Inside The Motorcycle Industry

Metzeler in Cuba

Metzeler Motorcycle Tyre provided the gift of motorcycle tires to the Club of Classical Motorbikes in Cuba (MOCLA), a dedicated group of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts who represent the spirit of Metzeler by keeping bikes that predate the 1960's era in working order. A number of its members were recently featured in the movie Cuban Harlistas, a 50-min documentary-type film by Guido Giansoldati exploring the passions and difficulties they have endured in order to ride Harleys in Cuba. The 70 sets of tires were presented in Havana to MOCLA president, Luis Enrique.www.metzelermoto.com/mocla, www.cubanharlistas.com


Cinch Your Belt

Belt Drives Limited (BDL) recently announced it is to be the exclusive distributor for the "Falcon SPC" (Sport Plus Carbon) drive belt. This Goodyear designed and manufactured product boasts up to 33 percent more tensile strength than conventional aramid-reinforced belts. Additionally the high temperature rubber compound provides improved flex, strength and service life while a patented fabric-reinforced tooth surface can improve horsepower at the rear wheel, improve wear resistance and sustain belt-penetrating debris without breakage. BDL/Falcon SPC are available in popular application sizes including 1 1/2, 1 1/8, 1 inch and 20mm widths. With the addition of the new Falcon SPC to its already expansive line of Gates and Carlisle Panther products, BDL offers an array of quality primary and secondary drive belts.


Riding Destination

While some are struggling to get through this tough economy Milwaukee Harley-Davidson (MHD) is proving that to win in today's economy it pays to be a bit of a rebel. With his business strategy, MHD owner, Chaz Hastings, has seen a 30 percent sales increase in the first quarter of the year. Chaz has transformed his dealership into a lifestyle destination that offers the camaraderie and freedom Harley riders seek while extending the experience beyond the parking lot. Over the past few years Chaz has purchased three historic bars that when strung together make for a scenic and entertaining ride from the dealership to Holy Hill, one of the most popular routes in the Midwest. Each of the three bars offers an element of intrigue while embodying the true Harley spirit. Madam Belles Silver Dollar Saloon, the century-old former brothel in Richfield, Wisconsin, boasts "old time dcor" and has returned to its original biker bar status that made it a popular stop in the '70s. Tally Ho, an 1870s Irish tavern in Erin, Wisconsin, has its own story. Legend has it that Emily, a former farm hand, was buried in the basement-making it one of the most intriguing and eerie watering holes around. And Bottom's Up, a saloon with plank floors and good music, is a short trip from MHD, making it a welcoming first stop on the ride.www.milwaukeeharley.com


Arts and Crafts
The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, will present The Wind in Your Hair: Vintage Motorcycles from July 18 to September 19, 2009. The exhibit will feature vintage motorcycles manufactured between 1900 to 1970, memorabilia and accessories, and three motorcycle-related photography collections by Michael Lichter, Danny Lyon and Sarah Lyon. The Museum will also host a series of restoration and customizing workshops and lectures about collecting motorcycles and the cultural influences of motorcycles in the 20th and 21st centuries.www.kentuckyarts.org


Sound Off

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International has produced a simple, consistent and economical sound test standard that can be used to determine whether a streetbike (on-highway motorcycle) exhaust system emits excessive sound, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports. "The motorcycling community and law enforcement have long sought a practical field test for measuring street motorcycle exhaust sound," said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. The SAE J2825 on-highway motorcycle sound test procedure is similar to the one used for the SAE J1287 off-highway motorcycle test. The streetbike measurement requires holding a calibrated sound meter at a 45-degree angle 20 inches from the exhaust pipe of a running engine. The procedure spells out how to do the test with the bike at idle, at a predetermined engine speed ("Set RPM Test"), or by slowly increasing the engine speed of the bike, known as the "Swept RPM Test."www.sae.org/technical/standards/J2825_200905


Klock and Kiwi

Kiwi Indian and Klock Werks Kustom Cycles have formed a joint venture to help move both companies forward. Mike Tomas of Kiwi Indian has already moved his parts distribution from California to Mitchell, South Dakota. "Brian and I are close friends who share the same work ethic and long-term vision about the future of our respective businesses," said Mike. Kiwi's service/repair work, restorations, manufacturing, and new bike building will remain in California for now. Brian stated that financially both companies are fortunately strong. The venture makes Kiwi's parts line more centrally located to more easily reach many industry events and provide access to parts distribution routes. "One warehouse, better shipping contracts, and improved customer service are all goals we hope for," Brian said. "We all are smiling about this new venture and look forward to the challenges ahead. The camaraderie that is motorcycling lives on!"www.kustomcycles.com, www.kiwi-indian.com


Get Your Phat Back

Old Skool Cycle Werks (OSCW) has recently started supplying its PhatBack conversion kit to Treasure Coast Harley-Davidson - the first dealer to convert a motorcycle with the OSCW kit. According to OSCW, in today's economy, riders are looking for options to modify the bikes they have without spending a lot of money. The PhatBack gives riders a custom look for $2,499. OSCW's flagship product, the PhatBack, is a one-piece, bolt-on kit designed to resemble classic American cars. You can purchase all of OSCW products for less than $5,400. With no frame modification, you can transform your stock bike to a Street Cruiser, Bagger or Full Dresser, and back to stock again.www.oldskoolcyclewerks.com