News

Harley Davidson
R&D Facility in Silicon Valley 

MILWAUKEE (Sept. 5, 2018) – Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) announced today it will establish a new research and development facility in Northern California to support its future product portfolio, including the company’s first complete line of electric vehicles.

As part of that strategy, Harley-Davidson will launch its first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, in 2019. That motorcycle will be the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio of electric two-wheelers designed by the company. It will be followed by additional models through 2022 to broaden the portfolio with lighter, smaller and even more accessible product options to inspire new riders with new ways to ride.

The new facility in California, which will serve as a satellite of the Willie G. Davidson Product Development Facility in Wauwatosa, Wis., is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018. It will initially focus on electric vehicle research and development, including battery, power electronics and e-machine design, development and advanced manufacturing. Long term, the company may consider expanding the center’s focus to an increased range of advanced technologies that uniquely leverage the rich talent in the Silicon Valley and support its most comprehensive and competitive lineup of motorcycles across a broad spectrum of price points, power sources and riding styles.

The company has already begun recruiting top talent in electrical, mechanical and software engineering, with experience in developing and delivering a wide variety of EV systems from design through production. The facility will initially employ a staff of approximately 25, most of which the company intends to hire from within the Silicon Valley area.

“This is an exciting time in Harley-Davidson’s incredible history, 

Can't say we are thrilled with this news, We wish they would focus on making a great product and wish they would go back to the old way of making Harley's that owners could take home and customize.Seems like Harley has sold out, greed, make as many as we can, corner the market, try and make everyone come to the dealer with scare tactics that they will lose a warranty if they change exhaust. (It's OK if it's done at the dealer) WTF! 

The Federal Trade Commission has a wealth of information, check it out.

Will using aftermarket parts on my Harley void my warranty? NO!!

Do I have to use the Harley dealer for repairs and maintenance? NO!! Check out the FTC website for more.


Barnett Clutches & Cables All American

This, in part is why we like them! 

In a time when many companies choose to outsource production overseas, Barnett Clutches & Cables, which produces clutches and control cables for numerous motorcycles, has committed to stay true to the red, white and blue.

From a company that began as a small storefront in Huntington Park, California, to a 43,000-square-foot facility in Ventura, Barnett is still family owned and operated after nearly 70 years. Advertising coordinator Chris Taylor, the grandson of founders Afton and Charlie Barnett, discussed the company’s decision to be entirely made in the U.S.

PSB: With more than 65 years in business, how important has it been to maintain your made in the U.S. status?

CT: In my opinion, it’s very important. Let’s face it, American goods and services are being outsourced overseas and to Mexico more than ever with no end in sight. Some companies claim to be “Made in the USA,” but aren’t truly “American made.” For us to be able to hold on to that core American made value is critical. It shows that we aren’t willing to accept second-rate materials and services and that manufacturing the highest quality products at a fair price is our number one priority. If it isn’t the best product we can manufacture, we do not want to put our family name on it.

PSB: What does your motto “Expressions of American Pride” truly mean to you? How do you represent that pride in your products?

CT: For us, it has much to do with our family and the values that were instilled by Afton and Charlie Barnett many years ago and have been carried on by my folks, Mike and Colleen Taylor. It’s about taking in pride in the products we manufacture with the knowledge that we are doing everything we can to offer the consumer the best quality products we can manufacture. On top of that, it means standing behind our products and being available to our customers for any assistance they may need.

PSB: Do you find that being made in America draws customers to your products?

CT: Yes, I do. Maybe not as much as many years ago simply because I think a lot of people just have become resigned to the fact (or just don’t care) that so many products come from overseas. Again, many brands that claim to be “American,” have very little actual American-made items. I do believe that the “Buy American” and “Made in the USA” mantra has picked up in the past couple of years. Hopefully that continues and someday we can turn the tide and bring more manufacturing back home.

PSB: With this increased recognition for American-made products overall, how has business been in the past year?

CT: Our industry, like most, was hit pretty hard after the 2008 financial crash. We have seen steady, if gradual, growth since that time. We run a much better, more efficient business model now, than we did prior to 2008. You must learn and adapt to changing times and conditions. We are all avid and passionate motorcyclists, but this is not our hobby, it’s a business, and we run it with sound business practices.

PSB: How has your business grown over the years? What does your current facility look like?

CT: We have always been a California-based company. We started in 1948 in Huntington Park, moved to Vernon in 1965, moved to Santa Fe Springs in 1979. In 1999, we designed and built our current facility in Ventura. It’s a 43,000-square-foot modern concrete tilt-up on over two acres of land.

PSB: How many employees make up your company? What does your business structure look like?

CT: We have approximately 50 employees at this time. Our equipment includes CNC mills, lathes, Swiss-type screw machines, wire EDM, punch presses to 250 tons, swaging, heat treating and test equipment. We design and manufacture all of our parts in-house and purchase all supplies and materials from domestic vendors. We sell dealer direct and through distributors worldwide.

We manufacture just about every part we make in-house, which keeps quality control at a premium level. Even the services we outsource are sourced to companies within the U.S., and many are local here in Southern California.

PSB: You offer quite a wide range of clutches and cables for a variety of motorcycles. How do you stay up-to-date with current models?

CT: It takes a lot of research, cross-referencing and R&D. We attack it as a team with some people working with the American V-twin market products, while I research the bulk of the metric motorcycles and ATVs. We order OE product samples for everything new and obtain motorcycles/ATVs as needed for R&D. We just picked up a 2017 Harley Davidson for R&D, and the current stable of test bikes includes a Ducati, Indian, Victory, multiple H-D models, dirt bikes and also full custom bikes.

PSB: Once you have a concept clutch/cable, how long is your production timeline?

CT: Since we make every product in-house, we can go from concept to prototype to on the shelf pretty quickly. Cables, for example, we have been making them for so many years that in most cases when a new bike comes out, we have the parts to make the necessary cables. Most of our cable parts are made on CNC Swiss-type screw machines. Programming and setup times are short, and we can run these machines
24 hours a day. In a few days, we’ve got the new cables on the shelf. With the clutch plates, we have a very wide range that we already make for most street/off-road motorcycles and ATVs. If, however, we have to make a totally new plate, we can tool up and have it in production in about two weeks — stamping dies, bonding fixtures, etc. Everything is computer designed and all tooling is built by us. We find the more we can do ourselves, the better product and service we can offer our customers.

PSB: In addition to being made in America, you strive to offer top-notch customer service. Why is this important to you?

CT: We pride ourselves on being available to our customers. You can call and talk to a live person, email or even come right to our facility if you’re in the area. Another part of it is always standing behind our products and services. If we make a mistake, we’ll make it right.


S&S Oil Pump for 1999-Later Harley-Davidson® Big Twins

Fix That Hog Right With An S&S TC3 Oil Pump!

S&S Cycle has just released two new oil pumps for 1999-present Harley-Davidson® Twin Cam 88®, 96™, 103™, 110, and 120R™ engines. When it comes time to service your oiling system, why put in a copy of the pump that failed once already? The new S&S TC3 Oil Pumps are much more resistant to damage from oil born debris and from excessive pinion shaft run out. Those are the two most common causes of oil pump failure in these engines. There are S&S TC3 Oil Pumps available for 1999-2006 and for 2007-later model year groups. Of course, 2006 Dyna® models use the 2007-up style pump.

S&S Wins Yet Another Nifty Fifty Award!

Power Sports Business magazine has once again bestowed a Nifty Fifty award to S&S Cycle, this time for the new S&S TC3 Oil Pumps. The new S&S TC3 Oil Pumps and the related TC3 Cam Support Plates are new products for S&S Cycle, and are welcome additions to S&S' Viola V-Twin® (VVT) line of quality service parts. "This engine platform has been out there for 15 years, and some of them are getting pretty tired. Our customers are looking for premium quality service parts to put them back in top shape. These new S&S TC3 Oil Pumps from S&S are really going to help." Says Kevin Boarts, Viola V-Twin Product Line Manager.

Every year Power Sports Business magazine selects the 50 coolest, most innovative, and most useful new products and gives the manufacturers recognition in the form of a Nifty Fifty award. Scott Sjovall, S&S VP of Product Development has this to say. "We've worked hard to design and manufacture an oil pump for these engines that's good enough to bear the S&S name, yet economical enough to be competitive in the market." After a thoughtful pause he adds. "…Nailed it both times!" Stop in for more information.


In this issue of Iron Works Magazine Bert BAKER shares his thoughts on Buying American Made. Support The Red, White, & Blue!

Check out this article from Hot Bike about "Doug's Retro Pan"

From GarageBoyz.com Bingo's View Reprinted with permission 

The Preservation of Our Kulture 

  I often think about the preservation of our Kulture. There are a bunch of questions and observations that make me fearful that our kulture of loving and living cars, bikes, tattoos and other kool stuff, could just fade away with time.

As we as a society drift apart and worry more about ourselves and our own worlds, will there still be a sense of community and camaraderie in the Hot Rod, Biker and Tattoo worlds? Now that so many people have come and gone with the latest trends and fads in each segment, is there anything substantiative left ?
For example the chopper craze brought out the $70,000 bike buyers and master builders and there was a "Chopper Shop" in every garage. The Hot Rod scene is going thru a phase of Rat Rodding everything, so now instead of restorations being the norm, its " lets flat black it " and call it a day. In the tattoo kulture anybody with an EBay account can buy all of the equipment needed to start tattooing out of their kitchen, and with the help of Craigslist let everyone know that they are doing it for $10 or an X-Box.
Combine this with the car, bike & tattoo reality shows, and the internet parts warehouses, and the out right over commercialization, it all helps make our kulture seem so quick, cheap, easy and attainable. Is it any wonder that our kulture is getting so watered down?
Are there still people willing to pay their dues and build their foundations in the history and traditions of our kulture? Or has the instant gratification of today permeated it too deeply. Has it become just so easy to buy your way into the kulture, that when the wind blows it is off to a new hobby? Has passion and commitment been replaced with one upsmanship and trend jumping?
Will there still be guys and girls who will want to keep the old cars and bike running and preserved. Are there still kids who actually dream about becoming mechanics? What if through tougher laws and regulations it becomes damn near impossible to run a carbureted machine on public roadways? Will the outlaw riders ranks swell or will the cruise-ins be filled with flamed-out Priuses?

How about the tattoo Kulture? Will the professional tattoo artists have to be so guarded with their craft, that they may become unwilling to teach others in fear of further hurting the kulture? Are there even going to be people willing to go through the rigors of being an apprentice, or will the availability of cheap machines and the desire to make fast cash just put more dangerous scratchers out there. None of which would even have the chance to do a single tattoo, if there weren't so many people looking for quick, cheap and easy. Isn't that ironic, the same people who can't commit to a 2-year phone plan, are willing to commit to a lifetime of wearing a horrible tattoo?


With the way things are today, and so many people just looking to save a dollar, we have all seen small and some not so small bike shops and car shops close down. Is this the end of the everyday man having the ability to open up a small shop and pay his bills and feed his family? Are the days of thriving independent shops, putting out honest hometown goods and services going to be a thing of the past?

Lastly, how about the artists who paint and draw by hand? Laying down pinstripes, doing hand painted lettering and such. Are there still people willing to devote hours of quality and craftsmanship, for the sake of their art? Or are we destined to face a world of high tech machines and graphic artists who will produce more products faster and cheaper? Will there still be a generation of artists willing to learn and practice creating art by hand?
Don't misunderstand my point; I know that there are plenty of people that enjoy our Kulture from the outside. They may not live and breathe cars, bikes and tattoos 24-7 like many of us do. These people provide an important role in our kulture as consumers. It is their interest and money that help fuel our kulture and keep a lot of us employed doing what we love. I don't worry about running out of consumers of our kulture rather I worry about running out of providers of our Kulture.
So in closing I ask this simple question...Are you a consumer or a provider to the Kulture Community?

Proudly Serving the Kulture Community
Bingo, GarageBoyz

Support Your Local Businesses…County Pride, County Wide "

From Hot Bike Magazine May 5- June 2, 2009. Reprinted by permission.

As I See It

What Will Happen?

It has been a long time since I have been given a page to rant a bit, and it's good to be here. Most of the time this page is for us to talk about anything going on, or anything we need to vent about. One thing on my mind has to do with Wal-Mart. When Wal-Mart moves into town it forces the smaller, “mom and pop" shops to scale down, if not close their doors. Having been across this country and at as many shops as I've visited, I can't help but hear and see the same thing going on with all of them. I always ask to find out how they are doing and if there's anything new going on and it's usually the same story, “times are hard right now and the business is just not there." Some of them feel that they are not getting the needed support of their customers. More guys are doing the work at home like the oil changes, which is a good thing but not if you are ordering your parts online to save a couple of bucks. Even if they are not doing the service, selling the parts still brings money in.

Everyone wants and needs to save a buck and eBay can be a good thing, but if you don't support the little shop owners, soon they might be gone and then what are you going to do? The only places that will be available are the big dealerships, which can be costly. Which brings me to my next point about the big dealerships and the small shops. Sure the big dealerships are good for certain things, but most of the time many of them won't even touch a pre-Evo motor, which is what a lot of the smaller shops specialize in. So if all that's left is the large corporate dealerships, you vintage bike guys, probably won't be able to get the help you'd need from them. So show your support to the smaller shops and keep them in business.

Thanks,

Ernie “B.W.F."
ernie.lopez@sorc.com

www.hotbikeweb.com