Email from Dar at Brass Balls Cycles. We are in total agreement and believe made in the USA does matter & as a Brass Balls Cycles dealer we will gladly sell and install Brass Balls parts. I did post this w/o permission but, I don't think he will mind.

Does Made In USA Matter?

This is not a trick question.
I'm not going to rant as to why you should buy American...
Just want to know your thoughts.
Does it matter to you?
We have long striven to make our parts (and our bikes) in the USA.
But it's not easy.
Prices are higher.
Profits are lower.
Competition is stiffer.
Do you think we should continue to make our parts in the USA?
Would you be more interested in buying our parts if you could save a few bucks on them... even if it meant they were made overseas?
I really want to know your thoughts. Let me hear from you. Dar Brass Balls Cycles

We wish Harley would focus on making a great product and 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? Not always, check out the FTC website do your research.

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.

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

From Bingo's View Reprinted with permission 

The Preservation of Our Kulture Support your local shop

  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.


Ernie “B.W.F."