly interesting as these sales happened amid rising interest rates. Year-to-date sales of 'dual motorcycles' (ADV models) are up again for the seventh year in a row [+4.4%, 45,057 units YTD]. 

"On-highway sales have increased [+1.1%, 173,147 units YTD], and the market share of Off-highway bikes among motorcycles is currently the second highest it has been in the past ten years, only surpassed by the 30% achieved in 2020." Scooter sales declined by -15.7% so far this year (10,470 units).

A strong June saw 34,580 On-Hwy motorcycles sold (+9.2%, well above the first half monthly average as the U.S. market hits peak mid-season) out of a total of 60,175 units sold in June (11.0%). 

The YTD market in USA for ATV models was down by -8.7% at 89,724 units. The grand total of new motorcycles and ATVs sold was +1.4% at 404,981 units. ATV sales remain, marginally and for now at least, the largest single sales segment YTD.


Vanderhall 'Balboa'

Utah based Vanderhall Motor Works has been making three-wheeled roadsters that sit somewhere between cars and motorcycles since 2016. The company recently added a modular electric powertrain to use in its three-wheeled Santarosa and expanded into four-wheelers with the Brawley electric off-roader. 

Now the company has its eye on more markets - showing sketches of a variety of machines including a speedboat, a tracked vehicle and its first two-wheeled motorcycle.

Called 'Balboa', the motorcycle is another electric offering, and while Vanderhall hasn't released any technical details, it is likely to use a variation of the company's existing electric powertrain. At the moment, the Santarosa uses a twin-motor version with 132 kW, and the Brawley has a quad-motor setup with up to 297 kW. 

For the 'Balboa', it would make sense to use a single motor, which would be likely to make around 75 kW and 150 Nm of torque if it's based on the same components used in the existing three and four-wheeled models. 

The 'Balboa' design has a café racer look, with a single-sided swingarm and wire wheels, and the lack of visible chain or belt drive suggests there's a shaft inside the swingarm taking power to the rear wheel. 

However, the bike's dimensions are surprisingly large, with a 1,664 mm/65.5 inch wheelbase that puts it on a par with the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.

There's no indication yet as to when the concept sketches are likely to evolve into a real-world motorcycle, but an exotic, electric two-wheeler would sit well with Vanderhall's existing range and the high-end leisure market that the company calls home.


Upgraded Andreani Suspension Toolbox Functionality

Andreani, one of the most popular suspension equipment brands, has announced the release of an upgraded version of its famous suspension technician's toolbox, powered by Beta. "This new toolbox is not only changed in terms of style and look, but also provides upgraded functions compared to the previous version.

"The newly designed toolbox is now available in a sleek black color and contains all the essential tools required to set up suspensions for the market segment of your choice. The Andreani toolbox is available for both motorbike and MTB segments, with the latter undergoing a significant restyling to include many features that simplify the daily work of technicians - as well as many other tools developed by the company and included in the toolbox or in the additional packages.

"This professional-grade tool kit is designed to cater to all types of suspension available on the market. The Andreani toolbox offers tools that can be purchased singularly or as a package. The additional packages are divided into different categories: for the motorbike sector there are Track/Street packages and Off-Road packages, while the MTB sector packages are divided by suspension brand - with Öhlins, Fox, Cannondale, Cane Creek and RockShox options available.


Zodiac International

Energy One Big Twin Clutch Kits

Zodiac International is offering dealers the Phoenix, Arizona based manufacturer Energy One range of clutch kits for 1998-2017 Big Twins.

"With more than 30 years of experience in the high-performance motorcycle and automotive clutch industry, Energy One is the optimum choice for replacement clutch plates and components for Harley Big Twins, including Twin Cams," says the European distributor.

"All Energy One clutch plates and components are 100% manufactured in the USA by skilled American craftsmen, using only the latest tools and CNC equipment. 

"Friction plates feature Energy One's award-winning, race proven friction material with a maximum groove pattern for heat dissipation and fluid circulation. All steel plates are made with high tempered steel, and are vibratory deburred for extreme flatness for positive engagement and improved, reliable long-term performance."


H-D 300 mm Rotor Application Caliper 

Noted French brakes specialist Beringer has this new 4 x 27 mm piston caliper for 300 mm front disc applications on all Harley models from 2000 and up. It mounts directly instead of the OEM caliper (no bracket) and can be used with OEM, Beringer or other aftermarket brand 300 mm rotors without any modification. As with all Beringer products, this caliper is precision CNC-machined from 6082 T6 heat-treated aircraft quality billet aluminum and still uses the Beringer racing technology with rectified stainless steel piston and high-temperature seals. It is available in 12 colors.

Beringer, France,


Barnett Extra-Plate Clutch Kits

Now added to the Barnett line-up of Indian clutch kits is this extra-plate kit for 2014-23 Indian Motorcycle models (except Scout/FTR). 

These kits include Kevlar or carbon friction plates, tempered steel plates and a set of heavy-duty springs - providing increased clutch capacity and performance. The segmented friction plates are designed for more oil flow, resulting in cooler operating temps, smoother clutch engagement and longer life. 

All kits are measured for proper stack to ensure accurate fit and performance right out of the box. 



Vans V-Twin Lock-On Grip System

Designed in-house at Riverside, California based ODI, these new Vans V-Twin Lock-On system grips have been designed for 1" handlebar models.

They feature the classic Vans Waffle sole pattern - "built to deliver you an amazing riding experience," according to Sales Manager Johnny Jump. "Built into a medium diameter grip, they provide amazing palm traction while delivering extra vibration dampening. 

"Each pair of grips are constructed in-house at ODI using proprietary grip compounds for a consistent feel that provides exceptional control in all conditions. The reinforced Waffle pattern on top provides an extra comfort palm pad; the classic Waffle pattern on the bottom delivers excellent finger traction, and the clutch side Billet Alloy Lock-On Clamp delivers 100% slip-free security."

T15 Torx bolts provide extra secure clamping for solid, twist-free mounting, eliminating the need for grip glue or safety set-screws - for simple installation and removal. There is an in-molded throttle tube with integrated application-specific throttle actuation, and the proprietary medium-compound durometer improves overall comfort and durability.

The grips have an 130 mm overall grip length, including the flange. They are available for 1984 and up H-D cable actuated fitment, 2008 H-D throttle-by-wire fitment, and 2018 and up Indian Touring throttle-by-wire model fitment - all in a selection of grip and clamp colorway combinations.


Vance & Hines

VO2 'Falcon'

Vance & Hines says its VO2 performance air cleaner has been "inspired by the track. From its slant-nosed oversized filter for higher volume airflow to its precision machined billet aluminum winged mounting and integrated breather assembly, the clean minimalist design of the VO2 'Falcon' yields a streamlined hot rod look that is equally powerful in its simplicity as it is in its performance.

"The VO2 'Falcon' resets the bar for 90 degree intakes with five superb finishes including show-quality chrome, ceramic matte black, two eye-catching carbon fiber choices, high gloss traditional weaved carbon and a first for the V-twin world, matte forged carbon, and pie cut stainless steel."


Baker Drivetrain

Drivetrain Compensator Kit - Better, Quieter, More Durable 

Baker Drivetrain has what Bert Baker describes as "the final solution" where the late model compensator problems are concerned. 

It is engineered with an annular oil distribution system that scavenges primary oil and pumps it with centrifugal force to all radial and axial thrust surfaces - or as Bert translates, "this sprocket delivers quiet operation, relentless durability and refined function to smooth out the inherent power pulsations of the second-generation Twin Cam and M-8 motors." 

"This drivetrain compensator kit is made from heat-treated 4140 alloy steel and features a decreased compensating cam lobe diameter to yield a significant reduction in cam lobe velocities, and with that comes a reduction in wear," says Bert. 

The increased radial width of the compensating cam lobes reduces the P.S.I. loading, which greatly extends durability, and seven supportive spokes structurally tie the sprocket ‘ring’ to the sprocket hub. 

The mass of the sprocket is concentrated towards the center, so the ‘flywheel effect’ is minimized - which reduces noise and vibration during operation and shutdown. 

Basically, Bert's message is that it is better, quieter, more reliable and longer lasting than stock…simple. 

It is available for 2006 - 2017 Dyna; 2007 - 2017 Softail and Touring; 2017 - later Touring M-8 models and 2018 and up Softails, though it should be noted that it currently does not fit Softails with wide rear tires (e.g. 240 rear tires on Fat Boy and Breakout). 

"For 2007 to 2010 Big Twins, the customer will need a H-D rotor; for a 2006 Dyna, the customer will need a H-D rotor and stator; on 2011 Big Twin models, if the stock spring cup is welded onto the stock rotor, a new H-D rotor will be needed." H-D rotors and stators are available for separate and additional purchase from Baker Drivetrain. 


Tuesday 15 August 2023

Tucker Powersports

Tucker Powersports To Be Acquired by Turn 14 Distribution

Tucker Powersports has announced that its business will be acquired by Turn 14 Distribution (Horsham, Pennsylvania) - described as one of the largest automotive aftermarket distributors in the United States.  

The purchase includes certain assets of Tucker and all of its private label brands, which include well-known brands such as Kuryakyn, Twin Power, Bike Master, Answer Racing, Pro Taper and QuadBoss.

"The change in ownership will provide a huge injection of resources to better serve Tucker dealers around the country," said Marc McAllister, President and CEO of Tucker Powersports. "I am confident that Turn 14 will have a significant impact on the powersports industry with its approach to inventory and its high-quality customer service."

The news release issued on August 14 stated that "Turn 14 Distribution is noted for its customer-first approach, proprietary technology, and logistics efficiency in the automotive industry" and that it is "a sixteen-year-old, national, B2B only distributor based outside of Philadelphia, with facilities in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas and Nevada, and over five hundred employees across three distribution centers and two office locations."

The company is named after the 14th turn in the legendary Road America racecourse and was awarded SEMA's Warehouse Distributor of the Year in 2016, 2018 and 2021. Noted as a progressive, forward-facing business, in 2022, Turn 14 was awarded the SEMA Channel Partner of the Year award (previously known as the Warehouse Distributor of the Year) for excellence in distribution. 

The company says that it will "apply to the powersports industry many of the principles the company was founded upon and is known for, including building favorable relationships with partners and employees and leveraging the company's strengths in operations, technology and customer service."

Jon Pulli, CEO of Turn 14 Distribution, stated: "We understand the importance of the dealer in the motorcycle and UTV owner experience. We are confident that powersports dealers will benefit from working with us, and we are excited to continue the legacy of Ed Tucker and others who have played an important role in this company's history."

Privately owned and operated, Turn 14 Distribution exclusively sells vehicle parts and accessories into the automotive aftermarket through the business-to-business channel. The company boasts ground shipping coverage to 43% of the U.S. population in one day and 100% within two days. 

"Turn 14 Distribution leverages proprietary technology and innovative logistics solutions to drive growth while simultaneously developing robust, symbiotic relationships up and down the supply chain to accelerate that growth."

In remarks to the Tucker Powersports dealer network, McAllister said: "We know that this will have a positive impact on you and all of our customers. The purchase of Tucker Powersports is Turn 14 Distribution's entry into the powersports market, and with that comes more stability and growth for the market. 

"They will apply many of the principles their company is founded on, including strong relationships with partners and employees, and leveraging its strengths in efficiency, focus and excellence in serving all types of dealers.

"For you, the customer, this means better access to more inventory, reduced operating costs through better efficiency, increased transparency, more tools to help you plan and operate your business, more customer service representatives and optimized logistics.

"Turn 14 Distribution has a well-earned reputation for listening to its customers and partners. They are known as the distributor who has embraced technology to ensure efficiency while maintaining a human-facing, customer-first mentality that comes from the core value, 'our customers are royalty.'

"In the short-term, your orders will be fulfilled by both Tucker and Turn 14 Distribution, and in time you will be transitioned to the Turn 14 Distribution B2B website and provided with new login information. Please remember that this acquisition is a work in progress involving several moving parts."

The acquisition marks what everyone 'with skin' in the motorcycle parts and accessory aftermarket will hope will be a decisive turn of events. One that can draw a line under what has been a turbulent decade-long sequence of instability for the business previously known as Tucker Rocky Distributing.

Former owners Lacey Diversified Industries (LDI) of Indianapolis controversially claimed to have "merged" TR with the Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG Inc. - owner of Vance & Hines, Performance Machine, J&P Cycles, Kuryakyn et al) in 2014. 

In fact, it was an acquisition that leveraged TR as an asset, loading TR with a debt mountain that the business struggled with (eventually north of $400m) until a pre-pack Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing in November 2017. 

However, the market friction caused by the "merger" and ongoing market atrophy didn't halt the decline in Tucker's fortunes at that point. The original, pre-pack "distressed asset" Private Equity ownership Group (Monomoy, Contrarian and Blue Mountain) had not been able to reverse the decline, eventually "unwinding" the MAG structure and selling business units - most famously J&P Cycles to Revzilla owner Comoto Holdings/J.W. Childs.

It had been widely expected that the remaining Tucker owner from the original consortium - Monomoy Capital Partners - was seeking a buyer for parts or all of the business this year. In the past 24 months, it had continued to bankroll Tucker, as CEO Marc McAllister sought to carve the Fort Worth based distributor a place in new markets such as electric two-wheelers, despite major lay-offs of sales and purchasing staff and accelerating reports of late vendor inventory payments. 

Progressive American Flat Track

Daniels Wins Wild Castle Rock TT

Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) closed the 2023 Grand National Championship battle to a single point with a clutch victory in Saturday’s CertainTeed Castle Rock TT presented by Law Tigers as Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, put on a show before another massive crowd at Castle Rock Race Park in Castle Rock, Washington (Round 16, August 12).

Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle

Title hopeful Daniels needed a win in the worst way, and he got it the unexpected way. His Estenson Racing teammate JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) - winner of eight of the series’ previous nine TTs - took the holeshot and immediately checked out at the front.

Daniels, meanwhile, was briefly shuffled back to fourth, running alongside Briar Bauman (No. 3 Parts Plus/Jacob Companies KTM 790 Duke) and, more crucially, reigning champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Racing FTR750).

Daniels dove in front of Bauman almost immediately and then set his sights on Mees as Beach continued to disappear. The rising star didn’t wait long to make his move, pouncing on his title rival with more than eight minutes remaining on the clock to take control of second position.

Moments later, Bauman crashed while disputing fourth. That shock twist was merely a teaser for the race-shaking drama set to come, however, as race leader Beach lost the front entering the switchback section approximately 30 seconds later. Daniels inherited the lead and went about building his own insurmountable advantage at the front.

The focus of the contest then shifted to Beach’s comeback after picking up his fallen machine. Beach stormed around the outside of Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650) with little delay to elevate himself back into a podium position. He then looked to reel in Mees, who was nearly four seconds in front of him.

The TT titan finally arrived on the rear wheel of Mees’ factory Indian with just a minute remaining. However, what felt like an inevitable pass became an impossible one after Beach made a minor slip just as the clocks hit 0:00. That small miscue provided the defending champ with just enough breathing space to survive the final two laps and retain second to the stripe.

Mees’ effort to hold on was every bit as critical as Daniels’ to win - and arguably as critical as any of his eight wins this season. As a result, Mees goes into the Springfield doubleheader finale holding both a one-point lead (342-341) and the tiebreaker, shifting the lion’s share of the pressure to his young adversary.

The victory saw Daniels complete the elusive Grand Slam in just his second premier-class season, adding a TT win to his prior Mile, Half-Mile and Short Track triumphs.

The sport’s all-time TT master, Henry Wiles (No. 17 Trucking Indian FTR750), charged his way up to fourth, with Oregonian Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750) coming home in fifth.

Three-time Castle Rock TT winner Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Martin Trucking/Castrol Yamaha MT-07) took sixth, followed by Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), Lewis and Ben Lowe (No. 25 Rackley Racing/Mission Foods Indian FTR750), while local hero Scooter Vernon (No. 274 Hovey Racing/Stace Richmond KTM 790 Duke) rounded out the top ten.

The result saw another win for the Yamaha MT-07 with three riders in the Top 10, four Indian FTR750s, a Royal Enfield 650 and a KTM 790 Duke.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) earned his second win of the 2023 Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER season in a tense ride that saw him on the defensive from green light to checkered flag.

Brunner got the launch off the line to grab the lead entering the opening corner and then spent the next eight minutes and two laps doing everything possible to hold onto that position despite the application of relentless pressure from last year’s Castle Rock TT winner, Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F).

At half-distance, what had been a four-rider stack at the front that also included Tanner Dean (No. 38 Walrath Racing/Hovey Racing Honda CRF450R) and Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F), became a five-rider affair with the addition of Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F). And then, with a minute remaining, Chase Saathoff (No. 88 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) arrived to transform it to a tight six-rider fight for the victory.

With less than 30 seconds to go, Brunner finally made the mistake Gauthier was desperately attempting to force. But rather than pounce, he responded by nearly losing the front himself and was instead displaced to third by Dean.

However, Gauthier somehow willed a path right back past into second and did so in time to line up a last-corner overtaking attempt on Brunner - a bid that came up 0.202 seconds short.

Home state hero Dean held on in third to go from retirement to the podium, while Whale, Drane and Saathoff followed close behind in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. 1st Impressions Husqvarna teammates James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team/Husqvarna Racing FC450) and Chad Cose (No. 49 1st Impressions Race Team/Husqvarna Racing FC450) finished in seventh and eighth in that order, followed by Aidan Roosevans (No. 26 A1R Racing/FRA Trust Honda CRF450R).

Defending champion Kody Kopp (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) finished an uncharacteristic tenth in front of his home fans. While he came in with visions of locking up the championship, it was a fitting end to a difficult day that saw Kopp advance to the Main Event through the LCQ and then spend the bulk of the Main running just outside the top ten.

Despite matching his worst finish of the season, Kopp continues to dominate the points standings, now 35 points up on second-ranked Brunner (308-273), with just 50 points left in play.

Next up is the season finale, Rounds 17 and 18, the Mission Springfield Mile I & II presented by Drag Specialties, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, on September 2-3.